Thursday, December 31, 2009
It's hard to find someone who isn't ready to say good riddance to 2009 and soon it will be behind us along with one of the most difficult decades.
At the same time, we bring the lessons we have learned forward with us into the new decade. The challenges we faced will make us stronger and provide us with the knowledge and courage to face the future.
As nurses, the general public looks to us for comfort and guidance. Hopefully the new decade will provide us with the tools to save more lives, comfort more loved ones and the skills, talents and abilities to make a difference in many more lives everyday!
Have a safe and happy new year's eve celebration and a terrific 2010!!!
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Here's to a new decade filled with all things good for everyone. PEACE!!!
Monday, December 7, 2009
Monday, November 30, 2009
Had the ultimate scary experience! Went to pick up mom for Thanksgiving dinner and found her in the bathtub. Alert, oriented X4, but cold from spending the night in the tub. No she won't wear the Life Alert, and doesn't take her cordless phone to the bathroom.....she thinks she's invincible!!!
She doesn't like to drink fluids, because then she has to pee too much and that's an annoyance. But....dehydration, passing out, slipping down into the tub (she's only showered for 5 years now)and not being able to get out is not ????!!! How many times have we heard this???
Well with great care, she's home now and improving everyday with great home health care. Have a whole new set of surveillance products installed that will help prevent this from happening again. She's drinking fluids now and eating regularly, but when I go home we'll have a different plan in place. Finances don't allow for much hired help, and she's way too independent to place her so we'll take it one day at a time and see where we go.
Another loved one had a massive stroke and heart attack on Thanksgiving. So we are grateful to the nurses (and doctors) who spent their holiday working too....and all the days since....
My point here.....many thanks to all of you who have sacrificed and spent your holidays working!! KNOW that you have done something to make a difference for your patients and their loved ones.
Nurses make a difference everyday, not just holidays and weekends!!!!! But we all know that when you're overworked, under appreciated and underpaid....working holidays is even less attractive.
When you've been on the other side, and remember the holidays you spent with loved ones in the hospital for years to come, you remember the nurses who made that difference for you....
It's always nice to know that patients and family members appreciate the sacrifices!!!
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Two issues that are major players in the nursing world are loss and grief and lateral violence (aka nurses eat their young). For new nurses, these can be problems that make or break a career. For those who are burned out and having trouble coping with caring for others, it can be a major turning point as well and not always for the best.
Author Amy Glenn Vega has provided two terrific nursing novellas to illustrate these issues and how one hospital core unit copes with them. Led by their nurse manager, Donna, the staff grows and learns together how to improve their own situations as individuals as well as how to come together as a TEAM and support each other.
Vega is not a nurse, but she has experience in the world of health care and she captures the characteristics and behavior oh so well. In Lions and Tigers and Nurses, Vega leads the reader through a very typical scenario of lateral violence between the older, ready to retire nurse and the newby who can’t do anything right or please her preceptor to save her life! After an inservice on lateral violence, each begins to see how their own behavior feeds into the situation and with the careful guidance and persistence from their leader, the whole staff learns some valuable life and career shaping lessons.
In Broken Heart, Vega brings to life the topic of grief and loss and the many forms it takes on in the lives of nurses. From caring for aging and dying patients, to personal losses as well as sudden death. In order to help our patients deal with these crises, nurses also have to learn how to cope and maneuver through the various stages of death and dying.
Both books offer nurses a glimpse into how to improve their own careers and situations as well as to earn some CEUs in a new format. The books are easy to read with lots of dialogue. I’ll guarantee you can find someone similar to a nurse you have known in these characters and be able to identify with the situations described.
Using storytelling as a teaching tool could be a great way to bring some harmony to your staff. These books might make a great holiday gift for someone who needs a special message about their behavior or a message for your nurse manager about how to help with issues on your unit?
They are both great reading for any new nurse struggling with whether to stick it out or find something else to do.
Lions and Tigers and Nurses by Amy Glenn Vega, ©2009 Pritchett & Hull. ISBN-13: 978-1-933638-43-0
Broken Heart by Amy Glenn Vega, ©2009 Pritchett & Hull. ISBN-13: 978-1-933638-44-7
The books are available from AMAZON.COM or at NursingNovellas.com
In the interest of full disclosure, I received a free review copy of each of these books.
Images from Amazon.com
Monday, November 16, 2009
President Obama has been working with the ANA to help divert this crisis and to educate more nurses as quickly as possible. But one of the biggest problems is the lack of nurse educators. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has been exploring ways to increase the number of nurse educators and is now offering grant monies in some states to help recruit students who will commit to becoming nurse educators.
Friday, November 13, 2009
Yikes, I see my Happy Veteran's Day post is lost somewhere in cyberspace. Well then I just have to adhere to the idea that we should say THANK YOU to our Veterans EVERYDAY for the many sacrifices they make to keep us safe. We all know very well that Freedom is not FREE!!
