December 13, 2019

Would you be a "Street Nurse?"

Twice a month, nursing students part of the "Street Nursing" club at UCSF walk the streets around the San Francisco Public Library to provide medical assistance and advice to the local homeless population. They focus on consulting with individuals to help them seek out the most appropriate medical attention, also providing basic medical supplies with instructions on how to care for their immediate needs. The first of these efforts began last spring when 60 students showed up for a "study group." Increased popularity could lead to an official spring 2020 elective, including further studies on "common dermatological conditions, foot care concerns, and wound care for people who are experiencing homelessness." You tryin' to up your street (nursing) cred?

Are you satisfied with your career choice? —

If you're a CNS, the statistics show that 99% of you said yes. If you're an LPN or RN, you're slightly less likely to agree, coming in at about 94%. A recent Medscape study found that nearly all nurses are glad they chose nursing as a career, with nearly 50% of nurses stating that "helping people/making a difference" was their top reason for going into nursing. However, when asked whether nurses would have pursued the same educational preparation within the field, the majority of nurses polled disagreed. For LPNs, 63% would have chosen otherwise, while 45% of RNs and 66% of APRNs would have as well. Do these findings align with your experience?

Why is Facebook in hot water from public health groups? —

Misleading ads about HIV. Facebook has been mentioned in politics a lot lately, and now it's being mentioned in health care. Recent ads suggest that people who are HIV-negative may experience health complications caused by prevention medication that, in fact, have only been witnessed in a small group of HIV-positive individuals. Public health advocacy groups argue that this misleading information may deter people from treatment and ultimately lead to increased risk of HIV transmission. Moreover, many HIV campaigns are "noteworthy for what they don't include—the fact that people with HIV are living very long and healthy lives when taking the proper medications."

What's leading to a more positive patient experience? —

Mobile devices. The adoption of mobile devices for patient care is growing quickly. A survey found that 96% of medical staff respondents said that mobile device usage improved patients' experience scores. We all remember the days of pagers, but now medical staff are using secure text messages to communicate via 30,000-40,000 messages each month, often including patient images. Increased communication allows medical teams to act more quickly and effectively. This mobile device access can also spread to patients, where pediatric patients are given iPads to help distract or inform them as tests and conversations are going on around them. Better internal communication and more satisfied patients? This one sounds like a win-win.

Who's suffering the most in the home care nursing shortage? —

Families and children with complicated healthcare needs. But what's causing the shortage? For starters: pay discrepancies between home settings and hospitals; growing populations with growing needs; lack of socialization in home care and subsequent sense of isolation; and finally, more complex cases, where patients are in and out of the hospital, thus causing home care assignments to be intermittent. Unfortunately, all of these factors together often result in longer hospital stays for patients, especially children with complex medical needs. One way this issue can begin to be addressed? Allow for full-practice authority for APRNs.

Clockin' Out ✌

"What doesn't kill you... gives you a lot of unhealthy coping mechanisms and a sick sense of humor."