February 21, 2020

How is climate change affecting clinical practice?

Public health professionals are starting to recognize the implications and potential harm the climate crisis may cause to our patients. From record-breaking heat waves to rising pollen levels to decreasing nutritional value of food, the widespread impacts of climate change and global warming are becoming more and more apparent in our patients' health. Collaboration will be the only way forward, as different specialties will need to share understandings of local patient demographics, socioeconomic factors of health, and the national healthcare infrastructure itself. We must work together to start learning how to best respond to these changes.

"Florida man" opens own practice —

This could be a headline you read in the news in the near future. A Senate healthcare panel approved a proposal on Tuesday for APRNs to open independent practices without MD oversight, although this is only a first step in the process. The final proposal will likely see changes and details evolve over time, but this is the first time senators in Florida have agreed to consider allowing APRNs to provide care without the presence of a physician. This is a conversation being had in many states right now, as only 21 states currently allow NPs and APRNs to practice autonomously.

Coronavirus update: Chinese government's tribute to its nurses backfires —

A video published by Chinese government-backed newspaper Gansu Daily has caused an internet outcry. The video was intended to be a tribute to the nurses headed to Hubei to help with the coronavirus outbreak. It showed nurses having their heads shaved in order to better wear protective gear. But the video intended to show the "most beautiful warriors" has instead been met with severe criticism. Critics believe the nurses appear to be treated inappropriately and humiliatingly rather than in a complimentary way. Many of the nurses were crying and avoiding the camera as they received their haircuts. The video caused such a backlash that it was removed soon after being posted.

It's time to cut the cord(s) for our NICU babies —

We can all agree that tangled wires are the bane of any nurse's existence. Especially when said wires can prevent important bonding between pre-term infants and their caregivers. Sadly, most NICU parents are terrified to have skin-to-skin cuddle time with their littles ones in fear of disturbing the wires. That's why we were so excited to hear that a team at Northwestern University has developed a pair of soft, wireless sensors that replace the standard wire leads that currently monitor babies in hospitals. These not only monitor the heart and respiratory rates, but also the body temperature from opposite ends of the body, which allows providers to gather an infant’s core temperature as well as body temperature from a peripheral region. They are currently predicting that these will be available in hospitals in the next 2-3 years, which cannot come soon enough!

Blind engineer invents SMART cane that guides the vision impaired —

A visually impaired engineer named Kursat Ceylan has developed the first ever SMART cane, called the WeWALK. Ceylan is also the CEO and co-founder of a non-profit called the Young Guru Academy (YGA), the one responsible for making WeWALK come to life. He was able to utilize and incorporate existing technologies such as voice assistance, Google Maps, and Bluetooth syncronization, to improve on previous attempts at similar canes. According to Ceylan, the WeWALK was made to “support the visually impaired in their full participation into social life."

Hide yo kids, hide yo ketamine —

Ketamine is not a new or revolutionary drug. It was patented in the US as an anesthetic and approved by the FDA in 1970. Its relative safety and efficacy makes it a mainstay in operating rooms around the world today. But it wasn't until a few years ago that it became a household name. Its recent notoriety comes from its recreational use. Those who used to experiment with MDMA and cocaine for partying purposes are switching to "K." The reasons for this might have more to do with its role in fighting depression than chasing a new high. It's dissociative qualities make it very appealing to a generation that finds itself way too plugged in.

Father-Son Day at the NICU —

A father in New Jersey pulled out his baby book and, after seeing a photo, realized that the nurse treating his preemie baby in the NICU at St. Peter's University Hospital was the same nurse who treated him in the NICU 30 years earlier. Full circle.

Clockin' Out ✌

Nurses' post-shift grocery list: wine & stuff to eat with wine 🍷