HEADLINES
Nursing2017 covers the latest news in nursing and healthcare. See what's making headlines this month!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Sickle cell disease

This month's feature Sickle cell disease: Where are we now? offers an update on this group of inherited red blood cell disorders. Several advances have been made over the past two decades enabling new levels of success in managing this disease through evidence-based screening and treatment guidelines. The article covers signs and symptoms, complications, and current treatment options, all crucial knowledge for nurses to help patients maintain an optimal quality of life.

An article published in The Philadelphia Tribune on April 18, 2017, Inequities in funding and research on sickle cell disease, claims the disease doesn't get the research funding it deserves. According to Health columnist Glenn Ellis, while over 100,000 Americans live with sickle cell disease, it's so far failed to garner the attention generated by some other genetic illnesses; for example, the Ice Bucket Challenge phenomenon benefitting ALS research. Ellis notes that many patients with sickle cell disease are undertreated and labeled as drug seekers due to their chronic pain. 

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According to an April 3, 2017, article on KSNT.com, some patients with sickle cell disease can hope for a cure through bone marrow transplants. In Kansas, a patient with sickle cell disease underwent a bone marrow transplant to treat her disease and relieve her chronic pain. This was the first such procedure performed in that state to treat sickle cell disease. One year after surgery, she's experienced no complications and still hasn't been readmitted to the hospital.

Remember to check in next month to see what's making headlines in May!



Friday, March 24, 2017

Human trafficking prevention efforts

Nurses have a special opportunity to care for those in our community who need help most. Through their professional roles, nurses can help put an end to the horrors of human trafficking.  

In this month's feature Victims of human trafficking: Hiding in plain sight, authors Melissa Byrne, Bridget Parsh, and Courtney Ghilain discuss how nurses can learn to recognize the signs of human trafficking, ask the right questions, and take action to help victims of this modern-day form of slavery. The authors point out that nurses have a legal obligation to report child victims of abuse. Any suspected human trafficking should be reported to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center. 



According to a March 21 
article from NBC News, a human trafficking survivor and activist has teamed up with New York State Assemblywoman Amy Paulin on a bill that would require every New York hotel to post a sign in its lobby containing the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline number as well as train hotel staff on how to identify victims. Learn more about this legislation here

 

Caring for our veterans

Nurses also have the privilege of providing care to those who once served our country.

The March feature Healing our heroes: Why I became a VA hospital nurse relates the passion that VA hospital nurse Robert N. McManus, a U.S. Air Force veteran, feels about his career. McManus writes that he has a unique "opportunity to give back to the brave men and women with whom I share life-changing experiences."

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March 20 article from Military.com explores how the Veterans Affairs Department is striving to deliver higher-quality care for veterans in rural regions through telemedicine. This could be a more effective way to treat patients with chronic conditions, such as HIV, who otherwise have limited access to specialized healthcare.

Remember to check in next month to see what's making headlines in April!

 

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Thursday, February 16, 2017

Love is in the air

February, the month of Valentine's Day and now newly declared American Heart Month, inevitably inspires talk of relationships, love, and heart health awareness. While one of our February CE features focuses on a cardiovascular clinical topic (check out When cardiac tamponade puts the pressure on), this month's Legal Matters warns against the potential danger of an office relationship.

In Beware the perils of an office romance, Kristopher T. Starr explains that an office romance in the clinical setting can have serious negative implications that sometimes trigger legal action, including perceived favoritism, nepotism, preferential treatment, power inequities, and corporate liability.​

The USA Today article Finding love on the job can mean keeping a secret echoes this sentiment. The article reports that while 41% of workers have dated a colleague, only 30% of those relationships ended in marriage. Most office romances end less than happily ever after and sometimes even yield legal entanglements. To prevent these situations from arising, the percentage of workplaces with rules around office relationships has grown from 25% in 2005 to 42% in 2013.  

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Monday, January 16, 2017

E-cigarette use on the rise

On December 8, 2016, the U.S. Surgeon General held a press conference calling attention to the rising use of e-cigarettes in the nation's children, teens, and young adults.

Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, MD, labeled the trend a major public health concern and called on lawmakers to address the issue. According to MedPageToday, e-cigarette use has more than tripled among middle school and high school students since 2011.

In Nursing2017's January feature Escape the vape: Health hazards of the latest nicotine craze, Sally Huey, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC, and Margaret Granitto, MS, ANP-BC, present the latest evidence about these controversial products and review current federal regulations governing their sale and marketing.


Mumps hit a 10-year high in 2016​

On December 13, 2016, CNN reported that the U.S. has seen the most mumps cases in a decade. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were 4,258 reported mumps cases across 46 states and the District of Columbia since December 3, 2016.

