The Best Stethoscope

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.

The Best Stethoscope

Seven Secrets for Nursing Students to Manage a Challenging Nurse

So you arrive on time to clinicals – good job! You are in dress code – awesome! You have all your supplies, a pen, your stethoscope – ready to go save some lives! You get up to the floor, find your patient assignment and BAM – you find out you have to work with “Nurse Ratchet” today! So what do you do? Run for the hills? Cry? – no, there’s no crying in nursing school (at least not in public)! Instead, you are going to figure out how to manage a challenging nurse!

Nursing Students

What is Ebola?

This post was originally posted on Aug 2, 2014 and has since been updated.

As this emerging disease continues, I plan to update this page as pertinent information becomes available, so please check back often.

Updated Aug 4, 2014,  Aug 5, 2014, Aug 15, 2014 & Oct 4, 2014

So a few months ago I wrote a little piece on the MERS virus that showed up in the United States. (You can read about it here.) What caught my attention at the time was that this previously isolated outbreak of a new, little understood virus was now in my back yard. So, I started to do some research, educated myself and then shared it with you all. What I have learned is I have an uncanny enjoyment in learning about these new and evolving disease and probably should have been an epidemiologist…. that being said, as I was reading up on MERS, I also started coming across reports about the small Ebola outbreak in Africa. At the time, there was very little information about it in the media and it appeared to be contained. Well, we all know now how that turned out…. So, again, here I am reading anything I can get my hands on and learning all that I can. And again, my attention is heightened as the first case of an infected patient arrived in the US today. Ok, crazy diseases…. you have my attention again! So, here is what I have figured out, learned and can ascertain from all that I have read. Again, I am not an alarmist by any measure, but I do believe in being educated, so here is what I know this far.

Ebola, Nursing

Aug 4, 2014, the CDC did a Twitter chat with their leading Ebola expert. Updates have been incorporated for what was learned.

Current statistics according to the WHO – 1603 confirm, probable or suspected cases and 887 deaths = 55% mortality rate as of Aug 1, 2014. Countries involved are Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and now Nigeria. A patient is being isolated and tested at Mt. Sinai Hospital in NYC as well as a patient in Saudi Arabia.

The second infected American, a nurse, arrived today at Emory Hospital in Atlanta for treatment.

Aug 15, 2015 Updates – As of Aug 11, the WHO reports 1975 cases with 1069 deaths = 54% mortality rate.

Oct 4, 2014 Updates – As of Sept 23, the WHO reports 6553 cases with 3083 deaths = 47% mortality. More alarming is the rate of mortality among health care workers – 375 cases with 211 deaths = 47% mortality.

 

The Patient’s Perspective

I had an interesting time this past week in clinicals. I have always said that each week, a theme or lesson seems to prevail and that is what I usually end up talking about in post-conference. I kind of let the day’s experiences dictate our discussions. Those lived experiences are usually the most powerful, so I try to capitalize on them. Often times they are the more “soft subjects” that are not always easily learned from a book. This week was no exception and the lesson clearly was about the patient’s perspective.

Patient persepcitve, nursing

Recent published nursing articles

Sorry I have been a little quiet, but have been out of town for a wedding.  However, I wanted to share some articles that I have recently had posted in various areas of the web. Hope you enjoy & please feel free to share or click the like/share links on the sites to show support!

Avoiding Caregiver Fatigue

Avoiding Caregiver Fatigue

Caregiver fatigue has been a well recognized situation with families of long term illnesses such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. However, it hasn’t been until recent years that caregiver fatigue has been recognized in health care workers, such as nurses and sometimes physicians. It is often referred to as compassion fatigue when applied to health care workers. Nurses are especially vulnerable to compassion fatigue especially due to their close care and relationship with patients each and every day. Those nurses especially at risk are nurses who work in high acuity areas such as intensive care units and the emergency department where outcomes are not often considered “positive”.

Caregiver fatigue is often characterized by depression, poor work attitude and general lack of empathy to their patients and the peers. The persons tend to be very irritable and demonstrate periods of poor coping with periods of outbursts. Suffers often describe difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep. Some found that doing something as simple as a new mattress from somewhere like Leesa might help to improve their quality of sleep. However, the symptoms often creep up on the sufferer and is usually recognized by those around them before the person themselves. You know that cranky nurse you hate getting report from… she may be suffering too.

What if we put CARE back in healthCARE?

As a nurse, I am often asked what I think is wrong with healthcare? How can it be fixed? Can it be fixed? I always quickly retort with, “The problem with healthcare is that no one seems to care anymore. Remember, it is called health CARE?”. Although it usually gets a chuckle, I really do

Five Tips to Survive Nursing School Clinicals

You get your assignment for the day and go out to find you patients. Your stress level and anxiety is through the roof. What if the nurse assigned to my patients does not like me? What will my instructor think of me? And what if my patient yells at me?? Or worse, doesn’t like me?