Great Things Never Came From Comfort Zones

About 4 years ago I was forced outside of my comfort zone and landed a job with Maxim. I didn’t know much about the company at the time but hesitantly accepted a position as a pediatric home health nurse.

After spending 3+ years caring for amazing pediatric patients I was in a position where I needed to stay home more. I started brainstorming and had all of these amazing ideas but I was a little nervous and unsure if I should actually execute them.

With much encouragement from my husband I took a leap of faith and shared my ideas and goals to better improve Maxim with a few of my superiors. I was quite shocked with their response.

It was one of the boldest and equally frightening things I have done in my career yet. And you know what? Stepping out of my comfort zone really paid off. I was offered a position as a Recruiting Liaison.

As a Liaison I get to spread the word about Maxim Healthcare Kentuckiana and the awesome opportunities we offer as well as be an advocate for our nurses.

Moving up within a company may seem difficult, but at Maxim there are so many success stories. Maxim strives to hire within and allows for so much career potential.

So next time an opportunity arises and you are unsure if you shall proceed, consider stepping out side of your comfort zone. I am so glad I did.

Great things never came from comfort zones.

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Cooky’s Corner blog is sponsored by Maxim Healthcare Kentuckiana.
Disclaimer: These thoughts are my own and do not reflect those of Maxim Healthcare.

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Suicide Threats & Social Media

In the era of social media, users may sometimes come across threats of suicide. If a blind eye is turned, the outcome may prove to be fatal.

Intervention can be confusing. Social media users may not know what to do in these situations and stay silent in fear of doing the wrong thing.

The good news is that social media sites, such as facebook, have tools to allow users to anonymously report these post. Below are all the tools you will need to help keep your friends and family safe!


How to Report Suicidal Content/Threats on Facebook

Submit reports of suicidal content to Facebook by clicking: http://www.facebook.com/help/contact.php?show_form=suicidal_content

suicidesnip(Content Credit: Facebook)

After reporting content, Facebook works with the Lifeline and has the ability to provide identifying information to provide assistance quickly.

IMPORTANT: If you’ve encountered a direct threat of suicide on Facebook, please contact law enforcement or a suicide hotline immediately. If the person you’re worried about is a member of the US military community, be sure to mention this so they can provide this person with custom support. (Credit: Facebook)


How to Report Suicidal Content/Threats on Twitter

Submit reports of suicidal content to Twitter by clicking: https://help.twitter.com/forms/suicide

suicidetwitter(Content Credit: Twitter)

Twitter trusted resources


How to Report Suicidal Content/Threats on Instagram

Submit reports of suicidal content to Instagram by clicking: https://help.instagram.com/553490068054878

suicideinstagram(Content Credit: Instagram)


How to Report Suicidal Content/Threats on Snapchat

Submit reports of suicidal content to Snapchat by clicking: https://support.snapchat.com/en-US/i-need-help

suicidesnap

(Content Credit: Snapchat)


Other Resources

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Cooky’s Corner blog is sponsored by Maxim Healthcare Kentuckiana.hhaad
Disclaimer: These thoughts are my own and do not reflect those of Maxim Healthcare.

Life with IC

“What is IC and what is it like living with it?” This is a question I get frequently asked.

To understand what living with IC is like, one must first understand IC as a whole. IC (Interstitial Cystitis) also know as PBS (Painful Bladder Syndrome) is a chronic bladder condition with no known cause or cure.

It causes long term debilitating pain and inflammation of the bladder and urinary tract. It causes some to experience urgency, frequency, and the inability to fully empty the bladder. It is more common in women but can affect anyone.

When people ask for an explanation of IC I always tell them to imagine urinating gasoline, shards of glass, or rubbing alcohol for an unknown amount of time. It could be days or it could be years. Comparable to the worst UTI imaginable, but everlasting.

IC/BPS is not an infection but can sometimes mimic a urinary tract infection. Some IC patients may have other health issues such as irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia, pelvic floor dysfunction, vulvodynia and other pain syndromes.  Some studies have linked IC to autoimmune disorders, but it has been debatable in the medical community.

Testing for IC is limited. There is not just one test to determine the medical condition. It is usually diagnosed by the process of elimination.

Only 5-10 percent of IC patient have a definite sign, Hunner’s Ulcers.  Hunner’s Ulcers is a subtype of IC and debated to be in a class of it’s own.

