nurses

How Hands-On Nursing Education Went Online During Pandemic

Jul 31, 2020
woman at computer distance learning
Valorie MacKenna

As a nursing PhD student and teaching assistant at the University of Central Florida, Valorie MacKenna solved an important problem when the pandemic hit: how to move hands-on simulation classes online.

WMFE spoke with MacKenna about what that virtual education looked like and whether it’s the future of health care instruction.

When the coronavirus pandemic began, public health experts had high hopes for the United States. After all, the U.S. literally invented the tactics that have been used for decades to quash outbreaks around the world: Quickly identify everyone who gets infected. Track down everyone exposed to the virus. Test everyone. Isolate the sick and quarantine the exposed to stop the virus from spreading.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried Friday hosted a virtual roundtable with frontline health care workers to talk about Florida’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fried and the participants discussed what Florida’s leaders must do to properly manage the COVID-19 public health crisis. The state is experiencing an outbreak that is among the worst in the United States.

As Florida’s coronavirus cases break national records, health workers say they’re feeling the strain. While most hospitals still have room to take in more patients, some doctors and nurses say they're being pushed to their limits.


Florida is now the epicenter of COVID-19 in the United States.

The progression of COVID-19 is predictable: Case counts go up, hospital admissions rise, and then ICU admissions increase. And finally, the death toll rises.

Gov. Ron DeSantis said it’s not a lack of hospital beds that could pose a problem as coronavirus cases continue to rise in Florida. It’s a shortage of medical personnel.

Update, 1:30 p.m.:

Governor Ron DeSantis' communications director, Helen Ferre, tweeted Thursday afternoon the request DeSantis referenced Tuesday was actually filed with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Per Ferre, it asks the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, to send 1,500 nurses to Florida.

In the tweet, Ferre says FEMA acts as "the agency that coordinates the response to this pandemic for the federal government."

'Please Tell Me My Life Is Worth A LITTLE Of Your Discomfort,' Nurse Pleads

Jul 7, 2020
Nilu Patel, a certified registered nurse anesthetist
Nilu Patel

When an employee told a group of 20-somethings they needed face masks to enter his fast-food restaurant, one woman fired off a stream of expletives. “Isn’t this Orange County?” snapped a man in the group. “We don’t have to wear masks!”

Alison Geissler pulled out of the driveway of her suburban home on the outskirts of Tampa, with tears streaming down her eyes. For six years, she drove the 30 miles from her home in the quiet community of Lithia to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Northwest Tampa, where she was a nurse in the cardiac intensive care unit. But this Saturday in late May it would be her final shift at the hospital.

On Florida Matters this week, we're taking a look at life behind the front lines - the front lines of the war on the coronavirus.

Many first responders - doctors, nurses and people just willing to lend a hand - have forsaken the relative comfort of their own hometowns and ventured into the epicenter of the virus outbreak.

Florida Legislature
Florida House of Representatives

The Senate on Tuesday took up three House health care priorities, teeing them up for votes and potentially clearing the way for public budget negotiations to resume.

A highly publicized approach to lowering health costs failed to pass rigorous study this month, but hospitals, insurers and government health programs don't intend to give up on the idea. It just needs to be modified, they say.

For years, Florida’s Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioners (ARNPs) have tried to convince lawmakers to let them set up offices independent of physicians. Doctor groups have largely opposed the move, but a lawmaker who happens to be an emergency medicine physician isn’t giving up.

This post has been updated with additional information at 3:05 p.m. Friday, Sept. 20.

Nurses are on a one-day strike at two hospitals in Miami-Dade and Broward counties Friday. 

iStock

Seven Puerto Rican health care workers say supervisors at a Florida government-run clinic warned them to stop speaking Spanish among themselves or they would get fired.

