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.