DiversityNursing Blog

Managing Stress During The Holidays

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Fri, Dec 06, 2019 @ 02:32 PM

holidaystressThe holidays are meant to bring feelings of joy and cheer, but this time of year can also bring a lot of stress. No matter what holiday you celebrate, this season can affect us all. Especially Nurses, who work in an already stressful environment, as you juggle more difficult demands of your time, emotions and patience. 

Most people celebrate the holidays with family and friends at home, but you miss many holidays to take care of your patients. Having celebrations with your coworkers is nice, but nothing feels like home. Some families will try to move dates around so they can all celebrate together.

If you're missing holidays to treat patients, then those patients are missing out on their holiday celebrations too. Spreading extra holiday cheer can make you both feel some joy. Fortunately, you get to go home at the end of the shift.

Another stressor can be financial as people go crazy buying gifts and worry how to pay for them. Try not to overspend. Perhaps you’re crafty and can make some of those gifts.

The loss of loved ones is more difficult this time of year. In your profession, you witness the passing of patients and often you’re coping with your own feelings of loss as you try to console the family. Lean on fellow coworkers and managers to help relieve some of the stress. Don't hold it all in and try to get through it alone.

In colder climates, as the season changes to winter, many people are affected by SAD seasonal affective disorder. With less daylight, spending more time indoors and the sense of isolation it can bring, dealing with the cold, and extreme weather conditions, can be quite depressing unless… you love outdoor winter sports! To combat SAD, try light therapy, exercise, planning social get-togethers, talking to a mental health professional, or using medication to help lighten your mood.

The Mayo Clinic offers more tips to help with holiday stress.

  • Acknowledge your feelings. It's OK to take time to cry or express your feelings. You can't force yourself to be happy just because it's the holiday season.
  • Reach out. If you feel lonely or isolated, seek out community, religious or other social events.
  • Stick to a budget. Before you go gift and food shopping, decide how much money you can afford to spend. Then stick to your budget. Don't try to buy happiness with an avalanche of gifts.
  • Learn to say no. Saying yes when you should say no can leave you feeling resentful and overwhelmed. Friends and colleagues will understand if you can't participate in every project or activity.
  • Don't abandon healthy habits. Don't let the holidays become a free-for-all. Overindulgence only adds to your stress and guilt.
  • Take a breather. Make some time for yourself. Spending just 15 minutes alone, without distractions, may refresh you enough to handle everything you need to do. Find something that reduces stress by clearing your mind, slowing your breathing and restoring inner calm.
  • Seek professional help if you need it. Despite your best efforts, you may find yourself feeling persistently sad or anxious, plagued by physical complaints, unable to sleep, irritable and hopeless, and unable to face routine chores. If these feelings last for a while, talk to your doctor or a mental health professional.

At the end of the day, no one is going to be happy around you if you’re not happy. It’s so important to take care of YOU. We’ve offered some suggestions to help you deal with stress during the holidays. Now it’s up to you to choose what will work for you. Good Luck!

Happy Holidays, Peace and Joy from your friends at DiversityNursing.com!

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Topics: Seasonal affective disorder, holiday stress, stress during the holidays, managing stress, manage stress

2020 Is The Year Of The Nurse

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Mon, Dec 02, 2019 @ 02:08 PM

2020For the first time in history, the world will unite in celebrating the benefits that Nurses and Midwives bring to the health of the global population. The World Health Organization (WHO), has declared 2020 as The Year of the Nurse and the Midwife (YONM).

It is celebrated in honor of the 200th anniversary of Florence Nightingale's birth. President of the International Council of Nurses (ICN), Annette Kennedy, said "The 20 million Nurses around the world will be thrilled to see their profession recognized in this way. Florence Nightingale used her lamp to illuminate the places where Nurses worked, and I hope the designation of 2020 as the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife will provide us with a new, 20-20 vision of what Nursing is in the modern era, and how Nurses can light the way to universal health coverage and healthcare for all.”