As nurses we always have a special place in our hearts for our colleagues who serve in the military and help to care for and keep our troops safe and well. Thanks to all of you!!!
photo © Kathy Quan
Thursday, November 5, 2009
- Funding for nursing education and the education of more nurse educators
- Rights and responsibilities for APRNs
- Quality of care issues
The House of Representative is set to vote on Saturday Nov. 7 on HR 3962, the final House version of Health Care Reform. Each if these issues is included in the bill. The ANA supports this bill and urges nurses to READ the proposed legislation on theses nursing issues included and to contact their legislators to support this legislation.
Monday, November 2, 2009
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Friday, October 23, 2009
It seems New York State has rescinded its mandatory H1N1 flu shots for health care workers policy. With a shortage of flu vaccine, they have decided to prioritize who gets the vaccine and they don't have enough to go around if they vaccinate all the nurses and other health care workers too.
And from the Washington Post (free registration may be required) comes more food for thought about the H1N1 vaccine.
Unionization of nurses always gets some blood flowing. Here's something to think about before you make a choice.
On a lighter note....
Here's an an interesting story about the history of nursing uniforms. I get a lot of requests for this information from high school and nursing school students for term papers. There's a lot of debate about what uniforms should and should not be for nurses these days and it's always good to go back and learn about the history of things to shed some light on the debates.
Friday, October 16, 2009
YAZ and Yasmin are manufactured by Bayer HealthCare. The FDA has issued multiple warnings to Bayer this year alone because of misleading advertising and poor quality control in the manufacturing process. Bayer has sponsored its own studies to show that their product is safe, but they have been slow to rectify other issues. Yes now there's a long involved commercial on American television explaining about some of the issues, but is this enough?
"There may be a shortage of nurses in many parts of the US, but there’s no shortage of rethinking and redesign underway to strengthen the profession and to help nurses be more effective providers of quality patient care. Health care reform, along with a greater emphasis on primary care and prevention, are just some of the forces that point to a more prominent, satisfying, and critical role for nurses in the near future...."
Host Madge Kaplan, a long term health reporter, welcomes former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, Donna Shalala; Susan Hassmiller PhD, RN FAAN, Director of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Institute of Nursing and IHI VP, Pat Rutherford, RN MS to discuss the current health reform and the future of nursing.
WIHI is a podcast "talk show" which is presented FREE of charge every other week. This program will be presented on October 22, 2009 from 2-3PM ET. Registration is required.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
If you have an interest in home health nursing, make note that I have recently revamped my website, Housecalls-Online.com which has been around for almost a decade now.
You will also find some helpful information on my other home health site: HomeHealth101.com
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.com. If you'd like an autographed copy order from KathyQuan.com.
I have also recently launched my course on Documentation Basics for Skilled Home Health Care at Teachable.com.
Friday, October 9, 2009
NO it does not! HIPAA regulations still hold, and even before these regs took effect, nurses have had an obligation to maintain patient confidentiality. Ms. Taylor can divulge what she feels comfortable with, but the entire hospital staff is bound by patient confidentiality and HIPAA regulations about who can view or know any of her information as it pertains to their job and her care.
This can be a challenging part of the job especially for those who work in facilities that often care for celebrities and their families and friends. It's human nature to want to share stories about who you saw in a restaurant or shopping mall, but if they are a patient you must not tell anyone.
Remember too that HIPAA regs apply to all patients. You might have a neighbor admitted to your unit, and other neighbors may inquire as to his/her status as they see you coming or going from home. Without your neighbor's permission, you can't discuss the case either. You can't even discuss it with your own family. Protect your license and suggest they call or visit.
photo: screenshot from Twitter
Friday, September 25, 2009
Although you cannot become a nurse with online courses, online learning opportunities are available for nurses looking to expand their education. Those striving to become nurses can find some of their general education and prerequisite courses online.
From one of our sponsors, eLearning.com, comes another great article about online learning opportunities.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
All of these products can be very helpful to new nurses in particular, and to experienced nurses who need some support and encouragement to deal with new challenges we face everyday. They can be useful tools for preceptors and mentors as guidelines to help new nurses come up to speed. They are also useful tools for nurse educators in nursing programs to assist students to grow into fine new nurses.
Nurse educators in facilities can use these products to develop their orientation and continuing education programs simply by adding a unique post test or evaluation form. The e-Toolkit comes with a Power Point presentation and a manual for the nurse educator which can also be used by the individual as a self-guided study.
The 3 updated e-booklets are:
- 102 Tips for a Successful Transition: New Grad to Competent Nurse
- 72 (PLUS) Tips for Accurate and Ethical Documentation in the 21st Century
- Tips and Strategies for Effective Time Management
The e-Toolkit is:
- Nurses: Facing Challenges in the 21st Century A Training Manual for Health Educators
The toolkit is specifically designed to help nurses understand and hone their critical thinking skills by including a number of exercises to develop and mold ideas and plans to implement mandated care issues to their own facilities and circumstances.
I hope you will find these items helpful! Check out some of the other products available on their website too and sign up for the newsletter.
Monday, September 21, 2009
I was thrilled to see today that Diana Mason, editor-in-chief emeritus of The American Journal of Nursing has come out in support of an Office of the National Nurse after spending some time discussing the issue with nurses from the UK where they have this kind of national leadership for nurses. Read her comments in the AJN blog, Off the Charts as she poses the question, "Why doesn't the U.S. have an Office of the National Nurse?"
