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spunkygirl1962 BSN, RN

Emergency Room and PACU
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spunkygirl1962 has 32 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Emergency Room and PACU.

spunkygirl1962's Latest Activity

  1. spunkygirl1962

    Battle Against Covid-19 Hits Home for RN

    I’m so sorry this happened to you. 😞 I’m glad that you are starting to mend and are going to receive unemployment! hang in there! 👍😄
  2. spunkygirl1962

    Battle Against Covid-19 Hits Home for RN

    I'm also glad to hear that you have recovered! Im so sorry for your loss of one of your supervisors. It has been a long hard road for all especially in health care. Many of my fellow nurses and healthcare workers have contracted the virus also -some with mild symptoms and others severely sick. I too am concerned with all you have mentioned. These are very good questions that we all should be thinking about and working together to find solutions for. I am concerned with the long term effects of the virus on our physical health as well. Thank you!
  3. spunkygirl1962

    Battle Against Covid-19 Hits Home for RN

    COVID-19: The Battle Begins It started with an excruciating headache like I hadn't experienced in years. The pain just wouldn't go away, so I called in sick. I had no choice but to call in sick due to the pain. As a Registered Nurse, I work on the front lines of medical care. but it still never dawned on me what was really going on. I was shocked when a routine test by my employer showed that the disease that has ravaged millions of Americans had hit home for me. I had Covid-19. I wondered to myself-for a few more moments-where I could have contracted the virus. I had always felt fairly safe as my employer furnishes the medical staff with protective gear and the few businesses that I visit make sure that employees and customers wear mask and practice social distancing. Then I realized that it didn't really matter where I had picked up the coronavirus. There was no way to know, and stressing myself out wasn't going to provide any answers. My thoughts turned to others. Who had I been around in recent days? Had I unknowingly passed along the virus? Mostly, I worried about my precious mom and dad who are at high risk due to their advanced ages. I felt blessed that neither my parents nor anyone else close to me became infected, and my own health didn't suffer any dramatic declines. My symptoms never progressed beyond headache and fatigue. I basically self-isolated for the recommended 10 days and per my primary physician's advice via telephone. I rested and took over-the-counter medication. I stayed in touch with my hospital's occupational health department until I was symptom-free and could return to work. I Know I Was Fortunate Many people that I have talked to or read about have developed multiple symptoms at different stages of the novel virus. They have been very ill, even hospitalized. They have suffered grave conditions that range from dangerously high blood pressure to damaged lungs. Of course, we know that millions have died from COVID-19 around the globe, including 500,000 Americans. While the numbers of new cases and the death toll from the coronavirus have dropped in the United States in recent days. As health care professionals and citizens, we need to make sure to follow Centers for Disease Control guidance to help us and others stay safe. CDC Recommendations We probably all know the CDC recommendations by heart but they bear repeating: wash your hands often for 20 seconds stay 6 feet apart cover your mouth with a mask in public cough or sneeze into your elbow or tissue clean and disinfect surfaces avoid crowds and poorly ventilated spaces The CDC recommends that coronavirus patients who don't need hospitalization but live with other people create a "sick room," and use a separate bathroom if possible. During my illness, I lived in my bedroom which fortunately has its own bathroom. My Recommendations I recommend that you make sure you have ways to occupy your time for your own mental well-being. Personally, I read books, streamed numerous shows (thank goodness for streaming services!), and frequently communicated via text and phone with friends and family. If possible, I recommend a small refrigerator or cooler in your quarantine space. I frequently had food delivered to maintain my quarantine. I was fortunate to have family members who work in health care who were able to assist me during my quarantine. The COVID-19 Aftermath: Still Vigilant Even though I have recovered, I know I can't let my guard down. No one knows for sure if those of us who survived Covid-19 can infect others or be re-infected. So, it is best to use universal precautions just as we do every day with our patients for other diseases. We need to keep in mind that these times are trying for all. Understanding our shared vulnerability can be a frightening thing, but we should strive to stay connected and show each other kindness and support. If possible, try to develop a strong support system just in case the coronavirus hits home to you. It made a world of difference to me. Make sure to keep up with the current recommendations from the CDC and local health agencies as they see to change constantly. References CDC.gov
  4. spunkygirl1962