WHO is working with partners such as, the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM), International Council of Nurses (ICN), Nursing Now and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). Their goal for this year-long global focus on Nurses and Midwives is to: 

  • Celebrate the contributions of health workers, with particular focus on Nurses and Midwives, in improving health globally,  
  • acknowledge, appreciate and address the challenging conditions Nurses and Midwives  face while providing care where it's needed most and
  • advocate for increased investments in the Nursing and Midwifery workforce

Lord Nigel Crisp, co-Chair of the Nursing Now campaign said, “The WHO has provided a unique opportunity both for countries to demonstrate how much they appreciate their Nurses and Midwives and to showcase what more Nurses and Midwives can achieve if given the support to do so."

Check out the World Health Organization's video, Nurses and Midwives: Key To Universal Health Coverage

We at DiversityNursing.com are thrilled Nurses and Midwives are receiving recognition for their commitment to the profession and selfless dedication to their patients, families and students.

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Topics: World Health Organization, nurses, midwives, The Year of the Nurse and the Midwife, 2020 year of the Nurse, International Council of Nurses, International Confederation of Midwives, Nursing Now

Thankful For Nurses

Posted by Pat Magrath

Tue, Nov 19, 2019 @ 10:11 AM

thanks-1

We love our Nurses and with Thanksgiving being celebrated next week, it is only appropriate that we give thanks to all you awesome Nurses!

 

I’ve spent some time as a patient, parent, and decision-maker of a gravely ill parent, in doctor’s offices, ER’s, OR’s, ICU’s, school nurse offices, nursing homes, etc. Every time, I’ve been amazed at the professionalism, understanding and compassion of the Nurses I’ve encountered over the years, both personally and professionally. I appreciate how hard you work and how much you give of yourself. You’ve seen it all. It is not a job for the weak or selfish.

 

Every day, in every kind of healthcare facility, you save countless lives day in and day out. This should be enough to be thankful for, but there is so much more you do.

 

Here are some of the reasons we Appreciate and Thank You…

 

1)       Terrific Listening Skills. With great communication skills, you listen to your patient’s questions, concerns, pain, complaints, etc. You always do your best to address these concerns, get answers, and show you care.

 

2)       Sense of Calmness. Panic isn't an option. You know how to remain calm in chaotic situations and provide the best care possible. You know time spent panicking is critical time wasted. This sense of calmness is felt by your patients and helps to keep them from panicking. What a wonderful gift!

 

3)       Empathy. You work with patients when they are worried about their health. Perhaps they just received a scary diagnosis, are facing surgery or painful medical treatment. The point is, you often see patients when they are at the lowest points in their lives and are most vulnerable. You empathize with them.

 

4)       Patience. Some patients, or their loved ones, lash out at those who are trying to help. It’s difficult not to take it personally, but you understand it is their stress, pain or grief that is responsible for their behavior. You understand and dig deep continuing to give care. Your patient attitude also comes in handy when fellow staff behave inappropriately under stressful circumstances. 

 

5)       Super Smart. There’s no doubt about it. Nurses are very intelligent. You might be just starting or continuing your education. Or, you worked hard in school and passed the NCLEX. You’re always learning and discovering better ways to get things done. Your critical thinking skills and ability to think on your feet are truly impressive!

 

6)       Passion and Dedication. Many of you push through 12+ hour shifts on your feet, skipping bathroom and lunch breaks to make sure your patients are getting everything they need. You are dedicated to being the best Nurse possible.

 

7)       Best Teammates. People can sense and feel a hostile work environment. You do your best to support and help each other get through the toughest times. Being part of a team is essential in making things run smoothly in any healthcare setting. Having each other's backs makes a pleasant and productive work environment.

 

8)       Sense of Humor. This will get you through many difficult times, both inside and outside work. There’s nothing like a good joke to share!

 

In conclusion, thank you for all you do for your patients, students, and families. There would be no Healthcare without YOU!


Happy Thanksgiving!!

Topics: thanksgiving, thank nurses, thank you nurses, thankful for nurses

Diabetes: Racial and Ethnic Disparities

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Thu, Nov 14, 2019 @ 02:10 PM

daibetesNovember is Diabetes Awareness Month. This is the perfect time to discuss diabetes health disparities. Racial and ethnic minorities have higher prevalence rates, worse diabetes control, and a higher rate of complications, according to an article from the U.S. National Institutes of Health's National Library of Medicine.

