Browsing: Nursing

What to Pay Attention to As You Browse Skilled Nursing Facilities

If you are looking at skilled nursing facilities for an elderly relative, you have lots of choices. It can be hard to make a decision that you feel is the right one. Here are some things to look for in the facility you end up choosing.

As you browse skilled nursing facilities for your elderly loved one, you should pay attention to the attitude of the staff. Think about how you would like to be treated when you are older, and consider whenever the staff members seem capable of offering that treatment. You should feel free to ask questions and expect despite answers rather than be brushed off or ignored. You should also feel confident the staff members actually care about the residents there and will go out of their way to be kind and comfortable. If they seem to be uninterested in helping residents feel at home, you should look elsewhere.

You should also take note of what makes each facility unique from all of the other skilled nursing facilities you can choose from. For example, some offer pet therapy programs in which dogs are trained to give comfort to seniors. If your loved one enjoys the company of pets and looks lonely or in need of attention and affection, having a few dogs around might be helpful. If your elderly relative tends to swim or take walks each day, look for a facility with a swimming pool, ample walking paths, and other amenities many seniors enjoy. You can always ask your relative what he or she would like to have access to in the chosen facility, and then choose based on that.

Finally, make sure the facility you select offers personalized care for each resident. Not all older people are the same. You already know that, but some new or untrained employees of certain skilled nursing facilities might not realize it. Make sure the staff is carefully trained to accommodate the individual needs of each resident when possible. For instance, some seniors enjoy home-cooked meals, and others even like to help cook or bake their own food. Make sure the policy is flexible enough to accommodate unique needs, at least when it is safe to do so.

When possible, make sure you get the opinion of your loved one before you make a choice. The process of browsing different skilled nursing facilities make take some time before you are confident with your decision. But the result should make the long process worthwhile.

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Nursing Courses – A Successful Career?

Nursing an emerging potentially lucrative career has taken a steady fast growth in leading professions in India. The first Nursing schools and institutions were started by the British Mission Hospitals. The Nursing institutions in India are governed by a national Indian Nursing Council and State level Nursing Council. They inspect and give the necessary credentials to the institutions. About 88% of nursing education is provided from the private sector as there have been a lot of private nursing colleges springing up in India. Most of them are in a collaboration with the Indian Center of Excellence as they provide local and international expertise to these nursing institutions. As Health Care and Poverty are closely related, taking care of health will eliminate the poverty and increase the economy. Nursing in India is one of the important sectors in Indian Healthcare, so improving care of it, is an added advantage which the Government is doing of recent times.

There has been a heavy shortage of nurses in India and they are in high demand all over the country. Nurses see themselves as skilled professionals who have mastered the specialized body of knowledge necessary to achieve professional status. Nurses in the Indian Health Care system play the following roles like health promotions, preventions of diseases, nursing therapies and rehabilitation. The sudden importance for nurses in the health care sector as vital support and the intake of them is because of a recent survey taken which has surprised the government who have increased the number of nursing positions. The survey by the National Health Policy (NHP) of India 2002, shows that major health problems like infectious diseases can be preceded by mid-level health care workers like nurses.

The advantages of taking up a course in nursing in India are of abundance and here are some of them to list a few.

  • Chances for migration and choosing a career path out of the country is always available at ease.
  • Most of the private nursing institutions provide the students with clear career paths ie taking different fields in nursing.
  • The jobs have mechanized promotions along with in service training. Roles and responsibilities are clearly identified.
  • The profession is highly regarded by public.
  • The course is available with intensive material study and industrial mentorship.
  • The presence of adequate leadership and strategic management leading the Nurses associations ensures perfect working of the nursing system as a whole in India.

The times have never been better with the government recognizing the importance of nursing, as a vital role in the performance of the Annual Rural Health Mission. The government has started the “Development of Nursing Services” to expand the numbers of Nursing institutions and colleges . This is done to compensate the heavy need for nurses. So at the end we can conclude that nursing as becoming one of most job satisfaction and work oriented courses that has a lot of never-ending vacancies.

