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Posts from July, 2016

Nurse Home Visits Improves Savings and Care

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, July 28th, 2016

As healthcare costs continue to balloon, a Duke University study points to a way for potential savings: nurse home visits. For every $1 spent on nurse home visiting for newborns, $3 were saved in healthcare costs. The home visiting program more than paid for itself within the infants’ first six months of life.

nurse home visitIn addition to providing health checks and other services, nurses encouraged families to develop strong relationships with pediatricians, and not to visit the emergency room for primary care. Infants in the study had 59% fewer emergency room visits and overnight hospital stays during the first six months of life.

Participating families had lower rates of maternal anxiety, safer home environments and showed more positive parenting behaviors, such as comforting or reading to their child. Their homes were more likely to be safe, clean and free of hazards, and included more age-appropriate books and toys. Also, if the parents chose out-of-home child care, they chose higher-quality care.

Nurse home visit programs will require even more nurses. To learn how to recruit and retain nurses, visit SelfCare for HealthCareContact me today for a complimentary consultation about what’s working and what’s not working in terms of wellness at your facility.

Workplace Culture: Supporting Coworkers Reduces YOUR Stress

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, July 26th, 2016

In what’s becoming a common part of our workplace culture: 73% of workers in America admit to being stressed. Americans spend $300 billion on healthcare costs related to stress. According to the American Institute of Stress, the most common causes for workplace stress are personnel issues, workload, work-life balance and job security. Additionally, the American Psychological Association says millennials are the most stressed–and for a generation looking to innovate and advance their careers, this is a problem.

workplace culture supportive coworkers reduces stressSo what can we do about this debilitating issue that’s impacting our productivity and our job satisfaction? According to a February 2016 study in Psychosomatic Medicine: Journal of Biobehavioral Medicine, the cure to stress is in supporting and encouraging our coworkers more. The study found that those who verbalize support of their coworkers had decreased levels of stress and increased job satisfaction. Giving encouragement and support was even more beneficial to individuals than receiving it. Researchers discovered that giving support showed biological changes in the brain to reduce stress though receiving support did not.

To learn how to create a supportive work environment, visit SelfCare for HealthCareContact me today for a complimentary consultation about what’s working and what’s not working in terms of wellness at your facility.

Nurse Health: Is Lack of Sleep Affecting Your Heart?

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, July 21st, 2016

Sleep deprivation and an abnormal sleep cycle may increase the risk of heart disease, especially for shift workers, raising concerns for nurse health, one study at Northwestern University suggests.

nurse health sleep“In humans, as in all mammals, almost all physiological and behavioral processes, in particular the sleep-wake cycle, follow a circadian rhythm that is regulated by an internal clock located in the brain,” said study lead author Dr. Daniela Grimaldi.

“When our sleep-wake and feeding cycles are not in tune with the rhythms dictated by our internal clock, circadian misalignment occurs.”

The study results suggest that shift workers who are chronically exposed to circadian misalignment, might not fully benefit from the restorative cardiovascular effects of nighttime sleep.

A higher heart rate during the day was noted and to a greater extent at night when sleep deprivation was combined with delayed bedtimes. There was also an increase in levels of the stress hormone norepinephrine in the sleep-deprived and delayed-bedtime group.

Norepinephrine can narrow blood vessels, raise blood pressure and expand the windpipe.

Shift workers should be encouraged to eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly and get more sleep to protect their hearts, the researchers said.

To learn how to improve your sleep and your health, visit SelfCare for HealthCareContact me today for a complimentary consultation about what’s working and what’s not working in terms of wellness at your facility.

Nurse Health: Stress is Biggest Health Risk

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, July 19th, 2016

Stress is today’s top workforce health risk, surpassing even obesity and inactivity, and it’s in the front of the minds of those concerned with nurse health. While wellness programs often try to manage pressures nurse health and stressin the workplace, there are many stress triggers, lifestyle habits, and thinking styles that aggravate stress. Stress from home life can seep into the workplace, hampering employees’ productivity and focus. And research proves that chronic poor sleep is about as physically damaging as chronic alcohol abuse!

To learn how to cope with stress to improve nurse health and work performance, visit SelfCare for HealthCareContact me today for a complimentary consultation about what’s working and what’s not working in terms of wellness at your facility.

Caregivers, Is Your Job Affecting Your Health?

