Jump to content

Brenda F. Johnson BSN

Gastrointestinal Nursing
Member Member Columnist Expert Nurse
  • Joined:
  • Last Visited:
  • 268


  • 78


  • 108,369


  • 6


  • 0


Brenda F. Johnson has 28 years experience as a BSN and specializes in Gastrointestinal Nursing.

After three years on a Med/Surg floor, I transferred to an outpatient setting. I was interested in a normal schedule, but little did I know I would find my niche in GI nursing. I love GI nursing because every day is a learning experience. My passion for writing led me back to school to get my degree in creative writing. Most of my writing prior to allnurses was creative non-fiction and poetry. Writing for the online magazine is great, allowing me to combine my love of nursing and writing. It is a dream come true!

Brenda F. Johnson's Latest Activity

  1. Future Trends - Births As stated in the introduction, future trends related to the Covid-19 virus are pure speculation. What we can look at to give us an idea of how America will respond, is to look at what has happened in the past. But first, let’s look at what the Census Bureau said about projected births in the United States in their article, “Demographic Turning Points for the United States: Population Projections for 2020 to 2060”, by Vespa, Armstrong, and Medina. Fewer Births Vespa states that the American population is aging, and by 2030, all baby boomers will be over 65 years of age (2020). That means that one in five Americans will have reached retirement age. Going a step further, he projects that for the first time in history, older adults will outnumber children (Vespa, 2020). So without the virus factor, America was already looking at lowered birth rates. Increase in Divorce, Domestic Abuse, Suicide Many of my friends and I have joked about there being a baby boom because of the quarantine. However, we hear about an increase in divorce, domestic abuse, and suicide. Considering these tragedies, it leads one to deduce that there will not be an increase in births. There are several articles about divorce rates being increased since the pandemic, but not a lot of data. However, in China, there have been record filings, which makes sense due to the fact that they have had a longer period of time in quarantine with Covid (Wall, 2020). Xi’an, the capital of the Shaanxi Province has “seen an unprecedented number of divorce filings (Wells, 2020). Unstable Economy In the article, “Half a Million Fewer Children? The Coming COVID Baby Bust”, by Kearney and Levine, tells us that the economic condition that has been caused by COVID will drastically decrease birth rates (2020). Kearney speculates that there will be up to 500,000 fewer births in the year 2021 (2020). What they are basing their number on, is America’s history. In the past, when the country has experienced a recession, the birth rate falls. When families experience unemployment and reduced wages, their security is threatened. Looking back at the Great Recession, just a few years ago in 2007 to 2009, the birth rate dropped by 9% over the five years after the recession (Kearney, 2020). Unemployment rates directly correlate with lower births. With a one percentage point increase in unemployment, a parallel of a 0.9 percent decrease in births (Kearney, 2020). Looking even further back into history at the Spanish Flu, we see the correlation of mortality rates and birth rates being inverse (Kearney, 2020). However, the years of the Spanish Flu did not involve an economic recession, and women did not have access to birth control as they do now. Unlike during the Spanish Flu when all ages died from it, COVID related deaths are significantly higher in people 45 and over (CDC, 2020). The age group 34 and below have a very low number of deaths (CDC, 2020). So the death rate and birth rate should not be parallel involving COVID as in other epidemics It has been shown that families who are more financially stable have more children (Kearney, 2020). Anxiety and uncertainty is a huge deterrent for families wanting to start or expand their family. People do not know how impacted they will be financially in the future, leading to putting off having children or deciding not to have any. We do not know what our country will look like in six months, or how our birth rate will be. Only in the future will we be able to answer the multitude of questions that plague us presently. Drug and Alcohol Abuse Another aspect of humanity is that drug abuse and binge alcohol use escalates during financial crises as shown in the article, “Binge Alcohol and Substance use Across Birth Cohorts and the Global Financial Crises in the United States” (Yang, Roman-Urrestarazu, and Brayne, 2018). Drug and alcohol use leads to unemployment, and poor health (Yang, 2018). This slippery slope is associated with economic instability, poor relationships, isolation, and many more debilitating issues. Being that there is an uptick of drug and alcohol abuse since the quarantine, common sense tells us that this leads to higher rates of mortality and divorce which leads to fewer babies. There are many reasons that Americans may be having fewer babies in the next few years. COVID will be blamed for many of them due to the devastating effect it has had on our country. What will happen remains to be seen, and we can learn from what we see. Will there be a boom or a bust? You tell me. References Kearney & Levine. 2020. Half a Million Fewer Children? The Coming COVID Baby Bust. Brookings Vespa, Armstrong & Medina. 2020. Demographic Turning Points for the United States: Population Projections for 2020 to 2060. United States Census Bureau. Wall. 2020. Divorce Rates and COVID 19. States Attorney. Yang, Roman-Urrestarazu, & Brayne. 2018. Binge Alcohol and Substance Use Across Birth Cohorts and the Global Financial Crises in the United States. PLOS
  2. Brenda F. Johnson

