Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Travel Nurse Aim: Has Anyone Claimed the Body Yet?

It's strange how an old memory will just pop into my head without anything triggering it (or at least nothing I can recall). Just out of the blue. Pop, there's an old memory. It's even more strange when it's a memory of something that happened years ago that didn't seem very significant even at the time it happened. I’m one of those people who has difficulty brushing this type of memory aside without some sort of analysis as to why it came into my head in the first place. So here’s what I’ve come up with.

First, the Memory
Tonight I was sitting here minding my own business when a crotchety old patient I attended several years ago popped into my mind. I was working as a travel nurse at a rehabilitation clinic at the time. The patient had apparently spent most of his life alienating all of his family members and would-be friends. It took him mere hours before most of the nurses in the rehab hated his guts. Every word that came out of his mouth was rude, hateful or derogatory. Even still, it was surprising that not a single person visited him the entire two months he was in the rehab hospital even though it was common knowledge that he had a large family living nearby.

One day while taking report I was told that the patient had died several days earlier. His body was bagged and placed in the temporary holding morgue where it remained unclaimed. His family was notified of his death, but none of them would agree to dispose of the body. I caught myself asking at the beginning of every shift “Has anyone claimed the body yet?” I wondered what kind of a family could be that cold and heartless. Surely that decrepit old man couldn’t have been so bad that no one cared what happened to his remains.

Finally after almost two weeks, the hospital was able to get an acquaintance to claim it. The situation made me wonder just how bad this guy had to have acted during his life to make what seemed to be the entire world turn against him.

Now the Analysis
This is the best I can come up with as to why this memory popped into my head. It might be a reminder that as a nurse I only get a snapshot of what a patient is truly like. Most of my patients are not used to spending time in a hospital. Some get scared when they are normally brave. Some get shy when they are normally outgoing. Some get angry when they are normally calm. A reminder not to judge people by how they act in the hospital (even though the crotchety old man in the hospital was apparently a crotchety old man most of his life).

Or…it could just mean that if I treat my family like crap, my body will be stuffed in a black bag, stuck in a refrigerator and left unclaimed when I die. Sometimes the simplest explanation is the best.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Travel Nurse Aim's Advice

I received the following e-mail from the husband of prospective travel nurse:

"HI Aim,

I enjoyed reading your blog. I stumbled across it because my wife is a nurse and she is thinking about traveling, so I was poking around the internet looking for info on it. I'm wondering what to do with myself as she is working. We both love traveling and adventure, and I have many skills, but my question to you is, does your family travel with you? Does your husband work? I'm just trying to "feel" out this lifestyle. Any of your insight would be very much appreciated!


[Name Redacted] "

My Advice
Dear Reader,

First, let me thank you for reading my blog and hope you find the information and stories interesting. Second, yes my family travels with me. My husband has a job where most of his work is done over the internet and he does not have to go into an office every day. You might be surprised at how many of those types of jobs are available. He is a corporate attorney who spends much of his time reviewing contracts, drafting legal opinions and doing other lawyer stuff that doesn't require face to face contact with clients. He is also a small business owner and entrepreneur.


Travel Nurse Aim

Top 40 of the Last 10 Years

I decided to make a list of the things I would have missed out on if I'd started medical school at 21. Wow, the last 10 years have been busy!

1. Was a paid-on-call firefighter
2. Graduated from college with my BA in Political Science
3. Was an RA, Vice President of my university, and a sorority girl
4. Studied Italian in Italy for several months, traveled all of Italy
5. Was an ecology research assistant
6. Had 4 long term relationships... and a bunch of not-so-long-term ones
7. Moved to Boston, lived in a beautiful brownstone, attended Harvard for PBPM
8. Became a high school chemistry, biology, and sex education teacher
9. Traveled around Brazil, camped on the Amazon River, discovered Rio de Janeiro
10. Helped 21 of my illegal-immigrant students get into college with full scholarships
11. Got my EMT certification
12. Conducted clinical research study at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston
13. Lived in Phoenix (downtown), Miami (MiMo), New Orleans, Boston (South End), Washington DC and San Diego
14. Won a scholarship for infectious epidemiology from the CDC to train in Charlotte
15. Bought my first house, gutted it, and am rebuilding it from my own design.
16. Conducted clinical research for the Department of GI and Cardiology
17. Invited by a prestigious research group in Colombia to work on p. vivax vaccine candidate (I went by myself.... with little ability to speak Spanish!)... and I traveled around Colombia
18. Got my Masters degree in tropical medicine
19. Got to be an extra in a movie with Brad Pitt
20. Was an ID Epidemiologist for the state
21. Watched every episode of Sex and the City like 10 times
22. Adopted the best dog in the world
23. Got into med school!
24. Met my wonderful boyfriend
25. Taught General Chemistry I, II to undergrads
26. Was an HIV/STD safe sex educator for elementary & college students, residential bootcamps, drug rehab, etc.
27. Worked in behavioral neuropsychology researching the effect of the estrous cycle on neuron morphology
28. Learned to speak conversational Spanish
29. Taught over 150 children and 2 adults to swim
30. Evacuated 2 Hurricanes... and actually escaped 1
31. Road trip across the United States 4 times
32. Taught English in Tijuana migrant worker camps
33. Designed my own study to assess tumor cell response to combination treatments for pancreatic cancer
34. Was present (team right leg!) for the birth of one of my favorite student's first baby
35. Advised the 12th grade physics class "solar tech" club... we built a full size (2+ people!) solar powered boat to race in the "Solar Spectacular" competition
36. Was featured in an article in the San Diego Union Tribune for "interior design" advice from amateur, alternative, designers.
37. Built a great circle of friends and advisors who I love.
38. Completed an internship in Washington DC on politics and the media
39. Went skydiving (Ok, this may have been 11 years ago)
40. Canoed up the Colorado River to Black Canyon Hot Springs.

Ok... that's all I can think of right now. But you should make your own list. It makes you feel better!

Dr. Patricia Haynor to receive award from administration program in Spain

Patricia Haynor, PhD, RN, NHA, will be awarded the Golden Dolphin Pin of the Santa Madrona School of Nursing’s Master’s Program in Nursing Administration on the occasion of the program’s 20th anniversary. Santa Madrona is affiliated with the University of Barcelona in Spain. Dr. Haynor, associate professor and coordinator, BSN/MSN Gateway Program for Registered Nurses at the Villanova University College of Nursing, was nominated for the award by the administration and faculty in recognition of her “commitment and involvement in developing the master’s program and her nursing leadership.” The Golden Dolphin is the highest honor from the school and will be presented in absentia. The ceremony takes place October 6 at the CaixaForum in Barcelona.

For 10 years Dr. Haynor taught as adjunct faculty at Santa Madrona and assisted with the establishment and growth of the Spanish Nursing Administration program. In her educator role, she taught two courses in the program, Nursing Administration and Human Resource Management. She was also a consultant to the faculty in program evaluation and presented continuing education opportunities for the nursing community in Barcelona.

Dr. Haynor has over 25 years experience as a health care administrator in acute care, home care and skilled nursing facilities. She is a recognized expert and frequent lecturer on issues concerning job satisfaction, leadership styles and strategies, nurse manager development and career development.

Dr. Carol Weingarten inducted as fellow in Academy of Nursing Education

A role model for colleagues, she was honored for her sustained and significant contributions to the field of nursing education

Excellence as an educator was recognized tonight as Carol Toussie Weingarten, PhD, RN, ANEF was inducted as a fellow in the National League for Nursing’s (NLN) Academy of Nursing Education. The ceremony was held at the close of the NLN’s Education Summit 2009 in Philadelphia. Dr. Weingarten is an associate professor at the Villanova University College of Nursing.

