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  1. MeganMN

    How Does This End?

    We Watched and Planned ... My husband and I began watching the Covid-19 numbers in early January. I remember sitting in our living room during a typically dark, cold Minnesota Winter day and discussing how it was going to go down. We debated going to the "big city" the first weekend of February for fear that it had already made its way to the United States. My husband plotted graphs and looked at the exponential growth, and he made predictions about what might happen if it did get out of China. We bought extra food, essentials, and began to save money. We talked late into the night about the potential scenarios that might unfold. And, Waited I watched, in horror, as it began to make its way around the world, and everything that we talked about in late-night conversations started to materialize. My husband and I wished that we could be wrong. The lack of PPE and the rate of health care worker infection weighed heavily on our minds. We were already homeschooling and had begun stocking up, so when things shut down, we were already reasonably prepared. Few things changed in our daily routine, except the loss of a once a week preschool for our youngest, church for all of us, and an evening kids club and date night for the two of us. We are both in the high-risk category, so we hunkered down and waited ... and waited ... and waited ... Now, the Uncertainty I was fortunate (or unfortunate enough to be high risk) to be able to be off work for a while. I am headed back in a few weeks after spending an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime Summer with my husband and three young kids. I am anxious about how I will assimilate back into nursing. I am apprehensive about how I will feel coming home to my family after 12 hours of potential exposure. I am still fairly worried about the PPE situation. I have little trust in the government agencies who are guiding our direction in this pandemic. At the end of the day, however, I am just weary. I am tired of seclusion, but also feel safer in it. I am tired of thinking about the future outcome for myself, my family, our finances, my world, OUR world. I am tired of the uncertainty. I am sad for my children and how this is all going to affect their future. Questions Unanswered How long do we do this? How long do I go without seeing any extended family for fear of exposing them, or us? How long do I hesitantly go out in public, debating whether I should wear a mask when no one else is? How long do we keep our already homeschooled children away from social networks and peers? How long do we stay home from church, our community lifeline? How do we prepare financially, mentally, spiritually? How do we, as a collective body of healthcare providers, ensure that the career we chose is honored and protected? I did not sign up to go to war. I signed up to care for people, show compassion, educate, and advocate, but not at the cost of my own life. My family, indeed, never agreed to be exposed to the dangers that I may face when I go to work. How do I justify the costs for them? These are all rhetorical questions and each of us has our own set of questions, all with no concrete answers. How does this end? I suspect it will play out regardless of what containment measures are put into place. It only takes one moment of weakness to be potentially exposed. What are your questions? Your answers? How in the world does this end?
  2. Kooky Korky

    New Swine Flu?

    Really nerve-wracking to hear that there is a possibility of a new pandemic - that of a new swine flu. One is enough!
  3. As the COVID-19 pandemic unfolds, health experts continue to urge the public to wear face masks for protection. Sound advice, right? Well.. if you spend any time on social media it’s likely you’ve read warnings about the dangers of wearing a mask for long periods of time. Specifically, the risk of carbon dioxide (CO2) becoming trapped under your mask, causing unsafe levels to build up in the body (hypercapnia). So, let’s take a closer look to see if wearing a mask can lead to someone passing out or worse. A Possible Catalyst One April incident added fuel to the “masking causing carbon dioxide poisoning” theory. On April 25, 2020, a New Jersey woman crashed her car into a power pole and was taken to a nearby hospital. The local police department posted to facebook that the woman had been wearing an N95 mask for several hours and passed out. The department believed wearing the N95 mask contributed to the crash by causing a buildup of carbon dioxide and resulting in the driver fainting. The facebook post was shared thousands of times and received hundreds of comments. The story was also reported on major news outlets. The Basics Let’s first review the characteristics of protective masks as we look for the truth. There are two main types of masks used in healthcare, N95 respirators and surgical masks. Surgical These masks are fluid resistant, fit loosely and protect you from large droplets, splashes or sprays of body or hazardous fluids. They also protect others from your own respiratory and body secretions. However, there are limits to protection surgical masks provide, including: Does not provide reliable protection from small airborne particles Are not considered respiratory protection Leakage occurs around the edge of the mask when you inhale Designed for single use N95 Respirators The N95 respirator is tight-fitting and requires a fit test to make you have a good seal around the mask. It protects you against small particle aerosols and large droplets. In fact, it filters out at least 95% of small and large airborne particles. If properly fitted, minimal leakage occurs around the edges when you inhale. N95 masks also have limitations, including: Ideally, N95 masks should be discarded after each patient encounter Is ineffective if a good seal is not maintained Breathing can become difficult The Verdict A CDC representative told Reuters that CO2 will build up in face masks over time, however, the level of CO2 trapped is tolerable for most of us. Protective masks are designed to trap droplets, which are much larger than CO2 particles. Therefore, CO2 will escape through or around the edges of surgical, cloth and even N95 masks. If CO2 levels do rise high enough to cause symptoms, we would most likely remove the mask. Healthcare workers, who wear masks for extended periods of time, could potentially experience symptoms of elevated CO2 levels (I.e. headaches and dizziness). Caveat: Preexisting Conditions People with respiratory conditions (such as COPD) that cause hypercapnia may experience breathing difficulties. Therefore, the CDC does not recommend face masks for anyone having breathing difficulties or other conditions that will increase the risk of hypercapnia. Have you experienced any other “myths” or “truths” related to masking during the pandemic?
  4. Hi everyone, I am a new graduate nurse on a telemetry floor, and recently, because of the surge in COVID (+) patients, management is giving us 5 tele patients with no CNAs on the floor (we're really understaffed). This is concerning because being out of ratio (the hospital is in California) & doing CNA duties compromises the patient's safety. The nurses on our unit have brought this to our management's attention but they're saying that due to the pandemic they cannot get in trouble by the CDC or Public Health. I have been doing research and have not found anything that says it is okay to be out of ratio. Does anyone know if this is in fact true? Also, we're still reusing N95 for weeks straight...is this still the norm? Thank you for your help
  5. meriadocs