IC can range from mild to severe with pain lasting hours for some and years for others. Some have compared the pain associated with IC to that of a cancer patient.

There is no cure for IC. It can be treated with a variety of medications and therapy. Therapy is trial and error as each patient reacts differently.

Some treatments include: pelvic floor physical therapy, bladder instillations, Botox injections, hydrodistention, and in extreme cases bladder removal.

Now that you have a background of IC I can answer the original question. What is IC and what is it like living with it?

All throughout my life I would see my doctor with complains of urinary pain and end up with a diagnosis of a  UTI. Later the urine cultures would come back negative.

After the birth of my first child the misdiagnosed UTI’s turned into constant pain. An entire year of misery passed before I was at the end of my rope and my journey for answers and healing began.

My OB/Gynecologist was heaven sent. She guided me in the right direction and referred me to a pelvic pain specialist/urologist.

After lots of testing to rule out other diagnoses I finally received the news that I had IC. I was put on a handful of medications, a strict IC diet, pelvic floor therapy, and bladder instillations 3-4 times a week for 6 months.

Let me tell you about bladder instillations. THEY ARE PURE HELL. A catheter is placed into an already painful bladder, and then filled with a “cocktail”.

A cocktail can include a combinations of heparin, lidocaine, bicarbonate, saline, elmiron, or Dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO). It depends on your doctor and their preference.

The concoction is to be held in the bladder for at least 30 mins or until you can not hold it any longer. It burns like fire and thanks to the opioid epidemic no pain medications are administered. It is nothing short of BARBARIC.

None of the treatment were working for me. As a last ditch effort my doctor recommended a hydrodistension. A hydrodistension is where the bladder is filled to capacity and then some to stretch the walls of the bladder and promote healing and decrease symptoms.

Hydrodistention doesn’t work for everyone. It can make some patients symptoms worse. If done many times, it can have severe side effects such as hardening of the bladder walls. In return, some patients will end up needing to have their bladder removed. It is usually reserved for patients in the end stage of IC.

I was desperate so I agreed to the hydrodistention. It sent me in the worst flair of my life and the pain lasted unbearably for weeks. I was not sure if I had made the right decision but there was no turning back.

Months past and before I knew it I was pain free. Alas, I was in remission! I was able to stop most of the medications except for two that I take nightly.

I have flairs periodically when I am stressed or eat something  that triggers inflammation in my bladder.

I consider myself one of the lucky ones. Not all people with IC get any relief at all and some even commit suicide to end the pain. My hope is that awareness is raised and one day a cure is found so that people with IC can finally get some relief.

Living with IC is not the ideal life for anyone to live! With a great support system, a well educated doctor, medications, and following the IC diet, I can still make the most out of life. I am thankful everyday that I am well enough to spread awareness and hopefully shed a little light on IC.

To learn more about IC check out the following references:

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Cooky’s Corner blog is sponsored by Maxim Healthcare Kentuckiana.
Disclaimer: These thoughts are my own and do not reflect those of Maxim Healthcare.

Nursing Instructors- 7 Tips to Help your Students Succeed

A brand new nursing instructor asked a group of nurses to give her some insight on how to become a better teacher. Her goal was to set her students up for success. Not only in the class room setting, but in their future careers.

Below are 7 suggestions any nursing instructor and their students could benefit from.

1. Set them up for success. 

Help them succeed by providing a study guide that reflects the exam.

A test is only a small fraction of what a nurse needs to know in the real world. It can become information overload and easily be counterproductive, leading to negative test scores.

The amount of information nurses need to know is astronomical compared to the amount of time they have to learn it.

Provide them with solid education of the nursing basics so that they are competent and confident. Thus, creating a foundation of knowledge they can build on. They have an entire career to learn and grow as a nurse.

2. Have a great attitude.

Staying positive and creating an inviting class room setting can allow students to relax. A student in a calm environment will have better time focusing on learning instead of negative surroundings. In return, becoming successful.

Personal story: I was in a nursing program and could hardly pull a C in the class. I was not retaining any information and was slowly feeling like a failure.

The teacher was bitter and grumpy. She came in everyday with a horrible attitude creating a hostile environment. She was struggling as a new teacher and it reflected on the class as a whole. More students were failing than passing. Most students couldn’t even pull a D on the practice NCLEX exam.

