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Role of Nurses in Antimicrobial Stewardship Programs

Rita Olans, DNP, CPNP-PC, APRN-BC, assistant professor at MGH Institute of Health Professions, discusses the importance of incorporating staff nurses in a healthcare setting's antimicrobial stewardship program.

Rita Olans, DNP, CPNP-PC, APRN-BC, assistant professor at MGH Institute of Health Professions, discusses the importance of incorporating staff nurses in a healthcare setting's antimicrobial stewardship program.

Interview Transcript (slightly modified for readability)

“Stewardship programs have been historically including doctors, ID specialists, pharmacists, and yet I think we’ve evolved to the point where we need to get the message amplified. There are [approximately] 3.2 million nurses out there [who] work through the hospital[s], they work throughout inpatient and outpatient [settings] administration and case management. They can bring out the message of the importance of [antimicrobial] stewardship.

Nurse are great advocates for patients, and they are highly respected in the healthcare field and in the public. In fact, Gallup has called nurses the number one in trusted professions for 15 out of the last 16 years. The one year that [nurses] weren’t [number one] was the year of 9/11, when firefighters were number one.

We know that nurses are highly respected, and important messages in stewardship are for the public to understand that when antibiotics aren’t being used, [it’s] for good reason. Nurses can help educate the public and, therefore, make it easier when physicians and pharmacists are working to decrease antibiotic use.”