Monday, November 28, 2022

Researchers from the University of Dundee to begin work on designing a wheelchair-friendly lab coat


The Press Office of the University of Dundee announced that "By the end of the project, the team plan to make coats available in the campus shop, so that people who use a wheelchair can arrive on campus and go to their lab ready to start working with the same convenience as their course mates and colleagues. The team hope this study will be the first step towards a mass market off-the-peg wheelchair-friendly lab coat."

"But first, they are looking for people who would like to be involved in the project at the start. Cook explains: "the first and most important thing for us is finding people who use wheelchairs and work or study in labs to mentor us. That might involve talking about your experiences and frustrations, contributing your ideas to the design process and eventually adopting prototypes to try out in the lab."

If you’re interested in getting involved or would like to find out more, contact Dr. Melissa D’Ascenzio and Dr. Andrew Cook.



Thursday, November 17, 2022

Nurses living with Lymphedema


                                         Catherine Holley, BSN, RN, CLT Nurse 

                                      Certified Lymphedema Therapist

"For 33 years, I have camouflaged my leg, remaining fairly private about it. Two years ago, as an operating room nurse in a busy Boston hospital, I cared for a patient who also had lymphedema; however, she’d never been seen by a specialist and did not know how to manage it. At that moment, I knew I needed to share my story with her and give her the resources for finding help. That experience really changed my life in accepting this crazy disease and the importance of spreading awareness" (Holley (2017, para 1). 

Holley, C. (2017). Welcome message from Massachusetts Chapter co-Chair. Retrieved on October 30, 2022 at Welcome message from Massachusetts Chapter co-Chair Catherine Holley, RN | Lymphatic Education & Research Network (

                                Rebecca Koszalinski, RN, PhD               
Dr. Koszalinski wrote about working with with a state Vocational Rehabilitation program as a nurse with lower limb lymphedema. 

"Your state vocational rehabilitation representative most likely won’t be a nurse or an expert on alternative nursing career paths. To them, a nurse is a nurse—period. That is why you need to help them help you. They can’t support your case unless they understand your goals and have documentation to support the plan. Be prepared for a lack of understanding and rejections. Again, it is not personal. Justification is not based on the number of years you have worked but on your physical condition and the probability that you will return to work if they support you(p.29)." 

Koszalinski, R. (2014) Navigating the Vocational Rehabilitation System: Nursing following injury and disability. In D.C. Maheady (Ed.) The Exceptional Nurse: Tales from the trenches of truly resilient nurses working with disabilities. (pp. 26-32). CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.

Ellen Szelina RN (retired)

 "After her 2011 treatment for breast cancer, she developed lymphedema in her left arm — severe, chronic swelling that sometimes occurs after lymph node removal or radiation treatment." 

"No matter how careful she was, Szelina’s lymphedema regularly triggered infections that were accompanied by a high fever and painful swelling in her arm and hand. Each time, she’d have to spend a few days in the hospital getting IV antibiotics."

"Then, in 2014, she read about David W. Chang, MD, chief of plastic and reconstructive surgery at the University of Chicago Medicine and a world-renowned lymphedema microsurgeon."

"Chang pioneered a unique, complex surgery for lymphedema patients that reroutes the lymphatic system around damaged lymph nodes." 

 "Her surgery in 2016 was successful, and Szelina is back to doing the things she loves. In June, she and her family rode mules down into the Grand Canyon — something she’d never dared to do before the surgery" (Bartosch, 2019).

Bartosch, J. (2019). Lymphedema microsurgery gives retired nurse her life back. U Chicago Medicine.

 Retrieved on 11/16/2022 at



Sunday, November 6, 2022

Nursing Times reports need for culture change regarding UK nurses and nursing students with disabilities


Megan Ford reports on an investigation by Nursing Times that found, "More must be done to stamp out unconscious bias and incorrect assumptions about nurses with a disability to ensure workplaces offer a “psychologically safe environment” where staff feel supported, enabled to thrive and can be open about their disabilities."

"More than 52,000 (3.7%) members of the health service workforce in England declared a disability via the NHS Electronic Staff Record in 2021. But a much higher percentage indicated they had a disability through the NHS Staff Survey in 2020, with 20.2% making a declaration."

"Another dataset, used in the annual Workforce Disability Equality Standard (WDES) report, showed the percentage of staff with a disability experiencing harassment, bullying or abuse at work was higher than for staff without a disability; in addition, 31% of staff with a disability felt pressure from their manager to go to work, despite feeling unwell."

"In most cases, their challenges would not come from their condition, but...from how society or employers treat people who share a condition or [have a disability],” she said. “It’s not about whether someone is a wheelchair user, it is about the attitude of those around them to ensure that they are included or have access.”

Read more about these important issues at:



Saturday, October 22, 2022

Dr. Corinna Tanner, RN has a career in nursing because of her blindness

 "....Tanner was diagnosed with Stargardt disease, a genetic disease that causes progressive damage to the macula, the area of the eye that is responsible for straight-ahead vision. This means that those with Stargardt disease can only see out of their peripheral vision.

Tanner is the first to admit that growing up wasn’t easy. “I had to put a lot of energy into the things I did,” she says, “I wasn’t able to do reading and math and other school subjects the way that other kids did, so I just had to work harder.”

Even with her eyesight worsening as time went on, Tanner was able to find her niche. She learned how to play the violin purely by ear and also pursued dance. In fact, when Tanner came to BYU as an undergraduate student, her original major was dance!

