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Practical and Ethical Reasons to Pursue a Career in Nursing

There’s no denying that employment options are few and far between for Americans of all backgrounds. Young adults out of college or vocational schools face particularly harsh challenges in the employment arena, competing against countless job-seekers with commensurate experience in their fields. To young men still searching out for a viable career path amidst this economic downtown, I would advise one option above all: nursing. Nursing stands as an appealing career choice to young men on both practical and ethical grounds, offering endless opportunity for growth not only as a professional but as a person. In many ways nursing offers incentives simply unheard of in any other typical 9-5 post college profession. Here are just a few compelling reasons to consider nursing.

Job Security

Nursing, from a practical perspective, can be tempting if only for its consistency. Nurses employed by major hospitals and clinics often reside for years and years with little fear of losing their job (if they do their job well) unless through some unforeseen circumstance. Unlike most other professions sloughing off employees and freezing their hiring processes, health care institutions are clamoring for more nursing staff. The demand for nurses is only tempered by poorly-funded health care facilities affected by the economic downtown; as a nurse, your employment opportunities are essentially limited by the economic climate of your area. But there will always be need for the profession. After all, being unwell will never go out of style, there will always be a demand for professionals capable of helping others.

Flexible Schedule

Perhaps one of the most immediately appealing aspects of nursing is the allowance for variable schedules. Nurses (to an extent) can plan their shifts, typically served in 9 to 12 hour increments. Nurses who work multiple long hour shifts in a row are allowed ample days off to recuperate. To be clear, this isn’t to say that nurses have an “easier” work schedule than the typical person in the workforce; it simply calls for different time commitments. But the condensed work schedule of a nurse opens the door for freedom to do what one pleases during non work days.

Dynamic Work Environment

If you go to a higher education institution for nursing, you’ll be trained over the course of several years to perform a myriad of duties. Nurse educators seek to impart a perpetual readiness among their pupils; as a nurse you’ll need to be ready for whatever new challenge faces you. Every day at a clinic you’ll encounter a different patient with completely unique needs to be met. Lessons learned in school years ago may not be utilized until you least expect it. The monotony of a workday simply doesn’t exist to a nurse; no two days will be the same, you’ll always find ways to grow as a professional as you grapple with the obstacles of every patient.

Make a Difference Every Day

Perhaps the most value derived from nursing is derived from the daily interaction with people of all walks of life. As I’ve already explained, nurses work with an ever-changing group of patients. The extent of your patient interaction will vary based on the unit in which you’re assigned (ER, OR, surgical, etc.), but you’ll always connect with the people you work with. In nursing you play a very immediate part in helping to better the lives of other people. The satisfaction in nurturing an ailing human being and see them recover is immeasurable; to be allowed the privilege of performing such a task on a daily basis is an honor not worth passing up. If you enjoy interacting and helping others, you would do well to investigate a career in nursing.

Author Bio:

This is a guest post by Nadia Jones who blogs at online colleges about education, college, student, teacher, money saving, movie related topics. You can reach her at nadia.jones5 @ gmail.com.

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Persevere

We work with People. It’s what makes our work – Healthcare – so special and so great. Not spreadsheets, not bottom lines, but average human beings that are having anything but an average day.

It can be very tough, working in the hospital. But it also comes with very special rewards. Each night after a long shift, home and resting in your own bed, only we know that truly weightless rest that comes with spending your day in the service of those in need. When our work is good, it’s really good. It’s the beauty and mystery of our work.

The opposite is just as true, however, and when it’s bad, it can be really bad. We deal with people. And yet, we’re people too. We’re human. We make mistakes. And when we do, there are often very real and very serious consequences for those we care for. This is the sometimes tragic, and all too often humbling nature of our work.

