Category Archives: Nursing

The Pros And Cons Of Being A Nurse Anesthetist

A nurse anesthetist undergoes training in anesthesiology to be able to administer anesthesia. In hospitals and surgery centers the nurse works under a certified anesthesiologist’s supervision. Just like any other career path, this one does have its pros and cons. It would be a good idea to weigh them when deciding whether it is the right career path for you.

The pros

The pay is attractive. Nurse anesthetists are highly paid and it is actually the earning potential that attracts many to the professional field. You can be sure to enjoy decent living when working with this job profile.

It offers you the ability to assist those in need. Contrary to what many people think, the nurses are not only there to administer anesthesia but also for pain management. They take care of patients before a surgery, during the surgery and after the surgical procedure. They therefore offer lots of help to the patients making them vital people in all types of surgeries. You will love the feeling of saving a life through a successful procedure you played a role in when you are a nurse anesthetist.

The job attracts professional respect. This is a title that demands professional respect, considering that you end up working with doctors, surgeons and other nurses who rely on each other or successful care delivery to patients. You will get more responsibility and autonomy when you are a nurse anesthetist and surgeons and doctors will rely on your advice and expertise too.

You get the freedom to control patient care. This is a fast paced field and decisions are made based on experience and education. In most cases you will manage to make decisions without involving anyone else to safeguard patient health and safety.

The Cons

The position comes with great responsibility on your part. As a nurse anesthetist you must be ready to deal with difficult situations, some of which could have you sued by patients or their family members. It actually helps to be insured just to be on the safe side when situations arise.

You might end up working long hours. Surgical procedures can be quite long and as a nurse anesthetist you must be there throughout checking on your patient. Some can go longer than expected and after they are done you still have to take care of the patient through recovery. If you are a sole nurse anesthetist in a health facility, then you would have to be ready to attend to more than one surgery in a day sometimes.

It can get boring. This is because you do not play any active role during surgery procedures yet you need to be present to monitor patient response to the anesthesia. You might need to sit through boring long surgeries

The field is very competitive and you would have to impress your employer to get hired for the job. Nurse anesthetist programs are challenging to get into but many are struggling to earn the degree and you need to be well cut out to beat the competition.

5 Tips For Purchasing The Right Pair Of Nursing Shoes

A nurse’s feet are one of the most important assets for her. Due to long working hours in which most of the time they’re either walking on hard surfaces or standing with patients and doctors, proper footwear becomes not only helpful but essential for them. Without a proper pair of nursing shoes they may not only feel tired but also may get injured sometimes. So it’s important to know the art of purchasing the right footwear if you’re a nurse. Yes, it’s also an art. A good pair of shoes should provide proper arch support and should also fit the width of your feet easily. It should provide some ample support as well. In essence, it should perfectly suit the shape of your feet.

Given below are 5 important tips that’ll help you in purchasing the right nursing shoes:

  1. Purchase your pair from a specialty store: Instead of going to just any shoe store, it’ll be better if you purchase your shoes from a store that specializes in selling nursing or athletic shoes. These stores hire trained associates for helping you out in choosing the right type of shoes according to your feet’s measurements and your type of job.
  2. Follow the guidelines of your hospital: Most hospitals have a set of guidelines for nursing shoes. For example, some may require you to wear white shoes and some may even require you to purchase the shoes of a particular company. So before you go out to a store for purchasing your shoes, take a look on the requirements of your hospital.
  3. Avoid shoes with openings: Nurses should always avoid the shoes that have holes, cuts and openings for making them look stylish. Since work of nurses sometimes involves dealing with bodily fluids of patients, these cuts may expose their feet to those fluids. So as a nurse you should always choose properly enclosed shoes.
  4. Consider arch support: Test each pair of shoes for arch support. Your shoes should have a strong but flexible sole for providing proper comfort to arch. Sometimes nurses purchase additional inserts with shoes for extra comfort. If you’re planning to do the same, try your shoes with inserts for ensuring that they provide enough comfort to your feet.
  5. Don’t purchase shoes in the morning. I hope you know this already – our feet are a little bit swollen in the morning when we wake up from sleep. So avoid purchasing your nursing shoes in the morning. Instead, purchase them either in noon or in evening.

