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Welcome to my blog about health, nursing, caring, kindness and positive change. Our world is full of such negative influences and bad choices, today is the day to make a positive change both physically and mentally in your life.
ERNursesCare is a blog incorporating my nearly 30 years of experience in the healthcare field with my passion for helping others, I want it to encourage others with injury prevention, healthy living, hard hitting choices, hot topics and various ramblings from my unique sense of humor. Come along and enjoy your journey......

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Tips for Safe Winter Driving #blizzard2016 #winterdriving




Winter Driving Safety Tips

First of all, why are you out driving in the winter ice and snow to begin with?
It's understandable if you are a healthcare worker, emergency services personnel, police, rescue, fire fighter or even a lineman with the power company, we have to travel in treacherous conditions to take care of the sick, injured and other such problems. If you do not fall into one of those categories, you need to keep your tail at home. Nothing is so important that you need to risk your life or the life of your family to travel on snow/ice covered roads that you may not be used to traveling on. I live in the south, North Carolina to be exact, and nobody here can drive worth a darn when it snows (except the Northern transplants lol), southerners freak out and buy all of the bread and milk they can. They will still drive to the ER for a toothache and a work note.....come on. Please be safe and smart, Stop first and think about your decision to drive anywhere first. Only if you absolutely have to get in a car and drive, please follow these helpful tips to make your journey safer.

Driving in the snow

If you find yourself driving in the snow, stay alert, slow down and stay in control. These are the three key elements to safe driving in the snow.
Here are a few other tips for driving in the snow:
  • If you think you may be heading into snow or there is a possibility of driving in the snow, make sure you do a maintenance check on your vehicle before making the trip. Check the vehicle battery, belts and hoses, anti-freeze, oil, lights, brakes, heater and defroster and check the exhaust system for leaks which may allow carbon monoxide to enter the vehicle.
  • Plan your route ahead of time and give yourself extra travel time. Make sure someone knows your travel plans.
  • Wear comfortable clothing that does not restrict your movement while at the wheel. Keep warm clothing available for when you exit the vehicle.
  • Always clear any snow and ice from all windows, lights, mirrors and the roof before driving. After starting the vehicle wait for the interior windows to clear of fog so you will have appropriate visibility.
  • Make sure there is sufficient windshield washer fluid in the vehicle reservoir and that it is rated for freezing temperatures.
  • It takes longer to stop on slippery surfaces, so add additional time to the three-second rule.
  • Know the proper handling procedures for a skidding vehicle.
  • Slow down in snow and icy conditions, make turns slowly, and make all starts slow and smooth.
  • Remember that bridges and overpasses may freeze before the regular travel lanes of a roadway. Watch out for black ice, areas of the roadway that appear black and shiny and where your vehicle can suddenly lose traction. Slow down in these areas and keep your foot off the brakes.
  • If you get stuck or stranded, don’t panic. Stay with your vehicle for safety and warmth. Wait for help to arrive. If you have a cell phone and are in an area with cell phone service, try calling for help. Try to always know your exact locations while driving.
  • Keep your clothing dry. Wet clothing can lead to dangerous loss of body heat.

Winter Driving Survival Kit

It’s a good idea to keep a winter survival kit in your vehicle if you might be traveling into an area where you could encounter snow. Having essential supplies can provide some comfort and safety for you and your passengers. The following items are recommended for your winter driving survival kit:
  • Ice scraper/snowbrush
  • Shovel
  • Sand or other type of traction aid
  • Tow rope or chain
  • Booster cables
  • Road flares or warning lights
  • Gas line antifreeze
  • Flashlight and batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Small tool kit
  • Extra clothing and foot wear
  • Non-perishable energy foods, like chocolate or granola bars, juice, instant coffee, tea, soup, and bottled water
  • Candles and a small tin can to hold the candle
  • Water proof matches
Winter driving can be safe with planning and extra caution.
Resource: www.nhtsa.dot.gov/winter/winter2.html
Infographic credit Ford Motor company













Thursday, September 10, 2015

World Suicide Prevention Day 2015 : Why We Need To Talk About Depression Now! #worldsuicidepreventionday