Anyone involved in this business long enough eventually develops a story or two of their own about the time things went bad. Really bad. For me, I’m taken back 10 years in an instant. I can remember that night and those days that followed in great and vivid detail. I was a Surgical Intern at a busy Army Hospital. It was November and I was five months into being “Dr Ruiter” – and I was pretty bad ass. I’d worked my way through those first awkward, fear-soaked months by way of shear grit and determination. I was meant to be a “”Surgeon””, and dammit, I was going to do it, whatever it took. I had been working very hard over the first few months of internship and had developed, I dare say, a pretty solid reputation. Overall, I was feeling pretty good about my place in the world. And then, one night in November on call, I met Mr. Jones (not real name).

Mr. Jones was a 54 year old former Marine who now worked as a police officer in the community. Mr. Jones had been unfortunate enough to have developed his second bout of sigmoid diverticulitis, and back in those days, that meant Mr. Jones needed to have his sigmoid colon removed. Mr Jones walked into our hospital to have his sigmoid colon removed electively. The diseased portion of colon was removed, back to healthy tissue, and was then re-connected via a hand-sewn, colo-colonic anastomosis

As an Intern, I had nothing to do with cases such as Mr. Jones surgery, or any other surgery for that matter. My job was to tend to the wards, and keep the gears greased. Every day. We saw each patient. We wrote the notes. We spoke with each Nurse. We checked the vital sign logs and carefully reviewed and recorded the inputs and outputs from the night before, and then spoke with the nurse again. Looking back, it’s easy to see how the senior ward nurses on the night shift were very important people in our lives as Interns. They were there when no one else was around. They had the experience and the know-how that I didn’t. They told me what to do and I obeyed like the scared little guy I was – at first. And then I started to get the hang of things. I started to get my sea legs under me. A new confidence and pride began creeping into my routine – somewhere around November – five months into being a Doctor. I was starting to officially know it all.

Mr. Jones was now POD4 following his open sigmoid colectomy. Although I didn’t sew the anastomosis myself, I knew all about him. He was suffering from a post-operative ileus. Had a quiet but soft abdomen, so we were going slow with him. He had had a fever two days ago on POD2, but that had defervesced with some incentive spirometry and pulmonary toilet and he hadn’t had any trouble since. His white count was up just a smidge this morning, but all indications were he was doing fine. We were anticipating the return of his bowel function any time now.

It was around 2200, and I was on call. The nurse paged. Mr Jones had developed a low grade fever to 101. I went and saw him right away. He was resting in bed, and generally appeared to be OK. I asked this former Marine if he had any pain or discomfort, and he said he did not – he was doing alright. No complaints. I examined him carefully, noticing his heart rate was up slightly and he had developed this new low grade fever, but otherwise, I felt his exam was entirely unchanged. His lungs were clear and his belly was quiet, only minimally distended, and soft and nontender. I felt it was most likely atelectasis causing the trouble here and I asked Mr. Jones if he could get up out of bed and walk around the ward. He said “sure Doc” and sat right up and struggled just a bit, but got out of bed and trooped around the ward for a while. When he got back into bed, his temp had decreased, and I assured the nurses Mr. Jones was going to be just fine.

Around 0100, when I got another call from the senior nurse on that night, I reassured her. She persisted. His temp was back up, his heart rate was still a little high, and she was starting to get worried. I again came down and saw Mr. Jones, examined him carefully, and again was not impressed. He must be experiencing post-operative atelectasis, so we worked again with the spirometer. Mr. Jones sometimes took a sleeping pill at home, and asked for some help falling asleep at this point. I felt confident there was no signs of trouble, and even though the nurse asked me if I was sure, I had it under control. You bet. Ambien to the rescue.

Well, it was around 0300 that things started to change in a hurry for Mr. Jones, and for me. He had spiked a fever to 103, his tachycardia was increased and persistent, and this time the nurse notified me and my junior resident. We both arrived at the same time to find Mr Jones no longer looking like everything was OK. He looked sick. His belly examine was only slightly more distended and still quiet, soft and nontender. Yet he was going into shock. We called for a portable AP Chest and drew labs and cultures. Our x-rays were reviewed by residents at night, and just as we finished drawing all the blood, a radiology resident was on the phone, holding for us. I didn’t even know what pneumopericardium or pneumomediastinum was at that point in my training, but I certainly knew what free air in the abdomen meant… it meant Mr. Jones was in big trouble and would need to get back to the operating room STAT to have his belly opened again.

