Friday, November 27, 2015

Exploring Home Health Care

Home health care is the fastest growing field in health care. With mandates to reduce costs and a need to educate patients and family members in how to prevent and manage complications from chronic diseases such as diabetes, lupus, MS, COPD and other respiratory diseases, CHF and other chronic heart conditions, kidney disease and more.... home health care fits right in to this niche.

As a home health and hospice nurse for 35+ years I have had the opportunity to mentor and help many nurses, therapists (PT, OT, SLP) and social workers become fabulous home health care professionals. It's not an easy transition and many are scared away from the mounds of paperwork! But if you understand the system and why it's necessary to have all this documentation, you too can find a rewarding career path in home health care.

My latest book, Exploring the Home Health Experience: A Guide to Transitioning Your Career Path is now available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats.

If you'd like an autographed copy, please email me your shipping address and who you'd like the book signed to. I will invoice you through PayPal for $19.99 and send it via Media Mail. You can pay using PayPal or use your credit card.

Monday, November 23, 2015


Comments are welcome if they are RELEVANT to the content and the nursing profession. 

This blog been hit with a lot of SPAM comments lately. BEWARE the comments and commenters will be Reported to Google as Spam and Abuse.

Thank you for your cooperation!

It is licensed for use under Creative Commons

Friday, November 13, 2015

Top 5 Interesting Facts about Medical Equipment You Might Not Know

By John Pritchard

There are some interesting things regarding medical equipment that many practitioners, patients, and consumers simply may not know. While the face of medical supplies and devices is ever-changing and new technology is always on the horizon, there are some simple facts that everyone should be cognizant of.

Five interesting things that you might not know about medical equipment include:

1. Used medical equipment can be as safe and effective as new devices
Buying used medical equipment may seem like a shaky option, but typically this is a pragmatic solution that saves every one a bit of money and hassle. When insurance companies balk at the cost of a medical device, they may be more open to the prospect of a reprocessed or used option. When a piece of equipment is reprocessed, it goes through an arduous cleaning and sterilizing process before a series of trials to deem it ready for dissemination and use. Don’t dismiss the benefits of used medical devices until you have spoken with providers, distributors, and patients to evaluate if the situation warrants such cost-effective measures.

2. ‘Single Use’ stickers don’t mean squat
Many may be familiar with the stickers often found on medical equipment and devices that identify the items as being intended for “single use.” You should know that these stickers are put on by the individual or business distributing the item and that putting these stickers on a piece of medical equipment is at the manufacturer’s discretion and may be for financial gain rather than patient safety reasons. As long as particular items are reprocessed professionally, cleaned and sterilized to meet FDA guidelines, multiple utility of most devices is perfectly fine and safe. Talk with your practitioner or distributor to determine if this is a viable option.

3. Anything you can buy, you can lease
If you think about it, leasing makes sense for doctors, medical practices, and patients. Medical equipment can be expensive, and depending on the need and the device, insurance may not cover the associated costs. Did you know that you can lease pretty much anything that is available for sale? This could mean good news for those individuals seeking short-term use of things such as oxygen concentrators or hospital beds. Be sure that the items you endorse or use are cleaned, sterilized, and reprocessed by the manufacturer and distributor before using, and that you are leasing from a reputable medical supply business.

4. Batteries can make all the difference in performance
There seems to be exciting new battery technology emerging for medical equipment and devices. In fact, the chemistry of these new-and-improved batteries, as lauded by battery manufacturer Duracell, attest to extending the lifespan and utility of modern medical devices. This could mean more efficacy, increased convenience, and easier use for providers, patients, and consumers. The new advancements seem to come from a compatibility and dual-purpose within the battery itself, whereas the ion and cathode work together harmoniously and efficiently to create a boost of power and extended lifespan which could be life-changing for those depending on battery life to operate their medical equipment and necessities.

5. Reprocessed medical equipment is a win-win
Refurbishing and reusing medical equipment is not just a viable alternative for consumers, but it is also good for the environment. It is estimated that tons of medical equipment is deposited into community landfills every year; this carbon footprint looks even worse over time for those concerned with the environment and stewardship. Talk to practitioners about ways that you can curb the waste and toll that these devices present when they are no longer useful.