Friday, September 11, 2009
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Despite objection in July from the New York State Nurses Association, New York has imposed a mandate for all health care workers to be vaccinated against the flu virus this year. New York was very hard hit last spring by the H1N1 Swine flu and is experiencing another rush of the illness so far this fall.
According to a survey by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) less than 50% of health care workers take the annual flu shots. There are a variety of reasons cited, but many state that they "got the flu anyway" the last time they took the shot.
The moral issues weigh in as well: what if you are sick and infect someone else? And what if they die from the flu after being infected by you? And what if too many nurses and doctors get sick all at once and there is not enough to care for the sick?
Join the Nursing Site Network and give your thoughts in the forum discussion on this subject....
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Do you have the latest version of your drug book, smart phone application or software? The advantage of smart phone or PDA applications as well as any medical software is that it can be updated frequently where as a hard copy book cannot. But whatever your personal or professional choice, you need to update them at least once a year.
Each year thousands of new drugs become available or have significant changes in applications, side effects, etc. Nurses have the responsibility to teach patients, caregivers and family members about medications and unless they have the most up-to-date information at their fingertips, this basic process can be severely hampered.
Remember to check with your tax advisor about the cost of these tools if you purchase them for yourself. In most instances, they will be tax deductible, so be sure to keep the receipts and keep good documentation about how much time you use your smart phone, PDA or computer for work related business.
As a new school year begins, it is a good reminder to update drug books and applications. It's also a good time to review any other such applications or tools that you use in your job.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Actress Lori Laughlin is a mother of 3 herself and is the national spokesperson for the Voices of Meningitis Initiative. She has made a public service announcement video (see below) and along with school nurses across the country the initiative hopes to inform parents about the dangers of meningococcal meningitis.
Although this disease is rare, it is also hard to recognize in early stages because the symptoms are similar to those of other virus such as the flu. But it can claim a life in just a day. The bacteria can be spread by sharing eating utensils and drinking glasses or bottles as well as through kissing.
It has been a well known hazard for college students and dormitory life for several years now. Vaccination for college freshmen is often mandatory especially for students living in dorms.
Learn more about the dangers of meningococcal meningitis in teens and preteens and help educate the public.
(You should pause the music in the sidebar before playing this video.)
Monday, August 24, 2009
Thursday, August 20, 2009
I always suggest that nursing students keep an open mind throughout their education because typically they will fall in love with more than one rotation, and change their minds more than once. A good six months or a year of med/surg after graduation is also a good consideration for building confidence and honing skills.
But for those of you who think you want to be an NP, then by all means understand what's required before you get started.
NOT: If you have a bookmark for this site and it's not working, then delete the bookmark and make a new one. This seems to help.
Also, if you get an error message, put your cursor in the URL box at the end of the URL and hit enter. This helps to over ride the error too.
Meanwhile.....I'm still tring to work with the "experts".
Thursday, August 13, 2009
But sometimes they become very mysterious as nurses present them in publication such as white papers or a thesis and nursing students can become overwhelmed in trying to make sense of it all.
It's really not a complex concept, but is an essential one to understand. I have tried to demystify critical thinking skills. I hope this is helpful.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Monday, August 10, 2009
"If you want a degree that’s taken seriously in the workplace, you need to do two things. First, make sure you choose a school that has the proper regional accreditation. Second, if you expect the degree to earn you a promotion, make sure that you choose a program that’s appropriate for your workplace situation.
While the creditability of online learning is substantial, there are still diploma mills out there looking to cash in. Don’t get suckered."
Friday, August 7, 2009
How many Americans have had to declare bankruptcy because of medical bills even WITH health insurance coverage?
But no one wants the government to take it over completely, and the plans in Congress are NOT about doing this....politicians may not be too bright, but they aren't that stupid....everyone knows how BAD the post office is or has had to deal with the DMV.
Don't listen to the scare tactics. Get some facts. Here's a great article from the Washington Post.
Friday, July 31, 2009
(UPDATE: My presentation will be Saturday Aug. 8 at Noon)
To learn more about this virtual event, its speakers and how to register, visit:
Once you register, all the details about attending the calls will be emailed to you.
We also understand that you may want to listen several times or have the information available for family and friends to listen, so besides recording the calls, we are also going to turn them into MP3 audio recordings, CDs and transcripts. You'll be able to purchase them at a very affordable price at the time of registration.
But again, the sessions themsleves are all FREE to attend.
Won't you join us?
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
The ANA opposes the idea of the ONN, but have they polled the membership or do a few officers make these decisions on their own? This is a burning question. If you are a member of ANA have you been asked for your opinion about this issue, or other issues that ANA takes a stand on?
Make your voice heard to the ANA on this issue.
You should also read Nurse Ratched's post.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
At the end of her speech, Teri had the honor to introduce Gov. Howard Dean who spoke about President Obama's plan for health care reform and why we need this kind of reform now.
The Center for Media and Democracy has video of these 3 effective speeches on their website. Take a few minutes to listen.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Monday, July 20, 2009
Where were you 40 years ago today?