And then that sinking feeling…quicksand… set in. Swallowed me… sinking… The floor just gave way and I remember vividly clutching for anything solid to hold onto: ”But his belly exam was benign,” ”But he walked around the ward with me without any trouble,” “But he had no pain.” Sinking, sinking – and then, my junior resident snapped: “Why didn’t you call me earlier!?” The chart didn’t read too favorably for the physician caring for Mr. Jones…The chief resident asked harshly, “Why didn’t you call us earlier!?” Later, at morning report, the attending chided, “Why didn’t you call us earlier!?” We transferred Mr. Jones urgently to the ICU, started him on broad spectrum Antbx, sent him though the CT scanner, and ultimately ended up taking him to the operating room later that morning. His anastamosis had broken down and eroded into the retroperitoneum, as well as resultant purulent peritonitis. It was amazing to me to think back this tough old marine was able to follow my every request: deep breathing, ambulation, and ultimately sleep, with minmal complaints. After debriding the necrotic tissue, we had to bring up an end colostomy. Then it was over, and Mr. Jones was transferred back to the ICU.

Mr. Jones was now stable back in the ICU, and all the work had been done. The other residents were going home, to their beds and their wives or girlfriends, and I was sinking again, and I just couldn’t go home. I couldn’t do it. I slept in the hospital and stayed with Mr. Jones for three days. Sleeping and showering in call rooms. Spending ‘down’ time at Mr. Jones’ bedside. The hurt I felt cut so deep. I can still feel the warmth of shame, embarrassment and regret at my decade old mistake. I just felt so terribly bad. After three days in the ICU, Mr. Jones had improved, and was soon to be transferred back to the floor, and I was able to find my way home to my own bed.

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The worst was over for Mr. Jones as he continued to improve and ultimately went home several weeks later, returning later that year to have his colostomy reversed. Ultimately,I decided to leave surgery as a result of this case. I finished my internship year, but I notified the Chairman I wouldn’t be staying as a second year.


Looking back, now with a decade of experience (I didn’t quit forever), my delay of several hours in making Mr. Jones’ diagnosis was actually of limited clinical significance. The Chief resident and Attending surgeon that tied his Hand sewn anastamosis and then missed the evidence of its leak and breakdown for four days were far more culpable than I, but this is the nature of the perverse world of surgery – protect the surgeons’ ego and confidence at all costs, so he can go on with that same confidence, diving into the next belly, and the next, without second guessing himself. It’s part of the game and I was too na├»ve to appreciate when I was young and so wrapped up their approval. But I will tell you one thing, now 10 years later, having finally worked my way up to being a chief resident myself, I will NOT protect myself at the expense of someone lower down the food chain. I think its reprehensible that our profession routinely consumes its young, and no one should have to go through what I did.

And, now returning to the present day, I’ll share just a little about today, one of my finest… I matched. I’m finally earning the privilege to fulfill my dreams, and to study the art and the science of Surgery of the Hand and Upper Extremity. I’ve had my ups and my downs, my ins and my outs, but somehow, and only through God’s strength and direction I suppose, I’ve managed to stay the course. It’s the greatest achievement of my life, and it came only after, years ago, I learned to strip away my pride and my ego that had been holding me back.

My advice to doctors, nurses and anyone in healthcare, keep going. Stay the course. We work with People. It’s what makes our work – Health care – so special and so great. When times are at their darkest, strip down your ego, get on your knees, talk with God and confirm in your heart the path you’re on is the right one. Do all of this, and then Persevere.


About the author: Dr. Ruiter is finishing his Surgery Residency in Queens, NY. He also sells scrubs. Check out his company at XY Scrubs.com.

