DiversityNursing Blog

The Best Ways You Can Thank A Nurse Right Now

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Fri, May 15, 2020 @ 03:34 PM

thankyounursesimg

Nurses are being cheered around the world for their courage, compassion, and hard work fighting the coronavirus. We should always celebrate Nurses, especially now. 

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, "As you know, during the COVID-19, they're in the front line and they're risking their lives to save others, but not only during COVID-19. Nurses are a bridge between the health system and the community and they have been doing so ever since the Nursing profession actually started."

While we really can't ever thank Nurses enough, here are ways we can express appreciation for them.

1)    Stay Home - The most important way Nurses can be thanked is to stay home when they can.

2)    Continue Social Distancing - Don’t get too relaxed about following social distancing measures.

3)    Donate - Much needed professional grade masks or other PPE.

4)    Cards, Signs, Social Media Posts – get creative and do something locally or nationally.

5)    Gift Cards - Mary Babel, an RN in Jacksonville, FL suggests gift cards to restaurants that offer curbside pickup. Some people are donating gift cards for busy Nurses to buy their families food and some are donating gift cards to buy whole Nursing staff meals! 

6)    Care Packages – For local Nurses and Travel Nurses in over-stressed pandemic areas. To create a care package for Travel Nurses, think small like portable door locks, external battery chargers, collapsible or travel size containers, individual snack size items, power bars, etc.

7)    Compression Socks - Can make a difference in soothing aches and preventing swelling. It’s a gift that truly keeps on giving as 1 pair can last a long time providing many comfortable shifts.

8)    Cell Phone Sanitizer - According to Nurse.org, cell phone sanitizer is a 100% practical gift. Nurses can sanitize their contaminated cell phones and have one less thing to worry about as a possible source of infection.

9)    Shout Out To Nurses – show your support here https://diversitynursing.com/

We all like to feel we’re appreciated. Now is a great time to show all Nurses our appreciation. 

Topics: thank a nurse, PPE, giving back, donating, helping healthcare workers, healthcare workers, thanking nurses

Health Care Workers Are Facing a Mental Health Crisis During The COVID-19 Outbreak

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Tue, May 05, 2020 @ 11:25 AM

mentalhealthMany Nurses and Doctors said in interviews with TIME, that fighting COVID-19 is making them feel more dedicated to their chosen career, and determined to persevere and help their patients. But, many also said they were struggling with negative feelings.

Healthcare workers are afraid of spreading the virus to their families, frustrated about the lack of PPE, and feel they can’t do enough for their patients. First responders are tired from long shifts, and are extremely sad for their dying patients, of which many are passing away alone. This is heartbreaking.

Dr. Jay Kaplan, an emergency room Physician and wellness specialist at LCMC Health system in New Orleans, lets his staff know they aren't alone. He listens as Nurses and Doctors share their fears and problems.

Kaplan tells them it’s okay to get sad or angry over the coronavirus. He reads them his poems. He shares that one day he came home and cried to his wife because he was  overwhelmed by the rate of dying patients.

“We need to break the culture of silence and let people know it’s okay not to have it all together all the time,” he said.

Kaplan’s “wellness visits” are a key strategy in preventing healthcare workers from spiraling into depression and post-traumatic stress disorder during the pandemic. Many hospitals across the U.S. are launching similar initiatives.

Mount Sinai hospitals in New York City ramped up initiatives, such as a 24/7 mental health crisis line and one-on-one counseling. It also launched a wellness and resilience center that will track staffers' mental health long term.

Dr. Deborah B. Marin, Professor of Psychiatry at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and Director of the new center said,  “This multi-disciplinary center will consider the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual needs of our entire health care community, including those on the frontline and in supporting roles. Working closely with every department across the health system, our aim is to not only address  but to also prevent the development of mental health issues before they occur by intervening early, offering resilience training and treatment for every health care working in need. It’s important that we launch now as this crisis continues to evolve and take a toll on our community.”

