By Federico Guerrini
I just had a Skype chat with entrepreneur Olivier Jeannel about his new product. It was a text chat, as Olivier – just like roughly 70 million people in the world (of which approximately 26 million of Americans) – suffers from profound hearing loss. If he has his way, soon this is no longer going to be a problem. Together with his associate Sidney Burks and product manager Pablo Seuc-Rocher, he’s working on the launch of RogerVoice, an Android app that has been designed from the ground up for those who cannot hear on the phone.
With RogerVoice, the deaf or hard-of-hearing person starts a call and receives on his smartphone instant live transcriptions of what the other speaker is saying, regardless if he is speaking in English or another of the many other languages recognized by the system (Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian, German, Greek and Japanese top the list).
While the idea, generally speaking, is brilliant, there are still some hurdles to overcome. Automatic speech recognition (ASR) technology is still far from flawless; also, unlike other softwares (Dragon and friends) that can be trained to recognize a single voice, improving this way the recognition rate, RogerVoice has to work with any kind of voice, so don’t imagine you can have a long, complex conversation without any trouble.
“You might use it to confirm an appointment with a doctor – Olivier says – or tell a plumber to come”. Basic stuff, but enough to significantly improve the quality of life of a deaf person, allowing he or she to rely less on other people’s intervention. It’s also up to the hearing person to make a better effort to enunciate, to help the voice recognition software’s performance. So you could in fact have a long and articulate conversation, provided that the counterpart is a relative, a friend, or someone that’s kind enough not to speak in a rush.
I asked Jeannel if – when the problem is not too severe – an hearing aid wouldn’t work as well, and the answer was quite interesting, because it pointed to the social implications of suffering from hearing loss.
“The interesting fact is – he says – that most deaf people don’t wear hearing aids, only 1 in 5 apparently bother to get equipped. This is because wearing hearing aids is often associated to a kind of social stigma. Also, of the profoundly deaf population, most manage to speak, but understanding a conversation without visual cues is difficult, if not impossible. In my case, impossible without lip-reading. More and more profoundly deaf use cochlear implants, which is a revolution: it helps a lot to understand speech, but it’s still quite difficult over a phone”.
The app is designed to be Bluetooth compatible, meaning that the RogerVoice app could connect directly to a Bluetooth-equipped hearing aid for a better listening experience and, after the launch of the Android version, the team will start working on the iOS and Windows ones.
The business model will be based on subscriptions, with one year of unlimited calls priced at $59 for those that will contribute to the Kickstarter campaign that’s currently running to support the product’s development. As for the time to market, if the $20,000 is reached on Kickstarter, founder hope to release the product by the end of the year. “Hopefully for Christmas – Jeannel says”.
By Dr. Sanjay Gupta
Annette Tersigni decided at the age of 48 that she wanted to make a difference. She attended nursing school and became a registered nurse three years later. “Having that precious pair of letters – RN – at the end of my name gave me everything I wanted,” she writes on her website. Before long, Tersigni discovered the rewards – as well as the physical and emotional challenges – that come with nursing.
“I was always stressed when I worked, afraid to get sued for making a mistake or medical error,” says Tersigni, who was working in the heart transplant unit of a North Carolina hospital. “Plus, working the night shift caused me to gain weight and stop working out.” Tersigni moved to another hospital, but the long shifts continued. Three years later, she left her job.
Tersigni’s experience isn’t unusual. Three out of four nurses cited the effects of stress and overwork as a top health concern in a 2011 survey by the American Nurses Association. The ANA attributed problems of fatigue and burnout to “a chronic nursing shortage.” A 2012 report in the American Journal of Medical Quality projected a shortage of registered nurses to spread across the country by 2030.
Work schedules and insufficient staffing are among the factors driving many nurses to leave the profession. American nurses often put in 12-hour shifts over the course of a three-day week. Research found nurses who worked shifts longer than eight to nine hours were two-and-a-half times more likely to experience burnout.
“Our results show that nurses are underestimating their own recovery time from long, intense clinical engagement, and that consolidating challenging work into three days may not be a sustainable strategy to attain the work-life balance they seek,” says study author Linda Aiken, PhD, director of the Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing.