    Nursing Homes Reopening

    I'm just wondering if anyone else out there is working in a facility that will be reopening soon. The LTC facility I work at is reopening to visitors and new admissions on July 15. We have been COVID-free since the pandemic started and I'm just afraid that we are jumping the gun to reopen too soon. I know this pandemic is hitting nursing homes the hardest and that it is likely a lot of the residents wouldn't recover if they got sick. I guess my question is, what do you all think of facilities reopening? I know a couple of staff that are considering leaving because they don't agree with opening so soon.
  6. Nurse Beth

    Black Plague

    Black PlagueRecently it’s been in the news that two people from the Chinese province of Inner Mongolia have contracted the plague and are being treated in Bejing. The plague has been with us since biblical times. The Black Plague is known as being one of the most devastating pandemics in all of history. The Black Plague killed millions of men, women, and children in Europe from 1347 to 1351 and is estimated to have wiped out 30-60% of Europe’s population. The Black Plague originated in Central Asia where rodents carried it to Crimea and beyond. It’s believed black rats carried the fleas that carried the bacteria. Black rats, also called ship rats and roof rats, inhabited almost all merchant ships. The plague is caused by an organism called yesinia pestis. Back when the plague was rampant it turned people’s fingers, nose, and toes black, which is why it came to be known as the Black Death and the Black Plague. It’s a swift but painful, horrifying death- victims vomit, bleed, and develop gangrene of the extremities. TypesHumans are extremely susceptible to the plague. There are 3 types: the pneumonic plague, the bubonic plague and the septicemic plague with pneumonic plague being the deadliest form. Bubonic plague affects the lymph glands while septicemic plague affects the bloodstream. Symptoms appear 2-5 days after exposure. The bacteria quickly multiply in the lymph nodes closest to the flea bite and spreads to other parts of the body. Tender, painful lymph nodes, called buboes, are a hallmark of bubonic plague. Bubonic plague can lead to septicemic plague once the bacteria crosses to the bloodstream. In septicemic plague, patients present with fever, chills, extreme weakness, abdominal pain, shock, and possibly bleeding into the skin and other organs. Septicemic plague can occur as the first symptom of plague, or may develop from untreated bubonic plague. The time between being infected and developing symptoms is typically 2 to 8 days. While all 3 are deadly, the pneumonic plague affects the lungs and can be contracted through infectious droplets coughing or sneezing. Anyone who inhales the droplets can become infected. The incubation period can be as short as 1 day for pneumonic plague. Victims are lucky to live more than 48 hours. Pneumonic plague can often be mistaken for the flu. People with pneumonic plague must be isolated. People who have had contact with anyone infected by pneumonic plague should be watched carefully and given antibiotics as a preventive measure. TransmissionPlague is vecxtor-borne, carried by fleas that cling to the fur of rats and other animals, and infecting humans through flea bites. Plague cannot pass from human to human, with the exception of the deadly pneumonic plague. OutbreaksWhile most think the plague is extinct, it has not been eliminated and is very much alive today. The bacteria lives on rodents in most all continents, but outbreaks typically occur in poverty-stricken rural areas. It is found in Africa, Asia and South America. The WHO has classified the plague as a re-emerging infectious disease. There was an outbreak of bubonic plague in New Orleans back in 1914. Rat containment prevented it from becoming a pandemic. In Honolulu in the early 1900s, firefighters burned the houses on either side of a plague victim's home in an attempt to stop the spread of the disease. In recent times in the United States, plague is rare, but not non-existent. Approximately 10 cases are still reported each year. It has been known to occur in the western states of California, Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico. TreatmentPeople with the plague need to be treated right away. If treatment is not received within 24 hours of when the first symptoms occur, the risk for death increases. Antibiotics such as streptomycin, gentamicin, doxycycline, or ciprofloxacin as well as supportive measures are used to treat the plague. Outlook While antibiotics are life-saving, some fear that if the bacteria develop resistance, another pandemic could occur. How likely are the chances of an epidemic or pandemic in the United States? Not very. But because it is so deadly, awareness is important. Early detection is key.
  7. DCRN

