News bulletin 18 February

on 18 February


Welcome to the College of Nurses – News Update.
No. 240 February 18 2015

From NZ media this week

81-year-old survives potentially lethal methadone dose
An elderly woman survived being given 10 times her normal dose of painkillers by two registered nurses at a private hospital.
The nurses and the hospital were found to be in breach of the Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers' Rights, deputy health and disability commissioner Rose Wall said in her report, released today.

Nurse sexually exploited mental health patient
A mental health patient with alcohol issues was sexually exploited by a male nurse who seduced her with a bottle of wine, the health and disability commissioner has found.

Rebuild workers clog Christchurch hospital ED
Rebuild workers are believed to be behind a surge in visitors to Christchurch Hospital's emergency department.
The number of visitors to the department has increased by 46 per cent for the 25-29 year age group and 27 per cent for 20 to 24-year-olds since before the quakes.

Plunket privacy breach
Plunket have launched an investigation after medical records were found in a house at the Taranaki Building Removers' yard.

Alcotest Units' help hospital staff test drunk patients
Two new 'Alcotest Units' will enable quick testing of intoxicated patients at Wellington Hospital .

Nurses support the call for TPPA transparency and health check
The New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) is deeply concerned about the potential, negative impact of a Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) on the health of New Zealanders.

From International media

Healthtech: Portland startup's app could ease nurses' scheduling headaches
For nurses, scheduling and swapping shifts can be so convoluted that they often have to resort to pencil and paper.

Nurses Unions Propose Solution to Nurse Injuries, Improved Patient Safety
The American Nurses Association reports 8 out of 10 nurses say they frequently work with joint or back pain. The nursing profession has the highest rate of on-the-job injuries of any other in the country. According to many the solution to both problems: more nurses on staff at hospitals

Measles cases increase spurs US states to consider mandatory vaccinations
The number of measles cases in the United States is rising, with some states considering enforced vaccinations.

Legal duty for nurses to report female genital mutilation unveiled
All regulated health and social care professionals will in the future be legally required to report “known” cases of female genital mutilation in children under the age of 18, according to government proposals.

Health and wellness

Hand washing focus in hospitals has led to rise in worker dermatitis
A new study from The University of Manchester has revealed that the incidence of dermatitis has increased 4.5 times in health care workers following increased hand hygiene as a drive to reduce infections such as MRSA has kicked in.

Even 'Proper' Technique Exposes Nurses' Spines To Dangerous Forces
Scientists say nurses like Sunny Vespico are prime examples of what nursing schools and hospitals are doing wrong: They keep teaching nursing employees how to lift and move patients in ways that could inadvertently result in career-ending back injuries.

Articles of interest

Bridging the gap between acute and postacute care
Nurse leaders at all levels have a unique opportunity to provide significant leadership when it comes to bridging the gap between acute and postacute care, ensuring smooth transitions for the patient and family. The chasm that exists is no longer tolerable. Patients and their families are demanding better coordination, as are payers. By implementing employee strategies commonly used within the acute care setting across the continuum, the nurse leader will see the result of better outcomes, lower costs, and an improved patient experience.1

Ebola virus disease: Managing a practice challenge with evidence
In September 2014, a patient with a possible exposure to Ebola virus disease (EVD) was admitted to the Special Clinical Studies Unit (SCSU) at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center—one of three units in the United States originally designated as able to accept patients with EVD. The SCSU opened in 2010 and was initially designed to care for patients suspected of having a highly contagious condition, such as severe acute respiratory syndrome or another emerging infection, especially in the context of occupational exposures during research with these agents. The highest possible principles of containment and biosafety were built into the unit and its procedures, with a focus on patients with highly contagious infectious diseases requiring respiratory and contact isolation.1

Complexities of medicines safety: communicating about managing medicines at transition points of care across emergency departments and medical wards(pages 69–80)
Elizabeth Manias, Marie Gerdtz, Allison Williams and Michael Dooley
To explore how health professionals, patients and family members communicate about managing medicines across transition points of care in two Australian public hospitals.

A Nurses' Guide to Quantitative Research
This article provides a breakdown of the components of quantitative research methodology. Its intention is to simplify the terminology and process of quantitative research to enable novice readers of research to better understand the concepts involved.

“The educating nursing staff effectively (TENSE) study”: design of a cluster randomized controlled trial
Hazelhof TJ, Gerritsen DL, Schoonhoven L, Koopmans RT
BMC Nursing 2014, 13 :46 (19 December 2014)
Abstract | Provisional PDF

Challenging behavior exhibited by people with dementia can have adverse outcomes, like stress, low morale, low work satisfaction and absenteeism for nursing staff in long-term care settings. Training nursing staff to manage challenging behavior may reduce its impact. Although much of the research into training nursing staff shows methodological limitations, several studies find some effect of training programs on knowledge about and on management of challenging behavior. Effects on stress or burnout are almost not found.Methods/designThe TENSE-study is a randomized controlled study on 18 nursing home units (9 control, 9 intervention) investigating the effects of a continuous educational program for nursing staff about managing challenging behavior. Nursing staff of intervention units receive the program, nursing staff of control units do not and continue usual care. The primary outcome is stress experienced by nursing staff (N?=?135). Secondary outcomes are: emotional workload, work satisfaction, stress reactions at work and knowledge about challenging behaviour of nursing staff; and frequency of challenging behavior, quality of life and social engagement of residents. Because there are many unknown factors influencing the effect of the training, a process evaluation to evaluate sampling-, implementation- and intervention quality as well as barriers and facilitators to implementation will also be included in the analysis. Nursing staff could not be blinded to the intervention, but were blinded for the outcomes.

Online resources


Using data to improve care

The UK Royal College of Physicians has produced this toolkit as a starting point for clinicians on how to collect and interpret data to improve patient care. The aim of the toolkit is to help physicians to draw together the information that is necessary to understand the quality of care provided by their team, and to work to improve it. The toolkit includes:

a description of the main types of data
considerations of how they should (or should not) be interpreted
how data can be used to help improve healthcare quality.
Acute care toolkit 11: Using data to improve care.

Reports online

Alcohol Use 2012/13: New Zealand Health Survey
The alcohol use report presents the key findings from the 2012/13 New Zealand Health Survey about alcohol use, misuse and alcohol-related harm among New Zealand adults aged 15 years and over.

The following topics are covered:

  • patterns of alcohol consumption
  • alcohol use by pregnant women
  • alcohol availability and use.

Separate publications will report the findings about the use of recreational drugs by New Zealand adults in 2012/13.

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 17 February 2015

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