Several healthcare workers in the TIME interviews said, among all the uncertainty and fear, they have found some relief in support from their families, communities, and one another.

We’re offering this article during Nurses Week as a reminder to all to be as patient, kind and loving to our Nurses, Healthcare workers, first responders, grocery store employees and all the people out there working to keep us safe. Thank you!

Topics: mental health, first responders, mental health nursing, COVID-19, coronavirus, healthcare workers

Companies Coming Together To Help Health Care Workers

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Fri, Apr 24, 2020 @ 10:13 AM

masks-1From car rental companies to sports apparel makers, organizations across the country have shifted operations to support health care workers in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

Hertz provided $2 million in free vehicle rentals to more than 2,000 healthcare workers in New York City. 

A Physician Assistant, working in an ICU in the Bronx, said "I work 12.5 and 24 hour shifts, taking care of the sickest COVID-19 patients in our hospital. A lot of us are working overtime, picking up shifts for sick colleagues, traveling to hospitals further away because they're in need. Hertz really made our ability to get to work much easier and safer so that we have more mental, emotional and physical energy to care for our patients.”

Diamond-managed properties around the world are also giving medical personnel and first responders a free place to stay while they work on the front lines of the crisis.

"Like many, we have been looking for ways to help," Diamond Resorts said. "We realized we are in a unique position to provide accommodations that are particularly well-suited for social distancing."

The company's suites are larger than typical hotel rooms with the majority including full, in-suite kitchens with refrigerators, ovens and stoves, full bathrooms and laundry facilities, according to Diamond Resorts.

fanatics

Fanatics produces jerseys for Major League Baseball and announced it will halt production of jerseys to make nonsurgical-grade, single-use masks and gowns for Doctors, Nurses and healthcare personnel on the frontline battling the virus.

Michael Rubin, the company's chairman said, "This unprecedented public health emergency has compelled our country to be more collaborative, innovative and strategic than ever before. As the demand for masks and gowns has surged, we're fortunate to have teamed up with Major League Baseball to find a unique way to support our front-line workers in this fight to stem the virus, who are in dire need of critical supplies."

face shields

Bauer Hockey traditionally produces hockey equipment, some of which includes plastic face masks for helmets. The company thought it would make sense to produce bigger plastic face shields for doctors and nurses using similar materials. 

Bauer vice president of global marketing Mary-Kay Messier said, "Nurses and Doctors are pleading for these masks, and they aren't waiting for their institutions to get them to them. The fact that these people are going to work every day, risking their lives and don't ever think about it but don't have the equipment to protect themselves is unacceptable."

Airbnb launched a global initiative to help health care professionals, relief workers and first responders. The company hopes to help house about 100,000 workers on the front lines. Airbnb will waive all fees for stays. 

“Medical workers and first responders are providing lifesaving support during the coronavirus outbreak and we want to help,” Airbnb’s co-founder Joe Gebbia said. “We’ve heard from countless hosts around the world who want to provide a comforting home to heroic first responders. We are connecting our nonprofit partners, government agencies and others with our incredible host community to work together in these extraordinary times.”

brooksBrooks Running donated 10,000 pairs of shoes to health care workers on the front lines of the pandemic.

"If you’re part of the healthcare community responding to COVID-19, we want to make your work a little more comfortable with a free pair of shoes. It’s our way of saying thank you for all you do," the company posted on Instagram earlier this month. 

Another shoe company, Crocs, is also donating shoes. The company is working to donate 10,000 pairs of shoes a day to those on the front lines of the battle against the pandemic. The company already has more than 40,000 people in line for a pair. 

Dr. Scholls Wellness Company is donating $1.3 million in insoles to support health care workers. This includes 100,000 pairs of Dr. Scholl’s Massaging Gel Work insoles, which the company says reduces muscle fatigue and also absorbs shock. The company plans to send donations to hospitals across the country, especially those in hot spots.

