Tuesday, March 20, 2012

10 Tips for Nurse Practitioners to Avoid Burnout from Nurse Together

How can taking care of one's self have anything to do with business? As a business owner, you work hard; most likely you work harder than you ever did as an employed person. This is especially true during your first years in business. As such, it's important to take the time to recharge your batteries. Here are some suggestions for you:

Vacation. There is no question, getting away is the best way to recharge. While many of us may not be able to get away for 2-3 weeks, consider several mini-vacations or even a staycation.

Read a book that has nothing to do with medicine, nursing, health or business. Totally get away from your everyday work and immerse yourself in something completely unrelated.

For the full article please go here.

10 Ways to Reduce “No Shows” for your Nurse Practitioner Business from Nurse Together

There is no doubt about it; having patients no show on your schedule is lost revenue for your practice.

Some practices will charge a no-show fee, but others don't, or they feel it is impossible to collect on them. And with some insurers, you are prohibited by contract to charge your patient (DSHS for example).

Regardless of your office policy, minimizing or even eliminating "no-shows" on your schedule will increase your revenues.

For the full article please go here.

Retail Healthcare: An Evolving Field for Nurse Practitioners from Nurse Together

I work in a new area for nursing: Nurse Practitioner in a Convenient Care Clinic providing minor care in a retail setting. That is, I diagnose and treat sore throats in a grocery store. My practice involves sore throats, ear aches, URI, Influenza, Dermatitis, and UTIs for adult women. I am a Family Nurse Practitioner and we do episodic care for anyone one year and older. My oldest patient, thus far, was a one hundred-year-old lady who received her flu shot in my clinic.

Working in a retail clinic requires a lot more than the ability to diagnose and treat minor ailments. To be good at this position, one needs to be able to triage simple, routine care from more serious conditions that require a higher level of care and greater follow-up. If you don’t want to miss heart failure from bronchitis, you need to be aware that things may not be as clear cut as they look. At the same time, the famous saying, “look for horses before zebras”, is the general rule.

For the full article please go here.

7 Heart-Healthy Behaviors That Could Help You Live Longer from Huffington Post

Despite the fact that we are all generally aware of heart-healthy behaviors -- things like not smoking, eating well and exercising -- just a little more than 1 percent of the U.S. population abides by the seven key behaviors linked with a longer life, according to a new study.

The study examined the behaviors of 44,959 adults in the U.S. (ages 20 and older) who were part of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey between 1988 and 1994, 1999 and 2004, and 2005 and 2010, and the NHANES III Linked Mortality File.

The researchers found that just 2 percent of people who were in the study between 1988 and 1994 and 1.2 percent of people in the study between 2005 and 2010 abided by the seven metrics deemed optimal for heart health.

For the full article please go here.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Catch your breath at these yoga retreats from MSNBC

By Jordan Kisner, Departures.com

Few forms of escapism are as wholesome as yoga. As its millions of acolytes attest, regular yoga practice not only alleviates stress and improves strength and flexibility (recent reports even credit it for enhanced sexual health), it’s also an activity that can be done just about anywhere. Just taking a smartphone-free hour to practice sun salutations can feel like a mini-vacation.

Slideshow: See these and more top yoga retreats

But even for the yogically inclined, more than an hourlong getaway is sometimes necessary. It’s certainly alluring, especially since there are so many options for rolling up your sticky mat and dashing off to an exotic locale.

For the full article please go here.

An RN Asks: Why Should I Have to Go Back to School? from Nurse Together

You’re an accomplished RN, a nurse with years of experience helping patients in every circumstance imaginable. So when you hear your manager, employer, fellow nurses, nursing associations, and trade journals harping on and on about the need to go back to school, you may be asking yourself, "Why? I know my stuff! What’s the point now of going back to school now?"

An even more pressing question in your mind might be, "What will a degree really do for me at this point in my career?"

These are valid questions. After all, like most every RN, you’ve picked up knowledge and experience about how to do your job by learning it on the fly. So what difference will a degree make, exactly?

For the full article please go here.

5 Things I Have Learned from My Patients from Nurse Together

I have been in nursing for many years now and every day still brings a new opportunity for me to learn something from my patients. Even the ones who are difficult, argue with me and even call me a few names I will not repeat here, still taught me a lesson or two about life, how to communicate and what empathy really means.

Here are my top five things I learned from my patients:

For the full article please go here.

Could Stress Make Your Memory Worse? from Huffington Post

Uh oh.

A new study shows that stress may do more than make you frazzled -- it could actually affect memory, according to a new study in mice.

Researchers from the State University of New York at Buffalo published a study in the journal Neuron showing that repeat exposure to stress in mice led to impairments in a part of the brain called the prefrontal cortex, Everyday Health reported.

The prefrontal cortex is known as the "CEO of the brain," according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, because it's in charge of abstract thoughts and cognitive analysis, not to mention the sense of how to act "correctly" in situations.

MedPage Today reported that the memory problems could come from interference with the signaling of glutamate -- glutamate signaling is very important for proper functioning of the prefrontal cortex of the brain. Researchers reported that when the mice were under stress, there was a loss of receptors for glutamate, which in turn had a negative effect on the brain's processes.

For the full article please go here.

Does Stress Accelerate Aging? Fact or Fiction from Huffington Post

Many of us see President Obama's graying hair and think, "it must be all the stress he's under." We view Hillary Clinton's furrowed brow and assume, "the weight of the world is adding years to her face." But do stress and anxiety actually accelerate the aging process? Is there scientific evidence to back this perception?

The fact is, the results from research are themselves pretty gray. Some studies studies suggest that stress has direct negative effects on our physical and emotional health, but its exact relationship is complex and not yet fully understood.

Here is what we know. Acute anxiety is our natural response to a real or perceived threat -- what we call the fight/flight reaction. It involves a two-way communication between our brain and body, resulting in activation of our cardiovascular, immune and other biological systems. It's our survival instinct at work.

For the full article please go here.

Friday, March 16, 2012

10 No-Cost Strategies to Fight Depression from Health.com

Feeling depressed?

With the economy stuck in neutral, people have more reasons to be depressed—and less money to treat their depression—than in the past.

The cost of medication and talk therapy add up even if you have health insurance—and more than 46 million people in the U.S. (and counting) do not.

If you’re depressed, and especially if you have bipolar disorder, lifestyle changes and other do-it-yourself strategies are not a substitute for professional help. But even if you are already taking antidepressants or seeing a therapist, there are many things you can do to help yourself feel better—and they don’t cost a dime.

For the full article please go here.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

9 Things to Stop Worrying About from Health.com

Stress myths

By Dorothy Foltz-Gray

In the old days, health misinformation would spread slowly. Not today. "The Internet has given people the ability to send everyone on their email lists wild stories that end up mushrooming around the world in a matter of hours," says Rich Buhler, creator of Truthorfiction.com, a website devoted to debunking false email rumors. But relax: Most of those health scares hitting your in-box are a misreading of facts or a deliberate twisting of the truth.

For the full article please go here.

Walking Could Lower Effect Of Genetic Predisposition For Obesity, Study Suggests from Huffington Post

Walking briskly for just an hour a day is enough to cut the effect of genetic tendencies toward obesity, according to new research.

Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health also found that staying sedentary -- measured in the study by how long a person watched TV per day -- worsened the effects of the "obesity genes."

"In our study, a brisk one-hour daily walk reduced the genetic influence towards obesity, measured by differences in BMI by half," study researcher Qibin Qi, Ph.D., a post doctorate research fellow at Harvard, said in a statement. "On the other hand, a sedentary lifestyle marked by watching television four hours a day increased the genetic influence by 50 percent."

The research was presented at the American Heart Association's Epidemiology and Prevention/Nutrition, Physical Activity and Metabolism 2012 Scientific Sessions.

Qi and colleagues analyzed data from 7,740 women and 4,564 men who were part of the Nurses' Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study. They looked at the study participants' physical activity and TV watching habits two years before they looked at their body mass indexes (BMI, a ratio of weight to height that tells whether a person is obese or overweight).

For the full article please go here.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

4 Ways Pets Improve Your Health from Men's Health Via Yahoo News

I’ve always loved animals. I should clarify: I’ve always loved other people’s animals. Those I didn’t have to feed, walk, or clean up after. Anytime I dreamed about throwing the Frisbee with my hypothetical yellow lab at the park, my next vision was of me walking Wilson (his codename!) on snowy, windy, miserable January mornings. Or of me holding a plastic bag filled with Wilson’s poop.

I much prefer sleeping in on cold mornings. And not carrying dog poop. Not to mention the barking. Shut up already, Wilson!

So I remained pet-less. That changed last fall when I met 5-week-old Pixie, a stray kitten my kids fell in love with. Pix is everything cats aren’t supposed to be: social, affectionate, and whip smart. In other words, she’s the dog I never thought I’d have. After a long day at work, she inevitable jumps in my lap and starts purring. I find myself confiding in her. At first, this felt crazy. Now it feels good.

For the full article please go here.

