Sunday, December 30, 2007

Happy New Year!

I hope everyone had a great holiday season and that 2008 will bring great things to everyone. I am presently on jury duty and will resume posting new articles to The Nursing Site and to this blog as soon as I am done with my civic duty.

Hope you all have a terrific New Year's Eve. Be safe! Be well! Take time for you and enjoy some quality time with your patients as they face uncertainty in their futures as the year come to a close.

Happy New Year!!!
image from

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Health Care Bills & Nursing Funding Passed!

Take a break, enjoy your holidays! Take some time for YOU!!! Make the most of whatever time you have with your families. Know that you are doing something to make a difference in someone's life! My aunt was hospitalized a couple of days ago and is very unhappy that she'll have to be in over the holidays. I know I'm grateful for the terrific nurses who will help her to breath easier!

Congress passed the SCHIP renewal and the consolidated funding bill which appropriates $156.05 million for Title VIII nurse workforce development programs. Hurray! This is an increase of $6.4 million over last year's funding. President Bush had suggested cuts of $44 million so this is a real victory. Pres. Bush is expected to sign these bills in the next few days.

Congress also sent legislation for President Bush to sign which will delay for at least six months any cuts in Medicare reimbursement to physicians. For the moment, some of the major health care issues seem to be holding their own.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Forum for Home Health Nurses

I know from experience that there are a lot of home health nurses out there who need a place to share information and to vent. It's hard to get a forum up and running and keep it active. The ones with the largest numbers of members and active participants have gotten greedy and gone way too commercial for my blood.

If you're looking for a new place to visit and share some of your experiences and ask questions of your peers you might want to check out the Home Health Forum

6/11 UPDATE: This forum site no longer exists. So I have some alternatives for you:
         I have a new FACEBOOK page for Home Health. 
You can also visit my home health websites:

Well I'm off to finish some last minute holiday shopping. UGH I don't look forward to trying to find a parking space! How about you? Are you all done, wrapped and ready for the holidays? The last time I was done early I fell and spent 6 weeks on crutches... sooooo call me superstitious, but I don't get it all done early anymore!

Take time for you today!!!! Remember you can't give to others if you are drained yourself. Replenish often! Even if it's just five minutes of day dreaming about your favorite vacation spot.

UPDATE: Join us on FACEBOOK. Feel free to start a related discussion.

And you might be interested in my book Exploring the Home Health Care Experience; A Guide to Transitioning Your Career Path. It's available from Amazon.comIf you'd like an autographed copy order from

I have also recently launched my course on Documentation Basics for Skilled Home Health Care at

Monday, December 17, 2007

How the Presidential Candidates Feel About Nurses

Finally on January 3, 2008, the Iowa Caucus will take place and rapidly after that other states hold their elections to start the process of selecting candidates for the November presidential election. If you're like me, you've become weary of all the debates and hoopla. This has gone on far too long. Now finally it will begin to get serious. It's time now to start paying attention.

The American Nurses Association has been in touch with the candidates from both major political parties to determine how they stand in support of nurses. The ANA has been criticized by some for only showing democratic candidate's responses. That's because for the most part the Republicans aren't talking to the ANA. You can
read all about ANA's involvement and participate in an online vote starting on January 3.

Although ANA does not believe that
nurse staffing ratios should be legislated, many issues regarding nurses and the shortage of nurses will be important factors in this campaign.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Before You Decide to Become a Nurse

Before You Decide to Become a Nurse is a series of articles recently added to The Nursing Site for those who are thinking about a career in nursing including Why Become a Nurse, Nursing is Not For Everyone, Nursing as a Second Career, and the Many Diverse Roles for Nurses.

Becoming a nurse is a serious decision and should not be entered into lightly. Nursing programs are impacted and many qualified candidates are turned away each year. Students who are unsure of their commitment to become a nurse and practice as a nurse, should perhaps consider another aspect of health care for a career. Schools are getting better at weeding out candidates who are not serious, but many still occupy space in programs that would be better suited to other students. Nursing is NOT for everyone, so please consider carefully before you decide to pursue a career in nursing.

Students and recent grads need to understand that it can take you a full year or more before you are truly comfortable and have a level of confidence in your abilities as a nurse. Don't try to rush the process. Practice and perfect your skills.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Survey Shows Nurses' Health Affected by Exposure to Chemicals

Some very disturbing news is exposed in the San Francisco Chronicle today. We all know that as nurses we are exposed to chemicals, germs, and a whole lot of unknown problems everyday. It's just part of the risks we take to help others. But how much exposure is too much? And what is being done to protect us?

The results of an online survey of 1500 nurses in the U.S. conducted by the Environmental Working Group and Health Care Without Harm shows that nurses are being affected by their exposure to eleven common health care chemicals.