    Coworkers won't wear masks

    I work in an infectious disease clinic. I was asked to be the clinic safety administrator as the Covid 19 pandemic developed. I monitored CDC news, our Department of health press reports, taught staff (we have more admin/clerical staff than clinicians) about donning/doffing of PPE, and developed rules about masking, cleaning common areas. Nobody is consistently following the rules and I am uncomfortable with the near-complete lack of compliance Staff only wears masks if patients are in the office. The MD for whom I work never wears any PPE. When I asked our Practice Manager where we currently stood on the developed rules, she said "I guess we are kind of doing it." Is anyone else in a similar situation? I am really frustrated and appalled by the lack of caring for coworkers and for patients Thank you for reading
  8. National Nurses United's Statement on Protests and Systemic Racism Stop Blaming Underlying Health Conditions and Comorbidities Following a weekend of nationwide protests, National Nurses United (NNU) today said the nation is long overdue in confronting the systemic racism that is at the heart of much of the current crisis and long overdue in dedicating itself to fundamental reforms. “There’s a common link between the latest wave of police and white supremacist killings of African Americans and the disproportionate racial impact of the pandemic and the economic crisis,” said NNU Executive Director Bonnie Castillo, RN. “Nurses understand that when you have pain and suffering, whether it is one patient or a community that is hurting, the first priority must be healing and recovery, driven by compassion and humanity ,” Castillo said . “ We’re seeing far too much of the opposite reaction .”... https://www.pressreleasepoint.com/national-nurses-uniteds-statement-protests-and-systemic-racism-stop-blaming-underlying-health
  9. InSchool4eva20

    Pandemic Making Mild Dementia Worse

    Attempting to keep my parents at home with only grocery runs and necessities. What are your thoughts on isolation and making dementia and confusion worse? We are trying to do the right thing to at least stagger getting the virus if one of us gets it.
  10. What is the safest way to hug? Is there a "safest" way? Are you hugging? Entirety: How to Hug During a Pandemic
  11. Many would be surprised to know this about me ... I protested back in the day. However, during this pandemic crisis, I think I would choose to forego a protest. I just don't know. What do you think about the risk currently? Entirety: US cities fear protests may fuel new wave of virus outbreaks
  12. Horrible! I can't imagine nor relate to this. I've only seen rats swarming looking for food in the movies and on TV. Do you have this problem where you are located? How bad is it? Read in its entirety: Rats are getting aggressive hunting for food amid restaurant closures, CDC warns
  13. I live in Ontario Canada and we have already slowly started to open things up. Mostly essential stores or curbside pick up. It's a long weekend for us and everyone is planning to go to their cottage while our Medical officer is not encouraging them to go. I work in a Community Hospital we are still on outbreak with Covid. While my heart goes out to those that are sick and those who are in financial trouble, why go out and risk their lives and others? One guy was telling me that they should open up everything, SPorts, Movies, Malls etc.. I told him he can catch the virus and get sick. He says he won't get sick, but I am like you have no control of that. Also since NURSES and other healthcare workers work with Covid patients everyday, wouldn't it be reckless and Cavalier if people just went out and about like a regular day and then caught the virus then went to our Hospitals to get treated? I mean we are there to help no matter what, but they have no right to be reckless or infect us with the virus. I have a family to go home too.
  14. Dr Georgianna Donadio