Cocoa: A Surprising Superfood from Yahoo News

Amazing but true: Eating chocolate could actually save your life, by dramatically reducing risk for heart attacks and stroke, new research shows. Dark chocolate and cocoa powder actually contain more disease-fighting antioxidants than do blueberries, cranberries, acai, and other “superfruits,” according to a peer-reviewed study published in Chemistry Central Journal.

People who eat the most chocolate are 37 percent less likely to develop cardiovascular disease (CVD)—the leading killer of Americans—and 29 percent less likely to suffer a stroke, compared to those who eat the least, according to an analysis of seven earlier studies involving 114,009 participants. One of the most surprising findings was that indulging in the sweet treat also trims diabetes risk by 31 percent, an international team of researchers reported in British Medical Journal.

Used as currency by ancient Aztecs and dubbed “food of the gods” by 18th century naturalist Carl Linneaus, the beans of the tropical cacao tree contain powerful disease-fighting compounds called flavonols--antioxidants also found in tea, wine, fruits and vegetables. To find out about cocoa’s cardiometabolic benefits, I talked to Amy Doneen, MSN, ARNP, medical director of the Heart Attack and Stroke Prevention Center in Spokane, Washington.

For the full article please go here.

Using Music To Evoke Positive Emotions from Medical News Today

Music can evoke positive emotions, which in turn can lower the listener's stress levels. Everyday music listening is therefore a simple and effective way to enhance well-being and health, according to a new doctoral thesis in psychology from the University of Gothenburg.

The thesis is based partly on a survey study involving 207 individuals, partly on an intervention study where an experiment group consisting of 21 persons listened to self-chosen music for 30 minutes per day for two weeks while an equally sized control group got to relax without music.

The results of the studies show that positive emotions were experienced both more often and more intensively in connection with music listening. The experiment group did also perceive less stress and had lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol. The more the participants in the survey study liked the music, the less stress they experienced.

For the full article please go here.

Meditation: The Pearl in the Oyster from Huffington Post

An oyster may not like that irritating grain of sand in its shell, but it manages to transform it into a precious pearl. That's quite a feat. Just like beautiful roses growing out of smelly manure, a delicate butterfly emerging out of a caterpillar or muddy water turning into sweet coconut milk.

It's a process of transformation and, luckily, meditation does exactly the same thing for us, as through it we awaken to the exquisiteness of our own true nature. By sitting quietly with awareness of whatever is going on in our life, however irritating or challenging it may be, we gain a greater insight by seeing round it, through it, and beyond it. In this way annoyance is transformed into acceptance, challenges into clarity, and shit into gold. Adversity is as much a stimulus for change as it forms the compost from which we grow.

For the full article please go here.

Yoga For Caregivers: Meditation May Lower Depression, Improve Brain Functioning In Dementia Caregivers from Huffington Post

Yoga has been shown in research to help people with a multitude of health problems, including relieving back pain and lowering stress -- it may even help to lower blood pressure.

But now, it turns out yoga doesn't just help the person with the ailment -- it could also help the person taking care of the person with the ailment.

Researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles found that meditation from yoga can help lower depression in caregivers, and may also improve their cognitive functioning.

The researchers even found that the meditation was associated with a decrease in cellular aging from stress.

"To a varying degree, many psychosocial interventions like this have been shown to enhance mental health for caregivers," study researcher Dr. Helen Lavretsky, a professor of psychiatry at the UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, said in a statement. "Yet given the magnitude of the caregiver burden, it is surprising that very few interventions translate into clinical practice. The cost of instruction and offering classes may be one factor. Our study suggests a simple, low-cost yoga program can enhance coping and quality of life for the caregivers."

For the full article please go here.

5 Ways to Make Meditation Less Mysterious from Huffington Post

A few weeks ago, I went to a concert of traditional Indian chanting music by the wonderful performer Krishna Das. "Let's start with a few oms," Das casually began, referring to the sound said to underlie all energy, which people often use to start a meditation. Suddenly, this crowd of several hundred slouchers bolted upright. "I didn't say, 'Sit up straight,'" Das laughed. "You can say om while relaxing."

To me, this moment perfectly captured the rituals and rigamarole we have unnecessarily placed around the practice of meditation, which I believe makes some people apprehensive to do it. Would-be meditators who approach me invariably focus more on the ceremony than the mental centering: Do you have to wear special clothing? Are there specific words to chant? Does it demand a set amount of time? Require a special cushion on the floor? I always answer, "no." Although some traditions do impose certain requirements on their practitioners, most of us are better off avoiding the preparation and props of a Broadway production.

For the full article please go here.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Farley-Kluger Amendment

The Farley-Kluger Amendment (www.farleykluger.com)
Just go to www.farleykluger.com to sign the petition
There is no loss greater than the loss of a child. Words cannot express the depth of sorrow you feel. Some companies allow 3 days bereavement, some companies are more generous in this situation, but most, unfortunately, are not. Expecting parents to come back to work within a week and "be normal" not only shows a lack of compassion, but a lack of empathy.
–Brenda S. from Alexandria, VA
As a bereaved parent I cannot believe this isn't already in place. Losing a child, toddler, teen or adult makes no difference to the trauma the parents go through. There is no loss like it. We are kinder to animals than to our fellow man.
–Michele H. from Alden, NY
These are just a few of the many comments that have been made by parents who have suffered the tragic loss of a child and then not been given adequate time off of work to mourn their loss.
Currently the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) permits workers, in companies with 50 or more employees, to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to help care for a sick immediate family member. Surprisingly, the FMLA does not cover the death of a child. As a result, some bereaved moms and dads have had to make the difficult decision as to whether to spend time away from their companies and risk losing their jobs or return to work long before they are ready.
Two grieving fathers, Barry Kluger and Kelly Farley, have started a petition to get the law changed and in just one year, went from 1,000 to 34,000 petitions to Congress and in Fall 2011, Sen. Jon Tester, inspired by The Farley-Kluger Amendment (www.farleykluger.com), introduced the Parental Bereavement Act of 2011 which is currently in a U.S. Senate Committee. The week of March 19, Messrs. Kluger and Farley travel to DC for over 20 Hill meetings with various Senators and Congresspersons, in their effort to get a companion House Bill introduced. We are asking you to join with us in supporting a proposed amendment to FMLA that would allow unpaid leave time of up to 12 weeks for families who have lost a child.
You can help! It’s simple and will only take a few minutes of your time. Just go to www.farleykluger.com to sign the petition. It would also help if you make a comment about this amendment being particularly as parents and health care professionals. After you sign the petition, you will be given the option to send an email to your representatives in Congress to support the Farley-Kluger Amendment and this change to FMLA.
Perhaps these words from Kathleen, a Gold Star military mother from Mashpee, MA say it best:
My son’s re-deployment to Heaven on Sept. 24th 2010 was and still is the hardest thing I have ever gone through in my life. The pain never goes away but through time we as parents figure out what our new normal is going to be. Life as we knew it will forever be changed. I support this bill 100%....

10 Secret Stressors from Yahoo News

By Sarah Jio

Got stress? Most of us do. And you're probably already aware of the usual suspects, like money, kids, work, rocky relationships and your health. But maybe you haven't considered the lesser-known stressors in your life. Without us even knowing it, there are plenty of unexpected causes of day-to-day worry and anxiety. Here, our experts discuss some sneaky sources of stress and exactly how to deal with them.

1. Your Doctor
You go to visit the doctor to feel better, right? But many women may find that certain doctors' interpersonal skills and lack of "bedside manner" can leave them feeling agitated and anxious. In fact, many women may leave the doctor's office feeling more stressed out than when they arrived. If this sounds familiar, it's time to find a new physician, says Phyllis Goldberg, PhD, a family and relationship expert practicing in Marina Del Ray, California. "This is a partnership, and the relationship has to work for you," she says. "So get in the driver's seat-talk to your friends, look online, make a list of what you want and interview until you find the doctor that you know is right for you."
Learn how to choose the best doctor.

For the full list please go here.

The Benefits of Reiki in Nursing from Nurse Together

I walk onto my unit and can cut the air with a knife. The patients are milling around the day room, looking bored, tired, and irritated. As I enter the nurses’ station I am greeted with grunts, grimaces, or not at all. Staff from evening shift looks exhausted and drained, as if they were ready to leave four hours ago. I enter the back room, where we give report, and have a sense of what lies ahead of me for my impending night shift.

We have a woman who has bipolar disorder, substance abuse problems, and is delirious from her medications. She yells and screams for hours on end. Everyone is tired. The patients want rest. Because of the noise, they can’t sleep. The staff wants a break. They cannot focus on their work because sometimes it takes all hands to help calm this woman down.

For the full article please go here.

5 Qualities of a Great Nurse Educator from Nurse Together

Being an RN for the past 32 years and continuing my education in hopes of becoming a nurse educator, I have always thought about the qualities that make a great educator. Since 2004, when I returned to school to obtain my BSN, and then again in 2008 to obtain my MHA (and soon will be completing my MSN) I have dealt with many educators thus compiling the traits of a quality educator from a student’s perspective.

I believe there are more than five qualities needed to be a great educator, however I will address five of the most critical, in my opinion.

For the full article please go here.

