Nurses Use Skills to Create Products

Nurses often become experts on medical devices to help their patients. And some of them are taking that expertise and parlaying it into prototypes for better products, the Boston Globe reports. For instance, Maggie McLaughlin, a nurse at Tufts Medical Center in Boston, is developing a design for an IV-needle connection that’s intended to be more reliable than others she’s used. (The idea came to her after an IV tube disconnected from an infant in Tufts’ neonatal intensive care unit.) McLaughlin and other nurses’ medical innovations are buoyed by the support of nursing schools and hospitals. A representative from the year-old Nurse Innovation and Entrepreneurship program at Boston’s Northeastern University (which guides nurses toward business resources, and is beginning a certificate program this winter) says that often nurses are spending time creating workarounds for insufficient medical products anyway. This trend is changing how nurses are seen in the medical field and their own feelings of autonomy. The field’s recognition that nurses — and not just physicians — can innovate and make savvy business decisions could be a game changer for nurses’ professional satisfaction, the Globe reports.

RNs Help With Wildfire Recovery

Many residents of the North Bay subregion of the San Francisco Bay Area were left with little to nothing after wildfires tore through the region, but a local volunteer nurse is running a match program to pair wildfire victims with volunteer donors who will provide necessities to those displaced by the fire, ABC Seven News reports. Carrie Boyce has been operating the program for two weeks and has already matched 95 fire victims with 355 donor families, according to the report. "When you lose your home, it's hard to rebuild a home. You can rebuild a house, but it's hard to rebuild a home. I wanted to help in any way I can,"  Boyce told ABC Seven.

Nurse Helps Quash Cancer Myths Online

Macmillan Cancer Support, one of Britain’s largest charities, has hired a digital nurse to combat many of the myths spread online about cancer, BBC News reports. The charity found that two-fifths of people with cancer looked up information about their diagnoses online, and of those, one in eight did so because they didn’t understand what their doctor told them. “Once the doctor says ‘cancer,’ people automatically then shut down and they don't take in the information that they’re given … So they go home, speak to the family. And then they'll sit online that night and get themselves in a frenzy with what they’re reading,” Ellen McPake, who was hired as the digital nurse, said in an interview with BBC News. McPake will be tasked with upending cancer myths, including the idea that sodium bicarbonate can cure cancer and the belief that cancer is a modern disease.

Nurse Serenades a Dying Patient

All it took was one little song for an Indiana nurse to capture the eyes (and ears) of millions. Olivia Neufelder, an RN with Vanderbilt University Medical Center, recently serenaded a dying cancer patient with the song “Dancing in the Sky.” Caught on a video that was later shared on Facebook, the song has now been viewed by 13 million people across the world, reports. The patient, Margaret Smith, had been waiting for a liver transplant but was told by doctors that she wasn't well enough to undergo the surgery. “She (Margaret Smith) died today in a Cookeville nursing home after her battle with liver cancer, but she didn’t leave the hospital without the voice of an ‘angel’ singing her on,” a friend who shared the video said online.