    The Need for Human Touch and Connection

    In a previous article, we presented a 2019 report from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration that discussed the impact of loneliness on health. As many of us may be experiencing with the COVID-19 pandemic, being cut off from friends and loved ones can be impactful even if we are not lonely, but find ourselves more alone than we care to be. Social Distancing and Working Remotely Social distancing, now embedded in popular consciousness, has brought its own set of challenges as we adjust to working remotely, altering our habits as consumers, and enduring being away from family and friends indefinitely. This isolation, though helpful in mitigating the physical spread of the virus, has brought its own set of challenges, among them pervasive feelings of anxiety and loneliness. This is compounding what many Americans were feeling prior to the COVID-19 outbreak. Loneliness The same 2019 U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration report addressed this dynamic and stated: “Two in five Americans report that they sometimes or always feel their social relationships are not meaningful, and one in five say they feel lonely or socially isolated.” With the necessity of having to change our social interactions and relationships, as lockdowns and social distancing protocols continue through many parts of the country, the pre-existing stress of loneliness or the feeling of aloneness, is often amplified as we spend further time apart from loved ones and friends. Skin Hunger This can lead to the emergence of a phenomenon known as “skin hunger”, born of the desire for healthy, consensual physical contact with a partner, friend, or family member. In a Psychology Today blogpost titled, “What Lack of Affection Can Do to You”, Kory Floyd, PhD., highlights the following statistics regarding “skin hunger”: Three out of every four adults agree with the statement, “Americans suffer from skin hunger.” More Americans live alone than ever before. One in four Americans reports not having a single person to talk to about important issues. Loneliness among American adults has increased by 16 percent in the last decade. Furthermore, Floyd writes: “Just as lack of food, water, and rest have their detrimental effects, so too does the lack of affection. In a recent study of 509 adults, I examined the construct of skin hunger—and the social, relational, and health deficits with which it is associated. The results were consistent and striking. People with high levels of skin hunger are disadvantaged in multiple ways, compared to those with moderate or low levels.” People with higher levels of skin hunger, according to the studies, were more likely to: Be less happy. Be more lonely. Experience stress, depression, and anxiety disorders. Have secondary immune disorders. Develop alexithymia, a condition that hampers the ability to express and interpret emotion. Floyd concludes: “These findings don’t establish that skin hunger causes all of these negative conditions, only that people who feel highly affection-deprived are more likely than others to experience them. If you’re one of those people, though, these findings probably come as no surprise. Affectionate contact is so necessary for a healthy life that we suffer when we don’t get enough.” Physical Touch Studies have shown that physical touch, whether of a sexual nature or not, provides a myriad of health benefits including reduction of the stress hormone cortisol and improved emotional health. Though this is much less of an issue for spouses, cohabitating couples, and roommates, the question remains of how single people and couples who are separated during lockdown can fulfill their touch hunger and alleviate depression and anxiety. Thankfully, there are some lifestyle choices that can help. Lifestyle Choices Engaging in self-affection, such as self-massage or skin touch. Research has shown that self-touch has many of the same physical and emotional benefits as interpersonal contact. Pet ownership, along with the sense of companionship it can provide, can help reduce stress and anxiety. Caring for plants has shown to reduce loneliness and generate a positive mindset. Our human need for interpersonal connection, affection and human touch has been demonstrated in numerous research studies and in reports of how healing touch and affection can alter vital signs and increase recovery. Several years ago, a surgeon, who was featured in People magazine, showed statistical date he gathered on how, during surgery, having a patient’s hand being held during surgery improved their vital signs and recovery from anesthesia both pre and post-op. Human Touch is a Powerful Medicine A wonderful article called “Florence Nightingale, Healing Touch and the Year of the Nurse”, by Energy Magazine, the official publication of the Healing Touch Program, is well worth reading to explore this further.
  15. spark plug

