How Much Do You Really Know About Leukemia?

“Love is like a wind, you can’t see but you can feel it.” – A Walk to Remember, 2002

Whatever it is that you are doing before reading this article, try to stop and think. Take a breather. Your business proposals and sales records from Quickbooks Online can wait for 5 minutes.

Even after years of not encountering the words that made you feel fear, anger and bliss all at the same time, everything is coming back right now. You just simply begin to remind yourself of the emotions you once had for the love story of Landon and Jaime.


Your brain and heart start recalling how much A Walk to Remember touched your life in any way that maybe up to this moment you cannot comprehend. You feel again your deep connection with both the book and the film adaptation.

You remember the day they went to two places at once. You remember the butterfly tattoo.

You remember how they got married on the church where Jaime’s parents exchanged vows.

You remember the leukemia.

The illness has become the exclamation point of this beloved love story. You cannot deny how much leukemia changed the lives of the two protagonists.

At the back of your mind, you pray that it does not change your life, too.

Learn more about the nature of leukemia, and find out you address or mitigate the terminal disease before it change your life forever.

What is Leukemia?

Mostly found in the bone marrow, blood cells can either be red blood cells or white blood cells. The red blood cells serve as the carrier of oxygen to and from your heart, while the function of the white blood cells is to protect your body to alien organisms. In other words, they fight infections in your body.


The problem with leukemia is that your bone marrow does not produce white blood cells that follow their supposed nature. Instead, your body produces abnormal number of white blood cells. In this light, cancer cells form and replace the healthy blood cells in your bone marrow.

Basically, leukemia (or leukaemia) is cancer of the blood cells. It is a progressive disease in which the organs and other tissues that produce blood, like the bone marrow, create a higher quantity of abnormal or immature leukocytes. This event may lead to anemia since the presence of leukocytes blocks out the production of normal, healthier blood cells.

Despite the massive advancement of medical technologies, the exact reasons or causes behind leukemia still unknown to mankind. However, this does not mean that researchers and scientists are not doing anything to determine the causes.

According to current studies, the researchers and scientists link the roots of leukemia with genetic and environmental factors.

red blood cells

With regard to genetic factors, there are cases wherein the changes in the genes can be passed to an offspring, and this can be a major factor for children to develop blood cancer cells early on. One good example is the Li-Fraumeni syndrome. It is a way of inheriting tumor suppressor genes which can activate the leukemia cells.

Considering the environmental factors, mutations in the DNA can result to cancer cells. The basis for the mutation, however, is still unknown. In addition, cancer may come up when there is a chromosome translocation, resulting to the birth of cancer-promoting genes. Unfortunately, the change in chromosome just happens randomly at your body without even knowing about it.

What Are The Symptoms Of Leukemia?

Check the following list, in case that you are experiencing any of these symptoms:

  •         You have a fever
  •         You experience excessive sweating especially at night
  •         You always feel weak and highly fatigued
  •         You lose weight despite any dietary routines
  •         You have swollen lymph nodes
  •         You can easily bleed and bruise
  •         You experience bone and joint pains
  •         You see red spots all over your skin
  •         You experience recurring nose bleeds

The symptoms list is just a guide, they do not intend to scare you. You just need to look after yourself and take note if the said symptoms are always happening. If that is the case, seek for medical advice from your doctor to verify your condition.

Then again, do not diagnose yourself and immediately call your condition as cancer just because you experience everything listed. It might be a different case. It is still advisable to have a formal check up with your doctor.

What Are The Types Of Leukemia?                       

Leukemia has four major types: acute lymphocytic leukemia, acute myelogenous leukemia, chronic lymphocytic leukemia and chronic myelogenous leukemia.

  1.   Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia – this type of leukemia is the most common type that can be found on children. However, it does not mean that adults cannot be diagnosed with this type.

Your bone marrow is producing too many lymphocytes, a type of white blood cells, for your body. If you have this type of leukemia, then you have immature lymphoid cells that can grow rapidly in your blood.


  1.   Acute Myelogenous Leukemia – unlike with the previous type, the second type of leukemia is common for both children and adults. The rapid growth of your myeloid cells is the center of this type of leukemia.

In other words, your bone marrow is producing abnormal myoblasts, red blood cells, or platelets. If you are smoking, undergone chemotherapy treatments and exposure to radiation, then you have a higher risk on this type of leukemia.

  1.   Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia – this type of leukemia normally affects people from 55 five years old and above. In this type, the growth of the cancer cells is slower compared to the first two types.

Your body is producing too many blood stem cells which become the abnormal lymphocytes. They do not transform into healthy white blood cells. They also overthrow healthy white blood cells in your bone marrow.

  1.   Chronic Myeloid Leukemia – this type of leukemia has the same characteristic with chronic lymphocytic leukemia. It also attacks adults, but it rarely happens to children.

The said type of leukemia is also an example of a slow progressing blood cancer. Your bone marrow is producing an abnormal number of blood stem cells. They eventually become granulocytes. Granulocytes are abnormal white blood cells that occupy the spaces for healthy white blood cells in the bone marrow.

In addition to this, there are three minor types of leukemia.

  1.   Juvenile Myelomonocytic Leukemia – it is an example of a chronic leukemia. This type of leukemia normally attacks four-year olds and younger.
  2.   T-cell Prolymphocytic Leukemia – this type of leukemia is an example of mature T-cell leukemia. T-cells are subtype of white blood cells. It has an aggressive behavior, and it normally attacks the bone marrow, blood, lymph nodes, liver, spleen, and sometimes, the skin.
  3.   Hairy Cell Leukemia – this type of leukemia is a subtype of chronic lymphoid leukemia. It is also an example of tumor that can be differentiated through its accumulation of abnormal B lymphocytes.

Learning and putting into heart the knowledge about leukemia does not mean that you are now immune to the ailment. Gaining the knowledge is just the first step towards a better understanding of the disease.

If you or your loved ones leukemia, knowing more can help you address the terminal disease as early as possible. Consequently, it is now all up to you on how you are going to act up on a disease that can change your life forever.

“I’m sorry she never got her miracle.”

“She did get her miracle, Landon, her miracle was you.”

3 Essential OTC Drugs for Your Medicine Cabinet

Imagine yourself in your best suit, in your best tie, on your way to delivering the best line in your best pitch for the company. Just before anything grand could happen, a sudden whiff of unknown origins triggers you inner senses and you sneeze right at a colleague’s face! At that point, you not only have wasted all that build-up work you did for your clients, you also have just lost the chance to making a bigger and better impression to your investors.

3 must-have OTC drugs for your medicine cabinet.

It is a fact that people all over the world are suffering from a wide array of diseases that practically pops up with the most unconventional timing.

It may sound a little too unlucky, but it does happen. It happens so much that these sicknesses can actually be considered as a pandemic. Viral infectious disease of the upper respiratory tract sounds a heap too heavy than to call it a common cold. In the same sense, these problematic conditions are termed common sickness.

These common illnesses make it harder and harder for you to do regular tasks. Not only is it a burden for your daily activities, it does worsen over the period of time if left untreated. This is when you try to get checked by a doctor – and yes, this is when you get to say goodbye to good amount of money in your wallet.

