Archive for the 'Nursing' Category

Nursing vs. Midwife for Expectant Mothers

Mar. 19th 2013

Newborn Child. Today, pregnant women have lots of choices when it comes to prenatal and post-natal care of themselves as well as their babies. A woman’s choice of care depends upon many factors including her beliefs, her health, and the health of her baby. For instance, some women opt to have an obstetrician/nurse team care for her and her baby. Other women choose to hire a midwife to help them throughout the pregnancy, the birth, and afterward. The following looks at the roles of an obstetrician/nurse team and a midwife. Also, consider the benefits of utilizing these professionals.

The Role of a Nurse

A pregnant woman who looks to a nurse for care during her pregnancy is not just getting the help of one person. A nurse works with an obstetrician to help a woman through her pregnancy. A nurse can answer questions about prenatal vitamins and the proper diet for a pregnant woman. If a pregnant woman leaves a voicemail message at her obstetrician’s office, it’s likely that a nurse will be the one to call back with an answer. During a birth, a nurse helps the obstetrician and makes sure the mother is as comfortable as possible. After a baby is born, there are registered nurses who conduct home visits to see how the baby and the mother are getting along. They usually weigh the baby to see if he or she has gained weight. Also, a nurse asks if the mother is having any pain or other unusual symptoms. The nurse acts as a link between the obstetrician and the new mother. Furthermore, he or she is also qualified to answer any questions about how to properly care for the baby. Some mothers take it upon themselves to hire registered nurses to help care for the baby soon after they arrive home. For instance, if a mother is recovering from Caesarean section surgery, she may need some help feeding and bathing the newborn. A nurse is qualified to help a mother through all of the stages of her pregnancy and beyond.

The Benefits of Receiving Care from a Nurse during Pregnancy and Childbirth

A nurse who is working with an obstetrician to care for a pregnant woman will have a Bachelor’s in nursing and may even have a Master’s degree in the field. In short, a registered nurse often has a great deal more education and training than a midwife. Also, an obstetrician and nurse team work in a hospital environment. Consequently, if any problems arise during the birth, this team has access to medical equipment that can help both baby and the mother. For instance, if an emergency Caesarean is necessary, a doctor and nurse in a hospital environment will be able to arrange for that surgery in a matter of minutes. Many pregnant women feel more at ease with the delivery if they are in a hospital with the proper equipment and staff to handle any complications.

The Role of a Midwife

Midwives have been helping women have their babies for thousands of years. In the early days, a midwife was often related to the pregnant woman. Sometimes a woman neighbor with children acted as midwife to a mother-to-be during childbirth. Her experience was an invaluable part of the birthing process. Today, midwives must complete a program of education before receiving certification. They also work with an experienced midwife for a time before they are able to help a pregnant woman on their own. Midwives have the qualifications to help during all stages of pregnancy. They do everything from advise a woman on her prenatal health to teaching a new mother how to care for her baby. Along with caring for a pregnant woman, a midwife provides encouragement and emotional support. Midwives can assist a pregnant woman as she gives birth at home or in a birthing center. Midwives help women with pregnancies that have no complications.

The Benefits of Receiving Care from a Midwife during Pregnancy and Childbirth

One benefit of receiving care from a midwife is that they can help pregnant women give birth at home. Many women want to give birth at home because they consider it an ideal, peaceful atmosphere. This can contribute to the relaxed state of mind of the woman about to give birth. Another benefit of receiving care from a midwife is that she helps a mother-to-be create the environment for the birth. For instance, some midwives help women give birth in water. Also, a midwife is there for one pregnant woman at a time. Alternatively, a busy obstetrician/ nurse team may be dealing with pregnant patients in the other labor rooms of a hospital. Some pregnant women who favor a midwife over an obstetrician/nurse team think of the midwife as a partner in the entire process.

Posted by Heather | in Nursing | No Comments »

Introduction to Nursing: Beyond the Books (a series of nurse interviews)

Sep. 6th 2011

Nursing: Beyond the Books

A Nursing Student’s Lessons are Rich, and Varied

Every nursing student today has a lot to think about.

