Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy 2012

© Kathy Quan

Friday, December 23, 2011

Happy Holidays!!!

Happy Holidays!!!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Support the National Nurse Act of 2011


Nearly 50% of adults (over 16) in the US are considered to be health care illiterate. That doesn't simply mean they can't read. In fact, many can read quite well. It means that they don't understand enough about their own health status and about the health care systems to be able to even ask the right questions to find out the answers they need.

The Costs of Health Care Illiteracy
  • Handing Joe a pamphlet to read about his newly diagnosed type II diabetes won't help him to understand what diabetes is (it's not an allergy to table sugar?), how he needs to adjust his diet and exercise, nor how to take his blood sugars and his medications. Joe can read at an 8th grade level, but he has no idea where this diabetes came from, what he needs to do, and why it isn't going to go away if he takes a pill for 10 days.
  • Suzanne found out today that she has MRSA in her incision. She had an emergency appendectomy 10 days ago and the incision opened up. She doesn't know what MRSA is. She doesn't know that she can spread it to her young children and her husband simply by not washing her hands after she changes the dressing, And she doesn't know that she needs to make an appointment to see an infection control doctor.
  • James has hypertension but he feels OK so he stopped taking his anti-hypertensive medication. Today started out with a terrible headache and by 3 PM he was unable to speak and hie whole R side was paralyzed from a stroke. They gave him something to read when he was diagnosed, and the doctor takes his blood pressure every four months, but he never told the doctor he stopped taking his medication.

Physicians Don't Have Time to Educate Patients
In the average 15 minute appointment with your physician, you won't learn all about your new diagnosis and what to look for. You won't learn how to make an appointment with a specialist (especially if you have an HMO and need prior authorization first.) You won't always learn that a medication needs to be taken the rest of your life whether you feel better or not. The doctor doesn't have time to educate patients.

This is a task which falls to nurses, but many doctors don't have nurses working in their offices anymore because they can't afford it.

So it's going to fall to the public health system to develop plans to help educate the public which will help to reduce the high cost of health care.

Avoiding the H1N1 Catastrophe
Take for instance the scare we had a couple of years ago about the H1N1 (swine) flu. It was expected to be a pandemic that could have cause major havoc in the health care arena. But good education about simple techniques of handwashing, coughing/sneezing into your elbow, and staying home if you are sick, helped to prevent what could have been chaos at a time when most Americans could little afford to get sick.

If we organize task forces of nurses to help educate the public by spreading the word about other public health care issues, we can help to save many more lives, prevent complications from chronic diseases and cut health care costs significantly.

A National Nurse for Public Health is Needed Now
An Office of the National Nurse for Health Care can do just that. The National Nurse would work side by side with the Surgeon General to promote health and prevent disease, while working to improve health literacy.

Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) the first RN in Congress
To quote The National Nurse Campaign, "Nurses recognize that the American healthcare system remains in crisis as evidenced by soaring costs and rising epidemics of preventable diseases. Many are calling for change to mobilize nurses in a nationwide effort. They propose that leadership provided by a National Nurse for Public Health would strengthen efforts by nurses in every community to help focus the nation on health promotion and disease prevention."

On December 15, 2011, Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX)  the first RN in Congress, and Peter King (R-NY) introduced HR 3679 The National Nurse Act of 2011. This COST NEUTRAL bill already has eighteen original co-sponsors.  Please help support this bill by calling your Congressional representative and asking him/her to help sponsor or vote for this bill. Learn how to do this online.

Follow The National Nurse Campaign on Facebook. Make a Donation. Visit the Cafe Press Store. Help spread the word.

Thank you for your support!!!

Friday, December 2, 2011

The Five Biggest Myths About Online Nursing Degrees

From UT Arlington College of Nursing:

1. Sitting in a classroom is the only way to really learn.
The nurses participating in an RN to BSN program all have plenty of clinical experience and the program is designed specifically to teach critical thinking, leadership/management strategies, community health advocacy and research skills. These are all areas that have proven well-suited for the online context and the method has produced thousands of successful holistic health care providers.

2. My degree will say "Online Nursing Graduate."
A BSN from a State University’s online program is the equivalent of a campus BSN. And the degree will not indicate that the student has completed his or her education online. Keep in mind that both the online and campus programs are run fully by University faculty and feature the University’s curriculum.

