Nurses, Three Ways to Clear Energy Blocks Guest Posting by Elizabeth Scala

I had the privilege of speaking at theMid-Atlantic Reiki conference this weekend. One of the statements made struck me as so profound: In healthcare we’ve got all of the tools. We’re educated about the body. We’ve got the information about illness, disease, and what behaviors can help prevent it. We ‘know’ all that we need to know. And yet we’re still missing something

My universal law teacher speaks about Newtonian Physics versus Quantum Physics. Without getting overloaded with science here, Newtonian Physics is how we’ve been historically practicing medicine and approaching healthcare. On the other hand, Quantum Physics and the fact that everything is made up of energy, could be a direction that will shift and ultimately heal the limited thinking of the current model.

If I’ve lost you, no worries, let’s bring this back to the physical plain, grounded in what we can comprehend and apply.

It’s all about energy.

Everything is made up of energy- your thoughts, feelings, beliefs, actions, and even your physical body. So if every thought is energy then negative thought is also energy. What’s worse: negative thought is energy that can become stuck in the body. Negative thought stuck in the body becomes an energy block.

As a nurse, what’s happening to me?

Your energy is depleted. You keep pushing harder and harder. You continue to add more to your plate. This constant go-go-go can leave you feeling drained. But what’s that exhaustion really all about?

That tired feeling you experience is simply a symptom of dis-ease.

Your energy is blocked on a deeper level. Something beneath your physical body is crying out for help. It may be something you’re aware of but, more likely, it’s something you’re not even conscious to.

What can you do?

Well, for one thing you don’t need more information! You certainly don’t need to be educated or taught how to live a healthy lifestyle. You’ve been told over and over and you’re probably sick of all of the self-care talk.

And those people telling you how to be healthy- who do they think they are? You’re a nurse! You’ve learned this stuff; you’re an expert; you teach your patients every day about healthy versus unhealthy and what to do about it all!

You don’t need to learn how to be healthy; you just need the space to allow healthy.

Wouldn’t it be nice if you had the time to just let loose and have some fun?

Here are two ways and one invitation to enjoying yourself and your health a bit more in order to unblock and clear that stagnant, stuck energy:

  • SMILE! Smile when you get up in the morning; smile before you go to sleep. Feel your smile inside and out, allowing every cell of your body to smile with joy. Start with a smile on your face and see if you can move it deeper and deeper into the body. I’m forever grateful to Coach Betty for inviting me to discover my whole body smile and I use it every day.
  • BREATHE! Have you ever caught yourself with your shoulders around your ears? You’re so tense that you’re body aches from the tightness of stress. One way to let go of that constricted sensation is to breathe slow, long, and deep into the belly. Inhale and exhale slow and controlled several times throughout your day.
  • JOIN US! Want to know what one of my core values is? FUN! And while I’ve been enjoying building my business, learning new things, and taking on new projects it hasn’t always provided joy. I noticed, “You know what? I’m forcing, pushing, and ‘doing’ too much. It’s time to have some FUN!” That’s where Music Movement & Mood comes in! When you join me in my upcoming course, you will learn how to reconnect with your core values. Through harmonizing and tapping into your own inner energy you will enjoy mind-body shifts, an uplifted mood, and so much more. This course will integrate movement, music, mantra and meditation to allow you to heal, balance, and grow in a fun and easy way.

The ABCs of Caregiving Guest Posting By Maryanne Curran

Throughout our lives, we each perform a variety of different roles.  For me, I have been a daughter, sister, student, sales clerk, secretary, coach, and a writer.  The one role I thought I would never assume is now the main focus of my life – caregiver.

My journey as a caregiver began in 2003.  My mother was diagnosed with a rare neurological disease.  Her health slowly deteriorated.  As it did, I learned more and more about how to properly and lovingly care for her.

When she passed away in 2008, I thought my caregiving duties were over.  But the Universe said, “No.” My 83-year-old father got hit with one health issue after another and again I donned my caregiver hat.  Because of this hands-on experience, I feel confident in claiming the title of Professional Family Caregiver.

