Pop culture has become the way in which many of us recognize the events that are going on in the world through a different light, as well as become informed of many positions through an entertainment venue. Pop culture generally features well known references to a given population’s cultural values, including daily interactions of people broadcast through a wide entertainment source. Twitter is one of the leading pop culture trends and has been brought up in nearly every type of forum, thus demonstrating its popularity within our culture. While nursing in pop culture has been a trend dating back to the early twentieth century, certified nurse assistants have additionally become a prime target for the many hospital shows that are on TV, and allow many of us an insight into the balance between nurses and nurse assistants.
Grey’s Anatomy is an ABC sitcom which generally revolves around the lives of surgeons at Seattle Grace Hospital in Washington, although the nurses in the show have had prominent roles as well. Even more important is the fact that nurse assistants have been mentioned, especially in episodes where there are mass patients due to some catastrophic incident. While the nursing staff is not readily focused on in every episode, there are many scenes which demonstrate how busy they get, especially working in an emergency wing. Therefore, their nurse assistants are ready to jump in and care for patients who may not be getting the attention they need from Registered Nurses. Many episodes additionally feature elderly patients who are nearly on their death bed. While it seems like the doctors are constantly tending to them, every time the doctors make their rounds, there is a nurse assistant in the room along with a relative.
ER was the quintessential hospital show, running 15 years before airing the last episode this past year. Featuring a multitude of different cast members, the show revolves around the lives of doctors and a few nurses as well. Different from Grey’s Anatomy, this show builds up the characters of its nurses, rather than focusing solely on doctors, thereby becoming more analogous to real-life hospital settings. While nurse assistants were not readily featured on the show, they played many recurring characters, especially since one of the primary characters on the show was Nurse Carol Hathoway, distinguishable from the doctors due to her pink scrubs. Similar to Grey’s Anatomy, nurse assistants are not readily mentioned on the show, but are always in the background of the show to make the drama more realistic.
Finally, the medical comedy Scrubs takes a different spin on the medical community by making interactions between doctors, nurses, and patients comical, rather than the dramatic approach other medical TV shows take. Ending earlier this year as well, the show revolved around the lives of several doctors and nurses from the point of view of Doctor J.D. Dorian. The head nurse in this hospital is one of the main characters of the show and demonstrates how important nurses are to the structure of the hospital. Additionally, her nurse assistants are a prominent force within the hospital and help tend to many of the patients throughout the series.
While certified nurse assistants may not be a primary role in any pop culture reference to nurses, they are typically in the background tending to patients, both in TV and in real life. Registered Nurses would not be able to do their jobs without their assistants, thereby emphasizing their vital role within the hospital.
Nursing assistants play a valuable role in our society although they have long gone unrecognized over the years. With more and more patients opting for at-home treatment to get away from the dismal sights of hospital life, nursing assistants have found more job opportunities in an economy that has seen so many other opportunities shrivel up. Additionally, nursing assistants have become the “eyes and ears” of nurses who are too busy to spend a lot of time with their patients.
Nursing assistants provide basic bed care to patients all while under the supervision of a Registered Nurse. While they have limits in their responsibilities, nursing assistants provide a basic standard of care to their patients and ensure that they are taken care of when nurses cannot focus on one out of twenty at a time. The medical community has remained a vital part of the economy in recent months as it is one of the only industries that still needs hundreds of positions filled. Additionally, rather than suffering through years of medical school, nursing assistants only require minimal training. While they do not make as much as registered nurses, it is still a glimpse into the health industry to ensure this is what you want to do with your life.
Some hospitals have experienced cutbacks due to the over-experience of many of its staff and simply over-booking nurses and doctors. These cutbacks have resulted in less nurses available in hospitals and therefore a higher ratio of nurse to patient. Nursing assistants do not require as much funding as nurses and are therefore the perfect solution to the problem: they can stay at the patient’s bedside and still remain within hospital budgets. Additionally, nursing assistants still pay more than minimum-wage and have the opportunity to move up in the hospital ranks if you earn additional administrative degrees (such as a Masters in Public Health or Health Administration).
Nursing is a career which is much less glamorous than television has idealized it to be through shows like ER and Grey’s Anatomy. Therefore, becoming a nursing assistant is the perfect way to ensure this is the field you want to go into. In this type of economy especially, you do not want to risk years and money in school for a career which you will end up hating. Therefore, nursing assistants are a valuable career both for hospitals and for many students who are uncertain of a future in medicine.
Researching the cause of a condition as complex as Crohn’s disease can be frustrated for even the most seasoned researcher. There are so many variables and possibilities it seems an almost insurmountable task. But, there seems to be a light at the end of that tunnel, according to a recent article in Science-Centric News. There is new technology available designed to help researchers with gene searching.
According to the article, “Using a novel approach that combines a statistical tool that identifies genes interacting on the same biological pathways with highly automated gene-hunting techniques that scan the whole genome, an international team of researchers has discovered new genes involved in Crohn’s disease.”