According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), compared to white adults, the risk of having a diabetes diagnosis is

·         77% higher among African Americans

·         66% higher among Latinos/Hispanics

·         18% higher among Asian Americans

The article from the ADA also notes, even though there is a high rate of this condition, minorities receive lower care quality and experience more barriers to self-management than white patients. They are less likely to receive advised services such as annual hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) testing, annual LDL cholesterol (LDL-C) testing, and an annual retinal examination. 

Minorities are more likely than white people to live in areas of low socioeconomic status. These neighborhoods lack shared ideas about health promotion, access to healthcare services, healthy foods, and safe places to exercise. These are all needed to improve an individual’s management of their diabetes.

The Office of Minority Health (OMH) at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said they are teaming up with the American Diabetes Association and other groups to help people prevent and treat diabetes, and to specifically address the disparities in minority groups.

An article from the Food and Drug Administration said, "OMH's outreach work includes raising awareness of the need for more research in diabetes therapies that address racial and ethnic differences. OMH is also working to make sure minorities are included as subjects in clinical trials of medical products for the treatment of diabetes and other diseases."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) started the National Diabetes Prevention Program (National DPP) which is a partnership of public and private organizations who work together to provide an affordable, evidence-based lifestyle change program to help people with prediabetes prevent or delay type 2 diabetes.

However, according to the CDC some racial and ethnic minority groups were enrolling in the program at lower rates than other groups. To help increase access, the CDC recently funded 10 national organizations to start new in-person programs in underserved areas (regions with fewer resources to address health disparities). In addition to in-person delivery, the program can also be accessed online, by distance learning, or through a combination of these formats.

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Topics: diabetes, health disparities, racial health disparities, diabetes awareness

Why Hiring Veterans For The Medical Field is Good for All

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Mon, Nov 11, 2019 @ 09:31 AM

veterannurseAn estimated 250,000 service members transition out of the military each year. According to a survey by Navy Federal Credit Union, in partnership with the nonprofit Hire Heroes USA, health care topped the list of the 10 best career employment opportunities for those transitioning.

Service members have skills, principles, and standards that fit perfectly into a hospital or health system’s own core values and needs.

Veterans are trained to keep an eye on the big picture, while also keeping a strong sense of details.

Military personnel are the ultimate team players and are team-trained leaders. One of the first things they learn in the military is to become a good leader, you must first be a good follower. For them, rising through the ranks is a rite of passage and allows all military leaders to create their own management styles based on what they've learned from their superiors.

Veterans are able to adapt and work well in extreme conditions. They are accustomed to assessing situations and quickly forming a plan of action.

These trained service members are experts in delivering emergency services in under-resourced environments. This is an invaluable resource for rural and critical access hospitals.

Veterans can also relate to a Nurses' 12-hour shift, foregoing bathroom and lunch breaks during long durations.

According to an article from the National Institutes of Health, The Nursing shortage in the United States is expected to reach 260,000 Registered Nurses by 2025. Capitalizing on prior education, experience, and skills of military clinical personnel to fill these jobs could significantly reduce the projected Nursing shortage.

Many Nursing schools offer Veterans' Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing (VBSN) programs. Programs like these, strengthen and grow the Nursing workforce through increased enrollment, progression, and graduation of veterans from baccalaureate Nursing programs.  These programs help veterans transition from their former military role to a civilian Registered Nurse.

Veterans possess clinical skills and have received excellent training in care delivery. All of the qualities mentioned will add value to your health system.

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Topics: veteran to nurse, why you should hire veterans, veterans in healthcare, hiring veterans, hire veterans, veteran hospitals

Increasing Diversity In Leadership Roles

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Fri, Nov 01, 2019 @ 10:26 AM

nursefolderAccording to Diversity Best Practices, from 2015 to 2030, the US population is projected to grow by 12 percent, from about 321 million to 359 million. Most of that growth will come from minority and immigrant populations.

In order to better serve this growing population there needs to be more diverse healthcare professionals in leadership roles that mirror a culturally competent workforce. 

