Browsing: Nursing

The Sweet Spot For LPN Courses

There's a substantial shortage of nurses in the United States – as in there there is only one nurse out there for every five jobs he or she could fill. No lie: most people who go into an LPN Program quit within the first five years; it's a very demanding job. But then again, stiff competition and tough conditions means one thing in every capitalist society: excellent wages. And it's true; even without a four-year college degree, a Licensed Practical Nurse can attain wages in the middle five digits even without a lot of experience under his or her belt!

Becoming a practical nurse is a serious matter. There are three ways to go about it: you can go straight into a hospital and learn 'on the job' as a Certified Nursing Assistant; you can go to college and get a degree in nursing and pass a State-certified test to become a Licensed Practical Nurse; or you can go to college for longer and pass a much more difficult test to become a Registered Nurse.

As a CNA, your job will basically be the hospital equivalent of flipping burgers. You'll turn down beds, push wheelchairs, and basically be a warm body that blinks sometimes like they understand what someone is saying. But life gets a big bump upward when you become an LPN.

LPNs are still, in a way, assistants – they assist the Registered Nurses. But an LPN is “in the game”, delivering medicine, giving shots, adjusting people in trafficking, interviewing patients, and generally doing most of what you would consider “nurse work”. LPN training is long and covers a lot of subjects, but it's not all that difficult.

RNs are the rank-and-file warriors in the fight against disease and injury in the USA; while the doctor will figure out what's wrong with you, in most cases the RNs do the bulk of the work. Most people who are interested in nursing believe they will eventually become a Registered Nurse, but a surprising amount make it as an LPN and decide that they do not want to end the long hours and emotional wear and tear than an RN suffers. RN training blows LPN courses out of the water; it's longer, more meticulous, and more painful, covering everything from anatomy to nutrition to pharmacology.

The best “landing” a person can make in the nursing field is generally as an LPN. CNAs do not make enough; RNs have a tough, tough life. LPN training is doable for an average student but still stiff enough to keep the low 45% from competitive for the jobs. The wages are good because of the demand, but the working conditions are still tolerable.

The best part, however, is that you can currently take LPN school online, which means a lot more flexibility (and usually a much lower cost) than a brick and mortar school. That alone can mean the difference between someone becoming an LPN or failing to become an RN.

In short, there are a lot of reasons to join the nursing profession – and a few good reasons you might want to avoid it. But with the income, lifestyle, and working conditions you can get with some straightforward online LPN training, you can hit the sweet spot where you get most of the good stuff and skip most of the bad.

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How To Survive A Hospital Stay – In 12 Easy Steps!

First and foremost, use preventive health measures. Eat right, exercise, stay away from simple carbohydrates … all that good tasting stuff that is killing you slowly but surely. That will help to keep you out of the hospital. If you are admitted, here are 12 steps that can get you home as soon as possible.

1. Keep someone with you during your stay as much as possible. The nurses, doctors and hospital administrators may squawk. Hold your ground and respectfully insure, because that is the person that's going to help and protect you the most. They will be there to help you to the bathroom timely, keep your sheets clean, and you clean. Remind hospital personnel of their great reputation for patient care and community outreach and they certainly would not want that reputation tarnished. As a consumer, especially with insurance, you wield great power!

2. Know your health history and that of your immediate blood relatives. Big things, like diabetes, heart attacks etc. and little things, allergy to bee stings, lanolin etc.

3. Know your medications: name, amount, route (mouth, injection etc.), with / without food, time you take it normally. DO NOT say, “You know, doc, that little green pill.” Because different manufacturers make the same pill in different colors. Also, they change colors to help track their inventory. As healthcare professionals, we encourage you to be proactive in your own healthcare. Knowing your medications is a giant step in that direction. Just write it on a piece of paper and carry it in your wallet.

Guess why it's important to know your meds. Because you'll be given all kinds of medications during your hospital stay and many, many, many times they are the wrong medication, or the wrong dose or you have an allergy to it! BEWARE. Know what you are taking. That's another reason to have a loved one with you, they can check for you … and argu with the nurse when she does not want to tell you. Often it is because she or he does not know.

When a friend of mine was admitted to the hospital, she had a big orange bracelet placed on her wrist styling she had an allergy to iodine. She had a procedure done that required a sterile field and before she knew it she was swabbed with iodine. She went into anaphylactic shock and almost died.

Know what drugs, medications or elements (tape, iodine etc.) you're allergic to. Many medications have similar sounding names. Be sure you know exactly which one (s) you are allergic to and how to spell them … even if you can not pronounce the name.

4. Write down questions you or your family have on a piece of paper. Ask what time the doctor makes his rounds..and do not be surprised if it's 3:00 AM. Keep in mind the doctor has a lot of patients to see and he will bless you if you keep him moving by having your questions organized and direct. Keep a diary of your questions and any answers you get from doctors or nurses. It's allowed and OK. Might even keep us on our toes a bit.

5. Order pizza for each shift. (Every pizza place near any hospital will delivery. Every shift is busy and / or staffed and meals are often skipped. So be generous, order plenty of pizza to go around. It's worth the investment. They'll remember you and if you ever come back, fight over who gets to take care of you. Forget the candy until you're discharged … candy makes people grumpy (messes with the glucose levels).

6. Drinks lots of water, unless you are on a water restriction. It keeps everything flowing and aids in recovery. Ask for a bedside commode, if you can not easily get to the bathroom. Another reason you want a loved one with you.