These common chemicals include:
  • hand disinfectants
  • cleaning agents
  • latex
  • chemotherapy drugs and antiretrovirals
  • gasses used in anesthesia
  • products containing mercury
  • shampoos and soaps
  • chemicals used to sterilize equipment
The results of the survey show that nurses who were regularly exposed to these chemicals had increased rates of asthma, caner and miscarriages. Pregnant nurses exposed to these chemicals regularly throughout the pregnancy had an increased rate of birth defects.

The study was informal and the results may be affected by this, but none the less, long term exposure is not healthy. Nurses need to be aware and be proactive in working with their facilities and legislators to improve work conditions.

Monday, December 10, 2007

National Nurse Campaign

To solve the nursing shortage crisis, it's going to take a lot of thinking outside the box. One idea came from Terri Mills RN, MS, ANP, a nurse educator at Portland Community College in Oregon. In an op-ed column in the New York Times, Mills suggested the idea for a National Nurse. Over the past couple of years, the idea has evolved and gained support. Learn more about the Campaign for a National Nurse. Watch this video about the National Nurse Campaign. For more information read the National Nurse blog.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Inspirational Quotes

A little stress buster for you today

Looking for Something Beyond the Bedside??

Things got a little crazy this week. I was out of town and didn't have a chance to get anything written here.

I did find some interesting blogs for nurses and one that really caught my eye.... Alternative Nursing Careers. It's a great resource for those looking for a field beyond the bedside. Check it out. Many times I get questions from readers about what else is there and so many hospital nurses who feel stuck and just want to give up entirely. There are many alternatives for nurses.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Head to Toe Assessment

A head to toe assessment involves assessment of the 11 body systems including Neuro, Respiratory, Circulatory, Integumentary, GI, GU, Reproductive, Muscular, Skeletal, Endocrine, Lymphatic/Immune systems. 

One of my most popular articles has always been the Head to Toe Assessment. 

Student nurses and nurse educators have used this page quite often, and I have posted it on TheNursingSite today.

I have added a few recommended books at the bottom of the page for further reading on assessment skills for nurses.
Photo: Dilated pupils by Kathy Quan

Save 20% on Nursing Made Incredibly Easy: Practical, Hands-on Information for Nurses

Friday, November 30, 2007

Finding an Accredited Nursing Program

  • How do you find an accredited nursing program?
  • What is an accredited program and
  • Why does it have to be accredited?
These are important questions to understand and consider in searching for a nursing program that fits with your own criteria. There are other factors to consider as well.

What does impacted mean? Along with the shortage of nurses, we have a shortage of nurse educators and this means that nursing programs are overcrowded and many have long waiting lists. Candidates who are at the top of their game are usually the first ones to get admitted. One way to hedge your bets is to apply to several programs.

Find the answers to these and other questions in learning how to find an accredited nursing program at

Have a good weekend!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Why Should I Become a Nurse?

Why should you become a nurse? Nurses are in demand and will be for many years to come due to a shortage of nurses as well as an increasing demand for more nurses.

As the population ages and grows, the demand for health care is growing. Health care careers will continue to top the list of fastest growing professions well into the next decade.

Registered nurses will be among the top of that list. This means job security, and nurses will be able to demand higher salaries and better benefits for many years to come.

Consider a career in nursing!


Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Medical Memory Cards

I was recently apprised of a new product for nursing students to help them learn and remember common medical abbreviations and basic mathematical conversions nurses frequently need such as Fahrenheit to Celsius, pounds to kilograms, etc. Designed by a nurse educator, Medical Memory Cards follow the rules of memory matching card games. Each set has 26 pairs of cards to match up. There are 3 different sets and they can be purchased individually or in a set of all 3.

If you're looking for a holiday gift for a student nurse, check out Medical Memory Cards on Facebook

(Updated 8/20/13)

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Some Nursing Humor

I received this in an email today from a dear friend and fellow nurse...enjoy! (author unknown)

Did you hear about the nurse who died and went straight to hell? It took her two weeks to realize she wasn't at work!

You know you're a nurse if...
  • You would like to meet the inventor of the call light some night in a dark alley.
  • Your sense of humor gets more warped each year. Almost everything can seem humorous...eventually.
  • You know the smell of different diarrhea to identify it.
  • You wash your hands BEFORE you use the bathroom.
  • You can tell the pharmacist more about the medication they are dispensing than they know.
  • You check the caller ID on your day off to see if anyone from the hospital is trying to call and ask you to work.
  • Discussing bodily fluids over a gourmet meal seems perfectly normal to you.
  • You think that caffeine should be available in IV form.
  • You get an almost irresistible urge to stand and wolf your food even in the nicest restaurants.
  • You believe that unspeakable evils will befall you if you say, “It's unusually quiet around here today".
  • You have ever had a patient look you straight in the eye and say "I have no idea how that got stuck in there".
  • Every time someone asks you for a pen you can find at least 4 of them on you.
  • You live by the motto "To be right is only half the battle, to convince the doctor is more difficult."
  • You've told a confused patient that your name was that of your coworker and to holler if they need help.
  • Your bladder can expand to the size of a Winnebago's water tank.
  • You find yourself checking out other customer's veins in grocery waiting lines.
  • You avoid unhealthy looking shoppers in the mall for fear that they will drop near you and you'll have to do CPR on your day off.
  • Your finger has gone places you never thought possible.


