Category Archives: International

International Nurses Day May 12th, National Nurse Week May 6th-12th

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Florence Nightingale is an important figure in the world of nursing and healthcare. She was born in May of 1820 and  belonged to a prosperous British family. From a young age, she believed her purpose was to become a nurse, administering aid to the poor and the ill. Her parents were unsupportive of her career decision and were disgruntled by her refusal to settle down and marry a man of social affluence. Florence wasn’t distracted from her goal and received her nursing degree at the Lutheran Hospital of Pastor Fliedner in Kaiserwerth, Germany.

Florence worked as a nurse in a hospital at Constantinople during the Crimean war in 1853 and worked to improve on the unsanitary and inhumane living conditions of the wounded soldiers there. She tended to their wounds and illnesses during every time of the day, earning her the nickname “the Lady with the Lamp.” Once the war was over, Florence returned home to the praise of the public, earning awards and monetary prizes from the Queen and the British government. Throughout the rest of her life, she campaigned for the improvement of health standards and hospital designs, as well as for the reform of professional training for nurses. Florence remains a notary figure today whom many people still consider to be an important role model.

Florence Nightingale survives in our history as an inspired nurse and a compassionate statistician.  She changed the world of nursing and will always be remembered as an important figure in healthcare and nursing.

International Nurses Day is celebrated worldwide every May 12, on the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth. It is celebrated to recognize the life-changing contributions nurses make to society. Though mainly commemorated around May 12 each year, IND activities are carried on throughout much of the year by nurses and others.  In addition to International Nurses Day, the United States also celebrates National Nurses Week. The first time the suggestion to create this week was in 1953. It failed. It was suggested again in 1954. It failed again. The next time it was suggested to the president was 2 decades later in 1972 when it finally passed. The American government also decided to honor Nightingale by finishing off a week of awareness on her birthday.

Some of the goals of these two events are to improve the image of nurses while also influencing healthcare policies around the world.  One of the easiest ways to show your respect and to help these goals is to say thank you to a nurse you know or meet.

Photo: http://www.florence-nightingale.co.uk

Sources:

ICN

ANA

http://www.biography.com/people/florence-nightingale-9423539?page=2

http://www.florence-nightingale.co.uk/the-collection/biography.html

http://nursing.advanceweb.com/Features/Articles/Empowering-Nurses-with-Data.aspx

http://plus.maths.org/content/florence-nightingale-compassionate-statistician

Calling All Users of Science

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This Saturday there is going to be a series of marches and protests occurring in 358 cities in the United States and over 500 world wide. The March for Science is the first event of it’s kind. It is a call for support from all students, science-based careers and anyone who benefits from scientific advances (psst that’s everyone). It’s a nonpartisan even that is urging policy makers to look at evidence based practices and scientific data to influence their policies and ruling instead of money.

You can find a city near you here that is holding a march. The Fargo/Moorhead area is holding a large one that is expecting several thousand visitors. Here are some of the missions or goals that the March for Science hopes to achieve.

  • Evidence-based policy and regulations in the public interest. They wish for policy makers to make decisions not altered by other agendas.
  • Cutting-edge science education. They believe that a science background isn’t only for a select few, the entire  majority of the population should be able to interpret scientific literature.
  • Diversity and Inclusion in STEM. This comes into play with the previous mission, they wish to have an outreach in education.
  • Open, honest science and inclusive public outreach. Several policies that have been passed recently have banned or limited the exchange of scientific literature and dialogue. By restricting access to the newest information, the governmental body is harming it’s people.
  • Funding for scientific research and its applications. Under the proposed 2018 budget, all scientific bodies with federal funding will see a cut from 10% to 31%. They wish to change so that we are capable of producing more advancements.

In the few months that this has been planned, they have partnered with over 300 different scientific agencies and centers. Here is their page for the MN marches specifically.  They have several social media accounts; check them out on Facebook, Twitter,and Instagram.

