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jeastridge BSN, RN

Faith Community Nurse (FCN)

BSN, RN, Faith Community Nurse

Member Member Writer Expert Nurse
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jeastridge is a BSN, RN and specializes in Faith Community Nurse (FCN).

Joy has worked in a variety of fields in the nursing profession over her 35+ years of nursing, including GI/GU, Medical Surgical, Pediatrics, Home Health and Hospice. While being a FCN for 22 years, she also worked in hospice and obtained her CHPN. In addition to writing for the website, she pursues other avenues of writing and has published a children's book and two Bible studies. She is active in her community, in her church and with her ever-growing family. She enjoys long walks in the mountains of East Tennessee, cooking for crowds and reading for pleasure. 

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jeastridge's Latest Activity

  1. jeastridge

    Nurses and Bullying: 4 Things You Can Do

    You bring up some good points. Thank you for sharing your perspective. Joy
  2. jeastridge

    Nurses and Bullying: 4 Things You Can Do

    What great suggestions! I especially like the idea of having cash on hand. Money can't do a lot of things but it CAN buy options. It can make life more bearable by providing that escape valve--just in case it is needed. Thank you for sharing your constructive ideas. Joy
  3. jeastridge

    Nurses and Bullying: 4 Things You Can Do

    Great story. Thank you for sharing. I was reading Richard Rohr's book, THE NAKED NOW, this morning and he says, "What you see is what you get. What you seek is also what you get. We mend and renew the world by strengthening inside ourselves what we seek outside ourselves, and not by demanding it of others or trying to force it on others." (p.160). You showed respect and behaved with decorum and integrity.
  4. jeastridge

    Nurses and Bullying: 4 Things You Can Do

    You bring up an important point: our personal lives can "bleed over" into our professional lives so easily. We also can have a tendency to promote co-dependency and tolerance of bad behavior based on excuses. While we all want to be sympathetic to the troubles our managers and co-workers are experiencing, we also want to keep our patients front and center--while at work, they are our #1 concern and responsibility. Thank you for your comment. Joy
  5. jeastridge

    Nurses and Bullying: 4 Things You Can Do

    You are right. There is a lot of truth to the need to find a way to stand up to bullies and to be firm. But it is easier for some people than for others, and in some cases, bullies make it impossible for victims to have a voice. I have no doubt that you are the kind of person that speaks up for others, as well. Thank you for your comment. Joy
  6. jeastridge

    Nurses and Bullying: 4 Things You Can Do

    Well said and so true. Thank you for your insightful comment. Joy
  7. jeastridge

