The current outbreak of measles, which has been linked to a California amusement park, continues to make headlines in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is tracking data on the states affected and the number of cases. I encourage you to stay informed so you’ll be able to best educate your patients and answer their questions.
Before I get to the purpose of this post – to review transmission, signs and symptoms, and treatment of measles – I’d like to briefly address why we are seeing this resurgence in cases. In 1998, a study was published in the Lancet which suggested a link between the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine and autism. As a result, increased numbers of parents opted to refuse the MMR vaccine for their children. The researchers later retracted their study, and current evidence concludes that there is no association between vaccines and autism.
As nurses, we have a responsibility to educate patients about the importance of vaccinations and the implications when vaccine-preventable diseases reemerge. Measles is extremely contagious and can have serious complications, especially for certain high risk groups. Please stay informed about the current outbreak and recommendations for vaccinations.
What is measles?
Measles is an acute viral illness, transmitted by direct contact with infectious droplets or by airborne spread. After exposure (the incubation period can range from seven to 21 days), a prodromal syndrome of high fever, cough, runny nose, and conjunctivitis is characteristic. Koplik spots (white or bluish-white spots on the buccal mucosa) may occur and then the development of the characteristic maculopapular rash, which typically spreads from the head to the trunk to the lower extremities, follows.
Complications of measles
- Otitis media
- Respiratory complications
- Neurologic complications
- Subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE)
Who’s at risk for severe complications?
- Infants and children younger than five years; adults over 20
- Pregnant women
- Immunocompromised patients
Need-to-know information for nurses
- After appearance of the rash, infected patients should be isolated for four days in a single-patient airborne infection isolation room (AIIR).
- Measles is a reportable disease and local health departments should be notified within 24 hours of suspected measles cases.
- Routine childhood immunization for MMR vaccine starts with the first dose at 12-15 months of age, and the second dose at 4-6 years of age or at least 28 days after the first dose. (More vaccine schedules and information, including contraindications to vaccination, can be found here.)
Finerty, E. (2008). Did you say measles? American Journal of Nursing, 108(12).
Skehan, J. & Muller, L. (2014). Vaccinations: Eliminating Preventable Illness. Professional Case Management, 19 (6).
Wade, G. (2014). Nurses as Primary Advocates for Immunization Adherence. The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing, 39 (6).
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2015, January 30). Measles (Rubeola): For Healthcare Professionals.
“The number one thing that a nurse can do is guard their integrity as if it is their most prized possession.” Jeff Doucette DNP, RN, FACHE, CENP, understands just how small the nursing community is. Regardless of where a nurse works, their actions and choices will follow them, he explains.
With a career like his, he should know. Doucette is currently the vice president of patient care services and chief nursing officer at Bon Secours Mary Immaculate Hospital in Newport News, Va. He is an executive nurse fellow with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, as well as adjunct faculty in the DNP program at Old Dominion University. He is also the chairperson for Nursing Management Congress2015 and on the editorial advisory board for the Nursing Management journal.
This month, I had the opportunity to speak with Doucette, our next Nurse On the Move, and learn why integrity is a nurse’s most valuable asset. We also discussed why Lean management can improve healthcare, what Nursing Management Congress has planned this year, and what he sees for the future of nursing.
Listen for the whole interview...
*Do you know a great candidate to be featured for Nurses On the Move? We want to know about the nurses who are advancing the profession and inspiring others to do the same. We will feature a new nurse every month. Email your submissions to ClinicalEditor@NursingCenter.com.
Here are the nursing recognition days, weeks, and months for the first half of 2015. Please leave a comment if you know of others so I can add them to our list! Thank you!
National IV Nurse Day January 25, 2015
National Nurse Anesthetists Week January 25-31, 2015
PeriAnesthesia Nurse Awareness Week February 2-8, 2015
Critical Care Transport Nurses Day February 18, 2015
Certified Nurses Day March 19, 2015
GI Nurses and Associates Week March 23-27, 2015
Transplant Nurses Day April 15, 2015
National Critical Care Awareness and Recognition Month May 2015
Oncology Nursing Month May 2015
National Nurses Week May 6-12, 2015 (National Nurses Day is May 6)
National School Nurse Day May 6, 2015
National Student Nurses Day May 8, 2015
International Nurses Day May 12, 2015
National Nursing Home Week May 10-17, 2015
Neuroscience Nurses Week May 17-23, 2015
Vascular Nursing Week June 7-13, 2015
38th Annual National Nursing Assistants Week June 11-18, 2015
Take some time to celebrate your hard work and be sure to recognize the work of your colleagues too!
