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    L Jane Acree

9 Great Nursing Job Perks

happy nurseWhat makes you keep showing up and clocking in at your nursing job day after day? Every nurse already knows all of the life-sucking aspects of being a nurse. So let’s consider some of the perks.

You know its got to be more than just the money that keeps you coming back for more. Nobody would keep doing this job just for the cash.

So what’s good about nursing, and what are some of the job perks? Here are the first 9 that come to my mind today.

  1. Friendships among peers – You probably made friends in nursing school. And its easy to make friends with coworkers. With so many similarities, you would have to try hard to not make friends at any nursing job.
  2. A way to express a caring spirit – Some are born with gifts and abilities to nurture others. For these, a career in nursing is often just the thing that fulfills their heart. The associated sensitivity also makes one vulnerable to others’ negativity. But that same sensitivity is a key element in caring well.
  3. Reputation for excellence – It just feels good knowing that doctors ask for you, by name, to care for their patients. When you have proven yourself to them, they want you above all other nurses to take care of their especially difficult cases.
  4. Pride in knowing how to do your job very well – Intimately knowing your specialty’s expectations feels great! For instance, correctly coaching total joint patients through sitting and standing precautions makes a huge difference in their successful recovery.
  5. The knowledge that you are trusted with complex treatments – Doctors give complex orders sometimes. And it feels pretty good to confidently carry them out – and maybe also explain them to a new nurse that you are training.
  6. Respect from the community – How many times have you gained immediate admiration of a new acquaintance at the news that you are a nurse? Its astounding how impressed the general public is with nurses! They always say, “Oh, I could never do what you do!”
  7. Honor received from police and firemen – When you get pulled over for speeding, while wearing your scrubs, you are more likely to receive a warning than a ticket. Cops and firemen know you will be treating them when (not if) they get injured on the job. So they treat you with special honor.
  8. Being trusted by vulnerable patients and families – When patients receive a new diagnosis, and have no clue how to comprehend what the doctor has just said, you break it down for them. You give them bite-sized pieces that they can manage, and you teach them how to help themselves. When they trust you, you can empower them.
  9. The hope of maybe making a real difference in somebody’s life and outcome – There is nothing like the feeling you get when you find out you have said or done something that impacted a vulnerable person in a positive and permanent way.

What other nursing job perks can you think of?

Need some encouragement? Check this out. I Wasn’t Strong Like This When I Started Out: True Stories of Becoming a Nurse

Cheers!

Preventing Alzheimer’s

Brain Healthy and Severe ADYikes! A recent study predicted that the number of persons diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is likely to double every 20 years. Brain changes, like plaques, tangles, and inflammation start occurring decades before the first symptoms of AD.

Frightening!

But I got a lot of hope from this YouTube video on the subject and learned a lot: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r5HXPxB837s .

The speaker, Dr. Gary Small, is very enjoyable to listen to and so knowledgeable.

How is AD diagnosed? Dr Small has developed a specific type of PET scan which can diagnose AD. Other ways to diagnose it are by spinal tap or autopsy.

What are the risk factors of developing AD? Advanced age is the primary risk factor.

In addition, having diabetes, obesity, poor cell membrane health, chronic stress, smoking, sedentary, solitary lifestyle, poor diet, and minimal brain stimulation are all considered contributory factors for AD. There is a possible genetic factor that may be involved as well.

Interestingly, losing weight has been shown to improve memory. So has changing all of the factors in the statement just above. The two best known ways to delay onset of AD are diet and exercise. And this can be proven on Dr Small’s before and after PET scans.

Although there is no “cure” for AD, some brain doctors say that prevention is the best cure. They consider successful treatment to be that which delays onset by 1.5 to 4 years. Those years can feel very important to some.

Treatments include addressing the risk factors – which are almost all modifiable. Some say estrogen therapy in women can help – but can also be harmful if continued into old age.

Basically, whatever is good for heart health is also good for brain health. Reducing free radicals, healthy diet, exercise, good sleep are examples of things that are good for hearts and brains.

This is a personal health issue as well as a public health problem. The effects of one person with AD will usually involve a whole team of people who are trying to help them. AD is also a terrifying occurrence for insurance companies who have to pay for treatments and support.

