Wednesday, December 30, 2015

How do I become a registered nurse?

How do I become a registered nurse? This is a question many aspiring registered nurses are looking for an answer to. There are different paths to earning an Associates Degree in Nursing (ASN) or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), and choosing the best RN program often depends on choosing the program that best fits your needs as a student. Some students are looking to the fastest degree path to their RN with an accelerated nursing program. Others may be looking for a full time 4-year nursing program to complete their Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Another group may be trying to find an ideal balance between going back to school and maintaining their full-time job and family responsibilities and need an online nursing program that can fit into their schedule. We’ll go over these different options to help you choose the program that’s right for you.

Choosing to become an RN is a strong career move. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary from 2012 of Registered Nurses was $65,470. RN jobs are expected to grow by 19% from 2012-2022, which is faster than the national average for all other occupations. The number of jobs added within this period is over 525,000. RNs can look forward to providing patient care and advocacy, job security, increased income compared to their current position, and the respect that comes with the RN title. Making the transition to RN is a big opportunity and a big decision. Once you’ve decided to become an RN, you’ve got to find the right program.

All RN options share a similar path. These involve:
1.       Complete basic/core course credit towards an ASN degree
2.       Complete required core nursing courses
3.       Complete clinical requirements established for RNs
4.       Graduate with a degree in Nursing
5.       Prepare for and pass the NCLEX (National Council Licensure Examination)
6.       Register with your state Board of Nursing as an RN

If you are starting from scratch with little to no background in health care, a two-year or four-year nursing degree program is typically the best option. These are often completed on-campus at a physical brick-and-mortar college or university. Some of the most popular nursing schools are in NY, FL, TX, and OH. These programs cater to newer students that are able to commute to class, stay on a set schedule, and typically don’t have the same job and family responsibilities that older students that are returning back to school may have. These students can enjoy a structured format and interact in person with their peers and instructors. These are typically more expensive options as tuition is usually higher and other costs associated with physical on-campus locations must be taken into account such as commuting costs or housing costs. These students will have to find time to complete their clinicals as well as part of their path to RN. Often times these nursing programs have strict requirements to enter as competition to enter is high and openings fill up fast due to their limited class sizes. Wait lists are available, but are not a guarantee of acceptance into the program. Despite being qualified for nursing programs, these types of RN degree paths turn thousands of students away each year due to their limiting factors. This may lead to some students to seek out online degree options from those same schools. This is a convenient alternative to a physical classroom. Online options may be limited to availability by the colleges and may be subject to the same waitlists, but may have fewer class size restrictions, allowing more students the option to enter. Online RN classes also eliminate the need for commuting or housing located near the college, offering considerable savings on education costs. For those with a background already in healthcare, there is another option that is both faster and more affordable.

For those with a previous background in health care, accelerated nursing programs or RN bridge programs are one of the best options available. These programs can be completed in as little as one year to complete an Associate of Science in Nursing degree (ASN). These are flexible, online programs that understand adult learners going back to school have full-time jobs and family responsibilities that must fit into their education. The accelerated online RN programs allow flexible schedules that allow students to progress as fast or as slow as they need. The best online RN programs come with customer support and tutor assistance and allow students to take their courses from mobile devices as well as laptop and home computers. Typically, these accelerated programs are only available to Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs), Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVNs), Paramedics, and certain military medical personnel. The reason for this is these positions have already completed a majority of clinical requirements for ASN degrees and don’t have to repeat their clinical hours to transition to RN. This is an excellent advantage for those looking to transition from LPN to RN, LVN to RN, or Paramedic to RN as the path is much faster to become a registered nurse than a traditional RN program. Students that have a successful experience with an online nursing degree program will be happy to know there are also similar RN to BSN online programs that offer the same flexibility.

Rue Education is one such RN bridge Program company that has been helping adult learners bridge to RN for over 25 years. During this time they have helped over 100,000 adults earn credit towards their Associates Degree in Nursing and enhanced the accelerated online RN education experience with education consultants that walk students through the degree process and help them figure out what courses they need and what past credit will apply towards their degree. They have real customer support that helps to motivate and assist students when they need guidance or that extra boost of motivation. Their tutor-assisted courses are available online through easy-to-use online platforms that are accessible from computer and mobile devices. They also provide two industry-leading education success guarantees. This program assists LPNs, LVNs, and paramedics to bridge to RN from beginning to NCLEX to graduation.