According to the recently released World Health Organization (WHO) report:Preventing Suicide: A Global Imperative, over 800,000 people die by suicide across the world each year. The report notes that this estimate is conservative, with the real figure likely to be higher because of the stigma associated with suicide, lack of reliable death recording procedures, and religious or legal sanctions against suicide in some countries.
We may not be able to pinpoint the exact figure, but we do know that each individual suicide is a tragic loss of life. It is hard to imagine the extreme psychological pain that leads someone to decide that suicide is the only course of action. Reaching out to someone who is struggling can make a difference.
Preventing Suicide: Reaching Out and Saving Lives’ is the theme of the 2015 World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD), an initiative of the International Association for Suicide Prevention(IASP) and the WHO, a co-sponsor of meetings and events related to WSPD 2015.. Since 2003, WSPD has taken place on 10th September each year. It serves as a call to action to individuals and organizations to prevent suicide. This year, the theme encourages us all to consider the role that offering support may play in combating suicide.
The act of showing care and concern to someone who may be vulnerable to suicide can be a game-changer. Asking them whether they are OK, listening to what they have to say in a non-judgmental way, and letting them know you care, can all have a significant impact. Isolation increases the risk of suicide, and, conversely, having strong social connections is protective against it, so being there for someone who has become disconnected can be life-saving.




Reaching out to those who have been bereaved by suicide
Suicide is devastating for families, friends and community members who are left behind. They may experience a whole range of emotions, including grief, anger, guilt, disbelief and self-blame.They may not feel that they can share these overwhelming feelings with anyone else. Therefore, reaching out to those who have lost someone to suicide is very important.
As a result of the stigma surrounding suicide, those who are bereaved by suicide are often perceived differently from those who lose a family member through another cause of death. People who are bereaved may find that they are avoided by people who don’t know how to broach the subject or offer their condolences. Or they may just feel that others do not understand the intensity of their emotional response to the death of their loved one.
Once again, a pro-active approach and offering a sympathetic, non-judgmental ear can make all the difference. Giving someone who has been bereaved by suicide the opportunity to talk about their loss, in their own time, on their own terms, can be a precious gift. Allowing them to express their full range of feelings can be cathartic, and can help them to take the first small step in moving through their grief. Starting the conversation may be difficult, but it will almost certainly be appreciated.
Reaching out to put people in touch with relevant services
Although the support of friends and relatives is crucial for people who may be at risk of suicide and for people who have lost someone to suicide, it is not always enough. Often more formal help is also needed. Such help can take many forms, and is likely to vary from country to country. In high-income countries, it may include specialist mental health services and primary care providers, both of which offer clinical care. It may also include a range of community organisations which provide non-clinical support, as well as support groups and self-help groups. In low- and middle-income countries, the more clinically-focused services are less readily available, and there is a heavier reliance on community organizations. Part of reaching out to vulnerable individuals can involve helping to link them to relevant services.
Reaching out to the suicide prevention community
There is strength in numbers. Around the globe, many individuals and organizations are involved in efforts to prevent suicide. We can learn from each other, and strengthen the evidence base for effective interventions. Reaching out to those who are travelling the same road increases the likelihood that our collective efforts to reduce the numbers of people who die by suicide, and the numbers of people for whom these deaths have shattering effects, will be successful.
Reaching out on World Suicide Prevention Day
On September 10th, join with others around the world who are working towards the common goal of preventing suicide. Check in on someone you may be concerned about, listen to what they say, how they say it and show them kindness and support. Investigate ways of linking in with others who are trying to prevent suicide in your community, your country, or internationally. Show your support by organizing or taking part in a WSPD activity in your area and/or join in with IASP’s Cycle Around the Globe.
Please, reach out and save lives.
Credit: IASP- World Suicide Prevention https://www.iasp.info/wspd/



Light a Candle Near a Window at 8pm on September 10th 




Saturday, August 29, 2015

Nurses Are The Worst..........What?


Nurses are many things to many people, we are called many things from angels to saints, but the one thing I can admit myself is that this nurse is the worst.....patient. Yes, I have a hard time doing what I should be doing, taking care of me. I am getting better at it though, I have learned that oh so hard lesson of saying no and not taking on so much. Lessons I have had to learn the hard way, trial by fire. 
Giving so much of ourselves to others and the inability to say "no" can leave any nurse without the proper time to care for herself or himself. Burned out nurses leave the profession everyday because they forget the importance of self care.
Self  care is as important as patient care now, you must advocate for yourself because nobody else will. 