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5 Tips to Becoming a CNA

These 5 tips can help you with your goal of becoming a CNA! Not everyone that starts such a program completes it so you want to make sure you have a solid foundation in place before you move forward with it. Avoiding common barriers and pitfalls will definitely increase your chance of success!

  • Look at your options
  • Deadlines for applying and submitting requested information
  • Paying for your CNA training
  • Manage your time
  • Pay attention to feedback from instructors about your progress

Compare Programs

Not all CNA programs out there are the same. You really want to take some time to find what is right for you. This could be online, it could have been a fast paced program in a few weeks at a nursing home, or it could have been a three month program at the local college. Make sure the program is accredited, that it offers both classroom learning and hands on training, and evaluate the qualifications of the instructors.

Pay Attention to Dates

Many of the CNA programs have a limited number of students per class. You need to pay attention to dates so that you can sign up right away. You also want to pay attention to dates for paperwork to be turned in, orientation, etc. If you miss any of those deadlines, you may be removed from the program and your spot will go to someone that is on a waiting list.

Secure Payment for the Program

There are many methods you can consider for paying for your CNA training. You may qualify for a grant, loan, or scholarship. You may have to pay the amount using cash or your credit card. Find out the cost of the program and then work out what you can to pay for it. Some programs will drop you if you do not pay in full by a given date. Do not set yourself up to fail, make sure you explore all of the options and that payment is secured before you start the program.

Carve out Time for it

You can not half way participate if you want to become a CNA. You have to be willing to put in the time for it. You need to attend classes, show up for clinical, study, and do well on your tests. You need to be willing to spend as much time as you have to for the program to be completed. If you find you are struggling, as for help from your instructor before it gets out of hand or you are too far behind.

Listen to Feedback

Listen to what your instructors share with you about your work. This will be influential for you to pass the CNA program. You will also have a written test at the end and if you have been building on what you learn all the way through, this exam is not going to be overwhelming for you. It is going to be something you can pass with flying colors!

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The Difference Between Nursing And Residential Care

Aging is an irreversible fact of life and it can bring disabilities and other obstacles with it. These obstacles can be a bit difficult to overcome on your own. This is why many of the elderly seek assistance in performing their daily activities. When you decide to seek assistance, one of the major decisions you'll have to make is whether to avail of care services or go to a nursing home. What's the difference between the two and which is the better option? Read on to find out.

Nursing and Residential Care Defined

Nursing homes are private facilities where you're provided with the necessary care along with other elderly patients. Many people consider this the most practical solution, especially if the need for assistance is high. The nursing home staff helps you with practically everything, from preparing your meals to bathing you and administering the medications you may need. Support is provided round the clock.

Residential care, also known as home care, involves hiring a nurse or professional caregiver to care for you in your own home. The type and degree of assistance you get will depend on your specific needs. The medical professional could come to your home according to an agreed schedule or he / she could stay in your home if 24-hour assistance is needed. Another option for residential care is to stay in a facility where you get to live in your own home within a single compound or community with other patients as your neighbors.

Nursing and Residential Care: Comparison of Cost

A lot of people quit to go into nursing home because of the high cost it entails. When you give it some serious thought, however, you'll realize that there are instances where a nursing home is actually the less cost option. Home care is only advisable if the necessary assistance is minimal – cooking, running errands, etc.-and you can still pretty much take care of yourself. If you need help with almost all aspects of your daily routines and you have scheduled medications, then it may be more practical to avail of the services of a nursing home.

Nursing and Residential Care: Comfort and Care Quality

Of course, most people would feel a lot more comfortable receiving care in his or her own home and if you can afford to make some major modifications to your house in order to accommodate your special needs (particularly this if you have mobility issues), then this may be the best option for you. As regards the quality of nursing and residential care , however, we can not really say one option is better than the other because no two professional caregivers are exactly alike just as no two nursing homes are alike.

So, which type of care should you choose when the time of need comes? The answer will depend on the resources you have as well as the amount of care necessary. There are no hard and fast rules in this case and this decision has to be made on a case-by-case basis.

