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Posts tagged ‘Media’

Why Nurses Need A Google Doodle

National Nurses Day is less than a month away, and I’m not excited about it. I’ve received one too many “Code Brown Queen” cards in the span of my career. More frequently celebrated with cheesy, tongue-in-cheek gifts than genuine recognition of the achievement, skill and accomplishments of its 3.1 million members, this nurse wonders if it isn’t time to change things up on May 6th.

I don’t know about you, but I’ll pass on the joke-y cards, magnets and sweatshirts. I don’t need the swag or even the extra attention; I’m just doing the job I feel called to, after all. But since the holiday exists, I think we should use it as an opportunity to actually further the visibility of the nursing profession in a proactive and intelligent manner.

So, this year, I’m asking for the Nurses Week gift I actually want: Nurses and their supporters to demand a National Nurses Day Google Doodle. 


Maybe, if the millions of Americans Googling something on May 6th saw a tribute to modern day nursing, we’d be able to start a conversation about our profession that’s long overdue. 

The Google Doodle team calls for suggestions that “celebrate interesting events and anniversaries that reflect Google’s personality and love for innovation.” Nursing was founded on the laurels of individuals who changed the course of medicine, and continues on the backs of nurses who daily care for and protect millions of lives through creative troubleshooting, critical thinking, and fast-paced decisions. Florence Nightingale practically discovered germ theory, most modern-day hospital procedure is based on nursing research, and any nurse who has worked short-staffed, survived the shift by relying on innovation.

So why hasn’t Google celebrated us since they started doodling 14 years ago? (To be fair, they did a small, somewhat belittling doodle for Nightingale’s birthday in 2008). 

I don’t blame Google for neglecting us every year, exactly. The trouble with us nurses, is we don’t talk about what we do. Our creativity and guile and innovative genius lays locked within the halls of our practice. The tiny work-arounds we find and share with each other at the bedside change lives, but are rarely known by anyone but nurses, much less understood publicly. Nursing research, although utilized in almost every existing medical decision and implemented at the Federal level, is often poo-pooed as a soft science. And for some reason, we can’t manage to break into Hollywood as anything but drug abusers or tyrants. We’re largely missing from policy debates, few of us have paced the floors of Congress, and the pages of our newspapers are void of our heroic stories and focused opinions. It’s time we start sharing what we do in a way that those we serve can understand.

With our foundations and our future in mind, I think nurses – all 3.1 million of us – as American innovators, need a shout out from Google, the portal of the universe, this National Nurses Day. Maybe, when we’re showcased on the most innovative website on the internet, our country will realize how much we deserve to be there, and we will start actively telling them why.   

So, here’s my plan: Starting this Sunday, I’ve e-mailed the Google Doodlers a suggestion for a doodle celebrating modern-day, living American nurses, calling attention to our innate innovative spirit. In each e-mail, I’m showcasing a living nurse innovator. Sunday, I wrote about Cathy Papia, a nurse from my hometown of Buffalo, who started the White Wreath Protocol, a simple way to alleviate the suffering that comes along with dying in an ICU when a hospice unit is unavailable. Monday, I told the doodlers about Mary Wakefield, the Obama-appointed administrator of the HRSA. Yesterday, doodlers got a briefing on the profoundly innovative contribution of UCSF’s Living Legend, Patricia Benner, and today, I reminded them of Carol Gino, whose voice has peppered the profession with innovative narrative for decades.

Tune in, and share: I’m posting the e-mails I send to the Google Doodle team on my blog, This Nurse Wonders, and I’ll re-hash here, on the Facebook page, Why Nurses Need A Google Doodle, and via @12HourRN.

Nurses are amazing, multi-faceted clinicians, inventors, policy makers, artists, problem-solvers and care-givers. Long before Google became a verb, “nurse” entered the language of the globe and changed it forever. We’re still here to tell our tales; perhaps Google will give us a boost.

