Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Health Assessment Health History Interview Assignment

I remember when I filled out my Health History Interview Assignment, I felt like I had no idea what I was doing. In retrospect there are several things I wish I would have done differently. For example, when you’re filling out your health history assignment, make sure to leave no blank spaces. If something doesn't apply to the patient (pt.) you’re interviewing, write, “N/A”. For example, if you’re interviewing a male pt. in the obstetric section, write N/A in the blank next to gravida. Since he’s a male, it doesn't apply to him. If you don’t know what gravida and parity mean, look them up in a medical dictionary. It's important to know the difference.

When you’re constructing your genogram, make sure to include a key for your shapes and colors. I forgot to do this when I created my genogram. You can find a sample genogram in your Physical Assessment work book in the answer key for worksheet 26.

In the review of systems section (ROS), you can write “not indicated” when a pt. responds that they have not experienced a particular condition. For example, “headaches, head injuries, and dizziness not indicated.” Or you could write, "No history of headaches, head injuries, and dizziness." If on the other hand your pt. experiences headaches and dizziness due to a head injury, explain the reason for his/her head trauma and the location of the pain and any other important details. For example: “Pt. reports headaches on the left side of the head and dizziness due to a head injury experienced during a car crash seven days ago.”

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Email Subscription Box Fixed

It was recently brought to my attention that the email subscription box on the left-hand side of the screen was not enabled. The problem has been fixed, and those who are interested should be able to sign up for email notification of new posts. If there are any more difficulties, feel free to leave a comment, and the problem should be rectified as soon as possible.

Liberty University Career Center Resume Services

My exhortation to participate in a nursing externship would be only partly helpful if I did not also tell you about the tools at your disposal to aid you in your efforts to secure your dream summer job.

In today's world, numerous resumes come across a manager's desk and only a couple of the applicants are selected for the limited number of positions available. That being the case, it is imperative that you make an exceptional first impression by putting together a resume that is clearly laid out and succinct while displaying the great individual that you are. I do not claim to be an expert in the art of resume building, but Liberty University's Career Center offers many resources that will aid you in your efforts to write an outstanding resume and cover letter.

One resource that I have found particularly helpful is their sample resume for nurses. Another is their resume critique option. There tends to be a bit of a time lag between submission and the feedback you receive from the Career Center, so be sure to submit your resume for critiquing well in advance so that you do not miss any important deadlines. I have also learned from my nursing friends that the Career Center also offers opportunities to meet with their staff. To set up an appointment, you can follow this link to the appointment request form. Happy resume writing!

Monday, May 13, 2013

The Call to Care for the Lost and Lonely Around the World

Recently I've been reading Rolland and Heidi Baker's book Always Enough: God's Miraculous Provision Among the Poorest Children on Earth. While reading this book, my heart has been impacted by the great need for missionary nurses around the world. As the Bakers tell of their experience in Mozambique, Africa, my heart ached every time I read of them coming to yet another village filled with men, women, and children all without medical care or knowledge of the Gospel. A few times they told of a doctor and a nurse who came with them on the trips to the remotest parts of Mozambique, but the need was always overwhelming, more than could be met by a single doctor or nurse.

My question to myself and to you, is “Will you have compassion on these broken and forsaken people who are dying without hope of life after death?” Will we—can we—stay aloof from their needs in good conscience? Or will we say "Yes" to the call of God to go out into all the world and preach the Gospel? Will we live our lives as though they were not our own but Christ’s? Will we go, saying “Thy will be done, Lord, not mine”?

Here we are. We are going to be nurses. No matter where we are—whether we’re in the remotest part of Africa or the biggest city in America—we have an opportunity. We are surrounded by people—people who don’t know the Lord—people like those Mozambicans the Bakers met who need someone to share with them the TRUTH. God’s TRUTH. His Word is TRUTH. Let us be ready, wherever we are—in season and out of season—to be witnesses for Christ, in the way we live, in what we say, and in who we are.