Dr. Weingarten is among the third class of 21 fellows representing 20 schools of nursing in the United States. The academy was established in 2007 and had 65 fellows to date. Dr. Weingarten now joins this select group after a competitive process that reviews an applicant’s innovative teaching strategies, academic leadership and collaborative partnerships, among other criteria. The NLN established the Academy of Nursing Education to foster excellence in nursing education by recognizing and capitalizing on the wisdom of outstanding nurse educators.

Read more about Dr. Weingarten's accomplishments at

True Dat...

My neighbor also happens to be the Chief of the ICU at the hospital affiliated with my medical school. He spoke to the med students today about something very important. His talk was a little esoteric, in that I'm not certain that all of the medical students really GOT it. I knew the importance and the truth of the things he said, perhaps because I am a little older and have had enough experiences to know he's dead on... but truthfully, 10 years ago I would have been bored bored bored by what he said and would have grabbed the free lunch and snuck out the back door. Which many people did.

He made his point in a round-about way, discussing various philosophers, readings he found thought provoking, pearls of wisdom, and discussing the merits of minimalism. I knew what he was getting at, but the dots weren't real close together for the younger folk. The point isn't something you can only "get" if your older, but rather it's about the experiences you've had... which often come only with time.

Here's the gist of what he meant (or how I interpreted it at least):

It's essential to surround your life with things which are truly meaningful to you, not with things that are disguised as meaningful. Medicine can truly be meaningful and by keeping it in balance with other valuable practices you can lead a wonderful life in which you are happy and feel that you hold value in society.

The thing about medicine is that it is really easily to get consumed by it. In order to be the best of the best, you must invest so much of your identity in what you are doing that you can lose sight of other things that are important in your life. Namely, family, spirituality, health, art, your home, etc. And because medicine often affords you wealth, many physicians fill their lives with meaningless material items, mistakingly thinking they are valuable (homes, cars, boats, vacations, etc.).

So I think his point was not simply to bash all those ferrari wielding docs, but rather to prompt future physicians to really define what they consider success... rather than getting sucked along in the current of power, money, prestige, etc. that naturally seems to follow many physicians. If you define success in terms of material possessions and wealth, etc. that's fine... but know your definition of success before you set out to attain things you never really wanted in the first place.... thus missing out on those things that really create meaning and value for YOU.

Worth a ponder for sure.

Nurse Practitioner Jobs ARNP Jobs 9/29

Nurse Practitioner Jobs, Physician Assistant jobs, ARNP jobs, NP jobs, Nurse Practitioner Resumes, Nurse Jobs, Physician Jobs, CRNA jobs, Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner Jobs,Advanced Practice Provider,Advanced Practice Clinician,




What do Midwives and Women Think about Health Care Reform?

In August, ACNM endorsed the House health reform bill, H.R.3200. This week we're watching closely as the Senate Finance Committee is finalizing its own version of the legislation. These are controversial pieces of legislation. So, tell us what you think! Let’s voice our opinions and share informative resources to fuel the discussion. Is health care reform good for women, midwives, Americans? What

Villanova Nursing faculty share expertise at Education Summit

Through honors, appointments and the sharing of expertise, the College again demonstrated why it is a National League for Nursing Center of Excellence in Nursing Education. See what your professors did at the NLN Education Summit 2009!

Monday, September 28, 2009

This will make you feel better about getting a late start...

If you're worried about starting med school "late", this should make you feel better. Leila Denmark is 112 years old, and she practiced medicine until she was 103. She was a pediatrician from Georgia. So if you're starting at 44, you'll have at least 50 years to get good and tired of being a doctor. On a more realistic note... (for those of you who aren't sure you'll make it to 112)... I personally know several doctors who are practicing clinicians and are well into their 80's. In academic medicine, private, practice, and hospitalists. That's the good thing about medicine. As long as you keep learning, you actually get better the older you get. Not so true for other professionals (it's all downhill for models after age 17).

Honest, the Patient Was Dead When I Started My Shift

Yesterday's shift started with something straight out of CSI. I had barely finished taking report when a page came over the PA system "CRT 235". For those non-medicals reading this post, CRT 235 means anyone who is not already working on someone "GET IN HERE NOW!" I happened to have been working on someone at the time.

Nurses, doctors, RT's, LPN's, CNA's, a guy pushing a crash cart and even one of the janitors came racing down the hall past me and into the coding patient's room. I finished working on my patient and then ran to assist with the code. When I reached the room there must have been a dozen people working around the patient. Several nurses were taking turns leaning over the bed doing chest compressions and another was bagging the patient. I looked over and saw a nursing student in the corner with his eyes bugging out like that Guinea Pig, Bugsy, on Bedtime Stories. All I could think was "Welcome to the world of nursing!"

Once my initial adrenaline rush had subsided I looked down at the patient and noticed that she was already blue. The technical term is cyanotic. I also noticed that her arms and hands had already begun to stiffen. A sure sign that rigor mortis was setting in. But if that was the case, then the patient had to have been dead for awhile. Why wait so long to call in the code? duh...duh...duh...dum

The thought crossed my mind "What must that nursing student be thinking?" One week he's sitting in class learning about nursing. The next week he is finding out where he will be doing his clinical rotation. The next he is standing in a room full of people banging on a woman who has probably been dead for at least an hour and thinking "what kind of sick twisted people think this is a good idea for a job?"

When all of the commotion subsided and I was back on my rotation, I overheard the Charge Nurse say the patient had likely been dead for a couple of hours and that the morning shift nurse had called in the code. I also heard her say the night shift nurse had put on the patient's chart that the patient had been visited at the end of her shift. Either that is the fastest rigor mortis in the history of the world, or the night shift nurse is "mistaken" about when the patient was last visited, or the night shift nurse visited the patient and discovered she was dead but didn't bother telling anyone. Either way, tomorrow should be interesting.

Sleep well tonight my student nurse friend. Tomorrow will bring a new trauma all its own.

Travel Nurse Aim Ranked Among Top 100 Blogs for Nursing Students

There is nothing like a shout out from fellow nurses to make you feel appreciated. I would like to thank for ranking Travel Nurse Aim No. 78 among its "100 Best Blogs for Nursing Students." Check out the complete list of 100.

Also, if you haven't already seen them, take a look at these checklists before signing with an agency:

(1) Contract Items to consider;

(2) Housing Stipends;

(3) Benefits and Insurance; and

(4) Workplace Facilities.

Dr. Nancy Sharts-Hopko elected to educator commission

Nancy Sharts-Hopko, PhD, RN, FAAN, professor and director of the doctoral program of the Villanova University College of Nursing , has been elected to the National League for Nursing’s (NLN) Commission on Certification for a full, two-year term. The Commission sets policy related to the NLN's certification process for the designation of certified nurse educator (CNE).

The College’s doctoral program prepares teacher-scholars for careers in academic settings. “It has been important for me personally to be involved in this since I direct a doctoral program that prepares nurse educators. We have ensured that the coursework in this doctoral program is congruent with NLN competencies/ standards for nurse educators that the CNE certification documents,” notes Dr. Sharts-Hopko. Graduates of this program are eligible to take the certification examination once they have fulfilled the full-time teaching requirement, which some have already done as students.

Dr. Sharts-Hopko previously served through an appointment and for those six years worked with the NLN group to create and implement the CNE process, including the exam, and successfully endeavored to have the NLN accredited to offer the CNE designation. The CNE program was created to help direct nurse educators –already experienced clinicians— to develop themselves as educators, and to acknowledge that they have done so, either through graduate programs in nursing education or through continuing education and on-the-job development.

Dr. Sharts-Hopko’s election to the Commission was announced at the NLN’s Education Summit 2009 in Philadelphia on September 26.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

A $2.3 Billion Dollar Boo-Boo

Here's my hypothesis about Pharmaceutical Companies...