Until May 31, Starbucks will be giving a free tall brewed coffee to anyone one identifies as a first responder or front line worker supporting our healthcare system. This includes police officers, firefighters, paramedics, doctors, nurses, hospital and medical staff, and medical researchers. 

In these trying times, it’s comforting to see by action and commitment, that we are all in this together. Giving back, in any way, with even the smallest acts of kindness has a significant impact on our personal and professional wellbeing. Thank you to all the Nurses, Healthcare workers, and companies helping our medical teams, for all you do to keep us safe and healthy. You confirm our belief that there are wonderfully thoughtful and committed people in this world that truly care. 

Topics: giving back, donating, helping healthcare workers

Student Creates Face Masks For The Deaf Community

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Fri, Apr 17, 2020 @ 09:29 AM

masksAs COVID-19 continues to impact communities around the world, people are coming together to help one another now more than ever.  

Ashley Lawrence, a 21-year-old in Kentucky, noticed that since so much of the population now are opting to wear protective face masks, those who are deaf or hard of hearing and rely on lip reading are struggling to access critical information. 

So she and her mom set to work sewing masks using plastic fabric and bed sheets, experimenting with various attachments for people who use cochlear implants and hearing aids and can’t wrap mask straps around their ears.

deafmasks

On the DHH Mask Project GoFundMe page Lawrence said she would distribute the masks for free to those who request them so they can provide them to their Doctors if they need medical attention.

Lawrence also said they were no longer accepting donations as they had met their goal, saying she was “completely overwhelmed” by the response.

For anyone who wants a mask, she suggested emailing dhhmaskproject@gmail.com. However, she noted they are struggling to meet the high demand.

“I felt like there was a huge population that was being looked over,” Lawrence told local news station LEX18. “We’re all panicking right now and so a lot of people are just not being thought of. So I felt like it was very important that, even at a time like this, people need to have that communication.”

And for anyone who wants to make face masks for their own community, Ashley said she would post a YouTube tutorial soon and would be willing to email the sewing pattern upon request.

According to Huffington Post, the Deaf Society advocates for sign language interpreters to be present for any interactions between DHH people and medical personnel, but these face masks could add further dimension to these interactions by allowing clients to see medical staff’s facial expressions and read their lips.

 

Topics: COVID-19, deaf community, face masks

HealthCare Workers Are Using Social Media To Lift Their Spirits

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Fri, Apr 03, 2020 @ 12:45 PM

socialiconsNurses, Doctors, EMTs, and other healthcare workers are on the front lines of the COVID-19 battle. Even though they are going through the toughest time right now, they still manage to keep a good sense of humor. 

Take a look at how these healthcare workers are spreading positivity.

 

 

Thank you for staying so positive!

 

Topics: social media, COVID-19, coronavirus, nurses social media, tiktok nurses

What Nurses Need to Know about COVID-19

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Thu, Mar 26, 2020 @ 11:34 AM

covid-19What Nurses Need to Know about COVID-19


Preparedness, Early Identification, and Notification

All Nurses and the health care team must receive the highest level of protection to provide care for the individuals and communities in which they serve. It is essential to develop and educate ALL staff on preparedness plans that provide infection control procedures and protocols used within the health care facility for the early identification, containment, and care of patients with symptoms associated with Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) to prevent spread within the facility. Here are some tips:

  • Develop inpatient, ambulatory, and home care policies and procedures that are in line with current CDC guidelines for COVID-19.
  • Provide training to all personnel on screening and isolation procedures.
  • Provide updated training and guidelines on the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), including the use of N-95 respirators, gloves, gowns, masks, eye protection, and face shields.
  • Display clear signage with instructions for access and use of PPE.
  • Ensure consistent use of proper hand hygiene, standard precautions, contact precautions, and airborne precautions, along with the proper use of a National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)-Approved N-95 respirator or higher.
  • Clearly display signage for patients that lists symptoms and instructions to wear a face mask before entering the healthcare facility if symptoms are present.
  • Incorporate assessment questions to document a detailed travel and community exposure history when patients present with fever, cough, or respiratory illness. 
  • Identify, in advance, airborne infection isolation rooms (AIIR) or negative pressure rooms, for quarantine and screening.
  • Outline staffing protocols to facilitate care of patients with COVID-19 to minimize patient-to-patient and patient to health care worker transmission.
  • Develop a telephone triage protocol for patients to access from home to minimize community based transmission.
  • Have available for immediate notification of Patient’s Under Investigation (PUI) the infection control personnel at your facility and the local and state health department. Click here for additional Recommendations for Reporting, Testing, and Specimen Collection and the fillable COVID-19 PUI case investigation form.
  • For Patients Under Investigation (PUI), follow the Criteria to Guide Evaluation of PUI for COVID-19.

Isolation, Quarantine, Monitoring, and Hospitalization

The CDC recommends several steps for identification and maintenance of COVID-19 along with detailed guidelines for isolation precautions to prevent transmission. There should be a clearly displayed flowchart for early identification and assessment of COVID-19.

At this time, the modes of transmission include respiratory droplets from coughs and sneezes and transmission by touching the eyes, nose, or mouth after contact with an infected surface.

 Isolation Precautions to Prevent Transmission Guidelines

  • Have masks available for PUI to don before entering the healthcare facility.
  • Once identified, isolate the patient to airborne infection isolation rooms (AIIR) or negative pressure room and keep the door closed. Conduct the assessment in this room.
  • Healthcare personnel entering the room should use standard precautions, contact precautions, airborne precautions, and eye protection (goggles or a face shield).
  • Don Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) before entering the room.
  • Have guidelines for the proper use of PPE displayed throughout the healthcare facility.
  • Have infection control personnel available to provide just-in-time training on proper PPE use.
  • Notify your infection control personnel and the local and state health department of suspected cases.

How to Educate Your Patients and Minimize Spread within the Community

Per the CDC, it is known that coronavirus is part of a large family of viruses that can cause illness in people and animals. It is known that COVID-19 is spread via respiratory droplets from coughs and sneezes. It is also possible to spread COVID-19 by touching your eyes, nose, or mouth after touching an infected surface. The CDC provides the following guidance to help prevent COVID-19 from spreading among people in homes and communities.

    • STAY HOME except to get medical care, do not use public transportation or taxis if sick.
    • Call first before visiting your healthcare provider. Notify them of your symptoms and the need for evaluation for COVID-19. Follow the instructions provided by your healthcare team.
    • Separate yourself from other people in your home, utilize a separate bathroom.
    • Wear a facemask as instructed if you are sick.
    • Use your elbow to cover your coughs and sneezes.
    • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
    • Avoid sharing household items.
    • Monitor your symptoms.
    • For a full list of guidelines and recommended actions for preventing the spread of Coronavirus visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/guidance-prevent-spread.html

COVID-19 - Nurses Online and Printable Materials

https://www.nationalnursesunited.org/nurses-response-covid-19-printable-materials

 

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Situation Dashboard

https://experience.arcgis.com/experience/685d0ace521648f8a5beeeee1b9125cd

 

What To Say To Patients About Coronavirus Video

https://youtu.be/Yk6VX_Bktik

 

Topics: virus, CDC, COVID-19, coronavirus, nurse resources, PPE, infection control

Telemedicine Being Used In The Fight Against COVID-19

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Mon, Mar 23, 2020 @ 03:00 PM

telemedicine-1During this global health crisis, telehealth is an effective solution for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19. 

Telehealth allows patients, healthcare providers and health systems to safely communicate. Patients with symptoms, told to stay at home, can communicate with Nurses and Doctors through virtual channels, mobile apps, video conferencing and phone calls to reduce the spread of the virus to mass populations and the medical staff on the frontlines. 

Telemedicine carts are another way hospitals are using technology to help treat patients. The carts allow health staff to roll video cameras and other telemedicine equipment into a patient's room so they can be assessed without Nurses and Doctors physically being at their bedside. 