3. Only tech experts need apply.
Most online nursing courses are very easy to navigate. Thousands of nurses with basic computer skills have successfully completed their RN to BSN programs online.

4. There isn’t any interaction with teachers and I won’t get personalized attention.
There are many opportunities for students to connect with their professors and fellow classmates in online programs. In our experience, we find that teachers and students engage in substantive conversations online that help build productive relationships and lead to a deeper understanding of the material. The level of engagement, we have found, is even higher than in traditional classrooms, in which some students may never participate.

5. I won’t have time.
It’s not easy, but it can be done, especially since the courses are paced in 5 and 8 week modules which nurses take one at a time, rather than the usual 3-4 courses at a time in the traditional 15 week semester that most people are used to. The majority of our students are full-time nurses and working adults who may be holding down a full-time job, running a family and assuming additional responsibilities. Student enrollment across the board has increased significantly this past year, in part because students have the flexibility to learn at their own pace. Evenings, weekends, lunch breaks, early morning, you name it. You can build a schedule to meet your lifestyle. Moreover, many nurses can use tuition reimbursement from hospitals to cover online RN to BSN education.


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Uniforms Harbor Bacteria

I work in an office setting now reviewing charts, but I am still acutely aware of the germs and bacteria the paper can harbor. I'm not a germaphobe by any means, but I wash my hands frequently.

Years ago, when I worked in the field in home health, we didn't wear uniforms and scrubs were not allowed. But the clothing I wore became my uniform as I designated specific pieces and shoes for work use only. Some days I couldn't wait to get home and shower, and then wash my clothes in the hottest water!!!!

I read something the other day about nurses coming home and picking up their babies or small children before they changed their clothes. I guess I did this too because I would pick my children up on my way home. But if I had had a particularly disgusting day I would go home and shower and change first.

Here's some food for thought.... the APIC (American Professionals for Infection Control and Epidemiology) published the results of a recent study that shows nurse's and doctor's clothing harbors a LOT of bacteria from hospital work.

Be safe, and protect your loved ones from the things you're exposed to in your job.

Resources:
APIC press release

photo: Ecoli by Cielo (from Morguefile.com)


Friday, November 18, 2011

The Everything New Nurse Book -- Second Edition

The Everything New Nurse Book -- Second Edition comes out TODAY. It's available in book stores and on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. It's also available in Kindle format from Amazon. I hope you enjoy it.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Degrees and Certifications for Aspiring Nurses

A guest post from Elaine Hircsch

Nursing is a field usually without a shortage of jobs. Nurses comprise the nation's largest group of healthcare professionals, and while a lagging economy might cause some healthcare organizations to tighten up on hiring and shift nurses to different departments to fill in during these periods, there are generally still nursing positions available.

Nursing is also a field that pays relatively well. Even in areas where financial resources are limited, recent graduates will find jobs earning at least $40,000 per year. There are several avenues to earn a degree or certification in nursing, both for persons desiring to enter the field for the first time and for those already working who want to advance their careers or seek increases in pay.

The minimum qualification needed to work under the title of nurse is completion of a one-year program to become a licensed practical nurse. In some states, this position is known as a licensed vocational nurse. This training may be attained at a community college, technical school, or in a hospital nursing education program. Graduates must take and pass the licensing exam in their state to work as licensed practical nurses. Nurses at this level work under the supervision of registered nurses, and may supervise nursing assistants.

Registered nurses have completed more extensive programs of study comparable to a master's degree: two- or four-year programs, or a diploma program in nursing. Two-year programs are offered at community colleges, technical schools, and through hospital-based programs. Bachelor's degree programs in nursing are offered at four-year colleges.

The unique aspect about all of these programs is that those who complete them take the same state board examinations to become registered nurses. This means that all of the programs include the same types of courses related to nursing care. However, those with bachelor's degrees are better prepared for supervisory and administrative positions, and generally start out at higher salaries than those with lesser training.

LPNs can advance by returning to school to obtain a registered nurse degree. Some schools offer options that require less than two years of additional study to earn the two-year degree, and accelerated programs for registered nurses to earn bachelor's degrees, usually with just two years of study. Hospitals sometimes co-sponsor such programs by paying students' tuition and fees if the graduate agrees to work for the sponsoring hospital for a specified period of time.