    Have you had your Colonoscopy? March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month

    The nurse charts, helps with abdominal pressure, labeling specimens, etc. The Tech assists the doc. The nurse runs the room, makes sure the time out is done, and consents are signed.They stand right beside them and assist them with biopsies, snares, etc. They obtain the specimen and communicate with the nurse and doc to make sure they label it according to what the doc wants. Does that help? I think that is wise, the cologaurd has it's place, but you can't beat a direct visual. Good Luck!!
  3. Brenda F. Johnson

    Have you had your Colonoscopy? March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month

    To get the pt ready, we hook them up to monitors, turn them on their left side and they have oxygen too. Yes, a pad or towel goes under the bottom. Basically that is it.
  4. Medical Advances Whether we like it or not, the future has caught up with us. Old school nurses like me who have been practicing for thirty years or more have witnessed many changes. Just a couple of examples are needleless methods of administering medications and the multitude of other safety measures initiated that decrease medical and medication errors. Electronics have improved surgical, endoscopy, and X-Ray equipment by increasing accuracy. Oh, and let’s not forget electronic charting. When electronic charting first came, we nurses often complained. The common complaint was that we felt the computer took us away from the patient. Paper charting allowed us to chart at a later time and was much less complicated. However, computer charting has decreased mistakes with hard stops and standardization of the nursing language. Each step of medical advancement has increased the quality of patient care and decreased complications. And here we are on the cusp of improving the world in medicine even more. Telehealth has been around for a bit actually, but it is getting ready to be a large part of the healthcare system. What is Telehealth? What is Telehealth? It is the use of electronic information to transmit patient information and providing healthcare services. As mentioned earlier, this method of care has been used in the United States since 1964 when they used closed-circuit television (Nelson & Staggers, 2017). It has been used in medical teaching for a long time as well, beginning with live video. Benefits There are many benefits to using telehealth, such as decreasing or removing travel barriers for the poor, rural, and disabled. Telehealth will provide more immediate care which can lead to earlier detection of disease or health issues. By putting the power back into the patient’s hands, they become empowered, more independent, and therefore more compliant. Telenursing allows nursing and technology to combine in order to give care to those who may have trouble accessing medical care for a myriad of reasons. As we know, rural patients have difficulty with transportation due to geographic conditions, and less access to practitioners. Medical compliance is lower in rural patients, making chronic conditions harder to manage. Veterans are another group of patients that need assistance to connect with providers. Veterans with disabilities may have trouble traveling to appointments for services that are not offered locally. There are several successful programs that use telehealth in order to better provide care. The one we will focus on is The Department of Defense. Real-time appointments are conducted via video between the patient and the provider. The patients may include active service members, retirees, or dependents. Some of the services that are provided include mental health, dermatology, pulmonary disease, and cardiology care through telehealth. For more information, here is their website. Technology allows doctors to monitor vital signs, blood sugar levels, temperature, bi-pap readings, and much more. This eliminates the need to go to the doctor's office so often in the case of chronic conditions, homebound patients, and handicapped patients. Biometric data can help to not only monitor conditions but also to diagnose issues. Loop recorders are a good example. When patients have short periods of heart arrhythmias, it is often hard to record, and therefore diagnose and treat. Loop recorders are small devices implanted in the upper chest that record heart activity. They activate and begin recording when the heart rhythm becomes abnormal. This information helps the cardiologist to diagnose the patient. The question may arise asking if telehealth is equal to a face-to-face visit. Studies have shown that telehealth is just as effective (Nelson & Staggers, 2017). Another concern when using telehealth is privacy. The same rules and laws apply to these situations that apply to any other HIPAA related issue. Another consideration is the patient’s media/computer and health literacy. These factors must be considered as medicine moves forward using telehealth. Telehealth is becoming more sophisticated and applicable with each passing year. There is much to contemplate as we move forward using telehealth in the United States. What are your thoughts on the future of healthcare using telehealth? Share your thoughts and experiences with the allnurses community.
  5. Brenda F. Johnson