After switching schools, what happened next will prove that attitude can change everything. My new teacher was compassionate and truly cared about his students. He was enthusiastic and created a positive learning environment.

I quickly became a straight A student and was actually retaining knowledge. I passed my practice NCLEX exams in the 97th percentile. When I took my boards I was well prepared and passed on the first attempt. I attribute this to the positive environment that allowed me to learn and grow. Proving my point that attitude is everything!

3. Encourage your students.

A teacher can majorly influence nursing students mentally, spiritually, and academically.

Don’t let the power of holding their career in your hands go to your head. Instead of berating your students, provide them with words of encouragement. A little kindness can go a long way.

4. Get to know your students.

If you are noticing a learning block, address it. Provide resources and/or make accommodations to help the students succeed.

Some students do better learning with hands on experience and others with power points and flash cards. Teach a variety of ways to reach all of the students learning needs.

5. Be consistent.

Say what you mean and mean what you say. In other words, lead by example. Do not preach one technique then do the exact opposite and dock them for mirroring it.
The goal should be to set them up for success. Consistency is key in the learning process.

6.Be available. 

Communicate with your students! Encourage open communication in and outside of the classroom. Answer questions over emails and discussion boards.

7.Teach testing strategies.

If a student can not understand simple test taking strategies they can quickly be at risk for failure. Being successful in nursing school is not always about knowing the material in its entirety but being able to project it on a text.

Teaching them how to navigate the standardized nursing test and implementing the strategies in the course could mean the difference between failure or success.

Not only will it help them in becoming successful in the course, it will help them pass the dreaded NCLEX!

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Cooky’s Corner blog is sponsored by Maxim Healthcare Kentuckiana.
Disclaimer: These thoughts are my own and do not reflect those of Maxim Healthcare.

 

 

 

 

A Letter to the Past

Dear youthful and vibrant self,

Hi, it’s you from the future. I have a lot of wisdom to share with you, so listen up!

Don’t worry. I know that is a hard thing to do, but trust me. Things will come together in ways you can never imagine. Live and let go! The things that feel so big right now will feel like a speck in time when you look back.

Be strong. Your life may seem pointless right now, but these feelings will not last forever. Time will move forward and you will learn what life is all about as you go.

Enjoy the present. These times may feel never-ending but one day time will fly by so fast you will want to freeze it. Use your time wisely. Look around and take in your surroundings. These people in your life may not be here months or years from now. Cherish them and make memories. Once this time has passed, you can not get it back. Don’t take it for granted!

Love yourself. Get to know who you are and love yourself the way you want to be loved. Love your scars and flaws as they are what makes you unique.

Be kind. That person who is being cruel to you is most likely a lost and lonely soul. Show compassion, have empathy. Lend a helping hand or a listing ear. You will never know how much it could change a person’s life.

Work hard. You control your own destiny. You get to decide what your future holds. No matter who you are and where you come from, don’t let it hold you back. Take hold of your life and shape it into the life you want it to be.

Make mistakes. Don’t be afraid to fail. Use it as a learning tool. Grow from it and move on. Remember, if you do not take chances you will never have a opportunity to you succeed.

Be thankful. You have so many things to be thankful for; family, friends, food, health, shelter, and life… just to name a few. Be thankful for what you have and do not dwell on what you do not.

You are a star. No matter how small you feel, you are a star that shines bright. Without you the galaxy would be a much dimmer place.

Keep pushing.  Today is about survival.  Even when the waters are rough and you feel like you are drowning, keep swimming! Have faith that things will eventually calm and you will float safely to shore.

You matter. You are important to someone. You are loved. You are deserving. With hard work and perseverance, you will make a difference in the world.

Forgive. Don’t hold grudges. Learn to forgive! Life is too short to waste time being bitter. Own your emotions and never allow anyone to have control over them.

Have faith. It may not be easy, but it will be worth it. No matter how hard things seem, one day it will all make sense and you will see the bigger picture. Where you are now is exactly where you are meant to be.

Embrace life. You are human. Your life holds limitless possibilities.  You have a chance to make your life something extraordinary. Don’t let it go to waste. Embrace it and live your life to the fullest potential!

Your future is bright. One day you will become do great things. Some things may fall apart while other things are just coming together. Learn to roll with the punches. Everything you do now is setting up the foundation for your future. But don’t worry young self, one day you will find your place in the world and know exactly where you belong. Keep striving to do better, to be better, and never give up!