7. Unless your doctor has told you otherwise, get up and walking as soon as possible to gain strength and endurance. Use the spirometer (if you get one, you'll know what it is … USE IT)

8. Even though the staff annoys you, use kind words. It pays off in extra attention.

9. Know who you are talking to, since everyone dresses like these days. When I was working in the hospital I found a young janitor dressed in scrubs giving advice to a patient. The patient did not know she was there to mop the floor and asked her a nursing question and the janitor was answering it, giving all the wrong advice. Ask: are you the nurse on duty? Also, check their identification badge, their position will be identified.

10. Keep your family at bay. One or two visitors at a time, please. When the room gets loaded down with friends and family, staff (nurses, therapists, doctors) can not do their job. We appreciate and honor your privacy and we are not allowed to ask family to leave the room … used to be able to do that, but not anymore. You can ask them to kindly step out of the room for a few minutes, though.

11. It's best if you keep personal belongings at home. I know it's nice to have your own pillow and blanket, maybe a picture or four of the kids and grand kids. The rooms are small and crowded anyway and often items get broken or that favorite pillow gets pulled off with a quick linen change and accidentally tossed into the hospital laundry, never to be found again. I remember tripping over a cozy comforter that was too big for the patient's bed and hung over onto the floor. My knees landed on a cold, hard tile floor and in addition to losing several days of work, it hurt! Beside, if all the flat surfaces are covered with picture frames, there is no place for us to work! I tried suspending supplies for a dressing change in midair once but it never worked.

12. Save the most important one for last. Be SURE every staff person that Touches you, or your clothing, or your water pitcher, or any equipment in the room WASHES THEIR HANDS FIRST! The number one complication to a quick recovery and going home is noscomial infections … infections gotten in the hospital. The number one way to prevent noscomial infections … WASHING OF THE HANDS.

Forgive the “he” and “him” reference for doctors and the “she” and “her” reference to nurses. That was my world, generally, and that's just an easier way to read and write rather than using “she / he.” The medical field is populated by both sexes, as is the nursing field. Viva la difference!

Finally, this is not intended to be a slam to the hard-working and limited healthcare workers of the world. Most hospitals are under staffed and that puts an incredible strain on everyone. However, things are as things are. My intention is to give you a few points to make your stay as easy as possible. There are many factors that go into recovery, so take my words for what they are worth and no more.

More to come with future articles. Until then, stay full of health and vitality.

Frances Gollahon, RN

Life Purpose Facilitator – Coach

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Why Breastfeeding Is the Best Option For Your Baby

Breastfeeding is the best option for your baby because of the many proven health benefits that come from only mother's milk. The benefits to your baby's immune system delivered through breast milk can not be duplicated in formula. In premature babies this could have been the difference between life and death.

Babies are not born with a mature immune system so as they grow and encounter germs, their bodies are constantly working to create antibodies and fight off sickness. Breast milk contains millions of live antibodies from the mother's mature adult immune system. These antibodies are shared with the baby every feeding time. Your body is even making new antibodies for new germs, which in turn are shared through breast milk and protect your baby.

Babies need a lot of good calories from good fat in order to grow. As long as the mother is eating the good fats that include the omega 3 fatty acids, the baby is getting that fat. Breast milk fat is also much easier to digest than formula fat because it contains enzymes to help the baby digest it. This is one of the reasons that breast milk is more easily digested than formula.

Breastfeeding is also a great option with regards to your family finances. Breast milk is free. The only costs are the groceries for the mother's diet, which your family is already providing for. Studies show that breastfeeding will actually decrease mother and child's healthcare costs for life. Breastfeeding your baby reduces the risks of many infectious diseases. Moms that breastfeeding also have a reduced risk of breast cancer. These preventments will significantly reduce a family's healthcare costs long-term. This is reason alone for breastfeeding being the best option for your baby.

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Feeling Left Out at Work – 4 Steps to Figure Out the Problem and Solve It

Do you feel left out at work? The rest of the nursing staff gets along, but you seem to be on the outside of the group. You know something is wrong, but everyone you have approached denies any problems with you. Here are four steps to figure out what the problem is and solve it.

1. Get help from your manager.

When I started working at an occupational health office, the nurse practitioner I was replacing directed me. A few weeks after she left, I noticed the rest of the office staff seemed to be avoiding me. They stopped talking when I approached them. They responded to my questions or requests with curt answers. I thought I saw one of them roll their eyes as I left the room. No one I talked to would tell me what was wrong. I explained what was happening to the practice manager. She did not know, but agreed to hold a staff meeting to talk about what was going on.

2. If you expect them to be honest with you, be honest with them.

When we met, the cold, unsmiling faces of the office staff surrounded me. I shared my feeling that something was not right between me and them. At first they denied any problems. I did not believe them. I expressed doubt that everything was fine and described their behavior towards me.

Finally the office receptionist said, “The problem is: You are a witch.”

3. Avoid getting defensive. Ask questions to understand the problem.

“Wow,” I thought. “She really hates me. I have no idea why.”

I was so surprised at her answer, I did not have time to get defensive or feel badly. I said the first thing that came to my mind.

“What makes you say that?” I asked.

“Because you sit in your office and do not help Sara (the office LPN) when she needs it.” she explained.

3. Help the group solve the problem

I was beginning to understand. I turned to Sara, “I did not know you felt this way. Why did not you talk to me?”