Individuals with bachelor's degrees outside of nursing can also enter accelerated programs. In these programs the focus is on nursing courses and skills, and prerequisites such as microbiology and pharmacology.

Bachelor's-level nurses who want to earn advanced degrees have many options. There are master's and PhD programs in nursing education at many universities. Additionally, accredited online degree programs make it possible for professional nurses to work toward advanced degrees or specialized certificates while they're not on shift.

Due to the nature of their work, nurses may find it difficult to earn advanced certificates and degrees the traditional ways. However, there has never been a more exciting time for nurses to engage in advanced studies. Web-based education programs open up a whole new avenue for nurses to obtain advanced credentials without interfering with their work schedules, and in most cases certificates and degrees can be earned in a shorter time than in traditional site based programs.

Thanks Elaine. 

UPDATE: For Further Reading: The Definitive Nursing Guide 2014

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Some People Should NOT be Nurses!!!

I haven't been here in awhile and I'm sorry. My family has been dealing with the dying process of a dear sweet soul.

Before I begin, regarding HIPAA considerations, I have the necessary permissions to divulge information.

The better part of the last 3-4 months have been consumed with dealing with the ramifications of the very poor nursing care an older relative has received in a hospital here in southern California. Afterwards I wasn't really surprised to find that particular hospital's CMS satisfaction score to be 79%. In fact I have to say that may be too high a score.

Maybe I'm too much a part of the old guard, but I believe that nurses should always care for their patients in a manner they would want their own loved ones cared for. (This goes above and beyond what we might accept for ourselves.)

Nursing is HARD work both physically and emotionally!!! And you will NEVER be paid what you deserve. So I find it unacceptable that some nurses look for ways to cut corners.

My loved one was an 82+ year old man who was beating Hodgkin's lymphoma. He developed some atrial fibrillation and had a syncopal episode and fell. He spent several days in the hospital getting his heart rate controlled. And he spent that time IN BED on a general floor. He's been incontinent for 12 years following prostate surgery.  This hospital doesn't allow diapers because they cause bed sores. Guess what--- he got bed sores anyway!!!!! (Ever hear of turning patients every 2 hours???)

About a month later he developed an infection (UTI) with a high fever, increased dementia, and inability to get out of bed. He was hospitalized again, and the doctor was ready to discharge him after a few days, but found that he had not been walked and was still unable to get in and out of bed. He transferred him to the TCU/Rehab where he was to be walked 2-3 times daily and in and out of bed as much as possible.

Guess what???? They don't allow diapers there either and because he's incontinent they refused to walk him. One nurses aide would go find a diaper and get him up when he was assigned to her. Then she'd take the diaper off when she put him back in bed. WOW!!!! Someone actually had some common sense!!!! Unfortunately she was only one person and she risked being SCREAMED at by the very UNPROFESSIONAL unit manager. This same manager who ripped bandages off of my loved one to have another nurse take photographs. No compassion, no caring --- how did she become a nurse and WHY did she become a nurse??

My loved one then ended up going to a SNF for over 5 weeks to have some PT and try to get back to his previous level of functioning. He never did...

Imagine the cost to Medicare for all these days --- because we don't allow diapers in the hospital (WHY???!!!) and the LAZY nurses use this as an excuse to leave the patients in bed!!!! Poor nursing care causes bedsores---not diapers. And poor nursing care lets patients deteriorate to a point of no return!

The physician had written orders that he was to be walked daily and they were ignored. If there would be an investigation by the DHS or Medicare--- that's Immediate Jeopardy and they could face huge fines and even closure for this unacceptable level of care!

Some people just shouldn't be nurses!!!! If you don't have compassion and you arn't willing to work HARD... please do something else!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

RIP Steve Jobs

"Your time is limited so don't waste it living someone else's life..." Steve Jobs inspired many to become great just by doing their own thing and not being afraid to be who they are.  

Being a nurse is similar.... be the nurse you would want taking care of you if you couldn't care for yourself.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Starched White Uniforms Had Their Place???