May we not live for our own comfort but for much greater aim—Christ’s glory. May we be willing to pour out our lives that the lost might be saved. May we be willing to do whatever it takes—even to the point of laying down our lives—for the sake of Jesus Christ’s precious Gospel. I pray that God would give us the opportunity to share Him this summer with the people we encounter and that we would be unashamed as Paul was, for the Gospel is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes (Romans 1:16).

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Externship Opportunities for BSN Students in VA and NC

The UNC Health Sciences Library provides a wonderful list of externship opportunities for nursing students. Follow the link above to find your state and see a list of Nursing Externships in your area. 

Since numerous nursing students attending Liberty University are from Virginia or North Carolina, I have chosen these two states as a sample to show the externships available in the area surrounding Lynchburg. 

Opportunities in Virginia
  • VALOR (Veterans Affairs Learning Opportunity Residency) program
  • Bon Secours Summer Nurse Externship Program (this one would be great for anyone who participates in the Richmond Program since this is the hospital system with which St. Mary’s Hospital is affiliated)
  • Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters Student Nurse Externship
  • UVA's Summer Nurse Extern Program
  • Inova Fairfax Hospital Nurse Externship

Opportunities in North Carolina
Please note that the above lists for VA and NC are not exhaustive and instead are a launching pad for your searches. I wish you all the best as you seek out opportunities and fulfill your role as the hands and feet of Christ as you serve in your community hospitals! 

Externships: A Great Opportunity to Hone Skills & Gain Experience

I recently discovered while talking with one of my best friends in the nursing program that not all nursing students are aware of the wonderful opportunities provided by externships at their local hospitals. Unfortunately, in my friend's case she found out about them too late when all the deadlines were past. I was fortunate to find out about the externships in my area a year before I could actually participate, so I was able to research the requirements and gain the necessary qualifications in advance. 

There are many benefits to participating in a nursing externship. For one, you will gain valuable experience as you practice the skills you've learned in your nursing classes. Repetition will help to solidify your knowledge and give you the ability to perform tasks quickly and efficiently. Another benefit is that you will be able to apply theoretical knowledge you learn in nursing school in real-life situations in a hospital setting. Also, you will be able to make connections in the institution at which you work and may even be able to work there when you graduate!   

Most of the externships I have found have been for rising seniors. That being the case, this is the year for you,  rising juniors, to find out what opportunities are offered in your community and prepare yourself by collecting the instructor references you'll need as well as gaining the certifications required by the institution to which you are applying. Make sure to pay close attention to the deadlines for the externships you are interested in because the deadlines will likely fall during the heat of your first semester as a junior, making it easy to forget and miss a deadline. 

The externship I will be participating in this summer required both Nurse Aid level I and II certifications. I was able to become Nurse Aid I certified in the state of North Carolina by "challenging" the exam during the summer before my junior year. In Virginia I think you must acquire a letter from your Nursing Fundamentals instructor stating that you are qualified to take the exam before you can take the skills and written tests. In the state of North Carolina, I had to wait to become Nurse Aid II certified until I was a junior. Policies will likely vary by state.  

Some of you might be wondering, "Just how do I find out about externships in my area?" I found out about the externships in my area by doing internet searches using the key terms "nursing", "externship", and "internship". 

Stay tuned for future posts detailing the process of becoming Nurse Aid level I certified and a sample list of externship opportunities in the North Carolina and Virginia. 

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Med Surg Tutoring

I know I've always thought tutoring was for students who were struggling, but our NURS 301/302 instructors highly recommend participating in Med Surg tutoring groups led by senior nursing students. During my junior year I participated in two different groups. (Because of the way my clinicals were with Richmond, my schedule varied so that I could only make one of them a week). All of my tutors were amazing! I loved each one of them. I learned a lot from them, and I believe that part of my success in Med Surg was due to the hour or two I spent with them each week going over the material.

With that in mind, I highly recommend signing up for a Med Surg tutoring group next semester. Your Med Surg instructors will likely post sign-up sheets outside of the nursing lounge at the beginning of the year. I would sign up as soon as you figure out what will work best with your schedule. It will be well worth your time!