The March of Dimes has given the U.S. a "D" grade in preventing premature births, citing more than 530,000 babies born each year before they reach 37 weeks of gestation. The state-by-state Premature Birth Report Card finds Vermont has the lowest rate of premature births at 9% and Mississippi the highest at 18.8%. The group says states should expand health insurance coverage of childbearing-age women, making it more likely that pregnant women will get prenatal care.
Colorado OR nurses stitched up and bandaged toys as part of a special elementary school program to teach students about hospitals and health care. Injured toy animals were triaged and the children went with them on their journey from pre-op to post-op, earning a certificate for bravery after surgery.
Four advocacy groups are sending a letter to President-elect Barack Obama urging him to pursue health care reform during his first 100 days in office. The Business Roundtable, the National Federation of Independent Businesses, AARP and the Service Employees International Union plan to spend almost $1 million in newspaper and television advertising to remind Congress and Obama that health care remains a key national issue.
Illinois nurses are embracing the Planetree Model of patient care and finding patients and families appreciate the special attention it offers, including increased staff involvement and nontraditional treatments such as music and pet therapy. Mary Shehan, senior VP of nursing at Swedish Covenant Hospital in the Chicago area, says the biggest success has been "making family members and loved ones feel like part of the care team."
Nancy P. Hanrahan, an assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, says her study found interventions by advanced practice psychiatric nurses can help improve outcomes for mentally ill patients with HIV/AIDS by increasing their compliance with medication regimens. She says widespread use of an APPN intervention could improve the early diagnosis and treatment of health problems and prevent serious consequences.