How to Teach Young Children About Nursing

Nurse products for kids

Nurse Nicole visits Stuffy Bear Factory at Chesterfield Town Center, VA.

Goal:
Explore fun and creative methods to teach young children about the profession of nursing.

Objectives:
1. Develop products to introduce nursing as a future career choice to young children.
2. Display products to introduce nursing as a future career option for young children.

Nurse product line:

The nursing shortage has drawn attention to the need to encourage young children to choose nursing as a future career goal. The Adventures of Nurse Nicole is designed to help young children become aware of nursing. Helps children develop skills that are needed to become a nurse. The products will focus on the current realities related to what nurses do in the nursing profession. The tools developed are age-specific such as books titled, “N is for Nurse & Wash Your Hands.” In addition, another tool is an age-specific animated DVD titled, “Battle of the Germs.” Other items available are bears and t-shirts for children. The information reviewed in the books and DVD was used by a nurse to create teaching materials for children.

Free nursing gifts are available on site when Nurse Nicole visits Stuffy Bear factory at Chesterfield Town Center, VA or visit the website http://www.nursenciole.co

Happy Holiday Season,

Nicole M. Brown, RN aka Nurse Nicole

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Book Review: “Nursing From Within” by Elizabeth Scala

Book by Elizabeth Scala

Book by Elizabeth Scala

Spiritual Practice Nurse Elizabeth Scala is a nurse, Reiki Master, healer, certified coach, facilitator, teacher, author and speaker. Her latest book, “Nursing From Within: A Fresh Alternative to Putting Out Fires and Self-Care Workarounds”, is her own prescription for reinvigorating your nursing practice with heart, self-love, balance and magic.

There are three major groupings that nurses struggle with:

Self –Nursing is hard work. It’s physically demanding. It’s exhausting.
Even when you’re off you’re thinking about work or bringing work home
with you. Nursing is a labor-intensive job.

Others – While nursing is hard for you, you know how challenging it can be to work in a team. Not just the coworkers- but the patients. Patients are also getting older, sicker and much more acute.

Global – Nursing is the biggest group that makes up the healthcare system. This is the
age of technology. Documentation goes electronic and charting becomes time consuming and obsessive. Family members get confused on what to do next. Caregivers (that’s us) get exhausted.

Nursing from Within™ is an innovative and uplifting guide for nurses at all levels of the profession. Learn how to shift your inner perspective so you can enjoy the work of helping others, regardless of how stressful or challenging the environment you are working in may be. Are you ready to rediscover the joy and passion of nursing? ‘Nursing from Within: A Fresh Alternative to Putting Out Fires and Self-Care Workarounds’ is available now. Get your copy today by visiting Elizabeth Scala’s site, or purchase directly from Amazon.

This Book is a Must Read!!
Nicole M. Brown, RN

A calendar of the Virtual Blog Tour (In case you would like to follow along with our other nurse bloggers): http://elizabethscala.com/landing/nursing-from-within/#6

Helping Your Child Transition into September

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Transitions happen every day in your child’s world and September, like no other month, is a time of transitions for your child. Starting a new grade. Getting a new teacher. Learning new classroom rules. Adding more homework. No matter what the transition, you can expect an added level of stress as your child adapts to the change.

When making the transition to a new grade, your child will be challenged by more rigorous academic challenges, more social demands and more responsibility. Your child will have to follow the rules, take turns, make new friends, learn harder material and try to meet the requirements of a new teacher(s).

It takes a lot of energy, focus and control to keep it together all day long at school, so most kids will be tired and you’ll see an increase in temper tantrums, whining and defiance at home. Don’t take it personally! Recognize the stress that your child is under!

The best response to stress is to provide empathy and support, help the child gain a sense of control, create rituals that provide predictability and teach your child ways to de-stress.

Way to Show Empathy:

A.) Listen – Become an “empathic listener” by listening for feelings.

o Listen for the unspoken feelings that are behind the words that are said.
o Look at your child’s body language and try to gain helpful information.
o Listen with your heart.
o Don’t be critical.
o Give your child your full attention by sitting down, looking him/her in the eye.
o Try to reflect back the feeling that you believe your child is conveying.

B.) Ask open-ended questions. i.e. What will you miss about preschool? What do you like about your new teacher? What’s the hardest part of your day?

