Please note that all links are for iTunes.
1. Johns Hopkins Health Newsfeed
Stay up-to-date with short podcasts on top medical storiesopens in new window from Johns Hopkins.
Each podcast is only about a minute, but provides nurses with the latest info in medicine. There are other subscription options from Johns Hopkins, such as Cancer News Reviewopens in new window and Brain Mattersopens in new window, which run a bit longer and offer information on specific topics.
2. The Nursing Show
Tune into this weekly podcastopens in new window for news, tips, education and more for nurses at all levels.
The Nursing Show offers a wide range of content that spans nursing news, commentary and interviews from guest nurses and medication information. The host of the show is Jamie Davis, a nationally recognized medical educator whose programs and resources have been downloaded more than 6 million times by listeners and viewers.
3. Medical Spanish
Receive interactive audio Spanish lessonsopens in new window to further develop your skills for medical settings.
These podcasts help you acquire medical vocabulary, learn correct pronunciation and understand native speakers. Many podcasts are free, while some podcasts and supplemental materials require a paid subscription. Host Molly Martin, a hospitalist in Minneapolis, Minnesota, also produces a Spanish Grammar Reviewopens in new window podcast.
4. Travel Nursing Insider Podcast
Get the latest insightsopens in new window into the career of travel nursing.
These podcasts provide a wide range of information and advice for the travel nursing specialty. Learn more about this unique career and how to succeed from insiders who know the industry.
5. A Cup of Health with CDC
Listen in to learn about interesting health factsopens in new window from the CDC.
The podcasts are presented in short, accessible chunks of two to six minutes and cover a wide range of statistics or facts. While basic, they can be useful when presenting this kind of information to patients to educate them about their health.
6. The Oncology Nursing Podcast
Learn how to care for patients in different life and cancer stagesopens in new window.
These podcasts let listeners join oncology nurses as they discuss topics relevant to nursing practice and treating patients with cancer. Produced by the Oncology Nursing Society, episodes last about 20 minutes.
7. Health Focus
Reinforce your health and medical knowledge with these short podcastsopens in new window.
This series of weekly interviews on South Carolina Radio features, doctors, nurses and other medical professionals. It presents a wide range of topics presented by award-winning public broadcaster Bobbi Conner.
Enhancing Your Career in Nursing
Podcasts, books and articles are all helpful ways to develop your knowledge and skills. However, one of the best ways to boost your career opportunities is with a degree.
The online RN to BSN program from Aurora University can help nurses take a leadership role in their field. Nurses are able to learn how to be an asset in their current role and to pursue advanced career opportunities. The program takes place in an online learning environment, allowing students the flexibility and convenience to complete their degree while maintaining their work and personal schedule.
Sense.ly, a San Francisco startup that has created a virtual nursing app to help physicians stay in touch with their patients and prevent readmission to the hospital, has recently raised $8 million from investors in its most recent round of venture funding. The new funding from investors like the Mayo Clinic will be used to bring the virtual nurse technology to a wide array of clinics and patients.
Designed for both patients and healthcare professionals, the app asks patients to tell the nurse avatar how they are doing by simply talking through a 5-minute “check in.” Patient check-ins are then stored as medical records that only authorized physicians can view. The medical reports also include device data that the app pulls from medical devices and wearables (like Fitbits or Apple watches) that patients use day-to-day.
Using artificial intelligence, Sense.ly’s nurse avatar speaks to patients in empathetic tones about their healthcare concerns, and uses emotional analysis to alert a patient’s care provider when the app detects that a patient is in need of mental health counseling or feeling symptoms of depression or anxiety as a side effect of medications or lifestyle changes.
The Sense.ly app is designed around commonly accepted medical protocols for diagnosis and treatment of chronic illnesses. So far, the company has focused on patients 60 and older who are suffering from health problems like COPD, heart failure, diabetes, and other age-related issues. But ultimately they want the app to work for people from all age groups and populations dealing with a variety of health issues. They are improving their analysis capabilities by adding new protocols and content from partner hospitals and clinics.
Adam Odessky, Chief Executive Officer and founder of Sense.ly, believes in the platform’s potential help people live longer and healthier lives and make quality healthcare more affordable and available. When asked if virtual nurses might “steal” jobs from human nurses in a discussion with TechCrunch.com, Odessky says no: “There aren’t people doing this job already…This is a technology to help medical professionals do their jobs more effectively, and not one that threatens their livelihood.”
To learn more about this new virtual nurse platform, visit TechCrunch.com or Sense.ly.
In the aftermath of the Ebola outbreak in 2014, the healthcare community is exploring and testing new technologies that can serve as alternatives to human contact to diminish the risk for providers to care for patients with infectious diseases. At Duke University, nursing and engineering students teamed up to collaborate on the building and refining of Trina, their first-generation Tele-Robotic Intelligent Nursing Assistant.
