This is beyond awesome! I can blog from my DROID!
Monday, August 2, 2010
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Nurses hear it all: The good, the bad, and the (very, very!) ugly. From pushy patients to bossy doctors, nurses handle it all with grace. But there are some things that can get under the most tolerant nurse’s skin. NursingLink staff members talked to healthcare professionals, one another and (of course!) nurses to find out what phrases or questions were most irritating. Ever felt like strangling someone with your stethoscope? Then you probably heard one of these 10 things.
10. “Helloooooo, Nurse!”
Okay. We get it. We’ve all seen the cartoons with the buxom nurse who is swooned over by a wolf, or a man, or an Animaniacs character. It wasn’t funny or original the first dozen times you heard it, and it certainly hasn’t made a positive impact 10 years later.
You’re not an object to be fawned over. You’re saving lives here! You don’t have time to be ogled. Luckily, younger generations have probably never heard the phrase, so you can hope that it will be phased out soon.
9. “Do You Only Date Doctors?”
Puh-lease. Anyone who has actually spent any time around a doctor knows that dating one is next to impossible. Crazy hours. Constant stress. Big egos. Who wants to put up with that? Plus, everyone knows you shouldn’t “dip your pen in the company ink.” Spending 12-plus hours with someone can make you form an incredibly close bond, but that doesn’t mean your co-workers will make the best significant others.
Anyone who asks a nurse this is clearly watching too much Grey’s Anatomy and needs their head examined.
8. “C’mon. Nursing is Just Like on TV!”
What were we just saying about people who watch too much Grey’s Anatomy? While medical shows are a great form of entertainment – tons of nurses watch them, too – that doesn’t mean they are an accurate portrayal of when hospital life is like. Nursing organizations have even taken up arms against nurse-centered shows like Nurse Jackie and HawthoRNe. Prior to these shows, nurses were almost never the focus of a medical TV show. Nurses were merely in the background emptying bedpans or taking orders.
But we know the truth. Nurses are the foundation of any good health system. They don’t have time to be the center of attention because they are always cleaning up a (metaphorical) mess a doctor has left.
7. “Nurses Take Orders From Doctors”
Nurses work alongside other nurses. They report to other nurses. They belong to organizations and unions just for nurses. Edie Falco of Nurse Jackie put it perfectly when she said “Doctors diagnose. Nurses save lives.” When it comes down to it, nurses are the ones in the trenches. Because they spend the most time with patients, they can be counted on to know when something is wrong or if a patient has made any progress.
Doctors and nurses may work side-by-side, but nurses are responsible for nurses.
6. “What’s Taking So Long?!”
Patients depend of nurses to keep their healtcare experience a positive one. But we all know that things can get hectic in the medical field. Emergencies and unpredictable accidents can happen on a daily basis which means patients may not always be seen when they thought they would. Having a patient gripe at you and ask “What’s taking so long?!” can be irritating, especially if you are trying your hardest to make sure everyone is taken care of. It’s in stressful situations like this that it’s sometimes easier to snap instead of calmly explain that you are doing your best.
5. “So…You Can Score Me Some Meds, Right?”
Shows like Nurse Jackie and House, MD make it seems like any nurse can walk right into a pharmacy and get whatever he/she wants. We know that’s totally not true, but those who aren’t in the medical field often believe it. Many nurses have friends or family members who ask them to score some meds they don’t have a prescription for – without even considering the fact that the nurse could lose her/his license!
Most nurses can laugh this off, but, for others, it’s a real problem. To banish this stereotype (and this request!), there needs to be continual education of consumers.
4. “What Does a Nurse Do?”
Coming from a 5th grader who is doing a report on what she wants to be when she grows up, this question is sweet. Coming from a snarky patient, this question is almost intolerable. What doesn’t a nurse do? Let’s see… Nurses care for patients, chart, memorize and administer medication, write care plans, take direction, give direction, handle emergencies, handle stress, handle “dirty jobs” doctors don’t want to do…
The list goes on and on.
3. “I’m Just a Nurse”
Just a nurse? No such thing! I’m sure you’ve heard a fellow nurse say something along these lines. Doesn’t it make you crazy?! Nurses are the backbone of any successful healthcare facility, so stand up and be proud!
