Mandated Ratios vs. Staffing Plans

If you have been following any nursing news this past year, it is clear the hottest topic continues to be the debate for safe staffing. Currently there are two prevailing thoughts on how nurses should be staffed in acute care areas – mandatory minimum ratios versus local staffing committees / plans. In an effort to become better educated in the matter and make appropriate decisions for support, I wanted to share this excellent discussion regarding the current staffing issues.

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Nurses Take DC – Rally for Safe Staffing

Nurses Take DC

Have you ever wondered what happened after all the hoopla from the Miss Colorado and The View controversy? Remember, all the nurses bonded together and we finally found our voice. It was a great time to be a nurse! A really great moment of pride. But then what? Well…. something did happen. Nurses found their voice. Nurses realized that apart we will accomplish nothing, but together, we are a million person force to be reckoned with. A few, humble nurses took that message to heart and were inspired to have a rally in Washington DC regarding the one issues we almost all agree on – staffing. On May 12, on the steps of the Capitol, Nurses Take DC!

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Nurses Week Giveaway 2015!

NursesWeek2015GIVEAWAYS(1)

Nurses’ Week Giveaway 2015!

The giveaway has closed – all of the winners have been contacted, however, if I do not hear from them in 48 hours, another winner will be chosen.

Thanks to everyone who entered – please support these awesome people and brands who donated these fantastic gifts!!

It’s finally here – Nurses’ Week 2015!

If you can’t tell, I love Nurses’ Week!

I love to have a week to reflect and celebrate nursing. Sure, we should celebrate nursing everyday, every week. But, being nurses, we don’t like a lot of spot light on ourselves. We take care of our patients; it’s what we do. And we do it well – the Gallup poll reports again that nurses are still the most trusted profession!

If you’d like to learn more about the history of nursing, check out this article. You might be surprised, it hasn’t been around as long as you might think…

So, in honor of Nurses Week, many of you will be getting your token gift from your employer – maybe a mug, a pen or if your lucky, a free meal in the cafeteria that you never get to go eat at because you are so busy! (And recently I heard some employers have got rid of Nurses’ Week altogether, in exchange of “Hospital Week” – whatever!)

Well, I have some good news – in exchange for being my awesome readers and super awesome nurses, I have rounded up some spectacular gifts to give you all!! They are things nurses want and some are from companies who are made by nurses! Bonus!!

So without further ado – here’s what I am going to giveaway to my awesome nurse peeps!

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Nurses Rock!

Many of you have probably seen the awesome video circulating of a patient who comes back to see her favorite nurse. (I put it below – get your tissues!)  It brings tears to my eyes each time, even though I have watched it over and over. The reaction of the nurse is priceless. I don’t know a lot of the details of the story – nor do they really matter. But, apparently this girl was unable to walk when this nurse cared for her. She came back to see her and gets up from the wheelchair. Her reaction is just pure joy!

Each day, thousands of nurses pour themselves into total strangers. We care for them, listen to them, and genuinely try to just be nice. All while managing their care, medications, treatments and the slew of doctors and therapists who come and go each day. Some days are easier than others.

We hold their hands, pray over them and want whats best for them. Then we send them on their way. Many times wondering if they got better. What happened to them? Rarely do I see a patient again – unless they are back in the hospital.

On a very few occasions, we have had patients come back and thank us. I especially remember a young man who became septic with a very rare bacteria. There is nothing worse than telling the mother of a 21 year old that their only son may not make it through the night in the ICU. However, youth and fight was on his side.

I remember months later, he was at follow up visit at one of the doctor’s offices adjacent to the hospital. We had been asking about him and the doctor suggested he stop by to say hello. We weren’t quite as dramatic as this nurse, but it was a wonderful day!! We all crowded around him and remarked how great he looked. The funny thing….he was so sick, he barely remembered any of us and was really embarrassed. But as we all stood there with his mom, crying, we realized it didn’t matter. We were just happy to help save his life.

So, enjoy the beauty of humanity. The wonderfulness of nursing and touching a life. We make an impact – I do believe that – even though we might not get to see it every time. The choice is ours – will it be a positive impact?

Go thank a nurse today – because Nurses Rock!!

Take care, be safe and wash your hands!


The Nurses – A book Review

The Nurses Book Review

I am SO excited to be sharing this awesome book review with you all!!

I recently had the opportunity to pre-read The Nurses: A Year of Secrets, Drama and Miracles with the Heroes of the Hospital. I was told prior to reading it that it was written by award -winning author, Alexandra Robbins who explored sororities in her bestseller Pledged. I was immediately intrigued, but a little skeptical how a non-nurse would view our unique profession. Wow – did that skepticism immediately melt away. Instead, I found a book that had me from the very first chapter. I was completely intrigued and actually mystified that a non-nurse could truly capture the essence of being a nurse.

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End of Life Decisions – Lessons Learned

End of Life Decisions

Sadly, I can’t say I remember my first code or even the first death I witnessed. Unfortunately, there have been so many over the years. Not to minimize any life that has crossed my path, but after 16 years, it does all start to blend together. There are a few who stand out – but, I will save their stories for another day.  However, each experience – each life – has been a small part of my molding – shaping who I am, teaching me a lesson. And those lessons I try to pass on.

We rarely talked about death in my nursing program – the model for our nursing school was based on restoring people to their highest level of functioning – death doesn’t always fit into that equation. So, when I came out of school, I was clueless. In my personal life, I had not had anyone close to me pass away, so I really didn’t even have that frame of reference to draw from. However, working in critical care areas – I had to learn quickly!

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Remembering the Art of Nursing

Art of Nursing

When I got out of nursing school, like many, I felt pretty prepared. I knew I still had a lot to learn, but with my drug book in hand and a few other little pocket books, I was ready to go. I read up on things, learned about new drugs, tackled ACLS and overcame my fears one day at a time. But, what I was grossly unprepared for was the art of nursing. Sure, school taught me how to calculate medications, do assessments and manage diseases – all the science stuff. But what it didn’t prepare me for was the sadness I would encounter, the deaths I would see and toll this would take on me. I hadn’t tapped into the art of nursing while I was conquering the science of nursing.

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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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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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