DiversityNursing Blog

She told him to get back in the truck

Posted by Pat Magrath

Mon, Jun 19, 2017 @ 02:50 PM

0ddea7c3cbfc4d408c0ae6307490e386-0ddea7c3cbfc4d408c0ae6307490e386-0.jpegThere were many texts, but it was the incomprehensible text encouraging a young man to get back in the truck that sent him to his death. Perhaps you haven’t heard of this story. It started as local news in Massachusetts, but when it went to trial, it became national news.
 
It is the senseless, shocking, and tragic story of a suicidal young man and a young woman who communicated primarily through texting about their depression and suicidal thoughts. He had attempted suicide before, but with her encouragement, he finally succeeded. This case received a lot of attention because the young woman, accused of involuntary manslaughter, was not physically present when he died. Yet through texting, she shamed and encouraged him to complete the act. Why? What was her motivation and what was she thinking?
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To learn more about this story, please read and then share your thoughts with our community. What do you think about the verdict? What should her sentence be? Clearly there are mental health issues here. Do you think she should be held accountable?
 
Learn more about the case here www.boston.com
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Topics: laws, depression, Massachusetts, suicide, michelle carter, national news

7 Ways to Overcome the “I’m Too Busy to Plan A Vacation” Syndrome

Posted by Contributor

Thu, Jun 15, 2017 @ 02:32 PM

vacation-rentals-slider3.jpegWritten by: www.vacationcounts.com
Summer officially starts next week. We know how busy you are and that you need a break. We came upon this article and think it will be helpful in giving you some tips to plan a much-needed vacation. You may already have the time off on your schedule, but haven’t gotten around to actually planning it.
 
We know the 1st point may not apply to you, but the other tips should. Whatever you do, we hope you have the opportunity to leave your job behind, unwind, relax and enjoy yourself.
 
I don’t know how many times I’ve heard people say they were too busy to plan their next vacation. Has this happened to you? They were overworked, stressed by life, and just plain tired. After another busy day of work and home responsibilities, it is easy to feel like there is no time or energy to plan another vacation.

You know you want to take a vacation, am I right!? So avoid the temptation to let your days off arrive with zero planning. Embrace work-life-vacation balance by maximizing your time off from work and life.

So what happens when your vacation dates are coming up soon and you have no idea where you want to go? Don’t fall into the “I’m too busy” trap. Repeat to yourself… “I am NOT too busy to plan a vacation.” Do it again because with our advice you will never again be too busy to plan your next vacation.

As promised, here is our top 7 ways to book a memorable vacation with minimal effort.

1. You can plan a trip while you commute

We all seem to have an Android or iPhone in our hands as we go about our day. And people love to download apps onto their phones. That is where mobile bookings come to the rescue.

All the major online travel websites offer smart phone apps (think Expedia, Booking.com, and Priceline) and are working hard to get you to book on your mobile device. They are improving the booking user experience with every app update. They all want to be able to say they let you book the perfect vacation in as few clicks as possible.

Plus coupons are offered all the time, giving you instant discounts. Shop around for the most popular travel booking brands in the app store. You will probably have to create an account and sign up for their newsletter to receive the best deals, but it is worth it.

OK so how does this save you time when you are too busy to plan a vacation? Simple! Use your commute time, your morning coffee time, or your lunch break (you do know how important it is to take a lunch break) to plan a vacation. Make your co-workers jealous by telling them you’re planning a tropical or exotic vacation on your phone.

Now you can book a vacation even while commuting or taking your regular break at work.

2. Cruises and all-inclusive resorts are no-brainers

Are you looking for the downright easiest vacation option? Look no further than a cruise or all-inclusive vacation to do the trick. Both tend to include all your food and drinks (at least non-alcoholic), plus scheduled “fun” activities for your entire family all day, every day. It is hard to go wrong, especially when you go with the recommendations of friends and family. Just ask them where they went by posting to your social media network.

Booking a cruise or all-inclusive resort takes minutes once you pick your dates and region of the world.  For all inclusive places to stay, try conducting a Google Image Search to choose a vacation by photo. Type in “all inclusive resort” plus a city or country name (like Jamaica or Puerto Vallarta) that you are thinking about. Can you picture yourself on that beach or having a drink at the luxurious bar? Also consider booking directly with the resort as you might be given a better room or other special offers since they don’t have to pay a commission that way.

