Go RED for American Heart Month

February has appropriately been claimed as American Heart Month in an effort to raise awareness of heart disease, the number one killer of women.  To kick-off this life-saving event, February 1st is National Wear Red Day.  National Wear Red Day certainly qualifies as an excuse to make some new fashion purchases to enhance you nurse practitioner wardrobe.  Show your support for heart health by adding a splash of color to your outfit today and throughout the rest of the month. Perhaps you should consider these red products.

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Medical Week in Review 2-1-2013

February is here...and it's Friday.  We are officially one month closer to warmer weather and one day away from the weekend.  If that's not enough to make your day fly by, check out some of these more interesting happenings in medicine.

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Does Your Nurse Practitioner Program Influence Your Prescribing Patterns?

Despite regulations governing the pharmaceutical industry, the push from large companies to prescribe brand-name medications is undeniably present.  Gourmet dinner meetings and free lunches delivered to hospital and clinic staff entice providers to write scripts for expensive medications.  Although most patients would understandably prefer prescriptions for generic drugs, physicians, PA's and NP's often endorse brand-name medications.  Why?

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Is the Electronic Cigarette an Effective Smoking Cessation Technique?

I had to chuckle last night at work as I watched a 90-something year old patient lying on a stretcher clad in a greenish hospital gown sucking urgently on an electronic cigarette.  It was a bit of a shock to observe someone, especially a gruff elderly man, puffing away in public.  When the nursing home took away his Marlboros, this man turned to the next best thing.  Naturally, this encounter led me to the question "Are electronic cigarettes an effective smoking cessation technique?"

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New 2013 Vaccine Schedules Released

With this year's influenza epidemic splashed across news reels all over the country, vaccines are on the minds of patients and providers.  We are all well aware of the recommendation for an annual flu shot but what about other routinely scheduled vaccinations?  The CDC has just released updated 2013 vaccine schedules for both children and adults.  These new schedules contain a few key changes of which nurse practitioners must be aware. 

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How Can Nurse Practitioners Can Achieve Work-Life Balance?

According to Archives of Internal Medicine, 46% of physicians currently experience at least one aspect of burnout including emotional exhaustion, depersonalization and low personal accomplishment.  I suspect levels of burnout among nurse practitioners are alarmingly similar.  How can we as a nurse practitioners avoid the common problem of career burnout and achieve an agreeable work-life balance?

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Real-Time MRI Used to Create Music Video

I don't consider myself technologically savvy or even appropriately appreciative of notable technological advancements.  This unique music video, however, captured my attention.  

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Nurse Practitioner Job Opportunity- Army Nurse Corps

This weekend my husband and I saw the acclaimed movie Zero Dark Thirty.  While watching this flick and shoveling greasy popcorn into my mouth, I concluded that a military career could be a great fit for my future.  How cool would it be to combine serving my country with my employment.  Well, I have good news for nurse practitioners like myself.  The Army Nurse Corps offers exciting job opportunities which allow you to work as a nurse practitioner and further your education both at home and across the globe.

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Quitting Smoking by 40 Restores Life Expectancy- How Do We Help People Quit?

More than 43 million Americans (including our president) smoke cigarettes.  Nurse practitioners undoubtedly treat multiple smokers each day, often for tobacco-related illness.  With new research indicating that quitting smoking before the age of 40 may restore life expectancy to that of non-smokers, it is more important than ever that we emphasize smoking cessation with our patients.  What are the most effective smoking cessation methods?

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New Additions to HIPAA Law- What NP's Need to Know

As if HIPAA law isn't already long enough, legislators have added 563 pages of new regulations to legal guidelines protecting patient privacy and information.  What do you need to know about the additions to HIPAA law as a nurse practitioner?

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Case Study of the Week: Radial Head Subluxation

I love a medical problem with an immediate fix.  The patient leaves happy, I feel the satisfaction of having made someone's day just a bit better.  It is much nicer to push, pull, feel a clunk and cure the issue at hand rather than inform your patient that unfortunately they are suffering from a viral infection and should plan on a few days of feeling under the weather.  That is why I love a good case of Radial Head Subluxation (Nursemaid's Elbow). 

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State Law Restricting Prescription Painkillers: What Do NP's Think?

I have come to dread the fight that ensues upon discharging drug seeking patients.  I prescribe Ibuprofen for a sprained ankle.  The patient becomes furious, threatens to call Channel 5 News or Bart Durham, a local attorney with sketchy TV ads- you know the type.  Depending on the situation I either hold my ground or acquiesce to the pill-popper's demands.  Call me immoral but sometimes you just can't fight anymore.  Then, at the end of the day I slink out to my car ready to attack the attacker who has surely slashed my tires in this drug-seeking dispute.  I mentally note to intensify my Jillian Michael's DVD workouts to better prepare for these types of situations.  They don't teach you this in school.

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