As a Guatemalan native I can relate to those babies who come into the hospital with questionable tuberculosis just because they come from a different country. A country where they received a vaccine because TB is prevalent. My heart beat is this, become informed because you’ll never guess what happens next. The American hopsital will run a TB skin test in order to rule it out, which will indeed come back positive, because the patient is making antibodies and now it will be the family who worries, the patient will receive a Chest Xray, countless labs that take days to result and be quarantined until one day a doctor decides thats enough. As an informed consumer, a nurse, or a concerned member of society I encourage you to challenge doctors, nurses and all health care providers a like.
Standing up for the vulnerable is hard, especially because experts are working out of fear. Stand firm, be gentle and persevere. Use your resources. The CDC states the following “BCG, or bacille Calmette-Guerin, is a vaccine for tuberculosis (TB) disease. Many foreign-born persons have been BCG-vaccinated. BCG is used in many countries with a high prevalence of TB to prevent childhood tuberculous meningitis and miliary disease. However, BCG is not generally recommended for use in the United States because of the low risk of infection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis.”
This is not outlier type of situation. This happens all the time. Our hospitals are filled with fearful and vulnerable populations. We must not even begin to discuss cost because thats altogether upsetting as well. Lets put our hands on our hearts, stop looking the other way and stand up.
Chest pain in the hospital is the recipe for nitro paste. We were going through the morning medications and as our nurse applied a new paste on grandmas chest we remembered that when we had washed her up there was a one on her right leg that wasn’t removed. The nurse became embarrassed and lashed out in anger that someone had done that. We started searching grandmas body after that and found one more strip of nitroglycerin on her left leg. We came to the conclusion we would all assess the situation we had on our hands in order for grandma to be safe from then on.
Medical errors are a real thing, “To err is to human” we need to take that perspective as we think about the hospital. Nobody is without error. Being vigilant when your loved one is in the hospital is essential for the accountability to make sure nurses and doctors are focused.
Nitroglycerine is given for chest pain, it dilates your arteries in order for you to have the increased blood flow. It has a killer headache side effect thats invigorated times a hundred with 3 nitroglycerine pastes at once, just saying. Being a nurse and knowing the difficult, highly stressed environment take this advice Never trust too much, never not ask a question, stay vigilant it’s good practice for all of us.
Unfortunately we are experiencing a mental health epidemic. Nonetheless it’s a real problem and we must deal with it, even though giving a medication may be the easiest at the time, it’s not the most effective in the long run. Mental health is not exclusive to schizophrenia or bipolar but encompasses conditions such as anxiety and depression. I recently attended a nurse practitioner conference where a very passionate mental health practitioner spoke on the importance of NOT prescribing medication to individuals suffering from depression. It was a breath of fresh air, I was glad to hear him. His emphasis was on acknowledging you need help, consistent counseling and restoring hope.
The take home message was that in conjunction with counseling evaluate a two-week period trial period in which if the symptoms do not subside that a supplement can be used. SAMe has been used in Europe for osteoarthritis and depression. Your body makes SAMe internally but if you’re not creating enough then you can supplement it. In order for the supplement to work there are two activities needed in conjunction.
1, Being involved in activities
Recommended doses include:
For depression: 400-1600 mg per day
For osteoarthritis: 200 mg three times daily.
So before you begin taking large doses of prescription medications, get help, explore your options because going back from prescription medications is not an easy or pretty cycle. Ask for help, start with counseling and pray that your heart would be healed. Paul tells the Phillipians “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
“It doesn’t get easier, you get stronger.” Have you ever been going through something, and you never thought you would make it all the way? Every moment of nursing school was like that. Working 12 hour shifts without payment, studying for boards, working a part time job and trying to do it all with a level of excellence and integrity. During that time I think back to when I was working through those challenges, I made it. The reason I recount that challenge today is because I am feeling it, I am feeling the pressure of graduate school, working, planning a wedding and opening a start-up all while trying not to crack. I am fully aware that working in the health care field and having peoples lives as well as peoples children’s’ lives in your hands to care for and protect is filled with pressure. The pressure didn’t stop in the school of nursing but it definitely prepared me.
Lean not on your own understanding but in all your ways acknowledge HIM. “Count it all joy, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing” James 1:2-4 Through the process I recount verses and conversations of people who surrounded me. What words and inspirations like “mindset” really mean and how to prepare my heart in order to successfully attain my goals. The process of mindset, setting your eyes upon Jesus and surrounding myself with people who empower me and love me through the process is the only way to get through it.
So my advice to those of you doing hard things. Sit up straight, buckle up and “clothe yourself with dignity” for the Lord is good and the process is the beauty in the making.
Another healthy style trend to take on. Once you have mastered the Vitamix, your 3-5 day exercise routine added the proper vitamins to your diet and your how to reduce stress with me time then you can start thinking about the newest thing. A probiotic. Working on a pediatric floor where if the children are constipated we give them diarrhea and a probiotic and if they are having diarrhea we give them constipation with a probiotic. Why should adults be any different? I recently attended a nurse practitioner conference and there was a grand emphasis on probiotics for adults. Probiotics for UTIs, IBS, diarrhea, colitis but an even larger emphasis on just maintaining a healthy gut flora. Harvard medical recently wrote about the health benefits of probiotics “Self-dosing with bacteria isn’t as outlandish as it might seem. An estimated 100 trillion microorganisms representing more than 500 different species inhabit every normal, healthy bowel. These microorganisms (or microflora) generally don’t make us sick; most are helpful. Gut-dwelling bacteria keep pathogens (harmful microorganisms) in check, aid digestion and nutrient absorption, and contribute to immune function.” Moral of the story stop by your nearest health food store and pick up a friendly probiotic to continue being the healthiest you, you’ve ever been, the more variation amongst the colony forming units the better.
Flu season (November-March) is here; get your vaccine at your local well, everywhere. I am a firm believer on being an informed consumer. Is the flu vaccine necessary? What are the facts? Who should get the vaccine? What is the Flu?
The flu is a respiratory virus. There are three strains that are most common identified throughout the season, but are not limited to. There are also subtypes that arise and examples include the infamous bird flu (H1N1).
Signs and symptoms of the flu:
- Sore throat
- Muscle and body aches
- Vomiting, Diarrhea
How is the flu spread?
The flu may be contagious 1 day before and up to 7 days after the symptoms begin. Influenza is spread through droplets.
If we just take a moment and contemplate, the likely hood of death occurring from the influenza it’s very unlikely. I could sit here a spout out statistics, yet this post is about perspective. Inform yourself and your family before walking into Walgreens or Walmart or any other place where someone is injecting you or someone you love and contemplate the necessity. Most of the time, you will recover from influenza in a few days or up to 2 weeks.
How to prevent and protect myself from the flu?
The flu vaccine statistics are available. It’s our responsibility as good stewards of our bodies to remain informe
- Wash your hands frequently
- Exercise regularly
- Lower life stressors
- Take a daily probiotic
- Avoid close contact with those who are sick
- If you are sick avoid close contact with those who are well
- Cover your mouth if you cough or sneeze
- Drink plenty of fluids, especially water
- Get adequate sleep
- Eat a healthy diet rich in vitamins and minerals especially ( Vitamin C, Vitamin D (2000 IU daily)
- Spend time in the sun light