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Found 8 results

  1. Carol Ebert

    Wellness Meets COVID-19

    Many of us have given our power over to healthcare professionals instead of taking back our power to affect our own health. For example Not eating healthy Not exercising, Becoming obese and developing Diabetes Expecting the healthcare system to fix us with more and more meds And, all of this could have been prevented. Now who is at risk for the virus the most? Those with chronic conditions. As the healthcare system becomes overloaded with patients, our access to providers may become limited if not impossible. So what is the solution? We are left to rely on our own self-care practices to do what we can to keep ourselves as healthy as we can be. That’s where wellness comes in Because of my career focus on Wellness, I am now fortunate enough to be free from chronic diseases and meds, but of course, it took work on my part to develop healthy lifestyle practices that have served me well. The good news is that it is never too late to tweak your health habits to help your body and mind become more resilient and boost your immunity – especially when we need all the immune support we can get right now! Here are some tried and true wellness strategies that you can start today to boost your immune system. Sleep It’s essential for good health any time, but even more so when everyone around you is coughing and sneezing. Make sure you get 7-9 hours starting at 9-10 pm. An increase in sleep actually increases the number of your white blood cells. Lack of sleep, less than 6 hours, increases inflammation in your body which can lower your immune system. Food Eat healthy whole foods like leafy greens that are filled with nutrients. Warm foods will help your digestion too. Stay hydrated as well. Drink only water or herbal TEAS rather than sugary sodas. Remember, for every cup of caffeine, you need 2 cups of water. Coconut water is one of my favorite treats when I need a boost. Avoid sugar and processed foods It appears that high blood sugar unleashes destructive molecules that interfere with the body's natural infection-control defenses. Eat foods that are naturally high in antiviral nutrients Such as coconut oil, raw garlic, oregano, ginger, kimchi, and other fermented foods, walnut, pomegranate, green tea, apple cider vinegar, and medicinal mushrooms (shiitake, maitake, reishi, cordyceps, turkey tail). The probiotics contained in fermented foods have incredible immune-boosting powers. Fermented kimchi, was found to have significant effects in preventing and fighting the H1N1 influenza. Other examples of fermented foods to try include sauerkraut, pickles, miso, kefir, and kombucha. Bone broth Now you probably heard of this one as it’s all the craze at the moment. It’s easy to find in health food stores and it’s pretty easy to make. You just need some bones and parts of meat that you don’t eat and cook it for several hours. Sauté an onion in olive oil, add some chopped garlic after the onion becomes translucent. Use the whole onion, skin and all. Put in the turkey carcass and any meat and skin you have. Now add a bunch of veggies that you’d like. For example, parsley, turnips, carrots, etc. Add 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. Add 1-2 chopped green apples. Fill the pot with water and bring to a boil. Reduce and simmer for 6-8 hours covered. Stir occasionally. Let cool completely. Strain and use immediately or freeze for later. Sneeze into a tissue or your elbow Then wash your hands immediately. Only about 40% of your sneeze makes it into the tissue, the rest ends up on your hands. So wash them whenever using a tissue. If there are no tissues handy, use your elbow to catch your sneeze. If you have a cough or sneeze, then stay home. If you have to go out, wear a mask. Exercise Aerobic exercise pumps up your heart and moves oxygen from your lungs to your blood. This helps increase the body’s natural virus-killing cells and immune response. Meditate daily A daily practice of meditation or even just thinking happy or calming thoughts can boost your immune system. Try 5 minutes of deep breathing, as this will lower cortisol levels, which increase when you feel stressed. STRESS and FEAR have been proven to lower your immune response. Do a media fast Take a break from all the media coverage and do something that brings joy which boosts your immune system. If you want to catch up on the news, my favorite is NPR. It's clear and simple without opinions or hype. It will get you informed without fear. Take immune boosting supplements If you aren’t taking supplements, this might be the best time to start to get the extra support you need right now. Make sure you seek out “pharmaceutical-grade” quality. Vitamins, Antioxidants, Multiminerals Fish Oil (high quality, potent, pure) Vitamin D3 Grape Seed Extract Vitamin C Zinc Beta- Glucan Complex with reishi, shiitake mushrooms, and baker’s yeast extract. Probiotics. Look for Bifidobacterium BB-12® and Lactobacillus rhamnosus LGG®†. Both strands are clinically shown to survive the harsh acidic environment of the stomach, providing a full range of benefits such as sustaining healthy immune function. Hopefully, this information will be useful for you and those around you as we face the challenges ahead. Here is a helpful survival guide from Dr. Oz that you can post at home or work. Dr Oz Corona Virus Survival Tips (2).pdf
