7 Items Nurses Should Carry With Them:A Guest Post by Beth Martel


Being a nurse is a job that demands you to be prepared for different patient situations and you might need different items on hand at all times. If you are new to this profession, this article might help you to prepare your bag with all the items that signify your identity as a nurse.

Following is a list of 7 items nurses should always carry with them:

1.                      SCISSORS:

Being a nurse, you need medical scissors for cutting tape and dressings. A nice pair of scissors that is especially for nurses comes in handy and ensures the safety and comfort for the user. You can also buy a colorful pair of scissors that would make your identity and your work a little more colorful.

2.                      STETHOSCOPE:

Stethoscopes are the inevitable tool that every nurse should carry with them. It assists the nurses to examine the functioning of heart, veins and intestines by hearing them with the help of a stethoscope.

If you are brand-conscious, then Littmann stethoscopes will keep you happy because of their goodwill in the market. They are the best-selling stethoscopes you can find in all different designs you might be looking for.

3.                      HAND SANITIZERS:

Being a nurse, keeping your hands clean and bacteria-free should be your top priority. And for that purpose, you must always keep a hand-sanitizer in your bag that comes in handy when you are about to touch or treat a patient.

4.                      BLOOD PRESSURE MONITORS:

You must also keep a blood pressure monitor to keep a track of the patient’s blood pressure which you might have to check several times a day and a good blood pressure monitor would save a lot of your time and efforts of noting all the reading down and waiting for the machine to give the results.

5.                      MEDICAL GLOVES:

At times, you might have to some work that involves a lot germs and dirt that might leave your hand dirty and make you go ill which you cannot afford as a nurse who needs to be up and running all the time.

Therefore, medical gloves in your bag would act like a life saver for you in many circumstances. Make sure that you buy a giant box at once so that you do not have to fret for a long time.

6.                      MEDICAL TAPE AND DRESSINGS:

Whether you use it cover a wound of the patient or wrap it around patient’s arm after taking blood or injecting medication, use of dressings and medical tape is inevitable in this field. And it is highly recommended that you keep a good quality medical tape or dressings in your bag or your scrub pocket at all times.

7.                      THE NURSE TOTE BAG:

Last but not the least; you need a bag that has all the room for the items mentioned above including your personal stuff. Therefore, you can get one of the bags that are exclusively made for nurses with special compartments in it for your ease and better usability of the bag.

For a trendy nurse bag that can signify you identity well and make you look like a cool nurse with a good humor and liveliness, you can check out the nurse tote bags by Sarah.

Author Bio:

This post was written by Beth Martel. She is a mother of two, a medical professional and a humanitarian. She blogs at HealthyRecharge.com

Share The Care Organization wants to make you aware of a special opportunity from Road Scholar

Share The Care

STC wants to make you aware of a special opportunity from Road Scholar
Road Scholar
The Road Scholar Caregiver Grant has a rolling admission – and asks that applications be submitted at least 4-6 weeks before the start of the program. For example, for a program starting on December 8, 2016, it would be ideal to have the application in by November 4th. At this time, we have almost 770 US-based programs open for enrollment all the way through December of 2017, so there’s a lot to chose from.
Who is Road Scholar? 
Not-for-profit Road Scholar is the world’s largest and most innovative creator of educational travel adventures. Our mission is to inspire adults to learn, discover and travel. 
What is a Road Scholar Caregiver Grant? 
The Road Scholar Caregiver Grant is a unique respite opportunity for unpaid family caregivers to take part in a Road Scholar educational travel program. The grant is for Caregivers who are 50 years of age or older and provides an award of up to $1,300 to use toward a U.S.-based educational adventure that costs no more than $1,400. 
Who is eligible for a Caregiver Grant? 
A caregiver is eligible for a grant if … 
  • Their loved one is receiving home care, hospice, visiting nurse, LPN services, or comparable and related services. 
  • Their loved one is in adult day care, memory care, a nursing home or comparable or related facility.
  • They lost a loved one within the past two years who was in any of the above situations.
  • They live in the United States and are 50 years of age and older.
Why seek respite on a Road Scholar program? 
Participating in a Road Scholar program is a special experience of learning and community. Road Scholar programs are a wonderful way to feel revitalized, to make new friends and to spark creativity and intellectual curiosity. This unique Road Scholar experience could be especially helpful for caregivers who are experiencing isolation and feelings of depression, stress and anxiety. 
How does it work? 
The Caregiver Grant is an award of up to $1,300 applied to the cost of a U.S.-based Road Scholar learning adventure that costs no more than $1,400. Grant recipients are responsible for their round-trip transportation to and from the program. Road Scholar takes care of everything else: lodging, meals, field trips, transportation during the program and much more – it’s all included.
Learn more about Road Scholar Caregiver Grants 
For more information or to download an application, visitwww.roadscholar.org/caregivergrant. To request brochures to share about Road Scholar Caregiver Grants, please call 617-457-5429 or email scholarships@roadscholar.org.
Care to Share? Share The Care: http://sharethecare.org/ 
We would love to hear your caregiving stories, see your videos, share your pictures or advice on our website. Your stories and thoughts will help others that find themselves on the  paths that you have traveled.
View some of your stories here.
View some of your photos here.
View some of your advice here.
Contact us  here or by email