    Nurses and Bullying: 4 Things You Can Do

    Agreed. Good dynamics on the floor and among staff members often starts right at the top. Joy
  8. Cindy was an older new grad. She went back to school after a long and successful career as a chemist, deciding that she wanted to be a nurse and explore other avenues of service for her “second half” of life. Capable and efficient in her first line of work, it was a shock to find herself as a novice where everything felt unfamiliar and where mastery was a ways off. Her first place of work was on a busy ortho floor. The second week at work, she called me crying. “Their expectations are so high. They keep threatening me.” I tried to listen without judging or offering advice, but something just seemed off. Every few days she texted or called and what she described didn’t seem like anything I had ever experienced as a nurse: where there should have been mentoring, there was censoring; where there should have been guidance, there was abandonment; where there should have been counseling, there was silence and isolation. The source of most of the problems was her preceptor, a young nurse, who my friend described and very physically attractive but unkind. As it turns out, she was a bully. Nursing is Not Immune to Bullying While we would hope that in such a caring profession, we would find a greater percentage of people with compassionate care agendas, sadly there are also a number of practitioners who exhibit the characteristics of a bully: they are critical, negative, they isolate their victims, avoid meeting with them, and generally make life miserable. According to a study by Etienne, “Bullying in the nursing workplace has been identified as a factor that affects patient outcomes and increases occupational stress and staff turnover.” (Exploring Workplace Bullying in Nursing) Signs of Bullying The trouble with bullying is that it is often subtle and therefore difficult to recognize as such. While the playground bully may be overt and even violent, the adult bully is usually disguised under heavy layers of professional accomplishment and years of experience with manipulating others. They come in all shapes and sizes, both men and women, old and young. The “mean girls/guys” from 7th grade grow up, don’t they? But sadly, they sometimes don’t leave behind their old ways of treating others, and they bring those tactics with them when they put on their scrubs and head to the nursing workplace. One of the primary manifestations of bullying is that the victim often feels that it is all his/her fault. After exposure to the bully’s tactics, they may even think to themselves, “If only I did this or that better, then they would not treat me this way.” The thought processes at the center of the bully/victim relationships can sometimes be lifted straight from our textbooks about abuse. Just as victims of domestic abuse many times blame themselves, nurses who are victims of bullying find themselves looking inward and wondering if there is something wrong with them. What are some of the classic signs of a bully boss or co-worker? 20 Subtle Signs of Bullying at Work More Subtle Signs Deceitful and manipulative- making promises but not keeping them or using promises to purposely disappoint. Shaming and blaming- bullies want the victim to blame themselves. Ignoring or undermining work- purposely “forgetting” to notify someone of meetings, belittling their work or accomplishments. Intimidating and criticizing- setting impossible standards and even threatening. Diversion and mood swings- bullies might avoid the victim so that the work issues cannot be resolved in a timely manner; and they are subject to widely varying moods (which boss/co-worker will be coming to work today? The sweet one or the nasty one?) Overt Bullying Aggression and intrusion- actual physical altercations with the bully entering your personal space. Belittling, embarrassing and offensive communication- using their position to cause you harm, either physical, psychological or professional. Coercion and threatening- pushing the victim to do things they don’t feel comfortable doing and using threats of termination or other punishment to get compliance with their demands. So, if you or someone you know is being bullied in the workplace, what can you do? Document- Keep a record of any threatening or inappropriate emails, texts or interactions. Should it become necessary to report the bad behavior, it will be important to have specific occurrences, words used, and frequency of episodes. Also, learn your workplace policies on bullying and what your recourses are. Detach- Try to look at the occurrences in light of how this person treats others. Have you been “picked out” for special scrutiny? Bullies are sometimes bullies across the board but at times they pick out a few victims, zero in on those and treat others as allies, making the other staff members into (sometimes) unwitting accomplices for their own bad behavior. Dare to Defy- Standing up to a bully is hard and practically can be impossible. Often, persistent bullying requires cutting our losses and moving on to another position. But adult and boss bullies—like those on the playground—can respond to pushback: maintaining eye contact, standing firm, ignoring or not acceding to their demands. This is harder to do than it sounds, because the victim of a bully at work frequently is not in a position to resist and finds themselves being jerked around by the perpetrator’s continually changing and escalating demands, whims and moods. Defend- Be on the lookout for bullying behavior around you and if you see something, say something. As for Cindy, in the end, she resigned after 3 months and went in search of another job—certainly not the route a new nurse wants to have on her resume—but a physical and psychological necessity given the bullying she experienced. After the rocky start, she went on to have an extremely successful career as a nurse and to find the profession a satisfying fit for her talents. Have you witnessed bullying in your workplace? How have you been a victim of bullying?
  9. jeastridge

    12-Hour Shift | Life of a Nurse

    Great article! Thanks for sharing. You are a credit to the profession! Joy
  10. jeastridge

    Breast Cancer Simplified

    Thank you for your comment and for sharing your experience. You have some important views for others to consider. I wish you all the best moving forward. Joy
  11. jeastridge