It is not a bad thing to see a doctor when you’re feeling a little out of the weather. In fact, that’s the best thing to do. However, the reality is that going to a doctor may prove costly, especially during these hard economic times.

Considering the amount you pay for a doctor plus other fees that may or may not include transportation fees and the likes, the total amount may come as staggering. You might need to get a MYOB Accounting Software just for your medical expenses to keep track of all the expenses.

So what exactly do you get from having to see a doctor? For one, you get medical advice, and then there are the prescription drugs. Also, there are drugs which can be directly bought from the pharmacy even without prescription. These over-the-counter drugs or OTCs may just be the things you need to save you from the agony of common sicknesses.

Alas, to battle the common sickness, here are some essential OTCs for your all powerful medical cabinet.

When Allergies Keep You In, Bring Benadryl Out

Allergies can come as one of the most irritating sicknesses ever for a person. Allergies may come in different forms and from different sources, called allergens. The most common allergens include dust, pollen and pet dander. Furthermore, the most irritating of all is that it may also come from food. These allergens trigger a reaction in the body, causing stuffy nose, runny eyes, rashes on the skin, and mouth itch.

Benadryl allergy medication.


The fast remedy for such exasperating sickness is by popping some Diphenhydramine or most commonly known as Benadryl. Benadryl acts as antihistamine for the body to relieve the reactions induced by allergens. Histamines are natural substances which your body produces when there is an allergy. Conversely, to block these substances is to stop the symptoms of the allergic reaction. What’s more interesting is that it also helps you relax to give you your well-deserved sleep.

A woman sneezing.

It is a popular OTC considering the number of people with different allergic reactions to different allergens. Not only is it convenient to put in your medical cabinet, it also proves to be a very important OTC drug to put in your bag, or even in your pocket, when you’re one of those who are extremely prone to allergies.

A Stomach in Pandemonium Deserves an Imodium

Admit it. You love food so much that there are times when you just wish you can have the biggest stomach in the world to take them all in. For you, food is life.

After everything’s been said and done (and eaten), what happens next when you are not careful with what you eat is one the most horrendous things in the world of medical condition – diarrhea.

Immodium medicine.

Diarrhea comes as a result of eating spoiled food, alcohol abuse or other infections. When you have this gastrointestinal ailment, you may have a burning feeling in your guts that may produce loose, watery stools. Indications of diarrhea may include cramps, nausea, vomiting, and an uncomfortable feeling in your bloated belly.

An important thing to do while feeling a little rumble in the belly is by taking Loperamide or more commonly known as Imodium. Imodium slows the rhythm of digestion so that the small intestines have more time to absorb fluid and nutrients from the food you eat. This is an important effect of the drug because the digestive system is affected and needs to continuously take in the nutrients to keep the system functioning well.

Imodium also provides other benefits. The drug decreases the amount of bowel movements, making the stool less watery. Loperamide is also used to reduce the amount of discharge in patients who have undergone an ileostomy

It is safe to say that Imodium presents itself as an important drug to keep your pants clean. You’ll never know when you need it!

Be Pain-Proof with Ibuprofen

Body pains such as headache, toothache, back pains and menstrual cramps can be irksome considering that it interferes with your daily activities. It can be harsh making it through the day if all the pains in your body are left unchecked. For a woman, it can be hard (if not harder) to ignore the pains brought by menstruation.

This is where ibuprofen comes into play.

Ibuprofen is a handy OTC drug considered as a non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drug or NSAID that helps relieve the pains in your body. Simply put, it is a painkiller that eases pain, controls fever, and manages inflammation. This is due to how it affects the chemicals in the body called prostaglandins.

Ibuprofen pain medication.

Prostaglandins are substances released in response to injury or sickness. These substances are the main promoter of pains and inflammation, and even fever, when it is triggered by the brain.

What ibuprofen does is lessen the potency of this substance to enable the body to recover from its effects. This OTC drug is one of the most popular drugs in the market. As such, a steadily increasing number of drug companies has been popping up and producing their own brand of ibuprofen. The more well-known brands include Advil, Medipren, Motrin, and Nuprin, among others.

Over-the-counter drugs are continuously prevailing as one of the best alternatives for people who cannot afford to go to the doctor. Similarly, these medicines have become an option for people who don’t have enough time to take themselves in the hospital.

OTC drugs have become the quick option for certain common sicknesses since it gives practically acceptable effects. You can opt for Benadryl to take away the effects of an allergic reaction. For diarrhea, you can take Imodium. When you have body pains, you can go for ibuprofen for instant relief.

With the hustle and bustle of the current generation, and a declining sense of importance when it comes to health (unfortunately), you are more likely to catch disease. OTC may prove to be the viable option for you. It would not hurt you or cost you that much to have these essential drugs in your medical cabinet. Besides, OTC drugs are only temporary solution.

Then again, the best thing to do when you feel something is physiological wrong is to seek for medical attention that a doctor, a nurse or a hospital can only give. It is a rule of thumb to keep your health at an optimum level.

At the end of the day, taking a pill cannot replace getting real guidance from a health practitioner.

Invest in Your Health: How to be Healthy on a Tight Budget

The number one culprit that makes people less healthy than they should be is settling for less. You go out and opt for cheaper, faster and undeniably less healthy foods from fast food chains, canned goods, and ‘just microwave and you’re ready to go’ foods. Plus, the abundance and easy access to poorly prepared meals have made it easier for you to go that way.

Because of settling for the less, people tend to live cheaper, faster, but unhealthier lives.

How to be healthy on a tight budget

In hindsight, however, eating healthy can be pricey. Perhaps you have over-spent for those kinds of food with less fat, or maybe you have gone for and had dozens of food supplements that your body can even swallow. At this point, you might need to get a Xero software to keep track of your spending.

A woman running with the sun in the background.

Going for the more expensive solutions may be a good way to be healthy, but it is never the only way.

Yes, eating healthy can be pricey; but being healthy shouldn’t be.

The question now is, “how am I supposed to be healthier if the healthy options are too expensive?” or “how am I going to take care of myself when I’m too old?” Fortunately, there are many ways to spend less but gain more in terms of being healthy.

Grab your planners and prepare your personal accounting apps. The frugal-yet-healthy living starts now.

Go Organic!

The cheapest, most nutritious and safest way to be healthy is to start eating organic food. There are lots of benefits by switching to the organic option: you can be sure of its nutritional values and its safety, you are bound to spend less, and you can be an absolute great help to the local farming industry.

“Organic” is term used to denote the way that agricultural products were grown and processed.
Organic crops, for example, are grown in safe and all-natural soil with no modifications (e.g. artificial vitamin enhancements) and are usually separated from conventional products.

How to be healthy on a tight budget.

Farmers who take care of and grow these organic crops are not allowed to use synthetic pesticides, bioengineered genes (e.g. Genetically Modified Organisms or GMOs), petroleum-based fertilizers, and sewage sludge-based fertilizers.

Going organic doesn’t really mean that you will eat all greens! Organic livestock, such as honest to goodness grown goats, lambs, pigs, cows and especially chickens, are fed and grown to maturity naturally. These livestock must have access to the outdoors and be given only organic feeds and nothing else; they may never be given antibiotics, growth hormones, or any animal by-products just to make them gain more weight or be of top-quality for retailing.

