Monday, April 12, 2010

National Library Week - Communities Thrive

Today begins National Library Week, an annual celebration that highlights the value of all types of libraries and librarians. This year's theme is "Communities Thrive @your library."  Libraries have long been integral to communities.  They provide access to information for the entire community and also serve as meeting places and community centers.  As we strive to build a community of inquiry here at Frontier, the library plays a central role in that process as well.  Once you become a part of the Frontier community, you will always be a part of it, no matter where you may reside.  But you are also a part of your home community. I thought we could take this opportunity to discuss libraries in your own community. Are you aware of the libraries in your community?  If not, you might want to start by checking out  On their Find a Library page, you can enter a zip code or city name and see a list of libraries and the distance to them.  Note that ALL types of libraries are shown, even school libraries, so you may need to refine by type on the left side of the screen:
Most communities have a public library, and those can be great community resources.  They often have computer classes and story times for children as well as having Internet access and books and magazines.  While they probably will not have the medical and nursing journals that you may rely on as an APN, they may be able to get articles via interlibrary loan.  Note that hospital libraries will be listed under "corporate or special." Hospital libraries may not offer services to non-employees but it might be worth checking.  Finally, the academic category will show you all of the college and university libraries in your area, including community colleges.  If these institutions are public, they will almost always allow community patrons.  Private colleges and universities will have different policies, but again, it is worth checking to see if they offer services to community residents.

Another option for library services for health professionals is an AHEC, Area Health Education Center.  The AHEC program was started in the 1970s to support health professionals working with underserved populations by providing continuing education, information dissemination, and other professional support.  There are 54 AHEC programs with more than 200 centers in the U.S. Find one near you using the National AHEC Organization's directory.

Another link you might find helpful is this list of Medical/Health Sciences Libraries on the Web, arranged by state, from Hardin Library for the Health Sciences at the University of Iowa.  

So, what's a great library in your community?

Thursday, March 11, 2010

NIH Consensus Development Conference on VBAC

Over the past few days (March 8-10), the National Institutes of Health held a Consensus Development Conference on VBAC. Here are a few links that you might want to peruse:

The conference home page has links to the draft statement. NPR did a story on the conference on today's Morning Edition.  They also have a news story on VBAC available.

Finally, you can follow the "back channel" conversation on Twitter for commentary and more links:

Friday, February 19, 2010

New and Interesting

There have been so many interesting articles and links come across lately that I haven't been able to keep up with posting them all, so I thought I would do a round-up here.  There should be something for everybody!

NPR's Fresh Air interview with Randi Hutter Epstein, author of Get Me Out: Making Babies Through The Ages. - This page contains an excerpt from the book as well as the interview.  Epstein was also interviewed on NPR's All Things Considered.

The Joint Commission (hospital accrediting agency) issued a Sentinel Event Alert, which identifies sentinel events, describes their common underlying causes, and suggests steps to prevent occurrences in the future, on Preventing Maternal Death.

This may not be new to some, but the National Conference of State Legislatures has a page on breastfeeding laws for all states.

In nursing education news, the National League for Nursing released Notable Findings from NLN Annual Survey of Schools of Nursing.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

ACOG Publications, Part II

In the last post we discussed the basics of ACOG publications.  The indexes for the Practice Bulletins and Committee Opinions will help you know where to find them.  But what if you don't know the title of the guideline of interest?  What if you don't know if there is a guideline or not?

As I mentioned in the last post, Practice Bulletins and Committee Opinions are published in Obstetrics & Gynecology (the Green Journal).  As part of that publication, they are indexed in MEDLINE as articles.  This means that they are searchable!  When you search MEDLINE via EBSCOhost, you can search for ACOG in the corporate author field. 

Remember that EBSCOhost displays the results in reverse chronological order, so the most recent publications will be at the top.
If you only want to see Practice Bulletins, you could search for ACOG in the corporate author field and Practice Bulletin in title field.

Finally, you could add a term in the third box that relates to the topic on which you need a guideline.  Remember, though, as with any search, that the term you use may not be the same one that the authors have used.  For example, searching for a practice bulletin on ultrasound gets no results.  In the guideline on that topic, ACOG uses the term ultrasonography.  Think about your search terms carefully.

If you need assistance finding ACOG publications or anything else, be sure to contact the library!

UPDATE:  One thing I forgot to mention:  When searching EBSCOhost for guidelines, please remember that there is a delay between publication and indexing in EBSCOhost.  If you're looking for something that has just been released, it may not be available in EBSCOhost yet.

Friday, January 29, 2010

ACOG Publications

Ever wonder what the difference is between an ACOG Committee Opinion and an ACOG Practice Bulletin?  Ever wonder what exactly people mean when they say "ACOG Guideline"?  Well, I have.  A little digging and talking to people more knowledgeable than myself revealed the answers.  Practice Bulletins are subtitled "Clinical Management Guidelines for Obstetrician-Gynecologists" so these are what are popularly referred to as guidelines.  According to the monthly list of titles, practice bulletins "provide obstetricians and gynecologists with current information on established techniques and clinical management guidelines." Committee Opinions, on the other hand, "are intended to provide timely information on controversial issues, ethical concerns, and emerging approaches to clinical management.  They represent the considered views of the sponsoring committee based on interpretation of published data in peer-reviewed journals."  Both Practice Bulletins and Committee Opinions are reviewed regularly to make sure the information is current.  ACOG also publishes Technology Assessments, which provide an overview of technology in the field.

Even if you are aware of the distinction, these publications can sometimes be hard to find.  Via the ACOG website, they are only available to members or subscribers.  FSMFN is a subscriber, but our subscription only allows access to publications from the current year (you can find the login information in our AtoZ journal list; just search for "ACOG").  ACOG does provide open access to their List of Titles.  These lists can serve as an index to the publications.  You might want to keep these links handy:

Practice Bulletins:
Committee Opinions:

Practice Bulletins and Committee Opinions are published in Obstetrics & Gynecology, aka The Green Journal.  You'll notice that the lists above note which volume and issue of the journal they appeared in.  With that information, you can then use Frontier's electronic subscription to Obstetrics & Gynecology to access the full text (please remember to log off of OVID when you're done,though). Please note that Practice Bulletins and Committee Opinions published prior to 2003 are not available through the electronic subscription.  We have both the bulletins and opinions themselves and the Green Journal in print in Hyden.  So if you are searching for a Practice Bulletin or Committee Opinion and can't find it electronically, let us know, and we'll scan the print copy for you.

Next up:  how to search for a guideline when you're not sure one exists.