Friday, June 24, 2016

Two Great Books From Nurse Authors

It's catch up time on Friday.....

I have read a couple of great books by nurses recently and have to share them with you. The first is The Patient's Resource and Almanac of Primary Care Medicine by Agnes Oblas, ANP-C.  In her private practice in AZ, Agnes "does not just treat the medical symptom that her patients present to her. She works together with her patients to help resolve issues impacting the problems and to ultimately help find ways to alter risks for future illnesses."

That is a huge challenge for any practitioner, and this book shows the effort she puts forth to provide her patients with the tools to do just that. In plain English and with some terrific illustrations, Agnes describes common illnesses, medications and other treatments, and bodily functions for the lay person to easily understand. Just a few of the topics include earwax, bunions, COPD, Tuberculosis, Antioxidants, Hypertension, Headaches and Glycemic Index. She also talks about eggs, peanut butter, sugar and butter and some of the myths and truths about how they affect the health status. ANd she shares some of the famous people who have had conditions such as TB.

This book also has a chapter for the Saavy Healthcare Consumer with tips to make the most of your visit with your practitioner. It provides valuable teaching tools for the nurse as well as down to earth information for the consumer with great points to discuss with their practitioner.

Patient education is so important to preventing chronic disease and complications as well as improving the health status and to containing the skyrocketing costs of health care. Thanks Agnes for this fantastic patient teaching tool.




The second book is from well-known nurse writer/blogger, Donna Wilk Cardillo. This time she shares her own life struggles and how even though things were falling apart at various points in her life, she recognized they were actually Falling Together.

This book is well written and from the heart. It's dark, it's heartbreaking, it's funny, it's uplifting all in one easy-to-read examination of the heart and soul. It will inspire the reader to find their way no matter how lost through nurturing and self-awareness.

Learning to use our darkest moments to motivate and fuel a rebuilding is one of the greatest gifts this books offers. Finding ways to make things better and to move forward are so important to maintaining a healthy body and soul. Donna shares her ups and downs and helps us to examine our own journey to find balance, become happier, more creative and to enjoy our lives. Thanks Donna for this great book!





 

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Why I Became a Nurse and Not a Doctor

As many of you probably don't know, my mother passed away in late April after 3 weeks on hospice. I finally got Kaiser to make the referral! But that's a story for another day.

Mom lived with us during her last 3 years of life and it was often a struggle for all of us. But in those last few hours I was afforded the opportunity to share with her why I had become a nurse. She never understood why I wouldn't want to be a doctor instead. Her (much older) cousin had indeed been one of the first women doctors in the U.S. and my mother had considered medicine herself, but after a social life ended her first stint at college with very poor grades, she returned and focused on journalism. It was a decision I think she often regretted. I was always surprised that she didn't pursue nursing. It wouldn't have been looked on with disapproval from family.

I tried so many times over the years to explain my reasons to her and she acknowledged them, but always with a hint that someday I would change my mind. In those last hours when I sat at her bedside and the only person talking was me, I had the chance to show her why.

She had had a series of TIAs and strokes and was now unable to talk and required total care. Her body was shutting down. Her arthritis had riddled her body with awkward stiffness and pain. Her heart had caused her multiple syncopal episodes that left her fatigued and eventually her existence was bed to chair.

In the final days the haldol finally eased the terminal agitation and hallucinations. She was no longer frantically trying to climb out of bed. Nor was she ordering me to stand in the bathroom and see why the house was flooding and the house was going to break apart! I tried to play along, but that only made her more adamant and angry! I tried so hard not to laugh because she was soooo confused and angry. It was just silly.  I had talked so many families down from this as their loved ones transitioned. These would be the longest and perhaps most challenging hours of our lives; and yet the shortest!

It finally made sense that the oxygen concentrator bubbles sounded like water slowly flowing around her. The previous concentrator had been so noisy you couldn't hear the gentle sound of the water bubbling. Reluctantly, with her "You're always right," attitude she calmed down. But I knew she was bracing herself for the flood, the house to crack and the "I told you so" moment to arrive!!

That final stroke left her unable to move any extremity but her hands were no longer stiff. They were soft and relaxed. She required morphine and haldol to ease her transition. That last night she stared at me with her beautiful bright blue eyes and I knew she wanted to know what was happening to her and why?