Why Home Health Care Is Important

Home health care is becoming very common nowadays. People are looking towards it with increased interest because of the various benefits that it offers. The most important benefit of home care is that it saves hospital expenses, especially when treatment is needed for long periods of time, or when a patient is recovering from a specific surgery or illness. Many patients prefer staying in their own homes as opposed to staying in the hospital.

There are many reasons that make it an ideal situation for many families. Here are just a few.

Privacy and Comfort

Home care providers equip patients with a familiar, home surrounding in which they are comfortable. They are surrounded by their family and loved ones, and it gives them the flexibility to do whatever they want whenever they want. With such security and added benefits, home care is definitely a preferred choice of treatment and recovery.

Shorter Recovery Time

Studies have indicated that patients who can recover and rest at home are more likely to heal faster than those who are hospitalized. This is an important indication of how beneficial in home care can be.

Lower Cost

Home health care is much cheaper than the care you receive at the hospital. Therefore, if a patient has to receive long term care or go through a supervised recovery period, then it is best to seek home health care services.

Decreased Hospitalizations

With home recoveries, there is less of a need for regular, continual visits to the hospital or the emergency room. The nurses and therapists available use top medical machinery and devices used for routine hospital visits.

Plan of Care

Home health care providers usually work with licensed physicians to make sure that they are able to provide the highest quality of services. They also make proper reports of the patient’s recovery and treatment.

Therefore, there is a fixed protocol that is followed, which ensures the provision of positive and great treatment.

Needed Therapies and Assistance

With in home care, the desired and needed therapies and assistance with everyday household activities is provided to ensure that there is no added pressure on the patient.

The reason why home health care is so important is that it provides patients with the luxury of staying at home while seeking treatment. With proper care at home, patients have a chance of recovering better than ever, and much faster, as opposed to hospital care. Patients are also much more comfortable as they are allowed the chance get to spend more time with family and friends.

With the steady rise of the baby boomer generation, and the recent changes in health care, home health care has risen in popularity. The pricing is decent, and the amount of stress associated with in home care and nursing is extremely diminished.

Nurse’s Attitude and Patient’s Recovery

I was on my summer clinical in medical surgical ward. That was my first day of the clinical and I was assigned in Semi private ward. It is expected from a staff nurse to do the head to toe assessment of every patient to whom she has been assigned. Being a student nurse my initial responsibility is to help out the staff in her routine work and care for the patients as well. I started my work by helping the staff nurse in head to toe assessment of patients. It was going smoothly. We both did assessments of eight patients together and I was now feeling comfortable in doing the assessments.

As we went near to room 5, I smelled some obnoxious odor. We went inside the room. There was no patient on bed no 5-A. The nurse told me to wear gloves, gown and mask as the patient was on airborne and as well as on contact precaution. I obeyed her. When we removed the curtain from bed no 5-B, we were shocked to see a female patient who was bombarded with skin blisters all over her body. There wasn’t any skin on her body and her body was bleeding too. She was lying on a sterile Drape sheet and her body was covered from cradle, then again the drape sheet was covering the cradle.

That nurse and I left the room without any further inspection as that odor was unable to tolerate. Our rejected behavior was certainly inhumane and was not appreciated at all (Be it that patient or the Head nurse). Then we went to our TL and she told us all about that patient. I was surprised to know that she was suffering from a very fatal autoimmune Blistering Disorder- Phemphigus Vulgaris. She explained that out act did not represent a Nurse’s role. Then that day TL looked after that patient. For the next few days, TL kept me in the same area. Then slowly with the passage of time I came familiarized with that patient, and started taking care of her. After two weeks the patient recovered much better and faster and was shifted to another hospital in Quetta due to some financial reason.

Initially, I was so reluctant to deal with her because I never came across such a thing in my life, but then I gave this situation a second thought being a nurse so I felt ashamed and then I started feeling affiliated for her and got happy being with her.

Dr. IIeen Craven of Honor Society of Nursing states that all nurses, no matter how they practice, are there to ensure safe, effective, and empathetic patient care. They place the patients in the center of care and work with other healthcare professionals to ensure the outcomes of care which will be best for every patient.