C.) Share a story from your childhood. The point here is to share a struggle that you had and the different feelings that you experienced. If you found a process that helped you overcome the struggle, share that, too.

Another important point to understand is that transitions involve a sense of loss:

A loss of fun. “I want to play with a friend now. I don’t want to do homework!”

A loss of spontaneity. “I’m tired and I’d rather have a jammy day than get dressed and go to school.”

Or a loss of my classroom as I know it. “This teacher is different. I liked my other teacher!”

Generally, when a child feels a sense of loss s/he feels a loss of control and a beneficial strategy is to help the child gain a sense of control. So how do you do that?
A.) Involve your child in the decision. Ask your child, “What might help you feel more comfortable?”

B.) Walk your child through the process, explaining how it will go. Knowledge is power.

C.) Show visual aids such as reading books on the subject.

D.) Explain the benefits so the child can learn the positives.

E.) Slow down the pace. Give your child a chance to wind down or to say goodbye.

F.) Learn to read your child’s cues and help him/her learn to identify them, too.
Another helpful strategy for reducing the stress of changes is to create a ritual. Family rituals help your child adjust to change. A ritual can be simple or elaborate, used daily, weekly, or once a year. The reason that rituals are important is that rituals help make the world predictable and the repetition helps kids feel more secure when transitions are occurring.

Rituals that Can Help with Transitions:
A.) Develop a goodbye ritual. Develop a secret handshake with your child that’s used only when s/he leaves for school.

B.) Develop an after-school ritual. Let your child have a snack and play outside for 30 minutes before starting homework.

C.) Develop a “chit-chat” time at bedtime. Ask your child about the happy, sad, scary and frustrating parts to his/her day.

D.) Develop an end-of-the-week ritual. Have a family night every Friday night to reconnect and unwind after a busy week.

Change also increases a child’s anxiety level because there is a loss of the familiar and the uncertainty of the future so finding safe, healthy outlets for a child’s anxiety is important, as well. Teaching your child how to soothe him/herself and providing calming activities will be a great help.

A.) Increase Physical Touch – Make a conscious effort to hug and kiss more often, snuggle more or provide massage to your child.

B.) Teach a Deep Breathing Method. (Pretend that there’s a balloon in his/her tummy that s/he has to blow up. Actually use a balloon to illustrate. The technique you want to have the child use is to breathe in through the nose and breathe out through the mouth, actually moving the diaphragm while pretending to blow up the balloon with big, deep breaths.)

C.) Consider Dramatics – Let your child use his/her imagination. “Let’s pretend that you’re the fairy godmother.” Get a wand. Let’s see what the fairy godmother would do to solve this problem. Create a movie, play or story about this problem. Play “School” to see what issues your child may be facing.

D.) Spend Time Alone with the Child – Let the child pick what the activity will be and focus on your child’s needs.

E.) Laugh – Find your own ways to be silly, have a kids’ joke book on hand, do something unexpected, watch your favorite family movie.

F.) Give Your Child a Journal – Writing about a problem can release pent-up feelings in a healthy way.

In summary, there are many useful strategies that you can use when your child is faced with a transition, large or small:

o Respond with empathy recognizing that your child may feel a sense of loss.
o Help your child gain a sense of control by involving him/her in decision-making.
o Develop a ritual to create predictability.
o Offer soothing and calming activities.

Summer Allergies

pollen-allergies-sneeze-600When most people think of allergy season, they think spring. And while spring time allergens cause discomfort for over 50 million people in the U. S. alone, summer can be just as debilitating for those who struggle with summer allergens. Here are four of the most common summer allergy triggers and a solution for minimizing their effect.

Pollen-Just as in the spring, summer’s biggest offender is pollen. But by summer the trees are done with pollination and it is the grass and weeds that step up to take their place. Grass is the most popular ground cover and is next to impossible to avoid. There are many different kinds of grass that can cause problems including well known varieties such as Timothy, Red Top, Orchard, Blue, Bermuda, and Sweet Vernal.

Weeds-Weed pollination usually begins in August and can continue through late fall into November. Ragweed is probably the most well known followed closely by Sagebrush, Pigweed, Cockle weed and numerous others.