  2. ... oh, only for "pre-existing conditions". (I thought this was funny. Just sharing.)
  3. Healthy People initiatives is a program from the US government Department of Health and Human Services. It is composed of many leading health indicators. They are chosen after extensive collaborative efforts from a workgroup composed of 50 members from across the US. Many governmental agencies inputted into the leading health indicators: Reports by the Institute of Medicine National Health Promotion and Disease Prevention The National Prevention Strategy In addition to these resources, there are other resources for Healthy People 2020 initiatives: Dietary guidelines for the US - provides info for professionals about teaching nutrition to people. This includes dietary advice on improving your overall eating habits also. Another evidence-based summary gives info on Caring for GBLT Individuals with Substance Abuse Issues. There are suggested interventions. Designed for both clinicians this guide outlines treatment guidelines and approaches as well as organizational policies and procedures. This document is meant to be used as a reference tool for clinicians. Fall prevention in the elderly is a hot topic as we all strive to reduce falls and injuries, especially in congregate living situations. Here is a compedium of scientifically proven ways to implement a no-fall program as well as home modifications. Exercises to improve balance and strength are also provided. As health insurance rates soar, reducing premium expenditures is also on the forefront of most Americans. Healthy People 2020 has an initiative for this also. One of the most important facets of this guideline is weight reduction as obesity is a major issue for the American people as a whole. Weight reduction helps to reduce cardiovascular risk and reduces hypertension and diabetes risks also. In addition to addressing current health issues, prevention is another key component of Healthy People 2020: Access to Health Care services remains problematic for some in the US. There is often great disparity from one area to the next and from rural to urban regions. Some areas of general health can be addressed by being able to be seen by a medical provider... Overall physical, social, and mental health status Prevention of disease and disability Detection and treatment of health conditions Improved quality of life Preventable death Extended life expectancy Chronic kidney disease (CKD) continues to affect more and more Americans, mostly due to the increasing numbers of patients diagnosed with hypertension and diabetes. One of the initiatives by several organizations is earlier referral to nephrologists who can provide the best care for CKD patients. This includes diet management, medication, overall care management. Perhaps the most important aspect of CKD care is education for both the patient and family. Staving off further deterioration of kidney function delays and possibly reduces the risk for the need for renal replacement therapy or dialysis. We all need food to survive. However, food safety is another diverse Healthy People initiative. Foodborne illness can result in hospitalization and even death. It is often preventable and unreported. Children younger than age 4 have the highest incidence of laboratory-confirmed infections from some foodborne pathogens, including Campylobacter, Cryptosporidium, Salmonella, Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O157, Shigella, and Yersinia. People older than age 50 and those with reduced immunity are at greater risk for hospitalizations and death from intestinal pathogens commonly transmitted through foods. Healthcare-related infections are another area many healthcare workers are aware of. Many of us that work in hospitals are well area of many of these strategies are part of our work-day. Are you familiar with your facililty's policy to reduce? Catheter-associated urinary tract infections Surgical site infections Ventilator-associated events/ventilator-associated pneumonia Clostridium difficile infections Here is a video of the Determinants of Health from the Dept of Health and Human Services FLrahCtCF&index=27 References: CDC Health People
  4. bsampson