    A Shift in Perspective

    Yes, one thing is for sure. . . change is constant. Medicine's evolution over the years has built on previous knowledge and has expanded on it. EPB is used in everything now, from charting to dispensing medications. It improves the quality of patient care, which is what we all want!
  6. I have not personally been fired for being sick, but I have witnessed other nurses suffering that fate. I felt bad for them and I can’t imagine what they must have gone through. We want things to be fair and just, and to be able to trust the company that we work for to do the right thing. However, employers aren’t always fair. I’m sure many of you reading this will be able to relate to the story highlighted in this article. A nurse from Nolensville, Tennessee, Chrissy Ballard was fired this summer after being off from work to begin treatment for her stage 2 hormone-receptor negative (can’t be treated with hormones because it doesn’t have hormone receptors), and HER2+ breast cancer (tests positive for the protein human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 which encourages the growth of cancer cells). Chrissy worked with dying patients in Hospice care for a company called Caris Healthcare. This past March, Chrissy was diagnosed with the terrifying diagnosis of breast cancer. She must now face her own truth of mortality, after helping patients do the very same thing. Caris Healthcare fired her in the middle of her cancer treatment. Her termination letter states that the reason for her firing was due to “health reasons”, but that she was eligible for rehire. Caris Healthcare’s mission statement is to “Hospice with Compassion and Hospice with Grace”. Their actions towards Chrissy does not line up with their mission statement. Not one person on earth is immune to being diagnosed with cancer, or some other diagnosis that threatens our life and well being. If the day comes that we need to take time off from work for an illness, we hope to be able to take the needed time off to have surgery and other treatments without retribution from our employer. The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) that was initiated by President Bill Clinton, allows employees to take 12 unpaid weeks off from work for qualified reasons while their jobs remain secure. The employee must have been at the institution for 12 months in order to qualify and have worked 1250 hours during that time. Chrissy was fired just before the 12-month deadline. While Chrissy’s case is being fought in the legal arena, Chrissy and her husband say that they regret not putting her request in writing. Lawyers suggest that when you are going to be out for qualified reasons, put it in writing as to why you are asking for time off. After reading about Chrissy’s situation, I pulled up the policy for attendance at my facility. The policy stated that an “Absence”, in which the employee must take an unscheduled absence over 4 days be referred to FMLA with a written note from a physician. Under the “organizational rights” in the policy, it tells us that the business has the right to authorize or refuse the request to be off, and are able to investigate absences to determine whether the reason is justifiable. In the employee handbook at my place of employment, it gives the following reasons an employee can use FMLA for pregnancy-related issues such as complications, birth, and care after birth or adoption, care of a family member with a serious illness, and a serious health condition that inhibits the employee from doing their job. FMLA is also granted for military reasons including allowing the employee to take off 26 weeks for a special leave related to care for a covered service member. FMLA allows the employee to come back to work to an original or equivalent position, same pay and benefits. In a perfect world, we would be able to take off the amount of time that we need and be able to keep the same job. However, employers have to protect themselves as well. Some employers engage in shady practices that put their employees in jeopardy. It is our job to know the law and our employers’ policies regarding time away from work. We should never assume anything. When applying for a job, make sure to check into whether they provide short term disability, long term disability, insurance, and that they fit the qualifiers to provide FMLA. Chrissy’s surgery was successful, and now she is in the middle of her radiation treatments. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is investigating her case for improper firing. Her case can and will set a precedent for nurses in the United States. Like I stated earlier, I’m sure there are nurses reading this who have experienced good and bad issues regarding their employer when faced with a life-changing event. Share your experience if you wish, or give advice to those who may be facing this in their lives right now. Below is the link to the article about Chrissy Ballard if you would like to read more about her. A Hospice Nurse Started Chemo. Then Her Employer Fired Her.
  7. Yes, she was known by her attacker. I didn't put much about him. He worked as a parking valet at the garage and had recently been fired.
