Three Unique Patient Problems You’ll Often See as a Nurse

1113inc21As a nurse working in the medical field, you will often find yourself exposed to different situations which you may consider new. Instead of taking this as an impossible scenario, a good nurse will often take delight in encountering these situations and eventually learning from it. The following highlights three unique patient problems, mostly related to vein issues, that you will often see as a nurse.
1. Venous Ulcers

A venous ulcer is a type of damage, as well as loss of skin just above the ankle. This is often due to a problem with the leg veins. They are quite common, but they may be difficult to cure, and often reoccur at a later time. The cause of this issue often leads us back to the role of veins in our body. They are the ones carrying blood back to our heart, and there, the blood is pumped to the arteries. The veins in our legs are composed of flexible valves which ensure that our blood flows back into our heart, especially when we are walking or standing. Venous ulcers happen when blood pressure increases in the veins. Throughout the years, ulcers may develop.

2. Antiphospholipid Syndrome

This type of vein syndrome is often called as Hughes’ syndrome. It is a type of disease which usually affects blood, making it clot more likely than normal. As a result, blood clots form within the blood vessels. When unattended, this might lead to serious illness, and at times, death. Since this syndrome is not common, it is often under diagnosed, or under recognised. Pregnant women are the most prone to APS. Therefore, it is important to ask for help. A notable vein doctor Charlotte has available will advice that if you are pregnant and suspecting that you have APS. At the same time, if you are not sure, you can also ask for professional help in identifying your condition.

3. Venous Thrombosis

Blood clot in the vein may lead to other diseases which can be dangerous. According to a certain study, venous thrombosis, when undetected and ignored, may cause more problems later on. While thrombosis can appear in other forms, such as arterial thrombosis, and thromboses in the placenta, venous thrombosis proves to be the most common one. In order to detect and cure this problem at an early stage, you might want to consider visiting a professional. For the best vein treatment Miami offers, schedule a consultation to hear a professional opinion. This will make sure that you do not only avoid problems in the future, but it will also maintain the overall health of your veins.

The abovementioned situations are rare. Keep in mind that not all nurses may have the privilege of encountering these situations. Thus, you are in a good position. Learning about how to deal with these types of problems will not only increase your understanding on the issues involved, but it will also improve your self-worth. Time will come that your knowledge will be put to better use. When that time comes, you will no longer have to look back and tremble with uneasiness, not knowing what to do.


4 Tactics Every Nurse Should Use for Patients with Drug Problems

drugabuse_thumb.jpgHandling a patient with drug problems and substance abuse, is not an easy task. These kinds of patients require special care in order to recover and you are a big part of this process. In order to handle the patient effectively, it’s best to apply these approaches below.

Ask questions gently

In order to understand the nature and the extend of the disorder, it’s best to ask a few questions that may hint that there is a problem. For example, you can ask questions like:

· “Have you ever felt that your drug problems have gone out of control?”

· “Do you remember doing something bizarre as a result of drug abuse”?

· “What are the symptoms after abusing drugs”

The questions should be asked in a direct, calm and empathetic manner otherwise the patient may feel intimated and tell lies or give you one word answers. New questions may arise in the process which can give you even more details in order to assess the patient’s problem better.

Encourage awareness of the problem

Irrespective of the cause of the problems, the first step towards recovery is the patient being aware of his problem and that he/she needs treatment. If the patient is not fully aware of his problem or builds resistance, you should calmly explain the reasons to undergo treatment and that it is for his/her benefit. This is of course not your own responsibility but you should work as part of the team to gain patient’s trust and help him start the treatment process

Understand common drug abuse symptoms

Treating a patient with drug abuse problems is very complicated task and you need patience because drug abuse has a multitude of symptoms. Patients with drug problems suffer from mental, bodily and social problems and their ability to react normally is greatly reduced. For example many of these patients suffer from insomnia, headaches, hallucinations, various body pains, memory loss, mood swings and many other symptoms often co-existing with each other. The patient may complain for minor issues or threaten to commit suicide in extreme cases but with a little experience you will be able to identify when the patient needs immediate help or not.

