Nurse Practitioners' Use of Ultrasound to Diagnose Kidney Stones in the Emergency Department
AdvisorSheppard, Kate G.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractBackground: Kidney stones are a common, painful disorder that can affect as many as one of 11 people in the United States (Goldfarb & Arowojolu, 2013). The gold standard for diagnosing kidney stones is currently computed tomography (CT). However, because CT scans emit radiation during the exam, they could be causing more harm than good. According to recent research, ultrasound may be used to diagnose kidney stones with close to similar accuracy and reliability. Ultrasounds are also safer and more cost effective for patients and the healthcare system. Purpose: The purpose of this project is to describe nurse practitioners (NPs) use of ultrasound to diagnose kidney stones in the emergency department (ED). The information from this project was compared with the recent literature and used to develop an evidence-based practice recommendation for diagnosing suspected kidney stones in the ED. Methods: A 15-item survey was mailed to emergency department NPs across the United States. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze the quantitative results. One open-ended question was also posed, and findings were grouped by commonalities of clinical experiences. Results: Analysis of survey responses indicates that all of the respondents use CT scan to diagnose kidney stones. However, the majority of the respondents also feel that ultrasound could be used in the ED to diagnose kidney stones. The results also demonstrate that even though there is no nationally or internationally accepted standardized guideline for diagnosing kidney stones in the ED, many EDs across the country are instituting their own protocols.
Degree ProgramGraduate College