What are the advantages that organic foods bring to the table? What is the difference between organic foods and conventionally grown foods? Are GMOs safe or are they really bad?

Cows eating grass in a field.

Why Go Organic

Most studies show how organic foods have the better and more beneficial nutrients, such as
antioxidants. Also, they are guaranteed to not have the allergens that could otherwise be present in conventionally grown counterparts. Some consumers who have allergies tend to find their symptoms have lessened or have totally gone away after they started exclusively eating organic foods.

Organic produce are fail-safe from unprecedented pesticide-related food poisoning. Pesticides include chemicals such as fungicides, herbicides, and insecticides. The thing about these chemicals, although they can prevent pests and bacteria to destroy crops, is that they are widely used in conventional agriculture and their residues remain on (and in) the food that normal people have access to. The problem with pesticide laden food is the risk that they provide to the consumers in terms of poisoning and other long-term harm to the body.

Organic farming is also better for the environment. Organic farming practices reduce pollution (air, water, soil), conserve water, reduce soil erosion, increase soil fertility, and use significantly less energy from electricity and other unnecessary machineries. Farming without pesticides is also better for nearby birds and small animals as well as people who live close to or work on farms.

Most importantly, organic food is GMO-free. Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) or genetically engineered (GE) foods are plants or animals whose DNA has been altered in ways that cannot occur in nature or in traditional crossbreeding. This is done in order for the organism to be more resistant to pesticides or produce an “natural” insecticide. In most countries, organic crops contain no GMOs and organic meat comes from animals raised on organic, GMO-free feed.

In general, organic produce have the best flavors. You don’t need to spend a lot just to taste the most flavorful and all natural veggie or meat!

Know When to Buy Big and When to Buy Small

Now that you know the best, and arguably the cheapest, way to go, you can expand being thrifty by knowing the secret of when to buy big or buy small. When is it really good to buy larger amounts and when do you buy small?

A man looking at the price of meat.

It is easier than you think.

When choosing meat, always go for the most you can buy (provided that you have a way to store the meat). Going for larger parts of cow’s meat, for example, is generally always cheaper, and your local market is the best place to go!

Also, stock up those super foods. Here are some of the most budget-friendly and vitamin-packed produce:

· Bananas contain plenty of potassium as well as vitamins B6 and C.
· Cabbage is loaded with vitamin C. Every cup of cooked, shredded cabbage that you eat provides 75 percent of your recommended daily allowance (RDA) of vitamin C.
· Cantaloupe is high in vitamins A and C.
· Carrots have more vitamin A than any other vegetable, and they’re rich in vitamins C and B6.
· Greens, such as spinach and turnip, mustard, and collard greens, are full of vitamin A.
· Honeydew melon is high in vitamin C.
· Oranges and grapefruits each supply more than 100 percent of your RDA of vitamin C.
· Plums are packed with healthy antioxidants and phytonutrients.
· Potatoes are a good source of vitamins C and B6 and potassium.

By going big on those super-food and naturally flavorful options, you can now go small on the additional luxury condiments that you usually buy.

Also, go small on the desserts as they are counter-productive in your goals to being healthy. For example, too much sweets means increased risk to diabetes and may result to more money spent on medicating yourself. Instead of pigging out on un-natural desserts, go for the better options such as naturally sweet fruits.

Realize that “Youth Health” is an “Investment”

It’s true that in someone’s old age, nursing homes, skilled care nursing centers or other long-term care insurance companies can easily provide their needed care. There are many ways to get the most value out of your money as these companies usually have a wide variety of plans to choose from depending on someone’s budget.

Then again, you need not risk spending more if you understand that the health that you preserve in your youth is an investment for your future golden ages.

Living better in the future is the result of “stacking small good habits”. Living the lifestyle for longevity pays a lot of dividends for someone not only physically but also financially. It’s not just about knowing how to stay healthy; it’s actually doing what makes you healthy every day in all aspects in your life that being healthy becomes a second nature to you.

A young woman with an elderly man in a nursing home.

With these developed healthy habits, like always choosing the more organic and healthier option and taking into account your budget plans that come with it, you are investing for a better adult life. You will be generally free from most sickness; and in the case that you actually do catch these diseases for some reason, your body is strong enough to withstand any physiological challenges that could come your way.

Invest in your health and make choosing the healthier option your second nature. In the long run, you can expect that a good and long life will be within your reach.

DNA – What You Need to Know

You’ve been hearing the term since you started attending science classes. When you think about the human body, DNA is one of the thousands of words that might come to mind. Moreover, when you think of other living organisms, DNA still stands out as the most obvious aspect.

It seems like from the moment you first heard of the term DNA, it continues to be brought back up in conversation.

Blue dna

What is DNA?

There are often cases where you may talk about it without even knowing what it really is. Sometimes, you may talk about DNA with your friends without even knowing that what “DNA” stands for is Deoxyribonucleic Acid.

You’ve probably watched a plethora of movies or television shows that mention DNA as part of their normal conversation. You just sit on your couch, accepting that fact that it is some almighty substance that is an important part of their story. At a certain level, of course, you do generally understand what they are talking about.

Never fear! Read on below to finally put a meaning behind the mysterious three letter word.


Before we explore further, let us differentiate DNA with another term that is always associated with it – RNA.

dna vs rna

  1.   DNA stands for Deoxyribonucleic Acid while RNA stands for Ribonucleic Acid.
  2.   DNA serves as a key in the development and function of living organisms. On the other hand, RNA contains the traits that can be identified within DNA.
  3.   DNA is the instructions that your body must follow in order to exist and function normally. RNA helps DNA to carry on with this mission.
  4.   DNA is double-stranded (made up of phosphate group, five carbon sugars and four nitrogens that contains adenine, thymine, cytosine, and guanine) while RNA is single-stranded (made up of phosphate group, five carbon sugars, and four nitrogens that contain adenine uracil, guanine, and cytosine).
  5.   DNA is less reactive due to the fact that it contains Deoxyribose sugar, while RNA is more reactive due to its Ribose sugar.
  6.   DNA has the ability to regenerate itself while RNA depends on DNA and therefore cannot do so. In other words, RNA is born if the DNA needs its help.

The Nature Of DNA

The identification of DNA was made possible by Swiss biochemist Frederich Miescher during the 1800s. Knowledge about the DNA molecule was further developed after learning and understanding its molecular structure. This advancement happened through the team efforts of James Watson and Francis Crick in 1953. They used X-ray diffraction, and the data was collected by Rosalind Franklin.

dna toy

Deoxyribonucleic Acid or DNA is a type of molecule that has the genetic instructions which your body needs to initialize growth, development, functioning, and reproduction. To put it simply, you depend on DNA molecules for, literally, everything.

Because of DNA, all living organisms’ molecules have the capacity to be completely unique. Why do you think dogs only give birth to dogs? Why do think cats can never give birth to a pig? What do you think is the reason for humans increased intelligence?

These questions may seem simplistic, however, the answer boils down to DNA and how it makes living organisms unique and capable of carrying out genetic instructions exclusive to a certain species.

In other words, at a cellular level, the organism’s body follows certain processes in order to become what it should be.

Imagine getting your brand new home. To start, you can get help from True North Mortgage. You can then pick the house you want. From picking the best property and housing loan, to payment scheme and possible discounts, you follow certain steps to lead you towards your end result – getting your property.

