TravelByte #40: CDC Malaria Surveillance Update
Editor's Note: This month Julie Richards shares a synopsis and commentary on some of the key data from the recent CDC malaria surveillance report (March 2021). Annually, CDC publishes a report in the MMWR that shares recent and comprehensive malaria data available for U.S. travelers. The report is an excellent review and update on malaria prevention, diagnosis and treatment in the U.S. and should be required reading for any travel health nurse who counsels patients about malaria pre- or post- travel. ...
Support U.S. Certification for Travel Health Nurses
With the 2020 official recognition of travel health nursing by the ANA and now the publication of the foundational text for our specialty, Travel Health Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice, 1st edition, the ATHNA Board of Directors is ready to achieve its next goal for our profession: the achievement of U.S. certification.
As many of you know, there is currently no professional nursing certification for travel health nursing in the United States. Unlike other specialties- occupational health nursing, oncology nursing, ambulatory nursing and the like- travel health nurses have not established an equivalent national certification. Lacking a U.S. specialty credential, some nurses have undertaken international or interdisciplinary certificates and courses to demonstrate professional achievement. However, none of these are specific to professional nursing, nor do they confirm knowledge of U.S. standards of care. Acceptance of these alternatives by employers and academic institutions is mixed at best.
Now that our specialty has obtained formal recognition in this country, we can proceed to establish a U.S. certification that adheres to the eligibility and renewal criteria consistent with the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). We can achieve equal standing with other U.S. nursing specialties.
ATHNA envisions a certification process that will feature a professional portfolio rather than an examination and we have already initiated contact with organizations that can help us achieve this goal in 2022.
But we need your financial support! As you know, during this pandemic crisis, ATHNA has waived all membership dues. We know how Covid-19 has affected so many of you. However, the process for creating a legally recognized professional certification has a cost.
Please consider making a donation today to ATHNA's Certification Fund. As a 501(c) (3) organization, your donation is tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. No amount is too little. And every donation will help us towards this important, final professional goal.
ATHNA is tax-exempt under Section 501(c) (3) of the US Internal Revenue Service and is registered with the NY State Charities Bureau.
During This Flu Season, Don't Get Mixed-Up
In the current issue of Immunization Action Coalition's IAC Express # 1, 594 we are alerted to a recognized vaccine safety issue now that vaccines for both influenza and Covid-19 are available for co-administration. CDC is receiving reports that clinicians are making various administration errors such as patients receiving a 2021-2022 flu vaccination instead of a Covid vaccine or patients receiving two doses of Covid vaccine instead of one dose of flu and another of Covid, etc.
In a busy clinic, errors like these can occur, so the Institute for Safe Medication Practices has issued a report that recommends implementing these safety strategies to avoid errors:
- Provide staffing support
- Separate vaccination areas
- Label the syringes
- Separate the vaccines
- Identify the patient and requested vaccine
- Involve the patient/parent in the checking process
- Document lot number/expiration date
- Scan the barcode
- Provide the intended vaccine
- Report vaccine errors
Travel health nurses (THNs) are encouraged to read the full report Mix-Ups Between the Influenza (Flu) Vaccine and COVID-19 Vaccines in the October 7 issue of Medication Safety Alert.
And ATHNA recommends that every THN subscribe to IAC Express for free, weekly immunization updates:
Book Review: Do You Provide Health Services to College Students?
Not sure how to prepare study abroad students? Wondering about resources for students with anxiety or eating disorders? Looking for new ways to fund student health services?
Whether you practice within a college health service or care for college students in another setting, the newly published Principles and Practice of College Health is a worthwhile guide for delivering comprehensive quality health services to this population. Just released by Springer, this important text is edited by John A. Vaughn, M.D., Director of Student Health at Duke University since 2013 and Anthony J. Viera, M.D., Chair of the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health at Duke.
A Seismic Shift in US Travel Health Nursing: The Achievement of Specialty Recognition and its Implications
Richards JA, Rosselot GA
J Travel Med, Volume 28, Issue 1, 2021, taaa202
Past Presidents Julie Richards and Gail Rosselot recently published an article in the Journal of Travel Medicine about the implications of ANA specialty recognition for Travel Health Nursing here in the US. The Perspectives piece is timed to coincide with the soon to be published Travel Health Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice. According to Julie, "We believe specialty recognition will go a long way to recognize travel health nursing professionalism and promote quality care for travelers and the communities they impact. We hope travel health professionals in all 50 states can benefit." The article details the process for specialty recognition and its benefits, including the opportunity now to establish a U.S. certification for travel health nurses comparable to other U.S. nursing certifications.
ATHNA will feature an article on this website introducing the new Scope & Standards when they become available early in 2021.
Lessons from the Church
By now we all know that conquering this pandemic will "take a village" and in Westchester County, NY organizations are encouraging good Covid-19 practices with a variety of different messages. One local church shared their message about continued mask use this way...
Reflecting Art in Nursing Practice