September 25, 2020

What to expect when you take a healthcare crisis response role

While working in the healthcare profession is a crucial public service, it’s also a high-risk job during times like these. And this is exactly what nurses and other frontline responders have had to do: keep working. While nursing is a field built on tradition, we’re working with ingenuity here; we have new challenges and new resources to combat a wholly novel threat. There are a few top priorities you need to address to ensure that you, your patients, and your license are safe. Read more to learn about how to prepare for any upcoming crisis response roles you might be taking on. Read more

Wildfires along the Pacific Northwest threaten the health of children —

Dr. Kelvin MacDonald, a pediatric pulmonologist, is growing concerned about the health risks to children from recently smoke-polluted air due to the raging wildfires along the West Coast. Dr MacDonald is an associate professor of pediatrics at the Oregon Health & Science University, and while the science is still unveiling itself, he said the current situation "does not look good for children.” He also said it's "unethical to expose them and find out what happens 50 years from now." The threat is especially real for younger children with preexisting conditions such as asthma. He recommends that if the AQI reaches 100, outdoor playtime should cease, while once surpassing 150, children—and people of all ages—should try to minimize time outside. Read more

Filling the educational gap in LGBTQ+ care —

In nursing school we cover a broad range of material, but as we provide care we encounter patient scenarios in which we find ourselves thinking, “I wish we learned this in school.” Transgender health care is a common knowledge gap for health care providers, but it does not have to remain that way. In this article, we cover the best practices of gender-affirming care, the role of the bedside nurse in assessing risk, and communication tips to foster an inclusive patient-provider relationship. Read more

Coronavirus Updates

After steady decline, COVID-19 cases climb —

Daily US COVID-19 cases have been on the rise recently, increasing about 13% last week from the week before (and bringing the death count in the US to more than 200,000 people). While we've seen a few weeks of decline following the summer surge (where the US hit a peak of 67,300 new cases on July 22). While we're still nowhere near the summer spike, health experts worry that cases will continue to rise again as we move into the fall, with colder weather and more time spent indoors. With this threat looming, fears of a compounding flu season are present. Maria Van Kerkhove, the World Health Organization's technical lead for coronavirus, stated, "We really need to see flu vaccination uptake increased across the Northern Hemisphere ... especially this year." Read more

Working as a travel nurse during the pandemic —

When the pandemic hit, many travel nurses sought out assignments on the front lines to help combat the virus. However, as the pandemic went on, many hospitals began canceling contracts, especially as many elective procedures or non-COVID-19 related treatments were put on hold. Some cancelations were even caused by hospitals overestimating their needs during a surge. Since travel nurses are already used to plenty of uncertainty, cancelations aren't unheard of, but this time is was different. "It's slim pickings," says pediatrics nurse Brittany Greaves, RN. Many travelers lost contracts and were—and in some cases still are—struggling to find appropriate assignments. Read more

Fires on the West Coast lead to an increased threat of COVID-19 —

The ongoing wildfire threats in California, Oregon, and Washington have already caused irreparable damage, but now health experts are worried about the ways these fires are "complicating the response" to COVID-19. Evacuations from areas threatened by the fires, as well as governmental recommendations to stay indoors due to poor air quality, have slowed rates of testing in these states. Moreover, more time indoors means more time interacting with other people, in some cases within public shelters or safety areas. As a result, the rate of positive coronavirus tests increased nearly 6% in one week, the highest increase since July and the first increase following six weeks of decline. Read more

Not trusting the FDA, Black doctors group creates panel to vet COVID-19 vaccines independently —

The National Medical Association, which was founded in 1895 as a response to racist professional societies that excluded Black doctors, has created its own task force to independently vet the regulatory decisions made by the FDA about COVID-19 drugs, vaccines, and public safety recommendations. Due to the slow decline of trust in federal health agencies in the recent months, Dr. Leon McDougle, president of the NMA, stated that “It’s necessary to provide a trusted messenger of vetted information to the African American community [...] There is a concern that some of the recent decisions by the Food and Drug Administration have been unduly influenced by politicians." The NMA's goal is to scientifically vet any new guidelines or treatments before providing them to their patients, even if already approved by federal institutions. Read more

Get your flu shot: COVID-19 + the Flu doubles risk of death in hospitalized patients —

Flu season 2020-2021 has the potential to be very different from past years due to the continued impact of COVID-19. Planning for this flu season by health systems will likely be reactionary, as their focus has been largely on the pandemic. So, what's the best way you can prepare? Get your flu shot. A recent study found that hospitalized patients who were infected with both the seasonal flu and COVID-19 were more than twice as likely to die as those infected with COVID-19 alone. As Yvonne Doyle, Public Health England's medical director, has stated, "The flu vaccine is more important than ever, to help reduce transmission of flu and protect the nation from the double threat of flu and COVID-19." Make sure you and your loved ones receive the flu shot this year. Read more

Upcoming Events

6/30, 3pm PDT: Healthy Finances: Financial Literacy, Where Wealth Meets Health —

Join medical field financial advisor Morrayna Gaskins for this one-hour chat simplifying money management. She'll share the fundamentals of investing and some effective money management skills that will give you a better understanding of the overwhelming financial world. You'll learn how to calculate your retirement number, how to break down the often-complicated financial opportunities, and gain the know-how to invest with confidence. RSVP

Clockin' Out 💩

Didn't grab your copy of Code Brown last week? That's ok, there are still copies left! Click below to buy our new, 168-card game for naughty nurses, created by Trusted Health for your amusement and horror. Enjoy irresponsibly.

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