A Drone Could Be Your Next Co-Worker

A Drone Could Be Your Next Co-Worker

A Drone Could Be Your Next Co-Worker

Robotic technology could soon change the working environment of hospitals in big, big ways. These include robots that follow doctors on rounds, robots that assist the elderly, and robots that literally lift and carry human patients so a nurse won’t risk injury while moving them.

Many of these robots are still in the testing phase and won’t be making it to your hospital halls any time soon. But the skies outside your hospital are a whole other story, and as of April, it’s no longer a test…it’s reality.

This April, for the first time in history, an organ was delivered for transplant by an unmanned drone. A patient in Baltimore, Trina Glispy, had undergone dialysis for over eight years and was in desperate need of a kidney. When one became available, Trina agreed to the drone flight—a technology that doctors and researchers believe could speed up organ delivery times, expand access to more organs, and ultimately improve patient outcomes.

The flight was a success, and more importantly, so was Trina’s surgery.

“This whole thing is amazing. Years ago, this was not something that you would think about,” said Ms. Glispy.

Drones have been used to make deliveries for some time now, with companies such as Amazon investing more and more into unmanned aerial deliveries, but medical supplies—living organs in particular—require much more planning and preservation than the average cardboard box.

“As a result of the outstanding collaboration among surgeons, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), engineers, organ procurement specialists, pilots, nurses and, ultimately, the patient, we were able to make a pioneering breakthrough in transplantation,” said Joseph Scalea, MD, Assistant Professor of Surgery at UMSOM, project leader and one of the surgeons who performed the transplant at UMMC. “This was a complex process.  We were successful because of the dedication of all of the people involved over a long period of time.”

The challenges the drone and the team of pilots faced weren’t small. First, the organ had to be constantly monitored during the flight, with updates being transmitted to both the pilots and the receiving hospital. Conditions within the cargo space had to be maintained precisely in order to prevent damage.

“When we started this project, I quickly realized there were a number of unmet needs in organ transport,” said Dr. Scalea.  “For example, there is currently no way to track an organ’s location and health while in transit. Even in the modern era, human organs are unmonitored during flight.  I found this to be unacceptable. Real-time organ monitoring is mission-critical to this experience.”

And the flight itself followed a course through an urban living area—a path lined with obstacles, airwave interference, and other unpredictable challenges.

“As astonishing as this breakthrough is from a purely engineering point of view, there’s a larger purpose at stake,” explains Darryll J. Pines, Ph.D., Dean of the A. James Clark School of Engineering and the Nariman Farvardin Professor of Aerospace Engineering. “It’s ultimately not about the technology; it’s about enhancing human life.”

As every nurse knows, any breakthrough in organ transplant and transportation is excellent news. According to the United Network for Organ Sharing, there were nearly 114,000 people on organ waiting lists in 2018, and only 36,500 transplants actually performed.

Hopefully with the introduction of a better delivery system, those numbers can soon begin to improve.

If you are interested in beginning your own career as a nurse or medical assistant, Provo College can help make that dream a reality. Contact us today for more information!

The Advantages of a BSN Degree

The Advantages of a BSN Degree

The Advantages of a BSN Degree

Have you been looking into Registered Nurse programs, or even accelerated RN programs? Maybe you’re already an RN but you’d like to advance your career. RN to BSN programs generally provide an excellent foundation for leadership roles, greater salaries, and management positions.

An article by Nurse Journal—a social community for nurses worldwide—delves into the many benefits of obtaining a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. Below we’ve included some of our favorites from their list!

1. Greater Salaries. According to BSNedu.org, “Registered nurses holding BSN degrees can expect to earn higher salaries than those with associate’s degrees or diplomas. This is a key factor driving increased enrollment in pre-licensure BSN programs, and is cited as the number one reason why licensed RNs return to school for RN to BSN completion programs.

American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) statistics from January 2014 revealed that the average salary for an RN was $66,620, while the average for BSN-educated RNs was $75,484.”

