Monthly Archives: July 2016

Ways to Become a Telephone Triage Nurse

download-4A profession in the field of medicine is, no doubt, a noble one. Everyone in this field is, in some way, responsible for people’s lives. Nursing follows the same approach; especially, after a surgery, nurses need to be extremely cautious and attentive for the post-operative care of a patient. They should possess sufficient knowledge and experience. While this is the norm with regular nurses, the same applies to telephone triage nurses as well.

Telephone triage nursing, also known as telepathology or telehealth nursing, employs professionals to provide medical assistance over the phone. This is useful in many cases, because the patient is able to assess the seriousness of the situation, as to whether he is really sick, or if treatment can be done at home itself, or he needs the paramedics immediately, etc.

Job Profile and Responsibilities

  • A telephone triage nurse basically helps patients identify the type of care they require at that moment. Unlike regular nurses, she cannot physically examine the patient; therefore, she has to rely on the information relayed to her.
  • When she receives a call, she has to immediately gather all information about the patient―gender, height, age, weight, etc.
  • Like a physician, she also has to inquire about the patient’s current condition so that she is able to diagnose the patient’s current ailment accurately.
  • Once she has this data in hand, she should be quick and knowledgeable enough to understand the condition of the person in question. Accordingly, she has to help him determine what he needs to do ahead.
  • For instance, if a person has minor injury due to a fall, and there is heavy bleeding, she will advise the patient to contact local doctors or health care specialists in the area, and have the wound stitched (or bandaged, depending on the seriousness of the wound).
  • If there is slight bleeding, she will provide the patient with first aid information, and inquire about the nature of the injury. This will enable her to determine whether the injury is serious and requires immediate attention.
  • Another instance is if the patient is experiencing breathlessness or chest pain or something complicated. In this case, she will advise the patient to go in for emergency medical services.
  • The nurse is also expected to know the local doctors’ addresses so that if any patient does not have a regular physician, he can go to the doctor recommended by her.
  • If the problem is serious and requires medical attention immediately, which may be expensive, the nurse must introduce the patient and his family to welfare programs that might help pay for his treatment if the patient cannot afford the medical expenses.
  • She must also ensure proper follow-up, in case the patient has a chronic condition or a serious problem, such as diabetes or asthma, and she has advised him to visit a hospital.

Requirements

  • Decision-making abilities
  • Good listening skills
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Extensive knowledge about health care
  • Ability to stay calm
  • Patience
  • Attention to detail
  • Strong computer skills

Education

  • Ideally, it would help if you have sufficient experience working as a regular nurse before becoming a telephone triage nurse.
  • You wouldn’t need a nursing license to become one, but it is highly recommended that you obtain a certification, as it impresses prospective employers.
  • In order to become a registered nurse (RN), you have to undertake an associate degree in nursing (and) or associate of science in nursing (ASN) course.
  • After completion, you are eligible to get employed, but some prefer completing the 4-year degree course of bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) as well. This, however, can be done later too.
  • Less than a decade back, the National Certification Corporation used to offer certification programs for telephone triage nurses, though it is not in practice now.
  • As of today, you can undergo clinical training and gain sufficient experience, after which you can enroll in an emergency nursing triage training program, which is approved by the Emergency Nurses Association.
  • Passing the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) will provide more employment opportunities in the medical field.
  • After you obtain a certification, you can apply to telephone triage nursing services and other health care lines.
  • Your education and training will cover topics, like behavioral science, anatomy, nutrition, basic care and comfort, physiology, chemistry, pharmacological therapies, effective care management, legal issues, rapid patient assessment, etc.

Salary

  • The salary of a telephone triage nurse varies according to geographic location, employer, as well as experience.
  • Some are paid on an hourly basis as well, with the hourly wage between USD 15 to USD 25.
  • On an average, an experienced telephone triage nurse may earn more than USD 60,000, annually.
  • An exact figure is difficult to predict, since the pay is largely dependent on several factors.

Work Environment

  • This job is very challenging. You need to be well-versed in medical terminology and emergency care tips, and you must be able to quickly and accurately assess the medical condition of a patient.
  • You will be working in irregular shifts, perhaps night shifts, at times, since a triage nurse is required to be on call 24X7.
  • You will be on the phone constantly; every day will be filled with anxious people wanting to get the right advice and encouragement.
  • You will be hired to work in hospitals, trauma units, outpatient care facilities, poison control centers, with private physicians, etc.

Apart from irregular shifts, the job of a telephone triage nurse is interesting as well as noble. While you do not have to cope up with the physical ‘running about’, like emergency care nurses, you have to be alert and cautious so that you can provide the right information. Never forget, a life depends on you.

