2023 Nursing Strikes and Their Outcomes
Nurses are a crucial part of the healthcare industry, playing a vital role in patient care and well-being. However, in recent years, the United States has witnessed an increase in nurse strikes, which serve as a means for nurses to demand better working conditions and advocate for their rights.
First, we will go over what a strike means and then the nursing strikes we’ve had in 2023.
Understanding Nurse Strikes
A nurse strike is a labor action where nurses refuse to work as a form of protest against their employer. It is a response to various issues such as poor working conditions, inadequate staffing, low wages, and lack of benefits. Nurse strikes aim to bring attention to these concerns and prompt employers to address them by disrupting the provision of healthcare services.
Consequences and Risks of Nurse Strikes
Nurse strikes can have both immediate and long-term consequences for nurses and patients alike. Patients may experience:
- Delays in receiving care
- Potential lack of attention during the strike
Nurses who participate in strikes face:
- Financial loss
- Potential damage to their professional standing
- Disruptions to their personal and family lives
However, nurses typically view strikes as a last resort after exhausting other communication and negotiation channels.
Reasons for Nurse Strikes
Nurses engage in strikes due to several underlying issues, including:
- Poor working conditions
- Low wages
- Inadequate staffing
- Lack of benefits
Increasing demands placed on nurses include:
- Additional roles
- Extra shifts
- Heavier patient loads, contribute to stress, burnout, and compromised patient care.
Impact of Nurse Strikes on Patients
Nurse strikes have a significant impact on patients, affecting their access to quality healthcare. This can result in:
- Increased risks of medical errors, infections, and complications
- Challenges for patients requiring specialized treatment or 24-hour care
- Exacerbation of existing staffing issues, compromising patient safety
Expectations During Nurse Strikes
When nurse strikes are anticipated, several key actions and measures are typically implemented, including:
- Striking nurses providing advance notice
- Employment of temporary replacements, such as travel nurses, to fill staffing gaps
- Transfer of patients to adjacent healthcare institutions
- Hiring temporary employees to assist during the strike
However, the presence of unfamiliar staff and protocols can result in potential inconsistencies in patient care and lower-quality service.
The Future of Nurse Strikes
Given the ongoing challenges faced by nurses, including staffing shortages and inadequate working conditions, nurse strikes are expected to continue in the coming years. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated these issues, with a significant reduction in the nursing workforce. Nurses will likely persist in their demands for:
- Better wages
- Improved working conditions
- Adequate staffing ratios to ensure safe and effective patient care.
Nurse Strikes in 2023
The following are notable nurse strikes that occurred in the year 2023:
January 2023: Seven Hospitals in New York City
Who: 12,000 nurses at seven hospitals in New York City, including:
- Health System of BronxCare
- Hospital Medical Center of Flushing
- Medical Center of Maimonides
- Mount Sinai Bronx
- Mt. Sinai Medical Center
- Mount Sinai West and Morningside
- University Medical Center of Richmond
Reason: The strike was in response to:
- Inadequate staff members
- Frequent staff turnover
Outcome: After a three-day strike, the parties reached an agreement on a three-year contract. The contract included the following provisions:
- Introduction of enhanced staffing standards and enforcement
- Improvement in healthcare benefits
- Salary increases of 7%, 6%, and 5% over the three-year contract period
January 9-11, 2023: Montefiore Medical Center and Mount Sinai Hospital, New York
Who: 7,000 nurses at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx and Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan, New York
Reason: The strike was in response to:
- Numerous staffing shortages
- Fatigued nurses from pandemic-related overwork
- Inadequate training process for new nurses
- Nurses managing dangerously high caseloads
Outcome: After coming to tentative deals with management on better staffing and pay, the strike was ended by thousands of New York City nurses. The tentative agreements at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx and Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan involve raises totaling 19% over three years.
January 2023: MyMichigan Alma and McLaren Central in Michigan
Who: 150 nurses work at MyMichigan Alma and 100 at McLaren Central in Michigan
Reason: Nurses at MyMichigan Alma and McLaren Central had been working under expired contracts since November 2022.
They claimed that hospitals engaged in unfair labor practices, such as bad faith negotiating.
Outcome: A strike was averted as agreements were reached before a settlement.
- Agreements were reached, preventing the need for a work stoppage.
- A new three-year contract was approved by the nurses at McLaren Central Hospital in Mount Pleasant, and nurses at MyMichigan Alma endorsed their tentative deal.
- Both contracts were immediately implemented upon ratification.