2. Wider Range of Nursing Careers. Nurse Journal’s article highlights the importance of a BSN degree. They state that a bachelor’s degree is essential when it comes to enrolling in many graduate nursing programs: “Four of the highest paying nursing jobs—nurse practitioner, nurse midwife, nurse anesthetist and clinical nurse specialist—require you to have a BSN.” They also add that a BSN degree is usually necessary if a nurse would like to move from basic clinical care to administration or teaching roles.

3. Learn More Than Clinical Skills. If you obtain a BSN, you will acquire skills beyond the basics of clinical care. BSN curriculums tend to also focus on communication, critical thinking, and leadership skills. According to Nurse Journal, knowledge in each area is essential if you would like to gain higher paying jobs with added responsibilities. Nurse Journal also notes that the American Association of the Colleges of Nursing (AACN) recognizes the BSN degree as an educational requirement for professional nursing practice.

4. Provide Better Patient Care. While this isn’t always the case, generally speaking, RNs equipped with a BSN degree will likely provide better patient care. Nurse Journal explains with the following: “The AACN has collected extensive research that indicates that higher nursing education makes a major difference in clinical outcomes. Nurses with a BSN have better patient outcomes, including lower mortality rates and lower failure to rescue rates as well. The research also indicates that BSN holders have higher proficiency in making good diagnoses.”

5. Greater Odds of Employment at Hospitals. The American Nurses Association (ANA) awards certain nurses a “magnet” designation. This status is highly sought-after by hospitals, and one of the requirements of the designation is the education level of the nursing staff. According to Nurse Journal, the “ANA requires that 75% of nurse managers have a BSN as of Jan. 1, 2011, and 100% had to have a BSN by Jan. 1, 2013.”

6. More Opportunities for Professional Advancement. Earning a BSN degree can open your career to intriguing specialties in areas like pediatrics, gynecology, surgery, oncology, diabetes, psychiatry, etc. An RN with a BSN will no longer be limited in their opportunities for career advancement. In this increasingly competitive world, a BSN degree can only boost your chances of landing your dream job!

7. Higher Education May Be a Requirement in the Future. Another benefit of obtaining your BSN degree now is that doing so may actually become a requirement in the future. Nurse Journal elaborates on this potential prerequisite: “The Institute of Medicine (IOM) published a study on the nursing profession. It recommended that BSN holders be increased from 50% to 80% by 2020. Nurses are being strongly encouraged to get their BSN within five years of earning a diploma or an associate’s degree.

The AACN is following the recommendations of the IOM and is also making the same recommendation. As these large, respected medical institutions make these recommendations, employers in the healthcare field tend to follow them as well. This means that many healthcare employers could require that their nurses earn their BSN by 2020.”

About the BSN Program at Provo College

Provo offers a BSN program that can lead to work as a Registered Nurse in these healthcare settings, among others: complex and critical care, acute care, long-term care, community health nursing, school nursing, and home health. Of course, obtaining a BSN degree will prepare you to sit for the NCLEX-RN licensure examination.

Graduates of Provo’s BSN program are fully trained in the following areas:

  • Patient care
  • Nursing fundamentals
  • Pharmacology
  • Therapeutic treatment interventions
  • Medical/surgical nursing
  • Leadership
  • Mental health nursing
  • Mother/baby and pediatric nursing
  • Licensure examination preparation

For more information, please contact a school representative at (801) 818-8901!

Happy National Nurses Week

Happy National Nurses Week!

Happy National Nurses Week

At hospitals around the world—and here at Provo College, of course—every week is Nurses Week. When you see firsthand how hard nurses work, how many lives they touch, and how selflessly they serve, it’s next to impossible not to be in awe of these heroes in scrubs.

This week, however, the rest of the country officially joins in, and the result can mean some fun rewards and thank-you gifts…if you know where to look. Here are just a handful of the businesses officially celebrating this year:

Cinnabon – If there’s a Cinnabon near you, stop by next week for something warm, sweet, and free. As a supporter of the DAISY Foundation, helping nurses is a priority for the Cinnabon company.

