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I went to room 13 to check on the patient I had just received report on… the ER was CRAZY but for some reason I felt the need to check on him first. Late teens, sick for 3 weeks with diarrhea, waiting on a stool sample (all other labs were back and relatively normal), loss of 20 pounds… I found him asleep on his left side with his left arm outstretched to expose the 18 gauge needle in the anticube with IV tubing attached to NS running at 400/hr (second liter). He was a handsome boy but pale and thin with dark hair all messed up, skin was dry and monitor showed a normal sinus with a rate of 96. His oxygen sat was normal at 99, blood pressure also normal at 120/76. The room was empty except for him of course and a purse…pink with brown trim (I’m assuming not his).
History was that he had been experiencing diarrhea several times (5-8) a day for 3 weeks, no fever and no vomiting. Pt. does however have pain in his lower abdominal region that is intermittent but ranges from a 7-8/10 on the pain scale. Pt. had a prior bout of this diarrhea last year around this time. Read more…
Picture this: A nurse goes to an integrative medicine doctor for chronic fatigue, body pains especially eyes and face and failing eye sight. The doctor runs a battery of tests, way more than a regular doctor would to find out what is wrong.
Doctor, “Your blood results show a lot of inflammation going on in your body. Your markers for heart disease are very high. You are also showing signs of severe adrenal fatigue.You are pretty young. Whats going on?” The nurse replies,” Hmm… I am not sure. My job is pretty stressful. I am on call all the time and I have two teenagers.”
This is a true story, my true story!
I was working for a hospice at that time. I was stressed out not because of the type of patients I took care of—I find it to be my calling to help improve well-being and quality of life for people with serious illness and their loved ones. My clients were never an issue. So what was the problem?
Here’s the rest of the story:
You are with a 49 year old patient who is newly diagnosed with terminal cancer. He has been given only a few weeks to live. Read more…
Does your life feel like a tug-of-war? Nurses continuously juggle the demands of their personal and professional lives. At work, they provide high touch-high tech care for sick and dying patients. In addition, many nurses perform ‘double duty’—caring for friends and family members when not at work. Being pulled in so many directions can seem overwhelming. Learn how to manage stress and regain your balance by taking a few small steps each day.
Kayla is a nurse on a busy telemetry unit; she is married, has two school-aged children and helps care for her aging mother. Today she agreed to work another double shift to cover a last minute call-in. Kayla slammed the phone down after arguing with her husband Mike—he resents Kayla choosing her job over the needs of their family. Kayla was already feeling inadequate when her friend Terry excitedly announced, “I passed my certification exam.” Although Kayla bought a review book six months ago, she hasn’t started studying yet. She worries, “I hate not being there for my family… I am falling behind in my career and I never have time for myself.” Kayla felt a wave of nervous tension in the pit of her stomach. Tom, the patient care technician, interrupted Kayla’s thoughts, “Mr. Read more…
We live in a world of constant pressure and stress, which seems to be getting more challenging all the time. Especially in healthcare, organizations are forced to do more with less, putting pressure on the staff to exceed the superhuman pace that they are currently working at. Nurses are especially vulnerable to this level of stress because it seems that we, as a profession, are always “picking up the slack” when cutbacks are made in other departments or holds are placed on hiring. I used to laugh in my leadership positions when the CEOs would say, “but we’re not cutting nursing positions”, and, as a CNO, I would argue in a sense, yes, we are. When nurses “pick up the slack”, nurses are absent from the bedside, performing tasks that can be done by other people and at a premium cost. As nurses, we can also add on the emotional stress of what we deal with on a daily basis, followed by the tremendous responsibility of having precious lives in our hands. Oh, and let us compound the work stress by layering on family responsibilities, school responsibilities, day to day activities of survival, and, let’s not forget, somewhere in there we need to sleep. Read more…
As nurses, you are certainly aware that stress is one of the major medical problems of our times. Studies show that nurses are the single sickest group of workers in the workforce. Ouch! This is appalling. When I worked nights in the PCU, I noticed that there were many more obese nurses working nights than days. What have you observed? In my experience, I have noticed that without exception, obese nurses apply to work nights. They want to work nights. These dedicated, long term night shift nurses also are on multiple meds and often discuss how many meds they are on, compare them, etc. What strikes me is that they speak about it in such a way as if it’s the most natural thing in the world. Please understand, I am writing this out of compassion for my fellow nurses, not as a critique. I am telling the truth, and yes, sometimes the truth hurts. We all know by now that working nights increases your risk for disease.
