Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Understaffing: A Life or Death Problem

The notion that there is a relationship between nurse and patient satisfaction makes sense. As a nurse, you work longer shifts than just about any other professional on the planet. If you work a long shift in poor conditions with entirely too many patients, you’re more likely to make a mistake. And really, who could blame you? Burnout and exhaustion are both very real problems for nurses.
Tired Nurses Result in Lower Patient Satisfaction
The first things to go when anyone becomes overly tired include patience and compassion. A study sponsored by the National Institute of Nursing Research concluded that patient dissatisfaction is highest when nurses work more than 13 hours in a single shift. Unfortunately, understaffing is a common issue in medical institutions. So, it’s common for your employer to ask you to work double shifts. Statistics even show that a nurse working over 10 hours is nearly three times more likely to dissatisfy their patients than a nurse who works an eight-hour shift.
Understaffing: A Life or Death Problem
An unhappy patient or two because an exhausted nurse working a double shift wasn’t gushing with rainbows and sunshine is hardly the end of the world. Unfortunately, understaffing and overworked nursing staffs is a much deeper problem with more serious results. According to research from the University of Pennsylvania, it is a life or death problem.

4 Easy Travel Nursing Tips That Any Nurse Can Use

Stay Healthy & Safe on the Go with These Travel Tips

Working as a nurse can be draining, so if you’re also traveling for work, you need to take some extra precautions to make sure that you don’t wear yourself down physically or financially. As exciting as helping people in another place can be, traveling as a nurse can get the better of you unless you’re taking proper care of yourself. If you’re on the road, you need to plan ahead, come up with a budget, and make sure you have what you need to stay healthy on the job.

A Major Turning Point for Mindfulness in Health Care

Jon Kabat-Zinn, founder of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, comments on the first medical school division dedicated to studying the impact of meditation.

When I started at the UMass Medical Center in 1976, the idea that one day there would be a Division of Mindfulness within the Department of Medicine was virtually inconceivable. That it has come about is diagnostic of a new and increasingly widespread recognition of the deep potential synergies between the domains of medicine and meditation (the words themselves are obviously linked at the etymological hip) as well as recognition of the challenges involved in maintaining and optimizing human well-being and health across the lifespan.

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Monday, January 15, 2018

'I'm 27 now. I don’t want to go. I love my life' - Woman's inspirational letter posted hours after her death is the most powerful thing you'll read today

A young woman’s inspiring letter of life advice has been published online by her family – hours after she died of cancer.
Holly Butcher (27) wrote a letter of advice to the world which outlined how people should never sweat the small stuff.
The Australian died last Thursday after her battle with Ewing's sarcoma, a cancer in and around the bones.
Her inspirational letter which her family posted on Facebook has now gone viral.
She asked people not to obsess about their body shapes, to nourish their bodies with fresh foods, and not to complain about the small things that can go wrong in life.
Holly advised people to spend their money on experiences, not things. To enjoy nature. To "eat the cake" with "zero guilt". To listen to music, to cuddle the dog.
"Far out, I will miss that," she wrote.

You can read her beautiful letter in full here

Monday, December 11, 2017

Patients sent home from overcrowded hospitals without proper advice on medication side effects

Many patients are being sent home from overcrowded hospitals without proper advice on the side effects of medication or how to look after themselves.
The failure of busy staff to communicate with patients in this crucial area is among the main grievances in the first 61-question National Patient Experience survey launched today.
Doctors are also so stretched that many patients who are in a hospital ward have little or no chance to talk to them about their worries and concerns, the findings show.
Seven in ten patients who need a hospital bed are being forced to wait hours on A&E trolleys with some enduring delays of two days.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

How to Ride the Waves of CHANGE

The truth is: we don't know much about what "will be." Here are six mindfulness tips for going with the flow—rather than losing ourselves in the undertow.

