July 9, 2021

Is 10k Steps a Day the Key to Good Health?

We've all heard it: taking 10,000 steps a day is ideal for optimal health. Well, it turns out that this advice was more of a marketing play from the 1960s than an actual medical recommendation. In fact, taking fewer steps may already have notable benefits. Dr. I-Min Lee, a professor of epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and her colleagues found that women in their 70s saw dramatic benefits from taking as few as 4,400 steps per day in comparison with their peers who only took 2,700 steps per day. Increasing step count from the 4,000 range appeared to noticeably decrease the risk of early death until approaching about 7,500 steps per day, where the benefits seemed to plateau. So next time you're short of your 10,000 steps, know that your four or five thousand steps are still making a positive impact on your health. Read more

Rural emergency medical services at risk —

In rural America, it's becoming more and more difficult to find fully staffed emergency response teams. One major culprit is healthcare's lovingly named "silver tsunami," or the retirement of the baby boomer generation. As older EMTs, paramedics, and other emergency response team members begin to retire, there is a lack of new, young members to replace them. More than 50 percent of rural EMS agencies are staffed by volunteers, and recently, upwards of 70 percent of agencies are having difficulty finding more help. A second challenge is simply a lack of financial resources. Many rural EMS departments simply can't cover their own operating costs. This is partly due to insufficient Medicaid and Medicare reimbursements, which cover only about a third of what's necessary to maintain equipment, medication, and other supplies. Whether the solution comes from increased county taxes or federal support, EMS teams across the country are looking for a solution. Read more

Nurse to have her scrubs and vaccine card displayed in Smithsonian —

Sandra Lindsay, the first nurse to receive an FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccine back in December of last year, will have her scrubs and vaccine card displayed for all to see in the Smithsonian Museum of American History. She was also presented with the "Outstanding American by Choice" award, which recognizes immigrants who become naturalized US citizens and make "significant contributions to [the United States]." After presenting the award, President Biden noted that while "Doctors let you live. Nurses make you want to live." Truth. Read more

Summer time and tick season: what you need to know —

Researchers have been finding ticks farther away from their usual environments, signs of spreading populations as well as their territories. With tick-borne illnesses at an all-time high, make sure you prepare a little before spending time outside this summer. So, what should you do know? Look up information about your local tick population; know the different tick types (from lone-star to black-legged); dress properly (tuck those pants into your socks); check yourself and pets after time outside; and, if you get bitten, carefully remove the tick and place it in a plastic bag to freeze for later (this enables it to be identified by a medical expert if necessary). Read more

Coronavirus Updates

Unvaccinated people are spurring virus mutations —

Unvaccinated people aren't risking only their own health, but others' healt as well. Given the rate of mutation we've seen with COVID-19, it's clear that unvaccinated individuals are becoming potential "variant factories," says Dr. William Schaffner, a professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Why is this? The primary source of a new variant is the unvaccinated body of an infected person. Schaffner continued, "The more unvaccinated people there are, the more opportunities for the virus to multiply." Many mutations are harmless, and some can even hurt the virus itself, but sometimes a mutation—such as better transmissibility—can be deadly. Existing vaccines seem to protect well against variants so far, but that could change with any mutation to come, perhaps something we're seeing with the Delta variant. Many Public health officials still believe the best way to prevent further mutations is to get vaccinated. Read more

Mask upgrade may completely cut infection risk —

We all know by now that not all masks are created equal, and one type of mask in particular, the FFP3, may be the best example of that. Research carried out by the Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, while not yet peer-reviewed, found that FFP3 masks can provide up to 100% airborne particulate protection. While most medical staff can be seen these days wearing surgical masks, FFP3 masks have a tighter fit and are specifically designed to filter our aerosols. While they are incredibly effective at reducing exposure to airborne particulates and provide one of the highest levels of protection available, they must be fitted tightly to the face, much like during an N95 fit test. Read more

Upcoming Events

7/14, 4pm PDT: Medical Volunteering 101 —

The opportunities available to nurses in the world of global health are endless. Have you ever wondered how to get involved with medical volunteering? Join Community Ambassador Tayler Oakes, RN, & Kenedy Dawson, MPH, of Covid Care Force for a one-hour chat to learn how to get involved in medical aid work, volunteering, ethical considerations, and so much more! This event is open to all nurses, so invite your nurse friends and family, just make sure you RSVP!

Clockin' Out ✌️

"I need health insurance that covers the anxiety & stress of trying to find health insurance..."

...said every travel nurse ever. Check out this recent event covering all you need to know about getting health insurance as a traveler.