Saturday, August 19, 2017

2017 Scholarships awarded to nursing students with disabilities



         Nursing students with a wide range of disabilities are increasing in number every year. Disabilities may include hearing loss, low vision, learning disabilities, limb differences, paralysis, mental illness, autism and chronic conditions such as multiple sclerosis, lupus and movement disorders.

Financing an education can be a challenge for some students with disabilities. In addition to routine expenses (tuition, room and board, books, uniforms, transportation), some students may need to purchase an amplified or electronic stethoscope, computer software programs, or audio books—as well as medications, hearing aids, therapies, prostheses, special equipment or custom alterations to uniforms and lab coats. Working a part-time job may not be possible.

Scholarships are available from ExceptionalNurse.com, a nonprofit resource network for nursing students and nurses with disabilities. The organization provides links to disability-related organizations, technology, equipment, financial aid, employment opportunities, mentors, blogs, continuing education, a speaker’s bureau, legal resources, social media groups, research and related articles.

The organization has been awarding scholarships to nursing students with disabilities since 2003. The awards are based on academic performance, letters of recommendation, financial need and an essay which answers the questions: “How do you plan to contribute to the nursing profession? How will your disability influence your practice as a nurse”? The awards this year were $500.00.

ExceptionalNurse.com is honored to announce the winners for 2017!!!
          
Allison Winchell  from Newton, Iowa will be attending the Newton Campus of Des Moines Area Community College in Iowa.

Allison wrote, "When I was in the hospital that long scary month I remember how amazing the nurses in that hospital were. Their eyes just glowed with kindness and the desire to be a blessing to people in need. I want to become that kind of nurse."

Jonathan Louwsma from Imlay City, MI will be attending Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI.

Jonathan stated, "Sometimes I feel, my "disability" has given me my "ability" to focus on my strengths and to perfect these areas. I know that I can be a positive example and inspiration for my patients.."


Mikayla Magna from Hawthorne, New Jersey will be attending Ramapo College of New Jersey.

Mikayla wrote: "Learning different from everyone else always helps me keep a different outlook to all areas of life. I feel my journey will help me impact the life of my patients and will carry through in my care given to them."

Rachael Mahan from Roanoke, Texas will be attending Texas Woman's University.

Rachael shared, "Thanks to the obstacles and disabilities that I have overcome in my short life, I have the drive necessary to do the best for my patients and their families."

Jamie Anderson from Cliffside Park, New Jersey is attending Ramapo College  of Nursing in New Jersey. 

Jamie stated,  "I would like to become an APN specializing in emergent care and trauma. I would like to join Doctors without Borders or the Peace Corps and help those in real need!"

Congratulations and best wishes to all!!!

The ExceptionalNurse.com scholarship awards are funded through donations, grants and proceeds from book sales of “The Exceptional Nurse: Tales from the trenches of truly resilient nurses working with disabilities”, “Leave No Nurse Behind: Nurses working with disabilities” and “Nursing students with disabilities change the course”. To make a donation, please visit http://www.exceptionalnurse.com/makeadonation.php

The scholarship application can be downloaded at http://www.exceptionalnurse.com/pdf/exnurse-scholarship08.pdf


Appreciate your support!

Donna






Sunday, August 13, 2017

Nurses who self harm





In 2016, Teris Cheung and Paul Yipp published the results of a study, "Self-harm in nurses: prevalence and correlates." The aim of the study was to examine the weighed prevalence of self-harm and its correlates among Hong Kong nurses. The background of the study included the following:

"Recent epidemiological data suggest that the weighted prevalence of past-year suicidality among Hong Kong nurses was found to be 14 9%. Deliberate self-harm was a significant correlate of suicidality. Nonetheless, there are few population-based studies exploring the prevalence of self-harm and its correlates among medical occupational groups in Asia."

"The study used a cross-sectional survey design. Data were collected in Hong Kong over a four-week period from October–November 2013. Statistical methods, including binary and multivariate logistic regression models, were used to examine the weighted prevalence of selfharm and its associated factors in nurses."


"A total of 850 nurses participated in the study.  Seventy-nine participants (9 3%) reported self-harm in the past year. Nurses aged between 25-44 were at especially high risk of self-harm. Female nurses reported self-harm more than male nurses. The most common forms of self-harm were self-cutting, striking oneself and poisoning oneself. Clinical experience, chronic illness, relationship crises with family members, a family history of self-harm, smoking, symptoms of stress and psychiatric disorder were significantly associated with nurses’ self-harm. The

positive correlation between psychiatric disorder and self-harm was confirmed." 

The researchers concluded that "there is a need for a raft of self-harm prevention strategies, including a continuous monitoring system in the healthcare setting detecting and managing

the risks of self-harm in nurses as part of the ordinary provision for their well-being."


The complete results of the study can be read by clicking on the link below.


Cheung T.Yip P.S.F. (2016) Self-harm in nurses: prevalence and correlates. Journal of Advanced Nursing 72(9), 21242137. doi: 10.1111/jan.12987

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/301697943_Self-harm_in_nurses_prevalence_and_correlates

Please feel free to leave a comment.

