Why do human mothers spend so much energy manufacturing complex sugars (the third most plentiful ingredient in human milk) that babies can't even digest? Why do these complicated chemicals pass through the stomach and small intestine unharmed? What if a large amount of breast milk isn't food for babies at all? What if it is food for microbes?
Florida and West Virginia have joined the list of states that allow "advanced practice" nurses to practice what have traditionally been physician-only medical procedures, including prescribing drugs. The changes in West Virginia came about largely via an alliance of the AARP, the Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity, and the liberal West Virginia Citizen Action Group..
An ICU nurse with a way for words details her shift reports elise the great is a Something Awful poster (in the hidden Goon Doctor section) who has a long history of frank and well-written posts detailing her shifts at work in a busy ICU. After a long period of trying to convince her to write a book, and a subforum experiment involving diary-style entries, she has agreed to a blog. [more inside]
Nebraska became the 20th state to adopt a law that makes it possible for nurses in a variety of medical fields with most advanced degrees to practice without a doctor’s oversight. Maryland’s governor signed a similar bill into law this month, and eight more states are considering such legislation, according to the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. Now nurses in Nebraska with a master’s degree or better, known as nurse practitioners, no longer have to get a signed agreement from a doctor to be able to do what their state license allows — order and interpret diagnostic tests, prescribe medications and administer treatments.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nursing assistants suffered back and other musculoskeletal injuries more than any other occupation in 2013. NPR's Daniel Zwerdling investigated the root cause for many of these injuries: Lifting and moving patients. [more inside]
This past week, the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United published a report on sexual harassment in the restaurant industry. [more inside]
In 1986, Sandra Clarke was working as a staff nurse at Sacred Heart Medical Center in Eugene, OR when a dying man asked her to sit with him. She agreed but first needed to make her rounds and the man died alone in his room before she was able to return. Troubled, and feeling that she had failed a patient, she resolved to gather volunteers to stay with those who were alone and close to death. Ms. Clarke enlisted her entire hospital for a bedside vigil system to help ensure that patients would not be alone when they died. In 2001, Sacred Heart formalized the program as No One Dies Alone (NODA) and over the last decade, it has spread to hospitals across the US. "Susan Cox Is No Longer Here" offers us a glimpse into the NODA experience in Indianapolis. [more inside]
More than half the population of small, rural Madras, Oregon (population: ~6059) and its surrounding community is served by one clinic: Madras Medical. At the beginning of 2006, the clinic's doctors and nurses decided to ban pharmaceutical reps from visiting their practice. No more free lunches. No more free drug samples. No more gifts. And yet.... "It's made us better doctors." (Via) [more inside]
The Malayali Nurse on the Moon
She is everywhere, so it becomes difficult to see her. At some point you have to squint to see past the chimera that is the Malayali nurse. You have to ask why even Libya — broken, bullet-scarred and currently in possession of 14 psychiatrists for the whole nation — a better choice than any place in India? You have to ask why she chooses nursing at all. And if we don’t see her as a martyr to the family coffers, who is the woman emerging out of the smoke then?
100 Really, REALLY Useful Web Sites for Nurses | 100 Educational Twitter Feeds for Med Students | What Really Happens on a Hospital Night Shift? | 10 Hotel Health Traps You Should Really Beware Of |The ABCs of Vitamins and much more.
"You will not find a group less in favor of automatically aggressive, invasive medical care than intensive care nurses, because we see the pointless suffering it often causes in patients and families. Intensive care is at best a temporary detour during which a patient’s instability is monitored, analyzed, and corrected, but it is at worst a high tech torture chamber, a taste of hell during a person’s last days on earth."