Modern Healthcare covered the industry’s lack of diversity in the C-suite mentioning, "Only 14% of hospital board members and 9% of CEOs are minorities, according to the most recent study by the American Hospital Association's Institute for Diversity and Health Equity—the same percentages as in 2013."

Yvonne Wesley, PhD, RN, FAAN and M. Jane Fitzsimmons, MSN, RN worked together to better understand the barriers diverse Nursing leaders faced in progressing their careers into higher leadership roles.

They created a survey that asked, "What do you perceive as the top three barriers for diversity Nurse leaders in advancing their careers to the executive level?" 

The answers were:

  • Lack of equal access to inclusion.
  • Lack of mentorship and sponsorship.
  • Lack of opportunities for leader experiences.

Here are some ways to promote diversity in healthcare leadership.

In order to destroy these barriers, leaders of all backgrounds and ethnicities must first understand and accept that these barriers do exist. Those leaders can take that knowledge and their own personal cultural insights and use them to effectively address disparities within their own communities.

Mentoring programs are extremely important and should be implemented ASAP. As in any business, Nurses need leaders to help guide and inspire them. Representation of diverse Nurses in leadership positions creates positive influence and confidence in other Nurses looking to achieve leadership goals in the future.

Recruiting diverse candidates at every level increases representation in management, but also develops a diverse workforce and future pool of qualified candidates.

Utilize pro-diversity initiatives to reduce social isolation. Hire a Diversity & Inclusion Officer and appoint a diversity committee. There should be a diversity action plan, diversity training, social gatherings, and resource groups.

In healthcare, trust and representation matters. More diversity in healthcare leadership roles will create better patient outcomes.


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Topics: Diversity and Inclusion, chief diversity officer, diversity in healthcare, workplace diversity, healthcare leadership, diversity in leadership roles

Spirit Halloween Makes Hospitals 'Less Scary' for Pediatric Patients

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Mon, Oct 28, 2019 @ 11:41 AM

Spirit_of_Children_2019We love this story and are excited to share it with you! Spirit Halloween is a major Halloween retailer and their mission is to make hospitals less scary for kids and their families through their Spirit of Children organization.

Spirit of Children has raised more than $55 million for Child Life departments since 2007 and their goal is to raise $10 million this year.

According to an article on PRNewswire, Funds for Spirit of Children are raised via donations from customers at more than 1,360 Spirit Halloween stores and SpiritHalloween.com, in addition to contributions from vendors and business partners. One hundred percent of funds raised by Spirit of Children stay local and are donated to each hospital's Child Life department.

spirit2These funds are used to host Halloween parties at pediatric hospitals during October so patients won't miss out on Halloween celebrations.

This year they’re hosting around 100 Halloween parties across the U.S. and Canada. Overall Spirit of Children will supply more than 80,000 costumes, accessories, activities and decorations for the parties. Also patients and families get to meet favorite characters like Batman and Ben 10.

Terry Spearman, Director of Child Life and Integrative Care Services at Children's National Hospital in Washington, D.C. said, "Spirit of Children recognizes that healing a child's body, mind and spirit takes more than medicine."

According to Penn State Children's Hospital, The funds are also used to hire additional Child Life staff, extending Child Life hours of operation and providing full-time Child Life specialists in the Emergency Department. Educational and entertainment items such as iPads and toys used for distraction during procedures are also purchased with funding. In addition, Spirit of Children funding has helped create playrooms, teen lounges and separate family spaces for long hospital visits.

See photos of Penn State Children's Hospital Spirit of Children Halloween party, click here to view photos.

Children's Hospital of Richmond at VCU is another participating hospital. Here’s their video showcasing their Spirit of Children Halloween party.

Happy Halloween!!


 

Topics: spirit of children, halloween in hospital, hospital halloween party, spirit halloween, pediatric hospitals

If You're Deaf, Can You Have A Career In Nursing?

Posted by Diversity Nursing

Thu, Oct 17, 2019 @ 03:16 PM

hohsteth

To answer this question, we did some research and discovered the answer is Yes, a deaf person can have a career in Nursing. In this article, we focus on 3 Nurses who are making it happen.