Clearly, there is a major discrepancy in their level of "ethical behavior" before they get FDA approval vs. after. Pfizer just had to pay out $2.3 Billion dollars for "mis-marketing" the painkiller Bextra... which seems pretty steep to me (although admittedly I don't know crap about pharmaceutical annual profits). This is a result of some scam they cooked up to market an approved drug in an unapproved way. Of course they knew they'd get fined... but I'm assuming they figured that their fines would be off-set by the amount of revenue they could generate from the mis-marketing before they got wrapped up in litigation... if that ever occurred. I guess Obama got 'em good this time.

Now I've spent the last 3 years working VERY closely with tons of pharmaceutical companies, including Hoffman La-Roche, Eisai, Solvay, AstraZeneca, Sucampo, Cardiokine, Osiris, Debiopharm, Sanofi-Adventis, Johnson & Johnson, Takeda, and others. These are all considered "top" pharm companies. In my experience on the research side, I have honestly and truthfully NEVER seen anything that I considered unethical or questionable behavior. In fact, I have seen numerous examples of "over-cautiousness" by the project team managers, medical directors, etc... to the point of annoyance. Meaning that they have made me obtain waivers, submit protocol violations, and drop patients off the study medication at the first sign of ANY side effect. Do you know that if your patient is enrolled in a pharmaceutical study for a GERD medication and they slice their finger accidentally while chopping tomatoes at home, that MUST be reported as an "adverse event". EVERY adverse event has to be submitted to the pharmaceutical company and the institution's IRB for review and approval. I've had to have "meetings" with top dogs in the pharm company because I had patients who forgot to fill out their medication diaries correctly, or because after page 17 the informed consent was signed in blue ink instead of black (the pen ran out of ink??), or because my patients threw their empty med bottles away instead of returning them for count verification.

Anyway, my point is that in the research phase pharmaceutical companies are hyper-diligent... but when it comes to the marketing phase they've somehow managed to throw their ethical behavior out the window. Which leads me to believe that they clearly know what they're doing from day one.... and that all their pretenses about "ethics" are just to get the damn FDA approval. Duh.

That being said... Pharmaceutical companies are, in fact, a business. And although unethical, drug-rep promotion of a drug is just that. DRUG-REP promotion. It is the PHYSICIAN'S job to look at a drug and say "hey this is approved by the FDA for condition X only. Maybe I should look into this a little more before I prescribe it for condition Y just because the drug-rep "unofficially" said it was ok". Everybody's looking for someone to blame.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

That's What I Get for saying H1N1 Schmen-1

For the past 7 days or so, I've been feeling kinda crappy. A revolving stomach flu that rears it's ugly head at unexpected and rather inconvenient times, and general nausea, headache, shortness of breath, and a smattering of occasional chills, sweating, or overall body ache. Also lots of fatigue. I walked up a couple flights of stairs yesterday and I thought I was going to DIE (not normal for me).

Since I certainly don't feel bad enough to stay home all the time, and hell no I don't want to stay in bed... I've just been going about my daily routine, going to school, lab, etc. Truthfully, I didn't think I could have H1N1 since my symptoms are so mild and I could never register a fever on a thermometer. I really couldn't justify staying home because I felt like "crap".

I had my seasonal flu shot weeks ago, so of course I've been worried about this being H1N1 in the back of my mind. Not because I feel THAT bad... because I really don't... but because there was a confirmed case in my class. Although I don't know the guy well, he is in my lab, AND I had my first brief conversation with him right before he was out sick.

But my boyfriend also is sick now (same set of symptoms)... and I'm starting to wonder?

Finally, I called the school health center... and they said "rapid onset" with cough. Which I didn't have. Great. Went back to school.

This morning I woke up with mild coughing with chest pain. Maybe I'm creating all this in my mind?

Any thoughts?

Friday, September 25, 2009

My Current Heartthrobs

My love affairs:
Emergency Medicine - we've have a long-term, ongoing, passion-filled affair for years. Still makes my pulse race like the first time we met. Every encounter is new and exciting, I'm never bored, and you don't expect much commitment.

On the Rocks:
Cardiology - we could have a good thing going, as I do think your anatomy is pretty hot... but you're just so inconsiderate with my time. I mean, I can't have a relationship where you expect me to just jump everytime you snap your fingers.

OB-GYN - we need to work on a few issues before we commit to each other. Namely, I'm not sure how I feel about vaginas being the last body part I'll ever see. I mean, how do you look at the vagina and say, "ok you're the one. I'm happy knowing that I'll never have to learn the intimate anatomy of another region of the human body". I'm just not ready to be tied down.

Anesthesia - I'm willing to go to couples therapy. Let's just take a break, give ourselves some space, and if it's meant to be it will happen.

Family Medicine - we are indeed oh-so compatible, yet I'm still waiting for the spark. We seem good from far, but far from good. We should work... but we don't.

Urology - sorry sweetheart, you lost me at kidney stones and foley catheters.

Geriatrics - my dear you never had a chance. I need a relationship that grows and improves over time.

Ophthalmology - It's me, not you.

Oh, Anesthesia...

How I wish you were for me... how I wish to love thee... but I don't.

Today I went to the anesthesia interest group meeting just to see what it's all about. I'm not going lie... I really wanted to fall in love with it. It seems like such a lovely life. Besides getting to play lots of sudoku, you really do get a wonderful schedule.. thus a wonderful home life. But truthfully, I just don't GET anesthesia. All this work in med school for basically no patient contact. Well, no conscious patient contact anyways. And you have to fight with surgeons. Gah!!!! I'm officially keeping my mind open... but anesthesia is plummeting on my list.

I Think I've Been Outed??

Well, I don't have direct confirmation yet, but I think I've been outed. At the very least, a group of my classmates has figured out that Ella is a classmate of theirs... and that she has a blog. Apparently, someone was googling our "fear essay" assignment and found me. I'm not sure what non-honor-code-breaking reason anyone would have for googling our essay assignment...but regardless, they found me. I'm ok with that.

So here's to my classmates:

A group of people who I must say I am rather proud to be associated with. Thus far I can honestly say that every single person that I've had a conversation with I truly have found to be incredibly intelligent, experienced, and a very dedicated student. As for a few others (maybe like 3)... the jury is still out... and I'm just going to call it a bad first impression. So to everyone overall.. I think it will be a great 4 years and I hope I'll get to know each of you better.

Here's a quick list of what we (the Class of 2013) do well:

1. Anatomy exams - apparently the class has the highest average score since 1959 or something like that. (I only heard that from the professor, no I wasn't actually present in 1959)

2. Clapping anytime any speaker pauses... regardless of whether it was just for emphasis, a sneeze, a cockroach running across stage, or actually an expectant pause for applause

3. Somebody almost always sacs up and musters at least one question for important guest speakers... even when the lecture sucked or if it's Friday afternoon and everyone is dying to escape. That's just good form, I think... plus it makes us all look interested and intelligent.

4. Pretending to be coherent and alert, even when there is clear evidence of a massive (and rather foul smelling) hangover. Even today, someone in lab doused themselves in copious amounts of cologne in an attempt (albeit unsuccessful) to mask the stench of alcohol. Good work.

Ok, that's it for now. And to those of you who've discovered me... I'm glad you're reading my blog. I do hope that regardless of whether you actually know my identity or not, you will maintain my anonymity online.

