The 2017-2018 flu season is breaking all records. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) noted that the “overall hospitalization rate is higher than the overall hospitalization rate reported during the same week of the 2014-2015 season; the most severe season in recent years.” The most recent CDC report showed an additional 17 flu-related pediatric deaths, bringing the total to 53 this season with little relief in sight.
As many in the nursing world, I have been mildly obsessed with the unlawful arrest of Nurse Alex Wubbels. In hospitals around the county, there is a brotherhood and camaraderie between our law enforcement officers and health care workers, especially nurses. We all are literally on the front line of public service on a daily basis. So when I see something like this, I just cannot wrap my head around it. I have been wanting to get my thoughts out for a while, but I wanted to get all the facts first, cool down, and really analyze what happened.
So as many of you may or may not know, the Rally for National Nurse to Patient Ratios happened last week on Thursday, May 12 in Washington, DC.
I will be sharing more about my experience and what is to come for next year, but for now here is a little recap of the events!
Nurses Take DC Rally
And start planning now for next year – it will be bigger and better!
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!
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!
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!
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!)
So as a clinical instructor I am often asked what type of stethoscope should the students invest in? Personally, this comes down to budget constraints, especially as a student. However, keep in mind that picking out your stethoscope is a pretty important decision. This will be one of your go-to tools in assessing your patients. I hate to sound cliche, but a patient’s life may depend on it. So chose wisely and carefully! Here are the one’s I personally have tried and the one that has been my work horse for over 15 years.