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Posts Tagged ‘Patient Advocate’
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Reality Unscripted

It was my mom's birthday yesterday. She said I gave her the best present she's ever gotten: me for a day.

We hung out in her apartment organizing old family pictures, reminiscing about people and places in our past. We met my brother for lunch and did some more "Do you remember when...?" Funny thing is, my mother, who has Alzheimer's, can't remember most things. Yet [...]
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Interacting With Patients
How nurses can help patients who need extra emotional support.

You can’t meet each patient’s emotional needs. You’d never be able to leave your work behind. Or get anything done. But there are times when some patients need a little extra support and will drop hints to get you to respond.

What are those hints and how do you sensibly help? Read this interview with RealityRN Senior Advisor CeCe Grindel, PhD, RN, CMSRN, FAAN, to learn [...]
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Managing Your Career

Part one of a two-part exclusive interview with Sally Lemke, winner of the 2007 Super Star in Community Nursing award.

It’s a conundrum: How could the recipient of the VNA Foundation’s “SuperStar in Community Nursing Award”—a $25,000 prize—get the axe a mere few days later?

Sally Lemke, who was a nurse practitioner in Chicago’s Cook County healthcare system, became a local celebrity when this unthinkable scenario played [...]
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Managing Your Career
What nurses can do when the system undervalues you.

Part 2 of a two-part interview with Sally Lemke, winner of the VNA Foundation’s Super Star in Community Nursing award.

It had the potential to be one of the most rewarding times of her life—being honored with the VNA Foundation’s Super Star in Community Nursing award. Thirty-plus news agencies swarmed to the story about Sally Lemke, a Chicago Cook County nurse practitioner making a difference in [...]
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Interacting With Patients
How to get your patients out of their funk.

Leslie Gibson’s patient had gotten the boot from her nursing home. The 96-year-old crotchety woman commonly assailed nurses with bare-knuckled blows. Once home, neighbors witnessed the elderly woman’s emotional crash—and called in Leslie, a visiting nurse at the time, for support.

When Leslie first met her cranky patient, she saw that pain, anger, and confusion shrouded any vivacity that might have once been present.

Leslie had a [...]
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Interacting With Patients
How to find the right balance.

Reports, charting, administering drugs, assessments, tidying up, more charting, and more reports—and no meaningful interaction with the patient.

Suzanna’s first year was a nightmare.

Suzanna, a new nurse on a pediatric ward, didn’t like having to live by the laundry list of to-dos. She was most fulfilled spending time with patients, making sure both their emotional and physical needs were met.

The bottom line: You can’t be a [...]
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Provocative Topics
How to professionally handle the stereotypes.

You’re about to begin your first shift as an RN.

Your gut tells you that the moment you walk through those doors in uniform, people will judge you. Why? Because you’re a man.

In training, you may have been exposed to the modern stereotypes of the male nurse. According to Jerry R. Lucas, RN, and owner and publisher of Male Nurse Magazine (, “Either you are a [...]
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Interacting With Patients
An interview with Kathy Quan, RN, BSN, PHN, on managing patients’ families.

“I don’t think we should continue heroic measures.”
“I want a third opinion!”
“That’s not the way the last nurse did it.”
“My sister needs more water, more pain medication, and clean sheets…now!”
“How long does my son have to live?”

Questions. Capricious emotions. Absurd demands. More questions. And plain cold criticism. Often serving families of patients is more taxing than treating the patients. Kathy Quan, a veteran nurse [...]
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Reality Unscripted

Why, as caregivers, do we often assume we are the only ones doing the caring, and the rest of the medical staff shows up only to collect a paycheck?

We nurses often see ourselves as the only patient's advocate and turn advocacy into an "us vs. them" tug-of-war. What happened to the team approach to patient care? Don't think it's only "them" that are responsible for [...]
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Nurse Relationships
Fixing a broken relationship.

Doctors and nurses have been trained to be suspicious of each other.

So writes Suzanne Gordon, author of Nursing Against the Odds (Cornell UP, 2006). And while this has historical roots, it is particularly dysfunctional today. In this RealityRN interview, Gordon describes the complicated relationship between nurses and doctors—and gives practical advice for nurses to help remedy the situation.

RealityRN:  Describe the history of nurse/doctor relationships.

Suzanne [...]
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