You’ve landed an interview for your dream job – congratulations! As you embark on this journey, keep the following recommendations in mind.
Become familiar with the organization and the position you are seeking. Use the facility’s website and other online resources, and talk to any employees you know. Think about how your skills and strengths will meet the needs of the employer and unit.
Think about your strengths and weaknesses. Write down your skills and experiences, as well as examples of your commitment to team collaboration and quality nursing.
Practice. If possible, ask someone to perform a mock interview with you. Be ready to answer questions, such as:
- Can you tell me a little about yourself?
- How did you learn about us? Why do you want to work for us?
- Can you tell me about your current/last job? Why are you leaving? What did you like most about that job? What would you change about that job?
- Did you ever have a disagreement with a manager?
- Can you tell me about your education and training?
- Can you give an example of a major problem you faced and how you solved it?
- What's your greatest strength? What’s your greatest weakness?
- Why did you choose to be a nurse?
- How do you handle your on-the-job stress?
- What do patients expect from nurses?
- What's the difference between mediocre and excellent when it comes to nursing care?
- How have you solved challenging nursing problems? Or, describe a challenging situation and how you managed it.
- How have you demonstrated your ability to perform as a team member and team player?
- What are your long-term goals in nursing?
As you prepare your answers for these questions, remember to focus on the positive, even when faced with a negative question. Be honest and keep your answers work- or project-related, rather than personal. For example, if asked about disagreements with leadership or a coworker, keep it positive by saying, "Sure, we disagreed at times, but we worked well together,” or make sure your example is a work-related one, such as a disagreement over a project due date, rather than a personal one.
Jot down your questions. Chances are, your interviewer will ask you if you have any questions and you probably will! Here are some things you may want to find out:
- What are the nurse/patient ratios for each shift?
- Can you please describe the orientation program?
- What's the career ladder program and policy?
- Are continuing-education (CE) programs available through the facility?
- What's the reimbursement policy for external CE programs, certification, or nursing classes?
- Will I be tested?
Today's the day!
Think carefully about the first impression you’ll be making. Get enough rest so you’ll be energized and fresh. Dress professionally – conservative is best – and avoid distracting jewelry, make-up or perfume/cologne. Don't smoke, smell of smoke, or chew gum.
Plan to arrive about 15 minutes before your interview. Bring multiple copies of your resume in case more than one person is participating in the interview. Your resume should be printed on crisp white paper for a professional presentation. Also, bring names and contact information for references and employment and education institutions. Turn off or silence your cell phone.
Greet the interviewer with a firm handshake while looking him or her in the eye, and continue to make eye contact with the interviewer during the interview. Throughout the interview, sit up straight, show interest, smile and speak clearly. Be yourself!
Listen carefully to questions asked and respond in an open, friendly manner. If a question is unclear, ask for clarification. Your answers should be complete, but concise.
As the interview process comes to a close, expect to learn the date when a decision is likely to be made and how you'll be notified. You can ask for this information if the interviewer doesn't mention it. In general, salary shouldn’t be discussed until a former offer has been made. Thank the interviewer and be sure to have his or her name and contact information.
Within 24 hours, send a thank-you letter or e-mail. Be sure to express your continued interest in the position. Use this opportunity to reinforce how and why you're qualified for the position.
Hathaway, L. (2005). Savvy answers to tough interview questions. Nursing2005, 35 (1).
Rosati, L. (2014). Strike gold when interviewing for your first nursing job. Nursing2014, 44 (5).
Smith, L. (2010). PROFESSIONAL GROWTH: Are you ready for your job interview? Nursing2010, 40 (4).
As we get into 2015, here are some resolutions you can expect from Lippincott NursingCenter!
1. All of our enewsletters are getting a new look! We know that many of you check your email from your phone or tablet; we want to make sure that your are getting the best information in the best format for your device! Here is a peek at our newly launched NursingCenter enews:
2. NursingCenter will also be getting a new look! Stay tuned for an update to our website. Make sure you are a registered member and that your profile is up-to-date. You will get content specific to your practice right on your NursingCenter home page!
