Today’s Read: 3.5 minutes
In today’s brief, nurses respond to staffing orders, pulse oximeters are fallible for some, and validation can be a powerful mood stabilizer. Plus, travel nurses are seeing an increase in pay packages.
Validation helps diminish distress
When a friend or a colleague is venting to you, telling them that you understand why they feel that way, can go a long way toward helping them feel better, new research suggests.
In a series of studies, participants described real-life incidents that made them angry. When researchers didn’t show support or understanding for the anger, the storytellers showed declines in positive emotions. But when the researchers validated what the participants were saying, their positive emotions remained the same. Basically, they didn’t spiral into an anger-filled hole.
Similarly, study participants reported dips in their overall mood as they recalled the anger-provoking event, and only those who were validated reported a recovery of mood back to their starting point.
California nurses strike over staffing ratios
Nurses at hospitals in central California are protesting the state’s emergency staffing waivers that could allow hospitals to increase the nurse-to-patient ratio. At one hospital, patients, family, and community members joined the frontline providers.
At the beginning of the pandemic California Gov. Gavin Newsom proclaimed a State of Emergency and issued executive order, N-39-20 that allowed hospitals to apply for a waiver to increase their nurse-to-patient ratios. While the effect of the executive order expired at the end of June, his administration allowed hospitals experiencing an acute influx of patients to continue to apply for the same waiver. On Dec. 11, his administration extended the application period though March 2021, added an expedited waiver process, and broadened the scope of the waiver to include ICUs, step down units, telemetry units, emergency medical services, and medical/surgical units.
But these nursing strikes aren’t the only ones planned in the state. In southern California, more than 2,000 nurses and other licensed professionals are poised to strike from Christmas Eve through Jan. 3. Their concerns as they negotiate a new contract: staffing shortages, inadequate personal protective equipment, and insufficient testing of patients and staff.
Californian nurses aren’t alone in being fed up—domestically or globally. Just this week, nurses in Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, and New York went on strike. And nurses in New Delhi, India, have been on indefinite strike since Monday.
Did you know…
That pulse oximeters can sometimes give misleading readings in people with dark skin? According to a report in The New England Journal of Medicine, the devices can be off three times as often in Black patients, making them inaccurate 12% of the time.
The University of Michigan researchers who did the study suspect the reason for the discrepancy is that the color of light used in the pulse oximeter can be absorbed by skin pigment. Therefore, use of other medical technology might need to confirm oxygen levels.
ONE BIG NUMBER
Put these biophilic structures on the must-visit list.