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In 2008, Brattleboro Memorial Hospital in Vermont began a Nurse Mentoring Program with the goal of retaining new-graduate nurses, offering them the support needed to achieve that goal.


Each nurse mentor completes a 10-hour training program. Afterward, the new mentors sign a contract outlining expectations and commitment required. New nurses are paired with a mentor when hired. Vital to the success of the program is that the mentor and mentee do not work on the same unit; however, the same shift is preferred. The expectation of the program is the mentor and mentee will meet bimonthly for the first 3 months and then once a month for the first year.


The program began with eight new-graduate nurses, and to date, seven are still employed. This 1:8 ratio outweighs the nationwide statistic of 1:5:



A July 2010 study finds that the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine not only protects against the sexually transmitted virus that causes cervical cancer but also helps prevent genital warts and low-grade cervical growths.


Researchers studied 17,622 women in 24 countries who had been assigned to take the vaccine or a placebo over a 6-month period. The women were ages 16 to 26. Joakim Dillner, Department of Medical Microbiology, Lund University, Malmo University in Sweden, and colleagues found the vaccine provided significant protection against warts/growths in susceptible women. Of 7,632 women who took the placebo, 168 developed cervical growths attributed to HPV strains, whereas just seven of the 7,629 who took the vaccine did. The vaccine "provided strong and sustained protection" for 4 years against various types of warts and low-grade female genital growths.-



One in five adults in the United States suffers moderate-to-excessive daytime sleepiness. "The number of individuals sleepy or drowsy during situations where they should be alert is disturbing," reports Dr. Maurice Ohayon, Professor of Psychiatry at Stanford University and lead investigator of a recent sleep study. About 18% of survey participants said they had fallen asleep or become drowsy in situations such as meetings and conversations when they should have been concentrating.


The survey questioned 8,937 people. Severe sleepiness was reported by 11% of participants, more of them women (13%) than men (8.6%).


"Insufficient sleep is plaguing the American population and is one of the leading factors for excessive daytime sleepiness. Sleepiness is underestimated in its daily life consequences," states Ohayon.-



A recent study shows that interrupting nurses while they're tending to patients' medication needs increases the chances of error. As the number of distractions increases, so do the number of errors and the risk to patient safety. About one third of harmful medication errors occur during medication administration, studies show.


Researchers observed 98 nurses preparing and administering 4,271 medications to 720 patients at two Sydney, Australia teaching hospitals, September 2006 to March 2008. Errors were classified as either "procedural failures," such as failing to read the medication label, or "clinical errors," such as giving the wrong drug or dose.


Interruptions occurred during more than half (53.1%) of all administrations; each interruption was associated with a 12.1% increase, on average, in procedural failures and a 12.7% increase in clinical errors. Most errors (79.3%) were minor, having little or no impact on patients. However, 115 errors (2.7%) were considered major errors, and all were clinical errors.


Julie Kliger, program director of the Integrated Nurse Leadership Program at the University of California, San Francisco, described one potential remedy: A "protected hour" during which nurses would focus on medication administration without having to do such things as take phone calls or answer pages. The idea is based on the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration's "sterile cockpit" rule.-



Joyce Rupp, a Catholic sister, at the age of 60 walked over 500 miles on the Camino pilgrimage. She wrote: "Gradually the Camino helped me see that every day is an adventure because every day is new. We have not lived that day before. Every space of our lives in unknown until we live it. Approaching life this way keeps it fresh, invigorating, alive, and inviting... How life-transforming it would be if each of us awakened to the new day with a sense of adventure in our hearts instead of a dread of work or a sluggish approach to what the day holds." From The Healing Word: Preaching and Teaching Health Ministry, pp. 51-52, The Pilgrim Press, 2009.