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Nursing

Taking care of addicts made me angry. Then my step-daughter died from an overdose.

By | Blog, Nursing, Uncategorized | No Comments

By an anonymous nurse from Show Me Your Stethoscope

A member posted recently about being burned out from dealing with overdose patients, lacking empathy and compassion to care for them. I’d like to share with you that I felt that way too. It used to make me angry to have to take care of yet another overdose. Well, my focus and attitude has shifted since then. My stepdaughter died at the age of 26 on January 2, 2018 from an overdose. It was the call we knew was coming but yet still could not prepare for. We’d seen the exaggerated weightloss, scars on her once gorgeous face, track marks or her arms. We had prayed, counseled, begged, cried, pleaded, threatened, paid for counseling, paid for suboxone, paid for her food and living expenses while she sold her food stamp allotment, sold her body, and became more and more alienated from her 6 year old daughter and us. I’m angry and heartbroken. My family is broken. However, she didn’t choose this life. She was once a curly headed newborn angel, a silly toddler, a precocious little girl who loved to dance and perform. She was quite the artist and had an eye for trends and fashion. She was a mother, a daughter, a sister, and a friend. She wanted to be and do more in life…and then it all fell apart. I don’t know why she made the initial decision to try drugs, except the loss of her grandfather changed her. It altered who she was. It’s not an excuse but the fact that surrounded her first use. I realize she made a choice to try drugs. However, she wasn’t able to control it. The addiction controlled her. Her addiction made her into someone we no longer knew or recognized and no matter how much we loved her, wanted her, begged her, prayed for her….we were helpless to make it stop and unable to shelter and protect her. She left this world with a needle in her arm in a house full of addicts who didn’t even know her name. Our family will never recover from her absence. She wasn’t raised this way. She wasn’t exposed to a life of drugs. She was loved, wanted, encouraged, supported. So to answer on the empathy/compassion piece….I do understand your frustration because I feel it too. It’s senseless, it’s reckless, it’s dangerous and it’s a gamble on their parts. But if you cannot find compassion for the addict, I’m not judging you. It is impossibly difficult and exhausting. I would encourage you though to try to find it for us…the family who has exhausted all measures and spent countless thousands of dollars to save our addict, to rehab them, and who mourn the person we once knew before drugs.

 

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Show Me Your Stethoscope, Johnson and Johnson Nursing JLabs, and Nurse Innovators Meet in New York for the Nurse Innovators Quickfire Challenge

By | Blog, Contest, Events, Innovation, Nursing | No Comments

Last week, SMYS Founder Janie Garner, met with Johnson and Johnson Nursing and other Nurse Innovators to discuss innovation in Nursing and to announce the Nurse Innovator Quickfire challenge.  The live panel discussion shared the thoughts and experiences of four nurse innovators and the process they went through to bring their innovations to fruition.

The Panel also announced the Johnson and Johnson Nurses Innovate Quickfire Challenge, inviting the more than 3.2 million nurses located throughout the U.S.  to submit ideas for new devices, health technologies, protocols or treatment approaches that have the power to profoundly impact patient care and human health. The nursing innovators with the best idea(s) will receive up to $100,000 in grants and access to mentoring and coaching from Johnson & Johnson, via Johnson & Johnson Innovation, JLABS to help bring their ideas to life.

More information about the challenge can be found here

If you missed the Panel Discussion, you can watch it now!

 

Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and the Show Me Your Stethoscope Facebook Page and then please join us in the closed Show Me Your Stethoscope Facebook Group!

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Thank you Massachusetts Nursing Association

By | Advocacy, Healthcare Policy, Nursing, Unity | No Comments


This year more nursing unions joined with their brothers and sisters at NursesTakeDC, the frontline nurse led grassroots movement fighting for safe staffing. The Massachusetts Nurses Association (MNA) was one of the unions rallying in DC and deserves special recognition. Specifically, we’d like to acknowledge MNA president Donna Kelley Williams RN for her tenacious leadership and advocacy in Massachusetts. The MNA leads the fight for ‘safe patient limits’’; a term they developed that perfectly describes what we are fighting for.