I remember we were glued to the television set as we watched Buzz Aldrin step down at Tranquility Base on the moon, and say his famous words, "One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." President Kennedy had said in his inaugural speech in 1961 that we would do it in that decade and we did. It was a thrilling time. I had the opportunity to visit Cape Canaveral several years ago. My children were not impressed and could not understand what I thought was so fascinating. Then when they saw the movie Apollo 13 they understood, and I realized they had had no idea about the early days of our space program.
So for those of you too young to remember or before you were born, here's a little video from that great day... courtesy of NASA. It's not great video, but it's exactly as we saw it 40 years ago today, July 20, 1969.
I hope it inspires some of you to dream big and to reach for things well beyond your imagination.
Photo: Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Edwin (Buzz) Aldrin Jr. the Apollo 11 crew. Image from NASA.gov
Friday, July 17, 2009
The recession may have slowed the nursing shortage a bit, because so many older nurses have come out of retirement or semi retirement, but the nursing shortage is poised to be an even bigger problem as a result if all those nurse decide to make a mass exodus once the economy recovers.
New grads may have difficulty finding jobs right now in some markets, but if they expand their options, there are still plenty of jobs available!!! Read more....
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
If you have heard a medical term, phrase, acronym, etc., that you're not sure of, there's a site you might want to check out called SlangRN.com. Items are well categorized by the "latest" "top slang" and "random". There's also an alphabetized list and a tab for anyone to add to the ever growing list.
Friday, July 3, 2009
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Thursday, June 25, 2009
May they be at peace and their loved ones full of happy memories to keep them alive forever.
If anyone fits one of the following categories and would be willing to be interviewed for this program, please email Cathy Duchamp at cathyduchamp at hotmail.com.
Here are the categories of nurses Cathy is looking for:
- an *experienced* nurse who's coming back to the field from retirement or one who's decided to delay retirement due to the shaky economy
- a new nursing school grad still job searching
- a PT nurse looking for a FT permanent job due to the economy
Thanks for your help!
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Thursday, June 18, 2009
After the disaster of Nurse Jackie on Showtime, it was a relief to see nurses being portrayed as strong professionals who have human issues to deal with, but aren't always drugged up, whacked out, sex addicts!
Jada Pinkett Smith portrays Chief Nursing Officer Christina Hawthorne RN who is a strong patient advocate and mentor to a staff of nurses who are representative of many of the nurses we have all known from new grads to the cocky ones who get themselves into trouble trying to buck the system. Hawthorne is on TNT on Tuesday nights at 9/8 C.
"Am I going to cry everyday?" asks the young new grad. Hawthorne and her best nurse, Bobbie, played by Suleka Mathew, respond without hesitation in unison, "YES!" How true, new grads will often find themselves reacting with emotions to the events of the day. It will take a good year to become confident and feel like those nursing shoes fit.
Many nurses may not want to watch the show because they live this everyday, and want to be entertained by television. But at least to those who aren't nurses, Hawthorne does try to fairly represent the nursing profession.
It's not without faults however. When nurse Ray Stein withholds the sliding scale insulin until he can confront the physician about a dose he feels is wrong, it takes quite some time to get an answer from the physician. Sliding scale insulin orders have come into question in recent years as being more of a convenience to physicians and not really the best medicine for patients. The dose tends to chase glucose levels instead of managing them. So taking issue with this may be all well and good....but.....
Is 6 units really completely out of line for a blood sugar of 230 in this particular patient? Perhaps not. And the physician may win out on this one despite the fact that the patient coded.
I also would have expected to see Ray be more careful and re-check that blood glucose level again before he gives the insulin as it may well have changed in the supposed hours he waited to give it while waiting for the doctor to respond. After all, he almost became a doctor.
Another point I take issue with is that if the nursing staff is going to fight this one, then let's get some real technical direction and give the insulin with an insulin syringe, and not a 3 cc syringe with at least a 1 inch needle.
Looked like Stein gave the patient about 1 cc of insulin and that would have killed a horse! And then he recapped the needle!!! YIKES!!!!! Anyone familiar with insulin is going to catch this one, not just a medical professional. So let's be realistic, and a bit more socially responsible...please!!! (photo by Kathy Quan RN BSN)
What did you think about this show?
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Nursing as a second career is a terrific choice. Of course my opinion is biased, but anyone giving nursing a chance deserves to be respected.
Those who choose nursing today must also be very patient people. There are no shortcuts to becoming a nurse, and most nursing schools have long waiting lists.
No, there are NO online programs to become a nurse. There are thousands of ads and teasers on the Internet which can literally tie you up for hours searching for that program they promise. If you do find it, I assure you it isn’t accredited and you’ll waste your time and money because you cannot become licensed unless you attend an accredited nursing school. You must have actual HANDS ON experience with real patients to become a nurse.
Some nursing schools do have some online classes and use virtual labs, but not an entire nursing program. There are online programs for nurses to expand their education, but none to become a nurse in the first place.