Nurses get dirty. That's just a fact of life and part of the job description. So nurses need uniforms that can take a lot of torture from on-the-job messes to frequent laundering with chemicals and temperatures meant to kill bacteria as well as the fabrics. Scrubs are one of the best things ever invented to fill this need. They offer many colorful options and a variety of designs to lighten the spirit. Thank heavens the days of white starched uniforms and white stockings are long gone!!! How nurses functioned in them is still a mystery. And those caps??? Whatever was up with those???

Scrubs are comfortable and allow for ease of movement. Scrubs convey an air of professionalism and help to dispel the myth that nurses are airhead blond bombshells who wear plunging necklines and skirts that barely cover their bottoms. Nurses are professionals who provide the care and education to help individuals achieve and resume a healthy lifestyle. Nurse make a difference in lives everyday.

Scrubs for kids can make a great choice for playing dress up, emulating mommy or daddy, and with Halloween approaching soon, they can be a great professional looking costume option.
 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Never Forget 9-11-01

photo by Kathy Quan
There is nothing as sobering as standing at Ground Zero and realizing the way the world was changed that day. We will never forget.

Friday, August 19, 2011

How to Become a Nurse if You Have Criminal Charges on File?

One of the most common questions I am asked concerns how to go about becoming a nurse when you have a criminal record stemming from domestic problems such as a very messy ending to a marriage or relationship.

Nurses are the most trusted professionals for Honesty and Ethics as evidenced by annual Gallup Polls from 2002 to the present. That means nurses have to live up to a strict code of standards and need to have a squeaky clean background. Domestic issues can become very messy with charges being filed at every breath.

Usually the writer tells me a story of being the victim and says they can get the charges expunged. So this is the FIRST step you need to take and DO IT as soon as you can!!! Don't wait.

Get away from the situation. If this means you need to move, make every effort to do so. It shows that you are trying to stay out of trouble with this person and that it isn't going to be an easy thing for them to continue to harass you and press charges that don't stick. If you have a legal system in place, seek their advice and help to do this.

Contact your state's Board of Nursing and explain your situation and follow their advice to the letter.

When you apply for nursing school, make an appointment with the Dean and discuss your situation. Let him/her know what the Board of Nursing has told you and present copies of all your paperwork showing all charges have been dropped and expunged from your record.

You might be able to attend and even graduate from a nursing school, but you will NOT be able to sit for the NCLEX if you have a criminal record that has not been expunged.  If you can't take the NCLEX, you cannot practice as a nurse.

Many states require fingerprinting before they will issue your license. Employers will run a background check, and these can vary with the company providing the information. So be upfront with potential employers and let them know ahead of time that you have expunged your record of these charges. Should they show up in the background check or fingerprinting process, you have the paperwork to prove they have been resolved.

Never try to cover up or be untruthful about having been involved in something illegal. Get all of the information, take the necessary steps to resolve the problem right away, and keep copies of all of the paperwork. Keep an extra copy in a safe place away from your home as well. Take action to stay out of the situation in the future.

Don't try to just ignore the situation and hope no one finds out. That can be more detrimental to your career. Trust is an essential trait for nurses and if you are not honest, you will find yourself looking for another career.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Why Nurses Need Professional Liability Insurance

A Guest post from Robert Hauser...

All medical professionals should have a good malpractice policy in place, including nurses. A lot of nurses think they are immune from malpractice claims; after all, it is doctors who are most commonly sued, right? Unfortunately, this is not the case. Nurses can be sued for malpractice as well, and a nurse who is not protected by a nursing liability insurance policy is in danger of losing his or her career and even being forced into bankruptcy.

Malpractice is defined as damage or injury to a patient that is the result of misconduct, negligence or breach of duty on the part of a professional in charge of the patient’s care. There are many reasons a nurse might be sued for malpractice, but the most common reasons include failure to follow standards of care, failure to communicate, failure to use equipment responsibly, failure to assess and monitor, failure to document and failure to act as patient advocate.

No professional would ever deliberately commit any of these acts, but everyone is human and everyone makes an occasional mistake. Nor do any of these offenses have to actually be committed; groundless lawsuits are filed every day. An accusation may be untrue, but that does not mean the accused will not have to pay to defend the lawsuit.

