Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Years Resolutions....Anyone?

By Chiqui Raveloski

We hear this all the time. Nurses give so much of themselves, they forget themselves. As much as this is true, there are I'm sure many who manage to take time for themselves. They know how balance work, family, and etc. I know it is easier said than done. But the key is balance.


Keeping that harmony is hard to do. You have to re arrange your personal and professional life. New Year is a perfect time to re examine your priorities. For recollection as well as resolutions. We go through this every year and for the most part do we really keep up with it?

I posted  this article last year and I am re posting it again with a few minor changes. These 5 new years resolutions will not cost you anything. As a matter of fact, you already have them. It's just a matter of rekindling and reminding yourselves that you, as a nurse, do have feelings capable of overcoming adversities that can come our way. And at the same time you know how to appreciate the joys of living.

 1. Respect and Love. Respect one another. Each one has a story which is unique to each individual. As nurses, respect for cultural diversity improves patient care and outcomes. Treat everyone equally regardless of race, religion, economic status, etc., preserving integrity. At the same time, you should also have self respect in order to grow personally and professionally. With respect comes love, and love is a universal language.



2.Honesty. Honesty is the best policy. "Mas masarap ang tulog mo pag malinis ang konsiyensiya". "You sleep better at night with a clean conscience". A good night sleep makes for a better morning. a better outlook, a better person overall. Similarly, as a nurse, you hold the responsibility of providing the best patient care and exhibit accountability for your own judgment and action.


Sorry our country has no better way to honor your people's heritage than with a green fast food milkshake
 3. Honor. Honor your heritage and the elders. Always look back to where you came from. This allows for better understanding of yourself and how to move forward. Elders have done this plenty of times in the course of their lives. They hold knowledge which we can learn from. While doing patient care and the day becomes unbearable, take a moment to step back and do a simple task of feeding an elderly patient. This can somehow block your senses from all the chaos and at the same time, it reminds you of why you got into the profession. It's a feel good moment. Trust me.
May your regrettable behavior this weekend occur primarily off-camera.

4. Kindness. Be kind to one another. It conveys a giving behavior, pleasant nature, and genuine concern for others. It is a value we all grew up with. In a busy world that we live in, sometimes personal values are put to the side in order to keep up with the times. We have heard of random act of kindness. Let us join in the movement. It can benefit both givers and receivers with feelings of contentment and relaxation.

 5. Karma. What goes around comes around. A cause and effect, action and reaction. Do unto others as one would want others to treat one self. It is a golden rule. This goes back to respect and love. Respect for human dignity and uniqueness of each individual. This might be the most challenging resolutions of all. Everyone does not believe in Karma, and I respect that. However, if you just find it in your heart to at least make the "world go around" one day at a time, is a favor we can do to yourself and society.

These 5 resolutions does not cost a penny. They are inflation - proof! Each one of us possess these traits. You might have to be put in some really tough situations to find out. And if you do find out, take a moment and use it wisely.

Last but not the least....Have fun ! Laughter is the best medicine. Take some time to laugh. Listen to a joke and laugh hysterically. What the heck...Tell a joke. I know I am so bad with delivering one. I always crack up laughing even before the punchline. But I still do it anyway. Then I find myself laughing by myself, while others look at me like , "OMG she's gone nuts". It's freaking hilarious!

"Manigong Bagong Taon !"..... Happy New Year !




Monday, December 30, 2013

The Governor: Dead or Alive

By Chiqui Raveloski

The mid season finale of The Walking Dead kept us on the edge of our seats like never before. The anticipation of who will die next kept lurking in our brain. So much like the deadly virus engulfing the zombies' heads as they ravage through the deserted towns of rural Georgia.


The beheading of the great Herschel brought shock in a magnitude we never expected. I believe Herschel's death might have even had us re think of our relationship with our own father. Equally important, it was also heartbreaking to watch  the death of the little girl who came to adore The Governor. The idea of an innocent young life becoming a victim in this gruesome world of zombies is utterly terrifying to us, and watching these characters endure these horrors is simply engrossing.

A few of us might had even felt pity for The Governor as he himself grew to embrace the little girl like she was his own. But I am sure that a plethora of viewers wished he was the one dead instead of the little girl.

As the show unfolded right in our own eyes, the wish of many became true as Michonne's katana went through The Governor's body like it was meant to be there all along.

Yet, I am not convinced that The Governor is really dead. I know it sounds crazy but I made this assumption based on a few things I saw during the airing of the show.

First of all, Michonne's classic katana strike is


 straight beheading or 


amputation!

