From Apprentice to Nurse?
The Council for Adult and Experiential Learning and the Department of Labor in Chicago are partnering to sponsor the Nursing Career Lattice Program. This is an apprenticeship model for learning in which participants combine on-the-job training with classroom learning to master a particular profession. An apprentice's salary is about 60% of a fully trained professional in the field in which they are apprenticing. Credit for previous related experience may be granted and considered in salary considerations. The program's goal is to increase the number of CNAs, LPNs and RNs throughout the region. For information about the program, contact Melissa Kahn at 312/906-6160. –Nursing Spectrum, May 3, 2004
Time to Grieve
When we take the time to grieve, we are acknowledging that something sorrowful has happened. We are facing reality. And facing our sadness by grieving gives God the opportunity to heal our hearts.–Barbara Milligan in Desperate Hope
Caregiving Takes a Toll
More than 20 million households contain Americans who look after loved ones. While caregiving can offer enormous rewards–providing a sense of fulfillment, deepening lifelong loves–new research increasingly links it to deleterious health effects, including a weakened immune system, depression and even premature death, including higher rates of suicide than in a comparable age group. With an aging population expected to double by 2030, researchers are alarmed about a caregiver crisis in the making. There are ways to relieve the burden. Support groups offer lifelines out of isolation. Adult day-care programs provide respite. Regular exercise lowers blood pressure and reduces stress and depression. Most important of all: caregivers must look after themselves–without their own good health, their loved ones will suffer too. – Claudia Kalb, Newsweek, May 31, 2004
Supersibs! for Kids
Supersibs!, a non-profit organization providing support services to siblings of children with cancer, is now available to children throughout the nation. Supersibs! assisted about 500 children in Chicago and Milwaukee in 2003, its first year of operation, and hopes to considerably increase their numbers with their national outreach services. The organization offers resources for children between the ages of four and 18 to help them cope with their sibling's cancer, including age-appropriate journals to help them express their emotions, courage trophies to honor and recognize the important role they play in their sibling's fight against cancer, and information to help families learn how to acknowledge and include each child. To refer a child or for more information, visit www.supersibs.org or call 866/444-SIBS. –Nursing Spectrum, June 1, 2004
The Not So Silent Cancer
Dr. Barbara Goff from Seattle was badly booed at a conference of women when she stated there were no symptoms for early stage ovarian cancer. After listening to the women express their feelings that their complaints were being ignored, she began research to see if they were right. In a study published in JAMA in June 2004, Goff presents evidence that ovarian cancer–even in its initial phases–is associated with a variety of symptoms, including bloating, abdominal swelling and the urge to urinate frequently. Unlike the mild form of these symptoms that may normally occur around menstruation, women with ovarian masses are far more likely to experience multiple, severe problems that arise suddenly, occur frequently and persist over time. Ovarian cancer is the leading killer among gynecologic cancers, claiming the lives of 14, 000 women among the 23, 000 diagnosed annually. Although treatable in its early stages, the cancer in 70% of cases is only identified in its late stage, which is almost always fatal.
If symptoms persist, women should ask for a pelvic exam and vaginal ultrasound. Researchers are working on a reliable blood test for ovarian cancer, but no such screening test now exists. –Chicago Tribune, June 9, 2004
Latchkey Asthmatic Kids
Designed for home use by the five million U. S. children diagnosed with asthma, a new product, WhistleWatch, is ideal to give peace of mind to working parents of asthmatic latchkey children. The child blows the device into the phone. The whistle sound assures the parent that the child's lungs are in good condition. A sound will not be produced if there is increased airway resistance, or if the peak flow level has fallen below the pre-set value. No sound indicates that the lungs may be failing, which may lead to an asthma attack. The parent then instructs the child to take his/her medication or contact the family's medical professional. Computer-calibrated, the WhistleWatch is pre-set by the family's medical professional according to instructions accompanying the device, and the child's height and weight. Check the website: http://www.americansci.com/html/whistle.html or contact Jerry Jennings at [email protected].
Faith's Effect on Depression
Ten to 25% of women and five to 12% of men will meet the criteria for a major depressive disorder within their lifetime. Studies indicate that people of faith often deal better with depression. A review of more than 80 scientific studies from the past 100 years found that people who regularly attend religious services and place a high value on their faith are at a substantially reduced risk for depression. Research also shows that even chronically ill people who maintain a high level of religious involvement are less likely to battle depression, a common problem for those with chronic illness.–Kelly S. Preston, Home Life, May 2004
In response to RNs' growing interest in exploring alternative career options, Kaplan University's School of Continuing and Professional Studies has developed four 12-month online certification programs for nurses. The courses are not for college credit or nursing CEUs. Two of them are:
- Forensic Nursing Certificate. Provides RNs with skills in the legal, scientific and psychosocial aspects of forensic nursing. Students will explore the scientific investigation and treatment of victims and perpetrators of abuse, violence, criminal activity, sexual assault and traumatic events.
- Legal Nurse Consultant Certificate. Attorneys teach RNs legal principles and practices, exploring areas of civil litigation, torts and medical liability, medical records summary and review, and health care risk management.
For more information, contact www.kaplan.edu/hcp or call toll free 866-527-5268.–Press release, January 23, 2003
—PulseBeats compiled by
Melodee Yohe, consulting editor