Nursing Beyond Birth and Babies

I have been a perinatal nurse for over two years now. Most people tend to assume that everything surrounds perinatal nursing is rewarding and miraculous. For the majority of the times, they are, but then there are those moments like the agony of pregnancy, the despair of childlessness or even the grief of death.

Having been assigned to triage, one fine day, it seemed just more busy than usual. I was checking patient after patient. However, by lunchtime, I had managed to clear all the beds and decided to grab a quick lunch. As I was about to leave, a patient walked through the doors followed by her family members.

As I followed this tiny patient onto the triage bed, I could not even tell that she was pregnant. With a tense voice she informed me that her due data was tomorrow but she had not felt her baby move since the night before. Putting the baby monitor on her tiny pregnant tummy, I heard nothing. Instantly, I knew that the baby was no more alive inside her. But, I did not want to give up. I moved the monitor around the little belly over and over again, just hoping that I would get some indication of a baby's heartbeat.

The mother knew. She held her husband's hands and started sobbing softly. In between sobs, she wanted to see her mother who was waiting outside the triage room for her. Just as I approached her, she looked up at me and said, “The baby's gone, right?” As a nurse, I really could not say anything to her. Instead, I held her close and led her to the triage room and told them that the doctor would be on his way shortly.

My heart pained for the parents who'd lost her first child, a grandmother who's lost her first grand-child. The doctor arrived and dropped out the ultrasound machine to the patient's bedside in order to visualize the still and silent heart of her baby. This time, the finality of the situation sunk in as everyone could see on the monitor that the baby's heart was no longer beating. Everyone fought once again. And the only thing that I was grateful for was at that moment the mother had the support of her loved ones around her and that the remaining triage beds in the room was empty. It was never good to hear the cries of a mother who'd lost her baby.

It's not easy job for a nurse to help a patient with a full-term intrauterine foetal demise through labor. Most of us working in this area have been through this at some point of time. Whilst we know the amount of pain that the patient and her family goes through, we as nurses are equally physically and emotionally shattered. You can not offer any comforting words to ease her pain or be able to provide any closure for her. All that is left is the emptiness after experiencing every pain and emotion that comes with labor towards bringing her baby into this world.

We walk a fine line as nurses. We keep praying that she does not have to go home from hospital with a lower-uterine transverse scar as a daily permanent reminder of what she went through during labor.

To the patient, we are just momentary guides through one of the most painful times in their lives. They would not remember everything we said or everything we did. They would never know that we sacrificed for them, alone in an empty room where we would not be seen. And while we see this many times in our way of work, I can truthfully say that I remember every single one of them.

And this is just to let all those mothers who did not get to bring their babies home that your nurse remembers and will always appreciate that a part of you was left behind in that labor room.

{ Add a Comment }

How to Choose the Best Senior Care

It can be hard to admit when you get to an age where you have trouble with tasks that were once simple. You do not want to burden anyone, but taking care of your home plus running errands is starting to become overwhelming. Maybe you've started to forget things and you're afraid of what might happen. What do you do?

Luckily, today's options for senior care are better than ever. It's easy to find a care plan suited for your specific needs.

First, identify which type of living arrangement fits you best. There are a number of different care options.

Types of Senior Care

– 55+ communities generally offer the most independence. You may rent or own your home within the community, and there are usually amenities and activities suited for your lifestyle.
– An independent living facility, or senior housing, also offers you the freedom and comfort of a private residence, but some assistance with daily tasks may be offered.
– Memory care facilities can help take care of you if you are suffering from Alzheimer's disease or have other memory-impairing conditions.
– Assisted living is a good option if you need a little more help with day-to-day chores. Usually meals, laundry, and cleaning are provided, but you still have your own space.
– If you require 24-hour medical support, nursing homes (now known as Skilled Nursing Facilities) have around-the-clock nursing staff to ensure you're always cared for.
– Hospice facilities offer compassionate, skilled care to make the transition easier for you and your loved ones.

Choosing a Facility

Once you decide which type of senior care is best for you, do some research to find communities or facilities you like. Factor in the location, the amenities you prefer, and what fits your budget. Narrow down the options to a small list.

It's very important to visit a facility's site before you make the decision to move there. Make a list of questions before you go. Some questions might include:
– Does the location match the advertising?
– How does the environment fit my lifestyle?
– What is the overall atmosphere?
– Do the other residents seem content?
– Are the public areas comfortable and clean?
– Is the staff friendly?
– Do the staff seem to listen to my concerns?
– Can my family easily visit?
– How close are my preferred doctors and hospitals?
– How much privacy and independence will I maintain?