    Family-Centered Care

    The Evolvement and Importance of Patient Family Centered Care I recently had to take my youngest daughter to an oral surgeon to have a tooth pulled. After the initial consultation we felt pretty comfortable so we proceeded in making the actual appointment to have the procedure done.( I was able to get the day off of work which is hard for me to do) Now in the big scheme of things it really was no big deal having a tooth pulled but as you can imagine my daughter was just a little nervous. When we arrived the day of the appointment the oral surgeon, who I might add was "old school" and had been practicing a long time, began to inform me that I would not be able to stay in the room during the procedure! I informed him I was a nurse, she would do better with me in the room as I served as a sort of confidence boost for her. Nothing! He would not budge on his stance! Well, long story short we went ahead with the procedure and he agreed my daughter could text me during the procedure while I went to the waiting room. All went well but when we got to the car my daughter broke down bawling due to the stress it placed on her by not allowing me in the room. The fact of the matter was I knew my daughter better than anyone and if he would have listened to me the process would have been so much better for my daughter, the patient. Not to mention me as her mom. It has been about six months ago, and even now as I recall what happened, I get angered by him and his lack of listening to his patient. This scenario would never had happened if this oral surgeon valued patient family centered care. Patient-family centered care, what does that phrase mean to you? Better yet, what does it entail for us as healthcare professionals? Family-centered care is an approach to the delivery of how we provide healthcare where patients, their families and the health care staff are partners in the care of the patient. Patient-family-centered care is an ongoing effort throughout the patient's stay and illness. The key components are respect and dignity, information sharing, participation, and collaboration. The hospital I am employed by as a pediatric Vascular access nurse uses the family-centered care model and it has provided me opportunities to firsthand experience some of the benefits of allowing the families to be actively part of the treatment process. There are two main benefits that I have seen using this approach to healthcare delivery in my practice. They are trust and increased mutual respect between the family and healthcare team. Having said that, there are still some "old school" nurses and physicians that would just assume throw this model to the curb. When you examine, however the benefits that the patient family centered healthcare provides it is hard to imagine providing healthcare any other way. For instance, one of the many benefits to patient family centered care is better trust. Webster defines trust as the belief that someone is reliable, good and/or honest. These are all qualities any of us would want in a healthcare team that was taking care of us or our loved ones. The big question is how do we gain the trust of families that have never met us before with the lives of their most precious loved ones? Family centered care is a way to foster rapport and gain trust by involving and being active listeners to the family as they inform us of the patient's history and what has worked best for them in the past. When families arrive at the hospital because their loved one is sick, the last thing they need is for someone to minimize their importance because they are not a medical professional. The fact that they are a caregiver to the patient is valuable and should be treated as such. When we utilize a patient family centered care model the family is made to feel like they are being listened to and their opinions are valued in regards to the patient's care which increases their confidence and trust in us as healthcare professionals that we care enough to listen, therefore we will surely provide the best care. As we all know with any relationship, respect is key and as the old saying goes, you have to give respect to get respect. What does giving respect look like for a healthcare professional? It can be as simple as making eye contact or introducing ourselves when we enter a patient's room. Also, it is very important not to view the family as inferior because of a lack of medical knowledge. Listening to the patient and family's views and valuing what their opinions are in regard to the best care for their loved one can only foster respect; this is what family centered care is all about. In conclusion, being a healthcare professional for over twenty years now I have had the experience of working in facilities that stand by the family centered care model and those that do not. It has been my experience both professionally and personally that this model works. If we are able to put ourselves in someone else's shoes we realize that this is how we would want to be treated if our loved one was sick.
  5. Kate_Peds