MOD Pizza – Celebrate the people everyone loves (nurses) with the food everyone loves (pizza). Nurses can visit MOD Pizza on Sunday, May 12 for buy-one-get-one-free pizza and salad.

Enlightened Ice Cream – Speaking of foods everyone loves, Enlightened Ice Cream is donating free pints to nurses, celebrating those who “make the world a little brighter.” You can collect your coupon (or send one to a nurse friend) at this link.

Uniform Advantage – Food not your thing? Want something more practical? How about scrubs? Uniform Advantage is offering 50% off everything site-wide in honor of nurses. That’s all types of scrubs, brands, footwear, and accessories.

DiscountGlasses.com – If you or one of your co-workers wear glasses, this week might be a good time to grab a back-up pair. Use the code HEARTNURSES30 sometime this week for 30% your purchase. Or go here and use HEARTNURSES15 for 15% off contact lenses…if frames aren’t your thing.

Amazon – Grab one or all of these free Kindle books on nursing—we’ve seen everything from historical books to memoirs to educational texts and fiction.

Continuing Education Credits – Have a few CE credits to earn? Why not knock out a few courses for free, available this week courtesy of BAYADA.

Contests and Giveaways – Bring home something big this National Nurses week by entering one of the many Nurses Week giveaways, such as these at NerdyNurse.com. You can win anything from high-end footwear to next-gen medical equipment.

Play Some Cards – Nurses are expert card players…according to at least one now infamous politician. And one company is having some fun with the situation, by offering a free deck of cards to all nurses. However, they need some help designing the cards first—and if they pick your design, you could win a quick getaway as well.

The perks and rewards don’t stop here, so if you have a favorite chain, restaurant, store, or service, be sure and ask if they’re offering any discounts or freebies next week. Of course, none of these gifts even come close to showing the full debt of gratitude owed you, but it’s a start. So enjoy, and again…thank you!

If you are interested in beginning your own career as a nurse or medical assistant, Provo College can help make that dream a reality. Contact us today for more information!

Pregnant and in Scrubs: Work Tips For The Expecting Nurse

Pregnant and in Scrubs: Work Tips for the Expecting Nurse

Pregnant and in Scrubs: Work Tips For The Expecting Nurse

Nurses are notoriously hardworking people, and very few things can change that—even pregnancy. When they learn they’re pregnant, many nurses just trade their old scrubs for maternity scrubs and keep working, sometimes right up to when labor begins.

“During my pregnancy, I worked up until the very last minute. Literally,” writes nurse Cassie in her blog. “My water broke at 38 weeks, 6 days while in a patient’s room! The shift before my water broke, I was performing CPR in order to save a patient’s life! It was exhausting, both mentally and physically, but I feel like I had a healthier pregnancy because I continued to work. Of course, it’s always best to consult with your doctor before following any advice because each and every pregnancy is unique.”

The drive to work hard and treat patients is admirable, but it doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to make the job less stressful, reduce risk to mother and baby, and address certain challenges before they arise. Here are just a few of the ways nurses can balance work and pregnancy.