Thanks to the tireless push from the MNA, Massachusetts voters will have a ballot question this November 2018 that decides if ‘safe patient limits’ will be written into state law. Nurses overwhelmingly support safe patient limits. However, the voters of Massachusetts will determine if this becomes a law or not. So far the polls suggest that voters will choose ‘yes’ to safe patient limits, but the fight isn’t over yet!

Massachusetts policy is often viewed as forecast of future national policy. This ballot question is monumental as several states have legislation that has been introduced but has yet to reach committee or the house floor for a vote. A win for Massachusetts nurses could tip the scales in the favor of nurses.

We’ve watched the MNA support the nurses of Massachusetts in their fight for safe patient limits. Now it’s time to do more that watch them work. Now we must support the nurses of Massachusetts in their push for safe patient limits in Massachusetts. We must gain public support and momentum to vote ‘yes’ on this ballot question. At SMYS we believe nurses should support nurses; nursing organizations should support each other; and all nurses in all settings, practicing at all levels should support policy that benefits nurses. Leading up to the November vote, we encourage every nurse to support the nurses of Massachusetts in any way they can.

Social media is a powerful tool. Every nurse can help this cause by sharing information about the ballot question online via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. If you live in Massachusetts or one of the neighboring states (Main, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, New York, Rhode Island), please consider showing up in person to support the Massachusetts nurses. A win for safe patient limits in Massachusetts is a win for all nurses and patients.

 

Thank you for being here and helping nurses unite,

Jalil A. Johnson PhD, MS, APRN, ANP-BC

Show Me Your Stethoscope Foundation I CEO

NursesTakeDC | Organizer

 

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SMYS Staff Member of the Week! Nichole Long

By | Nursing | No Comments

Show Me Your Stethoscope Presents

Nichole Long RN. SMYS Ambassador Arizona

How long have you been a nurse and what kind of nursing do you do?
Nichole has been a nurse since 2011. Prior to that she worked in the medical field as a paratrooper medic in the Army in 2001. Today she works in acute care, Med Surg nursing.

What’s your role at SMYS?
Nichole is one of the SMYS Ambassadors in Arizona. She was instrumental in organizing the Arizona State House rally 5/12/16. Not only did Nichole and her team organize the rally their state capital in less than 3 months, they were able to get state legislators, political candidates, and a nurse lawyers to speak at their rally.

In many ways Nichole is a model SMYS ambassador. She and her team took the formula for organizing, improved and implemented it! She was able to pull off a successful event by sheer will, passion and determination! Nurses around the United States saw the SMYS Arizona team take action to advocate for them selves and create pathways for real change to happen! We are all so luck to have Nicole with us!

What is your favorite thing about working at SMYS?
Nichole says her favorite thing about working at SMYS is “seeing the same passion that I have for nursing in other nurses across the nation. The drive to care for people and each other is amazing!” Words from a true NURSE CHAMPION!

Why do you volunteer your time to help SMYS?
“I volunteer my time to help SMYS because I feel the members offer the support that we need to truly put the “care” back in “healthcare”. nichole

What do you want SMYS to be when it is all grown up?
Since SMYS is already involved in advocacy, philanthropy, and unity among members, I would like to see SMYS represented in nursing schools across the country to empower new nurses to use their voice and speak up for change.

You know, Nichole is really on to something here. We do need to pull nursing students into this movement. They should understand the challenges in our profession. More importantly, they should know that a nation of nurses stands behind them when they advocate for their patients and their colleagues.
For our nursing student members, don’t forget to apply for SMYS schollarships here http://www.prweb.com/releases/DailyNurse/SMYS/prweb13402699.htm and here http://www.hirenurses.com/tips-resources/2016/03/20/nursing_scholarships/. Good luck!