This time around,



 Michonne  pushed the katana through The Governor's body.
A very unlikely move.



We can easily concur that the katana went through his evil heart. Yet, who knows. Strange things had happened in the show plenty of times. Like how Glenn miraculously survived the prison's flu outbreak. Massive amount of blood was pouring out of his nose and mouth but Herschel was able to successfuly intubate him, was given antibiotics, which if it was a virus, abx won't work, leading him to his recovery. 

In addition, Lilly, Brian/The Governor's girlfriend proceeded to supposedly shoot The Governor to finish him off.....


But did you actually see her shoot him? Any evidence of his body?


Back in March 2013, i wrote an article where I suggested that The Walking Dead is merely a dream going on inside Rick's head while in a coma. The show is a manifestations of Rick's own personal life. Each character in the drama is based out of Sigmud Freud's ID, EGO, and SUPEREGO persona. 

I then classified The Governor as an ID character -  Our impulses. An urge, impulse, or desire so strong that it just had to be satisfied. The id contains all of our most basic animal and primitive impulses that demand satisfaction.

As far as I can tell, there is no other character comparable to The Governor, yet. A drama simply just cannot continue on without a villain. Not unless, of course, a governess is in the making. Wanna take a guess? Did I hear a Carol?

These sneaking suspicions are purely just for fun. That is the beauty of it all. Something to think about while we wait for the upcoming episodes to flood our tv sets as zombies continue to devour our senses in 2014.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

"Maligayang Pasko"....Merry Christmas

It is Christmas once again. This always make me think of Christmas back home in the Philippines. See, I have lived in the United States for the past 27 years. Yet, memories of  "Pasko", Christmas, in the Philippines still lights up my heart every time.


I found this video on You Tube and thought I'd share it with you. Watching this was quite nostalgic. The hope of celebrating Christmas in the Philippines once again is a dream waiting to come true. I tell myself, maybe I can go back next year. But never did.....

Maybe one day.


Maligayang Pasko.

Merry Christmas.

Love, Peace and Respect

Wishing you all the things you dream about


Sunday, December 8, 2013

First Annual Recollection

By Chiqui Raveloski

It has been almost a year since I first started blogging. And never in my right mind did I ever think that I was capable of doing this. I have always restricted myself from writing for many reasons. Reasons that have probably stemmed out from my growing years. I always have the thoughts inside my head waiting to come out, but never had the courage to speak out. Why is that?


Then I thought: "Maybe I can write... "But every time I tried, I could never put the words down on paper. I always ended up with a blank sheet of this white square thing in front of me !

Until one day, that inner voice said, "Do it, do it, do it!"  And I said, "Ok, Ok, Ok!"

So here I am......

Blogging has been one of the most rewarding experiences in my life right now. I have made plenty of friends who I have never met, but have formed bonds with. It is amazing to see how writing can form such a strong connection between one another. This, I believe, gave me more drive and inspiration to continue with this journey.

Blogging became an outlet for my nursing experiences. I figured I can give my husband a break from all my whining. So it became your turn ! It made me realize that I am not alone in this whirlwind and there are colleagues out there who can understand what I feel. After all, we all need acknowledgement, right?

Blogging also became an  outlet for a few of my guilty pleasures - Candy Crush Saga and  The Walking Dead.

Still playing the saga, can't seem to shake it off. I am in level 103 and have been stuck there for about three weeks. Any advice?

How about that last episode of The Walking Dead? It was a great episode. I know I am probably gonna get cussed out for saying this: But, I was actually enjoying the Governor's comeback. I had this secret longing for a strong and sick character to cause the twists and turn that the show is famous for. But, I knew it was time for him to go one way or the other. I believe a new "Id" character is in the making. Wanna take a guess?.......A shout out to my girl Michonne !

A twist that I never saw coming in this blogging experience was that I was contacted by a few marketing analysts. They wanted me to do a product review and/or write an article for their site!  Who would  have ever thought? I am genuinely honored by this consideration. With this said, I accepted the requests and  have continuously formed a strong  business relationship and friendship.

I am also honored by all my readers and followers. Thanks for taking time out to read my posts. Equally important, to all those who faithfully write comments on my posts, that really means a lot to me.

Last but not  least, my husband and my daughter, for their support in my newly found endeavor. Writing is still a challenge but I can always hear my daughter say, " Don't worry about it, just write it down, Mother ! " And my husband who has learned how to deliver constructive criticisms gently.... to my liking !

