Monday, August 25, 2014

In regards to Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (#icebucketchallenge)

[Just because I haven't posted on the blog in like 2 months (*gulp*), doesn't mean I'm not posting elsewhere. You can follow me on facebook and instagram (@anna_the_nurse). The idea of sitting down to type up a long blog post is just... intimidating at this point. I know, you're going to tell me that short posts are okay too. But it's been 2 months!!! Anything I post at this point will probably be long! Anyway. I wrote a little something for facebook the other day and I figured I could just copy and paste it into my blog, since it's a medical topic and all.]

In regards to Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: 

First of all, I have thoroughly enjoyed watching everyone's videos of themselves getting doused in ice water. Now that I've been challenged to spread ALS awareness myself (thanks Zach), I want to take the time I WOULD'VE spent making a video (that actually has nothing to do with ALS) and simply do something that WILL spread awareness: educate.

I love that the challenge has encouraged people to do something good in the world- but I feel like it's become more of a fad and more time/effort is put into creating the perfect video than actually caring about what ALS is and what it does. If you've done your research, good for you! If you haven't, here ya go.

1. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a neurological disorder that attacks the nerves that control voluntary muscles. You get weaker and weaker and lose control of your hands and legs. It eventually progresses to the point where you have difficulty even moving your diaphragm to breath and a lot of people succumb to pneumonia. You become trapped in this body that won't do what you tell it to. It's a horrible way to die.

2. People with ALS typically only live 3-5 years after the symptoms come on. A very few amount live longer.

3. People with ALS have trouble moving, swallowing, and speaking. The usually have to get a feeding tube and have a terrible time with dealing with an overabundance of saliva production.

4. Because it is a process of exclusion, it can take a year or more, on average, to get a confirmed diagnosis of ALS. There is no 'test' for it.

5. We should probably start calling it "Stephen Hawking Disease" since he's been living with it since the 1960's and has set a world record.

With that said, please consider making a donation to a charity of your choice. There are some wonderful causes out there doing incredible work.
(I chose to donate to John Paul II Medical Research Institute which finds ways to do their research without using embryonic stem cells. Take time to know where your money goes).

That's all. I'll post again soon, promise. I'll tell you about all the stuff and things I've been doing. :)

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Scrubs Review: Banana Scrubs (made in america!)

Readers, I'm excited to share Banana Scrubs with you today!
You're probably thinking, "Huh. I haven't heard of them before." 
I hadn't either, until I Googled "scrubs made in the usa." 
There's a reason you don't see Banana Scrubs brand in your local uniform shop. They don't sell wholesale. More on that later. 

[I'm wearing their Lauren top (XS) and Natalie pant (XS) in spearmint]

Let me tell you about the scrubs in a way we all know and understand. Since we nurses LOVE the 0-10 scale, I'm going to start implementing it into my review posts. I'll rate products on a 0-10 scale using the following criteria: quality, fit/comfort, price, and the company.

Quality: 9/10
I have to tell you, when these came out of the box, they smelled incredible! Some kind of fruity/sweet smell...I don't know what they're doing to them down in Texas, but I hope they never stop! (I even had husband smell them, they were that awesome). As you would expect, the scent goes away after washing them, but these scrubs are made well with excellent material and I can tell they're going to hold up for a long time. Plus, they have these charming little banana tags. :)
Fit/Comfort: 7/10
Pros: Nice, long top. Tons of pockets.
Cons: boxy top, not very form fitting. The top is an XS (the size I usually get) and it still felt quite large (mostly in the sleeve area). They DO offer a XXS top which I'll consider next time. If you decide to buy some, look at their size chart and take notice of the comment that their scrubs are generously cut. Then order accordingly. :)
Also, Banana Scrubs was kind enough to hem these pants a couple inches for me. I'm 5'6'' and while they do make tall pants, they don't have any short versions. 31'' inseam is pretty standard so if you're short like me, a little modification might need to happen.
Scrubs are comfortable. Period. But there are some things that make some more comfortable than others. Like when your drawstring pants don't get loose during the day, making you pull them up every ten minutes.
Good news.
These pants seem to hold well. :)
Price: 10/10
The tops and bottoms are priced anywhere from $17.50-$24.50 which is totally comparable to scrubs you'd get at any shop. What shocked me is that these scrubs are made in America and they're still able to keep it affordable! They don't sell to uniform stores, no wholesale whatsoever. By eliminating the middle man, customers buy directly from the manufacturer and save on any retail mark-up The only way to get their products is by visiting their brand store down in Texas or from their online store and that is just fine with me! So, for the price and knowing they're made in the states, I'm sold.

The Company: 10/10
I absolutely love that these scrubs are made in the USA!Made in America  The fabric, the thread, the labor... everything is American. Banana Scrubs is based in Waco, Texas and has been making scrubs since 1994. There aren't a lot of companies out there that still make them in the states, I've looked! They also have a 6-month limited warranty! If their product fails, they'll repair it or replace it free of charge, which is something I've never heard from a scrubs company until now.
Banana Scrubs was incredibly easy to work with when it came to returns or modifications. I had to return the pants for a different size AND they even offered to hem them a couple inches for my short, stubby legs. I'm very happy with the results!
Total Average Score: 9/10
I like these scrubs and I love this company! If you're in the market to purchase uniforms for work, I'd recommend checking them out and supporting an american-based business. 