Deborah Burger, RN, co-president of the union and professional association National Nurses United, doesn’t believe that long work shifts tell the whole story. “Most people can work a 10- or 12-hour shift if they’ve got the right support and right level of staffing,” Burger says.
“In order for nurses to feel satisfied and fulfilled with their work, the staffing issues must be seriously addressed from a very high level,” says Eva Francis, MSN, RN, CCRN, a former nursing administrator. “Nurses also need to be able to express themselves professionally about the workload, and be heard without the fear of threat to their jobs or the fear of being singled out.”
A new study suggests that nurses’ burnout risk may be related to what drew them to the profession in the first place. Researchers at the University of Akron in Ohio surveyed more than 700 RNs and found that nurses who are motivated primarily by the desire to help others, rather than by enjoyment of the work, were more likely to burn out.
“We assume that people that go into nursing because they are highly motived by helping others are the best nurses,” says study author Janette Dill, assistant professor of sociology at the University of Akron. “But our findings suggest these nurses may be prone to burnout and other negative physical symptoms.”
RELATED: Managing Job Stress
That finding doesn’t surprise Jill O’Hara, a former nurse from Hamburg, NY, who left nursing more than a decade ago.
“When a person goes into nursing as a profession, it’s either because it’s a career path or a calling,” says O’Hara, 56, who now operates her own holistic health consulting practice. “The career nurse can leave work at the end of the day and let it go, but the nurse who enters the field because she is called to it takes those emotionally charged encounters home with her. They are empathetic, literally connecting emotionally with their patients, and it becomes a part of them energetically.”
Besides driving many nurses out of the profession, burnout can compromise the quality of patient care. A study of Pennsylvania hospitals found a “significant association” between high patient-to-nurse ratios and nurse burnout with increased infections among patients. The authors’ conclusion: A reduction in burnout is good for nurses and patients.
So what can be done? O’Hara thinks the burnout issue should be addressed early on, when future nurses are still in school. “I honestly believe the way to truly help nurses avoid burnout is to begin with a foundation of teaching while in school that stresses the importance of knowing yourself,” she says. “By that I mean your strengths and weaknesses. It should be taught that self-care must come first.”
Burger stresses the importance of taking regular breaks on the job. “If you’re not getting those breaks or they’re interrupted, then you don’t have the ability to refresh your spirit,” she says. “It sounds hokey, but it is true that you do need some brain downtime so that you could actually process the information you’ve been given.”
Tersigni, 63, now works part-time at a local hospital, specializing in the health and well-being of other nurses. She founded Yoga Nursing, a stress-management program combining deep breathing, quick stretches, affirmations, and relaxation and meditation techniques. “All of these can be done anytime throughout the day,” Tersigni says. “I even teach nurses to teach these to their patients. So the nurse breathes, stretches, and relaxes, while also teaching it to the patient.”
By Rena Gapasin
If you are a nursing student or new nurse, you are probably wondering what you will need in your work bag. Aside from your personal stuff, what are the things you bring that signifies you are a nurse?
These nursing supplies listed below are a must if you want to do your job efficiently.
The most common supplies nurses have in their bags are:
This is one of the most important tools of the trade. Nurses use this tool to listen to things such as the heart, veins, and intestines to make sure proper function. According to Best Stethoscope Reviews, here are the 6 best stethoscopes to buy. As you surely know, it's one of the most important tools for a patient's assessment.
One of today's leading stethoscope brands is Littmann. You can choose from the classic style to the most advanced kind.
A handy reference listing down common medicines and conditions. MIMS provides information on prescription and generic drugs, clinical guidelines, and patient advice. Nurses can also use Swearingen's Manual of Medical-Surgical Nursing, a complete guide to providing optimal patient care.
- Scissors and Micropore Medical Tape
Bandage scissors are used for cutting medical gauze, dressings, bandages and others. Nurses need to have these in their pockets for emergency use, especially for wound care. Micropore tape is also important and should be readily available, for example, when your patient accidentally pulls his/her IV.