If this is a second career, do you have a college degree already? If you have a BA, BS or perhaps even a Masters degree in some other subject, you can apply to an accelerated nursing program to get your BSN or MSN. For instance, there are spectacular graduate nursing programs in PA, and you don’t need to start all over with an Associate’s degree.
There is also an active list of nursing schools which have no waiting lists.
For all nursing schools you will have to complete some prerequisites and this will help fill the 1-2 year waiting time. These include college level algebra, chemistry, anatomy and physiology, microbiology, psychology, and sociology. Some may require statistics as well. Check with the school(s) you are applying to or attending for specifics. For example, not all anatomy and physiology courses will fulfill the requirement, and chemistry is another that may be very specific.
Many schools require prior experience in the medical field. A semester course at a community college or adult education school can fulfill this by becoming a CNA or an EMT. Some hospitals offer on-the-job training for unlicensed patient assistants. These opportunities can provide you with a real insight into patient care, and some will open up other avenues of education. For instance, EMT’s who go on to become paramedics can bridge to nursing later on and that can be done online.
In all of this pre-nursing course work, be sure to put forth your best effort and earn the highest grades possible.
There is a tremendous shortage of nurses, and that also means there is a shortage of nurse educators. During the Clinton administration, Congress determined that funds to help support nursing education and pay for nurses to become nurse educators would need to be exponentially increased every year to meet the growing demands for more nurses. During his eight year administration, President Bush chose to cut those funds each year rather than expand them, and today we find ourselves in a real mess.
Every year nursing schools turn away thousands of qualified candidates because they don’t have enough teachers. As a result, schools have instituted a point system to evaluate applicants. Grades and experience can give you an advantage.
The Great Recession has forced many nurses out of retirement, and caused others to delay retirement. This has helped to ease the shortage, but it is only a temporary fix. Once the economy recovers, there is expected to be a mass exodus of nurses who have reached or surpassed “retirement” age.
To those waiting in the wings, the opportunities will be there by the time you complete your coursework. As a result of the economic crisis, many people are looking at having to work well into their seventies and nursing is a profession which can offer that opportunity. Working 12 hour shifts in the ER, ICU or even a very busy floor may not be ideal for aging nurses, but nursing offers many diverse options for employment away from the bustle of hospital bedside care.
And so my answer to those in their forties and fifties looking to become second career nurses, it IS worth being patient and forging ahead.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
It's time to say THANKS to all the nursing assistants who help to make our days and provide such terrific care to our patients!!!
Happy Nursing Assistants Day as Nursing Assistants Week begins and runs June 11-18, 2009. This year's theme is Yes WE Can! Teamwork.
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Nurse Jackie premiered on SHOWTIME last night. Did you see it? What was your opinion? Personally i thought it was WAY off the mark! There was a lot of potential for some really good story lines and some talented performers such as Edie Falco, but once again Hollywood chooses to trash the nursing profession!
SHOWTIME calls it a dark comedy and it's supposedly from the journals of a real ER nurse with a bad back and drug problem.
But hey...where can you find a hospital like that one to work for? Nurses get to go to lunch at a real restaurant, and take a long break in the chapel to contemplate the events of the day with a co-worker no less??!!! When was the last time you got to do that on the job????!!!
If you didn't see it, NurseTogether.com has a link on their site. In my humble opinion, it's not worth subscribing to SHOWTIME to watch, but you can catch the pilot episode over there. And they have a section of the Forum dedicated to discussion. I was asked to write a review for them and it should appear sometime this week.
(UPDATE: June 12: here's my review. )
So what's your opinion?
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Welcome new nurses! May and June are traditionally graduation season although most nursing programs admit and graduate nurses year round, May and June are traditionally when graduation ceremonies are held.
Take a deep breath and pat yourself on the back for a job well done! Next comes the NCLEX and you'll need to do some prep work for that. Many schools give routine tests to prepare nurse grads for this, but even so, you will need to do some review work. Get together with some of your fellow grads and form a study group.
Then as you take your place as a new nurse in the ranks, remember these thoughts:
1) You didn't learn everything you'll ever need to know in school. This is a lifelong learning adventure. Don't try to bluff your way through something new. Ask for advice and help. Do your homework... read up on anything new you faced each day and things will fall into place.
2)Remember that it's going to take you about a year before you're going to be comfortable and confident in those nursing shoes. About six months from now you may find yourself doubting yourself more than ever and wondering if you made a huge mistake. Give it TIME. work through it slowly and you will succeed!!! Every new nurse goes through this... whether they'll admit it or not.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Contact your legislators to support this bill.
Friday, May 15, 2009
You can view the GMA segment here: http://www.
Please help to educate the public about the possible harm from overusing denture creams. When used in small amounts as directed, the creams are apparently safe. People who have ill fitting dentures often use more than the recommended amount to ease the problem. And some people wear their dentures 24/7 which can also lead to over exposure to zinc. Read more about this issue.
Monday, May 11, 2009
As Nurses Week continues, let's remember that nursing is not a gender, it is a profession. In fact, the first nurses were men, and men dominated the nursing profession for centuries.
Today, men make up about 6-7% of the civilian nursing workforce in the U.S. In the U.S. military, men make up about 35% of the nursing workforce.
