November 20, 2020
Prioritizing your mental wellness
Compassion fatigue is real, and it's something that so many nurses are experiencing right now — along with worry, burnout, anxiety, and stress. Considering all of these layered-on challenges, along with a pandemic of unparalleled proportions, nurses are bearing a heavy mental load. Each nurse will need something different to get through these times, so we've put together a mental health resource center to help you cope. Whether it's meditation or therapy, reading or listening, we hope that you take the time to care for yourself. We—and so many others—are so grateful for you and all that you do every day. Read more
Since the beginning of COVID-19, civilian and military nurses alike have been stepping up first to support their communities. From field hospitals to testing sites to emergency aid efforts, these nurses have been working daily for months. But who are they? They are the solider nurses tasked with reporting to the front lines of this pandemic, a novel and dangerous battleground for most of them. Whether a soldier or a nurse (or both), you need two things at your disposal in order to be the first through the gate: selflessness and versatility. Both have been seen on our nation's battlefields across the globe, and today, they're seen within our own communities closer to home. As Sgt. Leann Roggensack puts it, "The stark differences between the two callings, though obvious, are completely overpowered by the similarities between nursing and soldiering, the amount of and degree to which are staggering." To all of you out there serving your country and your local community, thank you. Read more
As if Amazon didn't already make most aspects of our lives easier, it just upped its game again and now enables us to check in on family and loved ones who might need some extra love these days (physically and socially distant) via the Amazon Care Hub. According to Amazon: "From your Alexa app, you can view a high-level summary of your loved one’s recent interactions with Alexa or other compatible connected smart home devices. The activity feed shows a generalized view of your loved one’s interactions, so you know they are active around the house." A little Big-Brothery, but it sounds like it could be quite useful these days! Read more
Measles outbreaks increased around the world in 2019, with the highest number of reported cases in nearly 23 years. Researchers cite a failure to vaccinate children with the appropriate two doses of vaccine as the predominant cause of this increase. Failure to do so led to almost 208,000 deaths in 2019 alone. Even today, current vaccination coverage is still too far below the 95% threshold necessary to control future outbreaks and deaths. Case in point? Vaccines only work when they're actually administered and received at large. This is a lesson to bear in mind once COVID-19 vaccines become widely available. Read more
It is safe to say that diabetes is rampant in our society. As nurses, we play a vital role in diabetes education and management. Patient education is a common and daily task for nurses of all levels and settings. If you think about it, we spend the bulk of our time educating and, at times, dispelling misinformation. The following piece reveals some ways in which nurses who manage diabetes can engage in to better serve and increase patient outcomes. Read more
Maintaining a fitness routine is hard enough when you're living in one place consistently, but when you're on the move every couple months, it can be difficult to prioritize your workout goals. New apartment, new gym (or lack thereof), new shifts/hours, and different climates can all impact your physical progress. So what can do you? First, meal prep. By doing so, you can allot a certain amount of (ideally healthy) food for few days ahead. Second, forgo the gym if it's not convenient (especially these days). Find a routine you can stick with and perform inside your apartment or nearby outdoors. Third, stay consistent. Even if you can only fit in 10 minutes of jump rope a day as your workout, stick to it. You'll feel that much better simply sticking to one simple routine instead of giving up completely. Fourth, you can try online classes. They can provide variety, flexibility, and timeliness all in one or two simple mobile apps. And last but not least, make sure you're getting ample levels of vitamin D (either outside or with a supplement) and plenty of water. If you make your health a priority, your body will thank you later. Read more
Florida man, Chris Nikic, recently became the first person with Down Syndrome to complete an Ironman triathlon. He trained intensely for months before telling the Today Show, “I am [the] person with Down syndrome who will complete the Ironman... I am going to make history by crushing it.” When asked about his favorite part of training, he said it was the running: "It makes my butt cute and the ladies love it." When speaking with his father about what he's looking to accomplish next, he said he wants to own a house, a car, and marry a "smokin' hot blonde from Minnesota [like his mother]." Nikic is the first individual with Down Syndrome to even attempt an Ironman, and he also became a Guinness World Record holder with his recent feat. Read more
With the "third wave" of COVID-19 hitting the US, promising to be larger in scale than the first two, healthcare workers are reaching their breaking points. Nathan Hatton, a pulmonary specialist at the University of Utah Hospital, says his shifts last 12-24 hours but have recently stretched to 36. Whitney Neville, an Iowa-based nurse, shared that “to protect yourself, you just shut down. You get to the point when you realize that you’ve become a machine. There [are] only so many bags you can zip.” Moreover, with asymptomatic, COVID-positive nurses returning to the bedside in places like North Dakota, facilities are all pulling from the same pool, one that has almost dried up, if it hasn't already. With hospitals in most states already overrun, and all active nurses and physicians on duty, the best strategy is the most obvious: keep people from getting infected. We have to hold steady this holiday season; we don't have a choice. Take care of each other, but most importantly, take care of yourself. Read more
Updates about COVID-19 got buried under election news over the last few weeks, but if you've seen anything, you know that the numbers are climbing and getting worse. A new Gallup poll found that only 49% of Americans are now open to sheltering in place if public health officials recommend it again across the board. That number is down from 67% last March. Pandemic fatigue is real, and the struggle is becoming greater. Over the last week, every state has seen an increase in its number of cases. Yes, we're testing more, but positivity rates are increasing at the same time, and by too much. Moreover, the nation's number of deaths and hospitalizations are up more than 33%, according to the Times. Even though Americans know that we're going down a dark path, this realization has not caused the kind of widespread adaptation that is required to beat back the virus. Unless people take great care over the holiday season, the situation will not let up. Read more
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Clockin' Out 🔥
"Imagine being a firefighter while the rest of society goes out and starts thousands of fires everyday. You ask them to please practice fire safety, but they refuse and tell you that all the fires you've been exhaustingly fighting everyday are just a hoax and that they have a right to start fires.
That is what it's like to work in healthcare right now." - @icunursesofig
PS - We'll be taking a break from email over the Thanksgiving holiday, so we hope you do, too!