A Nurse’s Vow to Her Patients

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Hello from sunny Florida ❤  Every winter, I head home for the warmth and light, embrace of family, and to remember where I come from.  Since coming home, I have been a little lax in my posting.  As a result, I will now be inundating you all with back posts 🙂

For me, being a nurse is so much more than having the skill to place an IV, the ability to detect subtle changes in a patient’s status, and the ability to deal with the multiple personalities one is confronted with on a daily basis.  It is equally important to be a good listener, strive to continually learn, and take the time to educate and advocate for one’s patients.  Our patients are not only those we treat at the bedside, but those we  are surrounded by in every day life including friends, family, and community.  A nurse is never truly off-duty.

In the last year, I have transitioned more and more away from my role as a bedside nurse to the role of maternal/infant health and education.  Patient education has always been my passion and in the last year I have been honored and privileged to offer maternal and infant education courses to expectant parents living in Gothenburg, Sweden, through a fledgling maternal/infant and wellness company.  My vow to each and every student is the same I offer my patients.  I strive to leave my own struggles behind and greet them with undisturbed enthusiasm.  I will learn from them as they learn from me and guide them with care and consideration on the journey to their baby.

The following is my vow to those I serve in my role as nurse  whether through care at the bedside or through community outreach ❤

A Nurse’s Vow to Her Patients

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The Benefits of Prenatal Yoga

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I have been teaching Prenatal Yoga now for six years.  My first student was my baby sister and since then I have had the privilege to teach many of my dear friends as well as women in my community during one of the most important times in their lives.  The benefits of prenatal yoga are endless.  Some of the most significant findings are the reduction of depression and cortisol levels.  If  anyone you know who is expecting, the greatest gift you can give them is a gift card for prenatal yoga.  Read just some of the benefits below in my latest post for AWHONN.  Thanks for reading ❤

The Benefits of Prenatal Yoga

4Ways to Be a More Mindful Nurse

FullSizeRender-47In this week’s post for Mighty Nurse, I offer a few simple steps to practicing mindfulness.  Mindfulness teaches us to be more conscious of our thoughts, feelings, environment, and sensations.  We have all heard the phrase, you are your own worst enemy.  Learning to tame the monkey mind by simple observations and detachment can lead to a happier, less stressed you.  All it takes is practice ❤

4 Ways to Be a More Mindful Nurse 

Wellness on the Road

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Happy weekend, friends!  I am super excited to announce that I am starting to write a regular post for The Gypsy Nurse that I like to call “Wellness on the Road.”  It combines my love for wellness and life as a nurse.  The Gypsy Nurse is a great resource for any healthcare professional that travels or is considering traveling.  Below is my first entry.  Hope you like!!

Wellness on the Road ❤

 

 

Tools for Surviving Night Shift

Most nurses are creatures of habit. We develop routines before going to work, have routines while at work, and have routines when we get home. How many can relate to this?? This week was my first week back on the job. I’m a night shift nurse by heart.  I like the pace, people, and pay.

I reluctantly started night shift on my first travel assignment in 2006. It was not by choice, but after a week of nausea and confusion, I was hooked! There isn’t the constant buzz and whir that one experiences on day shift in a hospital. Nights are great for those of us who become easily distracted, as long as you can stay awake.

Working nights is no joke when it comes to the effects it has on the body.  More and more research is finding a connection between shift work and increased likelihood of cardiovascular disease, depression, obesity, and insomnia.  That’s why it’s so important to try to make sleeping well, eating well, and exercising a part of life.  Don’t get me wrong, I eat chips and drink soda sometimes, but it’s all about balance.  I try (keyword try) to limit the junk to one day a week.

I thought I’d share some of my routines for surviving night shift. It’s a process that is years in the making, thus time tested.

Stay hydrated

I usually have one or two cups of tea before work.  It gives a little pick me up and has the added advantage of antioxidants.  I might have a cup of tea on my first break at work too as well, but I have a rule of no caffeine too late for fear of interfering with my sleep.  I also pre hydrate with water before work in case it’s so crazy busy I don’t have time initially to drink.   Every chance I get, I drink a glass of water.

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Sleep

It’s so essential to sleep and sleep well. Whatever it takes. I know that my bedroom has to be as dark as possible and cool. If the temperature is off even by a degree or two I can sense it. I use an eye pillow filled with flax seed and lavender (highly recommend). Eye pillows block all light, can relieve headaches and eye tension, and allow for a deep state of relaxation. The weight of the flax seed in the eye pillow is said to add needed acupressure points around the eyes. The added benefit of lavender has a further calming effect.

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My homemade lavender eye pillow with flax seed. Highly recommend!!

Eat

I eat healthiest actually on the nights I work. I know my body needs the best fuel possible to stay alert. I eat dinner at home before going in. Baked salmon with a garlic yogurt sauce is my favorite. Both are high in protein and hold me almost the entire night. I bring fruit, nuts, and sometimes yogurt as well to snack on all night. The nuts and yogurt give the energy I need and hold me for a while, plus it is easy to eat quickly if needed.

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My favorite dish!!! Organic Norwegian Salmon with Couscous and a garlic yogurt sauce. Yum!!!

Exercise

I practice yoga nearly every day, sometimes it is only fifteen minutes with my legs up the wall with my eye pillow and deep breaths, sometimes it is a full invigorating practice that challenges my strength and endurance. It depends on how I am feeling that particular day.

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Viparita Karani, my favorite yoga pose. Perfect for stress relief, headache relief, and to ease into sleep. Should be a daily routine in the life of a nurse. Contraindicated for those with high blood pressure, glaucoma, or severe neck/back injury. Use your own discretion. Try for 5-15 minutes and let me know what you think!!

Stay busy

As we all know, this is usually not a problem. We are often faced with an admission or a decline in our patient’s status when we are most tired (right around 5 am). I usually have a routine of cleaning everything around my patient early in the shift. As I get more tired, if I have nothing patient related to do, I clean and stock.

What are your routines???  Would love to hear!!