The art of nursing is not just for women. Help us to grow the nursing workforce by encouraging others (men and women alike) to become nurses.
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Hope everyone has a great Nurses Week. Today is also School Nurses Day (the Wed. of Nurses Week). Student Nurses Day is Friday, May 8, and of course May 12 is the anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale who got us all into this (nursing) in the first place! Enjoy!
Take pride in what you do and how you make a difference for someone everyday!
The official 2009 theme for ANA is Nurses: Building a Healthy America.... please continue to weigh in with your opinions about a National Nurse, and contact your legislators to make it happen!!(Scroll down to the next oldest post.)
If you forgot and need some simple Nurses Day and Week token "gifts" such as this postcard,(above) a book mark, a certificate of appreciation or a Nurses Day or Nurses Week card, as well as a nurses hat you can cut out and put together.... you can order a Print Your Own Kit for $10. I'll send you the .pdf files back by email.
Thursday, April 30, 2009
The WHO raised the swine flu pandemic alert to a 5 (out of6) and changed the name to Influenza A (H1N1) as the poor pigs are getting a bad rap from this one. Although it is now believed that the first case in Mexico may have been a young boy who contracted it from a pig and it mutated to a human to human transmission from there.
There has been a call to all nurses to be alert to the public health crisis looming as the swine flu spreads across the U.S. Wouldn't this be a perfect time to have a National Nurse? And a corps of nurses prepared and ready to move into action where needed?
Yes, I know the ANA is trying to do this and the Red Cross always helps to organize nurses in a any crisis and send volunteers where they are needed, but as we saw with Katrina, this system works, but it could be oh so much better!!!
So why is there so much opposition to the idea of a National Nurse? Perhaps it's just the old professional jealousy thing....NIH...Not Invented Here... that keeps the opposition buoyant.
I think we may see in the next few days and weeks that there is a real need for a strong, united and organized front of nurses to help meet the needs of the public and to educate people in how to care for themselves as well as contain and prevent the spread of this flu pandemic.
We know that even though the government says there are plenty of antivirals to go around, in reality, pharmacies are NOT stocked and prepared to deliver them. They need to be taken early on in the course of the illness to be effective so this isn't a good thing!
The CDC and WHO are issuing information on Twitter in 140 characters or less. This is terrific, but is it adequate to educate the public in how to prevent transmission and how to safely care for themselves and their loved ones if they become ill?
As the events unfold and we move into National Nurses Week, I urge you to keep in mind how much better we could proceed if we had an Office of the National Nurse to lead and organize our efforts. Take action to support the nursing profession by sending a letter to your legislators.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
"At the end of the day, I can truly say I made a difference in someone's life. And that is why I am a nurse!" (©2009 Kathy Quan RN BSN) is the theme for my Nurses Week Print Your Own Kits. (The picture at left is the 2009 design.)
The kit includes a bookmark, a Nurses Day card, a Nurses week card, a post card and a certificate of appreciation. It also includes a paper nurse's hat which requires cutting out and stapling together.
The kit sells for $10 through Paypal. I will email you the .pdf files to Print your Own copies. You can order it from The Nursing Site.com.
OR you can click on this link and BUY DIRECT HERE.
There are 2 other styles of similar items available on Housecalls Online.com. Or send a greeting card.
Other items are available from my Cafe Press sites: (Home Health) http://www.cafepress.com/homehealth or (The Nursing Site Shop) http://www.cafepress.com/thenursingsite.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Check them out. If you have an iTouch instead of an iPhone, be sure to see if they can be used on it instead. Many iPhone applications do work on the iTouch as well.
Having information available at your fingertips is a helpful thing. These items most likely would qualify for tax deductions so be sure to keep receipts and consult your tax advisor.
They could also make great suggestions for Nurses Week, Mother's Day or Father's Day gift ideas. So drop a few hints.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Patient education is a huge part of the nurse’s job and usually this involves providing information and instructions regarding new medications, procedures or treatments.
Next time you assess a patient and discover they have dentures, don’t just skim over this. Stop and question them about how well they fit, the type of adhesive they use, how much they use and whether they have experienced any symptoms of neuropathy since using denture adhesive creams. In a recent interview with Eric Chaffin, Esq. of Bernstein Liebhard LLP, I discovered a little known fact about the risks of denture adhesive creams and consumer injuries.
Most denture adhesive creams contain zinc. Overuse of these products is known to cause zinc poisoning. When dentures don’t fit correctly, consumers are likely to try to fix the problem by using more than the standard amount of adhesive. They may have been instructed to do so by dentists who don’t know of the risks associated with overuse of denture creams.
There are currently lawsuits being brought against the makers of denture cream such as Fixodent and Poligrip for not educating health professionals and consumers about this risk.
Researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical center in Dallas, linked patients who had symptoms of neuropathy, copper depletion, and zinc toxicity to the use of denture adhesive creams. Those who used the products in large amounts had more acute symptoms.
Symptoms of neuropathy can include a numbness, unexplained pain and/or diminished use or loss of function in the extremities. Poor balance and ataxia can also be related to neuropathy. Lethargy or unexplained fatigue can also be related to zinc poisoning. These symptoms can become permanent, debilitating or even fatal if the cause is not addressed and eliminated.