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Care Assistant Jobs – What’s Involved in the Role?

Care assistant jobs otherwise known as care home jobs are basically providing care to old age patients under the supervision and guidance of the care home manager. Other duties involve assisting nursing staffs in the running and operation of the care home.

Care jobs require a person's genuine interest in working within a caring environment and the ability to communicate effectively at all levels. A carer is expected to be a team player and always willing to participate in voluntary training programs.

Any planning to take up this profession has to go through a satisfactory police check to ensure that there is no criminal charges or obligation committed. It is mandatory to have basic knowledge and understanding of the 'Health and Safety at Work Act' and the 'Infection Control'.

Care home jobs involve acting as a key worker for all the patients within the home. Making patients feel comfortable and welcome is an important part of a carer's job. Assistants patients to settle in and adapt to the new environment is very important. A carer is expected to assist in bathing, washing, dressing and keeping a watch on prescribed medication given by the doctor.

Attending to the different needs of each patient is expected by responding promptly to call bells and report any kind of accidents or injuries immediately to the supervisor in charge. Monitoring patients under the supervision of senior staff helps build confidence and expertise in the job.

Most patients need aids such as dentures, hearing aids, reading glasses, walking sticks, wheelchairs etc and carers have to make sure that they are in working condition and kept clean. Carers are always encouraged to take initiative provided that they adhere to the rules and regulation set out by the care home.

There are various rehabilitation activities for patients to participate in with a view to improve and help with various health conditions. Carers are expected to assist in these activities under the guidance of the manager and trained staff.

Cleaning in and around the care home on alternate days is expected in a care job especially in the dining area where infection or any contamination must be carefully monitored. Cleaning out spills or any kind of food droppings must be done immediately to prevent any accidents or unwanted injuries that might cause further problems.

Taking care of patient's personal belongings and ensuring that the community and bedrooms areas are neat and tidy are other roles carried out by carers.

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Nursing Recruitment Agencies and Employment With Social Care and Nursing Jobs

Nursing recruitment agencies generally provide carers and health / social care workers to those who need and require care and assistance in their daily activities. Professionally trained nurses usually register at these agencies on a contract basis for getting hired at hospitals; health institutes, and care homes. Contracts are based on filling up busy periods or covering maternity leave and staff absences. Sometimes nurses are hired out to private patients who prefer to receive care and assistance within their own homes.

Nursing recruitment agencies in the UK are regulated by the Commission for Social Care Inspection. Nursing jobs and Social Care jobs are very demanding and require a certain level of responsibility and patience. There are many incidences where claims are generally made for negligence and carelessness since malpractice insurances must be carried out by the agencies.

RCN or the Royal College of Nursing is an institute devoted to provide support to the nursing profession and improve the overall healthcare of the public. RCN is involved in a number of activities that give grants to various nursing practices with an aim to improve the standard and quality of care and patient experience. The Royal College of Nursing is defined as the organization that 'presents nurses and nursing, promotees excellence in practice and shapes health policies'.

The RCN runs courses for those who are interested to take up nursing as a career and also provides a platform for those who wish to further pursue their studies at a higher level. The organization further provides guidance and support about different recruitment policies and requirements. They aim to influence various local and lobby Governments to introduce and implement policies that are in the interest of the patient and the importance of the role of nursing jobs, care assistants and students in regards to the future of the health industry.

Services offered by the RCN include:

Executive Nurse Network – The network involved working and getting engaged with the most senior and higher up members of the nursing industry.

Library Services – The RCN library archives contains some of the most and most important nursing work, theses and dissertation. These are all accessible through the e-library or the four libraries located in the capital cities of London, Cardiff, Edinburgh and Belfast.

Nursing Practice Issues – Guidance and support regarding all issues on nursing through their information services.

Forum Communities – A place for members to communicate and enhance their knowledge and skills. An expert resource center containing news stories, features, events and ways to participate and influence current and future policies.

Nursing Students – Advice and support for young emerging students.

