Thursday, 8 April 2021

Nursing Schools, Nursing Responsibilities, COVID-19, Nursing Career, Nursing Professionals, Nursing Skill

In this online nursing school guide, we’ll provide you with some guidelines to help you remain disciplined, study effectively, and stay motivated while studying for your online nursing school program. Suppose you learn the skills needed to stay on track with independent study now. In that case, it can also benefit you in the future because these days, a large proportion of nurses obtain their advanced qualifications through online courses.

After the summer break, you may have to continue with or even start off your nursing studies with online learning. With persistent community transmission of COVID-19 in many states and further outbreaks on campuses, many colleges and universities choose to carry on with the online instruction introduced at the start of the pandemic.

Depending on the learning style, some students adapt better to independent study than others. If you are one of those who prefer the structure of attending classes and face-to-face instruction, you could find online learning quite challenging. The advantage of flexibility in terms of when and how you study can also be the most significant drawback. It’s very easy to become distracted and fall behind in your study program.

1. Establish a regular daily routine 

Some people are early birds who study better early in the morning while others are night owls. A big plus of online learning is that you can choose to work when you are at your best. 

However, you must design a daily schedule around your chosen times. Then stick to your schedule and allow it to become a routine – like you would if you were attending regular classes. 

Take your breaks: Don’t forget to provide for breaks and days off in your schedule. Share your program with others in your household and your friends so that they understand not to interrupt you during your working hours. 

2. Create a working space 

You are less likely to study effectively and efficiently on your bed or in an area where family members pass through and stop for an idle chat. If possible, create a space in your home where you will “go to work” and not be interrupted or distracted.

You should have a desk or a table with a place to leave your laptop, books, and writing materials. A significant benefit of a dedicated workspace is that your subconscious will eventually switch to study mode as soon as you sit down at your desk. 

Can’t find a place to study? If you cannot establish a suitable workspace at home or find that the environment is too distracting, consider finding somewhere else to go and study, for example, the local library. 

3. Don’t skip the introductory material for your courses 

Begin your semester’s online study by first reading all the orientation material provided by your instructors. They spend a lot of time developing these instructions and guidelines to explain all the requirements and enhance your learning experience. However, online instructors often expressed frustration that students make unnecessary mistakes because they fail to read the instructions – a typical human failure! 

The initial guidelines will probably indicate how much time you should spend on the course material per week in relation to the course credits. You will also need to check on any relevant dates and times of, for example, live online lectures, discussion forums, and deadlines for assignments. Use all this information to plan and diarize your study program so that you can keep up to date. 

4. Connect with fellow students 

Being connected with fellow students will help you stay on track, feel less isolated, and boost your motivation. Engage as much as possible in online presentations, discussion forums, and group work. Get to know and connect with your fellow students. 

Get a study partner! You can even approach someone to become an accountability partner and check in on each other’s progress daily. 

5. Connect with your instructors 

Get to know your instructors – they will probably have provided information in the orientation material about how and when they can be contacted.

Reach out to your instructor whenever you get stuck and need guidance – interaction with them is what they are there for and can be an insightful experience. Clarification via an e-mail or brief video-conference could potentially save you days of stress and frustration or a poor grade on a piece of work. Check the feedback you receive on assignments, use it for further learning, and contact your instructor if anything is not clear to you. 

Also, connect with faculty should you have any personal issues that might cause you to fall behind. For example, you may need to be proactive in getting an extension on due dates for assignments. Life does not always go as planned, and they will usually be accommodating. When needed, also use other resources provided by the educational institution such as student support services, mentors, and counselors. 

6. Find varied learning strategies 

While learning online, you will mostly be reading, researching, and writing. Unfortunately also, during the COVID-19 pandemic, nursing students will generally only be able to complete theoretical coursework and not any clinical assignments. This could affect your grasp of some of the clinical material in your studies. 

Your instructors might suggest varied learning strategies and use some virtual simulations. However, with some creativity, you can add other experiences to strengthen your learning and make it more interesting. Keep in mind that the more often you repeat and interact with specific content, especially if you can do so in different ways, the better it will become fixed in your memory. 