The body requires small amounts of the mineral zinc to maintain a healthy and balanced diet. Zinc containing enzymes help to regulate growth, aid in digestion and promote fertility. It is also needed for nucleic acid synthesis for new cell development such as in the bone marrow, immune cells and in the lining of the intestines. In large amount, zinc becomes toxic and depletes copper and iron from the system.
In educating patients, nurses should alert patients and their families to the risks associated with denture creams.
Many consumers have filed denture cream lawsuits because of the effects of zinc poisoning and the fact that the manufacturers have not alerted the public to this risk. Patients who have been injured by over using denture cream adhesives containing zinc, can consult a denture cream lawyer to consult about their rights.
Sunday, April 19, 2009
If you have found a site to add to this list, please post a comment, or email me. Thanks!!!
Good luck on your papers!!!
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Awhile back I wrote a review about a terrific medical Spanish book, Ahora Hablo, written by a high school Spanish teacher. Now on her website, Meg Graham is offering a 2 for 1 deal (during April and May only) on an E-book download of this terrific book.
You buy one and then email her for the code to open a second copy. So 2 nurses can get this fabulous book for about $5 each! That's a great bargain and the book is a wonderful resource for anyone who works with Spanish speaking patients. She also has a great book for the traveler and it's on this same 2 for 1 special too.
With Nurses Week coming up very soon, this book would make a great gift for any nurse you know.
(Disclosure: I have no financial interest in this.)
Friday, April 10, 2009
I did post something at Ultimate Nurse: Nurses Have a Voice and Should Not Go Silent!
Now is NOT the time for nurses to be bullied into thinking they will lose their jobs. It's time to stand strong and hold on to the little ground we have gained in improving working conditions.
Nurses Week is rapidly approaching and yes, I do have a new design for the Print Your Own Kits this year, but have not gotten it posted. The theme is: At the end of the day, I can truly say I made a difference in someone's life today. It too is $10. If you are interested, please email me and I'll get you more details. Hope to get it posted this weekend.
Also....when ordering, PLEASE be sure you give the correct email address. I have an order I can't process (and therefore can't refund) because the email address bounces as Unknown Address.
I'll get caught up in the next couple of days as long as my mom stays out of trouble!
Take care and have a great weekend! Enjoy Passover, Easter, the end of or beginning of Spring Break, etc.
And PLEASE....drink responsibly and use a designated driver if you drink. Baseball is my passion and we lost a wonderful young talent this week because some IDIOT who had a suspended license from a DUI decided to drive drunk yet again....of course he walked away (actually was a hit and run)! RIP Nick Adenhart and the two friends who also died in the same car.
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Read more about the Things Nurses Really Do at TheNursingSite.com.... You are not "just a nurse;" you ARE a nurse.
Nurses save lives; nurses educate patients, family and caregivers; nurses help to control symptoms such as pain and provide comfort; nurses educate other nurses; nurses assess patients and demand appropriate care; nurses prevent errors and complications; nurses make a difference in someone's life everyday!
Nursing is more than a job; it's about a lifestyle. It's about mentoring and educating everyone around you. Take credit for what you do and who your are! Stand up and expect to be recognized as part of the backbone of the health care system.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
I'm forwarding along an email I received from the National League for Nursing. This is a very important issue to all nurses as educating new nurses is vital to reducing the shortage of nurses...."Dear Colleague" Letter on Title VIII Funding Circulating in House -- Signatures Needed by Tuesday, March 31, 2009
TO: ALL NURSES
Representatives Lois Capps (D-CA) and Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ) are circulating a "Dear Colleague" letter seeking support of their fellow Representatives to fund Title VIII - Nursing Workforce Development Programs at the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) at a level of $215 million for FY 2010. They need to get as many of their House colleagues as possible to sign this letter by Tuesday, March 31, 2009. To see a copy of the letter, click here.
The Title VIII programs have been a proven solution to past nursing shortages when provided with adequate funding. These programs support the education of RNs, APRNs, nurse faculty, and nurse researchers. Over the last three years, relatively flat Title VIII funding, combined with rising educational and administrative costs, as well as inflation, has significantly decreased the programs' purchasing power. In FY 2006, the programs supported 91,189 nurses and nursing students. In FY 2007 and 2008, the number of grantees supported dropped by 21% and 28% respectively.
The continuing shortages of RNs and nurse educators pose real challenges to our current health care system and, in the longer term, to potential health care reform plans. Fortunately, the Title VIII programs are structured to address the educational, retention, and recruitment needs of the nursing workforce, but the programs cannot meet this need without additional funding.
Call, fax, or e-mail your Representative and urge him/her to sign onto the Capps-LoBiondo letter to support funding for Title VIII - Nursing Workforce Development Programs at a level of $215 Million for FY 2010.
Click here to go directly to the NLN Government Affairs Action Center where you can find the telephone or fax number for your Representative. Include your Representative's Health LA (Legislative Assistant) in any message that you send. That person is listed under the "Staff" tab that appears on your Representative's homepage. Let them know that they should contact Amy Fisher in Representative Capps' (202-225-3601) or Dana Richter in Representative LoBiondo's office (202-225-6572) to sign onto the "Dear Colleague" by the deadline of March 31, 2009.