The impact of a nurse-managed clinic

Congratulations to Maryanne Lieb (MSN alumna and coordinator of our accelerated BSN program) and Theresa Berkman (RN to BSN alumna and adjunct faculty) who were mentioned in this Catholic Standard and Times article about the St. Agnes Nurses Clinic in West Chester, Pa. which Maryanne founded.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Travel Nurse Aim's Reader Seeks Tax Advice

I recently received an e-mail from a travel nurse reader with the following income tax question:


I have been a travel nurse in CA for 6 years. I am currently in the Sacramento area and have been at the same hospital since 01/08. Now, at eleven months I take 30 days off, then return.The hospital I work at continues to renew my contract and my employer continues to give me the full stipend in my check every week. How long can I remain in the same situation and stay within requirements set by the IRS? I have read the IRS publications but can not find anything to address my situation.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated,

[Name Redacted]"

Can Anyone Answer this Question?
Dear Reader,

I do not know the answer to your question as I have never been a travel nurse at the same location for more than 9 months. Can anyone answer the reader's question? If so, please post the answer as a comment to this post or e-mail me and I will pass it on to the reader.


Travel Nurse Aim

Pretty Funny Actually!

While watching a video on laparoscopic gallbladder removal, the surgeon says "I bet you're wondering how to tell the difference between the cystic duct and the cystic artery in this big mess. Well, let me tell you, I'm wondering that inside my head right now!"

Philly Mayor Nutter loves nurses

At the opening of the NLN Education Summit, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter addressed the educators from North America describing the concentration of health care in the city. "Philadelphia appreciates nurses," he said, further noting the contributions of nurse practitioners as key providers in the city. Mayor Nutter discussed patients being told they will have to wait to see their doctor though being relieved to hear "the nurse will see you now." This generated vigorous applause from the audience.

Nurse Practitioner Jobs ARNP Jobs 9/24

Nurse Practitioner Jobs, Physician Assistant jobs, ARNP jobs, NP jobs, Nurse Practitioner Resumes, Nurse Jobs, Physician Jobs, CRNA jobs, Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner Jobs,Advanced Practice Provider,Advanced Practice Clinician,




Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Florida Health Care Insurance Plans: A Brief Overview

By: Article Manager

Accidents and injuries are closely associated with human life. No one can escape from it, but anyone with effective and careful planning can reduce medical and hospital bills up to a considerable level. Importance of health insurance is not realized till the moment anyone has met with unforeseen and unexpected incidents. However, it is always beneficial to follow pragmatic approach regarding health matters. With Florida health care insurance plans, one can easily get relief from his entire medical and hospital bill's trauma.

Florida health care insurance plans offer some of the best and the most suitable health care insurance plans for an individual, family, students, employees etc. These health plans are design in such a manner that they are able to provide complete protection from various diseases, illness, etc. Some of the well known health care insurance plans of Florida are assorted below-

Florida temporary health care insurance plan- This plan is short-term plan which provides health coverage for a period of one month to one year. People who are below 65 years of age can avail this plan irrespective of their health conditions. This health care plan of Florida is the best for office employees and students and can be availed at cost-effective prices.

Florida Individual Health care insurance plan- Health Maintenance Organization (HMO), a Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) and a Point of Service (POS) are some of the most popular and least expensive individual health care insurance plans of Florida. These are managed health care plans and provide coverage from hospital expenses, doctor's bill etc.

Florida health care insurance plan for small business- In Florida, this plan be availed by those companies who fall under the category of small business. Any business involving minimum 2 and maximum 50 full time employees and its employees put at least 30 hours per week at work is advised to get this insurance if not covered by any other insurance. However, minimum75% of employees should participate in a group insurance plan is a requisite condition for availing this insurance policy.

However, with the availability of numerous insurance companies, service providers and local agents, availing the best health care insurance plans in Florida can never be a daunting task. By searching over the internet, you can come across numerous websites that are online providing low cost and affordable Florida health care insurance plans.

About the Author is an emerging Nationwide Insurance Agency based in Houston and Texas which provides Florida Health Care Insurance Plans to the customers. We intend to provide the most affordable Family Healthcare Plans Florida and other insurance plans with all information.

(ArticlesBase SC #783543)

Article Source: - Florida Health Care Insurance Plans: A Brief Overview

An Embarrassing Tale

This is another story about Dr. S from our foundations course. Every few weeks we have to to a group based learning session, where we sit in tables and discuss scenarios as a small group, then we use microphones placed at each table to discuss the same material as a larger group.

In this particular story, we were supposed to be silently taking a quiz, but some table left their microphone on and the rustling of papers and breathing was annoying the whole class while we were trying to concentrate. I am one of those people who gets highly distracted by background noise, so I semi-stood up and asked everybody to please check to make sure their microphones were off. The noise still continued, and after a few seconds I figured out what happened.

Everyone watched me as I jumped up from my seat and ran towards the bathroom as fast as I could, but I didn't make it in time. By the time I got to the back of the auditorium, the whole class heard the WHOOOSH of the toilet and was laughing uncontrollably. Oh, god!! I ran as fast as I could before it got worse... and I made it to the bathroom door just in time to whisper "Dr. S!!! You're microphone is on!!"

Good thing she's not easily embarrassed and has a great sense of humor!! Moral of the story? Turn off your mic before going potty!"

Some Funny Things Professors Say

So far I've heard some funny ones. I'll add to the list as we go... but here's a couple to start...

German microbio prof that sounds exactly like Julia Child (seriously): "So this infection tends to cause problems in menstruating women, but not in, you know, NORMAL people. Oh dear, I shouldn't have said that, should I?"

famous pulm prof says... "Wow! Your next exam is cardio AND pulmonary? Well, that would tap about 90% of all the knowledge I have. The other 10% is just some worthless sports trivia and tips on how to find naughty websites"

DISEASE is when your "ease" gets "dissed"! Path Prof

Nutty Neuro Prof "The basal ganglia is kind of like the deans office of the brain. It takes up a whole lot of space, but nobody is really sure what the hell it actually accomplishes."

Neuro Prof: "You know what the difference is between a large pizza and a neurologist? A large pizza can feed a family of 4"

"Remember, statistics is that wonderful mathematic discipline that can prove to you, unequivocally, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the average human being has one breast and one testicle." Dr. A

Famous Pulmonary Phys. Prof:

" 'Intuitively Obvious' is a mathematical term that means 'I can't explain this'. I guess I shouldn't use that term... we don't want any hard core med students going home and committing suicide because they don't find the concept intuitively obvious"

Anatomy Course Director:

"Trust me. I'm a doctor"

From a pediatrician in genetics class:
"The two words that frighten pediatricians the most are "pubic" and "hair". Yuck!"

Physiology Professor pointing to the sigmoidoscope: "Back in my day we called this the silver stallion... well, not in polite company of course"

In Genetics class "So we all know there are liars, non-liars, and statisticians...."

A girl is talking loudly to her lab partners during anatomy lab about how she wants to date a man from every country... and on and on about how she just LOVES men from other countries, with accents, etc. Dr. L pops his head into the conversation and says "Buenos Dias" with a ridiculous latin accent. She wasn't amused, but everyone else was.

Dr X in anatomy review (the day before our biochem exam... everyone is pretty much a zombie)... "Ok, so here we're looking at the stomach... which would be in... " pauses for effect, looks expectantly at the class, gets no answer, shakes his head.... "THE ABDOMEN! Oh, boy"

Dr. L in Anatomy "Your mother may have told you that you shouldn't say words like clitoris, penis, anus, vagina, or orgasm. Well, I'm your mother now.... and I say we're using those words!!!"

Dr. L in anatomy class "and as we all know, some men have longer ureters than others"

Dr. G in foundations "Soda is the devil's urine. Stop drinking it... and don't switch to diet.... that's for pussys"

Dr. C in biochem after explaining highly dense metabolic pathways "try not to memorize this" complete with heavy Chinese accent. No problem! I can "not" memorize anything!