Publications and research – Details and information regarding the RCN team.

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What to Think About As You Browse Nursing Schools

If you are looking at nursing schools to attend, you have many options. There are likely some colleges in your city that offer degrees for nurses, and there are also online colleges with similar programs. Here are some details to think about before you choose the right school for your needs.

There are many programs that claim to guide students toward the ability to become nurses. However, not all of them offer the same degree, so do some research to find out what kind of degree you need to do the kind of work you have in mind. Then find a school with a program that offers it. You should also make sure the school you choose is accredited and equipped to prepare you to take the licensing exams for your state. You should first find out what tests you will need to take to become licensed, and then make sure the program you enroll in the offers the preparation you need.

Another practical detail to consider is when the classes are. If you plan to have a full-time college student and do not need to have a job, your schedule is reasonably flexible. Therefore, you can choose a program that offers classes on the weekdays. But many nursing schools also cater to adults who already have families and jobs, so they may offer weekend and evening classes. Some courses may be offered online, but you need hands-on experience to graduate from most programs, so it is illegally that you can complete your degree entirely online. If your schedule is already busy and can only accommodate weekend or evening courses, it may take extra time to get your degree. But it should still be possible as long as you are willing to stick with it for a few years.

You should then find out which nursing schools offer help when it comes to getting a job. Some have resources that can assist you in finding employment soon after you get your license. Find out if there is a career center or career counselor who can guide you as you search for a job. Finding out statistics on the percentage of graduates who find work in this field is also a good idea. This should let you know how valuable the degree is and how helpful the career resources really are.

There are lots of nursing schools to choose from. These details are important and will have a major impact on how quickly you get through school and find a job. For this reason, you should take them into account before you make a decision.

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Basic Requirements for Clinical Trial Nurses

There are several studies in countries in the Northern Hemisphere that have focused on the role of the research nurse within specialties. To date, there is no clear picture of the qualifications required to be employed as a CTN. Several findings indicate that there are varying pay rates for CTNs and a lack of consistency in the way they are employed. That is, some are employed according to nurses' pay scales, and others are employed through the academic sector as administrative or research officers. This is confirmed in other studies in the UK. The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) in the UK has submitted appropriate clinical grades and salaries for these nurses as part of a competency framework which has been developed for future Clinical Research Nurses.

Competencies include the ability to show knowledge and understanding of the progress of clinical trials and to apply knowledge and skills in the clinical research environment. A Clinical Trial Nurse should work within and hold on to the requirements of clinical trial ethics, research governance and relevant legislation. It's also very important to understand the principles and practice of obtaining valid informed consent from trial patients. However, these RCN standards were based on expert advice rather than empirical research. Further, the knowledge, skills and duties required by CTNs varies and can include: information technology skills; project management; protocol management; ability to develop; assessment and direct research processes; clinical assessment of subjects; patient advocacy; education of patient and family about clinical research procedures and drug.

According to several clinical research associates the position of the CTN is very complex due to a combination of contractual and accounting arrangements. This position can be intensified by feelings of isolation, a lack of professional recognition and support and limited specific educational opportunities. Experienced CTNs are often highly skilled in terms of their specialist clinical knowledge, and have a comprehensive understanding of all aspects of the research process, including methodological, ethical and practical issues. Due to this increasing complexity of the role of the clinical research nurse, tertiary education programs for these nurses around the USA, UK, Canada and Europe are being contracted. A new Clinical Trials Research course was developed in Australia in 2012 in response to the need for formal clinical research qualifications and is offered at the postgraduate level (Master of Clinical Trials Practice, Sydney Nursing School) at the University of Sydney. Short courses are also available.

Several Institutes and Clinical Trials Network conducts programs and workshops for nurses working in clinical trials and some pharmaceutical companies and universities provide informal professional development on-the-job style education for these nurses. Thus the RCN profession looks very promising for the future.

