Helpful Lab Tips

Nurse Teacher, Labs

 

One of the biggest areas my students tend to struggle with (besides care plans & concept maps) are evaluating labs. So, I am always on the hunt for some helpful tips and this week a stumbled upon some great stuff on Pinterest (of course!). Here’s some helpful lab tips for students and practicing nurses too!

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Nursing’s New View

Nursing's New View

Wowzer! What a week to be a nurse! Like what the heck just happened – the sleeping giant has arisen!! I always knew we had it in us as a profession. I just knew if we could find some common ground, we would be a force few could overcome! Little did I know it would come from such a benign place and the momentum would give nursing a new view!

So in case you have been working or live under a rock – here’s what’s been happening this week in the world of nursing…. Nursing’s New View!

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Self-Care Tips for Nursing Students

Nursing students

 

Hi all! Hope your summer has gone well! It has been a fun and busy one for me, especially since I had a clinical group for a super fast summer session. Clinicals can be tough enough on a good day, but for my fundamentals nursing students, summer session is like learning via a fire hose!

As we head back into the fall session and the stress level starts to amp up again, I thought I would share some self-care tips for nursing students. Although you may have heard a few of them in the past, really take them in and consider, “how is your self-care routine?” Students are notorious for not taking care of themselves and I think this is amplified in nursing students. People entering the nursing profession tend to seek to put others first and demonstrate a high level of care to others, often at the expense of themselves.

So, here’s my tips for taking care of yourself while in nursing school and after graduation too!

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Your Next Shift – Book Review

Your Next Shift

Your Next Shift – A Book Review

Once again I had the honor of reviewing another fantastic and super helpful book by nurse entrepreneur and wellness extraordinaire, Elizabeth Scala. A few months ago she offered us alternative self care workarounds in her book Nursing from Within: A Fresh Alternative to Putting Out Fires and Self-Care Workarounds. (You can read my review here.) It was a practical guide for nurses who were looking for a fresh alternative and perspective in how to manage in the daily grind of healthcare. With her next book, Elizabeth continues that journey in her aptly named book Your Next Shift: How to Kick Your Nursing Career into High Gear.

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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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Performance Scrubs – Review

Performance scrubs

So, a few months ago, I was doing some research on nursing products made in the USA. I know, totally random and I don’t even remember what sparked the thought. I was pleasantly surprised to come upon an homegrown scrub company called Performance Scrubs. I was not only intrigued that they were made in the USA, but the incredible options for personalization and their total uniqueness in the scrubs marketplace.  I reached out to them and they graciously offered to let me give a pair a trial and here’s my review!

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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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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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