DiversityNursing Blog

Tips For Nurses Working Through The Holidays

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Wed, Nov 23, 2022 @ 02:47 PM

GettyImages-1423947212Many people look forward to the holidays, however it can be a stressful time for Nurses working through the holiday season and missing festivities. Here are several tips to help make working through the holidays a little brighter.

Holiday Feast

Take time during a shift to fuel up with some yummy foods. Have everyone bring in their favorite meal or side dish, holiday treat, or order some take out. 

Work Fun

Organize a secret Santa with your unit or you may also consider planning a holiday party outside of your work setting. It’s nice to take the time out to blow off steam and enjoy your co-workers’ company. 

Decorate

With permission from your manager, decorate your work station, the hallways or even yourself with some holiday swag. Hang up paper pumpkins and turkeys. String twinkle lights and set up a holiday tree. Just be sure to be sensitive and inclusive of everyone’s holidays, not just your own. 

Celebrate On A Different Day

If you can't celebrate a holiday on the actual date, pick another day that works for your family or friends. Being with the people you love is what's important, no matter the date. 

Spread Holiday Cheer

This season is all about giving and as you know, giving makes you feel good. Try giving small gifts like scented hand sanitizers, cards, or decorative trinkets to your coworkers. Brighten patient's day with a note, little ornament, or holiday craft. 

Stay Connected

Make the most of your breaks during your shift. If able, FaceTime or Zoom with friends and family, follow their posts on social media, or ask someone to share videos of the holiday gatherings with you. Utilize available technology to stay as connected as possible. 

Silver Lining

Focus on the bright side, there may be benefits to working a holiday shift, such as extra pay or the next holiday off. You may also, hopefully, get to enjoy a slower work pace or less traffic during your commute.

Remember You're Important

Healthcare will always be 24/7 and someone must be there to care for patients. You're saving and changing lives by showing up to work. During the holidays that care can mean the world to a patient especially if their family or friends aren't able to visit or stay long. What you do as a Nurse is so important, don't you forget it! 

Topics: Holidays, holiday shifts, nursing, nurses, working holidays, nursing career, holiday stress

Caring for Patients With Alzheimer’s

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Mon, Nov 14, 2022 @ 02:06 PM

GettyImages-1176484212Alzheimer Disease (AD) is the most common type of dementia, accounting for at least 2/3 of the cases of dementia in people age 65 and older. AD is a neurodegenerative disease that causes progressive and disabling impairment of cognitive functions including memory, comprehension, language, attention, reasoning, and judgment.

According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, there are over 6 million Americans living with AD with 3 million new cases diagnosed each year. This disease is deadlier than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined. 

Often, early warning signs are dismissed or mistaken for normal aging behaviors such as forgetting or misplacing things. Early detection can help people maintain their independence longer and slow the progression of symptoms.

Ann Kriebel-Gasparro, a faculty member in Walden University's Master of Science in Nursing program emphasizes that Nurses who have training in dementia and AD with Gerontological patients can provide quality medical care to help track and manage symptoms. 

Common warning signs/symptoms include:

  • Memory loss that disrupts daily life
  • Challenges in planning or solving problems
  • Difficulty completing familiar tasks
  • Confusion with time or place
  • Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships
  • New problems with words in speaking or writing
  • Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps
  • Decreased or poor judgment
  • Withdrawal from work or social activities
  • Changes in mood and personality

To provide high quality care, it’s important to consider these best practices when treating patients with Alzheimer’s:

Communication

Do not assume a patient can not communicate or express their feelings on their own. Instead, try using these communication techniques

  • Maintain eye contact and direct one-on-one interaction.
  • Be patient and offer assurance when the patient makes mistakes or feels embarrassment.
  • Ask clear and simple questions requiring yes or no answers to minimize confusion.
  • Do not interrupt or argue.
  • Engage in conversations in quiet spaces without distractions.

Create a Daily Care Plan

Having a structured and predictable daily schedule is important for patients. It helps to reduce restlessness, anxiety, episodes of confusion and thought process impairment. This set routine helps them maintain a degree of autonomy in their activities of daily living.

