RSSAll Entries in the "Health and wellness" Category

Managing sundowning in elderly patients

Many elderly or dementia patients experience a condition known as sundowning, when they experience heightened state of delirium as evening progresses. Sundowning can manifest as hallucinations, restlessness, confusion, and rapid mood swings between agitation, anger, depression, and paranoia. Dr. David Scales of Cambridge Health Alliance recently talked about the challenges that many healthcare personnel have to face when a formerly amiable, lucid patient becomes delirious and inconsolable.

While the causes of sundowning are unknown, organizations such as the Mayo Clinic, and the Alzheimer’s Association have advice on how to reduce its symptoms. The two main recommendations are to help patients find a regular sleep cycle and making them feel comfortable with their surroundings. Some methods include: [more]

Are your nurses getting their flu shots?  

More healthcare personnel (HCP) are getting their flu shots, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study, but there are still large gaps in immunization. During the 2014-2015 flu season, 77% of HCPs were vaccinated against the flu, a 14% increase from the previous season. The highest rates of immunization—at 90.4%–was  with HCPs working in hospitals.

While the increase is a positive step, it was also revealed that only 75% of nonclinical personnel had received the vaccine, including food service workers, laundry workers, janitors, housekeeping staff, and maintenance staff. The numbers were even lower for aides and assistants, with only 64% immunized. [more]

New ANA Hostility Prevention Guide Recommends Bartholomew Book

On August 31, the American Nurses Association issued a press NTNH2 coverrelease announcing its updated position statement on workplace bullying and violence, stating that the “nursing profession will no longer tolerate violence of any kind from any source.”

Among the interventions recommended as “primary prevention” is the HCPro classic work by Kathleen Bartholomew,
Ending Nurse-to-Nurse Hostility, Second Edition. In fact, Ending Nurse-to-Nurse Hostility has the distinction of being the only book recommended to RNs and their employers in the statement as a front line tool for preventing incivility and bullying.

We are so honored to have published Kathleen’s work, and congratulate her for this wonderful recognition of a lifetime commitment to making the nursing workplace a healthier, more collegial place. If you would like to add your best wishes, feel free to comment below!

Rock Your Health: How nurse leaders deal with change

Nurse leaders know that change is inevitable. If you don’t embrace it and welcome it, or at least accept it, you might find yourself fighting a losing battle.

Awareness is an important first step in the change process. Do a quick personal assessment of your situation, be honest with yourself, and be open to what you discover. Ask yourself:

What is changing for you and your staff?

Why are these changes occurring?

Where do you spend most of your time: fighting the change or managing the change?

What do your feelings tell you about what you are doing?

What support do you need when working through change?

What steps do you need to take to reduce the stress and move forward with the possibilities?

You don’t have to go through this alone. People like me help people like you every day using coaching techniques. If you need support, please contact me for a sample coaching session.

Rock Your Health: A new way to motivate behavior by asking questions

Nurse managers and nurse leaders are in the habit of telling people what to do and expecting them to follow through. How’s that working for you with your staff?

Maybe there is another way. Try this technique that is borrowed from executive coaching practices used in business for personal improvement. It is a powerful communication tool that can transform your approach to health behavior counseling and re-energize your work.

Tell me moreInstead of telling nurses what to do, coaches ask powerful questions designed to challenge thinking and action and to elicit positive behavior change. Coaching will help you guide your nurses toward rapid goal attainment, higher levels of productivity, and to reach their full potential. It also reduces your stress as a nurse manager because the accountability is on the employee, not you. [more]

Rock Your Health: Attracting positivity in the nursing workplace

Nurse managers set the tone for their units but it can be hard to stay positive in today’s negative world. The dangers of living in a state of negativity and stress are many. It can lead to chronic disease, increased production of stress hormones, higher blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and alterations in the immune system.

To build a culture of positivity on your unit, try these simple strategies with your nurses that with practice can flip the switch to turn your nursing unit from negativity to positivity.

Challenge your staff to try this little exercise. [more]

Rock Your Health: When letting go beats hanging on

How many times in your life have you been unable to let go of something that held you back and made you miserable? Three occasions come to mind for me when it stopped my creative energy from flowing, held me back from new opportunities, unleashed negative energy inside, and caused me to lose focus on being a naturally positive person.

1. I served as a Navy nurse for three years and after discharge couldn’t let go and wanted to get back in. The hold over me was so intense—even though that type of structured military environment did not suit my free spirit—that I still wanted to re-enlist and spent a lot of time and energy trying to figure out how to do that. Had I not let go of those efforts, I might not have found my true path, which shifted me from bedside nursing into wellness, my true passion and a lifetime of rewarding experiences. [more]

Failing to protect nurses’ backs will cost hospitals $$$

A good news follow-up on my February post that focused on nurses’ on-the-job injuries.

osha2In a news release on healthcare inspections last week, OSHA put hospitals and nursing homes on notice. Inspectors will add new enforcement on some key hazards for healthcare workers, including musculoskeletal disorders, bloodborne pathogens, workplace violence, tuberculosis and slips, trips, and falls. Hospitals will be penalized for gaps in training, use of assistive devices, and low quality treatment for staff who move patients.

Evidently, OSHA was inspired by the NPR [more]

Rock Your Health: The Beatles guidebook to retirement

I was recently reminded how much I love the Beatles when I saw their 50th anniversary TV show and the reunion of Paul and Ringo. They were definitely a huge part of my developmental years because of their creative music, their social consciousness, and their path to spiritual enlightenment.

herecomesthesunI am now a bit older, but their words still resonate with this next phase of life called retirement. Although I like to call it re-wirement.

See if these tunes bring new meaning to you as well!

Here Comes the Sun
Those cloudy and stormy days at work are going to soon be over and there is a bright new future ahead for you. If you’re stuck in negative thinking, start shifting to positive about all the possibilities ahead.

When I’m 64
Now is the time to look ahead toward what is next for you. It’s coming whether you like it or not, so start creating your exit strategy [more]

Rock Your Heath: Sync or swim

Are you starting to feel old and out of sync with your current nursing position? Before you panic, this might be the first sign that you are starting to enter the pre-retirement phase.

Here are some of the signs:

  • You are aware that you are the oldest one in the group (remember when you were the youngest?)
  • You are getting more and more frustrated with healthcare because of all the high-tech, de-personalization, and focus on making money
  • Your workplace has “lost its loving feeling” like it had in the past
  • Going to work isn’t fun anymore
  • You find yourself complaining more
  • You are taking more and more meds for stress and health issues
  • You know you are wise, skilled, and no one does it better than you, but it feels like no one cares
  • You’re starting to think you don’t fit in anymore
  • You’re wondering if the end of your career is near
  • You don’t know what to do about all of this