Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Nurses Grieve Too

This video - "Nurses Grieve Too: Insights Into Experiences with Perinatal Loss", was sent to me today. (Click on video to watch - it is about 20 mins long)

It could not have been more perfectly timed after the delivery that we did the other day.
The nurses in the video could be me.
It speaks to what many of us are going through in that nurses do feel a sense of loss and do connect with their patients.

A video on how loss affects the other children in a family.

They have done some great research in the arena of perinatal loss.

Check the videos out - but be sure to have some tissue handy because you may shed a tear or two.

Nurses Grieve Too: Insights into Experiences with Perinatal Loss from York University Libraries on Vimeo.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Blog Tweak

In class tonight we had to set up a new blog. Not something I'm gonna share right is mostly for my study group.

But it did get me thinking about my own blog. And I thought I'd tweak mine just a bit. So ~ I applied a new template, made some other minor changes, then decided I didn't like it. When I went to change it back to my old design I couldn't find it. HA! Then I found it, reapplied it - but lost some other things in the process.

I'm too tired to worry about it bear with me as I play around with my blog. Hope the changes don't bother you like they did me!!

Thursday, March 24, 2011


I needed to do my bi-annual re-newing in BLS (basic life support)this week.

Another experienced nurse and myself tried to figure out how many times we have attended these classes on CPR. We used to have to go yearly ~ now we go every other year. Plus in my department we are required to be ACLS (advanced cardiac life support) certified. We figured we have probably attended more than 18 classes on how to perform the first steps of saving a person's life. That is alot of re-newing. I'm not complaining. I think it is important that we, as professionals keep up our skills. Luckily, I don't have to perform CPR very often...but I could if I needed to! And they keep changing things as evidence shows things need to be change.

For years and years, we have practiced the ABC's of life support:
and the ratios of breaths to compressions for adults and children were different as well as one and two man CPR ratios.

Now the American Heart Association has come out with a new acronym...


Basically - you asses the patient, call for help and go straight in to giving heart compressions.
Once you have given 30 compressions - then you give 2 breaths.
The ratio remains 30 to 2 even if there are two people performing the CPR. That is so much easier to remember.
Studies have shown that we were wasting time in giving breaths in the beginning, for the patient probably still has oxygen in their system - so the premise is that you need to get that oxygen circulating - hence - straight in to the compressions. My brain can remember the 30:2 ratio so much better also. I don't have to thing about how old the person is, one man or two man...I just have to do the same ratio~

These little gadgets also need to be readily available:
Using an AED (Automatic External Defibrillator) has shown to increase the chances of a person's survival. It is easy to use. You place the pads on the patient, the machine analyzes for the heart rhythm, tells you if a 'shock is advised' and walks you through how to give that shock. Often times this can put the heart back in to somewhat of a workable rhythm, buys some time until the paramedics can get there and hopefully shocks that person back to life. Any place where people gather really should have one. Gyms, schools, theaters, etc. I wonder if there is one at my church? Though I am hoping that I never have to use one while I am church!!

After I attending my class, I admitted a new patient in to our perinatal hospice program. Sometimes we go months without a referral, but lately we have always had a patient or two on service. We really need to hire a Spanish speaking nurse though. It is so hard to admit a mom using an interpreter, and the subject can be quite sensitive since you are talking about their baby's little life.
This particular patient has known loss before, and I am sure that she will be able to teach us a thing or two about how to love and care for a baby that is only expected to live for a short while. We gave her lots of information and set up our next appointment where we will work on her birth plan. We will offer as much support as we can. Hopefully she will find the program helpful and will have a better experience this time than she has had in the past.
My goal ~ to help her celebrate this little life....

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Difference A Day Makes

One day is crazy ~ the next is much more manageable...

Today we did 8 deliveries.

Somehow the 10 we did the other day seemed so much worse...

And we did more c/sections today, (4 c/sections and 4 vaginal deliveries). which takes more man power to get why is it that the days were so different? We were talking about it at work today...I think it has to do with outpatient visits and just the sheer number of patients that are on the unit. We always say that there should be a way to even things out so that things were always nice and smooth instead of crazy one day and manageable the next. Any ideas on how to do that??

What a difference a day makes!!

On a different note...I saw this posted on another nurse blog that I read

and I thought...'that looks barbaric"...but in the spirit of being open minded I thought I'd check it out. You know do a little research on the product...see if it is legit.

It is called a "CervoCheck" and it's purpose is to monitor for preterm labor.