Scheduled care plans usually include:

  • Meal times
  • Walking or gentle exercises 
  • Drawing or painting
  • Reading books and magazines
  • Watching favorite shows or movies
  • Listening to music

Proper 
Hygiene

People with AD may struggle to maintain their personal hygiene. Some might simply forget  they need to care for themselves, or, in later stages, forget how to do so. 

Some considerations for assisting with personal care:

  • Be flexible — adapt to the person’s preferences.
  • Help the person be as independent as possible.
  • Guide by using easy, step-by-step directions.
  • Speak in short, simple sentences.
  • Avoid rushing the person through a task.
  • Encourage, reassure and offer praise.
  • Watch for nonverbal communication.
  • Experiment with new approaches.
  • Consider using different products.
  • Be patient, understanding and sensitive.

Pain Management

When working with people who have Alzheimer’s it's important to remember pain is a common symptom experienced by patients. It can be difficult to assess pain levels of a patient if they struggle with verbal communication. 

There are different pain assessment and management tools, such as the Abbey Pain Scale or Pain Assessment in Advanced Dementia Scale (PAINAD) that can help you understand when nonverbal patients are experiencing pain. 

These tools work best when you spend a lot of time with the same patients and have a baseline of what is normal behavior and comfort for them. 

Fall Prevention

According to the CDC, more than 1 in 4 seniors fall each year. Having Alzheimer's can increase that risk because AD can impact balance and spatial reasoning. 

Knowing that your patients are at greater risk is a crucial first step, but there is more you can do to prevent falls such as:

  • Keeping rooms and walkways clear to prevent tripping or stumbling
  • Supervising or providing a safety companion to help patients walk 
  • Keep patients occupied and entertained so they are less likely to wander or move around unnecessarily
  • Promoting safe physical activity to improve balance and coordination
  • Providing better lighting so patients can see better
  • Offering assistive devices, such as a walker or handrails, when necessary
  • Encouraging appropriate clothing and footwear
  • Assessing medications, especially if they make patients feel dizzy

Wandering Prevention

According to the Alzheimer's Association, AD causes people to lose their ability to recognize familiar places and faces. It’s common for a person living with dementia to wander or become lost or confused about their location, and it can happen at any stage of the disease. Six in 10 people living with dementia will wander at least once; many do so repeatedly.

The following tips may help reduce the risk of wandering:

  • Provide opportunities for the person to engage in structured, meaningful activities throughout the day
  • Identify the time of day the person is most likely to wander (for those who experience “sundowning,” this may be starting in the early evening.) Plan things to do during this time — activities and exercise may help reduce anxiety, agitation and restlessness.
  • Ensure all basic needs are met, including toileting, nutrition and hydration. Consider reducing – but not eliminating – liquids up to two hours before bedtime so the person doesn’t have to use and find the bathroom during the night.
  • If the person is still safely able to drive, consider using a GPS device to help if they get lost.
  • If the person is no longer driving, remove access to car keys — a person living with dementia may not just wander by foot. The person may forget that he or she can no longer drive.
  • Place deadbolts out of the line of sight, either high or low, on exterior doors. (Do not leave a person living with dementia unsupervised in new or changed surroundings, and never lock a person in at home.)
  • Use night lights throughout the home.
  • Install warning bells above doors or use a monitoring device that signals when a door is opened.
  • Place a pressure-sensitive mat in front of the door or at the person's bedside to alert you to movement.
  • Label all doors with signs or symbols to explain the purpose of each room.
  • Store items that may trigger a person’s instinct to leave, such as coats, hats, pocketbooks, keys and wallets.
  • Consider enrolling the person living with dementia in a wandering response service.
  • Ask neighbors, friends and family to call if they see the person wandering, lost or dressed inappropriately.
  • Keep a recent, close-up photo of the person on hand to give to police, should the need arise.

Final Stages of Care

Nursing care for Alzheimer's patients becomes especially critical during the final stages. Skilled Nurses with extensive AD knowledge not only provide treatment to patients but also help families prepare for end-of-life decisions. They also provide emotional support to family members and provide suggestions for preparing for the final stages.