February 27, 2023: South Shore University Hospital Northwell Health (SSUH) in Bay Shore, New York
Who: 800 employees at South Shore University Hospital Northwell Health (SSUH) in Bay Shore, New York
Reason: The strike was in response to:
- Better salaries
- Safe staffing ratios
Outcome: A strike was averted as a tentative deal was struck. The tentative agreement includes provisions for:
- Wage increase
- Improved compensation to retain nurses
- Enforcement of safe staffing standards
- Enhancements to retiree health benefits
March 20, 2023: Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital in Valencia, California
Who: 700 employees at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital
Reason: The strike was in response to:
- Unfair contract
- Retaliation threats against workers’ rights to engage in concerted union activity
- Interference with union bargaining committee member’s participation in contract negotiations
- Failure to provide timely information requested for negotiations
- Refusal to address low wages in negotiations
Outcome: This one-day strike marked the first strike in the union’s 19-year history. The purpose of the strike was to pressure the hospital’s management to cease illegal bargaining strategies and engage in sincere talks to address high employee turnover. Discussions for a new collective bargaining agreement are underway between employees and Henry Mayo.
March 28, 2023: MarinHealth Medical Center in Greenbrae, California
Who: Nearly 600 nurses at MarinHealth Medical Center
Reason: The strike was in response to:
- Alleged hospital administration’s refusal to address nurses’ concerns regarding patient care, safe staffing, nurse retention, and recruitment
Outcome: A strike was averted as registered nurses tentatively agreed to a three-year contract on March 21, 2023. The contract includes provisions for:
- Health and safety measures
- Provision of personal protective equipment (PPE)
- Establishment of an Infectious Disease Subcommittee
- Implementation of safe staffing provisions
- Health benefits improvements
- Measures to enhance nurse retention and recruitment
- A 16.5% wage increase over three years
May 2-4, 2023: St. Rose Hospital in Hayward, California, and John Muir Behavioral Health Center in Concord, California
Who: 200 registered nurses at St. Rose Hospital in Hayward, California, and 78 registered nurses at John Muir Behavioral Health Center in Concord, California
Reason: The strike was in response to:
- Hazardous staffing levels
- Poor working conditions
- Inadequate pay
- Management’s refusal to respond to nurses’ requests for fair contracts
Outcome: At the last minute, a two-day nurses’ strike at St. Rose Hospital in Hayward was called off due to progress in contract negotiations. The contract negotiated by the John Muir nurses and the union after 30 bargaining sessions may be put to a vote if the union leaders agree or permit a vote.
May: PIH Health Good Samaritan Hospital (PIH GSH) in Los Angeles, California
Who: Registered nurses at PIH Health-Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles, California
Reason: The registered nurses at PIH Health-Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles, California had concerns regarding patient safety due to management actions, including:
- Inadequate supervision of safe meals and rest breaks by RNs
- Poor patient outcomes
Outcome: Strike averted
- A one-day strike scheduled to start on May 11 was avoided.
- Registered nurses reached a tentative deal on May 6, 2023.
- The agreement will be in effect until November 2025.
May 22, 2023: HCA Healthcare
Who: 3,000 healthcare workers at HCA Healthcare
Reason: The healthcare workers at HCA Healthcare had concerns regarding:
- Staff shortage
- Nurse retention
- Poor working conditions
Outcome: Strike averted
- Five HCA hospitals in California were at risk of being impacted by the strike.
- Negotiations between the parties resulted in the cancellation of the strike.
- A tentative agreement was reached on the new contract.
- The agreement includes significant investments in the workforce and salary increases to retain experienced healthcare workers.
- Over a period of three years, a raise of 15% will be implemented.
- The agreement also ensures the protection of healthcare and education benefits for workers.
June 12, 2023: St. Charles Health System’s Bend in Central Oregon
Who: Nearly 1,000 nurses represented by the Oregon Nurses Association at St. Charles Health System’s Bend in Central Oregon
Reason: The nurses at St. Charles Health System’s Bend had concerns regarding:
- Inadequate staffing to meet patient demand
- Better pay
- Nurse retention issues
Outcome: Strike averted
- After over 40 hours of negotiations, the Oregon Nurses Association and St. Charles Bend reached a tentative contract early on Thursday.
- The tentative agreement addresses several key issues, including:
- Guaranteed meal breaks
- Increased compensation
- Security of employment in the event of a change in hospital ownership
- The agreement is subject to the approval of the nearly 1,000 nurses represented by the nurses’ union, who must vote on the tentative agreement.
June 12, 2023: NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital
Who: About 1,250 nurses at NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital
Reason: The nurses at NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital had concerns regarding:
- Staffing cuts leading to unsafe patient care
Outcome: Strike averted
- Nurses were initially scheduled to go on an indefinite strike on June 12.
