News bulletin 25 June

on 25 June

 Welcome to the College of Nurses – News Update.
No. 208 Wednesday 25 Jun 2014

From NZ media this week

Shortage of cancer specialists looming
Health boards are failing to attract and keep radiation cancer specialists, with the Ministry of Health warning of a serious shortage as cancer patient numbers are tipped to rise steeply over the next decade.

NZ healthcare system among world's best - study
The New Zealand healthcare system is one of the most effective in the world, according to a recent study.

Health programme under attack
The chief financial officers of district health boards have written a group letter to express what they call their severely diminished confidence in one of the Government's flagship health programme.

Better health services in schools help student wellbeing
Results from the latest Youth 12 Survey reveal considerable variability in health services for New Zealand secondary schools.

School health finding spurs extra funding
More than 1 in 10 schools have access to little more than first aid, research shows

New National Health Index system improves patient safety
Health Minister Tony Ryall has welcomed the success of an information technology system that helps healthcare providers find the right patient quickly and easily.

Deaths of mothers and babies avoidable
More than a third of mothers who died during child birth in 2012 could have been saved, a report indicates.

Disabilities on rise in ageing NZ population
The number of New Zealanders with a disability has risen to nearly a quarter of the population.

International media

New Illinois law taps retired doctors, nurses
PEORIA, Ill. (AP) - Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has signed legislation aimed at bringing doctors and nurses out of retirement to help as volunteers in free medical clinics.

Bringing Nurses Back to the Bedside: How Novant Health Tripled Direct Patient Care Time
In 2010, inspired by statistics from Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Winston-Salem, N.C.-based Novant Health leaders decided to investigate the amount of time the system's nurses were actually spending at the bedside during their 12-hour shifts.

Nurses Speak of Patient Connection
Lyn Payne has treated countless patients in her eight years at Mease Dunedin Hospital. She says some stand out, like one particularly grumpy and demanding patient.

Nurses play critical role in responding to global resurgence of pertussis
Pertussis (whooping cough) is on the increase in the United States and around the world -— and nurses play an essential role in educating parents and patients about the safety and effectiveness of pertussis vaccination, according to a new paper. Caused by infection with Bordetella pertussis bacteria, pertussis has been increasing in recent years. Worldwide, there are an estimated 50 million cases of pertussis and 300,000 deaths. Pertussis is a major cause of death in infants worldwide.

Hospitals look for ways to ground ER 'frequent fliers'
DAYTONA BEACH — Paul Thurlow had finally landed a job, but he found himself in a bed in Halifax Health Medical Center's emergency room.

Mass. Nurses Association: Fight for hospital reform is officially under way
The debate about hospital reform is about to show up in lawn signs, advertisements and conversations throughout the state after the Massachusetts Nurses Association said they had received more than double the required signatures to put two initiatives up for ballot vote.

DHB specific

Best And Worst District Health Boards for Clinical Leadership
Four district health boards (DHBs) need to take urgent remedial action to improve the way they involve senior doctors and dentists in health decision-making, according to the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS).

Bond plan attracts 11 medicos to Bay
Eleven doctors and nurses are heading to Hawke's Bay, having signed up to a voluntary government scheme.
The scheme bonds graduates from New Zealand institutions to a set time period in return for payments being made to their student loan account.

DHB in desperate rush to rein in debt
Wrestling Capital & Coast District Health Board's debt into line has been described as "landing a jumbo jet plane on a postage stamp", as its budget deadline looms.

Transparency key to new boss' philosophy
Waikato District Health Board's new chief executive has promised transparency will be part of his management philosophy.

Demand for surgery funds outstrips supply
People denied elective surgery are turning to the Taranaki Community Health Trust for help, but demand is starting to exceed the trust's supply of funds.

Public health

Smoke gets up diners' noses
Kiwi diners are being exposed to large amounts of secondhand smoke even when they choose to sit inside restaurants, a study shows.

Smoke gets inside, study finds
Going out for dinner tonight? Unless you want a lungful of smoke, take a table away from the door.
A study of Wellington eateries has found many patrons sitting inside restaurants are nearly as likely to be exposed to second-hand smoke as those sitting out with the smokers.

Social health

MPs grilled by school kids
Political parties at Grey Lynn School vow to get children involved in running country

'Tick for Kids' to tackle child poverty
A consortium of 33 child advocacy groups is working to make the welfare of the nation's children a priority in this year's election.

PHA says Tick for Kids on election day!
The Public Health Association is proud to be a partner of the Tick for Kids election campaign being launched in Auckland at lunchtime tomorrow.!.aspx

Social media

Would a sugary fizzy drink tax reduce health inequalities? Probably Yes
A possible tax on sweetened sugary beverages (SSBs, and in particular sugary carbonated soft drinks) is topical internationally. This blog considers some economic theory around prices and demand, epidemiological predictions, and then a recent Australian study on the topic. The bottom line is that such a tax would probably be good for health of all groups in NZ, but particularly the poorest New Zealanders. Such a reduction in health inequalities is an added advantage in a country where health inequalities remain an important problem.

