1. Yohe, Melodee consultant

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Want a Pediatric Cardiac Challenge?

Jane Brooks, RN, clinic administrator with Friends of Bangladesh, directs a clinic that serves hundreds of outpatients daily. The chief cardiac surgeon at the National Heart Foundation, who does many open-heart surgeries, has repeatedly asked Jane to find him a pediatric cardiac nurse, to come and train his ICU nurses. Jane sees it as a goldmine opportunity (working with a Muslim MD in a Muslim country) for the right person. Although very religious, most Bangladeshis don't know Jesus as Savior. For more information about service opportunities in Bangladesh, email Jane at [email protected].


Before Saying Yes to a Massage [horizontal ellipsis]

Massage therapy is safe for most people. Studies show that when properly administered, it can relieve low back pain, reduce anxiety and fatigue, and even speed post-op healing. But some medical conditions require modification, and a few call for passing up massage altogether. Cancer is one. Suspicious lumps, tumors or removal sites should never be manipulated because, in the process, cancer cells could spread. If bones are weakened by osteoporosis, massage of a bony area could cause a fracture. If platelets are low due to chemotherapy or cancer, minor bruising that occurs could trigger excessive bleeding. Open wounds or eczema may be irritated by manipulation, or the lotions used. People with diabetes with peripheral vascular disease may have fragile skin, sensitive to deep and heavy pressure. Massage is probably okay for osteo- or rheumatoid arthritis patients, but it may be uncomfortable.-Secrets for the Second Half of Life, Johns Hopkins Special Bulletin


Loved, No Matter What

"As long as my sense of being valuable and significant is tied to my success, it will be a fragile thing. But when I come to know in the marrow of my bones that I am just as valued and loved by God when I have fallen flat on my face, then I am gripped by a love stronger than success or failure."-John Ortberg, If You Want to Walk on Water, You've Got to Get Out of the Boat


Texas Fights Faculty Shortage

The nationwide nursing shortage is reaching crisis proportions, yet prospective students are being turned away because of the increasingly lean corps of nursing faculty. As one answer, hospital companies are supporting colleges and universities with dollars and personnel to help find long-term solutions. Arlington-based Texas Health Resources (THR), which operates 13 hospitals, has been supplying funding for El Centro College in Dallas since 2003, for faculty salaries, and student tuition and instruction materials. THR medical assistants and technicians can take distance-learning classes, with practice at the hospital where they work, with faculty hired specifically for these students. THR is on track to produce 40 nurses each semester.-Steve Quinn, The Dallas Morning News, in The Chicago Tribune, August 10, 2005


No-Needle Cholesterol Test

Thanks to PREVU, a new skin test, cholesterol level can be determined without fasting or drawing blood. By placing a foam pad in the palm of the hand, adding a special liquid and reading the color change with an electronic wand, the amount of sterol (correlates directly with cholesterol) in the skin is indicated in five minutes. In a clinical study, patients shown by PREVU to have the highest cholesterol levels had the most plaque in the walls of their carotid arteries when carotid-medial thickness was measured with ultrasound. Cardiologists hope that PREVUs speedy results will encourage patients to make preventive changes to reduce risk of heart attack and stroke.-HealthNews, July 2005


Nightingales Battling Tobacco Industry

The Nightingales' (12 RNs from around the U.S.) mission is to highlight the tobacco industry's contribution to the suffering nurses witness in their jobs, and to call for an end to active promotion of tobacco products. Each RN bought a share of stock in Philip Morris USA to attend the shareholder's meeting in April (2005) in New Jersey. The effort was spearheaded by Ruth Malone, PhD, RN, associate professor of nursing at the University of California, San Francisco. The white lab coat-clad RNs went armed with a 37-foot banner of letters from cigarette smokers and their families, and asked questions, challenging company executives, during the Q&A session. The nurses mingled with the media and were part of a press conference with other protesters. Malone would like to have 500 RNs on the next trip to a tobacco industry shareholders meeting. She says, "If anyone in this country could make a difference, it would be nurses."-Lisette Hilton, 2005 Pathways to Success


Small Is Beautiful

It seems so obvious: let people age the way they have lived. From upscale residences in California to family-size nursing homes in Mississippi, living facilities for the elderly are undergoing an architectural and cultural makeover: big, sterile institutions are out, small, homey environments in. The need has never been greater. Today 35 million Americans are over 65-by 2030, the number is expected to double. Dr. Bill Thomas, a geriatrician at SUNY Upstate Medical Center, is on a mission to revolutionize long-term care. He has launched the "Eden Alternative," calling for humanizing big facilities by removing nurses' stations, adding plants and pets, and focusing on the staff-elder relationship. The latest development is the National Green House Project, with ten homes in Tupelo, MS, with no more than ten residents each. Dozens of other Green Houses-from New York to Hawaii-are in the planning or building stages. Residents are more satisfied and in better physical shape than nursing home patients. Caregivers feel more empowered and relish the personal contact with residents; hence, they are staying on the job longer.-Claudia Kalb & Vanessa Juarez, with Nomi Morris, Newsweek, August 1, 2005


-Pulse Beats compiled by


Melodee Yohe, consultant