Here’s a few things that got our attention late this week:
Chronic Disease Expert: U.S. Health Care Needs to Treat the ‘Whole Person’: At Kaiser Health News, a Q & A with a Stanford University chronic disease expert (who started her health care career as a registered nurse) focuses on the fragmentation of our health care system. Here’s a sample:
Q. Could the health care system do a better job addressing chronic disease?
A. The system would probably need to be totally reorganized if it was really going to do that. Right now, it addresses diseases or even parts of diseases or small sub-parts of the body. It does not address the whole, complex person with multiple chronic diseases. So, right now, what happens, if you’re lucky, you go to a primary care doc who kind of does the day-to-day stuff and then you see four or five specialists each of which do their little specialty part — none of whom really talk to each other except maybe to look at your laboratory tests on an electronic medical record if you’re really lucky.
It is totally uncoordinated. It’s chaotic. It serves pieces of people, not whole people.
Mental Health Impact of BP Spill Multiplies: Feel depressed and hopeless about the Gulf Oil Spill? At Covering Health, an article sketches out some of the journalistic work being done to look at what some people have actually begun calling “Gulf Oil Syndrome.”
Speaking of the oil spill, Sean Dent, a nurse who blogs at My Strong Medicine, has a recent post called My Vacation with the Tar Balls. It’s not about nursing in any direct way—it’s about a nurse trying to take a relaxing vacation in Gulf Shores, Alabama. Excerpt:
We knew about the oil spill. We monitored the beaches via the Real Estate agencies daily updates. We knew it would be a different environment with how the oil was affecting the beaches. No oil had made it to the shores until 2 days prior to us leaving. We still were convinced we’d make the best of our trip.
Speaking of nurse bloggers, Kim at Emergiblog has An Open Letter to the ANA about that nursing organization’s reluctance to endorse the National Nurse Act, a topic AJN’s Shawn Kennedy, interim editor-in-chief, addressed here a while back: Word Games? ANA Says We’ve Already Got a National Nurse; Others Disagree. And before that, emeritus editor-in-chief Diana Mason posted on it as well: Why Doesn’t the U.S. Have an Office of the National Nurse?
One more thing: the regular and migratory nursing blog round-up called Change of Shift is now up at Digital Doorway, along with some nice pictures from New Mexico. Thanks to Keith for including a link to a recent post from Off the Charts—and thanks as well to him for willingly engaging my questions (see the comments section below Change of Shift on his site for more on this) about whether or not it makes ethical and aesthetic sense to include links from nursing sites (NursingSchools.net, etc.) that are run simply to gather traffic for advertisers rather than for any independent and more or less unbiased editorial purpose. -JM, blog editor