Soul-Talk: You Don't Have to Be an Addict to Recover from Huffington Post

Do you know anyone suffering from some kind of addiction or addictive behavior? While most of us think about addiction in the more common uses of the term, such as alcohol or drug addiction, people can also become addicted to emotional patterns, food abuse, or simply to their own self-appointed sense of righteous indignation and intellectual superiority (Rush Limbaugh, anyone?).

If you or someone you know is struggling with addictive behaviors, then you might want to pay close attention to a few of the concepts contained within this post. To be clear, I am not holding myself out to be an expert on addiction or recovery in the clinical sense; however, I do wish to point out some relatively small issues that, if addressed properly, can make a world of difference.

For the full article please go here.

Momentary Mindfulness from Huffington Post

For years I believed that the only way I could manage stress and stay spiritually grounded was to run three miles a day and meditate for an hour in the morning and an hour at night. That's about three hours a day -- more if you count getting dressed to run, showering, organizing the kids and the household so I could disappear to meditate. I've never had that much time to focus on personal activities -- not when my kids were young, and not now.

At best I can do one thing a day, and I'll almost always choose running. That's because I like to run more than I like to meditate. It's not easy to admit that, because a lot of people seem to think it's cool to talk about meditation -- whom your teacher is, how long you meditate every day, which meditation retreats you've signed up for. Actually, that's what really drove me away from the temples I frequented for a while, complete with "masters" who thought they were really quite special. I don't like that stuff. Gurus and guru-seekers bother me, and bragging about your meditation practice just seems wrong. It all turns me off, and then I even use that as an excuse not to meditate. I could find a million more reasons without much trouble.

For the full article please go here.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Lead by Example, for Your Patients and Your Children from Nurse Together

It is true, “that without your health, you have nothing.” When we were young, most of us did not understand or care even about this quote. Some even went as far as to take our health for granted into our 50’s. In the last few weeks I have had re-occurring discussions with patients and community members about how the people that exercise through their 20-40’s have a direct positive effect on their health in their 60-80’s.

What some of you may not know is that the one common solution for all the top 10 killers of Americans is EXERCISE. It is that simple. For example, those that exercise are half as likely not to develop Type 2 Diabetes than those that do not exercise, regardless of diet. We all know that exercise reduces blood pressure, cholesterol, stress, weight and increases energy, brain activity and our quality of sleep. So why aren’t more of us, especially in our 30-50’s, exercising? As a physician it is frustrating because to me it is such a no-brainer. A good friend of mine at ACAC, Dawne Jacoby, is in charge of The Physician’s Referred Exercise Program or P.R.E.P. Dawne forwarded me a research article from the Wall Street Journal of May 25, 2010. The message of this article was, as healthcare professionals, we must lead by example. Not only do I agree with this but I would like to take it one step further. I think as adults, we should all lead by example for the children of this community.

For the full article please go here.

Communication in Nursing: It’s All about Vibes from Nurse Together

Recently, a colleague told me a story of submitting a form for a survey to her employer on the last day it was due. Her priority was patient care and so the survey was done after all of her patients were treated and documentation was completed. That seems like good judgment. As she recounted the day’s events, she said to me, “I really see how powerful communication is and I felt so differently with the responses I received when I turned in my survey today...I truly understand the importance of feelings and how using different words and body language have an impact on how you feel.” She continued to tell me how one supervisor said to her, “I knew you would come through, you always do.” This statement reinforced that supervisor’s confidence in her work and her value. That is truly significant and she felt good. A few seconds later, another supervisor said, “Wow, you really waited until the last minute to get this submitted.” Just after feeling good about her accomplishment and value, another person 'burst her bubble', so to speak. I am sure as you are reading this you could feel the difference in the two responses my friend received. Since my friend knows how important it is to mind her vibe (mood and feeling) she chose to focus on the response of the first supervisor and focus on the fact that she is proud of her work.

For the full article please go here.

Incivility in Online Nursing Education from Nurse Together

Incivility in the nursing profession is not a new topic. Frankly, the word has evolved over the decades. What is called incivility today used to be called backstabbing, gossiping, sabotage, rude, impolite, discourteous behaviors, a lack of respect, a lack of manners, vulgarity, eating their own- well, you get the picture. The unprofessional behavior has been part of the nursing profession for decades and, by any other name, is still the same thing, one reason why the profession fails to become a strong player in the global professional marketplace. Publications are replete with articles about incivility among members of the nursing profession at work in a clinical setting. However, incivility in a nursing education setting is starting to surface as yet another forum where nurses can engage in professional misconduct that sometimes reaches the level of criminal impertinence. Educators have a role in creating a positive learning environment by communicating expectations, establishing policies, being impartial and fair within the confines of the rules, and by modeling respect that learners can model back. So, given the role of the educator, why does incivility still happen in schools?

For the full article please go here.

8 Ways To Become An Optimist from Huffington Post

Research suggests that people with a glass-half-full outlook are healthier than their pessimistic peers: They catch fewer colds, cope better with heart disease, and may even live longer.

Yet far too many of us assume that optimism is an inborn trait bestowed on a lucky few. That's a completely wrong assumption, says James Maddux, a professor of psychology at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. Can people learn to be optimists? "The answer is an indisputable yes," says Maddux.

He and other experts recommend the following:

For the full article please go here.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Smoker trades one addiction for another from CNN

Editor's Note: Rick Morris is a web developer and volunteer firefighter from Canton, North Carolina. He is one of seven CNN viewers selected to be a part of the Fit Nation Triathlon Challenge program. Each athlete receives all the tools necessary to train for and compete in the Nautica Malibu Triathlon this September.

October 1, 2001, was the day my father took his last breath.

A smoker for 50 years, he was diagnosed with lung cancer in April that year. I recall how he continued to smoke cigarettes while pushing an oxygen trolley around his kitchen. When it became clear his final ride to the Haywood County Hospital was at hand, he reached for one last smoke.

The irony was that his brand was “Lucky Strikes." There was nothing lucky about a father of eight whose last days would come during his 63 year of life.

“Do you regret that you smoked all your life, Dad?” I asked.

“On the contrary, son,” he said without hesitation, “I enjoyed each and every one.”

For the full article please go here.

An Urgent Need For More Effective Treatments For Adolescent Depression from Medical News Today

More than 2 million teenagers suffer from depression in the U.S. Recent drug warnings and study results have led to increased controversy surrounding the treatment of adolescent depression. A state-of-the-art issue reporting on the latest research findings on antidepressant medications combined with appropriate therapeutic strategies has been published by Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. The special issue on psychopharmacology of adolescent depression is available free on the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology website.

"There are no radically new treatments on the horizon for the treatment of depression, and so we have to do better with the treatments we have available," says Graham J. Emslie, MD, Guest Editor of the issue and Director of Child Psychiatry at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas. "Few youths with depression receive adequate treatment."

For the full article please go here.

9 Ways To Stop Being Negative from Huffington Post

I was always fascinated by variations among people in how they respond to emotional events in their environment. This strikes me as the most important characteristic of emotion--we are all different. The unique emotional fingerprint we all have is what I call Emotional Style.

The Emotional Life of Your Brain [Hudson Street Press, $25.95] is about how and why people differ in their response to life's slings and arrows. Some people are resilient and recover quickly from adversity; others recover much more slowly. Some are able to savor and maintain positive emotion so they have a positive, optimistic outlook on life; others, not so much. Some people have excellent access to what their body is telling them about their own emotions (racing heart = fear or excitement, for instance), while others are less sensitive to such bodily cues. These are some of the differences in Emotional Style that I describe in my book.

Each Emotional Style emerges directly from more than 30 years of research on the neuroscience of emotion and, in particular, studies that have pinpointed the patterns of brain activity underlying each. They are not obvious styles such as personality types, though they can explain personality differences such as introversion/extraversion.

The latest neuroscience shows that while these styles are consistent over time they can be changed: we can change our brains by transforming our minds and behavior. Specific mental exercises, when practiced systematically over time, can lead to enduring changes in the structure and function of our brains and, as a result, alter different facets of our Emotional Style.

For the full article please go here.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Nurse Practitioner Business Owners: Two Tax Dates You Must Know from Nurse Together

April 15th, the deadline to file your personal income tax, will be here before you know it. As a small business owner however, you will have filed tax reports and paid all sorts of taxes already.

Most small businesses operate on a calendar year. And even though tax events happen throughout the year, they are reported at the end of the business year and quarter, when they get submitted to different taxing authorities.

Paying attention to those timelines is critical. Countless business owners have lost their business by ignoring the IRS and other taxing authorities.

For the full article please go here.

Overweight People May Benefit From Active Breaks During Prolonged Sitting from Medical News Today

Interrupting prolonged periods of sitting with regular, two-minute breaks of light or moderate intensity activity like walking may be good for overweight and obese people's health, because new research reported recently in Diabetes Care shows it helped their bodies keep glucose and insulin levels under control after consuming the equivalent of a high calorie meal ("postprandial" levels).

Repeated spikes in blood sugar or glucose, such as those that can occur after a meal, have been linked to poor health outcomes, including artery stiffening and cardiovascular disease. The body keeps glucose levels under control with insulin secreted from the pancreas.

For the full article please go here.