According to the experts, it is much about life choices. Brain health is powerfully integrated with lifestyle. There seems to be no getting around it.

In Dr Small’s book, he teaches the scientific part of the equation as well as many ways to create fun in the lifestyle modifications. He also provides assessment tools that people can use before and after implementing the suggestions he offers.

This may be the most important book we ever read. The Alzheimer’s Prevention Program: Keep Your Brain Healthy for the Rest of Your Life

If we start today, we might add some productive years to our lifespans!

Cheers!

Feet of a Nurse

Nurses put their feet though a lot.  You went to nursing school – but did they teach you how intimately your feet are connected to your heart, gut, and brain?

What are some things your feet do for you? And have you ever thought, “What does it mean to me to:

Find my feetfeet in grass

Fit my feet into…

Keep my feet on the ground

Put my feet up

Learn at the feet of…

Get swept off my feet

Stay on my toes

Have my feet in two cultures

Keep both feet planted firmly

Think on my feet

Feel like I have bricks tied to my feet

Help them get on their feet

Drag my feet

Come home from work with my feet hurtingfeet in water spa

Dance till my feet bleed

Stand on my own two feet

Get my feet wet

Stay with it until my feet are sure

Plant my feet firmly

Bring people to their feet with applause

Kneel at the feet of …

Conquer until ____ surrenders at my feet

Always land on my feet

Have feet that are honest

Tap my feet

Put it/them under my feet

Keep my foot on the devil’s neckfoot on the enemys head

Dangle my feet over a ….

Keep my feet fixed firmly on the ground

Have my feet washed

Wash the feet of …

On my feet and ready

Willing to accept whatever the tide washes up at my feet

Feel like there’s no solid ground beneath my feet

Be fast on my feet

Be last on my feet

Drag my feet

Put feet to it

Put feet on the moonstanding on top confident

Place feet on the dome of truth

Remember dancing on my father’s feet

Feel too depressed to pick up my feet

Have only enough energy to pet the cat with one foot

Insert both feet in mouth

Always land on my feet

Stay on my feet

Get flowers thrown at my feet

Get up on my feet

Stand on my own feet

Enjoy smelling my own stinky feet

Vote with my feet

Walk where my feet take me

Wipe my feet at the door (coming and going)

Spring to my feet

Be light on my feet

Walk with a bounce in my stepfeet walking on soil

Dance like a butterfly

Let my bare feet feel the soil

And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.

Khalil Gibran

Credit and kudos go to http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/feet_16.html#VvEZIFUzJvPbyyof.99

Your feet serve you well. Here is an idea of how to reward them: Conair Waterfall Foot Spa with Lights, Bubbles, and Heat

Cheers!

Just Your Average Superhero Nurse

super hero nurse capeA week in the life of a nurse – Nothings special, you say? That depends. Some people might have a different perspective. Let’s take a peek.

You just happen to walk by a room and see an elderly patient teetering and ready to say hello to the floor. You swoop up. steady them and avert a fall.

You notice a very slight flush on your patient’s face. By instinct, you stop the transfusion and check vital signs. Sure enough, she is just about to become symptomatic.

One night shift, your oncology patient, who has almost no platelets, gets a visit from her husband. Somehow you have a hunch that they plan to have sex. You gently explain her condition and why they need to wait. His thankful response for you telling them, in time, makes her love him even more.

You spend your lunch break visiting with a depressed patient. For him, having a chance to talk and be heard infuses new hope into him. You return to work feeling infinitely happier than if you had eaten a meal.

Your combative dementia patient becomes calm and engaging when you play her era music for her. You then are able to successfully feed her and administer her meds as well.

Your DNR patient begins his trip to the other side – and suddenly the family makes him a DE patient (Do Everything!) You ask them if they are sure – explaining reality and making sure they can handle it. They snap back to their senses, and they decide to honor the patient’s wishes.

Through it all – vomit and diarrhea on your shoes, having to keep calling other departments and doctors, having to take yet another interruption (with a still-full bladder), IV’s that blow, specimens that get flushed, getting two admissions at once, and all the rest – you rock.

What does it feel like to be a superhero nurse? You may not think that way about it – but consider that by your actions above, you prevented: a hip fracture, a potentially life-threatening transfusion reaction, hemorrhage with heartbreak, suicide, starvation and dehydration, and certain torture.