The following are just a few learning experiences you can try:

◉ Excellent videos on almost any topic imaginable are available on YouTube. For example: search for videos explaining anatomy, physiology, procedures and treatments, and specific diseases.

◉ Practice taking a medical history and doing a basic physical assessment on your friends and family members.

◉ While studying a specific disease, try and find someone who is suffering from it and conduct a virtual interview with them about their experiences. You could maybe even provide some patient education.

◉ When you have finished studying a particular nursing topic, do some self-assessment by answering online NCLEX questions on it.

7. Don’t neglect self-care 

When you’re studying alone can often be difficult to maintain your drive and motivation. You might also let self-care slide when you’re stuck at home every day. 

Get dressed every day before you start working. Ensure that you eat a healthy balanced diet and get the needed 7-8 hours of sleep every night. Go outdoors regularly for some fresh air and exercise – this is important to keep your body healthy and the release of neurotransmitters that help you to think and focus.

Boost your internal motivation by treating yourself to rewards. Celebrate achievements like finishing up a section of work or completing an assignment. Your rewards should be something that you personally enjoy, like a special cup of coffee, a bubble bath, meditating in the garden, a movie, or cooking a favorite meal. 

Lastly, as long as you show up and do the work that is expected, don’t worry too much if your grades are not as good as you are used to. After all, these are unusual and challenging times, and no-one ever expects you to be perfect.

Succeed in the online learning game

Follow the guidelines which we have provided, and you will stand a good chance of doing well with your online learning. You’ll also develop habits that will be useful for the rest of your life.

These online nursing school tips will help you to become actively involved in your own learning and to stay motivated. They will also help you develop the accountability and high degree of discipline and self-motivation required for independent study, which is also vital in your career as a nurse. 


Monday, 8 March 2021

Nursing Career, Nursing Responsibilities, Nursing Roles, Nursing Art

COVID-19 has forever changed the trajectory of nursing for experienced nurses but also for the next generation. Those in nursing school lost valuable clinical hours while those at the bedside will continue to suffer from the physical, emotional, and psychological effects of treating patients during the pandemic. During normal times, being a new to practice nurse is stressful and challenging but now, because of the ever-changing aspects of healthcare, it has increased a hundredfold.

Wolters Kluwer published a well-regarded study in 2020 that explored next-generation nurses, defined as nurses practicing less than 10 years. According to their study, these nurses are poised to influence the next two to three decades of healthcare. 

The study found six key characteristics of next-generation nurses, 

◉ Champions of consistency

◉ Proponents of value

◉ Care equalizers

◉ ‘Tuned in’ to the medication crisis

◉ Tech-savvy by nature

◉ Patient’s advocate

“COVID-19 has put a spotlight on the critical role nurses play in providing needed patient care. But it has also shown how much the healthcare system stands to lose if the current nursing shortage continues and clinical training doesn’t keep pace with nursing in today’s world,” said Anne Dabrow Woods, DNP, RN, CRNP, ANP-BC, AGACNP-BC, FAAN, Chief Nurse of Health Learning, Research and Practice, Wolters Kluwer. “The survey findings are a wake-up call for hospitals and nurse leaders whose workforces are transforming rapidly, leaving knowledge and training gaps in their wake.”

1. Rushing New Nurses Through Hospital Orientation 

Based on the study, next-generation nurses expect and need the same orientation and education post-graduation as previous generations. Unfortunately, this is not happening. COVID has caused a massive shortage of nurses, especially critical care nurses, forcing hospitals to push new nurses through orientation quicker than in previous years. Generally, new to practice nurses receive three to four months of orientation for general medical surgical nursing. Critical care nurses would receive six to eight months in a progressive orientation. 