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, July 17th, 2016

Although caregivers are resilient, we need to put more effort into ensuring they are cared for. AMN Healthcare’s 2015 Survey of Registered Nurses clearly showed the affect burnout is having on nearly 9,000 nurses. Half of those surveyed worried that their job was affecting their health.

helathcare job stressThe study revealed that 62% of RNs over the age of 54 were thinking about retiring, most within three years. With this information, employers must implement plans to prevent additional turnover by reducing burnout.

SelfCare for HealthCare gives nurses the tools they need to care for the bodies, minds and spirits, resulting in improved patient care. Contact me today to discuss your current programs and how we can easily implement this culture-shifting program

Enduring Trust: Nurses Again Top Poll on Honesty and Ethics

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, July 12th, 2016

Americans gave nurses higher marks than any other profession in Gallup’s annual poll on honesty and ethical standards, released in December. When asked to “please tell me how you would rate the honesty and ethical standards of people in these different fields, 85 percent of respondents gave very high or high marks to nurses.

Nurse honesty and ethicsNurses can be proud of the trust we have earned and the care we deliver! To learn more strategies for nurse retention and nurse recruitment, visit SelfCare for HealthCare™. Contact me today to implement this life-changing program at your facility.

Nurse Health: Working Long Hours Can Increase Risk of Heart Disease

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, July 7th, 2016

A new study, especially applicable to nurse health, suggests that working long hours may actually increase your risk of heart disease.

nurse health heart diseaseWhen researchers analyzed data from nearly 2000 people in a long-term study of work, they found that 43 % had been diagnosed with a problem related to cardiovascular disease , such as angina, coronary artery disease, heart failure, heart attack, high blood pressure or stroke.

Among full-time employees, the risk rose 1 % for each additional hour worked per week over 10 years or more.

Starting at 46 hours, additional work hours increased the risk of heart disease even more. Compared to those who averaged 45 hours a week for 10 years or more, the risk of heart disease was 16 % higher among those who worked 55 hours a week and 35 % for those who worked 60 hours a week.

The findings did not apply to part-time workers.

“This study provides specific evidence on long work hours and an increase [in] the risk of CVD, thereby providing a foundation for CVD prevention efforts focused on work schedule practices, which may reduce the risk of CVD for millions of working Americans,” study author Sadie Conway, of the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, said in a journal news release.

To learn how to care for yourself, your staff to increase health visit SelfCare for HealthCare. Contact me today to discuss implementing this powerful program at your facility.

Nurse Practitioners Fill Gap in Access to Primary Care

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, July 5th, 2016

Nurse practitioners are a hot topic in the healthcare and legislative fields. State legislators in dozens of states are in the height of legislative session. Many of them are considering the more than 600 bills designed to improve patient access to primary care, an issue that has reached epidemic proportions due to health care provider shortages nationwide.

Nurse Practitioner fills gap to access in primary health careWith the rising numbers of chronic disease and our aging population, the demand for primary health care is exploding. Fortunately, there are more than 205,000 nurse practitioners in the United States who are educated, clinically trained and ready to deliver timely, high-quality, cost-effective care. Yet, many states don’t allow Nurse Practitioners (NPs) to practice to the full scope of their education and clinical training.

As of January 2016, there were 6,359 health professional shortage communities in the United States. In the last 18 months alone, this number has grown by nearly 300, according to the Department of Health and Human Service’s Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).

Despite the increasing demand, many states still have outdated state practice laws for NPs to deliver care. On average NPs have more than six years of academic and clinical preparation. They assess patients, order and interpret diagnostic tests, make diagnoses, initiate and manage treatment plans, and prescribe medications. NPs manage about 990 million patient visits per year and have practiced successfully and consistently in primary, acute and specialty settings for over half a century.

Many physician organizations oppose autonomous practice by NPs, arguing that physician supervision is required to deliver quality care.  Yet more than 100 studies over the last 40 years have concluded that NPs’ patient health outcomes are as good or better than other providers in similar health care services.

Currently, more than 40 % of the states have adopted full practice authority (FPA) licensure and practice laws which authorize NPs to deliver care without a regulated relationship with a physician.

To strengthen health care quality for all we need more nurses. To learn now to recruit nurses and retain nurses by implementing tools that care for employees’ minds, bodies and spirits, visit SelfCare for HealthCare. Contact me today to discuss implementing this powerful program at your facility.