Good Nursing Is Good Antibiotic Stewardship
Resistance to antibiotics has increased dramatically in the United States, with serious associated medical, social, and economic consequences. The most promising approach to this national crisis is a new understanding of the need for the careful and responsible use of antibiotics, both for the benefit of society and for the optimal care of each patient. This multidisciplinary approach, called antimicrobial stewardship, has typically involved specialists but not necessarily nurses, who perform numerous antibiotic-related activities daily and should be an integral part of antimicrobial stewardship programs. In this article, we use patient examples to review several stewardship activities and illustrate how nurses are essential to the appropriate use of antibiotics.