    Fear and Anxiety

    The only two stores that I go to are the grocery store and the gas station. People are not wearing a mask or gloves. I asked one man at a grocery store, (who wasn't wearing a mask or gloves), "Aren't you scared about getting the coronavirus?" He said, "No, I've been to two other countries and haven't caught anything." Then I see parents in the grocery stores with their child in the seat and they're holding onto the handle, and I was thinking, I hope that child will not catch anything. What are these people thinking? I wish the president would say that everybody entering a store, gas station, & etc. has to wear a mask and gloves to enter. It is these people who are going to spread it to someone, and then that person spreads it to so and so, and on and on. This just showed me all these people that do not wear a mask do not care about children or the elderly. There are a lot of people in this world that don't care and I've seen it. SHAME ON THEM!! I want to get back to socializing. I can't even go to church and be with my church family because of this virus. I miss being around them. I also miss being around my grandbabies and all my loved ones and friends. My anxiety is through the roof! When I do go to these two places, I just get out start walking into the store like always and think, "Oh my gloves and my mask." Then I start talking to God, and say "Please DEAR LORD let people listen about wearing gloves and masks so other people don't get it and die." We need to get this pandemic taken care of. I just think it should be mandatory for everybody that goes to the stores, gas stations, etc. to wear masks and gloves. And maybe we can get this thing under control and go back to a normal life. I feel sorry for people out of work. Because some of them don't have the money for their bills. I'm sure it's been like a small vacation for them, but I would like for them to get back to their jobs and get the economy going again, so everybody is paying their bills correctly and not worrying. HEROES, KEEP STAYING SAFE. NURSES, DOCTORS, & FRONTLINERS, YOU ARE THE BEST!! MAY GOD KEEP YOU SAFE FROM THIS PANDEMIC. You deserve a wonderful vacation to wherever you want. Small prayer... Please dear Lord Will you keep my brother safe as he is really in the front lines in the hospitals not just one but a few because he is a director of them. And he has diabetes. Keep you're umbrella over him so that he is safe. AMEN! I hope that soon the president will make everybody wear gloves and mask until this virus is over. THANK YOU!! EDITED TO ADD I found out that the President said the Coronavirus Committee recommended that everyone should wear masks in public and that it is up to the Governor of each state to make sure that this happens. I don't think we are ready to open up businesses because people are not wearing masks. I know people need their money, and I miss going in restaurants, grocery stores, etc. without having to wear my mask. Please, everyone, be careful! This should be a wake-up call for the United States of America. None of us were prepared for this deadly virus. I guarantee I will be stocking up on all kinds for items and be ready. Just like we have to be ready and get our tornado precautions together during tornado season. Please businesses, I hope they do like everything they are supposed to so that we may not continue to spread this virus around. Good luck businesses I'm glad that you are getting to open. I'm just scared that it will still spread. Everyone be safe and God bless you!
  16. PrudenceNurse

