Jim Banta (right) discusses his time as a patient with UCSF Medical Center nurses Jeselle Abilla and Kristina Haas (photo by Elisabeth Fall).
February 2016 • By Andrew Schwartz

Fifteen years ago, when construction worker Jim Banta was hospitalized with a severe gastrointestinal bleed, doctors discovered he had hepatitis C and end-stage renal disease. Over the next nine years, he was hospitalized multiple times and experienced his first episodes of hospital-induced delirium.

“I remember thinking all the nurses were on a carousel, laughing at me, pointing their fingers,” he says.

Then, in October 2009, at age 55, Banta lapsed into a coma and arrived by ambulance at San Francisco General Hospital. Doctors there stabilized Banta, then transferred him to UCSF Medical Center at Parnassus, where he spent the next five and a half weeks moving between an acute care floor and the ICU while awaiting a liver transplant.

“I remember telling my brother and sons that some of the orderlies were going to kill me,” says Banta. “I thought all kinds of crazy stuff. You’re in bed 24/7, you get very little sleep, and I had a lot of invasive stuff being done that I didn’t understand. It might have seemed real small to my family members, but not being able to express it was horrifying.”

Underestimating Delirium’s Clinical and Economic Impact

Banta’s experience with delirium is more common and has longer-lasting effects than was once believed. Over the last couple of decades, a proliferating number of studies on the incidence and impact of delirium are causing the health care community to sit up and take notice.

The Dean's Blog | David Vlahov

Anthropologist Sharon Kaufman is one of the original members of the Institute for Health & Aging (IHA), which on November 9 celebrated its 30th anniversary. The event brought together scientists who had flourished in the Institute and made significant contributions to our understanding of health at the individual and societal level.

At the celebration, Kaufman drew on her recently released book, Ordinary Medicine: Extraordinary Treatments, Longer Lives, and Where to Draw the Line (Duke University Press, 2015), to speak about the struggle in health care between the desire to prolong life and the desire to avoid crossing the line to “too much” care. Exploring that dilemma led her to examine the larger engines of the biomedical economy: the research and insurance industries and their impact on what we do when life is at stake.

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MS-HAIL Program Propels Graduate to CEO Position – Just two years young, UC San Francisco School of Nursing’s Master of Science in Healthcare Administration and Interprofessional Leadership program is already shaping a new generation of innovative and compassionate health care leadership. Louis Ward is one such leader.
January 2016
HRSA Scholarship Supports New NP’s Effort to Provide Primary Care to Underserved Patients – Alumna Rory Caygill-Walsh draws on personal history, UC San Francisco School of Nursing and a NURSE Corps scholarship to become part of the country’s primary care solution.
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Commentary: True Collaborative Training Demands Clinicians Buy In to a Few Simple Rules – Angel Chen – one of the first interprofessional inductees into the Haile T. Debas Academy of Medical Educators – argues that now is the time for clinical teaching environments to fully embrace interprofessional collaborative practice.
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Three Nurses Tell Tales of Their Cities’ Health – From remarkably diverse perspectives, three advanced practice nurses talk about their essential roles in maintaining the health of two of California’s largest cities.