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December 20, 2019

(*Spoiler Alert*) Remember the day you realized consistently fully-staffed units didn't exist?

...you realized consistently fully-staffed units didn't exist? Well, we have another dream-dashing bit of news to share. According to a recent CDC investigation, 30 people across 13 states became ill after coming into contact with the bacteria known as Campylobacter jejuni. The vector? Adorable, squishy, innocent little puppies. Of the patients interviewed, 88% reported doing what any normal human would do when they see a puppy... they scratched the pup behind the ears and said, "Who's a good boy!?" The investigation is ongoing, but it appears most cases were tied to one specific chain of pet stores, Petland.

New healthcare product that has us clapping? —

Sterile hijabs for Muslim healthcare providers. What do we love? Inclusivity! A resident doctor in the UK created the first disposable, sterile hijab for Muslim healthcare workers to reduce the risk of infection due to wearing the traditional headscarves. The young doctor had been respectfully pulled out of operating rooms because of the risk of infection her traditional hijab posed. So, she created disposable, sterile headscarves so that she could merge her faith and passion for surgery. These headscarves are now available for all staff at her hospital, and she hopes they will soon become available for Muslim healthcare workers across the world!

Strong step forward for mental health? —

The FCC approves -988- as Suicide Prevention hotline number. The Federal Communications Commission has unanimously approved moving forward in designating 988 as a new nationwide phone number for suicide prevention and mental health crisis. Suicide is currently the 10th leading cause of death in America. Creating a short, three-digit number will be easier for people to remember when facing situations where a quick call could make the difference between life and death. The number would redirect all calls to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline where the caller can find the support they need.

What's replacing nursing homes? —

Assisted Living facilities, or AL. They were developed in the 1980s and quickly became popular (and are quickly moving to the top of aging care facilities today). Why? They bridged the gap between highly institutional-feeling nursing facilities and recovering at home. As we witness the growth of an aging population (queue baby boomers), it's important that we cater to their needs in a relevant way, and nursing homes just don't cut it anymore; people want to feel at home, comfortable in their own space. AL provides this, often times offering more comprehensive or specialized medical support at an ad hoc (additional charge) basis. This system provides help when needed but also allows older adults to maintain their autonomy and sense of agency much longer.

What might do more harm than good? —

Vaping bans. Some doctors are saying that recent bans on vaping products in response to negative health effects are too reactionary and may actually cause more harm than good, especially for individuals trying to quit smoking regular cigarettes. Amy Fairchild, dean of Ohio State University College of Public Health, states that vaping "is a harm-reduction initiative, not a harm-elimination initiative," positing that there's a difference between vaping products as smoking cessation tools and dangerous temptations for nonsmoking adolescents.

Clockin' Out ✌

"The best thing about working on Christmas is eating in the break room like an unsupervised five-year old."

Whether you've been naughty, nice, or simply tried your best, we want to hear your favorite nursing stories from 2019. Funny, scary, or heartwarming, you can share your stories with us by replying to this email. We'll be sharing them in next week's Handoff!