  8. I don’t remember hearing anything about Carlie’s murder last January, but her community of nurses did. On January 25, 2019, in the parking garage of a Wisconsin hospital, Carlie was kicked in the head over 40 times and then left to die under a car in the early hours of the morning on January 25, 2019 (O’Reilly, 2019). It was so cold that her skin froze to the concrete (Harris, 2019). She left work at 1:00am, was found at 3:43am by a snow plow driver, and tragically died at 4:21am. Carlie died a slow, torturous death - Alone (O’Reilly, 2019). As I read Carlie’s story, and how she died, it weighed heavy on my heart. I pictured someone I know falling victim to such a brutal death and my stomach squeezed so hard that it hurt. Was Carlie conscience, did she lie there thinking about her husband and family. How much pain did she suffer while her tears went unheard. With any act of violence, we try to rationalize it - we try to make sense of it. But the circle of thoughts that we continually play in our minds about something irrational cannot be rationalized. Nurses often are on the receiving end of abuse, and those feelings and memories stick with us forever. Not to mention our individual histories and personal experiences with abuse that we bring with us everyday. The ones that have shaped us and have developed how we respond to abuse. Any abuse - verbal, sexual, physical, or mental is immensely personal, it touches and shapes our souls. The abuser tries to steal our joy and our sense of safety, but it’s time we as nurses stop putting up with workplace violence. According to Bankole K. Fasanya and Emmanuel A. Dada, in their article, “Workplace Violence and Safety Issues in Long-Term Medical Care Facilities: Nurses’ Perspectives”, that on a daily basis, two people are killed as a result of workplace violence, and 87 are injured (2016). This statistic covers any field of work, however, the healthcare field takes credit for a large majority of those numbers. In fact, in the article, “Educational and Managerial Policy Making to Reduce Workplace Violence Against Nurses: An Action Research Study”, it tells that we as healthcare workers are victim of almost 74% of the abuse inflicted in the workplace (Hemati-Esmaeili, Heshmati-Nabavi, Pouresmail, Mazlom, & Reihani, 2018). Workplace violence can be verbal, emotional, sexual, or physical and most nurses have experienced one or more forms in the span of their career. Abuse can come from a peer, superior, doctor, patient, or family. Certain fields of nursing suffer higher incidents of abuse such as the Emergency Department, Long Term Care, and the Psychiatric wards. A large percentage of these events are not reported. The reason may be that there is a feeling that nothing can or will be done, or that there will be retribution for reporting. How can we, as nurses advocate for ourselves? We need to empower ourselves and our fellow nurses and learn what our choices are and what is being done about workplace violence. A bill was introduced February 19 this year by Representative Joe Courtney. He represents Connecticut in the House of Representatives since 2007. This bill - H.R. 1309 will require the Department of Labor to look into violence in the healthcare field. It is asking that requirements be set to educate healthcare workers on how to de-escalate violent situations, and recognize the signs of impending violence. Also, it asks that each incident be investigated as soon as possible in order to get the most accurate information. Nurses often do not feel comfortable or safe reporting incidents of workplace violence. They fear retribution, prejudice, or even losing their jobs. This bill will allow them to report concerns and events privately and without punishment. What can we do? Contact your state Representatives and Congressmen/women and ask them to support this bill. Tell them that is is essential that something be done to protect us. If this becomes mandatory, turnover will decrease, morale will increase, and the culture of the healthcare field will greatly improve. The perception that nurses are expected to endure a certain amount of violence needs to be eliminated (Fasanya, 2016). Thank goodness the majority of workplace violence cases are nonfatal. But one fatal incident is too many. Share your stories with the allnurses community. References Fasanya, B., & Dada, E. (2016). Workplace Violence and Safety Issues in Long Term Medical Care Facilities: Nurses’ Perspectives. Safety and Health at Work, 7(2), 97-101. doi: 10.1016/j.shaw.2015.11.002 Harris, C. (2019). Dying Wisconsin Nurse Found Frozen to Ground was Allegedly Targeted by Former Parking Valet. People. Retrieved from https://people.com/crime/slain-wisconsin-nurse-was-allegedly-targeted-by-valet/ Hemati-Esmaeili, F., Heshmati-Nabavi, F., Pouresmail, Z., Mazlom, S., & Reihani, H. (2018). Educational ad Managerial Policy Making to Reduce Workplace Violence Against Nurses: An Action Research Study. Iranian Journal of Nursing and Midwifery Research, 23(6), 478-485. doi: 10.4103/ijnmr.IJMNR_77_17 O’Reilly, M. (2019). Murder and Me. Medscape Nurses. Retrieved from https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/917203
  9. Brenda F. Johnson