Click Here For Alzheimer's and Related Dementia Resources for Professionals

 

Topics: dementia, Alzheimer's, alzheimer disease

Best Practices In Caring For Patients With Intellectual or Developmental Disabilities

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Fri, Nov 04, 2022 @ 11:02 AM

GettyImages-531468860Patients with Intellectual or Developmental Disabilities (IDDs) have unique needs. It is important Nurses know how to properly provide  care, and make health care more accessible for this population.

An IDD, includes many severe, chronic conditions that are due to mental and/or physical impairments. It usually lasts throughout a person's lifetime. People who have IDDs have problems with major life activities such as:

  • Language
  • Mobility
  • Learning
  • Self-help
  • Independent living

According to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), IDDs encompass hundreds of diagnoses — autism, cerebral palsy, and Down syndrome among them — that affect about 6.5 million people in the United States.

Research suggests that the attitudes of health care professionals are among the biggest barriers to people with IDDs receiving equitable access to services.

Nurses must provide care that enables people with complex care needs and difficulty with cognitive functioning to live fully with as much physical, emotional, social, and spiritual well-being as possible.

The “fundamental principle that underlies all Nursing practice is respect for the inherent dignity, worth, unique attributes, and human rights of all individuals” (ANA, 2015, p. 1).
 

Here are some helpful guidelines for treating patients with mental and/or physical disabilities. 

  • Speak directly with the patient, not to any companion that the patient may have.

“Don’t make the mistake of thinking they don’t contribute to their care, because they are your most valuable source of information,” Priya Chandan, MD, MPH, PhD, an Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery at University of Louisville School of Medicine said. 

  • Avoid making assumptions about what assistance the patient needs. Offer assistance, wait for offer to be accepted and wait for instructions.
  • Talk to persons with disabilities in the same way and with a normal tone of voice (not shouting) as you would talk to anyone else.
  • Ask how you can help them and respect their answers.
  • Use “people-first language”: refer to “a person with a disability” rather than “the disabled person” or “the disabled”.
  • When communicating with a person with a disability, it is important to take steps to ensure that effective communication strategies are used. This includes sitting or standing at eye level with the patient and making appropriate eye contact.
  • Presume that patients with disabilities are competent to handle their own medical care. If patients do not have anyone to assist them, do not ask them whether they brought an aide or a companion.
  • Be patient because it may take the person extra time to communicate. Do not speak for the person or complete the person’s sentences.
  • Allow time for history taking and thorough exam.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask the patient questions if you are unsure.
  • Keep in mind that the personal space of a person with a disability includes the person’s wheelchair, scooter, crutches, walker, cane, or other mobility aid.
  • Do not push or move a person’s wheelchair or grab a person’s arm to provide assistance without asking first.
  • If the person uses a communication device, such as a manual or electronic communication board, ask the person the best way to use it.
  • Do not pretend to understand if you do not. Tell the person you do not understand what he or she has said and ask the person to repeat the message, spell it, tell it in a different way, or write it down. Use hand gestures and notes.
  • Repeat what you understand and note the person's reactions, which can indicate if you have understood correctly.
  • Develop a specific communication strategy that is consistent with the person’s abilities: nod of the head or blink to indicate agreement or disagreement with what you have asked or said.
It's important to understand that a person with disabilities often has the same wants, needs, dreams, and desires as anyone else, so treat them as such.
 
 
Sources:
 
 

Topics: disability, disabilities, IDD, Developmental Disabilities, Intellectual Disabilities, chronic conditions

Ethics in Nursing

Posted by Sarah West APRN, FNP-BC

Fri, Oct 21, 2022 @ 10:48 AM

GettyImages-1365601656What is Nursing Ethics?

Ethics in Nursing helps Nurses maintain professional accountability and navigate the complexities of the Nursing profession. Ethics are the moral principles by which people should carry themselves. Ethics is one of the most critical concepts in Nursing as it dictates our role as caregivers.