“Because I thought you knew you needed to help me. That's what the previous nurse practiceer did. I assumed she told you that when she directed you to the job.” Sara answered.

“No, she did not.” I said. “I did not know that was the expectation. At my last job I was told not to help the other staff but to put all my energy and time into seeing patients. can to help you. ”

I could see the faces of the office staff soften as they understood what had happened. They realized that Sara and I had a misunderstanding. She made an assumption that I knew what her expectations of me were. Then, instead of talking with me, she went to the other staff in the office. The woman who called me a witch apologized. From then on, everyone in the office got along.

We learned from this experience that it is better to talk directly to the person when there is a problem instead of making assumptions and talking behind their back. If you are in a similar situation, follow these four steps to get to the root of the problem and solve it. You may not become best friends with the rest of the staff, but you may end up creating a more positive work environment.

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Why Do Nurses Wear Uniforms?

When I go to a hospital with family members I really can not tell who's a nurse anymore.

My mother was taken to the ER just this week and while we sat and watched the general busy-ness and absolute professionalism of the ER staff, the only people I could really identify were the doctors and they were not even wearing a uniform!

In fact we mistakenly asked a cleaner for a pan because she was wearing a uniform that looked more professional than the nurses who were wearing a mishmash of scrubs and gowns; one nurse had a particularly fun jacket with smiley-faced vegetables all over it. Cute but professional? Hmmmm.

As for scrubs, they might be comfortable but they always look so dowdy and overwashed; the practice of wearing scrubs seems to me to be a case of “life imitating art” or in this case TV! The general unidentifiable jumble of uniforms in the ER detracted from the consummated nursing skill that was all around us.

So I have to suggest that if nurses want to wear a uniform then maybe we should all be wearing the same easily identifiable one – after all that is the whole point of a uniform. Uniforms stand for conformity and consistency. Uniforms are meant to allow people to instantly recognize a cohesive group of important individuals.

If we roll back time as Rich suggests then each level of nurse would be easily recognizable, just as we were when I started nursing in 1975. Up until recently there was not much confusion at all about who was who. Registered nurses white white shoes and uniforms, student nurses hats caps, blue uniforms and brown shoes, EN's worn their own colors and so on! Personally I'm not keen on any of that and felt then as I do now that a uniform can be a barrier.

A uniform may identify us but it can also set us apart because uniforms can confer some level of authority and exclusivity that may interfere in the nurse-patient relationship. I believe that type of hierarchical exclusivity was one reason why nurse's uniforms became the hodgepodge, egalitarian affair they have become. The general assortment of uniforms was meant to place us on a more professional and level field as it was, so nurses' uniforms became so casual and diverse that in the 21st century a highly qualified and professional nurse wearing a coat with smiley-faced vegetables sees perfectly okay.

So why do we wear uniforms? Nursing has not always had the professional status we have now – uniforms actually reflect our roots in the lower-class service industries of the 19th century.

That's the reason for the aprons and caps and big buckles that nurses used to be rigged out in up until the 1960's and 70's. Florence Nightingale did not do us any favors either by placing us firmly in the armed services and subservient to medical consultants; thus the uniform of a maid or handmaiden. Please …. let's not go back there!

I have not worn a uniform for 20 years and I have not had any problems with being recognized as a nurse – but that's probably because I work in the community. Hospital-based nursing does need some different consideration due to the numbers of health professionals working there. However, in the community setting, my nursing practice is recognized by my clients through the way I care for them not by what I wear; and that's how I knew who the nurses were in the ER this week. They were the ones that spoke gently to my mum, helped her respectfully and effectively and explained what the doctor just said.

I observed what I like to term as the “patient-nurse attunement”. This particular nursing quality just does not exist between other health professionals and their patients. Our nurse attunement connects us to the basic needs in a human – that is to build a relationship, no matter how short term. This nurse-patient attunement allows us to gently and respectfully care for our patients physically, emotionally and socially. I think this is nursing's absolute speciality and that is how we are known.

By all means have a uniform but let's have one that is consistent – states what we do and does not allow a barrier to come between us and our patients. But above all do not believe for a minute that the uniform is what defines you as a nurse.

What do you think? Tell us at Nurse Uncut

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New Nursing Grads and First Career Moves

So where to begin your career. No matter where you want your career to end up, you need to have a starting point and steps to get there.

My advice is to take a position within a medium to large size hospital that is part of a large hospital company. Why you ask? Medium to large hospitals usually have set in place adequate and finely honed preceptor programs. They also have the resources to implement and assess the success of these programs and make alterations accordingly. They have hired newly graduated nurses and may have experienced problems with retention and further recruitment. So they have surveyed and developed programs to combat the problems and obstacles new nurses face.

Next piece of advice, apply for positions on a medical / surgery or telemetry floor. This will give you the opportunity for practicing and advocating your assessment skills, gain experience nursing while developing your organization and time management skills. All of this is necessary for nursing survival.

When interviewing for these positions be sure ask questions about how they preceptor new graduates. Ask about their program? The length of it? Whether they have designated and dedicated preceptors? Will you have the same preceptor through your program? What if you and the preceptor are not compatible? How will they evaluate your progress? What if, at the end of the program length, you feel you need more time with your preceptor?

Once you accept a position, stay with it a minimum of one year. Longer if you feel you need more experience and have not found your comfort zone. For me, this worked. At the year mark, I was able to feel confident in my assessment skills, speak competently to doctors and other members of the health care team. I was no longer feeling overwhelmed by work load and was able to complete my nursing duties during my scheduled shift. This was opposed to being there 2 hours past shift, charting and giving end of shift report to my relief. That was a great feeling.