Connect with their family and friends

The role of the patient’s siblings is extremely vital to help the patient recognize his issues and support him/her towards recovery.Many often, family members and friends may fear social stigma and refuse to acknowledge the problem, or simply be clueless about their approach. Explain to them the truth of the matter in an empathetic manner, and give general guidelines on how to handle their loved one, when there is no medical staff around.

These are some general approaches to have in mind but when in doubt, you can always ask the doctor or the counselor to guide you in a specific problem that may arise during the process.

If you are reading this and are a patient yourself, or a patient’s friend or family member, take a look at more of the drug addiction treatment Orange County offers and contact a member of their medical staff to get a proper diagnosis and discuss the treatment options.


WHAT IS RENAL FAILURE?

renalKidneys play an important role as they are the waste disposal system of the body. Blood picks up the garbage from the cells and carries them through the complex network of highways in the circulatory system we know as the veins. All this blood eventually passes through the filters in the kidney and comes out cleaned up, and the waste products and excess water that have been filtered out are then channeled into the urinary bladder and expelled as urine.

Renal failure simply means that the kidneys have stopped working. Urine is not being generated, and so all that excess water gets stuck in the body. They have stopped cleaning and filtering the blood. And filthy blood is no good. Blood that is full of garbage will make the cells filthy too. And this is why renal failure is a very serious condition – so serious that it could lead to death.

Symptoms of kidney failure include, well, lack of urine, obviously, as well as bloatedness and swelling, lack of appetite, and nausea.

The body can not survive without the clean up that kidneys provide. So if the kidneys can’t do it, it is imperative that something else to the work, a sub if you will. And this is what dialysis provides. A big machine that does the work of a teeny tiny organ in filtering the blood of its waste and impurities. And since dialysis is to become part and parcel of the life of one with renal failure, the procedure can be made easier and more efficient with a dialysis access, a vascular gizmo that is installed in one of the main veins which allows the patient to get hooked up to the machine quicker and easier.

For those who live in Chicago, check out Piano Vein.


SAVE THE BOOBIES

saveIt probably is time for women to fixate less on the size of their boobs, and whether they need breast augmentation or not, and focus more on keeping their boobs healthy and cancer free. Yes, a beautiful boob job done by a skilled surgeon is bound to boost a girl’s self-esteem some, but health and life trumps that every time.

So girls, listen up, and don’t be like the guidas in that South Jersey Shore reality show.

Eat healthy. Read the labels. Shun the ones that have way too many ingredients with way too many syllables. Go for fresh and organic rather than canned or processed. It also would be great if you knew what farm or plantation your food came from.

Go for natural beauty. No, we’re not asking you to give up your makeup and your extra-moisturizing body wash, just encouraging you to choose your products wisely. As with food, pay attention the ingredients that make up your grooming and beauty products. Read the labels and avoid the products that contain phthalates, parabens, triclosan, and synthetic fragrances, because these wreak havoc on your hormones, and screwy hormones tend to result in cancer. As with food, stay away from ingredients with long chemical-sounding names.

Quit smoking. You know that smoking kills, so stop. Don’t just do it for your boobies. Do it for your lungs and the lungs of those around you. Do it for the environment.

And in case your prevention efforts don’t work, make sure that if you do get cancer, it gets detected early, as this exponentially increases your chances of survival. Get your breasts examined regularly. Get your baseline mammogram readings, and get a mammogram every year after that. Your OB-GYN may also recommend breast ultrasounds and such. You may also get tested for the breast cancer gene. These tests could ultimately save your life and make you happier than any breast augmentation.


PLASTIC SURGERY AND SENSE OF SELF

surgery“Who is this girl I see staring straight back at me? Why is my reflection someone I don’t know?”

This line opens the refrain of song Reflection from Disney’s Mulan. As embodied spirits, we human beings can not help but integrate our physical appearance into our sense of self. We perceive the world through the bodies that we are born with, and this, in combination with the DNA in our very cells, nature plus nurture, shapes our personality and identity.