ADHD Diagnoses More Common in Youngest Kids in Class from Health.com

MONDAY, March 5, 2012 (Health.com) — Children who are the youngest in their class are more likely than their older classmates to be diagnosed and given medication for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)—suggesting that immaturity may be part of the problem, not ADHD.

The finding is from a study of more than 900,000 Canadian children aged 6 to 12, and it dovetails with two U.S. studies that found the same thing in 2010.

In fact, the youngest boys were 30% more likely than their oldest classmates to get an ADHD diagnosis, and the youngest girls had a 70% greater chance, according to the study conducted by E. Jane Garland, MD, a child and adolescent psychiatrist at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver and colleagues.

For the full article please go here.

Yoga And The Brain: A Possible Explanation For Yoga's Stress-Busting Effects from Huffington Post

The health benefits of yoga are far-reaching, with studies demonstrating its effects on easing chronic back pain, aiding sleep and relieving menopausal symptoms, as well as its intriguing role in helping the mind, by bettering mood and taming stress.

A new look at the research, published in the journal Medical Hypotheses, sheds light on just how yoga might have such benefits for the brain.

"Western and Eastern medicine complement one another. Yoga is known to improve stress-related nervous system imbalances," study researcher Dr. Chris Streeter, M.D., associate professor of psychiatry at BUSM and Boston Medical Center, said in a statement. "This paper provides a theory, based on neurophysiology and neuroanatomy, to understand how yoga helps patients feel better by relieving symptoms in many common disorders."

Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine, New York Medical College and the Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons hypothesized that there are certain imbalances in the brain when a person has depression or stress-related conditions. Such imbalances include low activity of something called gamma amino-butyric acid (GABA); low activity of GABA is linked with epilepsy, chronic pain, depression, anxiety and PTSD, researchers said.

For the full article please go here.

How Malnutrition Causes Obesity from Huffington Post

Americans are overfed and undernourished. That's right, the most obese children and adults in the country are also the most nutritionally deficient (1)!

How can those two things possibly co-exist?

The mistake is to think that if you eat an abundance of calories, your diet automatically delivers all the nutrients your body needs. But the opposite is true. The more processed food you eat, the more vitamins you need. That's because vitamins and minerals lubricate the wheels of our metabolism, helping the chemical reactions in our bodies run properly. Among those biochemical processes greased by nutrients is the regulation of sugar and burning of fat. The problem is that the standard American diet (SAD) is energy dense (too many calories) but nutrient poor (not enough vitamins and minerals). Too many "empty calories" confuse the metabolism and pack on the pounds.

A Nutritionally Deficient Culture

For the full article please go here.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

How Exercise Can Change Your DNA from Time

Exercise does a lot of good things — it burns calories, helps keep your weight in check and lowers your risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes. Now add one more thing to the list: physical activity can change your DNA.

Unlike the aberrations and genetic mutations caused by carcinogens and toxins, exercise-induced alterations to DNA are more like tune-ups, helping muscles to work better and more efficiently. What’s more, these changes occur even after a single 20-minute workout.

Juleen Zierath, a professor of physiology at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, reports with her colleagues in the journal Cell Metabolism about these very early changes that muscle cells undergo the first time you get off the couch and into the gym. The researchers worked with a group of 14 young men and women who were relatively sedentary, and asked them to work out on an exercise bike that measured their maximum activity levels. The participants also volunteered to give up a little bit of muscle, from their quadriceps, in a relatively painless biopsy procedure performed under local anesthesia. The researchers took the biopsy of muscle cells once before the participants exercised, and again within 20 minutes afterward.

Read more: http://healthland.time.com/2012/03/07/how-exercise-can-change-your-dna/?iid=hl-main-lede#ixzz1oSDwnU6w

The Pros and Cons of Continuing Education from Nurse Together

As Registered Nurses or Licensed Practical Nurses, fulfilling continuing education credits or units (CEU) is a requirement for the profession—it is necessary for relicensing. In certain states we are required to fulfill a certain number of CEUs every two years. Obtaining an education credit can be accomplished by reading a journal, attending a seminar, watching a video—any of these would relate to the practice of nursing. Completing CEU’s sounds like a wonderful idea, however, some members of the nursing profession disagree. After all, competence has been demonstrated by the proof of licensure and associated renewal, so mandating further credit hours seems redundant. To fully examine the debate: “Should Continuing Education be Mandatory?” consider the following pro versus con arguments:


For the full article please go here.

Dark Chocolate Good For Those With Advanced Heart Failure from Medical News Today

According to a study conducted by investigators at UC San Diego School of Medicine and VA San Diego Healthcare System (VASDHS), a flavonoid called epicatechin, found in dark chocolate, enhanced mitochondria structure in individuals with advanced heart failure and type 2 diabetes after 3 months. The study is published this week by the journal Clinical and Translational Science.

The researchers examined 5 extremely sick patients with major damage to skeletal muscle mitochondria. Mitochondria are structures that provide the energy a cell requires in order to move, divide, and contract. Both heart failure and type 2 diabetes impair these power cells, resulting in abnormalities in skeletal muscle. In individuals with diabetes and heart failure these abnormalities in the heart and skeletal muscle cause decreased functional capacity. Frequently, these patients report difficulty walking even short distances, shortness of breath, as well as lack of energy.

For the full article please go here.

10 Habits of Healthy Families from Health.com

Team approach

Every wonder how families stay healthy, fit and thin? We asked Dr. Oz for his tips on how to build a healthy family strategy. Dr. Oz says families (like the Carroll's, pictured) that make healthy lifestyle choices together, stay healthy together. Here's his game plan for your family.

For the full article please go here.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Roles and Scope of Advanced Practice Nurses from Nurse Together

Advanced Practice Nurses are licensed registered nurses prepared at the graduate degree level as either a Nurse-Midwife, Nurse Practitioner, Clinical Nurse Specialist, or Nurse Anesthetist. Advanced Practice Nurses should hold a graduate degree and be certified in their specialty. This certification is important because it validates and standardizes the practice competencies of the Advanced Practice Nurses. Nurses prepared at the graduate level function in a variety of roles as advanced practice nurses in specialty areas of practice. The following will list and detail the roles and scope of Advanced Practice Nurses:

For the full article please go here.

Remember the Good Times from Nurse Together

After reading the horrific comments of many people who responded to the article, “The Long, Long, Nursing Career,” I felt impelled to respond. It was surprising to me that so many nurses look back upon their nursing careers with such distain. I stopped counting the number of nurses who stated they would never (no never) go through it all again if given the choice!

Reasons given for the negative responses varied from overwork, poor staffing, lack of appreciation and/or compensation by supervisors and administrators, to abuse by doctors, co-workers and the patients themselves. The list was long but the list was legitimate.

For the full article please go here.

9 Serious Conditions That Mimic Heartburn from Health.com

By Anne Harding

Heartburn-like pain is a common symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). But several other conditions can cause a burning feeling in your chest.

Most of the time, your doctor will be able to identify whether you have heartburn or GERD by doing tests.

Here are nine other conditions that can cause heartburn-like pain.

For the full article please go here.

Rethink. Redefine. Success

This week many physicians and medical professionals across the country will be watching the documentary, "Race to Nowhere" being screened on the occasion of National Sleep Awareness Week. The film casts a spotlight on the growing dissonance in the education system where students cram for tests with the aim of higher performance and achievement, and the quality of life of our young students is in jeopardy because of an academic load that is not directed towards educating the student as a whole.

It has become critical to create and nurture school policies and practices that prioritize not only student performance and health but also look at the importance of a child's overall development in light of perceived success. This challenge is a societal one, where the intense pressure for success has put tremendous strain on the vulnerable group of teens and young adults who -- when unable to cope with pressure -- take the step of ending their life.

For the full article please go here.

Monday, March 5, 2012

The Fastest Way for Nurses to Monitor Cell Phone Usage from Nurse Together

When I talk to non-nurses about nurses and their work, I almost always get the same two responses. The first is, “Wow, a 12-hour shift has to be incredibly exhausting!” The second is, “But think of all that free time on all those days off!” Nurses acknowledge the exhaustion, but I don’t hear them talk much about the free time.

That’s because nurses are busy people. All the nurses I have met pack an enormous amount of activity into their off-duty hours. A nurse may be a full-time college instructor who also works several shifts a month to keep her skills current. Or she may be a busy mom working nights in an acute-care unit in order to be able attend her kid’s school events during the day. Whatever the particular situation, chances are she/he is interested in finding the fastest and easiest way get through the administrivia of modern life.

For the full article please go here.

6 Habits of Fit and Healthy People from Nurse Together

Typically, habits are viewed as bad or negative. Interestingly enough, Webster’s Dictionary defines the word habit as “a thing done often and hence easily, a usual way of doing, an addiction.” Adopting good and healthy habits are easier than you may think; simply follow the example of fit and healthy people. By developing and including their top six ‘good to have’ habits you will be amazed at the significant impact on your day-to-day life.

For the full article please go here.