Besides the cruise lines you see on TV, try CruiseCritic for first-timer advice, ship reviews, and ports of call coverage. Simply select a cabin or room type plus a few optional vacation elements and off you go. You can book direct or leverage the help and advice of a travel agent (see next tip) if you prefer.

3. Outsource the heavy lifting to a travel agent

With the popularity of online do-it-yourself (DIY) travel bookings, you may have forgotten that travel agents stand ready to assist. There are fewer travel agents today than years ago, but they are more reachable online and off. You can choose to visit a retail travel agency or search the Web for an independent travel agent with expertise to match. Either way travel agents will always come to the rescue when you are too busy to plan your own trip.

Travel agents do not typically charge a fee except for booking airline tickets in some cases. Any small fees are well worth the time and stress savings.

A good travel agent will ask you a few questions in-person, by phone, or via email first. Without you lifting a figure, you’ll receive a list of the top two or three options – the best matches for your vacation wishes. All you need to do is choose one and pass along your credit card details. The entire booking process will be taken care of for you. Done and done!

4. Package holidays are one-click vacations

You don’t have to be an independent traveler with every trip. Even if you have never booked a package holiday in the past, give yourself permission to book a pre-made vacation this time. Tours and vacation packages come in various forms.  The most common is to book a guided multi-day tour which includes accommodations, transportation, some meals, and of course loads of sightseeing and activities. The United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA) Member Directory is a good starting point.

The other one-stop option is to make a booking which combines airfare with hotel, some activities, and transfers.  Besides receiving a package discount, you may also receive free admission tickets, transport passes, and welcome gifts. Today most of the major online travel websites offer one-click vacation packages which you can build in just a few clicks of the mouse. Besides Expedia, sites like Hotwire, Go-Today.com, and airlines such as Southwest give you an incentive to book all the pieces of a vacation together. Just look for the highlighted discount amount to find out how much you’ll save over booking airfare and hotel separately.

Themed hotel packages are another form of package holidays that are gaining in popularity. While checking rates and availability at a B&B or a resort and spa, you may be offered several “special” room-rate packages. These might include gourmet meals, spa treatments, local attractions, romantic experiences, and family programs. So by only booking a place to stay, you gain an entire vacation package in one-click.

5. A big city vacation can be done spontaneously

When you are overwhelmed by the endless vacation possibilities, go with a big city trip. Choose a big city that you can easily reach by car, train, bus, or a direct flight. Next pick a centrally located hotel that fits within your budget. Most accommodations offer personal help on what there is to do once you arrive. So with this type of effortless vacation there is no need to plan ahead.

Big cities have an endless variety of attractions, events, history, places to eat, and neighborhoods to explore. You won’t run out of things to do.  Just ask at the front desk and browse the tourist brochure rack for fun ideas. Or do what you do at home. Pull out your smart phone and scan Yelp, FourSquare, Google Maps, and browse to the local tickets and “What’s On” web guides to plan your city break.

What if the nearest big city is one you’ve visited numerous times? To make it fresh and new, take another approach. Pretend like you live there. Rent an apartment or a room in a house so you can stay in a residential neighborhood. That way you can shop nearby markets, dine out with the locals, and appreciate big city life for the duration of your trip.

Just like every place is worth visiting at least once, every place is worth living in – at least for a brief period!

6. Renting a beach or mountain home is easier than ever

Whether you prefer the scenery at the beach or in the mountains, consider renting a vacation home for your next bit of time off. You trade in life at your current home for a new temporary home away from home. Websites to search and book vacation homes and “holiday lets” are plentiful. Popular choices include HomeAway.com and VRBO plus HolidayLettings for European destinations.  Some are managed properties in vacation-friendly communities. Others are individually owned so you deal directly with the owner. This type of vacation is a cinch to plan.

You also have upstart Airbnb as an incredible source for part-time vacation homes around the globe. Their inventory runs the gamut from empty rooms to apartments to entire homes that people rent out when they go away. These rentals are often lived in, but have more character than furnished time-shares.

Renting someone’s actual home is like moving into a new town without all the heavy lifting. You’ll appreciate the fully stocked kitchen to save money by cooking at home. Owners are happy to share with you their favorite places to eat, stroll, and be entertained. You may even make friends with the neighbors.