Whichever path you choose, successful students all share similar habits and attitudes towards their education that make a difference in their education success. They are self-driven, motivated, and ready to set a goal and work towards finishing it. They set schedules and stick to them, working time around their job and other life responsibilities. They’ll set small goals as part of the bigger picture, such as finishing a chapter today, taking a practice test this week, and finishing a course by a particular date. Having the drive and motivation makes all the difference, as well as proper planning. No matter what age, it is possible to go back to school. There are resources and paths available for students of all backgrounds looking to become an RN; all it requires is taking that first step.

Monday, December 7, 2015

mHealth - Overcoming Health Care Challenges With the Power of Mobile Tech

Mobile health technology has broadened nurses’ horizons beyond what anyone could have imagined, giving them the ability to improve care and communication and educate patients in managing their own health. No longer do nurses need to assess and make clinical decisions based only on office visits, episodic emergency care and hospitalizations. By using technologies from smartphones to wearable activity trackers and Web-based or downloadable apps, they can monitor patients in the home setting.
Healthcare professionals and organizations have only begun to scratch the surface of this avenue in caring for and educating patients, families and communities. With the support of their interprofessional colleagues, nurses have created and developed mHealth tools, improving patient care and empowering patients and families in the process.

Educating patients
For the past 10 years, Rebecca Schnall, PhD, RN, assistant professor of nursing, Columbia University School of Nursing, N.Y., has focused her work and research on using informatics strategies for improving the lives of people from underserved communities. The informatics tools she has developed are all about “giving patients information to empower themselves so they can more easily interact with providers and make decisions about their own health and healthcare,” Schnall said.
Her work has targeted individuals living with and at risk for HIV. She recently was awarded two grants from the National Institutes of Health and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to conduct research focused on using mHealth technology to help people with HIV manage their symptoms.
The AHRQ-funded project will use avatars on a mobile platform and deliver self-care strategies to these individuals, Schnall said. This work is based on the previous paper-based tool developed by William Holzemer, PhD, RN, FAAN, dean and distinguished professor at the School of Nursing, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, while he was at the UCSF School of Nursing.
Similarly, the NIH-funded project seeks to help patients with HIV and comorbid conditions manage their symptoms using a mobile tool. Via a national survey, this project will identify the symptoms these individuals experience.

Maximizing the tool
Schnall sees other benefits to apps that support patients with symptom management strategies. “HIV is a chronic condition, and the findings from this work can reasonably be transferable to other chronic conditions,” she said. “Given the proliferation and growth of chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease and our aging population with comorbid conditions, [mHealth] work is timely and of great import for helping improve the lives of persons living with chronic diseases.”
Anne Teitelman, PhD, RN, FNP-BC, FAANP, FAAN, also knows about maximizing the capabilities of an mHealth tool and enabling patients and consumers in managing their care. Recognizing the need to augment patient education outside of the office setting, Teitelman, who is the Patricia Bleznak Silverstein and Howard A. Silverstein Endowed Term Chair in Global Women’s Health, associate professor of nursing, University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, Philadelphia, created a computerized preassessment tool focused on patients’ barriers to preventing cervical cancer. Once patients complete the profile and preassessment tool in the provider’s waiting room, a nursing student, who serves as a research assistant, provides tailored information, based on the patients’ responses.
Both the preassessment tool and the one-on-one informational sessions focus on adherence to receiving the three doses of the HPV vaccine, using condoms and having regular PAP smears, as well as the need for smoking cessation. “Cervical cancer is higher in minorities and low-income groups, and we also know that these particular groups need to be supported in completing the HPV vaccines,” Teitelman said. “We’re targeting the 18-26 age group with our project since that group is lagging behind in receiving the HPV vaccines.”
Teitelman and colleagues didn’t stop there. She received funding to create the free downloadable app called Now I Know, which evolved from another prototype app, Everhealthier Women, described as an app “that could save your life” by O magazine.
In the Now I Know app, the consumer will receive notifications offering two theory-based, educational stories every week for six months on HPV vaccine completion and other cervical cancer prevention strategies, as well as links to other information and resources. It also includes a discussion board and feedback from other users and experts in the field. Users can receive test results and be reminded of when they are due for their next vaccine.

