What is measles?

What is measles?

Well, here I go again…. another highly contagious health scare hits the headlines and I find myself doing research. Yup, talking about measles this time.

No, I am not paranoid, but as a nurse, I feel its my obligation to stay abreast of current health care concerns – I find it even more important as a nursing instructor. So, I am sharing what I know with all of you!

Now, what’s the big deal about measles? Well, considering it was virtually eradicated in the US due to vigilant vaccination programs, most are not familiar with this highly contagious disease. In fact, in 2000 the CDC declared measles eradicated from the US.   Unlike the flu, pneumonia or heart disease, we are just not familiar and need to re-educate ourselves on a disease we don’t deal with on a daily basis.  (On a more personal note, I do not titer for measles, so that just makes my concern level a little higher…and personal!)

 

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Learning Never Ends in Nursing

Learning Never Ends in Nursing

Learning Never Ends in Nursing

Well, folks, I have some bad news. I don’t usually like to start out with bad news, but the truth must be told.

When you are done with nursing school, the learning never ends.

Yup, its true. No lies. You spent all this time in school. Moving toward the finish line. Hope and freedom insight. Only to find out, the learning never ends!

Now on to the good news – you likely will be more engaged in what you are learning and will likely find much more enjoyment! Crazy as it sounds – its true! As you enter your career after graduation, or even change jobs, there is always new information to be learned.

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Simulation – Preventing Medical Errors

Simulation, Medical Errors

Simulation – Preventing Medical Errors

As technology evolves, so does the pursuit for new techniques to train health care providers more efficiently and to ultimately prevent medical errors. Simulation has met this goal and in fact, simulation is now becoming the standard for education of health care providers. In high stakes areas such as obstetrics (OB), neurosurgery and even trauma services, the use of simulation has become priceless.

Last semester, I had the opportunity to be a simulation facilitator for our 2nd year medical/surgical nursing students. In the simulation I was responsible for, the “patient” had a small intracranial hemorrhage that deteriorated. During the simulation, the students are completely responsible for the care of their “patient”. The goal of the simulation is to place the students in complex situations that we normally can not produce in the clinical environment – for example, we can’t just walk about the hospital and ask patients to seizure, just so the student can have the “experience”.

Also, during a high stakes situation, this is not the ideal time for a student or new health care provider to learn. Therefore, by using the simulation environment, we are able to place the student in high stakes situation, however with no risk to any human life. If the students should fail to recognize a deterioration or give a wrong medication, although the “patient” will die, we just reset, learn from the experience and correct the action – however, no harm.

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New Nursing Graduates in Specialty Areas?

New Nursing Graduates

This month I have the honor of hosting the Nurse Blog Carnival and the age old question, “New nursing graduates in specialty areas?”

As a nursing instructor, I get to hear a lot of dreams and goals from my students. I actually encourage it. It helps give them direction and really start thinking about their careers. As with most dreams, they are lofty. Although I encourage dream building, I also try to encourage them to be realistic. I like to remind them that dreams and goals are often obtained after a journey and usually some sacrifice and hard work.

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Best Nursing School Study Books

So when I was in nursing school, you know back with the dinosaurs, one of my instructors used these awesome handouts with her teaching. They were black & white back then, but had really simple clear visuals for lots of topics. My husband & I eventually found and bought the two books that were in publication at the time (this was pre-Amazon and we actually had to locate them in a book store – the horrors!) . Being a visual learner – these were a gold mine! I still use these books for handouts with my students and they usually love them too!

Nursing study books

 

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Nursing From Within – A book review

A few months ago, I was offered the opportunity to review a book. Not only was I intrigued by the title and description – I LOVE doing pretty much anything that supports a nurse getting their voice out there! I happily agreed and began reading Nursing from Within: A Fresh Alternative to Putting Out Fires and Self-Care Workarounds by Elizabeth Scala.