 

Care for the Earth, and it’ll care for you Earth Day 22nd 2017

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Take a deep breath, now let it out. The air you just breathed in was probably refreshing at best, tolerable at worst. You might have noticed the onion or tuna you ate, but that was the worst of it. The next time you drink water, look at it. Is it clear? Probably. Is it colorless? Again, most likely. Is there water in your cup? Well duh.

Never before have these two things been at risk before, drinking and breathing, in the human existence time frame. With the help of globalization and a population boom, humans are having a profound effect on the world. We haven’t had to come to terms that it won’t last forever, because we’ve never had to worry about that in the past.

For the first time in human existence, carbon levels have risen above a threshold it has never crossed before. It didn’t just stop there; the current levels of carbon are sitting at 133% of that threshold. This rise in carbon is having an increased effect, often called the Greenhouse Effect. Due to this warming, there are many changes that are taking place in the world.

Professor Wallace recently gave a seminar on climate change here on campus and the effects that it has on human health. In her presentation she introduced us to some interesting points. A warmer world, even by 2 or 3 degrees Celsius shifts the mosquito habitat. More people will be exposed to mosquito borne disease and for longer times; Zika, Yellow Fever, Dengue, West Nile and the list goes on. Currently 3.6 billion are at risk for these diseases. With a temperature increase that number could rise up to 5 billion. Allergies will worsen as their window widens also. Flooding will increase, as will hurricanes and tornadoes.

Some cities have to issue warnings over smog exposure. It is estimated that of the 10 million deaths every year in China, 1 million is caused by pollutants. Exposure to all these new chemicals is wreaking havoc on our bodies and the environment. In addition to this smog exposure, there is an increasing amount of people with other respiratory problems such as asthma. In 2001, 1 in 14 people had asthma. In 2009, 1 in 12 people. That is the most recent number, although the CDC projects that as many as 1 in 10 people have asthma today.

The goal of Earth Day is to bring awareness to all these issues. It is trying to create scientifically literate people who will in turn be scientifically literate voters on environmental policies. They aim to change the direction of the world towards more green energy, jobs and technology. They hope that by 2020 a majority of the population will be able to understand the scientific literature that affects their lives and environments.

The first Earth Day was held in 1970, and attendance was well above what anyone was expecting. 20 million people, roughly 10% of the population, joined the rallies and marches. It has been one of the most effective awareness days because it is bipartisan for the most part. After that first celebration, the government felt pressured into creating the Environmental Protection Agency and the Clean Air, Clean Water and the Endangered Species Act were also created.

Here are some more facts about Earth Day and our environment.

  • There is roughly 155 billion pounds of plastic in the ocean and roughly 9 billion is added every year
  • We will only be able to fill 60% of the world’s water needs by 2030 without better management
  • The Montreal Protocol signed in 1987 banned many chemicals that were ripping a hole in the ozone. Thanks to that act, the ozone is now healing and the hole is closing.
  • A convention was held in 1997, the Convention on Biological Diversity. Here many countries around the world pledged that they would work to sustain a diverse biosphere starting in their own countries.
  • The Renewable Portfolio Standard is an aggressive self- proposed bill in California that says that the state has to get half their energy from renewable sources by 2030. Many states followed, but theirs is the most ambitious.
  • In 2012 the Earth Day Network planted 1 billion trees to try and bring back forested areas.

https://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/asthma/

http://www.earthday.org/wp-content/uploads/Earth-Day-Action-Toolkit-2017.pdf

http://mashable.com/2015/04/22/earth-day-facts/#ugyWvQqJIaqB

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/04/160422-earth-day-46-facts-environment/

 

Autism Awareness April 2017

There are approximately 3.5 million people living with autism in the United States, affecting about 1 in every 68 births. The rate in 2004 was roughly 1 in every 125 births, showing that the occurrence rate has doubled since then. As more and more American families are being affected, the nation has to decide how to best service these families and their needs.