The Nursing code of ethics consists of 4 main principles. These principles are used to guide Nurses in delivering quality Nursing care while also fulfilling the ethical obligations expected within the profession. The principles include autonomy, beneficence, justice, and non-maleficence.

Four Main Principals of Nursing Ethics  

Autonomy

Autonomy in Nursing refers to the right each patient has to make decisions based on their personal beliefs or values. As Nurses, we are responsible for educating patients on care measures and allowing them to accept or refuse medical interventions.  We must respect the choices of our patients and adapt our care to what best suits their wants. An example of autonomy in Nursing is educating a patient about the side effects of medication and allowing the patient to accept or decline taking it.  

Beneficence

Beneficence is the principle that every action performed by the Nurse should be to promote good. This means that every task a Nurse completes during her shift should be done for the sole benefit of the patient. Simple things we do in Nursing, like holding the hand of a dying patient or taking a patient outside to get fresh air, are considered beneficence.

Justice

Justice in the Nursing code of ethics means that patients have the right to impartial treatment. We do not judge our patients in the Nursing profession. Patients must be respected and treated equally regardless of their financial or insurance status, gender, age, or ethnicity. Justice in Nursing is treating all our patients equally and ensuring they receive the best possible care regardless of their situation.

Non-maleficence

Nonmaleficence is closely related to beneficence but is a different concept altogether. Nonmaleficence means that a Nurse should do no harm to the patient. This principal guides Nurses to maintain their obligation to protect their patients. Nurses should always prevent bad outcomes for their patients whenever possible by removing them from any harm. An example of nonmaleficence in Nursing is preventing medication errors by ensuring the “7 rights” of medication administration are correct or by applying a bed alarm to a patient's bed with dementia to prevent falls.

What are Ethical Dilemmas in Nursing?

The 4 main principles of Nursing ethics prepare us to deal with the ethical dilemmas we encounter while caring for our patients. Ethical dilemmas in Nursing create a conflict between 2 courses of action.  

The competing courses of action are both correct but can create different consequences that must be considered. Ethical dilemmas are important to recognize because, as Nurses, we cannot interject our personal beliefs into the ethical dilemmas at hand. Examples of ethical dilemmas can include:  

  • Protecting the privacy of an adolescent
  • A parent refusing to vaccinate their child
  • End of life decision making
  • Informed consent
  • Pro-life vs. prochoice

Becoming an Ethical Nurse

Nursing is consistently regarded as one of the most trusted professions. Nursing ethics are essential to know and understand as it helps guide our everyday Nursing practice. Nurses are thoroughly prepared to deal with the ethical situations they encounter through many years of education and training.

Nurses can continue to learn how to conduct themselves ethically and how to deal with ethical issues through continued work experiences. Every patient interaction can teach us something new about ethical dilemmas and how we can best handle them in the workplace.

Topics: nursing ethics, Ethics, nursing career, nursing profession, nurse ethics, nursing practice

Things Nurses Wish Their Patients Knew

Posted by Sarah West APRN, FNP-BC

Mon, Oct 17, 2022 @ 02:32 PM

GettyImages-1210971758Across the entire patient experience, Nurses have a hand in almost every aspect of the patient's healthcare journey. Nurses are compassionate, and dedicated, and work tirelessly to meet the needs of their patients. Because Nurses are at the forefront of every patient interaction, there are many things that we wish our patients knew and understood about how we work and handle our everyday tasks.  

Every Patient is a Priority, but You May Have to Wait 

Nursing is a busy and fast-paced profession. Our days are jam-packed with patient care tasks, documentation, and care coordination. More often than not, it can be challenging to find time to eat, drink water, or even use the bathroom during our shifts. We hate having to make our patients wait for things they may want or need, but sometimes we wish our patients understood that we take great consideration in prioritizing our patient's needs. So, if you are asked to wait or have been waiting for something longer than you think you should have, please understand that your Nurse may have a more pressing matter to attend to, and every patient deserves our complete attention. 

Nurses are People Too 

Nurses often sacrifice their personal needs to care for their patients. As mentioned earlier, we often forgo meals and bathroom breaks to ensure we can complete all our tasks and care for your needs. Nursing can often be a thankless job. Nurses understand that you want the best quality care, and we strive to provide that to every one of our patients. Patience, understanding, and respect are all that we ask for in return. 