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How did Nursing Become a Female Profession

How did Nursing Become a Female Profession
By Patricia Walling

When you make a visit to a doctor's office, clinic or hospital you have a far greater chance of meeting a female nurse than a male one. While the proportion of men entering the nursing profession has been growing, it remains a female-dominated occupation. Men constitute a mere 7.9 percent of all nursing jobs in the United States despite being predominant in nearly every other sector of healthcare, from medical transcription to cardiology. It's difficult to say where exactly this trend started, but peering back through the veil of time makes it easy to see that this is a recent development.

Male-Dominated

In examining the history of nursing, it seems only right to acknowledge the origins and development of Western medicine in general. Following the advent of formal medical study in the wake of Hippocrates, what we consider nursing was originally a task assigned to apprentice doctors, nearly all of whom were men. Throughout recorded history, healthcare roles have been dominated by men. For instance, St. Camillus is famously credited with first associating the sign of the red cross with medicine, and while midwives might be thought of as the basis for the future takeover of nursing by women, this is not the case. As medical science spread, the traditional role of the midwife was often assumed by a doctor.
Male domination continued even after the nursing discipline had been formally established. Nearly all healthcare positions in the world were held by men clear through to the early 20th century. However, by the 1930s a mere one percent of nurses were men. This baffling change came swiftly and almost without warning, but makes sense when examined in its context.

Female-Dominated

The word nurse itself came into use sometime in the 12th Century. From the French nurrice, it applied exclusively to wet-nurses, women who suckled the children of the wealthy in lieu of their biological mothers. As this practice died out in the 14th and 15th Centuries the word's meaning changed, eventually coming to mean “to care for the sick” by the 1530s. Professionals who aided the sick, but were not qualified to be called doctors, were nurses; and while the field remained dominated by men, the secondary definition and female connotation remained.

In addition to this, three major factors contributed to the change of hands that occurred in nursing: industry, war and publicity. As options for workers developed in the wake of the industrial revolution, nursing, with its low pay and high risk of disease, became a less desirable occupation. As men stepped out of the field, women stepped in to fill the labor gap. This, in conjunction with the increased demand for nursing professionals and lack of male candidates brought on by the American Civil War, Crimean War and First World War gave women a chance to increase their presence immensely.

However, a less obvious major contributor to female nursing was Florence Nightingale. Following her lifetime of nursing throughout the 19th century, Florence became a cultural icon of the age synonymous with the practice of nursing. Romanticized accounts of her life fueled public perception of what nurses should be: compassionate, selfless, faithful and female.

Lingering Stereotypes

Although most people would like to consider themselves as forward thinking, the bias and prejudices toward men in the nursing profession still exist to this day. While there are no physical or legal barriers arrayed against male nursing students, educational materials frequently use feminine pronouns in their texts and most classes are taught and attended primarily by women, creating a more awkward social atmosphere. Worse still, male nurses pursuing work in obstetrics, gynecology or maternity may face unwarranted prejudice among other hindrances, sometimes resulting in legal action.

The evolution of nursing as a female profession did not occur overnight. Yet due to the sheer number of female nurses currently in the field, it is hard for males to regain their status and dignity in the current social and professional climate. However, if men persist in their desire to pursue nursing, these biases and prejudices will wane over time just as they did for women.


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An Emphasis on Technology

Technology has advanced and improved numerous aspects of our lives. It has revolutionized the information and entertainment industry, thanks to instant communication making it possible to reach millions of readers, viewers, and listeners all at the same time. Technology has also changed the face of businesses, with computerized records making it easier than ever to keep up with clients and grow the organization. Technology has even reached our daily lives, which is seen in the gadgets we carry, such as cell phones, iPods, and new tablet computers. With all this in mind, it should come as no surprise then to hear that the nursing industry is catching up and adapting to new technology as well.

Nursing is a fast-growing industry. In fact, there are about 2.6 million registered nurses working today, making nursing the largest health care occupation, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This number is projected to increase well into the next decade, fueled by the number of nursing students currently learning about the field and honing their skills. Many nursing programs now require nursing students to complete technology courses so that they may become more adept at using technology to better do their jobs and provide care to patients.

Some of these technologies being taught in nursing schools and being utilized on the field in physicians' offices and hospitals simply make things easier and more accurate, such as record-keeping technology to maintain patient medical histories, while others are just downright cool, such as wireless patient and materials locating systems.