Similarly, you might hear “I’m just an LPN.” Well, LPNs are nurses, too! (And don’t you forget it!)
2. “Anyone Can Be a Nurse”
What?! Anyone can deal with juggling 20-person patient loads, keeping track of dozens of medications, handling emergencies with grace, and charting it all correctly? (And more!) Yeah, right. Nursing is not for everyone, which is why not everyone is a nurse. Nurses have a special set of qualities that set them apart from everyone else.
Anyone can be a nurse? I’d like to see them try.
1. “Why Didn’t You Become a Doctor?”
This utterly annoying and disrespectful question comes in a variety of forms: “Why didn’t you become a doctor?” “Why don’t you want to be a doctor?” “Did med school sound too hard?” No matter the variance, the underlying insult is the same: Doctors are better than nurses. Not true! Let’s see a doctor take on everything a nurse handles with ease.
You know what they say: Behind every good doctor is a better nurse!
Monday, July 6, 2009
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Saturday, April 4, 2009
Thursday, I walked into a patients room while getting report from the offgoing nurse.
I knew that I would need to be able to get to the side of his bed in about an hour to give him an injection so I decided to move his armchair out of the way. Its a straight back chair that rocks. They are new additions to the rooms so I was expecting it to slide easily like the old chairs did. I put one hand on each arm of the chair and pushed backwards. I didn't anticipate the weight of it so I didn't hold the arm tight enough and my hand slid forward and I jammed my last three fingers into the back of the chair. Ohhhh, it hurts so bad! You know that feeling you get when you hit your funny bone really really hard? Ok, it was like that, only it started at my fingers first and worked its way to my elbow and then to my shoulder. I had a burning line of fire running from my pinky to my shoulder! Now, two days later, I can't wiggle my fingers without it hurting really bad. I am typing with one hand because typing hurts too much. I think I may have fractured a metacarpal because of WHERE it hurts and the clicking that I hear when moving my hand! I am going to the doctor on Monday to get it checked out.
Until then, I have wrapped it and am trying to keep it still.
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
WebMD Health News
March 23, 2009 -- We Americans suffer a national eating disorder: our unhealthy obsession with healthy eating.
That's the diagnosis delivered by food author Michael Pollan in a lecture given last week to an overflow crowd of CDC scientists.
As part of an effort to bring new ideas to the national debate on food issues, the CDC invited Pollan -- a harsh critic of U.S. food policies -- to address CDC researchers and to meet with leaders of the federal agency.
"The French paradox is that they have better heart health than we do despite being a cheese-eating, wine-swilling, fois-gras-gobbling people," Pollan said. "The American paradox is we are a people who worry unreasonably about dietary health yet have the worst diet in the world."
In various parts of the world, Pollan noted, necessity has forced human beings to adapt to all kinds of diets.
"The Masai subsist on cattle blood and meat and milk and little else. Native Americans subsist on beans and maize. And the Inuit in Greenland subsist on whale blubber and a little bit of lichen," he said. "The irony is, the one diet we have invented for ourselves -- the Western diet -- is the one that makes us sick."
Snowballing rates of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease in the U.S. can be traced to our unhealthy diet. So how do we change?
7 Words & 7 Rules for Eating
Pollan says everything he's learned about food and health can be summed up in seven words: "Eat food, not too much, mostly plants."
Probably the first two words are most important. "Eat food" means to eat real food -- vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and, yes, fish and meat -- and to avoid what Pollan calls "edible food-like substances."
- Don't eat anything your great grandmother wouldn't recognize as food. "When you pick up that box of portable yogurt tubes, or eat something with 15 ingredients you can't pronounce, ask yourself, "What are those things doing there?" Pollan says.
- Don’t eat anything with more than five ingredients, or ingredients you can't pronounce.
- Stay out of the middle of the supermarket; shop on the perimeter of the store. Real food tends to be on the outer edge of the store near the loading docks, where it can be replaced with fresh foods when it goes bad.
- Don't eat anything that won't eventually rot. "There are exceptions -- honey -- but as a rule, things like Twinkies that never go bad aren't food," Pollan says.
