News bulletin 12 March

on 12 March


Welcome to the College of Nurses – News Update.
No. 193  Wednesday 12 March 2014


From NZ media this week

Otago prison nurses at leading edge
Otago prison nurses are the first in the country to gain extra credentials in primary mental health.

New government funding helps local nurse to pursue her dream
New graduate nurse Esther Allington (27) has landed her dream job thanks to new Government funding.

Nurse staffing worry
The nurses' union is disappointed the Southern District Health Board's answer to fears Dunedin is in the midst of a nursing staffing crisis is to set up a working party, rather than hire more nurses.

Nurses to release evidence of crisis
The nurses' union will take a ''strategic approach'' to releasing information about conditions in Dunedin and Wakari hospitals in its attempts to persuade the health board to hire more staff.

Patient harm concerns denied by SDHB
Details have emerged from a nurses' meeting about concerns a lack of staff in Dunedin Hospital's neonatal intensive care unit (Nicu) could be harming patients.

Questions over nursing levels
Concern health heads are ''robbing Nurse Betty to pay Dr Ropata'' by skimping on nurse budgets has been raised by a Southern District Health Board member.

Medical education makes leap forward
The Medical Council is implementing changes to doctor’s training and education that will improve patient safety and the performance of doctors.

Stethoscopes more dirty than hands - study
Not just cold, but dirty: Stethoscopes carry more bugs than doctors' hands, a new study shows.

Silicone dressing prevents skin reactions during radiation
Severe skin reactions during radiation therapy could be prevented by applying a thin transparent silicone dressing to the skin from the first day of treatment, according to clinical research from New Zealand.

Taumarunui adopts integrated health care model
New model fosters working partnerships amongst healthcare services and providers
A new integrated health services model adopted by health professionals will strengthen effective and sustainable health services in Taumarunui, says Waikato District Health Board (DHB) chief operating officer Jan Adams.

Govt considers making pregnancy checks a national priority
The Government will consider making 10-week checks for pregnant women a national priority in response to a wide-ranging inquiry into improving children's health.

Response to health report criticised
The Government has missed an opportunity to tackle high rates of child abuse with a half-hearted response to a parliamentary report, critics say.

Aged care

Assessment tool enhances the aged care experience
With the support of MidCentral District Health Board, aged residential care providers are rolling out a clinical comprehensive assessment tool (interRAI) as part of a nationwide move to improve the assessment experience for older people

DHBs and Primary Health Care

A 'tsunami' of knee replacements predicted
New Zealand faces a ''tsunami of knee replacements'' in the coming years, placing even more pressure on health services, a Dunedin academic says.

Health system 'under stress'
The Southern District Health Board has been the focus of close attention this week, with concerns expressed across the health sector about the population-based funding model, staffing levels, ageing infrastructure at Dunedin Hospital, the recent IT outage, and proposed cuts to mental health beds. The Star chief reporter Brenda Harwood examines the issues.

Public health

Dr Net gives answers to ailing Kiwis
Study finds many of us are using the internet to diagnose illnesses instead of going to the doctor.

Slash sugar intake, says WHO
The daily allowance for a person's sugar intake should be halved to six teaspoons, the World Health Organisation said yesterday.

Alarm bells for flabby farmers
New Zealand's dairy farmers once bulked out the All Blacks' forward pack or nipped around their opponents in the back line.
They were the cream of the country's physical crop and the envy of lesser beings living in town. But in the modern world a different picture is emerging.

Four restrained after taking new, dangerous drug
Four men had to be restrained at a party in Christchurch after taking a new and dangerous drug with the nickname N-Bomb.

International media

Should New York allow nurse practitioners to break free from doctors? (video)
Syracuse, N.Y. -- Nurse practitioners and doctors are waging a turf war in New York at a time when there's not enough doctors to take care of the growing number of patients getting health coverage through Obamacare.

Should nurse practitioners break free from physicians? The rest of the story (Commentary)
I was very concerned to read "Should New York allow nurse practitioners to break free from doctors?", which portrays of a "turf war" between nurse practitioners and doctors.

Why nurse practitioners want more freedom
Syracuse, N.Y. -- There are more than 16,000 nurse practitioners in New York - 1,131 of them in Onondaga, Oswego, Cayuga and Madison counties.