With thanks,

Donna 

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Medical and recreational cannibus use by nurses and nursing students with disabilities





Questions have been asked regarding the implications of medical marijuana use by nurses or nursing students with disabilities. An article published by Medscape.com, "Marijuana and Your Job: What You Need to Know" by Carolyn Buppert, MSN, JD, a healthcare attorney, is important reading. 

Ms. Bupert responded to this question, "Can I be fired for using marijuana at home or for using recreational marijuana on my day off, when recreational use is legal in my state?" 

"The take-home message for nurses (and all healthcare professionals) is: If you want to protect your career, don't use marijuana recreationally, even if it is legal in your state and even if you use on your own time and off premises. It is still illegal under federal law. If you decide to take a legal risk and partake in marijuana, don't do so for at least a month before you will be working. Employers don't all conduct random drug tests, but some do, and sometimes nurses are included in widespread drug testing, even if the individual nurse has not been accused of being impaired. It is so much easier to prevent this legal problem than to deal with it after being fired."
"Furthermore, we don't know how Boards of Nursing stand on the 
issue. Nurses have reported that they have lost their licenses 
and/or been referred to impaired nurse programs for testing 
positive for marijuana. We don't know how every Board of Nursing 
would act on any given day, but at minimum, a firing would lead to 
a report to the Board of Nursing, and then the burden is on the 
nurse to prove he or she was not impaired at work. That, too, is 
more easily prevented than dealt with after the nurse is reported."

Nurses and nursing students should continue to keep a careful eye on the current legal implications surrounding use of medical or recreational cannibus. 


The complete article published on Medscape and other information can be found below.


Donna

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/846984_1

https://www.abqjournal.com/441689/nm-woman-sues-employer-over-medical-marijuana.html

https://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2017/07/17/sjc-rules-mass-companies-can-fire-workers-just-because-they-use-medical-marijuana/nxPMEGF0uzbjawXeCkA35J/story.html

Sunday, July 16, 2017

"The Exceptional Nurse: Tales from the trenches of truly resilient nurses working with disabilities"...book review from the UK

"The Exceptional Nurse: Tales from the trenches of truly resilient nurses working with disabilities" was reviewed on Amazon.com in the UK.

This book contains individual chapters written by nurses with a wide range of disabilities: their stories are testimony to the exceptional courage, flexibility and resilience they demonstrate whilst practising their chosen vocation. They bring these qualities to the workplace, as well as serving as role models and advocates to other students, patients, helpers and educators. For example, one nurse with diabetes brings a special ‘willingness to listen to patients talk about being sick, being hospitalised, frightened and powerless, and vulnerable.’

You will also find practical information on how to navigate ‘the system’ in order for reasonable adjustments be made and support accessed from a wide number of sources. A British readership would not be able to benefit from this information, as it is naturally culturally, linguistically and legally biased towards an American audience. For this reason only I would afford the book 4 stars, and would warmly welcome a similar publication geared in tone and content to readers in the United Kingdom.

In sum, this innovative and unique book is well written, clearly structured, extensively researched and moving. As such, it should be set reading in medical education.’


What do you think? Please share your thoughts....

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/149540093X/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=mynonprofit-20&camp=1789&creative=9325&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=149540093X&linkId=1673c74e608057ca0b48990818f7a8d8

Friday, July 7, 2017

Not a Sound: A thriller for nurses with disabilities!



New York Times bestselling author Heather Gudenkauf 's new book is fiction. But insights the author gained from being raised by a nurse and personally living with a profound unilateral hearing loss makes so much of the book ring true! 

"When a tragic accident leaves nurse Amelia Winn deaf, she spirals into a depression that ultimately causes her to lose everything that matters—her job, her husband, David, and her stepdaughter, Nora. Now, two years later and with the help of her hearing dog, Stitch, she is finally getting back on her feet. But when she discovers the body of a fellow nurse in the dense bush by the river, deep in the woods near her cabin, she is plunged into a disturbing mystery that could shatter the carefully reconstructed pieces of her life all over again."

The thriller is a great read...hard to put down!

I only wish the author had included more nursing career opportunities for Amelia Winn following the incident that lead to her deafness.

Love to hear what you think of the book.

Please leave a comment below.

Enjoy!

Donna


https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0778319954/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=mynonprofit-20&camp=1789&creative=9325&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=0778319954&linkId=7478c4f24d6473634a26edb482ee17d2

http://www.heathergudenkauf.com/

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Silent No More! Delnor nurse beaten and raped!


Attorneys representing two nurses and a nurse’s husband called a press conference to counter official statements that nurses taken hostage at Northwestern Medicine Delnor Hospital were not injured in a May 13 incident in which a jail inmate was shot dead by a SWAT team.

The horrific events at Delnor Hospital cannot be forgotten or pushed under the rug. Nurses need to stand together for much needed change.

With thanks to Janie Harvey Garner, RN (Show Me Your Stethoscope) for her passionate "shift report" on this situation.

And to Zubin Damania, MD (ZDoggMD) for sharing this story. He spoke with the nurse who was beaten and raped. Please share his call to action.

