Nurses shedding light on the ugly side of the flu

Flu

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.

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!

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