Nurse malpractice insurance protects the policyholder from having to pay the cost of defending a malpractice suit. It also ensures that the defendant will not have to pay any judgments. A nurse that is not covered by malpractice insurance will have to pay both of these expenses out of pocket. Defense costs alone can force many people into bankruptcy; paying a judgment is even more ruinous.

These problems can all be prevented by the purchase of a simple insurance policy. Like all forms of insurance, the cost of nursing liability insurance often varies due to the insured’s background, location and years of experience. Malpractice insurance also has a deductible and a limit to coverage, just like automotive or homeowner’s insurance. The policyholder can select the limits and deductible that is right for him or her. Naturally, the policy’s premium will change accordingly. The average cost of malpractice insurance for nurses is only a few hundred dollars per year. This isn’t a lot of money compared to the peace of mind that results from being insured and not having to worry about the consequences of a lawsuit.


Robert Hauser writes about financial planning, risk management and liability insurance for professionals



Friday, July 8, 2011

Please Help With Surveys

My friends at BestNursingDegree.com are putting together some information for new nurses and they have designed a couple of surveys to help them gather the data and information to make this useful. They have 2 surveys designed to help gather this information. Please take a few minutes to give your input. Thanks!

What is the Nursing Field Really Like?
Your Top NCLEX Study Tips


Thursday, June 30, 2011

Consider This: A Matter of National Security

Well said Rita!!! Here's a great take on the subject from The Nurses' Nurse... the National Nurse is a matter of national security!!! Read more....



Handwashing RAP

Hospital Acquired Infections (HAIs)kill. Nurses and health care professionals in ALL settings must wash their hands frequently to maintain safe sanitary conditions for their patient and themselves. Here's a cute RAP video to help remind you and your colleagues of the importance of using sanitizers or plain old soap and water to stop the spread of germs.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Nominate Your MVP

Do you have an MVP in your life? Nominate that Most Valuable Person at Brandman University's Facebook site by June 22 at 1:00PM and they may have an opportunity to be honored at an Angels® baseball game on July 20th in Anaheim, CA. You'll receive 2 ticket vouchers just for nominating your MVP, and your nominee can be eligible to receive 2 vouchers as well. Login at Facebook and see all the details.

Everything New Nurse Book Second Edition

UPDATE: The Everything New Nurse Book Second Edition is available for purchase from Amazon. It was published Nov. 18, 2011.

And you can follow us on Facebook.  Please "Like" the page.
Thanks!!!


Monday, May 30, 2011

Clearing Up Misconceptions Regarding Nursing Assistants: Balancing a Family and a Career

A Guest Post from Pamelia Brown...


Clearing Up Misconceptions Regarding Nursing Assistants: Balancing a Family and a Career

If you currently have a family or kids on the way, a job as a full time nurse may be more demanding than you think. Many people believe nursing assistants are women or men who are solely incapable of becoming RNs, This is a very inaccurate generalization. A job as a nursing assistant can be fast-paced and fulfilling. Additionally, nursing assistants can usually work less demanding hours than full-time RNS. This is one of the main reasons people choose this career path, not due to their incompetency in any sense. As a mother of three, I have found this career choice to be the perfect fit for me. I am still in touch with the field of medicine, and my job allows me to help people with everyday tasks. However, I still have time to attend my son's basketball games or my daughter's ballet performance. Below, I would like to clear up three common misconceptions I hear regularly (regarding the career of a nursing assistant).

Nursing Assistants Have No Formal Training in the Medical Field
A common misconception regarding nursing assistants: they have no training in the medical field. This is an unfair, inaccurate assumption. In addition to obtaining a high school degree or GED, prospective assistant nurses must also enroll in a 6-12 week certification program. Most certification programs require nursing assistant students to take courses in subject such as: anatomy, physiology, nutrition, infections, safety control, and bedside nursing skills. Additionally, nursing assistants must pass a certification exam after they finish their respective programs.

Nursing Assistants Get Paid Hourly
This is another misconception that bothers me. Many nursing assistants are hired full time, and they get paid salaries in addition to qualifying for benefits! According to most career websites, the average salary for a nursing assistant is $21,000. Although $21,000 may not be enough for a whole family, it can still be substantial additional income for a family of 5!