Now, what do you say? Put on that cape, superhero nurse! You deserve it!

Cheers!

BTW – this cape can actually be found for sale on Etsy!

Here is something cool to stick on your mirror or car window: SUPER HERO NURSE RN Registered Nurse 4.5″ (color: WHITE) Vinyl Decal Window Sticker for Cars, Trucks, Windows, Walls, Laptops, and other stuff.

8 Questions: What Kind of Nurse Are You?

Are You Cut Out to be a Nurse? Let’s take some common hospital duties and BS and see how you score. Are you game? Let’s get started!

1. Blood?blood

  1. Revs up my adrenalin and propels me into superhuman therapeutic actions!
  2. I don’t mind. I just want to treat it.
  3. I will follow orders, but it better not get on me!
  4. Don’t show me that! I will faint or puke!

2. Wounds?

  1. Love it! Can’t get enough of wound care!wounds
  2. Its just part of the job. I can handle it.
  3. Oh gross! Cover that thing up!
  4. The sight causes immediate distress in my chest and gut!

3. Poking Things into People

inserting ng tube

  1. I can insert the largest catheters, NGT’s, and IV’s into people that nobody else can even access!
  2. I prefer not to poke people, but have a pretty good success rate.
  3. I like to teach others to do it so I can keep my distance.
  4. I’m supposed to put this WHERE?!!

4. Psych

insane man

  1. I love to hear people’s darkest, scariest reasons for their insanity!
  2. I enjoy gaining cooperation of destructive patients.
  3. The crazy ones make my shift more difficult.
  4. All patients should stay snowed, sedated, and stupefied – at all times!

5. Teaching Meds

  1. I love teaching the category, molecular structure, and mechanism of action for each of med!
  2. pillsI teach the bare minimum; they won’t remember it anyway.
  3. I just hand patients their meds in a cup – and say, “Take your meds.”
  4. If patients have questions, I tell them to Google it.

6. ADL’s

  1. I delight in pampering and making patients look and feel comfortable and fresh!nurse patient eye contact
  2. I acknowledge the importance of ADL’s – and help patients for duty’s sake.
  3. I prefer for the CNA’s to do that sort of work.
  4. I hate it; if I have to see another naked patient, I will scream!

7. Collecting specimensstool sample

  1. I love comparing specimens to various types of soups or other foods during lunch time!
  2. Obligation drives me to use perfect technique; my collections yield the most accurate results possible.
  3. Bodily fluids disgust me; I collect them only to keep my job.
  4. EWWWW!!! Isn’t that somebody else’s job?!!!

8. Following idiotic hospital rules that force you to act like a robot

  1. I enjoy remembering my “lines” perfectly and take comfort in knowing exactly what to say each time on patient rounds.robot-nurse-holding-the-syringe-3d-illustration
  2. I only say my “lines” when the “big brass” is around; otherwise I’m just myself.
  3. I resent the script; I feel it takes away from my humanity and destroys the possibility of forming a human bond with patients.
  4. I feel like telling administration to “Take that script and shove it!”

OK – how did you score?

If you scored mostly 1’s, you are a SUPER-NURSE and have earned the Florence Nightingale award!super hero nurse

Mostly 2’s, you are a great nurse, and should keep doing what you are doing.

Mostly 3’s, you are either green – or getting crispy. Better either enjoy the learning or get very serious about alternative options!

Mostly 4’s, get out of nursing QUICKLY! What was your guidance counselor smoking anyway?!!!

Some of you might want to check out this career guide: Choose The Right Career: So You Don’t Waste Your Life in a Job You Can’t Stand

Cheers!

18 Great Things About Night Shift

night nurse tired-nurse-yawn-work-17615058Do you have a night shift personality? What are some advantages of working nights? Having worked nights for about 10 years, I can list a few perks.

If you have ever considered working nights, or if you are a seasoned night nurse, you may find here some advantages you never considered. So let’s dig right in! What is better about night shift?