Book Review

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What Respiratory Therapists Wish Nurses Would Understand

When I was a new nurse working in the hospital, I quickly learned who one of my best allies was – the respiratory therapist! As I moved into the ICU, they were invaluable as we weaned patients from the vent and rescued them from death. My second ICU job was at a large metropolitan teaching hospital in NYC. I was working nights in the NeuroSurgical ICU and almost fainted when during my orientation, I was informed that there really was no RT support at night. In fact, the nurses did the vent checks, blood gases, retaping ET tubes (this is where I learned NO pink tape!) and even the weaning and extubation! Say what!! I was grateful for the great RT’s that trained me – I would have been so lost without their valuable insight and knowledge that they instilled in me (and I am pretty sure the patients are thankful also… I still remember my first extubation – not pretty!) Lessons learned and I truly discovered the value of the RT on my team during my shift when I moved on to another hospital.

So, you could say, I had a new found respect for the masters of the lungs, wizards of the vents and providers of smoke pipes! But, one thing in my journey as a nurse I have discovered, they find us pretty annoying…. and rightly so! I often come across nurses who lack respect for their discipline and yet want them to rescue their patient they have let go down the tubes. So what do they wish we knew about them? What do respiratory therapists wish nurses would understand? Well, I asked one of them and here is what he said….

Respiratory Therapy

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Ebola Updates

In an attempt to keep up with this current outbreak, I will be posting updates on this new page. If you are looking for general information regarding this disease, you can read all about it on my previous post – What is Ebola?  There you will find basic information about the disease, how it is transmitted and other pertinent data.

Please check back often as I will be updating this page as new information becomes available. It is IMPERATIVE that we stay informed, especially the health care workers. We are dealing with a viral outbreak that is unprecedented. I will also post links to where I have obtained the current information and my analysis of the information, if warranted.

I had the opportunity to participate in a discussion regarding the current Ebola situation with some other nurse bloggers. You can watch that video HERE.

IMPORTANT WEBSITES

Ebola Updates

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Best Three Test Taking Books for Nursing Students

One of the biggest challenges nursing students face is the new style of testing. This is often the first time they face tests that consist of more than just recall, comprehension and fact retrieval. Exams now consist of higher level thinking to assess the assimilation of knowledge.  In other words – you learned a bunch of stuff, now how would you apply it? Ultimately, this is what you will do as a nurse – applying all that knowledge in the hopes of helping patients. And lets cut to the chase, you need to pass the NCLEX exam to even get to that point. The purpose of the NCLEX exam is to ensure you have the basic knowledge to be a competent nurse who is safe to take care of the public.

Each group of students I have the honor to work with, I ALWAYS advise them to get some test taking book to assist them in developing strategies to tackle their exams and especially the NCLEX exam. When I was studying for my boards years ago, I collected test books as I was advised that practice makes perfect. Sure, I read a lot of questions, but I did not have a good strategy in how to approach the questions. A few weeks before taking my board exam, a colleague lent me a test strategy book. It was revolutionary!! It gave clear instructions on how to analyze the questions and answers. I just kept thinking, ‘I wish I had these through nursing school!’ So, as I mentioned, I try to help my students out with that advice.

This past week I had the opportunity to do the renal lectures for our Med/Surg 1 students. They had just reviewed their first med/surg exam and lets say….happiness and joy was not abounding! So, I gave them my advise on finding a good test taking strategy book. And being the smart group of students they are, they wanted some titles. So, as promised, I told them I would put together a list of my suggestions – here you go!!

Test Taking for Nursing Students

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Seven Tips for Nurses to Help Nursing Students

You come on to your shift as a nurse and you find out a nursing student is assigned to one or some of your patients. Now what…?

So a few weeks ago I wrote a little piece on how nursing students could better manage a challenging nurse they had been assigned for the day. (You can read it here!) Wow – did I hit a chord with folks! I literally had over a thousand views over the course of three days. (For perspective – that was more views for my humble blog since its inceptions! Thanks for all the love!) It went crazy pseudo-viral on Pinterest and beyond. I am beyond humbled that my message resonated with so many. It really got me thinking of how sad that so many students are struggling with this same problem – nurses not being so friendly to them during clinicals. My first instinct was frustration as I LOVE my students and enjoy being with them – I can’t understand why no one else does?? But, then I got to thinking a bit more about the situation, I couldn’t help but think about all the nurses who seem kind of lost with the students they are assigned for the day. Well, this ones’ for you!! Here are my humble tips for nurses to help nursing students!

Tips for nurses

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