Program gets nurses in school and back to work

( Nothing like a recession and its lingering aftermath to deflate a dream.

Cutting back on hours as a medical secretary to juggle work, raise a family, and pursue her associate degree in nursing seemed like a good idea to Marianne Pecora in 2006, when her husband, a construction worker, was getting plenty of work. [Read more…]

Pa. girl who took on donor rules gets transplant

( A 10-year-old girl whose efforts to qualify for an organ donation drew public debate over how organs are allocated was getting a lung transplant Wednesday, her family said. [Read more…]

Survey: School Nurse Shortage Having A Big Impact On Philadelphia Schools

(KYW) A new survey says that having fewer school nurses is hurting the health and education of Philadelphia school children.

The Education Law Center surveyed parents and school nurses on the effects of budget cuts that have left 195 school nurses serving 200,000 students in Philadelphia’s public, parochial and private schools. [Read more…]

“Nurse impersonator” assaulted child at hospital, say Phila. police

(CBS News) A 24-year-old woman has been charged after posing as a nurse and assaulting a child at Saint Christopher’s Hospital for Children, say Philadelphia police.

CBS Philly reported that Ashley Delvalle, of Philadelphia, was arrested and charged with simple assault, indecent assault and related offenses, for the incident that allegedly occurred on Tuesday, April 2. [Read more…]

Dismantling Nursing’s Catch-22

( Victoria L. Rich, RN, PhD, FAAN, chief nurse executive at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center and an associate professor at the school of nursing there, recalls working at a hospital in the 1980s where a nurse who made three medication errors in one year automatically was fired. In such a fearful environment, few nurses wanted to report errors, Rich said, referring to those days as “the dark ages.”

In the past 15 years, as a preponderance of evidence shows the harm to patients from medical errors and the need to shed light on how and why such errors occur, more hospitals are trying to shift from punishing individuals for honest mistakes to using error reports as evidence to change systems, making it harder for clinicians to make errors and easier to catch mistakes before they cause harm. But the process of creating trust and a true culture of safety is not easy, said Ronda Hughes, RN, PhD, MHS, FAAN, associate professor at Marquette University College of Nursing in Milwaukee, Wis. It requires long-term hospitalwide commitment, strong leadership and a lot of time. [Read more…]

Violence not part of a nurse’s job description

( I was assaulted by an intoxicated 20-year-old male as I took the patient to the phone to call his mother for a ride home. He passed me the phone and immediately punched me in the side of the face.”

These are the words of Stanley Johnson, a Temple University nurse for nearly 20 years. In August of 2011, while working night shift in the Emergency Department, he became a victim of violence, a problem that is too familiar to many nurses.

In December, I wrote about a nurse in Alabama who was assaulted at work. That lead me to some remarkable nurses in this area who were willing to share similar, personal accounts of violent assault, so that a face could rise from behind the statistics. [Read more…]

Grant will train Philadelphia unemployed for health-care jobs

(Biz Journals) The U.S. and Pennsylvania Departments of Labor awarded a $3 million grant to the District 1199C Training & Upgrading Fund for its new health information mobility program.

The grant will be used by the Philadelphia health-care workers union’s training fund officials to lead a tri-state coalition of health-care employers, academic organizations and work force development agencies in retraining 142 long-term unemployed workers for nursing and health information positions. [Read more…]

Shortage of nurses in Philadelphia schools costs everyone

( With a 25 percent poverty rate ($23,050 or below for a family of four) – up from 18.5 percent in 2000 – Philadelphia is the country’s biggest poor city. Seventy percent of its children have public health-insurance coverage.

Yet, since the summer, the Department of Public Welfare has removed 25,000 city children from the medical assistance rolls, kids whose family incomes are believed to still fall within the qualifying guidelines. For these now-uninsured children – and every other child who attends the city public schools – the district’s layoff of 47 school nurses means that the children’s health and educational prospects have taken a step backward. [Read more…]

Big Breakthrough for the Tiniest Hearts

(Newswise) A novel feeding device developed at theUniversity of Pennsylvania School of Nursing may decrease the risk of failure to thrive (FTT), which currently affects half of all newborns with congenital heart defects even after their surgical lesions are corrected.

Professor and nurse practitioner Barbara Medoff-Cooper, PhD, CRNP, of Penn Nursing invented a device that analyzes an infant’s ability to organize feeding by sucking, swallowing, and breathing effectively. This device, developed in collaboration with Penn bioengineers, allows healthcare professionals to assess infants at risk for dysfunctional feeding and poor weight gain as often seen in both premature infants and infants with complex congenital heart disease. The data also can be correlated with growth or developmental problems that may occur during the first year of life. [Read more…]

Union files complaint with Pennsylvania Health Department over Philly nursing cuts

( In an attempt to halt the practice of having principals, secretaries, gym teachers and other non-medical personnel administer medication to city school children, the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers has filed a formal complaint with the state health department, officials announced today.

The complaint charges that the Philadelphia School District is “endangering the lives of the school children it is required to protect.”

Faced with a budget shortfall of over $700 million, the district laid off 47 school nurses effective Dec. 31.  Most schools are now without full-time nursing care, though the district says that it has stitched together a system where all “medically fragile” students have nursing services. [Read more…]