    Gender Bias in Health Care

    This has been going on for decades. About 10 years ago, I asked an Anesthesiologist why on their pre-surgical orders have different guidelines for men than women in regards to EKG. She told me that is is just how it is. The criteria was different regarding ages for routine EKGs preop. Men got one at a younger age than women. Made no sense to me. Very good article, thank you!
  10. Brenda F. Johnson

    How the U.S. Cadet Corps Changed Nursing History

    That is so cool!
  11. The second World War drained the hospitals, health agencies, and schools of nurses by about 30% according to Liz Eberlain in her article, “Making a Difference: The U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps”. This created a nursing shortage that threatened the future of the country as well as the war. After the war was over, nurses would be needed for the continued treatment of the soldiers and their families. Labor - Federal Security Appropriations Act, 1942The House of Representatives and Congress put together a Code, addressing the labor and other needs of the United States due to World War II called “Labor - Federal Security Appropriations Act, 1942”. Among this Code was a law that communicated how federal money would be used to recruit nurses. The demand for nurses had become critical and the medical community would have collapsed under the great need for nurses during and after the war. This code also dropped discriminatory practices by allowing any race, color, or creed to apply (An Act Making Appropriations for the Department of Labor the Federal Security, 1942). The code focused on High School graduates between the ages of 17 and 35. These students could be trainees, student nurses, or post-graduate nurses; it even offered refresher courses for nurses who had not been working due to retirement or having children. RecruitmentRecruitment efforts were widespread using leaflets, posters, newspapers, parades, even Hollywood made short films and advertisements to encourage enlistment. (Below is a link to one of these short films) High schools hung the posters in their hallways to encourage new graduates to enlist, and parents were promised that their daughters would be safe and taken care of. These young women would receive a monthly stipend along with free tuition to nursing school. The nursing program was pushed from 36 months to 30 months in order to expedite their graduation (Eberlein, 2019). However, the $5 million allocated to get the program going was not enough. The forward thinking congresswoman, Frances P. Bolton initiated the bill called the “Bolton Act” that asked for the establishment of a governmental program that would give grants to nursing schools to enable the training of nurses (Eberlein, 2019). Her bill passed on July 1, 1943, giving $65 million in the first year to nursing schools across the country (Eberlein, 2019). Several things happened that year to further the nursing profession. One was that the cadet program was put under the Public Health Services who answered to the Surgeon General (Eberlein, 2019). The Surgeon General at that time was Tomas Parran who appointed Lucille Petry, RN over the new Division of Nurse Education (Eberlein, 2019). The birth of return demonstration teaching began during this time, changing how nurses are taught forever. Altogether, the U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps recruited 124.000 women. RecognitionThe reason that The United States Cadet Nurse Corps has made it back into the public eye recently, is because they are asking for more “formal recognition” for the women who served in the corps, according to the article, “Recognition ‘Now or Never’ For U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps of World War II”, by Jill Kaufman (2019). Many of these nurses have now passed away, but the lobbying for the government to acknowledge the nurse corps is still going on. These nurses began working towards receiving full veteran’s benefits in the 70s, but have not been successful. More recently, Barbara Poremba, a nursing teacher has initiated a bill called “Honorary Veterans” that would offer the member of the nursing corps burial benefits (Kaufman, 2019). The U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps Service Recognition Act would recognize the women who served by giving them honorable discharges, the above-mentioned burial services, and ribbon and medal privileges (Scheible, 2019). These women went overseas, some were even captured by the Japanese, others worked in the states, and they all served our country. They worked under the conditions of war, and continued to serve after the war was over. They deserve at least the proposed privileges. A couple of those women, now in their 90s are Elizabeth “Betty” Beecher of Weymouth, who is now 95, and Emily Schacht from Waterford, Connecticut and is 92 years old. We honor them among our nurses’ community. Have you known a nurse who served in the corps, or know a story about it, please share with the allnurses community. To see a recruitment film, click on the link below: The CriticalPast: The need for cadet nurses and young girls to volunteer for military nursing service during World War II. References An Act Making Appropriations for the Department of Labor the Federal Security. (1942). Labor-Federal Security Appropriations Act, 1942. Retrieved from: Library of Congress Eberlein, L. (2019). Making a Difference: The U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps. National Women’s History Museum: Making a Difference: The U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps Kaufman, J. (2019). Recognition ‘Now or Never’ for U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps of World War II. New England Public Radio. Retrieved from: Recognition 'Now Or Never' For U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps Of World War II Scheible, S. (2019). Military.com. Retrieved from: Lawmakers Renew Bid to Honor US Cadet Nurses