If you’re facing the new role of caregiver, here are some tips to help you succeed in your new position.  While many of these tips pertain to caring for a senior citizen, they can be used for other family members as well.

Ask.  Admitting that you need help caring for your parent is hard.  If you are the primary caregiver, ask other family members to contribute some time.  Don’t take “No” for an answer.  Everyone is busy.  But being a caregiver for an ill person is more than one person can handle.  All family members need to pitch in where they can.

Banking.   Visit the bank where your parent does his or her banking.  Have your name added to their bank accounts so you may access funds if they are not able to.  Be sure to check with a financial advisor about any tax consequences for you.

Community.  There are many resources in your community.  Identify them and use them.  Neighbors, friends, and church members are often eager to help, but don’t know what’s needed.  In many towns, Meals on Wheels is available to deliver a nutritional meal for your parent.

Delegate.  As a caregiver, you may think that you have to do everything.  Delegate activities of lesser importance to others.  It will give you more free time to deal with the important healthcare issues.

Emotions.  Caregiving is an emotional ride. There will be days of anger, depression, loneliness, anxiety, and more.  These feelings are normal given the circumstances.  To balance the darker days, there will also be days of laughter, love, and joy.  Relish these days.

Forgiveness.  In the daily stress of caregiving, you’ll have your share of difficult days.  Forgive yourself when you’re having a bad day.  No one is perfect.  Every sunrise marks a new day.  Wipe the slate clean and start your day anew.

Government.  There are a multitude of agencies that can be a great resource for caregivers.  Check to find an agency near you.  If your town has a senior center, that’s also a great place to start.  Some states participate in programs that provide a monetary stipend to a family member who is caring for a senior who is ill.

Home Health Aides.  A good home health aide can be a blessing.  If using an agency, make sure they do a background check on new aides.  Make a list of things you want the aides to do.  You may have many different aides who cover different shifts.  Writing a list of their duties will make it easier to transition from one aide to the next.

Insurance.  Understand what medical insurance your parent has.  Find out what benefits he/she is entitled to and what will be the out-of-pocket expenses.
Join.  A support group is a place where you can share and vent.  If you can’t drive to one, there are many online groups.  The group members know what you’re going through and can be a great sounding board.

Knowledge.  They say that knowledge is power.  This is never truer then when dealing with a health crisis.  Learn as much as you can about the disease your loved one is facing.  It will prepare you and teach you what symptoms to watch for.  If it’s a progressive illness, you can learn to identify the stages of the illness to assist with your caregiving.

Legal.  Make sure all your parent’s legal documents are up-to-date.  A will, power of attorney, and health care proxy are a must.  Consult an attorney to prepare these documents.

Medications.  You will need to become an expert about the various medications your parent is prescribed.  Ask for a 90-day supply of medication.  It’s often more cost-effective and will save you some trips to the pharmacy. Check with the pharmacist to ensure that any new prescriptions will not affect existing medications.

Nutrition.  Illness can often change the eating habits of both the person who is ill and his or her caregiver.  Make sure you both have healthy, nutritional meals during this journey.

Organize.  If you were never an organized person, it’s a skill you’ll need to master quickly. As a caregiver, you’ll multitask more than you ever thought you could.  The caregiving tasks may seem overwhelming.  Just take one at a time and you’ll succeed.

Patience.  They say that patience is a virtue.  As a caregiver, this is a necessary attribute to your skill set.  Everything you want to do will take more time than you think.  Be patient.

Question.  There are no dumb questions.  Don’t be afraid to ask doctors, nurses, and other medical personnel any question you have about the health of your parent.  Remember, they work for you.

Respite.  If your family member is sick, they become the center of your family’s world.  It’s vital that you find time for yourself and get a break from your role as a caregiver.  No one works 24 hours a day.  Make sure to schedule some time to take a walk, get a massage, or even go to a movie.

Spirituality.  Connect to your spiritual side.  Maintaining your faith or finding the faith that you lost is a significant coping mechanism on this caregiving journey.  Spiritual leaders will often make visits to your home to provide spiritual guidance to both you and your loved one.

