Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Happy Nurse's Week

The SEIU folks have some e-cards you can send to your favorite nurse or yourself at their Value Care, Value Nurses website. It's an interesting site even if you don't use the cards.

Med Doc brought in Krispy Kremes for us, and I can honestly say I've never in my life had a FRESH Krispy Kreme before today. OMG. I always thought they tasted a bit like wonder bread with sugar water poured on them, but a FERSH one, now that's a whole 'nuther story!. I was good - I only had one. Psych Doc brought out a box of mint chocolate wafer cookies. I guess they like us fat-n-happy. :)

Speaking of fat-n-happy, I went to my first pharm dinner last night. It was at a very nice restaurant downtown, and I got to dress up for a change. They had great food, a real round-table sort of presentation, group discussion about issues within continuity of care in newly stabilized patients, and an impressive guest list from all over our not-so-small town. I was impressed. Everyone kept saying how this was so different from other pharm dinners (meaning interesting) and I think it was very important for so many parts of the whole patient care picture to come together to find ways of making it easier to help patients stay on track. Being new to the whole thing myself I thought I would keep quiet - but I couldn't help but join in on the brainstorming! We broke down into our individual tables (about 8-10 people each) and got out boards and worked on coming up with reasons why it's difficult for patients to follow up after hospitalization with outpatient medications(with some emphasis on Risperdal Consta). We then worked on ways to correct these problems (where possible) and then shared our findings with the group as a whole and discussed it further. Because guests came from inpt, outpt, private, and even correctional backgrounds, there was a lot of information exchanged. Anyway, I'm sure I'm going on too much about this, but I thought it was great and not at all what I'd heard about stuffy, boring, blah-blah-blah drug dinners. Nods to Janssen and Risperdal Consta for facilitating it.

Note to nursing students: Here's some info on Prolixin Decoanate, Haldol decoanate and Risperdal Consta. They're interesting IM injections you might not ever have to give unless you work in psych, but it's nice to know they exist. They serve a real purpose in a sometimes difficult patient population.
Posted by HypnoKitten at 7:21 PM
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Monday, May 01, 2006

News Flash!

Battery Girl was discharged today.

I know, I'm horrible... :P

Posted by HypnoKitten at 10:20 PM
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No Flu Shot = Mask Yourself?

Nurses Prevail - Virginia Mason Hospital Charged With Unfair Labor Practice by the National Labor Relations Board
Monday May 1, 6:37 pm ET

SEATTLE, May 1 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) agreed with the Washington State Nurses Association and issued a complaint and notice of hearing to the Virginia Mason Medical Center (VMMC) for engaging in unfair labor practices against the registered nurses. WSNA, representing more than 600 registered nurses at VMMC, filed a complaint in January 2006 against the hospital on behalf of the RNs who were forced to wear face masks.

The complaint issued today by the NLRB charged that VMMC:

-- failed and refused to disclose critical information that the WSNA is
legally entitled to and requested in order to represent the nurses.
-- provided "false and misleading information about its intention to
implement such policy" to the WSNA in the Union's request to bargain
over an influenza immunization policy.
-- refused to bargain with the WSNA before unilaterally implementing the
policy forcing nurses to wear face masks.

"It is shocking and outrageous that Virginia Mason Hospital not only refused to provide information as required by law and refused to bargain over this policy as required by law, but also lied to the nurses and misled the nurse about their policy. We applaud the NLRB's decision to charge Virginia Mason Hospital with the outlined unfair labor practices. Employers should be held accountable when they blatantly violate the law," said Barbara E. Frye, RN, Director of Labor Relations at WSNA.

In early January, the United States District Court ruled in favor of the WSNA in upholding the arbitrator's decision against VMMC and stopped the hospital from forcing RNs to receive flu shots. The decision by the United States District Court denied VMMC's motion challenging the arbitrator's decision, which would have allowed the hospital to make flu shots a condition of employment and fire RNs who did not comply. VMMC responded by unilaterally implementing a policy to require nurses who refused flu shots to wear face masks during their shift.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), "no studies have definitively shown that mask use by either infectious patients or health-care personnel prevents influenza transmission." The Institute of Medicine on April 27, 2006 agreed that "There's little evidence masks truly block the influenza virus, and if they can, how much protection they offer."

WSNA absolutely supports the flu vaccination and in fact strongly encourages nurses to get them. But, it does oppose any health care facility threatening to fire or retaliate against nurses if they do not submit to the mandatory vaccination, especially in the absence of a declared public health emergency and a recommendation for mandatory vaccination by the CDC.

Founded in 1908, WSNA is the professional organization representing more than 13,000 registered nurses in Washington State. WSNA effectively advocates for the improvement of health standards and availability of quality health care for all people; promotes high standards for the nursing profession; and advances the professional and economic development of nurses.

Source: Washington State Nurses Association


Jeremy, RN, shows off his special issue Virginia Mason influenza-proof mask and additional combination needlestick/xray-protective vest and bloodborne-pathogen-resistant cape.
Posted by HypnoKitten at 8:32 PM
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Uganda Begins Testing Nurses

Nurses do National Exam
New Vision Online
Publication date: Monday, 1st May, 2006

By Ronald Kalyango

The first ever national examinations for Nurses and Midwives begin today, the chairperson of the Uganda Midwives Examination Board, Margaret Nyakuni, announced yesterday.

Speaking at her office in Kampala, she cautioned students to avoid malpractices, saying culprits would be stopped from doing the exams.

Nyakuni said the new examination board was established by the Ministry of Education and Sports and they are to conduct the exams twice a year, in May and November.

“This month’s exams are to be done in 24 nursing training institutions but more will come on board as time goes by,� she said.
“I have dispatched a strong team of examiners and coordinators who have been allocated different centres all over the country to ensure that the exercise is successful,� Nyakuni said.

Patrick Byakatonda, the senior education officer in charge of nursing education, said the beginning of the examinations is a milestone in the improvement of nursing and midwifery in Uganda.

The Ministry of Education and Sports supervises nurses? Ack! -HK
Posted by HypnoKitten at 7:46 PM
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UK Nurses Now Prescribe More

New rules allow nurses to prescribe
Press Association
Monday May 1, 2006 7:03 AM

Nurses and pharmacists will be able to prescribe a wide range of drugs as part of a Government bid to speed up patient treatment.

Under the plan, which caused controversy when it was announced last year, nurses and pharmacists will be able to undertake extra training to prescribe medicines for common illnesses ranging from acne to tonsillitis.

Nurses, some of whom run their own specialist clinics, will also be able to prescribe for long-term conditions such as asthma and diabetes.

Nurses can already prescribe more than 180 prescription only medicines while pharmacists have been able to prescribe in partnership with doctors since 2003.

But now those powers have been widened with the aim of giving patients more choice about where and from whom they get their prescriptions.

Last year, the British Medical Association (BMA) branded the move "irresponsible and dangerous" saying it put patients at risk.

Chairman James Johnson said at the time that it was difficult to see how health workers who were not trained to diagnose disease could safely prescribe appropriate treatment.

But the Department of Health has said the move will take pressure off GPs, allowing them to focus on more complex cases.

Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt said the the move was a "major advance" in improving accessibility.

Nurses and pharmacists will be able to take on the new role after successfully finishing a post-graduate prescribing training course. Once trained, they will be required to keep their skills up to date.

© Copyright Press Association Ltd 2006, All Rights Reserved.
Posted by HypnoKitten at 7:40 PM
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