Autism Awareness Month hopes to increase the 4 A’s and an I of Autism; Awareness, Action, Acceptance, Appreciation and Inclusion. One of the driving reasons for wanting these five things is to make them feel human and a part of society. This is important, because legislation that affects their lives is being written right now by people that don’t know much about this disorder. They don’t have the proper background to make informed decisions, which this month is trying to change.

The symptoms of autism usually become prominent in ages 2 to 6 years. The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) has five behaviors that parents should watch for and use as indicators for further evaluation.

  • Does not babble or coo by 12 months
  • Does not gesture (point, wave, grasp) by 12 months
  • Does not say single words by 16 months
  • Does not say two-word phrases on his or her own by 24 months
  • Has any loss of any language or social skill at any age

Having even 1 or 2 of these symptoms is not a diagnosis. You need to bring your child to a panel of specialists that know more about the disorder and how to diagnose it. These are just behaviors that suggest you should do this.

There is for no for certain cause for autism at the moment. The main things that are thought to play apart in the development in autism are genetics, epigenetics (gene folding due to a shifting environment) or a possible comorbidity with other genetic diseases. It used to be thought that it developed after a traumatic event in their childhood, but that has been disproven. It is also currently thought that certain immunizations cause autism to develop, but numerous epidemiological studies have disproved that belief.

MSUM is having an Autism Documentary and Panel night on campus to help raise awareness. It will be in Langseth 104 at 7pm this Monday April 7th. They will be a film followed by a panel for any questions.

One way that you can show your support for this month is by wearing the unrecognizable puzzle ribbon. The Autism Society sells the ribbons here and the proceeds go towards research and aid. If someone approaches you, don’t turn them away. Take this moment to educate them. If you are unsure of something, say so instead of spreading false information.

Autism Society

Autism Research Institute

World Health Organization

Autism Speaks

World Health Day April 7th 2017

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Every year on April 7th we celebrate World Health Day to remember the day that the World Health Organization was formed. (W.H.O.) Every year this day has a theme, and this year it’s Depression. Their slogan “Depression: Let’s Talk”  is trying to get people to open up about their disorder and get the help they may need. They have several goals about what they want to see happen:

  • the general public is better informed about depression, its causes and possible consequences, including suicide, and what help is or can be available for prevention and treatment
  • people with depression seek help
  • family, friends and colleagues of people living with depression are able to provide support

WHO defines a case of depression when a person has gone at least 2 weeks with persistent sadness and they don’t enjoy doing any of their normal activities, which prevents them from carrying out every day activities. There are a few more symptoms that people who are afflicted by depression may have:

  • a loss of energy
  • a change in appetite
  • sleeping more or less
  • anxiety
  • reduced concentration
  • indecisiveness
  • restlessness
  • feelings of worthlessness, guilt or hopelessness
  • thoughts of self-harm or suicide

The number of people that have being diagnosed every year with depression has seen an 18% increase in the last decade. The low estimates have depression affecting 322 million people worldwide, about 4.4% of the population.

Depression can be effectively prevented and treated. Treatment usually involves either a talking therapy or antidepressant medication or a combination of these. Overcoming the stigma often associated with depression will lead to more people getting help.

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http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2017/world-health-day/en/

http://www.who.int/campaigns/world-health-day/2017/en/

March 2017 is Self-Injury Awareness Month

Self injury month

This month long observation is recognized in the United States, Canada, and Western Europe. In the U.S. alone there are 2 million cases of self-injury reported annually, mostly among youth. It’s time to end the stigma of self-harm.

Self injury is any deliberate, non-suicidal behavior that inflicts injury on one’s body. Although self injury is not a suicidal behavior if the emotional trauma that causes one to self-harm continues it can lead to suicidal thoughts or actions. People often self harm as a way to confront emotional pain. When most people think of self-harm they often think of cutting, but there are many other forms. Actions such as burning, scratching, consuming harmful products such as bleach, pulling out clumps of hair, bruising, and breaking bones are all forms of self-injury. Self-injury is a coping mechanism and is seen as another way to deal with the emotional pain that many experience, but have difficulty handling or processing. Self-injury occurs across all ages, genders, races, and beliefs. If you know someone who self injures reach out to them and follow the tips below to do so successfully.

