July 23, 2021

Is Social Media Becoming a Public Health Crisis?

Social media can have a lot of positive uses, and let's face it, it's just a lot of fun to browse through Instagram when you should be going to sleep. However, time and again, red flags surrounding the increasing time spent on social media keep appearing. While the debate is ongoing, many experts have posited links between social media and negative health impacts among young people. Since 2012, researchers have noticed a rise in depression among young individuals, with a strong connection to their time spent online. With increasing levels of depression only one of the potential threats of increasing social media usage, should we treat these platforms more like cigarettes and alcohol? Implementing warning labels and age restrictions? The conversation will surely expand and change as more research is carried out. Read more

YouTube to support access to more accurate medical information —

This past week, Mass General Brigham and YouTube announced a partnership, whereby they will offer viewers access to credible, expert-produced medical information. Mass General Brigham, as well as numerous other healthcare and research institutions, will collaborate to create entertaining, fact-based videos on a variety of health topics, all available on YouTube. Dr. Garth Graham, director and global head of healthcare and public health at YouTube, shared that with "more than 2 billion monthly active users, [YouTube] has the potential to be a transformative tool for public health and can positively impact communities at scale." YouTube will also add new information panels on videos to help viewers identify authoritative sources in an effort to combat misinformation and further credit informative content. Read more

10 tips for exercising in the heat —

While summer weather can be great for many reasons, keeping cool while exercising outside is certainly not one of them. So, is it safe to workout outside during some of the hotter days of the summer? Short answer: Yes. But there are a few tips you can follow to ensure you're doing so safely: (1) Don't eat immediately before heading out; (2) Protect your skin (this includes sunscreen); (3) Wear breathable clothing; (4) Hydrate before, during, and after exercising; (5) Try less-hot forms of movement, maybe some that can be performed indoors; (6) Try cooler locations or times of the day; (7) Be aware of the differences between humid and dry heat; (8) Accept the heat and admit your limits; (9) Become familiar with the warning signs of heatstroke; and, (10) Don't forget to listen to what your body tells you! Read more

City children benefit greatly if they live near woodlands —

A recent study followed nearly 4,000 children ages nine to fifteen across London, England, for four years to observe the association between access to natural environments and cognitive development, mental health, and overall well-being. Using satellite data, researchers monitored adolescents' daily exposure to "green" and "blue" areas like woods, meadows, parks, rivers, lakes, and the sea. While most of these areas were within 2,000 feet of their homes or schools, which is pretty close and probably not accessible to everyone, the findings were substantial. Researchers found that a higher exposure to these areas were associated with a noticeable increase in cognitive development, including a 17 percent lower risk of emotional and behavioral problems. Will these findings change the way we design environments made for children? Only time, and further research, will tell. Read more

Paralyzed man uses brain waves to communicate —

Researchers at the University of California San Francisco have just successfully developed what is likely the first form of a unique speech neuroprosthesis (entailing the use of devices which replace lost nervous system function), enabling a man with severe paralysis to communicate in sentences that are translated from his brain waves directly to words on a screen. This endeavor differs from prior attempts in that the aim is to control muscles of the vocal system rather than those of the arm or hand in order to enable typing. The first patient involved in the study suffered a brainstem stroke in his 20s, which had left the connection between his brain, vocal tract, and limbs severely damaged. Together with researchers, the patient has created a 50-word vocabulary—from "water" to "family"—that the research team can recognize using computer algorithms. While still early on in the study, the work being done will hopefully lead to important changes in our understanding of neuroprosthesis. Read more

Coronavirus Updates

US renews declaration of public health emergency —

On Monday, July 19, the US renewed its declaration of public health emergency due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. This declaration can be left to expire or be renewed every 90 days. The previous renewal occurred in April, and the next will come up in 90 days from Monday. What does this mean? The declaration allows for the continued emergency-use authorization of vaccines, the availability of certain federal emergency funds, and the deployment of military care providers. The White House was clear that it had planned on extending the emergency, so it's not a surprise, but the hope is that at some point in the near future the declaration will not need to be renewed. Read more

NYC to mandate vaccines for healthcare workers —

On Wednesday morning (July 21), New York City mayor Bill de Blasio announced that all healthcare workers in public hospitals or healthcare clinics within New York City will be required to either get vaccinated or take weekly COVID-19 tests in order to continue working. De Blasio had this to say: "I understand why a lot of people are hearing misinformation and being affected by it, but enough is enough, [...] We need our health care workers to be vaccinated and it's getting dangerous with the Delta variant." The requirement will begin on August 2, and any who refuse will be suspended without pay. While about 70 percent of hospital workers in NYC have been vaccinated, the more transmissible Delta variant, and subsequent rise in cases across the country, has made the push for vaccinations more urgent. Read more

Upcoming Events

Event Recap: Aesthetic Nursing —

The world of nursing can literally take you anywhere your heart desires. When the burnout gets real, many start looking for alternative options, and what better place to look than at aesthetic nursing? It’s art and science meshed together to help bring out the best features and confidence in patients. Watch our most recent event centered around aesthetic nursing here!

Clockin' Out ✌️

Knock, Knock!
- Who's there?

- HIPAA who?

I can't tell you that.

- @shiftnursing