Thursday, December 11, 2008

December 11: Change of Shift!

Welcome to my site, the host for this version of Change of Shift. Change of Shift is a blog carnival devoted to all-things nursing related.  Originally, it was going to be over at Nurses' Notes, but this site is updated more often.

Having read some of the other Change of Shift issues I had no idea how on earth I'd compete, so, here is what I did. Just click on the TV screen:

The changing face of nursing.

Joanne Oelkers presents Holidays and Nostalgia, posted at Laura, RN and blogger for NurseConnect. She describes the different kind of memories that both nurses and patients may have. She's a new nurse but it won't be long before she has her own special memories of working on the holidays.

Travel nurses bring a new face where ever they end up working. Sometimes their assignments are exciting and interesting, other times - not so much. I wonder what it must be like to be able to pick up and go work somewhere else. Personally, I think travel nurses must have a lot of confidence and are much braver than I am! So, for the brave traveling nurses, Bret Nellor presents Nice online tool to plan your drive to your next travel nursing assignment posted at Travel Nursing Blog. And, Jeff Long presents Get the most out of travel nursing. , also at Travel Nursing Blog.

Are you thinking about becoming a nurse? RehabRN presents The long and winding road posted at RehabRN. She says, "People always ask me about becoming a nurse. This post discusses a few preliminary things to think about before you start your journey, from RehabRN, a second career RN." More and more people are heading into nursing the less traditional route - straight from high school.

Speaking of school, this post brought a smile to my face. A new nurse and the amazing feeling of knowing you're not a student any more. Running Wildly presents Completion posted at Running Wildly. Congratulations to her!

I'm sure there are many nurses here who know what it's like not to be in a union or remember what it's like. The subject of unions can be pretty controversial. Where I am, in Quebec, we are unionized in virtually all places; there's no choice. ER Murse presents Who is the right Union for RN’s posted at ER Murse.

I wrote a very personal post about a doctor who I knew and his nurse companion who were killed in Mumbai just a few weeks ago: When Terrorism Hits Close to Home, Even It’s Thousands of Miles Away, posted at Nurses' Notes. How frightening must this be for the nurses who live in areas where terrorism is never far away.

What would a discussion of the changing face of nursing be without the Internet? Colleen Berding presents 'Tis the season posted at IT RN - Technology for Nurses.

This one's  a bit different; I wasn't sure what to say about it! Gemma presents Health & Medicine posted at VideoJug: LIfe Explained. On Film. And this one is about living a healthy lifestyle: Living Healthy presents An Oldie but a Goodie posted at Cory Albertson.

Finally, as one of the changing faces of nursing, we see more nurses caring for seniors and the elderly who are no longer able to care for themselves. One of my pet peeves involves something that many nurses do without even realizing it: treating their older patients like little children. Maintaining mealtime dignity - no bibs! was posted over at Seniors Support.


Oops! I forgot one. Here was an entry I received just as I put this together: Dean Moyer of The Back Pain Blog wonders whether or not saline solution could be another option for sciatica treatment in a follow-up article to his series on epidural steroid injections. His post entitled, Sciatica and the Saline Story is part of an ongoing effort to answer reader questions about sciatic nerve pain.

Images: iStock

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

When was the last time you cleared your medicine cabinet?

Whether you keep your medications in the bathroom (where you really shouldn't), in the kitchen, or in a cupboard elsewhere, when's the last time you cleaned it out?

What do I mean by clearing it out? All medications have expiry dates. Of course, if the expiry date is May 29, it doesn't mean that the medication will self-destruct on May 30, but the expiry dates are an important rule of thumb. If your medication has expired (prescription drugs, over-the-counter, even vitamins), don't use them.

Old prescriptions are another big cupboard clutterer. How many of you keep old prescriptions in case you'll need them one day? You should never save antibiotics. Ever. There are many types of antibiotics and different bacteria require different antibiotics. Plus, you need a full course of antibiotics, depending on the medication. If you have some left over, that means you didn't complete the course the first time you needed it. This increases your risk of developing an antibiotic resistant infection. It also means that what you have left won't be enough to treat another infection.

Are you keeping it to tide you over until you do see a doctor? {insert sound of loud buzzer} DON'T! If you take an antibiotic before your doctor has a chance to test you, you can mask the real problem. You could be taking the wrong antibiotic. You could be taking an expired antibiotic. OR, you may not have a bacterial infection at all but it may be a viurs. Something that an antibiotic can't touch.

So, where do you get rid of all these medications? Flush them down the toilet? NO! Please don't. We are already finding mutant fish because of medication that is peed out of us and flushed into the water system. Males with female traits, that sort of thing (from the birth control pill, for example). Put them in the garbage? Nope. Not there either.

The best thing to do is to bring all your expired or unneeded medications, vitamins and supplements to a pharmacy or drugstore. They know how to dispose of it properly.

News for Today:

Mediterranean diet plus nuts may cut heart risks

Rise in autism linked to shift in age at diagnosis

Half-dose flu shot may suffice for healthy young adults: U.S. researchers