Change comes whether we want it or not. If we can stay open and curious to an ever-new landscape of life’s possibilities, change can actually be the key to resilience. By learning to explore what presents itself, we ride the waves of change rather than losing ourselves in the undertow

Read more at Mindful

Saturday, November 25, 2017

The role of the nurse preceptor? Responsibility, Preparation, and Personalities

Let me introduce myself. My name is Melissa, though most people at work know me as “Stafford,” a nickname that was given to me because we had 4 Melissa’s in our unit at one point.  Can you imagine that? I graduated nursing school back in 2000, though that seems like last year to me. After spending a year and a half on a surgical floor, I have spent the rest of my time in neuro critical care. I am not an expert, but I’ve functioned as a nurse preceptor over the years, from student nurses all the way up to experienced nurses.
You are probably prepared for what to expect during your orientation, whether it be from discussions during nursing school, friends, or from personal research on the web 

The role of the nurse preceptor? Responsibility, Preparation, and Personalities

I want to talk to you about orientation a little differently. I want to share with you orientation from my point-of-view, as a nurse preceptor. It is important to me that you understand…

Nearly a decade on, the promised 'new era' has not materialised

When hospital consultants signed the dotted line in 2008 on their new contracts, which had taken years to negotiate, it was hailed as ushering in a new era for public patients.
But today 684,800 patients are on public hospital waiting lists and the promised benefits never fully materialised.
It was supposed to mean more consultants would work full-time treating public patients.But today they make up just a small minority of the publicly paid specialists.
They were supposed to work evenings, at weekends and also in teams.
There would be one outpatient waiting list for public and private patients. And one list for diagnostics.

How to Win Even When You Fail

What do the premier designer Vera Wang, the famous 1800s scientist and author of “On the Origin of Species” Charles Darwin, and NPR radio icon Terry Gross have in common? They all failed. And it wasn’t just the trial-and-error, have-to-pay-your-dues kind of failures that most anyone has to endure in order to succeed in any given field. These talented people actually failed to reach their initial dreams, aspirations that were based on entirely different professions than what they are so famously known for!

Read More at PsychCentral

Counter Stress with Serenity

Counter Stress with Serenity! Find out how you can fit it into your busy life.
Everybody knows about stress. Too much to do, too little time, problems, issues, irritations and whatever else makes life complicated and frantic. But serenity? Isn’t that a very old-fashioned idea with no relevance in the modern world? Quite the contrary, it is essential for well-being and counteracting the damaging effects of stress on body, mind and soul. But how to practice it in a fast-paced life?
Meditation is an allocated time set aside for stopping, settling an overactive mind and establishing inner calmness. On the other hand, serenity is not something you practice for a limited time. It is a state of mind — tranquility of spirit — that carries through into a way of dealing with everyday life.
Developing or increasing serenity does not require you become a monk or nun and neither is it a luxury you cannot afford. If you choose to live life with quiet inner strength, you can start where you are right now.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Having Confidence Is Not as Hard as You Think

In my women’s coaching circle, one of the women was sharing about a work situation and expressed that she “needs to work on being more confident.” She believed that she would be more respected in her company if she communicated like the other employees who she perceives as being more confident.
Can you relate? Are there situations in your life where you wish you felt more confident?
We have all had moments of mild to extreme self-consciousness where the feeling of confidence seems about as far away as Jupiter. Those awkward moments or instances where we feel judged by others often make us believe that we need to “work on” becoming more confident.
How have you “worked on” being more confident? Perhaps by taking public speaking classes? Rehearsing things you want to say in front a mirror? Getting a coach? Buying a new outfit?

While all those things are wonderful forms of self-support, feeling more confident actually takes way less effort. I explain in more detail in my blog below, but here is the bottom line: the only reason that you do not feel confident is because you are judging yourself. Period. Really.

When Compassionate Care Takes A Turn Toward Fatigue

Fatigue, emotional distress, or apathy resulting from the constant demands of caring for others: today’s nurses are facing new levels of compassion fatigue. Empathetic, passionate, and caring nurses can fall victim to the continual stress of meeting the needs of not only their patients but their families as well. This can pose serious safety concerns on two sides of the spectrum. It can lead to errors and issues in patient care, and overall nurse burnout can drive more skilled nurses out of the profession.

According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, 13 percent of newly licensed RNs were working in a different career within one year of their licensing, and 37 percent indicated they were ready to change jobs. Lack of staffing, trouble with management or salary issues aren’t the only things pushing nurses from the bedside. Significant, ongoing emotional stress is a key contributor that can often go ignored.

Defining the Issue

Multiple terms have been used to describe compassion fatigue, but in its simplest terms, compassion fatigue implies a state of psychic exhaustion where caregivers face severe sense of malaise that results from caring for patients who are in distress over time. Traumatology expert and senior faculty at the Figley Institute, Dr. Charles Figley calls this phenomenon the “cost of caring” for others in emotional pain.

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