No matter what level of care you need, chances are that you will find the perfect senior care facility for you. Be proactive, do your research, and be honest with yourself about your needs and abilities. Most importantly, find a place that makes you feel comfortable. At this stage in your life, you deserve to relax and let someone else help you.

{ Add a Comment }

Eight Common Misconceptions About Hospice Care

Although the word hospice is typically associated with end-of-life care, there are many misconceptions about what these services entail. Here are eight incorrect assumptions about hospitice care that can help you understand the benefits of this type of assistance.

1. Hospice is only for patients who are dying.
Many people fear that accepting hospice is the same as “giving up.” In fact, hospital care is appropriate for anyone with a chronic illness or injury that limits ability. Hospice providers are trained to help those individuals live their lives to the fullest, in as much comfort as possible, regardless of how much time they may have left.

2. Hospice requires that you leave your home.
In fact, hospice care can be provided in a variety of settings, including at the person's bedside at home. While some hospital services are hospital or nursing home based, it's not necessary to be in one of those places to enroll in hospitality. In fact, the American Hospice Organization estimates that up to 70 percent of hospital patients receive care at home.

3. Hospice means the end of traditional medical care.
While it's true that hospice focuses on comfort care, that does not need to mean that other treatments will be discontinued. Hospice providers work hand-in-hand with the existing medical team to identify solutions that place the patient and family at the center of care. If you have a doctor you trust, he or she will still be involved in your care if you enter hospice.

4. Hospice is limited to a period of six months.
While Medicare typically approves hospice care in two 90-day increments, that does not mean that you are unable to receive this type of care when that period ends. In fact, if your doctor recommends hospitality, the recommendation can be for an indefinite period of time. Some individuals even discontinue hospice and return later as needed.

5. Hospice patients are sedated with pain medication.
Although hospice patients do receive pain control, it's not limited to prescription medications. Care providers incorporate a variety of physical, mental, and spiritual methods to keep patients comfortable, including but not limited to yoga and other relaxation methods, art or music therapy, counseling, group support, and occupational or physical therapy.

6. Hospice is only for cancer patients.
While many cancer patients do receive hospice care, it's also common for those with HIV or AIDS, lung disease, cardiovascular disease, neuromuscular disorders, and Alzheimer's disease or dementia. In fact, the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization estimates that up to 50 percent of hospital patients have a diagnosis other than cancer or AIDS.

7. Hospice is not affordable for most people.
In fact, this type of care is covered by Medicare as well as by many Medicaid and private insurance carriers.

8. Those in hospitality can no longer be cared for by family members.
To the contrary, hospice providers welcome the involvement of loved ones, and are on call 24 hours a day to assist family caregivers. In addition, a large part of this type of care is providing support and grief counseling for family members of the patient receiving hospitality.

{ Add a Comment }

Four New Trends in Nursing Homes

As Americans live longer, many of the traditional nursing homes of years past are relocating to a person-centered model of care. As the Baby Boomer generation ages, they have clear ideas about the way they want to receive care. According to data from the Pew Research Center, 18 percent of Americans will be older than age 65 by 2020, compared to just 13 percent of Americans by 2010. In response to these results as well as to the rising cost of medical care, seniors are increasingly able to “age in place,” receiving nursing home level care in the privacy and comfort of their own home rather than in a facility setting. Read on to learn more about how nursing homes are changing, and how these changes will affect your loved ones who need care.

Increased Technology for Senior Care
The pervasive use of technology in most aspects of our lives is also reflected in senior care solutions. Modern nursing homes are increasingly introducing a range of smart technologies for residents, including wireless networks that allow seniors to access instant support from their care teams. Another popular option is the provision of smart computer systems that allow residents and caregivers to track medications, vital signs, and more.

Designated Memory Care
As Alzheimer's disease and dementia progress, intensive individualized care is needed. Many nursing homes are designing specific units for these patients, with a focus on dignity, socialization, and 24-hour care and supervision. These units typically have either private or semi-private rooms. Certain communities are even specifically designed to harken back to days of yore, mirroring a patient's past while he or she increasesly retreats into long-term memory as the disease progresses.

Aging in Place
Rather than relying on institutional models of care for aging adults, families are more likely to take steps that help seniors receive care at home. This often takes the form of multigenerational living, in which homes are expanded or modified to add space and facilities for aging family members. Home care services allow older adults to receive the individualized care they need outside of a nursing home setting. For many seniors, home care is a less expensive alternative to assisted living care and allows the availability of a nurse or aide to be tailor to the patient's needs.

Co-operative Assisted Living
This care model allows a small group of seniors to live in a community setting with health care and other services available. This lower cost model combines the convenience and care of a nursing home setting with the shared amenities typically associated with a standard housing development. Residents share not only medical care facilities but also fitness and swimming facilities, rideshare, gardens, and other features. With this rise in cooperative living comes a trend for lifestyle-specific senior communities, such as those for LGBT or other special interest groups.

