News bulletin 20 January

on 20 January

Welcome to the College of Nurses Aotearoa News Update.
No. 284 20 January 2016


From NZ media this week

Medical cannabis worthwhile as a palliative but not a treatment, report suggests
Medical cannabis helped ease the suffering of a terminally ill teenager but did nothing to treat his epilepsy, a medical report says.

Maori women viewed as 'inferior' by settlers
The way early settlers documented Māori women is disturbing and has had a damaging impact on how wahine are viewed today, an emerging health researcher says.

Better Information Sharing Leads to Healthier Kids
Fewer children are missing critical health checks thanks to an innovative online tool and coordination service from Pinnacle Midland Health Network.

Nelson Hospital's emergency department increasingly busy after hours
Alcohol-related incidents, complex illnesses and an increase in people seeking help late at night is putting pressure on the Nelson Hospital emergency department.
Head of the emergency department Dr Andrew Munro said more people were using the emergency department and the biggest difficulty hospital staff faced was dealing with the increase of people turning up between 11pm and 8am. 

Kiwi hepatitis C patients getting treatment from Australian drug buyers club
New Zealanders unable to afford the $100,000 price for hepatitis C medication have been offered a lifeline from an Australian Dallas Buyers Club-style operation.
Dozens of Kiwis facing liver disease and a shortened life as a result of the virus have travelled to Australia to pick up wonder drugs with the help of Tasmanian doctor James Freeman.

Drugs, alcohol and smoking

Academic 'tussle' over alcohol report
An academic tussle about alcohol and whether it causes violence has morphed into an unholy scrap over "religious temperance" and conflicts of interest.
British anthropologist Anne Fox's research group was paid by the brewer Lion to produce a 99-page report last year on the drinking, culture and violence in Australia and New Zealand.

Ethical issues

Health ethics - designer babies
Should parents be able to determine their baby's gender? Or choose its genetic makeup so it can be a donor for another child? Lynn Freeman spoke to Dr Jeanne Snelling who's an academic lawyer, and the Director of The Bioethics Centre in Dunedin, Professor John McMillan.

Mental health

Seclusion rates at Nelson Marlborough District Health Board highest in New Zealand
Mental health patients in Marlborough and Nelson are placed in seclusion more often than anywhere else in the country, a new report shows.

Mental Health Foundation launches project to help young people end mental illness discrimination
Young people who experience moderate and severe mental illness often experience isolation and rejection from their peers and at home. A new project will help young people develop creative projects to end mental illness discrimination in NZ.


Soft drinks have devastating impact on public health
How did soft drinks that contain inexpensive ingredients, become the basis of multi-billion dollar industries and international brand icons, while also having a devastating impact on our health?

Anti-obesity initiative for comes under fire for lack of results
An anti-obesity programme in Christchurch's south-west suburbs has come under fire for a lack of results in the year since it was launched.
Healthy Families New Zealand, the Government's flagship anti-obesity initiative,  was launched in the Spreydon-Heathcote ward in 2014 – one of 10 communities to share $40 million of funding. 

From International media this week

The rate and cost of nurse turnover in Australia
Nurse turnover is a critical issue facing workforce planners across the globe, particularly in light of protracted and continuing workforce shortages. An ageing population coupled with the rise in complex and chronic diseases, have contributed to increased demands placed on the health system and importantly, nurses who themselves are ageing. Costs associated with nurse turnover are attracting more attention; however, existing measurements of turnover show inconsistent findings, which can be attributed to differences in study design, metrics used to calculate turnover and variations in definitions for turnover. This paper will report the rates and costs of nurse turnover across three States in Australia.

New guidelines for care of the perioperative geriatric patient
This best practices document provides guidance on managing the older adult in the perioperative period. It is organized into sections corresponding to the immediate preoperative period, the intraoperative period, and the postoperative period. This document is designed to help clinicians, it is not a substitute for clinical judgment and experience.
These consensus based recommendations have been developed by the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS NSQIP®) and the American Geriatrics Society’s (AGS) Geriatrics for Specialists Initiative, with support from the John A. Hartford Foundation.