Meet Super Nurse Who Dresses the Part to Put a Smile on Sick Children’s Faces



“Super Nurse” Tobin Matthew has played all sorts of good guys at his Chicago hospital over the years, including hanging upside down as Spiderman – anything to put a smile on a sick child’s face.

4 Self-Care Tips for Family Caregivers A Guest Post by Rebecca Kennedy

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Family caregivers who neglect to take care of their own needs can quickly experience burn-out and exhaustion. Here are several important self-care tips for family caregivers to keep in mind.

There are many warnings signs that your senior loved one may be on their way to needing in-home care, such as difficulties in mobility, disorganization in the house, and forgetting to take important medications. As these signs become more and more apparent, family members can be faced with a difficult choice regarding who they will appoint as the primary caregiver of their aging loved one. In many cases, family members themselves may choose to step in as their loved one’s primary caregiver. This is a noble and selfless decision, but family caregivers who neglect to take care of their own needs can quickly experience burn-out and exhaustion.

Here are several important self-care tips for family caregivers to keep in mind.

Continue working in your current job if possible.

It’s easy for caregiving to transition into a full-time position, but many experts strongly urge family caregivers to continue working in their current job position. Not only does this provide a steady stream of income for both you and your senior loved one to live off of, but it also allows you to maintain a part of your identity that is unrelated to caregiving.

This can help prevent burn-out and provide an outlet for family caregivers. If working full-time hours simply isn’t possible in conjunction with your caregiving duties, consider asking your employee if you can cut your hours down to part-time work.

Develop hobbies that help you relieve stress.

Depending on their unique circumstances, family caregivers may feel stressed out, anxious, afraid, lonely, and even resentful. These are all normal and common emotions to experience as a caregiver, but it’s important to find an appropriate outlet that can help you stay on track mentally and emotionally.

Some options include:

  • Yoga, stretching, or meditation
  • Daily walks
  • Gardening
  • Journaling
  • Talking with a close friend

The best outlets are those that can be enjoyed from the comfort of your own home, where you can still keep an eye on your loved one. If you are worried that your negative emotions are beginning to take over your mental health, seek out professional help for yourself.

Don’t forget about your own physical health.

When you spend the majority of your days helping a loved one take care of themselves, it can be easy to start putting their health needs above your own. But if you allow your own health to go unchecked and un-monitored, you may in turn be compromising your abilities to adequately care for your loved one.

The American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise, which could be as simple as a 20 minute walk every morning. Doing your best to carve out a small amount of time every day for physical activity can help you stay energized and motivated.

It’s also important to get regular check-ups and receive annual immunizations, which can help you feel your best and alleviate concerns about your own health.

Don’t feel guilty about asking for and accepting help.

When it comes down to it, there are only so many hours in a day and it’s just not realistic to think that you can “do it all.” It’s so important to know what your physical, mental, and emotional limits are, and to not feel guilty when you’re unable to exceed those limits.

Asking for help when you need it isn’t a sign of failure; it’s a sign of strength. If your friend or neighbor asks if there is anything that they can do to help, tell them what you need! If you need someone to stay with your relative while you attend to an appointment, or if you need someone to bring you some groceries while you deal with a mini-emergency at home, don’t be afraid to ask someone you trust.

Perhaps the biggest challenge of all for family caregivers is when the time comes when they need to start seeking out professional help. Depending on your loved one’s health condition and your level of training, it may be inevitable that you will need to bring in hired help. Keep in mind that you’re not “giving up” – you’re simply doing what is in the best interest of your loved one.

What self-care tips do you practice as a family caregiver? What has proved to be the most effective for you?

Four Programs Designed to Give Caregivers a Helping Hand A Guest Post by Max Gottlieb



Too often we only think of the person receiving care when we think of caregiving. If you do a quick Google search for the word caregiver, you’ll find a vast amount of information on how to hire professional help, or how to best to give care for certain conditions, but only a handful of sites dedicated to providing information about caring for the caregiver. We’d do well to remember that caregiving is a two way street.

