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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Memories of a Momentous Time: 50th Anniversary of Bloody Sunday & The Role of Religious Sister Nurses During The Civil Rights Movement

Sisters of St. Joseph of Rochester with Martin Luther King Jr.

Sisters of St. Joseph of Rochester with Martin Luther King Jr. Image courtesy of the SSJ Archives. All Rights Reserved.

Originally published in Blessings newsletter of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Rochester. Republished with permission

March 7, 1965, was a pivotal moment in the civil rights movement: the day known as Bloody Sunday when peaceful demonstrators marching from Selma to Montgomery were viciously assaulted by local police and Alabama state troopers. The injured were taken to Good Samaritan Hospital where the Sisters of St. Joseph were called to extraordinary service.  Not only Sisters who were nurses, but also those who taught at St. Elizabeth’s School hurried from the convent to assist the victims. (The Sisters of St. Joseph of Rochester who staffed the hospital and school had been serving in Selma since 1940.)

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Does American Nursing Have A Diversity Problem?

Penn Nursing Students

As we conclude Black History Month, it is important to recognize and reflect on the diversity of the nursing profession, with a particular focus on African-American nurses. To understand diversity in nursing, or lack thereof, it is helpful to take a look not just at where we are today, but where nursing has been throughout time. In other words: Has the nursing profession ever represented the diversity of the nation historically? Does historical examination provide relevant trend lines for today and the future? Let’s take a look at the data to find out. Continue reading

Ferguson: A Tale of Health Disparities

“Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane.” Martin Luther King Jr.

By Elisa Stroh, Tiffany Hope Collier, and Julie Fairman

With the recent grand jury decision not to indict police officer Darren Wilson for the shooting death of Michael Brown,  Ferguson is again in the news. The protests and aftermath of the death of Brown have stimulated heated debates on civil rights, police brutality, and segregation/racism within Ferguson and the nation as a whole. Continue reading

Ebola, Epidemics, and Nursing Care

Medical staff treating Ebola victim in West Africa (Photo Credit: Sylvain Cherkaoui)

By Connie Ulrich, PhD, RN and Julie Fairman, PhD, RN, FAAN

The World Health Organization has now estimated that 5,000 to 10,000 new cases of Ebola a week are projected within two months if more is not done to combat this emerging crisis.   Two health care workers have now been diagnosed in the United States, and several other providers have contracted the disease abroad and returned to the US for treatment.

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