April 10, 2020

How to find relief from constant mask-wearing

Face it, your face hurts, right? As nurses across the country are wearing PPE for extended periods of time, we are seeing a rise in skin-related concerns because of the time spent in tight-fitting masks. Protecting your face from airborne pathogens, unfortunately, can lead to inflammation, rashes, acne, and skin breakdown. Dermatologists have a few tips to help you find relief: make sure to wash your face before and after, lightly moisturize, avoid makeup unless it's above eye level, treat rashes and breakouts with TLC, and consider using Aquaphor to help reduce irritation and provide an extra barrier from mask-to-skin friction. Hopefully these tips will help you protect your skin while you are protecting the rest of your body! Read more

A less common type of PPE? —

Psychological body armor. Rose Sherman, EdD, RN spent 25 years working with veterans, and one thing among them was incredibly clear—the most important defense they had wasn't their weapons or their physical armor, it was their psychological armor—the way they spoke to and about themselves and current situations. This type of protection is integral to improving resiliency and rebounding from psychological burdens common in crises such as the one we're dealing with right now. So, how can you better equip yourself? Some approaches entail setting realistic and consistent expectations about what is possible in a given medical situation, promoting stronger models of teamwork, and supporting discussions around team strengths and weaknesses to best prepare for tough situations. Read more

Can a breathing technique ease COVID patient discomfort? —

Dr. Sarfaraz Munshi from Queen's Hospital in London released a video last Friday that demonstrates a breathing technique he believes can alleviate some discomfort and severity in COVID-19 patients. He posits that if you can breathe more deeply into the lower part of your lungs, you can help loosen collected mucus and increase your chances of coughing it out. He urges patients to try this technique at the beginning of their confirmed infection, or even before symptoms appear. Read more

Cancer patients at greater risk because of COVID-19 —

As thousands of cancer patients face delayed treatments due to COVID 19, one of the highest-risk groups is now stuck between a rock and a hard place. Since many elective and non-urgent surgeries are being postponed or cancelled, cancer patients are not able to receive the timely and effective treatments needed to prevent or delay the metastasis of their diagnosis: “There was someone who had a brain tumor who was told they would not be able to have surgery, which was, basically, and appears to be a death sentence for that patient,” said Dr. Lichtenfeld, the Deputy Chief Medical Officer of the American Cancer Society. Read more

The "fake news" pandemic —

The spread of misinformation is one of our biggest concerns in this pandemic. Side effects of "fake news" result in fear, racism, excessive hoarding (in grocery stores and pharmacies), and can cause individuals to act in a manner that may go against their typical beliefs. Being able to appropriately identify fake news is extremely important to help communities "flatten the curve" and remain socially responsible to stop the spread of COVID-19 to immunocompromised individuals. But how has so much fake news gone unchecked during the last few months? Three major culprits: information overload, sharing before thinking, and "override reactions." Read more

Here are additional articles from the New York Times and The Guardian that go even deeper into the topic of fake news during this crisis.

How ventilators became a problem for New York —

In 2005, the city's health department counted about 2,700 available ventilators, far fewer than what a severe viral outbreak would require. Over the following years, New York signed a million dollar contract with VersaMed, now GE, for new, "disaster-ready" ventilators. Soon after, this model of ventilator was discontinued, and along with it, the proper supply chains needed to keep the city up-to-date and properly equipped. This led to another apparent gap in preparedness during a 2018 exercise run by Johns Hopkins on the 100th anniversary of the 1918 flu. Yet, not enough was done to combat these discrepancies, even when it was clear that the exercise resulted in failure. Now, amidst the current pandemic, the city offers a forward-thinking solution: not to beef up the city’s stockpiles; but rather, call for a technological fix, a dashboard that would “automate the presentation of data to decision-makers” ahead of such emergencies. Read more

The state of nursing in 2020 —

The WHO's 2020 State of the World's Nursing takes a deep dive into the nursing world's most up-to-date policies and evidence-based practices. This report explores the state of nursing's current practices, and where it might be in the future given more resources (entailing a call to further education, jobs, and leadership). If you're interested in the future of the nursing profession, and of your career, check it out. Read more

Some Good News, round two! —

John Krasinski (AKA Jim Halpert, AKA Jack Ryan) is back again, this time surprising a 9-year-old girl with a virtual reuniting of the original Hamilton cast to sing for her live on video. If this doesn't make you smile/cry/thank the universe for this beautiful moment, then you're not watching the right video. Read more

Clockin' Out ✌

Conversation with my unit secretary...
Me: Hey, can I have a Sani wipe?
Her: What do you need it for?
Me: To wipe off a table for a dressing change.
Her: Did you already use one today?
Me: No! I swear!
Her: Can I have the last 4 digits of your SSN, please.

Times are tough! - Jeri Ford, RN, BSN, CPN & Trusted Nurse