Many of us work 12 hours, night shifts, over-time, 2nd jobs, go to school, then turn around and have to go home to a house full of kids, disabled spouses or elderly parents that might be ill too. I know I work a weekender position, but often feel like I work 7 days a week due to the stressors of having a disabled husband and homeschooling my kiddos. There is always something at our house to do or somewhere to go. 



Have you ever gone to work tired, irritable, lacking sleep and felt like you took that frustration out on your coworkers or even your patients? How about going to work and feeling sicker than the patients that you were caring for? Those things should not be happening. 
Taking care of yourself on a daily basis, balancing work and home environments, decreasing the level of stress you feel and learning some tools to educate yourself so you can be your own healthcare advocate will lead to a nurse that enjoys taking care of others again.



List of Awesome Self Care Tools: these are just some of the things that I find to be helpful

  1. Learn how to say "NO"- this is one of the most important things you can do for yourself and your family. You don't have to do it all, your kids don't need to do every sport or club at school, let them pick one they love. The time you spend at home as a family they will cherish more later on. 
  2. SLEEP- your body heals itself and repairs itself while you sleep, you have got to get some sleep!! forget this staying up all day and trying to work all night long (unless you want to land in a ditch dead one day- that's where you are headed). I use essential oils to help me sleep, a little lavender or vetiver oil on my feet at bedtime and I have no trouble sleeping day or night.
  3. ROUTINE- get yourself into a routine- your body will thank you- your sleep will come easier- for instance I work night shifts on the weekends, so my routine is to stay up all night at home on Friday nights and sleep on Saturday- my family knows this is my routine and I get my sleep, everybody is happy and I am awake to drive to work safely. What kind of routines can you set up during the week? Make a white board for the kitchen and write your routine on it, tell the family you are going to follow this, they will love you for it.
  4. Eat whole foods, fresh foods and don't go without meals- this is just a no brainer, Food is energy..........if we don't eat, we don't get the fuel we need to function. Crap in is Crap out.....right?
  5. Add Probiotics to your daily supplement regimen - this is one of the most important things you can do to keep yourself healthy. Your gut health is one of the most important things, it is like your 2nd brain! Billions of good bacteria live in your gut and they need to stay healthy to help you fight off any threats to your immunity. Just do it! 
  6. Exercise- yes I know you are saying, when am I gonna fit that into my busy schedule, well a walk 3 time a week will make you feel so much better I am telling you. Even though I have arthritis and chronic pain, I can manage to get some walking into my busy schedule so I know you can do it too. Work your way up to swimming, biking, hiking and other activities that you can do together as a family. We love to go hiking in the mountains, it does not even feel like we are exercising but we are. Exercise is fantastic for your mood and your joints!
  7. Laugh! humor is such a stress reliever, smile daily and find something to laugh about. Think positive and your life will be positive. 
  8. Music soothes the savage beast-- you! I love to crank up the tunes and just get lost in the music when I am in the car, it helps me calm down and destress on the way home from work.
  9. Leave your work at the door!! As an ER nurse for over 28 years now I have learned many strategies to cope with the things we see in the ER. The biggest thing is learning to leave it at the door when I clock out, that has helped me more than anything. I don't take my job home with me, or talk about what happened at work with my spouse or kids. It's just like a switch, I just turn it off. ( Unless something tragic happened, we debrief and talk at work before we even leave work- highly recommended).
  10. Get organized-- get a day- planner and write everything in that planner, including your days off work, trips to the spa, your mani-pedi appt, all the things you can look forward too, schedule date nights with your significant other. Organize your house, keep things simple, don't overwhelm yourself with clutter. Plan and keep a routine for cleaning,laundry grocery shopping, bill paying etc. 
  11. Slow down and Breathe! learn meditation- it is a great way to connect with your inner self and de-stress. Prayer is a fantastic way to help you in your self care journey. 
  12. Try Aromatherapy- I discovered the power of essential oils and have fallen in love with the wonderful benefits they have provided my family and my health. We have felt so much better since discovering the value of these gifts from above that have been around for billions of years.
  13. Unplug and get outside- yes you can do it, leave that phone, tablet, laptop or other digital device off and get outside, breath some air, smell the flowers or fresh crisp leaves or newly cut grass. We spend so much time connected to our devices that we have lost the connection to ourselves and others.
  14. Explore Alternative Holistic Healthcare Options- we are always taught to use western medicine in our healthcare practices that we often forget the benefits of other types of medicine out there. I am learning so much more about the natural medicine model and a more "whole body" &  holistic approach to medicine. Medicine is much more that just prescribing a pill all the time, right?
These tips and tools are only good if you apply them, your patients, coworkers and family will surely appreciate a nurse that is the best ..................nurse he/she can be.