Nursing2017's January Combating Infection article, Mumps makes a comeback: What nurses need to know, by Paula Barbel, PhD, PNP; Kathleen Peterson, PhD, RN, PCPNP-BC; and Elizabeth Heavey, PhD, RN, CNM, covers the epidemiology, transmission, complications, treatment, and prevention of mumps. It's a must-read for nurses interested in learning more about this contagious infection! 





Friday, September 9, 2016

Guest editor Joyce Hislop, AD, RN, is a freelance writer in Breinigsville, Pa.

Anxiously, I answered the firm knock on my father's kitchen door.

At 1 p.m., the nursing agency had called to say they were scrambling to replace the previously scheduled evening aide for my father. A retired nurse myself, I understand schedule frustrations. My dad needed assistance for the day and evening shifts 7 days a week. Of his five adult children, my youngest brother and I lived locally and did what we could, but we each had work obligations. Our dad had agreed to hire an agency to provide home health aides during day and evening hours; our brother covered any late night needs, and our sister JoAnne drove from upstate New York for the weekends.

Standing in the doorway, a tall, stunning woman with a wide smile put her hand toward me in a friendly greeting, at the same time offering an apology. I'll call her Sandra.

"Hi, I'm Sandra, from the agency. So sorry to be late- I didn't anticipate all the traffic lights along the highway and I managed to hit them all!"

The agency had sent us yet another new aide. Sandra was in her 30's, and she looked like a runway model, draped in a gracefully flowing skirt in muted colors of turquoise. The color suited her grey eyes and shoulder-length dark hair. I had to admire her presentation.

Our introductions made, Sandra followed me toward my dad, who was watching and listening from his red leather chair in the middle of the large kitchen. Sandra confidently stretched out her hand to him and smiled broadly, repeating her name in case he had not heard clearly.

"I love your kitchen," she said, and he beamed. In better days he had liked to cook and appreciated any notice of how the kitchen reflected that interest.

"Perfect," I thought, listening to the two chat for a minute about the baker's rack filled with his favorite cook books and shiny pots. The slight Southern drawl in the aide's voice was both charming and soothing.

I showed Sandra where to put her purse and pointed out the phone and emergency contact list. My main concern was that she use good body mechanics to get him up from sitting or lying down: He was a tall man and weak after several months of dialysis. I asked Sandra if she'd mind demonstrating how she'd help him up from his chair.

"Why, sure!" she replied, and squared herself in front of him. In just a couple seconds he was on his feet, looking somewhat surprised at the power behind the position change.

"As long as I'm up, I might as well go in there," he said, and motioned toward the bathroom. Sandra's steps matched his as they slowly moved the short distance. Allowing him privacy in the handicapped bathroom, she stood by the closed door and waited for his call. I gathered my jacket and bag, telling Sandra that our sister was coming in for the weekend and she'd arrive tonight in plenty of time for the shift change. I could see that Sandra and her charge were comfortable with one another and it would be okay if I left.

About 9 the next morning I got my sister's update on Sandra's shift.

"So, Joyce," she began, exaggerating a laid back and casual tone.

Oh-oh. Her tone was leading up to something.

"Is everything okay?" I was afraid to ask.

JoAnne assured me that our dad was fine. She went on to tell me she'd arrived at the house about 9 p.m. Dad was having his usual evening issues with restlessness, alternating between the kitchen and his hospital bed in the living room. Sandra had just settled him back to the bed; it seemed they'd both had a relatively uneventful evening. JoAnne went into the living room to say hello and goodnight to Dad and then came back to the kitchen. Getting a snack, she offered Sandra the same. A cup of coffee and conversation led to the discovery they had mutual friends, and during a second companionable cup Sandra shared a personal confidence: 'Sandra' was really Samuel; her biological gender was male. Through her elementary and high school years she'd rejected the gender assignment she'd been given at birth and had never felt comfortable having to live as a man.

This revelation was astonishing to me. The quality of care Sandra provided had been excellent, and Dad had even suggested that Sandra become one of his regular aides. However, my father, at age 78, might have seen it as a deception. If he'd known Sandra was born male, I believe he wouldn't have understood her choice to live, behave, and dress as a woman.

This encounter happened nearly 20 years ago. It was a different time, before terms like gender dysphoria and transgender were common. With a society more open to different expressions of gender identity,1 I wonder how this situation would play out in today's world.

How would you have handled this situation?

Reference:

1. Pitts L. Human dignity gets an important boost. The Morning Call. July 3, 2015.​