From concept to reality
It was Nancy P. Hanrahan’s foresight and passion that led to the creation of University of Pennsylvania’s Nursing’s Health Technology Lab where she developed and coordinated the Health Tech incubator program. Working with undergraduate and graduate students from all disciplines, she helped them find appropriate technology and marketing components for new ideas, innovations, pathways and products. “The students actually began start-up companies, and we partnered with business students and faculty and corporate businesses that offered their expertise in marketing and testing of the innovations in the marketplace,” she said.
One nursing student played a key role in the development of a mental health app designed specifically for college students, while another nursing student designed the gaming methods used for the app, said Hanrahan.
Hanrahan, PhD, RN, FAAN, is now dean and professor for the School of Nursing and associate dean of Bouve College of Health Sciences, Northeastern University, Boston. In her new role at Northeastern she and the school will work closely with other schools within BCHS on mHealth projects. “An integrated, interdisciplinary approach is essential in education and technological innovation, and our moving away from silos will only enhance our learning, our thinking and our creativity,” she said.
A strong proponent of technological advances in mHealth, she believes mHealth will improve patient advocacy and healthcare delivery and increase efficiency of care. “Nurses are advocates and experts in patient care and the patient experience. In this powerful dual role they can be leaders in technological innovation — and now is the time to get involved,” she said.
Hanrahan speaks from experience. Funded by the American Nurses Foundation, Hanrahan created a Web-based PTSD nurse toolkit in 2014 that teaches nurses about the condition and uses a gaming component to reinforce learning. It is now being developed in app form. Hanrahan plans on adding a list of provider support resources for patients. “Nurses work with veterans and their families in every possible setting, and they need to be able to determine at what level of suffering they are and reinforce help-seeking behaviors with them,” said Hanrahan. “With support from the toolkit, nurses can be facilitators to help PTSD sufferers receive care.”
Hanrahan credits the interprofessional team who worked together to develop the program, “enabling others to deliver the best possible care and overcome care barriers in the process.”

Targeting patient needs
Nurse experts agree mHealth technology has the potential to transform healthcare delivery. It’s also clear that mHealth tools need to be tailored to meet specific patient needs, said Ryan J. Shaw, PhD, RN, assistant professor, School of Nursing, Center for Health Informatics, Center for Precision Medicine, Duke University School of Nursing, Durham, N.C.
Shaw is part of a team that includes a programmer, physician and health scientist, who are developing an app that measures walking and balancing abilities of the elderly. The ultimate goal is to use the data collected to predict those at high risk for falls and provide preventive interventions to them. “These data have huge implications for our elderly and us, and [the app]is an easy-to-use tool that can be used as an objective assessment in our communities and in retirement communities,” he said.
Along with colleagues, Terri H. Lipman, PhD, RN, CRNP, FAAN, created a Web-based text/short messaging system targeted specifically for youth with newly diagnosed type 1 diabetes. Lipman is an assistant dean for community engagement, Miriam Stirl endowed term professor of nutrition and professor of nursing of children, University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, Philadelphia, and nurse practitioner at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
Designed for patients age 10-17, MyDiaText provides text message reminders that help participants work toward a healthy diabetes lifestyle and improve self-management practices. “Using the American Diabetes Association guidelines, we collaborate with our patients to select particular health goals,” Lipman said. “For example, if the goal is to eat more fruits and vegetables, daily text messages provide a reminder, a link to an appropriate site on the topic or a game to play reinforcing knowledge.”
After creating a profile on, participants earn points toward their goal as they rate their progress and take quizzes. As an incentive, points earn printable certificates.
The short messaging system is a collaborative initiative among the School of Nursing, the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences at UPenn and the Diabetes Center for Children at CHOP. Initially created as part of a University of Pennsylvania Year of the Games challenge in 2012, the SMS won first prize in the school of nursing’s Game of Solutions for Healthcare.
Lipman and her colleagues have determined the feasibility and functionality of individuals receiving SMS educational and motivational messages. “It’s been quite a learning experience, right from its inception,” Lipman said. “While engineers had the expertise in technology development, nurses were invaluable in their input related to diabetes management, national diabetes guidelines, issues affecting youth and adolescents and reasonable expectations of providers. The nurses also were adamant the design could not move forward without the input of youth with diabetes and their families. This program, like other mHealth tools, provides a unique approach to interact with patients in a manner that is familiar and age-appropriate. Our learners can access information at their convenience, and they collaborate with us in identifying their health needs and priorities.”