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Different Types of Nurses

In the health care sector, the nursing profession is concerned in holistic care of an individual, family, and the community to promote, attain, and maintain health and enhance the quality of life. Nurses are required to be selfless, helpful, and dedicated to their work. They need to practice different patient approach since nursing has a greater scope of patient care, and patients are to be considered unique from one another, so, a specialty of nursing skills is critical. Nurses, nowdays, are permitted to practice independently in a variety of settings such as in the hospital, clinics, city health centers, or even as an individual practitioner. As long the nurse is registered, he / she may continue and develop his / her skills through lectures and seminars.

In the hospital setting, there are various types of nursing. Every area in the hospital may be considered as a critical environment as the longer the patient stays in the hospital the more stressful it is for the patient. One of the major responsibilities of a nurse is to keep the patient safe and comfortable upon recovery. Building of trust and rapport should be the first aspect that needs to be considered in order to accommodate a nurse-patient relationship.

Here are the different types of Nursing:


Cardiac nursing deals with patients who are suffering from various conditions of the cardiovascular system or the heart, under the supervision of a cardiologist. Cardiac nurses are responsible for the post-operative care of the patient, conduct a stress test evaluation, Cardiac monitoring using the telemetry, vascular monitoring and health assessment upon the recovery of the patient.


This specialization has undergone a lot of great changes for the last decades. The cardiothoracic nurse is expected to monitor patients who are due for surgeries such as coronary artery bypass graft, heart transplants, heart valve surgery, lung transplant and other major surgeries that covers the heart and lung area.

General Medicine

Most general medicine nurses are assigned at the ward area. Many of their patients are adults who have complex diseases due to old age or hereditary conditions.

Hemodialysis Nursing

Hemodialysis nurses are very responsible in educating the patient, including his or her family, in the absence of the physician and in supporting the patient during the session. Side effects of the dialysis may affect the cooperation of the client that is why it would be necessary to watch over the client until the session is over.

Labor and Delivery Nursing

A labor and delivery nurse assays the pregnant woman during the start of her contractions until when the baby is born. This nurse may work hand in hand with the Nursery Nurse, who takes care of the new born baby upon the delivery of the mother.

Medical and Surgical Nurses

Medical and Surgical Nurses are generally attending the patients who came from the Operating room. They may have patients who are on the geriatric stage or pediatric stage, given the condition that they had undergone a surgery.

Pediatric Nursing

Pediatric Nursing deals with young patients, mostly children, who are having health problems.

Other types of nursing include the following:

  • Neurology Nursing
  • Oncology Nursing
  • Psychiatric Nursing
  • Operating room Nursing
  • Pulmonary Nursing
  • Critical Care Unit Nursing

Whichever type of nursing specialization a nurse will pursue, his / her responsibility is to make sure that he / she gives the right medication to the right client with proper explanation, if needed, and right timing. And to bear in mind that the most important part of his / her responsibility is to insure the client`s safety until he or she has recovered from a medical condition.

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How to Nurse a Dying Patient

The minute we are born our body starts dyeing the term 'The Dying Body'. And yet we all pray and hope that we never have to hear those dreaded words 'There's nothing more we can do for you.'

Like many things in your nursing career, caring for a dying patient is arguably the most challenging if not heart-wrench tasks you'll ever have to deal with. The experience will challenge every nursing fiber in you. Those in the know will tell you that it is irrelevant how long you have been a nurse for or how many patients have died before your very eyes. This undertaking is one of those life's realities one never gets used to.

As a nurse caring for a patient under palliation your mind will twirl each time you go to them. Your heart will jolt as you wonder what on earth could be going on in their mind. If you're one who like a bit of humor with your patients every now and again you know the timing could not be more wrong. You simply do not know what face to put on.

Each experience will be different. However, should you find yourself caring for a dying patient, here are some tips on how you can help yourself and more importantly your dying patient:

1) As much as therapeutic detachment is crucial in nursing in order to be able to 'do more' for the patient, you can forgive yourself for being upset and emotional at this time. After all you're not made of steel!

2) If the patient wants to talk, remember IT IS enough to listen.

