By Jacob Molyneux, AJN senior editor/blog editor
Here you will find some links to nursing blog posts, a look at this week’s Affordable Care Act health exchange enrollment numbers, and a couple of items of interest about new treatments or studies, plus a note on blogs that award other blogs badges. A grab bag, so bear with me…
At the nursing blogs:
RehabRN has a post about a friend who was bullied by a nurse of much higher authority in the same hospital. Such stories, if true, are always upsetting. What can you do but take it when the power differential is so great?
At the INQRI blog (I’m not going to tell you what the initials stand for except that it has something to with quality, research, and nursing), there’s a post about why stroke survivors need a team approach to palliative care.
Megen Duffy (aka Not Nurse Ratched) has a really very good post at a site she sometimes blogs for. I already shared it via a tweet yesterday, but it deserves more. It’s called “Nursing Will Change You.”
At Infusion Nurse Blog, there’s a post addressing IV solution shortages (now happening on top of shortages of some common and necessary drugs due to a variety of reasons). It gives some practical steps clinicians and organizations can take to conserve and is definitely worth a quick look.
In general, it’s interesting to watch how the naming of a problem and the attempt to move toward a solution leads to a deeper, more nuanced understanding of the problem’s parameters, and ultimately to better solutions that build upon initial efforts. But without the initial effort, you never even get started. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) seems very much this way to me…we knew from the start it wasn’t perfect and that it was confronting an American health care system of byzantine complexity.
But as its various components have been initiated, such as accountable care organizations, the expansion of Medicaid eligibility (we learned this week that Medicaid enrollment increased by over 3 million from October to February), free preventive care in many areas, and of course the health care exchanges and the enrollment process that this week exceeded 7 million sign-ups, over 5.4 million of them among the previously uninsured, we’ve seen more and more economists, policy experts, statisticians, journalists, and activist clinicians peering into every corner of the health care system. The measuring and the reassessing are constant, and some people are much much happier with it than are others, but we are definitely on our way somewhere, with no letup of the pressure on every side.
In drug news, we learned that inhaled insulin for both type 1 and type 2 diabetes was moving toward FDA approval, although its efficacy is still understood to be mixed. We’ve been seeing headlines about this for years, as if this will revolutionize diabetes care. My take: have you ever smelled insulin? I have type 1 diabetes, so I have. Sometimes I give myself a shot and pull the syringe out too quickly, leaving a few tiny drops on my skin. The smell is intensely smoky and a little meaty. Like some kind of smoked meat, or that intense tea from China I forget the name of. It’s not exactly a bad smell, but very very pungent.
The thought of putting some form of that into my mouth in a mist is incomprehensible . . . Shots work fine for me, and insulin pumps work well for many other people. But maybe they’ve made it taste like apple pie, or breath mints, and certainly inhaled insulin may appeal to those with a fear of needles, perhaps especially children.
We’re not sure we need your badges, but thank you very much. Lastly, we often get e-mails congratulating us on being added to this or that top 10 or 25 or 50 nursing blog list. These usually come with a badge kind of like the one you could win as a Cub Scout, only you’re supposed to put it in the sidebar of your blog. While we are appreciative, and do not in any way suggest that any nurse bloggers shouldn’t be delighted by these great honors, I do think anyone who accepts one of these badges (which of course link back to the awarding site, often a corporate entity related to a health care product such as online education, a certain type of nursing school, etc.) might just want to ask themselves whether the site giving these awards is one that you would naturally want to promote or endorse, and whether in the end promoting such sites draws traffic away from sites written by real people who are motivated by the desire to provide the best content they can provide. On the other hand, of course, who willingly turns down a potential source of traffic to their blog? I’ve said some of this before in other ways, but it bears repeating, since I got two such congratulations emails this week alone.