- Lotion and Hand Sanitizer
Nurses never forget to wash their hands several times throughout the day, leaving their skin dry. That's why having lotion in their bags is important to keep the skin in good condition. Meanwhile, the sanitizer helps nurses steer clear of germs, along with other contagious agents.
Six saline flushes
Sanitary items - gauze, sterilized mask and gloves, cotton balls
OTC pharmacy items (cold medicines, ibuprofen and other emergency meds)
Small notebook - for taking notes from doctors and observations of your patients.
Watch with seconds hand
On Nurse Nacole’s website, she shares that she carries a drug handbook, intravenous medications, makeup mirror, tape measure, towel, lotion, wipes, 4 in 1 pen and a homemade cheat sheet for her patients.
Also, in MissDMakeup's What's In My Work Bag Youtube video, she has a box of batteries, tapes, a pack of gum, toothbrush, sanitizer, coupons, snacks, umbrella, stethoscope, pens, folder of her report sheet and information sheet, tampons, charger, name tag, ID, makeup bag, eye drops, lotion, hair clips, highlighter, pen light, and journal.
So, What's in My Bag?
In my bag, I have a 4-in-1 pen, a highlighter, IDs, bandage, journal to write some new information when I surf the net, my phone with medical e-books and medical dictionary in it, and other stuff like alcohol, sanitizer, over-the-counter meds (such as paracetamol, cold medicine, pain killers, multivitamins), eye drops, handkerchiefs, floss, toothbrush, nail file, band aids, and food.
Aside from my knowledge in providing quality patient care, I also bring things that can help me get through my shift. In an effort to make things more compact and easy for a nurse to get access to, most common nursing supplies are available in a portable kit. The size and styles are developing as new ways of making a nurse's shift easier.
These are just few of the essential nursing paraphernalia that a new nurse needs.
What's in your bag that you can’t live without?
Source: nurse together
By Ian Lee
Far from the sea, a man-made coral reef is taking shape -- and it could change medical operations forever.
Step inside the OkCoral lab in Israel's Negev Desert and you'll find row after row of quietly bubbling fish tanks, each containing a precious substance.
It is hoped the coral grown in this surreal "farm," could one day be used in bone operations -- encompassing everything from dental implants to spinal procedures.
Unlike animal and human bones, coral can't be rejected by the body, say medical experts at the company CoreBone, which manufactures bone replacements from coral.
Grown in the lab, this coral is also free from the diseases you might find in the oceanic variety.
Assaf Shaham founded the unusual laboratory six years ago at a cost of $2.5 million, with an ambitious vision of tapping into the billion dollar worldwide bone grafting industry.
But first he'll need the approval of authorities in the European Union and U.S., with a decision expected next year.
The father-of-two's dedication to the business is astounding -- if not a little disconcerting.
"In six years of growing corals, I haven't left these four walls for more than 12 hours -- not even once," he said.
"For me, it's 100% learning as I go. I take the mother colony, and I cut off a branch of the coral with a diamond saw. Then I glue it to another base made out of cement."
The delicate ecosystem needs constant care to ensure the water's salinity, temperature, and chemical make-up is perfect -- any variations and the coral could die.
The fish swimming around each tank are essentially the "worker bees" of the artificial reef. They eat the algae growing on the coral, their feces helps feed the coral, and finally, their movements in the water keep the coral strong.
And much like the traditional canary in the coalmine, if the fish die, you know something's not quite right in the water.
Happily for Shaham, his ambitious experiment appears to be thriving, with coral in the lab growing at ten times the normal rate.
Just a small container of the coral costs roughly $5 to $10 to produce, and sells for around $250.
One of the biggest benefits of the business is its environmental sustainability.
"We have a constant supply," says Ohad Schwartz of company CoreBone.
"We don't have to worry that in several years, harvesting from the sea could be forbidden."
It's a concern they'll never have to think about, when harvesting these remarkable fruits of the desert.
