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Nursing license delays frustrate future healthcare workers

NPR covers the impact nurse licensing delays are having on the workforce. Meanwhile, Connecticut Public reports how difficult it is to attract new doctors to the area. Other health worker news includes black therapists on TikTok, students in abortion training, and more.

NPR: Frustrated nurses wait months to get their license

More than half of the 12,000 nurses who got licenses to work in Pennsylvania in 2021 waited three months or more to get them, according to an analysis of NPR data. It’s one of the longest waits in the 32 states where data is available, NPR’s Austin Fast found in a survey that found license applications from newly graduated or moving nurses are often tangled in bureaucracy for months, waiting for state approval to treat patients. The delays came in a year when as many as 1 in 4 Pennsylvania nursing positions went unfilled, according to a survey by the Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania. Nurses and health care groups say the inability to certify nurses quickly has added to critical staff shortages during some of the worst months of the coronavirus pandemic. (Sholtis, 03/23)

Connecticut Public: Health Care Providers: Attracting New Physicians to CT is Almost Impossible

In 2011, Dr. Timothy Siegrist had just completed his urology residency in New York. He and his wife wanted to move back to Connecticut, where they were both from. Siegrist interviewed at five urology practices across the state before settling on one in Middletown, where he has been ever since. A decade later, four of those five practices, including his own, are now owned by larger healthcare companies. “The main reason they couldn’t stay independent was the inability to recruit new candidates for their practice,” he said. “In my experience, unless a candidate has family ties that require them to return or stay in that state, it’s nearly impossible to attract new physicians to Connecticut.” (Leonardo, 03/22)

Stat: Before his death, he warned of the consequences of the pandemic on nurses

At the start of 2020, Michael Odell felt that Covid-19 would hit hard. A young intensive care nurse who visited hospitals needing an extra helping hand, he told his family that the demand for people like him was growing. On April 2, just weeks into what had become an atmosphere of fear and mass death, he worried about the toll of healthcare workers. He had replaced the excluded families from the bedside, watching repeated scenes of patient after patient deteriorating. “I am already feeling the emotional drain of caring for patients who, although some are the sickest they have ever been, cannot have their loved ones with them,” Odell wrote on Facebook that day. “What do you say to someone who is facing death and cannot be accompanied by their loved ones? » … [I]In January this year, amid another wave of Covid-19, Odell walked off his shift early one morning while working at Stanford Health Care. He died in an apparent suicide. He was 27 years old. (Joseph, 3/23)

And more on the health workforce —

KHN: Black therapists are fighting to be seen on TikTok. When they are, they find solidarity.

From a well-lit room, the plants blurred in the background, his face framed by closed captions, Shahem Mclaurin speaks directly to the camera. The lesson: “Ten ways to begin to heal.” But it’s not a classroom or a therapist’s office. It’s TikTok. “We all have our own things to bear, and those burdens shouldn’t be carried with us for the rest of our lives,” says Mclaurin, a licensed social worker. (Norman, 03/23)

KHN: Training options are limited for medical students who wish to learn abortion procedures

A deluge of abortion restrictions spreading across the country, from Florida to Texas to Idaho, is shrinking already limited training options for American medical students and residents who want to learn to practice abortion procedures. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends standardized training in abortion care during medical residency, the training period after medical school that provides future doctors with work experience in a particular specialty. But the number of residency programs located in states where hospital workers are prohibited from practicing or teaching about abortion — or in Catholic-owned hospitals with similar bans — has skyrocketed in recent years. years, a neglected byproduct of anti-abortion legislation taking root in the United States. Southern, Midwestern and Mountain states. (Varney, 3/23)

AP: Death by accidental injection of a bad drug: an 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 on Tuesday the woman was charged with systemic issues at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. RaDonda Vaught, 37, faces a charge of reckless homicide for administering the drug vecuronium to Charlene Murphey, 75, 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 gallows, police say. Now he is charged with murder.

An oral surgeon accused of providing his girlfriend with addictive anesthesia solutions using an IV stand was charged with ‘depraved heart’ murder on Tuesday, stemming from his fatal overdose at their Maryland home, according to Montgomery County Court records. James Michael Ryan, 48, was sentenced to prison without bail on Tuesday following the death of Sarah Harris, 25. She was a former patient of Ryan’s who had been living at his Clarksburg home for seven months, according to police. (Morse, 3/22)

New Hampshire Public Radio: Several women accuse Eric Spofford of sexual misconduct

Elizabeth left the Green Mountain treatment center in 2017 on what she described as a spiritual high. She was newly sober and excited to begin the next chapter of her recovery from opioid addiction. These feelings were fleeting. Just a day after leaving treatment, she said she received explicit and unsolicited Snapchat messages, including a photo of a penis and invitations to meet for sex. The contents of these messages troubled her, but it was the sender who 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 important and influential figures in New Hampshire’s response to the opioid epidemic. (Chooljian, 3/22)

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage by major news outlets. Sign up for an email subscription.

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