- However, a new contract has been approved by members of the New York State Nurses Association, allowing them to avoid the strike.
- The agreement includes the following provisions:
- Full retroactive pay for the nurses
- Three years’ worth of pay increases totaling 18%.
- These terms ensure that nurses will receive fair compensation for their work.
June 19, 2023, Providence Portland Medical Center, Providence Seaside Hospital, and Providence Home Health and Hospice
Who: Roughly 1,800 nurses at Providence Portland Medical Center, Providence Seaside Hospital, and Providence Home Health and Hospice
Reason: The nurses at these facilities have raised concerns about:
- Unfair labor practices
- Failing practice standards
- Overuse of temporary nurses
- Unsafe nurse-to-patient ratios
- Failed nurse retention
- In late May and early June, union members voted to approve strikes.
- Contract talks between nurses, clinicians, and management began in the fall of 2022.
- The most recent contract expired in 2022.
Outcome: Current negotiations and bargaining are ongoing.
Looking at the financials for Providence in Oregon
1st quarter numbers of 2023
- Total hospital value of assets: $28,806,511,000
- Net assets (assets – liabilities): $17,224,530,000
- Cash and Cash equivalents on hand: $1,233,382,000
- From 2019-2022 total salaries and benefits went up 15%
- This doesn’t mean RNs got paid 15% more, the total of all employees, CEOs, Managers, administrators, and benefits
- Operating expenses Q1 2023: -$345,000,000 (-$510,000,000 in 2022)
- Keep in mind hospitals lost millions to billions of dollars in 2021 and 2022 but it looks like they are slowly making it back
June 27, 2023: Ascension Seton Medical Center Austin (ASMCA)
Who: 900 registered nurses at Ascension Seton Medical Center Austin (ASMCA)
Reason: The registered nurses at ASMCA have cited concerns related to:
- Unsafe staffing levels
- Alleged mismanagement of resources by hospital administrators
Outcome: Current negotiations and bargaining are ongoing. Historic one-day strike at Ascension Seton Medical Center in Austin (ASMCA), the largest nurse strike in Texas history.
- Nurses were locked out until July 1st as the hospital hired temp nurses to fill the strike.
- Nurses will not be sharing details of negotiations publicly, out of respect for the process and to ensure Ascension will settle strong contracts as soon as possible.
Watch the full episode: https://youtu.be/250grmnCPXM
Becoming a Nurse Practitioner
Are you a registered nurse (RN) with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) looking to take your career to the next level? If so, becoming a nurse practitioner (NP) might be the ideal path for you. In this blog post, we will explore the journey of becoming a nurse practitioner, comparing the different routes available, discussing the financial aspects, and highlighting the increased autonomy that comes with this advanced nursing role.
Exploring Specializations: Different Types of Nurse Practitioners
As a nurse practitioner, you have the opportunity to specialize in various areas of healthcare, tailoring your expertise to specific patient populations and healthcare needs. Here are some common types of nurse practitioners:
- Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP):
- FNPs provide primary care across the lifespan, from newborns to older adults. They diagnose and treat common acute and chronic conditions, offer preventive care, perform routine check-ups, and collaborate with other healthcare professionals to promote overall wellness.
- Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner (AGNP):
- AGNPs specialize in the care of adults, including young adults, middle-aged adults, and older adults. They manage acute and chronic illnesses, conduct health assessments, and focus on health promotion, disease prevention, and management of age-related conditions.
- Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (PNP):
- PNPs focus on delivering primary care to infants, children, and adolescents. They provide well-child exams, immunizations, and developmental screenings, and manage common pediatric illnesses and conditions. PNPs play a crucial role in promoting children’s health and supporting families.
- Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP):
- PMHNPs specialize in mental health and psychiatric care across the lifespan. They assess, diagnose, and manage mental health disorders, prescribe medications, provide therapy, and collaborate with interdisciplinary teams to promote mental well-being.
- Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner (WHNP):
- WHNPs specialize in women’s health, including reproductive health, gynecological care, prenatal care, family planning, and menopausal management. They conduct screenings, offer health education, and provide comprehensive care to women throughout their lifespan.
- Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (ACNP):
- ACNPs are trained to manage acute and critical illnesses in various settings, such as emergency departments, intensive care units, and specialty clinics. They provide complex care, perform procedures, order and interpret diagnostic tests, and collaborate with other healthcare professionals in emergency situations.
