Thursday, April 30, 2009

We Need a National Nurse NOW!

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

Nurses Week May 6-12

Suggestions for your celebration:

"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
OR you can click on this link and BUY DIRECT HERE.

There are 2 other styles of similar items available on Housecalls Or send a greeting card.

Other items are available from my Cafe Press sites: (Home Health) or (The Nursing Site Shop)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

iPhone Applications for Nurses

The iPhone and Blackberry have served to replace the need for PDA's, but many nurses have held on to these devices because of the handheld applications available to them. Now the iPhone has many of the same or similar applications available for nurses to download and use. Jimmy at sent me a link to the blog about 25 of these applications.

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

Denture Adhesive Creams Can Cause ZInc Poisoning

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

Links to Nursing Theories

It must be term paper time because I keep getting inquiries about nursing theories and where to find resources. In addition to what I have posted on The Nursing Site, here's a great site with links to the most common nursing theories. I'll add it to my list on the site ASAP.

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

Ahora Hablo Author Offers 2 for 1 Deal on Ebook

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

Playing Catch Up After a LONG Week

Sorry it's been a long week and I have neglected this blog.
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

You are Much More Than "Just a Nurse"

Suzanne Gordon, author, lecturer, and patient advocate has a wonderful poster for sale on her website, entitled "just a Nurse." This is something that should hang in every nurse's station and workplace around the world. (And no, I don't have any financial investment in this.)

Read more about the Things Nurses Really Do at 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.