We Care More Than You Think We Do 

Nurses are multitaskers. At any given time, we can be juggling more tasks than you may even realize. Sometimes Nurses may come off as flustered or in a hurry, but that does not mean we do not value your wants or needs. Nurses stay late and come in on their days off to ensure their patients receive excellent care. We even think about you long after we've met because you have touched our lives. Patients are what make the Nursing profession so rewarding. We do what we do for you. 

We May Not Know Everything

We encourage our patients to ask questions, but that does not mean we have all the answers. Sometimes we may need to find the answer for you by speaking to a Doctor or collaborating with other Nurses. This does not mean we do not know what we are doing. It simply means that every patient has a different healthcare journey, and often situations arise that we may not have experience with. Our top priority is that you receive the best quality care, so if you ask a question and we do not know the answer, please rest assured that we will do everything within our power to get you the information you are looking for. 

We Do Not Judge  

Nurses do not do their jobs to judge our patients. Please always be honest when answering questions or providing your health history. Withholding information because you may be embarrassed or may not think it relevant can significantly impact the care we can provide. We care about you and want to ensure that you are cared for in the best possible way. Nurses are also prepared to take care of all your personal needs. We do not mind doing ‘gross’ or ‘embarrassing’ tasks. You do not have to say sorry for natural bodily functions. We understand and are ok with it, I promise!

The Nursing profession is a delicate blend of knowledge, compassion, and critical thinking. We strive every day to make a positive impact on the lives of our patients. A strong Nurse-patient relationship improves your healthcare experience and helps us provide you with the best quality care.

Topics: nurse-to-patient, nurse, nurses, nursing career, nursing profession, nursing workforce, nurse role, nurse communication

The Growing Role of Nurse Case Managers

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Wed, Oct 12, 2022 @ 01:59 PM

GettyImages-1389496437A career as a Nurse Case Manager gives you the opportunity to make a huge impact on patient's lives and develop rewarding relationships.

The Case Manager's (CM) role is centered around working with patients and their families to make sure they are provided with appropriate health care providers, resources, and services so they receive the proper care they need. 

Primary responsibilities include:

  • Evaluating a patient's medical history

  • Acting as a liaison between patients, health care providers, and health insurers

  • Creating care plans and scheduling appointments

  • Educating patients and their families on relevant health-related matters

  • Keeping track of health outcomes and suggesting possible treatment changes


“Because Nurses are trained to work on interdisciplinary teams and understand how to deal with patients’ psychosocial needs, they are the perfect choice to manage their care,” says Tracy Towne, PhD, faculty member at Purdue University Global School of Nursing. “It’s a more holistic approach to care and services, and it is an incredibly valuable role when it comes to supporting those with chronic illnesses.”

You’ll also be able to choose which area you would like to specialize. According to Western Governors University, some of the most common Case Management Nursing specializations are:

  • Patient specialty—focuses on a specific patient population such as the elderly (geriatrics) or children (pediatrics).
  • Service specialty—focuses on a specific service area such as hospice, home healthcare, or rehabilitation.
  • Duration specialty—focuses on the length of patient care such as short-term injury rehabilitation or long-term illness management.
  • Disease specialty—focuses on patients suffering from a specific disease or chronic illness such as diabetes, cancer, substance abuse, or mental illness.

Choosing to become a CM is a great choice for Nurses, since it is less physically demanding, has great pay, and is in high demand. 

According to Zippia, CMs in the Nursing field are expected to rise nearly 16% over the next ten years. This increase is due to the growing elderly population as well as a rise in those with chronic illnesses. 

The estimated average salary for a RN Case Manager is $107,568 per year in the United States, according to Glassdoor.

Becoming a Nurse CM requires a Registered Nurse (RN) license. It is more common to switch to case management later on in your RN career.

This role requires experience so it is suggested you advance your career with certification programs. Certifications aren't mandatory for employment, but they can increase your pay and make you more eligible for future job opportunities.