Nursing Assistants Solely Engage in Housekeeping Tasks
Although nursing assistants do have to take care of some mundane housekeeping tasks, they definitely engage in medical related work too! Nursing assistants often have to brief nurses or even doctors about the condition of certain patients, and with additional training set up x-ray machines, and draw blood when necessary. After a few years of experience and training, nursing assistants may become more involved in other more important tasks. After all, everyone has to start at the bottom of the food chain to some extent. You have to prove your competence and work your way up!


This guest contribution was submitted by Pamelia Brown, who specializes in writing about associates degree. Questions and comments can be sent to: pamelia.brown @ gmail.com.


Monday, May 9, 2011

What Nursing Shortage?!!

As "graduation season" approaches once again, another class of nurses will be looking for jobs and many will be disappointed that there seem to be no jobs available which is not what they expected when they became nursing students.

For years we have experienced and heard about this terrible shortage of nurses and if you want to walk out of school and write your own ticket, go to nursing school. And then theses students began to graduate and found they need six years of experience to get a job!

What happened to the nursing shortage? Why can't new nurses find jobs? Well in a simple explanation, the recession stalled the nursing shortage. But as the economy recovers, the nursing shortage is expected to be worse than ever before.

According to Peter Buerhaus PhD, RN a leading researcher into trends in nursing at Vanderbilt University, there are currently over 900,000 working nurses in the U.S. who are over 50 years of age. By 2008 the total number of RNs had risen to 3.1 million.

When the economy tanked beginning in 2008, many retired and semi-retired nurses were forced to return to the workforce and essentially took up the available jobs. In the recessed economy, non-emergent and non-essential healthcare all but vanished causing employers to freeze hiring. Those who were hiring only wanted experienced nurses.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics 37,000 new jobs became available in healthcare in March 2011 alone. In fact so far this year, 283,000 new jobs have been created and many of those jobs have and will go to RNs with or without experience.

As the economy recovers, we may well see a mass exodus of older nurses who came out of retirement or passed on retiring for the time being. And as these nurses age, they will join the masses of a growing and aging population which is going to demand more and better health care. Combining all of the nurse grads who have not been able to find jobs, there will still be a considerable and growing shortage of nurses.

Buerhaus encourages new grad nurses to be patient and in the course of the next few months or year expect to find multiple opportunities. Those who take the time to continue their education and obtain advanced degrees while they wait may even find themselves much better poised to find even better career choices.

For the present, new grads need to be open to relocating. Many less populated and less popular locations do have job openings where larger metropolitan areas that can attract more candidates will most certainly be more picky and looking to get experienced nurses for fewer job openings.

In predicting the need for more nurses, the economic downturn and the effects of the recession were not part of the thought process. And as the economy normalizes, the nursing shortage will definitely return and with a bang.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Help Support National Nurse Act for 2011

In celebrating National Nurses Day and Nurses Week, we need to advocate for our profession and for our patients. A National Nurse would help us to promote the wellness model and move away from the sick care model of health care. This would bring about a healthier population and one focused on prevention and wellness. In turn this would help to reduce the costs of health care.

One of the ways we can ALL help to make a National Nurse become a reality is to contact our legislators and ask them to sign on to support, and then help pass HR1119 through the House of Representatives. We also need to get our Senators interested in this issue and bringing a bill to the Senate.

Please remember, The National Nurse Act is non-partisan.  Everyone is encouraged to help support this cause to promote the nursing profession and public health for all.

In addition to contacting legislators, I did find that the DNC has asked for public input for issues that need to be focused on for 2012. Please consider filling in their simple online form and asking them to include the National Nurse for Public Health HR1119-the National Nurse Act for 2011 in their agenda.

I have looked high and low for a similar site for the RNC and did not find any. If anyone has information about such a site where we can provide input for the Republican party's focus, please comment below with the link. 

Follow the National Nurse Campaign on Facebook to find out more information and to stay up to date on the status of the campaign.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Nurses Week is Approaching

Nurses Week and Nurses Day celebrations will begin taking place in early May. In the U.S. Nurses Week is May 6-12 and National Nurses Day is May 6. International Nurses Day is May 12, the anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale.