Duke’s robot project is funded by an $85,000 grant from the National Science Foundation. The project began a year-and-a-half ago, not as an effort to replace nurses, but to create a safer environment for health care providers. When health care providers are faced with treating patients with infectious diseases, like Ebola, they must dress in multiple layers of protective clothing, wipe down their materials with bleach, and use multiple rooms. With the development of nurse-robots like Trina, healthcare providers and researchers hope to improve the process of treating patients with infectious diseases by allowing nurses and doctors to navigate a remote-controlled robot into another room, directing it to move the linens, take vital signs, and pass food and medications.
A few weeks ago, Duke students and staff tested Trina on a fake patient, Michele Kuszajewski, having Trina take the patient’s vital signs via a remote-control stethoscope. Michele recalls feeling scared when the robot-nurse was coming at her. The massive red mechanical robot resembles a science fiction character out of Transformers or The Jetsons with a gray wig and surgical cap on its head to give it some human-like elements. On the robot’s face is a tablet showing the human operator, similar to a Skype call. Robots are currently being used in hospitals to help doctors perform tasks with precision and flexibility during surgery, but the machines don’t move about a room or perform bedside tasks like preparing drinks and adjusting oxygen masks.
To improve the study, engineering students needed to understand the tasks that Trina needs to perform. Nursing students donned protective clothing in the nursing school’s simulation lab and simulated working with a patient with Ebola as engineering students watched and took notes through a glass window. After the nursing students were finished, an engineering student drove Trina into the lab to test her ability with tasks like delivering a red cup, a bowl, pills, and a stethoscope to Michele in a simulation setting.
Students conducting the study found Trina’s movements to be abrupt and clumsy. In the future, they hope to make Trina, or the next generation robot-nurse, more agile so that it can collect and test fluids and look more friendly and human-like. They also hope to create a better interface between the human and robot to make their work together more comfortable, especially for the patient.
Jean Watson’s Theory of Human Caring asserts that caring and love transcend distance, space, time, and physicality, and it’s true. Feelings of love, kinship, friendship, grief, and compassion across time and distance confirm our basic shared experience of caring, regardless of physical and temporal boundaries. The rise of the Internet invites us to examine how deeply we believe in this transcendence and challenges us to create new ways of caring in this increasingly digital world.
Understanding and explaining caring in the digital world—especially what it looks like, how to do it, and the day to day ordinary consistency of living it is key to supporting an ongoing intention to care whether we can (or ever will) see, touch, or hear the beings with whom we interact. My research, which is based in Watson’s Human Caring Science, has confirmed that there are specific things nurses can do to effectively care for others at a distance:
- Respond to communications within 12-24 hours.
- Use carefully worded kindness such as;
- “I appreciate hearing from you…”
- “If I can be of further assistance please don’t hesitate to contact me.”
- “Your concerns are important to me.”
- Your note brightened my day…”
- Employ simple courtesy that includes your name and the name of the person you are contacting;
- Start the communication with the name of the person you are trying to reach, for example, “Hello Mr. Santeria…” or “Hi Abby.”
- End the communication with your full name so that it is easy for the receiver to determine who sent the message.
- Refer to specific information that is unique to the individual you are contacting, for example;
- “I am interested in learning more about your concerns regarding your recent medication change…”
- “Thank-you for clarifying your needs related to scheduling…”
- “I really appreciate your words of acknowledgement and support…”
- Spell and grammar check each message before sending. A well-constructed and grammatically correct message communicates to the receiver that you value the exchange.
Establishing a firm intent to care, and then crafting messages carefully and with mindful attention to kindness will transform an impersonal communication into a collaborative caring opportunity. Understanding how to care in digital settings is critical to preserving the basic fabric of nursing we physically interact less while we electronically interact more with both patients and colleagues. We must all work together to envision and discover caring possibilities in the course of this inevitable change so that caring remains a core value in nursing and beyond. For more examples and ideas related to digital caring in nursing, read: Watson’s Caring in the Digital World: A Guide for Caring when Interacting, Teaching, and Learning in Cyberspace by Kathleen Sitzman and Jean Watson (2017), Springer Publishing.
I was scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed the other day when I saw a post by someone on a nursing group page. The nurse had posted a photograph of his own daughter’s neck, not in a hospital setting, with a funny caption. What followed was a storm of comments from people lecturing about the dangers of posting on social media. “That is a HIPAA violation!” many commenters proclaimed, warning the nurse he could lose his job. He responded that it was his daughter, not a medical setting, and there was no information posted, but commenters still seemed to think he could get in trouble for even posting at all.