3) Do not tell them something contrary to what the doctors have already told them. There's a fine line between offering words of comfort and giving false hope.

4) Advocate on behalf of your patient. If they are in pain do your best to keep them as comfortable as possible. If they are bothered there for them. Communicate their needs to the doctors, palliative care nurses as well as relatives and ensure that those needs are met.

5) If they have any spiritual or religious needs facilitate these needs by contacting a Pastor, Bishop or any relevant person. Furthermore, if they want to be at home for those final hours it is your job to work with members of the multidisciplinary team to facilitate that. Remember it's not about you or their relatives- it's about them!

6) Holistic care is particularly important at this time. Therefore, approach the patient as a whole person, considering support for the patient's loved ones, reassuring them as much as you can.

7) When the time finally comes for them to breathe their last breath, respectfully give your patient and their relatives space to be with their loved one if that is their wish. Be available to offer support wherever possible.

8) When it's all said and done all that matters is that you would've done your best for your patient.

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How to Tell the Difference Between Open and Closed-Ended PICCs

First things first. What is a PICC line?

PICC stands for Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter. They're used for direct access to larger blood vessels in the body. Patients have PICC lines inserted if they are going to be receiving large amounts of IV medication, volatile medications (like heavy-duty antibiotics), or will be receiving medication for a long period of time.

PICC lines are unique because they are inserted peripherally, meaning from the arm. The catheter extends all the way up the vessels in the arm up to the heart.

There is an abundance of information about PICC line care on the internet, but it's hard to decipher whether a PICC line is open-ended or closed-ended. To tell between the two just by looking:

Look For the Clamp.

  • If it's an open-ended PICC, there will be a clamp.
  • If it's a closed-ended PICC, there will be no clamp.

Why? Here's the Explanation:

Imagine the PICC line inside the body. It is a thin rubber-like catheter. The most important part is the end of it.

An open-ended PICC has an opening at the end, which allows fluid and medications to be pushed in, and blood to be drawn out. You can imagine that it looks like a garden hose: tubular, with an open end.

A closed-ended PICC instead has a thin slit-like valve on the side that provides the same function. The end is not open. In fact, it looks like a cone, or can be smooth like the front end of an airplane.

What's the Difference?

The Open-Ended PICC creates turbulence as blood passes by it.

Since the tip is not smooth, blood does not flow past it very easily. The problem is, turbulence causes blood to clot inside the vessel. A clotted up PICC line is the worst kind of PICC line. To prevent clotting, these types of PICC lines need to be heparinized. (That means a saline flush followed by a heparin flush after use. Heparin, an anticoagulant, prevents blood from clotting.)

On the other hand, the smooth, more “aerodynamic,” tip of the closed-ended PICC facilitates blood flow, and that does not need a heparin flush.

Why is there a clamp?

The closed end PICC has a valve, so it does not need a clamp. A valve lets fluid in one way, but not the other. The “slit” on the side of the catheter is specifically made to let fluid out of the catheter, but not let blood flow in.

An open ended PICC, on the other hand has no valve. Nothing is stopping blood from getting into the catheter. So, in order to prevent that, a clamp shuts off fluid movement (much like clamping a drinking straw traps whatever fluid is inside. Nothing comes in, nothing gets out.)

What is a Groshong PICC?

You may have heard of these. It's very simple. Groshong is a trade name for a closed ended PICC. A Groshong is a closed ended PICC.


Just look for the clamp!

Happy Documenting, Nurses!

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Be Your Favorite Nurse

Nurses spend their days saving lives, helping people get through emotional hurdles, comforting mourning family members, giving out medicines, performing various tasks, delegating certain responsibilities, coordinating with other healthcare workers, while charting everything they do. Good nurses have a variety of dimensions. A good nurse has scientific knowledge, is able to multitask, has the patience of a saint, is very focused, quick on their feet, careful, attentive and knows when he or she is over their head. Having been in the nursing field, I have tried my best everyday to possess these qualities. Some days are certainly better than others. Overall, a good nurse is someone that the patients can trust. Once trust is lost, it is very difficult to get back. Remember what your favorite nurse was like, and that type of nurse.

