Tag Archives: critical

Texas Legislature bans critical race theory from classrooms

Texas Legislature bans critical race theory

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Texas Senate passed a bill early Saturday morning that would ban schools from requiring teachers to discuss polarizing current events or social issues in class. It now heads to the governor’s desk.

One of those subjects is the Critical Race Theory, a new concept that looks at how race relations have shaped the current social, cultural and legal world around us. The Texas House passed the bill on May 11, but will have to approve it again due to changes made by the Senate.

House Bill 3979 would also require teachers who choose to discuss those issues with students to include viewpoints “from diverse and contending perspectives without giving deference to any one perspective.”

Educators opposed to the bill say kids seek out clarity on current events from instructors, who they view as a trusted source of information, and if passed, would stop teachers from pushing their students to think critically about the world.

“Just the fear of that alone is going to prevent teachers from really delving into a lot of these topics,” Round Rock ISD Instructional Coach Meghan Dougherty said in an interview with KXAN earlier this month. “It’s not that teachers are trying to indoctrinate students, it’s that they are trying to help students understand these issues, help them understand the different perspectives and facilitate positive, productive conversations in the classroom around these issues.”

The Association of Professional Educators also opposed the bill.

“By telling teachers what and how to teach and ordering the (Texas Education Agency) to play police, HB 3979 may be one of the most disrespectful bills to teachers I’ve seen the (Texas Legislature) dignify with debate,” Mark Wiggins, an ATPE lobbyist, wrote on Twitter. “Teachers will remember come November.”

Lawmakers in support of the bill say teachers should be teaching history and not indoctrinating students with their beliefs.

Texas Public Policy Foundation, which supports the bill, says the foundation of a child’s social studies curriculum should be based on the original documents which created the American standards for life, liberty, and democracy, such as the Declaration of Independence, American Constitution, and Federalist Papers.

Author: Jaclyn Ramkissoon
This post originally appeared on KXAN Austin

Providence shooting: 9 injured and 3 in critical condition after shootout, police say

Three of the nine have been left “seriously injured” and “maybe critical” as a result of the shooting, Providence Police Chief Col. Hugh T. Clements told reporters.
It occurred just before 7pm (midnight GMT) on Thursday evening,

The shooting took place on Carolina Street in Washington Park.

In a press briefing on Thursday night, Chief Clemets said: “We don’t shy away from the fact that we have a gun issue in this city.”

Mayor of Providence, Jorge Elorza, added: “This has to stop.”

Chief Clements said the victims were being treated at a hospital.

He added that only one victim was taken into care by ambulance as the others took themselves to hospital.

Chief Clements said he believes this is the most victims they’ve ever had in one single shooting.

More information about the incident will be released on Friday during a scheduled press conference.

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: World Feed

Florida shooting: Boy, 4, shot dead outside Clewiston Subway, sibling's condition critical

At 2.54pm on Friday, the Clewiston Police Department responded to a call about the incident. A four-year-old boy was found dead at the scene and his five-year-old sibling is in critical condition.
The older sibling is receiving treatment at Hendry Regional Hospital after being airlifted to a trauma centre for treatment.

Clewiston police confirmed a handgun was used in the shooting.

The children were found inside a car.

The children’s parents are “torn up”, according to Hendry County Sheriff, Steve Whidden, but helping investigators.

He said: “We are offering our sincerest condolences to the family of these young children.

“We are determined to provide every resource available to us to conduct this investigation to determine how this tragedy could have occurred.”

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: World Feed

GOP lawmakers want to ban critical race theory in Texas schools

Author: Duncan Agnew
This post originally appeared on The Texas Tribune: Main Feed

More Evidence Burnout Ups Risk for Errors: Critical Care Nurses

Critical care nurses (CCNs) across the country reported high levels of stress, depression, and anxiety even before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and these factors correlated with an increase in self-reported medical errors, a cross-sectional study of American CCNs found.

The national survey-based study, conducted by the Ohio State University College of Nursing in Columbus, was published online May 1 in the American Journal of Critical Care.

The survey, conducted between August 2018 and August 2019, reveals that 39.8% of CCNs reported depressive symptoms and 53.2% reported anxiety symptoms. Furthermore, 61% of CCNs surveyed ranked their physical health at 5 or lower on a scale of 1 to 10, and 51% scored their mental health at 5 or lower. Only 39.8% reported experiencing a high quality of professional life.

Bernadette J. Mazurek Melnyk, PhD

Bernadette J. Mazurek Melnyk, PhD, APRN-CN, Ohio State University’s chief wellness officer and dean of the College of Nursing, led the study of members in the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses. Among 771 respondents, 92% were women, and the mean age was 39.9 years, with 57.8% in the age range 25 to 44 years. Ethnically, the cohort was 83.4% non-Hispanic white, and 91.4% reported working more than 8 hours a day. Worked days lasted 12 hours or more for 68.2%, with an additional 22.3% working 9 to 12 hours.