Registered nurses at 15 HCA-affiliated hospitals in five states, including Florida, have voted to authorize nurse negotiators to call a strike if the issues RNs have been raising in ongoing contract negotiations remain unresolved, the National Nurses Organizing Committee announced.

an elderly person's wrist
Hal Yeager / Kaiser Health News

When 86-year-old Carol Wittwer took a taxi to the emergency room, she expected to be admitted to the hospital. She didn't anticipate being asked if she cooks for herself. If she has friends in her high-rise. Or if she could spell lunch backward.

WMFE

The state’s effort to train more nurses has fallen short, leaving questions about whether Florida will be able to care for an increasing number of patients, according to a report from the Sun Sentinel.

WMFE

Four Central Florida educational institutions received approval this week from the State Board of Education to offer Bachelor of Science degrees in nursing. 

There Is A New War On Sepsis

Jun 21, 2017
nurse checking patient's pulse.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Dawn Nagel, a nurse at St. Joseph Hospital in Orange, Calif., knew she was going to have a busy day, with more than a dozen patients showing signs of sepsis. They included a 61-year-old mechanic with diabetes. An elderly man recovering from pneumonia. A new mom whose white blood cell count had shot up after she gave birth.

Tallahassee Memorial To Hire 500 Nurses

May 19, 2017

Tallahassee Memorial Hospital is about to enlarge its campus and staff. The hospital hopes to add several hundred nurses.

Sometimes, even professionally compassionate people get tired.

Kristin Laurel, a flight nurse from Waconia, Minn., has worked in trauma units for over two decades. The daily exposure to distressing situations can sometimes result in compassion fatigue.

"Some calls get to you, no matter who you are," she says.

A Florida-based health care company is apologizing to the Haitian community after it posted what many are calling a discriminatory job ad in New York.

Interim Healthcare, which has its corporate office in Sunrise, offers health care services across the country through 300 different franchises. 

In an Oct. 15 ad looking for female nurses in Rockland County, N.Y., it explicitly states “no Haitians" should apply.

Daylina Miller / WUSF

Health care providers around Florida are continuing a push for laws that would expand the roles of nurse practitioners and physicians assistants.

Economy, ACA Boosts Travel Nurse Demand

May 28, 2015
Courtesy of Cherisse Dillard

With her children grown and husband nearing retirement, Amy Reynolds was ready to leave behind snowy Flagstaff, Ariz., to travel but she wasn’t ready to give up her nursing career.

She didn’t have to.

For the past three years, Reynolds, 55, has been a travel nurse — working for about three months at a time at hospitals in California, Washington, Texas and Idaho, among other states. Her husband accompanies her on the assignments. “It’s been wonderful,” she said in May after starting a stint in Sacramento. “It’s given us a chance to try out other parts of the country.”

Mary Shedden / Health News Florida

Members of a Tampa-based nurses’ union on Tuesday rallied against the physical and emotional abuse they say is an all-too-common occupational hazard.

The U.S. Department of Labor says that in 2010, more than 11,000 health care and social workers were the victims of workplace violence. Louise Eastty, an intensive care unit nurse for 15 years, said she’s seen co-workers attacked physically by patients, and has been verbally abused countless times.

  Lyn Payne has treated countless patients in her eight years at Mease Dunedin Hospital. She says some stand out, like one particularly grumpy and demanding patient.

"This one night, I was working on the floor and she was my patient. And I knew people would be rolling their eyes -- 'Oh no, it's so and so again’ -- calling. And I decided to just go in there and talk to her,” Payne said.

A nurses' union says some hospitals are charging exorbitant rates, in certain cases more than 10 times more than what they need to cover costs, according to its analysis of Medicare Cost Reports.

Florida Orange Park Medical Center tops the list for Florida, the Florida Times-Union reports.

New Nursing Programs Failing

Dec 9, 2013

Laws passed in recent years to boost the number of nurses in Florida have resulted in more nursing education programs on probation and more nursing graduates failing the national competency examination. 

Measures passed unanimously by the Florida Legislature in 2009 and 2010 allowed colleges and trade schools to open nursing programs without the scrutiny of the state’s 13-member Board of Nursing, which for years has assessed and approved proposed nurse education programs.

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