Nurses Trusted to Care is the American Nurses Association official theme for Nurses Week 2011.

Need some simple gifts, check out my Print Your Own Kits, or see the Cafe Press Stores. You can find the links to all of these here. 

Thanks in advance for your purchases which help support The Nursing Site and The Nursing Ste Blog. 

Friday, April 8, 2011

Things to Consider About a Nursing Career

It's the time of the year when high schoolers begin to make some decisions about college and careers. We certainly hope nursing is something you have been thinking seriously about. Here's a few things to consider in making your decision.... Before You Decide to Become a Nurse.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

One Nurse at a Time -- Nurses Giving Back

One Nurse at a Time is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization which was created for nurses by nurses with a passion about giving back to the local as well as national and global communities through volunteer operations.

"Although the majority of Americans have some understanding of what nurses do in the United States—working in clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, and the community—most of them have no idea what nurses and NPs do when they volunteer abroad." Read more about this wonderful organization in Healing Beyond Borders -- One Nurse at a Time at NurseTogether.com.
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Sunday, April 3, 2011

April 4-11th is National Public Health Week-Time to Take Action

It's time for America to have a National Nurse . Nurses need to become strong leaders and involved in every aspect of health are decisions. This week we celebrate National Public Health Week (April 4-11) and recognize that this is a perfect time to support and endorse the National Nurse campaign.
From the 3/30/11 National Nurse Newsletter....
"Prevention includes being free of injury and the theme for National Public Health Week is “Safety is NO Accident”. We urge our supporters to use this timeframe Apr 4 - 11 and commemorate National Public Health Week by contacting their elected Representatives to support HR 1119.  Pass this message along to other nurses, and encourage them to ask their Representative to co-sponsor HR 1119, The National Nurse Act of 2011."

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Medical Scrubs and Their Role in Treatment

A guest post from Josh Weiss

Every nurse wants to be the best she can be, and is constantly working to improve her service to patients and the medical community at large. One aspect that is rarely touched upon is that of the medical scrubs worn on the job. Although it may sound mundane, studies have shown that the medical scrubs worn by doctors, nurses, and those in the medical community affect the way patients view them, and may even interfere with treatment.

Nursing scrubs used to be restricted to white, with a few styles that were worn by the entire medical community. Today there are many manufacturers of medical scrubs, with countless styles and varieties to choose from. It is the responsibility of every nurse or doctor to choose medical scrubs that will help comfort their patients, and provide the best possible care.

A study in the April 2009 Journal of Clinical Nursing supported this theory through the use of a study that was conducted at the Meyer Children’s Hospital in Florence. Patients between the ages of six and sixteen and their parents were surveyed by means of open ended questions and semantic differential scales (SDS). Their reactions to nurses in multi colored scrubs, as opposed to conventional white scrubs, were studied. The results showed that multicolored, unconventional medical scrubs improve how children perceive nurses. This in turn makes the children, their patients, and patients of any age more comfortable with their surroundings and the treatments being given.

Some medical scrubs manufacturers produce lines specifically to suit this need, such as a line of Cherokee scrubs called Tooniforms. These medical scrubs feature well-known characters such as Hello Kitty, Betty Boop, Paul Frank, and others. Scrubs can also be obtained in a variety of different patterns. Dickies scrubs also cater to this need, with an assortment of colored and printed scrubs. Nurses should, however, be careful to adhere to the dress code of their office or department before purchasing unconventional medical scrubs.

In opposition to this, a study conducted by Ohio State University came to conclude that patients and medical caregivers alike appreciate the professionalism conveyed by white medical scrubs, or scrubs in muted colors. The leading colors selected after white were light green, light blue, and dark blue. To this end, both Dickies scrubs and Cherokee scrubs offer all of their different styled scrubs in these universal popular colors.

In some cases, hospitals and large offices set the regulations for medical scrubs. For those nurses who are free to choose their own scrubs, it may be a worthy investment of time to ask opinions of patients and fellow nurses before investing in new scrubs. The preferences they show may be surprising.

Bio:
Josh Weiss is a style consultant for Medical Scrubs Collection. He recommends Cherokee scrubs and Dickies scrubs for a wide variety of medical scrubs that will fit any need or preference.