Talk.  Talk about your feelings about being a caregiver to someone you trust.  Talk to your loved one about their feelings about their health.  Talking makes any relationship a closer and more loving one.

Understanding.  As a caregiver, you’ll be called upon to provide a deep level of understanding to your loved one.  You’ll need to evaluate each situation to determine what your parent needs.  Are they looking for a shoulder to cry on?  Are they in pain?  Are they lonely?  Is it something more?  You’ll need to learn to understand the cues so you can help.

Visiting Nurses.  Visiting nurses are the unsung heroes of the healthcare industry.  They save you trips to the emergency room. They can treat and help diagnose a myriad of health problems.  They can get through to a doctor immediately. If needed, they are a link to hospice.

Wishes.  If your loved one is terminal, you must have “the talk” with them.  It’s not easy, but it’s absolutely necessary.  You must talk about what their final wishes are including funeral arrangements, do not resuscitate instructions or quality of life issues.

eXercise.  Yes, we’re cheating with the spelling here, but it is the best example.  We all know the benefits of exercise.  As a caregiver, exercise is even more important.  You need to maintain your own health as well.  Exercise manages stress.

You.  While this is near the end of our list, YOU should be at the top.  You, as a caregiver, will be facing a whole new world of challenges.  That makes you a special and loving person.  You are providing help to someone who desperately needs it.  You rock!

Zeal.  Like anything done well, it requires a commitment to the project.  Caregiving is no different.  Address your role as a caregiver with zeal.  Be an advocate for your loved one.

Maryanne Curran is a freelance writer and a professional family caregiver.

Celebrating the Profession of Nursing: Nursing Success TV attracts a loyal audience of online viewers

Nursing Success TV attracts a loyal audience of online viewers

Statistics show nurses have spent over 200 hours watching the Web-based program

January 9, 2014, Hunt Valley, MD:  Since launching in October 2013, Nursing Success TV has been viewed by thousands of nurses across all specialties and experience levels.  The online show is formatted to provide nurses with insights and advice from their peers.  According to Program Manager, Carol Barber, “We researched what nurses were discussing in online forums and saw that many conversations centered on every day work issues and requests for career advice.  We designed Nursing Success TV to focus on those topics with real nurses addressing them.”

Each monthly episode of Nursing Success TV features advice from Dr. Phyllis Quinlan, RN and professional nursing coach, who answers questions sent in from nurses across the nation. Covering topics ranging from compassion fatigue to horizontal hostility, Dr. Quinlan pulls from her 30 years in nursing to provide candid, real-world insights.  She states, “Nursing Success TV is the only show of its kind, completely dedicated to informing and inspiring America’s nurses.  From across the profession, I’ve heard nurses voice enthusiastic support and appreciation for NSTV’s mission.”

In a regular segment, “Chart Your Future,” Dr. Carol Tuttas, RN, discusses what the future of nursing will require from the profession.  Outlining how careers in nursing will continue to evolve, Dr. Tuttas shares her insights on the opportunities ahead and what today’s nurses can do to prepare themselves to succeed at maximum levels.  With a nursing career that’s spanned staff, education and leadership positions, Dr. Tuttas, now Director for Enterprise Services  at CGNFS International Inc., encourages nurses to pursue higher education as a key part of their career strategies and says, “Investing in advanced education always pays off many times over. It’s not easy but it’s well worth it in terms of broadening the spectrum of meaningful employment opportunities and earnings potential.”

Nursing Success TV also features “One Nurse’s Success” in which a working nurse shares his or her views on why nurses matter and tells a personal story that confirms that.  “Their stories are profoundly moving and validate that nurses make the difference in the lives of millions.  We can be so proud.” Dr. Quinlan commented.

Distributed through the nursing associations of the National Healthcare Career Network (NHCN), Nursing Success TV is free, available 24/7, and does not require registration to view.  Barber adds, “The NHCN’s nursing association partners are very excited about providing Nursing Success TV to their members, numbering nearly 400,000 collectively, and the feedback they’re getting confirms that the show is highly valued by viewers. Plus, our stats show that viewers are spending over three minutes per episode on average, which well exceeds online activity norms.”