Many health professionals have been penalized for accidental violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which includes strict health information privacy regulations. But warnings about posting on social media don’t stop with patient information—many health professionals have also been terminated for speaking about their employers or their profession in a negative way. Perhaps most notably, nurse “celebrity” Katie Duke (who was featured on the TV program “NYMed”) was fired from her position in a New York City ER because she posted an “after photo” of a trauma bay on Instagram. Although the photo did not violate HIPAA or patient privacy, her hospital reportedly terminated her for posting a photo that someone could find offensive.
Many hospitals and organizations are developing clear and strict guidelines for posting—most along the lines of “do not do it, ever, about any patient, any time.” When in doubt, that is certainly good advice to follow. Why do people use social media at all? On blogs, Facebook, or other social media sites, sharing experiences can be a powerful way to connect with others, learn from anecdotes, and experience a sense of community about one’s profession. Medical community share sites, such as Figure 1, aim to educate medical professionals by sharing interesting cases, rare conditions, or innovative treatments. (Figure 1 is both private and secure, using HIPAA-compliant messaging with encryption and user verification.) Many health professionals incorrectly believe that simply by removing a patient’s name from a photo of an x-ray or a wound that they are not violating privacy laws, not realizing that protected health information is defined as up to 17 pieces of information that can be potentially identifying of an individual.
So what can you do as a nurse if you wish to participate in knowledge-sharing on social media? First, educate yourself about what is and is not considered a HIPAA violation on social media, as well as the 17 possible identifiers of protected health information (PHI). Second, educate yourself on the policies in place at your specific employer, as they may be even more strict than HIPAA. The third is to use careful judgment and discretion, and if you must post, use only secure sites that are specifically HIPAA compliant.
Here are some tips to keep in mind before posting something on social media:
- Nothing is private. Do not assume that if you send any health information electronically that it will go only to your intended recipient. Anything sent online (even if something is posted and then deleted) can be held on a server or disseminated to others.
- As a nurse you have an ethical and a legal obligation to keep patient private information safe at all times. This includes discussing an individual patient or their care, even if all identifying information is removed.
- Nurses must not speak in a disparaging manner of any patient at any time, even if there is no patient information in a post or comment.
- Nurses may not “gossip” about other patients, or share any photographs without written consent from a patient. Nurses should not take any photos, at any time, on their personal cell phones.
Remember, a breach of HIPAA can result not only in termination from your job, but also heavy fines and loss of your medical license. For additional information about HIPAA and social media for nurses, you can read a pamphlet put forward by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing here.
As part of a $2 million renovation that took place over the summer, Illinois Wesleyan University’s School of Nursing now functions like a virtual hospital. The renovations took place in Stevenson Hall, a 116-year-old building that has housed Wesleyan’s nursing school since 1959. All of the money for the renovations was raised through donations, and nursing staff and students are proud of their accomplishments and the new facility that they helped plan.
Now when you walk through the doors of Stevenson Hall, there is a nurses station on the left, patients in their beds with monitors on the wall, and a high-tech medicine dispensing machine nearby. The new nursing facility looks just like a hospital, but it isn’t really. However, the Wesleyan nursing school has everything it needs to move its staff and students into the future.
Wesleyan says every member of their nursing faculty and staff contributed to the fundraising effort, with donations coming from students, alumni, parents, and local doctors and health care systems. The newly remodeled area has been renamed the Jarvis Center for Nursing Excellence, after Carolyn Jarvis who has been a nursing faculty member since 1990 and the lead donor for the project. Jarvis said she did it for the students, wanting to give back and prepare future generations of nurses.
Now that the remodeling is finished, all of the core nursing classes can be held in one building. The remodel was intended to be realistic, and students were involved in designing their new classroom space. Students will now have access to the hospital-like nursing intervention lab which is designed to simulate acute care, including a health assessment lab set up like a doctor’s office for ambulatory care, and an apartment-like setting for practicing home health care. The facility also houses a simulation lab and pediatrics area.
What students love most about their new nursing building is that their clinical experiences in the simulation labs feel real. Students say they feel like they’re walking into a hospital, and the simulations make them more confident in their abilities as nurses. The simulations and new mannequins like SimMom, a “pregnant” mannequin that simulates giving birth and associated complications, didn’t come cheap. However, the simulations allow students to practice common and serious but rare situations that they might not encounter in real clinical settings.
The Wesleyan nursing school has about 180 students. There are no plans to expand the size of the nursing school because the current size allows faculty members to build meaningful relationships with their students. Illinois Wesleyan is unique in the way they offer a fabulous nursing school in a liberal arts environment, and they intend to keep it that way.