Hospital and unit orientation are considered essential for any new to practice nurse. Nurses coming right from school do not have the expected competencies to care for patients on their own, especially complex ones. Extensive orientations are needed to ensure these competencies. Even prior to the pandemic, hospitals would often find ways to decrease orientation as it costs a great deal of money and is not federally funded. Healthcare systems are essentially paying two nurses salaries to do the job of one nurse. Controversy regarding the length of orientation has long been debated by administration and clinical personnel. Costs spent on continual orientation of new clinical nursing staff were often lost to the development of patient care initiatives and improvements. 

As the pandemic lingered on, hospitals were forced to cut costs when possible. Lack of patients, cancellation of surgical procedures, and decrease in federal funding all forced hospitals to make decisions regarding extra spending. Nurse orientation was one of the programs that was cut in many healthcare systems across the country. That’s not to say that a new to practice nurse will not get an orientation - because legally they have to. But will it be enough? Will it prepare the nurse to do their job with confidence and the right abilities? 

2. Hospitals Expect Schools To Provide Orientation. They Can’t.

Hospitals are pushing for nursing programs to again assume the brunt of the bedside orientation. However, this is impossible. If a student is interested in becoming an oncology nurse - there is no clinical rotation during a traditional nursing program directly related to oncology. Can nursing programs teach students the basics to care for patients? Absolutely. And they should. Can they be taught the ins and outs of every disease process related to a specific patient population? Absolutely not. 

Prior to the 1960s and 1970s, nursing programs were often associate degree programs or hospital-based programs. Students would do clinical rotations at one hospital and most would take jobs in that same hospital upon graduation. Nursing programs were able to orient students to the units and the hospitals because everything was taught there. As nursing degrees moved to traditional four-year degrees at major universities, programs became affiliated with a variety of healthcare institutions.

3. The Pandemic Moved Clinicals Online

Another consideration regarding the importance of unit-based education is the current generation of new nurses and nursing students do not all have the same clinical experience. State boards of nursing are required to set forth a specific number of in-person clinical hours a student must have in order to graduate. Nursing programs are required to meet this minimum requirement in order to maintain accreditation and funding. As nursing clinicals were forced to go online at the start of the pandemic, every nursing school handled the clinical hours very differently. States gave leniency on the number of in-person required hours and the number of virtual hours allowed. Some programs purchased interactive virtual simulation while others had to resort to case studies and unfolding simulations via Zoom. This difference alone put many new to practice nurses at a very big disadvantage. 

4. New Nurses Must Advocate For Better Orientation

Because of the vast differences in the new to practice nurse’s experience, it's essential that nursing orientation continues, as it was pre-pandemic. Next-generation nurses should be their own best advocates regarding their orientation. It can be hard, especially as a new employee, but here are some tips that can help!

◉ Speak to your preceptor if you need more help with procedures, tasks, assessments

◉ Read through your hospital’s policies and procedures that are used on the unit

◉ Make friends with other orientees to help navigate the orientation process

◉ Purchase a study book directly related to the patients on your unit

◉ Speak to the unit nurse educator regarding your needs, expectations, and progress throughout clinical

◉ Don’t be afraid to ask for help!

◉ Take notes during the workday 

◉ Sit with your preceptor each week to talk about what is going well and what needs to change in order to succeed

◉ Take initiative and be an active part of the orientation process


Thursday, 11 February 2021

Nursing, Nursing Career, Nursing Exam US, Nursing Responsibilities, Nursing Roles, Nursing Skill

Nurses remained the undisputed leader in the 2020 annual most Gallup Poll in which the public is asked to rate the honesty and ethics of members of various occupations. This is not surprising at the end of a year during which nurses were at the forefront in the battle to save lives during the COVID-19 pandemic, with many sacrificing their own lives.

Nurses earn an 89% public trust rating

For 19 years in a row, nurses have taken the lead in the Gallup honesty and ethics poll. Last year, nurses were rated very high by 41% of the respondents and high by 48%. Only 1% rated nurses low and there were no very low ratings.

The record 89% of respondents who rated nurses’ honesty and ethics as very high/high, represented a 4% increase on the previous year’s record high of 85%. It was also 12% higher than the next highest score of 77% for medical doctors. 