I was moistening her lips and feeding her a very few ice chips just to ease the dryness in her mouth. (She chewed the toothettes and spit them!!!) I applied some Vaseline lip ointment that she hated, but I knew it worked on her.  I rubbed her legs because they hurt despite all the pain meds --just tired of being in bed.  I starred back into her eyes and told her it would be OK now. Her body was shutting down after 3 strokes and a possible MI, but we would do everything possible to keep her comfortable! I would see to that!!! That had been her end-of-life wish.

And then I held her hand and looked at her and said, "you know Mom THIS is why I became a nurse! Because nurses sit and hold your hand and tell you the truth. They tell you it's OK to go now. They wipe your eyes, and moisten your lips and pad your sunken cheeks from the oxygen tubing. They make sure you get your medication to keep you comfortable. Doctors don't have the time nor the artful skill set to just be with patients. That's why I did NOT want to be a doctor. I only wanted to be a NURSE!!!"

She stared harder like she was trying to say something. Her face softened and she smiled ever so slightly and closed her eyes. I think she finally knew what I meant and it was finally OK with her. And now she knew what was happening to her. A few hours later she was gone.



Friday, May 20, 2016

Nurses Week GiveAway Winners Announced

Thank you to everyone who entered our Nurses Week GiveAway contests. We had an overwhelming response and we have a lot of winners to announce. I also want to once again say a BIG THANK YOU all of our wonderful sponsors for their generous donations to make this a successful celebration of the nursing profession.

Please be sure to check out all of their websites and follow their social media to show your thanks and support to them as well.

Remember the American Nurses Association 2016 Theme for Nurses Week is Culture of Safety, It Starts with YOU. Always do your part to uphold the safety of you, your staff and your patients. Learn more at the ANA website.


I hope everyone had a great Nurses Week! Nurses are always overworked and underpaid and token thank yous can easily be tossed aside. But even the smallest of tokens should be respected. Employers realistically cannot afford to provide huge gifts and some don't even bother to recognize Nurses Week at all so if you received even just a thank you from your employer, please be grateful. Perhaps next year you'll get involved in the process to help your employer present a better recognition. Note too that some people are just NOT party planners and have no clue how to put on a celebration. So those of you who are so talented in this aspect, please step forward. It isn't always that they want to neglect the celebration, they just have no clue.

So without further ado here are the randomly picked out of the hat names of 2016 Nurses week GiveAway Winners from The Nursing Site Blog:

GiveAway #1 Autographed copies (2) of Exploring The Home Health Experience: a Guide to Transitioning Your Career Path
Nurse Born Products
Kali Kunkle (for most entries she gets 2 prizes)

GiveAway #1 Time Management Skills for Nurses
Clai Rreyy
Nurse Mo
Astronaut Momma

GiveAway #2 Compression Socks (2 pair)from Vim & Vigr
Theresa Wilmet
Jimswims (Julie Smith)

GiveAway #3 Illumivein Vein Finders
Krista Quintana
Suzanne Lukawski
Kali Kunkle

GiveAway#4 Sugar Wish
Katrina Brokovich

GiveAway #4 Art Print from ArtofthePage.Etsy.com
Correy Kusten

GiveAway#5 #Maevnscrubs from Maevn Uniforms
Josette Stegmair

GiveAway #6 Nanotex scrubs
Diane Bethe
Amanda Vickers

GiveAway #7 $50 gift card from Uniform Advantage
Joey Zeller

I have tried to contact each winner through the links in their comments or tweets. If your name is here and you didn't get notification, please contact me ASAP. Thanks again to all the entrants and to the sponsors who generously donated these GiveAways.


Thursday, May 12, 2016

Nurses Week GiveAway #7 - $50 E card from Uniform Advantage


Nurses Week comes to a close today, May 12, as we celebrate the anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale and International Nurses Day.

Again this year we are pleased to have a generous donation of a $50 E card from Uniform Advantage for our final Nurses Week Give Away. Follow the Rules to enter to win this E card for UA merchandise.

"Uniform Advantage is a premier supplier of medical apparel and accessories. We strive to provide the best selection of scrubs and nursing uniforms with the highest quality products by listening to what you, the medical professional, need and desire in a uniform.
This year, we have partnered with Miss Colorado, Kelley Johnson, RN, to help recognize nurses for the invaluable work they do. Kelley's caring heart, passion for philanthropic work, and love for nursing aligned so perfectly with our values here at UA that we couldn’t wait to create a partnership! Kelley is excited to be part of our Nurse’s Week Campaign."