Nursing and healthcare do provide very rich, diverse and rewarding career paths for many… yet knowing you want to be a nurse is different than knowing what kind of nurse you want to be. If nursing students share one thing, it might be feelings of uncertainty when transitioning their lessons into practice.

Students (by definition) are meant to be opening-up to potentially life-changing beliefs and making many important decisions without experience. Unfortunately, first-hand experiences are usually limited. Exposure to new ideas may also be dictated in-part by location or time.  In cases like these, guidance from trusted advisers and others who intimately know the struggles being faced become the means for students to see new directions and make better choices.

Often, insight from the right person at the right time enables a student to see their profession in a different light: it literally helps them to become a better nurse.

Reaching Out: Nine Nurses in the Know

To learn more about how nursing students mature into seasoned healthcare providers, we studied popular nursing bloggers to see what they had to say on the subject.

We found the voices of dedicated professionals with intelligent conversations and compassionate stories illustrating what is happening: in hospitals, classrooms, organizations, public health, state-run or federally sponsored institutions, private hospice care, and more. These are nurses (some currently students themselves) who intimately understand the questions, concerns and the feelings shared by many nursing students: they embody the statement, “Been there, done that.”

As a way to help nursing students understand more of the thinking that they don’t teach you in books, we asked nine popular nursing bloggers to expand on ideas found in their body of work. The bloggers we selected shared more than 100 years worth of combined nursing experiences. All of them talked frankly about what it means – to them – to be a nurse, as it happens. How it changes, how it grows.

Our hope is to inspire conversations that move beyond the textbooks and the lecture halls, introducing new ideas about what it means to be a nurse. By talking openly with professionals who understand and care what you are going through, we hope to bring you to a deeper understanding of what it takes to become the kind of nurse you want to be.

Nursing: Beyond the Books

Part One: Interview with Shrtstormtrooper

Our series begins with a discussion with a practicing RN who uses the online name “Shrtstormtrooper” to blog freely about nursing at New Nurse Insanity: The Adolescent Years. In covering and re-examining some of the many topics she discusses on her blog, we were able to capture some insight on how a “newer” nurse feels when they are transitioning from school into real-world working situations.

You can view the full interview with Shrtstormtrooper, and offer your comments here.

Part Two: Interview with rehabRN

The series continues by reaching-out to a nurse specializing in rehabilitative care who uses the online name “rehabRN” to blog freely about her nursing and experiences at RehabRN. Her specialty and willingness to talk about it will help to show nursing students some of the challenges, benefits and decisions being faced in providing specialty care.

You can view the full interview with RehabRN, and offer your comments here.

Part Three: Interview with Keith Carlson

keith carlsonThe third part of this series connects us to Keith Carlson, a well-known nurse blogger who has been in the field for 15 years.  Focusing on delivery of specialized care to those living with AIDS, diabetes, and other chronic illnesses, Keith has effectively worked with hundreds of patients across the socioeconomic spectrum. He has also taught nursing. Keith owns an award-winning nursing blog at Digital Doorway where he has shared his adventures since 2005. He shares here, some of his well-earned philosophical views and how to maintain balance in a hectic nursing career.

You can view the full interview with Keith Carlson, and offer your comments here.

Part Four: Interview with Lovlei McKinnie

lovlei mckinneyThe fourth part of our series continues by connecting with Lovlei McKinnie, a nursing student who is currently in her senior year. Lovlei has a perspective that will be very close to many nursing students, as seen on her blog The Dog Ate My Care Plan, but she has a wizened outlook and warm way of communicating that will help many students in their own journeys. Lovlei has been sharing her ups and downs as a student, wife and mother for over two years, so we dug deeper into some of the lessons she shares.

You can view the full interview with Lovlei McKinnie, and offer your comments here.