Ready for more advice. While in the hospital working, opportunities present themselves for you to take your next step. For me, it was during times of low census. The hospital floated staff to different units to help out. I was able to experience ICU, ER, and PACU this way. It was a great opportunity because the regular nursing staff in those areas understood that I was not able to come in and take a regular assignment, but I was able to help them and lessen their load. I was able to carry out duties that I was quite capable of, while observing and inquiring about duties that I had not yet been exposed too. I learned how to do manual cardiac output while in recovery room. It was a really big deal at the time!

This way was a great way to network. I gained respect of those nurses, which in turn, helped me years down the road in my role as house nursing supervisor. I also had highly skilled and competent nurses putting in good words for me. Their managers and managers knew my name, and in times of need, would tell the staff coordinator to see if I was available to float.

Another thing I was able to accomplish to obtain my career goals was seeking out and receiving educational opportunities that the hospital provided. Hospitals routinely offer course that aid in career advancement. Some offers are a unit requirement for employment, such as basic or advanced life support, basic ekg interpretation. Other courses such as critical care, emergency care and preoperative programs are necessary to obtain a role in a specific unit. Take advantage of these courses. They can be the difference between moving to another unit and staying right where you are now!

If you have a specific area of ​​interest in mind, make an appointment to speak with the nursing manager or director of that unit. They can guide you by explaining to you what they are looking for in a nurse. What qualifications are required? What courses to take to be considered for transfer? They are usually more than willing to have a little chat with you. It is a little self-serving, they may gain a new staff member. But it is a win-win situation, you are helping them and they are helping you too.

I hope you find this advice helpful. I will probably be posting other nursing related articles. I love new graduates. They are our future and salvation. I wish you all the best and happy nursing!

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What Does a Nurse Do in an Operating Room?

The role of the operating room nurse is extremely important. They are the captain of the ship or operating room in this case. I am going to explain their role as a day in the life of an operating room nurses. Hopefully this help you understand and may entice you to explore this as a career goal.

You arrive at work for your scheduled shift. Go in the locker room and change into provided scrub attire. The scrub attire is provided due to need to minimize outside contaminants from entering the operating room area. You will note that the entrance to an operating room area is clearly marked with signs firing operating room attire required past this point. You will also cover your shoes with shoe covers, and your hair with a surgical bonnet, also provided. Now you are ready to proceed into the operating room area and check out your assignment for the day.

Your assignment is usually posted on a schedule, white board, or more recently the schedule can observed on a large monitor like a plasma TV. You will find your OR room assignment, the cases set to be completed in that room for the day, the patient ID, surgeon performing, and surgery to be performed. It may also contain your partner, a surgical tech or otherwise another nurse. Also of importance, the anesthesia provider. This may be an anesthesiologist or CRNA (certified registered nurse anesthetist. Depending upon the surgery, the surgeon may have scheduled an assistant or they may employ their own physician assistant. be delayed, an emergency may come in, or another surgery may run longer than expected.

Next you need to go to your assigned room and check to see if your case cart is there. This cart contains all the supplies and instruments required for the surgery and usually contains the preference card. The preference card is paperwork that lists all supplies, instruments, equipment, hints for setting up the room, and any surgeon specific preferences. This card also alerts you to what is to be opened for the surgery and what you should have available should the need arise for its use. Depending on the size of the facility and assigned staff duties, this may be your responsibility. I have worked in OR's that have staff dedicated to pick the supplies and instruments and delivering them to the room in the morning. Sometimes it was my responsibility, or the surgical tech's, or the set up staff. Ultimately, though, it is the nurses responsibility to make sure everything needed is in the room.

Then you and the surgical tech will open all the necessary supplies and instruments in a sterile manner and ensure that sterility is maintained. During your perioperative training, you will learn how to properly open packaging and instrument containers and check for sterility. Once all supplies are open, the surgical tech will go to do their hand scrub and return to the room to set up these things in an organized fashion. While they are setting up, you can check your equipment to make sure it is all functioning properly. I usually also use this time to go and interview the patient, and tell the surgical tech that I will return to perform the surgical count.

The patient will usually be in a pre-operative holding area. This area is staff with nurses that perform duties to prepare the patient for their surgery. Once again, it is your responsibility to ensure all pre operative orders have been carried out. Read over the surgeon's orders. Check the order for consent against the consent that was obtained and the scheduled procedure to ensure that they all match. Check over lab work to make sure it is done, on the chart, and within normal limits. A standard of care for most surgery performed is giving a prophylactic antibiotic prior to surgical incision. The hospital should have a program in place to ensure this done appropriately and it is the surgical necessity of responsibility to ensure the proper antibiotic is available and ready to be given.