The fourth episode of Nursing Success TV is scheduled to air in mid-January.  If interested in learning how to participate in the show – as an on-air guest, advertiser or sponsor – contact Barber at 850.981.7295, Carol@NursingSuccess.TV.

The Challenge for New Nurses When Caring for the Aged: A Guest Posting By Ryan Hughes

Compassion and a nurturing nature are typical personality traits for any individuals who choose to enter the nursing field. A desire to help the sick and injured, as well as great determination, are also pre-requisites that equip these honorable people for their profession. When new nurses actually begin their first positions after completing nursing school, it can be extremely challenging to apply their knowledge in real life situations. This especially holds true for those who begin their careers by caring for the aged.  The elderly population has a unique set of needs that nurses must be prepared for when they put their training into practice.

Aging: A Natural Progression
As people head into their golden years, they will experience a natural progression as changes take place in their bodies. Some individuals will maintain greater mobility and better well-being than others, depending on their personal situations. The mission of all nurses should be to assist aging patients in having the best quality of life that is possible. Recommendations can be made for diet, nutritional supplements, forms of exercise, and other activities that can promote good health. When patients experience problems, nursing staff members need to team up with doctors to find solutions and provide comfort as well.

Geriatric Patients: Common Afflictions
When it comes to providing care, nurses need to be prepared to face a host of issues with each geriatric patient. No two patients will be identical in their medical concerns. Dementia, Alzheimer’s, arthritis, heart conditions, diabetes, osteoporosis, gastrointestinal problems, vision problems, diminishing hearing, and various cancers are par for the course. As people age, their bodies begin to show wear and tear brought on by the passing years. Lifestyles can have a major impact on the aging process as well. A patient at age 90 who made sensible choices over the years might be in better shape than an individual at age 65 who drank and smoked. Regardless of the physical and emotional condition of any patient, a nurse must assist the doctor in diagnosis, treatment, and management of any health problems experienced by geriatric patients. For those who are fortunate enough to be in good health without any concerns, nurses can provide helpful advice to ensure that their patients continue traveling the road to wellness.

A Helping Hand and a Shoulder to Lean On
In addition to navigating the murky waters when it comes to recognizing the diverse needs of the elderly population, nurses need to realize that they will be the lifeboat in the storm for many of their patients. As people age, they lose many of their friends and family members. Many patients may have no one to turn to in life to attend to their care. Whether they are living by themselves, living in a nursing home, or experiencing a hospital stay, their nurses and doctors may be the only people who care about them. Nurses need to have extreme patience and demonstrate a caring manner toward the aging. They may be the only light in the darkness of loneliness.

 Geriatric Nursing: An Area in Hot Demand

The North American population is aging and the number of geriatric patients will only continue to grow. In addition, people are experiencing a longer life expectancy. Look in hospitals across the nation and half of the patients are the elderly. Few nurses actually become certified in geriatric care. However, most nurses will work with aging individuals at some point in their careers. They need to recognize the fact that this population will require special care and nurses will have to step up to the plate. For nurses entering the field for the first time, there are good prospects in the field of geriatrics. Whether caregivers choose to dedicate themselves to the aged, or find themselves dealing with aging patients, they must always take the time to truly understand each individual in their care. Nurses are likely to deal with a mixed bag of issues that include physical maladies, mental issues, and emotional concerns. If they commit themselves to finding answers for each, aging patient, nurses can truly make a difference in the lives of senior citizens. They must face each challenge with optimism and the conviction that aging individuals deserve only the best in care.

Resources for Gerontological Nursing:

Canadian Gerontological Nurses Association

Gerontology Specialty Certification – Canada

British Geriatrics Society

Geriatric Nursing – Johnson & Johnson

Ryan Hughes is a freelance writer and health enthusiast. He is in his final year of nursing at University of Derby, Nursing and Health School and is passionate about helping others and sharing his thoughts via the online world.