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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Future Nursing Opportunities in the U.S.

Future nursing opportunites

According to the “Nursing: Supply and Demand through 2020” analysis conducted by professors from Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce, the U.S economy will create over one and a half million nursing jobs by 2020. On the other side of the spectrum, hospitals and other health-care facilities will be undergoing a shortage of nearly 200,000 professional and registered nurse positions.

Nursing is a tough and demanding job, with long rotational shifts, calls to work at any time and of course, the human element of have to care for other people. The physical and emotional demands of the nursing industry are enough to deter people from wanting to enter this profession. However, there is a plus side to this. For all your pain, sacrifice and dedication, the average annual salary of a practicing nurse is about $43,000. For a registered nurse with a Bachelor of Science in nursing degree, it is roughly $69,000 annually, which is a higher wage than that of many other fields which require longer studies.

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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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From Frustrated to Fulfilled – Book Review

From Frustrated to Fulfilled - NursingOne of the hardest adjustments for new nurses to overcome is the unanticipated frustrations they encounter in their nursing journey. Although we attempt to prepare nurses to care for patients and instruct them in safe medication administration, it is difficult to prepare them for the “real world”. Unfortunately, these new nurses find themselves unprepared, lost and feeling like they are the only ones experiencing these transitional difficulties.

It was with great pleasure, I had the opportunity to review the new book by Lorie A. Brown, RN, MN, JD called “From Frustrated to Fulfilled: The Empowered Nurses System”. Ms. Brown and an esteemed group of nurses shared their journey’s from frustrated to fulfilled. Not only do they share their heartfelt stories, they offer tangible ways to transition from frustrated to fulfilled to empowered.

Although each nurse offered a unique account and perspective on empowerment and fulfillment, there was a cohesive message that change starts with ourselves. As challenging as the current healthcare environment is to function within, the message that we as nurses need to find ways from within the not only survive, but thrive.

I especially appreciated the personal and transparent stories shared by the contributors. I could relate to many of them, especially Mrs. Watherill’s experience of starting her first job in the ICU. She found herself full of clinical knowledge, but severely lacking in how to cope with tragedies she faced everyday. As nurses we get caught up in the business of “caring”, but often overlook the emotional aspect of our careers. When we pour out so much of ourselves, and are not refreshed, we create a breeding ground for frustration and burn out is not far behind.

Not only does each author share their experiences and perspectives, they end each chapter with action steps. Rather than just analyze the problem, tangible steps are offered to engage the reader in positive actions. Almost like a checklist to work from based on the issues you may feel you encounter in your practice. A way to institute change and transformation.

If you find yourself feeling frustrated or even have a co-worker who seems to be struggling, I would highly recommend this book. It was very easy to read and offers practical solutions that can be instituted immediately.

I would also recommend this book to new nurses starting their careers. Rather than risk becoming unfulfilled and burned out, start now and be proactive in positive self-care activities and actions. Remember, we have to care for ourselves if we want to care for others.

You can order your copy at The Empowered Nurses Book.

Thanks for visiting!

Take care, be safe & wash your hands!

 

 


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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Best Nurse Socks

Best socks for nurses

Ok… I have a confession to make. I have been a nurse for over 16+ years and have never worn compression stockings or nurse socks. Nope, not even through my pregnancies when everyone warned me that my legs would look like old oak trees from all the varicose veins I would acquire. You see, I hate socks and shoes. If I could go to work in flip flops – all would be perfect in the world. So, the thought of tight, ugly socks on my legs for over 12 hours gave me tachycardia. Like a stubborn nurse, I took the risk.

Well, the other day, I was starting to notice some some  bad, ugly stuff showing up on my tired old legs. I started to realize, I think I should have worn those ugly compression socks… the oak trees are starting to sprout! I also had noticed my legs were swelling more at the end of my long shifts. Ok, being the good nurse that I am, I finally started to heed my own advice! The quest began…

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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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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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