Healthstyles: The ACA’s Health Home role in addressing substance use

Substance use disorder refers to a spectrum of excessive or harmful alcohol or drug use. In this segment of Healthstyles co-host Barbara Glickstein, RN, MPH, MS interviews Daliah Heller, PhD, MPH, an expert in Drug and Alcohol Policy Research. Dr, Heller talks about one specific provision in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the Health Homes, will change the way we address substance use. These models of care have been charged with providing comprehensive care management, coordination, and health promotion to address the medical (physical), behavioral (substance use and mental health), and social support (eg, housing, transportation assistance) needs of this population. Dr. Heller talks about the potential benefits of this new model.

Tune in tonight at 11 PM on 99.5 FM or streamed live on or listen to the full segment here.Dahlia Heller



Young people aren’t buying it.

Young people just aren’t buying it.

Young Americans, almost 20 million uninsured 18-34 year olds,  aren’t signing on for affordable health insurance through the health insurance exchanges as hoped.

The administration is expected to report on the number of Americans who have signed up for health insurance on the federal exchange this week. But the estimates aren’t great, and young, healthy people are needed to balance the risk pool.

Cost has been the greatest inhibitor to reducing young adults uninsurance rates. 

A recent HHS report states that some young adults eligible for health insurance marketplace could pay $50 or less per month for coverage in 2014.

hya-bannerThe Young Invincibles, in collaboration with HHS, has a #GetCovered campaign and just launched a video contest, “Healthy Young Americans Video Contest” to engage this group and get buy-in.  The results of the winner will be announced Friday, November 15th.

Will writing in the facts about the benefits of the Affordable Care Act into television plot lines work to get them to enroll?  Mediate reported on a $500,000 grant from the California Endowment to the University Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism’s  Lear Center’s Hollywood Health & Society to do just that. The Center provides entertainment industry professionals accurate and updated information on health and climate change. This grant will allow them to provide information on the ACA and it’s implementation. The full press release can be found here.

Then there’s the Koch-funded Generation Opportunity, an anti-Obamacare group, reaching out to this age group telling them not to buy health insurance.

Media does have a social impact.

No one thought this would be an impulse buy. Is this procrastination? Hold outs because the penalty in the first year is just $95?

How do we get a Millennial to take action and purchase health insurance?

Beats me.



Mauritius Nurses as Advocate: A Threat to a National Government?

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How can a nurse be a threat to a national government? Ask those who know Kallooa Bagooaduth, MSc, BSc, PG Dip. RN, the president of the Nursing Association of the tiny nation of Mauritius, or who heard him speak at the International Council of Nurses meeting in Melbourne, Australia, in May.

Bagooaduth was a panelist in a symposium developed by the Center for Health, Media & Policy at Hunter College. CHMP’s co-director Barbara Glickstein was another panelist who spoke about our work at the Center, and Diana Mason moderated the panel. They were joined by Eric Chan, the Principal Nursing Officer of the Hong Kong Hospital Authority in Hong Kong  and former Interim Nurse Scientist at the World Health Organization. More on Dr. Chan later.

Bagooaduth is a charge nurse at a hospital in Mauritius. Four years ago, he attended the quadrennial meeting of the International Council of Nurses and was inspired to get more involved in his country’s own health and nursing policies and advocacy. He ran for the presidency of the Mauritius Nursing Association and won.  Since that time, he has led the association in ways that have garnered public attention and made national policymakers nervous.

The Mauritius Nursing Association had not been visible as an advocate for the profession, nor for the public’s health. Over the past four years, Bagooaduth has led the association in developing an agenda for improving the working conditions for nurses in the country, as well as for promoting access to crucial health care services, such as abortion.

At the Melbourne conference, he discussed some of the accomplishments that were an outgrowth of using the media to get issues on the agenda of the public and policymakers, leading protests, and advocating for improving the health of the people:

Changing the requirement for the basic education of nurses from a certificate to diploma.

  • Reducing discrimination against female Nurses in pay and promotion criteria.
  • Improving nurses’ living conditions.
  • Improving the physical plant of hospitals.
  • Amending an 1893 law to decriminalize abortions in certain cases.

His advice to the audience:

  • provide information to the press that has real news value
  • be credible
  • be trustworthy
  • be available
  • speak in the public’s interest
  • be bold

He certainly exemplifies this last piece of advice. As one source who spoke off-the-record with us at the meeting, “Kallooa is not very popular with the government. I worry for his safety.”