It has been developed by some students at John Hopkins University. had this to say about the product:

"Johns Hopkins Students Design Cervical Monitor for Premature Labor Detection

Preterm labor detection commonly relies on an exterior device that picks up contractions when attached to the abdomen. With more than 500,000 premature births being recorded each year, obstetricians are constantly on the lookout for improved means of detecting preterm labor earlier in hopes of stopping labor before baby is born. A group of Master’s degree students from Johns Hopkins University set out to change how contractions were recorded and in the process created a viable solution that could change how babies are born.

CervoCheck is the device created by the student team. The device is implanted in the vagina with three probes contacting the cervix and vaginal walls where contractions are strongest. The device has been tested in animals and successfully recorded preterm contractions. The idea behind the device came when students were doing rounds in an obstetrical unit in search of ways to better the patient care experience.

Since the development of CervoCheck, the students have won numerous awards. All have since graduated with their Master’s degrees. Two of the students are currently working to promote CervoCheck, one is going to medical school and the final student took a job in the health technology field.

CervoCheck has yet to start human trials, but the team is working with doctor’s at Johns Hopkins University Hospital. With additional funding, the team hopes to soon offer CervoCheck for use in a clinical setting across the United States and abroad."

Source: Phil Sneiderman - John’s Hopkins University - 21 July 2010

Now, keep in mind, that I do agree that pre-term births are on the rise and that we do need to do something to help mommies stay pregnant. (more on my thoughts on deliveries before 39 weeks will be coming in another post). The March of Dimes is doing great work on helping to prevent pre-term births and all of the sequel surrounding that.

But I am not so sure that this little gadget is the answer...

Just thinking of walking around, or even being on bedrest with that gadget stuck up in me is not something that sounds so appealing.

Will it stimulate contractions by being so close to the cervix??

Should we always count on 'technology' to detect things? - I know that technology often fails us in labor...good ole hands and eyes assessments are so much better.

It is an interesting idea though~


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Baby Factory

The baby factory was pumping em out faster than we could blink an eye!

Remember that 'I Love Lucy" episode where she works in the candy factory and the candy keeps coming faster and faster? She can't put it away fast enough and she gets overwhelmed with candy - that was us with patients and babies.

Ok - that may be an exaggeration, but is was pretty busy.

I went back to work after having almost 3 weeks off. I was ready to be back with my friends.
I was even ready to be working with the patients.

My first two days back ~ I was 'in charge". The first day wasn't bad. A couple of nurses were home, 'on call', and we had a few patients.
My nurse friend, Kim said, "we have been pretty slow for awhile. It scares me for it is going to bust".

Thanks Kim!

The second day...I could barely get every one a break, every nurse was maxed out. Doctors would call and tell me they were sending in another response, "you have got to be kidding me!" to which I heard.."nope, they are really 6-7 centimeters so they are coming." Now where am I suppossed to find another bed?? One doctor said, "oh it doesn't look bad here"~ I almost strangled him...come on it is 3pm and people still have not had lunch! Another one, I had to ban from going in to the patients room...he had sent a mommy in who was having her second baby and she was pretty far dilated. We had not even put the patient on the monitor and he wanted to go in and break her bag of water...Hello...can we get her admitted and be sure all is ok first?!?!?


I think we had 10 babies and I left the night shift with 14 patients still on the board.
I made calls - people came in to help us.
Had one patient in the operating room, one ready to move to the next room, when of course we had to 'crash' another (emergency c/section).
Nurses would call for delivery and I had to search for the helper nurse to take care of the baby.
Nurses would ask me to do an ultrasound to check the babies position....and it took me an hour to get in there.
I tried to get the nurses on break - I'd watch their patient while they went, even though it meant I left the desk at one point and my manager couldn't find me (guess my little pocket phone had turned itself off....ooops!!)
One nurse called to tell me the computer wasn't working - I fixed it...a plug in to the electrical outlet does wonders!!
But the computer in the recovery room, I never did get around to fixing.
Luckily though - I did meet some really neat patients and we had nice deliveries

I'm still recovering today.

I think I want to be on vacation again!!!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Nursing Informatics

The next class that I am taking is a Nursing Informatics class. It is all about technology and how to use that for research plus how to make professional looking presentations and flyers, etc.

They only bummer part of the class is that our instructor wanted us to have a PC running laptop plus Office 2007.
I have been using a MAC laptop for awhile now - still have a PC desktop with Office 2010 so I debated on what I should do...should I muddle through the class with my MAC? Should I run a PC program on my MAC (cost about $200 for that program), or should I just buy a new lap top for all of my school work and keep the MAC for my personal use?
I finally decided to just buy a small laptop. I felt I could do all of my homework for the class on this then give it to my son when I am done with it. Off to Best Buy we went. We shopped around, found a mid priced laptop and purchased this new baby.
I loaded Office 2007 on to it (I had a disk from the IT department) and now I'm ready to tackle this class.
If you know any thing about me...I LOVE to get A's in my classes so I'm willing to spend whatever it takes to help me get there.