    Try A Healthy Dose of Smiling

    That is so awesome! Thank you! Keep smiling! 😄😄😜
  5. spunkygirl1962

    Try A Healthy Dose of Smiling

    Let’s face it, we work in a profession where we are frequently under a lot of stress. Stress has been linked to a number of health problems, such as obesity, high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease along with other illnesses. We deal with patients – and their families – who are often hurting physically or emotionally or both. Add to the mix the workplace pressures that come with the territory when delivering quality medical care. As nurses on the front lines of patient advocacy, we may find ourselves frustrated if not overwhelmed. A Simple Smile But there is one thing we can always do to make it a bit better for ourselves and others, even in a small way. We can smile. "Simply using the same muscles as smiling will put you in a happier mood. That is because the use of those muscles is part of how the brain evaluates mood," as stated by Michael Lewis, a psychologist at Cardiff University. As far back as the 1800's, One of the first scientists to suggest that our expressions may actually heighten our feelings was Charles Darwin. Charles Darwin labeled this theory as the "feedback loop." Mother Teresa, who brought compassionate care to some of the world’s most impoverished people once said, “We shall never know the good that a simple smile can do.” Smiling can be beneficial for a person’s health and psyche. A smile can make a person happier and more productive at their workplace and/or in their personal life. There is Scientific Evidence to Support the Notion that Smiling is Beneficial Endorphins First, a smile can release endorphins that relieve stress and pain. University of Kansas scientists who are experts in the field of psychology report that a smile can help humans cope with various life stressors by lowering of the heart rate and blood pressure significantly. Immune System Furthermore, a smile may strengthen the immune system, according to research conducted by the National Institutes of Health. The study linked pleasurable stimuli and positive emotions to an increased immune response. Long Life Lastly, a smile for success and happiness adds years to your life. Dr. Laura Kubzansky, an associate professor of society, human development and health at Harvard, discovered that such factors as strong social bonds, a positive outlook, emotional happiness, and enthusiasm can extend life expectancy. Every day we walk past many people at our workplaces and we frequently do not know what is going on in their lives. We might pass an employee in another department overjoyed by the news of a promotion. Just as likely, we may walk past a wife who just learned that her spouse of 50 plus years has only a few days left on this earth. We cannot change bad news into good. But we can smile. Smiling and positive thinking have been shown to have a large number of health benefits for your psyche and physical health. So next time you walk by someone just give them a smile. It might be just what they need to help them get through their day. I read recently that the town that I live in currently in a recent poll was voted the seventh rudest city in the Country. Wow! How disappointed I was to see this. If everyone just smiled at each other, would this make our city a better place in which to live? What Do You Think? Would people be happier and healthier if they smiled more at each other? Who knows for sure, but it sure would be worth a try! Share a smile and see how it makes you feel!
  6. spunkygirl1962

    Are You Ready?

    That’s a good question! Many times people have tried to evacuate and gotten stuck in the path of. As a matter of fact, years ago during Opel one of my friends almost had her baby on I-10. Luckily she made it to the hospital before the storm! I would advise people to evacuate as soon as you can! They have mandatory and suggested evacuation zones. If you don’t leave soon enough, hunker down and prepare or go to shelter. But best to leave, especially on the coast or near large bodies of water! Stay updated on the path of the hurricane. I have an App from my local news station and receive text messages. These hurricanes are very fickle and can turn on a dime if conditions are present. This is what happened to my town. Stay safe and be careful! 🙏
  7. spunkygirl1962

    Are You Ready?

    Thank you everybody for sharing your experiences and adding to what one needs to prepare for a hurricane and what to do afterwards! I hope no one ever has to go through anything like this, but always be prepared to the best of your ability. Stay safe!
  8. spunkygirl1962

    Are You Ready?