With the generous support of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and guided by a national advisory committee, a multidisciplinary team based at the University of Pennsylvania seeks to learn from clinicians or clinical leaders who are primarily responsible for transitional care services in health systems and communities throughout the United States. Specifically, the team is conducting a research study designed to better understand how transitional care services are being delivered in diverse organizations. Participation in this research survey is voluntary.
If you are a clinician or clinical leader responsible for transitional care service delivery in your organization, I encourage you to learn more about this study. To access the survey and more information on the study, please visit:
Transitional Care Survey
NAHN is happy to assist Dr. Mary Naylor and the University of Pennsylvania in this 2 year project. Dr. Mary Naylor will be providing NAHN with feedback on the survey results. If you know of others who have such responsibility within your association or work environment, please forward this email to them.
Thank you in advance for your consideration of this request.
There are a number of fantastic nursing blogs on the internet. Whether you’re an aspiring nurse, a working nurse, or a curious patient, you are sure to be entertained by these sites. We have narrowed down a list of the top 100 nursing blogs online to give you plenty of reading material for the future. Prepare yourself for hours of education and entertainment.
Top General Nursing Blogs
The Nursing Site Blog
The Nursing Site Blog is just one of those sites that you have to read as a nurse. We love it because it constantly has new articles to read, from helpful advice to healthcare news and more. The blog is run by public health nurse Kathy Quan, RN. Kathy has been in the nursing industry for more than 30 years now, and you can see evidence of her experience on her site. Kathy has a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, and most of her working life has been spent in hospice and home health care. She shares her stories and lessons learned on her blog, along with other information that any nurse would love to read.
The National Nurse for Public Health
The National Nurse for Public Health is a blog run by The National Nursing Network Organization. This is an organization that is working hard to create a better working environment for professionals in the public health industry. The blog provides news updates for work that the organization is doing, as well as other news from the nursing sector. The commentary on here comes from doctors, nurses, and other important workers in healthcare.
Scrubs Mag is considered the “The Nurses Guide to Good Living.” The name may sound like a catalog for working attire, but the information within this site is far from that. Scrubs Mag offers a wide range of helpful articles for new, existing, and future nurses, including style secrets to keep you looking great on the job. There are a number of writers who work for Scrubs Mag, so you can see everything from career advice to personal stories on the site. You can even sign up for free giveaways to get cool outfits, accessories, and tools to use on the job.
Confident Voices in Health Care
Confident Voices in Health Care is a blog run by Beth Boynton. Beth is a published author and nurse consultant who specializes in communication and collaboration in the healthcare industry. What we love about Beth’s blog is the fact that it offers advice for patients and professionals alike to ensure that everyone works together in harmony. Many of Beth’s posts are about her medical improv workshops, where she helps healthcare workers become better speakers and listeners through improvisational training. Confident Voices also features articles from many a number of credible guest bloggers who share their insights into nursing and healthcare.
Nursetopia is a blog written for nurses by nurses. It is designed to honor these wonderful members of the healthcare world and showcase their influence on the modern world. The articles in the blog cover nursing news, career advice, business help, personal stories, art, freebies, and more. You always get a chance to see something different when you come here. Nursetopia is one of the most active blogs on our site, and it is one you will see in countless blogrolls from other bloggers on here. We’re subscribed to it for a reason.
Nurse Together is a fun and informative blog run by a team of nurses. The bloggers here range from nurse educators to RNs and beyond. While we may love the site for its blog-like articles, Nurse Together also offers a job board, nursing school guide, discussion panel, and much more. The Nurse Together Facebook page has more than 21,000 fans, showing just how much people love visiting this site. There are new blog posts on here every day, so you can always look forward to something new to read.
Lippincott’s Nursing Center
Lippincott’s Nursing Center is a site dedicated to helping nurses be the best workers they can be. The site is home to more than 50 nursing journals online, including the American Journal of Nursing, Nursing2014, Nursing Management and The Nurse Practitioner: The American Journal of Primary Health Care. In addition to these peer reviewed journals, Lippincott’s Nursing Center features more than 1,300 continuing education activities for nurses, making it easy to maintain a career as a nurse here. The authors on the site are mostly advanced practice nurses and registered nurses who share their career expertise with the world.
