Creating New Solutions from Caring Ideas

Sanofi announces nursing recognition program to help turn caring ideas into new solutions

Nurses worldwide are encouraged to enter an exciting recognition program showcasing nursing innovations and care solutions


Paris, France, 9 November, 2011…  Sanofi and its partnering organizations, the International Council of Nurses (ICN); the Nurse Practitioner Healthcare Foundation (NPHF); le Secrétariat International Des Infirmières et Infirmiers de l’Espace Francophone (SIDIIEF); and l’Association Française pour le Développement de l’Education Thérapeutique (AFDET) are delighted to announce the CARE CHALLENGE  recognition programme (, inviting nurses to submit their innovative patient care ideas and projects. Nurses from anywhere around the world can share, exchange, and nominate projects and ideas for the CARE CHALLENGE initiative and be eligible to receive an award. To accommodate the international scope of this programme, the deadline for submissions online at has been extended to March 31, 2012.

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Eight Question Survey Helps to Predict PTSD

A simple eight-question survey administered soon after injury can help predict which of the 30 million Americans seeking hospital treatment for injuries each year may develop depression or post-traumatic stress, report Therese S. Richmond, PhD, CRNP , associate professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, and her colleagues in General Hospital Psychiatry.

“Depression and PTSD exert a significant, independent, and persistent effect on general health, work status, somatic symptoms, adjustment to illness, and function after injury,” the authors wrote, also emphasizing that even minor injuries can lead to traumatic stress responses.

Dr. Richmond

The findings allow healthcare providers to identify patients at highest risk for developing these disorders and to target appropriate resources to this vulnerable group.

This screening tool – reportedly one of the first of its kind for adults in the U.S. – could have a great impact on the judicious allocation of costly mental health resources.

Using an eight-question survey, all injured patients can be rapidly assessed for risk in the hospital. Healthcare providers can then provide patients classed as high-risk for developing depression or PTSD with information about symptoms to look for and advise them to contact their primary care providers should symptoms surface. This intervention can facilitate early diagnosis of these disabling disorders.

The study reported nearly 100 percent accuracy in negative results. Only five percent of injured patients who tested negative for risk of depression on the screening survey developed depression and no patients who tested negative for PTSD risk developed PTSD. At the same time, not all patients who screen positive will develop these disorders. The researchers do not suggest that all patients who screen positive receive mental health services, but rather that this finding prompt systematic provision of information and additional follow-up.

The authors caution that while the findings on this initial study are most promising, they need to be replicated in an independent sample.

With Dr. Richmond, the study authors are: Josef Ruzek, PhD; Theimann Ackerson, MSSW; Douglas J. Wiebe, PhD; Flaura Winston, MD, PhD; Nancy Kassam-Adams, PhD.

From the CMAJ: Perinatal Hospice

I recently received this press release and wanted to share with my colleagues. What an interesting and important issue!

Providing hospice in the womb

Amy Kuebelbeck was 25 weeks into her pregnancy when she received the terrible news. Her fetus had been diagnosed with an incurable heart defect. If she carried through with her pregnancy, her baby’s life would be a brief one.

Kuebelbeck did continue her pregnancy and gave birth to a boy. Her new son, Gabriel, was even sicker than anticipated. He died a few hours after his birth.

“He lived for nine months before he was born,” says Kuebelbeck, “and for two and a half peaceful hours afterward.”

That was in 1999, a time when perinatal palliative care — support for families expecting babies with life-limiting illnesses — was still very much in the concept stage. There was no formal support program at the hospital where Kuebelbeck, a freelance writer from Saint Paul, Minnesota, received care during her pregnancy with Gabriel. There was, however, one person on staff who helped her family though the entire process.

“One person validated for us that we still had a profound opportunity to parent and love this baby,” says Kuebelbeck.

Her experience led to a 2003 memoir, Waiting with Gabriel: A Story of Cherishing a Baby’s Brief Life. It also led to the creation of the website, which lists hospitals, mostly in the United States and Canada, that have perinatal hospice programs. When she started the website, in 2006, there were only 10 programs on that list. Now there are 90.

“My long-term goal is to take the website down because every hospital has a perinatal hospice program, just as every hospital has an emergency room,” says Kuebelbeck.

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Those of you who know me know that I am an avid Kindle enthusiast. My three years of Kindle obsession diligent research recently paid off when I was invited to be co-author on Kindle for Dummies which will be published by Wiley sometime in the next few months. We turned the final manuscript in on February 4th. The technical edit process is underway and then I’ll get to sign off on the final revisions. It was an interesting experience to be writing something that was definitely not nursing or health related!

In late January, Kindle books achieved a new milestone: they are outselling paperback books at For every 100 paperback books that are sold, 115 Kindle books are purchased. This same milestone was reached for hardback books in mid-2010.

When the Kindle was introduced in 2007, naysayers were loudly predicting that it was doomed from the start. “Ereaders have never been successful,” they said. “People like the smell and feel of paper books.” I think eInk was the innovation that broke through this longstanding resistance, making ereaders a viable option for consumers. The Kindle is the best selling product at Amazon of all time. The other eInk readers on the market, primarily from Sony and the Barnes & Noble Nook, are also selling well with favorable reports from owners.

What about the iPad? It certainly has a nice interface for reading books. There is also a free Kindle app for the iPad (and iPhone, as well as a number of other handheld devices). Being a gadget-freak, of course I had to buy an iPad last summer. While it  is sleek and great for calendar, email, games, and other applications, I really prefer reading–plain ol’reading–on my Kindle.