    Entitled Nurses

    We all know someone that we consider to be "entitled." They believe, and in many cases demand, special privileges that they have not worked to earn. Working with these people is a total drag. But... What if there are instances in which being "entitled" is actually a good thing? What if, dare I say it, nurses should feel entitled to some things? What might these things be? Yes, I've tricked you. This article is not going to be about annoying coworkers who think they are better than everyone else. It's going to be about nurses and what they are entitled to as working professionals. This article is going to challenge the "martyr" persona that nurses are expected to project. Here we go: 1. You Are Entitled to Your Lunch Break Yes! Believe it or not, much like other people, your body requires food in order to produce energy so that you can be effective in your job. Not only do you deserve to eat, but you also deserve to eat sitting down in a place that is specifically designed for eating. Things get busy, and if you do not get to take your lunch break, you should be compensated for working through it. I once had a co-worker who never notified the department of working through lunch. She believed that if she could at least scarf down a granola bar in some back corner of the unit then she did not need to be paid for the other 28 minutes of break that she missed. She let others know that she was not asking to be compensated for those minutes. This resulted in tension between nurses throughout the department. Why? Because some felt that they were expected to give up lunch breaks without pay. Others felt that they were made to look less "dedicated" by expecting to take a full break. 2. You Are Entitled to a Safe Assignment I had a mentor that worked in an ICU setting. One day they were severely understaffed and, as a result, she was assigned four patients. This is not okay. She was expected to take care of double the expected patient load in an intensive care area. This very competent, capable nurse was near her breaking point by the end of that shift. When she wasn't doing patient care, she was praying that two (or three...or four...) of her patients didn't go south at the same time. Look, we all get assignments that we don't like. Sometimes we get busy assignments (hey, that's life!). That is not the issue. The problem arises when the assignment is unsafe, or the ratio is a serious danger to the patients. As a nurse, you are putting your license on the line when you accept a dangerous assignment. You are entitled to a safe assignment. Workplaces need to be prepared to deal with understaffing. Remember, they take on the same obligation to keep patients safe. That should not depend on you turning into superman to make the impossible happen. They have a responsibility. 3. You Are Entitled to Respect One time I observed a physician throw a piece of equipment across the room because she was upset with the nurse. Nurses experience disrespect from all directions. A frustrated physician, an angry family member, an unhappy patient, fellow nurses--you name it, a nurse has experienced it. When someone disrespects you, your response should be professional and dignified, but that doesn't mean that you should have to accept such behavior regularly. Respond appropriately, but understand that you are entitled to work in an environment where objects will not be thrown, shouting will not tolerated, and other acts of disrespect will be dealt with by management. A workplace that allows nurses to be disrespected by their colleagues and patients is not treating them right. You are entitled to respect, just like everyone else. All of this seems like common sense, so why do nurses sometimes tolerate these things? The problem lies with the "martyr" mentality that nurses are expected to live by. You are expected to be selfless, kind, and giving, but you will be criticized if you demand appropriate working conditions or compensation. It's time that we challenge that idea. Nurses have families to provide for. Difficult assignments to navigate. Emotionally taxing work that must be done. You are a nurse and you are entitled to the basic things that are afforded to other working professionals. Do you think there are some things that nurses are entitled to? Share your thoughts!
  6. The healthcare industry is changing quickly. That's not news. However, these changes can have a dramatic effect on nursing as a career. The trend is for healthcare facilities to consolidate to gain leverage during negotiations with health insurers for the best reimbursement opportunity. Community hospitals join together to form large healthcare organizations that seem to monopolize healthcare for the area. Large healthcare organizations take over other healthcare organizations - and private practices - then open urgent care centers. The goal is to own the patient. But do they also own nurses? Own is a strong word. Nurses can leave employment of the healthcare organization at any time but are there viable alternatives if other nursing opportunities are controlled by the same healthcare organization? When many desirable nursing opportunities are owned one way or another by the same healthcare organization, nurses have limited career opportunities. You either work for the major healthcare organization or you don't work as a nurse. Seems like this horror story may be exaggerated especially if your area hasn't been affected by the consolidation of a healthcare organization - and yes this may be going overboard a bit. However, jeopardizing nursing careers can become an undesired consequence of healthcare facilities trying to survive in a turbulence healthcare industry. A former chief nursing officer said that a job is like a pair of shoes. It either fits or it doesn't fit and you don't know until you try it for a while. Let's take this one step further. Even a well-fitted shoe sometimes doesn't fit anymore. The shoe changes or your feet change. It is simply time for a new pair. Changing shoes - jobs that is - was rather a routine process for nurses. You send out feelers to friends inside and outside the healthcare facility. They give you inside information on open positions. You submit an application; show up for interviews; pass pre-employment huddles (i.e. health, background check); and you accept the position if all works well for you. You hedge the risk of jumping to a different healthcare facility by changing to per diem status in your current healthcare organization. If the new shoes don't fit, then you are still employed. The