Email Subscriptions Changed

If you previously subscribed to this blog by Email, you will have to re-subscribe. I encountered some technical difficulties and had to make some changes. You can now also subscribe to the RSS feed if you prefer and add it to your home page.

Thanks, and sorry for the inconvenience.

Monday, November 26, 2007

A Holiday Card Available on The Nursing Site

I hope everyone had a terrific Thanksgiving holiday! How's your holiday shopping going? Hope it isn't stressing you out too much. Stop and enjoy the season!

If you're looking for a card for your staff, fellow nurses or students, I have one available on The Nursing Site. For $5 (through PayPal) you can download and print your own on card stock or even regular paper. Print several, or take the .pdf file to your printer. Take the stress out of wishing your colleagues a happy holiday season!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

With Thanksgiving just a couple of days away now, the holiday season is upon us whether we're ready or not. Wishing you all a very Happy Thanksgiving and the best of holidays yet to come!!

This is never an easy season for nurses. People don't get well and go home for the holidays. Health care facilities don't have the opportunity to shut down for a week between Christmas and New Years like my husband's engineering company always did.

In fact, this can be peak season for nurses. Flu season officially starts about mid November and continues well into the new year. Pneumonia seems to run rampant and hospitals fill up. Home health agencies open many new cases, and doctor's offices and clinics are full. About the only thing that may slow down is elective surgeries. People don't usually choose to be battered and bruised for the holidays.

For those of you in nursing school, or considering a career in nursing, be sure you understand that you aren't going to have a two week break for the holidays once you become a nurse. In fact, it may be nearly impossible to take your vacation at or near this time of year so plan ahead. you WILL be working many a Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, and New Years. The same goes for all other holidays throughout the year including your own special days such as birthdays and anniversaries. It comes with the territory so be prepared. Health care is a 24/7, 365 days-a-year profession.

Have a great holiday season and remember that Nurses Make a Difference in Someone's Life Everyday!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Adding Content to The Nursing Site

I have begun the tedious task of adding content to The Nursing Site from the old I started with "How to Become a Nurse" articles and have a few others up as well. I estimate this is going to take a few weeks to get it done right so please bear with me, and if you'd like to know when it's all done, please be sure to subscribe to the feed for this blog, and join the Forum. The links for these are in the sidebar.

Many thanks to all of you who have written to encourage me!!!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Update on The Nursing Site

I've been given permission to repost my content from and so I will begin to upload as much as I can over the next few days. This will be an ongoing process and I will add new content as well. Thanks for your loyalty.

If you have suggestions for content or would like to write a guest article, please Email me at:

As always, please understand that all content (including artwork and photos) here is copyrighted and if you want to use it in part or in full, you MUST Email me at for permission first.

That includes posting blocks of my text on your blog! It MUST have a link to this site and MUST be credited. Ask FIRST please!!!! Thank you!
photo © Kathy Quan

Toy Recalls Continue

It's overwhelming to think about the number of toys that have been recalled in the past few months mostly due to lead content and other safety concerns. Our local news station alerted us to this new Widget that updates with each new recall. (See the sidebar.)

I hope it's helpful to anyone with young children in the home or family. As the holiday buying season moves into high speed with "Black Friday" next week, it's going to be increasingly difficult to know what to buy for children. Poor Santa really has his hands full this year!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Nursing Site Forum is open

The Nursing Site website has been set up and I am adding content everyday. As soon as I have rights to my articles from, I will post them as well. This should be around the end of November.

Today I created a new discussion FORUM site for The Nursing Site. It is hosted on Google Groups. Please join and become a frequent visitor. Invite your colleagues.
The address is:

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Freedom Isn't Free -- Please Support Our Troops

Freedom isn't Free! Please help support our troops. Make their holiday away from home and family a little nicer. Here's what to send and how to send it.

Go to

Tuesday, November 6, 2007


Welcome to The Nursing Site. As you may know, is making changes and will disband the Nursing site. They are going to have a health care careers site and incorporate nursing into the site. I encourage you to continue to visit this new site and support They are a great site and a wonderful company to work for.

I will post my articles from that site as soon as I have all rights to them again. This should be in a couple of weeks. Until then you can still access them at

As I begin to set up a new website for my articles all about nursing, I will also begin to post news about nursing in this blog. I invite you to comment and participate actively. As part of my new website, I will also set up a forum for nurses to share experiences.