Guide Gymnastic Equipments for Beginners

Now-a-days with the ever increasing popularity of gymnastics, there is a booming market of gymnastics equipment available all over the world. Since the choices are so many, it rather becomes difficult for an enthusiast to select his kind of gymnastic equipments. Mentioned below are few tips which can help a naive gymnast to make a smart choice. Check them out:

Seriousness for the sport

Before buying an equipment one has to sure of his goals about the sport. It is sheer wastage of money if one pays a hefty amount to buy high-end gymnast equipments without being serious about pursuing the sport. Hence, it is wise to invest money in buying the equipments as per the seriousness of your ideas about the sport. For simple stretching and tumbling, one can opt from a variety of economically priced mats. Durable quality of mats can also be purchased at moderate rates but in case you are planning to enter a competition, it is best to get a customized mat made which would obviously be a little expensive. Do not make any hurried purchase, invest your bet in high-end equipments only when you are absolutely sure of entering this particular sport.

Get use to the equipments first

Gymnastic equipments as everyone knows are quite cumbersome and bigger as compared to other sport equipments, hence it is best to start with your gymnastics practice at a gym. Once you get use to the various athletic equipments there, you can then plan as to which particular equipment would you like to invest in.

Seek expert guidance

The golden rule of making a purchase for a sport equipment is to primarily consider the skill level first. In case you are skeptical about buying an equipment do not hesitate in seeking an expert’s advice. The shop owners can guide you well about the pros and cons of each of the equipment. In fact, it is all the more better if you can take your trainer along for purchasing the gymnastic equipments. There are plenty of online gymnastics forums too which can assist you with the information regarding different equipments.

Qualities of a Professional Nurse

I pray, I do my part, to lift each downcast spirit, and to soothe each heavy heart. May my touch being reassurance, may my voice be soothing too. May my gentle care remind them of the love they have in you. – A Nurse’s Prayer, Author Unknown.
To be a part of a noble profession such as nursing, is a matter of pride and achievement in itself. Though people may use the term “nurse” nonchalantly, only those who have seen a nurse’s life would understand the honor and respect that goes into this profession. Nursing isn’t merely a profession, or a job that you need to perform during your shift timings. It is a responsibility, a behavioral conditioning, an approach towards people, and a dedication towards healing others. To summarize the essence of this profession, it is not about the qualities that you can acquire to become a nurse, it is about the inherent qualities that you are born with, that will make you a great nurse.
Qualities That Define a Good Nurse

Handle Both Physical and Mental Pressure
Before you choose to be a nurse, it is very important for you to understand who you are as an individual. This is because the profession is extremely demanding, both physically and mentally. Physical pressures include dealing with emergency cases, on-call duties, extended working hours, and so on. Mentally, this job would need you to deal with the emotional situations of the patients and their families.
Provide Moral Support
Giving a constant moral support, aiding their needs to be heard and comforted, being an advocate of the patient in front of the doctor, and so on, involves the integral duties of a good nurse. All this would require the aspirant to be compassionate, mentally composed, physically strong, and professionally dedicated. Among the other qualities that an ideal nurse should have, the aforementioned qualities can only be found in a person naturally, and cannot be acquired forcefully.

Kind and Compassionate
We all tend to be kind and compassionate towards others in our daily lives. The majority of people that we meet are those at work, social gatherings, etc. But a nurse comes across people who are dealing with trauma – both physically and mentally! These people are distressed and are looking for comfort and healing. It is easy to deal with healthy people, but if you are surrounded with patients who need your assistance, then it is important for you to be kind and compassionate towards them.
Most of us might get frustrated after a point, a nurse is the one who understands their miseries and comforts them even in the darkest hour. All this cannot be done without compassion being a major essence of your character.

Physical Endurance
Being a nurse is not a 9 to 5 desk job. One needs to be on their toes, aiding the need of the doctors and patients. In case of emergencies immediate assistance is required. While the doctor examines the patient, it is the nurse’s duty to follow up according to the doctor’s instructions. A normal phenomena in this career is on-call duties, and extended shifts, in case there is less staff. Therefore, it is important to be physically active and strong.

Mental Endurance
A nurse is a caregiver who acts as a source of connection between the doctor, patient, and the patient’s family. There are various queries that the patient and his/her family members would have. Not only this, in case of serious illnesses, there will be issues like anger, frustration, pain, and agony, mainly from the patient’s end.
On the other hand, there will also be the mental pressure to deal with the patient calmly through all the chaos, thereby, making sure that the doctor’s instructions are being followed. Therefore, mental stability is a necessity in this profession.

Excellent Communication Skills
As mentioned earlier, a nurse is a caregiver, and it is not possible to provide complete care for a person if there is lack of proper communication. When it comes to communication, especially in health care, it is more than talking to a patient. One needs to cater to both – the physical and emotional needs. The talking needs to be soft and polite, making the patient feel at ease. Firmness too, is essential in the tone when it comes to instructing the patient about advised medications and exercise.
Good Listener
Another important aspect in communication is to be a good listener, and it goes beyond listening to the needs of the patient! It involves forming a bond of mutual trust and reliance. When a person goes through an illness or a trauma, it is usually accompanied by loneliness, frustration, and the need to be heard. During this phase, it is a nurse who can act as a caregiver and confidant, which is impossible without the ability to communicate well.

