Nurses Showed Up for Irma

When disaster strikes, nurses still make it their duty to show up for work. They did not make an exception for Irma, which devastated the Caribbean and left millions without power in Florida. Taylor Roberts, a nurse in the pediatric intensive care unit of Golisano Children's Hospital in Fort Myers, Fla., shared details with NPR on what being on call during such a crisis looks like. Roberts, who had temporarily evacuated to nearby Punta Gorda, described the teamwork involved in caring for Irma-related injuries. She also noted that the hospital allowed nurses to bring in pets and family members to help them make it through this difficult period.

Partnering with Nursing Schools as a Recruitment Strategy

CHI St. Vincent in Little Rock, Ark., is partnering with local nursing schools to proactively address the nursing shortage, which is expected to worsen as the health care needs of aging baby boomers increase. Forty nursing students from National Park College in Hot Springs and Henderson State University in Arkadelphia will receive financial aid packages from CHI St. Vincent worth up to $600,000 over three years. In return, these nursing students will agree to work at CHI St. Vincent for at least two years, according to a press release. CHI St. Vincent will also invest $1 million in the two nursing schools, which will help National Park College build a state-of-the-art clinical simulation lab and Henderson State hire additional faculty. “These strategic partnerships are innovative ways to respond to a critical nursing shortage in Arkansas and across the country,” said Tony Houston, president of CHI St. Vincent Hot Springs.

Nurses Help Test Cleveland Kids for Lead Poisoning

The dangers of lead exposure in children are well documented. Student nurses from Case Western Reserve University will try to head off any lead-related damage as part of a new pilot program that will test preschool and kindergarten students in Cleveland for traces of lead, The Plain Dealer reports. Just one-third of children who are at risk for lead poisoning in the Midwestern city are screened, the report notes. Beginning this year, student nurses will screen 100 children across three schools, with the goal of eventually expanding and screening all Cleveland Metropolitan School District pre-K and kindergarten students. For those students who haven’t been previously tested, nurses must get parental permission for a finger prick blood test. Those who test positive will be given a follow-up test with blood drawn by an experienced graduate nursing student, according to the article.

Rapid Fire

Here are a few more nurse-related items that caught our eye, in rapid fashion:

  • Richmond, Va., TV station WTVR has the details on how nurses and students from the Old Dominion State spent long hours in Houston helping with the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.
  • Many new mothers grapple with postpartum depression, but one Oregonian mom is fighting through those feelings with the help of some inspiring words shared by a nurse, Cosmopolitan reports.
  • Caring for the incarcerated can be a costly endeavor, but officials in Indiana have found a way to trim those costs considerably by sending a registered nurse to visit inmates, the Dubois County Herald reports.
  • And finally, the Nursing Community Coalition has reached out to the new surgeon general and other federally appointed health officials to introduce itself and offer to work more closely with those officials, according to AONE.org.