Purchase your own #nursesunite T shirt. It's comfy and fun and shows your support for our profession in a campaign that grew out of criticism of the ignorance about nurses and the profession from ABC's The View cast members after the Miss America Pageant in which Miss Colorado, 
Kelley Johnson, RN spoke about her experiences as a nurse in the talent portion. What was a nasty experience sprung a silver lining of nurses uniting and working together and showing respect and support for each other. Happy Nurses Week!!!
 #uniformadvantage #adayinscrubs #nursesunite

And get 20% Off  from Uniform Advantage on select scrubs until MIDNIGHT (PST) today 5/12/16.


Thanks again to all of our supporters for their generous donations and I hope you have all had a great Nurses Week celebrating the difference you each make in someone's life everyday!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Nurses Week GiveAway #6 -- Nanotex Scrubs

Nanotex has generously donated 2 sets of women's scrubs to our list of Nurses week GiveAways. Follow the rules to enter to win one of these sets .

A bit about the new scrubs: Nanotex®, a leading fabric innovator providing nanotechnology-based textile enhancements to the apparel, home and commercial/residential interiors markets, in conjunction with Strategic Partners, Inc. (SPI), the leader in the design and manufacturing of medical apparel, lab wear, footwear and accessories, has a line of scrubs and lab coats called featuring Certainty fabric technology – providing long-lasting freshness against odor-causing and fabric-degrading bacteria on the fabric – and Certainty Plus, which enhances Certainty with Nanotex® Resists Spills, a fluid barrier that causes fluids to bead up and roll off the apparel.

Nanotex utilizes nanotechnology by which molecules permanently attach to fibers without clogging the fabric weave or compromising the look, feel or comfort of the fabric.

The combined technologies are available in durable, breathable, soft, comfortable and fashionable Code Happy® scrubs, and Cherokee®, Dickies® and Code Happy lab coats.

Follow Nanotex Social Media here:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Nanotex  use #ExpectationsExceeded, #NationalNursesWeek
(NEW) Instagram: Nanotex_Technology

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Nurses Week GiveAway #5 from Maevn Uniforms

Maevn Uniforms has generously donated our Nurses Week GiveAway for today, May10. They will give one EON top and one EON bottom with an MSRP of over $50 to one U.S. based winner (male or female). Follow these rules to enter to win.

Maevn Uniforms, a leading U.S. supplier of fashionable medical uniforms, recently announced its new women’s EON Collection.

The EON Collection is the first and only scrub separates and jacket line to be made with a blend of COOLMAX Everyday Fabric. COOLMAX Everyday Fabric is designed to keep professionals cool and dry for everyday comfort and performance. Fabric benefits include easy-care, good air permeability, moisture management and wicking performance, fabric stability, and excellent washfast and colorfast performance.

Styles within the new EON Collection offer a sleek, professional look while providing optimal comfort with lightweight mesh, wrinkle-resistant material, and minimal shrinkage.

About Maevn Uniforms
Maevn Uniforms offers men and women in the medical field high-quality, fashionable apparel at competitive prices. The brand's collections are currently available nationwide at 500 specialty stores that carry medical scrubs and accessories. For more information, please visit: www.maevnuniforms.com

#MaevnScrubs


Monday, May 9, 2016

More Great Nurses Week GiveAways #4

It's May 9 and we have 2 #GiveAways for Nurses Week today.Thank you so much for these and all of the other great sponsors this year!!

#GiveAway #1
Sugarwish sent me a sugarwish a few weeks ago. I got to chose 4 different candies for my box (below) and I enjoyed each piece. They are donating a Sugarwish to one of our readers to honor nurses.

Please follow the rules and post your comment or Retweet. HINT: The retweeters are way ahead in the count. It's easy to do!!

In their own words: 
Sugarwish gets it right by bringing "The Candy Store" to the recipient, and allowing them to choose what they want whether its Swedish Fish, Carmel Creams, or Reese’s Pieces! 

A Sugarwish gift starts as an eCard... that leads to a "virtual candy store" where the recipient get to pick their favorites. Their selections are packaged in a beautiful blue box, tied with a red ribbon and shipped right to their door, hospital floor or office. Sweet happiness. Delivered!

