Monday, November 30, 2009

Many Thanks for Those Working the Holidays!

A big shout out to the nurses at Kaiser Woodland Hills Hospital especially in the ER and Telemetry. Thanks for all you did for my mom the past few days. We're thankful for those who worked the holiday and holiday weekend!! Because being there for patients, sacrificing time with our own loved ones, is what we do. The 10 firefighters and paramedics were great too!!!!(And soooo good looking too.)

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

Happy Thanksgiving

Wishing all of you the very happiest of Thanksgiving days. Make some wonderful memories and remember that you make a difference in someone's life everyday! That is especially true for all the nurses working today!!!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

ONN Update

The Office of the National Nurse has an ad included in new literature about health care reform just sent to the House of Representatives. Click here to download the .pdf file.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Nursing Novellas Offer Unique Teaching Tool

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

In the interest of full disclosure, I received a free review copy of each of these books.

Images from

Monday, November 16, 2009

Nurses Willing to Teach Can Earn Grants

The nursing shortage continues to grow despite the economic crisis causing many nurses to delay retirement or return to work. Many pundits fear that when the economy recovers, the nursing shortage will increase as Baby Boomer nurses finally do retire, possibly in droves.

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

A Salute to Our Vets!

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

Nursing Issues in Health Care Reform Bill

There are some very important issues for nurses in the Health Care Reform debate. They include:
  • 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


With RN programs impacted and waiting lists growing, many are turning to LPN programs to get their nursing career started. Some will find that this is the part of nursing they love, and others will want to continue on for other career options in the RN track. Read more...