It wasn’t until later that Tanner found nursing. Years later she became a single mother who needed to provide for 3 kids. In that circumstance, she looked into what a possible nursing career could bring. “I thought there would be so many opportunities in nursing, because I could see nurses doing things that I could imagine myself doing, in spite of my vision impairment,” she says, “What I didn’t expect was that I would be able to develop a specialty helping the blind, and I could use my own life experience to help others.”

Your can read more about Dr. Tanner here:



Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Abigail Bauer, RN completed nursing school while undergoing treatment for thyroid cancer


Brooke Killmon reported from University Park, PA:

"About seven weeks into her program, in March 2021, Abigail Bauer woke up with an unexpectedly swollen neck. After two weeks filled with multiple doctor appointments and examinations, she was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. Bauer’s doctor moved her quickly toward surgery in April, but with risks of vocal cord paralysis due to the nerves that control the vocal cords being attached to the thyroid, Bauer had obvious concerns about the surgery.

Knowing the risks, Bauer decided to undergo a total thyroidectomy in April 2021. Although all she could do was whisper at first, the surgery was successful. She slowly regained her voice after six months.

“It was hard going to school, taking care of a new puppy, working full-time hours, and getting treatment. But my school work was a positive outlet for me to put my energy,” Bauer said. “I was very fortunate that I had Patton. I told her about my situation, that I was having all these complications, and I couldn't finish some of the work by the course deadlines. But she was so accommodating and kind, and I don't think I could have done it if it wasn't for her.”

"Bauer said the experience has allowed her to become more empathetic, helping her to become a better nurse. By experiencing many of the emotions she felt as a patient, Bauer has been able to reflect on her own perspective and create a more valuable human interaction with her patients."

“I work with people on the absolute worst days of their life, and I think my diagnosis really gave me a better patient perspective and more empathy with them. They [patients] need more compassion and empathy while they’re with us, and for me, I didn’t realize that to its full extent until I personally dealt with my diagnosis,” Bauer said. “If it wasn't for the support of my family and friends, I (am) not sure I would have been able to get through it.”

Bauer’s condition is now stable, and her cancer is in remission. She will undergo testing every three months for the next two years to monitor for the possible spread of the cancer, but despite the challenges she has faced, Bauer maintains her positive outlook on life and has goals of her own to meet the ever-evolving needs of the health care landscape. She recently passed her critical care RN certification and completed an advanced trauma course."

To read more about Abigail Bauer visit:



Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Could Smart glasses help nurses with disabilities?


"Nurses at Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust are trialling the glasses"

"Nurses are to wear virtual reality-style goggles during home visits in a bid to cut paperwork and free up more time to spend with patients."

"The glasses can transcribe appointments directly to electronic records and allow staff to share live footage to hospital staff to get a second opinion.

The aim is to reduce administration linked to appointments so NHS nurses can focus on more clinical duties.

They are being trialled in Northern Lincolnshire and Goole from next week.

Community nurses are estimated to spend more than half of their day filling out forms and manually inputting patient data."

Read more about these glasses at:



Sunday, July 31, 2022

Monkeypox: A public health emergency


On July 23, 2022, in Geneva, Switzerland, The International Council of Nurses (ICN) "called for protection of nurses and other healthcare workers who are caring for patients infected with the monkeypox virus. The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared monkeypox a global health emergency with more than 16 thousand reported cases from 75 countries and territories, and five deaths.1

At the frontlines of healthcare, nurses play a central role in the response to this health emergency, particularly by providing health education on prevention and infection control, as well as safeguarding against stigma and discrimination. Nurses and other healthcare workers require access to protection personal equipment (PPE) and materials in order to protect them from exposure and limit the spread of the virus. They must also have access to up-to-date information on modes of transmission, prevention, diagnosis, treatment, infection control procedures, counselling and care, through in-service or continuing education.

Dr Pamela Cipriano, ICN President, acknowledged Dr Tedros for raising the issue of monkeypox as a global health emergency and drew attention to the risk of infection amongst nurses who care for those infected with monkeypox.

“As we regrettably witnessed at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, nurses and other healthcare workers often do not have access to proper protection against infectious diseases. In order to protect our healthcare workforce and prevent the spread of this disease, training and professional guidelines are required along with PPE.

ICN urges national nursing associations to actively participate in sensitizing and educating the public about monkeypox; take measures to combat stigma and discrimination; and help secure a safe practice environment, including protective equipment and materials, that permits adequate care to people with monkeypox and ensures protection of nursing personnel from exposure to the virus.”

Howard Catton, ICN’s Chief Executive Officer, added:

“COVID-19 is far from over, and now we have a new public health emergency in the form of monkeypox. Global health must be the number one priority for all countries and investment in nursing has never been more important for the achievement of healthcare for all. Never forget that it will be our healthcare workers who will be on the frontline responding to this latest public health emergency.

Nursing care is non-discriminatory and ICN deplores the stigmatisation or marginalisation of anyone requiring healthcare. The monkeypox global health emergency once again exposes, and risks exacerbating, health inequalities.”

WHO Director-General's statement at the press conference following IHR Emergency Committee regarding the multi-country outbreak of monkeypox - 23 July 2022."

Monkeypox - “Protect nurses, combat stigma” says International Council of Nurses | ICN - International Council of Nurses

Monkeypox (

Stay safe,