7. Choose a staycation to play tourist in your home town

When you find yourself not in the mood to travel far from home, a staycation (see definition of a staycation) is the best decision. Planning a stay-at-home vacation takes only a small bit of work since you can avoid the transportation and lodging decisions. The most important part of a staycation is to have an “on vacation” mindset. You may be at home, but you have to push aside and get away from your day-to-day routines and responsibilities.

Act like a tourist in your home town to maximize your staycation. Pick up a copy of the local events newspaper or browse the online version. Stop by the official tourist office to pick up brochures such as for walking tours, tourist attractions, and special events. This is your chance to experience workday daytime happenings – just don’t feel guilty about not being at work yourself.  Take a class, try a hipster lunch spot, catch a matinée, be a sports spectator, and act like an “I’m On Vacation” tourist without leaving home.

Think about what nearby “tourist” attractions that you have never visited.  Search the TripAdvisor list of “Things To Do” to find out what gets the highest ranking.  How about those must-see attractions that you feel embarrassed to say you haven’t “done” in all these years? Add these to your staycation itinerary for sure.  One warning… be careful to avoid the temptation to run errands by making a full day of being on a (stay-)vacation each day.

Have You Planned Your Vacation Yet?

Now that you have 7 minimal effort ways to plan a vacation even when you are super busy, which technique are you going to use to book your next vacation?

Vacation is all about the time you spend away from home and work. There are no wrong vacations, except for the ones you miss taking. Whenever you feel overworked and overstressed and have a vacation period coming up, you’ll have no excuse for depriving yourself and your family. Choose a one-click option, rent a home, call a travel agent, book a guided tour, embark on an all-inclusive cruise, or even take a staycation.

Which is your go to choice for planning a trip when you lack the time and energy? Add your thoughts in the comments below to share your time-off time-saving advice.

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Topics: work life balance, busy schedule vacation, nurse shift, vacation planning, nurse vacation

Men In Nursing

Posted by Pat Magrath

Tue, Jun 13, 2017 @ 09:57 AM

Male-Nurse.jpegEven though women comprise an estimated 90% of the Nursing industry, opportunities have been steadily increasing for men. Since 1970 the number of male Nurses has grown from 2.7 to 9.6% of the industry. Some of the reasons more men are attracted to Nursing is that jobs are secure and pay between $40,000 and $60,000. Here's a deeper look at opportunities for men in Nursing. 

Geography of Male Nurses

In some states the percentage of men in Nursing is much higher than the national picture. In Nebraska, for example, male Nurses outnumber female Nurses by a 3-1 margin. But in all other states women are the majority. In California, 20% of Nurses are male.

Excelsior College in Albany, New York has partnered with the American Assembly for Men in Nursing (AAMN) to encourage more male Nurses. The goal of the AAMN, a national organization with local chapters, is for male enrollment in Nursing programs to reach 20% by 2020

Changing Attitudes About Nursing

One of the reasons why women dominate the Nursing industry is due to  traditional perceptions in our society. One of the main stigmas men have faced in the past is the stereotype that Nursing is a woman's job. Another perception has been that men in Nursing are not able to be admitted to medical school.

Despite a long history of men in Nursing going back to ancient Rome, in the 19th century cultural gender roles began to favor women as medical assistants. Emphasis on Victorian values of that era in the United States escalated the stereotypes of gender roles. The low point for male Nurses was during the Great Depression, declining to 1%. 

These perceptions are changing, though, just as more women are becoming physicians. Already in the field of Nurse Anesthetists about 41% are male. The average annual salary for this occupation is $162,000. 

Reasons Men Should Consider Nursing

  • Nursing shortage
  • Nursing is an industry with growing opportunities 
  • Variety of high-paying specialties
  • Dispel outdated gender myths and provide industry diversity
  • Work in a variety of settings - hospital, office, school, homecare, teaching, etc.

If you're a male who wants to pursue Nursing as a career, you should focus on Nursing more than gender. It's a rewarding occupation on many levels for both men and women, especially for people who enjoy caring for others. While Registered Nurses in America earn an average salary of about $52,000, more specialized Nurses earn over $72, 000. The job will also expand your knowledge about health, which you can apply to your own life and circle of friends. 

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Topics: male nurse, diversity in nursing, men in nursing, male nurses

The Emergence of Telenursing

Posted by Brian Neese

Fri, Jun 09, 2017 @ 03:02 PM

transform.jpegIn many cases, patients are now able to access their health care providers through video conferencing, instant messaging, email and other forms of technology. This field, known as telehealth, is growing due to the demand for greater access and convenience in health care, according to Hospitals & Health Networks.

