RNews Digest: 1 September 2017

By RNL Editors | 09/01/2017

News and perspectives important to RNs and the profession of nursing, gathered from sources around the world.

Here's how to help Hurricane Harvey victims
Nurse.com (Blog), Sallie Jimenez, 31 August 2017
Nurses and other medical professionals from across the United States are lining up to give of themselves toward the rescue and recovery happening in Texas and Louisiana in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.

The health impacts of Hurricane Harvey: What nurses need to know
AJN Off the Charts (Blog), Corinne McSpedon, 30 August 2017
Although drowning is the most immediate and dangerous threat during a flood, those seeking safety are also endangered by sharp objects and even wild animals caught up in floodwaters. Mold will be a concern in the coming weeks and months, as will the spread of infectious diseases.

Nursing overtime: Should it be regulated?
Nursing Economics, Cathleen Wheatley, July-August 2017
Nursing overtime is common in health care to accommodate staffing needs despite evidence that it increases the incidence of patient and nurse adverse events. Some states have been successful in implementing overtime regulation; however, attempts at the federal level remain unsuccessful.

The squeeze
AJN, Danielle Allen, September 2017
I was leaning over my patient, listening to his lung sounds, when his hand tightened around my wrist. “Why don’t you get in the bed with me?” he said. With a complex psychiatric history and significant violence in this patient's background, I'd already been somewhat nervous about caring for him.

The low-fat vs. low-carb diet debate has a new answer
TIME Health, Alice Park, 29 August 2017
If there’s one message that most people get about their diet, it’s to cut back on fat. But recent studies have revealed that cutting back on fat doesn’t always contribute to a lower risk of heart disease or reduced chance of dying early. In fact, some studies show the opposite, that people who eat extremely low amounts of fat tend to die earlier.

Ecstasy could be available for medical use by 2021
Scrubs, 1 September 2017
As a nurse, you probably keep tabs on the latest drugs being used to treat patients. But did you know that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a large-scale clinical trial that would allow the drug MDMA to be used in psychotherapy?

When it comes to metrics, nurses matter
HealthLeaders Media, Jennifer Thew, 29 August 2017
From financial outcomes to mortality rates, nurse leaders can positively influence a healthcare system’s metrics. With the immense amount of information generated in today’s healthcare environment, knowing exactly how data should be measured to create meaningful metrics is a challenge.

The mythical unicorn of vaccine denialists
KevinMD.com, Christopher Johnson, 28 August 2017
Vaccine denialists often claim that they would fully support vaccines if only vaccines could be shown to be fully safe and effective, using their own special definitions of what that means. In effect, they erect an impossible standard to meet, which is of course how concern trolling works.

School nurse shortage 'putting children's lives at risk'
The Guardian, David Connett, 25 August 2017
Austerity measures have resulted in more than 500 school nurses leaving the profession without being replaced. The Royal College of Nursing said the loss of school nurses was leaving teachers without vital training and pupils without necessary support. 

Elder abuse: ERs learn how to protect a vulnerable population
Kaiser Health News, Barbara Sadick, 28 August 2017
Abuse often leads to depression and medical problems in older patients—even death within a year of an abusive incident. Yet, those subjected to emotional, physical or financial abuse too often remain silent. Identifying victims and intervening pose challenges for doctors and nurses.

Bullying proving to be a costly exercise
The Armidale Express, Margaret Sims, 25 August 2017
BeyondBlue research showed that 50 percent of all Australian workers experienced workplace bullying at some point in their careers and of these, 40 percent experienced the bullying early in their careers.

Pioneering cancer gene therapy gets green light—and $475,000 price tag
Kaiser Health News, Liz Szabo, 30 August 2017
The country’s first approved gene therapy—approved Wednesday to fight leukemia that resists standard therapies—will cost $475,000 for a one-time treatment. Switzerland-based Novartis, which makes the innovative therapy, announced that the drug will cost nothing if patients fail to benefit in the first month. RNL

—Compiled by Jane Palmer, Assistant Editor
Reflections on Nursing Leadership 

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