- Neonatal Nurse Practitioner (NNP):
- NNPs specialize in the care of newborn infants, particularly those who are premature, critically ill, or have complex medical conditions. They provide comprehensive care, perform procedures, monitor growth and development, and support families in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) and other neonatal settings.
- Geriatric Nurse Practitioner (GNP):
- GNPs focus on the specialized needs of older adults, including managing chronic illnesses, promoting healthy aging, and addressing age-related issues. They work in various settings, including long-term care facilities, assisted living centers, and geriatric clinics.
Different Routes to Becoming a Nurse Practitioner
Aspiring nurse practitioners have multiple paths to choose from based on their prior education and experience. The two main routes are:
- Master of Science in Nursing (MSN): This is the most common and traditional path for becoming an NP. It typically requires two to three years of additional education beyond the BSN degree. MSN programs offer specialized tracks such as Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP), Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner (AGNP), Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (PNP), and more.
- Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP): This is a terminal degree in nursing and provides the highest level of education for NPs. DNP programs typically take three to four years to complete, with an emphasis on advanced clinical skills, leadership, and evidence-based practice.
When considering the financial aspect of becoming a nurse practitioner, it’s important to factor in the cost of tuition and the potential pay increase. The average tuition for an MSN program ranges from $20,000 to $60,000, depending on the institution and location. On the other hand, DNP programs can cost between $30,000 and $100,000. While these figures may seem significant, it’s essential to remember that many nurses qualify for financial aid, scholarships, and loan forgiveness programs.
Pay Increase and Professional Growth
One of the most compelling reasons to pursue a career as a nurse practitioner is the potential for a substantial pay increase compared to an RN with a BSN. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for nurse practitioners was between $115,890 and $135,677 significantly higher than the median wage for registered nurses. Moreover, NPs have greater opportunities for advancement, specialization, and leadership roles within the healthcare system.
Autonomy and Expanded Scope of Practice
Transitioning from an RN to an NP brings an increase in autonomy and a broader scope of practice. NPs are trained to assess, diagnose, and treat patients, order and interpret diagnostic tests, prescribe medications, and provide comprehensive care. While they work collaboratively with physicians, NPs often have more independence in managing patient care, particularly in primary care settings and underserved areas where access to physicians may be limited.
Duration of Schooling
The length of time required to become a nurse practitioner depends on the educational path chosen. MSN programs generally range from two to three years, while DNP programs typically require three to four years. It’s important to consider personal circumstances, such as work commitments and family obligations, when deciding which path is most feasible.
Becoming a nurse practitioner is an excellent way to advance your nursing career, enhance your earning potential, and gain more autonomy in patient care. Whether you choose the MSN or DNP route, embarking on this journey will provide you with the necessary skills and knowledge to make a lasting impact on the lives of your patients. By exploring the various types of nurse practitioners, you can find a specialized area that aligns with your passion and contributes to the health and well-being of individuals and communities. So, if you’re ready to embrace the challenges of an advanced nursing role and make a significant difference in the world of healthcare, becoming a nurse practitioner may be the right path for you.
Remember, your journey as a nurse practitioner is not just a step forward; it’s a leap toward making a significant difference in the lives of individuals and communities.
Watch the full episode: https://youtu.be/Ad4ffRlvIac
Is Nursing a Good Career Choice?
The short answer is yes for new nurses joining the field and current nurses. Nursing is still worth it and is a great career choice. It’s easy for us to look back and think, has nursing been the right choice? I’ll offer you some insight, everyone has those thoughts at some point in their career. Everyone eventually asks themselves the same question because the expectations don’t always meet the realities. What you thought you signed up for is there but with a lot of extras and long hard hours. No matter what field you enter you’re going to have to work hard to make something of it, there isn’t a perfect professional where you do everything you like. Nursing adds a very unique perspective to almost everything in life from relationships to finance. Below are some of the reasons I entered nursing and the benefits it brought me.
Financial Benefits of Nursing
Nursing can bring you anywhere from $65,000 to $110,000 depending on state and experience. To be honest, that doesn’t seem like a lot but at the same time, it does. When you compare it to the median middle-class household income in the US is about $70,000, it is a very good career choice. The higher pay lies in staff nursing as it is in the highest demand and most abundant position. The most money in nursing is travel nursing but that requires moving around from place to place which is a little more stressful and harder.
From a financial standpoint of you get your BSN or currently have it, you are in a good place in life. You are automatically positioned in the middle class right out of school and you have a really good cushion if you don’t make a series of bad choices. The financial beauty of nursing is you have a middle-class cushion, which means even if you don’t pursue anything else you will be well off but also if you do try something different and it doesn’t work out you can still fall back on nursing.
