LPN Says Immigrant Detention Center Endangers Detainees and Staff

LPN Says Immigrant Detention Center Endangers Detainees and Staff

Immigrant women receive dubious hysterectomies and staffers openly neglect even basic COVID precautions at Georgia’s Irwin County Detention Center, says LPN Dawn Wooten in a complaint filed by four non-governmental organizations.

According to Wooten, the private immigrant detention facility has refused to test symptomatic inmates, has not been isolating those suspected of having the virus, and is disregarding mandatory CDC social distancing practices. Wooten’s complaint also notes that she and other nurses have been alarmed by the inordinate number of hysterectomy operations performed at the Center. In reference to the frequent and questionable hysterectomies one detainee described the detention center as “an experimental concentration camp.”

COVID-19 safety and treatment are given short shrift at the center, and Wooten says that even before the pandemic the facility was often dilatory in providing medical care for detained immigrants. Since the pandemic, the complaint alleges, the center has made almost no use of its two rapid-response COVID testing machines, and has instead sent swabs to be tested at a local hospital. Wooten was told she should not be “wasting tests” on people she suspected of being infected, and when she inquired about testing one detainee, a co-worker responded, “He ain’t got no damn corona, Wooten.”

In addition to failing to provide PPE for staff working directly with confirmed cases of COVID-19, Wooten’s complaint states that the facility forced symptomatic staff to continue to work in the facility and threatened them with discipline if they refused to work in dangerous conditions. Because she spoke out against such practices, Wooten says that she was transferred from her full-time position to a part-time job in which her shifts consisted of a few hours a month.

On Tuesday, September 15, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called for an investigation. Regarding the alleged misuse of hysterectomies on immigrant women detainees, Pelosi said “The DHS Inspector General must immediately investigate the allegations detailed in this complaint. Congress and the American people need to know why and under what conditions so many women, reportedly without their informed consent, were pushed to undergo this extremely invasive and life-altering procedure.” She also called attention to the neglect of COVID safety measures and proper treatment, and referred to “ICE’s egregious handling of the coronavirus pandemic, in light of reports of their refusal to test detainees including those who are symptomatic, the destruction of medical requests submitted by immigrants and the fabrication of medical records.”

Project South, one of the organizations filing the complaint, states that “ICDC (Irwin County Detention Center) has a long track record of human rights violations.”

For more details on this story and quotes from Dawn Wooten, see the article in The Intecept.

Nurse of the Week: NICU Nurse Tara Fankhauser Crochets Halloween Costumes for Hospital’s Tiniest Patients

Nurse of the Week: NICU Nurse Tara Fankhauser Crochets Halloween Costumes for Hospital’s Tiniest Patients

Our Nurse of the Week is Tara Fankhauser, a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) nurse at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta who crochets Halloween costumes for the NICU babies in her care. This is the fourth year in a row that she’s spent months crocheting costumes for the hospital’s tiniest patients.

Fankhauser is a mom of three in addition to being a NICU nurse. She takes time every year to make the Halloween costumes herself. According to her coworker Alanna Gardner, Fankhauser uses Pinterest and the baby’s different personalities to decide on the perfect costume for them. She usually begins designing the costumes in the Spring and ends on Halloween day.

Fankhauser never repeats a costume. The costumes take anywhere from a few hours to a full day to make. The costumes are gifts; families are able to take them home as keepsakes of their child’s first Halloween. Holidays can be particularly hard for families with children in the NICU, which is why Fankhauser goes to the effort of bringing the Halloween spirit to the hospital’s tiniest patients.

Gardner tells fox5atlanta.com, “What started out as a hobby has quickly become a hospital tradition that brings joy to our families and staff.”

To learn more about Tara Fankhauser, a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) nurse at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta who crochets Halloween costumes for the hospital’s tiniest patients, visit here.

Mercer University Announces New Accelerated Nursing Program on the Atlanta Campus

Mercer University Announces New Accelerated Nursing Program on the Atlanta Campus

Mercer University Georgia Baptist College of Nursing (GBCN) has announced a new Accelerated Bachelors of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program will start this month. The program was created in response to Georgia’s ongoing nursing shortage and is designed to be a cost-effective way for students with a non-nursing bachelor’s degree to earn their BSN in as little as a year. 

The program is a collaboration between GBCN and Orbis Education, a company that partners with universities in order to expand and improve on their existing pre-professional programs, primarily in the nursing and occupational therapy fields. The program is looking to admit eight lab groups with 12 students per group for the first semester. 

According to Aaron Van Berg, an admissions counselor at GBCN, Georgia is one of the most severely understaffed states in the country. Georgia needs an estimated additional 13,510 nurses by 2026 to keep up with a rapidly growing population. Atlanta was named one of the best cities for nurses by Forbes with an estimated salary of $63,862 due to the current shortage. 