    My Inspiration to Become a Nurse

    I write fiction. I could compose a lovely story about the magnificent women who inspired me to become a nurse. I could tell you in poetic prose about their near-saintly lives, deep caring for their patients, and a profound love of humankind. It would not be difficult to embellish this tale in such a way that a tear might come to your eye as you read about these epitomes of professionalism and compassion. I write fiction. But in this case, instead of an idealized nursing story, I’ll tell you what really happened. I don’t really know why I chose to be a nurse. I was a Candy Striper volunteer in middle school and early high school. It has always seemed natural to be a nurse, so maybe I didn’t choose this career; possibly it chose me. However, there were a few women whose presence affected the course my young adult life took; either positively or negatively, their actions motivated me to be a nurse. The First The first person who contributed to my path toward nursing was my best friend in high school. It was the Summer before our first year in college and I had signed up for the pre-requisites to be a Radiology Tech. One day, completely surprising us both, I told my friend I did not really want to shoot X-rays for the rest of my life. Stunned, she asked me what I did want to do. In a rare moment of self-awareness, I told her I wanted to be a nurse, but I was scared I could not do it. She did not hesitate before telling me that I could do it, that she thought I would be a wonderful nurse, and that I should go and change my major the next day. And here I am. The Second The next woman who was instrumental in my career in this field was my grandmother. I have pictures of her in her twenties in a starched white uniform and hat, white shoes and stockings. Her title was ‘nurse’, though what training she had beyond high school is unclear. Her patients were residents of a state asylum for the mentally ill which was founded in 1869. My grandma was born in the first few years of the new 20th century, so she would have worked at the Anna State Hospital in Illinois in the nineteen-twenties. If I was writing fiction, I would tell you that I became a nurse after seeing pictures of my grandmother in her ‘whites’ and hearing how she attentively cared for her charges, thoughtfully ensuring that each of them had daily time outside in the fresh air and natural light in accordance with the ‘Kirkbride Theory’, a popular approach to the healing of the mentally ill during that time. Again, that’s not true. The only stories I have heard about my grandmother’s job in the asylum were that she worked nights and that she met my grandfather there when he began working as an orderly. The words that my grandma spoke that contributed to my 36-year career as a nurse were not ‘inspiring’ as such. What she said to me when life was really difficult and I didn’t know how I was going to manage a full-time job, family, and school was: “If you quit nursing school now, you’ll never go back.” Being the rebellious sort I am, I had to do it then, so though it took me seven years to complete a four-year program, I did indeed finish my BSN--just to prove grandma wrong. That was probably her plan in the first place; though I’m sure she never took a psychology class, she was smart about things like that. If she had not provoked my obstinate nature, I might have gone on to work in a bank, sell shoes, or manage an apartment building, all of which I did while in school. But here I am. The Third The third woman who influenced me was my first med-surg nursing school instructor. I don’t know if she was ‘burnt out’ and needed to retire, didn’t like me personally, or was just trying to weed out as many members of my class as she could, but she bullied and frightened and threatened me and a few other students for an entire semester. The culmination of that class was her question to me, “What are you going to do after graduation, Linda? You certainly are not going to be a nurse.” All these years later it would still be satisfying to call her or write to her and say just one thing: Well, here I am. The Fourth The fourth woman whom I credit for my career was an obstetrics instructor who actually was professional, compassionate and caring to her patients… and her students. She helped me by encouraging me to go ahead with my senior year despite the fact that the due date for my second child—much loved but not well-planned—was the day after my potential graduation. (My son actually managed to time it a little better than that; I received my nursing pin and lit my Florence Nightingale lamp with my class on Friday and he arrived on Monday.) Thankfully, I believed that instructor when she assured me that I could do it, just as I had believed my best friend seven years before. They were both right, because here I am. No Regrets I’ve never regretted becoming a nurse. This job has brought me joy, fulfillment, connection, and friendship. It has helped me to develop self-awareness, integrity, and empathy in addition to giving me a body of knowledge and skills that is still growing. I’ve also left work many days in tears of grief, frustration, or anger. Does all of this sound familiar? It sounds like life to me, and here I am.
  17. J.Adderton

    If Truth Be Told...

    I have been moved by the awesome outpouring of gratitude from the public during the coronavirus pandemic. My spirits are lifted each day as I pass the homemade “Thank You” signs and banners that line the road leading to my workplace. I have especially enjoyed reading the cards and letters sent by the youth to encourage the nursing staff. It gives me hope that the younger generation will carry a deep respect and appreciation for healthcare workers. Gut Reaction Concerns But, there are some expressions of gratitude that have been gnawing at me. When certain people cheer on front-line workers, I immediately have a major internal “eye-rolling” moment. Since I’m not a cynical person by nature, this gut reaction has bothered me. When I am struggling with something internally, it always helps to write it down. I So, I did just that…. fleshed it out for insight. I write under a pseudonym, which gives me the freedom to openly share my experience and thoughts when I write. Insincerity? Now that I have a better understanding of my angst, I suspect I am not the only lonely tree in this parking lot. The “people” whose apology I often perceive as insincere are executive administrators, politicians and lawmakers. Recently, healthcare administrators sent messages praising how we’ve “all come together”, “stepped up to provide competent and compassionate care” and “supported the organization’s mission during trying times”. But, thoughts like these below keep me from truly accepting their gratitude. Because I'm a Nurse I am a nurse, and like other nurses, this is just what we do. Yes, it is unprecedented and scary times. But because I am a nurse… I care for COVID patients with the same high level of commitment that I have for all patients throughout my career. Feeling Under-Valued I don’t feel valued by executive leadership and this is a common occurrence throughout my nursing career. There are many reasons for this, but the majority seem to be “universal” regardless of the employer. The "Executive Silo" I have had exceptional supervisors, managers and directors over the course of my career. Unfortunately, there have been times the voices of nurse leaders are not heard. Decisions made by executive teams are often made in a silo. This “executive silo” too often consists of non-medical individuals or individuals who are long removed from day to day realities. Disregarding OUR Safety My safety, as well as my co-worker’s safety, has been undermined by decisions driven by profit. Safety concerns run the gamut, from available PPE to violence against healthcare workers. I have worked the past few years with less than a $1.00 raise despite stellar evaluations. However, I have never lowered my patient care standards based on pay gaps and poor incentives. FACT: I suspect that Senator Walsh’s “card playing” remarks are shared in political circles. At minimal, her public comments certainly did not help build a rapport of trust. Recognizing and Addressing Personal Biases I’ve given much thought to what it is that I can do to address my biases. Ultimately, I need to use my voice and get involved. I plan to communicate to upper management that I appreciate the recognition for the quality of care I and other nurses have always provided. I also need to network with other nurses and educate myself on the barriers that keep nursing from being perceived as a profession. But most of all, I need to advocate for the profession I love. Final Note I wrote this article about my experience during the COVID-19 crisis. I acknowledge that my thoughts are limited to my own personal experiences and circumstances, which may be hugely different from your own. Even though my facility had a large number of COVID patients, we have not reached a point of an overwhelmed system. I invite you to tell us about your experience.