5 Surprising Myths About Excess Weight from Huffington Post

We get it. We’re fat. Americans are fat. Europeans are fat. And the rest of the globe is quickly catching up. And, yes, excess weight is very, very bad. Gaining too much weight boosts your risk of cancer, heart disease, and, well, 17 other terrible things that we’ve written about before.

So, do our chubby thighs and seems-like-we’ll-never-shed-it baby weight always spell disaster? Is there any silver lining at all? Maybe. Here are five surprising things you may not know about weight—and why a few extra pounds aren’t always as bad as you think.

For the full article please go here.

Relaxing 101: Expert Tips To Reduce Stress And Anxiety from Huffington Post

By Ysolt Usigan for Shape.com

These days, everyone is "stressed out." There isn't a week that goes by that you don't hear the phrase. Margaux J. Rathbun, certified nutritional therapy practitioner and creator of nutrition website Authentic Self Wellness, points out the obvious sources of stress: deadlines at work, relationships, financial issues, etc.

"Some people handle stress well, but for others it can be devastating. Stress can cause fatigue, chronic headaches, irritability, changes in appetite, memory loss, low self-esteem, withdrawal, teeth grinding, even cold hands," she says. "All of these symptoms can have an extremely negative effect on our quality of life, our health, and can ultimately lead to a shorter life span."

To cope with stress and anxiety, and improve your life, follow these expert de-stressing tips…

For the full article please go here.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Nurses, Don’t Let Stress Make You Gain Weight! from Nurse Together

Work, family, friends, bills, housework–all factors demanding your time and usually “stressing you out!” And as many of you nurses know all too well, when you get stressed, the first thing that suffers is your nutrition.

Nutrition can play a huge role in helping to manage the ill-effects of stress. Whether physical or emotional, stress can actually deplete vitamins and minerals from your body. It’s no wonder that stress is linked to an increased risk of illness and disease.

And of course it doesn’t end there. As many of us have found out the hard way, increased stress is usually accompanied by increased weight gain. Understanding the chemical response of your body can help you see why. Stress stimulates the breakdown of serotonin; it also triggers the release of cortisol from the adrenal glands, stimulating the production of the chemical neuropeptide Y (NPY) in the brain. Unfortunately, as levels of NPY rise and serotonin levels fall, carbohydrate cravings increase—and then, watch out potato chips.

For the full article please go here.

Meditation Helps Memory Loss Patients from Medical News Today

The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine reports that researchers from the Thomas Jefferson University Hospital have discovered that adults with memory impairment and memory loss may benefit from mantra-based meditation, which has a positive effect on people's emotional responses to stress, fatigue and anxiety.

For their study, the researchers enrolled 15 older adults with memory problems that ranged from mild age-associated memory impairment to mild impairment, with Alzheimer's disease on a Kirtan Kriya (KK) mantra-based meditation course, that involved 12 minutes of meditation, per day, for a period of eight weeks, and a control group to listen to classical music for the same amount of time over 8 weeks.

For the full article please go here.

Finding 'new normal' after school shooting from CNN

(CNN) -- For students, parents and teachers in Chardon, Ohio, the week has been a disorienting one after a high school shooting left three teenagers dead.

As the community of 5,100 tries to regain the normalcy that was shattered by violence, the Chardon school district has decided to resume classes Friday.

Throughout the week, the school system has offered counseling. Teachers and staff members were asked to return to school, where they could meet with counselors, on Wednesday. Parents and students were also encouraged to come to campus on Thursday, when counseling will also be offered.

After such a traumatic incident, counselors focus on two stages of recovery: the immediate response of helping people feel safe and the longer-term process of helping them cope.

For the full article please go here.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

School shootings and PTSD: Trauma can last for months or years From MSNBC

By Kelly Kearsley

Students at Chardon High School outside of Cleveland are reeling after a school shooting that left three students dead and two others injured.

“It’s just a nightmare I’m waiting to wake up from,” said Mike Wargo, a senior who heard the gunshots shortly after leaving his friends in the school’s cafeteria.

“I can’t even imagine what the parents feel right now,” Wargo told TODAY's Savannah Guthrie through tears. ‘”I wish I was there. I’d rather take bullet for one of those five.”

Neither Wargo, nor most of the high school’s students were physically hurt in the attack. But they may suffer psychological scars of guilt and grief. Mental health experts say the echoes of such a trauma can last for months -- or if untreated -- for years.

For the full article please go here.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Just calm down, already! Here's how From MSNBC

It's only Tuesday, and yet the manic pace of this two-day-old week is already about to make you collapse. If you're seeking de-stressing strategies, you're in luck -- yoga instructor Wendy Rubin and TODAY's diet and nutrition expert Joy Bauer revealed the best poses to do and food to eat to keep yourself calm.

As Rubin puts it, stress isn't something that happens to you -- it's the absence of calm in your life. These poses are designed to relieve muscle tension, quiet the mind and calm the body. They can each be done at home using pillows and blankets you have lying around the house.

For the full article please go here.

Nursing School 101 for the 30 Something Crowd from Nurse Together

This is a topic I am intimately familiar with. When I began attending nursing school I was 30, worked part-time, and was married with a newborn and a four year-old. I was concerned about fitting in and going back to school after years away. I earned my nursing degree at 32 years old, my bachelor degree at 36 years old, and my Master’s degree at the age of 43. I currently teach college students, many of whom are adult learners! Why am I telling you all this? Because I can offer you some great tips from both the student and professor perspectives:

Use your life experience to your advantage. You may be going back to nursing school at an older age, but you bring with you a wealth of experience in many areas that you can put to good use. You have learned time management skills, the value of the educational dollar, and how to multi-task. Most 18 year-old students lack this experience.

For the full article please go here.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Nurses on the Job: The Wonders of Positive Affirmation from Nurse Together

As I was driving home through the city today I was distracted by all of the commotion outside. Tractor trailers were banging and clanging quickly past me. On the sidewalk, construction workers were shouting to one another, finishing up the day’s work. Loud noise, such as radios and car horns, were invading my quiet space. My thoughts were scattered and I was having a hard time concentrating on one thing at a time. My mind was racing from topic to topic. Then, I was suddenly reminded of a busy day on a nursing unit!

I know we all have experiences like these: getting interrupted while calculating medication dosages, being called to the telephone while in the middle of patient teaching or hearing a bed alarm then rushing away from talking to a family member about how their loved one is doing. This is the nature of our position as a nurse. We need to be in a million different places all at one time. We care for many people at the same time. We have so much to get done each day and so much responsibility on our shoulders that it can be a distracting role with its multiple facets and tasks. It can get a bit chaotic and quite exhausting at times!

For the full article please go here.

Why Earning Your BSN is Not Only Smart, It’s Practically Required from Nurse Together

As new legislative health care reforms are phased in over the next decade, the recommendations outlined in the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) report, “The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health,” are gaining traction. The IOM pinpoints three key areas in which nurses should improve their practice:

Nurses should practice to the full extent of their education and training.

Nurses should achieve higher levels of education and training, through an improved education system that promotes seamless academic progression.

For the full article please go here.

Depression Risk Lower In Heart Patients Who Take Statins from Medical News Today

Heart disease patients who took statins, the drugs prescribed for lowering cholesterol, were significantly less likely to develop depression than counterparts who did not take the drugs, according to a new study led by Dr Mary Whooley, a professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. The researchers write about their findings in an article published online in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry on 21 February.

The researchers write in their background information that while their benefits for cardiovascular disease are well established, the effects of statins on depressive symptoms have not been examined.

For the full article please go here.

Migraines May Raise Depression Risk in Women from Health.com

WEDNESDAY, February 22, 2012 (Health.com) — Middle-aged women are roughly 40% more likely to become depressed if they experience migraine headaches, new research suggests.

What’s more, their risk of depression appears to stay elevated even if the pain stops. Women whose migraines had not troubled them within the past year were just as likely to become depressed as women who were still enduring the sometimes crippling headaches, the study found.

For the full article please go here.

Are Women Turned Off By Stressed-Out Men? from Health.com

WEDNESDAY, February 22, 2012 (Health.com) — Scientists have been trying to confirm what Hollywood has known for decades: Women are often attracted to men with chiseled cheekbones and lantern jaws.

These and other masculine facial features are associated with high testosterone levels, and women seem to know this fact intuitively. Studies suggest that women are especially drawn to rugged-looking guys when they’re in the mood to mate (i.e., when they’re ovulating), while at other times, when they’re more interested in companionship, they tend to prefer a softer, more delicate look—think Ryan Gosling versus Burt Lancaster.

For the full article please go here.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Nursing Certification Has Many Rewards from Nurse Together

There are a myriad of advantages to becoming certified in your field of nursing. I am a Certified Occupational Health Nurse Specialist (COHN-S) and find that certification has many rewards! Here are a few reasons to consider:

Benefits your patients. According to the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN), nursing certification has been linked to better patient outcomes. Certification is credited with a reduction in medical errors, among other benefits. If I listed no other reasons to become certified, this one should be enough!

Accomplishment. Becoming certified in your field is both a professional and a personal accomplishment. Most certifications require extensive studying and experience to initially attain the certification. Once earned, you carry with you a keen sense of accomplishment as a certified nurse. You are seen by uncertified peers and management as a level above.