Overtime and shift differentials
What’s really nice about nursing is that you get paid based on shifts and also hourly. Some jobs do have salaries but it doesn’t always equate to the time you put in. For nursing, the time you put in is the time you get paid for, you can view it as a pro or con but I see it as the best for nurses to get paid.
That being said, you can maximize your pay if you are ok with working the night or evening shift. It is a little rough but if you get used to it, you can make a couple hundred dollars more a week. Weekends are also paid more which is nice because you have to work every other.
Overtime is always an option in nursing because in most places it it offered every day of the week This is nice because you can pick up whenever you want. If you want to make some more money you can pick up an extra day every month. In your typical job this would be hard because most have a 40hr week where it’s 9-5, but nurses have the luxury of 3×12 which makes for a long shift but also a longer week. You have about 4 days off, if you are complaining about money there is no reason you cannot pick up 1 or 2 days a month.
One thing to watch out for is tax. You need to pay attention to how your income gets taxed because it might not be financially worth it to jump to the next tax bracket. Income tax levels can change every year so always keep an eye because it looks nice making more money but if a good chunk of that will be going to the taxman you’re better off spending time doing something else. As a nurse, you’re most likely going to get taxed at the 22% level and it would take you quite a bit of work to get to the 24% level and even more to get higher.
Nursing is a healthcare field people will be getting sick forever. One financial benefit of this is that no matter where the economy goes no matter how many banks fail you will always have a job. No matter what happens you can always make an income. People will always be going to the hospital, people will always die, and people will always be born. In emergent times like we’ve seen over the last couple of years your job is in even higher demand. The unfortunate but positive thing is that nurses make more during emergencies.
There are a handful of administrator roles in nursing, nursing educator, assistant manager, and Clinical nurse specialist are just a few. They do require a graduate degree which has 2+ years of added school but it is worth it if you are trying to move up into a nurse leadership position.
Nurse practitioners and Nurse anesthetists are also very popular fields to enter. They are the most-paid positions when it comes to being more hands-on in the clinical setting. With these careers, you are in over the $100,000 range when it comes to income.
Going to school for an extra 2 to 3 years is worth it because it can bring you anywhere from $20,000 to$100,000 more a year. I understand this isn’t for everyone and it is completely fine if you just want to get your BSN. Regardless of what you choose, just having the BSN sets you up for success.
Watch the full episode
Men in Nursing
In recent years, the nursing profession has witnessed a notable shift in gender dynamics, with more men choosing to pursue careers in nursing. This increasing diversity brings new perspectives, challenges, and opportunities to the field. In this blog post, we will delve into the experiences of male nurses, shedding light on their unique journey, the benefits they bring to healthcare, and the obstacles they may encounter along the way.
The Rise of Male Nurses
Breaking free from long-standing stereotypes, more men are opting for nursing careers than ever before. Despite the historical perception of nursing as a female-dominated profession, men are drawn to the field for various reasons. These reasons include job stability, flexibility, the opportunity to make a difference in patient care, and the chance to challenge traditional gender roles.
The Impact of Gender Diversity in Nursing
The presence of male nurses contributes to a more balanced and diverse healthcare workforce, benefiting patients, colleagues, and the profession as a whole. Gender diversity in nursing brings unique perspectives, experiences, and skills, enriching the delivery of care. Male nurses often offer different approaches to patient interactions, collaboration, and problem-solving, fostering a more comprehensive and well-rounded healthcare environment.
Challenges Faced by Male Nurses
While progress has been made, male nurses may encounter various challenges throughout their careers. These challenges can stem from societal biases, misconceptions, and ingrained gender roles. Patient perceptions, acceptance from colleagues, and career advancement opportunities can be influenced by preconceived notions of what a nurse should look like or be. Overcoming these obstacles requires resilience, self-advocacy, and continuous efforts to promote inclusivity and gender equality.
Navigating Stereotypes and Patient Perceptions
Male nurses may face initial skepticism or surprise from patients who are accustomed to seeing female nurses. It is essential to actively dispel stereotypes and build trust by providing compassionate, skilled, and patient-centered care. By demonstrating expertise, empathy, and professionalism, male nurses can overcome initial biases and establish strong connections with their patients.
Emotional Balance and Leadership in Nursing
In the nursing profession, the ability to strike a balance between emotions and objectivity is essential for providing optimal patient care. While both men and women possess emotional intelligence, some argue that men’s perceived inclination toward being less emotional can offer unique advantages in certain nursing scenarios and leadership roles.