This post was written as part of the Nurse Blog Carnival. More posts on this topic can be found at http://thebossynurse.com. If you are interested in participating find out more details and sign up.

Nurse Blog Carnival

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

How Your Gut Bacteria Affects Your Brain and Body



Recent studies suggest bacteria in our digestive tract can play a large role in our overall health. Depression, anxiety, autism, schizophrenia, obesity, cancer and irritable bowel syndrome are just a few of the major complications gut bacteria can create.

Some even call our gut the "2nd brain" because it affects so many systems within the body.
Via Medicinenet.com:

"Research has shown that the network of neurons lining our guts is so extensive that is has now been nicknamed our "second brain" or "other brain." This gut "brain" doesn't think for us, but it does play a key role in certain diseases and communicates with the brain in our skulls.

Our "second brain" is known as the enteric nervous system. It is a collection of neurons in the gastrointestinal tract. Its role is to manage every aspect of digestion in all the organs of the gastrointestinal tract, including the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, and colon. It uses over 100 million neurons and some of the same chemicals things that can be found in your "other" brain, including neurotransmitters and neuropeptides.

Within your gastrointestinal tract, there is intestinal microflora or microbiota. This complex ecosystem contains over 400 bacterial species. Small amounts can be found in your stomach and small intestines, but the majority is found in your colon. The intestinal microflora aid in digestion, synthesize vitamins and nutrients, metabolize some medications, support the development and functioning of the gut, and enhance the immune system."


With over 5,000 species of bacteria living in the gut, we have a mix of good and bad microbes. Helicobacter Pylori causes ulcers, while Lactobacilli may ward off stress and anxiety.

Keeping a healthy digestive system is very important. Taking probiotics daily is one of the best solutions to achieve your health goals.

More than a third of depression sufferers have  a "leaky gut" lining that will allow bacteria to seep into the bloodstream.

Prebiotics/Probiotics taken on a regular basis can have a anti-anxiety and antidepressant effect.

Can you believe that something this simple can make such a difference in your health and wellness? It can, if your gut flora and balance gets "off" the rest of the body will suffer.

Doctors and other healthcare providers write prescriptions so freely for antibiotics and anti-fungal medications, but fail to tell patients about the most important plan of care. Taking a probiotic or increasing the consumption of foods that contain fermented foods that are high in probiotics.

Where can I get more information on probiotics?

USProbiotics.org (http://www.usprobiotics.org/)
"Herbs and Supplements," MedlinePlus (http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/herb_All.html)




Wow that is impressive, imagine all the diseases and chronic health issues we could change or fix with just the balancing of a patients gut? Your gut?
I know I feel so much better since I have adjusted my diet and started taking a probiotic daily, my immune system has been stronger in the process too.

Until next time.................


Monday, July 6, 2015

The Guide To Good Bacteria: Trillions of Friends

 

Good bacteria you ask? How can bacteria be good? You have trillions of good bacteria living inside right now, they help keep you well.

With over 100 trillion bacteria in our bodies we need all the good bacteria we can get. 80% of our immune system is in our gut, we need to have a healthy balance of good bacteria for it to fight off the bad.

 

I recently had a first hand experience that taught me a most valuable lesson about the relationship between my immune system and the good bacteria that lives within me.
Back in January of 2015 I developed a stubborn dental infection that required a stronger antibiotic by mouth for 10 days. After taking this medication I developed some gastrointestinal distress and general feelings of "something was just not right". As a nurse I am very in-tuned to my own body and health so I realized that the antibiotics I had been taking most likely had just wiped out the good bacteria in my gut and the bad bacteria were possibly taking over.
Several weeks went by and my GI issues just got worse, diarrhea, weight loss (15 pounds) nausea, dizziness and just feeling bad all the time. So finally I went to the doctor (nurses are so stubborn), I was diagnosed with C-diff (Clostridium Difficile) a very serious infection of the gi tract that is very difficult to get rid of.

After weeks/months of medications, diet changes and finally a natural medicine/essential oils regimen I was able to get rid of the nasty bug and get well again. Now I tell every patient that I give an antibiotic prescription to get a probiotic and take it every single day. Probiotics will keep the good bacteria in check and healthy, so that your gut can help keep you well.