For the full article please go here.

Surviving Modern Healthcare: 9 Tips To Keep Your Network Strong from Nurse TogetherWe have heard it said that “no man is an island,” and that is true for all of us. An effective support system is necessary for us to excel in our life goals. These support systems may include friends, family, loved ones and co-workers. I had the opportunity to hear a wonderful speaker who grew up with parents who were FBI agents. He changed his identity and moved several times as he was growing up, and he spoke of one of the most important lessons he learned from his parents: your network keeps you safe. He then went on to do an insightful presentation about the value of networking. Some of the most important networks which we find ourselves a part of are our social networks, family networks and professional networks. Social networks include our friends, those we meet in classroom settings, people we like to spend time with and those we engage in social media. Our family network includes all of our family members and extended family. Lastly, our professional network includes colleagues at work. Even more valuable though, is the professional network you build beyond your work experience. Especially with the volatility in healthcare, the professional network can be vital to your career success. Your professional network can serve you in three important ways: support, promotion and saving your life.

We have heard it said that “no man is an island,” and that is true for all of us. An effective support system is necessary for us to excel in our life goals. These support systems may include friends, family, loved ones and co-workers. I had the opportunity to hear a wonderful speaker who grew up with parents who were FBI agents. He changed his identity and moved several times as he was growing up, and he spoke of one of the most important lessons he learned from his parents: your network keeps you safe. He then went on to do an insightful presentation about the value of networking.

Some of the most important networks which we find ourselves a part of are our social networks, family networks and professional networks. Social networks include our friends, those we meet in classroom settings, people we like to spend time with and those we engage in social media. Our family network includes all of our family members and extended family. Lastly, our professional network includes colleagues at work. Even more valuable though, is the professional network you build beyond your work experience. Especially with the volatility in healthcare, the professional network can be vital to your career success. Your professional network can serve you in three important ways: support, promotion and saving your life.

For the full article please go here.

10 Tips for Nurse Practitioners to Avoid Burnout from Nurse Together

How can taking care of one's self have anything to do with business? As a business owner, you work hard; most likely you work harder than you ever did as an employed person. This is especially true during your first years in business. As such, it's important to take the time to recharge your batteries. Here are some suggestions for you:

For the full article please go here.

A Personal Mission: Define Your Wellness from Huffington Post

A basic outline for prevention has existed for more than 30 years, but wellness has had a hard time making real headway. Old habits are hard to break. Our society has a magic bullet fixation, waiting for the next miracle drug to cure us of every ill. Doctors receive no economic benefit from pushing prevention over drugs and surgery. For all these reasons, compliance with prevention falls far below what is needed for maximum wellness.

Rather than feeling gloomy, my focus has been on getting the individual to take charge of their own wellness. This can be a considerable challenge, since we are each unique in our bodies but also unique in our pattern of bad habits and poor lifestyle choices. More than 40 percent of American adults make a resolution to live a better life each year, and fewer than half keep their promise to themselves for longer than six months. Conditioning is hard to break, but the key is that the power to break a habit belongs to the same person who made it -- the turnaround amounts to giving up unconscious behavior and adopting conscious new patterns.

For the full article please go here.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

5 Tips to Stay Upbeat in a Stressful Work Environment from Nurse Together

Meds to pass, IVs to hang, patient care to deliver, vitals to take, charting to do, meetings to attend- all in a nurse’s stressful day!

Many hospitals around the country are hiring fewer nurses so current staff work longer and harder, doing more with less, once again.

How can a nurse stay upbeat in a stressful work environment? These five tips are easy, effective, and even fun!

For the full article please go here.

10 New Weight Loss Myths and Facts from Yahoo News

Even though we all know that the best way to stay healthy and physically fit is to eat well-rounded, nutritionally sound meals and exercise for at least 20 minutes a day, it's human nature to seek out better, "cutting-edge," get-thin-quick fads and glom onto them like they're gospel. Don't eat after 8 p.m.? You got it. Wash down an acai berry with fish oil? Sign me up.

But what if those new fangled discoveries and quick fixes were steeped in misinformation and could actually be making you gain weight or harm your health? Oh, no thank you very much.

For the full article please go here.

If You Want to Lose Weight, Calm Down -- 10 Stress-Management Strategies from Huffington Post

A number of studies show that stress not only leads to weight gain, but it also inhibits weight loss in people who are seemingly doing everything right. For example, a recent study published in the journal Hormones found that chronic stress leads to overeating, co-elevation of cortisol and insulin, and suppression of certain anabolic hormones that lead to abdominal fat and increased inflammation. Insulin spikes are also known to inhibit fat burning. Another study found that stress can make it difficult to lose weight because of the complex metabolic effects it triggers.

So if you want to lose weight or avoid weight gain, one step is to get a handle on your stress. Sounds good, but what do you do when you're facing a really difficult problem and it's stressing you out? Here are some simple ways to manage the stress, calm down, and turn your fat-burning machine back on.

For the full article please go here.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Strengthening The Intestinal Barrier May Prevent Cancer In The Rest Of The Body from Medical News Today

A leaky gut may be the root of some cancers forming in the rest of the body, a new study published online Feb. 21 in PLoS ONE by Thomas Jefferson University researchers suggests.

It appears that the hormone receptor guanylyl cyclase C (GC-C) - a previously identified tumor suppressor that exists in the intestinal tract - plays a key role in strengthening the body's intestinal barrier, which helps separate the gut world from the rest of the body, and possibly keeps cancer at bay. Without the receptor, that barrier weakens.

A team led by Scott Waldman, M.D., Ph.D., chair of the Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics at Jefferson and director of the Gastrointestinal Cancer Program at Jefferson's Kimmel Cancer Center, discovered in a pre-clinical study that silencing GC-C in mice compromised the integrity of the intestinal barrier. It allowed inflammation to occur and cancer-causing agents to seep out into the body, damaging DNA and forming cancer outside the intestine, including in the liver, lung and lymph nodes.

For the full article please go here.

10 Ways Your Job Can Hurt Your Heart from Health.com

Your job, your heart

By Amanda Gardner

Although most people don't think of heart disease as an occupational hazard, certain characteristics of your job may be upping your risk for heart attacks and other problems.

Some work-related factors—such as sitting long hours at a desk, stress, irregular work hours, and exposure to certain chemicals or pollution—could also harm your heart.

Here are some jobs and job characteristics that could be upping your risk—and what to do about it.

For the full article please go here.

How to Be Amazing When You Suck at Everything from Huffington Post

There was once a time in my life where I sucked at everything (yeah, I know... hard to believe!). I was in my early 20s and unsure of the world and all the broken promises life handed me. I was a freshman in college for three years straight and every job I got fired me. I was also a single mom (since my teenage years), and I was failing my daughter miserably.

For every dream that I was passionate about, there was always someone who shot it down as a hobby or tried their best to convince me of how unrealistic it was, and I started to believe what "they" were telling me. That I was going to fail. And because I was already failing, I figured that this had to be true!

That's when I heard it. A voice that whispered in my heart and screamed into my ears:


For the full article please go here.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Small strides you should take for your heart fro CNN

Let's face it – life is busy. You've got calls to make, e-mails to send and meetings to get to. But what about appointments with yourself that you've been meaning to make?

"As I say to many of my patients, if you don't find time for exercise, you will have to find time for disease," Dr. Nanette Wenger tells CNN. She's a spokesperson for the American Heart Association (AHA) and a cardiologist at the Emory University School of Medicine.

February is American Heart Month, when the AHA and other organizations hope to spread awareness about the dangers of an unhealthy lifestyle. The statistics haven't changed: Cardiovascular disease is still the leading killer of men and women in the United States and worldwide.

"The key to reducing this threat is prevention, and among the major preventive interventions– smoking cessation, control of cholesterol, control of blood pressure, control of weight and physical activity– physical activity can often be the cornerstone," Wenger said.

For the full article please go here.

Drug Combo Kills Pancreatic Cancer Cells from Medical News Today

Combining gemcitabine with MRK003, an experimental drug, triggers a chain of events leading to pancreatic cancer cell death, researchers from Cambridge reported in the Journal of Experimental Medicine. The researchers explained that when the two drugs are combined, the effect of each one is multiplied, thus intensifying the destruction of pancreatic cancer cells.

Professor David Tuveson, from the Cambridge Research Institute, UK, and team demonstrated in animal studies that MRK003, an experimental medication, when combined with chemotherapy medication gemcitabine, set off a domino effect which ultimately destroyed the malignant cells.

For the full article please go here.

How Negative Thoughts Affect Everything in Our Life from Huffington Post

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It seems that throughout life, even as we grew up, we heard from our friends and family comments like "If you think bad thoughts, then you'll jinx it" or "If you think the worst, then you'll make it happen." It seems that in clinical research, these sayings actually have a name... and that name is "nocebo effect."

In medicine, when we talk about the "nocebo effect," what we are referring to is the concept that adverse health or clinical events can be produced or influenced by negative expectations. These effects are a direct result of the psychosocial context or therapeutic environment and its impact on a person's mind and body.