Off the Charts
Off the Charts is a product of the American Journal of Nursing. It mostly provides news updates and research study reports for the nursing community. With this in mind, you can also find a number of helpful career advice articles on this site. Some popular categories for posts on here include patient engagement, healthcare, medical prices, nursing research, nursing perspective, and more. Off the Charts is authored by a number of nursing professionals, most of whom have a graduate level education. The blog commonly highlights influential nurses from the past to inspire nurses of the future.
Not Nurse Ratched
Not Nurse Ratched is a wonderful nursing blog that has been around since 2007. The blog is run by a writer, nurse, and medical editor who enjoys “investigating ways to save time.” The articles on here fit into categories like applications, gadgets, technology, personal, medical, humor, and more. Most of the articles are written with a great sense of humor, which is sometimes hard to find in healthcare blogs.
Nursing Stories is a heartfelt blog about one woman’s experiences in nursing. Marianna Crane, the blogger, has been in nursing for over 40 years, and she now uses her blog to share her stories from the past and present. She has been a certified adult nurse practitioner since 1981, and she has a passion for writing that is evident in her blog posts. Marianna says, “My goal for this blog is to encourage nurses to boast.” You can get inspired to be a better nurse thanks to this woman and the great stories she shares on her blog.
The Nursing Show
The Nursing Show is more than just a blog. It is a compilation of entertaining videos about nursing. Each episode teaches a new lesson about this ever-changing career, from getting through college to dealing with tough patients. The episodes are included in short, easy-to-read articles that summarize what the videos are about. There are already more than 300 episodes of The Nursing Show for you to watch, so you don’t have to worry about getting bored on this site.
Advances in Nurse Science Blog
The Advances in Nurse Science Blog is tied to a nursing publication that comes out four times a year (appropriately titled Advances in Nursing Science). The blog allows readers to discuss big issues that are mentioned in ANS so that they can understand and expand upon these ideas. The ANS journal was founded back in 1978 by Peggy L. Chinn, RN, PhD, FAAN. It has been in publication ever since, but the blog was a much more recent addition to the ANS world.
Reality RN is a pretty interesting blog because it is run entirely by new nurses. You may not think these men and women have a lot to share about their experiences, but they convey what “reality” is like for people who are new to this profession. If you are a nursing student worried about what you might be getting yourself into, this blog should be able to answer all of your questions. Best of all, there is a great list of “must read” blogs on the home page that link to even more top nursing blogs online.
AllTop – Nursing
This site doesn’t exactly fit the “norm,” but we thought it was important to put it on our list. Essentially AllTop is just a directory for other websites, but it shows you the most recent posts from many nursing blogs online. It’s a one-stop-shop for nursing tips and news online, and it features the work of several other sites on our top 100 nursing blogs list. If you want to stay updated on other topics from around the web, AllTop has plenty of other categories for you to explore.
Diversity Nursing offers a number of helpful articles and services for nursing professionals. The blog on the site features news information and career tips for nurses, but the site as a whole has a job board, college guide, and much more. There is even a forum on the site where nurses, patients, and nursing students can discuss important issues in healthcare. Diversity Nursing started off as a basic job board back in 2007, but it has grown to be so much more since then. You can even use this site to post a resume so you might get a better job in the future. Here is a look at some memorable posts from the Diversity Nursing blog:
Nursing Ideas is a blog that covers a variety of variety of nursing related topics. The blog was started back in 2008 as an online resource for nursing students. Rob Fraser, the blog’s founder, began writing articles for the blog while he was an undergraduate nursing student at Ryerson University. In 2013, Rob refocused the blog to be more about professional interviews so that his readers could see what life is really like as a nurse in today’s world.
Soliant Health is a healthcare staffing company that offers some great advice for nursing professionals around the country. You don’t have to be a member of the Soliant Health network to benefit from the articles on their blog. Even if you already have a job as a nurse, you could learn from some of the news articles and tips on the blog. If you are in fact looking for a job, you can look through the job board on Soliant Health to see what opportunities may be available for you.
