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Incredibly Easy blog
The Incredibly Easy blog will expand on selected topics presented in the print journal.
Monday, February 8, 2016

Here we go again! Another virus that’s spreading rapidly, and this one has some frightening consequences for pregnant women. I’m always of the mindset not to wait until a virus is a threat to the United States to begin educating myself and others. We know Zika virus is carried by mosquitoes and proliferates in tropical climates. Patients present with a mild rash, low-grade fever, and conjunctivitis. In addition to these symptoms, patients may also complain of headaches, joint pain, and fatigue. The incubation time is unclear. We know that pregnant women who contract the virus run a high risk of birth defects. The World Health Organization has stepped up surveillance, recommending protection against mosquitoes and adding additional precautions for pregnant women. Stay up to date on the facts because there are now multiple cases reported in the United States. Two of these cases have been by sexual transmission; the virus lives longer in sperm cells. Be safe, remember your universal precautions, use mosquito protection as applicable, and be cognizant of patients’ travel history. For more information, visit the CDC and WHO.

Lisa Lockhart, MHA, MSN, RN, NE-BC
Nurse Manager, Specialty Clinics
Alvin C. York VA Medical Center
Murfreesboro, Tenn.



Monday, February 1, 2016

Human trafficking is in focus recently as lawmakers are drawing attention to the plight of its victims. Human trafficking involves the enslavement of another human being and falls into two basic categories: labor trafficking and sex trafficking. The physical and emotional toll that trafficking exacts on victims is huge and, as caregivers, we have the ability to recognize someone at risk and possibly intervene. These patients may give a poor health history but are often exposed to sexually transmitted diseases, have a high incidence of drug and alcohol abuse, and prone to be the victims of violence. Additionally, there’s the stigma associated with human trafficking, often causing victims to be culturally and socially shunned. There are educational resources and tips available for identification and intervention approaches. Please take some time to brush up you knowledge. It may save a life.

Lisa Lockhart, MHA, MSN, RN, NE-BC
Nurse Manager, Specialty Clinics
Alvin C. York VA Medical Center
Murfreesboro, Tenn.




Monday, January 25, 2016

​I've participated in some heavy conversations about medication reconciliation lately. Providers and nurses often have varying opinions on this practice, but all agree that it's a vital piece of assessment with a big impact on patient safety. Medication reconciliation has been a noted item in The Joint Commission National Patient Safety Goals for years and we still don't have a handle on it nationally. It's seen as cumbersome and labor intensive, and there remains some argument over whose responsibility it actually is to perform medication reconciliation.

Nursing plays a vital role in the process through data collection, careful questioning and prompting of patients, and documentation. This includes remembering to include all over-the-counter medications, herbal supplements, and recreational activity, along with what dosages patients are actually taking, not just what's ordered. It's without a doubt the provider's responsibility to reconcile this list and ensure what the patient is taking is compatible and not contradictory to therapy goals and needs. Nurses can then explain any changes, educate about any additions or deletions, and ensure that the patient has an updated and accurate list.

Medication reconciliation is a team effort and should be approached as such. How does your organization deal with this practice?

Lisa Lockhart, MHA, MSN, RN, NE-BC
Nurse Manager, Specialty Clinics
Alvin C. York VA Medical Center
Murfreesboro, Tenn.




Monday, January 18, 2016

I’ve recently been reviewing social media sites designed by and for nurses. I’m always so impressed with the stories shared on these sites about why so many became nurses and how they want to grow and develop in their profession. I’m also impressed by the stories nurses share about their personal struggles. While they go to work and school, they’re also caring for a sick child or family member. Many are ill themselves, yet they find the strength to endure--this kind of inner strength always amazes me. I believe nurses are gifted in this way. That which draws us to our profession is also what gives us strength. It’s a part of who we are and not just what we do.

As a nurse manager, I’ve had myriad poignant conversations with peers and employees. They share their personal and professional hurdles with me and, again, I’m in awe of their strength, resiliency, and determination to do the right thing. Nurses wrestle with what to put first: their jobs, patients and peers, or their family life. Most of us actually attempt to do it all, often at the cost our own health and sanity. And many of us won’t accept that we can’t; after all, it’s who we are!

Lisa Lockhart, MHA, MSN, RN, NE-BC
Nurse Manager, Specialty Clinics
Alvin C. York VA Medical Center
Murfreesboro, Tenn.
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Monday, January 11, 2016

Happy New Year to all of you from Nursing made Incredibly Easy! Our wish is for all of you to have a safe and healthy 2016. I hope that this year you’ll allow yourself to grow and pursue your professional dreams and aspirations. NMIE has a treasure trove of articles and continuing-education offerings to help you think about what direction you want to take educationally, professionally, and even politically. In addition, remember that caring for yourself makes you stronger as you strive for professional growth and development. Your personal life is vital to a healthy and happy you. This is an area that many professionals neglect and some of us even feel guilty about. So let’s get going! Here’s to a productive 2016!

Lisa Lockhart, MHA, MSN, RN, NE-BC
Nurse Manager, Specialty Clinics
Alvin C. York VA Medical Center
Murfreesboro, Tenn.
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NursingMadeIncrediblyEasy
The mission of the peer-reviewed journal Nursing made Incredibly Easy! is to meet the ongoing educational needs of nurses in a refreshingly original, easily understood format.