Behind the Scenes: the MD, the RN, and an EMR

adrouin September 26th, 2012, 10:11 AM
Amy Dixon, BSN, RN, After Hours Supervisor, Customer Care Center
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behind the scenesSometimes care is as good as its story of the patient – sometimes the story is in the electronic health record.

One Friday evening I received a call from a young, kind physician. She received information from an emergency room that her patient’s blood levels were not at a therapeutic level to treat his epilepsy – so she wanted to verify his current medications in the home plan of care and make some appropriate adjustments.

I was not this patient’s regular nurse, but thanks to the real-time nature of our electronic medical…

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How Do We Learn to Bounce Back?

adrouin August 30th, 2012, 6:03 PM
Amy Dixon, BSN, RN, After Hours Supervisor, Customer Care Center
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IMG_1206_2My Advanced Pathophysiology professor asked my class of nursing graduate students last semester:

How do we teach resilience to our patients?

Why should we teach resilience to anyone?

According to the American Psychological Association, resilience is “the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats, or even significant amounts of stress…it means ‘bouncing back’ from difficult experiences.”

It’s a theme I’ve been reflecting on for a long time as I talk with patients and caregivers who express the ongoing stress in their lives with chronic disease, poly-pharmacy, limited social interaction and…

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A Conversation About Being Alone

adrouin August 16th, 2012, 11:54 AM
Amy Dixon, BSN, RN, After Hours Supervisor, Customer Care Center
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photo-2It was after 8pm and the phone rang. When the phone rings in the after hours call center it could be a patient, a caregiver, a home health aide, another nurse giving report about her day, or a physician from an emergency room requesting a list of medications on someone in our care.

This time it was a gentlemen in his sixties. His medical history isn’t pertinent to the story, but he had a slew of medical conditions.

“I’ve not been feeling well,” he told me. “I’ve been having diarrhea and weakness.…

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While I Was Away…

adrouin July 27th, 2012, 3:13 PM
Amy Dixon, BSN, RN, After Hours Supervisor, Customer Care Center
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You may have noticed I took a break from blogging here: family, work, and school obligations took the lead. Such is the reality of trying to do everything at once. We all need breaks from time to time. As caregivers (I use that term loosely as anyone who provides care to others: nurses, physicians, physical therapists, home health aides, family members, parents, etc.), we have all experienced the limits of time in an hour, a day, or a month.

IMG_1022_2Without giving a play-by-play review of the past year, here are some things…
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Take a Breath

adrouin July 24th, 2012, 11:16 AM
Amy Dixon, BSN, RN, After Hours Supervisor, Customer Care Center
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Take a breath.

Do it now.

Take another one. A deep breath.

How are you feeling?

Need one more? Do it again.

Be in the moment. It’s ok to feel. Just take a breath.

Take a breath to help decrease your stress right now.

A Few Tips About Safe Social Media Use for Caregivers

adrouin July 23rd, 2012, 1:26 PM
Amy Dixon, BSN, RN, After Hours Supervisor, Customer Care Center
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It’s important to be aware of safety with your interactions and personal information on the internet.

The following are some general tips for caregivers (caregivers defined as those caring for a loved one, family member, spouse, or friend as opposed to a health care professional – as we have guidelines we must follow as well).

Remember that when you post something, it’s potentially out there forever. So personal information is for all to see when you post it. Be careful. It’s ok to make mistakes as you learn to interact in online…

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Tech Does Not Replace Touch

adrouin June 23rd, 2011, 5:07 PM
Amy Dixon, BSN, RN, After Hours Supervisor, Customer Care Center
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It’s very easy to get wrapped up in the excitement of innovation through technology. I, like many of my friends and some family members, use a smart phone for dozens of functions: communication, navigation, research via news apps/twitter links, games, music, personal health record, notebook, photography, phone book, gratitude journal, meditation and guided imagery apps, device to record and log stories, medical and nursing reference, etc. The list goes on. But most, not all, of those applications are self-serving. They help me organize MY life.

How can a smart phone be…

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June is Men’s Health Month

adrouin June 14th, 2011, 7:34 PM
Amy Dixon, BSN, RN, After Hours Supervisor, Customer Care Center
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The facts:

Heart Disease, Cancer, and unintentional injuries are the leading causes of death among men in the U.S. according to the CDC website.

19% of men under the age of 65 do not have medical insurance.

33% of men 20 years of age and older are considered obese.

31% of men 20 years of age and older have hypertension.

12% of men 18 years of age and over are in fair or poor health.

(Data retrieved from CDC Website.)

It makes sense to talk about healthy activities that inspire change in some of these trends during Men’s Health Month.

I asked some…

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Happy Nurses Week

adrouin May 10th, 2011, 1:54 PM
Amy Dixon, BSN, RN, After Hours Supervisor, Customer Care Center
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Just a short post to express my gratitude to all the wonderful nurses I work with at VNSNY, and go to school with and learn from in my Masters of Nursing studies. A special thanks to the smart, caring nurses on Twitter, who constantly spread relevant health information to the masses. I learn from you every day.

It’s an exciting time to be a nurse because we are strengthening our collegiality in order to improve health care. We have so much to give. We are innovators. We are the glue.

I encourage all nurses…

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Ten Ways Caregivers Can Make A Loved One Laugh

adrouin April 30th, 2011, 3:32 PM
Amy Dixon, BSN, RN, After Hours Supervisor, Customer Care Center
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(photo by Marcus Bernales)

(photo by Marcus Bernales)

Humor heals. Research shows that laughter may boost the immune system and circulatory system, improve oxygenation, relax muscles, and stimulate the release of endorphins in the body which may help to relieve pain. (Source: Laughter Therapy Article)

1. Watch a You Tube clip of The Marx Brothers, Charlie Chaplin, The Three Stooges, “I Love Lucy” or any clip with physical comedy. Click on this link for my favorite clip.

2. Read your loved one a funny story. Try reading it in a silly voice.

3. Put on some music and host…

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