Advances in technology allow nurses to interact with patients remotely. This has led to the term “telenursing” or “telehealth nursing,” which is defined as “the use of telehealth/telemedicine technology to deliver nursing care and conduct nursing practice,” the American Telemedicine Association (ATA) says.

Telenursing is not a specialty area in nursing. Nurses in nearly all practice settings can provide care at a distance. And given the rapid rise of telenursing, current and future nurses can expect to have more career opportunities in this field.

Growth and Benefits

More than half of all U.S. hospitals use some form of telemedicine, according to the ATA. A survey shows that 90 percent of health care executives are developing or implementing a telemedicine program.

Other signs point to the growth of telemedicine and telenursing. State lawmakers are supporting legislation for telemedicine-related reimbursements. These changes have been accepted by private and public insurers. Providers are even extending services across the globe, and the ATA notes that more than 200 academic medical centers in the United States offer video-based consulting in other parts of the world.

Primary benefits associated with telemedicine include the following.

· Cost Savings: A heart failure telemonitoring program led to 11 percent cost savings, with an estimated return on investment of $3.30 in cost savings for every $1 spent on program implementation, according to the American Hospital Association. U.S. employers could save an estimated $6 billion by offering telemedicine, global professional services company Towers Watson says.

· Flexibility: About 20 percent of Americans live in rural areas without easy access to primary care or specialty care. More than 40 percent of hospitals surveyed said that a leading reason for investing in telemedicine tools is filling in gaps due to community remoteness. A survey of patients conducted by Software Advice, a company that compares electronic health records, revealed that 21 percent viewed the top benefit of telemedicine as not having to travel to receive care.

· Quality Care: Patient readmissions in the heart failure telemonitoring program were 44 percent lower over 30 days and 38 percent lower over 90 days, compared to patients not enrolled in the program. A study of 8,000 patient care outcomes using telemedicine services found no difference between the virtual appointment and an in-person office visit. In a Humana Cares remote health monitoring and management program for patients with congestive heart failure, at least 90 percent of patients felt more connected to their nurse, said the virtual care suite was easy to use and said they would recommend the program to their friends.

For patients who have not used a telemedicine service, 75 percent are interested in using one instead of an in-person medical visit, according to the Software Advice survey. For patients who have used telemedicine, 67 percent say that using telemedicine “somewhat” or “significantly increases” their satisfaction with their medical care.

Careers in Telenursing

“Telehealth nursing is practiced in the home, health care clinic, doctor’s office, prisons, hospitals, telehealth nursing call centers and

mobile units,” the ATA says. “Telephone triage, remote monitoring and home care are the fastest growing applications.”

Growth in telehealth has led to several telenursing practice areas:

· TeleICU

· Teletriage

· Teletrauma

· Telestroke

· Telepediatrics

· Telemental health

· Telecardiology

· Telehomecare

· Telerehabilitation

· Forensic telenursing

An example of telehealth transforming health care has been in the ICU. “Although the role of the bedside care-giver can never be replaced or diminished, it can certainly be augmented, enhanced, and facilitated,” Critical Care Nurse says. “The key to the long-term success is the continued consistent collaboration between the bedside team and the tele-ICU nurses, which can transform how critical care nursing is practiced.”

TeleICU has improved outcomes for critically ill patients by reducing ICU mortality, shortening stays in the ICU and in the hospital, increasing compliance with evidence-based best practices, improving outcomes for cardiopulmonary arrest patients and decreasing costs for patient care. ICU nurses use audio and video technology to assess and monitor patients at the patient’s bedside. At the click of a mouse, nurses have access to medical records, diagnostic images and laboratory results, as well as standard monitoring such as electrocardiography and hemodynamic values.

Major responsibilities for the teleICU nurse include making rounds via the camera and assessing all patients. The nurse will assess the patient’s physical appearance by video, check equipment for safety,

verify infusions and verbally interact with the patient, the patient’s family and staff. The nurse also acts as a resource for the bedside nurse, quickly retrieving vital pieces of information and data, and drafting detailed admission notes when a patient arrives in the unit to keep complete information about the patient available.