If the patient's chart is not at the bedside, take it to the bedside and interview the patient. Introduce yourself and give your title. Ask the patient to give their name and date of birth, while you check this information against their identification bracelet and chart information. Ask them to tell you what surgical procedure they are having performed and about any allergies they may have. Ask when the last time was that they had anything to eat or drink. Once all is well and you know there is no contraindication to proceeding, explain to them what they can expect upon arrival into the operating room. I usually use this explanation “Well, Mr Smith, looks like everything is in order” “Once the surgeon arrives we will be heading back to the room” “When we get in there is will bright and on the cool side, but I have nice warm blankets back there to keep you warm. ” “First thing we will do is line up the stretcher and the bed, lock them in place and have you move over to the bed.” “But we do not want you to do anything until we say go” “Once we have you safe and secure, we will be connecting you to monitoring equipment to keep an eye on your heart rate, blood pressure, and oxygen saturation.” “The anesthesiologist is then going to give you medication through your IV to drift you off to sleep.” “We will be with you the entire time.” “The surgeon will fix you up and then when you hear us talking to you again, that means we are all done and you are going to the recovery room.” “Any questions?” If they have any questions, I answer them honestly. I then excuse myself to finish getting things ready, and tell them I will be back when the surgeon arrives. I then go back to the operating room to finish up with preparations there.

By this time, the surgical tech should be done or just about done setting up. We then count all the instruments, sponges, sharps, and any other supplies we want to be sure do not remain in the patient post surgery. This is very important. You should make sure that you know your facility's surgical count policy and always abide by it.

When the surgeon has arrived and spoken to the patient, and complete what he needs too, you can proceed to the room with the patient. Once in the room follow the steps exactly as you describe them to the patient during the pre op interview. Stay at the patient's side while anesthesia is induced. This is so the patient is assured you are there and so the anesthesiologist will have a second set of hands to help in there tasks. Once the patient is sleep and anesthesia says to proceed, you need to place your patient in the proper position for the surgery. You may need to place a foley catheter. Prep the area to be operated on. Tie up the surgeon's gown. Read aloud the patient name, type of surgery to be performed, allergies, antibiotic given and any other pertinent information.

Now you can accurately document all patient care submitted to this point. Monitor sterile surgical field to ensure that sterility is maintained. Immediately address and correct any breaks in sterile technique. Dispense any required additional supplies to sterile field. Organize and supplies coming off sterile to ensure ready for final counts. When surgery is near completion start counting necessary supplies and instruments to ensure nothing is retained in patient. Report count completion to surgeon, also if there is family in waiting area that needs to be spoken too. Dispense supplies to sterile field to dress incision. Make sure surgical tech cleans the patient prior to moving them to stretcher or bed.

Now you transfer patient to recovery room, give report to receiving nurse. Make sure you address all pertinent information, health history, surgery performed, dressings, drainage devices etc. Complete documentation.

Report to charge nurse and communication board to see what is next in your room. And start the process all over again.

I have worked in general surgery. I like this area because I get a diverse case exposure. I may start the day with a laparoscopic cholecystectomy and next be assigned a lumbar laminectomy or total hip or knee replacement. I like doing different types of surgery. Some of the large institutions have specialty teams ie. the ortho team or the vascular team. This is great for nurse that like one particular type of surgery. I like to change things up, so have been quite happy to work in facilities that do not have that design.

I hope this article has helped you understand a little better of what a nurse in the operating room does. This is my experience and the role may vary slightly from facility to facility.

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How to Impress at Your First Nursing Interview

Many people who have completed a course from the nursing school would want to know how to land a job as a nurse and start working as one. The truth of the matter is that it all depends on how you perform during the interview. If you do well during the interview and your scholastic records show how hard working and how capable you are then there is no reason why you should not be accepted. But it is also a fact that nor all nurses do well during the crucible step of the interview this is simply because they do not know or understand what an interview is and how crucial it is to becoming a nurse.

Just like any other job interview the important thing that you need to keep in mind is that you would want the interview to give an impression that you are qualified for the job and that you are the best candidate for the said job. If this is your first job interview it is only normal to feel nervous. Other people might even feel a great anxiety and would not be able to sleep the whole night before the interview. Now, you should keep in mind that you need to be physically and mental ready for the bid day. That is why it is very important to sleep well the night before the job interview. The greatest tool that you can have in an interview is nothing more than to be prepared for anything. If you are prepared for the interview you can be assured that you will be more confident with the stuff that you are talking about and how you showcase your talent.

Some things that may appear not so important is how you organize your things. If you bring your CV make sure that you bring one that is clean. If you use a folder or envelope to place the CV you have to see to it that the papers in your folder or the envelope are organized. After the interview the HR or employer may ask if you have a question. This is a great opportunity for you to ask cruel questions just make sure that topic is not too personal. It should be about the job, responsibilities that would refer to the advancement of your career or for possible future promotion.

During the interview you should show self confidence. Avoid biting your nails or tapping your pen on the table etc. it is wise that you fold your arms on your lap and maintain eye contact. When answering questions be honest and avoid insulting the interviewer no matter how irritating the person may be. Of course the questions being thrown to you should be about the job and your capabilities nothing personal. Be prepared to answer these questions. Expect to be asked what your weaknesses and your strengths. The way to win this kind of question is to show them how you can turn your weaknesses into something positive that can make you qualified for the job.

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Necessity Of ACLS And PALS Certification

Advanced Cardiac Life Support or ACLS is a part of Basic Life Support or BLS, which is a much wider perspective of providing emergency health interventions to those patients who need it to survive through their critical health condition. It was the American Heart Association (AHA) that had first published the guidelines for the same in the year 1974, and which has been updated through the years that had followed (like in 1980, 1986, 1992 and even as recently as in 2010) . Providing Advanced Cardiac Life Support is not simple and can not be left to anyone and everyone to perform.

