Entries in Nurses (7)


Study: 55% of Nurses Are Overweight or Obese

iStockphotos/Thinkstock(BALTIMORE) -- Researchers at the University of Maryland's School of Nursing found that 55 percent of the 2,103 female nurses they surveyed were obese, citing job stress and the effect on sleep of long, irregular work hours as the cause.

The study, which measured obesity using estimates of body mass index, found that nursing schedules affected not only the health of the nurses but the quality of patient care.

To combat the high obesity rate among nurses, Kihye Han, the author of the study, proposed more education on good sleep habits, and better strategies for adapting work schedules. She also called for napping at work to curb sleep deprivation, reduce fatigue and increase energy.

The 2004 National Sample Survey of Registered Nurses found that more than 40 percent of nurses who left nursing said they did so because of irregular and long hours, indicating that better scheduling could help nurse retention.

Han also proposed increasing making healthy food more available, and allowing nurses enough time to consume it.  

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


New Device Tests How Well Doctors, Nurses Wash Hands

Medioimages/Photodisc(ELMWOOD PARK, N.J.) -- Just how well do you wash your hands?  If you're a health care worker you may soon find out.

A new system that monitors how thoroughly doctors and nurses lather up is being tested in hospitals across the Midwest.

The VSS Vision Safety Solutions, created by Sealed Air Corporation, detects and records "when hand hygiene occurs; the duration of each hand washing event; and confirmation that each individual uses soap and/or sanitizer," the company said in a statement.

The system activates when a health care worker wearing a radio-frequency ID tag approaches a sink or sanitizing station.  A device then records if soap was used and the duration of the hand washing.

The new technology is being tested to help fight against the number of healthcare-associated infections that occur each year.  The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says about 100,000 people die annually from illnesses they acquire while staying at health care facilities.  These infections also cost the health care industry over $30 billion each year, according to the CDC.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


California Hospital Patient Dies During Strike

Thomas Northcut/Thinkstock(OAKLAND, Calif.) -- California authorities are investigating the death of a patient at an Oakland hospital that police and hospital and union officials said resulted from a medication error made during a labor dispute between nurses and the health system that runs the hospital.

Police and officials at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center told the local media the woman died after she received an incorrect dose of medication administered by a replacement nurse. At the time, regular staff nurses employed by Sutter Health System were locked out following a one-day strike by 23,000 nurses across the state.

The California Nurses Association, the state nurses' union, blamed the woman's death on the lockout. After Thursday's strike, the association said, nurses at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center tried to return to work Friday, but hospital officials turned them away.

The union called the lockout "dangerous" and questioned whether the nurses hired as replacements were clinically qualified to care for the patients.

"Nurses are in the hospital caring for our patients who don't have the proper training, who aren't familiar with our equipment, and there's been a tragic death," said one nurse who participated in a Sunday vigil outside the hospital. A video showing highlights of the vigil is posted on the union's web page.

The hospital, however, said the fill-in nurses were all highly competent and experienced.

"Every single one of the nurses is an experienced nurse that has been working in the areas to which they are assigned," Dr. Steve O'Brien, the hospital's vice president of medical affairs, told local media. "We did not skimp on any of the nurses."

The hospital explained that it was contractually obligated to hire replacement nurses for a certain number of days, which was the reason for the lockout. Staff nurses can return to work Tuesday.

The union said it's fighting against Sutter Health System's demand for 200 contract concessions that the union said would undermine patient safety.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Medicare Fraud Bust Nets 91 People, Including Doctors and Nurses

PhotoAlto/Frederic Cirou/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The Justice Department announced on Wednesday that 91 people allegedly scammed $295 million from Medicare by falsely billing the entitlement program.

To make matters worse, some of the suspected crooks are doctors, nurses and other medical professionals, according to Attorney General Eric Holder.

In announcing the charges, Holder said they were "based on a variety of alleged fraud schemes involving various treatments and services that were not medically necessary -- and, oftentimes, were never even provided."

The crackdown netted 11 doctors, three nurses and 10 licensed health professionals.  The charges were filed in Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Brooklyn, New York; Chicago; Dallas; Detroit; Houston; Los Angeles and Miami.

Half of the defendants came from South Florida, the reputed national leader in Medicare fraud.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Study Finds Hospital Uniforms Teeming with Germs 

George Doyle/Thinkstock(JERUSALEM) -- We like to think of hospitals as sterile environments. But even there -- it turns out dangerous bacteria are where you may least expect them.
Disease-causing bacteria are lurking in the folds of hospital uniforms, according to a study in the American Journal of Infection Control.

The study found that 63 percent of doctors' coats and nurses' uniforms at Hebrew University's Medical Center in Jerusalem tested positive for pathogenic bacteria.  
These findings proved true even though most participants said they changed their uniforms every day.  
The authors caution they don't know how often germs may have been transferred from the tainted clothing to patients. Even so, they call for daily uniform changes, proper laundering, plastic aprons when bodily fluids may be spread and strict hygiene for hands.
They also suggest wearing short-sleeve coats and even having doctors dispense entirely with their white coats to reduce the risk of spreading disease.
Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Job Satisfaction Declining for Nurses, Survey Says

JupiterImages/Thinkstock(SAN DIEGO) -- Job satisfaction appears to be on the decline in the nursing field.  A survey conducted by AMN Healthcare, a provider of healthcare staffing and management, says that nearly 25 percent of registered nurses  say they plan to search for other employment when the economy recovers.

AMN Healthcare reviewed the responses of 1,002 nursing professionals, and despite nurse career satisfaction being high at 74 percent, 32 percent say they will take steps over the next two to three years to exit their field by retiring, looking for non-nursing positions or reducing their workload by switching to part-time or less-demanding roles.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Nurses Beat Other Professions for 11th Time in Honesty and Ethics Survey

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(PRINCETON, N.J.) -- Gallup reports that 81 percent of Americans surveyed said that nurses have "very high" or "high" honesty and ethical standards.  This is significantly greater than the next-highest-rated professions -- military officers and pharmacists.

Gallup only began to ask Americans to rate the honesty and ethics of nurses since 1999.  Since then, the profession has topped the list in all but one year -- 2001.

Car salespeople, lobbyists and members of Congress received the lowest honesty and ethics ratings by Americans with a mere nine percent "very high" rating for members of Congress and a lower seven percent for car salespeople and lobbyists.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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