But what happens when there’s a disconnect between our physical appearance and our sense of who we are? What if a person is happy and cheerful person, but is unable to smile? And what about the dancer who gets injured and gets paralyzed? Or what if a person is a woman but was born a man? Such disparities create great psychological upheavals, and a person will never feel whole until the physical is fixed or until the psyche comes to terms with the physical.

“When will my reflection show who I am inside?”

The last line of the song speaks of every person’s longing to become who he or she really is, inside as well as out. This need is probably what drives the transvestites and the transgenders to make the changes that they’ve got to make in order to have that sought after integration. Perhaps to a certain level this is the motivation behind every person who undergoes plastic surgery — a man might feel more youthful than he looks and wants to bridge the discrepancy through a facelift or some other cosmetic procedure. Coming out from this type of surgery, a person would certainly feel like a phoenix reborn — reborn as its true self.

This might be the healthiest reason for changing one’s appearance. A woman should get bigger boobs because she feels like she’s really a big-breasted person deep inside, and not because all her girlfriends are doing it, or worse, that her boyfriend wants her to.

But sadly, in Beverly Hills, Orange County and other places, cosmetic surgery is simply a fad or some normal everyday activity that people just go through without the necessary introspection.


SO CHEESY

cheesePulitzer Prize-winning journalist Michael Moss’s expose on America’s use of three ingredients to create cravings using these three ingredients. The boom in the food manufacturing industry for the past century has conditioned a nation to be addicted to junk food, overly processed meats, and high-sugar cereals.

One of the insider stories that the author has blown open was the one about how just about everything we eat has become packed with cheese and its corresponding fat gram. Apparently, the U.S. Government’s milk subsidy which lasted until the middle of the last century has resulted in an overproduction of milk which led to a colossal surplus, all of which has been turned into cheese, or versions of it, which has been peddled cheap and in bulk to the makers of microwave meals, pasta sauces, snack chips, biscuits, cakes, and other foods wherein the cheese is barely discernible but is there to add texture and richness. The result, the average American of the present, whether in Seattle or Miami, knowingly or unknowingly, ingests up to 33 pounds of cheese per annum, three times the consumption during the 1970’s. That 33 pounds is equivalent to half a year’s recommended maximum for saturated fat.

With these statistics alone, it is quite obvious that this country’s cheese explosion played a role in how America became a nation with skyrocketing obesity rates. More and more people developing heart disease and other disorders that have running to their cardiologists. So rampant are the soaring cholesterol levels which have resulted from diets so fraught with fat.

Desperate times, ladies and gents.


Hormone Therapy: Do You Need it?

A fairly recent form of treatment is the introduction of hormones into the human body either to reintroduce hormones no longer produced by the body due to aging or to substitute other hormones in order to become naturally-reinforced hormones in the body. Known as Hormone Replacement Treatment, the hormones used have the same chemical structure, and are metabolized in the same way, as the hormones naturally made in the human body.

This treatment is commonly classified according to following purposes:

• Treatment of menopause
o This treatment is used to reintroduce female hormones no longer produced by the body in order to improve the health and well-being of women undergoing menopause (the cessation of menstrual flow).

• Androgen Replacement for Men
o Similar to the menopausal treatment for women, this treatment helps reduce or delay the negative effects of male aging, such as hypogonadism and loss of testicular function.

• Cross-Sex Treatment for Transgender People
o This is used to introduce into the body either testosterone (for trans men) or estrogen (for trans women) in order to facilitate the physical transition of the patient into the gender identified with.

These programs are facilitated by evaluating the patient’s medical history and a personal consultation with a hormone specialty pharmacist.

Increase in treatment use among women

Most women generally experience menopause around the ages of 51-55. It is during the 5-10 years leading up to a woman’s menopause, called the transition years, that women experience the worst of the symptoms of aging. Some of the symptoms of decreased estrogen production are insomnia, increased visceral fat, vaginal atrophy, painful sexual intercourse, mental confusion, overall fatigue or tiredness with headaches, and osteoporosis. Some have even reported cases of anxiety and cyclical depression.