2020 Gallup honesty and ethics poll

The poll took place during December 2020 via telephone interviews with a random sample of Americans representing all US states and DC. Respondents were asked how they would rate the honesty and ethical standards of people in 15 different occupational fields – very high, high, average, low, or very low. 

Health care professionals took two further places in the top four. Medical doctors had the second-highest ratings with a very high/high score of 77%, up 12 percentage points from 2019. Pharmacists took fourth place with a 71% positive rating. 

Grade school teachers came in third with a very high/high rating of 75%. Given the negative press during the pandemic, it was not surprising that nursing home operators had a relatively low positive rating of 36%. Members of Congress and car salespeople earned the lowest ratings at 8%.

Nurses have earned the public trust

“Nurses have been tested in every way imaginable during 2020. The world watched as nurses lost numerous patients and colleagues to a highly communicable, deadly virus while trying to protect and preserve their communities with limited resources and support,” said Ernest Grant, President of the American Nurses Association. “Nevertheless, through it all, nurses have consistently proven they are resilient, selfless, and compassionate, risking their health and safety for the common good. Therefore, nurses are undoubtedly deserving of the public’s unwavering trust.”

While the Gallup Polls have shown for over two decades that nurses have earned public trust, this has not been translated into the policies and funding needed to address the longstanding issues in nursing. Hopefully, the stark realities exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly the shortage of nurses, will prompt policymakers to support the actions necessary to establish a strong nursing workforce for the future.


Thursday, 4 February 2021

COVID-19,Nursing Responsibilities,Nursing Career,Nursing Degree,Nursing Exam US

When the media named 2020 “The Year of the Nurse,” it drew attention to the hard work and sacrifice this profession has endured, yet there are so many aspects the general public will never be able to understand or empathize with. As with many worldwide, nurses sat with great anticipation for the relief that 2021 would bring with it. But with the highest COVID death rates this week, nurses feel as though we have woken up on Groundhog’s Day yet again to experience “The Year of the Nurse” on a perpetual repeat.  As with most jobs throughout this past year, nurses have had to make significant adjustments in their workflow. However, unlike so many other jobs, nurses have sustained significant emotional, physical, and mental fatigue that many worry will have significant effects on the future of nursing. 

Nurses have walked out of the hospital shift after shift questioning why they ever entered this profession to begin with. We have questioned whether we can muster the strength to will ourselves to open our car doors and walk into the building for one more shift. Yet the most frustrating and dangerous question of all, might be that we wonder whether or not we are even making a difference during this time. 

There is no greater feeling of failure than looking helplessly around a hospital unit at the tired and weary faces of one’s coworkers and patients and feeling like our efforts are futile. The fundamental basis and the core of nursing is defined as helping other people during a time of physical and emotional need, but this year it feels like we have failed at times despite our best efforts.  We have been battling the emotional complexities of mourning incomprehensible loss during the dusk, while assembling all of our available energy to be strong for the public and welcome glimmers of hope at dawn. 

There is an overarching saying ringing through break rooms and side discussions between nurses that says “we didn’t sign up for this.” Although this can sound like a meager cop-out to an outsider, nurses are saying it through tear-stained, chapped, dehydrated, and exhausted faces. Although many within the nursing profession have had adequate training and experience with critically ill and dying patients, this year has abolished the typical “normal” and replaced it with grief and tragedy beyond understanding. 

Sure, we signed up to hold the hand and be a witness to a man’s last breath. But we didn’t sign up to be the replacement for their family during these sacred moments. 

◉ We didn’t sign up to hold a tablet up to the face of a grandma while her 4 and 6 year old grandkids begged her not to die. 

◉ We didn’t sign up to be a woman’s labor partner as her family sits helpless in the parking lot unable to witness the first cry of their baby’s life.

◉ We didn’t sign up to wear the same N95 for 30 days straight and get a pizza as a reward.

◉ We didn’t sign up to see our coworkers contract the same illness we are all battling and then spend months as a patient on our unit before passing away. 

◉ We didn’t sign up to be floated to a critical unit with no training and told to “figure it out” all while managing twice the mandated nurse to patient ratios. 