The same is true for an organism. There are steps that need to be observed. Your body must follow certain processes, and must stick to the instructions so that it can get what it supposed to have.

You can locate your DNA molecules at the nucleus of the cell’s mitochondria. Cells are one of the smallest elements in your body, but that does not mean that one cell contains one DNA molecule. In fact, one cell can contain thousands of molecules.

When DNA molecules are found in the nucleus of a cell, they are nuclear DNA. During sexual reproduction, you inherit half of the nuclear DNA from your father and the other half from your mother.

Overtime, these molecules pack or group together, forming a chromosome. As they form, a completed set of nuclear DNA molecules by an organism becomes a genome.

Appreciate Your DNA

DNA is not just simply swirling inside your body randomly. It makes you who you are, literally. You have to appreciate what it does to your body.

Take the time to know more what your DNA does for you. You might even want to go to your parent’s room and thank them for the awesome genes that you have.

  1.   DNA molecules are the prerequisite in order for human life to initialize. Your parents are just helpers so that you can live in this world. DNA molecules serve as your starting point.
  2.  They carry the hereditary information that can make you different from your family and friends. This also prevents you from being born as a carrot or a parrot (and thank goodness for that!) So, give thanks to your DNA molecules for making you be a human being.
  3.   They are responsible for your protein reproduction.

A scientist working with DNA.

  1.   They are also responsible for determining the structure of your cells. They are the only molecules who are authorized to choose whether a cell must become a nerve cell, or an eye cell, or even a heart cell. All these functions are rendered by DNA molecules.
  2.   Unlike in the past, terminal diseases can now be determined and located through the help of DNA molecules. The technological advancements of the 21st century together with your DNA structure can tell doctors and scientists the possible problems that could happen inside your body. This information can pave the way to an immediate response towards disease at its early stages.
  3.   DNA molecules have also opened a number of doors to developing medical drugs. The molecules are also capable of paving the way to different medical advancements for human treatments. In some cases, the drugs or medicines can be custom made in order to align with the patient’s biochemistry and genetic makeup.
  4.   In terms of locating your long lost bloodline, DNA can also aid you in identifying your genetic roots – usually your biological mother and biological father. They can isolate and pinpoint your true parents from a number of other plausible parents in the pool. You can get a new sense and a new perspective in your way of living and self-identity.
  5.   Forensic science also benefits from the discovery of the structure of DNA. The lives of innocent men and women are already dependent on DNA analysis reports. This can make or break a case. There are many countries who have their own DNA database. If you are a victim of any sexual assault or any crime, do not be scared to go to the police stations. DNA molecules can help you receive justice for what you have experienced.
  6.  Agriculture is another field that is highly affected by DNA development. In this modern age, breeders can already identify which animals are healthy enough for breeding. This can help them have higher chances of getting healthier offspring. The DNA molecules also help the breeders and farmers know what nutrients their animals need. This can help them determine and explain the reasons behind micronutrient deficiencies.

Inside Nursing Homes: What They Are and What They Aren’t

There have always been a number of unsavory stigmas attached to skilled nursing care centers – the place is too toxic for its patients, the patients are “locked” inside the institutions, or the food is abysmal for the residents. In reality, this isn’t always the case.

nurse with patient

Nursing homes are absolutely on top of their game when it comes to maintaining the welfare of their patients, especially when handling the patient’s specific medical needs while respecting their choices and preferences. Similarly to how five-star hotel staff members do their utmost to accommodate their patrons as best they can, or how True North Mortgage in Calgary is focused on providing the best deals for anyone who is interested in obtaining a mortgage.

So in order to remove some of the preconceptions built up against the quality of service that most nursing homes provide, here’s what skilled nursing care centers are, and what they aren’t.

Nursing Homes Are Not Hospitals

Contrary to popular belief, nursing homes and post-acute care centers aren’t hospitals. While it’s true that skilled nursing and post-acute care centers do offer in-depth medical care, they are really quite different from hospitals.

nurse talking to elderly lady

Centers nowadays offer infrastructure that is aimed to mimic homelike comforts and steers away from an overly-structured atmosphere. This is very important for the elderly, as they will always feel at home without the added stressful stigma that hospitals bring. Nursing homes now promote autonomy and choice, and offer a variety of services, social activities and recreational opportunities.

Residents also have a wide variety of choice in customizing their daily routine so that they have a better chance in living their lives to the fullest. They are even encouraged to continue social activities and personal interests, and they can absolutely do this because of the free-form structure of nursing homes. Skilled nursing care centers are resident and community focused. Dining rooms, activities, outings and companionship offer residents and patients mental, physical, and social interaction like a normal person.

Patients Can Freely Enter and Exit The Facility

In the business of nursing homes, one must remember that they are dealing with patients who need to feel like a normal human being as much as possible. With this humane requirement, skilled nursing care centers aim to care for a variety of patients, each with different needs.

Some might only have to stay for a month recovering from an injury or illness; but other patients, like those with serious medical conditions, might require a longer stay, say a year or more. On average, one of four people being cared for in a skilled nursing care center will stay less than three months. More than a million individuals each year get the rehabilitative care they need in a nursing home.

pusing a wheelchair

Every day, the primary concern of skilled nursing care centers is to help residents achieve their highest potential – even within the limits of injuries or sickness. For many residents, reaching that goal means that they should be able to leave the center to take short trips or to visit loved ones or friends. It could be a quick trip to the park to socialize with random strangers. Perhaps a relieving dinner with the family just to cure the nostalgia. It is a lot healthier for patients to be able to freely go anywhere they wish, provided that their safety is well monitored.

Patients Can Preserve Their Private Lives

It is not true that there’s no privacy in nursing homes. Skilled nursing care centers make sure that they observe a good balance between a private and a secure environment. While safety is of high importance, it is not totally healthy for patients to not have their own quiet time. Nonetheless, nursing home staff can easily be summoned even in the patient’s private moments in case there is an alarming situation.

The general rule of thumb in nursing homes is that the residents’ rooms are considered private, while common areas are generally open. Patients can virtually do anything inside their own rooms, but the rooms are designed to not compromise the safety of the patients: for example, there will be no unnecessary ill-placed or under-manufactured furniture that can potentially harm the patients.

man looking out window

Staff members also respect patient privacy and show common courtesy, such as knocking before entering the room. Privacy is a huge part of feeling like a normal person, and feeling normal is totally healthy for patients under nursing care.

Residents Can Make Their Own Decisions

Legally speaking, it is the resident’s right to make their own choices in everyday planned activities, routines, health care, workouts, therapy sessions and any other aspects of living in a nursing home.

happy nurse with patient

It is not true that they are forced to do everything that they do; residents can actually opt out of a procedure if they feel their life is threatened. However, of course, it is important to know that skilled nursing care center staff members are of high academic standings and are actually experts in their profession, and their planned activities are meticulously studied before tendering to the patients.

It all boils down to the fact that the center’s responsibility is to provide an environment where residents can live together safely and harmoniously. Basically, they want residents to feel as normal as possible. While this often requires a balancing act from the staff members so they can maintain the health of the patients, their goals still involve respecting residents’ rights and preferences then taking it from there in terms of providing quality care in a supportive environment.

