Is your child being bullied?

Here are some signs to watch for in your child which may be a sign they are being bullied.

  1. Unexplained injuries
  2. Lost or destroyed books, electronics or jewelry
  3. Frequent headaches or stomach aches, feeling sick or faking illness
  4. Changes in eating habits like suddenly skipping meals or binge eating. Your child may come home hungry because they did not eat their lunch
  5. Difficulty sleeping or frequent nightmares
  6. Declining grades, lost of interest in schoolwork or not wanting to go to school
  7. Sudden loss of friends or avoidance of social situations
  8. Feelings of helplessness or decreased  self-esteem
  9. Self-destructive behaviors such as running away, harming themselves, or talking about suicide

Tips to reduce the spread of infections this fall.

School is back in session and before we know it flu season will be here. As the school year ramps up providers schedules will fill up making it difficult to get an appointment. Sometimes you wonder if you or your child really need to see someone for medical advice. Here are some tips to help you decide if you need to seek medical advice

  1. If you are having chest pain or shortness of breath.
  2. You’re fever doesn’t get better. A temperature greater than 100.5 is considered a temperature in an adult.
  3. You can’t keep anything down.
  4. It hurts to swallow.
  5. You can’t get rid of your cough.
  6. Your congestion and headache won’t go away.

Medical Mistakes. Have you been a victim?

I am a nurse practitioner. You would imagine my experiences with the healthcare system would be flawless based upon my background and knowledge? Nope just the opposite. Every time I become a patient it is a disaster. Why? You are probably thinking to yourself “oh she has lots of health problems or takes a lot of medicines. Nope none, no allergies, no co-morbidities, no medications. Do you want to know what I think has happened. Providers see me and sum my health in about 30 seconds after reading the chart and looking me over.

I generally don’t disclose my professional background when I enter the healthcare system. I prefer to be anonymous. In 2007 when I was a patient in a local hospital going in for a “routine” procedure I am lucky today to be alive. A surgery which was estimated to take about 2 hours stretched into 6 + hours according to my husband. The surgeon told me husband “he cut something he shouldn’t have and I was in the PACU getting blood. I was in a lot of pain and told the nurse I was hurting in the vaginal area and she asked me “do you have packing in there?”   The nurse who came into restart my IV was a co-worker from dialysis. She poked me until I told her to leave and get another person who could put an IV in. I saw another doctor because of complications caused by the surgery. The new doctor sat there and read the 19 page operative report and shook her head. The first thing she said I would have never done this surgery with a resident. I would have had another attending and this procedure is not done anymore. What do you mean???? I put my life in this person’s so called competent hands.

The next day was 2/14/07 and we had an ice storm. The surgeon came in and said you can go home now? My husband said she can hardly walk. I can’t take her home in this. The day of the storm the garbage overflowed in my room and no one on day shift came to take vital signs. My husband roomed in with me and was there as a witness. I called the nurse manager a month later to tell her my vital signs were not taken and she told me they were right there in the chart. No one even suggested those could have been falsified at the end of the shift as the nurse assistant finished their charting. I could go on and I know you get the picture.

As a nurse practitioner I understand why providers seem aloof or gruff. Sometimes these are the best providers. I don’t want my providers to be my best friend and I don’t care about where you went on vacation or the new baby. I want your 100% attention focused on providing competent, quality care with good outcomes.

Health care is not a job. It’s a vocation, a calling, a ministry. It’s all about the patient. So when you are there at your job be present in the moment, listen attentively to what the patient is saying, don’t worry about your cell phone, or Saturday night and focus on me! We make too many mistakes in healthcare and fortunately for me not all are fatal.

I often shudder when I think I could not have woke up from the surgery. So many things left undone, unaccomplished, so many things left unsaid. We can’t prevent patients from dying but we can do the very best to make sure we follow procedures, take time to observe and chart, use all our senses when assessing patients. No one should be injured or die from a medical mistake by a doctor or nurse

Alternative Therapies Immersion Session

I spent the entire evening reading about alternative therapies. I know I am a Piita body type described as quick, articulate, biting intelligence, can be critical or passionate with short, explosive temper. Efficient and moderate in daily habits. (Ayurvedic). I learned Reiki requires several levels of training and I should never attempt to perform Reiki until I have received an attunement from a Reiki Master. Reiki is Japanese word meaning spirit guided. There are nine essential oils a beginner kit should include: Lavender, Geranium, Clove, Teatree, Lemon, Peppermint, Chamomile, Thyme, Rosemary, and Eucalyptus. Yoga is not just an exercise but a life philosophy. Alchemical healing and shamanism are similar. Homeopathic medicine is controversial and more is less. Keeping an open mind is key. The mind/body connection is powerful and understanding how emotion influences physiology. As a nurse practitioner I made a vow tonight to lay hands on patients and pray with patients.