One Hospital | Hundreds of Stories. A YouTube Playlist. Experience a day in the life of a public hospital (Highland Hospital) in Oakland, CA at a moment of profound change to the nation's economy and its healthcare system. [more inside]
Florence Nightingale's Statistical Diagrams. Famous as the mother of modern nursing, she was also an immensely talented applied statistician and visual information artist. These skills were instrumental in persuading 19th century British health authorities to improve hospital hygiene. She originated a graph type now known as “Nightingale's Coxcomb” and used it to dramatic effect. Examples of these graphs were presented in her monograph, “Notes on matters affecting the health, efficiency and hospital administration of the British army” published in 1858. That same year she became the first female fellow of the Statistical Society of London (now Royal Statistical Society). An animation of the coxcombs here. The Nightingale Crimean War coxcombs are considered by some to be one of the three best graphics in history. [more inside]
It may increase schadenfreude. It's an assistant to abortifacients and it's produced by stimulating the nipples. Got a clogged lizard? Your mom used it to turn off your brain for your own good. In women, it peaks at orgasm, but in men, it might be elevated throughout sex without peaking. And what do you mean "social" monogamy!? Is it the love 'em and leave 'em hormone?? Well, it's NOT Vasopressin For Her, contrary to what some people think. Is it an impedance to feminism? Could it be the key to treating Autism? Ism... ism... jism? YEP. It's in the jism! Its synthesis was the end of A Trail of Sulfa Research, and its master was awarded the Nobel Prize. (Chemistry, not Peace.) You can scent your loveletters with it, but sorry, peaches... you can't huff a good cuddle, but you might like to huff while you cuddle. Previously.
When Jamaican-born Mary Seacole, an experienced nurse, volunteered her services to the British Army during the Crimean War, she was rejected. Undaunted, she travelled to Crimea at her own expense and built a "mess-table and comfortable quarters," which she called the "British Hotel," and began taking care of soldiers. Her work was snubbed by Florence Nightingale, who called Seacole "a woman of bad character" and insinuated that the convalescent hotel was little more than a bordello, but Mary was beloved by the men in her care who called her "Mother Seacole." Her autobiography, Wonderful Adventures of Mrs. Seacole in Many Lands [link goes to full text and illustrations], was published a year after the war ended. Mary, who was feted by high-ranking military men and high-born civilians, went on to other nursing-related pursuits, including a stint as personal masseuse to Alexandra, Princess of Wales. Her work in Crimea was but one highlight in a very interesting life. [more inside]
"I am on a near-daily treasure hunt of sorts. I scour our American past to help understand modern breastfeeding..." The Black Breastfeeding Blog, with photographs and history.
The Center for Nursing Advocacy seems like your typical professional advocacy group—the group's mandate is "to increase public understanding of the central, front-line role nurses play in modern health care." While often the group does its work by highlighting serious issues facing the nursing profession, the Center also keeps a watchful eye on portrayals of nurses in popular culture, both good and bad. And then there are the reviews that, frankly, seem to be stretching things just a bit.
Breastfeeding while driving seemed like a good idea to Catherine Donkers, but now she is (thankfully) on trial for it. Since she's a member of a weird cult that believes the Bible should be the law of land, this should be entertaining. Presumably, they can just keep appealing for a few years until the crazies run the country.
"Sometimes I question the wisdom of continuing on in a profession that is under siege and under valued. I am aging, I am tired and some days I don’t know how I can continue to teach the newest and brightest of our profession." Part of an essay written last year by Cheryl McGaffic, one of the nursing professors killed by a disgruntled student at the University of Arizona yesterday.
UK Nurses tested for clinical competency, but not for English language skills. So when a surgeon has to halt an operation because the nurses can't understand his instructions, does that make him a racist?
What's grosser than gross? Ask a nurse. On this nursing bulletin board, nurses who have to deal with really disgusting stuff in the course of their day-to-day work reveal what even they have difficulty handling. Sputum and stinky feet are both more popular choices than I would have guessed. If you're brave, read the whole thread, including such gems as extremely overweight folks who hide foot items in the folds of their flesh. [WARNING: not for the faint of stomach, even though it's all text, no pictures.] I won't mention details of the dog story...