News bulletin 10 February 2016

on 10 February


Welcome to the College of Nurses Aotearoa News Update.
No. 287 10 February 2016


From NZ media this week

Taranaki Students Play a Part in Reducing Maori Health Inequalities
Maori students in Taranaki are gaining valuable work experience throughout secondary and tertiary education and in turn, contributing to the aim of decreasing Maori health inequalities thanks to the Why Ora employment pathways program run through Whakatipuranga Rima Rau (WRR) at Taranaki District Health Board.

Better nutrition policies needed for children
Most early childhood education services strive to encourage healthy eating among children, but need stronger and more detailed nutrition policies to support change in everyday staff and parent

More kids are sick when visiting the doctor is free
Free visits to the doctor for 6 to 13 year-olds has resulted in thousands more child visits to southern GPs.
But the Riverton Medical Centre has slammed the government scheme for being under-funded and putting strain on already busy doctors.

One Stop Guide to Best Practice
The Council of Medical Colleges (CMC) today launched A Best Practice Guide for continuous practice improvement for doctors.

Drugs, alcohol, smoking, addictions

Have national smoking bans worked in reducing harms in passive smoking?
The most robust evidence yet, published today in the Cochrane Library, suggests that national smoking legislation does reduce the harms of passive smoking, and particularly risks from heart

Māori group urges bigger tobacco tax rise
The National Maori Tobacco Control Service is urging the government to keep increasing the cost of tobacco, and by greater amounts.

Ethical issues

Gene editing can now be performed in the UK – what you need to know
It’s no longer science fiction. Modern science has the ability to manipulate the DNA of a human embryo. In a world’s first, scientists in China announced last year that they had edited a mutated gene which causes a blood disorder in a human embryo.


Taxing sugary drinks: Empirical findings out of Mexico
Dr Andrea McDonald, Dr Cristina Cleghorn, Prof Nick Wilson, Prof Tony Blakely
Last month the British Medical Journal published a study on the highly anticipated purchasing data examining the impact of taxing sugar sweetened beverages (SSB) in Mexico (1). This study reported that the 10% tax on SSBs was associated with an overall 12% reduction in purchases and a 4% increase in purchases of untaxed beverages one year after implementation. In this blog we examine this latest study, how it fits in with existing evidence, and how these results might apply to improving the control of obesity and improving child oral health in New Zealand.

Public health

Experts warn thousands unaware of Hep B
Tens of thousands of Māori, Pasifika and Asian New Zealanders are believed to be infected with Hepatitis B without knowing they have the liver disease.

Encouraging immunisation for older children
Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says a new awareness campaign starts today to remind parents and caregivers of older children about the school based immunisation programme.

Positive signs in search to solve rheumatic fever and group A strep throat
NZ Doctor, 3 February 2016
Driven by desperation to find a solution to outbreaks of group A strep throat, a precursor to rheumatic fever, Eastern Bay of Plenty doctors have turned to a probiotic treatment originally developed at Otago University


Zika cases on the rise in NZ
Five cases of Zika have been reported in New Zealand in the last week, bringing the total number of people treated for the disease this year to 11.

From International media this week

Hospitals 'Grow Their Own' Specialty Care RNs Amid Nurse Shortage
Hospital-based nurse residency programs are increasing in number — improving retention and lowering contract labor costs.

Nurses feel overworked, underpaid and uber-stressed
Most say they love their jobs, but don't like the side effects

Nurse-Family program to guide local 1st-time moms through pregnancy, early years
First-time mothers could receive additional help after the local branch of the Nurse- Family Partnership received a grant to guide women through pregnancy and their child’s first years.

Test question: Can games help train future doctors and nurses?
Kaizen, an online quiz game developed by a group of infectious diseases doctors in the UAB School of Medicine, is going viral.

The U.S. Is Running Out of Nurses
The country has experienced nursing shortages for decades, but an aging population means the problem is about to get much worse.

Florida facing a 'nursing shortage tsunami' due to increased population, more insured patients
That's the number of vacant registered nursing positions across the state, according to a new report from the Florida Center for Nursing.

Best of times, worst of times for RNs in the UK
THE UK needs nurses – badly, urgently as in yesterday – that’s on the “Best of Times” column.

Nurses back bill to protect them from violent patients
BOSTON – Karen Coughlin has been punched, bitten, kicked, and spat at by some of her patients at Taunton State Hospital. Her clothes have been torn and her hair has been pulled.
She was even once threatened by a harmonica that was turned into a straight edge blade.

Social media

Working but homeless
Working families with young children and babies are being left homeless and sleeping in cars in Auckland, as they struggle to get into emergency housing, and are turned off or away from Housing New Zealand.
Parents say even with accommodation supplement benefits, their wages don't cover rising rents, and living in garages or spending nights on the floors of friends and family are the only options they have.'s-home-is-a-car

Work and management

Techniques ED nurses employ to combat violence at work
Whether at a small, free standing ED or one in a  frenetic, high-volume hospital, many ED nurses regularly confront violence at work.

Articles of interest

Improving cultural competence in end-of-life pain management
January 2016, Volume 46 Number 1 , p 32 - 41 [FREE]
MANAGING PAIN is a central component of end-of-life care, and nurses are in a prime position to relieve pain and suffering throughout the dying process. But as the United States continues to become more ethnically and culturally diverse, healthcare providers face increasing challenges as they care for patients with different cultural values.

Online resources

Pacific Peoples Health is a FREE Publication targeting Pacific people in New Zealand. Educating and informing Pacific health service users, it is New Zealand's only publication dedicated solely to Pacific people's health.

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 9 February 2016.

If you have any feedback about content - what parts are most useful or what you would like added - please email

For more up to date news and information follow SNIPS at:

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