Jamaica Says to Stop 'Poaching' Our Nurses

We’ve written previously in Nurse Watch about how some hospitals are looking outside the country to attempt to relieve RN shortages. Now, however, one of those foreign lands is biting back at this practice. Jamaica is facing a “crisis,” due to the lack of specialized nurses, thanks to the U.S., Canada and the U.K. “poaching” them away, NPR reports. The island is perfectly fine with respect to regular nurses, but it’s with the highly specialized variety — working in intensive care units or operating rooms — that the country is struggling. James Moss-Solomon, chairman of the University Hospital of the West Indies in Kingston, tells the site that this exodus is “crippling” Jamaican hospitals to the point where they’re having to cancel surgeries because of the lack of staff. Training such nurses is much cheaper in Jamaica, but often they end up leaving for greener pastures up north, where salaries are much higher. Figuring out a solution has proven difficult. "There's no retention strategy for the nurses who are here. We feel, quite frankly, that nobody cares. But it’s a serious problem,” Janet Coore-Farr, head of the Nurses Association of Jamaica, tells NPR.

Nursing Needs More Masculinity

Health care organizations need caregivers, and many men who used to work in manufacturing need jobs. Sounds as though this could be a simple solution: train the unemployed men to work in higher-demand health care capacities. According to a New York Times posting, though, men don’t want those jobs because they’re not manly, or they don’t pay enough. “I ain’t gonna be a nurse; I don’t have the tolerance for people,” Tracy Dawson, 53, an unemployed welder in St. Clair, Mo., said in the article. “I don’t want it to sound bad, but I’ve always seen a woman in the position of a nurse or some kind of health care worker. I see it as more of a woman’s touch.” Andrew Cherlin, a sociologist and public policy professor at Johns Hopkins University, sums up why health care has more unfilled jobs than might be necessary. “Traditional masculinity is standing in the way of working-class men’s employment, and I think it’s a problem.”

Virtual Nursing, 3-D Imaging to Make Life Easier for RNs

Usually telehealth is thought of in terms of reaching patients outside hospital walls, but a Live Well Nebraska report highlights how a virtual integrated care team being tested by CHI Health is helping to monitor patients inside the hospital. The system, in place at St. Elizabeth Regional Medical Center in Lincoln, Neb., and Good Samaritan in Kearney, Neb., allows virtual nurses to work remotely with doctors and staff on the hospital floor to help with admissions, rounds, discharges and patient education, according to the report. Both hospitals have found that the virtual care team has freed up nurses on the floor to tend to call lights and spend more time in patient rooms. And a separate system being piloted at Bryan Acute Inpatient Rehabilitation at Bryan West Campus in Lincoln uses 3-D imaging software and an algorithm to predict when patients will get up, and then will send alerts to specified cellphones to notify nurses, Live Well reports. Christie Bartelt, a nurse manager at Bryan West, said to Live Well that none of the nine patients on the system has fallen over the past two months.

Rapid Fire

Here are a few more nurse-related tidbits that caught our eye:

  • Violence against nurses is on the rise in hospitals, and the Atlantic takes a look at why.
  • A new article, published in the AORN [Association of periOperative Registered Nurses] Journal, argues why promoting civility in the operating room should be an “ethical imperative” for hospitals.
  • Adopting 15-minute huddles comprising information technology staff, nurses and administrators could help to bolster electronic health record patient safety, according to ehrintelligence.com.
  • And finally, the American Organization of Nurse Executives is urging its members to support extending full practice authority to certified registered nurse anesthetists, who were left out of a new rule change issue by the Department of Veterans Affairs.