This is some heady stuff when we start to consider the magnitude of this project. It is no small feat to map an entire genome and once seemed an endless, and often impossible, task. But, no more.
The biggest challenge with Crohn’s Disease is that many different genes come together to create a perfect storm, as such, and cause the disease. The task just got exponentially more difficult. Past research identified some of the stronger genes that influence the pronouncement of Crohn’s symptoms but could not identify the other weaker or ill-defined genes. So, the elusive disease remained so a bit longer.
“Currently the workhorse of gene-hunting is genome-wide association (GWA), which uses automated analytic equipment to sweep through the full range of all 23 human chromosomes and detect the most significant gene variants associated with a given disease. Those variants, each a change in a single DNA base, are called single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs).
However, individual GWA studies often do not have the statistical power to detect subtle but important variants that are involved in disease development. By using an algorithm developed by Kai Wang, Ph.D., at the Centre for Applied Genomics, Hakonarson’s study team created a pathway-based approach that seeks out interacting or related genes along the same biological pathway.”
With greater identification of the various genetic influencers for Crohn’s, researchers are able to adopt more effective drug protocols, which improve the patient’s quality of life and their long-term prognosis. It also means more complex diseases will benefit from this research and the tools being used to help better treat Crohn’s.
By Courtney Phillips
The profession of Nurse Practitioner originally came about as a result of a shortage of MDs in the 1960s. Since that time, many things have changed, but one thing has not—the ability for a NP to move to another state and expect to be able to work in the same manner as before. Federalism is a wonderful aspect of the government, but one that ultimately falls short when it comes to regulating health care.
This issue may be a divisive one, but the truth of the matter is that NPs all over the United States are subject to completely different sets of rules and regulations from one state to the next. Whereas in one state a NP has full autonomy and can even practice independently, in others they must work in collaboration with an MD, while in others still they work beneath the doctor and must answer to that individual.
As for funding, the stipulations and regulations regarding this aspect of the NP system are something only the initiated can understand fully. Educational requirements also vary from state to state, with some requiring master, while others ask for a few months worth of post RN coursework.
This conundrum brings up various ethical and philosophical points which aren’t answered as easily as at first they seem. Obviously, the NP who moves from one state to another doesn’t change physically or mentally, yet their credentials fall under scrutiny because of discrepancies in the method of certification.
Naturally we don’t want unqualified or under qualified people practicing, which is why there needs to be some sort of baseline mandate in place that each state can adhere to. If health care, money, and insurance can all be so tangled that they are good enough to work for treatment by an NP in one state, they should certainly work in any other state in the same way.
Health care and all of the labyrinthine issues related to our health care system are being drowned out by other concerns for the time being. Let’s hope someone decides to address it eventually. Perhaps then the need for a comprehensive and cohesive nurse practitioner licensing system will finally be addressed.
Grant money for any student profession is a major part of funding your further education, making it increasingly important to research for these types of programs in all disciplines, including that of CNA. Becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant does not require as many years of classes as many other degrees, but it does require around 100 hours of class time, including supervised clinical training, which is never cheap. Cost-efficient ways of attending class to become a CNA are important to research before enrolling in CNA programs.
Many government grant programs are specifically catered for the health industry, including CNA training programs. The hospital in your community will more than likely offer grant money which will pay for your CNA training if you sign a contract stating you will work for the hospital for at least a year. This is a small price to pay for full funding, especially if you wanted to work at that location anyway. Some hospitals additionally only require six months of service, making the prospect even more appealing. This research into local hospitals is vital in determining what prospects other local hospitals may offer, even if it is not your ideal location.
Other options include grants which are offered through local technical schools and community colleges that offer CNA certification. These grants will not require a contract for work at a particular hospital or clinic and will therefore allow students more leeway in figuring out where they want to work after gaining their certification. This provides much more relief after completion of your CNA certification. Many similar programs that require students to work in a certain location after completion may seem appealing at first, but after a few years, this requirement seems like more of a burden. Rather than burden yourself with a commitment, it is much easier to research further into local programs to see if any colleges or schools offer government grants through study.
Additionally, mapping out your future in advance proves to be a responsible choice in nearly any degree program. Starting off your nursing career as simply a Nurse’s Assistant, rather than a Certified Nurse’s Assistant can offer you a peek into the medical field, as well as years of experience with a corporation. These years of loyalty to the hospital or company can prove to your employers that you are a dedicated worker and may inspire them to offer you their own grant to earn a certificate. However, this requires years of planning, so it is important to be sure of your decision to attend the school and continue on this path.
Regardless of the way in which you earn a grant for CNA, the fact that you are earning a further certification will pay off in no time. Grants simply make the education process a little easier on your economic condition and can help save you hundreds to thousands of dollars in the long run.