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.

Read More from Scrubs

Are We Helping Others While Ignoring Ourselves?

She was a registered nurse. She was the mother of four children. She was also an alcoholic and a benzo addict, with Valium being her drug of choice. That person was my mother, and her alcoholism and prescription pill addiction may have had much to do with her desire to be of service to everyone else, and in all that helping, she lost herself.

My mother was a dedicated nurse, until she wasn’t anymore. Her addiction started when a doctor prescribed Valium to calm her frazzled nerves to help her cope with four small children and a crazy Italian husband. Addictions often start this way: an innocent motive sets the ball rolling, and for my mother it was all downhill from there. Her addiction went on for more than 25 years. She saw numerous doctors and therapists, but none diagnosed her with alcoholism. The devastation heaped on our family, not to mention that the demoralization that she experienced due to her addiction, was epic. The catalyst for recovery came only when she fell down a flight of stairs while drunk and broke her neck. Rehab finally entered the picture.

Read More from Scrubs Blog

Carers under 10 and in their 80s saving the State billions

A hidden army of more than 195,000 carers, including children under 10 years of age, are saving the State billions of euro through unpaid work.
The latest Census figures show that some 3,800 of this number are children and some of the country's 195,263 carers are aged in their 80s.
The shocking figures highlight how 29,311 carers are pensioners, which is a rise of 18.5pc in just five years.
As the population ages more older people are being cast in the role.
These pensioners are providing 1.43 million hours of care per week - a rise of 12pc in just five years.
There was a 34.7pc rise in carers aged 85 or older - an increase from 1,318 to 1,776 in five years.
The Family Carers Ireland organisation say the real number is likely to be 160,000 more because many don't identify themselves as carers until in crisis.
It is estimated that one in 20 people in Ireland is a family carer, collectively providing €10bn in unpaid care each year.

Disciplined diet reversed my diabetes, says hotelier Francis

Celebrity hotelier Francis Brennan has reversed his type 2 diabetes with a life-changing diet that has seen him shed almost two stone in weight.
The hard-working owner of the Park Hotel in Kenmare, Co Kerry, and no-nonsense rescuer of hostelries on RTÉ's 'At Your Service', was diagnosed with the condition in March last year.
"I had no symptoms," said Francis who is lucky to have a vigilant GP who was monitoring him with regular blood tests.
The 63-year-old was put on medication but he was determined to try to control his blood-sugar levels by adopting a new eating regime and cutting portions.
"I had a constant headache for the first six weeks. I would say to others who are embarking on the same road that this is the time when the battle is won or lost."

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The Mind-Body Problem: The Brain as filter for universal Mind

The official scientific view of humans is we are just lumps of meat and consciousness is just a side effect of a ferment of activity in a certain part of any given lump of meat. And this picture has taken humanity a long way. But like all paradigms it must have its limits and the relationship between body and mind is where it runs into problems.
There is however an increasing body of evidence that indicates mind is not just activity in the meat we call our brain.
Kastrup [1] presents an overview of the filter theory of consciousness. Kastrup is not concerned with quantum physics but the filter theory is consistent with the requirements that Dossey cites theoretical physicists as claiming to be essential features of mind required by quantum physics. It may also be consistent with the notion that a complex 8 dimensional space time metric known as Complex Minkowski Space may offer some explanation of Psychic Phenomena [3].
While one must look to philosophy for possible explanations of consciousness, philosophical investigations must be constrained by observation to some extent and must explain the observation that normal mental experience is strongly correlated to brain state.
There is evidence that under unusual conditions this correlation breaks down which suggests either that the brain does not cause all mental experience, or, and Kastrup considers this more likely, that the brain is not the cause of mental states.
The filter theory of consciousness explains not only why mental events are normally correlated with neural activity but also helps explain those times where mental activity seems to be independent of the brain and indeed of space time.
This is consistent with a view this author has held for a long time, that the brain is an interface used by the mind to drive the body, a notion consistent with the apparent hijacking of subjects's free will by using electrodes connected to the brain to control a subject's muscles contrary to their will: such an experiment is like remotely controlling a car that is normally under driver control.

More Information

Monday, May 29, 2017

Do we need more men in general practice nursing?

