Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The 17th Caribbean Regional Nursing Council Meeting in Belize

The Regional General Nursing Council meets yearly to conduct its examinations which allows for the standardization and improvement of nursing education and the free movement of nurses throughout the countries of the region.
Nurses from the Caribbean Community and Belize are present in the city for the 2 week workshop aimed at reviewing previous examinations held in October of last year and April of this year. The Regional Nursing Council is made up of representatives from thirteen Caribbean countries.
"We have a common examination, similar to the CXC that all registered nurses take on completion and this gives them license to practice. We have representatives here from ten of the thirteen countries.” said Marjorie Parks, Chief Nursing Officer for Belize. “In Belize we have about 500 nurses total but that is no way enough to meet all our health needs but nurses have to go through rigorous training. Our nurses in Belize train at a bachelor’s level at the University Level. We have several nursing programs but the program to prepare registered nurses is for four years and they come out with a degree."

Monday, July 6, 2009

New Website Launched in Effort to Further the UN's Millennium Development Goals

"Research4Life is the collective name for three public-private partnerships which seek to help achieve the UN’s Millennium Development Goals by providing the developing world with access to critical scientific research.
Since 2002, the three programmes, Health Access to Research (HINARI), Access to Global Online Research in Agriculture (AGORA) and Online Access to Research in the Environment (OARE) , have given researchers at more than 5,000 institutions in 108 developing world countries free or low cost access to over 7,000 journals provided by the world’s leading science publishers."
Note that among CARICOM nations, institutions in St. Vincent & the Grenadines as well as Jamaica are eligible to participate!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Health Information Literacy: How it Impacts Your Patients

Close to half of all American adults have trouble understanding and using basic health information [states a recent report from the Institute of Medicine]. Most consumer health information and patient education materials are written at the 10th grade level or higher, while the majority of the population read at an 8th grade level or lower, and that is without the medical jargon!

So why worry?
~ "Literacy is the strongest predictor of health status – more than age, income, employment status, race or ethnicity, and educational level!
~ Emergency room patients with inadequate literacy skills are 2X's more likely to be hospitalized.
~ Patients with poor literacy skills are 5X's more likely to misinterpret their prescriptions.
~ People with low literacy skills have 4X's greater annual health costs.
~ The FDA, JCAHO, and NCQA require health care institutions to document evidence that patients have understood the medical information provided to them."

But what can you do about it? How can you identify patients with low literacy?
How can you improve communication with your patients?
Click on the title or here for excellent resources from the Medical Library Association to help you understand and address this issue.

Patient Safety Videos from the FDA

"FDA Patient Safety News (PSN) is a monthly video news show for healthcare professionals. It covers significant safety alerts, recalls, new product approvals, and offers important tips on protecting patients. Many of these PSN stories contain video footage and demonstrations that may be especially useful to educators in healthcare facilities and academic institutions."
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