1. Yohe, Melodee consultant

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Student Nurses Pitch In

In November 2005,45 New York University nursing students volunteered at a dozen clinics to help ensure that older citizens avoided the flu this winter. The effort was conceived by Carrie D'Andrea, an NYU student nurse. As part of a nursing leadership class, Carrie was working at the Visiting Nurse Service of New York and was asked to recruit help for the flu vaccine initiative. Sending an e-mail, she found many willing classmates. Students cut the waiting time and assisted older adults in filling out paperwork. While conducting health screenings to ward off adverse reactions to the vaccine, the SNs referred several patients for needed health care. Students received credit for volunteer hours and a free flu shot, but they feel they benefited in countless ways. One student said, "This project has opened my eyes to community health and wellness, and to the importance of immunizing as many people as possible."


-NYU News, December 1, 2005


Low-Literacy Forms Available

The Institute for Healthcare Advancement has developed a free advance directive form for the 90 million U.S. adults who read below fifth-grade level. The fill-in-the-blank form has illustrations and easy-to-read bulleted items, says its creator, Rebecca Sudore, a physician at University of California, San Francisco. It allows low-literacy Americans to choose an agent to make medical decisions for them, make treatment wishes known to loved ones, and provide signatures that make the document legally binding. Available in English and Spanish, it is online at Spectrum, May 23, 2005


The Honor of a Cross

To be given a cross, then, is an honor, for it is God's way of wooing us. We listen better when things are difficult because we suddenly become aware of our desperate need for God.-Lynette Holm Hoppe, Wheaton, Winter 2006


A Story of Hope

Dr. Catherine Hamlin, with John Little, has written a moving memoir (published by Kregel), The Hospital by the River:A Story of Hope, detailing the work she and her husband, Reg, have accomplished in Ethiopia. They and their team have restored the health of more than 25,000 women who were social outcasts because of crippling injuries from obstructed labor (fistula). The book details Hamlin's family history and everyday life in Ethiopia, as well as relating stories of how treatment changed the lives of otherwise despairing women. The surgeries are done at a cost of only $300 each!! A warning: you may be moved to open your heart and your wallet.-Christianity Today, May 2005


Grace Wallace with the Lord

Grace Wallace, Nurses Christian Fellowship Director, 1968-84, died on November 2, 2005, in Grants Pass, Oregon. She left a heritage of faithfully following Jesus that influenced the lives of people around the world. She was known as a mentor, prayer warrior and friend, and will be greatly missed. After retirement from NCF, Grace continued in volunteer ministry among RNs and students in Madison, Wisconsin, as well as on the East Coast. She moved to Oregon in 1991, where she was involved in ministry in her church, as well as with hospice and Child Evangelism Fellowship.


Male Nurses Overcome Stereotypes

Understandably, male RNs tire of being taken for orderlies or failed med students, as well as being compared to the media's stereotypical wimps. But recruiters are seeing men as a partial answer to the dire prediction of an RN shortage of 800,000 by 2020. Only six percent of nurses are men, but 2,600 more were seeking a BSN in 2005 than in 2004, according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. Job security is a lure, as well as increasing salaries; many are looking for a meaningful profession that combines medicine, counseling and caregiving.


"There are a lot more nursing avenues than I thought," said Paul Hernandez, a Chicago police officer who is attending nursing school. "My only regret is that I should have done this years ago." For the majority of men, nursing is a second, third or even fourth career. Hernandez's goal is to work in an emergency room.-Lorene Yue, Chicago Tribune, December 19, 2005


Glucose Controls in ICU

New tight glucose control protocols in ICUs may mean more work for nurses, but the benefits for patients make them worth the effort. This new standard of best practice involves tedious insulin drip titrations and hourly blood sugar checks. The landmark randomized study, "Intensive Insulin Therapy in Critically Ill Patients," was published in the November 1, 2001, issue of The New England Journal of Medicine. This stirring evidence has shown that properly controlling serum glucose within a tight range, no higher than 110 mg/dL, reduced morbidity and mortality among critically ill patients in the surgical ICU. Besides a 45 percent drop in acute renal failure, study patients on glucose control were less likely to require prolonged mechanical ventilation and had decreased lengths of stay in the ICU.


-Catherine Spader, Nursing Spectrum, January 9, 2006


Don't Skip Your Eye Appointment!!

Subtle signs in your eyes could tell your doctor if you're at risk of having a stroke, as well as if you have diabetes, hypertension, and perhaps even cancer. When he/she dilates your pupils, he uses his ophthalmoscope or takes a photograph to look for changes in the retina that signal retinopathy, ballooning or bursting of the tiny vessels of the retina. In an Australian study, researchers examined eye photos of 3,654 people. Those with blood vessel damage were about 70 percent more likely to have a stroke in the next seven years than those without the damage.-Reader's Digest, January 2006


Melodee Yohe, consultant