Dr. T in nutrition after being asked how he tells patients they are overweight "I say, YOU'RE FAT!! No really, I do"

Dr. K (a retired, 60+ year old surgeon) in anatomy while referring to a Netter plate with a chiseled male abdomen with a 6-pack "and this is a picture of me last year"

Dr. L (another 60+ retired surgeon) in anatomy after Dr. K's lecture "and here is a drawing of Dr. K's backside" referring to a Netter picture that was clearly a woman's very sculpted tush.

Dr. S in foundations talking about ways med students can relieve stress "SEX! Yes! Sex! and if you're thinking... well Dr. S that would be nice but I'm single... you know this IS something you can do about that!" I personally think Dr. S might be a little over board on this one. She was really excited... and the med students were a little unnerved I think.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Promoting Dignity Through Volunteerism

On Monday, October 5th at 7:30pm in the Driscoll Hall Auditorium, join the Nursing faculty panel for a discussion of how they integrate their clinical expertise to uphold and promote the dignity of the individuals and groups with which they volunteer. Speakers include Patricia Bradley, PhD, RN (who volunteers to support African American women with breast cancer), Barbara Ott, PhD, RN (who volunteers to assist those in the midst of ethical issues related to their health) and Elise Pizzi, MSN, CRNP (who volunteers to care for underserved immigrant populations in a Philadelphia clinic). This lecture is part of the College's 15th Annual Health & Human Values Lecture Series.

Audience captivated by OVC lecture

Great to hear from Dr. Leonardo Shamamba last night about the efforts of Catholic Relief Services (CRS) in Haiti to help people living with HIV/AIDS and orphans and vulnerable children (OVC). The CRS model is very much a nursing model in its holistic approach integrating individuals, families and communities while addressing issues like health, nutrition, education, finances and self-esteem. Packed auditorium audience was very appreciative. So many opportuntiites to help there. Thanks to CRS!

Nurse Practitioner Jobs ARNP Jobs 9/22

Nurse Practitioner Jobs, Physician Assistant jobs, ARNP jobs, NP jobs, Nurse Practitioner Resumes, Nurse Jobs, Physician Jobs, CRNA jobs, Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner Jobs,Advanced Practice Provider,Advanced Practice Clinician,




Monday, September 21, 2009

Be a Villanova Nurse: Undergraduate Open House for High School Students

Do you know someone who wants to be a Villanova Nurse? Have them start by visiting our website and learning more about us, then register for our October 4th Open House by following links here: It's a great opportunity to meet faculty and hear the real-life experiences of our students!

Preteens and online Internet risk behaviors

Risks in the middle school years have moved beyond sneaking cigarettes. As part of a research team funded by the Department of Justice, Dr. Elizabeth Dowdell, associate professor of Nursing at Villanova, studies risky Internet behaviors of middle schoolers. In her study of 404 students, 59 had communication with a stranger, some with online conversations, gifts or meetings. Dr. Dowdell says prevention efforts should include programs in the curriculum that teach refusal skills in online situations. Parents should keep computers in a public space at home and discuss with children the dangers of posting online personal data.

Saturday, September 19, 2009


One of my professors asked us to write a short reflection on what our biggest fear was about becoming a physician. Just for grins, I decided to post it.

Fear Essay

While sorting through my mental database of fears about being a doctor, I am finding it difficult to select just one, most prominent fear. Possibly that I’m too old for this? That I wasted all of my “young” years enduring pre-med classes, the MCAT, post-bacc, and the emotional roller coaster of applying more than once to medical school? That I’m so heavily immersed in educational debt that I’ve inadvertently tied myself down while paradoxically trying to do the exact opposite? Or perhaps that regardless of how much I love medicine, I will later find out that I missed my true calling as a UFO-ologist or a flying trapeze artist? No, I’m pretty sure it’s not one of these.

Truthfully, most of these fears are just little bubbles in a blue sea of overwhelming happiness, gratitude, and excitement that I feel whenever I take a moment to verify that I’m actually in med school and I’m going to be a doctor. Being a “pre-med” and stressing about “if I’ll ever make it” has been such an integral part of my identity for so long that I have to continuously remind myself that I’m here. And cliché as it may seem, every morning I am so thankful to simply sit in class and finally learn material that I love that I can barely contain myself. I always knew that if I could just get there, I would be the happiest medical student in the world. And I am.

As a result of this blissful happiness, I really haven’t made much time to focus on the fears that I have about becoming a physician. Imminent fears about medical school are abundant (passing my classes, socializing with much younger students, adjusting to my limited income, and securing a residency)… but my fears about actually being a physician are pretty limited. I believe that I have the resourcefulness, the curiosity, the character, the people skills, the tenacity, the decisiveness, and the intellect to be an excellent physician. I think I’ll be able to handle death, telling patients dismal news, long hours, hospital politics, tough ethical decisions, yada yada.

I suppose my biggest fear revolves around the order of my priorities, and how they may change in the next 10 years. I am, and always have been, a woman that defines success differently than most women I know. Many of my girlfriends would say that success and happiness for them involves being in love, having children and a wonderful family, being financially secure, and having a beautiful home. Of course they also place emphasis on their education, career goals, and hobbies… but if forced to choose they would certainly sacrifice portions of the latter for the former. These women I speak of are not uneducated women, nor are they simply housewives… but they derive happiness from achieving their goals of falling in love and having a family.

If I could draw a picture of what I hope my life is like in 10 or 20 years, I think it would look very different. Happiness for me is being a physician, living in a small home, traveling the world, photography and journalism, enjoying the companionship of friends and family, working on humanitarian missions, learning languages, having a peaceful and harmonic life, meditating, having a garden, living in a multitude of cities, etc. Of course love is important as are children, but to me these have never been priorities. I appreciate love when it comes my way, and companionship is wonderful, but I would not be willing to sacrifice the other things that make me happy. I’m over 30 and I don’t particularly want children. I have a wonderful long-term boyfriend, and I still don’t see myself as a mother or a wife.

My fear is that my priorities are screwed up… and by the time they change (if they do at all) it will be too late or not possible. If I suddenly decide that I want children, I may be too heavily invested in my career to switch to motherhood. Or perhaps the desire doesn’t manifest for another 12 years… and by then it may not be possible at all considering my age. I know that I’ll love being a physician, but I don’t know if I will love balancing a career as a physician with being a mother. I don’t know if I’ll even be able to handle the demands of both roles.

I have many friends who are parents as well as professionals, and observing the chaos in their lives only reinforces my feelings and validates my fears. Every woman physician I know who has children falls into one of two categories 1) They have a very hard time balancing their career with motherhood without help, and they usually end up feeling huge amounts of guilt for spending so much time away from their children or 2) They didn’t even want children to begin with, but did it because it is society’s measure of success. When I examine their relationships with their children, it doesn’t seem like anything I envy or would want for myself.

Over recent years I have certainly thought about this issue quite a bit, and my conclusion is that there is nothing I can do to address the issue except to simply not worry about it and let life unfold as it will. Maybe one day my biological clock will click, and having children will be worth all the chaos. Whether I’m young, in a relationship, adopting a child, freezing embryos, a single mom, 35 or 65, I assume that if and when I’m faced with these decisions I’ll make the choice correct for me, and until then… che sera, sera.


I just found out about the omentum. This is the one thing in the human body I was not expecting... as I had missed the Oprah show where Dr. Oz clued in the rest of the world. Can you say GROSS??? Basically its a curtain of fat and fascia that hangs like a big apron over your stomach and intestines... protecting all of your abdominal cavity from trauma (since it's not protected by ribs). Folks, this was the first day I was disgusted to be human. Lets just say that the one Dr. Oz is holding up doesn't do it justice. Basically, imagine an afghan made out of "fat" yarn. With blobs. I just wanted to take the scalpel to myself! Best diet ever? Anatomy lab, abdominal cavity dissection. Oh, it was so so so wrong.