Whether your family member currently needs care or you're planning for your own health care needs after retirement, today's older adults have more options than ever when it comes to nursing home care.

{ Add a Comment }

Nursing and Our Senses

As nurses, we are grateful for monitoring equipment. The equipment tells us what we need to know at the touch of a button. But, we also know that relying on these machines alone can take the skill out of nursing. In the absence of monitoring equipment, there is no need to panic. The human body possesses what we need to carry out a basic if not effective nursing, life-saving assessment / judgment should things go wrong – our senses! A nurse needs to be able to tell if something is 'off' just by using their senses. The following are some tips on how we can utilize these senses and act in a timely manner so also being able to save lives.

1. The eyes.
There is no greater tool to a nurse than the eyes. You can tell a lot just by casting a quick glance at your patient. Straight away you can tell how critical they are just by observing their color, the rhythm of their breathing, chest movement or lack of it, a bleeding wound, a swollen leg, urine color and any other physical signs of distress you can think of. Once you've noticed an abnormality, you can proceed with caution.

2. The ears
If a patient is unstable, they will make abnormal sounds. Sounds that indicate something is wrong with, sometimes, their airways such as wheezing, gurgling, stridor and so on. At other times, there are no sounds at all, which would also indicate a complete airway obstruction in some cases. So, using your ears, you will be able to ascertain whether your patient is making the right kind of sounds. If it is not breathing, they may cry / scream, or try to tell you something. Gather the facts with your ears and from then on, you will be able to act accordingly.

3. The hands
If anything, nursing is a hands-on job. You can not be a nurse and not get your hands dirty. When faced with a sticky situation, take the time to feel your patient. Feel their pulse, their breath and skin. They are warm enough, too warm, cold or clammy. That alone can tell you all you need to know about your suffering patient.

4. Smell
There is a lot that a nurse can tell just by using their sense of smell. Be it the smell of your patient's urine, an infected wound or stools. Once you've established something does not smell right, a nurse is able to proceed with confidence.

5. Taste
In 1674, Thomas Willis described the taste of urine in diabetic patients as 'wonderfully sweet as if it were imbued with honey or sugar.' I know what you're thinking. Yacky right? Well, not according to those who nursed in the olden days. Before technology was developed the way it has, doctors and nurses, in some parts, used to taste urine for infection. Thank goodness we do not have to do that anymore. We have advanced technology now and we are able to diagnose at the press of a button.

6. Trust your instinct
Nurses have an uncanny way of using their gut to determine if / when something is not quite right with their patients. This, in my view, is what makes a nurse a bit special. Nurses are able to achieve this because they are the ones who spend the most amount of time with the patient and offer hands-on care, so, they can tell when a characteristic is out of the ordinary, even without medical evidence at first. So if you're a nurse like me and you get that feeling in the pit of your stomach, that something is not quite right, then it probably is not. Go with your gut and tell the doctor what you think and let them know what your concerns are. The worst thing that could happen is you'll annoy the hell out of the on-call doctor who was getting ready to take a nap after a long day at work. Better to be safe than sorry!

Although machines have made nursing something 'easy' these days, I reckon we were given all the tools, the machines we needed to do a reasonably sound nursing assessment. Our eyes, ears, noses, mouths (okay maybe not so much now) and gut instinct provide us with all the information we need to prevent danger from occurring to our patient. Let's use them. Done enough times, the confidence and skill you gain from practicing with your senses are indicative. You will feel satisfied and glad and so will your patient!

{ Add a Comment }

Factors Affecting the Cost of Urgent Care

Urgent care is a type of walk-in clinic and is used when your physician does not have hours or it is urgent that you see a physician and your physician does not any appointments for that day. This type of clinic can be considered a bridge between the emergency room and your physician's office. Some accidents you might need to be seen in urgent care if you can not see your regular physician can include a fall, severe sore throat, a cough that has gotten worse, a cut that is bleeding and will not stop but does not need stitches, etc . Basically it can be anything medical that is not considered life-threatening. Some who do not have a personal physician may go to this clinic for routine physicals for school, work, or insurance. Going to this type of clinician is less expensive that going to the emergency room but a little higher than going to see your physician. It is advised that you use urgent care first if you can not get in to see your physician. This kind of medical care is also referred to as immediate care or ambulatory car.

When going to urgent care there are many factors that affect what your bill will be. Some of these factors are:

• The location of the facility-if the clinic is not located on the same grounds as the hospital and / or doctor's offices the real estate market in certain areas of the city then often dictates the amount of rent the owners of the clinic has to pay monthly. This can result in the bill for urgent care to be a little higher to help pay for the monthly rent.