It can be produced by various factors, including verbal cues and past experiences. So, if someone has had prior unsuccessful or negative therapeutic experiences or was provided information in a negative light, it may mediate an undesirable outcome to the therapy.

For the full article please go here.

So You Think You Want to Lose Weight? Trust Me: You Don't! from Huffington Post

Whenever a client expresses to me that they want to lose weight, I always say to them, "No, you don't -- what you really want is to thin out the layer of fat that is sitting on top of your muscle, and add more muscle to your body."

Yes, all that. Let me explain.

For the full article please go here.

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Expanding Role of the Nurse Educator from Nurse Together

A Clinical Nurse Educator is a registered professional nurse with an advanced education, including advanced clinical and educational training coupled with many years of expertise in a healthcare specialty. Nurse educators serve in a variety of roles that often range from nursing college dean to a clinical trainer for a medical device or pharmaceutical company.

A combination of clinical expertise and a passion for teaching are two of the core skills that strengthen the nursing workforce while providing peer mentorship. These specialized skill sets help to set apart the nurse educator from the rest of the clinical team.

For the full article please go here.

The Physiology of Willpower: Where Does Discipline Come From? From Huffington Post

Willpower is the key to much that's good in life. Willpower is what makes us save for the future rather than splurge now. It helps us to keep our heads down, studying and working when we really don't feel like it, to earn that degree or promotion. Willpower allows us to say no to that tempting cigarette, extra dessert, or second glass of whiskey -- and to hop on the treadmill. And, of course, failures of self-control can sabotage all those goals.

So it's no wonder that psychological scientists have been studying willpower for decades, trying to figure out who is disciplined under what circumstances -- and why. What exactly is going on in the mind's cognitive machinery -- and the brain's neurons -- when we successfully summon our will -- or when we say, oh the hell with it?

For the full article please go here.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Surviving Modern Healthcare: The Power of Positive Thinking from Nurse Together

It has been said that what calls us to action in our lives is our desire, but the only way to achieve our goals is to hold a true belief in ourselves that we can do it. Eleanor Roosevelt said “If you believe you can do it you are right, and if you believe you cannot do it you are also right.” The choice to achieve then becomes ours, however, it will only be accomplished through the power of positive thinking and the belief we can do it.

Science is only now beginning to unlock the secrets of the power of the mind and the effects on the body that ultimately affect behavior. Psychoneuroimmunology is the study of the effects of the mind on the immune system, both positive and negative. Nurses have always realized this power through our holistic approach to healthcare and our emotional and spiritual support of our patient. You, perhaps, have seen patients that survived terminal or tremendously grim situations that survived by holding on to their positive thoughts and the belief that they can overcome.

For the full article please go here.

Traditional Education vs. Distance Learning from Nurse Together

I have often heard nursing students and colleagues proclaim, “If a nursing school isn’t accredited, it is no good.” “Regional accreditation is more important for getting a job.” “A traditional degree is better than an online one.”

What makes nursing education good? Is a traditional education program better than an online one? Do you receive better nursing education from an accredited program versus one that is not? Let us consider everything with a grain of salt and look at the facts as well as the reality.

The merits of receiving an education from an accredited institution speaks to the point that the particular school ranks average or better than average within a conglomerate of similar institutional programs. According to the US Department of Education, which does not accredit nursing schools but provides rationale for its purpose, an educational program that is accredited has shown that they provide quality higher education according to standards set by a private regional or national accrediting agency. Accreditation is a peer review process that evaluates educational programs based upon agency-set criteria. (US Department of Education, 2011)

For the full article please go here.

1 in 10 U.S. Kids Lives With Parent Who Has Abused Alcohol: Report from Health.com

THURSDAY, Feb. 16 (HealthDay News) — About 7.5 million American children under the age of 18 live with a parent who’s struggled with alcohol abuse over the past year, a new government report finds.

That’s equal to 10.5 percent of children across the country, say researchers at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), which issued the report.

“The enormity of this public health problem goes well beyond these tragic numbers as studies have shown that the children of parents with untreated alcohol disorders are at far greater risk for developing alcohol and other problems later in their lives,” SAMHSA Administrator Pamela Hyde said in an agency news release.

For the full article please go here.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

How to stop your kids from stressing from CNN

There is a good chance that my children (and yours) are stressed out on a daily basis.

Not necessarily from catastrophic burdens such as death, abuse or abandonment (though far too many children are dealing with those as well), but from the slow boil of everyday anxieties – a swell of unrelenting childhood stress that, in the long term, may bury our kids good and well in a tsunami of serious health problems.

More, faster, better

High on the list of stressors is the pressure many parents place on their kids: the mentality that the earlier a child does something – walks, talks, reads chapter books, excels in advanced robotics for kindergartners – the better.

For the full article please go here.

Heart attack? Nope, just a spin class from MSNBC

For anyone who has felt like their heart might explode after a spin class, the truth might not be that far off -- biochemically speaking, that is. New research out of Sweden has shown an hour of spinning triggers the same biochemical reactions as a heart attack.

Research from the University of Gothenburg has shown that spin workouts and other forms of strenuous exercise can secrete the same enzymes into the bloodstream as a heart attack, increasing the possibility of a misdiagnosis. The results will be published in the Scandinavian Cardiovascular Journal.

For the full article please go here.

Recovering From Heart Attack A Challenge For The Depressed from Medical News Today

Mental state can play a crucial role in physical health - medical professionals have long known about the connection between anxiety and the immune system, for example. Now researchers at Tel Aviv University have found that mental health can also interfere with the heart.

Heart attack patients who also suffer from depression are more likely to be readmitted for cardiac events and chest pains in the future, and have 14 percent more days of hospitalization than their happier counterparts, says researcher Vicki Myers of TAU's Sackler Faculty of Medicine. Along with Dr. Yariv Gerber and other members of the Israel Study Group of First Acute Myocardial Infarction, Myers examined the association between depressive symptoms in heart attack patients and hospital admissions more than a decade after the initial attack.

For the full article please go here.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Stress is Killing Me! 11 Tips to Cope at Work from Nurse Together

In these challenging times, nurses have to do more with less and often feel frazzled and frantic, instead of calm and efficient. Excessive stress can interfere with your productivity and deplete you physically, mentally and spiritually.

It’s good to remember that some stress is normal and healthy. Eustress is the “good” stress that every living biological life form has. It allows us to be productive when everything around us is changing. But the U.S. Surgeon General claimed 80% of non-traumatic deaths are stress related.

Stress is literally killing us.

For the full article please go here.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Self-awareness, self-control critical to addicts' recovery, experts say From CNN

(CNN) -- For a recovering addict, reveling at a party or having pills in your room can be seen as a sign you are in control, having successfully defeated your demons -- or just as likely, experts say, a sign of weakness that could lead to a dangerous, if not deadly, outcome.

On any given day, an estimated 23.5 million Americans need help to overcome chronic substance abuse, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration.

By her own admission, Whitney Houston once was one of them -- until her still unexplained death last Saturday in her Beverly Hills, California, hotel room.

She had admitted in the past having done marijuana and cocaine, spoke about her mother staging an intervention for her and made several trips to rehab. Yet more recently, many of her friends contended that Houston's spirits, and her health, seemed good.

For the full article please go here.

How to prevent the Valentine’s Day blues from CNN

Confession: I hate Valentine’s Day.

But I bet I’m not alone.

For the first 26 years of my life I dreaded Valentine’s Day. Every February 14 served as a reminder that no one wanted to date me.

I couldn’t stand going to restaurants and seeing all the lovey-dovey couples lost in romantic bliss. Valentine’s Day may be great if you’re in a relationship, but it can be depressing if you aren’t.

Many singles use Valentine’s Day as an excuse to engage in unhealthy behavior, such as drinking and self-medicating, to help them forget the date. Growing up, I was no exception.

For the full article please go here.

Nurse Practitioner Business Owners: Two Tax Dates You Must Know from Nurse Together

April 15th, the deadline to file your personal income tax, will be here before you know it. As a small business owner however, you will have filed tax reports and paid all sorts of taxes already.

Most small businesses operate on a calendar year. And even though tax events happen throughout the year, they are reported at the end of the business year and quarter, when they get submitted to different taxing authorities.

Paying attention to those timelines is critical. Countless business owners have lost their business by ignoring the IRS and other taxing authorities.

For the full article please go here.

A Day in the Life of a Hospice Nurse from Nurse Together

I almost missed the little brown wrapped package sitting in my mailbox among the bills and flyers. Puzzled, I unwrapped it to reveal a well worn copy of “Cherry Ames: Visiting Nurse”, an unexpected, belated birthday gift from an old friend. Copyright 1947 by Grosset and Dunlap, Publishers, NY, it is one of a series of nursing novels written in the 40's and 50's by Helen Wells featuring Cherry Ames, a plucky, resourceful young RN.

“This is so great”, I thought, “Let’s see what kitchy, naive things Cherry gets herself into in 1947. In New York City, no less.”

For the full article please go here.

Depression Linked To Adolescent Bullying from Medical News Today

A recent study by authors Gary Ladd, a professor in the School of Social and Family Dynamics, Karen Rudolph, University of Illinois, and Karen Kochel, an assistant professor in ASU's School of Social and Family Dynamics and published in Child Development, explains that teens suffering from depression are at a greater risk of being bullied due to difficulties in establishing friendships amongst their peers.