  12. I love my career in GI, and never thought I would change. Working in GI for the past 25 years has served me well. I enjoy it, and learn something on a daily basis. However, for the past 4 ½ years my immediate boss was the worst. I knew that I couldn’t take working under her until I retired. I had applied for other jobs, but that never worked out, and I didn’t want to go back to a night shift or to work on the floor. Having worked in GI for so long had type cast me into procedural nursing. I was so desperate at one point that I felt depressed and trapped, as if in a bad marriage. About a year ago, I opened an email that stated that my facility was increasing tuition reimbursement. My heart skipped a beat. I actually like school, and love learning new things. So I printed out the information and put it aside until I got home. I did a search of the colleges and degrees that my facility partnered with for decreased tuition. There was one problem, I really didn’t want to teach, and am not necessarily interested in upper management. There was a choice of study that I didn’t quite understand called “Nurse Informatics”. I read the description several times trying to comprehend what exactly what “informatics” meant. After finally wrapping my head around informatics, I grew to like the idea. Using my nursing knowledge and nursing science to manage and define communication data seems like a great option for me. It sounded like something that I would like to learn more about. Also, when I get to retirement age, it could segue into something that I could do from home. My age was the only deterrent that gave me pause. I was 53 at the time and I questioned myself whether I should go into debt and invest my time to change into a career that was totally foreign to me. It terrified me, but also excited me at the same time. Would people look at me and say “what? She’s too old”. However, since I really don’t care what people think, that didn’t worry me so much. I chose the online Masters Program of Nursing Informatics at WGU. I am almost done with my first year, and I am still saying the mantra to myself about my age. Should I be doing this at my age? How many years will I really be able to work in my new field? Even though I question myself about my age, I know I won’t quit. My family is very supportive and working online allows me to work when I have the time. My mentor through the school has been very helpful and encouraging. She helps me to navigate each class and gives me advice on how to proceed. The school offers enough resources that a student can complete their work without leaving their house. I’m sure most online programs are similar and offer resources like that of WGU. The instructors are available for telephone conference, or email correspondence. I was also concerned about not being in a classroom. I love being in a classroom and having interaction with the teachers and fellow students. However, I have enjoyed working in the evening on my couch doing my schoolwork. At this point in my life, the online program fits my life and I am able to learn and do the work at my own pace. Beginning anything new in life can be nerve racking. A new job, new relationship, and beginning a new degree. I was very anxious during the first two classes until I understood how they format the classes and homework. There is a lot of writing involved, but that doesn’t really bother me. Writing is one of the things I enjoy, even if it is a term paper instead of an article. As far as my job goes, the old boss is gone, and now I am the boss. Of course life gets busier as soon as you start a project. Work has calmed down and life has gone on. Class by class I get closer to the finish line. But what about the whole reason that I began this journey? It has resolved itself. Do I continue in informatics, or do I change the direction of my degree to management? So many questions, so much is unknown. I have thought long and hard about my school and career future. I have not talked about going to school with my co-workers, I have kept it on the down low. In the beginning, the reason was because I didn’t want my “at the time” boss to know. Now I don’t want them to know that I may be leaving in the next year or two. Either way, my advice to myself is to do what I need to do for myself. It doesn’t matter what anyone thinks, or expects. If you are thinking about going back to school, take a step forward and invest in yourself. Do it for yourself, and don’t let obstacles like age get in your way. We don’t know what tomorrow brings, and God leads us down the road that we need to be on. Tell us your school story!
  13. Brenda F. Johnson

