Every 2 seconds someone in the U.S. receives a blood transfusion. Blood and blood products, despite years of research, have yet to be replicated in a lab. Whole blood consists of living cells in a non-living matrix and makes up 8% of your total body weight. Transfusions of blood products can only take place when donor blood is available. The process of whole blood centrifuging occurs when fresh donor blood is placed into a centrifuge machine to be spun causing the blood to be separated by components. The heavier elements (RBC’s) collect at the bottom of the tube and the lighter elements stay at the top (WBC, Plt’s, & plasma).
Blood is typed according to the ABO blood typing system. Blood Typing is a method to determine what blood group a person has. To know what blood type you have is critical to safely donate blood or receive a blood transfusion. Your blood type is based on whether or not certain proteins, called antigens, are on your red blood cells and if you have antibodies against those antigens in your plasma. Blood typing also tests for the Rh factor, a protein present on the surface of red blood cells.
In the early 2000’s, Associates degree nurses thrived during the nursing shortage. Most of us found work within hospitals right out of nursing school – some even received sign-on bonuses! Before I officially received my ASN degree, I had four job offers on the table from area hospitals. I graduated with my Associates in Science & Nursing on May 30th, 2006 and started my first job in a hospital as a graduate nurse (the title you receive before you officially pass your boards). In the last 10 years the job climate has changed for us ASN nurses.
In the eight years I’ve been a labor nurse, I’ve been fortunate to participate in hundreds of deliveries and learn so much along the way. It was my experience with my labor nurse as a new mom that drew me to this kind of nursing. I’ve learned that caring for a labor patient goes far beyond simply managing care, contraction pain relief, charting, and deliveries… there’s a certain intuitive mindset that comes into play that you develop over the years as a labor nurse.
Night shifts can be long and if you were not adequately rested prior to starting your shift, you may find it hard to stay awake on your commute home. People who work night shift are at a very high risk for driving dangerously tired. Driving while extremely fatigued has been compared to driving while under the influence of alcohol.
Do you work night shift, or are you considering making a switch to nights? Night shift is not easy but when compared to the hustle and bustle of day shift and the administration, traffic, patient family members, discharges… it can start to seem appealing.
Night shifters are a special breed and a little superhuman. Too often I hear people leave nights because their bodies hate working nights or they are so tired. Newsflash! We all are tired and our bodies hate working nights too!
A while back I had just started acting as charge nurse on night shift, I walked in at the start of my shift to see we were horrendously short staffed and crazy busy. Our unit was well below our usual staffing grid (it was a Friday night)… we also had a full board… full triage… and not enough nurses to go around.
A Charge Nurse or Resource Nurse is the nurse in charge of many things including supervising nursing staff, making patient assignments, mentoring other staff when needed, and acting as a liaison between family, physicians, and administration.
It’s your orientation on your nursing unit and you are about to meet a lot of people. First impressions are everything and you want to make sure you make a good one. There are some simple things you can do during your first weeks on the job to make sure you fit right in and get taken under their wing while you’re a “newbie.”
The average person in the United States spends 95% of their times indoors! That equates to a total of one hour and twenty minutes of outdoor time a day over the course of your lifetime.
The outdoors are wonderful and invigorating, being outside can be a grounding and balancing experience. We all should take more time to be outdoors as it has proven benefits to health and well-being.