• The contracts the clinic has with its staff-this means that some urgent care clinics have on staff physicians to provide care while others rely on physician assistants and nurse practitioners to provide the care. If it is a physician they will command a higher salary than the others. In addition, if they employ a registered nurse their salary would be higher than a certified medical assistant.

• The types of treatment and care that you need.

• If you have private insurance or insurance that is covered by a government program like Medicare or Medicaid.

• The type of equipment the clinic has on its promises because if the clinic has extensive diagnostic equipment it contributes to the higher cost for medical services. The maintenance can also contribute to the higher cost.

As you can see there are many different factors that can affect what your urgent care bill will be.

{ Add a Comment }

How To Give Your Nursing Career A Boost

Nursing is an honorable profession that involves going the extra mile to take care of patients and ensure they remain safe and comfortable. The healthcare industry is largely made up of the nursing workforce and when you are able to increase your skills and knowledge, you can go very far in your nursing career. If what you are looking for is a promotion, there are so many things you can work on to give your career a boost and go up the ladder.

1. Advance your education

A BSN is no longer enough to take you higher, you should consider getting an MSN to open up career doors. Considering that you can enjoy online classes, you really do not have to put your job on hold to continue with your education. You can choose a nursing program that is convenient enough for your job schedule. An advanced degree will definitely get you to executive level roles in your nursing career.

2. Keep on learning

Even when you finally get your degree, you should put effort in improving your knowledge in your field. Sometimes volunteer opportunities and attending conferences and meetings can go a long way in keeping you up to date with the nursing field and health care industry at large. It is important to remember that nursing is a fluid profession and there will always be technology changes and new information. To work better you must be up to speed with the latest.

3. Learn to communicate effectively

As a nurse you will come across all kinds of patients. Without proper communication skills, it will be very hard to handle some of them. Apart from knowing how to communicate with your patients, you must also know how to handle their loved ones and offer the best health care you can. You should start by being a very good listener to communicate effectively. Pay attention to the patient's verbal and non-verbal cues and respect their perspective and you will go a long way in your career. You must remember to respect their fears, opinions, literacy and their way of digestion news that are not as pleasant.

4. Respect the privacy of your patients

Medical information is very private and as so it should remain. To be a reputable and responsive nurse you must learn how to limit the information you can openly share with anyone including colleagues in the clinical setting. Even if you know the patient on a personal level you can not distinguish sensitive information to anyone else but complicated the diagnosis is. Your patient information should be treated with utmost privacy and respect.

5. Join professional nursing organization

It can prove to be very valuable when it comes to professional development, education, advocacy and networking. When you join such an organization, you are able to create communities of shared interests where current information can be shared, maintain professional knowledge and practice proficiency. The organization can also be resourceful in offering webinars and conferences that improves education among the nurses.

{ Add a Comment }

The Pros And Cons Of Being A Nurse Anesthetist

A nurse anesthetist undergoes training in anesthesiology to be able to administrator anesthesia. In hospitals and surgery centers the nurse works under a certified anesthesiologist's supervision. Just like any other career path, this one does have its pros and cons. It would be a good idea to weigh them when deciding whether it is the right career path for you.

The pros

The pay is attractive. Nurse anesthetists are highly paid and it is actually the learning potential that attracts many to the professional field. You can be sure to enjoy decent living when working with this job profile.

It offers you the ability to assist those in need. Contrary to what many people think, the nurses are not only there to administrator anesthesia but also for pain management. They take care of patients before a surgery, during the surgery and after the surgical procedure. They therefore offer lots of help to the patients making them vital people in all types of surgeries. You will love the feeling of saving a life through a successful procedure you played a role in when you are a nurse anesthetist.

The job interviews professional respect. This is a title that demands professional respect, considering that you end up working with doctors, surgeons and other nurses who are on each other or successful care delivery to patients. You will get more responsibility and autonomy when you are a nurse anesthetist and surgeons and doctors will rely on your advice and expertise too.

You get the freedom to control patient care. This is a fast paced field and decisions are made based on experience and education. In most cases you will manage to make decisions without involving anyone else to safeguard patient health and safety.

The Cons

The position comes with great responsibility on your part. As a nurse anesthetist you must be ready to deal with difficult situations, some of which could have you sued by patients or their family members. It actually helps to be insured just to be on the safe side when situations arise.

You may end up working long hours. Surgical procedures can be quite long and as a nurse anesthetist you must be there through checking on your patient. Some can go longer than expected and after they are done you still have to take care of the patient through recovery. If you are a sole nurse anesthetist in a health facility, then you would have to be ready to attend to more than one surgery in a day sometimes.