Put your new knowledge to good use! 
These are just a few of the fascinating facts surrounding medical equipment that are pertinent for both practitioners and patients. Having a sense of what is available, what technology is forthcoming, and the impact that these devices have after they are no longer needed could be key in making such equipment accessible, affordable, and environmentally conscientious for others.

John Pritchard is CEO and Sales Leader of Venture Medical, a leader in the nation’s medical equipment industry. He is passionate about educating those in the medical industry on the importance of high quality medical equipment and supplies. His transparent business techniques and strategies for low-pressure sales and marketing are core values in building relationships.

Thanks John!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Please Support Legislation for NP's to Order and Oversee Care Plan in Home Healh Care

The Home Health Care Planning Improvement Act of 2015, a measure aiming to permit nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, physician assistants and certified nurse midwives to sign off on home health care plans and authorize Medicare patients for home health benefits has been gaining momentum in the U.S. Houses of Congress.
The Senate Bill is S578 and the House Bill is HR 1342. The bills are identical and support has been growing in recent weeks due to a new wave of bipartisan support.

Many people rely on NPs and PAs as their primary care providers making this crucial legislation to reduce costs and improve outcomes for patients with a more rapid response for home health care needs.

The National Association for Home Care (NAHC) recently said "the bill could reduce Medicare spending through a shift in physician billings to nurse practitioner billings, which are reimbursed at 85% of the physician payment rates for certification and care plan oversight."

Please contact your legislators and ask them to co-sign and support S578 or HR 1342. Take action by finding your Representative and Senators. Many have Twitter accounts. Search for them on Twitter. Call, Tweet, or email them TODAY

Thank you!

This post was written as part of the Nurse Blog Carnival. More posts on this topic can be found at If you are interested in participating find out more details and sign up.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Very Inspiring Blogger Award-- WOW!!!

I am thrilled and humbled to announce that The Nursing Site Blog was recently nominated for a Very Inspiring Blogger Award!

This is an award given by bloggers to fellow bloggers who inspire them and who are motivated to make the blogosphere a beautiful place.

The award asks us to honor and learn more about the person behind the blog. The Nursing Site Blog  was nominated by a fellow Blogger and nurse colleague Anne Llewellyn who's fabulous blog is Nurse Advocate. You have to check it out!!!!

The rules that accompany this award:

The first rule is that I am to share 7 facts about myself. Here they are:
  1.  I am married to my best friend Tim who is my rock, my north and my soulmate! We met in high school but didn't date until midway through college.
  2.  I have 3 wonderful adult children who have all found their soulmates. And I have 2 beautiful granddaughters.
  3.  I have been a nurse since 1975 and after 2 years of hospital med/surg, I have spent my entire career in home health and hospice.
  4.  I love musicals and all forms of dance. I dreamed of being a Rockette but I wasn't tall enough. I was originally a dance major in college until an injury ended that and I decided to opt for a career in nursing. I'm glad I did.
  5.  Baseball is my passion. I was heartbroken at 11 when the boy down the street informed me I could NEVER be a professional baseball player because I was a girl! It didn't spoil my love for the game. Minor league baseball was my first love in Denver and since 1967 I have bled Dodger Blue. (I love football too--- GO BRONCOS!!)
  6.  I just published my 7th book, Exploring the Home Health Care Experience, a guide to transitioning to this career path for nurses, therapists, social workers and nursing aides.
  7.  I was the last Guide to Nursing at which really launched my writing career.

Next, Nominate 15 blogs:
 I would like to nominate 15 of my fellow Bloggers for this award.  Please take the time to visit their Blogs and follow or sign up for updates. Follow them on social media.

Highway Hypodermics by Epstein LaRue
The National Nurse for Public Health by Teri Mills
Digital Doorway by Nurse Keith Carlson
BlogTalkRadio Kate Loving Shenk
EricaMacDonald by Erica MacDonald
Big Red Carpet Nursing by Greg Mercer
Hopeful Healer by Carol Gino
Nurse Born Products by Sarah Brennan Mott
The Inspiration Nurse by Donna Wilk Cardillo
Nurse Eye Roll by Kati Kleber
Nursetopia by Joni Watson
Marijke: Nurse Turned Writer by Marike Vroomen Durning
hospicediary by Amy Getter
Nursing Stories by Marianna Crane
JParadisi RN's Blog by Julianna Paradisi

Thank you again Anne Llewellyn (Nurse Advocate by Anne Llewellyn) for nominating me and giving me me this opportunity to share information and to be part of the exciting community of Nurse Bloggers. Please be sure to check out all of the blogs and the other websites, inspirations, art and writings these nurses bring to the world.

