Nursing License Delays Frustrate Would-Be Health Workers
NPR covers the impact that delays on issuing nursing licenses have on the workforce. Meanwhile, Connecticut Public reports on how hard it is to attract new physicians to the area. Other health care personnel news includes Black therapists on TikTok, students training for abortions, and more.
Frustrated Nurses Waiting Months To Get Licensed
More than half of the 12,000 nurses who were issued licenses to work in Pennsylvania in 2021 waited for three months or longer to get them, according to an NPR data analysis. That's one of the longest waits in the 32 states where data is available, NPR's Austin Fast found in an investigation that revealed license applications of newly graduated or relocating nurses often get tangled in red tape for months, waiting for state approval to treat patients. The delays came during a year when as many as 1 in 4 Pennsylvania nurse positions went unfilled, according to a survey from the Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania. Nurses and health care groups say the failure to promptly certify nurses added to the critical staffing shortage during some of the worst months of the coronavirus pandemic. (Sholtis, 3/23)
Health Providers: It's Nearly Impossible To Attract New Physicians To CT
In 2011, Dr. Timothy Siegrist had just finished his residency training in urology in New York City. He and his wife wanted to move back to Connecticut, where they were both originally from. Siegrist interviewed at five urology practices across the state before settling on one in Middletown, where he’s been ever since. A decade later, four out of those five practices, including his own, now belong to larger health care corporations. “The No. 1 reason they were unable to remain independent was the inability to recruit new candidates to their practice,” he said. “In my experience, unless a candidate has family ties that compel them to return or remain in this state, it is nearly impossible to attract new physicians to Connecticut.” (Leonard, 3/22)
Before His Death, He Warned Of Pandemic's Toll On Nurses
In early 2020, Michael Odell sensed that Covid-19 would hit hard. A young intensive care nurse who traveled to hospitals needing an extra hand, he told his family that demand for people like him was surging. By April 2, just a few weeks into what had become an atmosphere of fear and mass death, he was worried about the toll on health care workers. He had been standing in for families barred from the bedside, watching repeated scenes of patient after patient deteriorating. “I am already feeling the emotional burnout of caring for patients who, despite some being the sickest they’ve ever been, are unable to have their loved ones by them,” Odell wrote on Facebook that day. “What do you say to someone who is facing death and can’t have their loved ones with them?” ... [I]n January of this year, amid another Covid-19 wave, Odell walked out of his shift early one morning while working at Stanford Health Care. He died in an apparent suicide. He was 27. (Joseph, 3/23)
And more about health care personnel —
Black Therapists Fight To Be Seen On TikTok. When They Are, They Find Solidarity.
From a well-lighted room, the plants blurred in the background, their face framed by closed captioning, Shahem Mclaurin speaks directly into the camera. The lesson: “Ten ways to start healing.” But this is not a classroom, nor is it a therapist’s office. This is TikTok. “We all have our own things to carry, and those burdens shouldn’t be carried with us for the rest of our lives,” says Mclaurin, a licensed social worker. (Norman, 3/23)
Training Options Narrow For Medical Students Who Want To Learn Abortion Procedures
A barrage of abortion restrictions rippling across the country, from Florida to Texas to Idaho, is shrinking the already limited training options for U.S. medical students and residents who want to learn how to perform abortion procedures. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends standardized training on abortion care during medical residency, the training period after medical school that provides future physicians on-the-job experience in a particular specialty. But the number of residency programs located in states where hospital employees are prohibited from performing or teaching about abortion — or at Catholic-owned hospitals with similar bans — has skyrocketed in recent years, an overlooked byproduct of anti-abortion legislation taking root in the American South, Midwest, and Mountain states. (Varney, 3/23)
Accidental Injection Death Of Wrong Drug: Ex-Nurse On Trial
The attorney for a former Tennessee nurse on trial in the death of a patient accidentally injected with a paralyzing drug told jurors Tuesday the woman is being blamed for systemic problems at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. RaDonda Vaught, 37, is facing a charge of reckless homicide for administering the drug vecuronium to 75-year-old Charlene Murphey instead of the sedative Versed on Dec. 26, 2017. (Loller, 3/22)
The Washington Post:
An Oral Surgeon ‘Fed’ His Girlfriend’s Addictions With Anesthesia And An IV Pole, Police Say. Now He’s Charged With Murder.
An oral surgeon accused of supplying his girlfriend with addictive anesthesia solutions using an IV stand was charged with “depraved heart” murder Tuesday, stemming from her fatal overdose in their Maryland home, according to Montgomery County court records. James Michael Ryan, 48, was ordered held in jail without bond Tuesday in the death of Sarah Harris, 25. She was a former patient of Ryan’s who had lived at his Clarksburg home for seven months, police say. (Morse, 3/22)
New Hampshire Public Radio:
Multiple Women Accuse Eric Spofford Of Sexual Misconduct
Elizabeth walked out of Green Mountain Treatment Center in 2017 on what she described as a spiritual high. She was newly sober and excited to start the next chapter of her recovery from opioid addiction. Those feelings were fleeting. Just one day after leaving treatment, she said she received unsolicited, explicit Snapchat messages, including a photo of a penis and invitations to meet for sex. The content of these messages disturbed her, but it was the sender that broke her. The messages came from Eric Spofford, the founder of Granite Recovery Centers (GRC), the parent company of the facility Elizabeth had just left. Spofford is one of the most prominent and influential figures in New Hampshire’s response to the opioid epidemic. (Chooljian, 3/22)