This requires years of training and only those who have had any kind of prior exposure to the field of health care can only take it up. Same can be said about PALS that is Pediatric Advanced Life Support. Even though every parent may desire to have some knowledge about providing basic aid to cope with life sustenance, it is a must to have professional training and some idea about providing healthcare. When one person takes another person's survival in his / her own hands, certification is the first thing that will prove that the former is capable to do the job that he / she has been entrusted with. ACLS certification and PALS certification is therefore, non negotiable.

There are about a hundred things or, more that has to be kept in mind while treating patients on an urgent basis before the latter is taken to the health care provider for proper treatment. For example, the aim of ACLS is to ensure that the flow of oxygen to the brain and the lungs never gets discontinued after the accident (which can be a heart attack, drug overdose, poisoning etc.). The ones who are responsible for providing the same will also have to make sure that the 'airway' of the patient is clear. It may require initiation of IV access, reading and understanding electrocardiograms etc. However, the purpose of being qualified in ACLS is to manage to keep the patient breathing and receptive even when modern health monitoring devices are not close at hand. Sometimes, one may also have to manager drugs at certain quantities to maintain and stabilize a patient condition.

There is a whole lot to ACLS and PALS and it can not be administrated or, tried by amateurs on patients at random. Certification is a vital necessity and all health care providers that deal with such cases must have the same. PALS certification and ACLS certification is not very difficult to attain. One can choose to take them either online or, off line. The people who are professionally involved with health care and medicine normally attend offline classes. But then, the liberty to take these lessons have also been extended to those who may be into other professions but are willing to learn about ACLS and PALS for their own good. For such people, who may not be able to accommodate these classes into their usual schedule can successfully obtain their certification and even recertification online.

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American Heart Association For ACLS Course

Among the many diseases that plague mankind in the present times, heart conditions is perhaps the one that is most experienced by people and the most devastating as well. While suffering heart conditions at an advanced age is quite natural and can also be justified (because age takes a toll on everything), people today, as young as in their thirties are facing weakening hearts and associated situations. Stress, poor diet, bad lifestyle so on and so forth can be directly linked with cardiac arrests and the like. Sometimes, it can also be caused because of severe trauma or, accidents. Whatever the reason for the heart to go through such tough times, what comes to become the primary requirement is saving the person from dying or sustaining life-long damages. Among the many measures adopted by the American Heart Association, providing lessons for immediate first aid attention to such conditions is one and it comes in the form of Advanced Cardiac Life Support or ACLS.

ACLS, as the name itself suggests, is meant to provide on-the-spot advanced life support to patients who have suffered cardiac problems. This comprises a set of 'clinical interventions' that should not be taken or, considered to be the ultimate 'treatment for the condition', but only a means to stop the cardiac condition from escalating, and posing as a threat to the life of the patient. Advanced Cardiac Life Support is something that all nurses, nurse practitioners, doctors, clinicians, paramedics and any other form of heath care providers should be adept with. However, even the common people who have no association with medical and health-care career can take lessons on ACLS. If not the most advanced training, one can always learn the basics. This comes in handy if there are elderly people in the family who may be living constantly under the shadow of breaking down, as far as heart is concerned. One can enable itself to intervene while the patient is suffering the condition and prevent collapse, till the time the real medical help arrives.

American Heart Association provides courses on American ACLS that has proved to be of immunity benefit to many, be it to those into medical profession or, in any other profession as such. One can also avail the course online which has proved beneficial to many. Since ACLS is linked directly with saving the life of a person, it is necessary that the one performing such medical interventions on a suffering patient is absolutely confident that he / she is doing the right thing. Certification is a must. People should not take virtual lessons, forget about the certificate and attempt techniques on any odd heart patient or, the like. The information about the same is always undergoing change as more and more technology and research is being infused in this field of study. One must keep a track of all of these to provide the best and most updated treatment. Recertification of the Advanced Cardiac Life Support courses is equally important and must be considered as and when they may be required.

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Defining Healthcare – Are We All Using the Same Definition?

While reading some online content the other day, I happened across a paragraph that cave me pause. The article was addressing the work of primary care providers. Nothing earth shaking in what I read until I saw a sentence that said we should ask the patient how they define health. WOW !!! This is a major point that we often overlook. Taking notice of this one item can explain a great deal about our patient's health behavior.

Those of us who have chosen an occupation in the health and wellness field have been well educated in the classic definition of health. We study normal lab values, charts, tables and a plethora of other items that we use to define good health. Variations to these normal values ​​are usually indicative of some disease process. When a healthcare provider sees a value outside of the normal, we have this deep, burning desire to manage and correct the process that produced the offending value. We will often consult fellow practitioners to get their consul on how to best address the problem that we have found. Then we use a variety of medications and procedures to try and bring all of the values ​​we measure back to the physiologic normal. At that point we pronounce the patient healthy.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are approximately 12 million workers in the healthcare sector. That seems like a lot of people until you consider the population of the entire United States, slightly more than 300 million people. Thus, only about 4% of the population looks at health the way that a nurse, pharmacist, physician or other healthcare worker does. The other 96% probably define good health or wellness in ways that we find difficult to comprehend.

When a healthcare worker sees a patient who is diabetic, they will usually pronounce their management as being good when associated with either a fasting blood sugar between 70 to 120 mg / dl or a hemoglobin A1c of 6 or 7%. We have all read studies, viewed slides and listened to lectures that tell us that these values ​​are indicative of good health. But what about the patient? How do they define good health in their own mind? The variety of answers will certainly astound many people, but it will explain a lot of unhealthy behavior.