Interested in learning more about Case Management? Check out these resources:

Case Management Society of America

National Association of Case Management

American Case Management Association

The Higher Education Case Managers Association

Topics: nursing, nurses, nursing career, case mangement, Nurse case manager, case manager

Tips For Balancing A Nursing Career and Parenting

Posted by Diversity Nursing

Fri, Sep 30, 2022 @ 11:55 AM

GettyImages-1325578537Being a parent and a Nurse are demanding roles and it may seem almost impossible to thrive and manage both at the same time, but it is possible! If you're a parent in the Nursing field consider these tips below. 

Parent Guilt

This feeling of missing out on important moments in your children's lives while away at work can really build up negative emotions such as anxiety and depression. 

Author and Journalist Amy Westervelt has some advice to overcoming this guilt. First, stop beating yourself up over your choices and circumstances. Instead, remember the reasons behind your choices. Every time you think to yourself, “I feel bad about __” replace that with, “I made that decision because ___” and then move forward.

 Amy mentions it's important to remember that guilt is inherently tied to empathy. Feeling guilty means you have compassion, care, and concern for those around you. 

Set Standards Early

You must show up and give it your all at work as well as at home so it's best if you set clear parameters and priorities from the start. Openly talk with Supervisors, Coworkers, and Family about what shifts and commitments you are able to attend.

It's great to help coworkers with an extra shift from time to time but work shouldn't come at the expense of your family. If it's your day off, don't check emails and voicemails, focus solely on enjoying your time with loved ones. 

Connect With Fellow Nurse Parents 

There are plenty of Nurses who have children, it's a good idea to get to know them. They can give you tons of great advice and suggestions to improve your work life balance.

These parents know exactly what you're going through and can offer empathy and support. Just being able to talk to someone who can relate is a stress reliever. 

Declutter Your Days

In a perfect world you'd attend every parent teacher meeting, do car pool, eat pizza after soccer matches, etc. but in reality you can't say yes to everything. Life can become hectic with everyone's different schedules.

So in order to stay on top of everyone's availability, creating a calendar at home and on your phone is a great way to stay organized. You can plan out meals for the week, keep track of extra curricular activities, kid's chores etc. Organization is key to a good work life balance.  

Hired Help

If you can afford to outsource help it can alleviate a lot of stress and free up time to spend with your family. For example, if trips to the grocery store are taking up too much time try getting them delivered. Overwhelmed with house cleaning? Hire someone to come and help clean for a couple hours. You find you don't have the energy to walk your dogs, local dog walkers are always available. 

Don't Forget About You

Balancing family and your career can tire you out physically and mentally. There's the old saying, "You can't pour from an empty glass." So it's important to take care of yourself. 

It's okay to ask friends and family for a helping hand in taking care of the kids so you can have some time to do things for you.

Use that calendar we mentioned above to schedule some self-care or time for the hobbies you enjoy. And if you find yourself with an open time slot, that doesn't necessarily mean you should fill it, leave some space to breathe. 

Give yourself some of the love you are constantly giving to others. You are a wonderful Parent and a terrific Nurse, so keep going - you got this! 

Topics: nursing career, self-care, work life balance, parenting

A Career In NICU Nursing

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Tue, Sep 20, 2022 @ 02:12 PM

GettyImages-1414996755If you're interested in joining the Nursing field, or changing your Nursing Specialty, you'll want to learn more about which Specialty is the right fit for you.

Looking to make a difference in the lives of infants and their families? Neonatal Nursing may be the perfect career choice.

Every year, 10 to 15 percent of babies born in the United States (roughly half a million) are admitted to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). 

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), there are 4 Neonatal care levels

Level I: Well Newborn Nursery

Level I facilities provide a basic level of care to neonates who are low risk. They have the capability to perform neonatal resuscitation at every delivery and to evaluate and provide routine postnatal care for healthy newborn infants. In addition, they can care for preterm infants at 35 to 37 weeks’ gestation who are physiologically stable and can stabilize newborn infants who are less than 35 weeks of gestation or who are ill until they can be transferred to a facility at which specialty neonatal care is provided.

