nursing

Spinal Stimulation

Over the course of my nursing career I have had the opportunity to work closely with several people who had severe spinal injuries and subsequent paralyses. Although I am not currently practicing that type of nursing I do like to keep myself informed. This afternoon when I received my weekly NIH email update I was directed to and read this short article with great interest. I encourage everyone to check it out!

I love science 🙂

The Power of Hugs

I am not a hugger by nature, but I am one by design and these are a few reasons why:

  • Hugs or other tactile contact between individuals has been proven to be essential to a person’s well being from the moment they are born.  A simple hug that lasts at least 3 seconds can change the course of someone’s day by providing them with comfort and a short mental recharge.
  • There are multiple studies out there showing that elderly individuals can benefit significantly from “touch therapy” including: hugs, massage, hand holding, shoulder holding, and pet therapy.  The multitude of benefits from a simple touch in the elderly include everything from a decrease in rates of depression and pain, to increases in functional ability (especially in arthritic patients), and overall increases in life satisfaction.
  • Hugs help build relationships and promotes healing.  Used in the clinical setting they can provide patients with additional mental resources to use in combating their illnesses.  The absence of touch has actually been shown to negatively influence a person’s mental status over time causing them to be withdrawn and less likely to heal.
  • Hugging is a two way street.  Sure the person you are hugging is reaping tons of benefits from the hug, but you are getting your own little mental boost as well.
The best part of my day

The best part of my day

So go out and hug someone who is receptive to a hug…. especially your Grandparents.  If they aren’t huggers try a shoulder pat or a hand hold.  The power of touch is immense and it will not only benefit the person being touched but also the person doing the touching 🙂

Interested in reading more, in depth research on the importance and power of a hug?  Check out these awesome journal articles:

Providing Wholistic Health Care for the Elderly; by: Pamela A Shuler, Roxana Huebscher, and Judith Hallock; in the Journal of The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners

and

The Touch That Heals; by: Drew Leder, and Mitchell W Krucoff; in The Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine

A Long Journey In Nursing

Ahh the JOB. I have a love/hate relationship with it right now, but first a little history.
I graduated from nursing school in 2005 and knew immediately after graduation that I was going to go back for additional degrees. After many long semesters of school the one thing I found most intriguing about nursing was the thought that I could teach it some day. Instead of going back to school full time I opted for part time so I could gain experience in the field while advancing my degree.
The nicest part, and also the most torturous part, of nursing school were the clinicals. On one hand they gave you first hand experience and semester long glimpses into some of the many different worlds of nursing that are out there. On the other hand the care plans were torture… Although apparently not for everyone, I actually met a nurse the other day who said she loved care planning. I told her she should consider going into MDS. I knew when I graduated that I wanted to work in long term care. I love being able to really build relationships with the residents and I enjoy the age group. I also knew when I graduated that the last place I wanted to work was pediatrics or maternity. I hated those semesters in nursing school and to this day can not picture myself working with those populations.
For the last 9 years I have been working in long term care and skilled nursing facilities and truly have enjoyed every moment.
When my husband and I decided to have a child I planned on going back to work after, and understood it
was going to be full time. This is partly because I can’t picture myself not working full time, and the other part is for the money… Being a professional student is an expensive hobby.
Right now I am 3.5 years from my ultimate goal of a MS in nursing with a concentration in teaching. It is exciting to be this close to no longer being a student, and terrifying as well. Not being a student for the first time in a very long time just seems strange. At the same time I look forward to entering into a job that will more closely mirror Liam’s schedule when he is entering into school, while currently enjoying a job that provides me with the flexibility I need to avoid daycare costs during his infant and toddler years.

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Really, who could resist that mischievous grin poking around the corner?

I love the balance I am finding in my life right now and can honestly say I have never been happier. I am truly looking forward to the next few years and the changes they will bring both to my personal and professional life. Providing quality nursing care is only one of my passions. My family, dogs, and friends are my others. While I do frequently wish I had more time, because I truly would love I spend more time at every aspect of my life, there are only 24 hours a day and I try to make the most of every one of them.

Now I suppose I should go study 🙂

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