Constant Urge to Learn
A lot has changed from the time when Florence Nightingale founded modern nursing, as compared to the modernized changes that we see in the nursing field today. With continuous discovery of new illnesses, medicines, and development in health care technology, professionals need to update and adapt themselves continuously with the changing trends. This cannot be done successfully if there is no impulse to learn.

Alert and Observant
It is mandatory for the aspirant to be alert and observant, considering the demands involved in the profession. Observing the unspoken needs of the patient, providing with emergency care and assistance, taking charge of the situation when the doctor is not present, etc., are a part and parcel of the job.
Without being alert and observant, a nurse would not be able to justify the given responsibilities and would lose the trust that the patient and the doctor has on the nurse. This is because any kind of delay in taking the required action due to indecisiveness could prove to be fatal for the patient.

Adaptable to Change
When I say change, I mean the dynamic nature of the working environment in the health care sector. Each day is different from the other, with new cases, new patients, each varying from the previous ones. Every patient has different needs, and there are different ways to handle them. Which is why, a nurse needs to be flexible when it comes to adapting to changes, be it in the work schedule, or simply in the way one deals with the patients.

Willingness to Provide a Healing Touch
This quality defines the difference between a nurse and a great nurse. Doing something just because it’s your job, and doing something because it is your humane duty both are different things. It is only if you have this quality that you will enjoy serving others, whether it is during your duty hours or if you have been called on duty in the middle of the night. This career is satisfying only if the need to comfort others is more than the need to remain in your comfort zone.

Health Food Supplements

Health food supplements are one of the hottest selling products in the market these days. Their total consumption values billions of dollars in the U.S. alone. Recent surveys show that more than half of the adults in the U.S. consume health food supplements in different forms, such as tablets, capsules, powders, soft gels, gel caps and liquids.

The increased consumption of health food supplements can be attributed to public awareness of health issues and improved standard of living in our society. Many studies have shown that there is a close correlation between health and nutrition. Insufficient supply of nutrients can weaken our body defense mechanism, causing medical problems from common ailments to more severe illnesses in the long term.

There are different types of health food supplements, including macronutrients (amino acids, proteins, essential fatty acids), micronutrients (vitamins and minerals), enzymes (digestive enzymes and antioxidant enzymes), probiotics (beneficial bacteria in the gut), and herbal supplements. These supplements have unique functions in our body. They are either essential for life and good health, modulate our immune system or help with liver detoxification, digestion, mental clarity, etc.

Many people argue that there is no need to consume health food supplements as long as you have a healthy lifestyle and eat a balanced diet. While this may be true, the fact is maintaining a healthy lifestyle and proper diet is difficult to achieve by many people.

Over the past few decades, the green revolution has changed the farming practices over the world. We use more chemical fertilizers, more pesticides to grow the food produce in order to increase harvest and shorten the growth period. As a result, soil nutrients and the population of beneficial soil bacteria are depleted rapidly, and the produce we grow today contain less micronutrient than before.

A stressful lifestyle, improper eating habits, imbalanced diet and increased exposure to chemicals such as environmental pollutants (air, water) and pesticides, drugs, hormones, heavy metals in foods also weaken our body gradually.

Although health food supplements can be beneficial to our health, consumers should still choose the products carefully. Currently, there is little regulation on the quality of health food supplements. Composition of some health food products may not match the label claims and the quality of raw materials and finished products is not guaranteed. Therefore, consumers should only buy from reputable health food manufacturers, read the labels carefully and read more related literatures.

Here are some general rules for buying health food supplements:

1) Supplements made from whole foods, natural sources are better than the synthetic ones. They are more bioactive, can be absorbed readily, and less likely to be contaminated by chemicals such as coal tars used in chemical synthesis.

2) Protein-bonded vitamins and minerals (vitamins and minerals in organic form, binding to amino acids) are more bioactive than the inorganic forms.

3) Buy supplements using safe extraction methods, such as cold pressed extraction or supercritical extraction. This can avoid the harmful residue from chemical extraction.

4) Herbal concentrate and extract are usually more effective than the raw herbs.

5) Organically grown or wild crafted herbs are less likely to be contaminated by heavy metals, pesticides and other chemicals.

6) Read the labels, do not consume more than the recommended dose.

7) Be careful when consuming certain herbal supplements, such as Ma Huang / ephedra, Kava Kava, comfrey, etc. Some studies have shown that these herbs may cause severe side effects to some people. Stop use if unusual signs appear after consumption.

8) Some health food supplements may interact with drugs, either by decreasing or increasing their effects. Consult your doctor if you are currently taking medications.

9) Pregnant and nursing women, people with specific medical conditions such consult the doctors when consuming health food supplements.

10) If in doubt, contact the supplement manufacturers or distributors for more information of their products.

11) Health food supplements are available in many places, such as grocery stores, health food stores, drug stores, pharmacies, supermarkets, department stores, online stores, etc. Be a smart consumer, compare the price and service before purchase.