May 28, 2021

The healthiest states in the U.S.

For the first time in a while, Hawaii is not number one on Sharecare's Community Well-Being Index (an ordered ranking of the healthiest states in America). According to the updated list for 2020, released last Tuesday, Massachussetts took the number one spot. New Jersey, Maryland, and New York came next, respectively. What are some reasons behind the change in ranking? Massachusetts did particularly well in the many social determinants for health categories, namely ranking number one for health care access, number two for housing and transportation, and number three for food access. "In a year where we recognize more than ever the importance of place, the importance of our surroundings and our environment [...] those key social determinants of health were incredibly important in Massachusetts achieving its No. 1 ranking for the first time in index history," said Elizabeth Colyer, Senior vice president and head of the Community Well-Being Index at Sharecare. Read more

How to effectively market your nursing skills —

Whether you're looking for a promotion or new position altogether, knowing how to properly market your professional skills is paramount. For example, it's important to know which qualities in the job description you already possess. Take a close look at the specific descriptions of the roles for which you're interested in applying. For example, if "leader" is in the job description — maybe you've been a charge nurse? Or, if "able to work independently" is mentioned — do you have your own caseload of patients regularly? There are a variety of questions and answers to keep in mind throughout the job-hunting process, so make sure you're marketing the biggest and baddest version of yourself! Read more

Tips for older adults to get back into the swing of things —

After more than a year of being cooped up, many older adults are finding it challenging to recommence their previous, more active lifestyles. Alice Herb, an 88-year-old New Yorker, was used to walking miles around Manhattan prior to the pandemic. Now, making her way around town, she finds that she's out of breath more than she remembers: “The other day I took the subway for the first time, and I was out of breath climbing two flights of stairs to the street. That’s just not me.” So, how can older adults, like Alice, transition back to their more active lifestyles? Several experts weighed in, with advice ranging from reconnecting with your physician to having realistic expectations. Following the guidelines shared in this article will help anyone like Alice get back to their favorite activities post-lockdown. Read more

Strategies to reduce the healthcare documentation burden —

EHRs and the vast amounts of documentation required on a daily basis are often times cited as the reasons for nurses falling away from the profession. So, what's stopping us from addressing thise issue? Ellen Hansen, a chief nursing and clinical services officer, says that cutting back on documentation carries a risk of payment denial or failing to meet wider regulatory requirements, and unfortunately, that's why her team hasn't "experienced a relaxation of documentation requirements from payers and/or regulatory agencies." That said, her team is making an effort from the top down to automate more of their documentation; for example, by increasing barcode scanning and device integration into their EHR systems. This ensures that routinely recorded vital signs and ventilator settings can auto-populate into the system, saving time and unnecessary work for nurses across the team. Moreover, some EHRs are even working with nurse informaticists on-site to simplify, consolidate, and expedite workflows. Read more

Coronavirus Updates

Moderna vaccine safe and effective for kids ages 12–17 —

On Tuesday, Moderna announced that their COVID-19 vaccine is safe and highly effective for children aged 12–17. If approved for use with children in this age group by the FDA in June, the Moderna vaccine will be the second available vaccine for this age group. This would be a very good thing, as Dr. Richard Besser, former acting director of the CDC, said, "[Two vaccine options] increase the supply and choices of vaccines available to younger people." The Moderna vaccina is given in two doses that are administered four weeks apart. Its phase 2/3 clinical trial included almost 4,000 participants, half of whom received the vaccine, and the other half of whom received a placebo. Those who received the true vaccine showed no infections, while the placebo group revealed four cases a couple weeks after the second shot was delivered. The outcome with the vaccinated group supported the effectiveness (100%) of the vaccine in this age group. Read more

Complex medical jargon worsens COVID-19 health disparities —

According to the definition set by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, as well as science data fellow at Harvard University, Joseph Dexter, at least 14% of Americans are said to have "below basic" health literacy. This means that more than 46 million Americans have consistent difficulty in understanding basic health information and making appropriate decisions about their healthcare based on this understanding. More recently, with the inception of COVID-19, doing something about this challenge quickly became even more urgent. Harvard medical student, Pooja Chandrashekar, was worried about language disparity in the sharing of information about COVID-19. To help address this problem, she recruited nearly 200 multilingual health profession students to start the COVID-19 Health Literacy Project. The goal of the group is to produce clear and understandable information about COVID-19 in more than 40 languages, so that people across the country (and world) can access important information in their chosen language. The result? Numerous COVID-19 fact and information sheets that have been carefully vetted and shared with communities around the world. So far, they have been downloaded more than 250,000 times in over 150 countries. Read more

India's COVID-19 crisis continues —

As a second wave of COVID-19 infections saw India's reported cases spike to more than 300,000 new daily infections, the already overwhelmed healthcare system is plagued by an even greater shortage of hospital beds, oxygen cylinders, medicine, and other integral resources. Due to this dire need, Indian citizens in need of assistance—either themselves or for their loves ones—have been posting requests for help on social media channels like Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram. Some were even posting up-to-date information about local hospitals and vendors in terms of available beds or oxygen supplies. As irregular as these calls for help seem, many have resulted in lives saved. Read more

Upcoming Events

6/2, 3pm PDT: How to Navigate Your Finances as a Nurse —

Do you feel like your lifestyle is financially sustainable? Are you confident in how to build a strong financial foundation? Are you balancing paying off debt with saving for the future? Lauren Anastasio, a Certified Financial Planner with SoFi, will be discussing some of the most common money concerns of the medical professionals she works with.

Topics will include:
1. Organizing cash flow and budgeting as a professional with inconsistent income
2. How to prioritize your various financial goals
3. Tips for borrowing money such as how to prepare to get approved for a mortgage or other loan

All nurses are invited to this event, just make sure you RSVP!

6/3, 9am PDT: Pride Cardio Dance Class! —

Join us and Certified Personal Trainer Kailin Haugh, RN, to celebrate the bold and beautiful LGBTQ community via a fun-filled, exciting cardio dance class dedicated to Pride Month! 🌈 With music from our favorites like Lady Gaga, Ariana Grande, Britney Spears, Madonna, Carly Rae Jepsen, RuPaul, and more, you're surely up for a sweat-packed virtual dance fitness party that is all fun and zero judgment! All attendees will receive a small piece of Pride swag. ✨ All fitness levels are welcome! In the words of Jonathan Van Ness, “You're strong, you're a Kelly Clarkson song, you got this.” All nurses are invited to this event, just make sure you RSVP!

Clockin' Out ✌️

"Nursing may be your life’s work but it is not your whole life. Spend equal time on your family, self, and outside interests for balance. What do you do to stay balanced?" - Donna Cardillo, RN, CSP, FAAN