Can Your Fitness Tracker Save Your Life?

Megen Duffy, RN, BSN, CEN, works in hospice case management. She occasionally writes on nursing and digital health topics for AJN.

Fitness trackers and ‘wearables’ are becoming ubiquitous.

Fitness tracker “wearables” have become mainstream, with sales projected to reach $19 billion by 2018. If you don’t have one, many of your patients probably do, particularly this time of year when fitness goals are at the forefront of many New Year’s resolution lists. Wearables can track a lot of things, and people are claiming that they save lives. Are they all that? First, here’s a brief overview of wearables types and their uses.

Popular wearable brands include Fitbit (with 79% of sales), Jawbone, Nike, Apple (Apple Watch is a smart watch that has fitness tracker functionality), Garmin, and Misfit. Prices run from about $50 to as much as you want to spend: an Apple Watch costs from $275 to more than $10,000, depending on the model.

Increased functions. Wearables have far surpassed their pedometer function. They do all count steps, but now they also track sleep and heart rate and have increasingly more bells and whistles. The newer Fitbits and the new watchOS operating system for the Apple Watch even have “breathe” functions, intended to remind the wearer to take a few minutes several times a day and breathe to promote relaxation.

Wearables (including smart watches) now have extra features such as replaceable bands and the ability […]

2017-06-26T20:34:15+00:00 January 12th, 2017|digital health, personal health practices|0 Comments

Health Care Terms and Words To Retire and Replace?

This week, two bloggers posted lists of words or terms they felt should no longer be used when referring to health professionals or patients.

  • Harrison Reed, a physician assistant who writes for In Practice, a blog at NEJM Journal Watch, wrote “Seven Medical Terms to Ditch in 2017.” On his list was LFTs (liver function tests); regular rate and rhythm (RRR): little old lady (LOL); AAM or AAF (other potential objections aside, these are often taken to mean African-American male or female, but can just as easily mean Asian-America male or female); and nauseous when one actually means nauseated. He also would like to see an end to the use of the modifier “midlevel,” as when it’s used to refer to NPs or PAs as “midlevel providers.”
  • Over at KevinMD.com, physician Pamela Wible published “Stop saying these 7 shaming words in medicine. Right now.” Her list included phrases to abandon, along with replacements that she believes to be more accurate and/or respectful. For example, she advocates replacing “is bipolar” with “has bipolar disorder.” She also wants to replace the phrase “is the patient noncompliant?” with “is the treatment working?” “Noncompliant,” as she points out, conveys blame. (Nonadherence may now be the preferred term—there are many reasons someone may not be able to adhere to a […]

Speaking Publicly ‘As a Nurse’: Case in Canada Highlights Risks, Responsibilities

Douglas P. Olsen, PhD, RN, associate professor, College of Nursing, Michigan State University, writes about ethical issues for AJN.

Recently, a disciplinary committee in Canada found a nurse in breach of the Canadian Nurses Association’s Code of Ethics for Registered Nurses for posting negative comments on Facebook and Twitter about the care given to her grandfather in a long-term care facility before his death. The nurse was accused of violating her grandfather’s confidentiality, not using proper processes for noting complaints about his care, and potentially harming the institution’s reputation. She was found guilty of professional misconduct but not guilty of violating his privacy. The ethical breach was based on her public declarations about the nursing care.

Key to the Saskatchewan Registered Nurses’ Association decision to find the nurse guilty appears to have been the fact that the nurse prefaced remarks with the phrase, “As a nurse . . . ” Adding this phrase to one’s communications confers the authority of scientific and experiential expertise. It further implies that one is versed in the proper procedure and standards for evaluating accuracy and relevance of clinical information and that one’s conclusions are communicated honestly for constructive purposes. The credibility added by identifying the nursing credential is deserved—and therefore carries responsibilities.

What are the conditions for an ethical response when speaking publicly ‘as a nurse’?

The voice […]

2016-12-20T15:09:59+00:00 December 16th, 2016|Ethics, healthcare social media, Nursing|2 Comments

Nursing Voices: The 10 Most-Read AJN Blog Posts of 2016

flickr creative commons/by you me

As the editor of this blog, I’m often amazed by the originality, honesty, and quality of the writing that comes to us from people who are, in many cases, not writers by trade. AJN Off the Charts publishes articles about professional issues, health policy and research, and clinical topics, as well as many nurse and patient stories. Here are ten popular posts from 2016 that you might have missed. Some of the authors of the posts listed here are regular contributors, some are AJN editors, some are first-time contributors; some are established scholars, some are new to the nursing profession.

If you like these posts, please consider subscribing to the blog (see the right sidebar) to receive new updates by email. It takes just a second, and all content at this blog is free.

The 10 most-read posts we published in 2016.*

What a Nurse Really Wants
“I just want some support. I just want to take care of my patients, and maybe get a lunch break on any given day. I just want to be heard.”

CDC Opioid-Prescribing Guideline for Chronic Pain: Concerns and Contexts
“These new guidelines cast a very wide net. Many patients with chronic pain will find themselves facing new hurdles to adequate relief.”

Nurses and […]

2017-07-27T11:51:24+00:00 December 16th, 2016|healthcare social media, Nursing|0 Comments

A New, Updated AJN Off the Charts Blog

by Saida, via Flickr by Saida, via Flickr

AJN Off the Charts has been moved and redesigned—nearly in time for the start of Nurses Week.

The address of the updated blog will remain the same as always: ajnoffthecharts.com.

Please forgive the recent blog downtime. If you encounter any technical issues, please let us know about them, via our new contact page.

As with the old blog, all blog followers and subscribers should continue to receive notifications of new posts. If you find that you are not receiving these, please let us know. […]

2016-11-21T13:01:13+00:00 May 4th, 2016|healthcare social media|2 Comments