Viewpoints: Nursing Mistakes Should Not Be Treated As A Crime; Variants Are Evolving Faster Than Vaccines
Editorial writers weigh in on these public health issues.
Criminal Charges Should Not Be A Remedy For Medical Errors
As the country was buckling under the weight of the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare staff worked tirelessly around the clock, placing themselves and their families at risk of contracting a deadly virus while frequently being subjected to abusive behavior, which has led to record-high levels of burnout. They continued to come to work each day sharply focused on doing the right thing for their patients at a time when their communities needed them most. Not once did they waver. Not once did they fail to answer the call to mission. (Kevin Mahoney and Antonia Villaruel, 5/3)
Los Angeles Times:
Omicron Won't Be The Last Coronavirus Variant To Haunt Us
The virus that brought us COVID-19 is now going through accelerated evolution. Our vaccines must do the same. The Omicron wave was by far the worst yet for the United States, with, at its peak, well over 1 million new cases a day, nearly 160,000 COVID-19 hospitalizations, and almost 4,000 deaths per day. That was attributed to the BA.1 variant, the most densely mutated version of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus since the pandemic’s origin. About 40% to 50% of Americans were likely infected with this virus in the brief span of 10 weeks. (Eric J. Topol, 5/4)
The CT Mirror:
Talking About Mental Health Is The Difficult First Step
A classmate of mine was recently presenting a paper to our writing class. It addressed many of her struggles with mental health and how she was able to push through them to be the person she is today. Hearing it would have been fantastic for the class, but the professor’s question did not allow the student to get past the introductory paragraph. “Would you like to talk about this in private?” The professor’s heart may have been in the right place, but there’s still a problem with this situation. In trying to bring the topic of mental health into an everyday conversation, the student attempted to chip away at a longstanding stigma. The professor, not being ready for the change, shut her down. (Jeff Palma, 5/4)
Should Clinicians Use Emojis When Communicating With Each Other?
When a colleague of mine wanted to discuss a new and somewhat out-of-left-field research project that centered around the use of emojis in digital health care communication, I blanched. To the best of my recollection, I blurted, “Emojis have no place in medicine.” I’m a practicing ear, nose, and throat physician and also serve as the chief medical officer for a company that provides communication technology for health care organizations. My experience in one world often informs my decisions in the other. In this instance, thinking about doctors and nurses exchanging emojis as part of caring for patients triggered an immediate “BAD IDEA” alert in my brain. (Rodrigo Martinez, 5/4)
What’s Diminishing The American Lifespan?
There’s an ongoing discussion about lifespan vs. “healthspan”—can a long life be accompanied by high quality of life? This is one place where the social determinants of health can enter the equation, correct? (Dr. Jay Want and Dr. Kimberlydawn Wisdom, 5/3)