1. Being able to work in relative peace – without “the big brass” always parading around, stopping you from your work, and getting in your way -

2. Not having to send and receive so many patients who have tests, procedures, and surgeries -

3. Fewer meds to pass -

4. Don’t have to pass and pick up meal trays -

5. Fewer baths to give -

6. Fewer incoming calls on your companion phone -

7. Fewer family members to juggle -

8. You actually have time to talk with your patients and listen to them -

9. Sometimes the patients sleep -

10. You have more time of peace to work on your hospital CE’s -

11. You can often keep up with the hospital vlogs, blogs, and news pieces -

12. It pays better than day shift -

13. Depending on the layout of the unit, sometimes the whole staff can eat together at the same time once the patients are sleeping -

14. Teamwork, camaraderie, and friendships are stronger -

15. Meal planning is a coordinated effort – maybe a delivery – or one volunteers to go to a local drive-through for the group -

15. Stronger self-reliance and self-confidence develop -

17. Less chance of having to get interviewed by JHACO -

18. More time to read the charts and know what is planned for the patients -

In comparing night and day shifts to a battle, nights would be like the cannon loaders – and days would shoot the cannons. In volley ball, nights wold be like the back and middle rows setting up the ball for the front row day people to slam it -

Its the behind the scenes people who seldom get, or want, applauded for a job well done. But everybody knows that day shift couldn’t shine if not for the work so well done by nights.

Of course there are plenty of disadvantages of working nights as well. It is no wonder that hospitals have to pay extra to get people to do it. For lots of great ways to stay healthy working the night shift, check this out. Night Shift Nursing: Savvy Solutions for a Healthy Lifestyle

What do YOU like best about working night shift?

You and Your Pancreatic Cancer Patients

thin ladyPancreatic cancer – a ferocious and fast demon from hell.

In a recent study, noted below, they found that 12.2 people in each 100,000 will be newly diagnosed with pancreatic cancer every year.Pancreatic cancer represents 2.7% of all new cancer diagnoses yearly in the US.

While the odds are in favor of not developing pancreatic cancer, the survival rate of those who do is only 6% using today’s American treatments. (The survival rate in 1975 was 3%, so progress is obviously slow in this area of treatment.)

With these odds, you can imagine the emotional response patients will face. Your care plan will necessarily rank the emotional issues right up there with their physical needs.

Hospice can be a huge help – especially if consulted early on. You will want your patients and family members to reap as much benefit as possible from what Hospice offers. Short of a miraculous healing from God, these folks will likely have only a short time left.

Initially, a lot of newly diagnosed cancer patients like to learn as much as possible about their disease and it’s treatments. But the more these particular patients learn, the more they might consider alternative treatments. Who can blame them?

Grasping at straws will likely take up a brief, although frantic, phase of their journey. As long as they are not causing themselves certain harm or bringing anything dangerous into the hospital, I am sure you will respect their rights (within reason.)

The Hospice website, listed below, noted the following expectations:thin face

  • denial about death
  • fear and anxiety of the unknown, the future and separation
  • anger that cancer is taking away life
  • guilt about lifestyle habits that may have affected health (i.e.  smoking)
  • grief and tremendous sadness
  • relief that the pain and suffering are nearly over
  • peace and acceptance

So your care planning will cause you to refresh your own memory on the stages of grieving. Grieving is most likely what you will see in patients who are truly aware of what they have.

The recommended prescription is TLC apply liberally Q1-2H and PRN. As well, you can guide your pancreatic cancer patients and their families through the grieving process.

Pray with them if they ask you to. If it seems appropriate, offer them hope of knowing God by telling them that they can ask God to reveal Himself to them in some way – and to let them know where they stand with Him.

Also encourage them to look forward to and enjoy all of the small pleasures that are still attainable. A taste of ice cream is not going to subtract any discernible time from their life.

As a nurse, you know about compassion. If your patient needs a hug and somebody to cry with, and tears spill from your own eyes, its OK. God bless you for caring and letting your heart feel others’ pain.

Sources:

http://seer.cancer.gov/statfacts/html/pancreas.html

http://www.pancan.org/section_facing_pancreatic_cancer/learn_about_pan_cancer/hospice/Emotional_spiritual_care.php

A couple of helpful refreshers: On Grief and Grieving: Finding the Meaning of Grief Through the Five Stages of Loss
Healing After Loss: Daily Meditations For Working Through Grief

God bless you as you serve.

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