Once a Nurse, Always a Nurse
I have been a caregiver for I would say, 40 years now, in one form or another. Caring for family members has been my biggest job, behind that is my profession as an RN and working as a staff nurse in a local hospital for 29 years.
I retired from my “job” and then became interested in Nurse writing, or health content, journalistic writing such as “JBinfordRNwriter, ‘The nurse writer for all healthcare things’.”
As a healthcare worker and a nurse, my job doesn’t shut down when I’m out and about. I think all nurses will agree—once a nurse always a nurse—you assess everyone and are aware of any major (or minor) health problems. It happens naturally to me; I find th
The computer insertion into healthcare in the late 1990s and early 2000s changed forever the aspect of patient-focused care. It soon became the bane of staff, switching the total patient record to the EPIC computerized charting system. Many long hours of training went into the process of educating all of the hospital patient care staff in the use of the EPIC system, 20-30 hours per person was a big undertaking to bring us “online.”
The effect on patient care was easy to see from the get-go. The most glaring difference that I noticed was the patient is no longer the focus of the nurse when entering the room to provide care. Nurses must log in to the computer, checkboxes, bring up profiles, switch to different screens, and find specific sections for charting
This guy has been my mom’s doctor for over 5 years now. He knows her extensive mental health history which has been her battle for the past 30 years. I have been her caretaker and confidant, the one that she shares her thoughts, scary hallucinations, and delusions with. It’s my job to try and bring her back in touch with reality. She shares with me what she tells no one else.
“They’re coming to get me, Jenni! Someone’s coming,” she often whispers to me as we leave the house. Her caregivers at the Adult Family Home aren’t aware of her anxiety, she works hard to suppress it. When it becomes too much everyone knows and she is a bundle of fear and confusion. “What do I do? I don’t know what to do,” she will say. Redirection is the answer and she h
When the Questions get Harder: Advocating for a Loved One
Last week I had a doctor’s appointment with my mom, she always wants me to do all the talking. She has schizophrenia and gets nervous when she goes to see the doctor. She is afraid of saying the wrong thing. So afraid that I sometimes hear this in the car the whole way to the appointment, “Jenni, what am I going to say?” I always respond with something reassuring along the lines of “Well mom, you could tell the doctor how you are doing or just say how things have been going for you, this is the follow-up appointment.” We’re always on the follow-up appointment it seems.
Is “winging it” a good or a bad thing? Generally, it has a bad undertone, like skimping on something important or reckless abandon with a hint of danger. “It’s all fine and dandy until someone loses an eye,” type of thing. I’ve been accused of winging it on more than one occasion.
Who should wing it? Do we all get the opportunity or are some people over classed and outside the scope of acceptability of winging anything? That might just be the case, however, I am of the mind that winging it is a crucial aspect that is closely correlated to one’s success in life. You can’t begin something expecting to have it all figured out. All beginnings of greatness start with a try. Try as you might, at some point you need to actually under
Caregivers are relied upon daily to provide safety, comfort, and support for another person that is unable to do for themselves. The person in need of care may be elderly, frail, with dementia unable to meet their own daily needs, or a younger person with a debilitating disease, in a wheelchair and needing help with all ADLs. ADL stands for “activities of daily living” and is used by all medical professionals when referring to someone’s abilities. “Can they perform their ADLs?” is a question answered for all patients before discharging home.
The level of caregiving varies with the different situations, diagnoses, ages (of both parties), and abilities. Some caregivers are paid to provide care, and others do it out of (so many examples) love
Is it hard for you to express negative emotions? Are you at a loss when it comes to emotional pain, hurt, or heartache, and what to do with it? Do you stuff difficult emotions and not express them as you should? There is a level of trust needed to be vulnerable to others in expressing emotional pain. Physical pain can feel easier to deal with when emotional pain isn’t expressed. Emotional pain can be hidden, suppressed, and boxed away, creating a powder keg if not expressed. You can’t just experience positive emotions and be healthy. You have to be able to express negative emotions as well. If you are an emot
Today is a day dedicated to our mental health awareness. Do you ever take a “Mental Health Day?” Who has ever called in and said “I’m taking a mental health day today?” I know employers offer these days, but what if you’re a mom with some little ones at home, you can’t really call in for your mental health time. I hope we all have a support system that we can depend on when we need a break. That’s a big part of mental health awareness, acknowledging that sometimes we all need help to get by. It’s not always sunshine and roses.
What does your mental health look like today? Do you acknowledge the struggles affecting your life? What can you do to decrease your stress level? I feel a lot of eye-rolling here. But reall
September is suicide prevention month, a time to shine a light on the mental health issue that brings so much pain and sorrow to those who have lost a loved one far too early. When suicide touches your life, it’s never the same. It surprised me, the number of people that have been affected by suicide, people seemed to come out of the woodwork. Some people I had known for years, but never knew they had also lost a loved one to suicide. Other people were complete strangers sharing heartfelt stories about their loss. Suicide connects people through acknowledging the pain and loss and holding a mutual disbelief that life can be so cruel and mental suffering so intense that no longer living seems a viable answer.
Suicide awareness groups use the term “completed suicide.” I
Perception is often the basis for fact
One of our individual traits, or maybe not a trait but a gift that we all have, is perception. No one is in charge of it except us. We choose our perception and oftentimes are surprised when something changes it.
What we perceive as truth is automatic. I would say subconscious except we are actively determining it, every day, all day long. There is a learned ability to take in information, format it into categories that include our senses, emotions, and experiences, and then file that thought/perception as a known fact. Whether it is an actual fact remains to be seen, that all depends on who
We all have a brain; therefore, we have a level of mental health. This level changes on a sliding scale. I think of it like the number line we used in math class, the long arrow with a zero in the middle. We either rate on the negative or the positive side of that mental health line. Our mental health gauge slides up and down the continuum, all day every day.
This continuum scale doesn’t measure our emotions. When we are upset, angry, or totally pissed off, we don’t necessarily slide down to the negative side. That is a misconception about m