Friday, May 16, 2014

Nurses Week Giveaway Winners!

I hope you all had an amazing Nurses Week! I've got prizes to give away! :)

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I've sent e-mails to the winners, the sooner you respond, the sooner you'll get your goodies. :)
Remember, you all have until the end of Friday to enter the Dansko Shoe giveaway!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Nurses Week Day 7: Dansko Shoe Giveaway & Florence's Birthday!

They last day of Nurses Week!
It's kind of strange that Monday would be the last day of a week, but it is what it is. I suppose it's because they always try and have the last day fall on Florence's birthday. :)
Nurses Week Day 7
Dankso is giving away a pair of shoes to one of my readers for Nurses Week! They asked me to select a pair to review and I chose their Sam shoes. I think whoever wins this giveaway is really going to like them. I know, because I've basically been wearing them non-stop the last couple weeks.
They've been worn shopping, to work meetings, date night...I love how versatile they are. Like all Dansko's, they have the same foot support and comfort you'd find in their basic clogs. The tan color has really grown on me but they also come in black and brown. I haven't had any ankle-rolling situations like some people do with narrow Danskos, these have a nice wide support.
Another plus: these shoes will be perfect to bike in! 
To enter into the giveaway, tell me how you celebrated Nurses Week. 
And to be fair, I should tell you how I celebrated mine. Our hospital gave out cafeteria gift cards  for a free meal, they also gave out a treat card (you could get a cookie or brownie or a piece of fruit), one of our PAs bought the nurses pizza one day, there was donuts from a long term care facility, ice cream and cake from the hospital... I've been a little spoiled this week! My favorite was probably the ugly scrub day (pictures here). Nothing like looking hideous to help you bond with your co-workers! Plus, I lucked out and cared for a sedated/ventilated patient who was asleep all day and couldn't see the awful scrubs. :) 

Thanks to Dansko for my grand finale of Nurses Week! You all have until Friday to enter, winner will be chosen Saturday! The plan is to give away either the same pair of shoes I chose, but they are flexible and can change them out to something else, ESPECIALLY if a murse wins. ;)

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Saturday, May 10, 2014

Nurses Week Day 5 & 6- another giveaway!

I'm just throwing Saturday, May 10 and Sunday, May 11 in together since I'm working both days and I'm home between shifts, currently getting this post put together before bed and heading back to work.
Forgive me if it's short. :)

Giveaway time!
I've got some cute nursey stuff that I want to give away: an ice pack and a couple nursing watch brooches.
Nurses Week Day 5 and 6
The brooch watch I got from ebay forever ago and the ice bag was purchased through Zulily (check out this website for more ice bag designs). I've been hanging onto this stuff, thinking how much fun it'd be to give to a nursing friend as a gift... and now here I am, giving it to one of you, dear readers. :)

You know what to do!

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Ps. Today was ugly scrub day at work! 
Here's a close up of my awful fish scrub top: 
What I learned from this experience:

-the best ugly scrubs are usually Large to XXLarge. Most of these tops were drowned us. Why don't more smaller people have bad taste in scrubs?

-I have no idea why fabric was even made in some of these colors, let alone made into clothing that would cause a patient to get motion sickness and throw up from just looking at it.

-There's a whole lot of women's scrubs in the thrift stores and hardly any in the men's section.

-Next time we do this, I'm not wearing the fish top. It's pockets were floppy.

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY tomorrow to all my sweet readers who are moms. :)

Friday, May 9, 2014

Nurses Week Day 4: Name Badge Giveaway!

I usually love being a nurse.
But yesterday was awful.

I had a patient extubate himself (in other words, pulled out the tube that was ventilating this lungs) while the respiratory therapist and I tried (futilely) to hold him down and keep him from grabbing it. This was WITH restraints on AND maxed out on his sedation medicine.
Some people just have skills.

We were able to get him stabilized with BiPAP and calmed down with extra medication but then I got the order to place an NG tube (a feeding tube that goes through the nose and down to the stomach). This time we were prepared with 4 pairs of hands, an anesthesiologist, and some gooooooood drugs.

The rest of the day I felt like I was waiting for a ticking time bomb to go off and any sudden movements or noises made me jump.

Happy Nurses Week to me.

But then I got home and vented to Mo and he made me a grilled cheese and all was right in the world. #lifeofanurse
May 9

For day 4 of Nurses Week, I've got FOUR name badge holders to give away!
BadgeBlooms is this adorable etsy shop that I discovered last year. I'm such a sucker for anatomically correct hearts and fell in love with Melissa's Haley Heart badge holder. I've been wearing mine for a few months now and I've loved it. It's the reel/retractable kind so it's perfect to swipe my badge to get into the OR or use my keys to get into the medication bin. :) Patients and co-workers often comment on it's cuteness.
** BadgeBlooms has a promo code for Nurses Week! For 20% off the entire store, use the coupon code: FACEBOOK20.**
Enter to win one of the four badges!

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