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

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