Dr. Todd Czartoski, Chief Medical Technology Officer at Providence Regional Medical Center Everett, said "We had people outside the room talking to the patient, evaluating them with the electronic stethoscope and keeping those communication lines open. The Hospitalists, Infectious Disease Doctor and other Specialists didn't have to gown up and go in and out of the room multiple times a day." 

This technique also minimizes the use of personal protective equipment (PPE), such as gloves and masks.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends using telehealth tools to direct people to the right level of healthcare for their medical needs. They launched a COVID-19 chatbot called the Coronavirus Self-Checker to help screen Americans who are worried about the coronavirus despite not being sick or being at risk. This would free up healthcare resources for those who need them.

Health insurers are giving providers and patients incentives to use telemedicine delivery models. CVS Health said Aetna would waive copays for coronavirus testing, and all telemedicine visits would have a $0 co-pay until June 4, 2020.

Patients can check their provider’s website or check with their health insurer on how to access telehealth services. According to the Wall Street Journal, people can also go directly to sites from Teladoc Health, Amwell, PlushCare, Doctor on Demand and MD Live for virtual visits.

If needed, Doctors can send prescriptions directly to a local pharmacy via telehealth.

According to the New York Times, health systems are racing to adapt and even develop telehealth services that can serve on the front line for patients. “Telehealth is being rediscovered,” said Dr. Peter Antall, the Chief Medical Officer for AmWell, a company based in Boston that is working with health systems across the country. “Everybody recognizes this is an all hands on deck moment,” he said. “We need to scale up wherever we can.”

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Topics: telemedicine, telehealth, COVID-19, coronavirus

Nurses In Recovery

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Fri, Mar 13, 2020 @ 10:21 AM

recoveryNursing is a demanding field and there are many factors that put Nurses at risk for developing problems with substance abuse and addiction.

Research estimates that 10% of Nurses will misuse drugs or alcohol at some time during their career.

Many Nurses in the U.S. have had their licenses suspended or revoked because they either caused harm to a patient, diverted or misappropriated drugs, or couldn’t safely practice because of their addiction.

In the past, Nurses who had addiction problems were dismissed or charged. Now addiction is being recognized as a disease. Thankfully, there has been a shift from disciplining Nurses to helping Nurses get better.

According to the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, 43 states have created substance use disorder monitoring programs for Nurses called "alternative-to-discipline" (ATD) programs. Nurses with substance use disorders are three times more likely to admit their problem in states with ATD programs than in states with traditional discipline programs. ATD programs provide Nurses with a structured process for a better outcome: After completing addiction treatment, they go through monitored reintegration into the workforce.

Joan Widmer, Nurse Executive Director of the New Hampshire Nurses Association, said, "Encouraging Nurses to self-report in the early stages of addiction is critical. You want them to recognize their own problem and feel comfortable that they can come forward and address the problem without loss of licensing and a way of making a living."

An article from Kaiser Health News said, instead of revoking the license of an individual who is found to be impaired on the job, these peer-run programs try to get participants back to work with mandated treatment plans that include intensive therapy, monitoring their behavior in and out of the workplace and, of course, drug testing.

Research shows, ATD programs have been successful in treating Nurses with substance use disorders. Also the long-term recovery rate for Nurse licensees undergoing treatment in these programs is high.

“I don’t think you’re ever going to see substance use disorder disappear in the Nursing population; it’s going to be there,” Widmer said. “But if you can at least address it and find a way to do it in a non-stigmatic way, you’re going to keep patients safer, because Nurses are going to self-report."

Topics: substance abuse, substance use disorder, addiction recovery, Nurses in recovery, nurse addiction, addiction in nursing

Nurse Preceptors Increase Retention

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Thu, Mar 05, 2020 @ 02:52 PM

preceptorA Nurse Preceptor is an experienced and competent staff Nurse who serves as a role model and point person to newly employed staff Nurses, student Nurses, or new graduate Nurses, according to Lippincott Solutions.