    NURSES WEEK 2020 | COVIDian Rhapsody

    FOR ALL THE NURSES We hope this nursing parody brings you joy and laughter, especially during this challenging global pandemic! We would like to recognize all the nurses around the world for their continued work and sacrifices!  HAPPY NURSES WEEK!
  19. Any advice for new grads starting jobs during COVID-19? I passed my NCLEX at the end of February so I had just started applying to jobs in the beginning of March before everything shut down a couple weeks later. I’m starting a new job as a new grad nurse next week..excited for many reasons like starting my career..except it’s in the middle of a pandemic so I can’t help but also be terrified. Does anyone have any advice for me? Others have questioned why I would want to even start a job during this time and have made me feel as I am making a poor decision. I already accepted and haven’t started so I can’t go back now but the fear for my health is obviously evident. Am I making the right choice? Am I putting myself in danger? I guess the difference is I’m choosing to work in COVID-19 but this was also unforeseen. They also say your first year is a big learning curve especially with new careers. Would you work if you didn’t have to? I’m trying to stay positive and not think negatively about the situation but it’s hard at times not to. My unit is a stepdown so I wouldn’t be surprised if there are COVID patients. People don’t understand why I would apply to jobs and start one at this time.
  20. Freedom42

    RN refresher course online

    I'm an NP. I previously worked ED as an RN. I'd like to go back to ED during the pandemic, but it's been a few years. Can anyone recommend an online refresher course?
  21. Through this pandemic I have been concerned about non covid patients. Perhaps because I work in diagnostics. My close family member has a multi colored lesion on his chest wall. Appt has been rescheduled x 2. Last Friday pcp cancelled appt for a second time. I tried to get hold of a cardiologist office for lab work and script without success. Called Patient whom has had the same problem. Are Dr offices open your area? My pcp is taking urgent cases via teleconference.
  22. I graduated from nursing school in December 2019. In February 2020, I accepted my first ever RN job offer on a Medical-Surgical unit. I felt ecstatic becoming an RN and being able to provide the best compassionate care possible to patients with what I have learned over the years from school and work as a CNA. I wanted to make a positive difference in the health of my community as a patient advocate, educator, healer, and supporter. I clearly remember the day of the job interview. This was shortly before the COVID-19 pandemic. It was a typical workday for all staff in this medical-surgical unit. No one scrambled or panicked to find PPE to care for patients. Once a call-bell went off, all a staff member had to do was perform hand hygiene and go into the patient room without any bit of hesitation or fear of contracting any disease. It was a normal workday in that unit. I was able to have an actual in-person interview! Social distancing and wearing masks were not a thing just yet. After the interview, I grabbed lunch with my friend at a restaurant. What a normal day filled with such normal tasks that I took for granted. While working as a CNA and attending nursing school, I knew working as a RN was not going to be an easy feat, especially during the first year as a new graduate nurse because of the overwhelming shock of realizing nursing school only prepared you for the basics and not for the real nursing world. I accepted this reality and reminded myself I will never be fully prepared for the realities that come with working my first few years as a new graduate nurse, however, I did not expect to start my nursing career during a pandemic. I started my first RN job in early April, right in the smack of the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. A typical and IDEAL orientation would occur in a classroom setting in person, where we would be equipped with the right resources (e.g. software, live nursing educators, healthcare materials to practice on, etc). I looked forward to orientation because that was going to be the time when I was going to learn the necessary skills to become successful in my bedside nursing practice. Unfortunately, my orientation fell short of the expectations of a typical orientation. Our orientation was cut short and instead of it being held in person (due to social distancing laws), it was a virtual orientation. On one of the virtual orientation days, we were supposed to learn how to use the hospital EMR system, but the majority of that day backfired because we were unable to gain access to the system. After 5 days of orientation, we were on the floor with our preceptors. The reason behind being thrown onto the floors so quickly is due to the need for more nurses to work during the COVID-19 pandemic. The unit I was going to be working in turned into a majority COVID-19 (+) unit. I already felt overwhelmed by the realities of becoming a new graduate nurse. Now, I am being faced with the additional reality of working during a pandemic. I miss being able to quickly respond to a call-bell without