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Posts from May, 2013

Nursing News: Quality of Care from Nurse Practitioners Comparable to That of Doctors

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, May 28th, 2013

A recent report from the bipartisan National Governors Association (NGA) emphasizes the need to reduce state scope-of-practice barriers for nurse practitioners (NPs).

The conclusion was based on a comprehensive literature review of relevant research, spanning several years. The NGA focused on studies that addressed the quality of NP care and patient satisfaction with that care, as well as state regulation of NP scope of practice. Among the NGA’s findings from the studies:

·         “Most studies showed that NP-provided care is comparable to physician-provided care on several process and outcome measures. Moreover, the stud­ies suggest that NPs may provide improved access to care.”

·         “Research suggests that NPs can perform many prima­ry care services as well as physicians do and achieve equal or higher patient satisfaction rates among their patients.”

·         “NPs rate favor­ably in terms of achieving patients’ compliance with recommendations, reductions in blood pressure and blood sugar, patient satisfaction, longer consultations, and general quality of care.”

·         “One 2003 review found that NPs are more likely to serve under served urban populations and rural areas, and a 2009-2010 American Academy of Nurse Practitioners national sample sur­vey showed that roughly 18% of the respondents indicated that they practiced in rural areas.”

The NGA concludes, “To better meet the nation’s current and growing need for primary care providers, states may want to consider easing their scope of practice restrictions and modify­ing their reimbursement policies to encourage greater NP involvement in the provision of primary care.”

With the looming shortage of physicians and the increase of patients needing care, we need to increase nurse retention and encourage advanced practice.

To learn strategies on nurse recruitment, nurse retention, bringing self care to your facility and how to increase work life balance for nurses and healthcare professionals, go to SelfCare for HealthCare. CONTACT ME DIRECTLY to talk about customizing this powerful program for your employees.

Nursing News: Nurses Translate Language So Patients Understand

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, May 23rd, 2013

As part of their jobs as patient education specialists, registered nurses translate medical jargon into plain language for instructional documents.

When they receive a document from a doctor detailing best practices before a procedure, they work to simplifying the language for a patient. Based on the number of words per sentence and syllables per word, they calculate what reading grade level a patient would be to understand the document. If the grade level is too high, they eliminate complex words, usually aiming for a fifth to eighth grade level.

A recent wave of software has emerged to automate the process, quickly identifying complex words and lengthy sentences and suggesting simpler alternatives.

The word “hyperlipidemia” in a document for patients with the condition would be changed to “high cholesterol” or a definition “when the levels of fat in the blood are too high” to simplify the document.

More than half of the U.S. population today has difficulty understanding health material, not just non-native English speakers or the elderly, but even for those who are highly literate. The language of the material and the stress of the illness affect the patient’s ability to understand.

This is just another way that nurses meet the needs of patients.

To learn ways to care for the nurses who so benevolently care for patients, strategies on nurse recruitment, nurse retention, bringing self care to your facility and how to increase work life balance for nurses and healthcare professionals, go to SelfCare for HealthCare. CONTACT ME DIRECTLY to talk about customizing this powerful program for your employees.

Work Life Balance and Healthy Employees Save Businesses Money

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, May 21st, 2013

Poor health is costing American business billions of dollars every year in health-care premiums, absenteeism, accidents, and other related costs.

The recent Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index reports that workers who are above normal weight or have at least one chronic health condition take an extra 450 million sick days compared with healthy workers —resulting in more than $153 billion in lost productivity annually.

Fortunately, health and wellness programs are becoming more and more common in the workplace.

The 2011 Kaiser Family Foundation and Health Research and Educational Trust annual survey of employer health benefits found that 67% of companies that offered health benefits also offered at least one wellness program. These may include examinations, exercise or physical fitness programs, vaccinations, and preventive screenings. With increased data to support their assumptions, employers now have evidence that making such programs available to their employees saves money.

Here’s a video on how to stay healthy through your daily activities: Work Life Balance: Get Exercise Through Daily Activities

To learn more strategies for employee wellness, nurse recruitment, nurse retention and how to increase work life balance for nurses and healthcare professionals, go to SelfCare for HealthCare. CONTACT ME DIRECTLY to talk about customizing this powerful program for your employees.

Nurse Recruitment News: Firefighters Help Ease the Nursing Shortage

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, May 16th, 2013

A growing number of firefighters throughout the country are juggling their schedules to become registered nurses. Some are looking for added training to improve their performances as paramedics. Others are preparing to or changing careers.

Nursing is a good option for firefighters who are less able to run calls. It’s a better second job than what many are doing when they’re not at the fire station, such as construction or landscaping, which can be nearly as hard on their knees and backs as responding to fires and car wrecks.

Some are changing careers as government funding cuts cause worry about job security.

Nurse’s and a firefighter’s salaries are comparable, especially considering the benefits and pensions firefighters receive. Nursing careers also allows firefighters to spend more time with their families. Some use nursing to bring in extra money now, with the plan to give them a second career after retiring from the fire department.

Firefighters make great nurses and are another source to help us ease the nursing shortage.

To learn more strategies for nurse recruitment, nurse retention and how to increase work life balance for nurses and healthcare professionals, go to SelfCare for HealthCare. CONTACT ME DIRECTLY to talk about customizing this powerful program for your employees.

Nursing News: Study Reveals Patient Safety Concerns for C-Suite Execs

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, May 14th, 2013

Patient safety is the top priority for hospital C-Suite executives and risk managers in the U.S. but “lack of teamwork, negative culture and poor communication” will present barriers to patient safety in the future, according to a new survey commissioned by American International Group (AIG).

While nearly all respondents (96% of C-Suite and Risk Managers) say their hospital has a “culture of patient safety,” one-third admit their hospital needs to undergo major changes to maintain that culture in the future.