Patient’s Meals Are Often GREAT

Unlike the generally well-deserved preconceptions in regard to hospital food, nursing homes are far more generous in preparing meals for the residents.

In the grand scheme of things, hospitals are infamous for preparing food that might not please the patient’s’ taste buds and eyes. This is largely due to the fact that hospitals have to prepare the meals in such a way that any patient (who may or may not have any food restrictions) is able to eat what is on the menu for the day. Since their cooking is often so general, hospital food tends to be not as appetizing as it should be.

man serving food to patients

The thing about nursing homes is that their meal preparation is much more specific relative to that of a general hospital’s cooking. Home-cooked meals are tough to compete with, but skilled nursing care centers do their best to provide tasty, nutritious meals that’s perfect for each and every patient.

Every patient has their own preference, be it low-salt, low-fat, low-cholesterol, or low-sugar meals, and this provides for a lot of limitations for food preparation. However, skilled nursing care centers do their best to accommodate all of these needs. In addition, they are often open to feedback when it comes to the food they provide, as much as they are open to feedback to any of the other services they give.

Residents Are Treated Wonderfully By Staff

women racing

Anybody who says that patients in nursing homes are mistreated by the staff has watched way too many movies. Gone were the days when these evil doctors with their nurses and their big-muscled henchmen would lock a patient in a straight jacket just to get them to eat medicine – though it’s worth mentioning that, sadly, that did use to happen. Laws have already been passed to protect the welfare of the patients, and nowadays, the owners of nursing homes are sometimes even philanthropists that have the safety of their patients as their top priority.

Furthermore, the staff are conservatively selected and highly trained before they are employed. In recent years, the ratings for compassionate, expert medical care are the highest they’ve ever been. According to the 2011 Survey of Customer and Employee Satisfaction in Nursing Homes, 88 percent of residents are satisfied with the quality of their care, and 87 percent of residents and their family members would recommend their Skilled Nursing Care or rehabilitation center, based largely on the care, concern and competency of the staff.

3 Things About Nursing That Most People Might Not Realize

The nursing profession comes with a lot of challenges starting from the groundwork all the way to their fieldwork. For one, the hardship starts with education of any aspiring individuals, grasping all the medical knowledge that this demanding job requires.

nurse helping patient

The foundation of which includes a wide range of subjects. It comprises of general care, psychiatry, pharmacy, a splash of chemistry for laboratory analysis, surgery, anesthesiology and so much more. This comes as a dandy equivalent of a doctor with a wide array of specialties. With a nursing degree, a professional can be involved in various fields which can be both exciting and challenging.

The career of a nurse offers a tremendous challenge with time management due to the fact that most nurses are on duty most of their professional lives. Add the fact that their duty to their patients often extends even when they are out of the hospital.

One would think that a nurse should just have time to relax and lay off the work. Getting Vernon accommodations for the family would be a perfect cap to a seemingly endless shift. However, with the workload that they have, they might as well have it rescheduled right off the bat. Then again, it is still imperative to remind nurses that their personal life should be central in making them more equipped as professionals to handle great stresses entailed in their job.

On the bluer side of things, however, the profession has been riddled with a humongous amount of doubt considering all the hardships the career presents. They have been ridiculed both explicitly and implicitly by some eyes that know nothing about the tasks a nurse handles. This is why some of the people who practice the noble occupation become discouraged and disheartened.

Thus, it is imperative that people be more educated on the things which nurses can actually do. It is with same significance that all eyes see the importance of the gallant field of nursing, as well as to appreciate its essence to human living and to the world.

Here are some of things nurses can do that most people cannot.

Study A Wide Range Of Medical Subjects

Nursing comes with a curriculum filled with various subjects that are way harder than it looks. This is indeed a fact for all the educational institution offering this program.

Nursing checklist

The course takes into account a wide range of topics that are integral to the profession.  The curriculum takes into consideration the topics of health observation and assessment, anatomy and physiology, human development, medical ethics and drug classification and use.

This may prove to be too much to handle for a normal person, considering the amount of sciences which is necessary to digest to become an equipped nurse. However, that is far less than what aspiring nurses actually have to take- more so to pass.

Nursing graduates are instructed with the introduction of nursing practice which focuses on the history of nursing, the theories behind the science, as well as the indispensable skills which every professional should hone.

Considering the powerful educational requirements of being a nurse, one of its more important and more challenging facets is pathophysiology. It deals with the effects of diseases of the body, the common illnesses and ways to heal it.

Students also receive an in-depth lecture on pharmacology, which makes nurses more informed about the importance of drug therapy and how these therapeutic drugs affect bodily systems.

Health assessment comes as another study which people in this career are given. It is vital that each nurse is learned on the assessment of patients which includes cardiac, respiratory, lymphatic and musculoskeletal systems.

All these, and more, are some of the technical knowledge that every nurse has undergone, which a normal person might find too much to handle. Believe or not, these subjects are just the tip of the iceberg of this deep and intense course.

Master The Art Of Time Management

Simply put, nursing trains a person to master the art of time management. For a good reason. It is a fact that most people in the field of nursing spend half of their time attending to patient care. They even go to spend half of their personal time contemplating on how to improve their care.

The idea of thinking about others’ welfare before one’s self can be a motive to call nursing a noble profession. In fact, nurses are introduced to the skill in the early stages of their education. With the amount of stressing subjects nursing students juggle in a semester , and still have their own personal, the program ensures that the student should be able to effectively utilize what time he or she has. This is an integral part of being in this career.

nursing time management

Studies show that nurses around the world are overworked, considering the high demand of healthcare induced by the rising number of illnesses going about the planet. Logically speaking, nurses should be able to match the demand, which is why it is significant that people start acknowledging these health care professional to encourage them to keep improving the care they provide.

With the amount of knowledge they have on juggling and dealing with time constraints, plus the reassurance of people around them, nurses can continue giving their hearts out in today’s extremely tough times.

Educate Yourself On Various Fields

Being a nurse comes with a common misconception of being so linear and one-sided. This comes as a contrary to the fact that most people in this profession, given the rapidly increasing demand for multitasking, start to engage in converging fields other than their own.

In the nursing field, a professional can be of various occupations and specialties, much like what doctors or any professional track can be. In fact, it has become one of the most important careers that can effectively cross to other fields.

For one, people in this program can join the army, which is transforms them into a field medic. Since armies are more so involved in conflicts especially at these warring times, army nurses put their lives on the line to save the military.

strong nurse

Furthermore, nurses can implore their inner traveler and become a traveling nurse. Travel nursing is a profession where nurses are sent from a place to another to tend the needs of the people in the same proximity for a short period of time. Another type of a travelling nurse is a cruise ship nurse where a nurse gets to travel in a cruise ship to give medical care to the people on board. This is actually an eccentric way for a nurse to practice his or her knowledge.

For those who want more action and go full throttle, emergency room nurses are introduced to an environment where life lies on the matter of seconds. It’s a demanding job for these individuals, and they come as well-trained as they can be to do such heroic deeds.

Nursing comes as a very demanding job for those who are in this field. This is an understatement, seeing the fact that the need for healthcare services is drastically rising these days. The sad thing is that many people see it as a rather mini career. Belittled and demeaned, many nurses are discouraged to continue their health care capabilities to the world.