Level II: Special Care Nursery

Care in a specialty-level facility (level II) should be reserved for stable or moderately ill newborn infants who are born at ≥32 weeks’ gestation or who weigh ≥1500 g at birth with problems that are expected to resolve rapidly and who would not be anticipated to need subspecialty-level services on an urgent basis.

These nurseries may provide assisted ventilation on an interim basis until the infant’s condition either soon improves or the infant can be transferred to a higher-level facility.

Level III: Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)

Evidence suggests that infants who are born at <32 weeks’ gestation, weigh <1500 g at birth, or have medical or surgical conditions, regardless of gestational age, should be cared for at a level III facility.

Level III NICUs are defined by having continuously available personnel (Neonatologists, Neonatal Nurses, Respiratory Therapists) and equipment to provide life support for as long as necessary.

These units should have the capability to perform major surgery on site or at a closely related institution, ideally in close geographic proximity.

Level IV: Regional Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (Regional NICU)

Level IV units include the capabilities of level III with additional capabilities and considerable experience in the care of the most complex and critically ill newborn infants and should have pediatric medical and pediatric surgical specialty consultants continuously available 24 hours a day. These facilities would also include the capability for surgical repair of complex conditions.

Nurses working in the NICU have a wide variety of responsibilities. Some of these duties include:

  • performing tests to evaluate any problems

  • monitoring infant health such as vital signs

  • documenting patient history

  • creating care plans with other healthcare providers
  • administering treatments and medications

  • educating new parents on how to care for their baby

  • providing comfort to concerned parents and family members

If you're interested in becoming a Neonatal Nurse you must start by earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and obtaining your RN license. Then you need to gain clinical experience in Pediatric and Neonatal settings.

Many Nurses may go on to get specific certifications and trainings to help advance their careers. Some of the certifications available to NICU Nurses include:


According to Salary.com, the average salary for a NICU Nurse is $82,269 per Year in the United States. The five highest paying states are: Alaska, California, District of Columbia, New Jersey, and Massachusetts.

It takes a person with a very big heart to care for such small patients. If caring for newborns and their families is important to you, this rewarding career could be the perfect fit.

Topics: neonatal nurse, Neonatal Intensive Care, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Nicu Nurse, NICU

NAHN, The Nation's Leading Voice For Latino Nurses

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Thu, Sep 08, 2022 @ 04:42 PM

294895751_10158707514991891_3544607862036391216_nSince 1975, the National Association of Hispanic Nurses (NAHN) has been the Nation’s leading professional society for Latino Nurses.

According to Nurse.com, data from a NAHN report finds that although Hispanics make up 17% of the total population, only 3.5% out of the more than three million Registered Nurses in the U.S. are Hispanic.

NAHN's goal is to advance health in Hispanic communities and to lead, promote and advocate for educational, professional, and leadership opportunities for Hispanic Nurses. 

Dr. Ildaura Murillo-Rohde, an active member of the American Nurse Association (ANA) founded NAHN in 1975 after concerns the ANA was not meeting the needs of Latino Nurses.

Ildaura's vision was to assist Latinas in securing their education to provide service to their community and in helping themselves. 

Last September, during National Hispanic Heritage Month, Google honored pioneering Hispanic Nurse Dr. Murillo-Rohde with a Google Doodle illustration created by guest artist Loris Lora. 

dr-ildaura-murillo-rohde-177cfb98c52649dfb6be04c82ce54c5c-1
"Hispanic Heritage Month to me is about celebrating our culture and recognizing the contributions of those who continue to inspire future generations. I enjoy learning about minority women who were trailblazers of their time and helped create opportunities for women who came after them," Lora said. "My sister recently became a Nurse and I found it interesting to learn about Dr. Murillo-Rohde and the things she stood for and achieved during her lifetime."

The association is continuing to grow with more than 40 local chapters across the nation. 