Part Five: Interview with Gina Rybolt

Gina RyboltThe fifth entry to our series connects us to Gina Rybolt, a practicing RN with her BSN and over 14 years of nursing experiences to share. The insights Gina has offered fills her popular blog Code Blog, where she has been active and outspoken since 2002. We talked to Gina about how nursing has changed for her, how it is affected by her 13 years in the ICU, and what influences change in the way she thinks about it.

You can view the full interview with Gina Rybolt, and offer your comments here.

Part Six: Interview with Nurse Teeny

Makings of a NurseThe series continues by reaching-out to Nurse Teeny, a well-known blogger who has been sharing her own journey on The Makings of a Nurse. In addition to the normal routines juggled by nurses, like many in the field, Nurse Teeny is also adding in wedding plans to her future. We asked her a little about how nursing and her personal life mingle, how they affect each other, and what time means to a nurse’s sense of confidence.

You can view the full interview with Nurse Teeny, and offer your comments here.

Part Seven: Interview with Kim McAllister

Kim McAlisterThe seventh part of our series reaches out to a well-known nursing blogger named Kim McAllister who is an RN, BSN, and CEN also currently working on her Master’s. As a practicing nurse for over three decades Kim has seen a lot, and she is willing to talk openly about her experiences. Her blog Emergiblog has led her to more writing and contributing to the nursing community everywhere, but we were able to get a few moments to talk to her. We listened, as she discussed her experiences and her thoughts regarding changes in her own perceptions over the years, and what she suggests to younger nurses to help find their own personal and professional success.

You can view the full interview with Kim McAllister, and offer your comments here.

Part Eight: Interview with Terri Polick

Terri PolickThe series continues with an in-depth interview with Terri Polick, better known to the nursing community as blogger MotherJonesRN of Nurse Ratched’s Place, her blog that gives readers an insider’s look at the mental health system. Terri has seen a lot as nurse, and she has even traveled to Washington to support the causes central to the nursing community. We asked Terri to expand on some of the ideas offered in her blog, and how she sees her nursing career as it fits into larger pictures.

You can view the full interview with Terri Polick, and offer your comments here.

Part Nine: Interview with (nurse)-Dr. Lorry Schoenly

Lorry SchoenlyThe series continues by reaching-out to Dr. Lorry Schoenly PhD, RN, CCHP who has been a nurse for 25 years and is currently specializing in correctional healthcare. She is also a clinical education specialist and blogs regularly at CorrectionalNurse.Net. Lorry provides us answers to some of the questions regarding her experiences, giving commentary on what might affect misconceptions about participating in providing state or locally-run correctional healthcare.

You can view the full interview with Lorry Schoenly, and offer your comments here.

Posted by martin | in Interviews, Nursing | 3 Comments »

How to Handle Kids and Shots

Aug. 31st 2010

needleI recently had to take my child to get a couple of shots at the doctors office. Oh did I dread this day. No one likes needles, especially kids! Think about it, you are going to a sterile doctors office filled with screaming kids to get a needle stuck in you on purpose, that is no one’s idea of fun! So here are a few tips to help you handle the shot situation when it’s time to take the kids in for a doc visit:

Don’t Hide the Painful Truth

The last thing you want is for your child to be “surprised” by a nurse with a needle. So on the car ride over to the doctor’s office explain to your child that they are going to get a couple of shots and yes, it may pinch a little, but it will be over super quick! Make it sound simple and don’t drag it out. Answer questions your kid may have and steer the conversation. Explain that these shots will help make them big and strong and that it will keep them from getting sick.

Stay Calm!

Your child will feed off of your fear if they see that you are anxious or nervous. Kids are very in tune to every move their parents make, so lead by example and keep cool. Encourage your child and even sing a “shot” song with them as a distraction. Who knows, the nurse may even join in!

A GOOD Surprise

Right before the shot, have a special candy or toy ready and hidden in your purse. Tell your child beforehand that they are in for a treat to take their mind off of what is about to happen. This reward gives your kid a goal and puts a positive spin on getting a shot.