This makes it imperative that people look at them with great admiration. To encourage these people in the act of providing health care means a great deal to them, especially that they are under intense stress in dealing with the role of actually saving lives. If being ‘just a nurse’ means being the master of time management, being able to be educated in various subjects, and being awesome in different fields – then being ‘just a nurse’ is the most exclusive thing in the world.

Why Having a Pet Can Be Good For Your Health

Friendship can be considered one of the fundamental parts of a person’s life.

Everybody has his or her own companion in life that treats them well, helps them to succeed, and supports them in whatever goal they are pursuing. That feeling of mutual affection creates a harmonic view in life and provides the understanding of happiness shared with one another. A friend can be your lover, your neighbor, your relative or even… your pet!

You and your pet.

As a matter of fact, research has shown that growing old with pets has proven to effectively help you in improving your health. Your cute and cuddly companion helps you boost your immune system, lowers blood pressure and anxiety issues. It can even help you find a date that you sought to have over the years now. What a very thoughtful friend, indeed!

You and Your Pet

There are lots of pets that you may choose as your partner to join you in your everyday living. If you like to hear pleasant chirps in the morning then you may raise birds like pigeons or the ever so playfully annoying but funny parrots. If you are into exotic animals, you might want to try raising reptiles like a chameleon, iguana or the silent and very clingy snake.

Some people get a sense of excitement by having an unusual buddy. They go for the unlikely pets like spiders, scorpions and others. Then again, others go for farm animals like a pig, goat, or a horse as they treat them with utmost care. Of course, the most common domesticated pets of all, say hello to the snobbish, proactive and furry cats, and to the widely known ‘man’s best friends’, the cuddly and friendly dogs.

Owning your very own pet takes a whole lot of responsibilities. Having one doesn’t mean your life’s about to go healthy and happy as you go by. Taking care of these pets entails you spending time, money and effort to raise them well. Say for example, if you are to own a dog, a lot of dog lovers would tell you that there’s nothing beneficial to your mental health when arriving at home, seeing your dog inside a cage, all alone for the entire day. Dogs do need attention from you. They need proper exercise and mental stimulation for them to say calm and in good health.

Puppy love.

Discipline is also the key to maintain your behavior towards your pets. It is true though, that they might be a handful for some, if not all, of the time. You might see that your cat is already at the dining table, already started breakfast by drinking your milk or perhaps your dog, happens to be a very proactive kind of a dog, have managed to rearrange your living room into a total disarray of cushions, broken vases, damaged remote controller and tattered slippers placed on your heavily scratched couch.

Raising a pet is a commitment. It’s hard to do but truly worth doing. So if ever you decide to have one, you should be ready to keep him healthy physically and mentally. No worries because as you keep your friend healthy, he or she is doing the same for you.

Health Benefits From Your Companion

Research has already proven how pets can change companionship. Pets are sources of love, compassion, and enjoyment which help you develop as a person. For several years now, increasing scientific evidences show that they play an important role to aid your happiness.

At Cambridge University, a study showed that owning a pet for as short as one month has already produced improvements in one’s health. The very same study lasted for ten months and as a result, pet owners were found to have suffered fewer headaches, fever, colds and other related ailments.

You may have already felt calmer by simply observing your fish swimming inside its aquarium or caressing your cat or dog. These little gestures can help you relax and melt the stress out of your mind. This effect is particularly common to people suffering from hypertension or high blood pressure. As researchers approved, such reduction in blood pressure is already equivalent to consuming a low salt diet or decreasing one’s alcohol intake.

A study in the U.K. has also concluded that keeping pets with you has a significant effect of reducing cholesterol and triglyceride, two factors of which happens to cause heart disease. Combining this with the reduction of blood pressure, it makes complete sense why pet owners are less likely to experience heart attacks compared to non-pet owners. Moreover, an American study has also proven that patients who have pets with them have higher chances of surviving from heart attacks.

Aside from physical health benefits, there are psychological and social benefits that your pets can provide, giving you that extraordinary boost in your daily lives. If you happen to see children playing with their pets for almost every day, just allow and let them be. Studies show that children with pets around them are often become less self-centered individuals than those who don’t even have one domesticated animal to play with them. Also, people suffering from psychiatric illnesses tend to become happier by raising a pet of their own, helping them to hasten their recovery.

A boy and his dog.

A pet has also been addressed as an icebreaker during meet-ups. Whenever you stroll over the park with your dog, attend sessions for pet trainings or consulting your pet’s health condition, all of those are opportunities for a good conversation with other people. Studies also revealed that walking a dog have increased number of encounters with other people than those out there walking alone.

Treating Your Pet Right

As the wise words say, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Such words are now scientifically true especially with cherishing the lives of your dearest pet companion. Considering the expensive medical care service that a veterinary expert could provide your pet, you should keep in mind that there are some things you can do to improve the health of your domesticated friend.

To help your pets grow livelier each day, preventive medicine are the essential things to remember. It’s better to prevent worst things from happening s that you will have less things to worry about your pet. Always remember that the healthier your pet can be, the healthier you will be.

Some preventive medicines that you may use include feeding your pet with the least processed food you can find. When feeding your cute fish or your lively parrot, take into consideration the right mix of nutrients like low carbohydrates but rich in vegetable and protein sources. Your feline friend can benefit from adding fish oil, flaxseed oil, or hemp seed oil which are all beneficial for her daily needs. Also, you can provide essential good bacteria with a daily dose of probiotics for dogs which packs healthy bacteria for his digestion and immunity.

Doggy kisses in the sun.

Supplements for animals are also important for their well-being. Some of them include amino acids, minerals like zinc and calcium, herbal compounds and extracts and antioxidants. Take note that dosages of the supplements above mentioned are usually based on your pet’s weight so always check for the serving size that you feed for your pal. Aside from providing good nutrition, your pets should get disease vaccinations to lower the risk of exposure to harmful ailments.

Have them trained to be responsive whenever you call them for this will prevent them from running away from your house and get into some unavoidable accidents. Plus, if you yourself is very conscious about how you look when you smile, take the liberty to brush your pet’s teeth daily or even just three times per week. This will prevent them from having dental disease and will avoid taking the need of anesthesia-based dental cleanings.

Just like any other friends that you have, owning a pet means you have to show the love and care that they surely deserve. Taking them to a short walk in the park on a bright Sunday morning is a big help to earn their trust. Even just talking to them every once in awhile creates that deep attachment, helping you feel comfortable towards your best home buddy.

You Already Have the Tools for Nursing Success

When my husband and I were planning to purchase a new car, we really had no idea what make and model we wanted. All we knew was that we wanted an SUV. Our family and friends gave us their opinion (Hondas, Mitsubishi, etc) but we still weren’t sure. We decided to visit a Mazda dealer because the sales person was a friend of our neighbor. She trusted him and that was more important to us than the car.

He recommended a Mazda CX5. And we bought it.

I never heard of one or seen one but as soon as we drove the car off of the lot, I started to see Mazda CX5s everywhere!

Did the human race all of a sudden start copying me? Or, where there always Mazda CX5s on the road but I just didn’t notice them?

No magic here. They were on the road before but I didn’t notice them until I started to FOCUS on them. We have our reticular activating system in our brain to thank for this.

