Special Commentary: Obamacare is Here to Stay, But What About the Nurses?

President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden in the Rose Garden (Getty Images)

With the Supreme Court ruling last week, the President announced definitively that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is here to stay and advised that now is the time to get back to work. One aspect of “getting back to work” is ensuring that our health care system functions at its highest level as the ACA continues to do its job of providing access to care for millions of once uninsured and underinsured Americans. A critical hallmark of a functioning modern health care system is the reliable delivery of professional nursing care. What history shows is that the perplexing and enduring problem of nurse shortages have frequently left the nation’s health care system compromised.

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Midwifery Goes Mainstream

Princess Kate and Prince William made headlines when choosing to use midwives (Pictured right: Arona Ahmed and Jacqui Dunkley Bent)

Duchess Kate and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge made headlines when choosing to use midwives (Pictured right: Arona Ahmed and Jacqui Dunkley Bent)

by William F. McCool, PhD, CNM, RN, FACNM

Childbirth is the strong basis by which all species continue to exist, and for human beings it is most often a demanding, yet healthy journey. Over the millennia, mothers have given birth with the support of fellow women who learned the strength and willpower that laboring brings.  These supportive caregivers have had several titles throughout history, but the most common of these is “midwives.”

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What Would Florence Nightingale Do (WWFND)?: Nightingale and 21st Century Health Care Reform

WhatWouldNIghtingaleDo?

Editors’ Note: The mythology surrounding Florence Nightingale has often ignored or glossed over her role as an innovative applied statistician. Nightingale was doing sophisticated polar graph charts and thought experiments before think tanks and blogs existed. As we wrap up this year’s National Nurses Week and celebrate Nightingale’s 195th birthday, we thought it would be a good idea to look at how Nightingale would approach our modern health care issues. What follows is a fascinating scenario from Nurse and Mathematician Thomas Cox which positions Nightingale in the 21st century to make sense of our current healthcare reforms in the US.

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3 Nurses to Celebrate During Women’s History Month

March is Women’s History Month, a time where we highlight the contributions of women to society. Comprising the largest health care profession, the vast majority of nurses (93%) are women making it highly appropriate to end Women’s History Month with a look at three nurses of historical note.

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Nursing on the Frontlines of PTSD Treatment

Now more than ever, nurses are consistently exposed to the impact of mental illness in all aspects of patient care.By Kylie Smith, PhD

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a complex mental health disorder that affects up to 7% of the population, and as much as 17% of returned service personnel from combat zones. The American Psychiatric Association’s (APA) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) defines PTSD broadly as a cluster of four distinct symptoms: re-experiencing, negative alterations in cognition and mood, avoidance, and hyperarousal. The DSM also notes that PTSD may or may not be co-morbid with other mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, traumatic brain injury, substance abuse or suicide.

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