Last Chance to Enter the Scrubs & Beyond 2015 Model Search

Calling all medical professionals! Scrubs & Beyond is nearing the end of its first ever Model Search, a social contest where fans will compete for a chance to participate in an upcoming photo shoot.

In addition to the photo shoot, the winner will also receive round-trip airfare to St. Louis, a two night stay in an area hotel and a $300 Scrubs & Beyond gift card. Second and third place will receive a $200 and a $100 gift card, respectively.

Hurry!!! This is the last chance to win! Submissions close on October 31, 2015! All contestants will receive an exclusive promotion after submissions close.

Entrants will be required to submit one photo of themselves in scrubs (selfies are a-ok!) and then they have the option to submit up to four more photos. Voting starts November 1, 2015, with the winner and runners-up announced in early 2016.

 Once voting begins, contestants will be able to share their entries across social platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and Google+.

For more information on the contest, visit

Medical Scrubs Mall Celebrates New Website Design with Giveaway

Medical Scrubs Mall has a great Giveaway on their Facebook page in honor of their new web design. Enter before midnight on Nov. 6, 2015,  and you have a chance to win 2 sets of Cherokee Scrubs and a custom hoodie.

Check out the new Medical Scrubs Mall website and new blog

Thursday, October 22, 2015

NursePraiseLove Giveaway: Tell Your Nursing Story

When Kelley Johnson stood on the Miss America stage in September and told her story, 7.1 million viewers watched and listened. If the overwhelming Facebook response by nurses to the despicable press from The View is any indication, nurses have united to tell their stories and share why they love being nurses. Let's keep that momentum going. Here's another opportunity to share your story.

Fastaff Travel Nursing is sponsoring a giveaway NursePraiseLove which provides nurses with the opportunity to share their stories and a chance to win a $500 gift card from Southwest Airlines.

Deadline to enter is November 6, 2015.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Today's Nursing Visionaries: Is a Career In Optometry In Your Future?

By Felicity Dryer

There are many exciting opportunities in the nursing field, one of the many thousands of these careers is to literally become a visionary in their field by exploring opportunities in optometry. Vision is a vital part of everyone’s life and saving someone’s valuable eyesight through early diagnosis, prevention and treatment can be very rewarding.

According to WHO (World Health Organization), vision problems, eye diseases and other problems afflict both young and old, specifically:

  • About 65% of all people who are visually impaired are aged 50 and older, and this age group comprises about 20% of the world's population.
  • An estimated 19 million children are visually impaired. Of those, 12 million of them have refractive errors, a condition that could be easily diagnosed and corrected.


One way to make an impact on the sight of young people is by becoming a school nurse. Many of
today’s up-and-coming healthcare professionals may not realize that a major part of a school nurse’s curriculum is comprised of routine eye examinations and annual vision checks. These important practices will help to ensure that children will excel in school if their valuable vision is kept in check and detecting early problems can actually lead to saving their eyesight.

If young vision problems are left undetected, WHO tells us that 1.4 million children become irreversibly blind for the rest of their lives and then they will need visual rehabilitation interventions for full psychological and personal development programs. All of this could have been prevented if problems were detected early and these children were given the proper medical treatment.


Critics of school eye exams often scold nurses for not performing a complete comprehensive examination, but they are not in their shoes and those critical optometrists are often seeking patients for their own practices. School nurses perform a wide variety of exams that include recognizing problems like:

  • Refractive errors: Nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism, that are easily corrected with eyeglasses, contacts or refractive surgery.
  • Amblyopia: When one eye has much different vision compared to the other. The brain will "shut off" the image from the turned or blurry eye.
  • Strabismus: Crossed or turned eyes. The school nurse checks a child’s eye’s alignment to be sure that they are working together.
  • Eye teaming: Even if a child’s eyes appear to be properly aligned, it's possible they don’t work together efficiently as a team. Such binocular vision problems can cause headaches, eye strain and other problems that can affect reading and other vision problems.
  • Focusing problems: These issues relate to developing focusing skills in children that can lead to presbyopia as they grow into adults.