Please do not delay!
Make that call or send that fax or e-mail now!
Kathleen A. Ream
Director, Government Affairs
National League for Nursing
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
More exciting news comes today from The National Nurse campaign. The largest organization (union) of working RNs, known collectively as RNs Working Together AFL_CIO, has issued a statement of full support for the Office of a National Nurse.
"As a nurse and a union leader, I believe that creating the Office of a National Nurse is a good way to enhance nursing recruitment and support policies that strengthen nursing education and practice," says JNESO Executive Director Virginia Treacy, RN.
This group of unions includes JNESO and the largest nursing union, California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee (CNA/NNOC), along with 8 other affiliates to represent nearly 250,000 nurses in the U.S.
Monday, March 23, 2009
Time got away from me last week so here's some news to catch up on...
Teri Mills MS, RN, ANP, CNE announced in the National Nurse Blog last Thursday that the Oregon State Legislature has passed a resolution in support of the Office of a National Nurse. The resolution calls on the U.S. Congress to pass legislation creating this office. Oregon now joins Vermont, Massachusetts, and New York in supporting this cause. Don't forget to sign the Office of a National Nurse Petition if you haven't already done so. Ask your friends and family who are registered voters to sign too.
Mother Jones at Nurse Ratched's Place wrote a terrific blog about nurses and unions. Two of the strongest nursing unions SEIU and CNA/NNOC have put aside their bitter dispute to form a powerful alliance working together to support universal health care.
Her blog carefully depicts the situation we are currently in and how we need to use these unions to continue to work for the rights and needs of nurses in order to provide quality patient care. Did you realize that if you factor in inflation, average wages are lower now than they were in the 1970's and the minimum wage is actually lower than in the 1950's???!! This is a MUST read....
For all the travel nurses, Epstein LaRue RN announced on her Highway Hypodermics blog that she has a new book out Highway Hypodermics On the Road Again. She's actually on the road home from Texas and can't ship them until at least April 5, but they are ready! This is a must have for anyone considering travel nursing!
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Wishing all of you a very Happy St. Patrick's Day. May the luck of the Irish be with you all. I hope each of you finds your own pot of gold at the end of your rainbow! Be safe and drink responsibly!
Photos: Leprechaun: Michael Zacharzewski SXC
Shamrock: Jdurham Morguefile.com
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
With a relatively slow flu season and far fewer elective procedures being performed, hospital censuses have fallen. Consequently, the need for hospital nurses has diminished somewhat. This is a temporary situation, but it may last for awhile.
Travel nurses are feeling the brunt especially those who just want med/surg assignments in say, sunny (??) California. (It's overcast and gloomy right now, not at all sunny.)
Specialty nurses are more in demand, and those who have specialized skills and experience and are willing to work these units will continue to find jobs more readily. Read more at UltimateNurse.com....
© 2009 Kathy Quan RN BSN All Rights Reserved
Friday, March 6, 2009
From Kaplan Publishing....
Kaplan Publishing, the publisher of a broad range of educational and consumer books by and for healthcare providers, is now accepting stories for a new and exciting anthology, Beyond Borders: Nurses’ Stories about Working Abroad.
Kaplan wants nurses from all over the world to reveal what it's like to practice nursing outside their hometowns, in places like the United States, Jamaica, France, Indonesia and beyond.
Whether confronted with unfamiliar cultural norms, new medical language, or greater or fewer resources than you would experience at home, your story will open a window into the commonalties and cultural differences in how the art and science of nursing is practiced around the globe.
- Tell your story. If you are a nurse’s aid, a nurse, or a nurse practitioner please share your unique experience of working somewhere other than your native country. If you have a story of working in a town that is culturally very different from your hometown, we hope you will share this story as well. Tell us how your experience has shaped the person that you are today.
- Make us laugh, make us cry; allow your words to open a broader world for your readers.
- All stories must be true and you must you retain the copyright if previously published.
- Story Length:1,000 – 2,500 words
- Submit stories in Microsoft Word, 12-point Times New Roman, double-spaced.
- Each submission should include your name, address, phone number, and email address.
- Tell a story that has a beginning, middle, and end.
- Write from your heart about a life-changing or life-defining experience.
- Multiple submissions are welcome.
- All manuscripts selected for publication will be subject to editing.
- Before final acceptance, you will receive an agreement that outlines the terms and conditions of publication.
- Submission Deadline: April 10, 2009
- Payment:$100 if published, along with two complimentary copies of the book
By Email - BeyondBorders@live.com Please put your story title in the subject line. You can type the story into the body of the email, or send as an attachment. Please note that stories should not be submitted to this e-mail address!
By Mail - Only a paper copy of the story – no disks or CDs please.
Kaplan Publishing – Beyond Borders
P.O. Box 51
Wever, IA 52658 USA
Due to the volume of submissions we cannot acknowledge receipt or provide status updates.
The Kaplan Voices: Nurses editorial team
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.