We can all do something! Share the story on social media, send a card or note of support, talk about it with your colleagues, family and friends. Silent No More!


Delnor Nurse
P.O. Box 394
Sycamore, Il 60178 
With thanks!!

Donna



Saturday, June 3, 2017

The nurse with dementia: Where do we go from here?

Gail Weatherill, RN, BSN

The British Royal College of Nursing (RCN) recently shocked many by passing a resolution that nurses with dementia should be supported to continue practicing as long as possible. Their reasoning was that most fears of these nurses constituted discrimination based on old prejudices and misconceptions.

The public, including many nurses, assumes that individuals are “suddenly struck incompetent” at the time of diagnosis. In fact, cognitive changes usually occur in minor, subtle ways over a matter of years.

There are many individuals with dementia who continue to lead productive lives for years after their diagnosis. Like those with other disabilities, they find ways to adapt their routines to compensate for a faulty memory. They write books, give talks to raise awareness, and weigh in on policy matters affecting those with dementia.

To better understand the unique challenges a nurse with dementia faces, I spoke with Frani Pilgrim, RN. Frani is an American nurse with Early Onset Alzheimer’s Disease (EOAD). Early Onset Alzheimer’s Disease affects those under 65 years old. It is increasingly more common among people in their thirties, forties, and fifties.

In January of 2016, Frani Pilgrim was busy in the Allergy and Asthma practice where she served as a nurse specialist. At 56 years old, she relished the “dream job” she had excelled in for the past ten years. But when she could not master the new electronic medical record system, both she and her coworkers began to wonder why.

Frani was caught off guard one day when her beloved physician mentor said to her, “Frani, you’re not yourself. Something’s wrong. We need to find out what.” With four generations of EOAD behind her, Frani suspected her fate even before neuropsychiatric testing confirmed it. Having watched her grandfather, father and a brother live with EOAD, Frani fully understood the weight of her diagnosis.

A year and a half later, Frani’s life has changed dramatically. Because of concerns about liability, she chose to resign her position at the time of her diagnosis, saying, “How would a family feel if I made a mistake, and they found out I have Alzheimer’s?” Exiting her nursing practice was “the hardest thing I have ever had to do. Nursing is different from other careers. It’s not a job. It’s who we are.”

Frani experienced a period of deep despair, “I spent one month in bed, crying.” “Nursing was everything to me, but I felt I had no choice but to give it up.” Over time, Frani moved through her acute grief and began to see a silver lining to her circumstances. Away from the stress and physical demands of nursing, her symptoms improved. With time on her hands, she focused on home and family relationships which deepened in a positive way.

“I’m a survivor”, Frani explains. “I’ve survived breast cancer, cervical cancer, and a near-death experience with asthma. But Alzheimer’s is different. You know there’s no going back.” Frani underwent driver’s testing at the Division of Motor Vehicles which she passed with flying colors. She plans to return once a year for testing, saying, “I know it’s not always clear to a person what their own degree of impairment is. I don’t want to take any chances.”

Today, Frani keeps physically active and is quick to share her experience with others. She recently enrolled in a clinical trial which gives her great comfort. “Even if it doesn’t help me, maybe it will help my son. I look at him and his physical resemblance to his grandfather, and I pray a lot.”

When I asked Frani what she most wanted her fellow nurses to know about her illness, she said without hesitation, “That people don’t become idiots when they are diagnosed.” She recounts the pain of family prejudice, including those who would no longer allow her to babysit her grandchildren once they learned of her diagnosis.

Alzheimer’s Disease and related dementias now affect over 5 million people in the US alone. Great Britain, Australia, Canada and Asia all face the far-reaching socioeconomic effects of dementia in an aging population as well as those with EOAD. As the average age of clinicians increases, the question of what to require of nurses with dementia is only due to become more common. Great Britain has chosen inclusion of nurses with dementia.

Additional questions arise such as, is a nurse with mild dementia a greater risk to patients than a stressed, exhausted bedside nurse? What about the nurse with diabetes whose cognition can drop with a low blood sugar? Or, a nurse with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder faced with a trigger? Are there teaching and some management positions that nurses with EOAD might fill?

A knee jerk reaction of, “That’s crazy! Patients must be protected,” may have to be weighed with the reality of mild dementia with minor lapses and an aging nursing workforce. One thing is for certain; this question will only arise more frequently in the years to come. It is already upon us and in need of answers.


Thank you Gail for shedding light on this important topic!

Please feel free to weigh in on Gail's point of view. 

With thanks,

Donna

About the author:
A practicing nurse since 1980, Gail Weatherill specializes in the care of people living with dementia. A graduate of the University of Virginia, she has obtained board certifications in Alzheimer’s education and care. Her years in critical care, home health and long-term care in the US and in Saudi Arabia influence her far-reaching perspective on nursing care. Gail resides in Charlottesville, VA where she can easily travel to her state capitol and the United States Capitol for advocacy work for dementia care and safe staffing ratios. You can find her at the site named for her professional alter ego, The Dementia Nurse ™. http://thedementianurse.com