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Journal of Nursing : Family



  • When "Old Dogs" go Back to School
    Mary Ellen Buechel Holbrook
    I went back to college at the age of 62. Being an "old dog", I was not computer savvy, so taking classes mostly on-line was quite challenging. I believe that my trials and triumphs evidenced in this article, will encourage nurses, especially older nurses, to go back to school for their BSN.
  • Family Presence during a Code Blue
    Lacy Kusy
    I have been a nurse in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit for over five years now, and have participated in many code blues. Some of these situations are appropriate for family to attend and some are not. Each situation is assessed individually to determine the appropriateness of family presence. I had been caring for a young lady, Ms. R.V., who was an 18 year old that had received a heart transplant for a congenital heart defect when she was 13 years old. She was admitted to TGH to be placed on the heart transplant list again, as her transplanted heart had been failing for months. Due to the failing heart, other organs began to also fail. R.V. had gone into heart and kidney failure and required continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT) for continuous dialysis treatment since her blood pressure was continuously low. I had cared for R.V. for three days so far and had gotten to know her and her mother very well. R.V. and her mother were extremely close. Her mother brought her in dinner as often as she could and visited on her days off. Because her daughter had been in the hospital for so long, the patient’s mother had to return to work. She would work during the day and visit in the evening. This particular day, R.V. was stating how excited she was to see her mom that evening, and her mom was going to bring her a salad from Panera Bread. I could sense her excitement in her voice and facial expressions, although she had very little energy to spare. Around shift change, my patient began to feel “different”, and state that “something isn’t right”. I immediately took her vital signs, laid her back down in bed, and called her doctors. I also called her mother to see how close she was to the hospital. Not long after R.V. stated she felt “different”, her oxygen saturations plummeted, she turned blue, stopped breathing, and a code blue was called. With many doctors and nurses at the bedside, CPR was performed for at least 15 minutes before R.V.’s mom arrived. She was very distressed and anxious to see her daughter. One of the doctors felt that she should not be around to witness the CPR on her daughter. I, on the other hand, stated that R.V. and her mom are very close and that she should be allowed to stand in the back to be with her daughter, an 18 year old child. This particular doctor was one that strictly attends code blue situations and had no previous relationship with this patient or her mother. I calmly expressed that in this situation, the mother of R.V. should be at the bedside of her daughter if she wants to because her daughter looked as though she would not survive the code situation. R.V.’s mother was not in the way, and she stood at the head of her daughter and whispered into her ear. Once R.V.’s primary doctors arrived, they agreed that the mother should stay in the room if she wanted to be with her daughter. R.V. did not survive the code. Her mom, however, was able to be with her daughter as she passed and held her hand as she took her last breath. As heartbreaking as this scenario was, the patient’s mother thanked me for allowing her the privilege of being with her daughter as she finally got peace and can “rest now”. Although not all code blue situations are deemed appropriate for family presence, the nurse and care providers should assess each family and patient separately to determine what is best for the patient and the family.
  • Exploring Communication Technology In the Family Birthing Center
    RN Journal
    Technology is being used increasingly in the health care field in order to improve patient outcomes. An e-health nursing initiative has been set forth by the Canadian Nurses Association to direct the development of information and communication initiatives. Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (2009) defines e-health as, "The leveraging of information and communication technology to enhance professional practice in order to promote and facilitate the health and well-being of individuals and families.” The purpose of the article is to explore ways in which communication technology in particular can aid nurses in providing more effective care, and allow for an enhanced health outcome.
  • The Blessing: A Nurse’s Story
    Mary Ellen Buechel Holbrook, RN, BA, TNCC, CPAN
    It was nine o’clock pm and I was walking briskly out of Recovery Room, knowing I had to be back the next day at six am. Though in a hurry, I purveyed the family waiting room to see if there were any visitors who needed help after the patient representative had gone home. I immediately noticed a lone woman with an anxious look on her face. As it turned out, her daughter-in-law had just been transferred to Intensive Care. Instead of waiting for one of our transporters, I decided to take her up myself. As we headed down the hall, she stated: “I bet you’re trying to leave, aren’t you?” I affirmed her observation. I added that, it was quite all right. We arrived at the particular ICU where her daughter-in-law was transferred, and upon talking with the patient’s RN, I was able to let her in right away. She turned to me and said: “Thank you; you will be blessed.”
  • Family Presence During CPR in the Emergency Department 
    Amanda L. Buisman, RN, BSN Washburn University School of Nursing
    A descriptive survey conducted in 2000 (Myers, et al 2000) investigated attitudes and beliefs of patients’ families and ER staff members about FWR. The survey reported that 98% of patients’ families indicated that they had a right to be present and would do it and would participate in FWR again; 100% of family members said that FWR was helpful to them, and 95% said it was helpful for the patient. It also showed that 70% of professionals surveyed after their participation in FWR actually produced a higher level of “professional” behavior along with a more “professional” bedside dialog amongst the health care team. The survey also indicated that having the family in the resuscitation room prompted the staff to take the patient’s dignity, privacy, and need for pain management into greater consideration when compared to an un-witnessed resuscitation effort. (Myers, et al 2000)
  • IS THERE CARE IN HEALTH CARE 
    Judy Bearden RN
    I wrote this poem after going out one day to assist a mother with her 22 year old son who had a traumatic brain injury in a 4-wheeler accident. He had a trach, feeding tube, foley cath and skin breakdown from being in a long term care facility for 2 months. The insurance company allowed me three visits to teach the mother how to care for her son.
  • My Father the Medicine Man 
    My Life Experience with Eastern and Western Medicine by Cynthia Knievel, RN
    My father continues to avoid western medicine as much as he can and there is no convincing him any different. I only hope that the next key given to me will open a door where Eastern and Western medicine will compliment each other. Health care would have the best of both worlds if this would happen.
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