 Both of them, by the way, are the writers in the family. Our daughter, who's 17, scored a 326 out of 350 in the state writing test. And my husband has a BA in English and is an avid science fiction reader. Between  both of them, we have shelves full of books. Its always nice to see and watch both of them read. I get this tingling feeling inside me and somehow, I get inspired by that, must be a Mommy and wife thing.

It has been about 326 days since I was trying to figure out a name for my blog. The only thing I can think of was the Filipino phrase "Bahala Na". It means "Living it all up to God, come what may, what ever will be, will be ".Little did I know that what can come was much more than what I expected. I have learned so much about who I am and what I can become.

To that...I am forever grateful.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Timberland PRO Renova Caregiver Slip-On: Oh Yes, I'll Do That Review !

I have always wondered how it would be to do a product review on one of my most favorite things - shoes.! Well,  the chance finally came my way. The marketing director of  www.supershoestogo.com contacted me.  and asked if I would be interested in doing a shoe review for them. Hello.The answer was a big fat yes!

I am super excited about this whole expereience. I spend long 12 hour shifts at work and on my feet all day. What better way to expand my repertoire by trying out one of the newest nursing shoes by Timberland PRO. It is part of their professional clog line called  Timberland PRO Renova Caregiver Slip-On

Pictures please.




The Timberland PRO footwear is made to American size standard. I usually wear a size 8, so I asked for the 8-8.5 shoes. They fit just right. Not too tight and not too big. I usually wear the thick diabetic socks ( been diabetic for 41 years), and it fit perfectly. I have plenty of toe room, which I love. The shoes also come with their specially designed insert that gives the shoes that extra umph! It conforms to the shape of your feet, no matter how funny looking they are !


What I really like about the shoes is the arch support. It is not too prominent where it would actually hurt your arch. It gives just the right support for long periods of being on your feet. It comes with a strap that you can wear on the back, or if you prefer, the front. Whichever you prefer, the shoes still looks super cute and will give the support you need. I actually tried both ways and it worked just fine. The clogs felt safe either way. Its just that, I prefer to wear my clogs with the straps up.

The material is washable and wipable. Its a good thing. As we all know, our nursing shoes goes through a lot. A smudge of this and a drop of that, we need Lysol to disinfect them. It does squeak a little bit especially when you step on something wet. Please be careful. Don't slip. Practice safe walking skills by taking short steps. Walk with your feet pointed slightly outwards, ensuring a stable base for support. The squeak goes away once you dry it. No biggie.

The sole also has plenty of traction, adding more to its safety feature.



The shoes also has about an inch heel height to it. This is good, because some of my scrub pants are a little long and the shoes prevents me from dragging the ends of my pants.



The shoes are available at this website. It also comes in different colors. Check it out.

Overall, I enjoyed wearing the shoes during the breaking in period. As a matter of fact, I will continue to sport it until I wear them out. I have to say that Timberland PRO couldn't have named these shoes appropriately when they called it "Caregiver".  The shoes gave me  the support I needed during the constant walking and standing. The shoes were made with nurses as true caregivers in their mind. To that I thank you. 







Monday, October 14, 2013

Too Big For Its Britches

In light of my recent post about nursing technology, I would like to expand more on electronic health records. The hospital I currently work in has just been recently acquired by MEGA - My Egotistical God-Complex Association. MEGA now has 3 hospitals under their belt - each specializing in a major money maker in healthcare business.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

A BEDPAN EMBEDDED WITHIN A HOSPITAL BED? GIRL, YOU'RE CRAZY!

By: Chiqui Raveloski

Progress is an ongoing trend in the world of nursing. With progress, nursing technology has helped nurses increase their productivity and provide safe patient care. And as technology continues to advance, nurses remain in the forefront, using their critical thinking skills to carry on the demands of healthcare.

Back in the 1800 to 1900, the main focus of nursing was to provide the physical needs of patients while maintaining a hygienic environment. Yet, Florence Nightingale saw a nursing future capable of breaking barriers and the way society looks at the profession.

One boundary crossed was nurses found ways to increase patient comfort and facilitate care. A few innovations from the 1800s were the bandages, nursing bottles, bedpans, etc.  Since these paraphernalia are still widely used even today, one cannot argue that nurses as innovators had a vision that withstood the test of time.

In the future, can you imagine the bedpan embedded right there in the hospital bed itself? This can be hooked up directly to a waste dispensing system and cutting down on manually dispensing patients’ waste. This will also cut back on spread of bacteria and diseases. Do you think this is possible?