Future Opportunities

“As the US healthcare environment continues to evolve due to changes in reimbursement, legal issues, and shrinking healthcare resources, the expanding role of telehealth nurses will continue to evolve,” the ATA says. “Leadership and collaboration among international nurses is needed to outline the uses of ehealth/telehealth technologies to provide nursing care in an interdisciplinary manner to patients, regardless of staffing, time, or geographic boundaries.”

Career opportunities in areas such as telenursing will rely on candidates with a strong educational background. Educational standards are already on the rise, as more hospitals across the nation require nurses to hold a BSN degree. Aurora University’s online RN to BSN program equips graduates with the skills and knowledge needed to pursue advanced career opportunities. The program takes place in an online learning environment, allowing students the flexibility and convenience to complete their degree while maintaining their work and personal schedule.

Topics: healthcare, telehealth, medical technologies, telenursing

Diversity Impact 2017- Moving Forward: Uniting Through Diversity

Posted by Frontier Nursing University

Tue, Jun 06, 2017 @ 02:20 PM

fnu2.jpeg

First article written by Frontier Nursing University
Second article Written by Marissa Silver

Frontier Nursing University believes in increasing awareness of the importance of cultural competency and decreasing health disparities. This article is about their 7th annual Diversity Impact Event. FNU states “Diversity Impact is designed to open the door for nurses to foster and strengthen collaborative discussions to address health disparities to improve minority health among underrepresented and marginalized groups.” Enjoy this informative article.

In a rapidly-changing, sometimes divided world, Frontier Nursing University (FNU) emphasizes the value of respecting and honoring diversity.

In the United States, there is a wide gap in health outcomes. Several populations face greater obstacles in obtaining good health based on their racial or ethnic group, religion, socioeconomic status, gender, age, mental health, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, or geographic location. These disparities may exist because of social and economic inequality, inadequate health care providers or systems, and bias on the part of health care providers or patients.

The gap forming in the health of women before and during pregnancies is also a source of concern. Determinants of a mother’s health may include social factors, ethnic or racial group, or her previous health statufnu1.jpegs. An infant child is also impacted by factors such as nutrition, family income, and the geographic location of their homes and neighborhoods.

Additionally, consider this: women living in rural areas have less access to health care than women living in urban areas. Where 22.8% of women live in what is defined as a “rural” area in the U.S.¹, there is a significant disparity between the health care they receive and the health care received by the “urban” population of women.

Although health care needs around the nation are diverse, health care providers do not reflect the population. In 2008, only 16.8% of Registered Nurses residing in the United States represented diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds². Additionally, underrepresented groups make up less than 10% of nursing school faculty³. The nursing profession faces the challenge of recruiting and retaining a culturally diverse workforce that mirrors the nation's demographics.

With these challenges in mind, it is important that our education system equips nurse practitioners, nurse-midwives and other healthcare professionals with the resources they need to eliminate these disparities, and ultimately achieve health equity.FNU would like to see the Frontier community impact health equity and move forward by uniting through diversity.

On June 1- 4, 2017, Frontier Nursing University held the 7th annual Diversity Impact Student Conference. Diversity Impact is designed to open the door for nurses to foster and strengthen collaborative discussions to address health disparities to improve minority health among underrepresented and marginalized groups. Students will engage in cross-cultural and intercultural workshop activities, along with leadership strategies on current diversity healthcare trends as it relates to patient-provider care.

This year’s Diversity Impact theme is Moving Forward: Uniting Through Diversity. Students will attend sessions hosted by nationally recognized nursing leaders; participate in teambuilding activities, cultural competency awareness training, and open dialogues; network with available FNU students, community leaders, faculty and staff; and learn more about the world with FNU’s International Food Menu.

fnu3.jpegFrontier Nursing University conference discusses healthcare diversity

Factors such as someone's age, race, gender and ethnicity can all play a role in their healthcare.

This weekend, Frontier Nursing University students attended a conference, to learn how those factors and other differences between populations may impact a patient's health and treatment. One factor, which may impact patients in Eastern Kentucky is living in rural communities.

"It's like a totally different population than what you see in urban areas," Vaishu Jawahar who attended the conference said. "Even though we think that sometimes urban populations have it bad, the sheer lack of resources that's out here makes being in a rural area that much harder."

Another topic discussed during the conference was caring for those in the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community.

"As healthcare providers, no matter what your political views are you have to be able to take care of everyone or at least make them feel comfortable enough to seek out your care," said Jawahar.