3. Want to complete your CE activities while you are on-the-go? We have a new CE app in development, so you’ll be able to complete your CE activities right on your mobile device and then sync up with your computer to download and print your certificate!
4. Look for more CE collections and Focus On collections so you can easily find topical information and specially-priced offers!
5. We are also committed to keeping you updated on your license renewal requirements. Check back often for updates for your state CE requirements!
6. We’ve got a line-up of Nurses on the Move to keep you abreast of the great things nurses are achieving in our profession! Remember, you can nominate a colleague, friend, or even yourself by emailing ClinicalEditor@NursingCenter.com.
We are looking forward to a great 2015 and hope that you’ll continue to use Lippincott NursingCenter for all of your professional and clinical needs!
“Nursing is the toughest job you will ever love.” JoAnne Phillips MSN, RN, CCRN, CCNS, CPPS, recognizes that hard work can produce gratifying results. As a manager of quality and patient safety at Penn Home Care & Hospice Services, a clinical informatics professional development specialist at the University of Pennsylvania Health System, and a doctoral student working towards her DNP at Vanderbilt University, Phillips doesn’t take her role as a nurse lightly. She is constantly looking to improve the quality of life of those around her, which is why she is our next Nurse On the Move.
Phillips preiously served as a clinical nurse specialist in the transition, surgical critical care, and patient safety departments of the University of Pennsylvania. She earned her master’s degree in science in critical care nursing from Widener University, and prior to that, she served as a clinical instructor and staff nurse at Hahnemann University Hospital.
Through our interview, I learned why Phillips chose to go back to school, as well as why she sees nursing as the best job to make a difference in a person’s life.
Q: What made you choose nursing as a career?
A: When I was hospitalized as a child, I watched what the nurses were doing and I thought that is what I wanted to do. When I was older, I worked as a volunteer in the neonatal intensive care nursery. Then I knew that was what I wanted to do. I can’t exactly say it was a calling, but pretty close.
Q: What is your favorite aspect of being a critical care nurse?
A: I had the opportunity to work at the Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, where I truly learned the impactful role that a primary nurse could play in the patient’s outcome. Patients could be incredibly sick, and I knew that the best medical care partnered with the best nursing care could lead to the best patient outcomes. As a lifelong learner, I thrived on the constant opportunity to learn more in critical care.
Q: You specialize in patient safety. What is the biggest concern you have regarding the well-being of patients and how are you combatting it?
A: I don’t think patient safety is one issue, but a virtual kaleidoscope of issues. We need to better understand how systems work together and the role human factors (how we interact with processes and technology). Since humans will always be part of the equation, we need to know that there will be mistakes. Our role as safety leaders is to make it less likely that humans will make a mistake. Something I tell my colleagues, “If we make it easy for people to do the right thing, they will do the right thing. If we make it too complex, they will do workarounds.” That is often where we see negative outcomes.
Q: In your role as a clinical informatics educator, why do you feel informatics is important to nursing?
A: I would encourage nurses to work toward letting the computer work for you, instead of you working for the computer. We hear from staff that documenting in the computer is too hard. My response is that we have not designed the system correctly. One of the staff told me it takes eight clicks to chart a dirty diaper – a great example that we have made it too hard. Bottom line is [computers] are here to stay; [they are] an unbelievable resource of information. Once we have better interoperability (computer systems talking to each other), it will be awesome.
Q: You are working towards earning your DNP. What made you decide to go back to school?
A: The more I learn about patient safety, the more I realize to work toward a solution, I needed to understand even more about systems. My DNP program is focused on health systems management, and I believe it will position me to take a leadership role in patient safety, to mentor and develop many others to understand how we can create a safe environment for our staff and patients.
Q: What is the most vital thing a nurse can do to improve their career?
A: To be a nurse today, I think you need to be a lifelong learner. Not just in an academic setting, but through ongoing personal and professional development. There are endless opportunities for nurses to learn and develop – conferences, memberships in professional organizations, online learning. If finances are a struggle, many of these opportunities are free.
Q: What do you see for the future of nursing?
A: Nurses are the solution to the future of healthcare. We spend 75% of our healthcare dollars on chronic care. There is no one better positioned to manage patients with chronic, complex medical issues than a nurse. We need to create an environment that will draw and keep the best people in nursing. What better job is there than to know that you made a difference in someone’s life? Even if that difference is helping them to a peaceful death. As many have said before, nursing is the toughest job you will ever love.