What’s in a name?

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose. By any other name would smell as sweet” Romeo and Juliet.” ( II,ii 1-2). This is one of the most famous Shakespeare quotes and is central to the story of Romeo and Juliet. To the young Juliet it doesn’t matter what her lovers name is. So my question is “does it really matter what your patients call you or does it?”.I am a family nurse practitioner and I make medical house calls to the elderly. I am the only FNP in our group. I have a MSN and a BSN and a diploma in nursing. I have been a nurse educator. I got used to being called by my mother-in-law’s name by the students, ” Mrs. Tenhunfeld”. If you were raised in a certain generation you were taught to say please and thank-you and always address your elders by their last name. Using someone’s first name implies a sense of familiarity or intimacy on many levels.

When I first started seeing patient’s they asked me “what do you want me to call you?” Not really knowing what to say I would always joke and tell the patients, ” You can call me whatever you want. Just don’t call me late for supper”. So since I really never specified to the patients exactly what to call me here we are today sorting out the issues of a provider with no title.

Why is this a problem you ask? Well in today’s world where my nurse is in a corporate call center in another state and the patients’ can’t remember how to say or spell my last name. When they call Walgreens or Wal-Mart for a prescription refill or better yet when they are in the emergency room and the ER doctor asks them who is your primary care doctor? How do they reply? “April my nurse” or better yet when they reply “April is the doctor who comes to my house”. I would love to be a fly on the wall in that conversation when a doctor try’s to tell a patient exactly what I am.I feel like I am in an uncomfortable space between an RN and DNP. If the day arrives and the title of doctorate of nursing is ever conferred upon me I am not sure I would tell the patients to call me Dr. Tenhunfeld but in the medical community I need a more definitive title. How do nurse practitioners identify themselves to patients and peers? How do we as nurses and nurse practitioners receive the respect we deserve? How can we be identified and recognized for our educational achievements? So I ask you what’s in a name and does it really matter?

What’s in a name?

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose. By any other name would smell as sweet” Romeo and Juliet.” ( II,ii 1-2). This is one of the most famous Shakespeare quotes and is central to the story of Romeo and Juliet. To the young Juliet it doesn’t matter what her lovers name is. So my question is “does it really matter what your patients call you or does it?”.

I am a family nurse practitioner and I make medical house calls to the elderly. I am the only FNP in our group. I have a MSN and a BSN and a diploma in nursing. I have been a nurse educator. I got used to being called by my mother-in-law’s name by the students, ” Mrs. Tenhunfeld”. If you were raised in a certain generation you were taught to say please and thank-you and always address your elders by their last name. Using someone’s first name implies a sense of familiarity or intimacy on many levels.

When I first started seeing patient’s they asked me “what do you want me to call you?” Not really knowing what to say I would always joke and tell the patients, ” You can call me whatever you want. Just don’t call me late for supper”. So since I really never specified to the patients exactly what to call me here we are today sorting out the issues of a provider with no title.

Why is this a problem you ask? Well in today’s world where my nurse is in a corporate call center in another state and the patients’ can’t remember how to say or spell my last name. When they call Walgreens or Wal-Mart for a prescription refill or better yet when they are in the emergency room and the ER doctor asks them who is your primary care doctor? How do they reply? “April my nurse” or better yet when they reply “April is the doctor who comes to my house”. I would love to be a fly on the wall in that conversation when a doctor try’s to tell a patient exactly what I am.

I feel like I am in an uncomfortable space between an RN and DNP. If the day arrives and the title of doctorate of nursing is ever conferred upon me I am not sure I would tell the patients to call me Dr. Tenhunfeld but in the medical community I need a more definitive title. How do nurse practitioners identify themselves to patients and peers? How do we as nurses and nurse practitioners receive the respect we deserve? How can we be identified and recognized for our educational achievements? So I ask you what’s in a name and does it really matter?