Saturday, 10 March 2012

Exclusive Movie Trailer: "Maggie the Bitch Poodle from Hell"

Lost in Process: Nurses - and Health Care Assistants Must Show More Compassion

A case I heard about this week hammers home one of the causes of dissent and unhappiness in healthcare at the present time - lack of compassion in nursing. 

It involved the death of an elderly gentleman who'd been under my care for a long time - I'd usually see him at home at least 4 times a week. He'd been unable to walk for the past year, and those of us who knew him well quickly realised that it was his time. 

Over a period of six days in hospital he gradually slipped away and died with pneumonia. All was far from well in terms of the nursing he received during his final two or three days; most of his care was given by his ever-present daughter, as there were so few staff around that she did not dare leave her father's bedside. 

On the night he died, his daughter realised his breathing was irregular and drew this concern to the attention of one of the team sitting at the nurses station, who came into the room for a brief glimpse. At the point when he stopped breathing the daughter ran for the same nurse who eventually came, after about half an hour, and promptly disappeared again having apparently gone on her meal break. 

In terms of care, any sense that this was a bereavement - a most critical juncture in people's lives - was not acknowledged. Care of the sick has always been a nursing process; yet what experiences such as this illustrate is that the nursing process has failed somewhere. 

There was no doubt that the elderly patient was being looked after by his nursing team; but somehow he did not receive the care that we understand and expect. 

I have every sense that the nurses involved were probably over-stretched, but I suggest that what is missing I'd compassion: emotional involvement with the predicament of the patient under their care. It was recently announced that nursing students are to be tested for emotional intelligence and sensitivity as part of the selection process. There has been research to indicate that good emotional intelligence is linked with academic success and positive outcomes on the wards. But is this linked in any way to the ability to express care?

What I know for certain is that compassion is impossible in any atmosphere of stress, caused by low staffing levels, poor team relationships, the cutting of corners due to financial constraints in expenditure, and the increasing emphasis on regulation and classroom academia. Nursing is a craft, best taught by good example, in an atmosphere of supportive apprenticeship. 

[Ryan Price is a Registered Nurse, Freelance Writer and Mental Health Advocate. He is passionate about promoting the essence of basic care and championing compassion in his role as a community-based nurse practitioner. He lives in rural Wales outside the small villiage of Saint Nicholas, with his partner. For press enquires or more information, email]

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Monday, 5 March 2012

Could your Facebook page ruin your career and future job prospects?


Done something you may regret later?

Most of us have indulged in an occasional spot of "Facebook stalking". It's hard to resist the temptation to have a peek at the virtual lives of others when a wealth of personal information can be accessed within seconds.

But when our social bubble expands to involve our careers, Facebook stalking doesn't seem like such an carefree form of procrastination. With companies increasingly using social networking sites to check out potential employees, students are becoming more aware of the image projected by their online activity.

With the prospect of being released into the working world fast approaching, some of my friends have resorted to changing their profile names in an effort to keep their personal lives hidden. They aren't the kind of people who post explicit photographs, express extreme views, or exchange dubious jokes. So why are they feeling pressurised to conceal their identity?

Well, because companies really do reject candidates based on what Google reveals. A survey conducted by CareerBuilder found that the top reason employers reject candidates is for posting inappropriate photographs. Next on the list? Hosting content about alcohol or drug use. Clearly boasting about how many pints you downed last night isn't the wisest idea, but it seems even the most conscientious Facebook user could find themselves misjudged by a page they "liked" years ago.

With so many graduates chasing so few jobs, it's understandable that companies need to find ways to filter applications. So is it time to get rid of those potentially self-defamatory photos from freshers' week? Well, perhaps not.

A recent US study claims that Facebook users with a lot of friends – and even some partying photos – possess the jobworthy traits of being extroverted and friendly. And its findings, it says, are born out by how well the Facebook funsters perform at work.