    I Am A Sober Nurse, But Only for Today

    You are a brave woman, and I applaud your hard work. I enjoyed reading your article, it was very well done! Keep staying strong - 24- hours at a time
  14. Brenda F. Johnson

    The Future of Nursing Retention

    The cost of nursing staff turnover is immense for hospitals according to the 2019 National Health Care Retention & RN Staffing Report (NSI, 2019). The NSI reports that on average to replace a bedside nursing job it can cost up to $52,100. Last year, it is estimated that a hospital paid out up to $5.7 million just in recruiting, educating, and training new hires (NSI, 2019). This is a huge amount of money to keep a hospital staffed. The top reasons nurses leave jobs vary - such as personal reasons, relocation, or career advancement. Other reasons that nurses leave jobs is because of salary, schedule, commute, management, retirement, and staff/patient ratios (NSI, 2019). Nurses have the luxury of being able to change jobs if they are not happy. There are so many choices for us, that if we aren’t happy, we can leave or transfer. If a facility does not value the nurses’ needs or care about retention, then they will have a large turnover rate. There is one hospital system that has created a program that is like no other. The Allegheny Health Network has developed a RetuRN to Practice program that offers nurses shorter shifts, flexible shifts, refresher courses, and a support network. This information can be found at the following link: https://www.ahn.org/education/ahn-return-to-practice-program The Allegheny Health Network purposes to lure nurses that have left nursing to raise children, or are retired, to return to the bedside. Allegheny has created a system that fits the modern nurses’ lifestyle, and as a result, decreases the workload for the current staff. According to the article, “Bring Nurses Back to the Bedside”, by Jennifer Thew, “participants must offer managers availability in a minimum of three-hour blocks at any time on a day, evening, or night shift, or on a weekend or holiday”. The agreement allows the nurse to self-schedule but requires a minimum availability. They don’t take assignments necessarily but relieve for breaks or when the nurse has to be off the unit for a period of time. They can do admissions and discharges as well, or patient teaching, the things that take a chunk of time. The hospital provides refresher courses for the RetuRN nurses to take that will help them get their license re-activated. Shadowing is also available to help the returning nurse update clinical skills. They also offer a concierge program that helps the returning nurses navigate the process of getting hired and activating their licenses. When the RetuRN nurse comes onto the unit, it is then that they get their assignment, which requires flexibility. It does create scheduling adjustments for the manager, who has to fit the RetuRN nurse with a three-hour block of time into the day’s schedule. What the program has come to find is that once these nurses are on the units, the units fight to keep them, finding them very valuable. Because this is a new program, they are constantly re-evaluating and getting feedback from all the key stakeholders. The first wave of the program hired 22 nurses, all of whom still work there. The RetuRN nurse does not have to twelve-hour shifts or work the weekends, some of the deterrents that kept them away. They can self-schedule in order to fit the job to their life schedule, creating a balanced work to life ratio. Being that the most recent percentage for staff turnover in hospitals is 19.1, this program recognizes that number and is forward thinking enough to try and decrease it. Bedside nursing turnover rate is 17.2% in 2018, compared to 16.8% turnover rate of 2017 (NSI, 2019). The numbers continue to increase each year, reflecting the satisfaction of the staff. In just five years, the average hospital has “turned over 87.8%” of their staff (NSI, 2019). This is a huge number that should get hospitals attention, not only for the money involved to recruit and train new employees but keeping staff once they hire them. The RetuRN program will be one to watch. It already has given us a lot of information. In a couple years, the program will be larger and will have even more data to backup their claims. It will be interesting to see what it becomes and how many other hospitals will begin to use the program, or create something just as effective. The nurses who take advantage of the program have a lot of experience and skills to share that will benefit their fellow nurses and the patients. In return, the nurse gets to work a schedule that they choose and keep skills current. References 2019 National Health Care Retention & Staffing Report. (2019). Nursing Solutions, Inc. Retrieved from: www.nsinnursingsolutions.com Thew, J. (2019). Bring Nurses Back to the Bedside. HealthLeaders Analysis. Retrieved from: https://www.healthleadersmedia.com/nursing/bring-nurses-back-bedside
  15. Download allnurses Magazine The evolution of nurses day or nurses week took many years to become official. The first official attempt was in 1953 when Dorothy Sutherland of the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare proposed a “Nurses Day” to President Eisenhower. She wanted it to reflect the 100th Anniversary of Florence Nightingale's mission to Crimea, but it did not get done. However, the following year in 1954, a National Nurses Week was celebrated from October 11-16 (Gillies, 2003). In 1955, a bill was introduced to declare a National Nurses Week, but it did not pass. Ten years later, the International Council of Nurses started celebrating “International Nurses Day”. President Nixon is asked in 1972 to acknowledge a “National Registered Nurse Day”, but it did not happen. However, two years later, Nixon proclaims “National Nurses Week”. The same year, the International Council of Nurses proclaims May 12 as “International Nurse Day” (Gillies, 2003). There are several milestones in the years that followed, and in 1982 the ANA recognized May 6 as “National Recognition Day for Nurses”. That same year, Congress also made a resolution for May 6 to be “National Recognition Day for Nurses”, and then President Ronald Reagan signed a proclamation on March 25 declaring the same (Gillies, 2003). The ANA made nurses week (May 6-12) official in 1990 (Gillies). May 12 is Florence Nightingale's birthday, so it is fitting that we end the week of celebration - celebrating her. After attending