As a caregiver, you’re already the type of person who is willing to put someone else’s needs first, but that doesn’t mean you should disregard your own. It’s not selfish to think about yourself and when you take care of you, the positive benefit is transferred to your loved one. While there are many ways to care for yourself, from exercise to meditation, I’m going to focus on a few outside resources available to caregivers. Caregivers are either unfamiliar with these programs or simply overlook them because they do not think the programs apply to their situation. However, these resources are designed to help and should be taken advantage of.

Respite Care:

The first and one of the most commonly used resources is respite care. Respite care comes in two forms, either in-home or out of home services. In-home care allows the person in need of services to remain in their home and it can be provided by volunteers or paid professionals. For short term, non-medical tasks like companionship or recreation, you should be able to find many local organizations and non-profits with volunteers eager to help.

For assistance that is more care intensive or medically necessary, there are agencies that can send staff to the patient’s home. Staff members can stay in the home for short periods of time and will assist with ADLs, homemaker services, and even skilled health care. Depending on medical and financial circumstances, the state may help pay for services so it’s worth looking into. For out of home services, there are adult day care centers or residential programs, which we will discuss next.

Adult Day Care:

The usual adult day care participant uses private funds and lives with their grownup children or spouse. Since day care is generally private pay, this option may not be for everyone, but if applicable, it can offer much needed relief. As a caregiver, you still have personal obligations, job obligations, or maybe you just need a break. If you need personal time, adult day care will provide you with peace of mind in knowing your loved one is in a safe environment.

There are three main types of adult day care: social, health, and memory day care. Social day care supplies meals, recreation, group interactions, and limited health-related services. Adult day health centers provide care for people who need intensive care and supervision. Seniors in adult day health centers usually require a level of care otherwise found in a nursing home. The third type, memory care, is devoted to those with dementia or other forms of memory impairment.

Even though residents must pay per day, it is far less expensive than moving a senior into any type of care home. If the day care is a health or Alzheimer’s facility and the care recipient meets certain financial and medical qualifications, Medicaid may pay for part of the bill. Also, if your loved one has long-term care insurance, the plan may cover adult day care so make sure to call the provider.

Residential Programs:
Residential programs are similar to adult day care in that the senior receives care out of their own home, but residential programs offer around-the-clock care for whatever length of time you need. Nursing homes, group homes, and other specialized facilities provide care, giving caregivers 24-hour relief. There are both emergency and planned services, but many caregivers only use residential programs when there’s an emergency. To avoid making a quick choice based on stressful circumstances, however, it’s better to plan ahead and try care providers before there’s been an emergency. That way, in the event a situation becomes dire, you are comfortable with a care provider and know whom to turn to. Certain long-term care insurance plans and veteran’s programs may help with costs so be sure to look into these options if they’re applicable.

Community Waivers and Medicaid:
Many people know that Medicaid offers long-term care services, but aren’t aware that can include community waivers. HCBS waivers (home and community based services) consist of respite care, home health, homemaker services, adult day health services, personal care, and more. The goal of HCBS is to allow seniors to age in place, longer and more safely. The only downside to Medicaid is that it is not easy to qualify for; applicants must meet stringent medical and financial guidelines. Eligibility varies by state, but see here for a nationwide Medicaid guide. There are unique programs in each state and most states have programs beyond what I just listed. You can call your local Medicaid office or ombudsman to find out what’s available in your area.

Max Gottlieb works with Senior Planning in Phoenix, Arizona. Senior Planning gives free assistance to seniors and their families, helping them find benefits or deciding which type of senior care is most suitable for their situation.


The CARE Act: Helping Family Caregivers From Hospital to Home


Originally Posted on 03/07/2016 by AARP http://blog.aarp.org/2016/03/07/the-care-act-helping-family-caregivers-from-hospital-to-home/ 

In preparing Mom’s medication, my 90-year-old Pop would fill a syringe using the light of the kitchen window to see if the dosage was correct. He set up the nebulizer on a table with handwritten step-by-step instructions to remind him how to operate it. Today, millions of family caregivers like Pop perform complex medical tasks that at one time would have been administered only by medical professionals.

21 states and counting
Two years ago, AARP proposed the idea of the CARE (Caregiver, Advise, Record and Enable) Act to support the 40 million family caregivers in America who are “home alone” with little to no training on how to care for their loved ones safely at home. Last Friday, Wyoming became the 20th state to enact a law that would:

  1. Record the name of the family caregiver at the time of hospital admission of their loved one
  2. Provide family caregivers with adequate notice prior to hospital discharge
  3. Provide a simple instruction of the medical tasks they will be performing when their loved one returns home.