    As Hurricane Michael came ashore last fall with 155 mph winds, my mom, dad, daughter and I hunkered down on the family farmhouse in the Florida Panhandle. Like many of our neighbors, we decided to ride out the storm at home, lulled by early forecasts that winds would not pose a grave danger to life and property. But my family (and our pets), were soon in the middle of one of the worst storms to ever hit the Sunshine State. My family has lived in this rural area north of the Gulf coast since 1963. We’d seen many hurricanes come and go over the years, but we were not prepared for what was labeled a “Monster of a Storm”. I learned a big lesson: You can never be too prepared and if you have time, get out of the storm’s path. And never forget: forecasts can change by the hour. I know from experience. We spent 3 terrifying hours on Oct. 10 as catastrophic winds bent over trees and rolled over the top of the family home like a vengeful monster out to destroy everything in its path. I watched my daughter clutch her Rosary Beads in her hands and begin to pray as the wind grabbed a 40-year-old, 50 feet high sycamore tree and drop it like a toothpick. All the surrounding trees that stood more than 40 feet tall snapped like twigs, one after another. My parents’ house is over 45 years old built with bricks and a metal roof. This house has withstood numerous hurricanes with little or no damage. On this particular day as Michael blew through our house/property, the winds started increasing in speed and the house began shaking like someone just picked the house up and shook it. The windows rattled as if they were going to blow out and fly through the house. The rainwater started pouring in through the air-conditioning vents and windows. My mom and I were grabbing any and everything we could to stop the water from flooding the house. While we all had moved to a safer place in the house, we heard a terrifying noise of metal twisting. The noise turned out to be the roof lifting off of the house and being set back down. I have been an emergency room nurse for many years. I have seen and dealt with many things in my career, but that was nothing compared to this hurricane. I have never been so afraid in my life of what this storm could possibly do to my family, my town, and me. Every time we thought the storm was over the wind and rain would start again. My family and I attempted to comfort each other and stay positive. Finally, the storm was over. With tears in my eyes, I turned to my 85-year-old father and said, “I am so sorry. We should have left as you suggested.” We felt lucky that we came through without injury although the family farm was extensively damaged. Hurricane Michael was blamed for many deaths with the toll rising in the Panhandle and more than $5.6 billion in property damage. In short, we thought we were prepared, but we were not. Can you really prepare for a Category 4 hurricane? Listed below are recommendations from the Red Cross and my personal experiences to assist one to prepare for a hurricane or similar disaster. Listen to NOAA weather station/local radio stations, weather band radio Check your disaster supplies Water-one gallon per person (needed a lot more due to use to bathe in and flush toilets, fill the bathtubs for water for the toilets) Non-perishable food Flashlights/extra batteries (a lot of extra batteries) First aid kit Medications 7 day supply at least Multi-purpose tool Personal and sanitation needs (baby wipes) Copies of personal documents (insurance forms especially) Cell phone with chargers (only had one cellular company up and running so may not help except to take pictures) Fans that run on batteries and has USB port Family and emergency contacts Extra cash ( credit/debit card system down due to no power) Blankets Maps Baby and pet supplies Tools for securing home (had to cut our way out of our road) Extra set of car and house keys, clothing, hat and sturdy shoes Rain gear, insect repellant Camera for recording damages (recommend pictures before and after) Lots and lots of batteries (used so many batteries) Generator (wish we would have had one prior) I personally recommend you retrieve these items before the disaster, due to supplies are limited after. Think of the “Black Friday Sale “after Thanksgiving and all the people vying for the same things. Bring in anything that can be picked up by the wind Close windows, doors, and Hurricane shudders If you don’t have Hurricane shudders, board up all windows and doors with plywood. (Please remember to take them down after. Stay away from windows and doors during the storm. Find a safe place in the house) Turn refrigerator and freezer down to the coldest setting and keep them closed as much as possible (Ice is a hot commodity after the storm.) Unplug small appliances and turn off propane tanks Fill your car’s gas tanks (My daughter did not want to fill hers with regular gas before the storm, due to that is not what her car usually takes, but that was all that was left to purchase. Gas was almost impossible to find after the storm without driving a long distance.) Evacuation Plan Your communities’ hurricane response plan: Shelters etc. EVACUATE IF ADVISED BY AUTHORITIES (We were not in the evacuation area, but we should have.) Homeowner’s insurance plan (Please review this before a disaster! Many people in my hometown are paying the price for not knowing their policy.) After the Hurricane: Continue listening to the NOAA radio and the local stations (This is all that we had to keep us updated on information to survive the aftermath of in of the worst storms in history. These radios stations were on 24/7 and supplied us with so much information that helped us through the weeks after the hurricane (yes I said weeks!) Stay alert for extended rainfall and flooding If you evacuated, return home only when officials say it is safe. (Curfews are usually in effect too.) Drive only if necessary (Many people were on the roads when need not to be. Very Dangerous!) Keep away from loose or dangling power lines and report them immediately to the power company (Don’t forget cell phones, and the Internet does not work without power. How we forget so easily that we need power to use pretty much everything today! Once again, I recommend listening to the local radio stations even if it’s in your car which is what we had to do.) Stay out of any building that has water in it Inspect your home for damages and take as many pictures as possible for the insurance company. (As soon as possible, call your insurance company. It can take weeks just to get them out to your home.) Use flashlights in the dark. Do not use candles. Avoid using or preparing food with tap water until you’re sure it is not contaminated. Check refrigerator and freezer for spoiled food. Wear protective clothing and be careful when cleaning up debris etc. (sunscreen, protective clothes, and hats) Watch animals closely and keep them under your direct control (Many of my friends lost their pets in the storm and/or pets are seen wandering around town lost.) Use the telephone only for emergencies if able. (Fortunately for us, 911 and emergency messages still came through on our phones,) There are so many other things that one can do before, during, and after the storm to prepare and survive. I would recommend doing research on all the above to be prepared for by researching the internet and emergency management agencies’ resources. Hopefully, one will never have to experience a hurricane or any other kind of disaster, but if one does, I sincerely hope that this article will help with the preparation and survival from disasters. Last but not least, a big thank you to all those who worked together following Hurricane Michael to begin to assist with piecing together the life’s of my town and family back together. “ #850STRONG” Hurricane Michael (1)-5 (1).docx
  9. spunkygirl1962