For Dionne Jaques, becoming a Nurse was a goal of hers for many years. She knew it would be difficult to achieve this goal because she is deaf. Dionne never gave up. She fulfilled her goal and is a Registered Nurse in a health care facility in Southern Utah. During her valedictorian speech at Nightingale College graduation, she said "Don't let your limitations slow you down".

There are many people like Dionne whose passion is Nursing, like Annie Resetar. Annie has moderate to severe hearing loss. She graduated from Walsh University with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. She then interned at Akron Children’s Hospital and is currently working as an aide in a Nursing home.

Annie said, "I think my hearing disability sets me apart and makes me a better Nurse. It helps build trust with my patients. It is a testament that there are things wrong with all of us, but that should not get in the way of our lives and dreams. Rather, we simply must adapt and embrace these differences because they make us stronger."

Lauren Searls was born deaf and both of her parents are deaf. Her goal is to be a Family Nurse Practitioner. She received her RN degree from Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing and has applied for an MS in Nursing there.

According to the Rochester Institute of Technology, Lauren has relied on interpreters in the classroom and while visiting patients.

She said, "I go into the patients’ rooms with confidence, introduce myself, tell the patients that I am deaf and will rely on interpreters as needed. I have been able to make it work effectively. Although I do well in one-on-one situations and small group settings, I am not hearing and only 30 percent of the English language is lip readable and there is no guarantee that everyone speaks clearly or is easy to understand. Working with an interpreter is the only way I’ll be able to ensure I have access to what is going on around me.”

Nurses who are hard of hearing are legally entitled to use accommodations like ASL (American Sign Language) interpreters and tools such as amplified stethoscopes to assist them. To learn more about resources and accommodations, the Association of Medical Professionals with Hearing Loss (AMPHL) and the Society of Health Care Professionals With Disabilities advocates for deaf and hard-of-hearing professionals in the medical field.

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Topics: hard of hearing nurse, deaf nursing student, diverse nurse, nurses with disabilities, deaf nurse

Stairs Are Not A Problem For This Wheelchair

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Wed, Oct 09, 2019 @ 02:09 PM

 

scewobroThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates 61 million adults in the United States live with a disability and 13.7 percent of those people have a mobility disability with serious difficulty walking or climbing stairs.

In Switzerland 10 master students from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology wanted to develop a new generation wheelchair that would provide more accessibility and freedom for it's users to go wherever life takes them.

The biggest challenge for wheelchair users is stairs. So the students created the Scewo Bro wheelchair.

The Scewo Bro is an electric, stair-climbing wheelchair with self-balancing, segway technology to make it easier for the user to rotate on the spot and to drive over curbs without getting stuck. It is controlled by using your smartphone or the integrated touch screen and joy stick.

This amazing wheelchair uses rubber tracks to safely climb stairs, even spiral staircases. In a BBC article, one of the student designers, Thomas Gemperle, explained “Stairs are climbed sitting backward and driven down in the forward position. The tracks adapt to the angle of the stair automatically and keep the user level at all times."

Thomas also added, “With our special drive-train we have a wide stand on the stairs which makes it impossible to tip over in any direction."

Another feature of the Scewo Bro is “elevated mode”. This feature raises the wheelchair up for an eye level conversation or for reaching objects up high.

eyelevelscewo

The Scewo Bro charges in 5 hours with any household outlet and folds down into a compact size to fit in the smallest of cars.

Jose Di Felice

According to a CNN article, Jose Di Felice from Switzerland, was paralyzed in both legs and 1 arm after a high-speed motorcycle accident 3 years ago.

He discovered the Scewo Bro on Youtube and requested a test drive. Di Felice test drove the wheelchair at his town hall. He told CNN, "It was really emotional to go up these stairs, and look down there and say that it's possible."

It is anticipated the Scewo Bro wheelchairs will be distributed to users by the end of 2019. Di Felice will be one of the first to receive this life changing wheelchair.

