October 11, 2019

This Week in Healthcare

Is there a medical professional on board? —

We've all been there -- going about our daily lives when we are summoned: "Is there a medical professional here?" Hopefully it was just a quick neuro check or wound assessment. And hopefully it wasn't on a plane, although you probably still had all the supplies you needed. However, due to chronic drug shortages, the Federal Aviation Administration has granted airlines exemptions that permit passenger planes to fly without a complete medical kit on international as well as domestic flights. ACLS certification will only get you so far without epi, lido, atropine, or dextrose on hand. Surely, you can't be serious.

Detecting skin cancer with cellphones —

Diagnosing skin cancer without relying on a magnifying glass and scalpel may be coming soon to a dermatology clinic near you! Researchers have discovered a way to install cancer-diagnosing technology into cellphones and small handheld devices to detect abnormalities and potentially diagnose skin cancer. This would allow practically anyone to scan someone for potential cancer risks more conveniently, frequently, and hopefully cheaply.

Doing away with the Rx pad, doing away with the disease —

This week California became the first state to allow pharmacies to dispense HIV prevention medications without a doctor's prescription. Supporters say this will allow easier access to these medications, while also helping to reduce the stigma related to the drugs. Not everyone is a fan. Some clinicians are concerned that patients will be treating themselves without the proper physician oversight.

Improving chances of success for new grad nurses —

Whether you've recently graduated or are a seasoned nurse, we can all agree that supporting new grads is key to the future of our profession. It's not surprising, but research has shown that new grads placed on units via a Nurse Residency Program (NRP) learn faster and are less susceptible to turnover. New grads in these programs reported significant increases in confidence, organization, and communication with teammates, patients, and families. A new report made policy recommendations to TJC to require all newly licensed RNs to complete a NRP. Great in theory, but how do we get hospitals on board to actually provide them?

Everything you ever wanted to know about the flu —

This week, Medium released a comprehensive primer on the flu. It entails a six-part report sharing everything you need to know, including a guide addressing this year’s flu season specifically; classic remedies that do and don't work; how to protect kids from the flu; how flu vaccines are made; the history of the flu; and the big question, could a universal vaccine save us all? As a nurse, you probably know quite a bit about the flu already, but if you're curious to dig a little deeper, this is the resource for you. And trust us, this is much more comprehensive (and enjoyable) than those VIS's we're used to.

Clockin' Out ✌

Overheard in San Francisco: "I could never be a nurse; the only shifts I do are on a keyboard."