School nurses work in conjunction with teachers and other administrators to recognize cognitive behavior that children will exhibit in school if they are struggling with vision problems. An inability to see the chalkboard, difficulty concentrating, headaches, and other problems that can be recognized by staff, including their valuable nurses.


As we continue to grow older, our eyes become more susceptible to age-related conditions like cataracts, macular degeneration and glaucoma. While checking the vision of older patients may seem to be confined to convalescent and nursing home environments, the scope of older eye care doesn’t end there. There are many environments in the medical field that encompass the care of elderly patients, so visionary nurses shouldn’t confine themselves inside of this tight circle.

Nurses compliment doctors in many ways and this includes the field of optometrics. During preliminary examinations for example, nurses often have the opportunity of being the first line of defense (actually offense), for diagnosing conditions that come with aging.

Nurses will recognize symptoms such as cloudy lenses, a precursor for cataracts, preliminary discussions of symptoms that come with macular degeneration like blind spots, blurry vision, a decrease in the recognition of colors, faces and an increasing difficulty in adapting to low light levels, sometimes called night vision. These are all diagnosed by nurses before the patients are even seen by their doctor or primary physicians.

Young or old, these patients can benefit from a qualified nurse that can diagnose their symptoms before they lose their valuable vision or even see their doctor. Is optometrics a possible career choice for you?

Originally born in Flagstaff, Arizona, Felicity Dryer was raised by her parents (more or less modern-day hippies) to always make her health a top priority. She moved to Los Angeles to pursue her career as a freelance health writer, and continues to help those seeking encouragement to keep moving forward to achieve their goals.

Thanks Felicity!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Nurses Fire Back at Ignorant TV Hosts

When ANY of the general public has the mistaken impression that nurses don costumes and borrow the doctor's stethoscope for some unknown reason, it tells us that we have a huge problem in health care in this country. People tend to believe everything they see and hear on television and the ladies of ABC's The View have tried to set back nursing 100 years as they showed they know nothing about the nursing profession!

The good news is that nurses have UNITED and all over Facebook and Twitter and other social media they are stopping the collateral damage the way nurses do everyday.

Kelley Johnson Google Images
When Kelley Johnson, Miss Colorado stepped on the Miss America stage in her scrubs and (her own) stethoscope she set the Miss America pageantry on its heels and brought it in to the 21st century!  She showed that a beautiful woman inside and out could make a difference by demonstrating the talent she is most proud of is making a difference in her patient's lives. She was true to herself. Johnson said Wednesday on The Ellen Show, "I am a nurse and that's my talent – taking care of people, caring about other people, and so I wanted to give the nurses that don't have that voice that voice and that recognition of just somebody going up there and being a little bit different and unique." It suddenly was about REAL WOMEN competing for scholarship money to pay off student loans and/or continue their educations to make a real difference in the world. Kelley came away as second runner-up with a great scholarship to continue her education and she put the nursing profession on the map!

The ensuing controversy over the inflammatory remarks on The View has elevated the nursing profession as we join together to blast The View and it's obviously IGNORANT hosts for their belittling statements. We also band together to educate the public about the nursing profession. I've learned more about what other nurses do and where they practice in the past couple of days than I have in all my 35+ years in nursing. It's exciting and educational and uplifting! Let us keep this up.

One of the downsides to nursing is caregiver fatigue that way too often leads to valuable nurses leaving the profession. Perhaps if they found another way to share their passion and skills they could turn this issue around and continue to make a difference in someone's life everyday. The silver lining here is that nurses have so very many opportunities to practice, but who knew about some of these?!  We need to share our experiences with each other so that we can learn more and perhaps find a niche that renews that passion some have lost along the way.

Let's continue to be strong and make our voices heard. Nurses are the backbone of the health care system. We need to educate the public about who we are and what we do so that we can help our health care system WORK. When people don't understand health care and how to access it and how to get answers and help, it fails for all of us. We've seen the costs of health care escalate out of control and we fear litigation in everything we do. When people don't understand they listen to the ignorant voices and that's why we see lawsuits over issues hang nails!

Let's turn such an ugly controversy into a positive thing.

#nursesshareyourstethoscope, #nursesunite, #thisisnotacostume, #showmeyourstethoscope