    Breast Cancer Simplified

    My phone lit up with a message from a friend in a nearby town. “Let’s get together for lunch this week.” I responded with, “Sure, what’s up?” Her answer made me sit down. “Breast cancer.” Breast Cancer Statistics The “C” word is met with foreboding by us all, but breast cancer brings along with it a special dread to women: possible breast-altering surgery, treatment that can include chemo and radiation and the increasingly less likely risk of death. With statistics showing that according to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), “12.8% of women born in the United States today will develop breast cancer at some time during their lives,” and “2.6% of women in America will die of breast cancer.1 As scary as that statistic is, the NCI emphasizes that the same numbers also show that there is a 7 out of 8 chance that an individual woman will NOT have breast cancer in her lifetime. All the statistics invite us to careful monitoring, including regular mammograms after age 40 or 50 for women with average risk. Additionally, many physicians recommend genetic testing such as for BRCA gene if there is a higher than average family history of breast cancer or any ovarian cancer. How to Reduce Your Risk All women have the opportunity to adhere to healthy lifestyle choices that can help decrease their chances of getting breast cancer including2: Limit alcohol. Greater alcohol intake=greater risk. Don’t smoke. Weight control. Physical activity. Breastfeed. Limit duration and dose of hormone therapy. Avoid radiation and environmental pollution. Treatment Options As professional nurses, we often get asked questions about breast cancer and treatment options. Unless we are actively working in the field, we are not usually qualified to answer questions and often must refer to others or to reliable published material. However, it is important for us to stay up-to-date and understand some of the more recent changes in breast cancer treatment. Staging According to LaCosta Brown, RN, MSN, OCN, a nurse navigator for breast cancer, a lot has changed in staging breast cancer since January 2018. Previously, staging involved one sheet of paper, one chart essentially, and noted tumor size (T), nodal status (N), and metastasis (M). The TNM staging method had been around for a number of years and served as the guide to defining surgery and treatment options. However, for the past 2 years, grade and biomarkers are also taken into consideration. The total picture is the TMN + G + B. Grade Grade refers to how abnormal the cancer cells are when examined under a microscope and range from G1 - Well-differentiated (low grade) to G3 - Poorly differentiated (high grade). Essentially, the higher the grade the faster the spread of the disease. Biomarkers - HER2neu Biomarkers include estrogen receptors, progesterone receptors and HER2neu (Human epidermal growth factor) status. 80% of tumors are hormone-positive and thus respond to treatments that help to curb their growth, treatments that include drugs like Tamoxifen and Arimidex. So if cancer responds to hormones, it is Estrogen or progesterone positive and therefore would respond to these drugs that specifically work to slow down and impede tumor growth and spread. These long term “chemo pills” are generally used for 5 years. This anti-hormonal therapy can prevent breast cancer re-occurrence. HER2 is a protein that when present can cause cell growth and survival. Being HER2 positive opens up the possibility of treatment with Herceptin or Perjeta. HER2 presence is considered, according to Brown, as a “foot on the gas. It is go-go. The treatment modalities of Herceptin and Perjeta put on the brakes and slow or stop the growth of the tumor cells.” According to the CDC, if cancer is the “house” the 3 markers are “keys” that can help treatment get inside and destroy or slow down the cancer cell. If the “house” doesn’t have any one of the 3 keys, it is called “triple-negative.”Triple-negative breast cancers, or those that don’t respond to anti-hormonal treatment, make up less than 20% of all breast cancers. Along with surgery, the treatments include chemotherapy.3 Immunotherapy for breast cancer is also a growing field and one where promising research is being done. The new methods of precision evaluation breast cancer include genetic profiling of the tumor specimen and are much more specific and helpful in terms of specifying treatment options and helping patients decide how to proceed. New Treatment Options In years past, radical mastectomies were the treatment of choice for most breast cancers. As medical knowledge and treatment options have developed in recent years, more women are able to get simple lumpectomies and follow that up with the appropriate treatment given their staging. They may be able to have sentinel node identified at the surgery for biopsy instead of removing all the axillary nodes, reducing the problem of lymphedema of the arm after surgery. My friend and I met for lunch and talked at length about her plans for surgery and follow up treatment. Along with the technical and medical conversation, we reconnected with each other’s lives, offering one another emotional and spiritual support, realizing that as important as all of the staging and drugs and treatment info is, so also is the support we offer one another when going through diagnosis and treatment. References American Cancer Society- https://www.cancer.org/cancer/breast-cancer/about/how-common-is-breast-cancer.html Mayo Clinic - Breast Cancer Prevention: How to Reduce Your Risk - https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/womens-health/in-depth/breast-cancer-prevention/art-20044676 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Triple-Negative Breast Cancer https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/breast/triple-negative.htm
  12. So very sad. Thank you for sharing your story and for doing your best under tragically difficult circumstances.
  13. jeastridge