It can get boring. This is because you do not play any active role during surgery procedures yet you need to be present to monitor patient response to the anesthesia. You may need to sit through boring long surgeries

The field is very competitive and you would have to impress your employer to get hired for the job. Nurse anesthetist programs are challenging to get into but many are struggling to earn the degree and you need to be well cut out to beat the competition.

{ Add a Comment }

If Seal Is Broken (Might As Well Laugh)

Everywhere I look, there is some reminder of the upcoming election. (There's a job I will not be signing up for!) But then it stuck me-sometimes, being a nurse is like being President.

No. Air Force One will not be stopping by this morning to bring you into work. The odds are that you do not have a detachment of Secret Service personnel guarding you around the clock. There is not a brass band that plays “Hail to the Chief” every time you walk in the room (but would not that be cool?).

However there are some similarities. For one, as a nurse, you are almost guaranteed to share this experience with the President: something will go wrong when you least expect it.

The event was Fortune's Most Powerful Women summit and President Obama began his address. And then-THUD! The Presidential Seal on the front of the legal fall off and hit the floor!

“Oh, goodness,” he said. “That's all right.” There, with the eyes of the world upon him, President Obama smiled and said, “All of you know who I am.”

The audience – both those people who were in the room and those who spoke the incident any of the hundreds of times it aired on the news – laughed. The moment passed, and the President moved on.

I have to say, on some small scale, I know how he feels. Nurses always have an audience watching their every move-and sometimes things go wrong.

Have you ever been hurrying through your day-moving as fast as you can because apparently hourly rounds means seeing the patient once an hour, not taking an hour every time you make rounds! (Who knew?) – only to step in what is known as a Spill-of-Unspecified-Origin and go slip-sliding across the room?

I know I have. (More than once, actually.)

President Obama demonstrated the perfect technique to use in these situations: acknowledge what happened, address it with humor, and move on.

Which is why the best thing to do in these situations, after you've made sure nothing was injured in the incident besides your dignity, is to stand up and announce, “It's tough, training for the World Acrobatics Competition. in all the practice I can get! ”

Your patient will certainly appreciate your commitment to the tumbling arts, but that's not the only benefit of using humor in potentially embarrassing situations.

First, the use of humor can disperse the tension and discomfort that arise when something goes wrong. Patients know that they do not have to be worried about what happened: by joking, you're assuring them that the situation is not serious. Considering the fact that patients are carrying at least some tension and stress with them just by the very nature of being in the hospital, that's a relief.

Second, like the President, a nurse is a leader. And while the fate of our country does not lie on our shoulders, the fate of our patients and their families is something we do carry with us, often long after our shift is over. Our patients look to us for many things: information about what's going to happen next, insight about what their experience is going to be like, and guidance about the best way to deal with what's coming.

Sometimes the nature of our work necessitates emotional distance between us and our patients. But when we laugh, and we make it safe and appropriate for our patients to laugh too, both parties are reminded of their larger roles: members of the human race, in a world seemingly determined to throw petty obstacles in our way. What can we do but laugh?

Well, laugh-and make sure our seals are firmly affixed to the lectern at all times!

© 2016. All rights reserved. Reprint rights granted so long as all links are made live.

{ Add a Comment }

The Pros and Cons of Having a Career in Nursing

Why would anyone ever go into nursing? If you are asking this question, you are likely very familiar with the negative side of the nursing profession. I've been a nurse for about 8 years, and I too am well aware of the cons. Thankfully, I've also been privy to the many benefits of being a nurse. Let me enlighten you to both sides of the coin.

The Cons of a Career in Nursing

  1. Ignorant people will see you as a glorified waiter or waitress. They probably picture you fetching bedpans all day. Which brings me to con # 2
  2. You will have to fetch a bunch of bedpans.
  3. Sometimes you will feel underpaid for the work you do. Just remember the difference you are making.
  4. You will be understaffed most of the time. This is something you have to deal with in many fields now.
  5. You will work long hours, half the time on holidays and weekends.
  6. Nursing school is very challenging. You will have to study more than most college students.
  7. There are health risks to working in the medical field. You could be exposed to any number of ailments. There are, however, a lot of resources and safeguards put in place to prevent this.

Do not let this list scare you just yet. There are still a lot of benefits to being a nurse. Read a little longer before you make your decision.