Back then, the possibility of devices such as PDA’s, hand-held computers, and smart phones were slim to none. Yet today, these components are widely used by nurses as part of their workflow. These gadgets enable nurses to access patients’ information through electronic health records. Additionally, nurses cannot thank the innovators enough for the implementation of electronic charting.

In the future, let’s take it a little bit further and imagine nurses charting in real time through voice command and dictation. A computer program can take down the dictation and simultaneously record it in the patient’s electronic chart. "Napakarami ng posibilidad." Possibilities are endless.

Another technological contribution that has enhanced patient safety is the wireless patient monitoring system.  This comprehensive system monitors a patient’s core vital signs while connecting to a nurse’s handheld computer anywhere and anytime. This allows for early detection of patient deterioration, initiate a rapid response, therefore, improving patient outcome.

 In the future, can you visualize a hospital bed where it can also monitor a patient’s positioning? The HOB will automatically elevate up by so many degrees once it senses that a patient’s O2 sat drops to an undesirable level.  We cannot get more rapid than that.

An area in healthcare called Telenursing is presently achieving a rapid rate of growth as the number of aging and chronically ill population steadily increases. With the use of telecommunication, nurses continue to inspire and educate a vast amount of patient population and reaching them through technology.

What would happen if Telenursing of the future also involves holographic technology? This will be very beneficial to patients that are on home health physical therapy. If they need additional assistance with instructions on how to use futuristic durable medical equipments, a holographic nurse, physical therapist or occupational therapist can demonstrate instructions clearly. Granted, one can watch it over a computer screen. But, holographic technology can achieve a more personal approach to teaching, thereby, increasing better understanding and clarity. Wouldn't that be cool?

One thing is clear. Technological innovations are changing the way nurses practice - how they deliver care to patients and how they manage clinical workflows. Nurses contribute in this aspect as more nurses enter the world of Nursing Informatics.  This shows that nurses continue to expand their knowledge not only in the bedside but also in areas that has the ability to impact the way healthcare enters into the future.

Nurses can influence healthcare technology by building a strong collaboration with manufacturers in designing and programming tools necessary for patient care delivery. Nurses have firsthand experience in patient care. This makes more sense that their contribution with the design will be greatly beneficial. Nurses can also help in software development to better make various systems “talk” to each other in order to make data even more easily and readily available.

The readiness of data availability is one factor which makes the future of nursing technology very exciting. Right now, with the introduction of Google Glass, we can only imagine what this gadget can do for nurses.

 Envision nurses utilizing Google Glass in their everyday work. Imagine Google glass with all kinds of medical software and system embedded into one program. Nurses can easily access all the data they need, like critical lab results, blood type, and allergies especially in emergency cases. Nurses can also electronically chart, possibly do a patient identifier through face recognition just by mere voice command. Oh, if only we could do that right now!

In addition to Google Glass, picture a hospital floor where medication dispensing systems are stationed outside each patient’s room, tailored for each patient’s medication profile. A tube system from pharmacy is connected to each station for easy refilling and crediting by pharmacy personnel. This will cut down on standing in line by the Pyxis or Debold machine trying to give the 0900 meds. 

If we could let our fantasy go even further, we can also daydream a single universal medication route, the jet injector. It uses a high-pressure narrow jet of the injection liquid instead of a needle to penetrate the epidermis. No more PO, IM, IV, SQ, transdermal, etc. If only…

What about a hand held scanning device that nurses can use to assess their patients. This scanning device can measure vital signs, blood sugars, assess heart rhythm, scan the bladder, check Dobhoff placement, and etc. This instant diagnostic tool can further assist nurses in identifying the proper nursing diagnoses, develop a plan of care, and evaluate for effectiveness.

These examples are only a few that our creative thoughts can play with at the moment. Yet, time has proven that nurses, as pioneers, have the willpower to break new grounds and grow in their chosen profession. And as we move ahead into what is yet to come, many questions arise regarding the effects of futuristic nursing towards humanity. Some may argue that the technological advances in nursing can dehumanize patient care and replace critical thinking skills.

Time can only tell. And as time keeps on slipping into the future, so are nurses’ caring traditions. Caring for patients brings out a nurse’s critical thinking skill. The same critical thinking skill is what makes nurses break the barriers that stand in their way. With this determination, patient care will not be dehumanized, but be better off as a whole. Nurses care and find comfort knowing that their thoughts and actions are genuine and real. - Tweet that. Ultimately, nurses will continue to advocate for patients first and afterwards, technology.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

5 Things I Learned About Nursing While Playing Candy Crush

By Chiqui Raveloski


So you are on your break and have 30 minutes to eat and relax. But no......Tiffi and Mr Toffee are calling you and saying, "Come here and play with us". You know what I'm talking about. The latest game that has been sugar coating your taste buds. The Candy Crush Saga.