  • Have we done enough to rid the health service of prejudice among staff?
  • When was the last time you saw a male practice nurse?
  • Where does the perception of practice nursing as a destination for the final years of your career come from?
  • Would having a wider demographic represented in community nursing enable the NHS to serve the population’s health needs better?
I always think of nursing as a very inclusive profession. Nurses treat everyone fairly – regardless of their race, age or religion. I have heard nurses talk about treating the victim of a crime and the perpetrator with equal respect and attention in a moving and remarkable way.
And yet, when it comes to nurses themselves, I am not always sure they gain that same respect.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Happy International Nurses' Day 2017 from the Nursing Times

From the moment you joined this profession you made a commitment to deliver the highest quality care for your patients.
So, on the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birthday we're giving you FREE access to the following subscriber articles that highlight inspiring achievements or tips to help you propel your performance.

Free to access:

gabrielle bleidorn cropped

Helping homeless people move forward with their lives

Gabrielle Bleidorn used to spend every Christmas volunteering with the homeless. So when a nursing post came up a year and a half ago to improve healthcare for homeless people, she knew it was the job for her

Read More from the Nursing Times

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Nurses get training to cope with stress

Overworked nurses in danger of burn out are practising mindfulness to help them cope with the stresses of the job.

AIT Health Library link to book record
Read More

Carmel Sheridan’s The Mindful Nurse was published last year and has already been included on nursing training courses in the UK and the US.
The Galway-based psychotherapist says she was inspired to write the book when she realised how many people coming to her for help were nurses.
She told the Irish Sunday Mirror: “I’ve been teaching mindfulness around the country and more and more healthcare workers were enrolling.
“I saw there was a very high level of burn out for nurses who are not only struggling with their workload but also struggling with their own emotions.
“They are experts in caring for everybody else but they tend to be not so great in caring for themselves as a result.
“A lot of them are physically and mentally exhausted, have difficulty sleeping and have very high anxiety and stress levels.”

Friday, April 28, 2017

USA Nursing Associations

USA Nursing Associations (list from )

As with many professions, you will find that professional nursing associations provide abundant information about career responsibilities, choices, licensure and certification, professional development and links to journals, articles and other publications. Refer to the list below to get an idea about some of the organizations and resources available to you as a professional nursing or nursing student.
American Nurses Association (ANA) – The leading organization for registered nurses, ANA offers nursing students and licensed professionals links to industry news, a career center, job search tips and other helpful resources.
American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACN) – From conferences and webinar series to certification and continuing education information, the AACN provides all of the details you need to know about being or becoming a critical care nurse.
Association of Community Health Nursing Educators – Find information about professional development opportunities and public advocacy activities for those interested in becoming or currently working as community health nurse educators.
National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists (NACNS) – As the definitive association for clinical nurse specialists, this organization provides conferences, advocacy news, education information and links to relevant publications for those working in or interested in learning more about this field of nursing.
American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) – A professional organization for those pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree in nursing education, AACN offers advocacy services, conferences, webinars and information about industry standards.
National Student Nurses’ Association (NSNA) – An organization devoted to providing support to those pursing initial RN licensure, NSNA offers members links to relevant publications and hosts meetings and conferences focusing on career planning, workshops and advocacy.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Cycling to work ‘could halve risk of cancer and heart disease’

Commuters who swap their car or bus pass for a bike could cut their risk of developing heart disease and cancer by almost half, new research suggests – but campaigners have warned there is still an “urgent need” to improve road conditions for cyclists.
Cycling to work is linked to a lower risk of developing cancer by 45 per cent and cardiovascular disease by 46 per cent, according to a study of a quarter of a million people.
Walking to work also brought health benefits, the University of Glasgow researchers found, but not to the same degree as cycling.

Read More from the UK Independent 

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Nursing and health vacancies in ireland

AIT Positive Living Library books

There is a new guide to the AIT library collection of books on popular psychology, self development and healing at - click here
This collection orders into subject groups to allow focused searching of your area of interest. These books are available in the Main library and also in the Health library.
Don't forget these books are available for extended loans over the holidays periods also 

Thursday, April 13, 2017

How to Carry on When You Have Nothing Left

“The Only Thing That Is Constant Is Change” – Heraclitus
If you’ve ever had to start over I understand your pain.
When I was twenty four I had a mental breakdown that took my marriage, house and children with it, leaving me the shell of my former self.
It took a year of hard work to get back on my feet and functioning again to a point where I started to make progress.
Then it happened again. In fact it happened three times in a five year period.
Every time it happened it stripped away everything I had worked hard to get. It took away my desire to want to try to achieve anything ever again. It was downright soul destroying.

