janfrn's Nursing Blog

By janfrn Asst. Admin

Joined Jun 26, '01. Posts: 8,752 (32% Liked) Likes: 5,814

The following are articles I have written and shared with the nursing community. If you enjoy an article please leave a comment and tell me what you think.

Grow Brave Through Reflection: Moral Distress in PICU (Part IV)

Each of us brings our own particular personalities, opinions and experiences to the workplace and we all deal with issues in our own ways. Coping mechanisms are as individual as fingerprints. Some nurses have left their units and others have left the profession in an effort to escape the unrelieved stress of facing moral conflict on a day-to-day basis. There is, however, hope for those who don't want to take this path to rise above their own responses. Let's take a look at some suggestions for... Read More →

Grow Brave Part III: A Case Study

The scene: a tertiary care combined adult/pediatric hospital in a large city on the first Sunday night of spring break. The PICU is full although there is one patient who could have gone to the ward but didn't due to staffing problems there. The staffing in PICU isn't any better, in fact, it's tight; the only unassigned nurse is the charge, who is covering breaks and keeping the unit afloat. The hospital is a referral center for a large geographical area and has patients from several smaller... Read More →

Grow Brave Through Reflection: Moral Distress in PICU (Part II)

We all know nurses who exhibit signs of burnout. Everyone will have different reasons for their behaviour, and moral distress is often on the list. What does burnout look like? It has many faces, and no two individuals will have the same signs and symptoms. Often the most obvious is apathy, the loss of that attitude of caring about what goes on around them. They take shortcuts in providing care; they omit some of the basic nursing care activities we take for granted: mouth care, skin care,... Read More →

Grow Brave Through Reflection: Moral Distress in PICU (Part I)

There has been a lot written in recent years about moral distress in health care. With the rapid pace of technological change it has become commonplace for patients to survive injuries and illnesses that less than a decade ago would have ended their lives. With this comes an upswing in moral distress experienced by caregivers across the spectrum. Moral distress by definition arises from the inability to act in ways that we believe to be ethical or honorable. But what sets pediatric critical... Read More →

The Art of the Snappy Comeback or How to Render a Teenager Speechless

I knew even before I walked onto the unit that it was going to one of those nights. The looks on my coworkers' faces when they saw my assignment told me more than I wanted to know. Why me? I wondered, but I already knew why. As the mother of three adults including a daughter who wrote the book on acting out, I have a no-nonsense, take-no-prisoners reputation. That's how I came to meet Desiree. (All names changed to protect the guilty!) Desiree was 16 years old and had been admitted to our... Read More →

The Human Spirit

There have been many patients over the years who have taught me something, about nursing, about critical care, about myself, about the human spirit. Each one has touched me in some way and I will never forget them; hopefully I won't forget the lessons they've taught me either. One little boy gave me insights into all four. "Lincoln" came into my life as a toddler. Not quite two years old, he had taken a header down a short flight of carpeted stairs, picked himself and dusted himself off... Read More →

I could NEVER do PICU!!

I've lost count of the times I've heard that exclamation from another nurse. I've also forgotten how many times I've heard, "I just don't know how you do it," not only from other nurses but from friends, casual acquaintances and family. But I don't know how I could do anything else. My first exposure to the nursing specialty that has become my passion began with the PICU admission of my youngest child following a liver transplant. I'd kicked the idea of going to nursing school around in my... Read More →