Challenges, opportunities ahead
There are more than 100,000 health apps available in iTunes and the GooglePlay store (, and nurses are well aware of the volume of mHealth technology. “Given the robustness of the current marketplace, it can be overwhelming for providers to find ones appropriate for their patients,” Schnall said.
In his work, Shaw also has found that mHealth tools may result in data overload for those providers who are tracking the information. “When we look to the future, our patients are and will continue to be monitored, on much larger scales, between office visits, and we will need to be comfortable at looking at a lot of data,” he said, adding that tracking patients day to day results in better clinical decisions.
As reimbursement models shift more and more to pay for performance, we will need to assume, as nurses, the role of data managers, he said. “In addition, much of the data gathered from mHealth tools now are able to come back to the EHR, which is a definite advantage to all of us,” Shaw added.
Shaw created a Web-based mobile health platform, which has enabled him and his colleagues to gather patient data from a variety of devices and sensors into a secure database.
Recruiting three healthy and three chronically ill participants who provided data on 11 health indicators through a Fitbit accelerometer, wireless blood pressure cuff, wireless scale, wireless pulse oximeter and a diet app, he and his colleagues discovered that “sicker and more chronically ill patients, who could benefit from our mHealth devices, are actually the ones who often don’t use them,” Shaw said. “Results also indicate that device fatigue may be a significant problem.”
Nurse experts agree it’s important for nurses to get involved in the development of mHealth tools that support patients as well as themselves in their clinical practice. “As nurses, we identify the day-to-day needs and healthcare challenges of our patients,” Teitelman said. “When we partner with our interprofessional colleagues, it can result in fruitful collaborations, creative solutions and partners who can support us with technological solutions. Our ideas become realities.”

Janice Petrella Lynch, MSN, RN, is nurse editor/nurse executive.

Friday, March 20, 2015

LPN/LVN Online Refresher and Remedial Course

If you're an LPN/LVN and you need to re-activate an inactive license or refresh your skills, we want you to know about a great online refresher/remedial course you can take. NAPNES approved for 240 hours didactic + clinical or 120 didactic only.

Visit for more information and to get started.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Nursing Schools Can't Grow Fast Enough, Turn Away Thousands of Qualified Applicants

Job openings for nurses are abundant. However, many of the job seekers looking to take on these positions aren't given the chance to be accepted to the nursing schools required.

According to Bloomberg Business, "In a report released Wednesday by the Georgetown Center on Education & the Workforce, researchers showed that bachelor's of nursing programs rejected 37 percent of applicants who were qualified to get in during the 2011-12 admissions cycle. For associate's degree programs, the number is even higher: 51 percent of qualified applications weren't approved."

It's a simple matter of supply and demand. Nursing schools can't expand their staff or facilities fast enough to accommodate all the qualified candidates that are applying. As a result, tens of thousands of students who complete the required coursework and earned the minimum GPA to get into nursing programs aren't accepted, the study shows. "Meanwhile, the health-care industry, and nursing in particular, continues to explode: While the U.S. economy will add 1.6 million jobs for nurses over the next five years, it's slated to face a shortage of 193,000 nursing professionals in 2020, according to the report."

Part of the reason nursing schools can't keep up with rising demand has to do with the clinicals required for nursing programs. "By the time you're done with the classroom, you actually have to physically touch a patient ... to learn how to draw blood and take vital signs," Smith says. More than enough potential nurses are ready to advance their nursing career, but there are a limited number of supervisors—or patients—for students to work with, meaning rotations turns into a game of musical chairs, and not everyone gets a seat when the musical call light stops.