- It is not just what you eat but how you eat. "Always leave the table a little hungry," Pollan says. "Many cultures have rules that you stop eating before you are full. In Japan, they say eat until you are four-fifths full. Islamic culture has a similar rule, and in German culture they say, 'Tie off the sack before it's full.'"
- Families traditionally ate together, around a table and not a TV, at regular meal times. It's a good tradition. Enjoy meals with the people you love. "Remember when eating between meals felt wrong?" Pollan asks.
- Don't buy food where you buy your gasoline. In the U.S., 20% of food is eaten in the car.
Is this good advice? Janet Collins, PhD, director of the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, is one of the CDC officials who met with Pollan.
Collins agrees with Pollan that advice from health experts has to be simplified. And she loves the suggestions he makes.
"Some of the changes in our environment are the reasons behind our obesity epidemic," Collins tells WebMD. "Pollan's advice to eat at the table with your family and not the TV is excellent. And portions: During our grandmothers' era, plates were smaller. If you took the portions that filled their plates and put them on ours, it wouldn't look like much to eat."
Eat Foods, Not Nutrients
Pollan, author of In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto and The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals, is professor of science and environmental journalism at the University of California, Berkeley.
Pollan says that where we've gone wrong is by focusing on the invisible nutrients in foods instead of on foods themselves. He calls this "nutritionism" -- an ideology that's lost track of the science on which it was based.
It's good for scientists to look at why carrots are good for us, and to explore the possible benefits of, say, substance X found in a carrot.
What happens next is well-meaning experts tell us we should eat more foods with substance X. But the next thing you know, the food industry is selling us a food enriched with substance X. We may not know whether substance X, when not in a carrot, is good or bad for us. And we may be so impressed with the new substance-X-filled product that we buy it and eat it -- even though it may have unhealthy ingredients, such as high-fructose corn syrup and salt.
Pollan identifies four myths behind this kind of thinking:
- Myth #1: Food is a delivery vehicle for nutrients. What really matters isn't broccoli but its fiber and antioxidants. If we get that right, we get our diet right. Foods kind of get in the way.
- Myth #2: We need experts to tell us how to eat. Nutrients are invisible and mysterious. "It is a little like religion," Pollan said. "If a powerful entity is invisible, you need a priesthood to mediate your relation with food."
- Myth #3: The whole point of eating is to maintain and promote bodily health. "You are either improving or ruining your health when you eat -- that is a very American idea," Pollan says. "But there are many other reasons to eat food: pleasure, social community, identity, and ritual. Health is not the only thing going on on our plates."
- Myth #4: There are evil foods and good foods. "At any given time there is an evil nutrient we try to drive like Satan from the food supply -- first it was saturated fats, then it was trans fat," Pollan says. "Then there is the evil nutrient's doppelganger, the blessed nutrient. If we get enough of that we, will be healthy and maybe live forever. It's funny through history how the good and bad guys keep changing."
Pollan remembers that when fats were declared to be evil, his mother switched the family to stick margarine. His grandmother predicted that some day stick margarine would be the evil food. Today, we know that margarine was made with trans fats.
The trouble with the whole notion of "evil' and "blessed" ingredients is that they help the food industry sell us processed foods that are free of the evil thing or full of the blessed one. We buy them, not realizing they may contain many other ingredients that aren't good for us.
Collins agrees with Pollan's central theme that whole foods are vastly better for us than are processed foods. But our food system makes it hard for many Americans to get whole foods.
"If our food system made more whole foods at lower cost and made them more available, that would help with our public health," Collins says. "We need full-service groceries in urban centers, where people can get to them. Unfortunately, urban centers are getting filled with fast food stores and liquor stores. Pollan's rules are good, and it is one thing to eat by his rules, but making our environment such that people can live by the rules is not always easy."
Will the CDC be pushing for these kinds of changes? Yes, suggested Anne Haddix, chief policy officer at the CDC's Office of Strategy and Innovation, during the panel discussion following Pollan's remarks to the CDC.
"How we go forward on this will take some very different types of thinking than we have done in the past," Haddix said. "We have an opening we have not had for years. ... Of the federal agencies trying to address food issues, CDC is uniquely positioned. We have to step out as leaders. ... Now is the time to ramp up our efforts and reach out to people who make us uncomfortable and go for it."