    Permission to Touch?

    Great read!!!!
  10. spunkygirl1962

    Let It Go and Relax

    You think your stressful morning is finally over once you make it out of the house, into the vehicle, and off to work. However, as many of us know, that is usually not the case. You merge onto the road thinking all is good until you get behind another driver who drives consistently 10 mph under the speed limit, you catch every red light possible, and the morning traffic puts you twenty minutes behind schedule. When you arrive to work, there is no parking and the unit where you work is short staffed. I could go on, but I think we all can relate one way or another. You have just begun your day and already have experienced a substantial amount of stress. As a Post-Anesthesia Care Unit nurse, I have experienced countless mornings like the one mentioned above. I have thought to myself plenty of times," How can I reduce this inevitable stress and anxiety?" I have read numerous articles, talked to fellow nurses, and discussed stress relieving methods with my Primary Care Physician Assistant. Through my research, I have developed some techniques in which you can successfully decrease stress and anxiety before entering the hallways to your unit. Morning time stressors will always be there, but these five stress relief methods are sure to make those mornings just a little bit easier. 1. EXERCISE A wonderful way to start your day is with exercise. Exercise guides you into a state of well-being. In addition, exercise lowers your stress levels and kick starts your feel-good boosters (endorphins). Here are a few suggestions to start your day: push-ups (sets of 10), wall-sit (as long as you can), taking the stairs, and walking whenever you can. 2. YOGA My Primary Care Physician Assistant suggested that I do yoga every day before work. Performing yoga helps you relax, improve heart health, and flexibility. M. Mala Cunningham PH.D., counseling psychologist and founder of Cardiac Yoga states: "Yoga is designed to bring about increased physical, mental, and emotional well-being." (1) You can select a Yoga class to engage in through the internet, cable, your smartphone, gym, and work. The lists of yoga resources are endless. 3. DEEP BREATHING There are many different approaches of deep breathing techniques adopted in the art of Yoga that may assist you in decreasing anxiety and relaxing you on the drive to work. As a PACU nurse, I encourage patients to take deep breaths in order to relax and to help control their post-surgical pain. I instruct the patients to breathe in slowly through their nose and then to slowly release their breath out through their mouth. It is a great ideal to replicate this deep breathing exercise on the way to work. Deep breathing may assist in you in calming the mind, reducing anxiety and calming worries. I typically suggest that patients close their eyes while taking deep breaths, but I do not recommend this while driving! 4. MUSIC William Congreve stated: "Music hath charms to soothe a savage beast, to soften rocks, or bend a knotted oak."(2) Listening to music before work, whether at home or in your vehicle, can definitely "soothe the savage beast" of your hectic morning. There are so many different types of music to choose from, so choose the music that best suits you. My daughter listens to what they call "Screamo" music, but I personally love listening to instrumental movie theme songs on the drive to work Whatever type of music you enjoy, as long as it relieves your morning time stress, go ahead and give it a listen, and sing it at the top of your lungs! 5. COFFEE There is plenty of research on the subject of the benefits or hazards of drinking coffee. Some researchers say coffee is good and others say it is bad. I have a Master's in Health Services with an Emphasis on Wellness Promotion. Throughout my studies, there was one statement that I encountered frequently, "everything in moderation." If coffee is what you need to relax and jump-start your day, then have a cup, but in moderation. There are so many ways to help reduce stress and anxiety. The above suggestions are only a few ways to relax and calm that morning time anxiety. The World Wide Web offers a vast amount of information to assist you in finding ways to de-stress before work as well. If you follow these five suggestions along with doing some of your own research, you will be well on your way to a stress-free morning. Remember, always check with your physician before starting any new program. ABOUT THE AUTHOR: I have 27 years of nursing experience specializing in Post-Anesthesia care and Emergency Room care. I received my Bachelors of Nursing from Florida State University and my Masters of Science in Health Services with an Emphasis on Wellness Promotion from Independence University. The combination of the two degrees and my interest in fitness and wellness have inspired me to continue to write articles to help others in my profession find a way to keep healthy and decrease stress. REFERENCES 1. "Yoga and Heart Health." heart.org. n.d. January 19, 2018, American Heart Association - Building healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. 2. "Phrases." Phrases.org.uk. n.d. January 29,2018, The meanings and origins of the English Phrases, Sayings and Proverbs we use daily.
  11. spunkygirl1962

