Clinical Problems or Issues

Clinical problem in my practicum

In my practicum, one of the main problems is the management of sepsis in medical and surgical units. In US, sepsis is categorized as a major hospitalization and the cause of death in the United States. It is crucial for nurses to familiarize themselves with sepsis in all the hospital settings. In the medical-surgical unit, approximate 24% of the patients develops severe sepsis(Howell & Davis, 2017). The initial causes of sepsis include the presence of harmful pathogenic bacteria or their toxin in the general circulation.

The attempt by the body to fight the infection results in the harming of importance organs of the body which could lead to organ failure. The signs and symptoms associated with sepsis include confusion, increased rate of breathing, heart rate, and the fever(Howell & Davis, 2017). For elderly with compromised immune system, there may be lacks of signs and symptoms and the body temperature may fall instead of rising.

The main causes of sepsis are the response of the body because of infections. The bacterial infections are often common but can also originate from parasites, viruses, and fungi. The systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS) forms the basis of sepsis diagnosis(Kleinpell R, 2013). A blood culture can also be conducted to determine the specific infection causing the sepsis. This is usually important for the purpose of determining the type of medication to use. It is the responsibility of healthcare professionals such as nurses to identify causes of the infection as well as early detection of sepsis before the body can mount the immune response, which could lead to the injury of vital organs such as kidney and the liver.  Patients suffering from shock as associated with sepsis have a 20% survival rate while those suffering from severe sepsis stand a 50% survival rate.

Implication for Nursing

Nurses have the responsibility of ensuring sepsis is detected early. The survival rate of patients whose sepsis is detected early is approximate 70%(Kleinpell R, 2013). Nurses need to ensure they are keen enough to monitor the signs and symptoms associated with sepsis. Sepsis is a common occurrence for patients with central vein catheter. The insertion of these catheters without following proper sterile protocol could lead to infection. Additionally, nurses also should be able to trace the causes of sepsis. This is important to ensure administration of specific medication to target the pathogenic microorganism causing sepsis.


Howell, M. & Davis, A. (2017). Management of Sepsis and Septic Shock. Retrieved 12 March 2017, from

Kleinpell R, e. (2013). Implications of the new international sepsis guidelines for nursing care. – PubMed – NCBI. Retrieved 12 March 2017, from