Nurse Preceptors are a great resource for employees who are making the transition into a new work environment. They provide useful feedback, set learning objectives, teach hospital protocols and encourage critical thinking.

A Nurse transition program will result in better retention rates and improved competency among Nursing staff because it creates a continuous learning environment.

An effective Preceptor program should include:

  • Adequate education and preparation in the form of a Preceptor course
  • A clear definition of the roles and responsibilities of the Preceptor
  • Support from the unit manager. The Preceptor should meet regularly with the manager to discuss the progress of the orientee/student.
  • Sufficient time to orient the orientee/student. Ideally, the Preceptor should have a reduced workload during the period when the orientee/student is dependent on the Preceptor to function in his/her assigned role.

According to Becker's Hospital Review, after the training program and once the Preceptor has orientated a few Nurses, they should be surveyed on the effectiveness of the program. The Preceptor will be able to evaluate the program concerning how well it prepared them to train other Nurses.

A good Nurse Preceptor will:

  • Develop a professional working relationship with their preceptee. The relationship will be built in mutual respect, appreciation, and ongoing communication.
  • Be patient and understanding. As you know, everyone has to start somewhere and that means mistakes will be made.
  • Be clear and specific in the teaching/learning process.
  • Ask open-ended questions.
  • Share your expectations, the job description and job duties with your preceptee.
  • Acquaint the new Nurse to the unit and the unit's unique Nursing culture.

If any concerns surface, the preceptee should complete a written self-assessment of the situation. The Preceptor should seek additional input from their Nurse Manager and other Nurses working with the preceptee.

Preceptor programs that provide the right information and tools are essential for successful transitions of newly employed Nurses into patient care environments. Hospitals have a responsibility to provide Preceptors with the knowledge and skills required to provide instructions and evaluations of their preceptees.

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Topics: Nurse Preceptors, Nurse Preceptor, Preceptors, preceptor program, Nursing preceptor

Teamwork In Nursing

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Tue, Feb 25, 2020 @ 10:45 AM

teamwork-1Today's health systems are made of skilled, multigenerational, and culturally diverse work forces. And even though each specialty has a specific focus, you all share a common goal. That goal is to provide the best patient care experience in a positive work environment. The best way to accomplish that goal is with teamwork.

Teamwork requires good communication and a collaborative care strategy. All team members want to feel that their ideas and skills are valued.

Team members should be encouraged to ask questions, share ideas or concerns, and discuss potential solutions. Each person's strengths and skills must be utilized to provide the best possible patient care experience and improve job satisfaction.

According to a report by The Society for Human Resource Management, teamwork is closely associated with higher job satisfaction. And a study published in the National Library of Medicine said, Nurses who are more satisfied with their jobs provide better care.

Trustworthiness is essential for teamwork, and the best way to grow trust is to get comfortable with one another. It’s crucial to build relationships and understand how each member of the team functions.

Team members have their own individual feedback, suggestions, and questions. Therefore, active listening is an important aspect of team operations.

When many health care professionals collaborate and brainstorm about a patient's care, the workload is distributed more evenly and stress is reduced.

Educational institutions are emphasizing the importance of teamwork and communication early to build a stronger foundation for successful healthcare outcomes.

Regis college published an article that said, mutual respect is critical in health care settings, not just within the team but across collaborative departments. Team members who are not feeling respected can become defensive, foster hidden agendas, demonstrate a lack of engagement, and worse. Building mutual respect comes through a common, focused goal; an understanding that each individual’s work is valuable and an acknowledgment of the efforts of others.

Patients must be part of the communication process too. Their early and thorough involvement has been shown to minimize errors and potential adverse events, according to an article published in the National Library of Medicine.

When everyone is working together as a team to accomplish a common goal, patient care improves and job satisfaction increases. Plus, it’s a happier, more cohesive and productive work environment for everyone involved, including your patients!

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Topics: teamwork, teamwork in nursing

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