Friday, September 18, 2009

ACNM Invited to First Lady's Health Care Reform Discussion

This morning, ACNM Executive Director Lorrie Kaplan attended a White House event hosted by First Lady Michelle Obama designed to call attention to the deficiencies in our current health care system for women and their families.“Women are being crushed by the current structure of health care,” said Obama. “If you're not experiencing it yourself, you know someone who is. This is why we are fighting

Annie Le

I have to say that I've been following the Annie Le story from Yale very closely. It really breaks my heart.

If you haven't seen it in the news, Annie Le was a yale PhD student in the Department of Pharmacology who was murdered in her research building. About 2 weeks ago, video surveillance captured her entering her lab around 10:00 am on a Tuesday morning, but she never left the building. Cadaver dogs found her body last Sunday between a wall space in the basement of the same building. Tragically, Sunday was also the day she was to be married to her college boyfriend. An arrest has been made in the case, as DNA evidence places Raymond Clark III, a lab tech/custodian at the crime scene. No motive has been announced... but there's been a lot of speculation. Possibly they had an affair, possibly he stalked her, possibly it was work related issues, etc. Most recent news has centered around the possibility that Raymond Clark III murdered her over animal rights issues. Who knows?

Besides the fact that this is a huge tragedy, I am also bothered by the idea of someone possibly stalking or attacking her at work. Maybe this hits a little too close to home. Because you never know. When is weird a little too weird? How do you draw the line between "this guy is a little off" and "this guy could go postal any day"? I guess I always error on the side of giving people the benefit of the doubt... but looking back I can see a few times, one in particular, that giving the benfit of the doubt could have gone very wrong.

A few years ago while working in the same med school that I now attend, I had some unpleasant encounters with a maintenance man who worked in the building. I'm not sure of his exact age, but I'm sure he's past 40, and I was 28 at the time. My relationship with him never progressed past "Hi David. How are you? I was wondering if you know when I'll get the heat turned on in my office?" or maybe in the elevator "Hi David, headed home? Well, have a nice weekend with your family." I swear, nothing more. Somehow he turned it into more. The first instance happened in November when I was sitting working at my desk with the door open. He passed by casually and said "Hey, I bought a bunch of these boxes of chocolate almonds from my nephew for his basketball team... so I'm giving them away. Want one?" I innocently and stupidly said yes, took the candy and thanked him. That was the end of the conversation, and he left.

Several days later, he stopped by with another box of candy and said that he brought it for me. I thought that was a little odd (but not really), so I just said "Oh, thanks for thinking of me... but I just ate." I didn't want to get all bent out of shape over someone bringing me candy... maybe he's just being a nice guy, right? The next day I unlocked my office and I noticed that the candy was on my desk. I guessed he snuck it in when I wasn't looking the previous day. I planned to give it back to him as soon as I saw him, but I didn't see him for a week or so... and I subsequently forgot about it.

When I finally did see him, he stopped by my office to say hi. He kind of stood in the door but didn't say a whole lot. He said he'd been sick. At this I felt my compassionate gene kick in, and I asked if he was ok... as I hadn't seen him around in a few weeks. He then started muttering about how he has problems with his eyes... and how when he opens them all he can see is ME! His word were "all I can see is you, baby". Ok, so they guy has a crush on me. Do I ream him openly, accuse him of sexual harassment, and tell him to go crawl back under the rock he came from. I didn't. I always try to give people a graceful way to get out of situations. At least the first time. So I said "Very funny, David! I thought you were serious there for a second. I was worried you were sick! Ok, well, my boyfriend is waiting for me downstairs so I have to go." My theory is that any decent man who likes you will immediately stop his advances if you drop the boyfriend or husband word... so that's what I did.

It didn't work. The week before Christmas vacation I came to my office one morning and I found candy, a stuffed animal, and a card in my office. He had been in my office, which was locked. He had a key to my office! Well, of course he does, he's the maintenance guy. I did not know what to do. I was totally creeped out. I threw the items away. Again, I didn't want to make a huge deal out of the situation... because I knew I would have to work with the guy and possibly go to med school here... so I didn't want to make waves, and I certainly didn't want to be the girl that called sexual harassment. I tracked him down and told him that he couldn't come into my office unless it was for work related reasons, because I keep pharmaceutical drug in my office and I could get in trouble if there was any unauthorized access. It sounded lame, but I would have done anything NOT to have to take this to higher authorities. He kinda blew off my request with a "oh, sure no problem" attitude... which threw me off... thinking again that I was blowing this out of proportion.

In between these specific situations there were lots of little things as well that started adding up... and made me hyper-aware of him... and everything he did. I started ignoring him completely and giving him the stink eye just to make sure I wasn't encouraging him in any way.

The last incident was bad. I lived about three miles from campus, and I head out to work around 7:40 am. I pulled out of my driveway, headed down the block, and stopped at the first stop light. I looked over my passenger window and saw him. In a school van, next to me at the stop-light. I must have given him the look of death and shook my head, because he looked away nervously. I was not playing around now. Was this a coincidence? Not possible. Or was it? Don't know. Won't know I suppose. I couldn't find him or his supervisor that day, otherwise I surely would have caused some commotion. I calmed down over subsequent days, and after that he just stopped bothering me. Completely. I never even saw him on my floor. I never really told anyone except for a couple women I worked with... and they were sufficiently freaked out as well.

Now 2 years later, I actually still see him occasionally, passing in the hall... to which I will acknowledge him with a nod but I don't smile. It was (and still is) so wierd. Even now, as I type this... I read it once and think "holy shit girl, you had a stalker and did nothing about it". Then I'll read it again and think "Eh, big deal, he liked you and he got over it."

H1N1 Schmen-one

Today in anatomy lab our course director entered the room looking solemn, and holding a box. "Just so you know, someone in this lab group has a confirmed case of H1N1". He then tosses us a box of masks, and says "So if you're concerned, here you go".

Then one of my lab partners said that he got the H1N1 vaccine. I was like "um, no you didn't. it dosen't come out for a few weeks". Adamantly, he told me that the school nurse told him that his seasonal flu shot included H1N1.

I started to question myself, because I know this guy to be pretty on top of things... so I went home to look it up. Sure enough, the H1N1 vaccine just got FDA approval this week, and it isn't expected to be on the market until mid-October. This scenario really ticked me off, though. If nurses in a damn good MED SCHOOL are telling students they are covered for H1N1, then who knows what the average Joe has been told.

The straight dope is this.... (by the way, I really like this phrase and I'll throw it in whenever I can)...

There is always a seasonal vaccine for the common annual flu that goes around. Thats your normal "flu shot". That is totally different than the H1N1 vaccine, which is developed specifically for the H1N1 strain. If you want to be protected against the common flu as well as H1N1, you'll have to get both shots. The common flu shot is available now... but you'll have to wait until October for the H1N1 vaccine.

As a sidenote... my opinion is that you should never be the first one to rush out and get a new vaccine (or medication for that matter). Clinical trials are great and dandy, and are highly regulated... but with government politics, mass media coverage, and H1N1 hype you don't know the type of pressure that vaccine developers are under to meet deadlines, etc. If you really want it, wait a few weeks to make sure they've worked out any kinks. I'm just saying.... as someone who's done a lot of clinical trials and participated in vaccine development, that's my opinion... take or leave it.

Orphaned and Vulnerable Children in Haiti

The College of Nursing kicks off its 15th Annual Health & Human Values Lecture series on Monday with Improving Quality of Life for Orphans and Vulnerable Children in Haiti. See you at 7:30pm in the Driscoll Hall Auditorium to to hear Dr. Leonardo Shamamba talk about his work as an HIV/AIDS outreach coordinator and caring for the children affected in Haiti.