Posted by Heather | in Children, Nursing | No Comments »

Midwife Myths

Aug. 9th 2010

Mom and babyA friend of mine recently gave birth at a “Birthing Center” using only a jacuzzi and a midwife. Being equally pregnant at the time and terrified of hospitals, I considered doing the same. So after extensively researching midwifery and all that it entails, I learned that many people are misinformed about midwives, their training and their approach to giving birth.

Myth #1: Unqualified Care

The number of midwife deliveries has more than doubled since 1990 and with good reason. Unlike doulas or birthing coaches, most midwives have different levels of medical training. 97% of all midwives deliver in hospitals and contrary to popular belief, certified nursing midwives are qualified to give pain meds, labor inducing medication and even epidurals to their patients.

Myth #2: Using a Medical Pro is Safer Than a Midwife?

Many people still believe that using a doctor is safer but recent reports indicate that women who use midwives have babies with higher birth rates, better prenatal care and lower rates of C-sections. If you have a low risk pregnancy and want to be more pro-active during your labor and delivery, having a midwife can actually make you feel more comfortable and in control. Midwives are great at helping new moms with nutrition for mom and baby, breastfeeding and emotional support when dealing with anxieties about giving birth.

Myth #3: The Medication Myth

I had always heard that if you use a midwife, hang up any form of pain medication. Not true. Although midwives tend to favor the natural approach to labor and delivery, if the mom wants pain meds, she can have them! This tall tale is usually the one thing that keeps women from using a midwife but the real reason behind the natural approach of massage, natural stretching and using a jacuzzi is to avoid episiotomies and reduce the chance of a Cesarean and has worked. Statistics show that the rate of having a C-section when using a midwife is one third of the national rate. So talk to your doctor about local midwives and the pro’s and con’s of using one, you may find they fit your

Posted by Heather | in Nursing | No Comments »

Evolution of the Nursing Profession

Aug. 9th 2010
nurse looking into microscope

Ask any nurse who has worked longer than twenty years how their profession has changed and you might be surprised. Unlike the typical “times were tougher back then” answer, nine times out of ten, they’ll say that nursing today is much more involved and respected than it was fifty years ago.

Rocking the Roles

Not only are nurses payed more now than any other time in history, there is presently a massive shortage and high demand for nurses in all fields. Along with specialized roles in nursing such as practitioners, midwives, ER and OR nurses, pediatric nurses and the list goes on. The primary difference is the way nurses today work along side of doctors. Today’s nurse has taken over many of the roles that were once reserved specifically for doctors and are now a respected part of the medical staff. Able to make informed decisions and perform procedures that would have been solely reserved for physicians fifty years ago, today’s nurse is more technologically advanced than ever.

Blurring the Gender Lines

Men in the nursing field were practically unheard of fifty years ago. Even today, thanks to media and movies like “Meet the Parents” (yes you, “Greg RN”), although still not widely realized, there are more male nurses than any other time in history. Surprisingly, there were a small number of male nurses in the 50’s, but they were few and far between due to the belief that women were better equipped to handle the emotional, mental and physical (ie: bathing and caring roles) aspects of patient care than men. Times have certainly changed and although female nurses far outnumber their male counterparts, male nursing roles have become accepted in the medical field.

Time Changes Everything

Nurses today take home in one month what nurses in the fifties would make in a year! Of course the laws of supply and demand as well as skyrocketing inflation are the reason for this enormous pay increase but the difference between $5,200 and $72,000 is an astronomical jump. Other changes in nursing include the obvious dress code. The uniforms, which began as a dress, cap, cuffs, stockings and the required pillbox have morphed into scrubs and lab coats and focus more on function than form. Time changes everything and thanks to modern medicine, updated fashion and gender acceptance, nurses today are a far cry from what they were in the fifties.