Do you work with a nurse that inspires you? Nominate them to be our next Nurse On the Move by emailing submissions to ClinicalEd
Our NursingCenter team has been following the Ebola outbreak closely over the past months, but with recent developments of disease transmission here in the United States, media coverage has increased and protocols and recommendations are being closely examined. As nurses, we play an important role in patient and public education, and it is important that we continue to act with compassion and skill while gathering our knowledge from reputable sources and keeping recent developments in perspective.
Nina and Amber
My thanks and best wishes for a quick recovery go out to Nina Pham and Amber Vinson, two nurses who contracted the Ebola virus while caring for Thomas Eric Duncan, the infected patient who died on Oct. 8, 2014. I commend your dedication and compassion. I am proud of you.
Nurses and other healthcare providers
To those of you caring for Nina and Amber, those already in or heading to West Africa to help with the outbreak there, and those studying current guidelines and possible systems issues, thank you. I am confident that your hard work will make a difference here and abroad, and that best practices for the safety of patients, healthcare providers, and the public is the priority.
As a nurse, I will continue to look to professional organizations for the latest information and guidance. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a long list of guidelines and checklists for U.S. health professionals. The Global Alert and Response of the World Health Organization includes up-to-date news and facts, frequently asked questions, and preparedness guidance. The National Institutes of Health also lists facts about the virus as well as the latest developments of research on prevention, treatment, and detection.
I encourage you all to stay up-to-date and share your knowledge with your patients and the public. Refer to the sites above or to our Ebola page on NursingCenter (which we update daily with information from the above sites). Our colleagues at the American Journal of Nursing have also shared valuable insights from a nurse epidemiologist, who addresses the concerns surrounding personal protective equipment, and a nurse informaticist, who looks at the role of electronic health records in handling the Ebola outbreak.
I had the pleasure of spending the past week at Nursing Management Congress and was in the company of over 800 nurse leaders from around the country as the news of Ebola virus transmission in the U.S. unfolded. Themes from the general sessions included a focus on restoring pride in nursing, believing in team members, and dealing with root causes instead of putting out fires. I think these themes are appropriate as we face this new challenge in healthcare.
Posted: 10/14/2014 1:22:23 PM
Lisa Bonsall, MSN, RN, CRNP
| with 0 comments
, ebola virus disease
, infectious disease
, nina pham
, thomas eric duncan
Categories: Diseases & Conditions
Last week, NursingCenter’s In the Round was named one of the Top 100 Nursing Blogs by BestMedicalAssistantPrograms.org, and we couldn’t be more excited! Listed among a variety of blogs dedicated to nursing students, RN’s, NP’s, educators, travel nurses, and more, our blog is described as a site “dedicated to helping nurses be the best workers they can be.” Three of our recent posts are also cited as favorites, including:
•Directing Nurses Back to Patient Care
•Technology and Global Health: A Nurse Presents for the U.N.
•Nurses Who Led the Way: Florence Nightingale
We are honored to be a part of this list and to be featured among some of the best blogs for nurses out there. We want to ensure the nursing community stays connected, so here is a list of our favorite blogs for nurses (these are listed in alphabetical order):
•AJN Off the Charts
•ANS: Advances in Nursing Science Blog
•JParadisi RN's Blog
•Not Nurse Ratched
•The Adventures of Nurse Niki
•What Should We Call Nursing
Thank you to all of the sites that have included us as a top resource for nurses in the past, including OnlineLPNtoRN.org, OnlineColleges.com, CorrectionalNurse.net, LVNtoRN.net, and Jacksonville University’s School of Nursing. We are grateful for the recognition and aim to continue to provide excellent content for nurses.
What are some of your favorite nursing blogs? Leave them in the comments below!
Posted: 10/2/2014 7:48:49 PM
| with 1 comments
, best blogs
, not nurse ratched
Since starting at Lippincott’s NursingCenter.com this past January as their Digital Editor, my favorite part about my job is talking with our nurses and members. I really enjoy the sense of community I get from speaking with nurses, whether it is in person at one of our conferences, over the phone at my desk, or on this blog.