As part of the discussion on serving the LGBT community, two Frontier Nursing University students talked about their experience treating patients during last year's mass shooting, at Pulse, a Gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida.

Overall, those who attended the conference said taking the time to get to know the patient and their background can make a difference.

"It's so easy for us to get caught up in our way of life, we forget there's very different realities for everyone," Wilvena Bernard, Diversity Pride Program Coordinator, Frontier Nursing University said.

More than 50 students and faculty attended the conference from across the country.

Last month, University officials announced they are moving student activities from the Hyden campus to Versailles by Fall of 2018.

Interested in learning more about Frontier Nursing University? Check out their Employer Profile! Just Click Here.

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Topics: diversity, cultural competence, Diversity and Inclusion, cultural competency, minority health, health disparities, health care providers

Diversity in Healthcare for Patients and Nurses

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Thu, Jun 01, 2017 @ 11:24 AM

Diversity-Blog-Image.pngUnique challenges encompass the delivery of quality healthcare in the entire world as a whole. People of all ages are terminally ill -- with approximately half the American population fighting hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, arthritis and mental related illness.

As a Nurse, you are required by the healthcare profession to be sensitive, demonstrate cultural awareness and behavioral competence necessary to ensuring healthcare issues are handled effectively. 

Medical professionals worldwide have voiced sentiments on the importance to further diversify the healthcare workforce. This is mainly because the entire healthcare profession is focused on transitioning to a patient-centered healthcare system in which patients demand more personalized care, high level rapport and open communication. 

Discrimination, stereotyping, prejudice and racism are the most common barriers toward achieving diversity in healthcare for patients and Nurses. There are multiple scenarios when you may show lack of sensitivity without even noticing it, unintentionally offending patients. You should for instance:

  • Ask the patient how he or she may wish to be addressed or simply addressing him or her by their last name as a show of respect.
  • Inquire of the patient’s knowledge on treatments and health problems.
  • Forge the patient’s trust so as to establish a formidable nurse-patient relationship.

Diversity awareness in healthcare is however an active, continuous conscious process through which Nurses recognize the differences and similarities within various cultural groupings. As Nurses, we can only achieve diversity in healthcare by carefully evaluating and appreciating cultural group(s) differences.

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Topics: diversity in nursing, patient care, Diversity and Inclusion, diversity in healthcare

How RNs Can Practice Patient Advocate Nursing

Posted by Brian Engard

Fri, May 26, 2017 @ 12:47 PM

patient-advocate-nursing-CU-600x280.jpgRegistered nurses are the most frequent point of contact with patients in healthcare. They “provide and coordinate patient care, educate patients and the public about various health conditions, and provide advice and emotional support to patients and their family members,” according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. They typically work as part of a team with doctors and other healthcare workers, and they provide the bulk of direct patient care.

As hands-on caregivers, nurses have the primary responsibility of ensuring quality, ethical care for their patients. To this end, patient advocacy is an integral part of practicing nursing; in fact, one provision of the American Nurses Association Code of Ethics says that “the nurse promotes, advocates for, and protects the rights, health, and safety of the patient.”

Nurses oversee the healthcare of many patients and can be privy to concerning practices. Hospitals are required to look after their own financial well-being, legal obligations and other factors that can sometimes cause patient care to deteriorate, and sometimes healthcare workers make mistakes. When this happens, someone who practices patient advocate nursing steps in and looks out for the patients’ well-being.

Patient Advocate Nursing in Practice

American Nurse Today (ANT) defines advocacy as “using one’s position to support, protect, or speak out for the rights and interests of another.” This practice is vital in healthcare, because errors and oversights can result in severe injury or illness, or even loss of life. According to a Johns Hopkins study, medical errors are the No. 3 cause of death in the United States, at roughly 250,000 deaths per year. A nurse patient advocate must not only catch these errors, but also argue for their correction in the future in order to promote safety and patient health.

Of all the healthcare professionals who have contact with patients, nurses are the most ideally suited for patient advocacy. Their constant contact with patients allows them many opportunities to catch errors, such as mislabeled I.V. bags or incorrect patient charts, and their familiarity with their patients can give them the ability to notice small changes in patient condition that another healthcare provider might miss.