Posted by Heather | in Nursing | No Comments »

National Nurses Week: A Look Back at Notable Nurses

May. 18th 2010

When you think of fame and fortune, nursing is not the first profession that comes to mind.  For one thing, it is not a career that lends itself to grandstanding or public attention.  Most people who enter the nursing profession do it because of a deep-seated desire to help others in need, rather than advance their own interests.  Further, it does not tend to be a field in which one gains notoriety, even if they are the best at what they do (unlike, say, doctors, who can expect a higher salary and a waiting list of wealthy patients if they are the top in their area of expertise).  So let’s take a look back at some of the great nurses in history and what put them in the pages of history.

1.      Florence Nightingale – no surprise here…some of you may have even heard of her.  Also known as “The Lady with the Lamp” (for checking up on injured soldiers throughout the night), she became famous for her humanitarian efforts with the poor as well as her endeavor to pioneer a new health care system for the British military.  She spurned her aristocratic family and a married life in order to pursue a career in the noble art of nursing.  Appropriately, International Nurses Day is celebrated on her birthday, May 12th.

2.      Clara Barton – she is best known as the founder of the Red Cross.  She began her illustrious career in nursing at the tender age of eleven, caring for her injured brother, and went on to work in the battlefields of the Civil War.  She was a noted patriot and advocate of both the women’s suffrage movement and black civil rights.  After lecturing abroad about her wartime experiences, she returned to the United States and convinced President James Garfield to support her movement to form the American Red Cross for the purpose of managing any type of mass medical crisis, not just those found in wartime.  She became the first president of the newly found American Red Cross in 1881 and subsequently traveled to Istanbul, Beijing, Cuba, and several other countries to open hospitals and aid humanitarian efforts.

3.      Mary Eliza Mahoney – she is noted as the first African-American professional registered nurse and she paved the way for women of color in the nursing profession.  In 1908, she co-founded the National Association of Colored Graduate Nurses (NACGN), which later merged with the American Nurses Association (ANA).  The Mary Mahoney award, offered biennially, is given out by the ANA in her honor for significant contributions to race relations, namely in the field of nursing.

Sadly, not all nurses are good and kind. Some of them twist and pervert their noble code to suit their own aberrant interests.  Here are a few notable nurses who give an example of what to look out for when seeking a nursing professional.

1.      Nurse Ratched (One Flew Over the Cukoo’s Nest, 1975)– she represents all that could go wrong in nursing.  She is a tyrannical bully who lords her power over her patients by withholding medication and other sundries as well as famously lobotomizing the only one who challenges her power.  The American Film Institute voted her the fifth worst movie villain of all time, and it’s easy to see why.  It took a good, long choke to knock this naughty nurse down a peg.

2.      Sam Lockwood (Awake, 2007) – she may be pretty, but beware the siren song.  She reels in successful businessman Clay Beresford with the intention of killing him to claim the insurance money (to cover a previous malpractice suit, no less).  She has definitely gotten the wrong idea when it comes to bedside manner.

3.      Beverley Allitt (this one is real!) – a British pediatric nurse, she became known as the “Angel of Death” after attacking 13 children in her care over a 15-day period.  Four died and five others were seriously injured due to smothering or injections of insulin or potassium chloride to bring about cardiac arrest.  She was convicted in nine cases and sentenced to life imprisonment.  She stands to be released in 2022 at the age of 54, but only if she is deemed to pose no threat to the public, which seems unlikely.  She crazy.

But for every bad nurse out there (and let’s be honest, most of those catapulted to fame are fictional characters), you can find thousands that love what they do and sincerely want to help their patients.  So during National Nurses Week, think of something nice a nurse has done for you and consider sending her a little thank you.  After all, not every nurse requires fame and fortune, but they could use a little recognition.

Posted by Heather | in Nursing | No Comments »

School Nursing: Pros and Cons

Mar. 10th 2010

Becoming a school nurse can either be a rewarding and pleasurable career or a living nightmare.  There’s certainly something noble about devoting one’s life to the health and education of children, but on the other hand, they sure do puke a lot.  However, there are many pros and cons to be considered before deciding not only on a career in nursing, but in a specialized field like school nursing, in particular.