“They’re exhausted after three 12-hour shifts a week and some even go off to work at other centers as well,” Melnyk told Medscape Medical News. “This interferes with concentration and judgment.”

“These are working hours that are not allowed in the aviation industry or the railway industry,” added Nancy Blake, PhD, RN, FAANP, chief nursing office at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance, California. “And when there’s shortage of nursing staff, someone will get called back in the next day after a shift.”

In the current study, nurses’ physical and mental well-being was assessed by validated instruments, including the Generalized Anxiety Disorder Questionnaire-2, the Patient Health Questionnaire-2, the Professional Quality of Life Scale, and the Perceived Stress Scale-4.

According to Melnyk, her nurses commonly report physical health problems such as musculoskeletal disability from lifting and shifting patients, as well as high blood pressure and cholesterol, poor nutrition and binge eating, deconditioning due to lack of recreational exercise, and disturbed sleep. “We think that as nurses, they should be adhering to nutritional and activity guidelines, but they aren’t,” she said.

On the positive side, nurses who perceived their workplace as very supportive of their well-being (score of 6 or more out of 10) were twice as likely to have better physical health (odds ratio [OR], 2.16; 95% CI, 1.33 – 3.52). The observed relationship between greater perceived support for staff wellness and better health remained after adjusting for nurses’ age, sex, race/ethnicity, marital status, education, and hours of work per day or shift.

Unwanted Recipe for Errors

Overall, 61% of respondents admitted to making medical errors in the past 5 years. Nurses in poor physical and mental health reported making significantly more mistakes than those in better health, with ORs of 1.31 (95% CI, .96 – 1.78) for physical health and 1.62 (95% CI, 1.17 – 2.29) for depression.

That translated to errors for 67% of nurses with higher stress scores vs 56.5% of those reporting no or little stress. “These errors can include mistakes in dosage or scheduling of dosing and missteps when doing procedures,” Melnyk said. Added Blake, “Under stress, nurses can even mix up patients.”

The study’s findings confirm those of an earlier national study of the general nursing population by Melnyk’s group, which showed that nurses with worse health were 26% to 71% more likely to commit medical errors. Here, too, there was a significant relationship between greater perceived worksite wellness and better health. And among physicians, similar burnout this been linked to double the rate of medical errors.

The Pandemic Effect

Although the survey by Melnyk and colleagues was conducted before the COVID-19 pandemic, burnout has only worsened since. According to UCLA’s Blake, the peak of the pandemic increased the workloads of already stressed CCNs by necessitating higher patient-to-nurse ratios.

“I think it’s fair to say some nurses are now reaching their breaking point. The worst thing has been caring for dying patients whose families can’t visit them and being the nurse in the room who watches the family members crying on the other end of the iPad not being able to say goodbye to their loved ones,” she said.

Seeking to redress this situation, Blake’s center recently implemented a program called Helping Healers Heal, in which someone checks in on nurses and engages them in one-on-one debriefing sessions and discussions. “We also have a psychologist who normally deals with medical residents but has put together some programs for nurses’ well-being,” she said.

Despite such measures, the center has seen a small spike in nurse turnover, which is expected to rise with the looming retirement of the baby boomer cohort. “But turnover has been much higher in hospitals across the country. Some nurses say they can’t go back into the hospital setting, they’re going try for a job in a pharmaceutical company or get out of nursing altogether. We anticipate a future nurse shortage,” Blake said.

For Jessica Curtisi, RN, PCCN, who works in Wexner Medical Center’s intensive care unit, similar support has allowed her to manage the intense emotions evoked by her work. “At my lowest point last year, leaving the profession briefly crossed my mind. What keeps me here is a sense of duty. If I don’t stay and care for these patients, who will?” she said.

Staying on has been made easier by taking advantage of employee assistance with counseling, mindfulness coaching, and even pet therapy. “Counseling has allowed [me] to vent my emotions without fear to someone who really wants to listen,” Curtisi said. “It’s helped me to understand my own natural coping mechanism, which was to bottle up my emotions. Mindfulness coaching has helped me to feel the intense emotions of my work without burning out and keeping me from going about my day to day.”

Call to Action

The study investigators warn, “[H]ospital leaders and healthcare systems need to prioritize the health of their nurses by resolving system issues, building wellness cultures, and providing evidence-based wellness support and programming, which will ultimately increase the quality of patient care and reduce the incidence of preventable medical errors.”

Melnyk herself put it more plainly. “We need to fix this stuff and do more than we’re doing about conditions that contribute to burnout and depression. The health of our clinicians has a huge impact on healthcare quality, safety, staff turnover, and cost.”