Another great resource for our community is our social media sites. Both our Clinical Editor, Lisa Morris Bonsall, MSN, RN, CRNP, and myself regularly update our accounts and use them as important tools to reach out to our nurses. I love seeing what people are talking about, how they are responding to current issues, and getting feedback from our followers.
Social media is one of the best ways to reach us, so I invite you to join our nursing community by following us on Twitter @NursingCenter or @CaraGavin, Google+, Facebook, and LinkedIn. We want to hear from you!
As fall gets underway and nurses head back to school, it’s important to look at how academic and professional education can shape a nurse in different ways.
September’s Nurse On the Move,Paula Roe BSN, MBA/HCM, FACHE, has a unique experience with nursing. She currently serves Simpler Consulting as a senior advisor - where she helps clients achieve sustainable breakthrough improvements in care quality, productivity, and cost reduction by applying process improvement techniques to daily operations – and operational excellence practice leader, responsible for Simpler’s internal process improvement.
She previously spent six years as the vice president of operations for St. Elizabeth Healthcare, a regional hospital system located in northern Kentucky. Before that, Roe spent 13 years with the Toyota Motor Engineering and Manufacturing American, where she learned the tools of the Lean management trade.Roe’s experiences have shaped her perspective as a nurse and operations leader. Through our interview, I discovered how these different settings impacted her thoughts on nursing and patient care.
Q: Why did you choose to receive your BSN and start your nursing career?
A: A career in nursing was not my original plan. When I enrolled at Ohio State University, I was on course for a degree in engineering. By my sophomore year…I was forced to take the pre-medical school-level anatomy class to fulfill an undergraduate requirement. As soon as the class was underway, I knew I was hooked. I soon met with my advisor and found that nursing was the best match for me.
Q: You went on to manage a CTU/SICU department of a hospital. How did this shape your decision to earn your MBA in health care management?
A: Early in my nursing career, I was involved in staff nurse counsel and had the opportunity to present to hospital administration on a regular basis. I really enjoyed this interaction and pursued hospital administration as department manager of the CTU/SICU. When I went to work for Toyota as a safety, health and environmental administrator, I never lost that dream of working in healthcare administration. Lucky for me, Toyota offered MBA programs on campus, and I was able to earn my master’s degree specifically for healthcare management.
Q: Please describe what Lean management means to you and why you believe it’s an important tool for nurses to use?
A: Lean is all about delivering value to the customer. From a nursing perspective, the customer is the patient and the patient’s family. When you think about nursing and the tenants of Lean – striving for zero defects, the relentless pursuit of value, and the delivery of service in the least wasteful way – the two are necessarily harmonious…The delivery of care is spending time with the patient and delivering care value. We need to relentlessly pursue the elimination of wasteful steps, challenging our day-to-day activities to spend more time with patients and deliver the best care in the least wasteful way.
Q: In your role at Toyota, how did Lean management practices and role process improvement techniques shape your perspective as a nurse and operations leader?
A: When you start a career with Toyota, you start a lifelong journey of hands-on learning. The training advances as you practice and apply these Lean skills. Lean is also a team-based model; it allows teams to bring their ideas and thoughts together so the whole group is focused on what matters most. But with Lean, the team makes decisions together on execution and output as well. And action is immediate, meaning you are able to achieve breakthrough results within a very short time. I very quickly saw how Lean’s team-based approach could be applied to the nursing world.
Q: How do you define a nurse leader?
A: I came across not long ago a quote from renowned leadership expert Dr. Stephen Covey: “Leaders do what’s right and managers do the right thing.” To me, a nursing leader is one who does what’s right for his or her staff, the patient, the organization, and the population served..
Q: What do you see for the future of nursing?
A: I believe that nursing will continue to be developed from within the profession and innovative ways to deliver care and patient treatment models will emerge. But, nurses will have to also look outside of nursing for solution approaches. I foresee Lean and other management techniques more widely accessed. I believe the pace of change in the industry is going to require new and breakthrough ways of looking at things, and traditional improvement approaches are going to be challenged. As Einstein said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” In nursing, we’ll need to think outside of the traditional nursing box to eliminate waste and to ultimately spend more by the patient bedside.
Do you know a great candidate to be featured for Nurses On the Move? We want to know about the nurses who are advancing the profession and inspiring others to do the same. We will feature a new nurse every month. Email your submissions to ClinicalEditor@NursingCenter.com.