More Than 10 Good Reasons to Attend the NTI

The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses National Teaching Institute (NTI) is taking place in Chicago April 30-May 5.

In addition to the opening and keynote sessions, there are numerous lectures you will not want to miss.

Curriculum for the event has been delineated into various subject headings by systems. Each area has a variety of speakers and formats that will meet your educational objectives.


From a clinical perspective, the Top 10 and more, adult care sessions to consider attending this year include the following:

Cardiac: Cardiac Medications & the Renin-Angiotensin-Aldosterone System. This intermediate educational level session reviews the importance of the RAAS system and how treatment of conditions such as heart failure and cardiovascular illness are related to it.

Endocrine: Alphabet Soup: DI, SIADH and Cerebral Salt Wasting. With a severe brain injury, maintaining electrolyte balance is a constant challenge. Understanding the differences between these syndromes is an important aspect of care for these patients.

Epidemiology: Fungus Among Us: The Rising Concern of Fungal Infections in the ICU. Find out why fungal infections have a high mortality associated with them and cause significant care issues for the critically ill patient.

Gastrointestinal: Liver Failure, Portal Hypertension and Managing Variceal Hemorrhage. One of your learning objectives of this session will be to examine the results of liver cirrhosis in the context of multiple body systems.

Hematology/Oncology: Optimizing Patient Outcomes: Management of Oncologic Emergencies. Utilizing a theoretical framework, this session reviews four common emergencies and treatment strategies for care of this high-risk population.

Hemodynamics: DO2 VO2 Relationships: Is Cardiac Output Enough? Critical care nurses will become familiar with differences and relationships of these hemodynamic variables in relation to cellular metabolism and usefulness in guiding patient care.

Immunology: Blasts, Cytes and Phils: Critical Care Immunology. This session will be a dynamic review of the multiple factors involved in the immune response, associated cellular mechanisms and how the body responds to invading organisms.

Medication Management: Oh Grandma, What a Very Big Medication List You Have: Toxidromes Every Critical Care Nurse Should Know. Drug-to-drug interaction, harmful reactions and side effects of polypharmacy dosing can adversely affect an “at risk” frail, elderly population. With the rapid growth in numbers of the elderly population every critical care nurse should be aware of these potentially disastrous combinations.

Multisystem: I’ll Drink to That: Critical Care of Patients Under the Influence. Alcohol use is often associated with trauma and multiple co-morbidities and often complicates treatment. Learn how to assess and treat this patient population.

Neurological: Delirium Assessment & Management. Delirium affects a large percentage of critically ill patients and can have disastrous outcomes. This complication, often underdiagnosed and treated but associated with a very high mortality rate, will be reviewed.

Pulmonary: Ventilation, Perfusion, Diffusion & More: Making Complex Concepts Clear and Clinically Applicable. This session reviews the physiology of cellular functions associated with ventilation and the pulmonary system. Formulating a better understanding of oxygen dissociation and tissue perfusion are areas explored.

Renal: Ins and Outs of Continuous Renal Replacement therapies: A Case Study Approach. Utilizing a case study approach to care, the nurse will become more familiar with the concepts of CRRT and current recommended treatment modes.

Other sessions to consider that will focus on specific ethical, emotional care or teamwork and communication issues would be:

  • Being on the Other Side: the Impact of Family Presence. Families in the critical care area require additional support and education and involve a special focus for the nurse.
  • Collaborative Teamwork. This session is targeted for leaders and educators who seek tools to create a highly effective team.
  • Compassion Fatigue: When It Hurts to Care. Critical care nurses work in a highly charged emotional environment. Working through the aspects and emotional burden of compassion and care will be reviewed.
  • Acute Heart Failure Management: Preventing Rehospitalization. The many aspects of heart failure care through the continuum will be explored as well as reasons for readmission within 30 days and prevention strategies.

For more for information on AACN NTI, visit and preview the conference brochure to find even more events and sessions to attend.

Sue Durkin is a clinical nurse specialist in the critical care unit at Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove, IL.

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