Gabapentin New Drug of Abuse?

17 December, 2015 § Leave a comment

Medscape has posted an article about Gabapentin being a new drug of abuse.  Not one that has crossed my mind, but an interesting read.

Article is here Gabapentin New Drug of Abuse?

Anthony, RN

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Is Nursing a Talent?

18 September, 2015 § Leave a comment

The Washington Post published “Is nursing a talent? You can bet your life on it.” The article is very well written and it confirms what many of us already know: it is a skill that we continually work to keep sharp and update.  In some ways, it is a lot like many of the other talents that were displayed in the Miss America pageant. We juggle a patient load, orders, varying degrees of patient acuity and needs.  We move so quickly up and down the unit that we often feel like we are on (and sometimes need) roller skates.  We have sung to our patients. We have read poetry to them. We tell them jokes. We often work magic.  Indeed, we have many of the same talents as pageant contestants, but we also have so many more talents and skills that are necessary to be a Nurse.

Since the jokes made by the hosts of the View, I have used my skills and talents as a nurse to perform CPR, stabilize a cervical spine with my hands until we were able to place a collar, managed the trach of patients so that they may continue to breath, placed an IV so that a patient could receive live saving medications, comforted and calmed scared and confused patients, decreased someone’s pain, increased someone’s hope, and gave families peace of mind that their loved ones were in good and caring hands. That is only a small fraction of what I and my 3 million colleagues have done.

An Open Letter to the ladies on The View

17 September, 2015 § Leave a comment

To the Hosts of The View

It has taken me a few days to come up with exactly what I wanted to say.  I have expressed my opinion on social media, joined Facebook groups in protest and camaraderie, and discussed the remarks made by you on The View.  I have sat down and though long and hard about what I was seeing happening in the aftermath of the remarks that you had made about myself and my colleagues.  Initially my letter to you was filled with anger over your ignorant comments, but as the hours have passed, some of my anger has passed as well.  Undoubtedly, the ability to continue to move forward, even while angry and hurt over the remarks of another person, is something that I have learned as a Registered Nurse.  It is one of my many skills, but it is by no means my only skill that I utilize as a Nurse.  I assess, investigate, advocate for my patients.  I comfort my patients when they are having the worst times of their lives and provide them with hope.  I offer them assistance and encouragement in order to help them move forward through recovery.  I educate them on their diagnosis, and how to become more healthy.  I have held the hand of dying patients, made them comfortable after I advocated for more medications, and yes, I have used my stethoscope to listen to them take their last breath, to listen to their heart beat its’ last beat as they left this world and because of my stethoscope I was able to pronounce the patient which required that I put my name is credentials on their death certificate.

While you joked on your show about my colleagues, countless numbers of us were saving lives.  Many of us were in Codes, performing chest compressions, inserting IV lines, and delivering medications in order to save the loved one of another.  Some of us may not have even known the patient or the family, but when the call for help rang out, we responded quickly because that is what we do as Nurses.  We often move towards what others will run away from because, like many others of the healthcare team, we have seen life and death and understand that someone must move towards the most horrific parts of the human experience.

As a Nurse, I am also a scientist and a scholar. I use the most recent scientific research, conducted by Nurses, to implement Evidence Based Practice, so that I can ensure that I provide the absolute best care possible.  While your jokes, and your subsequent “apology” make it apparent that you think that we are also stupid, many of us hold multiple degrees, multiple certifications, and have thousands of hours of education under our belts.

We are women. We are men.  We come in all ages, colors, shapes, sizes and backgrounds.  We have various levels of education and certification from Associate Degrees right up to Doctorate Degrees in our field. We are in the community at schools and people’s homes, in Operating Rooms, in Clinics and Family Practices, in Emergency Departments, in Medical Surgical wings, in Rehabs, in Long Term Care facilities, in Critical Care, at your birth and at your death.  We are everywhere.  We are Nurses.

If you do not know a Nurse, please find one.  Perhaps reach out and ask to shadow a Nurse while they work their 8, 12, or 16 hour shift.  Don’t worry, we will be compassionate towards you and do not expect you to be able to keep up.  However perhaps you will be able to learn something about what we do.  While we work, you might even be able to find yourself speaking with a Doctor, trust me they will set you straight in your remarks towards Nurses.

I wish you all well.  I hope none of you ever have to meet any of my colleagues due to an illness, but if you do, just know that we will comfort you, care for you, advocate for you, because we are Nurses and that is what we do and it is just one of our many talents.

Anthony, BA, RN

I am a nurse

The joys of being a Rehab Nurse

24 April, 2015 § Leave a comment

I am sure many of you have seen this video floating around the internet.  A girl that was inexplicably paralyzed for 11 days surprised her favorite nurse by walking from her wheelchair.