Emotional Resilience in Challenging Situations
Nursing can be emotionally demanding, with healthcare professionals often encountering distressing situations. Male nurses, who may be perceived as less emotional, can sometimes bring a sense of emotional stability to these high-pressure environments. Their ability to remain calm and composed during critical moments can help create a reassuring presence for patients, families, and colleagues.
Being less emotional does not mean lacking empathy or compassion. Instead, it can allow male nurses to approach decision-making with a heightened sense of objectivity. This ability to detach emotionally, when necessary, can facilitate clearer thinking and more balanced judgment in complex healthcare situations. It enables them to assess situations from multiple angles and make well-informed decisions that prioritize patient safety and well-being.
Leadership and Conflict Resolution
Leadership roles within nursing require individuals to navigate interpersonal dynamics, resolve conflicts, and make difficult decisions. Men, who may face societal expectations of being assertive and confident, can leverage these attributes to take on leadership responsibilities effectively. Their ability to remain level-headed in challenging situations and communicate with clarity can contribute to cohesive teamwork, effective problem-solving, and positive outcomes for both patients and healthcare teams.
The growing number of men in nursing is transforming the profession, offering fresh perspectives, challenges, and opportunities. While male nurses may encounter biases and stereotypes, they possess the resilience to navigate these hurdles. Their ability to provide emotional stability in demanding situations and make objective decisions contributes to excellent patient care. Furthermore, their leadership qualities foster effective teamwork and positive outcomes. Embracing the contributions of male nurses enhances diversity and fosters an inclusive healthcare environment for all.
Watch the full episode
How AI will affect nursing and Healthcare
Have you wondered how far can AI go? Or how useful can AI bots like ChatGPT be? Chatgbt has been on the rise, it surpassed 1 million users within 5 days of launch setting the record for quickest user growth. It surpassed online services like Instagram, Netflix, Facebook, Spotify, and Twitter it blew them out of the water as Instagram took second place with 2.5 months.
Currently, ChatGPT has over 100 million users and about 1 billion visits a day with 15% of its users being Americans. This isn’t just a national occurrence, but a global phenomenon. It’s only a matter of time before ChatGPT and other AI systems will start to have a big impact on healthcare.
If you haven’t tried out ChatGPT I highly recommend you try it. ChatGPT is a Google search engine on steroids where you can ask the AI any question. You can have it write you a Haiku, proofread your paper, have a conversation, or even just look something up.
ChatGPT and Healthcare
What impact can this have on healthcare? Have you ever used doctor google? Chatbots have been shown they can generally answer medical questions and can generally pass medical exams most of the time. But people feel put of by putting their trust in software. One of the world’s most popular doctors with a random success rate. The redness on your skin can be either an irritation or straight-up cancer, doctor google is easy and convenient but most of the time it just doesn’t give you what you’re looking for when it comes to getting a quick idea of what your medical issue is.
- Every minute 70,000 inquiries get answered by dr google
- 89% of people google their symptoms before asking their doctor
- Google gets about 1 billion health questions a day
- 40% of people use Google instead of a doctor
Often when you go see your doctor or go to the ED you get asked to explain what exactly happened and how you feel. What the medical professionals are trying to do is to get as much information as possible to make as best prediction about what is going on. The more you put in the search bar the better the results are going to be.
Why ChatGPT is going to surpass Google
We live in a high pace society we thrive on speed. Whatever gets us what we want the quickest wins 99% of the time, we don’t like to wait. Let’s take a look at the history of the search.
- Before the telephone, if you wanted to find something out you’d have to look through an encyclopedia or newspaper, or have to know someone.
- Once telephones became more common you were able to call specialists or people that may be able to answer your question from home.
- We went from having to go to places to being able to ask from home.
- Then came cellphones and internet search, meaning you can call anyone whenever and physically search the web for answers.
- Now we have cellular internet and search engines meaning you can look up anything, anytime, and anywhere.
ChatGPT takes search to a whole new level. Instead of having to look through multiple Google recommendations to find what you are looking for, you are presented with the answer in the same window. If you want more information all you have to do is ask more expanding questions. It uses fewer clicks as it searches for you and gives you the best answer. It is the fastest way to get an answer to your question.
Impact on nursing students
ChatGPT can be used as a resource for nursing students. It can answer questions, multiple choice, and regular responses. Multiple choice works better as there are options to choose from whereas asking general questions gives you multiple options and their rationale. Take it with a grain of salt because it does answer some basic questions wrong. It would be a better idea to use it more for rationale and explanations.