having to don so much PPE, going into my patients' rooms many times as much as I want to so I can check on my patients without worrying about contracting a virus, and not having to wear a mask at all times. Even more things that I took for granted. I never thought I would take these simple things for granted. So far, I am 5 shifts into my orientation, gaining more responsibilities each and every day (e.g. gradually increasing my patient load- I am up to 3 now!). I still feel incredibly overwhelmed as a new grad nurse, but I feel even more overwhelmed with the reality of working during the COVID-19 pandemic. Limiting patient contact to a bare minimum, seeing patients suffer without their loved ones at the bedside, picking up phone calls from frantically worried family members wondering how their loved ones are doing, reusing PPE, fearing that I am spreading this virus to others, etc. I hope it gets better. To be continued. I would like to hear other stories of new grad nurses starting their nursing profession during these trying times, any advice/ constructive criticism, or just stories about your work during this pandemic. We are all here for each other! Have a great and safe day everyone!
  23. I graduated last May and started soon after on a medsurg floor. I went through the typical first year jitters. But I started to get pretty good at balancing my case load come January. I was building confidence, learning time management, I stopped crying so much in the bathroom . The palpitations stopped every time I got in my vehicle to go to work. I was actually starting to enjoy it and it felt like I was actually helping, vs painful learning. But then the Pandemic hit. My hospital didn't handle it well. One Friday night back in mid March they sent an email out notifying us that we were no longer allowed to use N95s in covid patients rooms. I immediately went to my floor manager, who assured me that was NOT the case. Saturday while I was sleeping, upper management came into the hospital and took all the N95S and locked them up. They claimed they had enough, but we couldn't use them. "WHO said it's droplet!" Then they went home and refused to answer their phones for our union rep. We were left scrambling the entire weekend as covid cases started rolling in. I received 2 that weekend. I still don't know if they were positive, because they refused to tell us, saying that it "violated HIPAA". I heard through the grapevine they weren't positive, but hey it's the grapevine so who knows how accurate it was. That Sunday night I put in my notice. There was also a lot of other stuff. (Wouldn't let us wear our own masks, spread covid patients all over the hospital vs a single unit, etc, etc). Saturday night The ED actually sent me a patient, I took report on this patient, was told he was coming in for something not even close to covid, come to find out when he gets to the floor, he's a covid rule out. I took report, so therefore I couldn't refuse care and was forced to enter this patients room with a surgical mask or risk losing my license for patient abandonment. My second rule out that weekend, had I refused care, it would have landed on my friend, who's like a sister to me (we were friends long before working together) she was the only other RN working the floor that night and she couldn't afford to refuse, as she's the only person working in her household currently. So I took the patient. It was honestly a very scary weekend and the weeks leading up to my resignation were very scary also. I tried downsizing as much as possible, but still eventually ended up with more rule outs. Who I don't know if they ended up positive. A lot of nurses and CNAs alike were scared, many couldn't afford to quit. Many others did quit. I had my last shift a little over a week ago and I've been told that things have improved since I left. They're cohorting covid patients, giving those nurses N95s, and now notifying nurses if their patients were covid positive. Little late, but better then never. But now I'm stuck. I don't want to apply anywhere. I don't want to think about nursing. I am struggling with wanting to even get out of bed some days and I am trying to keep myself busy with cooking, my hobbies and my part time school work. Maybe I just need time to process this all? I don't know. But I know every bone in my body hates nursing right now and I can't seem to make it stop. And I've worked so hard to get here. What can I do to get the spark back? Where do I go from here? Please be gentle. I know nurses can be very "pick yourself up by your bootstraps type", and because of that it's taken me a lot of courage to type this knowing I might get answers like that.
  24. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the world has been turned on its head. Nursing students have had their lives changed as well. Maybe your clinicals have been altered or canceled. Or maybe you missed out on taking the NCLEX exam. Whatever the case, we would love your feedback. In exchange for your time you could win one of two $100 Amazon.com gift cards or one of two subscriptions to Picmonic's visual learning system! Click the button below to take the short quiz! Take the short survey!

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