This is one of the reasons that I love working in a Rehab.  I often admit patients at one of their worst times, but there is not much that brings me a greatet joy than to see a patient regain use of their extremities, or regain their voice.  I love when our patients come back to visit and they walk down the hall with barely any noticeable deficits. 
This is certainly a joy of nursing.

Google Glass is Saving Lives and Washing Hands in Cold Water as Effective as Hot Water

3 April, 2014 § Leave a comment

Image

Dr. White Coat has a few interesting articles posted in his most recent Medical Update, one of them being a story by national Geographic that states that 

People typically wash their hands seven times a day in the United States, but they do it at a far higher temperature than is necessary to kill germs, a new study says. The energy waste is equivalent to the fuel use of a small country.

 

This is something I have been saying for a long time, and I stopped washing my hands with hot water on the first day of nursing school when the instructor showed us proper hand washing technique and explained why hot water is not necessary, at least not in hand washing.  Why?  We can not safely or comfortably put our hands in water that has reached a temperature needed to kill bacteria.  As it turns out, it looks like National Geographic agrees

Carrico said, “It’s certainly true that heat kills bacteria, but if you were going to use hot water to kill them it would have to be way too hot for you to tolerate.”

She explained that boiling water, 212°F (99.98°C), is sometimes used to kill germs-for example, to disinfect drinking water that might be contaminated with pathogens. But “hot” water for hand washing is generally within 104°F to 131°F (40°C to 55°C.)  At the high end of that range, heat could kill some pathogens, but the sustained contact that would be required would scald the skin.

 

You can read the rest of the National Geographic article here.  So, stop wasting so much energy and wash your hands in cool water.  Besides, hot water can chaff and dry your eyes, causing a breakdown in the skin and giving an opening for bacteria to enter the body.  

The other article Dr. White Coat had posted is entitled “Google Glass is Helping Doctor’s Save Lives. Maybe it is Time to Reconsider the Poorly Received Technology” and it has me very interested.  I love technology and I especially love technology when it helps to make healthcare better and could potential save lives or make the patient experience better (not to mention my job easier and allows me to give better care).  This article speaks about ED Doctors using Google Glass, but in the future this would prove beneficial for the entire treatment team.  Here are a few snippets

Clinicians can now speak with the patient, examine them, and perform procedures while simultaneously seeing data from the ED Dashboard in their field of view.

 

[I]n Indiana, Glass is being used in surgery to aid in the removal of tumors. The doctor is able to look at an MRI of the patient’s tumor at the same time he is removing it, enabling more precise surgery.

 

Seriously folks, despite the current debacles in our healthcare system, there are some bright spots in medicine and as technology progresses, we hope that medicine will progress with it.

What do you think about the study on hand washing? Will you change your habits?

How about the article about using Google Glass in our practices as healthcare practitioners?  Do you think it is a good idea?  Will it help us or hurt us?  How would you feel as a patient if your provider were using Google Glass? 

Anthony

 

 

CPR: A skill even Zombies need

31 March, 2014 § Leave a comment

DisorderlyCNA posted a PSA video about CPR and it is awesome.  If you don’t know CPR, learn it, because a day with the American Red Cross or the American Heart Association, (or the institution for your respective country) could save someone else’s life someday.

Lateral Violence and Bullying in Nursing

24 January, 2014 § Leave a comment

JoAnne, RN has written an excellent article about lateral violence and bullying in nursing and how we can deal with mistakes in a way that builds the profession instead of tearing down our fellow nurses and ancillary staff.  Take the time to read the article here, it is worth it.

Sadly, I have seen lateral violence among nurses and bullying from nurses to ancillary staff, luckily this was mostly in nursing school and environments outside of work.  Sadly, I have also been on the receiving end of said lateral violence.  Nursing is not the only profession that this happens in and before I was a RN I was a clinician in the mental health field.  I imagine this exists in any place where there is a power dynamic at play.

In my own experience, I am pretty good at standing up for myself and when I have been the victim of lateral violence and/or bullying, I immediately called them out on the behavior and justified why I did something based on my professional opinion.  I am always open to constructive criticism, both when I worked in mental health and as a nurse, but outright ridicule or remarks said to others, in a loud manner, that is meant to demean or call into question my abilities, is never acceptable.  I admit, there have been times when I did not always do this, but at this point I try and I hope my fellow nurses do the same.

When we, as nurses, see bullying we must also make it our reaponsibility to stop the bullying immediately.  Just as it is not acceptable for it to happen to us, it is also not acceptable for it to happen to others and we must attempt to end it when we see it.

Now here is the hard part: fixing mistakes and stopping violence and bullying while not engaging in the same violence and bullying ourselves but by coming from a place of compassion, understanding, patience, and teaching.

Have you ever been the victim of lateral violence or bullying? Have you witnessed lateral violence or bullying? What did you do? How can we, as a profession, address this issue?

-Anthony