Patient advocacy is not without its challenges, however. Being a nurse advocate for one’s patients often means correcting the mistakes of other healthcare workers and can lead to confrontations. In extreme cases, such as the below example from ANT, retaliation can even occur:

“One of the most egregious examples of retaliation for patient advocacy activities occurred recently in Winkler County, Texas, when two nurses, Vickilyn Galle and Anne Mitchell, were criminally indicted by the county attorney for reporting a physician to the Texas Medical Board because of patient-safety concerns. One week before trial, charges against Galle were dropped. A jury found Mitchell not guilty. Subsequently, the Texas Medical Board took action against the physician for witness intimidation as well as practice violations. Further, the Texas Attorney General’s office indicted the hospital administrator, Winkler County sheriff, county prosecutor, and physician for retaliation and other charges.”

The American Journal of Critical Care suggests that the best way to avoid such conflicts while practicing patient advocacy is to embrace a spirit of collaboration with other healthcare professionals, rather than taking the attitude that it is the nurse’s job to protect patients from the mistakes of others. When advocating for a patient, it’s natural to have an impulse to cast blame or render judgment of someone putting that patient at risk. While that may or may not be justified, often it’s more effective for the patient and the organization to approach patient advocacy by presenting solutions and trying to understand why problems exist in the first place, in order to better prevent them from occurring in the future.

Going from RN to BSN

Developing the right knowledge and communication skills to be an effective nurse patient advocate takes training. With an online RN to BSN degree from Campbellsville University, you can learn those skills in order to better advocate for your patients. Study in a flexible, dynamic environment with a schedule that works for your life.

Topics: registered nurse, patient advocate, Patient advocate nursing

The 2017 $5,000 Education Award Winner Is...

Posted by Pat Magrath

Tue, May 23, 2017 @ 11:49 AM

…and our 2017 DiversityNursing.com Annual $5,000 Education Award Winner is… Tom Dion.

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Tom is a Memory Care Unit Manager at Cape Heritage Rehabilitation and Health Care Center in Sandwich, MA on Cape Cod. Tom was surprised and very happy when I called him to deliver the good news that he is our 2017 Winner!

Tom didn’t get into Nursing right away. His journey started at Westfield State University in MA as a student in Exercise Science to become a Physical Therapist. He graduated in 2008 and received his BS in Exercise/Movement Science. After school, he worked a variety of jobs, including moving furniture, medical equipment technician, as well as ice sculpting for weddings, the Bruins, and other functions.

He was always drawn to healthcare and when deciding on a new career path, he looked to do something that had more meaning. In his words, he “needed a spiritual change”. In 2012, he went to Nursing school at Signature Healthcare Brockton Hospital School of Nursing and graduated with an RN diploma. I asked him what was the draw to Nursing.

“I like the idea of helping people. Nursing provides fulfillment and meaning.”

While growing up, Tom spent a lot of time with his grandparents. He was very close to them. He was drawn to working with the geriatric community because of his understanding and love for his grandparents.

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Right out of Nursing school, Tom started working at Cape Heritage as a Staff Nurse doing sub-acute rehab. After 1 year, he was offered a position as the Wound Care Department Head and promoted to Assistant Director of Nurses.

Tom has worked there for 2.5 years and has gained valuable administrative and management experience. He’s now a Unit Manager of the Memory Care Unit, which is a restraint free facility. The memory care unit is his favorite because he’s able to “lend a voice for the patients that aren’t able to speak for themselves.”

"The residents provide the purpose that I was looking for."

He is always assessing his patient’s capabilities to ensure they are provided with everything needed to maintain their optimal level of function.

“It’s important to pay attention to your resident's behavior, because it often provides the most crucial insight you have into identifying a problem.”

He talked about a male patient of his, who requires reassurance on a continual basis. He is unable to communicate his needs at times, which may be as simple as which day of the week it is, what time it is, or using the restroom. “Working fast to address the root cause of his worry, and keeping him comfortable is a challenge I look forward to every day.”

It’s important to have a sense of humor because in the memory care unit,

“You live in their world”.

The reality of their world is abstract, a world that they can and will explain to you, in bits and pieces. “The rewarding part of my job is working with the residents to complete these thoughts and fill in the gaps.” When helping the residents, these moments create a lasting impression that leaves him with a sense of fulfillment he hasn’t gotten anywhere else in life. As a co-worker frequently reminds me, “when I leave work, Tom, my hands are clean and my heart is pure.”