If you are a nurse, or planning to become one, remember your own favorite nurse; Whatever you've met them, were cared for by them or worked along side them. Remember them and be like them. You're a favorite nurse likely possessed great qualities and a work ethic that was undeniable. Usually, nurses have a caring soul and the best ones are able to put any personal or professional problems as to do the best they can at their job. Whatever qualities our favorite necessity may possess, the most important thing is that they were trusted by their patients and collections. The patients trusted them to provide good care, keep them informed, give them the right medicines, perform tasks properly, be confident in what they do, be an advocate for them, represent themselves honestly, and realize when they need help. A good nurse must know when they need help. It can be difficult once we become experienced, as most of us do develop some type of ego. While having a small ego is good, it is very important to put it in check some times for the good of the patients. As a nurse, I realize how difficult it is to admit when we are not able to do something, especially when we become experienced; however, it must be done sometimes. A good nurse is one who is remembered for what they do for the patient, not how well they say what they can do.

We must always remember our favorite nurse, in their nurse role, and emulate them in our own unique way. Nurses are people and come in all shapes, sizes and colors, as well as have different personality traits. In the end, the good nurses will instill trust and be more concerned about the care they give, than the accolades they receive. Remember to be your own favorite nurse. Be the type of nurse you would want taking care of you.

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2 Unforgettable NICU Dads – And a Tribute to All

You kindly thought of him this weekend.

Your dad.

Or the man who was more like a father to you than your own. Or your husband, the father of your unique and beautiful kids.

We celebrated them, called them, mourned the loss of them.

At some point during Father's Day, a whole different set of dads crept into my consciousness.

NICU dads.

Whether I've heard them speak at conferences, worked with them in the NICU or read their (few and far between) books, collectively they've chiseled lessons in my mind and heart.

Here are 2 stories that changed me. (Some details changed to protect privacy.)

1. Courage Redefined

His young wife died suddenly, necessitating emergency delivery of their son. He sat stunned day after day in the NICU. He held his tiny son skin to skin, a sight that left staff tearful and hopeful all in the same moment.

There is nothing that prepared him for this. (Nothing that prepared us for it either.)

Yet there were fleeting flecks of hope.

The first time the son opened his eyes long enough to focus on his dad's face. The first bottle. The broad smile of a new dad lost in the irresistible cuteness of his son, taking photo after photo. In those moments the burden of sadness was lifted.

In the NICU we gather those moments like life rings.

We watched him store those moments as gratitude rather than bitterness. We grew from his example.

This strength is unspoken, especially in dads. And often uncelebrated.

He taught me that courage is vulnerability in action.

2. Communication Heals

I read the book Coming to Term by William Woodwell years ago.

This father's account of he and his wife having twins born at 24 weeks taught me many things, this being but one:

A NICU dad is split in two.

He's equally practiced about his wife and children. Who does he take care of first? Where should he be? When is it ok to leave the NICU and go to work? If they live hours away from the NICU how often should he travel to the NICU while still trying to make ends meet? Will his wife survive her condition? Will his daughters survive their extreme prematurity?

Thanks Mr. Woodwell, for serving up a whole new perspective. For giving me a glimpse into the unique perspective of that divided (or multiplied?) Worry and responsibility.

Your story sits on a shelf of favorite books in my office. I work differently with NICU families due to your searing honesty.

Communication improvements lives.


These are just 2 stories of hundreds I could tell you about NICU dads, the men that belong to a club they never intended to join.

They crave information, a little joking around here and there to break the tension, a couple hours out with a friend to talk about anything but the NICU or every detail of it. (Oh, and getting a chance to hold their babies without feeling like they're taking the opportunity from mom)

Their tears are often reserved for time alone in the car or in those moments right before sleep, when fear creeps in with the darkness.

Cheers to you, to all of you. For teaching us more than you ever signed up for.

And most of all, for being able to look at your fragile newborn and rewrite the story of fatherhood with hope and a huge dose of what it really means to be brave.


