How to Support the Nurse in Your Life

Hui-Wen (Alina) Sato, MSN, MPH, RN, CCRN, is a pediatric intensive care nurse in Southern California and blogs at

A quick Google search for “how to support nurses” reveals an emphasis on recommendations for hospital management on developing structured support for nurses at an organizational level. The search also captures popular articles on how nurses provide support to their patients. Ironically, the query results provide no resources to inform the nurse’s closest support system—families and friends—as well as the general public about what kind of support the nurse really needs and how to better provide it.

I attribute these search results, at least partly, to the fact that we nurses don’t always know how to articulate what we need. Some forms of support, such as treating a nurse to a mani-pedi or a spa day (or a parallel form of relaxation for our male colleagues) are of course always appreciated. But I’m talking about support of a more substantial sort, and this is why:

The reality: Consider the real experience, and thus the real needs, of the nurse.

When I consider the experience of nurses shuttling between full 12-hour shifts immersed in the care of complex and sometimes dying patients and periods of comparatively calm ordinary life with family and friends, I sometimes think of military […]

2017-08-10T16:31:45+00:00 June 14th, 2017|Nursing|5 Comments

Blogroll Housecleaning Note

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This is just to say that we’ve done some minor housekeeping and deleted links to a number of blogs that have been asleep several months or longer. There’s nothing personal in this, and please let us know if one of these was yours and you’ve decided to revive your blog, give it an infusion of new design and energy, or the like. We want our blogroll to be useful, and it won’t be perceived as useful if we’re linking to sites that have gone dark. Please also let us know if there’s a really great nurse blog that we don’t know about, even if it’s yours. We can’t guarantee that we’ll link to it, but we’ll certainly check it out.—JM, blog editor

2016-11-21T13:10:44+00:00 February 9th, 2012|healthcare social media|15 Comments

Drunk on Water, Drug Shortages, Understanding Health Care News, Plus Nursing Blog Posts of Note

The water myth: A physician, writing in the British Medical Journal (abstract only), has looked at the evidence for drinking eight glasses of water a day and says the oft-recommended practice is “debunked nonsense,” a myth the bottled water companies have been only too happy to exploit and that many respected health care organizations and experts continue to support. Maybe common sense reasoning is also partly to blame—after all, the idea seems to make sense. And all that water certainly conjures images of purification, which is inevitably appealing in a world of pervasive toxins, chemicals, food additives, and the like, and in a time when fewer people in any given Western country practice the same or similar religious sacraments or rituals, practices that may—among other functions—have once served a similar “purifying” psychologic purpose.

Drug shortages: The Wall Street Journal Health Blog has reported on two surveys that suggest that “unprecedented” drug shortages are being experienced by most hospitals. The reasons are multiple: shortage rumors that prompt hoarding, FDA actions that halt production, lack of a crucial ingredient, poor inventory management, and others:

All treatment categories were affected, hospitals said, with 80% or more respondents experiencing shortages of surgery/anesthesia, emergency care, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal/nutrition, pain or infectious disease drugs. And 66% of hospitals reported shortages of cancer drugs. Some 47% of hospitals reported […]

2016-11-21T13:12:26+00:00 July 15th, 2011|healthcare social media, Nursing|5 Comments

Notes from the Nursosphere: Blogging Ethics, Tar Ball Vacation, Treating the Whole Person

Here’s a few things that got our attention late this week:

Chronic Disease Expert: U.S. Health Care Needs to Treat the ‘Whole Person’: At Kaiser Health News, a Q & A with a Stanford University chronic disease expert (who started her health care career as a registered nurse) focuses on the fragmentation of our health care system. Here’s a sample:

Q. Could the health care system do a better job addressing chronic disease?

A. The system would probably need to be totally reorganized if it was really going to do that. Right now, it addresses diseases or even parts of diseases or small sub-parts of the body. It does not address the whole, complex person with multiple chronic diseases. So, right now, what happens, if you’re lucky, you go to a primary care doc who kind of does the day-to-day stuff and then you see four or five specialists each of which do their little specialty part — none of whom really talk to each other except maybe to look at your laboratory tests on an electronic medical record if you’re really lucky.

It is totally uncoordinated. It’s chaotic. It serves pieces of people, not whole people.

Mental Health Impact of BP Spill Multiplies: Feel depressed and hopeless about the Gulf Oil Spill? At Covering Health, an article sketches out some of the journalistic work being done to look at what some people have actually begun calling “Gulf Oil Syndrome.”

Speaking of the oil spill, Sean Dent, a nurse who blogs at My Strong Medicine, has a recent post called 

Mid-October Rainy Thursday Web Roundup

By Jacob Molyneux, blog editor/senior editor

The nursosphere is thriving and Change of Shift, the always interesting compendium of what’s new on nursing blogs, is up over at Emergiblog.

The health care reform process creeps slowly but surely toward an end someone somewhere can surely envision. One crucial question many are still asking is whether insurance companies might serve consumers a bit more readily and agreeably if they were forced to face a little competition from a public option. After all, isn’t competition supposed to be a good thing?

Most experts don’t expect the H1N1 vaccine to pose any more danger than the seasonal flu vaccine; even so, many Americans (and nurses commenting here, or taking our poll about the mandatory vaccine) continue to be wary, prompting public health officials to engage in especially aggressive surveillance measures in order to quickly detect any possible negative reactions to the vaccine: “Government Keeps Close Eye on Swine Flu Vaccine.”

AJN clinical editor Christine Moffa posted here a while back about how meditation might help cranky or exhausted or overworked nurses stay focused on what matters during the workday. Today the NY Times has a related piece on “doctor burnout” and meditation.

The role of social media in health care is constantly evolving as we all find our way. Its use by hospital workers is at issue in a recent post at Running a Hospital, about one hospital’s decision to ban social media from all its computers. And here’s something else on this: blogger Not Nurse Ratched wonders if social media policies in […]

2016-11-21T13:21:43+00:00 October 15th, 2009|health care policy, nursing perspective|2 Comments