Nursing Daily is a fairly new blog, especially compared to other sites on our list. Nevertheless, it has already developed a great reputation in the nursing community, and we’re hoping it sticks around for years to come. Nursing Daily is dedicated to providing “nursing tips, advice, and humor” for anyone who wants to read it. Many of the posts on here are quick, simple images that will make you chuckle a little about life as a nurse.
The Nurse Path
The Nurse Path is a beautiful, entertaining, and inspiring blog that is dedicated entirely to nurses. The blog features a number of categories, including: nurse mind, nursing skills, health and fitness, technology, funnybone, and more. The motto for this site is “helping nurses find the way,” and every article here is evidently doing just that. You’ll find at least one new post a week on this blog to read and learn from, so this is definitely worth putting in your RSS reader.
Living Sublime Wellness
Living Sublime Wellness is a blog dedicated to transforming the nursing community for the better. The blog is authored by Elizabeth Scala, an RN with an MSN/MBA and years of working experience as a nurse. Elizabeth is a public speaker who visits nursing associations, hospitals, and other healthcare organizations to teach people what they can do to make their working environments better for nurses. Living Sublime Wellness features a lot of great resources for current and future nurses, making it a great site to visit no matter where you are in your career.
RTConnections Nurse Blog
The RTConnections Nurse Blog is designed to connect all members of the nursing world so they can educate and inspire one another to do better in their careers. This blog is particularly beneficial for new nurses because they can read stories from experienced professionals that they may aspire to become. One of the big focuses on this blog is nurse bullying, which has become a hot topic of discussion over the last few years. You can learn ways to avoid and prevent bullying in the work place by reading some of the posts on RTConnections.
Dear Nurses is essentially a portal for several sites under the “Dear Nurses” umbrella. These sites are all focused on educating nurses through captivating illustrations. Dear Nurses combines simple graphics with helpful information to show nurses how to improve their skills and services. It also contains multi-part educational series that expand upon other posts they have on their sites. Dear Nurses has been online since 2006, and it has grown significantly in that time.
Your Career Nursing
Your Career Nursing is centered around the idea of helping nurses improve their careers. The articles here teach nurses of all stages about the skills and processes they need to succeed in this profession. There are several categories of posts to choose from here, including education, entrepreneurship, lifestyle, networking, nursing success stories, online learning, unique nursing jobs, and more. No matter who you are, you can find something to like here.
By Felicity Dryer
Infographic Courtesy of PresidioHomeCare.com
By Felicity Dryer
We live in a high-stress world. Between having to attend to work, kids, homes and run back and forth between meetings and all of the other demands of everyday life, to say that things can get stressful is an understatement.
If your constant on-the-go lifestyle has left you feeling run down, beat down and just plain old exhausted, then you need to stop and smell the proverbial roses for a little bit.
Taking time to enjoy something that is peaceful and that is just for you can do wonders for your health, your mental clarity and for your happiness. You don’t have to invest much time in such activities, either; reserving just 30 minutes a day to something that you enjoy and that promotes a bit of peacefulness and tranquility can do wonders.
Here’s a look at some activities that you can do for just 30 minutes a day and that will provide you with some simply amazing benefits.
Yoga: It seems like yoga is all the rage in the fitness world as of late (well, not really as of late; it’s been a trend for quite a while) – and there’s a reason why; yoga provides some pretty amazing benefits.
Just 30 minutes of yoga a day will help to increase your strength and flexibility, as well as tone your body. In addition to physical benefits, yoga can also increase your brain function. A recent study conducted by the University of Illinois found that people who participated in just 20 minutes of yoga a day experienced an increase in the speed and accuracy of their brain functions. Yoga also helps to reduce stress levels and boosts mental clarity; talk about some pretty amazing benefits for just 30 minutes of your time each day.
Meditation: Another activity that can provide fantastic benefits in just 30 minutes a day is meditation. When you think of people meditating, what comes to mind? People who are more peaceful, more astute and have more clarity? If so, there’s a good reason why – Because meditation helps to promote all of these things.
In fact, just 30 minutes of meditating a day can boost your creative thinking abilities, heighten your energy levels, decrease your stress levels and even ease the feelings of depression.