Nurses Can Perform Colonoscopies As Well As Docs
Colonoscopy quality and safety are comparable for nurse and physician endoscopy trainees, according to a study published in the March issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

Fla. bill addresses low nursing school test scores
TALLAHASSEE -- Plummeting test scores among Florida nursing school graduates has prompted some legislators to propose a bill that would tighten the qualifications for nursing programs.
The drop in test scores has been linked to bills passed in 2009 and 2010 that permitted trade schools and colleges to open nursing programs without approval of the state’s Board of Nursing. Those bills, sponsored by Sen. Denise Grimsley, were seen as a way to deal with a statewide nursing shortage and usurped the power of the 13-member board, which for years was charged with the review and approval of nursing programs.

Government announces apprentice plan to boost nursing careers
Healthcare assistants already working in hospitals will be able to skip the traditional degree route and train on the job to become a nurse under a new initiative, it has been announced.

Minimum staffing levels for nurses?
AMs have allowed plans for a law requiring minimum staffing levels for nurses in Welsh hospitals to be brought forward for closer scrutiny.
Welsh Liberal Democrat leader Kirsty Williams said the legislation could "revolutionise healthcare" in Wales.

Health and wellness

Positive health technique for stressed nurses found
Within the health care industry and beyond, daily exposure to stress can lead to negative consequences for employees both on and off the job – from apathy and burnout to physical illness or mental impairments. New research suggests the implementation of a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program can reduce employee stress and burnout. In the study, a sample of 41 female nurses from a large healthcare company participated in an 8 week scheduled course of guided instruction in mindfulness meditation practices, facilitated group discussion, stretching and yoga, work and home assignments, and individually tailored instruction and support. Results showed statistical improvement in both overall health and wellness of the nurses at each point of intervention.

Full article at:

Coping with stress: can mindfulness help?
Dealing with human suffering and an exhausting schedule often leaves many development workers burnt out. This simple meditation technique could help

Articles of interest

Comparing nursing handover and documentation: forming one set of patient information
The aim of this study was to explore the potential for one set of patient information for nursing handover and documentation.
Communication of patient information requires two processes in nursing: a verbal summary of the patients' care and another report within the nursing notes, creating duplication.

A literature review of the Dutch debate on the nurse practitioner role: efficiency vs. professional development
To explore the debate on the development of the nurse practitioner profession in the Netherlands.
In the Netherlands, the positives and negatives of nurse practitioners working in the medical domain have been debated since the role was introduced in 1997. The outcome of the debate is crucial for nurse practitioners' professional development and society's justification of their tasks.

Discussion paper

Improving access to the Work and Income Disability Allowance for food
Wellington Regional Public Health have recently released a discussion paper on 'Work and Income Disability Allowance (for food) - opportunities to improve access'.
The Work and Income Disability Allowance can provide an important source of additional income to support people on low income to access healthier foods. Regional Public Health has identified a number of barriers to accessing this allowance which are outlined in this paper.

From the Ministry of  Health

Regional results from the 2011-2013 New Zealand Health Survey

These data tables give regional estimates for 20 District Health Boards (DHBs) and 12 Public Health Units (PHUs) for both adults and children. Where available, time trends from 2006/07 are also presented allowing comparisons to be made over time.
These regional results are based on data from the 2011/12 and 2012/13 New Zealand Health Survey (NZHS).  By pooling two years of data the Ministry of Health has been able to provide results for all DHBs in New Zealand, however the sample size for some of the smaller DHBs remains relatively small. This can mean the results for smaller DHBs have a large margin of error (95% confidence interval) and need to be used with caution. For example, the results for the West Coast DHB are based on survey responses from around 400 adults and 100 children. Furthermore, when looking at the “Results by Indicator” table, the prevalence of hazardous drinking in the Wairarapa DHB for example is estimated to be 16.2%, with a 95% confidence interval of 10.8% to 22.8%. A wide confidence interval like this suggests that the result should be taken as indicative.

The above information has been collated for the College of Nurses Aotearoa (NZ) Inc by Linda Stopforth, SNIPS and is provided on a weekly basis.  It is current as at Tuesday 11 March  2014

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