A nurse is the classic poster child for, “Is this job making me sick?”
Talk about, “the patient complained of pain on a scale of…” Many nurses consistently complain of pain. As a nurse working in the HR department of my hospital, shockingly, I have researched that stress related disability claims are estimated to increase by 50% in the next decade. Read more…
Coming Up on Nurse Talk: Rally Britain! Learning to Speak Teen. Nurse Behavior Revealed. Yoga Nurse Heals.
The Show is jam-packed this week. There is something for everyone, so make time to join us!
A segment every nurse needs, brought to you in partnership with Nurse Together.com, Annette Tersigni RN, The Yoga Nurse, and founder of Yoga Nursing. Nurses are often the last to realize the toll stress is taking on them and to take the time to do something about it. She has some great ideas on how the restorative principles of yoga can empower you to continue serving as the nurse hero that you are.
We’ll talk with RN Jean Ross, co-president of National Nurses United. Jean is a frequent guest on Nurse Talk and she updates us on recent U.S. rallies organized by nurses to support nurse counterparts in Great Britain.
IT’S THE HOLIDAYS! Calling all parents of teens! You won’t want to miss our visit with Dr. Barbara Greenberg, a clinical psychologist who specializes in the treatment of teens and families. She writes a regular column, The Teen Doctor, in Psychology Today. Her recent article focuses on why teens can be so competitive during the holidays. She has some good ideas about what to do when you are about to cancel Christmas.
RN Jean Ross on Solidarity, Dr. Barbara Greenberg on Teens and RN Annette Tersigni, The Yoga Nurse | Dec. 10-11, 2011 | Show 430
RN Jean Ross, Co-President of National Nurses United, is a frequent guest on Nurse Talk. On this show she updates us on recent U.S. rallies organized by nurses to support their counterparts in Great Britain. On Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2011, over two million British workers joined the biggest strike in the United Kingdom in a generation. National Nurses United organized six rallies in cities around the U.S. in a show of support.
Then, Dr. Barbara Greenberg, a clinical psychologist who specializes in the treatment of teens and families. She writes a regular column “The Teen Doctor” in Psychology Today. Her recent article focuses on why teens can be so competitive during the holidays. She has some good ideas about how you can have a happy TEEN HOLIDAY. We’ll talk to her about her new book, Teenage as a Second Language: A Parent’s Guide to Becoming Bilingual. Oh, that is good!
And, a segment every nurse needs, brought to you in partnership with Nurse Together.com, Annette Tersigni RN, the Yoga Nurse, and founder of Yoga Nursing. Annette is a contributor to our Nurse Talk blog and has some great ideas for how the restorative principles of yoga can fight stress and “empower you to continue to serve as the nurse hero that you are.” Read more…
Nursing is hard emotional, physical, and spiritual work—it is also very rewarding and satisfying. Tension and turmoil come with the territory of being a nurse. Are your feelings of frustration simple stress or something more serious? Decide for yourself: is it stress, burnout, or compassion fatigue?
Stress is a naturally occurring phenomenon in the life of a nurse. As a nurse, you regularly witness the pain and suffering of others. You work under demanding conditions in stressful environments. Staffing issues, budgetary constraints, and regulatory scrutiny complicate the care you provide.
Stress is like a storm—anything from a quick cloudburst to a hurricane. Like storms, stress follows a predictable life cycle—there is a preparation phase, a time to “ride out the storm”, and a recovery phase. All storms eventually pass.
To prepare for life’s storms build your support network, practice authentic self-care, and study stress management strategies. During the storm, use your resources, implement your survival skills, and ask for support. After the storm, survey the damage, recover, and prepare for the next storm.
Bonnie is a staff nurse working on a busy medical-surgical floor. After arriving at work this morning she learned she would be in charge and that one of the nurses had called in sick. Read more…