For both pollens and weeds, dry windy days are the times when the air tends to be thick with pollen. It attaches to clothes, hair and any other handy surface in hopes of finding fertile ground to begin the cycle again.

Mold-Mold occurs naturally outside and can only survive if and when it finds moisture. Landscaping that allows water to stand, or areas that don’t drain naturally, and piles of leaves are all places where these spores will thrive.

Mold spores enter your home constantly, there’s no keeping them out. And with the increased humidity in the summer it becomes easy for them to make a home in your home, particularly in places like basements, bathrooms, and kitchens.

Dust Mites-These microscopic critters love dark, warm places and feed on dead skin. Their feces contain a protein that is a renowned allergy trigger. With increased moisture in the summer the dust mite count inside your home usually rises and creates havoc in the bedroom, and more specifically, in your bed-their favorite place to be. They generally become airborne with simple every day activities such as making the bed, plumping the pillows and walking through the room on rugs or carpeting.

With these kinds of airborne triggers present in the summer time, it’s no wonder that an immune system that is sensitive to any of these irritants goes into overdrive. Coughing, sneezing watery eyes and congestion are your body’s immune system’s way of trying to get rid of what it sees as a threat.

And whereas you cannot control what’s in the air outside your home, you can mange your allergies beautifully in the summer and all through the year by filtering the triggers that cause the symptoms. Eliminating the triggers rather than constantly treating the symptoms is the most proactive and non-invasive way to effectively mange summer allergies.

Eliminate the triggers that cause summer allergies to flare now with the air purifier.

This is great information for Moms, Future Nurses and professional nurses!!

Five Online Wellness Programs You Will Love

Family BikingIt is still the beginning of the year, but any time is a great time to explore wellness plans. I’ve found five really great ones that are worth noting. In fact, I think you’ll love them as much as I do.

Humana Challenge – Walk the Course Kit
You’ve seen their TV commercial with the snazzy music and people dressed in golf gear, walking. Go to their site for tips and information on incorporating walking into your daily routine. I love the idea of making walking more fun.

The Life Game by MindBloom
Need some guidance in mapping out life changes? Try this free online tool, Life Game, to get started. You can use the tool to strategize some of your health and spiritual changes.

Real Age by Dr. Oz
Though it has been around for some time, Real Age is a great way to figure out your “real” age based on health and lifestyle factors. The test and resources are free.

ShareCare.com
Share Care is Real Age’s parent organization. Register with ShareCare.com to follow experts in a variety of health and wellness areas as well as receive great information and guides to make decisions about your life.

Nourish Interactive Game for Kids
Do you want your children to learn basic nutrition facts? Maybe you need to learn them too. Well, Nourish Interactive has this great game for just that. It’s easy and fun but it’s also visually appealing.

I think I’ve covered something for everyone. Be active, informed and above all, be well.

Your Heart in the Right Place?

go_redThere are so many great initiatives tied to National Heart Month. I love the diversity in audiences some of the organizations address, such as Go Red for Women and Power to End Stroke, a joint effort between the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association. The resources and tools to prevent heart attacks and heart disease are almost endless. Let’s look at those tools and resources that will help you determine if your heart is healthy.

Power to End Stroke Tools

Is your heart in the right place? If not, then you would do well by you and your loved ones to (1) receive clinical assessment (2) know your family’s heart health history (3) make lifestyle changes and (4) show some love to yourself and take great care of the one thing that keeps you going – your precious heart.

February is National Heart Month: Is From My Mother’s Heart to Yours: 5 Tips to Rethinking Wellness

18736297_sMoms, it is too easy to desire healthy lifestyles for our children yet even harder to remain consistent in promoting those desires. Here are a few tips that I hope will help you in instilling healthy lifestyle choices in your children.

  1. Forget “Do what I say and not what I do” when trying to get children to eat well and live well. Home wellness begins with you and what you do. If you make eating well and exercising look like fun, then they will adapt the same good attitude. Children mimic what they see and hear.

  2. Treats are a privilege. Most of us growing up received sugary treats as a part of ritual like Sunday dinner desserts or the occasional candy bar. These days, treats are used as rewards and sometimes given to kids just because. In truth, treats are a privilege that children living in poverty or in third world countries with a lack of food resources will never know. Treats bear little to no nutritional value beyond fresh fruit.