DON’T

  1. Get angry or show disgust. Negativity alienates and ultimatums only drive the person away from you.
  2. Deny the problem. It’s not the person’s problem or just one of his/her ‘things’. It’s not a fad, social statement or a phase he/she will grow out of.
  3. Hide sharp objects. If the person wants to self-injure, he/she will find a way.
  4. Judge the severity of the injury as an indicator of the level of emotional pain. A severely depressed person might only have scratches instead of cuts.
  5. Assume the person is okay once in treatment. Recovery from self-injury can take months, maybe even years.

DO

  1. Stay calm. Freaking out won’t solve anything. It will just close all lines of communication.
  2. Talk. Be non-judgmentally supportive. Ask “Why are you doing this to yourself?”
  3. Take the problem seriously. It’s not about attention-seeking or a growing pain.
  4. Seek treatment. Accompany the person to the doctor or counselor but don’t be pushy about privacy.
  5. Find the triggers. Focus on the underlying problems rather than just the injury.
  6. Trust the person. Self-injury is just a small part of the person.

It’s time to end the stigma of self-injury and help those who self-injure. Visit the links below for more resources on helping individuals and how to end the stigma.

http://selfinjury.com/

Sources: http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/terezia-farkas/self-injury-awareness-month_b_6810634.html  http://selfinjury.com/

March is Women’s History Month- 2017!!

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The roots of Women’s History Month can be traced to the first known Women’s History Week that was celebrated in 1978 in Sonoma County, California. From then the movement slowly spread to other cities and gained support from President Carter declaring March 8th National Women’s History Week. March had been declared Women’s History Month in 14 states by 1986. The National Women’s History Project and other lobbying groups used this as evidence when discussing with Congress to declare March as Women’s History Month nationwide. Congress made the declaration in 1987. Since then the movement has grown each year.

There are events nationwide that last all month long to celebrate Women! Here are a few in the area.

In the Fargo/Moorhead community there are also many resources for women. Check out the list below to see if any of them interest you!

  • Junior League of Women – a nonprofit group of women dedicated to bettering the lives of women and children in the F/M area.
  • Dress for Success Red River Valley – a national nonprofit that helps women with employment interview attire, resume-writing, and a few other career services.
  • North Dakota Women’s Network – a coalition of ND women aimed at bettering “the lives of women through communication, legislation and increased public activism.
    • Join them this Friday at Gastropub at 5:30 for the March Feminist First Friday.
    • On March 9th from 9:00am – 5:00pm join the movement at the ND state capitol to lobby for policies that will better the lives of families and women.
  • Girl Develop if Fargo – A chance for female software developers to network and attend seminars relating to the field.
  • Fargo-Moorhead Women’s Business Exchange – A networking opportunity for female business leaders and owners.
  • Women’s Impact – a nonprofit group that provides a variety of resources to women to empower them or help them get involved in their community.
  • Women Connect – a monthly meetup organized by the Fargo-Moorhead-West Fargo Chamber of Commerce “aimed at connecting, inspiring and growing a community for women in business.”
    • Attend the monthly meeting on Thursday, March 26th from 3:30-5:00 at the Avalon Events Center West 2525 9th Ave. SW, Fargo.
  • Women’s Business Center – a group that organizes leadership programs and seminars to help women advance in their careers and develop as leaders in business.
    • Attend the Fargo Leading Ladies Luncheon on March 22nd from 11:00-1:00 at the Fargo Holiday Inn.

Empowering women is a goal in the F/M area and these resources/events are a great way to do it! Get informed, get involved, and get EMPOWERED!!

 

Sources: http://www.nwhp.org/womens-history-month/womens-history-month-history/http://trainingnd.com/event/2017-leading-ladies-luncheon-fargo https://www.fargomonthly.com/community/local-resources-women/

Image Source: http://www.nwhp.org/womens-history-month/womens-history-month-history/