The authors have disclosed no relevant financial relationships.

Am J Crit Care. 2021;30:176-84. Abstract

Diana Swift is a medical journalist based in Toronto. She can be reached at [email protected].

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This post originally appeared on Medscape Medical News Headlines

Halting the Vast Release of Methane Is Critical for Climate, U.N. Says

Author: Hiroko Tabuchi
This post originally appeared on NYT > U.S. News

The world’s largest oil and gas companies pledged in 2018 to reduce the proportion of methane released from their operations by one fifth, to less than a quarter of a percentage of the gas they sell, by 2025 — a target the companies said they reached last year — with an ambition of achieving 0.2 percent.

Minimizing methane from landfills also plays a role, as does lowering methane emissions from livestock. But emissions-reduction technologies are less certain in those fields. Releases from livestock, in particular, are expected to make up a growing share of future methane emissions unless there are technological breakthroughs, or the world’s top meat consumers change their diets.

Over all, more than half of global methane emissions stem from human activities in three sectors: fossil fuels, landfill and other waste, and livestock and other agriculture. Methane also seeps from wetlands and other natural sources.

The U.N. report also underscores how reducing methane emissions may bring significant public health benefits. Methane is an important contributor to the formation of ozone near the earth’s surface. Ozone is known to increase the risk of hospitalizations and early deaths. It also reduces crop yields and forest growth.

Rolling back methane emissions would prevent more than 250,000 premature deaths, and more than 750,000 asthma-related hospital visits, each year from 2030 onward, the report finds. The lower emissions would also prevent more than 70 billion hours of lost labor from extreme heat and more than 25 million tons of crop losses a year.

The flip side is that, with no action, methane emissions may help push the world to the brink of catastrophic climate change. If left unchecked, methane emissions are projected to continue rising through at least 2040, the U.N. report predicts.

“We’re still going wildly in the wrong direction, but we can turn that around very, very quickly,” Dr. Shindell said. “We could all use a climate success story.”

Thomas Tuchel critical of 'lucky' Chelsea and admits to seeing poor performance coming

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel admitted that his side failed to produce their best football after the Blues battled to a closely-fought 2-0 victory over Sheffield United on Sunday afternoon. An unfortunate own goal from Ollie Norwood gave the hosts a first-half advantage before Hakim Ziyech put the result beyond all doubt with an impressive finish in the dying seconds of the match.
The result saw Chelsea become the third side to book their place in the semi-finals of the FA Cup, after Manchester City progressed with a win over Everton at Goodison Park on Saturday and Southampton breezed past Championship outfit Bournemouth.

The Blues went into the match as heavy favourites but made hard work of the spirited Blades, who came agonisingly close to finding the back of the net on a number of occasions.

David McGoldrick spurned a golden first-half chance to head home from point blank range, while former Liverpool striker Rhian Brewster narrowly missed the target with a late strike from the edge of the box.

Despite Sunday’s match marking Chelsea’s seventh clean sheet in a row in all competitions, Tuchel was less than impressed with his side’s efforts after the final whistle.

The German boss told BBC One that the Blues had luck on their side, claiming that his players were fatigued after avoiding defeat in each of their last 14 matches.

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“It was a tough match,” said Tuchel. “We had a good first half where we controlled everything but second half we lost control.

“We were clearly tired now. I could see after 14 matches consecutive. I could feel us tired, a lack of concentration, many little faults and strong opponent in the second half.

“We were lucky in the second half to keep the clean sheet. It was not the first time in 14 matches when we were lucky and allowed too many chances, but it can arrive and it’s important in the end to go through.”

Sheffield United produced a much stronger performance than the result gave them credit for, with Jason Tindall’s side looking far better than last week when they were subjected to a 5-0 hammering at the hands of Leicester City.


However, Tuchel suggested that Chelsea’s lacklustre efforts allowed the visitors to keep their foot in the door, stressing that the number of mistakes during the second half was not acceptable.

“We let them come back, because like I said we had full control in first half and a big chance with Christian [Pulisic] to finish the game early,” added Tuchel.

“After that we had too many mistakes, easy mistakes. We lost duels and we lost a bit of concentration and momentum.

“Honestly I could feel it in training, since some days we feel a bit tired and have a lack of concentration, it’s not too easy. It’s normal. It can happen.

“In a game it becomes more and more problematic to keep the level up so these things can happen.

“I’m happy we could help from the bench with the guys who came in. In the end we have a win and take it.”

Chelsea will be looking to continue their winning ways with another victory over Premier League strugglers West Bromwich Albion on Saturday, ahead of a return to Champions League action four days later.

The Blues will take on Porto over two legs for a place in the competition’s last four as Tuchel seeks European glory at the first time of asking.