Most people usually seek medical care for one of two reasons. Either they are in pain or they are leaking a red, warm, sticky fluid from their body. Otherwise, they will pronounce themselves healthy. It is easy to see how this applies to those who have not been sick previously. But many people, even in the face of a diagnosed chronic disease, will consider themselves healthy if they subjectively feel good. Never mind the dire warning of future consequences if they do not take their prescribed medication. They feel good right now, so they must be ok. Unfortunately, this is when the patient decides to abandon their medication or other treatment. You see, by their definition, they are now well again.

It is important for us to determine how the patient defines good health. In order to gain their compliance in helping with their treatment plan, we need to know how the patient views what we are doing for them. Some people are inquisitive and will seek out knowledge about their disease process from us or other healthcare sources. Others are not interested in our dire predictions about increased risk of stroke, heart attack or other serious event if they do not take their medication. They are living in the here and now. Tomorrow is another day that will be addressed when it arrives. Once we determine the patient's definition of good health, we now have some insight into how we need to approach them. It may mean that this patient will benefit from a support group or more frequent follow up visits. It may mean that they will actually read and utilize the patient education pamphlets we give them.

Whatever the situation is, we must take the time to get the patient's idea of ​​good health. If we ignore this critical point, we may constantly wonder why the patient is not getting any better in spite of all of the advice and medication we may dispense. Working towards a common goal with a common definition will probably make life better for everyone.

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Shortage of Nurses in Australia – Good News for Nurses

In most of the major cities in Australia, there is a critical shortage of nurseries across different hospitals and aged care facilities. This has mainly arises from years of neglected recruitment and retention strategies. The shortage of nurses in Australia means that the nurses all around the world would be getting a golden opportunity to try their hands at establishing a nursing career in Australia.

Currently in the State of Queensland there are reasonable shortages of nurses in accident and emergency, critical / intensive care, midwifery, mental health, community care, aged care and indigenous health. A lot of people have migrated to this state in the past few years and this has led to consequent demand on health services, resulting in an absolute shortage of nursing professionals.

The number of nurses in most of the important and major states in Australia are below the national average which is 1107 nurses per 100,000 population. Since the population in the major states and cities in Australia are on a rapid rise a major shortfall of nurses is expected by the year 2014 across the public, private and aged-care sectors.

The shortages of nurses in aged care sectors are difficult to determine as there are no reliable information and statistics related to staffing shortages. Moreover the poor wages and conditions on offer and the lack of incentives add more to the shortage of nurses. As per the Australian Institute for Health and Welfare (AHWI) (2005), over the next 20 years Australia will be losing around 60% of the existing employed registered and controlled nurse labor force through retirement. This would certainly be posing real issues in the health care sector, and most of the hospitals in Australia will starve of experienced nurses if they do not plan and take necessary actions as soon as possible.

As per Australian Health Workforce Institute, about 15% of the nurses are retiring every 5 years, which creates a projected cumulative exodus of 90,000 nurses by 2026. The irony is that the graduates are not able to replace these nurseries due to lack of skills and experience. For the experienced and skill nurses in any part of the globe, this would be a great opportunity and they can certainly try to get into the Australian health care sector. Even if Australia hires nurses from abroad, the nurses would have to attend nursing bridging courses and once they cleared the nursing adaptation programs, then only they would be able to work as a registered nurse in Australia.

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Pediatric Nurse

If you have thought about becoming a nurse, you probably already know that there are many different types of nurses. One of these is a pediatric nurse. Becoming a pediatric nurse can be very rewarding by helping the lives of children every day.

A pediatric nurse (PN) cares for infants, children and adolescents. They use all of their knowledge and skills or pediatrics to work closely with pediatric health care providers. These nurses still do the physical examinations, measure the patients vitals, take blood and urine samples when needed for diagnostics. The reason there is a completely different specialization for pediatrics is because children react differently to injuries, medications and illnesses. Children's bodies are always changing and growing, so being seen by a pediatric health care professional is beneficial.

To become a specialized nurse, most places require that you are a registered nurse (RN) and have complete four years of college with a Bachelor's of Science in Nursing. Some places will allow you to be an RN with only an associate's degree, which normally takes half as long to get as a bachelor's degree. To become a RN, graduates must take the National Council Licensing Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). Once you have the required degree for where you intend to practice, you will also need to get additional training and pass the Certified Pediatric Nurse (CPN) exam.

The salary for a PN differs from state to state. In California, the salary can be anywhere from $ 20,000 to $ 125,000. For Texas, it may be from $ 30,000 to $ 75,000. Your salary as a PN will also depend on how many years of experience you have. For most of those who are starting out, the average is around $ 20,000 a year. The average salary for pediatric nurses in general in the United States is around $ 71,000.

The benefits of becoming a pediatric nurse are vast. You enjoy the same benefits of RNs as far as you can work in a hospital, clinic, out-patient, and other health care facilities. There is plenty of room for this industry to grow whether it is in a hospital or a clinic. The biggest benefit of all is knowing that you are giving loving care, hope, and happiness to all types of children. The benefit really goes to the children because they are receiving the proper care needed for a child, and they are being treated by happy people who enjoy being around children.