When you guys see Nichole Long on the message boards and in the forums, say hello, get to know her! She’s pretty amazing! If you’re interested in hosting an event in your local area she made this awesome video tutorial about how to put your team together. Check it out here https://youtu.be/ksrb2ghpeG0

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Treehugger By Kilgore, RN

By | humor, Nursing, Uncategorized | No Comments

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Every nurse encounters poop. Like, lots of poop. And this, friends, is a poop story.

Pt. was admitted to the Medical ICU for a series of TIA’s; he had already suffered multiple strokes before this admission, and resided in an assisted living home. He was not as well tended as he should have been there, and that trend followed him here. I normally work in the CVU, but because our unit was short on patients (“low census,” for the uninitiated), I “floated” to MICU and took care of Patient. I took him from Odessa, another CVU nurse, who had received him from Jimmy, my partner in crime. In his entire admission, he had not once been cared for by any of the native nurses. My guess is that the charge nurse, Heidi, didn’t think we were up to the usual medical disasters present on the MICU (her words to me: “Well, we don’t want to give you anything too hard.” Wow, you’re right, I’m probably stupid. Fuck you too, lady.) Hence, Patient was being handed to the floats because he wasn’t challenging or sexy enough. Whatever. For once, I knew I would get a lunch.

We had a good day, and yes, it was easy to care for him; I felt badly for the regular staff on the unit because they were working unbelievably hard compared to what I was doing. Toward the end of the shift, I received news that Patient was being returned to his facility. I went in to share the news with him that everyone thought he was stable enough to go home. Before I got a single word out, he stared at me dolefully and moaned, “You know, my stomach is just killing me.” I immediately stopped and gave his belly a listen, then pushed on it a bit…damn. It was kind of firm, more so than when I had assessed him previously. I asked him if he felt like he needed to poop, and if he had been passing gas lately. He was bed-bound, so I wasn’t too surprised that no one knew the last time the poor bastard had gotten the pleasure of unloading.

I took a deep breath. Of course, it was 1800, and I was supposed to be preparing his transfer paperwork. But damn it, a man’s gotta move the mail sometimes. Apparently, 1800 with transport en route was that time.

I explained disimpaction to him. He didn’t care, he just said “please, just help me.”

Gloves. A heavy duty chuck (which is a really absorbent pad…sort of a “pee pee pad” for people). Wipes. Surgilube. A garbage can. It was on.

I asked him to try one more time to push on his own. I may be the Brown Queen, but that doesn’t mean I want to wedge my fingers in anyone’s ass. He was unsuccessful, grunting and sweating and groaning all the way.

GO TIME!

I started working on the dry matter. Some poop made its way. Then…he started pushing again.

We had busted the dam.

I had never seen anything like it, and I haven’t since. It was HUGE. The size of a small baby. I am not exaggerating. I was immediately angry that no one at his home had even noticed that he hadn’t notably crapped recently, but relieved I caught it…so to speak. Technically, it had actually landed on the chuck. At least there was no cord to cut.

Another nurse had noticed at this point that I hadn’t been out of the room for a while and came to check on me. Her head popped around the privacy curtain. “Are you okay in here?”, she asked. “Yeah, I’m fine, but I could use a hand getting my friend here cleaned up.” My voice was calm, but I was jerking my head back to urge her to LOOKIT THIS GIANT DOOKER, OMG. She came around the bed to where I was, frowning…and then she saw. Her eyes got big, but in her best nursing voice: “Sure, I’d love to help you. Are you doing all right, sir?”

Honestly, we sound like airline stewardesses in turbulence.
More coffee? SkyMall magazine? A bit of the Finger?
It’s just a little turbulence. We only dropped a few dozen feet.
You only shit a cinder block. It’s fine now.

God. Patient was so happy. I’d swear his grips even improved on his weaker, affected side. He said “thank you so much” at least four times in the time it took me to clean up and wash my hands.

After we got Patient situated, did I do my paperwork? Did I call report to his home? Nope. I texted Jimmy.

“didn’t you have the guy in room X yest?”
“yep, why? is he ok?”
“i just disimpacted him”, then
“omfg, it was like a sequoia log”

Patient went home a new man.

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