The History of the Nursing Profession Goes Beyond Florence Nightingale A Look at Suzanne Aubert

Born to French bourgeois parents who considered a good marriage should be the pinnacle of their daughter’s achievements, Suzanne Aubert was a rebel. To her family’s horror, she wished to be both a nun and a nurse. In 1854, working alongside Florence Nightingale, she tended Crimea War veterans, gaining a reputation for bone-setting and pharmacology. In 1860, she ran away … to New Zealand where she nursed society’s outcasts, ostracized Maoris, and those deemed ’Incurables’, finally founding a religious order now known as “The Sisters of Compassion”.

Read More at the Nerdy Nurse

The Dangers Of Sleep Deprivation – And What It Means For Nurses

Sleep deprivation is a real problem in America. Americans are getting less sleep than ever – approximately 6.8 hours on average, according to This is below the recommended physician average of 7-8 hours of sleep per day.

The statistics behind the truly sleep deprived are even more shocking – approximately 30 percent of American adults are sleep deprived, according to Medical Daily. Many Americans simply cannot get enough sleep due to the demands of their jobs, families, and other factors.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

5 Cats Who Understand Nurses

When I was studying for the NCLEX

See rest at Scrubs Blog

Shocking' figures show people get a third of recommended exercise levels

Irish people are lagging behind when it comes to exercise, as most of us get less than a third of the recommended amount of activity.
New research shows the average person in this country gets just 48 minutes of exercise per week.
The National Guidelines for Physical Activity recommends that people should undertake at least 150 minutes of activity per week, made up of at least 30 minutes of moderate activity, five times a week.
The study, commissioned by Aramark, surveyed more than 2,000 people across the UK and Ireland.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Talks have got under way in a bid to avert industrial action by nurses

Talks have got under way in a bid to avert industrial action by nurses across the health service over staff shortages from next month.

Officials from the Department of Health and the HSE met with the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) yesterday to discuss demands for an improved package to incentive nurses to apply for jobs here.
The union said hundreds of jobs remained unfilled with serious implications for patient care and existing staff burnout.
INMO chief Liam Doran said that HSE management would bring draft proposals to the union on January 20, while both sides would meet for face-to-face talks three days later.
Read More

Are Coincidences More Than Coincidental? A Physician Shares a Compelling Story

27 Doctors Collaborate On A New Book Detailing Miraculous Physician Experiences

Have you ever had a moment where you were pondering a problem when suddenly an announcer on the radio started to discuss some approaches to that very dilemma.  My wife, Joan, who is more attuned to spiritual matters, was sewing at home when she suddenly had to jump into her car and hurry to the grade school where my son, Nathan, was just being led to the nursing station with a severe asthma attack.
Just yesterday I was going through a desk drawer looking for a schedule when a scrap of paper literally popped out of the drawer.  Written on the paper was the name of my old college roommate and his phone number which I had recorded on that yellowed sheet many years before.  We had lost contact with each other in the press of everyday life but I felt an urgency to contact him. When I did, I quickly learned why.  He was suffering from cancer and his chemotherapy had just stopped working.  I learned that he needed to talk seriously with a trusted old friend and physician about his options. Do coincidences like these happen in our daily lives more frequently than we might realize?

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The Mindful Nurse

The Mindful Nurse is the go-to-website for nurses who want to use mindfulness and compassion to improve their own self-care as well as the quality of care they provide to others

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

The Four Greatest Psychological Discoveries of 2016

Yes, you have had a lot to deal with in 2016. Your job, your family, your finances, and the election, to name a few.
While your attention has been focused on all of these personal and societal challenges, scientists have been working behind the scenes to learn what you can do to become happier and healthier in 2017 and beyond.
Here are four impactful studies that offer valuable information that can guide your decisions and focus in the coming year

How exercise is the latest 'wonder drug' that all doctors should prescribe

It's hailed as the "wonder drug" of 2017 that all doctors should prescribe - and it's free.
Exercise is hard to beat for its power to not just prevent but also treat illness.
It is possible to walk your way to better health, according a group of experts on the physical activity policy group of the Royal College of Physicians.
Co-chair of the group, Professor Sean Gaine, a specialist in the Mater Hospital, Dublin, said they were urging fellow doctors to "engage with patients to increase their levels of physical activity, through advice, prescription and referral".
The impressive long-term benefits include:

- A 30pc risk reduction in deaths from any cause;
- Reduced chance of heart disease, stroke and cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, breast and colon cancer;
- 29pc-30pc less risk of depression;
- 30pc lower risk of falls in elderly;
- 36pc-68pc reduced risk of hip fracture.

Athlone IT Nursing & Health Science Building