This is just to say that we’ve done some minor housekeeping and deleted links to a number of blogs that have been asleep several months or longer. There’s nothing personal in this, and please let us know if one of these was yours and you’ve decided to revive your blog, give it an infusion of new design and energy, or the like. We want our blogroll to be useful, and it won’t be perceived as useful if we’re linking to sites that have gone dark. Please also let us know if there’s a really great nurse blog that we don’t know about, even if it’s yours. We can’t guarantee that we’ll link to it, but we’ll certainly check it out.—JM, blog editor
The water myth: A physician, writing in the British Medical Journal (abstract only), has looked at the evidence for drinking eight glasses of water a day and says the oft-recommended practice is “debunked nonsense,” a myth the bottled water companies have been only too happy to exploit and that many respected health care organizations and experts continue to support. Maybe common sense reasoning is also partly to blame—after all, the idea seems to make sense. And all that water certainly conjures images of purification, which is inevitably appealing in a world of pervasive toxins, chemicals, food additives, and the like, and in a time when fewer people in any given Western country practice the same or similar religious sacraments or rituals, practices that may—among other functions—have once served a similar “purifying” psychologic purpose.
Drug shortages: The Wall Street Journal Health Blog has reported on two surveys that suggest that “unprecedented” drug shortages are being experienced by most hospitals. The reasons are multiple: shortage rumors that prompt hoarding, FDA actions that halt production, lack of a crucial ingredient, poor inventory management, and others:
All treatment categories were affected, hospitals said, with 80% or more respondents experiencing shortages of surgery/anesthesia, emergency care, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal/nutrition, pain or infectious disease drugs. And 66% of hospitals reported shortages of cancer drugs. Some 47% of hospitals reported experiencing a shortage of at least one drug on a daily basis.
What the study really said: The following resource isn’t new, but with more and more people getting health care news from the Internet, network television, newspapers, or from TV personalities like Oprah and Dr. Oz, it’s more important than ever for us all, whether health care journalists or nurses, to know a bit more about judging the quality of the evidence out there for certain treatments, tests, and drugs. HealthNewsReview.org offers some excellent tools for understanding what’s true, possibly true, and a complete distortion of the facts, with short primers on everything from causation vs. association, absolute vs. relative risk, and phases of drug studies to commercialism and much more.
Nursing blog sampler: Emergiblog had a nice post about a week ago about the practical challenges involved in treating the increasing numbers of children whose parents are unable to control them (or, as she puts it, “kids seem to be the adults in some families”). For something on the light side, Nurse Ratched’s Place has a post called “Treadmills, Hot Guys, and Nurses.” The gist is that everyone needs a little motivation, whether in the gym or while working a long nursing shift, and maybe a little old-fashioned objectification is just the thing (but not, of course, underwritten or endorsed by AJN!). Notes of a Nurse-To-Be has a post (ok, a couple weeks old now) on the particular kind of mental fatigue she experienced during her first mental health rotation. […]
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.”
By Jacob Molyneux, blog editor/senior editor
The nursosphere is thriving and Change of Shift, the always interesting compendium of what’s new on nursing blogs, is up over at Emergiblog.
The health care reform process creeps slowly but surely toward an end someone somewhere can surely envision. One crucial question many are still asking is whether insurance companies might serve consumers a bit more readily and agreeably if they were forced to face a little competition from a public option. After all, isn’t competition supposed to be a good thing?
Most experts don’t expect the H1N1 vaccine to pose any more danger than the seasonal flu vaccine; even so, many Americans (and nurses commenting here, or taking our poll about the mandatory vaccine) continue to be wary, prompting public health officials to engage in especially aggressive surveillance measures in order to quickly detect any possible negative reactions to the vaccine: “Government Keeps Close Eye on Swine Flu Vaccine.”
AJN clinical editor Christine Moffa posted here a while back about how meditation might help cranky or exhausted or overworked nurses stay focused on what matters during the workday. Today the NY Times has a related piece on “doctor burnout” and meditation.
The role of social media in health care is constantly evolving as we all find our way. Its use by hospital workers is at issue in a recent post at Running a Hospital, about one hospital’s decision to ban social media from all its computers. And here’s something else on this: blogger Not Nurse Ratched wonders if social media policies in […]