Article Content

Is Coffee Therapeutic?

That hot cup of coffee may do more than just provide a tasty energy boost. It also may help prevent the most common type of liver cancer. A ten-year study of more than 90,000 Japanese found that people who drank caffeinated coffee daily or nearly every day had half the liver cancer rates of those who never drank coffee. The protective effect occurred in people who drank 1-2 cups a day and increased at 3-4 cups.-Randolph E. Schmid, The Sun News, February 16, 2005, Myrtle Beach, SC


The Threat of Bird Flu

Avian influenza-bird flu-is still spreading, despite frantic counter measures since the current outbreak began in late 2003. As it spreads, so do fears that a human epidemic will emerge. It has affected 11 countries from Japan to Indonesia, and caused the death or destruction of over 120 million Asian birds. Since millions of farmers across Asia raise free-roaming poultry to supplement their meager incomes or diets, the fowl easily contract or disseminate the virus. H5N1 bird flu has become endemic, and it comes close to fulfilling the three conditions for causing a human flu pandemic: 1) a novel virus emerges to which humans have no or little immunity (check); 2) the new virus must be able to replicate in humans and cause serious ill-ness(check); 3) it must be efficiently transmitted from one human to another (no check-yet).-The Economist, April 14, 2005


Robotics to the Rescue

Engineers and health care professionals are blending science, technology and robotics to get the most out of rehabilitation for millions of American stroke survivors. Researchers at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, together with scientists from four reputable universities, have developed a program that uses robotic devices to restore function in hemispheric stroke survivors. One study in the program, the ARM (Assisted Rehabilitation and Measurement) Guide, was first developed in 1977. It operates like a trombone; a hand piece slides back and forth on a track connected to a motor. Participants place one arm in the device and work with an occupational therapist to learn various exercises. Experience has shown that using the ARM Guide contributes to smoother arm movements in stroke patients. Repetitive use helps the brain to learn, overcoming the locking in of patients' inappropriate activation patterns.-Laurie Styrcula, Nursing Spectrum, October 4, 2004


Spiritual Care Competencies

Nursing continues to clarify the place of spiritual care in our profession. Rene van Leeuwen and Bart Curveller name six core competencies needed to be firmly within the nurse's role: 1) being able to handle one's own beliefs; 2) being able to address the subject of spirituality; 3) having the ability to collect information; 4) having the ability to discuss and plan; 5) being able to provide spiritual care and evaluate the process; 6) being able to integrate spiritual care into policy. -"Nursing Competencies in Spiritual Care," Journal of Advanced Nursing, November 2004


Head Start on Nursing Career?

A collaborative nursing program offered by Advocate Lutheran General Hospital and Maine East High School, both in Park Ridge, IL, helps students decide whether to pursue a career in health care. Nursing Care Technician (NCT) II training classes are offered to a select group of seniors during their spring semester. The students attend training at the hospital each morning for 90 minutes before their regular classes. High school credits are awarded. After graduation, students may be hired as NCT IIs, allowing some students to further their education to advance their careers while working. For information, call 847/839-1700, ext. 6689 (Janet).-Nursing Spectrum, May17, 2004


Ought to vs. Need to

"We give a half-hearted attempt at the spiritual disciplines when the only reason we have is that we ought to. But we'll find a way to make it work when we are convinced we're history if we don't [horizontal ellipsis]. Time with God each day is not about academic study or getting through a certain amount of Scripture. It's about connecting with God." -John Eldredge, Wild at Heart


Nursing Books for Iraq

With the fall of Hussein in 2003, library books at the Baghdad University College of Nursing were stolen or destroyed, along with light fixtures, desks, water coolers and air conditioners. Two University of Pennsylvania nursing students developed a project to collect and donate books, and more than 500 have been sent and are in use by nursing students in Iraq. Boxes and packing material were donated, and shipping costs were paid by International Medical Corps. For information on organizing a nursing book collection for Iraq, contact Connie Smith at [email protected]., or, after November, at 302/571-9560.


Sleep More, Eat Less

Weight-loss experts have a novel prescription for people who want to shed pounds: Get some sleep!! Two physicians from Columbia University and St. Lukes-Roosevelt Hospital in New York used information on 18,000 adults participating in the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey throughout the 1980s on health habits. The doctors postulate that sleep deprivation lowers leptin, a blood protein that suppresses appetite and seems to affect how the brain senses when the body has had enough food. It also hinders the ability to make clear decisions. Dr. Philip Eichling, a sleep and weight-loss specialist at the University of Arizona, says, "One of my treatments is to tell [patients] they should move from six to seven hours of sleep. When they're less sleepy, they're less hungry." -Chicago Tribune, November 17, 2004


-PulseBeats compiled by Melodee Yohe, consulting editor