Overseas nurses denied NHS jobs
Thousands of nurses were denied permission to work in England last year, despite hospitals facing staff shortages, new figures show.

Work and management

Compassionate care means supporting staff as well as patients
One thing I was pleased to tick off the ‘to-do’ list last week was completing The King’s Fund staff satisfaction survey. It’s nice to be asked how you feel about your job and encouragingly here at the Fund, staff have reported relatively high levels of engagement over the past three survey rounds.

Decreasing workplace incivility
A problem in many healthcare institutions, workplace incivility is often referred to as bullying, lateral/horizontal violence, or harassment.1-3 It can be defined as “repeated offensive, abusive, intimidating, or insulting behavior, abuse of power, or unfair sanctions that make recipients upset and feel humiliated, vulnerable, or threatened, creating stress and undermining their self-confidence.”4 Uncivil behaviors can range from lack of support to rude or humiliating comments, and may even include verbal threats.5 Determining the actual incidence and prevalence of workplace incivility is difficult because it's often unrecognized and underreported.6 However, studies examining workplace incivility assert that the percentage of nurses experiencing some form of incivility ranges from 27% to 85%.6,7

Be a thought leader
Did you know that Argentina has an official government position called the Secretary for Strategic Coordination of National Thought? The concept behind the position is to build networks among academics and intellectuals. You're probably considering this as yet another example of typical governmental excess, and there's plenty of Argentinians who feel the same. But how does this job title relate to nursing leadership? After listening to and interacting with amazing nurse leaders, one can't help but be awestruck by the depth of national nursing thought and action. We have so much to be proud of in nursing that using the position of Strategic Coordinator of Nursing Thought as a metaphor seems appropriate.

Articles of interest

Approaches to improving the contribution of the nursing and midwifery workforce to increasing universal access to primary health care for vulnerable populations: a systematic review
A. J. Dawson, A. M. Nkowane, and A. Whelan
Despite considerable evidence showing the importance of the nursing and midwifery workforce, there are no systematic reviews outlining how these cadres are best supported to provide universal access and reduce health care disparities at the primary health care (PHC) level. This review aims to identify nursing and midwifery policy, staffing, education and training interventions, collaborative efforts and strategies that have improved the quantity, quality and relevance of the nursing and midwifery workforce leading to health improvements for vulnerable populations.

Nurse staffing and patient experience outcomes: A close connection
As healthcare providers set and refine their strategies for staying competitive in a value-based delivery and payment system, a sharper understanding of the interplay between inputs and outputs becomes a strategic imperative. Nurse staffing is a key input for acute-care hospitals—key both for its impact on care and its budget prominence. This puts it squarely at the center of hospitals’ efforts to deliver on their value promise.

Cultural Safety in University Teaching and Learning
Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences
Volume 106, 10 December 2013, Pages 767–776
4th International Conference on New Horizons in Education
World population mobility as well as distance learning has led to increased multiculturalism on campuses and virtual classrooms. Immigration and travel calls for more accurate knowledge of cultural health and safety. This paper explores cultural safety, stereotyping and possible actions in the direction of raising awareness in a multicultural teaching and learning environment. The example of Nursing Education is used.

Online resources

Managing a Deteriorating Patient
Clinical Communiqué is a newsletter written by clinicians, using a case-study approach to report on lessons learned from deaths investigated by the Coroners’ Court of Victoria. This edition explores the “challenging scenarios of managing a deteriorating patient in a rural or regional setting, and the obstacles that are faced when attempting to transfer a critically ill patient for ongoing treatment.” 

When cases of patient deaths in hospital are reviewed at mortality case review meetings or coronial inquests, there are common themes that frequently emerge. These themes are the critical elements that need to be present, or performed well, in order to provide safe and effective patient care. They include communication, documentation, awareness of one’s skills and limitations, recognising the deteriorating patient, and following guidelines, to name but a few. Failure or sub-optimal provision of even one element, inevitably leads to a failure in a system and the potential for patients to suffer preventable harm.
Clinical Communiqué. Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine
Volume 2 Issue 4 December 2015
Read more here

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 19 January 2016.

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