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Nursing Tips

Conducting Clinical Research

Disease Info at .org Addresses
If looking for information on a specific disease, national organizations usually provide the best source on the latest breakthroughs. Many can be found easily on the Internet by using the disease name followed by .org, for example

Internet Research
The Internet has made clinical research so much easier.
If you'd like to find out information about the disease multiple sclerosis, for instance, go to a reliable search engine such as and enter the following phrase in the search box, "multiple sclerosis." Don't forget to include the quotation marks. "multiple sclerosis"

Self-Learning Material
Most specialists are more than happy to provide patients and their families with informative pamphlets and other self-learning material.

Your Trusty Librarian
Don't forget your local library as a resource for cutting-edge medical information. A good librarian can help you narrow your search quickly.

Nursing - General Information

A Nurse's Prayer

Be me in the world.
Be my voice to the deaf.
Be my faith where there is doubt.
Be my hope where there is despair.
Be my light where there is darkness.
Be my joy where there is sadness.
Be me in the world.
Be my eyes to the blind.
Be my consolation to those who need to be consoled.
Be my understanding to those who need to be understood.
Be my healing to those who need to healed.
Be my love to those who need love.
Be my forgiveness to those who need to be forgiven.
Be my death to those who need me.
Be me in the world.

- Author Unknown -

Florence Nightingale Pledge
I solemnly pledge myself before God and in the presence of this assembly, to pass my life in purity and to practice my profession faithfully. I will abstain from whatever is deleterious and mischievous, and will not take or knowingly administer any harmful drug. I will do all in my power to maintain and elevate the standard of my profession, and will hold in confidence all personal matters committed to my keeping and all family affairs coming to my knowledge in the practice of my calling. With loyalty will I endeavor to aid the physician in his work, and devote myself to the welfare of those committed to my care.

Interventions to Prevent Client Falls
Interventions that can reduce the risk of falls include fixing or replacing substandard wheelchairs and furniture and labeling it with the residents' name; using properly fitted shoes and removing clutter from around the bed; determine appropriate level of psychotropic drug use; assist residents in certain transfers (between bed, chair, toilet); and remind residents of safe transferring techniques.

Latex Allergy
The powder that manufacturers put on latex gloves can cause a rash on your hands, and in some severe cases could send you into anaphylactic shock. Even if you don't develop an allergy when you first start using them, you could develop them later, and you may be sensitive to them even if they're on other people's hands.
Ask your workplace to use powder-free gloves. But if you do have to work with powdered gloves, wash and dry your hands thoroughly after removing them. While at work, avoid using oil-based lotions that contain mineral, coconut, or palm oil or lanolin. These oils break down the glove barrier. If you can, wear synthetic gloves or cotton liners with latex gloves for work that gets your hands wet. People who develop latex sensitivity may have to go to more trouble to avoid exposure. Consult a doctor and tell your employer if your symptoms get worse.

Million Nurse March
In May 2002 one million nurses, allied health care workers, legislators, public figures and private citizens converged upon the Capitol Mall in Washington, D.C. as one collective, formidable voice to openly and honestly present the facts about the state of health care delivery in this country. The march to Washington was the culmination of one and a half years of grassroots efforts by committed nurses, health care workers and citizens to educate the public about safe and appropriate health care delivery. The MNM was the sentinel event in the promotion of positive, proactive, productive, and sustainable changes in health care delivery in the United States.

Health care workers have long fought for laws that would require hospitals and health care centers to use safe needles -- that is, needles with safety caps and other devices that prevent puncture wounds. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires gloves, gowns, masks, and eye protection, but the agency hasn't addressed the need for safe needles. Fortunately, there's a new federal law that requires hospitals to use safe needles beginning on Jan. 1, 2001. If your hospital doesn't yet use safe needles, you may want to make that an issue. Meanwhile, make sure you're especially careful when drawing blood. Be aware that you are likely to be at your highest risk of injury at the end of a shift or when working a double shift, or at times when staffing is low.

Nurse Reinvestment Act
President Bush signed a bill, the Nurse Reinvestment Act, on August 1, 2002. It's designed to ease the nursing shortage. The new law will create government nursing scholarships for students who agree to work at least two years in a health care facility with a critical shortage after they graduate.