For starters, one must look at the level of education required.  Generally speaking, most states require that a school nurse be at least an RN (a two-year Associate’s Degree, plus you must pass the National Council Licensure Examination, or NCLEX-RN).   And some states even require a four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN).  However, it is not unheard of for a Licensed Practicing Nurse (LPN) to be hired as a school nurse (only a 1-year program), so depending on where you practice, you may not need as much education as an RN or a traveling nurse.  You will, however, be required to receive certification through either the Department of Education or the Department of Health in order to become a school nurse.  It may also be mandatory to obtain education in some or all of the following areas: growth and development, child and adolescent psychology, public health, crisis intervention, handicapping conditions, sociology, and sports medicine.  Handling the health issues of ch
ildren is a pretty broad category, so be prepared for continuing education.

In terms of salary, you can expect to make less, on average, than other nursing professions.  According to national surveys, school nurses earn an average of $45,000 per year while staff nurses (RNs) tend to pull in about $55,000 and travel nurses can make upwards of $70,000 on average.  So salary does not necessarily correlate with the amount of schooling required for each of these professions.  As a school nurse, you may end up doing the same amount of (or more) schooling than other types of nurses for a lot less pay.  And with the budget crisis facing schools right now, that number could drop.

However, for most people who enter the nursing profession, it’s not really about the money.  It’s about helping people, and as a school nurse, you will certainly do that.  Your primary goal is to facilitate the health and well-being of students and to further their education.  As such, you may be responsible for a number of tasks, including health services, health education, a healthy environment, monitoring physical education and activities, counseling, parent and community involvement, and staff wellness.  And remember school-wide screenings for scoliosis and lice?  All you.  You will be the one kids come to when they’ve got chicken pox, the flu, or a sprained ankle in gym class.  You’ll have to deal with bloody noses, sore throats, and Sally-dropped-a-rock-on-my-head.  However, you will also get thank-you notes from grateful parents, adolescents seeking sexual advice, and classrooms full of kids who learn to wash their hands.  You can make a real difference in the lives of children.  You can help them stay healthy and teach them lifelong habits.  Just keep that warm, fuzzy feeling close at the times when they’re yakking all over the floor.

Posted by Heather | in Nursing | No Comments »

The How and Why of Travel Nursing

Jan. 24th 2010

Travel nursing, as a profession, is pretty much what it sounds like.  Traveling nurses become specialized in a specific field and can travel all over the country, or even the world, working for private clients or helping out at hospitals in need.  It is an opportunity to work in your chosen field with the luxury of setting your own schedule and the added bonus of experiencing life in different parts of the world.  But how does one become a travelling nurse…and why?

Travel nursing starts with your education.  Because there is a call for all types of nurses in the travelling field, you can start with a 2-year Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN), a 4-year Bachelors of Science in Nursing (BSN), or even a 3-year diploma (usually a hospital-based degree).  From there you must pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) and practice at least one year in your specialty of choice.  Types of travel nurses that tend to be in demand include registered nurses (RNs), nurse practitioners, nurse managers, and those that specialize in dialysis, speech pathology, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and radiology.  In all likelihood, you will be required to have one to two years of recent experience if you want to take advantage of employment in travel nursing.

So now that you know how to become a travel nurse, the question is, why?  For one thing, travel nursing is contract work.  That means you decide which jobs you want to take based on location, duration, and pay.  Looking for something semi-permanent?  Try working as a live-in caregiver.  These types of jobs are easy to find and can last for weeks, months, or even years depending on the needs of the patient.  If you’re looking for something short term, sign up with a travel nursing company that can place you based on your specifications.  If you’re working full time, you stand to make an average of $70,000 per year and many companies that place travel nurses now offer insurance, 401(k), and continuing education, just to list a few perks.

In addition, now is a great time to join the nursing profession.  Although jobs in every profession have been scarce due to the recession, nursing is a field that is expected to grow substantially over the next decade.  And if health care reform continues as planned, there could be a lot more Americans with insurance who are looking for health care, possibly for the first time.  So if your goal is to help people with their health care needs, and you would like to travel while you do it, take the steps necessary to become a travel nurse.  The schooling is similar to what you would face as a staff nurse and the pay can be substantially more, not to mention the opportunity to see the world while you work.