nursing school in Germany, Florence went back to London and became superintendent of a hospital for “gentlewomen” (The History, 2016). Her work in public health and during the Crimean War set new standards for healthcare. She decreased mortality by improving sanitary conditions. Not only that, she kept records of the people who died, and how they died. This allowed her to make the connection between sanitation and disease. Florence actually had some of the first evidence-based research in healthcare. Looking back at how many changes (or not) have taken place in nursing and the medical field, it seems overwhelming. Even so, the nurse's mission has remained steady throughout this medical metamorphosis. This is evidenced in a book published in 1930, , F.A.C.P. In the preface, he tells us what his perspective of what a nurse is. “The function of the nurse in medical diseases is to observe symptoms accurately, to recognize early signs of complications and to carry out the physician’s orders intelligently” (1930). This description applies today just as much as it did in 1930. Although we have made great strides in chemistry, biology, and electronics, our basic purpose remains as it always has been - to provide care to our patients to the best of our ability without doing any harm. I love my old medical and nursing books. I enjoy reading them and seeing the nursing students’ signatures written crookedly inside the front cover and maybe some scribbled notes of something they thought was important. These books are precious, connecting the past with the present. One of the books in my collection was written in 1917 by George M. Price, M.D. called, Hygiene and Sanitation A Text-Book for Nurses. When I flipped to the dedication page, it read, “To Lillian D. Wald - The pioneer of Public Health Nursing in the United States and the foremost advocate for the extension of the scope of the nurses’ work. This book is dedicated in appreciation and respect” (Price, 1917). Wow. Makes me wonder if he knew her or just knew of her. This is the perfect segue into talking about Lillian D. Wald and her contributions to the world of sanitation, education, and the improvement of conditions for children in that day and time. Lillian Wald is known for her work in reforming public health. Not only did she open a “settlement house” (opened in poor urban areas in an attempt to bring the rich and the poor together in proximity and socially) in 1893 called the Henry Street Settlement, she moved into the house along with her friend and fellow nurse Mary Brewster (Lillian, n.d.). There in the house, she provided nursing care for the poor. Eventually, there were many nurses who would come and volunteer their time. Soon, the settlement was able to open playgrounds, afterschool programs, kindergarten, mother’s groups and more. Lillian was able to discern what the community needed and then make sure it happened. Together, she and other well-known women’s rights activist such as Lavinia Dock and Florence Kelley helped to write textbooks, aiding to the progression of the professional nurse. New York City school children benefited from the many people living in that settlement who helped to improve conditions in the schools. Special educations classes were created, and a program for school nurses was started, along with a lunch program for the students. Lillian’s activism and hard work in her community were boundless, including her work in the political arena to end child labor. Her story is a good example of how one nurse changed a country (Lillian, n.d). Getting back to the book, I thought you would enjoy what Dr. Price had to say in his preface. “The last decade has seen a wonderful expansion of the function of the trained nurse and a great broadening of the scope of her usefulness. No longer are her duties limited to the simple care of the sick. The nurse has become a priestess of prophylaxis. Her work in preventative medicine has become invaluable. She has become an important factor in social, in municipal, and in public health work” (Lillian, n.d). **To all the wonderful male nurses out there, know that we appreciate you and you are the “princes of prophylaxis”. ** While documenting in charts has become obsolete, we now see our faces in the reflections of all of the electronic devices we use. We get lab, and other results in real time and can treat patients sooner. Communication has become easier and faster, decreasing the incidents of delay of care and improving patient outcomes. While all of this is great, let’s not forget to look up and make eye contact with our patients; they need it, and so do we. Just from looking at them we can tell so much. We can see if they are pale, in pain, or nervous, and most of all, it begins the process of building a rapport. Nurses Week is to celebrate you. All the times you ignore your back pain and keep going, or brush off the bladder that is about to burst in order to care for your patient. As you bring them their lunch while yours is getting cold, this week is for you. When a doctor yells at you for something that is no fault of yours, this week is for you. As you walk to your car on feet that are so tired they can’t take any more steps, we celebrate you. The connection we have as nurses over the past decades to now binds us in our journey of serving. The best things about the healthcare system have been created by nurses just like you. Do some creating of your own and don’t forget to get a massage to reward yourself. You never know, decades from now, nurses may be reading about you and all the wonderful things that you were able to accomplish. Tell us about some things you would like to pioneer. References Blumgarten, A. (1930). A Textbook of Medicine for Students in Schools of Nursing. New York: The MacMillan Company. Filiacia, A. Lillian Wald - Public Health Progressive. (n.d.). Wordpress. Retrieved from www.lillianwald.com Gillies, H. Florence Nightingale The History of Nurses Week. (2003). CountryJoe. Retrieved from www.countryjoe.com/nightengale/nursesweek.htm. Price, G. (1917). Hygiene and Sanitation A Textbook for Nurses. Philadelphia and New York: Lea & Febiger. The History of Nurses Week. (2016). Ashford University. Retrieved from https://www.ashford.edu/online-degrees/health-care/the-history-of-nurses-week
  16. Brenda F. Johnson

    Have you had your Colonoscopy? March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month

    Praying for good results!

By using the site you agree to our Privacy, Cookies, and Terms of Service Policies.