Bottom line: The CARE Act helps family caregivers from the moment their loved ones go into the hospital to when they return home.

Like many of the wonderful legislative sponsors across the states, Rep. Elaine Harvey (R-Wyo.) was a family caregiver; she cared for four parents, two sisters and a great uncle. Last year when we met, Elaine told me and Tim Summers, AARP Wyoming state director, that it had been some time since she championed a personal piece of legislation, but the CARE Act was so important, she would introduce it. Not only did she keep her promise, but she made the bill stronger.

 Family caregiving is already physically and emotionally draining without the stress of figuring out complicated medical tasks on your own.

We’re still fighting

AARP continues to fight for this commonsense, no-cost solution because too many family caregivers are without the basic support they need. Charity from Kansas recently shared:

“My grandmother suffered a stroke, several years ago. And, right now, I’m with her daily — helping her get up and dressed in the morning, and taking care of her needs until I go to work. If she goes back into the hospital, I want to know exactly what I need to do, to take care of her — when she comes home. I don’t want her to end up back in the hospital — or in a nursing home. And, the CARE Act would help prevent that from happening.”

Right now, legislatures are in the process of considering the CARE Act this session in the District of Columbia and 15 states: Alaska, Hawaii, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland,Massachusetts, Michigan, MinnesotaMissouri, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Washington andWisconsin. And, in the U.S. Virgin Islands, the bill is awaiting Gov. Kenneth Mapp’s (I) signature.

Where does your state stand?

If you’re a family caregiver, you’re not alone.

Elaine Ryan is the vice president of state advocacy and strategy integration (SASI) for AARP. She leads a team of dedicated legislative staff members who work with AARP state offices to advance advocacy with governors and state legislators, helping people 50-plus attain and maintain their health and financial security.

Follow Elaine on Twitter: @RoamTheDomes


Commencement Remarks to the Touro College School of Health Science 2016 Graduates offered by Phyllis on September 13, 2016.

Graduates in Cap and Gown
Graduates in Cap and Gown — Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis


Dean Primavera, distinguished faculty, honored guests, proud parents and family and my newly graduated colleagues…

I want to begin my guidance to you this afternoon by reminding all of you of just how unique and wonderful you all are. You see many people care capable to feel empathy for someone given the right circumstances. It is the rare few that cannot feel something when the news is filled with stories of the survivors of an earthquake or a picture of a five year old stunned by the events of war.

But it is the rare soul that can mobilize their empathy and compassionate nature into the action we call caregiving; and even fewer that take it on as their life’s work. Serving your fellow man, woman or child is the highest form of generosity I know and you have all chosen this Path.

So I would like to offer you three steps to take to ensure that you stay connected to the beautiful mission that you have accepted:

First: Create a place for stillness in your daily life.

                Professional caregivers are perpetual doers. The only way to balance continuous doing is to stop and be still. The goal of stillness is to free you from the endless loop of thoughts in your head and encourage you to be more in your body. Simple exercises such as mindful-breathing can offer you an opportunity to pause and rest in a peaceful place. The answer to many of the questions that you will be asking yourself over the next twenty-five years lie in that wonderful silent, still place. Find the simple things in life that can offer you a momentary rest from the noise in your head.

Second: Allow others to care for you.

                Suggesting to a professional caregiver that they may need to be cared for is often offensive to them. Caregivers see themselves as strong, indispensable and indestructible. When I suggest that someone may need caring for, it is often thought that I am suggesting that they are weak or even damaged. Self-care is an act of generosity not selfishness. Self-care allows you to stay available to serve. Taking good care of yourself keeps you connected to your compassionate nature longer and in a more authentic manner.

I often hear professional caregivers explain to me how they take care of themselves and indeed, that is the issue and my point. Taking care of yourself does not let you receive care. Allowing yourself to receive is vital. It is in the receiving of care from another, either through friendship, love, massage, reiki, or delegation of responsibility, that our spirits are renewed, reconnected and refreshed.

Finally: Develop you emotional intelligence.

We are at a time in our industry and professions where knowledge and skills are not enough. Gone are the days of accepting that someone is great at what they do but no one can stand to work with them. The days condoning of ego-dominated behaviors are numbered.