The Pros of a Career in Nursing

  1. You will positively impact the lives of your patients and their families. Even when your patients have bad consequences, you still can make a positive impact. This alone could have been enough of a reward to go into the field.
  2. There are so many different areas to work in nursing. You can do bedside nursing in dozens of different roles, or you can do something like case management. You can go into administration, research, or even blogging like I did.
  3. The field of nursing has some of the best job security of any profession. If you can not find a job in one specialty, there is always another option.
  4. Most nurses only work 3 days a week. I prefer to work a regular schedule, but this type of schedule does afford you the ability to get things done during the week.
  5. You will constantly be challenged to grow and improve yourself. This is something that may seem difficult at first, but it will help you tremendously later in your career.
  6. You will have an entire community of fellow nurses. Nurses tend to stick together. They are your band of brothers … or sisters. Nurses have to rely on each other constantly. This creates a unique closeness not always found in other fields.
  7. Last but not least, you get to wear scrubs to work, leading your friends to think your life is like Gray's Anatomy. I assure you that it will not be. There are not really any nurseries on that show anyway.

There are so many more pros than I was able to put on this list. Nursing is a challenging and rewarding career. Unfortunately, it's not for everyone. If the “Pros” did not convince you, and the “Cons” scared you, then nursing probably is not for you. It takes a unique person to make a good nurse.

{ Add a Comment }

Passing the NCLEX

The Goal? To pass the NCLEX on the first try, optimally within the first 75-questions.

The Reality: 15% of first-time test takers will not reach that goal (NCLEX).

That statistic should not alarm you. An 85% pass-rate is high for such a challenging test, and 44% of those who take the test the second time will absolutely pass it. However, it should inspire you to do everything you can to join the 84.53% of US Educated test-takers who pass the NCLEX the first time around.

Tips for Passing the NCLEX

The following tips can help you achieve the passing score you deserve after all those hours of nursing education and training.

1. Get Your Bachelor's Degree . The highest NCLEX pass rate for first-time test takers (87.49%) are US educated nurses with a baccalaureate degree. That extra education and training pays off. In addition to helping you pass the NCLEX, a BS or BA, will also increase your chances of advancement once you become a nurse, further preparing you for an advanced nursing degree or certificates, like a nurse practitioner or nurse anesthetist, later on in your career.

2. Do not rely on cramming. Unlike other tests, the NCLEX is not designed to see how many stats or acute facts you've memorized. Rather, it's designed to ensure you know enough to proceed as an entry-level nurse. You are not expected to know everything, but you are expected to be competent. Cramming will not work because the test requires a comprehensive knowledge of nursing and that kind of knowledge requires time to absorb.

3. Study what you do not know . Think about how you study. Do you continue to review flashcards or notes you know by heart? This is waste of time. Instead, whittle studying materials to the subjects / facts you do not know or are struggling with and eliminate the rote stuff so it does not take up valuable study time.

4. Find the best study guide for you . It's worth it to purchase a reputable study guide, one that provides sample questions and factoids along with test-taking strategies. Some popular examples include Saunders Strategies for Test Success or the Lippincott Q & A Review. There are also plenty of online sources and apps available to help you as well.

5. Create a realistic study plan . Creating a manic and unrealistic NCLEX study schedule – eliminating adequate breaks, nourishment, and good ol 'fashion fun – will inhibit your brain from working effectively. Instead, soothe nerves by creating a realistic study schedule that includes a balance of study time and break time, along with your school and other responsibilities – and then stick to it.

6. Study with a group. Studying with a group is especially helpful for audio and kinesthetic learners, for whatever text-only reviews can be tiring and inefficient. Working with a group also helps to balance levels of expertise; sometimes one or two people are experts at pharmacology while you have a stronger edge on the psychosocial aspects of the test.

7. Eat well & get plenty of rest . The better you fuel your body through nursing school and the NCLEX prep period, the better prepared the brain will be on test day. A healthy lifestyle will help you absorb and retain more material and will help you remain more alert and energetic. Similarly, the brain functions best when it's well-rested. Get optimal hours of sleep each night – most importantly the few nights leading up to the test.

8. Show up early. Leave plenty of time to arrive at the test destination. You may have to forfeit your NCLEX appointment if you arrive 30-minutes or later. Map the route ahead of time and schedule your departure time accordingly.

Best of luck!

{ Add a Comment }

How to Safeguard Latino Patients Practicing Alternative Remedies

Studies reveal that 70% or more of recent immigrants from Latin America use herbal or other alternative remedies [1], but many of them do not self-disclose this information to their doctors. You can imagine the potential risks of contraindications in treating these patients. Why might Latin American immigrant patients interacting with the US healthcare system not share this information with their doctors?

With a little introspection, it's not difficult to understand. For healthcare providers, these are some questions you may ask yourself.

  • Does the physician, nurse or technician ask about alternative treatments?

Do not assume patients will volunteer information without being asked. Latin American immigrants coming from socialized systems of medicine are not professionally trained to be their own advocates. Some patients simply will not disclose any information, pertinent or extraneous, if the doctor does not ask.

