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CDC Draws Attention to Youth Concussion Risks, Offers Training and Resources

This post was contributed to AJN‘s blog by the Traumatic  Brain Injury Team at the CDC Injury Center.

As an A-student and star soccer player, Sarah was used to hard work. However, after she sustained a concussion while playing a varsity soccer game during her freshman year in high school, she found herself challenged in ways she had never expected.

“Recovering from the concussion was harder than recovering from other injuries I’ve had,” Sarah recalls. “When I got a concussion, I expected to sit out some games, but I never realized that it would actually hurt to think. For nearly two months I needed frequent breaks to make it through the school day. I would have to go to the school clinic and rest when I was overcome by headaches from the lights and noise of the classroom.”

Sarah’s story is not unusual. In fact, children and teens have the highest rate of emergency department visits for traumatic brain injury (TBI), including concussion, of all age groups. Fortunately, Sarah made a full recovery after four months and continues to be successful both in […]

2017-07-27T11:40:44+00:00 April 11th, 2017|Public health, school nurses|0 Comments

A Place for Faith: Despite Chronic Illness, a Return to Bedside Nursing

flickr creative commons/by krassy can do it

Relearning the Details of Clinical Nursing

After being away from bedside nursing for over 11 years, I recently returned to this role on the same medical-surgical floor I’d worked on 11 years earlier. The impetus behind such a drastic transition was, in part, my return to nursing education as a clinical nursing instructor. As an educator, I felt the need to update my own clinical skills as I instructed young nurses eager to enter my profession.

The other reason for returning to clinical nursing had to do with a spiritual pull I felt in my heart, a hope that I’d be able to to show patients the compassion, empathy, and patience they all deserved. I’d come to realize that I’d sometimes lacked these qualities when I was a younger bedside nurse. Now I felt that God was giving me a kind of ‘do-over’—and I had to at least try to live up to this expectation.

Within the first week of orientation, I quickly realized how different things had become in the nursing world. The last time I’d worked as a clinical nurse on this very unit in 2005, the hospital was still using paper documentation, private community physicians still rounded on their patients, and there were no ‘computers on wheels’ or in patients’ rooms to access […]

2017-03-08T11:17:02+00:00 March 6th, 2017|career, Nursing, patient experience|5 Comments

Culture as a Key to Health

By Beth Toner, MJ, RN, senior communications officer, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

(Video caption: The Dakota are a horse tribe, and Charley, a retired reservation policeman, takes care of abandoned horses, connecting them to the tribe’s youth to help the young redefine themselves in relation to tribal history. Video used by permission; produced by Purple States LLC with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.)

I consider myself, and have been told by others that I am, an extraordinarily patient person—except behind the wheel of a car.

I commute 80 miles each way to work (that’s how much I love my job), so I spend a lot of time in the car. That, in turn, means I get annoyed—unreasonably so—by folks who are driving in such a way that forces me to spend a minute longer than I need to in that car. Now, it never leads to dangerous or aggressive driving, but it does lead to a lot of windows-up ranting while I’m on the road. One day, while I was in mid-rant, my 21-year-old daughter finally said, “Mom, you need to imagine other people complexly.”

I think of that conversation often as I listen to the polarizing dialogue that continues across our nation. What if, across the nation, we each imagined other people complexly, not just as their culture, their gender, their political party, their favorite television show? People, with all their joys and sorrows, their best qualities and their deepest flaws—uniquely themselves, yet with so much […]

2017-02-02T10:33:44+00:00 February 1st, 2017|Nursing, Public health|1 Comment

This is What Democracy Looks Like, Nurses Included

Photos by Karen Roush.

“Nursing leaders have called upon all nurses to be heard, from bedside to boardroom and beyond. Not all of us share the same political views, and that is how it should be.”

By Karen Roush, PhD, RN, assistant professor of nursing at Lehman College in the Bronx, New York, and founder of the Scholar’s Voice, which works to strengthen the voice of nursing through writing mentorship for nurses.

On Saturday, I marched with over a million others in Washington, D.C., to protest the policies and rhetoric of the incoming Trump administration, along with millions more who marched in sister protests throughout the world. It was a day marked by exhilarating solidarity, determination, and hopefulness.

People of every age, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation—all the ways you can try to divide people—stood together. Many carried signs and banners: some funny or clever plays on words, many serious messages of inclusiveness or demands for rights and action. Throughout the day strangers exchanged smiles and nods, silently saying to each other yes, look […]

2017-01-24T11:15:20+00:00 January 24th, 2017|Nursing|1 Comment

Can Your Fitness Tracker Save Your Life?

Megen Duffy, RN, BSN, CEN, works in hospice case management. She occasionally writes on nursing and digital health topics for AJN.

Fitness trackers and ‘wearables’ are becoming ubiquitous.

Fitness tracker “wearables” have become mainstream, with sales projected to reach $19 billion by 2018. If you don’t have one, many of your patients probably do, particularly this time of year when fitness goals are at the forefront of many New Year’s resolution lists. Wearables can track a lot of things, and people are claiming that they save lives. Are they all that? First, here’s a brief overview of wearables types and their uses.

Popular wearable brands include Fitbit (with 79% of sales), Jawbone, Nike, Apple (Apple Watch is a smart watch that has fitness tracker functionality), Garmin, and Misfit. Prices run from about $50 to as much as you want to spend: an Apple Watch costs from $275 to more than $10,000, depending on the model.

Increased functions. Wearables have far surpassed their pedometer function. They do all count steps, but now they also track sleep and heart rate and have increasingly more bells and whistles. The newer Fitbits and the new watchOS operating system for the Apple Watch even have “breathe” functions, intended to remind the wearer to take a few minutes several times a day and breathe to promote relaxation.

Wearables (including smart watches) now have extra features such as replaceable bands and […]

2017-06-26T20:34:15+00:00 January 12th, 2017|digital health, personal health practices|0 Comments