So.....I go to our first night of class.
I open the computer.
I push the power button.
The computer starts to load up.
When ~

Oops! Someone knocks over a coffee cup....right on to the new keyboard...

I so wanted to say bad words, but since I am attending school at a Christian university I decided to keep those feelings to myself.
The person who spilt the coffee felt horrible.
I felt horrible.
I don't have the kind of money to rebuy a new laptop - nor do I ever buy those extended warranties that businesses sell.
Now how am I going to pass this class with an A??
I stressed about it all week while we were gone.

I went back to Best Buy after we got home...
They took it back, no questions asked and let me get another one to replace it. I was shocked!

Now I can do well in the class. I didn't have to spend extra money....and I won't let anyone set any liquids close to me for the rest of my school life!

Thank you Best Buy for being so customer friendly. I realize that all you do is send the other back and it gets refurbished...but for a starving college student, you saved the day!!

I HEART Best Buy!


Thursday, March 10, 2011

Bluffton, Ohio

The view as we woke up in the morning.
It had snowed lightly late in to the night and it looks like a winter wonderland here. It is so pretty (well at least from in side our warm house). I truly have a sense of being "home" here. Probably because I have so many memories of fun times spent here. Growing up in this quiet place was sort of magical. We were carefree and played the day away. I can remember spending many a nights in that tree house and swimming in the pond. One year - my brother even fell through the ice on the pond. We had all been ice-skating on it but we must have weakened it for the next thing you know - he was suspended there.
We plan to drive around town, drive by the old family farms, visit with friends and family. Though to be honest - I didn't take pictures with everyone that we visited. I'm not sure why - guess I just got so involved in our visits that I forgot. First ~ I need to warm up the car and get the ice off of the windows!
This post is mostly for you mom - you said take lots of here is your picture rundown of our time in Bluffton.
Look, I actually was out in the snow! I'm glad we took pictures in the morning, for so much of it melted away during the sure wasn't as pretty when it was just a muddy, sloshy mess.
Awww - the countryside
Our first visit was with all of my cousins on my dad's side. We met for lunch and I got to meet all of their 'significant others' too. The only one missing was Andrea - she is in Texas. Maybe I'll have to travel there to see her ;)
Holly with her sweet little girl, Ayva, Me, Ashley and Elisabeth.
We went by both cemeteries where my grandparents are buried. There is such legacy here as I tried to tell Buzz about my family history. He says he wishes that he had been able to meet my grandparents.
Grandma's house - it pretty much looks the same, except for that front entry porch. And the old apple orchard is gone. I think there were two trees left back there.
The barn that my dad help build
Look - there are even horses there now...just like when Uncle Denny lived there. See - we could go back and make it ours again. Wouldn't that be fun?!?!I didn't take any pictures of Grandma Augsburger's home...the person who lives there now had so much junk on the porch that it just didn't feel 'right' any more. It really looks different there.
The little town of Bluffton looks the same though. We were there later in the day - notice lots of the snow is gone. But it was still nippy out! We walked through and did a bit of shopping then got a nice warm cup of coffee .
Off we went to see cousin Tam. We had a great visit. Played with her dogs and her goat that freely roams around outside. She sure lives a different life than we do and is a huge Ohio state fan! Fun times ~
After our time with Tam we ran by the hospital in Findlay to see my Aunt Carol. She had been admitted the day before. She looked good to me and we had a lovely visit. The only bummer was that Uncle Donny had just left before we got there so we did not get to see him. I wish we had a few more days to spend here...I'd love to visit more and stick around a bit!

Of course I had to get one treat in before we were done with our visit. Num Num...sugar cream pie. Love it!
Bye, Bye Ohio - we will miss you!


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

4th Place Finish

Wow - the Biola girls claimed a fourth place victory spot in the NAIA indoor nationals!! That is quite a feat considering all of the teams that were competing.

Coach sure has done a good job transforming the team from one that no one had ever heard of...into a nationally ranked one. But, even more so than being a nationally ranked team ~ I am consistently awed at the integrity of the women on the team. They are the kindest, most compassionate, nicest people you could ever meet. The team works well together and you rarely hear of any squabbles. They support each other and are friends off the track as well as when competing. Many of them even live in the same house together. I am so glad that Erika has been able to say that she is a part of this awesome group of women!
Natasha - awarded the meets "most outstanding performer" award. Rumor has it that she has a couple of these old shoe trophies.