See more at

Thursday, September 17, 2009

They Don't Teach THAT in Med School

Wow! So I just got back from visiting Leslie. She invited me to the rehab center for a talk on addiction by a local physician. It was great to see her again and she's looking happy and lovely. The talk was designed for family members of rehab participants... so it wasn't heavy on the nuances of the biological and physiological components of addiction... which was fine by me as I get plenty of that in med school.

Anyway, it was great. Essentially it was explaining to the layperson that addiction has a genetic component... and how the cycle of addiction begins and is propagated. Basically, here's the straight dope (hmm... maybe bad choice of words)...

So a "normal person" is defined as a person without the genes that pre-dispose them to addiction. Addiction can be anything I assume... gambling, food, etc. but for our purposes we are talking about drugs and alcohol of any kind. When a "normal" person uses a drug or alcohol, they experience the same sort of stupidity that anyone experiences while intoxicated. They'll experience a lack of accurate perception and lack the ability to make sound judgements. They also will feel a lack of inhibition, which feels really good and can be a lot of fun. They may drink occasionally or routinely... as frequency of intoxication is really not part of what defines addiction. When intoxication causes a normal person to experience adverse affects (like hangovers, acting like a fool, making bad decisions, getting a DUI, etc.), they will give up the drug or alcohol... because their perception is that the drug is not worth experiencing the adverse events.

When someone predisposed to addiction uses a drug or alcohol, they experience all the same stupidities and lack of judgement as the normal person described above... except one thing is very different. That is that alcohol doesn't just make them lose inhibition and they feel good and have a lot of fun. When this person uses drugs or alcohol they feel like Superman. or 10 feet tall and bullet-proof as the speaker said. Normal people feel good, but not this good. There has been research that shows a four fold increase in dopamine levels in those who are genetically predisposed to addiction when intoxicated as compared to "normal" people when intoxicated. So when this person drinks or uses, they do feel like Superman. And when adverse events start happening as a result of intoxication, they refuse to quit because feeling like Superman is THAT GOOD. Feeling that good leads to continuous use, which eventually leads to tolerance. Once their body is tolerant to a drug or alcohol, it starts to take more and more of that drug to experience the same feelings. Eventually, they're getting intoxicated not so they can feel like Superman anymore... but just so they can feel normal.

Now they are in a cycle in which they must protect their decision to drink, and therefore begin denying that they are making bad choices. The speaker discussed that denial is essentially the mechanism which propagates addiction... because it allows you to put your locus of control far outside yourself and you are able to blame others and circumstances for all that is going wrong. Drugs and alcohol skew one's perception so much that they can actually convince themselves that they ARE making correct decisions... and bad things keep happening to them.

Of course I've heard much of this before, presented in statistics and pretty bar graphs... but it felt quite different hearing it in plain English in a room full of recovering addicts and their families.

Um, ignore all that...

In my experiences as both a pre-med and now as a medical student... I've been inundated with advice on how things MUST be done... Here's a short list of some of the things I can remember....

1. You can't study at home
2. You shouldn't study in bed
3. You have to finish all your pre-med classes before taking the MCAT
4. You shouldn't contact the admissions office to make yourself more visible
5. You should attend EVERY class lecture
6. You have to get at least a 30 on the MCAT
7. Caribbean schools are less prestigious and you can't get a decent residency
8. You should get only science professors to write your letter of recommendation
9. You have to have A's in your pre-med classes
10. You have to have "volunteer" hours or "community service" in order to be accepted to med school
11. You have to study in groups
12. You should take an MCAT prep course
13. You should get a Master's instead of completing a post-bacc pre-med program
14. Research is useless unless you are published
15. You should write "thank you " notes to your interviewers
16. Only wear dark conservative outfits during interviews
17. Buy all the books
18. Buy none of the books
19. Study 2 hours a day
20. Study 4 hours a day

So these are just a few of the billion things I was told. But my point is not to pass this "glorious" list of advice onto you for your use. My point is that it's all bunk. The fact is that there is no "recipe" for getting into med school or for being a success once you get there. Otherwise... everyone would get into med school and everyone would be the perfect student, right? And we all clearly know that acceptance of anyone candidate and success in med school is highly unpredictable. I'm sure everyone knows someone with a 40 MCAT that was rejected by every school (I do!), and people with horrendous scores who made it solely based on connections. And there are people in med school who study every day and fail tests... and people who cram for exams and pass. So there is NO RECIPE!!! The point is that your overall package has to convey that you are mature, capable, and a good learner. Once in med school, you have to find what works for YOU.

However, I do believe there are a few things that you MUST do (or not do)... and here they are.

This is my "success" recipe...

For Pre-Med:
1. Make yourself unique, and then show who you are to the admissions committee. You don't have to have a perfect set of credentials... but you MUST show that you will be an asset to their med school and that you are capable. So if your undergrad or pre-med grades are crappy... SHOW them SOMEHOW that you can do the work. That might mean showing that you can run with the big dogs by designing and implementing your own research project and getting published in a prestigious journal.... or maybe that you've taught pre-med material (as a tutor, etc.) or maybe you've rocked the MCAT. If you don't have even one official volunteer hour to speak of, show them that your last job was working for a non-profit agency where you were highly invested in the community.

Med schools are looking for a well-rounded, interesting, valuable package with high potential for success in med school. If you can show that you can do the academic work, that you have a commitment to healthcare and humanity as a whole, that you socialize and learn well with other people, that you are interested in expanding your own horizons while contributing to the education of your classmates, and that you don't have 2 heads.... you're golden. Who cares if you didn't volunteer in the oncology ward for at least 300 hours?

For Med School:

1. Do not procrastinate. No matter how you decide to study, when, or with whatever frequency... do not be a procrastinator. You can get away with it in pre-med... but it won't work in med school. Plus, life is so much nicer without that stress.

For Pre-Med, Med School, and Life in General:

1. Be humble in all that you do. In other words, check your ego. No matter how smart you think you are, there will ALWAYS be someone smarter with a bigger ego. If you approach everything in life with humility, you will go so much further, and you won't risk losing everything because of your ego once you are there. It really is true that the more you learn, the more you realize that you don't know anything... so I would suggest that if you constantly have that feeling that you know everything, you might want to work on that before med school. Because at this stage of the game, everyone is relatively intelligent. You didn't get to med school or through your pre-med classes because you weren't bright. What separates people at this level of education is attitude, and how your interactions with other people facilitate your advancement.

2. Know that you aren't growing as a person unless you push your comfort zone and unless you fail. If you are overwhelmed with material that you are studying, that's good. You're actually learning something new. If you're nervous because you don't know if you can handle the pressure of dealing with life and death situations, perfect. You're pushing your own boundaries, acquiring new skills, and becoming a stronger person. I look back at my post around my second week of med school (where I was panicking)... and I know that was one of these times. I was so out of my comfort zone it was ridiculous. I passed it, and here I am still in med school. If I'd have refused to experience that, I would have dropped out the second week.

If you're always comfortable and you never fail, then you haven't "tapped out" (as I use to tell my students)... meaning that you haven't reached your full potential in that situation. The example I used to give was about applying to colleges out of high school. If you apply to 10 middle tier schools and are accepted to all 10, have you reached your full potential? Certainly not. You'll never know because you didn't tap out, you didn't fail at anything, and you didn't push your limits. If you apply to 10 schools (7 middle tier and 3 top tier), and are only accepted to the 7 middle tier schools, did you reach your full potential? Yes, at this stage in your life. You TRIED your best, tapped out, and are going to a middle tier school because at this point in life that is the best you could do.

My point? Get out of your comfort zone, or you'll be a stale cookie.