Now, I have to wonder why they have to tag along the word "saga". When I hear the word saga, it reminds me of hits like "The Thorn Birds" , ( remember Richard Chamberlain and Rachel Ward, this series, OMG the taboo behind the story, hot, hot, hot ), and "Shogun", another epic series with Richard Chamberlain.

 These iconic movies had certainly made an impact to those who have watched and loved them. And I have to say,  that the creators of The Candy Crush Saga knew what they were doing when they were designing the game. For those who have jumped on the Candy Crush train, don't you all agree that this game has totally made an impact one way or the other in your lives?

As funny and corny as it may sound.  I have learned a few things about nursing while playing Candy Crush! Yes....silly right?! But for those who have been following my blog, you know that I always try to make a connection with one thing to the next. Like connecting the dots.

Speaking of that, my husband makes fun of my "age spots" on my cheeks and says it makes him want to play connect the dots on my face. And I'd say, OK....see what letters or symbols you can get out of it and see if you want to do it again!

OK back to the saga. Which one, Right? So here are the things I learned about nursing while playing Candy Crush.

1. "Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get." Forrest Gump
Each level of Candy Crush , no matter how hard it is keeps you coming back. Wanting you to get to the next level and begin another torture. This is so much like nursing. Don't you think? We all know how demanding this job is but we always go back for more. Why is that? Do we really love our jobs, or are we just settling for the status quo?

We always say, it will be better the next day and sometimes it is and sometimes it's worst. Just like the levels in Candy Crush. We like to get to the next level  to see if it will bring us cooler boosters or super challenging puzzles. And as more candy comes down from the top your smart phone, you just never know what it will bring you.

2. Choose Wisely
Boosters or not, Candy Crush has reminded me to choose accordingly. Each move you make has to be strategically thought of. You always want to make a move that will bring you that striped candy to remove the entire row or the candy bomb to wipe out all the candy of the same color.

It is so much like nursing. You assess the patient and pick out the best nursing intervention to bring out the most desirable outcome For some reason, it reminds me of inserting a 3 way foley cath and running a Murphy Drip. Cleaning out the bladder, get rid of clots, urinate at the same time. And the saga continues.

3. Be Patient.
You know that Candy Crush has a life system that will make you want to spend that extra buck for a life. Someone has to make the money right? But, if you are patient enough, you can always take a deep breath, put the game down, and wait a few hours to gain more lives, for free. Heck, you even have Facebook friends that can donate extra moves to you.

Nursing stays hectic. As your friend, I want to remind you that when the going gets tough,  to please take a step back and breathe. This way, you take care of yourself and refrain from feeling overwhelmed. Each deep breath you take is like giving a little bit of your life back to yourself. Stay patient and relax.

4 Manage your time effectively. 
So,  you are in a level where you have 60 moves to clear out the all the jellies! Are you kidding me? Before you know it there are only 4 moves and butt loads of jellies. Or you have 60 seconds to score 40,000 points! Really? Just like in nursing,  you have 2 hours before that next Dilaudid IV for the sickler. And before you know it, 2 hours is gone and its time for the next Dilaudid

Time flies when you least expect it. Time management is so important in nursing that it can really throw you off the wazoo when something unexpected happens. Nurses, you know, the unexpected always happens. With this said. Plan, delegate, and get rid of all the unnecessary jellies.

5. Have fun.
I'm sure that you had the intention of just purely having fun when you first decided to download the game into your smart phone. Keep on doing that. This game is mainly for relaxation, escape from reality, and take a breather moment.

But what do you think about the background music ? As irritating as it may sound, it has a strange, opulent, carnival melody that stays in your sub conscious, whistling back for your attention in the middle of the night. LOL.

Just like Candy Crush, life is enjoyable, colorful,  and sweet.

Candy Crush is an enjoyable saga. Tiffi and Mr. Toffee are always there to cheer us on to the next level. They represent our 'Inner Ninja" - quietly and patiently giving us the strength to move on to our next level in life.

The colorful candy represents our colorful lives in general. Each candy whether it's green, red, purple or yellow, represents each and every race and personality we posses. When you see all of the candy in one screen, each color shines through like each one of us. And as each of the candy work together to bring down all the ingredients to the bottom, it represents each one of us working together to bring out the best quality in each one of us.

Last but not the least. Stay sweet and be happy.

Go on candy crushers. Have a great time and reach for the top!