Showing posts relating to: The Lifestyle: My NP Life

4 Must Have Resources for Nurse Practitioners

A reader recently asked me an excellent question.  Which resources do I find most helpful in my practice?  Well, I have a few go-to's when I find myself in a pinch. You know, those indispensable books with dog-eared pages and an overall crumpled, worn appearance from years of being mashed into my work bag alongside occasionally leaky lunches and various medical supplies.

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My Nurse Practitioner Pet Peeves- Can I Have Fries With That?

People's inhibitions are at an all-time low in the emergency department.  In the ED, grown men cry like babies, sometimes for good reason, usually not.  Bodily functions fly, uncensored by their bearers.  Once people arrive in the emergency department, fling open those sticky glass double doors and announce their most personal problems to whatever complete stranger happens to be monitoring the triage desk all social standards become irrelevant.

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How I Bridged the Knowledge Gap Between My NP Program and Practice

Hands down, the most difficult part of my nurse practitioner career to date has been on the job learning.  Shockingly, it has even been worse than changing adult diapers on the neuro unit during my RN program.  Bridging the gap between what I learned in school and the knowledge and skills necessary to practice has not been easy.  This was most difficult in my first year as a NP and gets easier with time, but I have to wonder is there a better way to kick off a career as a nurse practitioner?

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How to Change Your Name on Nurse Practitioner Licensing

Do you hear wedding bells in your future?  Or, maybe you are more like me and the wedding bells rang long ago but you have some sort of pathological aversion to paperwork and embarrassingly have yet to change your last name.  Well, I overcame my deepest paper pushing fears this winter and have finally completed the name change process including the complete array of nurse practitioner certifications and licenses.

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At Home Cholesterol Testing- The New DIY Project

You can imagine my delight when I arrived home from my vacation last night to find a small box on the steps of my front porch.  Yes, my at-home cholesterol testing device had arrived.  I wish it had been delivered before my vacation.  I was hoping to check my cholesterol prior to my week of indulging in Mexican food and margaritas, but nonetheless I couldn't wait to put my new cholesterol-testing device to work.

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How Do You Renew Your Nurse Practitioner Certification?

Do you ever put things on your 'To Do' list and dread them for a few days only to find that actually completing the abominable task was not as bad as the wasted time worrying.  Per usual, this was the approach I took towards my nurse practitioner recertification process.  I anticipated recertification would be a pain in the you-know-where only to find that dreading the process had been the worst part.

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The NP Profession: Image vs. Reality

My social life takes a blow from pulling frequent night shifts, but really it is my favorite time to work.  The emergency department is (usually) a bit slower and a spirit of camaraderie and teamwork is present that simply does not exist during the day.  The wee morning hours lead to laughs and jokes that don't occur among well-rested employees or when administrators are roaming the halls.  Night shifters are happier, lighthearted and the designated night nurses are really good at their jobs. 

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Patients Googling Symptoms- Does This Mean They Don't Trust Providers?

My patients usually present with an idea of what medical issue they might be experiencing.  How?  They have consulted Dr. Google...and therefore concluded they are suffering from some sort of cancer or rare plague.  The insect bite on their big toe from two days ago has become red and swollen.  Forget the more likely allergic reaction or mild case of cellulitis, this is the dreaded necrotizing fasciitis.  Do patients consult Google out of curiosity, or is it because they no longer trust medical providers?

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Forgo the PET Scan, Some Dogs Detect Cancer

I thought I had seen it all until the other night at work when another provider told me about a patient once presenting to the ER alongside his 'anxiety parrots'.  This pair of birds' purpose was to peck this individual's neck when he became agitated allowing him to recognize the onset of anxiety and calm himself.  I have heard of dogs detecting seizures, but parrots foreseeing panic attacks?  This tale of course led me to the question, what else can animals do to assist in the medical field?

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Are We Overdiagnosing Mental Illness?

The most eye-opening thing about working as a nurse practitioner in the emergency room is the prevalence of mental illness.  I mean, there are some crazy people out there.  Add in a little cocaine or PCP along with some alcohol (or mouthwash if the patient is on a budget) and you have a situation on your hands.  Yes, I do truly believe in mental illness. 

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Should Providers Treat Their Friends and Family?

I'm sure you as a nurse practitioner have a similar dilemma - do you prescribe medications or provide medical treatment to your friends and family?  I have found that providers vary in their approach to this problem.  Some treat and prescribe without hesitation, others hold to strict no friends and family guidelines.  What should you do?  What is legal?

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A Nurse's Belated New Year's Resolutions

By Guest Blogger Anna Kadeg, RN, Aspiring CRNA, My Sister

It's that time of year again...a week into January.  Those who plan on taking down their Christmas lights already have, and those who haven't yet, I'm sorry to say, do not intend to do so. Or, to be more accurate, will intend to all year long until finally it's close enough to December again that "why it's be silly to take them down now!".  

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