Some Hispanic patients may be used to having doctors engage them in casual conversation, possibly disguised as a diagnostic tool to conceal medical information. In Latin American cultures, good professional relationships are formed by getting to know patients before treating them. Some social engagement will also help US healthcare professionals earn the trust of their patients. Establishing a social relationship of trust will help convince the patient to follow physician's recommendations, even if only to avoid indicating the doctor.

  • Does the physician, nurse or technician define what they mean by “alternative” remedies?

Healthcare providers need to be specific when asking patients about the use of alternative remedies. Asking “What else are you taking?” is not sufficient. This could have been interpreted as “What other conventional medicines are you taking?” But what about teas and herbs, massages, sweating, aroma therapy, spiritual cleansings? Find a better way to open this conversation with your patient. Also, it would help clearly to really understand the background of your Latino population. Has anyone in your facility canvassed the local community to discover the most common alternative practices? It could save a patient from unnecessary risk. If the locals like to treat their babies' colic with chamomile tea or teeth pains with clover oil, are they aware of the risks of conjunctivitis or toxicity if swallowed? Be specific, with examples, when gauging your patient's involvement with alternative remedies.

  • Does the medical professional feel comfortable inquiring about treatments with which he or she is unfamiliar?

The obvious solution to this situation is for doctors and nurses to inform themselves about potential harmful interactions from the typical herbal remedies practiced by the local community. But even without this expertise, inquiring is better for patient care than not inquiring. No one knows all of the answers. That's why there are specialists! A referral to a pharmacist or other related professional can help inform the patient and his or her physician.

  • Is the patient afraid to disclose this information because of past negative interactions with judicialal healthcare providers?

There are effective and ineffective ways of discussing this topic. Disapproving looks and stern warnings intimidate patients into non-disclosure. A bad experience makes it more difficult for the next encounter with healthcare providers and could sabotage compliance in follow-up care. Casual curiosity combined with a neutral tone is a better tactic. If the patient does disregard the use of alternative or complementary treatments which are NOT contraindicated for their conditions, then encouraging the patient to continue practicing harmless practices may enhance their compliance. Patients with long-term ailments became suspicious of the efficacy of their physician's advice when improvement is not swift and significant. But now the patients who are simultaneously following harmless alternatives are 'inoculated' against reverting to natural remedies as their cure and abandoning doctor's orders!

  • In which language is the diagnostic interview being conducted?

Many recent immigrant patients are not proficient in English. There will be language barriers to overcome. Immigrant patients unassimilated into the US healthcare system may be shy about volunteering information, especially to healthcare professionals that they consider to be authority figures. Having a Spanish-language interpreter who is knowledgeable about US diagnostic procedures and about healthcare practices in Latin America can be your and your patient's best ally. US born “legacy” speakers of Spanish will help bridge the linguistic gap. However, interpreters recruited from among the immigrant community will be even better suited for this job!

[1] See http://www.jabfm.org/content/19/6/566.full and http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2203387/

{ 1 Comment }

A Day in the Life of an Aged Care Worker

Are you thinking of getting a job as an aged care worker? Maybe you are still considering your options. We will like to help you make up your mind by letting you know what a typical day of an age care worker looks like.

An agreed care worker job is a very rewarding job, you will have a tremendous opportunity to help those who can not help them. to be the reason someone else is happy.

So now, what does a day in the life of an aged care worker look like? A job as an agreed care workers means that you will be working in a professional environment where your job entailing providing care and support to people with a physical or / and intellectual challenges in an individual residence or in a group home. You will be charged with lots of responsibilities which include providing support to meet their daily personal needs, providing behavioral support, coming up with programs to support clients to develop skill and abilities, supporting them emotionally and encouraging them to develop personal and social relationships.

You will also be required to help clients to participate in their community. Not only will you encourage them to participate, it is also your duty to help them get ready for it both physically and mentally. You are responsible of making sure that they dress properly, eat properly and take their medications according to the doctor's prescription. You may also be required to help clients with transportation when necessary.

An ideal worked care worker needs some qualities to be able to carry out their work effectively, you need to be:

Compassionate
Respectful
Responsible
Caring
Patient
Tolerating
Down to earth and
Practical

You should be able to functions as a part of a professional team and also be able to work independently with no or minimum supervision.

You may choose to work full-time or part-time. If you are working full-time, depending on your arrangement with your employer, you may be required to live in the same house with your clients. Living in the same house means that you will be at the beck-and-call of the client 24 hours a day, of course, this extra task is considered in your payment package.

Working part-time requires that you show up for work as at the time agreed with your employer. Once it is your shift, you are responsible for taking complete care of the client.