3. View difficult people as a challenge. A challenge to get them to like you. I decided to do this with Dr. Kovec. And it's been what, a week now... and he's already called me "smart girl" a couple of times. It's having those difficult people on your side which can really save your ass sometimes.

Ok, that's all for now...

Vickie's Research Corner

View my guestbookCan you believe it? Fall is here and the weather is changing. Things at St. Joseph are changing just like the seasons and the new buzz word is Evidence-Based Practice (EBP). As we continue in our journey as a Magnet organization, EBP is pushing its way into the practice of nurses throughout the hospital. Over the past year I have begun to introduce you to our new Clinical Nurse EBP Experts. These are Clinical Nurse III/IV nurses who took an intensive 4 day class to become more familiar with EBP and how this impacts their practice as well as yours. This issue I would like to introduce you to Rashna Thakur and Ellen Gruwell.
Rashna is Clinical Nurse III and works in the Pediatric Renal Center. She has been at this hospital since 1996. She became a Clin III 2 years ago. When asked why she wanted to become an EBP expert she responded that she had no clue what a Clinical Nurse EBP Expert initially was and was encouraged by Ann Marie Keefer-Lynch to apply for the program. Initially when taking the course she felt a rookie in the crowd because everyone else knew about EBP. After taking the course she realized that EBP was great. Knowledge was eye opening! She learned what EBP is and who does it. She now understands how to look for research and apply EBP at the bedside. Rashna feels much more aware of evidence and how we use it. She now makes changes in her practice based on evidence, not tradition.
Taking the class encouraged her to accomplish several goals. Now nurses are cross-training from primarily pediatrics to adults and she helped create the new policy based on EBP. She was able to take what she learned and put it into practice. Rashna was no longer the rookie in the crowd who didn’t understand EBP!
Our second Clinical Expert is Ellen Gruwell. She has been a nurse in the St. Joseph Health system since 1981. Initially she worked for St. Jude and then in 1987 came to SJH. Currently she works in Labor and Delivery as a Clinical Nurse III. Ellen felt that her masters program at California State University Fullerton and meeting Dana Rutledge made the biggest difference in her life for wanting to learn more about EBP and Research, so she decided to become a Clinical Expert.
For Ellen, she learned that there is a lot of buy in for EBP from nursing. It seems that since she has become an expert she is getting the “lingo” out there and the nurses are starting to change their practice and base their decisions on EBP. Her own practice has changed significantly because she is now more excited about potential research that can be done in Women’s Health Services. She feels nursing is a science and needs to be based in science!
She is now looking at car seats a late preterm infant safety when they go home. She is also interested in identifying how nurses cope in labor and delivery.
Both nurses were from very different areas but both were changed by the world of evidence-based practice and both are changing practice at the bedside!

Nurse Practitioner Jobs ARNP Jobs 9/17

Nurse Practitioner Jobs, Physician Assistant jobs, ARNP jobs, NP jobs, Nurse Practitioner Resumes, Nurse Jobs, Physician Jobs, CRNA jobs, Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner Jobs,Advanced Practice Provider,Advanced Practice Clinician,




New funding source options available to nursing education students in College of Nursing

The College of Nursing has long been educating the educators of the profession. In recent years, with the critical national faculty shortage, the College has expanded and enhanced offerings at the master’s, post-master’s, doctoral and continuing education levels to meet the needs of nurse educators and students. The College has also targeted obtaining funding for students who are U.S. citizens and wish to earn a degree in nursing education and then teach in an accredited nursing program in the United States.

Complementing other loan forgiveness programs from which its nursing education students have benefited, the College has recently obtained $130,000 from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 for students studying nursing education at the master’s level. This resource for students is in addition to other federal loan forgiveness funds totaling $389,000 obtained from the Nurse Faculty Loan Program in June. Students in the master’s or doctoral programs studying nursing education may use these funds for tuition, fees, books and supplies—easing the financial burden of advanced education.

For more information on the master’s/post-master’s program visit
and for the doctoral program, visit

Blood drive sponsored by the College of Nursing's Undergraduate Nursing Senate

Recycle yourself! Give blood.
Tuesday, September 29
10am to 4pm
Dougherty Hall-West Lounge
Appointments preferred (sign up at and enter sponsor #2031)

For 25 years, the Undergraduate Nursing Senate has been sponsoring blood drives on campus with the American Red Cross. That's a lot of lives saved by the Villanova community.

What happens to your blood? Blood may be used for whole blood tranfusions or it is separated into its components including red blood cells, plasma, platelets, and cryoprecipatitated AHF (antihemophilic factor). Each component can be transfused to different individuals with different needs. Therefore, each donation can be used to help save as many as three lives.

Who are you helping? Premature infants in NICUs, babies having open heart surgery, people with hemophilia, and trauma, cancer and burn patients among countless others.

You can help three people and give hope to their families and friends by being there September 29th!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Our Magnet Journey to Redesignation

The Magnet Recognition Program is the nation’s highest honor for nursing and recognizes excellence in Leadership, Practice, and Patient Outcomes. This prestigious award is administered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), who provides individuals and organizations throughout the nursing profession with the resources they need to achieve practice excellence.

To achieve Magnet status, a hospital must demonstrate a culture of excellence in nursing care as well as sustain and demonstrate the 14 Forces of Magnetism in the practice of nursing. The facility must also foster a nursing environment that is exciting, supportive, and intellectually stimulating.

The Magnet Recognition program focuses on advancing 3 goals within each applicant designee:
* Promoting quality in a setting that supports professional practice
* Identifying excellence in the delivery of nursing services to patients
* Disseminating “best practices” in nursing services

The Next Generation of Magnet:
The 14 Forces of Magnetisms have been redesigned and integrated into The 5 Model Component. This allows for a more focused approach and decreased redundancy. With the 14 Forces as the foundation, the 5 Model Components will be the primary basis for achieving Magnet recognition.
St. Joseph Hospital's Journey continues as we move forward with our gathering of evidence. The Steering Committee and Magnet Ambassadors are currently in the process of accruing and submitting data in their respective component groups. This data will be reviewed and placed in the most appropriate area within the Magnet documents we will submit next year. More to come on our progress...

New article published by staff at St. Joseph Hospital, Orange

Congratulations to Beth (Elizabeth) Winokur, RN, MSN, CEN and John Senteno, RN, MSN, CEN from St. Joseph Hospital in Orange, California on their recent publication in the September issue of Journal of Emergency Nursing.

Winokur EJ, Senteno JM. Guesting area: an alternative for boarding mental health patients seen in emergency departments. J Emerg Nurs. 2009Sep;35(5):429-33. Epub 2008 Oct 17. PubMed PMID: 19748023.
Staff at St. Joseph Hospital, Orange and Children's Hospital of Orange County can read the full text of this article through the link to Journal of Emergency Nursing on the library's website.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Mad Men and Birth, Sixties Style

Sunday night’s episode of Mad Men brought 60s-style birth to prime time TV. The moment that mother/wife Betty matter-of-factly proclaimed “It’s time,” birth activists across America probably sat poised on the edge of their couches anxious to see how the show would portray this birth. Contrary to typical television births, Betty and father/husband Don calmly proceeded to the hospital—no rush, no

College of Nursing hosts Diversity Workshop for campus faculty

Join colleagues from across the Villanova faculty to learn more about Teaching Across the Lines of Differences on Friday, October 2nd from 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. in the Driscoll Hall Auditorium.

Speakers include Dr. Patricia Bradley, associate professor and Patty Abdalla, nursing student resource advisor from the College of Nursing, and from The Center for Multicultural Affairs Dr. Terry Nance, assistant vice president and Kristina Ruiz Mesa, assistant director.

RSVP to Dr. Patricia Bradley 610.519.4920 or