Kochel states:

"Often the assumption is that problematic peer relationships drive depression. We found that depression symptoms predicted negative peer relationships. We examined the issue from both directions but found no evidence to suggest that peer relationships forecasted depression among this school-based sample of adolescents."

For the full article please go here.

5 Healthy Reasons To Love Love from Huffington Post

alentine's Day may get a bad rap as a greeting card holiday, but at the heart of it (no pun intended), it's an opportunity for us to be reminded of the loving relationships in our lives, which have a real and lasting impact on our health and well-being.

Factors like having a supportive community as you grow up, a secure job that you can rely on, or family that you see regularly make a big difference in determining both the quality and the quantity of your years, said Dr. Dean Ornish, M.D., author and HuffPost's medical editor. In other words, love makes you happier, but also healthier and long-living. However, maintaining these sorts of close relationships often goes unrecognized as a health behavior, he said.

"I believe that the need for love and connection and community is a fundamental thing ... as basic of a need as food, air and water," Ornish told HuffPost.

For the full article please go here.

Monday, February 13, 2012

10 Heart Attack Risk Factors from Health.com

Preventing heart attacks

Some risk factors for heart disease can be controlled, and some can't.

According to the American Heart Association, here are the leading factors that put you at risk for coronary artery disease or a heart attack.

If you know you're at higher risk of a heart attack due to circumstances beyond your control, pay closer attention to lifestyle factors you can change to cut your risk of heart attack.

For the full article please go here.

Why Love Is Good for Your Health from Health.com

Is marriage good for your health? In general, research suggests yes. Married people live longer, have better access to health care, enjoy a more satisfying sex life, experience less stress, live a healthier lifestyle, and have lower rates of heart disease, diabetes, and depression compared to their single counterparts.

The list of health perks conferred by marriage is so long, in fact, that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has made it a centerpiece of its two-year-old, $5 million national media campaign to promote wedded bliss.

For the full article please go here.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Time to Adapt from H and HN

PHOENIX— If there's one thing I've learned in my 20-plus years as a journalist it's this: listen to the experts. Or did my Mom tell me that? Either way, it's a valuable lesson.

For instance, the old newspaper reporter in me was all set to write a blog focused on the Advanced Payment ACO Program, which is aimed at testing the ACO concept in rural settings and among physician-owned organizations, but when I asked rural administrators and trustees what the highlight was of day one at the 25th Rural Health Care Leadership Conference, a number of them immediately mentioned the opening keynote address by Bridget Duffy, M.D., CEO of ExperiaHealth. Before joining the San Francisco-based company, Duffy was chief experience officer at the Cleveland Clinic. Her message today: hospitals need to focus on creating an exceptional patient experience. Central to that, she says, is for all staff at the hospital to show compassion or empathy for patients. It's something that is lacking throughout health care, she says. It's also something my colleague Bill Santamour has been writing about recently in H&HN Daily.

For the full article please go here.

Study Tips for Nursing Students from Nurse Together

Being a nurse and teaching college in an allied health program, I am intimately aware of the large volume of information and new terms nursing students are faced with. It is necessary to learn this material to be both successful in your college career and to give the best patient care upon graduation. At times the amount of information fed to you each semester may seem insurmountable. But it's not – you'll make it! There are many different learning styles, but I am certain some of the following tips will apply to you and make your student life a bit easier!

For the full article please go here.

8 Factors That Could Be Keeping You Awake at Night from Health.com


In one study, 15% of Americans reported suffering from chronic pain, and two-thirds also reported having sleep problems. Back pain, headaches, and temporomandibular joint syndrome (problems with the jaw muscles) are the main causes of pain-related sleep loss.

For the full article please go here.

How To Give Up Smoking from Medical News Today

"It's easy to quit smoking; I've done it hundreds of times." -- Mark Twain

There are many different ways to quit smoking. Some experts advocate using pharmacological products to help wean you off nicotine, others say all you need is a good counselor and support group, or an organized program. To add to the confusion, you may find there is a study that says this way works better than that one, and then when you look again, you find there is another study that says, no, that one works better than this one.

But one thing most experts agree on is that a combination works best. For example, nicotine replacement therapy on its own, or counseling on its own is not as effective as a combination of the two.

In this article you can read about some of the more common elements of successful quit smoking programs. And at the end is a list of Top Tips to Quit Smoking.

For the full article please go here.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Anesthesia Exposure Linked To ADHD In Children from Medical News Today

A study by researchers at Mayo Clinic, Rochester Minn., and published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings, reveals that children who have been under anesthesia many times when they are young have a greater risk of developing attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). According to David Warner, M.D, a Mayo Clinic pediatric anesthesiologist, and researchers of this study, kids who have been exposed to anesthesia more than twice before the age of 3 are twice as likely to have ADHD than children who have not been exposed.

Warner and team began the study after other research suggested that anesthesia alters the brain of young animals. He said:

"Those studies piqued our interest. We were skeptical that the findings in animals would correlate with kids, but it appears that it does."

For the full article please go here.

Measures Must Be Taken To Prevent Depression In Adolescents from Medical New Todays

As one of the most common, unrecognized and untreated health problems among young people, tackling depression is a serious priority for countries worldwide. The psychiatric disorder causes serious social and educational problems for patients, as well as leading to increased risk of suicide and substance abuse. A review of a published article in The Lancet urges that more measures are needed to prevent depression in non-specialist settings, such as schools and communities.

Anita Thapar from Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK, lead author says:

"In view of the disability associated with depression in adolescents, much more needs to be done to recognise and treat those with depression early and to develop innovative and cost-effective methods to improve access and deliver prevention programmes to a far wider group of adolescents particularly in non-specialist settings and in low-income and middle-income countries where the burden is greatest"

For the full article please go here.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Worst Thing to Eat for Your Heart from Yahoo News

Heart disease is the leading cause of death among Americans: on average, one person dies every 39 seconds, according to recently published data from the American Heart Association.

I've talked in the past about cutting back on saturated fat (found mostly in animal-based products like red meat and full-fat dairy), added sugars and sodium for better heart health. Keep working at those!

Don't Miss: 3 Ways to Eat Less Sugar
6 Easy Ways to Reduce the Sodium in Your Diet

But one thing that I haven't talked about much happens to be one of the easiest to limit (or avoid) in your diet-and it's quite harmful to your heart health. What is it? Trans fat.

For the full article please go here.

Heart Health: 13 Foods With Cardiovascular Benefits from Huffington Post

President Barack Obama has officially proclaimed February to be American Heart Month, just as every president has done before him, dating back to a 1963 resolution passed by Congress to draw attention to the leading cause of death among U.S. adults.

Heart disease accounts for 2,200 deaths in the U.S. every day, or one in every three, according to the CDC. Luckily, simple diet and lifestyle changes can greatly reduce your risk. Maintaining a healthy weight, quitting smoking and keeping stress levels under control are all great places to start. Another powerful way to take control of your ticker is to watch what you eat.

By now you probably know that olive oil, lean meats and omega-3-rich fish -- all components of the Mediterranean Diet -- are popular heart-healthy fare, but we've rounded up some other options to add to your diet this February.

For the full article please go here.

Go Red for Heart Health This Friday from Huffington Post

A few years ago my girlfriends and I decided to take control of our health, and we started out by jogging in the park together -- checking our odometers, keeping pace with each other, and competing about who had the best heart rate. We also shared a lot of laughs -- always the best medicine -- while we cared for ourselves, our health and each other.

Believe it or not, heart disease affects more than one in three women -- and kills more than 500,000 women -- each year in this country, making it the leading cause of death among women. (Are you surprised by that? I sure was -- I thought cancer was the leading cause.) So this Friday, I'm getting active in the fight against women's heart disease and taking part in the National Wear Red Day, a campaign created by the American Heart Association's "Go Red for Women" movement that is designed to raise awareness about women's heart health.

For the full article please go here.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

5 Attributes Every Student Nurse Should Have from Nurse Together

Initially it may seem easy to list the necessary attributes for a student nurse. We want them to be honest, ethical, hard-working, etc. These are certainly essential characteristics for someone who is preparing to take care of others. There are some other important qualities, however, which can make the difference between success and the lack thereof, of a student nurse. We need all the good nurses that we can get as we age as a population in greater numbers than ever before. We hope that those who choose nursing as a career do so for the right reasons, and not just for job security, money, etc. Let’s face it - nursing is hard. Nursing school is also hard. There are five additional attributes that can help individuals survive nursing school to become licensed in our profession.

For the full article please go here.

10 Ways You May Put Yourself at Risk for Flu (Without Realizing It!) from Health.com

By Sarah Klein

Whether you decide to get a flu shot this year or not, it's important to take steps to prevent yourself from getting the seasonal flu, as well as H1N1, commonly referred to as swine flu.

If you already sneeze into your sleeve, wash your hands diligently, and avoid crowds where these viruses can easily spread, you're on the right track. But you still may be putting yourself at risk in these unexpected ways—probably without even realizing it.

For the full article please go here.