O’Baugh et al conducted a study in a clinic in Sydney, Australia in 2003. The objective of this study was to determine how patients and nurses view ‘being positive’ and identify the different factors that influence this state of being. From this study it was stated that the overall attitude of the health care providers affects a patient’s general attitude and desire or will power

Let’s understand it with an interesting analogy between a nurse’s attitude and the environment by taking an example of going shopping. If you go into a shop to buy something and someone is there and they have a sad look on their face and you don’t get a word (out of them) so they are so negative in their attitude, it has a terrible effect on you. You don’t go back to the shop. Same is the scene with the patients and the healthcare professionals. Now when I look back, I realize that how childish I was in my behavior. If I were in her place I would have certainly felt so embarrassed because from a nurse (a caretaker) no one can expect such things.

A negative behavior is always the reason to mistrust of patients not only towards nurses and medical staff, but towards all the health care providers’. Being positive is very essential when dealing with patients. It not only helps in better recovery, but also establish a trusting attitude towards all health care providers.

Perks of Being A Home Health Care Nurse

The occupation of a home health care nurse, as with any caregiver or nursing job, takes hard work, a serving personality, and an interest in the medical field. In home nurses require extremely meticulous individuals because they often do not have a nearby nurse or doctor to secondarily monitor work and given therapies. However, the end result of working in the home health care business is extremely rewarding!

Helping Individuals

The ability to help others inside of the comfort of their own homes provides a unique experience for home care nurses, therapists, and caregivers. It is much easier to build relationships with individuals when a nurse is giving medical care within that very patient’s home. It allows patients to open up in greater detail about their lives and share stories about the many items, photos, and memories that took place inside of their house.

The one on one care a patient receives in a home care environment often allows greater individual attention. There are not the same distractions of a hospital room or additional patients. A home care nurse is able to give 100% of their attention to a single patient and their personalized treatment and care.

Home nursing care is also rewarding because the nurse is giving a patient the chance to no longer feel like a burden to their families. Instead of an individual relying on friends and family for groceries, drives to the doctor, or meal preparation, the home care nurse can take care of these items. Even when family and friends are more than willing to offer their care, it gives the patient a sense of freedom when they feel like they are no longer relying on the goodwill of other people.

Helping Families

The same way that an individual feels guilty about requiring constant care and maintenance from surrounding friends and family, the same sense of guilt can occur within family caretakers as well. A home health care nurse allows families to have free time away from the guilt and stress of constant care. Many friends or family may even feel guilty about wanting extra free time and therefore do not ask.

However, it does not always have to be this way. By hiring an in home nurse, the patient is not only receiving attentive, quality care, but families can rest at peace knowing their loved one is being properly and attentively cared for. It decreases the stress load of daily drives to therapy or the doctor by hiring an in home nurse. Almost all medical treatments can be completed at home, instead of driving to therapy or a doctor’s office.

For family members, it can be quite a stressful ordeal learning about various medical machinery and medical care, always wondering if care and maintenance is being administered properly. However, home nursing care individuals have the knowledge, experience, and medical background to confidently maintain medical devices. The family no longer has to feel completely responsible for every single aspect of medical care. Thus, it decreases the stress load and allows friends and family to focus on the more important things, like looking at old photographs together, playing cards, or other forms of bonding.

In essence, home health care nursing is just as much for the families of a patient as it is for the patients themselves. Home care nursing provides quality care, while building lasting relationships!

With the steady rise of the baby boomer generation, and the recent changes in health care, home health care has risen in popularity. The pricing is decent, and the amount of stress associated with in home care and nursing is extremely diminished.

Tips to Choose a Nursing Home

No one cherishes the thought of putting their loved one in a nursing home but at times that is the only choice. Once all other alternatives have been tried such as letting her live with the family or having the family take turns allowing them to live with them or having them living on their own, it will be time to find best health care facility for the type of care that your loved one needs. The best facility would be ones that are convenient to as many family members as it can possibly be. You also want to make sure that it will provide the high-quality care that your loved one needs such as a secured environment if they have Dementia, chronic medical condition, or some type of physical or mental disability along with a supportive environment.

In order to find the best nursing homes that meet all these criteria assemble potential nursing homes that are centrally located for all members of the family in a notebook. When looking for one look to see what their ratings are in regards to one to five stars and what others have said about their services, both pros and cons and make notes. When looking at the star ratings you need to see what there are in three critical respects which are:

• The amount and kind of nursing staff available
• The diligence of the facility in meeting state safety and health standards
• The nursing home’s performance in key behavioral and medical measures such as whether the residents of the facility get enough help with their daily activities, are they receiving their annual flu shots, etc.

