Antimicrobial Resistance

In early April, I attended by second annual National Student Nurses Association convention in Dallas, TX though the Duquesne University Student Nurses Association. The theme of the year was about global health and preventing epidemics and outbreaks of diseases. I found this theme appropriate, as problems have recently arisen regarding antimicrobial resistance.

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Each year, schools from across the United States bring resolutions on topics that they believe related to the nursing field. The resolutions are debated and voted on by delegates from the schools. This year, our school did our resolution on antimicrobial resistance and the importance of educating patients and other healthcare workers on the dangers of overly distributing antibiotics, thus leading to antimicrobial and bacterial resistance. Additionally, different strains of bacteria tend to develop rapidly and then we have another problem. This has a vital impact on healthcare and the nursing field because it can lead to epidemics throughout the nation. Our resolution focused on bringing more awareness to this growing issue in our country.

The World Health Organization says, “Antimicrobial resistance happens when microorganisms (such as bacteria, fungi, viruses, and parasites) change when they are exposed to antimicrobial drugs.” Moreover, the antibiotics becomes less effective and a patient will continue to have the infection in their body. The WHO also states that it is a global concern because without effective antibiotic medication, medical procedures would be riskier and the cost of health care would go up, due to lengthen hospital stays (antimicrobial resistance).

At the NSNA convention, our resolution was heavily debated on, but still passed! This means the health related topic will given to the American Nurses Association. On that level, the association will potentially look into the topic more thoroughly. Even as a student nurses, we have the ability to initiate change in the country.

As a nation, we should stress the importance of education on ways to prevent bacterial resistance by appropriately using antibiotics and alternating the use of certain antibiotics.

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Antimicrobial resistance. (n.d.). Retrieved May 03, 2017, from http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs194/en/ 

NSNA logo from: http://www.nsna.org/

Efforts in Haiti

17190568_1333453136719350_1513102022728514976_nOver spring break, I had the amazing opportunity to be the student leader for a mission trip to Virginia and Maryland. In Arlington, VA, we stayed at Our Lady Queen of Peace parish (OLQP). This parish is unique in the sense that they strive to provide inclusiveness within different cultures in the community. They host many types of masses, include the Spanish mass, since there is a large Hispanic population in the Arlington area. Another unique aspect to this parish is the twin parish they have in Haiti. Our Lady Queen of Peace helps fund the church in Haiti. The funding goes towards medical supplies, daily meals, and education for the children in the community. Many children walk hours on strenuous, unpaved trails just to receive an education.

Every year, OLQP will take a team of individuals to the twin parish to help out with basic medical or sanitation needs. The woman in charge of the program (who is an ophthalmologist) talked to me after her presentation about their efforts to support the small community in Haiti. I told her I had an interest in going abroad for a medical mission trip. She gave me her information and told me once I graduate to email her about joining her team for a few weeks in Haiti. Most of the medical problems in the area have to do with sanitation problems, which lead to diseases that could have been easily preventable if they had the resources. Little by little, OLQP is successfully educating the community about hygiene practices and preventing the spread of diseases. Although it may not seem like it, these small teachings can make a huge different on a global health scale. The conditions are poor where the twin parish resides, yet much better than most places in Haiti, thanks to the support of the OLQP community and their commitment to aiding the Haiti parish. As a future nurse, I applaud the Our Lady Queen of Peace for their efforts in helping the community in Haiti become a more educated and  healthier community.

Photos of the Haiti school and church. Photos taken from the OLQP. Haiti facebook page.

https://www.facebook.com/pg/OLQP.Haiti/photos/?ref=page_internal

Water Contamination in Pittsburgh

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Earlier this month, the city of Pittsburgh found girardia in the water. A vast majority of the city was put on precautionary measures until the water contamination was cleaned out of the systems. This put schools and hospitals on precautions as well. Bottled waters and jugs were distributed at Duquesne and water fountains in all public schools in the affected areas were covered up. Fox News reported that 100,000 residents were affected by this outbreak and were on an advisory to flush and boil tap water before drinking or cooking with it(Pittsburgh water advisory lifted).

As the health care field is affected by these contamination within the community, nurses play a role in ensuring the safety of the public. The main task of a public health nurse is to educate the public on ways to reduce the spread of diseases and viruses. Some educational tasks might include proper hand-washing skills. Community nursing promotes the health of populations, primarily lower income areas. As Pittsburgh has a diverse community, these specialized nurses help promote the resources for communities.

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Pittsburgh water advisory lifted. (n.d.). Retrieved February 27, 2017, from http://www.foxnews.com/health/2017/02/02/water-testing-update-expected-amid-pittsburgh-contamination-concerns.html

History of Public Health Nursing

Public health nursing was founded by Lilian Wald. She was born in 1867 and grew up in New York City. She was educated through a two-year nursing program. She developed a passion for serving her own community and working with poor immigrants in New York. She first began with home nursing but then noticed similarities in the poor conditions. Thus, she start “public health nursing,” where she strived to educate communities on disease prevention, infection control, and personal hygiene (Lilian Wald, Founded Public Health Nursing).  In the early 1900s, she helped create the National Organization for Public Health Nursing and was the first president of this group.

Lillian Wald, Founded Public Health Nursing

(Photo of the common conditions in New York City “Lillian Wald, Founded Public Health Nursing“)

Her accomplishments include persuading the New York Board of Education to hire a school nurse, which later lead to the standard of having nurses in schools within the U.S. She also lobbied for health inspections in the workplaces to protect workers from unsafe conditions. Additionally, she encouraged workplaces to have nurses or medical professions on-site (Lilian Wald, Founded Public Health Nursing).

Today, public and community health nursing have vital importance around the world, as they work to education communities on diseases and how to prevent transmitting infections. Lilian Wald paved the path for nurses who have a passion for serving the community as a whole.

 

  1. (n.d.). Lillian Wald, Founded Public Health Nursing. Retrieved February 27, 2017, from http://www.workingnurse.com/articles/Lillian-Wald-Founded-Public-Health-Nursing