Work and management

How to Communicate With Your Manager - A Guide for Nurses
Talking to your manager is about as fun as having a root canal treatment. Depending on his or her temperament, it can also be a pleasant experience. It will fill you with dread if they are notorious for their difficult personality. Still, you need to be able to talk to your manager despite any misgivings you may have.

Health and wellness

What are the Effects of Shift Work?
Anyone who has worked in nursing for more than five minutes has encountered the problems of shift work. Some people actually like working the night shifts, getting closer to their patients and further away from their supervisors. Most nurses, though, are not as fond of evening and night shifts for a variety of reasons.

5 Ways to Get a Better Night's Sleep
Sleep. Florence Nightingale got by on four hours a night and Thomas Edison said it was waste of time.
Although it's still somewhat unclear exactly why we need it -- it's a fundamental ingredient that is essential to sustain normal levels of cognitive skill. Things like memory, the ability to learn new information, speech, and understanding written material, all rely on the quality of your sleep.

Articles of interest

The Role of Incentives in Nurses’ Aspirations to Management Roles –
OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to describe findings from a study examining nurses' perceptions of incentives for pursuing management roles.
BACKGROUND: Upcoming retirements of nurse managers and a reported lack of interest in manager roles signal concerns about a leadership shortage. However, there is limited research on nurses' career aspirations and specifically the effect of perceived incentives for pursuing manager roles.
- See more at:

How to Be a Master Preceptor
Nursing school provides a great framework for medical knowledge, but nothing prepares a nurse for their actual work like orientation.

Substitution of physicians by nurses in primary care: A systematic review and meta-analysis is a recent study published as open access in BMC Health Services Research.  In many countries the substitution of physicians by nurses has become common, especially for chronic and multi-morbid patients. This research explored the evidence on the clinical effectiveness and care costs of this practice in primary care by reviewing and analysing the literature on the subject.  The results suggest that "Nurse-led care seems to have a positive effect on patient satisfaction, hospital admission and mortality".  Recommendations are made for further, more rigorous research on the subject.
BMC Health Services Research 2014, 14:214  doi:10.1186/1472-6963-14-214 Published: 12 May 2014

Publications and Reports online

Medical cannabis background paper
Elsa Koleth from the NSW Parliamentary Research Service has prepared this background paper on Medical Cannibis.  The paper considers the key legal issues involved, including the relationship between Commonwealth and State laws.  It then discusses parliamentary, scientific and other legal research, and includes the state of affairs in other countries such as the USA. Canada and Israel. There is an extensive bibliography covering 2008-2014 literature on every possible aspect.$File/Medical%20cannabis,%20Issues%20Backgrounder%20June%202014.pdf

From the Ministry of  Health

Health Literacy and the Prevention and Early Detection of Gout
A fairly good level of health literacy is needed to prevent or manage a long-term health condition such as gout. Health literacy is generally defined as the capacity to access, understand and use health information and services in order to make informed health decisions. The quality of practitioner communication and the user-friendliness of health services are also factors that influence health literacy.

This publication reports on a project that looked at effective approaches to strengthen health literacy in relation to the initial prevention and early detection of gout. Gout is a serious condition, but knowing the risk factors can help prevent it or recognise it early. It also helps to know that gout can be treated effectively with appropriate medication and other measures to prevent further attacks. Research has shown that these messages are generally not well communicated or understood.

The project focused mainly on Māori as a population group with a high incidence of gout compared with some other groups. Among other things, the report includes:

findings from discussions with focus groups that included gout sufferers and their whānau, and with a range of health professionals

recommendations for improving health literacy in relation to gout. 

In response to the initial findings, 5 resources were developed during the project. The report and resources would be useful for a range of people, from those experiencing gout or at risk of developing it (and their whānau) to health professionals involved in the prevention or management of gout. The Ministry has published 2 of the resources (‘To Stop Gout’ booklet and ‘Are you at risk of gout?’ pamphlet) on the Goutpage in the Your Health section.

Professional development

Conference to champion new models of care
The Long-Term Conditions Clinical Network and The Health Navigator Charitable Trust will host the second international conference championing new models of care for people and communities with long term conditions. There is increasing recognition among clinicians and policy makers about the impact of long-term conditions on acute demand, escalating healthcare costs and overloaded hospitals. Over the last forty years, the health needs of our population have changed dramatically, yet the health system remains predominantly focused on acute conditions and the provision of acute, episodic care.

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 24 Jun  2014

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