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Course # 30992 • Acute Coronary Syndrome: An Overview for Nurses


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  1. Explain the pathophysiology of ACS, including the role of plaque formation and rupture.
  2. Discuss risk factors and key aspects of screening for atherosclerotic plaque and coronary heart disease (CHD).
  3. Describe components of triaging patients with suspected ACS.
  4. Identify key elements that should be included in the history and physical examination of patients with suspected ACS, including the role of stress tests.
  5. List key elements to include in chest pain assessment for a patient with possible ACS.
  6. Outline the role of 12-lead ECG and cardiac biomarkers in the diagnosis and risk stratification of ACS.
  7. Review key recommendations for the medical and nursing management of patients with UA/NSTEMI, including initial treatment, early inpatient care, and recommended pharmacotherapy.
  8. Describe ischemia-guided and invasive strategies related to the management of patients with UA/NSTEMI.
  9. Discuss key components of medical and nursing management of patients with variant angina and cocaine-induced ACS.
  10. Explain the role of PCI in the management of STEMI, including the issues of timing, stent selection, supporting pharmacologic therapy, risks, and possible complications.
  11. Outline the use of fibrinolytic therapy as a reper­fusion therapy in the management of STEMI, including the issues of indications, contraindications, supporting pharmacologic therapy, and risks.
  12. List key measures used to prevent reocclusion in coronary circulation following reperfusion with PCI or fibrinolytic therapy.
  13. Discuss the role of smoking cessation in reducing the risk of recurrent ACS and tools for helping patients quit smoking.
  14. Describe other measures patients may take to reduce risk of recurrent ACS and ongoing CHD from hypertension, dyslipidemia, and other modifiable risk factors.
  15. Explain factors that impact a patient's adherence to prescribed therapy and measures to reduce risk of recurrent coronary disease.
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