Don Kluemper, professor of management at North Illinois University and leader of the study, says: "In five or 10 minutes, our raters could look at the tone of a subject's wall post, note the number of friends they have, peruse their photos to see how social they were and assess their tastes in books and music. It's a very rich source of information."

But rich source of information or not, scanning Facebook profiles can't be the most effective way to decide how successfully a candidate will perform in the workplace. The student who once participated in a pub-crawl dressed as a cowboy may also read extensively, volunteer at weekends, and possess a multitude of desirable traits that can't be gleaned from his profile pictures.

Ultimately, social networking sites are just that – social. Employers approaching them need to be aware that taking jokes out of context or viewing photos with an over-critical eye can lead to judgments that aren't representative of the whole individual. So why not steer clear of Facebook and assess candidates the tried-and-tested way: on how they come across in a professional context.

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Music & Video: Eartha Kitt - I Want To Be Evil (Live Kaskad 1962)

Music & Video: Eartha Kitt - Just An Old Fashioned Girl (Live Kaskad 1962)

Sunday, 4 March 2012

"A Ride of Death" Bicycle Safety Manual circa 1940s


Don't let the playful, retro suburban illustrations fool you, this collection of images is a matter of life or death. Here in San Francisco, riding your bike around town can be tricky with hills, motorists, and crazy people assaulting you from all angles. Wearing headphones among the chaos is not recommended. This safety manuel doesn't include that tip (probably because headphones weren't invented yet), but read the rest and take notes so you can avoid the grim fate of these unfortunate bicyclists.
















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MUST SEE: "8": A Play about the Fight for Marriage Equality

Featuring an all-star cast including George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Martin Sheen, Jamie Lee Curtis, Jane Lynch, Kevin Bacon and others, "8" is a play written by Academy Award winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black and directed by acclaimed actor and director Rob Reiner. It is a powerful account of the case filed by the American Federation for Equal Rights (AFER) in the U.S. District Court in 2010 to overturn Proposition 8, a constitutional amendment that eliminated the rights of same-sex couples to marry in the state of California. Framed around the trial's historic closing arguments in June 2010, 8 provides an intimate look what unfolded when the issue of same-sex marriage was on trial.

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Friday, 2 March 2012

Kathryn Williams launches new project, 'The Pond'


The Pond is a ‘democratic mud pit’ in which Kathryn Williams - ‘Without doubt one of the most authentic folk voices in the country’ (Q) - has teamed up with fellow musicians, Simon Edwards and Ginny Clee for an album project – more Gorillaz than Guthrie - that will take many by surprise. Their self-titled debut is released by One Little Indian on 28th May, for now you can catch a sneak preview of new song ‘The River’ at The Pond is an explosion of ideas augmenting vintage beats, 60’s pop, Eastern flavoured loops - and even a rapper. The music developed – alongside friendships - over a two year period of on/ off recording at Simon & Ginny’s home studio in North London and by exchanging files over email with Newcastle-based Kathryn. Pooling their talents into The Pond’s eponymous debut, the album’s 11 tunes are infused with the warmth and playfulness of its makers – with Adrian Utley’s mix leavening the ultra-vivid melodies with depth and a surprisingly louché sophistication.
A quick heads up on Kathryn’s co-conspirators. Simon – a much in demand session player - cut his teeth in Fairground Attraction scoring a worldwide hit with Perfect in 1988, the song winning the Best Single award at the following year’s BRITS (the parent album, The First of a Million Kisses also picking up the Best Album gong). Ginny meanwhile started out in her pop life as one half of The Dear Janes, subsequently contributing vocals to records by everyone from Robert Plant to Robyn Hitchcock.
The band are also excited to announce live dates for late May and early June.
Mon 28 May - Brighton Komedia Tue 29 May - London Union Chapel Wed 30 May - Manchester Ruby Lounge Fri 01 Jun - Leeds Brudenell Social Club Sat 02 Jun - Glasgow King Tuts Sun 03 Jun - Gateshead Sage 2

Follow Kathryn on Twitter:

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