Sunday, March 20, 2011

National Nurse Act of 2011

The National Nurse campaign had some good news last week when Rep. Anthony Weiner (NY-9) introduced HR 1119 the National Nurse Act of 2011 to the 112th Congress. HR1119 has already garnered sponsorship from several members of Congress.

Please contact your Congressional representative to consider sponsorship an support of this important, bipartisan, cost neutral legislation. If you need a packet of information to take to your Congress person, contact the NNNO Board.

A few weeks ago The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health was published. This was a collaborative effort of The Institute of Medicine and the Robert J Wood Foundation. According to this report, the future of nursing needs to include much more nurse leadership.

As we move from a disease/sick model for health care to a wellness and prevention model, patient education becomes paramount. This paradigm shift will reduce the soaring costs of health care and improve the overall health status of our nation. Nurses will lead this charge.

Nurses need to be present at the table when decisions are made and allowed to take ownership of many of the processes. In so doing, nurses will bring a renewed energy and creativity to tackling issues facing the health care industry.

One of the most important ways we can ensure more nurse leaders is to establish a National Nurse to lead all nurses and work alongside of the Surgeon General to promote prevention and wellness.

Please join this grass roots campaign on Facebook.

Friday, March 18, 2011

5 Tips for Effective Writing That Any Nurse Can Learn

A guest post from Katheryn Rivas

Learning to write well is not impossible for nurses. In fact, nurses already possess a fundamental writing skill just from successfully completing their medical training: writing concisely. Nurses regularly synthesize information, such as patient symptoms and treatment effects, and condense all of this data down into short and to-the-point sentences and descriptions on patient charts. This ability is valuable in effective writing, and is a great foundation to have on which to build up more writing skills. This means that most nurses only need to learn a few more tips and skills in order to utilize their existing knowledge so that they may write effectively outside of the hospital.

Use active voice whenever possible. The active voice is a sentence structure where the subject of the sentence is doing something, whereas the passive voice is a sentence structure where the subject does nothing while something is happening to it. For example, this sentence would be active: The dog barked at the cat. This sentence, however, would be passive: The cat was being barked at by the dog. Passive sentences typically sound clunky and wordy in comparison to active sentences, so try to always structure your sentences in the active voice when writing. This will make it sound more lively and clear.

Use more powerful descriptive words. Certain words pack a lot more meaning and imagery than others. For example, simply saying that someone "ran" is much less evocative than saying that someone "sprinted." This is because the word "ran" is bland and generic, whereas the word "sprinted" indicates not only that the subject was running, but also the manner in which he ran. You can make your writing more intriguing by selecting words that are inherently descriptive. Doing this will eliminate the need to add multiple adjectives to a sentence, which can weigh a sentence down. Instead, using only strong, vivid words will make your writing descriptive without being overly wordy.

Eliminate unnecessary words. Some words simply do not add anything of value to your writing. Every time you find yourself writing down the word "very" or "really," delete it. Chances are you will find that your sentence will not suffer from the omission. While you may use it in everyday conversation to emphasize a point, in writing, these words are empty and only serve to get in the way of your point.


Show, not tell, what you are trying to say. It is one thing to simply state that it is raining outside, and another to show that it is raining outside. For example, this sentence would be stating that it is raining: It is raining outside. On the other hand, this sentence would be showing that it is raining: The streets are slick with rain, and businessmen parade down the street with their umbrellas deployed. The idea behind "showing and not telling" is that writers should strive to describe an event so that the reader will come to a conclusion on his own. This is preferable to having the writer blatantly tell the reader what to imagine or think all the time. Allowing the reader to see or understand something on his own is much more powerful, and more likely to help emphasize a point or argument.

Read more. This writing tip does not involve writing at all, but it will likely aid many nurses into better understanding the mechanics of effective writing. Whenever you have free time which is admittedly rare for busy nurses! consider picking up a book that you enjoy and reading through it. Explore more books in the genre you like or from a favorite author. The more reading you do, the better writer you will become because you will grow accustomed to knowing how complex and simple sentences should sound.

By-line:
This guest contribution was submitted by Katheryn Rivas, who regularly writes for online universities. She especially loves hearing back from her readers. Questions or comments can be sent to: katherynrivas87@gmail.com.







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