There are many programs available for people if they wish to become a pediatric nurse. Some programs are even offered online. These online programs can be helpful if you already have a full-time job but want a career change, or want to reach new career goals within their field. If you already work for a hospital, they may be willing to reimburse your tuition since your degree is within the same field and may be beneficial to the company. Maybe you have thought about becoming a nurse before, and think that becoming a pediatric nurse may be the perfect job for you, you can go get started on your career today by signing up for a nursing degree program or college.

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Float Pool Nursing: A Distinct Mindset

The ABCs of Float Pool Nursing

For the past two years, I have been employed as a registered nurse (RN) in the critical care float pool at a large metropolitan hospital within Northern California. This particular position is unique from traditional unit based nursing positions in that I am an clinical nurse without a home.

Alternatively, I float between all critical care areas within the hospital setting. At my hospital, these areas include: the Emergency Department, the Burn Intensive Care Unit, the Medical Intensive Care Unit, the Trauma-Surgery Intensive Care Unit, the Medical Specialty Intensive Care Unit, the Neurosurgical Intensive Care Unit, the Cardiothorasic Intensive Care Unit , the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit, and the Post Anesthesia Care Unit.

Upon arrival to the hospital, I stop by the hospital staffing office in order to receive my particular assignment. I clock in and directly begin my trek towards my designated unit. After a brisk inclusive unit update, each individual nurse receives his or her assignment and continues on to obtain report from the previous nurse. This shift report includes information on the patients' overall condition, including any previous pertinent diagnoses and / or procedures, and any critical developments that may have identified over the precedent shift and / or current announcement.

Within the critical care setting, or at least in California, you can expect to have anywhere from one to two patients depending on patient acuity, otherwise known as the overall workload of caring for that distinct patient, and available nursing staff. Some standard conventional critical care diagnoses include acute myocardial infarction (heart attack), sepsis (blood infection), pneumonia, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), acute painney failure, respiratory failure, chest pain, hypotension (acute blood loss), and stroke (brain attack).

Float Nursing: Portability & Flexibility
My nursing peers oftentimes ask me if it is challenging to change between the various specialty units within the hospital. I can confidently answer them no, and I owe this confident response all to my recent exposure to this unconventional position. I unquestionably enjoy what I do. The benefit my job has generated for me to experience and learn amidst the various specialties within the hospital setting is unparallel and priceless.

After my standard general hospital orientation, I completed three shifts with preceptor (overseer) nurses amidst the variousiated specialty intensive care units. Yes, you heard me right! After only three shifts, I was granted the privilege of caring for my own critical care patients.

Initially, I am not going to lie to you, I was apprehensive, sometimes even attributable, but as time progressed I swiftly observed my skills strengthen and my overall confidence level grow. I made it a point to always ask for help when unsure, to research any diagnoses or procedures with which I may have been unfamiliar, and to always take on a challenge when the opportunity arrived. I believe that this proactive approach supported by a positive attitude, resolved in the confident, dependable float nurse that I have become today.

Floating, Not For Every-Nurse

My enthusiasm for float pool nursing, does not automatically make it the ideal position for all nurses. Recently a nurse co-worker asked me if I do not sometimes miss the close relationships that you can develop working on a unit with a set group of familiar faces. Although many nurseries may find the almost anonymous aspect of this particular position as a detrimental transaction-breaker, other nurses, such as myself, conversely find this aspect remarkably liberating. Many of us float nurses enjoy the ability to escape unit politics unscathed.

Additionally, I personally would not recommend floating pool nursing to those novice nurses. Although each individual nurse has a variety of skills and experiences depending on their background, as a general rule fledgling nurses need a lot of supervision and guidance. Because of the often obscure, unpredictable aspects of floating, even experienced, capable nurses can find the notably ambiguous nature of the assignments off-putting.

Nurse Tamara;)

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Overview of The Nurse Practitioners Jobs

The job of a nurse practitioner is unique which has made it one of the most challenging careers around the world. Nurse practitioners not only do the job of a traditional nurse but also give preliminary treatment to the patients, refer tests and prescribe medicines. This helps the hospitals and healthcare institutions to keep running if the doctor is absent for a while which has made this position so important in the field of health care.

They need to obey some strict rules and code of conduct to ensure that no conflict occurs between them and the doctors in terms of distribution of duty and responsibility. They should be efficient in their work and need to work under the supervision of the doctors when needed.

If you are an emergency nurse practitioner then you need to perform more critical duties as you need to take decisions immediately to save the life of the patient and you have to be very accurate about your decision as it's a case of life and death of the patient .

Nurse practitioners have a great role to play at the post-operative stage. They have to take care of the patients without the supervision of the doctors at the later stage of the treatment.

To give the doctors opportunity to take care of the overall health condition of the patients, nurses are given training on using the latest medical devices to observe and evaluate the condition of the patients. The use of the latest technology in the hospitals has greatly benefited the healthcare sector. To deal with the emergency patients, they are also given training to operate the latest technological devices of the medical sector.

To work as a nurse practitioner you should be qualified for the position. As you'll have to deal with human lives, you can not take any risk. Usually having a Bachelor degree as a nurse practitioner is enough. Many health schools offer this course which lasts for four years. Having a master degree in this field will be an advantage and you'll find it easier to get your first job. Besides, you'll be considered first in case of promotion.

You need to have a license to work as a nurse practitioner. To avail this license you need to sit for a certification exam which is directed by National Council Licensing Examination. In different states of the country the eligibility criterion for availing a license may vary.

For nurses license is provided by the State Board of Nursing. However most hospitals do not require any license to work as a nurse and you can work as a nurse without having a certificate.

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