Nursing and Back Injuries
The majority of injuries reported by nurses are head, neck, or back injuries related to lifting patients, nurses report. Although federal guidelines suggest workers do not lift anything above 50 pounds, most patients weigh much more than that.
Whenever you can, push instead of pull. This puts less stress on your back and you have twice as much power. Stay close to the bed or machine you are using and avoid reaching. Use both arms to prevent strain. When you lift from floor level, lift from a squat with your back straight, bend your knees, and let your legs do the lifting. If you have to lift from waist level, try to get help from another nurse or aide on the floor. Make sure you put the bed rails or wheelchair arms down. Explain what you're doing to your patient and to your co-worker who's helping you lift.

Nursing Humor
You might be a nurse if:

While using a public restroom, you wash your hands with soap for a full minute and turn off the faucets with your elbows.
Your favorite dream is the one where you leave a mess at a patient's bedside and tell a doctor to clean it up.
Men assume you must be great in bed because of the nine billion X-rated movies about nurses.
Everyone, including complete strangers, tell(s) you about each and every ache and pain they have.
You want to put your foot through the TV screen every time you see a nurse on a soap opera doing nothing but talking on the phone and flirting with doctors.
You can almost SEE the germs on doorknobs, telephones and toilet seats.
You can watch the goriest movie and eat anything afterwards, even spaghetti with lots of tomato sauce.
You use a plastic 30cc medicine cup for a shotglass.

Nursing Is an Art
Nursing is an art:
and if it is to be made an art,
It requires an exclusive devotion
as hard a preparation,
as any painter's or sculptor's work;
for what is the having to do with
dead canvas or dead marble,
compared with having to do
the temple of God's spirit?
It is one of the Fine Arts:
I had almost said,
the finest of Fine Arts.

- Florence Nightingale

Nursing Shortage Update
The nation's nursing shortage has had significant consequences during the past five years, even contributing to patient injuries and deaths. With the shortage comes the need for more nurses with degrees from programs like Gwynedd Mercy Nursing and other colleges. Inadequate nurse staffing has been a factor in 24 percent of the 1,609 cases involving death, injury or permanent loss of function reported since 1997 to the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. The report says there are 126,000 nursing positions unfilled in hospitals nationwide. Ninety percent of long-term care organizations lack sufficient nurses "to provide even the most basic care" and some home-health care agencies are being forced to refuse new patients. With the aging of the nation's baby boomers and nurses themselves, it has been estimated that by 2020 there will be at least 400,000 fewer nurses available to provide care than will be needed.

Risk Factors for Client Falls
Risk factors cited that contribute to falling incidents include the use of psychotropic drugs, environmental hazards, poorly maintained or improperly fitted wheelchairs, transferring techniques and suboptimal care.

Symptoms of Nursing Burnout
The symptoms of burnout are as varied as the sufferers. Some people become angry, blowing up or growling at anyone who crosses their path. Some resort to blaming any annoyance, large or small, on external factors. Some become quiet, introverted and isolated, which can indicate the start of a serious depression. Others manifest burnout by under or overeating or abusing alcohol or other mood-altering substances. Still others may experience a range of physical symptoms, including chronic illness, high blood pressure and frequent headaches. Some people on the verge of burnout actually become obsessive workaholics. Others become chronically late or psychologically absent.

Workplace Violence
Nurses are particularly vulnerable to violent attacks when staffing is low and at times of high activity, such as visiting hours and meals, OSHA researchers note. Some nurses also work alone in remote locations and in high-crime areas where they are vulnerable to assault.
Many nurses can't avoid working alone or in emergency rooms and mental health centers where the potential for violence exists. Most health care centers have installed security systems that control access and require employees to wear ID badges.
Familiarize yourself with your patients, especially those with a history of violent behavior, dementia, or drug or alcohol intoxication. You can also make sure you always have an escort or another worker around when you feel you're in an unsafe situation. Make sure you have a system that protects confidentiality but alerts your co-workers if you know there's a patient who may become aggressive.

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