Difficulty hiring faculty members may be the biggest factor preventing nursing schools from accepting all qualified applicants. About 34 percent of 414 schools surveyed by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (pdf) said an insufficient number of faculty was the most important reason they didn't accept all qualified applicants, followed by not having enough clinical sites where students can practice (30 percent). So why don't they just hire more people? Turns out that unlike aspiring nursing students, qualified nursing instructors are scarce. Smith says that's because most nurses who could go back to school for advanced degrees prefer to pursue advanced practice and management roles, instead of teaching, which usually isn't as lucrative.

What the industry needs is an innovative way to meet the demand of nurses with the limited resources of the education industry. What if instead of clinicals be spread out thinly across multiple schools and programs, there were concentrated clinical locations across the country? What if instead of weeks of clinical practice, nurse candidates could spend one intense weekend at one of these concentrated super clinical locations and show their ability to hand patients hands-on? What if nurses were taken out of the classrooms and commutes, out of restricting schedules, and given the freedom to make their own schedules and go at a pace that's comfortable with their life and schedule? That's what Rue Education believes in. Rue's RN bridge program prepares LPN/LVNs, Paramedics, and RTs to earn the ASN degree in nursing and pursue a career as an RN. Courses are online, flexible, and can be completed as fast or as slow as a student needs. There are no wait-lists so students can start whenver they're ready. You'll have academic support for any questions or a boost in motivation and you'll have the expertise from tutor-assisted courses. This program was inspired by the needs of non-traditional students. These include working adults, single parents, or anyone whose schedule doesn't allow time for commutes to class or rigid schedules. If this sounds like an ideal alternative to traditional RN school, learn more at

Friday, August 1, 2014

Nursing Ethics: For Some it's Easier Said than Done

PORTLAND, Ore. (The Tribune) — Lorretta Krautscheid was growing frustrated. The University of Portland nursing professor knew she was teaching her students right from wrong.

Every one of them took a full semester course in nursing ethics. They’d had patient protocols drilled into their brains over the course of their four years of study.

And yet, Krautscheid kept hearing from students who had begun working at area hospitals that they were doing things they knew were wrong and that were compromising the health and safety of patients.

They were inserting urinary catheters into patients without following the sterilization protocols that prevent infection. They were giving hospitalized patients medications without first going over the possible side effects. They were watching doctors and senior nurses enter patients’ rooms without washing their hands. And they weren’t saying anything about it.

For years Krautscheid had believed that her job was teaching students the right way of doing things and the importance of behaving honorably. Now she was becoming convinced that wasn’t enough.
In Krautscheid’s view, her students were putting their relationships with doctors and senior nurses ahead of their responsibilities to their patients.

“How do we teach courage?” Krautscheid asks. “How do we teach backbone?”
Krautscheid started by conducting a study, recently published in the Journal of Nursing Education. The results only increased her dismay. She put unaware students through simulations of precisely the types of situations she had been hearing about, with hidden cameras filming the scenes.
In one, a senior nurse, or preceptor, is watching a young nurse preparing to give heart medication to a real patient with dangerously high blood pressure. As planned, the patient’s phone rings and he tells the young nurse he has to take the call, and could she please just leave the medications on the table so he can take them later?

Krautscheid figured some of her nurses would go along and some would at least pause, knowing they had to check to make sure they were giving the right medication to the right patient, and that the patient was aware of potential complications.

“I thought some of them would say, ‘We learned in school we shouldn’t do this,’” Krautscheid says. Only one did. She turned to the preceptor and said that’s not what she had been taught to do. The preceptor told her it was OK, she should just leave the medications next to the bed. Which the young nurse did.

Six other young nurses left the medications without so much as a question.
In a follow-up study, Krautscheid surveyed 93 young nurses, asking them what they do when a senior nurse gives them bad advice. Nearly half responded that they followed the bad advice. Her takeaway?
“It’s easier just to go along and get along, and when you drill down on that through one-on-one interviews, what they tell you is, ‘I have to keep working with these people, and it seems to be part of the culture that this is OK,’” Krautscheid says.