Once you have all of this data it is time to choose several of the best nursing homes so you can visit them. Before you visit the nursing homes you should have a list of questions that you want to ask and make notes of the answers. You also want to observe the staff’s attitude toward the residents and how attentive they are to the residents. In addition to observing the staff you also need to look at the cleanliness of the home, if there are any safety hazards, the type of food offered, if the residents are clean, etc. Narrow your choices of best nursing homes down and make trips to them at different days and times so you can see how it operates at other times. If possible take your loved one with you on one of your visits to get their input.

Do not make a rush decision but take your time to make sure that your loved one gets in one of the best nursing homes possible.

The Pros and Cons of Having a Career in Nursing

Why would anyone ever go into nursing? If you are asking this question, you likely are very familiar with the negative side of the nursing profession. I’ve been a nurse for about 8 years, and I too am well aware of the cons. Thankfully, I’ve also been privy to the many benefits of being a nurse. Let me enlighten you to both sides of the coin.

The Cons of a Career in Nursing

  1. Ignorant people will see you as a glorified waiter or waitress. They probably picture you fetching bedpans all day. Which brings me to con #2
  2. You will have to fetch a bunch of bedpans.
  3. Sometimes you will feel underpaid for the work you do. Just remember the difference you are making.
  4. You will be understaffed most of the time. This is something you have to deal with in many fields now.
  5. You will work long hours, half the time on holidays and weekends.
  6. Nursing school is very challenging. You will have to study more than most college students.
  7. There are health risks to working in the medical field. You could be exposed to any number of ailments. There are, however, a lot of resources and safeguards put in place to prevent this.

Don’t let this list scare you just yet. There are still a lot of benefits to being a nurse. Read a little longer before you make your decision.

The Pros of a Career in Nursing

  1. You will positively impact the lives of your patients and their families. Even when your patients have bad outcomes, you still can make a positive impact. This alone could be enough of a reward to go into the field.
  2. There are so many different areas to work in nursing. You can do bedside nursing in dozens of different roles, or you can do something like case management. You can go into administration, research, or even blogging like I did.
  3. The field of nursing has some of the best job security of any profession. If you can’t find a job in one specialty, there is always another option.
  4. Most nurses only work 3 days a week. I prefer to work a regular schedule, but this type of schedule does afford you the ability to get things done during the week.
  5. You will constantly be challenged to grow and improve yourself. This is something that may seem difficult at first, but it will help you tremendously later in your career.
  6. You will have an entire community of fellow nurses. Nurses tend to stick together. They are your band of brothers… or sisters. Nurses have to rely on each other constantly. This creates a unique closeness not always found in other fields.
  7. Last but not least, you get to wear scrubs to work, leading your friends to think your life is like Grey’s Anatomy. I assure you that it will not be. There aren’t really any nurses on that show anyway.

There are so many more pros than I was able to put on this list. Nursing is a challenging and rewarding career. Unfortunately, it’s not for everyone. If the “Pros” didn’t convince you, and the “Cons” scared you, then nursing probably isn’t for you. It takes a unique person to make a good nurse.

How To Give Your Nursing Career A Boost

Nursing is an honorable profession that involves going the extra mile to take care of patients and ensure they remain safe and comfortable. The healthcare industry is largely made up of the nursing workforce and when you are able to increase your skills and knowledge, you can go very far in your nursing career. If what you are looking for is a promotion, there are so many things you can work on to give your career a boost and go up the ladder.

1. Advance your education

A BSN is no longer enough to take you higher, you should consider getting an MSN to open up career doors. Considering that you can enjoy online classes, you really do not have to put your job on hold to continue with your education. You can choose a nursing program that is convenient enough for your job schedule. An advanced degree will definitely get you to executive level roles in your nursing career.

2. Keep on learning

Even when you finally get your degree, you should put effort in improving your knowledge in your field. Sometimes volunteer opportunities and attending conferences and meetings can go a long way in keeping you up to date with the nursing field and health care industry at large. It is important to remember that nursing is a fluid profession and there will always be technology changes and new information. To work better you must be up to speed with the latest.