Cape Heritage also provides hospice care. It’s not an easy job, but it is very much appreciated when family members thank them. Tom is often in awe of his team and the work they do. They are truly special people to work with this population.

I asked Tom about being a guy in Nursing. He said it was a big transition from working with mostly men to working with primarily women. He said “it’s been interesting in a good way” and he doesn’t feel he’s treated differently because he’s a guy. He’s treated well and enjoys his Monday – Friday 7am-3pm shift.

Like so many Nurses I talk to, Tom says the best part about Nursing is it can lead you in so many directions – hands-on Nursing, teaching, case management, etc. “There’s always something different you can be doing.” He’s enjoyed experiencing different parts of Nursing.

Tom’s future plans include getting his WOCN (Wound Ostomy & Continence Nurse) certification. He remembers one particular female patient that stands out. She came in with a wound the size of a basketball on her back and it was deep into her spine. He could actually see her spinal column. Because of the technology available, CPI (closed pulse irrigation), he was able to disrupt the bacteria and create a completely healthy environment. Many people thought it was impossible to heal and close her wound, but within 7-8 months she was completely healed!

While working full time, fishing and enjoying activities outdoors, Tom plans to pass the national boards and receive his WOCN certification by the end of this summer. Teaching is in his future as well.

Congratulations Tom Dion – we are proud of you and see great things in your future!

Registration is open at DiversityNursing.com for our 2018 $5,000 Education Award.

Topics: Nursing Education, Education award, Award Winner

Nurse Imposters Are A Real Thing

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Tue, May 16, 2017 @ 12:33 PM

imposter.jpg
We’ve recently heard in the news about Nurse imposters. One was hired to work as a Nurse in a hospital and was even hired as a Nurse educator! Another story is a Nurse Practitioner imposter working in a clinic.
 
These individuals got hired, taught students, and were treating patients. We wondered how they got hired. The man posing as a Nurse Practitioner had lots of Nursing credentials listed on his LinkedIn page. What’s scary about him is, as an NP, he has the ability to prescribe medication as part of the job.

Screen Shot 2017-05-15 at 3.52.57 PM-488556-edited.pngSamantha Rivera from Missouri is being accused of identity theft of a Nurse and using that I.D to get hired at St. Alexis Hospital. Rivera lied about having Nursing experience and a degree. According to 
court documents, she worked there for three months and treated geriatric patients in the intensive care unit and psychiatric ward. 
 
This isn't the first time Samantha has lied about being a Nurse. According to investigators, in 2015, she allegedly lied about her background and landed a job teaching nursing at Brown Mackie College in New Mexico and her salary was $80,000.
 
Screen Shot 2017-05-15 at 3.51.09 PM-287816-edited.pngOver in California Nurse imposter, Chad Litz, also with a history of lying, has been arrested. In 2015, the California Board of Registered Nursing cited Litz for unlawful practice and being a nurse imposter. Litz was also sentenced to four years in prison for identity theft in 2011.
 
Chad Litz was working at the City Impact Clinic in San Francisco pretending to be a Nurse. The district attorney's office said Litz had been with the clinic for months, that he treated at least 28 patients and prescribed controlled substances to two of them. He's facing five felony counts, four for practicing medicine without a license and one for identity theft.
 
Besides being completely illegal, the act of impersonating a medical professional can really shake people to the core. Patients place their trust and privacy into the hands of Nurses and those Nurses have worked so hard to be in this field.
 
How does this happen? Perhaps you’ve worked with someone posing as a Nurse and it turned out, they weren’t? How can we prevent it from happening again? Please share your thoughts with us. Thank you.
 
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Topics: Nurse imposters, Impersonating A Nurse, Fake Nurse

A TED Talk Tribute To Nurses [VIDEO]

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Thu, May 11, 2017 @ 02:33 PM

C_aCMghXsAAD-IQ.jpgThis heartwarming Ted Talk is a glimpse into a 5-year journey of over 100 interviews with Nurses across America. Carolyn Jones discusses big health issues like aging, war, poverty, and prisons.
 
She also gains insight from these interviews as to what made them become Nurses. Jones advocates for the diversity of Nurses and how their jobs are not all the same. She even mentions the future of complicated decisions Nurses will face when it comes to technology. But most importantly, she wants to praise Nurses for everything they do for their patients and their families
 
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Topics: health care, Nurses Week, thank a nurse, TED talk

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