  1. Keep Your OB In The Loop – Your OB should be the final word on any course of action regarding your pregnancy, so before laying out your work plan, make sure your doctor is on board. Let her know that you’re a nurse and communicate your job’s demands so that she has all the facts and figures in front of her. And if she recommends taking it easy, take it easy.
  2. Invest In Your Shoes – Two things are certain in pregnancy—you will gain some weight, and your feet will eventually start to hurt. So plan to invest in shoes that provide extra comfort while still conforming to your work and safety requirements. Compression socks are also a lifesaver.
  3. Tell Your Managers and Co-Workers Sooner Rather Than Later – Your pregnancy will impact your ability to do your job—for some, it will just be small things, like needing an extra bathroom break here and there. For others, the challenge will be more impactful—smells that drive you from a room, exhaustion, and morning sickness. So make sure your managers and your co-workers know as early as possible that changes are ahead so they can adjust accordingly.
  4. Consider An 8-Hour Shift – This isn’t a possibility at all hospitals or clinics, but it’s certainly worth looking into. If you find you’re struggling with the 12-hour shift, see if you can temporarily switch to an 8-hour to allow some extra rest. And if this isn’t an option, part-time may be something to consider.
  5. Look Into Light Duty Shifts – Again, this isn’t an option at all hospitals, but some do have the option of assigning light duty shifts to nurses. Light duty shifts typically involve more paperwork and managerial tasks rather than the more strenuous tasks of lifting patients and similar responsibilities.
  6. Fill That Nursing Bag – Before, you may have used your nursing bag for alcohol swabs and lip balm, but now, be sure to stock it with pregnancy essentials. Pack an anti-nausea pack, snacks to help keep you going when the cravings hit, and crackers to provide a little extra help when nausea strikes.
  7. Don’t Be Too Hard On Yourself – Every pregnancy is different, and while some nurses seem to breeze through, others may struggle a little more. Remember that your pregnancy is unique to you, so don’t judge yourself too harshly if you feel you’re struggling more than others around you. And remember, as your body changes, your tolerance may as well. Sights, smells, and sounds that never bothered you before may turn your face green now. Just know your new limits, and don’t get discouraged. You’ve got this!

For many nurses, it can be frustrating to feel like you aren’t operating at 100% capacity for 9+ months, but the most important thing to remember is that you have help and no one is expecting you to be a superhero. Ask for help when you need it, don’t push yourself beyond your limits, and most of all—take a breath and enjoy the moment. You’re going to do great!

If you are interested in beginning your own career as a nurse or medical assistant, Provo College can help make that dream a reality. Contact us today for more information!

Nurses Rally After Controversial Playing Cards Comment

Nurses Rally After Controversial “Playing Cards” Comment

Nurses Rally After Controversial Playing Cards Comment

This week was a busy one for the healthcare community. Researchers discovered that hospital curtains are potentially a source for drug-resistant bacteria transmission. Reusable tourniquets for venipuncture, another study revealed, are another source for contamination. And scientists in Israel successfully 3D printed a miniature human heart (including blood vessels and other supporting structures)… using actual cells from a single donor.

However, the biggest story—in terms of discussion—wasn’t any of these but the nationwide reaction to a lawmaker’s comments about nurses playing cards.

In case you missed it (or were confused by all the nurse card-playing memes that suddenly flooded Facebook), the issue began during a discussion on a bill that would protect nurses’ rights to meal breaks and overtime protection. While arguing that small, rural hospitals should be excluded from this protection, Washington state senator Maureen Walsh (R) commented that nurses at small hospitals “probably do get breaks. They probably play cards for a considerable amount of the day.”

The reaction from nurses across the country was swift.

The response began with the Washington State Nurses Association in a blog post that became so popular, it crashed the website.

The comments, the association wrote, were “incredibly disrespectful and patronizing. No, senator, nurses are not sitting around playing cards. They are taking care of your neighbors, your family, your community.”

Across social media, thousands of nurses rallied, posting everything from humorous memes to open letters and challenges asking the state senator to follow a nurse on a 12-hour shift. All of these nurses proudly stood up for the hard work done twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week by men and women in scrubs.

Nurse Maddie Allen posted a photo of a table covered in medical flash cards, writing “1 years’ worth of flashcards in a nursing degree. Never had a single chance to even look at them at a clinical site. These are the cards it takes to simply learn enough base knowledge, so we never play cards with someone’s life. #nursesdontplaycards”

Patients, first responders, and other medical professionals also chimed in. “I worked in an ICU as a unit coordinator during undergrad,” tweeted one, “and I remember begging a few nurses to grab a snack on more than one occasion because they never had a chance to eat. I literally put a cracker in one of their mouths while they were wheeling a patient. #nursesdontplaycards”

One nurse even went so far as to post the step results of her Fitbit following her last three shifts.