A Long Walk: If someone tells you to ‘go take a walk’, take them up on it! There are so many wonderful benefits associated with walking, and the best part is, it is so easy to do. Walking for just 30 minutes a day improves your cardiovascular health, decreases stress and anxiety, helps to keep off excess weight, tones muscles, boosts energy levels and it can even help to decrease your risk of dementia. Walking also just makes you happy. So kick off those painfulwork shoes and dust off your sneakers, and get moving. There is nothing more therapeutic than soaking up the warm sunshine and observing the beauty of nature while walking on a nice day.
Reading: Everyone knows that reading is important, but do you know why? Reading for just 30 minutes each day can increase your vocabulary, boost your creative thinking and critical thinking skills, stimulate your mind, improve your memory and focus and decrease stress levels. So, when you’re feeling like you just need to escape for a little while, curl up with a book or a magazine and submerse yourself in reading.
No matter how crazy your lifestyle is, you can spare just 30 minutes a day to enjoy the benefits that one of these activities can provide. You’ll be amazed by how much happier you will feel – you owe it to yourself!
By Caleb Hellerman
Earlier this week, Brian Shepherd sat down in a small doctor's office in Bethesda, Maryland. A technician swabbed his arm and gave him a quick jab with a needle.
With that, Shepherd became subject No. 13 in the experiment testing a potential Ebola vaccine.
The trial was launched on an emergency basis earlier this month by the National Institute on Allergy and Infectious Disease. It's the first to test this kind of Ebola vaccine in humans.
"It's not just for the money," Shepherd wrote in a Reddit AMA. "I'm very interested in translational research and experiencing it from the guinea pig side is very rewarding. But yeah, the money helps. This one study will fund most of my grad school application costs, though not in time for application season."
The vaccine doesn't use live virus and can't infect volunteers with Ebola. Instead it uses specific Ebola proteins to trigger an immune response. They're delivered through the body on a modified version of an adenovirus, a type of cold virus.
In the initial phase, 10 healthy volunteers were given a low dose of vaccine. They were monitored for side effects and tested to see if their bodies are producing antibodies. In the second phase, of which Brian is a part, an additional 10 volunteers are being given a higher dose.
All participants will be followed for nearly a year and tested at regular intervals.
Shepherd, who has volunteered for several prior research studies at NIH, spoke with CNN about his experience.
The following is a condensed version of that conversation:
CNN: How did you come to join the study?
Brian Shepherd: I actually work at NIH; I'm a post-doc researcher in a developmental biology lab. Most trials I learn about from reading a ListServ (email list).
I heard about the vaccine study from going to preliminary meetings for a different study.
CNN: When was this?
Shepherd: Less than a month ago. I had my first appointment on August 26. It was just a sit-down, to talk about the trial, go through paperwork and consent forms, explaining what the trial was for. Then they did an initial run-through of my health history.
CNN: What was next?
Shepherd: The next week I had my second appointment. They did a full physical, blood work, health history, breathing checks. A lot of poking and prodding. My third visit was Wednesday. They drew blood, then gave me a shot. Now, my next appointment is Sunday.
CNN: What was it like? You wrote that pulling off the Band-aid was the worst of the pain.
Shepherd: I'm supposed to keep a daily diary for the first seven days, logging my temperature and any symptoms. The next morning, I woke up with a slight fever, 100.5. I took some Tylenol and it went away.
Other than that I feel fine. In fact, I ran a half-mile in a relay race at lunchtime with some people from work.
CNN: You wrote that for each of these regular visits, you're paid $175. How many times have you been a human guinea pig?
Shepherd: This is my second drug trial. Before that, I did mostly MRI studies.
The first one I did, I was in the MRI machine and had three tasks. They gave me two buttons and showed pictures. If it was Spiderman, I'd hit one button; if it was the Green Goblin, I'd hit the other. So I spent 15 minutes playing Spiderman vs. Green Goblin.
CNN: Did you have any reservation at all, taking part in this Ebola vaccine trial?
Shepherd: None at all.