    Nurses: Compassion Experts

    Dear Meagan, Thank you for sharing this thoughtful comment. As you say, connecting with our patients' "story" in some way, helps us to continue as compassionate professionals--for the long haul. Have a great day as you care for others! Joy
  14. It happened on July 15, 2017. Loretta Seymour sat in the emergency room of a hospital in Ontario with her dying father. Diagnosed with prostate cancer the year before, he had been transported to the local ED for end of life symptom management. He was on massive amounts of pain medicine, but he continued to suffer, physically and spiritually. Feeling helpless beside her father, Seymour remembers a nurse coming in and providing a comforting presence that night. Her name was Omolara Ishola. When Seymour said her father was afraid of dying, Ishola offered to pray with the dying man. After that, she sang a song and then brought extra blankets to help keep her patient’s feet warm. These acts brought comfort and peace to both Seymour and her dying father. Now, two years later, Seymour recently connected with Ishola via social media and they went on to meet in person. Expressing deep gratitude, Seymour spoke with Ishola through her tears and thanked her for what she had done that night. Characteristically, the nurse responded by saying she felt, “Humbled” by the recognition. She went on to say, “As a nurse, you do what you do not for the recognition. Patient care is provided because you want to make a difference in people’s lives. When you’re a nurse, you step into people’s lives most of the time at a very vulnerable moment and I have learned to understand that every man, every woman, every child, is someone’s relation, not just a number.” Ishola’s example is inspiring. Even more, it compels us to examine our own practice for places where we can improve. Even the most seasoned nurses can benefit from taking a step back, from time to time and seeing areas where they might improve their practice. How Can We Make More of a Difference? Provide spiritual care- Assessing for spiritual care needs and making sure those needs are met is an integral part of excellence in nursing care. While we may not feel comfortable praying with a patient, we can all take steps to call the chaplain or the patient’s spiritual advisor. Ishola’s approach went beyond the ordinary; she made an assessment of the need and realized that she was able to help meet the need. Focusing on patient dignity- As Ishola said, everyone is someone’s relation, and everyone is more than a number. When we see them in their dying moments, as body functions shut down, and pain is front and center in our list of concerns, we continue to see their humanity. How can we show this in practical terms? Employing appropriate touch- When we connect with the patient by touching their hand or shoulder, or trying to warm their feet, we go beyond medical interventions and reach the humanity of our patient. Touch centers them and us in the present, and lets them know we are with them. Addressing the patient and family appropriately- This nursing care intervention applies at all times, not just in the time surrounding death. Speaking to our patients with dignity and concern, conveys professionalism and can increase trust; trust will ease discomfort and anxiety. Addressing them appropriately goes beyond using surnames (or first names, whichever the patient and family prefer). It extends to talking directly to the patient when possible, using low tones to protect privacy and ease feelings, and not “talking over” the patient. Focusing on the environment- Protecting our patients’ dignity also means being conscious of not talking loudly in the hall and being continually self-aware when with the patient and family so as not to increase their distress. The time surrounding the dying process is often difficult and precious time to the family. Of course, circumstances differ: it goes without saying that an untimely death is harder than an expected one, but even so, an elderly 95-year old’s death —even if anticipated—calls on us to be especially respectful and cautious in dealing with the feelings of those at the bedside. It is never easy to say good-bye to a loved one. Make Encounters Positive For Seymour, who continues to mourn her father’s passing, the nursing care she and her dad received in the emergency room that night made a huge difference. She feels that by contacting Ishola she has completed a task that would have pleased her father, “I feel like my dad’s message of thanks is passed along to her…I can’t tell you how thankful I am for this beautiful soul being there, comforting him.” As professional nurses, we have many opportunities to impact our patients on a daily basis. Our approach and our attitude matters. As Ishola said during her encounter with Seymour, “At every point, I remind myself these are human beings, these are people you’re touching and you must make every encounter positive.”
  15. jeastridge

    Is Nursing Kind?

    Well said. True kindness sometimes doesn't appear to be "nice" because sometimes what is best for us, our patients and our co-workers doesn't look "nice" superficially. Thank you for your thoughtful comment. Joy Well said. True empathy and kindness are related, aren't they? Your patients are blessed to have you as their nurse! Joy
  16. jeastridge

    Is Nursing Kind?

    Thank you for your thoughtful comment! I appreciate what you shared: kindness generally comes right back at you!