Posted by Heather | in Nursing | No Comments »

Nursing: A Noble and Rewarding Profession

Dec. 9th 2009

Let’s be honest, not all of us are cut out for public service and even less have a stomach strong enough to witness what a nurse must face on a daily basis.  Not only do you need to have guts of steel, a career in nursing means long hours, hard work, and a knowledge base parallel to a general practitioner of medicine (at half the pay).  As a nurse, you may have to deal with patients who are rude and condescending doctors who belittle your expertise.  And let’s not even get started on some of the things you will be forced to clean up (people are both fragile and messy).  So what is so great about becoming a nurse?

For starters, nursing can be a very fulfilling career in that it allows you an opportunity to help others and make a difference in the day-to-day lives of real people.  What could be better than making a sick child feel better or telling someone that their mother is going to be okay after her accident?  For most nurses, this aspect of the profession is what makes it so rewarding.  You get instant gratification from making sick patients well, or at least easing their discomfort.  In addition, a nurse gets to know her patients intimately and possibly play a role in some of the most important events of their lives.  The gratitude that comes from these interactions is often enough to keep a harried nurse going through a tough day.

Nursing is also a versatile vocation.  Jobs can range from live-in situations, staff, and travel nursing to management, education, and administration.  In addition, many seasoned nurses can set their own hours, depending on the field they choose.  And in the future, nurses will surely continue to enjoy job security.  With less people entering the field and baby boomers hitting retirement age (not to mention health care reform on the horizon), nurses are going to be very much in demand in the years to come.

So besides learning skills that can easily transfer to other areas of your life, a career in nursing allows you to give something of yourself to each and every patient you interact with, to take pride in the fact that your choices help save lives, and to use your knowledge to heal and give comfort.  This will give you a strong sense of satisfaction that far outweighs long hours, low pay, and anything the day might throw at you.

Posted by Heather | in Nursing | No Comments »

What Would Ma Bell Say?

Dec. 3rd 2008

Meet Mr. and Mrs. Ma Bell. These two were just ahead of their time. They remind me of people who have their cell phone permanently attached inside of their ear.

Ma Bell may not be your mother, and I know that she can’t tell you what to do, but I doubt that she would approve of nurses talking on their cell phones or text messaging at the nurses station. I don’t like it either. Don’t get me wrong. I love Twittering my friends and chatting on the phone just as much as the next guy does, but it’s not appropriate to do those things in front of patients and their family members. It reminds me of when my dad use to read the newspaper at the dinner table. He would nod his head in agreement with whatever my mother was saying as he turned the pages of the newspaper. He was listening, but not really. Mom would get very upset. Patients feel like you’re blowing them off when your typing away on a keyboard or talking on your cell phone.

I know that it’s hard giving up your cell phone cold turkey, so here are some tips about using your cell phone at work.

Turn Your Cell Phone Ringer Off When You are in a Patient Care Area

Picture this: You’re tip toeing past a sleeping patient when all of a sudden everyone on the nursing unit hears, “Hey you, I’m talking to you. You have a call. Hey stupid, I’m talking to you! Answer the phone! ANSWER THE G-D PHONE!!!!!!!!!!!!” I heard that ring tone one day when I was at work. Ring tones like that are a lot of fun when you’re out at a bar, but not when you giving patient bedside care. Turn your ringer off.

Use Your Phone Only For Important Calls

I’ve never understood why nurses use cell phones at work when there are multiple phones at every nursing station. If you must use your cell phone at work, use it only for important calls. What should you classify as an important call? It should be childcare issues. Talk to your friends about the new love in your life after work. Use your common sense.

Don’t Bring Your Cell Phone Into The Bathroom…Ever

Do I really need to explain this rule? Reach out and touch someone, but not from the bathroom. Enough said.

Posted by MotherJonesRN | in Nursing | No Comments »