Some hospitals already have nurses using wireless communication devices that will link them to other nurses and medical professionals. These devices allow them to streamline their duties so that they do not waste time and effort responding to a situation that is not part of their job, according to a report published by the California Health Care Foundation. Nurses can also cut down on wasted time trying to conduct non-patient communication, such as communication with a hospital department or laboratory, by using Voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) to speak with personnel immediately. This immediate communication is possible using VoIP due to the fact that the device used to send and receive messages is always on the person, unlike wall-anchored telephones.

Another cool thing that nurses are incorporating into their work is real-time tracking of everything within their domain, including medical supplies and patients. Oftentimes, and especially at busy health care facilities, nurses can have a difficult time tracking down the supplies they need as well as the patients they are helping. Some patients tend to wander off to other parts of the facility without informing anyone, and sometimes medical supplies, like IV pumps, seem to do the same thing. With real-time tracking, everything has a small transmitter placed on it and nurses simply have to use a locating device to see exactly where everything (and everyone) is in the building. This certainly cuts down on the amount of time wasted scouring every inch of a hospital for something.

Nursing students are learning to use and take full advantage of these types of technologies, as well as many more that can make health care even more efficient.

By-line:
Kitty Holman, regularly writes on the topics of nursing colleges. She welcomes your comments at her email Id: kitty.holman20@gmail.com.

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Top 15 Medical iPad and iPhone Apps

With the advent of new technologies in recent years, the medical community is increasingly leaning on technology to help them learn new skills, provide better patient care, eliminate paper waste and confusing charts, and to constantly improve the state of the medical profession. With the advent of the Apple iPad and its many wonderful capabilities come real and valuable tools to the medical community.

I have compiled for you, the male nursing community, the top 20 iPad and iPhone apps available to you, the healthcare professional. Use these tools, the best iPad apps available for the medical profession, and make yourself a more valuable tool in the medical community!

All links go to the iTunes store.

Encyclopedias


Carter Encyclopaedia of Health and Medicine
Category: Encyclopedia
Description: Written for the general public but useful for nurses and paramedics, this encyclopaedia has the definitions and explanations of every medical term and health problem likely to be encountered as a living, breathing human being. Surgery, lifestly experiences, and medical histories are all included in this comprehensive encyclopaedia.
Price: $9.99

Medical Encyclopedia
Category: Encyclopedia
Description: The University of Maryland free Medical Encyclopedia contains more than 50,000 pages of high-level articles in both English and Spanish. The information is divided into categories to allow for easier browsing, including symptoms, injury, and disease, among others. The search feature also allows you to easily find the information you are looking for. Best of all, once you have found the information, you can email it directly to your colleague who needs the information immediately.
Price: Free

Merck Manual - Home Edition
Category: Encyclopedia
Description: The name Merck is synonymous with innovation and education for pharmaceutical drugs. That said, to find the best information existing regarding current drugs on the market, use the Merck Manual - Home Edition to quickly find information about needed pharmaceuticals. You can browse by section or explore the index alphabetically. This app, though $9.99, comes highly regarded by the medical field.
Price: $9.99

WebMD
Category: Encyclopedia
Description: When people get sick, they no longer call their doctor first. Most go to WebMD and instantly search their symptoms. This app puts all of the WebMD information onto your iPad, so that you can quickly access the information.
Price: Free

Lexi-Complete
Category: Encyclopedia
Description: The Lexi-Comp Encyclopedia offers free access to their comprehensive, well-respected databases when you download this app. A year-long subscription will cost you $285, but this is a small price to pay for the hundreds of images, charts, and tables, available without a cell or wifi connection.
Price: Free to download, $285 per year subscriptions


Resourceful iPad Apps for Medical Professionals


Medical Spanish
Category: Help
Description: In the medical world of today in the United States, Spanish is increasingly becoming necessary to know for medical practitioners. The numbers of Spanish speakers are rising, so be prepared to offer them the best medical care possible by studying up on Spanish medical terms.
Price: $4.99