Tamara Mazelin was one of the students in Krautscheid’s simulation who did not speak up. “It’s hard,” she says about contradicting a more experienced nurse who is in a supervisory capacity.
Mazelin has worked at a number of Portland-area hospitals and clinics, and she says the simulation mirrored the reality she’s confronted. She recalls working at a hospital neonatal intensive care unit and watching nurses improperly inserting a catheter into an infant. Infection protocol requires nurses to discard a catheter if it has fallen out of the bladder and use a new, sterilized one. But when the catheter fell out of the infant’s bladder several times, she says, nurses simply reinserted it.

“They could have given the baby an infection,” Mazelin says. “I knew it, but I started questioning. These are real experienced nurses. They must know. I started questioning what I’d learned.”
Mazelin says later she talked to the charge nurse in what she figured was the least confrontational way possible. “I (said), ‘I thought this was a sterile procedure,’” Mazelin recalls. “She said, ‘Things are sometimes different in the real world.’”

Later Mazelin talked to her preceptor, who said she would talk to the other nurses. But she has since seen similar scenarios, including one in which she wanted to tell a physician who had left a patient’s room and come back that he needed to put on new, sterile gloves. She didn’t say anything. Next time, Mazelin says, she will speak up. But it won’t be easy.

“We’ve learned everything we should do that is ethically right,” Mazelin says. “But we haven’t learned how to have that conversation.”

Learning to speak up
Mazelin says she’d like more simulation opportunities aimed specifically at ways to confront authority figures without being confrontational. Nursing school leadership classes might help, she adds. And she’d like to see hospitals call meetings with all the nurses on hand where the message is relayed that they want people — even the newbies — to speak up if they see someone cutting corners.

Justin Britton is one of those students who told Krautscheid how difficult it was to practice to the standards Krautscheid had taught him. Britton is in his last year of nursing school at the University of Portland and has been working as a certified nursing assistant at a number of local hospitals. In one, he was stationed in acute care, where most of his patients were elderly, many with pneumonia or having suffered strokes.

He says one nurse told him he shouldn’t take so much time swabbing an IV port with alcohol. Sterilization protocol calls for 15 seconds of swabbing to kill any infectious bacteria. The nurses where Britton worked had a different routine. “They’ll do a quick swipe, a once over, and say that’s good enough,” Britton says.

The first time Britton saw this, he says, he tried to distract the senior nurse in the room so he could continue to sterilize the IV port. Later they had a conversation. The nurse, Britton’s preceptor, told him that if the patient got an infection, “Well, that’s what antibiotics are for.” Britton says he began trying to get into patients’ rooms early so he could sterilize IV ports properly before his preceptor arrived.

And yet, Britton rejects the idea that he was showing what Krautscheid calls moral courage. “I didn’t think it was brave because I didn’t confront her and say, ‘Hey, you’re doing it wrong,’” he says. “I felt like I was more protecting myself and my patient by being sneaky about doing it.”
Britton says he’s “not good at confrontation.” He’d like to see nursing schools teach students how to speak to fellow employees in a more assertive fashion. And he says he’s still not sure if he’d have the courage to talk to a physician who failed to wash his or her hands.

Oregon Health & Science University assistant nursing professor Seiko Izumi says part of the problem is that nurses “are in an in between position.” They are responsible to their employers, usually a hospital, she says, and also to their patients, to doctors and even to other nurses.
OHSU, Izumi says, is starting to put student nurses and medical school students together in some classrooms so they better understand one anothers’ roles and “develop a more equal (way of) relating.”

It might take more than that, says Portland State University philosopher Alex Sager. Krautscheid’s desire to widely teach moral courage, Sager says, is something of a paradox.

Difficult to teach courage
“Moral courage almost by definition is exceptional,” Sager says. “When we think of people who exhibit moral courage, they do what ordinary people don’t.”

It isn’t easy to teach people to behave in ways that put themselves at risk, according to Sager. “We’re pretty good at teaching things that most people learn to do. We’re not really that good at teaching people to be exceptional,” he says.

Sager says Krautscheid’s simulation experiments remind him of the famous 1971 Stanford University prisoner experiment in which students pretending to be guards were willing to abuse other students playing prisoners (see accompanying story).