Emotional intelligence has not been stressed in healthcare largely due to the fact that we have been trying to figure out a way to survive.  We have been trying to find a model of care and understand how we are going to pay for that model since 1984 with the break from the fee-for-service structure. We are now fairly clear on a model of care and how it will be financed. It is time to turn our attention to mastering the four skills of emotional intelligence: self-awareness, self-management, social-awareness and relationship-management. We need to master these behavioral expectations in the same manner that our non-healthcare professional colleagues are held accountable to do.

Solid emotional intelligence skills are tools for reducing the risk of compassion fatigue and reducing the prevalence of bullying and incivility in our professions. If we do not redirect our attention to these essential “soft-skills”, we will have no chance of creating a true, interdisciplinary model of care that is patient-centered and humane. We will continue to lose the best of us to venues of practice other than the bedside where we need the best most.

In closing, may you never forget that the Universe only asked a very few of us to devote our lives to the service of others…and you said yes. Blessings and congratulations Class of 2016.


Medicare vs Medicaid


Originally Posted in A Place for Mom:

Senior Living Newsletter



Medicare is national health insurance that all Americans receive when they turn 65. Disabled people who are under 65 can also enroll in Medicare without paying premiums. Medicare is usually not helpful to those looking for a solution to long term care needs.


Medicare can cover short-term rehab stays at a nursing home, for example, after a hospitalization. It can also pay for rehab and therapy at home for a limited period of time and when prescribed by a doctor.

But it’s vitally important to recognize that Medicare does not pay for custodial care. Medicare should primarily be considered health insurance. This means Medicare does not pay for the following types of senior care:

  • Assisted living
  • Long term care at a nursing home
  • Residential care homes
  • Any long term care

For more information about Medicare, see http://www.medicare.gov.


Medicaid is the foremost government assistance program paying for long term care for people who can’t afford it on their own. It is administered cooperatively by the federal government and states. While the majority of its funding comes from the federal government, each state has some discretion in its individual rules, regulations and eligibility requirements.


  1. A senior has to put almost all of his or her existing assets towards care.
  2. Low income, or at least have medical or care expenses that are higher than income.
  3. If a married couple wants to qualify for Medicaid, the couple does not need to have exhausted all financial resources. The healthy spouse can usually keep the home he or she lives in, but may still have to make significant sacrifices.


Medicaid is the safety net for Americans who need care that they cannot afford privately. Like Medicare, Medicaid acts as health insurance. But unlike Medicare, Medicaid can be used to pay for long term nursing home care in all states. Many states also allow their residents to use Medicaid to pay for assisted living communities or other alternatives to nursing homes such as in-home care.

Some states even offer a program through Medicaid called PACE (Program of All Inclusive Care for the Elderly), which covers all of the senior’s care and medical needs through one contracting agency, with the goal of allowing people who have traditionally gone to nursing homes to stay in the community (at home) with support.


Each state has its own guidelines, so you will need to contact a State Medical Assistance office for more details:

You may also want to speak with an elder law attorney who can help guide you through the nuances of a successful Medicaid application.


Veterans who are at least 65 years-old and who served during war time (though not necessarily in actual combat) may be eligible for financial assistance through the US Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) that can be used to help pay for care. Spouses, surviving spouses, and even other dependents of the veteran may be eligible for assistance in some cases as well.

There are three levels of VA benefits for wartime veterans and their dependents, which are based on the needs of the applicant.

  1. Basic Pension
    Basic Pension is designed to function as cash assistance for low income veterans and their dependents. Applicants may be healthy.
  2. Housebound Benefit
    Housebound assistance with day-to-day activities must be needed on a regular basis.
  3. Aid & Attendance
    Assistance must be required on a “daily basis.”

Assistance from the VA is “means tested,” in other words, only people who are deemed genuinely in need will receive an award. It also means that the amount of the benefit is based on the applicant’s income, assets, and needs. Applicants whose countable incomes are over maximum thresholds (excluding the home they live in and the care they drive), will usually be denied. But in situations that are borderline it can’t hurt to apply, as decisions are largely made on a case by case basis.


Like Medicaid, VA benefits can be extraordinarily complex. For this reason you might also consider speaking with a Veteran Services Officer. Veteran Services Officers volunteer through the United States, frequently at hubs for veterans like American Legion halls Veteran of Foreign Wars (VFW) lodges.

To apply for VA health care or determine eligibility,


Medicaid, VA benefits, and to some extent, Medicare, are government programs that help pay for care for older people in the United States. But there are alternatives. Some families also explore reverse mortgages and life settlements to raise funds to pay for necessary care.

Our Senior Living Advisors are happy to discuss, at no cost, the financial aspect of care planning. They can talk you through the options, and even suggest local experts who can help you pursue financial aid options outlined in this article. Talk to an Advisor in your area today!