These chapters address the largest healthcare challenges facing Latinos. Members uniquely understand the challenges in providing better healthcare to America’s fastest growing segment of the population -- the Latino community. The NAHN Organization:

  • Connects culturally competent healthcare professionals to Hispanic health issues
  • Projects a unified voice for Hispanic health issues
  • Concentrates efforts to target disease states and decrease health disparities among Latinos
  • Raises awareness and support for effective health policy and programs
  • Promotes the Nursing profession to increase engagement, retention and prepare Nurses to lead change
  • Expands awareness and reach through the implementation of community programs
  • Enhances cultural competence to improve Latino patient care


From the federal to the state level, NAHN is the voice of over 276,000 Hispanic Nurses across the United States.

In May, Dr. Adrianna Nava, President of NAHN, represented these Nurses by attending a roundtable at the White House with Nurses from across the country who work in various specialties

According to the White House briefing, participants discussed the devastating impact the pandemic has had on Nurses and other health care workers, as well as patients, families, and communities.  They underscored the importance of addressing the pandemic-related burnout, advancing gender equity in health care, including through supporting women’s health care, and tackling the national mental health crisis.  Participants also highlighted the need to sustainably grow and support the Nursing workforce.

NAHN welcomes opportunities to work with organizations that seek to expand access to health services, improve health inequities, increase the Latinx/Hispanic Nursing workforce, participate in policymaking at the local, state and national levels and endorse policies that promote and improve health for all.

To learn more about NAHN and all of the great work they do, visit their website at https://www.nahnnet.org 

 

Topics: NAHN, latino nurses, National Association of Hispanic Nurses

Smart Socks Could Reduce Patient Falls

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Thu, Sep 01, 2022 @ 01:52 PM

154145443-9e7e357f-87d3-447f-993b-069632259bfaEach year, somewhere between 700,000 and 1,000,000 people in the United States fall in hospitals. 

Falls can have a major impact on a patient's health which usually results in high costs and extra days in the hospital.

The average medical cost for each patient fall is $10,220, or $10 billion annually.

Palarum’s PUP (Patient is UP) “smart” socks could help decrease patient falls. 

These smart socks are wired with sensors that sends an automatic alert to the three closest Nurses, via smart badges, when a patient tries to get up from a hospital bed and puts pressure on the socks. 

A group of Nurses at Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center (OSUWMC) conducted a 13-month study with 569 people who were at high risk for falling.

Results from the study show there were 4999 Smart Socks alarms, but none of the patients fell. They observed a lower fall rate, of 0 per 1000 patient-days, for patients wearing Smart Socks than the historical fall rate of 4 per 1000 patient-days. The median Nurse response time was 24 seconds.

"While further study is needed, I do believe there is an opportunity for these socks to be used in inpatient hospital settings, Nursing homes and rehab facilities," said Tammy Moore, PhD, RN, senior study author and Associate Chief Nurse of Ohio State’s Neurological Institute.

“Due to the rapidly aging population, the number of patients at higher risk of falling in hospitals is expected to increase substantially. About 30% of in-hospital falls are thought to be preventable, so it’s imperative to determine better ways to keep our patients safe from falling while hospitalized,” said study co-author Tina Bodine, a Nurse Navigator at Ohio State’s Neurological Institute. 

According to Scrubsmag.com, the sensors on the socks last about five to seven days before they need to be charged. Once the patient has been discharged from the hospital, the sensors are removed, cleaned and charged. The socks are laundered with the rest of the hospital’s linens.

Patrick Baker is the founder and CEO of Palarum. He is a retired Lieutenant Colonel who spent 25 years in the U.S. Air Force, has worked in hospitals for more than 30 years, most recently as Vice President of Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer with the University of Cincinnati Health System.

Baker said "Everybody already gets a sock when you go to a hospital. Why not have it be a smart sock that can help keep our patients safer?"

The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) and Palarum previously came together to evaluate Palarum's innovative e-wearable technology.  

"As a healthcare professional and retired Lt. Col USAF, I am especially proud to be partnering with the VA Palo Alto Health Care System to demonstrate the benefits of the PUP sock technology and its ability to reduce patient falls thereby increasing the safety of our hospitalized Veterans," said Baker.

 

Topics: preventing falls, smart socks, patient falls, Palarum PUP smart socks, fall risk patients

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