Transitioning Home

smcternan November 15th, 2013, 5:19 PM
Sandra McTernan, MSN, Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist
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After a long hospital stay, many children with chronic diseases look forward to going home. The ups and owns of inpatient treatment, as well as the noise and bustle of the hospital, can be overwhelming, especially for young children (<10 years of age).

Much has been studied on the topic of transitioning to home after illnesses in children and adults. What often is realized in the younger population is how vulnerable these young children are to re-hospitalization.

What can be done to curtail the return to the hospital? It is unique for…

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The Importance of Dreams

smcternan February 21st, 2013, 12:45 PM
Sandra McTernan, MSN, Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist
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Ask young children what they want to be when “they grow up,” and you may be pleasantly surprised by their responses. Childhood is filled with wonderful, almost magical, looks at the real world. To all of us adults who may be a little more reality focused, we laugh and think longingly of our own dreams. If you think back to your feelings about growing up, you may have also had very high hopes. Wasn’t that a great feeling? Where did that joy go? Well, dreaming up these marvelous carreer paths never has…

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Manners Matter

smcternan January 17th, 2013, 9:59 AM
Sandra McTernan, MSN, Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist
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  When you asked for something, does it go something like this? “Please, hand me the [fill in the blank].” And do you reply with “thank you” when your request is approved? It seems pretty basic but, these days, I rarely hear it. Remember when you were a child and you always felt you had to be nicer to the child who was nicer to you? We tend to gravitate toward those who respect, acknowledge and care about us. Why? Because it feels comforting and nice.world Can we be nice in return? Yes, most of us…

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How to Face Alzheimer’s Together

jjue September 28th, 2011, 7:03 AM
Jeffrey Jue, PT, Rehabilitation Consultant
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51412vkiy7mkt6hNo caregiver should face Alzheimer’s disease alone. I’ve witnessed the emotional and physical strain that caregivers endure when helping those with the disease the National Institute of Aging estimates affects between 2.4 million and 5.1 million Americans.

I have also seen caregivers connect to a supportive community that enables them to provide better care for their loved ones and themselves. If you are caring for someone with Alzheimer’s, here are some steps you can take to receive the support you need:

Connect with a support group

  • A local Alzheimer’s support group is a…
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Infants and Palliative Care

smcternan July 19th, 2011, 10:47 AM
Sandra McTernan, MSN, Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist
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“Palliative care (from Latin palliare, to cloak) is a specialized area of healthcare that focuses on relieving and preventing the suffering of patients. Unlike hospice care, palliative medicine is appropriate for patients in all disease stages, including those undergoing treatment for curable illnesses and those living with chronic diseases, as well as patients who are nearing the end of life. Palliative medicine utilizes a multidisciplinary approach to patient care, relying on input from physicians, pharmacists, nurses, chaplains, social workers, psychologists, and other allied health professionals in formulating a plan of care to relieve suffering…

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Your Parent Needs More Care Than You Can Handle. Now What?

lheller June 17th, 2011, 1:23 PM
Lisa Heller-Salmon
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Welcome to my very first blog entry! I thought I would use it as a sneak peek as to some of what I will be discussing in the coming weeks and months. The title for today’s entry struck me as very pertinent as to what is happening currently in my personal life. I guess I am in what some people refer to as “the sandwich generation.” With aging sick parents (my father was recently diagnosed with lung cancer), a two-year-old daughter with pervasive developmental disorder-nos (a disorder on the autistic spectrum), a husband…

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Future Planning for Children with Special Needs

smcternan April 26th, 2011, 3:01 PM
Sandra McTernan, MSN, Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist
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We all have plans for our kids. No matter how amazing those plans may be though, all plans are meant to change. Especially when kids begin articulating their own plans. As our children grow and their needs change, our long-term plans must accommodate those needs.

A lot of people have asked me what plans I have for my Autistic, teenage son. I have many plans. Some have had to change a great deal, while others have been revised based on my son’s own plans. He is lucky to be in a school that offers supervised vocational  job placement, and he is trying out different…

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Inspired by Caregivers

adrouin March 1st, 2011, 12:57 PM
Amy Dixon, BSN, RN, After Hours Supervisor, Customer Care Center
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I’ve been reading the stories submitted for the “Celebrate Caregivers” Contest and I’m finding it impossible to vote for just one entry. All of the caregivers demonstrate characteristics of winners.

There are many recurring themes in all of those stories. Each depict caregivers as selfless, compassionate, hard-working, resilient individuals who are truly inspiring to their friends and family around them.

Many have given up their weekend free time or even their jobs to care for someone. One husband gave up his dental practice to care for his wife. Another mother stood by her young…

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Caring Delivered

adrouin October 18th, 2010, 8:55 PM
Amy Dixon, BSN, RN, After Hours Supervisor, Customer Care Center
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When speaking to family members who are caring for their loved one night after night, the theme repeated to me is: caregiving can be overwhelming and stressful.

  • “I’m exhausted. I have a full-time job and when I come home, I have to care for my mother. My work never ends.”
  • “It’s difficult to keep all these medications straight. What’s the other name for the water pill? I want to make sure I give my husband the right one.”
  • “I just want to know how to care for my mother as best as I can. I want…
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Mindfulness & Presence: Tips for Caregivers

adrouin September 26th, 2010, 10:35 PM
Amy Dixon, BSN, RN, After Hours Supervisor, Customer Care Center
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(photo by Craig ONeal)

(photo by Craig ONeal)

What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness is a type of awareness meditation. The purpose is for you not to focus on anything but the thing you are doing at the moment.

That may sound simple in theory but we all know life is full of distractions. A walk in the park may be interrupted by a text from a spouse, a phone call from work, or even your own thoughts may be a distraction. Mindfulness encourages you to just take a walk. And that’s it.

Thich Nhat Hanh who wrote The Miracle of Mindfulness…

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