“People are pretty good at doing the right thing when it’s not hard,” Sager says. “The best thing we can do is try to create environments where we don’t make doing the right thing all that hard.” That means if Krautscheid expects her nurses to stand up to authority, first, someone will have to work on the institutional culture in the hospitals.

“Most people are not going to display moral courage, we know that,” Sager says. “So we need to create institutions where people are encouraged to question authority.”

Moral imagination, not simulation
That could start with making hospitals less hierarchical and providing incentives for nurses who speak up when they see shortcuts being taken, says Sager, who says real action might take “moral imagination.” The idea is that simulations can’t cover every potential situation, but moral imagination can prepare students for situations they haven’t been asked to consider.

“Some people think of ethics simply as applying rules,” Sager says. “It’s not really like that in the real world. The real world is complex. … It takes a lot of time to learn. Moral education is being able to understand and anticipate more and more complex situations.”

Sager would have the nursing students read novels where characters show moral courage, and have students discuss the books. And teachers should talk about nurse whistleblowers in the classroom. The key, he says, is that teachers need to stimulate more than just the rational part of their students’ brains.

“Just understanding something intellectually doesn’t seem to be enough to motivate you. You have to tie your sentiments into it,” Sager says. “Begin to stimulate moral imagination and you can prepare yourself to react if you do end up in this kind of situation.”

Monday, May 12, 2014

10 Things Only Nurses Understand

10 Things Only Nurses Understand (via
How do you KNOW you’re a nurse? Well, there are some things only nurses can understand…and these are 10 of them! 10 things only nurses understand 10. That feeling of getting a patient totally cleaned up and neat in the bed, only to have a flood…

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Paramedic develops ID bracelet with QR codes

The ResQ bracelet uses QR codes to give first responders access to a wearer

Lee Roberts knows seconds can save lives.

And now he’s developed a unique ID bracelet that could buy those precious seconds.
Roberts, 48, is a paramedic based in New Westminster. In 14 years responding to all kinds of medical calls, he’s encountered patients who are unconscious, patients who don’t speak English, patients with lists of medications as long as his arm, patients who have no idea of their medical history.
Trying to extract vital information in those situations can cost valuable time.

So he updated the concept of the old MedicAlert bracelet with modern QR technology that allows first responders to access a wearer’s medical and contact information with a quick scan using their smartphone.

QR codes are the boxy hieroglyphics increasingly found in the corner of ads and billboards to open a window to even more information about the product or service when they’re scanned by a smart phone. They were originally developed for the Japanese auto industry to track parts and vehicles during manufacturing.

Roberts’ ResQ Scan bracelets are simple soft silicon bands with a metal band embossed with the wearer’s unique QR symbol. That symbol is linked to a secure database that contains any or all medical and contact information that the wearer has uploaded through a website. The system’s storage capacity is limitless, and the information can be easily updated.
“It does make your job a little easier,” said Roberts, who spent a year-and-a-half developing his product. “It might lead us down the path quicker to help them.”

Roberts said the technology could also be applied for Alzheimer’s patients who are prone to wandering, with their address and contacts embedded into their QR code. Eventually the bracelets could even be embedded with a GPS chip that would allow authorities to track a patient’s whereabouts.

Other first responders like police, fire and nurses at the emergency triage desk could also benefit by scanning a patient’s QR code.
“Any first responder should see that as a first alert,” said Roberts.
The bracelets cost $45, which includes access to the website that allows wearers to upload their information securely.

So far they’re only available online in Metro Vancouver, said Roberts, who worked on his invention between shifts in the ambulance. Eventually he’d like to sell them nationally.
But that will take more money, which he hopes to raise by applying to appear on the CBC TV series Dragon’s Den.

Roberts is convinced he’s got a winner that will capture the attention of the well-heeled “Dragons.”
“Everybody I’ve talked to, paramedics, nurses, emergency room doctors, they all say ‘why didn’t I think of that?’ ” - Paramedic develops ID bracelet with QR codes
by  Mario Bartel - New Westminster News Leader
posted Apr 22, 2014 at 8:00 AM