News Stories of Interest, Thursday, Sept. 10, 2015

Today is World Suicide Prevention Day. On this day in 1939, Canada declared war on Germany.

NCLEX nursing exam fail rate has Alberta graduates, universities concerned

A new American-based test is causing an uproar in Alberta’s nursing community after there was a 20 per cent drop in the number of graduates who passed the exam needed to work, the CBC reports. Last year 89 per cent of nursing graduates passed, but that has dropped to 69 per cent this year.

Union says Ontario nurses can’t be forced to wear masks

The Ontario Nurses Association says hospitals will no longer be allowed to shame health-care workers into getting a flu shot following an arbitrator’s ruling striking down a “vaccinate or mask” policy. About 30 Ontario hospitals implemented the policy, which forces nurses and other hospital workers to wear an unfitted surgical mask for the entire flu season if they do not get the influenza vaccine, ONA president Linda Haslam-Stroud said today. The test case was against the Sault Area Hospital in Sault Ste. Marie, which tried to use the policy to boost their staff immunization rates, added Haslam-Stroud.

Alzheimer’s could be transmitted during surgery, transfusions

Alzheimer’s Disease may be transmissible through blood transfusions and medical accidents similar to Creuzfeldt Jacob Disease, scientists at the University College of London say.

Human Growth Hormone injections could do the same thing

In the 1970s, doctors realized to their horror that some patients injected with human growth hormone, which was then extracted from the pituitary glands of cadavers, had contracted this neurological disease. The procedure — used on 30,000 people worldwide, mostly children with stunted statures — transmitted misfolded proteins called prions, which incubated for decades before triggering death.

Minister concerned as Central Alberta exceeds air-quality limits

Alberta’s environment minister says results from a national testing program show the province is on track to have the worst air quality in Canada. Particulates are capable of being absorbed into the body through breathing. They are believed to be linked to asthma, lung cancer, cardiovascular disease, respiratory diseases, premature delivery and birth defects.

Alberta failing to secure safe workplaces for teens: Parkland

Many Alberta teens are employed in prohibited occupations or unsafe workplaces while working more hours than legally allowed, a Parkland Institute study of youth labour in the province asserts.

Gastrointestinal illness spikes in Southern Alberta

Those who handled animals, ate contaminated food or drank contaminated water, swam recreationally or travelled heavily in the summer months may have contributed to about 200 known cases of gastrointestinal illness in southern Alberta, the Lethbridge Herald reports.

Family banned from hospital visits demand provincial help

An Edmonton woman says she is facing “retribution” in the form of a defamation lawsuit for speaking out about concerns she has about the quality of care her sister was receiving in a long-term care facility. Here’s an Edmonton Sun story dealing with the same issue.

Alberta budget will focus on job creation: Ceci

Alberta’s Finance Minister Joe Ceci says the NDP’s first budget will focus on creating new jobs and building much-needed public infrastructure. Ceci said spending would be linked to a revised forecast for the price of oil, but that Albertans wouldn’t find massive spending cuts in next month’s budget.

Alberta committed to cutting school fees next year

Alberta’s NDP government remains committed to cutting school fees in half, but not this year. Education Minister David Eggen has asked the province’s school boards to provide his department with a detailed accounting of how much they charge parents.

UNA members join ’Hat Labour Day BBQ

David Climenhaga
Communications Advisor
United Nurses of Alberta
780-425-1025 (Office)
780-717-2943 (Cellular)