The senior girls ~ Sarah, Katie, Kelsey, Erika and Natasha.

After the awards ceremony, Buzz and I headed down to Bluffton, Ohio to visit with family and friends.
We even drove through this old covered bridge. I think it used to be the longest one in Ohio - but it looked like some of it might have washed away at some point for there was a metal green bridge attachment on the one end. There have been many rain storms in Ohio recently and the river sure was full. They are calling for some flooding tonight in some areas. was pretty amazing...I can only imagine riding through on my horse drawn carriage.
The snow covered banks are so pretty to me. Maybe because I don't have to actually live here but am just vacationing...
Actually, I got a good taste of living in the snow tonight as it started to snow before we actually reached Bluffton. Now you have to keep in mind that I live in southern California ~ so my driving skills in snow are probably not the greatest. Yet, we did arrive safely at our destination. I just drove slower than normal and stayed in the tracks of the person in front of me. We will see how it is in the morning. There are people I want to visit, so I don't want to be snowed in :) Then again, it is pretty cozy in my uncles house, there could be worse places to be stuck. We will just make the best of whatever is to be.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

NAIA Indoor Track

We started the day off with crazy cold, along with a bit of rain.
Our first event for the day was meeting a friend for breakfast.
Ann Marie and I have known each other for about 35 years...we initially were matched as 'pen pals' in junior high school.
I had asked for one international pen pal and one stateside...Ann Marie was that person. We started writing to each other and have stayed in contact over the years. We became good friends and have met each other in person before.
Ann Marie lives outside of Cleveland, I had told her we were coming and we made plans to get together. It was so fun to see her.
We went to eat at Bob Evans. I knew I wanted to go here for we do not have this restaurant in southern California. It is good, midwest, comfort type food.
I, of course had to order the fried mush...yummm! Buzz even liked it. I think I am going to have to make some at home.

Then it was off to the track meet.
It is being held at the GaREAT sports complex in Geneva, Ohio. Basically it is a huge building, housing a track, soccer field, and dining facilities. It is sort of in the middle of no-where. Not much else to see there but a small town.
The girls have ran well - everyone so far has qualified for finals in their events. Exciting!!
'Coach' Erika taking a little break.
Me, with the some of the Biola athletes. Aren't they cute?!? They actually do have a reputation in the league of being the 'hot' team...and not necessarily all for their running abilities.
Erika's room-mate Natasha.
Erika and Natasha have lived together the last four years. She is from Canada ~ but has been awarded 'All American' titles every year. It is fun to watch her compete for she is so good in her events. And she is quite humble about it all. She never brags or talks about herself. She is just such a sweet, young lady. I know that she will remain friends with Erika for the rest of their lives.
Today, she broke the meet record and won her third pentathlon title. It was her own record from last year that she broke. You can read about it all here.

Natasha has also been picked up by the Canadian Olympic coach to continue training for the 2012 games! Maybe we need to plan our next trip for London!!

Monday, March 7, 2011


Not only did we take time last week to travel along the California coast...we hopped on a plane and headed to OHIO.
I spent many summers in Ohio. My parents are both from Ohio. As kids, my brother and I, were sent there to experience life on the farm. I still have relatives in Ohio and have maintained friendships with many people. I have fond memories of the time I spent on the farm and of small town life.

When we found out that indoor track nationals were going to be held in Geneva, Ohio this year, we made plans to go.

Erika did not qualify to compete. She has never quite gotten back to her old running self since her health issues last summer. Coach took her as an 'assistant coach' though. We have also developed relationships with other runners on the Biola it was an easy decision to attend the meet, and to add in visits with family and friends.

When I go to Ohio, I always have this sense of, "coming home". It just feels right and comfortable. I often wonder if I could still move there, live on some land, have a horse and plant a garden. I'm just not sure that I could handle the winters!

We chose to stay at the Quail Hollow Resort. It is nice and rustic and they always have a nice fire going in the lobby. It is a great place to just hang out.
The room was spacious enough. Though we really weren't in the room that much since most of our time was spent at the meet and out exploring the area surrounding Cleveland.

This is our view from the first morning...quite different from our beach sunset a day or two ago! Yes, that is snow on the ground. It is bright and sunny - but that is deceiving! We went to go out and it is only 25' ~ one definitely needs a coat and mittens - HA!
The current view of Lake Erie...BRRR..Off to the track meet we go. I love these national meets. There are so exciting and only the best in the league get to attend. There are some great athletes here...but of course we have our favorites.
Go Biola!!