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The Benefits of a Pressure Mattress

There will be a time in life where we may all need a little bit of help with certain everyday tasks which can be due to our age. But, however there are things which can benefit and help us with those tasks which we may struggle with on a daily basis.

Do you or someone you know struggle to sleep at night due to the pain and discomfort you may feel when you or they are trying to get to sleep. Then investing in a nursing bed could be the best and most beneficial choice to make to try and avoid these problems. They can prevent any discomfort you may normally feel in a normal bed and help to prevent certain things such as bed sores etc. Most are usually made to fit the specific needs a patient has so that they will feel as comfortable as possible.

Nursing beds are available in a number of styles and provide different aspects of care to fit the specific needs of the person who is suffering from any kind of discomfort. Some beds can have their heights adjusted to allow the patient to get in and out easily without having to suffer with any pain or discomfort which they may have had previously. The head rest can also be adjusted to make lowering yourself and getting up easier. Hoists can also be fitted to the beds so that patients can lift themselves up and out of bed easily without the added discomfort.

Pressure mattresses can also be added to nursing beds to add extra comfort and prevent injuries such as bed sores and aches and pains. A pressure mattress can be blown up and extra pressure can be added to certain areas such as the back and feet where pressure ulcers and sores are most likely to occur. A benefit of the pressure mattress is that you can add as much or as little pressure as you would like. Again they can come in a range of styles to suit the person's needs, whether they suffer from back pains, ulcers or any other kind of tissue damage. Air pressure cushions are also widely available for extra added comfort for patients.

As well as air pressure mattresses there are also foam pressure mattresses which specialize in preventing the risk of developing pressure ulcers which occurs from lying in the same position for long periods of time. Foam mattresses vary depending on the risk in which the patient may develop pressure ulcers.

If it's getting out of bed that you struggle with then a hoist might be just the thing you need. These allow patients to transfer themselves out of bed easily without suffering from any aches or pains.

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Finding The Best Online LPN Programs

Hundreds of people are interested in becoming some type of a healthcare professional, and many choose nursing as their choice.A greater alternative to becoming a nurse is enrolling in an online LPN program. There are hundreds of online schools and colleges that offer the online program. Most people are busy with work, family, and other things, and often can not find the time to take classes in a traditional classroom setting. Vocational schools, and different medical institutions also offer the program to interested persons that want to become a nurse. The first thing, and the most important thing in enrolling into a program of nursing online, is to make sure that the school is an accredited school, that meets all standards needing to be met. The governing body that makes sure all programs are up to the standards they need to be the National League Of Nursing Accrediting Commission, better known as the NLNAC.

People that attend online LPN programs are required to take a state licensure examination at the end of the course, just as standard classroom students do. The nursing school in which persons attend, must be on the state's list of nursing list in order for the licensing examination to be legitimate, and students to receive their nursing license after the completion of the program.

Most applicants for the program are required to have obtained their GED or high school diploma, and they must have a GPA of 2.5. Many places that offer the program, require that students take preliminary classes first, while others do not require any prerequisites to begin the program. Before the initial admission into the program, students are required to pass other types of tests first as part of the admission process. Tuition and fees for the online program do vary according to states, and according to what type of facility the student is attending. Prices for the program often start from 1,000 and up. Fees for the program include lab fees, uniform fees, book fees, testing fees, admission fees, application fees, and other types of fees.

The duration of the programs vary according to the types of facilities attended, but the normal range of time for LPN program is around 12 to 18 months. Most people that attend online, are able to be in attendance during the day or at nighttime. People choose this option for several reasons, but the most reason is the convenience of being at home with the family. Couples often have small children that they would prefer not to leave, and sometimes work schedules do not always work out to where people can attend on campus classes. There is always some kind of an online class that will fit a persons schedule. People with a reliable computer and access to the internet, are always able to enroll successfully and begin their online courses. LPN online programs are the best alternative to completing a nursing program when a persons has a limited schedule otherwise.

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