3. Learn to communicate effectively

As a nurse you will come across all kinds of patients. Without proper communication skills, it will be very hard to handle some of them. Apart from knowing how to communicate with your patients, you must also know how to handle their loved ones and offer the best health care you can. You should start by being a very good listener to communicate effectively. Pay attention to the patient’s verbal and non-verbal cues and respect their perspective and you will go a long way in your career. You must remember to respect their fears, opinions, literacy and their way of digestion news that are not as pleasant.

4. Respect the privacy of your patients

Medical information is very private and as so it should remain. To be a reputable and respected nurse you must learn how to limit the information you can openly share with anyone including colleagues in the clinical setting. Even if you know the patient on a personal level you cannot disclose sensitive information to anyone else however complicated the diagnosis is. Your patient information should be treated with utmost privacy and respect.

5. Join professional nursing organization

It can prove to be very valuable when it comes to professional development, education, advocacy and networking. When you join such an organization, you are able to create communities of shared interests where current information can be shared, maintain professional knowledge and practice proficiency. The organization can also be resourceful in offering webinars and conferences that improves education among the nurses.

Nursing and Our Senses

As nurses, we are grateful for monitoring equipment. The equipment tells us what we need to know at the touch of a button. But, we also know that relying on these machines alone can take the skill out of nursing. In the absence of monitoring equipment, there is no need to panic. The human body possesses what we need to carry out a basic if not effective nursing, life-saving assessment/judgement should things go wrong – our senses! A nurse needs to be able to tell if something is ‘off’ just by using their senses. The following are some tips on how we can utilise these senses and act in a timely manner thus also being able to save lives.

1. The eyes.
There is no greater tool to a nurse than the eyes. You can tell a lot just by casting a quick glance at your patient. Straight away you can tell how critical they are just by observing their colour, the rhythm of their breathing, chest movement or lack of it, a bleeding wound, a swollen leg, urine colour and any other physical signs of distress you can think of. Once you’ve noticed an abnormality, you can proceed with caution.

2. The ears
If a patient is unstable, they will make abnormal sounds. Sounds that indicate something is wrong with, perhaps, their airways such as wheezing, gurgling, stridor and so on. At other times, there are no sounds at all, which would also indicate a complete airway obstruction in some cases. So, using your ears, you will be able to ascertain whether your patient is making the right kind of sounds. If it is not breathing, they may cry/scream, or try to tell you something. Gather the facts with your ears and from then on, you will be able to act accordingly.

3. The hands
If anything, nursing is a hands-on job. You cannot be a nurse and not get your hands dirty. When faced with a sticky situation, take the time to feel your patient. Feel their pulse, their breath and skin. Are they warm enough, too warm, cold or clammy. That alone can tell you all you need to know about your suffering patient.

4. Smell
There is a lot that a nurse can tell just by using their sense of smell. Be it the smell of your patient’s urine, an infected wound or stools. Once you’ve established something doesn’t smell right, a nurse is able to proceed with confidence.

5. Taste
In 1674, Thomas Willis described the taste of urine in diabetic patients as ‘wonderfully sweet as if it were imbued with honey or sugar.’ I know what you’re thinking. Yacky right? Well, not according to those who nursed in the olden days. Before technology was developed the way it has, doctors and nurses, in some parts, used to taste urine for infection. Thank goodness we do not have to do that anymore. We have advanced technology now and we are able to diagnose at the press of a button.

6. Trust your instinct
Nurses have an uncanny way of using their gut to determine if/when something is not quite right with their patients. This, in my view, is what makes a nurse a bit special. Nurses are able to achieve this because they are the ones who spend the most amount of time with the patient and offer hands-on care, so, they can tell when a characteristic is out of the ordinary, even without medical evidence at first. So if you’re a nurse like me and you get that feeling in the pit of your stomach, that something isn’t quite right, then it probably isn’t. Go with your gut and tell the doctor what you think and let them know what your concerns are. The worst thing that could happen is you’ll annoy the hell out of the on-call doctor who was getting ready to take a nap after a long day at work. Better to be safe than sorry!

Although machines have made nursing somewhat ‘easy’ these days, I reckon we were given all the tools, the machines we need to do a reasonably sound nursing assessment. Our eyes, ears, noses, mouths (okay maybe not so much now) and gut instinct provide us with all the information we need to prevent danger from occurring to our patient. Let’s use them. Done enough times, the confidence and skill you gain from practicing with your senses are indispensable. You will feel satisfied and glad and so will your patient!