ChatGPT’s Impact on Healthcare
Why do most people not like going to the doctor? The 2 main reasons are fear and embarrassment. People just do not like talking about their personal medical/health life.
- The fear associated with the doctor’s office, hospitals, or medical procedures is one of the reasons people don’t go to the doctor. They may be reluctant to seek medical care or even routine procedures. They also fear that they might get hit with “bad news”.
- Embarrassment is another reason people do not like to visit their doctor. People do not like to get asked direct questions about their bowel habits, sexual activity, or lifestyles. Some feel embarrassed about the physical and other exams. Some people have a history of trauma and it is hard for them to feel vulnerable.
Fear and embarrassment are hard things to conquer. That is exactly why people would rather google what they are going through instead of seeking help from a doctor.
There was a john hopkins study that compared the chatGPT medical responses to that of doctors. The results were very interesting. The questions that were asked were “Will the toothpick I swallowed kill me? How big a deal is the lump I got on my head after running into a metal bar?”
- 80% of the participants preferred the ChatGPS response over the doctors. The responses were accurate and of higher quality.
- They viewed ChatGPT as more empathetic and had a longer explanation.
AI and diagnostics
AI algorithms are currently being used to help lead diagnosis and treatment. AI algorithms can analyze medical images like xrays, ultrasounds, CT scans, and MRIs and help identify and diagnose diseases more accurately and quickly.
You have an algorithm and software that can almost instantaneously compare what is going on in an image to all the different possibilities. Instead of having to rely on multiple physicians, using AI speeds up the process. You have all the ideas to cross reference to what is seen in the image compared to a handful of brains in the room. Something to consider is the accuracy of these AI systems. Remember people have off days, they miss certain thinkings, fatigue is a factor, and all other flaws that make us human. These are computing machines. They are more consistent than humans.
There is a downfall of it “looking outside the box” but for standard diagnoses that are easier to spot AI can be very helpful. Even when it comes to more rare types of issues the Power of AI can help with the results
Watch the full episode: https://youtu.be/Cl5IAd65NAI
Benefits of Sauna and Cold Showers
There has been a phenomenal amount of research that came out over the last few years on the benefits of saunas and cold showers. Most of the benefits come from the physiological changes and adaptations that occur but there are more than physiological positives. There are many hidden mental benefits that most people don’t take into consideration. Besides physically feeling better there are many psychological benefits to the sauna and cold showers.
Hidden Benefits of the Sauna
Most people know about the basic benefits of the sauna such as the ones that come from sweating. Sweating opens up your pours and rids the body of certain toxins. Did you know that beyond sweating the sauna extends your workout, increases stress tolerance, and makes you more open-minded?
Extends your workout
- Sauna keeps your workout going by continuing that vasodilation. Our body dilates with heat and constricts with cold, by going to the sauna you’re prolonging the increase of blood going into your muscles and tissues.
- If you had a cardio day, the sauna maintains a higher heart rate and you can get a little bit more squeeze out of your workout. If you’re someone that’s 5ft 8in 165lbs you can lose around 100 calories just by sitting in the sauna for 20/30 min more if you hop in right after a workout. Doesnt sound like a lot but it’s more than you’ll lose if you just go home.
Increases stress tolerance
- This is the ability to take on pressure without feeling negative or letting it consume you.
- The sauna builds stress tolerance because you are putting yourself in an uncomfortable place. It’s hot, you’re sweating, and you want to get out of there. By forcing yourself to be there all while your brain and mind are telling you that you can just simply step out and be more comfortable.
- You forcing yourself to stay in the uncomfortable translates to life outside of the sauna. It makes doing the uncomfortable things a little easier because you are subconsciously showing that you can get through tough challenges by focusing on what you want to do and not so much on your body.
Makes you more open-minded
- I’ve had some of the best conversations in the sauna. There’s something about suffering and suffering in a group makes people more open. I noticed that some of the most intellectual or groundbreaking conversations I’ve had were in the sauna. Everyone is miserable and that allows some people to put their guard down.
- By having a conversation with people of all races, backgrounds, and ages it gives you a broader perspective of the world. People have been through different circumstances and offer a lot of knowledge on how they got out or how they felt. Some people have been in the exact same situation as you but in turn, did all the right things and some did the exact opposite.
I’ve been doing cold showers on and off for the last 5 years. I used to do ice baths regularly when I lived in San Diego and had access to them, but overall I have been doing cold showers for a long time and can speak to its effects.
The research behind cold showers
Do cold showers really do anything? At the surface taking a cold shower might seem like it would have some benefits because you are going from warm temperatures to cold temperatures but remember that the average shower doesn’t take a long time. So the question is do cold showers have any benefit when taken for the average time and at what temperature?
