Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Nurses Needed: The Nursing Shortage is NO Myth

Recently, the PBS program NOW re-ran it's program on the nursing shortage. You might want to take a look. The recession may have slowed down the shortage temporarily, but the shortage is NO myth! For more information see the PBS site.

Friday, October 23, 2009

From Uniforms to Unions and the H1N1 Vaccine Debate

A few tidbits of info...

It seems New York State has rescinded its mandatory H1N1 flu shots for health care workers policy. With a shortage of flu vaccine, they have decided to prioritize who gets the vaccine and they don't have enough to go around if they vaccinate all the nurses and other health care workers too.

And from the Washington Post (free registration may be required) comes more food for thought about the H1N1 vaccine.

Unionization of nurses always gets some blood flowing. Here's something to think about before you make a choice.

On a lighter note....
Here's an an interesting story about the history of nursing uniforms. I get a lot of requests for this information from high school and nursing school students for term papers. There's a lot of debate about what uniforms should and should not be for nurses these days and it's always good to go back and learn about the history of things to shed some light on the debates.

Friday, October 16, 2009

YAZ/Yasmin Under Investigation from FDA

One of the points about health care reform is that the high cost of health care has to be contained. When companies and drug manufacturers mislead the lay public and health care professionals about their products, this doesn't help. When side effects are minimized and people are injured, this adds to the problem.

YAZ and Yasmin are manufactured by Bayer HealthCare. The FDA has issued multiple warnings to Bayer this year alone because of misleading advertising and poor quality control in the manufacturing process. Bayer has sponsored its own studies to show that their product is safe, but they have been slow to rectify other issues. Yes now there's a long involved commercial on American television explaining about some of the issues, but is this enough?

Institute for Health Care Presents the Future of Nursing

The next WIHI will feature a discussion about the Future of Nursing :
"There may be a shortage of nurses in many parts of the US, but there’s no shortage of rethinking and redesign underway to strengthen the profession and to help nurses be more effective providers of quality patient care. Health care reform, along with a greater emphasis on primary care and prevention, are just some of the forces that point to a more prominent, satisfying, and critical role for nurses in the near future...."

Host Madge Kaplan, a long term health reporter, welcomes former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, Donna Shalala; Susan Hassmiller PhD, RN FAAN, Director of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Institute of Nursing and IHI VP, Pat Rutherford, RN MS to discuss the current health reform and the future of nursing.

WIHI is a podcast "talk show" which is presented FREE of charge every other week. This program will be presented on October 22, 2009 from 2-3PM ET. Registration is required.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

For Home Health Nurses

If you have an interest in home health nursing, make note that I have recently revamped my website, Housecalls-Online.com which has been around for almost a decade now.

You will also find some helpful information on my other home health site: HomeHealth101.com

I have also started a Forum for home health professionals on Google Groups. It's just getting started, but there's always a lot going on in home health care. So step in and start a thread....I'm sure you have something to say about OASIS C..... (UPDATE sorry this never really took off and these groups are gone)

UPDATE: Join us on FACEBOOK. Feel free to start a related discussion.

And you might be interested in my book Exploring the Home Health Care Experience; A Guide to Transitioning Your Career Path. It's available from Amazon.comIf you'd like an autographed copy order from KathyQuan.com.

I have also recently launched my course on Documentation Basics for Skilled Home Health Care at  Teachable.com.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Patient Confidentiality

In the past few days Elizabeth Taylor has tweeted (@DameElizabeth) several times about her heart valve surgery and hospitalization. Since she has made her health condition and hospitalization public, does this mean the nurses can divulge that they have provided care for her?

NO it does not! HIPAA regulations still hold, and even before these regs took effect, nurses have had an obligation to maintain patient confidentiality. Ms. Taylor can divulge what she feels comfortable with, but the entire hospital staff is bound by patient confidentiality and HIPAA regulations about who can view or know any of her information as it pertains to their job and her care.

This can be a challenging part of the job especially for those who work in facilities that often care for celebrities and their families and friends. It's human nature to want to share stories about who you saw in a restaurant or shopping mall, but if they are a patient you must not tell anyone.

Remember too that HIPAA regs apply to all patients. You might have a neighbor admitted to your unit, and other neighbors may inquire as to his/her status as they see you coming or going from home. Without your neighbor's permission, you can't discuss the case either. You can't even discuss it with your own family. Protect your license and suggest they call or visit.

photo: screenshot from Twitter