What nurses really want for Nurses Week

Nurses Week

Having been a nurse for over 18 years, I have endured a few Nurses Week. At first I was lured into the charm of my first “Nurses Week” bag. I had finally arrived – my first official nurses bag. I had arrived and for a full week, the folks at the hospital seemed to actually appreciate what we did for our patients. After a few mugs, key chains, beach towels and more bags, the charm quickly grew off.

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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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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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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!

 

 


15 Things Nursing Students NEVER Say

Being a nursing student is tough work – all those hours of studying, dedication and hard work….and that’s even before you get accepted to your program! But that hard work continues as nursing school trudges on and each semester presents it’s challenges. But sometimes, we just have to laugh. It is the best medicine right?

So as the semester comes to a close for most, I couldn’t help but think about my poor, tired and weary students who are counting the minutes to winter break! I came across a funny little video about things nursing students NEVER say and I thought about what my list would look like….

 

Nursing Students

 

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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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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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Five Reasons Nurses Should Attend Conferences

This week the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) is holding their annual conference, the National Teaching Institute – affectionately known as NTI. Oh, how I wish I could be in Denver this week, but it just wasn’t in the cards this year for me. There is nothing more inspiring than being surrounded by over 6000 nurses who are gathered to make themselves better so they can take care of their patients better. Just the gathering in that space is worth the admission.

I remember my first NTI. It was in Orlando 2004. When I left, I felt like I could do anything! I had learned so much. Validated what I did know. Been inspired. Overwhelmed. I literally felt the power of nursing. If you have been to NTI or any large conference, you know what I am talking about. The energy is contagious. I used that inspiration to power me forward. A few short years later, I had the opportunity to speak at NTI. It certainly was a career high point.

I am often told that these large conferences are not worth their time or money. I beg to differ. Here are my reasons why nurses should attend conferences.

Five Reasons Nurses Should Attend Conferences

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Beginnings and Endings

Nursing School

 

So yesterday was the last group clinical day in the hospital for my senior students. Then today was the last group clinical day for my fundamentals students who will be entering the hospital for the first time in a few weeks. I couldn’t help but reflect on the next chapter they will each encounter….
The seniors are anxiously counting down graduation and stressing that they get their choice preceptorships. I have had the unique opportunity to have these students in fundamentals and then at the end of their journey. It has been so fulfilling and rewarding to see each of them grow and learn. They each will make amazing contributions to the nursing profession and I am so proud of them – just like a mom! My hope for them is that they remember what they know – hold on to it! Do the right thing, no mater “what everyone else is doing”. Treat every patient as the special person that they are – treat them like your family member and you will make the right choice. Go above and beyond – you owe it to them and would want the same. NEVER stop learning -the wonders of healthcare is that it is always changing and there is always something to learn.  Make me proud when I see in the halls with my new group of students!!

On the other side, the fresh students are anxiously awaiting the unknown of their new roles and responsibilities in the hospital. Documentation, med pass, caring for multiple patients…. it sounds so overwhelming. But, your advice is the same, make the right choices with the knowledge you do have. Seek out every possibility the day brings you – the world is out there to teach you so much – but you have to go find it sometimes. You have the skills and you are ready – now show them what you got!!

Good luck to you all – keep in touch…. and make me proud!!
So what advice do you have for nursing students…. leave me your comments and make an impact on the next generation!