The most standard treatment for estrogen deficiency caused by aging is the intake of medications consisting of female hormones to artificially boost hormonal levels. This treatment is used in order to replace the hormones no longer produced by the body due to menopause. The hormone levels are restored using sublingual troches, oral tablets and transdermal gels and creams.

The premise of the medication is that regular intake of the diminished hormones (estrogen and progesterone) may prevent the discomfort brought about by aging, prolong one’s life, and minimize the incidence of dementia.

The treatments are best prescribed to patients experiencing the symptoms described, particularly those with lower bone density. Following the results of a 2002 American study on the use of hormones on aging patients resulted in increased heart attacks and strokes among the patients, influenced most of the opinions among medical practitioners regarding the use of these treatments. Some have expressed negative opinions regarding their use claiming that there is no sufficient proof to claim the effectiveness of these treatments on the human body since the results are considered non-conclusive. Moreover, others claim that the effectiveness of these treatments may only last for a short period of time. A few others have also expressed the possibility of these treatments becoming more detrimental than effective to the patient’s health and well-being.

However, the negative effects reported in the study have been subsequently retracted by the study’s investigators due to the wrong dosage used on the patients. Subsequent reports have also stated that the complications do not appear on women taking appropriate dosages of the hormones before reaching 60 years of age.

Moreover, many of these opinions have been overridden by the recent increase in the number of practitioners have prescribed the use of the Hormone Replacement Treatment particularly in cities like Englewood. More and more women have relied on and have considered the supplement intake as safe and natural ways to deal with the effects of menopause and aging.


Improving Your Vision

lasikCongratulations for having made the right decision towards improving your vision as well as the overall quality of your life by choosing laser surgery, better known as Lasik. However, before you get started, there is one crucial thing you have to do. This is selecting the most appropriate Lasik surgeon.

The fact that there are so many eye surgeons in Austin is both good news and bad news. It is good news in that you have a larger pool from which to choose. This also means increased competition and better services and price. However, it also makes your work quite hard, because you won’t be able to know which of these surgeons can be trusted with your eye.

When it comes to Lasik in Austin, the most important thing is to get the right surgeon. The trick is to search for a practitioner who has a great reputation for customer satisfaction. At the same time, they have to be board-certified and experienced. After making a shortlist of probable candidates, check the internet to know what patients say about them in reviews. You can also check with the Better Business Bureau to know how they are faring.

Many people tend to care too much about the price of Lasik surgery. While bargaining may be okay for shoes and clothes, your eye care has no price. It is priceless. The following are some of the other things you should pay attention to when looking for a Lasik surgeon in Austin.

Equipment

This simply refers to the kind of technology being used by a particular surgeon. It is important to inquire if your prospective eye doctor will offer 100% all laser Lasik or if they will use microkeratome blade. Many people would rather use the former.

Enhancements

Ask if enhancements will be needed frequently. It is important to note that the outcomes of laser eye surgery will vary according to individual conditions. Even in a case where the surgery is successful, future enhancements may still be needed. There are times when you may be required to wear eye glasses for some activities like driving or reading. Also, patients who are farsighted may experience diminishing vision over time, but this is due to the natural process of aging.

Results

Your provider ought to offer lifetime commitment on their results, and this should include adjustments that should not be charged. Since every case tends to be unique, make sure you discuss with your surgeon about what your expectations might be before you can commence the operation.

Cleanliness

Cleanliness, they say, is next to Godliness. A clean premise creates an impression that the owner cares about the visitor. Therefore, if a premise appears unkempt and out of order, it is very likely that their services will also be shoddy.

Professional and friendly staff

The demeanor of a vision center is easily known from the way the receptionist and the surgeon talk to you. Especially, you need to determine if they are good listeners who pay attention to you and help you with your problem.

Relationship with the optician

You need to look for an eye surgeon who is willing to work with you even after you have been operated. This increases chances of your success with surgery.


