mamatrauma

ER nurse and resident knitwit

Archive for March 2010

nursing is my fitness program

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There have been some studies that show that standing up while working is better for you than sitting at your desk all day. Duh!  “Your chair is your enemy” says New York Times Opinion writer, Olivia Judson I chuckled as I read this after I spent nearly 2 1/2 years as a student studying in a chair, on the couch, or lounging in bed when I wasn’t sitting in a classroom!  I  have never had a desk job,  so I can’t speak from experience about what it is like to sit in a cubicle and work at a computer day in and day out.  I used to do lab work which involved lots of standing at the lab bench. Then I had my own photography business in my home while I was raising my kids. Didn’t sit around much with that either, if I wasn’t chasing one of my own kids, I was chasing one of my clients, or traipsing around in the parks looking for good portrait spots.

Then I went back to school and had to spend hours reading and studying.  I wish I had had one of these treadmill desks then!  Today I read a piece from Macworld, Stand While You Work, and it inspired me to write this post.  The author talks about how he converted his desk to a standing work station and the other adjustments he had to make to take care of his feet.

I jokingly say that nursing is my fitness program  because as an ER nurse I rarely sit down.  In part it may be because I am new at it and not as efficient as the veterans, but I am constantly walking, running, pushing or pulling heavy things, reaching, bending down, balancing, and squeezing myself into positions while working with a patient. I actually like this part of nursing, I have never been one to go to the gym, many health clubs have made their money off of me because I will sign up with the best of intentions and then after a few weeks or months stop going.  I get bored easily and frankly exercising is not my idea of a good time.  But the physical activity required of me to do my job makes up for it.  When I get home I am physically as well as mentally tired.  This picture isn’t in my ER, but it depicts a typical scene in mine.  The beds are always full and patients line the hallways, and those hallway patients are often commenting on how busy we look, they are not usually the ones that complain that we are not getting to them quickly, they see what we do…. for 12 hours straight.  I have to say that in the six months (I can’t believe I have been there six months now!) I have been working, my body feels good. I am active, I am using muscles that have been dormant too long, and I am dropping pounds (not at a huge rate, but enough).  I live close enough to the hospital that I often walk to work and some days the walk home seems to take forever because I am so tired, but it does me good.  I see far too many patients with health problems stemming from a sedentary lifestyle and poor food (and drug) choices, that I am grateful to have a job that works for me this way.

Now, my couch is inviting me to put my feet up and relax on my day off. A body does need rest too.

Written by knitwitmama

March 22, 2010 at 5:10 pm

Change of Shift

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A year ago I was still in nursing school and in total awe of all the nurse bloggers I was reading when I should have been studying. Now not only am I working my dream job, I am hosting Change of Shift! It is such an honor to be counted among the ranks of all those nurse bloggers I am still so in awe of.  I hope you all enjoy reading this edition.

We’re starting off with Mother Jones and her commentary on Change of Shift: The Art of Giving Report.  It really is an art, especially at the end of a 12 hour shift to be able to pull enough brain cells together to make coherent picture of our patients to hand off to the next nurse.  Mother Jones talks about “dumping.” It is bad form to do this, REALLY bad form.

Another thing that is REALLY bad form is introducing infections in the hospital. Tess submits her friend, Lynn’s post with some very wise advice “Don’t disconnect IV administration Sets”. Well, DUH! but how many times have we done this very thing to get our patient changed, or even let them go to the bathroom! Great reminder Lynn, we all know this is bad, but our rush to get stuff done often finds us using this shortcut.

Rehab RN reminds us that the words that are routine for us, are life-changing for our patients. We must remember to listen through their ears sometimes and be compassionate as they wait for their Prognosis. Thank you for this glimpse into the waiting.

While I am short on experience, I am long on compassion and that is what keeps me going. That and the faith that I am having an impact on my patients now that I am In the swing of things as mamatrauma in my dream job in the ER.  I hope I can keep that going as the years go on….

…..and on.  We think our current way of thinking will never change and we tell ourselves “I will never fill in the blank“, we are so sure.  Kim over at Emergiblog talks about her experience with this in her post Five Years On… All I can say is never say never, I always end up eating my words.  Kim mentions that it was getting into blogging that inspired her, we are so glad you did ’cause your blogging inspires us as well!

Some may say that social media has no place in medicine but Not Nurse Ratched entertains us with her story about a patient and Facebook. NNR never fails to entertain me, she is funny and full of useful information for all us nursing geeks. Check out her post Facebook in the ER and you’ll have a good head shaking chuckle.

Are you considering a change? Thinking about travel nursing? David Morrison at Travel Nursing Blogs has some things for you to think about as you choose which assignment to take. Read  Ask a Travel Nurse: What should I look for in a first travel nursing assignment? before you sign on the dotted line.

Speaking of advice, Dr. Dean has financial advice for Nurse Millionaires. Well, I am not one of those yet, but at least now I am getting paid to work instead of paying tuition to be allowed on the unit!  Read about how to protect yourself from identity theft in Scam, Spam, Phishing/Thank you Ma’m:How Millionaire Nurses Protect Themselves.  Looking for a career change that will use your nursing skills? Look at what Victoria Powell has to say about Nurse Life care Planning as a field. It just may be your thing.

When it comes to the blogosphere there are lists galore. It is heaven for those in search of information. I bring you lists of interest to health professionals. First, because we are enamored with how the body works from the Nurse Nut, 50 Incredibly weird facts about the Human Body. Amazing and bizarre, check it out.  At the risk of stirring up debate, here is Miranda’s list of 25 Little known facts about the National Health System in Britain. Lots of facts I didn’t know, 30% of their workforce is nurses and they are one of the largest employers in the world! That’s a lot of nurses. Pretend you are in the check out line in the grocery store and read about The 10 Scariest Celebrity Malpractice cases. The sad part is this is just the tip of the iceberg in medical errors. The fact that they happened to celebrities doesn’t make it worse but it does get people’s attention.  And finally for those of you who tweet,  25 Twitter Accounts every Nurse Practitioner Should Follow according to Linda at E-MED News.

Thanks for reading. I hope you have enjoyed this edition of Change of Shift as much as I have enjoyed pulling it together. If you want to submit for the next edition, it is being hosted at Nursing Student Chronicles. Send your submissions to laney1210@gmail.com  or by using the carnival submission form. Past and future hosts can be found on the blog carnival index page.

Written by knitwitmama

March 4, 2010 at 7:43 pm