    Keep Moving!

    Keep Moving! By Michele Bone BSN, MHS, RN Have you ever been at work and said to yourself: "I need to exercise, but have no time or energy to do it?" A majority of nurses work long hours and tiresome shifts. Nurses are too tired or have no time for exercising. I am a post-anesthesia care nurse who works long hours including being on call for patient care. I have a gym membership but do not seem to find the energy or time to go to the gym. The sad thing is that the gym is only 10 minutes away from my hospital and open 24 hours a day. I began talking to fellow nurses to see if they would be interested in an exercise program. A program they could do at work that would not interrupt their nursing duties. There was an overwhelming "yes" to my question. As nurses, we may think the physical activity we get as we make our rounds from patient to patient is enough, but it is not. We need to add specific exercises designed to help keep us fit and decrease stress. I consulted a fellow nurse, who is also a bodybuilder, and personal trainer on what exercises a nurse could do while at work. In addition, I spoke with my fellow nurses to see what kind of exercises they would be interested in doing. Together, we developed a list of exercises to help decrease stress, tone the body, and assist with the cardiovascular system. The following is a list of exercises starting from the top of the body: Neck and shoulder rolls. These can be done standing or sitting. Shadow boxing. One needs to be cautious when doing this. You do not want to accidentally punch someone. Stretch arms in front of the body, grab fingers, and lightly pull down fingers Stand tall and alternate left and right knees, bending knee up to chest Sit in a chair, contract abdominal muscles Straight posture, shoulders back, back straight, chin up, and buttocks slightly tucked in- slowly bend as if you are going to sit in a chair- bend to a comfortable level then stand up-repeat throughout the day Leg curls. Sit in a chair and bend leg up from knee- rotate legs Gluteal squeezes. Throughout the day, squeeze the buttocks and let go. Take the stairs instead of the elevator These exercises should be done with good posture and 8 to 12 times per set. According to the Center For Disease Control and Prevention, adults need an equivalent mix of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (i.e., brisk walking) and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity (i.e., jogging) and 2 or more days a week of muscle-strengthening activities.1The above activity is a good way to start to reach this goal. Nurses may not have free time or energy to exercise, but hopefully, these exercises will help with relieving stress, toning, and the cardiovascular system until you are able to go to the gym. Few of us can take 20 uninterrupted minutes between patients to devote to these exercises. So try 5 minutes here, 10 minutes there until you reach 20 minutes. Remember, 20 minutes 3 times a week is your starting goal. Even if you don't have that much time, spend the time you do have. This routine is a good start to reaching the goal that the Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommended for improving your health. Remember to check with your doctor before beginning any exercise routine. The important thing is to keep moving! ABOUT THE AUTHOR I have 26 years of nursing experience specializing in emergency room care and post-anesthesia care. I received my Bachelors of Science in Nursing from Florida State University and my Masters of Science in Health Services with an emphasis on Wellness Promotion from Independence University. The combination of the two degrees in nursing/wellness and my interest in fitness have inspired me to write this article to help other nurses find ways to keep healthy. Reference: 1. How much physical activity do adults need? (n.d.). Retrieved from How much physical activity do adults need? | Physical Activity | CDC