Workers are handsomely rewarded, of course with high claims which are expected to increase with the roll-out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). There is expected to be a growing demand for aged care workers over the next 5 years. This means that if you are to get a job now as an aged care worker, you are going to gain lots of experience before the sector becomes scheduled.

A career as an aged care worker is a noble one. You will have a chance to make an impact in the life of other people. A day in life of age care worker is just like every other day in the other job except that you go home fulfilled with inner peace of having helped someone else other than yourself. Some days the job gets hard, other days it is just the same quiet uneventful day.

{ Add a Comment }

Why Nurses Need A Shoe With Arch Support

Nurses will stand on their feet a large portion of their shift, which increases their risks of food injuries and disorders. If you have ever found yourself regrets your shoe choice, then it may be time to invest in another name brand shoe. Below you will discover why nurses need a shoe with arch support.

Foot Pain

A shoe that does not provide arch support will leave you with tender, sore feet. No one wants to work all day only to return home with painful feet. The midsole should be designed to keep your arch supported all day long. Low-quality shoes will offer some support, but not enough for a 12-hour nursing shift.

A shoe with arch support will reduce your foot pain, injuries, and risks for disorders.

Padded Instep

A padded instep will definitely keep the top of your foot comfy and snug all day long. You would be surprised to discover how much stress can be put on the top of the foot, by an unpadded instep. When you squat, walk, or run the instep will put pressure on the top of the foot, which will eventually cause pain, inflammation, and edema.

A padded instep will reduce the pressure placed on the top of the foot, when performing these activities.

Air Circulation System

Shoes that do not have adequate ventilation will cause your feet to sweat more than normal. Not only will this increase your risk for developing athlete's feet, but it will also cause undesirable foot odor. A nursing shoe with ventilation holes will keep your feet cool and dry all day long. You can also add a little baby or foot powder to the inside of your shoe to help absorb the moisture.

Rocker Bottom

Shoes that are equipped with a bottom designed to rock back and forth, when walking, will decrease feet and lower leg fatigue. A rocker bottom will improve your balance and coordination, will preventing fatigue.

Plantar Fascia

The plantar fascia is a band of connective tissue that supports the sole of the foot and attaches the calcaneus (heel) to the head of the toes. If your shoes do not offer suitable arch support, you will risk injuring these tendons. When this occurs, the tendons will become edematous, inflamed, and painful.

Plantar fasciitis just happens to be the common cause of foot pain. While this is only a minor injury, it can be very debilitating due to the symptoms of the condition. You may even find yourself having difficulty standing or ambulating, which could lead to calling in sick to work.

Conclusion

As you can see, all nurses need a pair of shoes with arch support. You should protect yourself from injuries, by investing in a high-quality pair of nursing shoes. If you suffer from foot pain, while you are at work, your focus and concentration level will be drastically decremented.

{ Add a Comment }

Importance of Hiring Private Care and Nurses

The advances in the health care system as well as improved medical technologies paved the way for human animals to enjoy a longer life expectancy today than a decade or so ago. As humans reach their 70s – 80s, many individuals tend to work longer years than it used to be. Due to this scenario, it opens up a lot of questions with regards to health care in the family as parents work longer hours and elderly individuals tend to live by themselves for many years. This is where the role of caregivers or nursing aides becomes more important than ever before. Caregivers or nursing aides fill several roles in the family and below are just some of the important roles they play.

Caregivers for People with Special Needs

Many caregivers are trained to cater to kids or individuals who have special needs. While parents can take care of their kids with disabilities, taking care of them full-time can be taxing and stressful. Caregivers that are SPED trained not only take care of people with disabilities, but they also teach or educate them. These usually include teaching kids to perform their daily needs such as hygiene or personal grooming, preparing their own food and even studying. This helps the special kids to become independent in certain levels and would insure that they would be able to survive in situations where they outlive their parents or guardians.

Nursing Aides for Elderly Care

These individuals are trained to help seniors in a variety of ways. Some are hired to do daily chores for their patients such as light housekeeping and do errands. Other nursing aides are hired as private nurses not only to be the patient's live-in caregivers but also trained to monitor the patient's well-being and this includes monitoring medicine take and overall health. Other nursing aides are also trained for end-of-care which includes alleviating the patient's pain and caring for their needs and helping families by providing emotional support.

Which Person is the Best One for You?

Whether it is a child with special needs or an elderly person, choosing the right caregiver to perform the duties that you want is important. Caregivers normally under 6 months of training and are qualified to perform basic jobs such as taking care of a patient's daily activities. Nursing aides are different as more often than not, they underwent training for longer periods than caregivers and are more qualified when it comes to dispensing medicine or anything that requires taking care of the overall health of the patient. Consulting with your doctor can help you decide which type of personnel meets your needs.

{ Add a Comment }