 

 

 

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Sweet Smell Of Health and Wellness ~ Peppermint #oilspotlight #essentialoils #nursestoolkit

Sweet smell of health and wellness-- Peppermint
One of my favorites, mixed with Lavender essential oil and applied to my temples, the bottom of my feet and back of my neck. Migraine gone!
I am a super believer in the power of essential oils, I have used many of them on myself, my family and even my pets. Amazing results from something from nature and not in a pill! 

~My Nurse Health Tool Kit with Peppermint~

  • Anti-Nausea – Just put a drop in your water and drink it slowly. Also, rubbing a drop on your tummy soothes nausea.
  • Clear Sinuses – Place on your feet, temples, chest, or simple inhale the peppermint oil. 
  • Reduce Hunger Cravings – Place a drop or two in your water and drink in between meals.
  • Fever-reducer – Simply place a drop on each foot or in bath water (mix with coconut oil or other carrier oil to apply to children's feet)
  • Breath Freshener – place a drop on your tongue.
  • Headache Relief – place a drop on your temples or the back of your neck where your pressure points are located ( I mix Lavender and sometimes Frankincense oils with Peppermint for my headache fix) 
  • Bug Repellent – Place a few drops of peppermint oil on cotton balls and place where the bugs are coming in. Also, it will deter mice, spiders hate this stuff.
  • Eliminates Motion Sickness – Place a drop on your tummy and temples. Also, drinking a glass of water with a drop of oil during the ride will help eliminate motion sickness.
  • Diminishes Indigestion– Gently place a drop on your navel when you are experiencing uncomfortable indigestion.
  • Soothes Sore Muscles – I like soaking in a tub with a few drops of peppermint oil or just rubbing the oil on your sore muscles (Add lavender, baking soda, Epson salts for a fantastic detox bath!)
  • Prevents Dandruff – Place a few drops of peppermint oil in your bottle of shampoo, add some Melaluca(tea tree) oil for really stubborn flaky scalps.
  • Hot Flash relief-- rub some oil on the back of your neck, forehead and anywhere else you need some cooling relief menopauseal ladies, I can attest that this really works (I put some in a roller ball with fractionated coconut oil or with witch-hazel and keep in my pocket at work-- Ahhhhhh relief) 
  • Study and mental recall aid- diffuse peppermint in your study room to help with recalling information. Inhale to increase your oxygen intake by at least 25% and have better alertness.
  • Night nurse pick me up- mix with lemon oil in your water and this will wake you up (make sure to use a glass or metal container) this also keeps me awake on the drive home in the am.
  • Flavorings of course for all sorts of yummy recipes, I will add some soon. 
  • I am sure I will think of more and add later...........

Want to learn more? click HERE for more information 
Below is a fantastic video about my favorite oil- Peppermint by one of my favorite doctors- Dr Josh Axe (draxe.com)


A simple guide to essential oils~ why are you not using them?

I can't tell you how much better I feel today by just using essential oils in my daily life. Yes I still have the usual aches and pains of a nurse that has worked for nearly 30 years, but my wellness and health is improving so much more everyday. All thanks to these wonderful little drops of love!

Stay tuned and I will share more with you, tips, recipes and other helpful hints on your health and wellness.

Order your Essential Oil tool kit today HERE  and get started on your new path.


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Vaccines Save Lives #education #health #wellness

Yes vaccines are arguably the greatest technological development of the 20th century. Immunizations have been so effective at eradicating diseases such as measles, mumps, small pox, polio and chicken pox that many Americans have never seen a case of these diseases. I myself can remember having the mumps along with my 2 brothers then we all 3 got the chicken pox, then our poor daddy got the mumps ( as an adult having the mumps was not fun and he was very sick for a long time) My poor mom was worn out by the time our household finally got well, she was a superstar (God rest her soul) I can't believe she took care of all of us without complaining one bit.
This day and time you just don't see these types of diseases anymore due to our great jobs getting immunized so far. I am afraid this might just change soon due to parents who have chosen not to vaccinate their children for whatever reason they might choose.

Think about what you are doing before you choose not to vaccinate, educate yourself with the right information (not off You-tube videos) and think about the many life's of others that might be affected if your child comes down with one of these diseases and spreads it. These diseases can kill, that is why we vaccinate....to save lives.


see the pdf of this infographic HERE :   http://www.wellnessctr.org/wellness-corner/upload/immunization_web.pdf


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