Smoking Cessation – Getting Benefits when Calling it Quits

electronic cigarettes to quit smokingWe have all heard, at one time or another, the health risks that are associated with smoking.  From cancer, emphysema, cardiovascular disease, to just a general malaise, there are many reasons why one shouldn’t even take up the habit of smoking.  Some people may think that if they are already addicted, what is the point then of trying to quit.  But, did you know that you can stop, if not reverse, some of the damage you may have done, even if you have been a smoker for 20 years?

Many long-term smokers may think to themselves, why even bother quitting, I’ve already done the damage, but this is definitely not true!  At any point, no matter how many years you’ve smoked, no matter if you’ve already been diagnosed with a health problem associated with smoking, choosing to quit is always a better option, and this article will share with you some of the reasons why.

First of all, while there may be some cases where you cannot reverse any damage, you can absolutely stop from doing even more damage to yourself!  There are some immediate benefits that take place after one quits smoking.  For one, within mere hours, the carbon dioxide in your blood begins to decline. Carbon monoxide actually reduces your blood’s ability to carry oxygen around the body.  This change therefore increases the overall circulation of your body.  Also, your blood pressure and heart rate return to normal, as smoking drives both of those higher.  Within months of quitting, you can actually see major changes in the capability of your lungs, and you can also expect to cough or wheeze much less than while you were a smoker.

Of course, there are many long term benefits as well.  Those who quit by around the age of 30 typically can expect to decrease the health risks related to smoking by about 90%.  Studies show that even longer term smokers and those that do not quit until later in life can still increase their chances of a longer life.  Even those patients that have already been diagnosed with cancer should consider quitting smoking, as smoking can inhibit any treatment options that you might need.

There are a variety of ways out there that can help you stop smoking.  One rather new invention is the electronic cigarette.  This method allows the user to still inhale nicotine throughout the day, as needed, but without all of the harmful chemicals that are found in cigarettes.  Be careful though, as some of these electronic cigarettes still contain some of the chemicals, but if being used as a cessation aid, then it’s better to be ingesting less of those agents than more!

At any age, at any risk level, the decision to quit smoking is always the best one!


Take Free CEUs to keep your licensure

Take Free CEUs to keep your licensureAfter working all your muscles off to become an RN, the road to success continues to be wider.  The right thing to do is to keep abreast with the field you are working in that seems to change rapidly. Almost every week, new treatment is discovered, new drugs come out in the market, and new devices are used in your workplace. To keep your knowledge current, Continuing Education Units (CEU) should be obtained.

Some states require nurses to take CEUs on specific content like HIV and Domestic Violence to keep their licensure. There are also free nursing CEUs that are needed for continuing education hours and those that are needed to maintain your license. These free hours are available from a variety of sources.

But the number of hours required will depend on the state you are registered. If you are still unsure of the requirements you state asks for, you may check the nurses-neighborhood website to find your state board. Just as the hours vary, the requirements also differ from state to state.

Some states may ask you to take college classes as part of keeping the licensure. In Texas, the Board of Nurse Examiners may convert one academic credit hour to 15 contact hours. Those who took nursing classes in higher degree are qualified. Taking biology and math are no longer pre-requisites.

The Texas Board of Nurses also changed some requirements. Nurses should now take only CEUs that are focused on your area of practice. So, start checking on your state board of nursing if your state has changed some requirements.

AS you take free CEUs, here are some online sites that will aid you:

MediLexicon│  This is the largest online database for pharmaceutical, biotech, agrochemical, and medical abbreviations. It has over 57,000 terms listed in the site. And the best thing is it comes free of charge. You will also find the directory of pharmacy facilities, pharmaceutical companies, healthcare job agencies, government health departments, and scientific conferences database.

Epocrates│ This should come handy if you have an iPhone or any handheld device with a Palm OS. You can install it in your device and immediately have a drug reference. This serves as a mini PDR where you can also profile a list of drugs. You may freely download the regular version and it will automatically update once you’re connected to the internet.

Once you decide to take CEUs, make sure that the courses are approved by the state you are practicing your profession.


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