It couldn’t be easier to acknowledge their tireless efforts that make all the difference. Just a few of the benefits of sending a Sugarwish:

  • The receiver picks!
  • It can arrive instantly (you choose if you want the eCard delivered on the same date or any date in the future)
  • The packaging is super chic (no wrapping required)
  • All you need is his/her email 

For our 2nd #GiveAway,  Chris Brown, owner of ArtofthePage.Etsy.com has offered a Fine Art Print from his collection of Fine Art credential prints such as a Caduceus with your RN.  Winner gets to choose the print. Check out his site. There are some truly unique and beautiful renderings there!!


Sunday, May 8, 2016

Happy Nurses Week GiveAway #3-- Illumivein Vein Finders

May 8 is designated as Student Nurses Day. Happy Nurses Week to all who will soon join us in this fantastic profession!

Today I offer 3 Illumivein vein finder kits.  Click on that link to read my review of this great product. These are great tools for new and established nurses and can be great teaching tool for students as well as established nurses. 


Remember the Rules to enter the random drawing for all of the Nurses Week GiveAways are:

 You MUST do 1 of the following. You can enter EACH day to improve your chances to win.

  1.  COMMENT on the daily blog post. You have to have a Google account to comment, but it's free. 
  2. OR Post a COMMENT on the blog feed on any of our Facebook pages                                   (TheNursingSite.com, TheNursingSiteGroup, HomeHealth101.com )
  3. OR  Follow Kathy Quan RN BSN on TWITTER & then Retweet tweets about the GiveAways. 
On May 15, I will accumulate all of the names of the participants from the blog comments, Facebook posts and Twitter retweets, and randomly draw names from those who have done 1 or more of the tasks listed above. Each task earns one entry.


Thanks and good luck.



Student Nurses Day: 3 Ways Nurses Can Get Rid of College Debt Fast

To celebrate National Student Nurses Day May 8 we have a great guest post filled with valuable information about student loans and repayment programs for nurses.

By Andy Josuweit, CEO of Student Loan Hero

Nurses perform one of the most valued and important jobs on Earth. With Student Nurses Day fast approaching, it’s time to honor those who plan to dedicate their life to the nursing profession.

Thanks to highly trained nurses everywhere, we have access to quality medical care performed by individuals who actually care about us.

3 Ways for New Nurses to Drop College Debt Fast

Still, we all know that nursing school isn’t cheap. With college tuition to pay and books to buy, even student nurses who work full-time or part-time usually need to borrow money for school. And once they graduate, the monthly payments can be difficult to manage.

Fortunately, student nurses have a few unique options at their disposal. In fact, it’s possible to have all of your student loan forgiven in a few short years if you meet certain criteria and agree to work in specific, high-need nursing careers.

Want to drop your college debt fast? Consider these three options:

1. NURSE Corps Loan Repayment Program: With this program, nurses who work at least 32 hours per week in certain high-need facilities can have 60 percent of their student loan forgiven after just two years. When you add an additional year of commitment, however, another 25 percent of loans can be forgiven. Read here for the guidelines and application details.

2. Federal Perkins Loan Cancellation and Discharge: Did you take out Federal Perkins Loans as part of your financial aid package? If so, you could have them wiped out if you meet certain requirements.

In order to qualify, you must register for the program and work full-time. After that, your loans will be discharged over a period of five years. To apply to have your Federal Perkins Loans discharged, ask your school or loan servicer about next steps.

3. Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF): Public Service Loan Forgiveness, often referred to as PSLF, is a government program that was created to incentivize people to work in public service careers.

Since many nurses work in public nursing facilities and hospitals, this program is an obvious fit for nurses struggling under the weight of student loan debt.

To qualify, you need to work full-time (at least 30 hours per week) in a qualified position and make on-time payments on your loans for 120 consecutive payments (10 years). After that, all Direct Loans will be wiped off the face of the Earth.

The Bottom Line

In addition to these options, plenty of states offer programs that help nurses get out of debt fast as well. Check out Student Loan Hero’s complete guide to student loan forgiveness for nurses for details on each state’s unique program requirements.

Nurses are valued members of the community who work in rewarding and necessary careers. However, it’s much easier for them to enjoy the fruits of their labor once they student loan debt is gone – and gone for good.


Saturday, May 7, 2016

Nurses Week GiveAway #2

It's Day 2 of Nurses Week. The #GiveAway today is compression socks from Vim &Vigr.

They have generously donated 2 pairs, so we can have 2 winners today. Follow them on Facebook www.Facebook.com/VIMVIGR

Follow the Rules posted 5/5 and comment or Re-tweet to enter. Winners will be announced on May 20.

Check back tomorrow for more great Nurses Week #GiveAways!

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