A majority of respondents said the biggest barrier to patient safety is lack of teamwork, negative culture and poor communication (42% C-Suite; 55% Risk Managers). The study also revealed inconsistent perceptions of who is responsible for patient safety and who “owns” it.

Virtually all hospital executives (98% of both C-Suite executives and Risk Managers) agree that “every staff member in my hospital is responsible for patient safety, but half believe that nurses “own” it.

“Given that nearly half of every dollar spent on healthcare costs is related to a medical error, improvements in patient safety will provide a quick return on investment,” said Emily Rhinehart, RN, MPH Vice President and Division Manager for Healthcare Risk Consulting, AIG.

Full results of the survey can be found at www.aig.com/us/prevention.

Healthy happy nurses provide better and safer patient care. To learn how to care for your nurses AND you patients, strategies on nurse recruitment, nurse retention, bringing self care to your facility and how to increase work life balance for nurses and healthcare professionals, go to SelfCare for HealthCare. CONTACT ME DIRECTLY to talk about customizing this powerful program for your employees.

Nursing News: Do Male Nurses Earn More Money?

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, May 9th, 2013

According to a report in Men in Nursing Occupations, using data from the 2011 American Community Survey, 9.6% of the nation’s registered nurses were men, up from 2.7% in 1970. Men also comprised 8.1% of the licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses, up from 3.9% in 1970. Their numbers are steadily increasing and in some cases they earn significantly more money than their female colleagues.

Full-time female nurses earned 91 cents for every one dollar earned by their full-time male colleagues. For both full-time and part-time nurses, the survey found that men earned an average of $60,700 per year and women earned $51,100.

While men typically out-earn women, the gap is much smaller in nursing than it is across all occupations in the national workforce, where women earned on average 77 cents for every one dollar earned by men.

We need many more male nurses in our profession, and for all nurses to be compensated fairly.

To learn strategies on nurse recruitment, nurse retention, bringing self care to your facility and how to increase work life balance for nurses and healthcare professionals, go to SelfCare for HealthCare. CONTACT ME DIRECTLY to talk about customizing this powerful program for your employees.

Nurse Retention News: Employee Wellness Programs Help Retain Nurses

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, May 7th, 2013

62% of workers believe workplace wellness activities improve health and reduce health risks, up from 55% in 2011, according to the Principal Financial “Well-Being Index: American Workers.”

By taking advantage of workplace wellness offerings, employees are approaching their work with more energy and motivation. 51% of program participants feel wellness benefits encourage them to work harder and perform better, and another 59% say they have more energy to be productive at work as a result of their participation in employer-sponsored wellness programs.

In the wake of the financial challenges that left many companies stretched thin, maintaining a productive workforce is a priority for organizations.

Nearly half (45%) of employees agree that an employer-sponsored wellness program would encourage them to stay in their current employment situation, up from 40% in 2011. Additionally, 43% of participants say wellness programs have led them to miss fewer days of work, up 8% from 2011.

To learn more strategies for physical, mental and spiritual health, nurse retention, nurse recruitment and how to increase work life balance for nurses and healthcare professionals, go to SelfCare for HealthCare. CONTACT ME DIRECTLY to talk about customizing this powerful program for your employees.

Nursing News: Hail to the Nurse Hero and POW

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, May 2nd, 2013

Mildred Dalton Manning, an Army nurse who was held captive for almost three years in the Philippines and who was the last known female military prisoner of war from World War II, died March 8, 2013 at the age of 98.

Mrs. Manning, then known as Millie Dalton of Georgia, joined the Army Nurse Corps in 1939 and landed in Manila in October 1941. Six weeks later Japanese forces attacked Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and also bombed a U.S. air base near Manila. The Battle of the Philippines raged on for months and Mrs. Manning was one of about 100 military nurses who cared for wounded soldiers around the clock.

She worked for two months at a makeshift outdoor clinic at an underground hospital. She and the other nurses became known as the Angels of Bataan and Corregidor.

When U.S. forces were overrun in May 1942, Mrs. Manning was one of 77 military nurses among the 4000 people taken prisoner. The POW camp was built on the grounds of Manila’s Santo Tomas University and run by Japanese civilians. The prison camps had no showers, beds or kitchens and a single toilet shared by hundreds of people. The nurses persevered, maintaining strict military order among themselves, always wearing their uniforms and caring for the sick.

Early in 1944, the Japanese military took control of the camp, and conditions deteriorated. Dozens died of starvation. The nurses suffered many of the same ills that afflicted the other prisoners of war. They survived on two watery bowls of rice per day. She endured beriberi, dengue fever and malnutrition and, in the years after her imprisonment, lost all her teeth.

Though ailing and undernourished, the nurses continued to care for the sick and dying in the prison camp.

Finally, on Feb. 3, 1945, a U.S. tank battalion broke through the gates of Santo Tomas, as the rescued prisoners sang “God Bless America.” Mrs. Manning and the other nurses were awarded the Bronze Star Medal and a Presidential Unit Citation.

In 1943, two Hollywood movies were made about the heroic nurses of the Philippines, “Cry ‘Havoc’ ” and “So Proudly We Hail,” but the real-life Angels of Bataan and Corregidor were almost forgotten after they were captured.

In a 2004 interview with the Trenton Times, Mrs. Manning reflected on her sense of duty while living under horrific conditions. “I had a job to do,” she said. “I was a nurse.”

Let’s honor Millie Manning and all nurses who serve our beloved country.

I often share stories like Millie’s in my speaking and training. To learn strategies on nurse recruitment, nurse retention and how to motivate nurses and healthcare professionals, go to SelfCare for HealthCare. CONTACT ME DIRECTLY to talk about customizing this powerful program for your employees.