We wish Kallooa Bagooaduth a long life of bold leadership. At the Melbourne meeting, the Maurtitius Nurses Association recieved ICN’s 2013 National Nursing Association Innovation Award and Bagooaduth was elected to Vice President of the Board of Directors of ICN. We expect he’ll be its president one day.

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Barbara Glickstein, RN, MS, MPH, and Diana Mason, RN, PhD, FAAN, Co-Directors, CHMP

Ten Years Later: Accountability for the Iraq War’s Civilian Dead


Jim Stubenrauch is a CHMP senior fellow.

It’s fitting that the 10th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, a milestone passed this week, would occasion some soul-searching among those who supported the war as well as those who opposed it. How many of the war’s stated goals—other than the removal of Saddam Hussein—have been accomplished? And at what cost, in blood and treasure, to the people of Iraq and the nations comprising the coalition, the U.S. foremost among them? It’s debatable whether Americans are safer than we were in 2003; are the Iraqis who survived the war any better off?

It seems obvious that a clear understanding of how many Iraqi civilians were killed, wounded, and displaced in the conflict would be necessary to answer these questions, and it’s symptomatic of our current political predicament that these basic facts remain elusive. How can policymakers and the American people judge the success or failure of the mission if we haven’t taken accurate measure of the human cost of the war—or come to grips with the most accurate measures we have? And have mainstream news organizations done all they should in making the facts known?

When the last U.S. combat troops left Iraq in December 2011, even the New York Times and National Public Radio—two news organizations often charged with having a “liberal bias”—settled on “more than 100,000” when reporting the number of Iraqi civilians killed in the war (NPR’s All Things Considered repeated the same figure this past weekend). But several studies that used the best epidemiologic methods available had already reported much higher estimates.

The March 16 issue of the Lancet (subscription necessary) contains several important articles that aim “to crystallise Iraq’s current health situation, to clarify its most pressing health problems, and to offer a prognosis for the future health of the country.” A short article by Frederick Burkle, Jr. and Richard Garfield, “Civilian Mortality after the 2003 Invasion of Iraq,” performs a great service in untangling the knotty history of several highly contested mortality counts of the past decade. They show how the studies’ findings were resisted for political reasons and they compare the methods and estimates of the most important studies, including the ongoing Iraq Body Count Project (which uses passive surveillance methods, primarily media reports of killings) and the Lancet’s own controversial mortality surveys of 2004 and 2006 (which used active surveillance methods). (Burkle, now at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, was the first interim minister of public health in Iraq in 2003; Garfield, at Columbia University’s Schools of Nursing and Public Health, was a coauthor of the 2004 Iraq mortality survey.)

The two Lancet reports were based on random cross-sectional cluster sampling surveys, the standard epidemiologic approach to obtaining casualty estimates in conflict zones. The first, published in 2004, found that 100,000 Iraqis had already been killed in the war; the risk of violent death was 58 times higher than it was before the war, and the majority of the dead were women and children killed in air strikes. The second study, published in 2006, estimated that 655,000 excess deaths had occurred because of the war; of these, more than 600,000 were violent deaths. And while the proportion of deaths attributed to coalition forces had diminished, the actual numbers of those killed by the coalition had increased each year. (While there were some problems with the methodology of the two studies, the findings of the second, say the authors, are remarkably consistent with the first. Here’s one of many contemporaneous news articles about the controversy ignited by the publication of the 2006 report.) In light of these statistics, the estimates repeated by the Times and NPR—in 2011 and just the other day—look woefully inadequate.

Burkle and Garfield note that Iraq continues to struggle with a public health emergency. At the conclusion of their article, they write

In truth, because of the politicization and perceived weaknesses of the methods of the Iraq studies, all the studies of civilian death have been discounted or dismissed, yet if half a million civilians have perished, that information should be known. The only accurate death records are of US and coalition forces. Public health data, once untouchable, are increasingly controlled by political decision makers. They cannot have it both ways in defining the ground truth; in every war, combatant forces of states and the leaders they serve must be accountable.


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