consolidation of the healthcare industry changes the playing field. Old reliable strategies for growing a nursing career may not work anymore since moving from one hospital to another might be transferring within the same healthcare organization. And then a perfect storm is all you need - you are terminated. Terminated because your position is eliminated through consolidation or terminated because management doesn't feel you are working towards your potential; it really doesn't matter because either way, you are looking for work. Not the end of the world because there are usually other nursing opportunities in your area unless those healthcare opportunities are owned by the same healthcare organization. And the death knell to your nursing career is being placed on the healthcare organization's do-not-hire list. Your only option is to move in some cases. Consolidation of healthcare facilities is happening. Healthcare organizations do adopt policies and procedures that ensure nurses and other clinicians (yes practitioners are experiencing the same pressures) are treated fairly; however, nurses still need to develop new career strategies that work within the era of consolidation. Here are a few tips that will help you develop your career strategies: Accept Change The healthcare industry is changing - and change is swift and dramatic in some cases. Fighting change increases your frustration and eventually will leave your nursing career behind. Be Proactive Keep your career alive by increasing your credentials with board certification and go back to school to finish your degree. Healthcare organizations sell you to their customers (patients) and those extra credentials go a long way to maintaining your marketability. Avoid Stagnation No longer can you expect to be set in your career by finding a home unit and provide top-notch care to your patients for the rest of your career. Can you do another nursing job besides your current job? If not, then your career is stagnated and you might find yourself unable to keep abreast with changes are happening in the healthcare industry. Prepare To Lose Your Job Hopefully this will not happen but you now have time to plan what you would do if you should be called to human resources and be told that your services are no longer required. No job is for life especially now as changes in the healthcare market makes what seems to be a solid job one that is no longer needed. Identify Growth Areas In Nursing Healthcare organizations try to stay ahead of the healthcare market by closing underperforming services and opening services that show growth. You need to do the same by keeping abreast of healthcare news and get the training needed to work in the growth area of healthcare. Develop An Inside Network Become active within your healthcare organization. Volunteer for committees - and show up for meetings. Offer constructive opinions. Demonstrate that you are a nurse leader and not simply working a shift for a paycheck. No one including leadership in healthcare organizations knows how healthcare will work in the future. One thing is for sure healthcare as you know it today will be dramatically different in ten years. Today's changes make the healthcare organization sustainable for the future - at least that's the hope of leadership of healthcare organizations. You too need to change to ensure that your nursing career is also sustainable for the future.
  7. For two years, I have struggled with accepting the fact that health care is rapidly changing, and along with it, the way we perform nursing care. A common thread here on allnurses is the growing discontent in the nursing field. Health care is changing. While medical costs have skyrocketed, hospitals have downsized their staff. Patients are paying more for health care, but sometimes their needs are not being met in a timely manner because of short staffing. As nurses, we pledged to do the best we could do, do not neglect or abuse patients in any way, and uphold high standards of care at all times. When I took that oath, I had every intention of upholding it. But sometimes, it is out of our hands. Big corporations are taking over our hospitals. Their main goal is to decrease costs and to increase profits. They hire CEO's that will make this happen. Unfortunately, most of these CEO's have degrees in management, not nursing or medicine. They don't know how to take care of sick people or what it takes to do it. People in middle management, such as DON's and nursing supervisors, have degrees in nursing, but they know that if they stand up to higher management and support their nursing staff, they will most likely lose their job. Everyone is replaceable. If you won't do what they want you to do, they will find someone who is willing to do it. It is not pretty, but it is the cold, hard truth. So what is a nurse to do? First of all, remember why you went into nursing. Are you still doing it for those reasons? If not, try to get yourself back to that mindset. Nursing has changed. It will never be like the good old days. From here on out, we will be taking care of more patients who are chronically ill and our patient: nurse ratio will continue to rise. By holding onto the negative aspects of the way that nursing has changed, you are doing yourself and your patients a disservice. If you are feeling burned out and stressed out beyond relief, maybe it is time to find a different type of nursing to do. That is one of the wonderful things about nursing. There is nothing wrong with taking a break from what you are doing now and trying something else. Sometimes you need to do this and reassess the way your career is headed. If you want to continue in your present job, then you must give yourself permission to be disappointed and sad, but then you need to make a conscious decision to be positive. Accept your assignment. Do the best you can do for the duration of your shift. Try to have a positive impact on your patients and co-workers. Force a smile if you have to. The shift will go by much quicker if you approach it in a positive manner. And the bonus? You will feel much better physically, mentally and emotionally.
  8. Joe V

    Imagine Healthcare Without Nurses?

    What if there were no nurses - only doctors???? Doctors are important......yes. But nurses play a major role in healthcare too. They bring a different skill set to the table, but one of their important jobs is to humanize the medical process for the patient...the person on the other end of the stethoscope. Yes they have their own stethoscopes and know how to use them quite well.