Our reticular activating system (RAS) is a rely center. As our brains are bombarded by sounds, images, and physical feelings, it’s this center that decides what gets our focus. Image if you weren’t able to ignore the humming of the air conditioner, tweeting of birds, and slight headache to be able to focus on writing, say, a blog post! You’d go crazy. The RAS filters the non-essential messages so that you only capture what’s important.

There were Mazda CX5s on the road before I bought one – I just didn’t NOTICE them.

We can use this same system to tell our brain to focus on whatever we want.

I just had an amazing string of experiences. I gave the closing address at the National ASPAN Convention (Celebrate Nursing: Human by Birth – Hero by Choice) then had an opportunity to practice what I preach.

Nursing Success

On Uber car ride from the hotel to the airport, another young male passenger was sharing the ride with me. I found out that he had never flown before. When I asked him what time his flight was, he said his flight left in 1 hour!!! He didn’t have his boarding pass yet (thought that the email confirmation was enough), didn’t know if he was checking a bag or not, and didn’t have a CLUE what to do when he got there. I had serious concerns that he wouldn’t make his flight from Philadelphia to Los Angeles.

Nurses help. It’s in our DNA. So I helped.

I walked in with him, got him boarding pass, gave him instructions and because he didn’t have TSA pre-check and I do, I went to his gate and told gate agent NOT to leave without him. He made his flight. Whew!

Then, after I grabbed bite to eat, I walked past a man being helped by the crew at a gate. I stopped and said, “I’m a nurse. Do you need help?” They said, “YES!” The man was having chest pain. I assessed him, asked him several questions, and calmed him down until paramedics got there. Personally, I think he was having a PE.

While getting ready to board my plane, I noticed a young mother with a newborn baby in her arms, a big stroller, carry-on bag, and a wheeled bag. My first thought was that there was NO WAY she was going to be able to get that baby on the airplane without help. So I helped. While asking her if I could carry her bags down the ramp, the flight attendant approached and offered to do the same. While I was boarding, the same flight attendant approached me and said, “You’re the nurse who helped us with the gentleman who was having chest pain, aren’t you?” She then said, “You can tell you’re a nurse.” I felt good.

When I got to the plane door, the mom was there trying to collapse the stroller while holding the baby. Guess what? I got to hold that precious newborn while she handled her equipment.

I told my hubby about this (and my Facebook friends). Three days later when he was at the airport parking lot, he noticed someone needing help with their car. So, he approached this person. Apparently, he had a dead battery and needed a jump – so he helped him.

You see, when you focus on helping, you find opportunities to help. You can use this system to help you in other ways too!

Use your RAS to help YOU focus on the positive things in your life – not the negative. Once you do this, you will automatically FIND positive things! This is why goal setting works when you write down your goals and read them every day. This gives your RAS the opportunity to find ways to achieve those goals! Whether it’s a new car or a successful nursing career, understanding the RAS can help you succeed!

ReneeThompson_013_HRIf you like this post, I recommend the following:
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Ode to Florence Nightingale

They called her the Lady with the Lamp.

Healthcare professionals know Florence Nightingale as the founder of modern nursing; she established many healthcare practices the nursing community still uses today. Since May is her birthday month, find out more about the very first travel nurse, Florence Nightingale.

Early Life

On May 12, 1820, Florence Nightingale was born in Italy to an affluent British family. Despite her social status, Florence preferred philanthropy to parties. She spent much of her youth administering to the ill and poor near her father’s estate. She believed nursing was her calling in life, despite the protests of her family.

The War

In 1850, she returned to London to take up nursing at Middlesex Hospital and quickly rose up the ranks. It was the unsanitary conditions of the hospital that Florence focused on, especially after a cholera outbreak spread rapidly. Her goal was to improve hygiene practice among the nurses in order to save lives.

When the Crimean War broke out between the British Empire and the Russians, thousands of soldiers ended up living in very poor conditions along the Black Sea. In 1854, she received a letter from the Secretary of War asking her to organize a corps of nurses to help.

Florence assembled a team of 34 nurses and joined the war effort despite the horrid conditions. They found the hospital sat on top of a large cesspool full of contaminated water, the building fraught with rodents and other types of infestation, and even the most basic of supplies scarce. Patients were dying of infectious diseases like typhoid and cholera.

With the help of the less infirm patients, Nightingale and her crew sanitized the hospital from floor to ceiling, and it is estimated that this work in Crimea reduced the death rate by as much as two-thirds.

She traveled on horseback to inspect field hospitals and ensure they were operating under sanitary conditions, showing them how critical hygiene was to healing and overall health.

Nurse Training

After the war, Florence Nightingale established the Nightingale Training School for Nurses, not only improving the educational standards but also how the public perceived the profession. In 1859, she wrote the book Notes on Nursing, which became the cornerstone for nurse training at the time. Today, that book is still considered a classic to read if you want to work in the nursing field.

Florence Nightingale introduced the use of statistical visualizations to clarify data in healthcare. She often used pie charts and her own Nightingale rose diagram to illustrate the seasonal sources of mortality in field hospitals. She was the first female member of the Royal Statistical Society and honorary member of the American Statistic Association.

Through her efforts, Florence Nightingale showed the world that nursing was a profession dedicated to compassionate and diligent patient care. She proved that nurses were necessary to save lives and manage the healthcare environment. She demonstrated that the best way to benefit from nurses was to train them well and treat them as healthcare professionals.

Today, the Florence Nightingale Facility of Nursing and Midwifery is the number one facility for nursing in London and associated with one of the top universities in the world, King’s College.

The nursing community has much to thank the Lady with Lamp for, including the academic standards established for the industry and the professionalism it enjoys.

So here’s to you, Florence Nightingale.

If you’re interested in following Florence’s footsteps to become a travel nurse, apply with Fastaff.

3 Steps to Stop a Bullying Boss

Jackie became the target of a bullying boss after just 3 months on her new job, working in the Emergency Room at a Level I Trauma Hospital. Jackie wasn’t a new nurse but this was her first time working in a city hospital and therefore, she knew the people would be intense.

At first, she didn’t recognize she was experiencing various forms of bullying (public criticism and name calling, threatening disciplinary action to the point of termination, and being overly critical). Jackie thought it was normal behavior considering that she worked in the Emergency Department where stress levels are always high. She attributed her boss’s outrageous behaviors as an “alpha” personality type of someone who really needed to take control.

Jackie wasn’t sure but it seemed as though her boss never treated anyone else this way – just her.

How Many Don’t Recognize a Bullying boss?

But then Jackie’s boss went too far by sharing personal information about Jackie with her co-workers. You see, one day, her boss yelled, “What’s wrong with you today? Snap out of it!” so she confided in her that the reason for her perceived distraction was because she was worried her husband was having an affair. She had found suspicious text messages on her husband’s phone and was really stressed about it. Now the entire department knew.

Jackie realized that her boss didn’t just have an alpha personality type; Jackie’s boss was bullying her.

According to the 2014 Workplace Bullying Survey, 56% of the bullies had a higher ranking than their targets. Basically, more than half of all bullies are bosses, which can make addressing bad behavior more challenging. However, there are some actions you can take to stop or at least, minimize them.