Nursing Central
Category: Help
Description: From the site: ursing Central helps nurses and students find detailed information on diseases, tests, drugs, and procedures. The moment a question arises you can consult the automatically updating database of 5,000 drugs, find a definition in the dictionary with more than 60,000 entries, interpret hundreds of lab and diagnostic tests, and consult the latest disease information. You can also keep up with your favorite nursing journals with tables of contents, citations, and abstracts delivered directly to your device.
Price: Free to download, paid subscription

PubSearch
Category: Help
Description: PubMed brings thousands of published medical articles right to your iPhone or iPad. This app lets you concentrate on finding the articles you want and need with its easy-to-use and intuitive user interface.
Price: Free

Universal Doctor Speak
Category: Help
Description: The medical field contains its own language and terms, many of which the common patient will not understand. This app helps you translate what you are saying so that your patients understand better the care they are receiving. Let this app help break down communication barriers and help you provide your patients with better care.
Price: Free

Visual DX
Category: Help
Description: Touted as he ONLY medical app to show disease variation with MULTIPLE images of each disease,?Visual DX helps you diagnose your patient ailments by allowing you to compare their symptoms to photographic examples contained within the app.
Price: Free


Medical Medications Apps


iPharmacy - The Drug and Medication Guide
Category: Medications
Description: iPharmacy calls itself ?1 Medical App of 2010!? Containing a guide of over 10,000 medications and prescriptions for doctors, nurses, and consumers alike, iPharmacy contains descriptions, dosages, notes, and other important information for everyone from the consumer and medical professional to the pharmacist responsible for filling the correct order.
Price: $0.99

Mediquations Medical Calculator
Category: Medications
Description: Calling itself the ost comprehensive medical calculator on the App Store? Mediquations includes 230 formulas and scoring tools in an intuitive user interface. Supporting both US and SI units, it allows you take into account a host of factors involved when setting dosage amounts for patients.
Price: $4.99


Fun iPad Apps for Medical Professionals


Anatomy Quiz
Category: Fun
Description: Anatomy Quiz is a fun, simple quiz that is great for testing your own knowledge or the knowledge of others. You can use this app to teach about anatomy as well. Challenge your fellow nurse friends to a game and see who remembers more!
Price: $0.99

Sleep Cycle (iPhone only)
Category: Fun
Description: The app description says n alarm clock that analyzes your sleep patterns and wakes you in the lightest sleep phase - a natural way to wake up where you feel rested and relaxed.?The acceleromator in your phone analyzes your sleep schedule and then finds the optimal time to wake you up within a set 30-minute window. Brilliant! I may even download this one for myself!
Price: $0.99

Speed Bones Lite
Category: Fun
Description: Another fun anatomy quiz, Speed Bones Lite tests how quickly you can identify bones in the body. It tests your knowledge of bones and increases your reflexes. Combine this with Vessels MD, Bones MD, and Muscles MD to have a comprehensive quiz set for your friends and patients.
Price: Free


Conclusion


We hope that you find the above apps helpful. If you find or use other apps that are helpful, please share them in the Comments section!

About the author: John Doherty is a copywriter for an online portal representing over 100 accredited online colleges. During the day he helps prospective students find the right online degree programs for their future. In the evening he is a photographer and traveler.
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10 Celebrities Who Were Once Nurses

original article located in the Nursingschools.net blog

Nursing isn't a logical first step towards a career in music, TV or or politics, but it's helped these famous faces achieve great success. And why shouldn't it? Having a background in caregiving, research, advocacy and medicine broadens your understanding of how other people live and what they need. Here are 10 celebrities who who once worked as or studied to become nurses...

Click here to read the whole article.

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10 Incredibly Cool Nursing Jobs You Didn’t Know Existed

original article written by Kitty Holman for the Nursingschools.net blog

...Here are some of the coolest, most cutting edge, fulfilling and interesting ways to use your nursing degree, many of which you might not have ever even considered as a career path for yourself...

Click here to read the whole article.

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