Topics: scewo bro, wheelchair uses stairs

Domestic Violence And How Nurses Can Help Victims

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Fri, Oct 04, 2019 @ 01:56 PM

domesticviolenceDomestic violence does not discriminate. Anyone of any age, race, education level, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, religion or gender can be a victim OR perpetrator.

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence ncadv.org, Domestic violence is the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another. It includes physical violence, sexual violence, psychological violence, and emotional abuse. 

Often at the beginning of a relationship, you can’t tell if it will become abusive. Typically, in the early stages of the relationship, the abusive partner is perfect in every way. Signs of controlling behaviors and obsessiveness emerge and intensify as the relationship goes on.

Domestic Violence Statistics

According to the CDC,

  • On average, nearly 20 people/minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. In 1 year, this equates to 10+ million women and men.
  • 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have experienced some form of physical violence by an intimate partner.
  • 1 in 7 women and 1 in 25 men have been injured by an intimate partner.
  • 1 in 7 women and 1 in 18 men have been stalked by an intimate partner during their lifetime to the point in which they felt very fearful or believed that they or someone close to them would be harmed or killed.
  • 1 in 10 women have been raped by an intimate partner. Data is unavailable on male victims.

Nurses have an important role to play in assisting victims of abuse/violence in a domestic situation.

Abused victims say that a compassionate inquiry from a caring Nurse helped them disclose their abuse and find the best intervention services. By recognizing the signs of abuse and caring to ask questions, the patient recognizes the Nurse is knowledgeable about domestic violence and validates domestic violence as a legitimate health care issue.

According to a Crisis Prevention article, when assessing a victim, be aware of the following physical signs of injuries that may be related to domestic violence:

  • Bruising in the chest and abdomen
  • Multiple injuries
  • Minor lacerations
  • Ruptured eardrums
  • Delay in seeking medical attention and
  • Patterns of repeated injury

However it is unlikely the victim will be seeking help for a physical injury. More likely they are seeking help for issues such as:

  • A stress-related illness
  • Anxiety, panic attacks, stress and/or depression
  • Drug and alcohol abuse
  • Chronic headaches, asthma, vague aches and pains
  • Abdominal pain, chronic diarrhea
  • Sexual dysfunction, vaginal discharge
  • Joint pain, muscle pain
  • Sleeping and eating disorders
  • Suicide attempts, psychiatric illness or
  • Gynecological problems, miscarriages, chronic pelvic pain

The victim may also:

  • Appear nervous, ashamed or evasive
  • Describe their partner as controlling or prone to anger
  • Seem uncomfortable or anxious in the presence of their partner
  • Be accompanied by their partner, who does most of the talking
  • Give an unconvincing explanation of the injuries
  • Be recently separated or divorced
  • Be reluctant to follow advice

After assessing the patient, try not to jump in too fast with suggestions and solutions. Encourage the patient to talk, and then listen carefully. After you have a better understanding of the patient's current state, you can help by providing appropriate resources for them to find safety. Some of these resources include…

The National Domestic Violence Hotline
1-800-799-7233 (SAFE)
www.ndvh.org

National Sexual Assault Hotline 
1-800-656-4673 (HOPE)
www.rainn.org

National Resource Center on Domestic Violence 
1-800-537-2238
www.nrcdv.org and www.vawnet.org

Futures Without Violence: The National Health Resource Center on Domestic Violence 
1-888-792-2873
www.futureswithoutviolence.org

National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma & Mental Health
1-312-726-7020 ext. 2011
www.nationalcenterdvtraumamh.org

Childhelp USA/National Child Abuse Hotline 
1-800-422-4453
www.childhelpusa.org

Domestic Violence Initiative 
(303) 839-5510/ (877) 839-5510
www.dviforwomen.org

INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence 
incite.natl@gmail.com 
www.incite-national.org

Casa de Esperanza 
Linea de crisis 24-horas/24-hour crisis line 
1-651-772-1611
www.casadeesperanza.org

Asian and Pacific Islander Institute on Domestic Violence 
1-415-954-9988
www.apiidv.org

Institute on Domestic Violence in the African American Community 
1-877-643-8222
www.dvinstitute.org

 

Topics: domestic violence, treating domestic violence patients, domestic violence victims

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