October 2017 Vol. 12 No. 10
In August 2017, the American Nurses Association (ANA) Board of Directors approved the inclusion of an additional component to ANA’s newly revised recognition of a nursing specialty, approval of a specialty’s scope of practice statement, and acknowledgment of standards of a specialty practice program. The new component, affirmation of focused practice competencies, provides a formal review process for identifying the specific knowledge, skills, abilities,accountability, and judgment deemed important for professional practice success, interprofessional collaborative practice and team success, and achievement of defined outcomes.
The American Nurses Association (ANA) expressed outrage that a registered nurse (RN) was handcuffed and arrested by a police officer for following her hospital’s policy and the law, and immediately called for the Salt Lake City Police Department to conduct a full investigation, make amends to the nurse, and take action to prevent future abuses.
“Doing the right thing is not easy, but it needs to be done,” observed Captain Jacqlyn Sanchez, RNCOB, as she recalled a difficult time in her career with the U.S. Air Force. “My decisions were not popular at that time,” she said, “and I felt defeated and powerless.” Fortunately, a close friend and fellow nurse, Major (Ret.) Dana Albalate, gave Sanchez the motivation she needed to make those hard decisions and move forward. “She told me, ‘Just be yourself,’” Sanchez explained. “‘Your work will speak for itself.’”
The central dogma of biology (deoxyribonucleic acid [DNA] to ribonucleic acid [RNA] to protein) was first described in 1957, before the current average-aged 50-year-old nurse was born. And it wasn’t until 2008 that genetics was considered essential to nursing education, when most experienced nurses were already at least 45. In other words, many nurses have minimal genetics education and may not feel comfortable incorporating genetics assessment and implications into a patient care plan.
Fatigue is common among shift-work nurses, and longer shifts and overtime are associated with increased patient errors and undesirable nurse health outcomes. Consistent with the American Nurses Association’s 2017 focus on the healthy nurse, one of the best ways for a workplace to promote nurse health is with its scheduling practices.
According to the Huffington Post, “A recent survey by the World Economic Forum found that 86 percent of respondents believe we are suffering a global leadership crisis…. The world is in crisis mode and there are few effective leaders to be seen.” One of the gifts of aging is that one has a great deal of hindsight, which improves insight, and gives one just a tad of foresight. All of which leads me to ruminate on leadership, especially in health care.
I watched with great pain the damage, and for many the devastation, created by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. I was reliving August 29, 2005, when Hurricane Katrina destroyed my hometown and changed normalcy for my family forever. Twenty-six of my New Orleans family members—stripped of incomes, homes, schools, familiar medical and dental services, normal daily schedules, and social networks—called our Southlake, TX, home their home for many months.