We know the colder the better and the longer the better.
Most research studies use temperatures between 20-25 degrees Celsius which is about 65-75 degrees Fahrenheit. Illinois shower water. Overall studies show that ice baths are superior to a cold showers but that doesn’t mean cold showers don’t have any benefits.
Basic Physiologic Affects
When the body comes into contact with cold water, the initial cold sensation stimulates the skin’s surface vessels, causing them to narrow and redirect blood flow to preserve heat.
- The brain and vital organs receive a fresh supply of oxygen and nutrients from the blood.
- Unlike warm receptors, cold receptors are abundant on the skin surface, ranging from 3 to 30 times more numerous. This abundance explains why the body feels invigorated by the sudden contact with cold water, as it promotes vasoconstriction and applies pressure to these receptors, resulting in heightened brain activity.
Cold exposure offers numerous benefits for human health, encompassing both physical and psychological aspects. Regarding physical well-being, cold exposure can potentially aid in body
- Cold temperatures stimulate increased energy expenditure and metabolism. Additionally, exposure to cold prompts the activation of brown adipose tissue (brown fat), which utilizes stored body fat as fuel. Consequently, cold exposure holds promise as a means to facilitate body fat loss.
- Nonetheless, further research is necessary to establish conclusive evidence. Realistically you won’t lose fat from cold showers this was seen to be more effective with ice baths and really cold temperatures. A shower won’t stress your body enough for you to start using your fat as fuel.
Improved cardiovascular health.
- Initially, cold exposure raises heart rate and blood pressure, leading to enhanced circulation. Blood is redirected from the skin towards vital organs, necessitating increased effort from the heart to pump blood effectively to these organs.
- Regular brief cold exposure over time can enhance heart efficiency and improve blood flow. Enhanced circulation yields various health benefits, including a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, improved cognitive function, and enhanced metabolism.
- Contrary to common misconceptions (e.g., the belief that exposure to cold weather causes illness). Brief cold exposure actually increases the number of white blood cells and natural killer cells in the body, effectively bolstering the immune system.
- However, it is crucial to note that brief cold exposure is beneficial, whereas prolonged cold showers or extended periods in cold weather may not yield the same effects and could even be detrimental.
Alleviate pain and reduce inflammation:
- The reduced blood flow during cold exposure helps minimize swelling and other inflammation-related factors.
- Additionally, the release of endorphins during cold exposure activates opiate receptors in the brain, diminishing sensations of pain. This aligns with the common practice of using ice packs or cold therapies to alleviate inflammation, injuries, or pain in specific body areas. Similarly, cold showers can reduce systemic inflammation, soreness, and overall pain, making them an efficient and potent pain-relieving strategy.
Cold shower as an analgesic
One interesting theory about cold showers and cold therapy, in general, is its potential to act as an analgesic. There is a basis for how cold showers and cold therapy can improve mental function. There are 2 interesting theories, cold showers and therapy as a battle against depression and psychosis.
- Cold showers and psychosis
- With respect to cold stress, an adapted cold shower could work as a mild form of electroshock applied bilaterally to the sensory cortex, and cold showers appear to have an anti-depressive rather than a sedative effect. Since electroshock therapy is known to have beneficial effects on psychotic symptoms of patients with schizophrenia, it is possible that adapted cold showers might have a similar antipsychotic effect. In addition, cold hydrotherapy is known to cause analgesia, suggesting that it may act through the mechanism of stress-induced analgesia involving the mesolimbic pathway and thus could have the effect of “crowding out” psychosis in that region of the brain similar.
- This idea is referred to as hormesis, our body’s response to a low amount of stress or toxin which causes a beneficial response. Over time the threshold increases and the effect of the toxic or stressor is decreased.
- Cold showers and depression
- Exposure to cold temperatures leads to greater blood flow toward the brain, resulting in the simultaneous increase of endorphin production. These endorphins activate opiate receptors, which can contribute to an improved mood.
- Additionally, cold exposure enhances the transmission of electrical impulses in the brain and potentially raises dopamine levels. The combined effect of increased blood flow, endorphins, dopamine, and enhanced electrical activity can have potent anti-depressive effects. Notably, the boosted electrical activity resembles the mechanism employed in electroconvulsive therapy for depression, but without the associated potential side effects.
- Therefore, incorporating cold showers into one’s routine can serve as a simple approach to alleviate depression or low moods, while acknowledging that depression encompasses more severe symptoms beyond a mere transient low or bad mood.
Watch the full episode: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R8eOkLijbl4