3 Steps to Stop a Bullying Boss

1. Observe
What is she doing that you believe is bullying? Is she constantly criticizing you in front of others but doesn’t do that to anyone else? Is she always looking to find fault and reasons to discipline you and not your coworkers? Be very clear on her behavior and as specific as possible.

2. Document
Start a documentation trail. Documentation puts the power back into the hands of the target. Documenting shows patterns of certain behaviors over time and provides a more objective account of behaviors that might be considered bullying. When you document, be very objective: date, time, location, incident; include any verbatim comments AND if you can link the behavior to a patient safety concern, it will strengthen your position.

3. Confront
Schedule a meeting with her. Share your observations of bullying (this is why you need to be clear on the behaviors) and that you are no longer willing to tolerate her behavior. Let’s say she only criticizes you in the middle of the nurses’ station. Tell her, “The next time you criticize me in front of others, I will remind you to speak to me in a respectful manner.”

In the end, your boss may not change her behavior and may even retaliate against you. If so, be prepared to take one of the following actions: 1) File a formal complaint with the human resources department, or 2) find another job. Seriously, working for a bullying boss is not worth sacrificing your health.

What happened to Jackie?

Jackie had had enough! Instead of taking a passive approach and hoping her boss would stop torturing her, she decided to take action. Jackie observed her behavior, especially compared to how she treated her co-workers. She then started documenting every interaction with her boss that she believed to be unprofessional. After just 6 weeks, she had enough evidence (18 pages) to clearly demonstrate a pattern of bullying behavior.

The next time her boss threatened to punish Jackie (in front of others), Jackie stood tall, looked her in the eye and said, “You just threatened me in front of everyone. I have 6 weeks of documentation of behaviors that I believe are bullying and undermining a culture of patient safety. Do not ever threaten me again.”

Jackie’s boss didn’t say a word. She just walked away. However, she never threatened or openly criticized Jackie again.

As you’re reading these steps, you might be thinking that confronting will NEVER work with YOUR bullying boss. And, you may be right. However, NOT confronting NEVER works. The point is to take action – any action to address bullying behavior. Even if the bully is your boss!

Together, we can stop the hemorrhaging of really great nurses due to bullying behavior. Nurses deserve to work in a supportive and nurturing environment!!!

ReneeThompson_013_HRThanks for reading. Take care and stay connected.

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If you are a student or new nurse and want help to bully-proof yourself at work, make sure you check out my new Nurse Bully-Proofing Online Program.



Why Humans Choose a Career in Nursing

Although the human body fascinated me, I never thought about becoming a nurse. I wanted to be a physician. I wanted to become an OB-GYN physician and deliver babies. That’s all I ever wanted to do. So at the age of 17, I enrolled in a pre-med program at a large university.

But then life got in the way. At the age of 19, I found myself pregnant. We got married and I had a miscarriage. While on summer break, I got pregnant again and because of complications, I quit school. Two years and 2 kids later, I found myself wondering if I’d ever realize my dream of becoming a physician. Let’s just say, we were barely able to support our children and ourselves – let alone pay for school. But I knew I needed to so SOMETHING. So, I went to a trade school and became a medical assistant.

It was while working in a clinic that I had my first real exposure to the world of nursing.

Why I Chose a Career in Nursing

I watched the nurses assess, treat, and educate patients. They held patient’s hands while explaining complex procedures. The nurses cried with them and advocated for them. They were so smart and compassionate and I found myself wanting to be just like them.

One late Saturday afternoon, I was hanging out with the nurses. The last patients were getting prepped to leave and one nurse out of the blue said, “Renee. What the heck are you doing being a medical assistant? Girl. You need to be a nurse!”

And so I became a nurse.

That was more than 27 years ago.

I became a nurse because I love science AND I love making a difference in the lives of other people. I became a nurse because somebody believed in me; believed that I had what it took to join this honorable profession.

Career in Nursing

Over the years, I’ve asked other nurses why THEY chose nursing. It’s actually how I open my popular keynote presentation, “Celebrate Nursing: Human by Birth – Hero by Choice”. What I’ve found is that people choose to become nurses for one of 3 primary reasons:

1. They were sick as a child, were cared for by a wonderful nurse and wanted to grow up to be just like that nurse.
2. Their mothers or aunts were nurses and they were a powerful positive influence on their son or daughter, encouraging a career in nursing.
3. They wanted to make a difference in the lives of other people.

Being a nurse isn’t easy. After all, we are in the service industry caring for the sick public, which means that every day you work as a nurse, you are being inconvenienced. It doesn’t matter how WE feel, we must always consider the needs of our patients first. However, when you recite the Nightingale pledge, serving the sick is exactly what you are signing up for.

During Nurses’ Week 2016, let’s never forgot the reason why we chose to become nurses and why we continue to honor the profession.
As Florence Nightingale so eloquently said, “Let whoever is in charge keep this simple question in her head (not, how can I always do this right thing myself, but) how can I provide for this right thing to be always done?”

Happy Nurses Week!




Basic Facts About Nursing As A Profession

Helping others is a natural human reaction, but many people do this for a living and their profession is strictly dedicated to making other people feel better. Nursing is a part of the health care sector, and people who perform some form of nursing are usually generous, compassionate and warm, ready to assist at any moment. However, it is not easy to be a nurse, and many people will tell you that this job is not everyone and that ups and downs are a part of this profession, just like in any other job.

According to most sources, the history of nursing started all the way back in the time of ancient Greece, where male “attendants” were often mentioned. There are also several references to nursing in the Bible, mostly about Phoebe, who is often described as the “first nurse”.

Later, religious orders took the leading role when it comes to organized nursing, and many monasteries and convents were at the same time offering religious and medical attention to people who visited them.

In the 19th century things slightly changed, and civil groups and organizations began to offer nursing services. Florence Nightingale and her role in the Crimean War is legendary, and this epic lady inspired millions of girls to “join the ranks” of nurses and to serve to their country. Nightingale also established nursing schools and facilities, which also gave a significant boost to the popularity of this profession.

Nowadays, the role of nurses has slightly changed, but the basic principles remain the same – to care for the well-being of individuals, families and communities. The basic task that the nurses have is to protect, promote and optimize the health of their patients, and there are many ways in which this can be done. Therefore, many areas of the healthcare sector are in need of nurses, and nurses basically present the “front line” of an entire team of health care professionals.
For example, nurses develop a plan of care for a patient, and they even make the first decisions about the potential methods of treatment. When you come into an emergency room, nurses will be the ones who will “check” your status, and then you will be directed to the appropriate specialist. Nurses also constantly collaborate with physicians, therapists, patients and families, i.e. with everyone who can affect the patient’s health in a positive and beneficial way. Additionally, nurses are in charge of coordination of all those aspects to make them work in a smooth and continuous process so that patients improve their health or the quality of their lives.Florence Nightingale and her role in the Crimean War is legendary, and this epic lady inspired millions of girls to “join the ranks” of nurses and to serve to their country.

Nursing involves many other duties and responsibilities, such as educating the patients and teaching them about the ways in which they need to take the medicine, what to eat, etc. Nurses also empower the patients, helping them to walk, eat and perform many other functions that they are unable to perform on their own.

Besides that, nursing involves the protection of patients and their health and doing almost anything that can improve the quality of life for the patients.