“I love how health professionals come together when stuff like this happens,” tweeted another. “It’s like we’re siblings who poke fun of each other, but when someone else messes with one of us, you’re gonna deal with the whole family!”

Across all social media platforms, the message was unified—nurses are some of the hardest working professionals in the country, they are the backbone of the healthcare system, and they have an army of avid supporters behind them.

The backlash over the state senator’s comments have also thrown a very important issue into the spotlight, the need to care for nurses (read our previous blog on the subject here). Simply put, research and years of data have proven again and again that rested, supported nurses provide the best care, make the fewest mistakes, and result in the best possible treatment for patients.

“Study after study show that unplanned overtime assignments have a high potential to be unsafe,” warns the viral WSNA blog. “Working more than 10 hours in a given day, when unplanned, results in lower quality of care, higher RN burnout, decreased patient satisfaction, and increased errors.”

It says something about just how incredible the nursing profession is that an entire country rallies so quickly to their defense. Nurses truly are a priceless gift, and the world needs more of them.

If you are interested in beginning your own career as a nurse or medical assistant, Provo College can help make that dream a reality. Contact us today for more information!

Lack of School Nurses Reaches Crisis Levels

Lack of School Nurses Reaches Crisis Levels

Lack of School Nurses Reaches Crisis Levels

The desperate need for nurses nationwide is very well-known, making the RN license (especially a BSN degree) all the more valuable for those looking at a career in healthcare. But one niche of nursing—school nurses—has hit a new level of need, and it could be costing kids their lives.

According to CBS News, only three out of five schools across the country has a full-time school nurse, which forces teachers and administrators (often with no medical training) to try and fill the void. For the kids caught in the middle, it’s a risky situation, especially with one quarter of students now living with some form of medical complication—like asthma or diabetes.

And for some kids, the lack of a school nurse hits home in the worst possible way.

“They failed him all ways. Like they wasn’t there to help him,” says parent Rasheen Pressley. “He was my only son…There weren’t nobody there to help him. Nothing.”

During what started as a normal school day, Pressley’s 9-year-old son collapsed while in the school cafeteria, likely due to a heart defect he’d had since birth. Staff who’d been trained in CPR alone tried their best to revive the boy but were ultimately unsuccessful. And because he’d collapsed on a day when the part-time school nurse wasn’t present, no trained healthcare professional was on site who could have possibly changed the outcome.

It’s a story echoed across the country, as over the past several years, multiple children have died at schools with no nurse on duty.

According to the National Association of School Nurses (NASN), the shortage is a crisis, with over 40 percent of schools without a full-time nurse, and 25 percent without a nurse at all.

And even the part-time nurses are struggling to meet the demand.

“If you have a workload that doesn’t enable you to care for the students in a way that you need, it’s like drinking water from a fire hose,” says Donna Mazyck, executive director of the NASN.

“I’m often stressed because I have to figure out the safest way to balance it,” says Denie Gorbey-Creese, a Maryland school nurse who covers two schools. “If I’m busy with an emergency at my other school, I’m not available right away, so it might delay their care some. I would love to be able to be in one place, so that I could provide the care that kids need. I also think I would get to know the kids a lot better.”

In the meantime, schools and politicians are doing what they can to close the gap. Several cities, such as Philadelphia and Cincinnati, have formed partnerships between local children’s hospitals and the school system to identify needs and provide additional care. Next month, the U.S. Congress is expected to introduce the Nurse Act, a bill that would provide grant money for schools to hire school nurses.

But no plan will be able to completely solve the problem without one crucial ingredient—the nurses themselves. Schools and politicians can move mountains to raise funds and create additional positions, but without highly trained, hardworking, driven RN’s (especially those with BSN degrees), students will always be at risk.

If you are interested in beginning your own career as a nurse or medical assistant, Provo College can help make that dream a reality. Contact us today for more information!