The ABSN program differs in both the time period it takes to complete it as well as the cost. It’s expected to cost approximately $59,850 in total, while the regular BSN program offered through GBCN is expected to cost $24,102 per year. The curriculum includes a total of 56 credit hours over the course of three semesters. The credit hours consist of online courses, hands-on labs, and clinical rotations.

To learn more about Mercer University’s new accelerated nursing program based on its Atlanta campus, visit here

Argosy University Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program Granted Accreditation

Argosy University Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program Granted Accreditation

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree program at Argosy University in Atlanta was recently granted accreditation by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), which will last through December 2023.

Dr. Charlita Shelton, campus president of Argosy University, Atlanta, tells PRNewswire.com, “CCNE accreditation reflects that the BSN program at Argosy University, Atlanta, together with its faculty, curriculum, and support systems meet the standards established by the leading professional organization.”

The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education is an autonomous accrediting agency. It is officially recognized by the US Secretary of Education as a national accreditation agency that contributes to the improvement of the public’s health. The CCNE ensures quality and integrity in all bachelor’s, graduate, and residency programs in nursing nationwide.

The CCNE serves the public interest, assessing and identifying programs that engage in effective educational practices. It is a voluntary and self-regulatory process that supports and encourages continued self assessment by nursing programs as well as continued growth and improvement of collegiate professional education and nurse residency programs.

To learn more about Argosy University’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing program being awarded accreditation by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, visit here.

Orbis Education and Mercer University Launch New ABSN Program in Atlanta

Orbis Education and Mercer University Launch New ABSN Program in Atlanta

Orbis Education and Mercer University recently partnered to launch an Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program that offers qualified students in the Atlanta area a new, faster path into the high demand nursing profession.

Steve Hodownes, chief executive officer at Orbis Education, tells PRNewswire.com, “Mercer has a long history of educating nurses. We are very excited to be collaborating with this premier nursing school to help them expand their highly respected program.”

The first class of the new program is scheduled to start in May 2019 and Mercer will offer three start dates each year. Mercer’s ABSN program will enable students to leverage their existing non-nursing bachelor’s degrees to earn a BSN in as few as 12 months. Students enrolled in the program will learn through a combination of online coursework, onsite experience at a state-of-the-art lab facility to be developed and funded by Orbis, and clinical rotations at top area hospitals.

Orbis and Mercer partnered to create the new program in an effort to alleviate the nationwide nursing shortage, which is expected to hit critical levels in the next decade. Georgia is predicted to need an additional 13,510 registered nurses by 2026 in order to keep up with the demands of a rapidly growing population.

According to PRNewswire.com, Dr. Linda Streit, dean of nursing for Mercer University, says, “It is our duty to do everything we can as educators to keep up with the demand by providing excellent nursing education options like our new Accelerated BSN program in Atlanta. We are dedicated to developing knowledgeable, ethical, caring and compassionate nurses who are ready to become the next generation of highly qualified practicing nurse leaders in Georgia and across the nation.”

To learn more about Orbis Education and Mercer University’s new partnership to launch an ABSN program in Atlanta, visit here.

Georgia Nursing Students Teach Stress-Reducing Habits to Firefighters

Georgia Nursing Students Teach Stress-Reducing Habits to Firefighters

Students from the Georgia State University School of Nursing Associate Degree Program, Perimeter College, have been teaching stress-reducing habits to firefighters as part of their clinical training. This is the second year that Perimeter College students have been able to fulfill their clinical requirements through training other healthcare professionals.

With long shifts and hectic schedules, firefighters often need reminders and tips to stay healthy. Georgia State nursing students have been fulfilling their clinical hours by teaching stress-reducing habits to firefighters, including yoga. They also host community events like an upcoming community healthcare fair which will be open and free to the public to learn tips on taking care of your health.

Perimeter College nursing students are required to complete 180 hours of hands-on clinical service as part of their registered nurse training. Valencia Freeman, the instructor who oversees clinical rotations, and Lynda Goodfellow, professor and associate academic dean for academic affairs in the Georgia State University School of Nursing, wanted to create new opportunities for students to get experience beyond the bedside.

Nursing programs have expanded to meet the workforce demands, but the number of available clinical sites and preceptors to provide needed teaching experiences in the hospital setting has not increased. George State University’s nursing programs found a unique way to address this challenge.

Goodfellow tells News.GSU.edu, “We have to think more and more outside the box to provide the quality of education students expect — so we’re not just in a hospital setting. We are working in skilled nursing facilities and health clinics, in doctors’ offices — and in fire stations.”

To learn more about the new avenues Georgia nursing students are taking to fulfill their clinical requirements, visit here.

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