  3. I am a nurse who has seen one too many child burdened by diseases exacerbated by horrible diets. Children with great diets and who have diseases like Sickle Cell or diabetes have great survival rates and even the habits they need to take into a healthy adulthood. Poor food choices affect the effectiveness of medications. Change those diets and tell your sick child “I want you to live and live well.”

  4. Exercise is not complicated activity. If you are not sports-oriented or interested in calisthenics, then it’s okay because there are activities that are simpler: Like walking. Don’t always park near an entrance of a mall or store, park far away to get in some extra walking. Dance too. Put on some kid-friendly music and wiggle with them for an hour (30 minutes even) per week. The point is find the one thing that YOU like and commit to.

  5. Wellness is not simply eating well and exercising. It is about thinking well and positively. It is about creating a lifestyle that has long-lasting results.

We’ve seen enough examples in our own families of unhealthy thinking, eating and living, haven’t we? My heart says to your heart that it’s time to make wellness decisions that last throughout the ages and that benefit our children and then their children.

Encourage Kids to Exercise: Introducing the NBA/WNBA 2014 Fit Team

nbafit_lhw_logo_2014Recently, the NBA and WNBA partnered with the first lady’s Let’s Move! program to promote a week of healthy living. An extension of that partnership was the creation of a council of experts, players and coaches called the NBA/WNBA Fit Team.

According to their site,

“The NBA/WNBA FIT team is made up of NBA Family members including players, coaches, officials, trainers and health-related experts who serve as ambassadors and positive role models for kids and parents. As a FIT team member, they will attend grassroots fitness events, promote valuable fitness information and continue to make good healthy life choices.”

Some of the cool resources offered by the Fit Team can be found:

The site is filled with resources and information. My hope is that the Fit Team provides you with something you need to encourage your kids to exercise and eat nutritiously.

Begin the New Year with These 3 Eat Well Tip Sheets from Let’s Move!

letsmoveweblogoEveryone loves first lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! Initiative. What’s not to love about a movement to get us moving, especially our children? Childhood obesity is a growing concern as is adult obesity. I believe we should begin this New Year with a resolution to make healthier choices in our homes, and Mrs. Obama and others have provided us with some tools and resources to make healthier food choices for our families.

Concerned about purchasing healthy foods on a budget? Well, Choose My Plate provides this wonderful guide, Eating on a Budget – The 3 P’s, that provides practical advice.

Need some guidance on choosing the right produce for a balanced meal? Ten Tips for Affordable Vegetables and Fruits is awesome for answering those hard questions.

Who likes to count calories? I don’t and if you’re like me, then coming up with menus is even harder when counting calories. Once again, there is help with this guide to Sample Menus for a 2000 Food Pattern.

Scour the site for more useful information as well as print these tip sheets out and keep them handy in the kitchen or wherever you plan your family’s meals.

Watching Your Weight over the Holidays

Red Velvent CupcakeThe strongest person is tempted by all of the goodies available at this time of year. Someone is always baking, cooking or buying rich foods in the spirit of the holidays. It becomes really easy to overeat and overindulge. Here are a few tips to help you (and me) be kinder to our bodies while we partake of a few wonderful treats.

  1. Eat breakfast and be mindful to eat it on the days when you have to attend some holiday festivity where pastries and rich foods will be served.
  2. Do not stop exercising. If you exercise daily for at least 10 minutes or if you take their stairs versus the elevator, the activity will keep your metabolism moving and you will burn some of those extra holiday calories.
  3. Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water to maintain a slight feeling of full in your tummies. It will make you less inclined to overeat.
  4. Mind your food portions and food selections. Do not eat a heavy dinner should you plan to eat a slice of cake.
  5. Eat foods filled with nutrients. A nutritious meal will insure that you’re not taking in empty calories found in sweets and treats.

You don’t want to feel awful at the start of the year, do you? Well, eat in moderation and take care to eat well.

Books by Nicole M. Brown

The Adventures of Nurse Nicole: N is for Nurse

The Adventures of Nurse Nicole: N is for Nurse

The Adventures of Nurse Nicole: Wash Hands

The Adventures of Nurse Nicole: Wash Hands

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