Sincerely,

Present and more distinguished self

motivationalmonday

P.S. To my future self: Don’t forget where you came from.

 

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Cooky’s Corner blog is sponsored by Maxim Healthcare Kentuckiana.
Disclaimer: These thoughts are my own and do not reflect those of Maxim Healthcare.

 

 

Career Advancement for the LPN/LVN

Imagine this.

You have years of experience under your belt as a LPN/LVN and you are experiencing burn out. Perhaps you have reached the top of your income potential and your raises are all capped out. You may even feel like your job opportunities are limited.

You are ready for a change!

For some; money, time, and resources can be a barrier to career advancement.  You may have asked yourself, “How can I advance my career when I have already invested so much into the nursing field?” 

Ask no more!

Included below are a ton of resources to consider when advancing your career! Quick, easy, and cost efficient routes to obtain nursing certifications that will strengthen your resume and add weight behind your current license.

Having these additional certifications can assist you in landing your dream job and earning the raise you have worked so hard to obtain!

Share!

If you have other resources you would like to share with your fellow nurse, please comment them below! Good luck on the path to success!

If you enjoyed this blog, feel free to follow my future post on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/KentuckianaMaxim/Copy of Copy of Optimizing Your Startup
Cooky’s Corner blog is sponsored by Maxim Healthcare Kentuckiana.

Disclaimer: These thoughts are my own and do not reflect those of Maxim Healthcare. Maxim does not endorse any of the listed sites, they are to be used at your own risk.

 

A Mother’s Tale of True Terror

Today, I experienced my first true emergency with my son.  It was snack time, and I had peeled a small mandarin orange and placed a few wedges on a plate. Per usual, my son was shoveling it down as if it were his last meal. HE WAS RIGHT NEXT TO ME!

A few seconds later he looked at me with terror in his eyes, frantically waving his arms around. HE WASN’T BREATHING.

EXTREME FEAR is how I would describe how I felt. One would think a nurse would remain calm, but that was not the case. When it is your own child, everything you know flies out the window. At least, until the feeling of sheer panic subsides and your brain switches over to nurse mode.

So there I was with my HELPLESS AND TERRIFIED baby boy in my arms, simultaneously pacing the living room and administering back blows. They were not working, and he continued to choke.

HIS FACE WAS GROWING MORE RED  by each passing second. I start frantically tossing stuff out of my pantry in a desperate search for the choking apparatus, a LifeVac, I bought for this exact emergency.  Of course, at the time I needed it the most it was no where to be found.

41cs+PvitCLPicture Credit-LifeVac

Abdominal thrust are not something I wanted to do to my baby boy, but I had no other choice. I started abdominal thrust while frantically looking for my phone to CALL 911.

HE STARTED GAGGING. Still no breaths. More back blows. More thrusts… it seemed like a million years. I opened his mouth, and I could see a bit of the orange wedge.

After a few more abdominal thrust, he started vomiting. Finally, HE TOOK A BREATH! It was a partial breath with the sound of obstruction, but still a breath nonetheless.

I opened his mouth to get a visual of the obstruction and the mandarin slice was STILL LODGED in his throat. I administered a few more back blows until the fruit was finally free.

CRYING NEVER SOUNDED SO GOOD! I gave him the biggest hug you can imagine. He was still a bit furious at that moment in time and was crying and thrashing about.

BEING A NURSE, I immediately grabbed my stethoscope to listen to his lungs while simultaneously calling his doctor and trying to calm him.

I go over everything with the triage nurse with a little crackle in my voice. My instructions were to monitor him for the next few days for potential infection and report any changes in behavior, breathing distress, or fever. This is a precaution incase he inhaled/aspirated some of the vomit or fruit.

After all the commotion was over, he was happily drinking his milk and running through the house like his normal self before crashing for a much needed nap.26754619_1800243013328922_256043775_n

Please, if you are a parent and you don’t know how to administer the HEIMLICH MANEUVER, CPR/FIRST AID, please learn it ASAP!! You could save a loved ones life!

To find a class near you visit:

 

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Cooky’s Corner blog is sponsored by Maxim Healthcare Kentuckiana.Copy of Copy of Optimizing Your StartupDisclaimer: These thoughts are my own and do not reflect those of Maxim Healthcare