◉ We didn’t sign up to putting our license on the line because there simply are not enough nurses to cover the amount of patients in the hospital.

◉ We didn’t sign up to be furloughed for a month, and then mandated to work overtime within weeks of each other. 

This year has been far from easy. The large majority of nurses will say that it has been the hardest year in our profession bar none.  Although we take refuge in the hope that accompanies the vaccine, we also hesitantly dare to dream about what the future of nursing looks like. 

Some are predicting a mass exodus from bedside nursing due to the sheer burnout that we have endured this year. Students live in fear that they will not receive adequate training due to low staffing volume, which could result in grave errors as a result of lack of preparation. Management fears that the fiscal deficit they have encountered this year will lead to even more work with even less reward for their nurses. Most of us, however, chose this profession for reasons greater than COVID can defeat. We are walking mindfully, hesitantly, covered in PPE into the future with great hope that our hospitals will soon look like “the good ‘ol days,” and praying that we will one day wake up and hand the “Hero of the Year” award to someone else.


Friday, 20 November 2020

Question Of The Day, Medication and I.V. Administration
Q. A 56-year-old client is receiving chemotherapy that has the potential to cause pulmonary toxicity. Which of the following symptoms indicates a toxic response to the chemotherapy?

A. Decrease in appetite.

B. Drowsiness.

C. Spasms of the diaphragm.

D. Cough and shortness of breath.

Correct Answer: D

Reason: Cough and shortness of breath are significant symptoms because they may indicate decreasing pulmonary function secondary to drug toxicity. Decrease in appetite, difficulty in thinking clearly, and spasms of the diaphragm may occur as a result of chemotherapy; however, they are not indicative of pulmonary toxicity.

Thursday, 19 November 2020

Q. Which scenario complies with Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) regulations?

A. Two nurses in the cafeteria are discussing a client's condition.

B. The health care team is discussing a client's care during a formal care conference.

C. A nurse checks the computer for the laboratory results of a neighbor who has been admitted to another floor.

D. A nurse talks with her spouse about a client's condition.

Correct Answer:  B

Reason: To provide interdisciplinary continuity of care, nurses must share relevant information during client care conferences. Nurses discussing information in the cafeteria may be overheard; this indiscretion violates HIPAA regulations. Looking up laboratory results for a neighbor is a HIPAA violation, as is discussing a client's condition with one's spouse.

Monday, 9 November 2020

Q. A 40-year-old executive who was unexpectedly laid off from work 2 days earlier complains of fatigue and an inability to cope. He admits drinking excessively over the previous 48 hours. This behavior is an example of:

A. alcoholism.

B. a manic episode.

C. situational crisis.

D. depression.

Correct Answer: C

Reason: A situational crisis results from a specific event in the life of a person who is overwhelmed by the situation and reacts emotionally. Fatigue, insomnia, and inability to make decisions are common signs and symptoms. The situational crisis may precipitate behavior that causes a crisis (alcohol or drug abuse). There isn't enough information to label this client an alcoholic. A manic episode is characterized by euphoria and labile affect. Symptoms of depression are usually present for 2 or more weeks.

Thursday, 5 November 2020

Q. During rounds, a nurse finds that a client with hemiplegia has fallen from the bed because the nursing assistant failed to raise the side rails after giving a back massage. The nurse assists the client to the bed and assesses for injury. As per agency policies, the nurse fills out an incident report. Which of the following activities should the nurse perform after finishing the incident report?

A. Attach a copy to the client's records.

B. Highlight the mistake in the client's records.

C. Include the time and date of the incident.

D. Mention the name of the nursing assistant in the client records.

Correct Answer: C

Reason: The nurse should include the date and time of the incident in the incident report, the events leading up to it, the client's response, and a full nursing assessment. To prevent legal issues, the nurse should not attach the copy of the incident report to the client's records. Also to prevent litigation, the mistake should not be highlighted in the client's records. As the client report is a legal document, it should not contain the name of the nursing assistant.



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