Knowledge Is Power: Improving Health Care Information For The Most Vulnerable

In health care, being an informed consumer is essential to promoting positive outcomes. Whether the issue is finding affordable care where prices vary widely, minimizing harm from medical errors, or just finding a provider, knowledge is power. Navigating the health care system is hard enough, even for health care professionals. Our most vulnerable—the uninsured, those in poverty, family caregivers, and non-English speakers—are at high risk of receiving lower-quality care, in part, because they lack the information to make choices that work for them.

To address this problem, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has launched Right Place, Right Time, a special research initiative to better understand the challenges that vulnerable patients face in accessing health care information and to create recommendations for improving access to such information.

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Could Swaddling babies for sleep raise risk of SIDS?

Swaddling is a traditional practice of wrapping babies tightly from the neck downward in a sheet or thin cloth. The custom is intended to promote sleep by making infants feel secure and calm. However, an analysis of published research questions whether this practice might be linked to a raised risk for sudden infant death syndrome.


The researchers found that risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) appears to increase when swaddled infants are placed on their stomachs or sides for sleep.

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Transfer of gut bacteria affects brain function


 Specific combinations of gut bacteria produce substances that affect myelin content and cause social avoidance behaviors in mice, according to a study conducted at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and published today in the medical journal eLife. This research suggests that targeting intestinal bacteria, or their metabolites, could be one way to treat debilitating psychiatric disorders and demyelinating diseases, like multiple sclerosis.

Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disorder characterized by damage to myelin, the insulating sheath around the axons of nerve cells that allows for faster electrical impulse conduction. Myelination is critical for everyday brain function. Damaged myelin results in altered synaptic transmission and clinical symptoms. Previous research from the Center of Excellence for Myelin Repair at The Friedman Brain Institute at the Icahn School of Medicine reported a thinning of myelin and a reduction of myelinated fibers in preclinical models of depression, thereby providing a biological insight for the high rate of depression in MS patients.

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The Human Immune System

The word “Infection” comes from a Latin word meaning ‘to be stained’ or ‘to be poisoned’. We now know that infection is not a poison per se, but rather occurs when our bodies are invaded by tiny organisms collectively known as “pathogens”, primarily: bacteria, viruses and fungi. The human body has a multitude of both simple and complex mechanisms to destroy these invaders, but first we must know they are there. By the time we are coughing profusely or losing our lunch, it is late in the infection process. The invaders have moved in and are multiplying.

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Unsafe Patient Assignment?…

UNSAFE PATIENT ASSIGNMENT: When is it Abandonment, Insubordination or Negligence? What can you do to protect yourself and your patients?

ABANDONMENT: Once the healthcare worker receives a patient report, it is assumed that you have accepted the assignment unless you speak up and report any concerns to your unit manager. If you arrive after the shift report, it is assumed you have accepted the assignment. Thereafter to leave the patient care assignment would be considered ‘patient abandonment’.

INSUBORDINATION: Refusing an assignment that is reasonable with regards to your skill level, training, experience and licensure, could be seen as ‘Insubordination’ by your unit manager. Insubordination means not following work orders. In many work environments, insubordination can lead to disciplinary action such as counselling, suspension or even termination.

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Nursing Staff Ratios: What are the Rules? What can you do?

-written by Marina OMeara, RN

There are still nurses working in the field who can remember nurse patient ratios of 40:1, 40 patients to one nurse on night shifts. Those were the days before IV teams, Respiratory Therapists and unit dose medications. All medications had to be hand poured from large bottles. Intravenous drips (IVs) of which there could be up to 2 dozen per shift to manage, had to be eye to drop counted, since digital drop counters did not exist. Oxygen tanks had to be unchained, “cracked” and gauges screwed on before rolling the lumbering tanks down the hall, rather than just inserting a gauge into wall piped Oxygen flow. If there was no time to document the record on the 40 patients during the shift, the nurse may have been required to stay several hours after the shift to perform the charting, but without pay.
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Spring Into Action with Water and Stretching Exercises

Spring into Acton with Water and Stretching Exercises

In the advent of Spring with flowery daffodils and hyacinths breaking through the snow and mud; with the lengthening of daylight, we find ourselves eager to step outside and stretch our legs on the foot path, in the garden or along the sandy beach. Those with personal or with family histories of arthritis or gout may find their joints stiff with Winter’s disuse.

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Surprise REASSIGNMENT! What do you do?

Surprise REASSIGNMENT! What do You do?
When you join Express Healthcare Professionals (EHP) you are credentialed by your professional title such as Registered Nurse (RN), Nurse Aide, or Physical Therapist etc. as well as by your work specialty. For example, if you are a RN your work history and competency testing were tailored specifically to the areas in which you were trained and experienced, such medical-surgical or intensive care (ICU).

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FAT CHANCE: That there is a GOOD FAT?


Actually, Yes! Let’s first consider what Fat is.

Basically it is a storage product. It stores energy whether it is in a Brazil Nut or in a Panda Bear. Fats in the body also provide insulation from cold weather and help in the absorption of certain nutrients like fat soluble Vitamins A, E and K.

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Hypothermia: Can you “Bear” the cold?

Every body’s metabolism requires an optimal temperature for efficient operation: cars, cactus, lizards, bears and even human beings.  Metabolism refers to biochemical change and secondarily to the speed at which that change occurs.   The speed of biochemical change is referred to as the “basal metabolic rate” or BMR.

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