Mountain View Medical Supply

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Fluids & Electrolytes for Ostomates

Electrolyte balance (especially potassium and sodium) is important for ostomates.  When the colon (large intestine is removed, a greater rist for electrolyte imbalance can occur.  Diarrhea, ixcessive perspiration and vomiting can increase this risk.  A person with short bowel syndrome is at high risk.  Their electrolytes should be monitored closely.  Your diet should include fluids and foods rich in electrolytes.  A general rule is to salt foods to taste.  Do not exclude sodium in the diet unless instructed to do so by your doctor. 

Electrolyte Balance - Electrolytes refer to the normal chemicals dissolved in body fluids needed to maintain body activity.  If electrolytes are out of balance, a person may become weak or ill and may need to take medications by mouth or intravenously. 

Fluid and Electrolyte Problems:
Problem - Dehydration
Symptoms - Increased thirst, dry mouth, dry skin, decreased urine output, fatigue, shorness of breath, headaches, dry eyes and abdominal cramping. 
Treatment - Increase fluids (any type, Gatorade/PowerAde are high in potassium and sodium).  Daily intake of fluids should be 8-10 8oz. glasses.

Problem - Sodium Depletion
Symptoms - Loss of appetite, drowsiness, headaches, abdominal and leg cramping, feelings of faintness particularly when standing, cold sensation in arms or legs.
Treatment - Increase intake of foods and beverages high in sodium, such as any regular soup, bouillon and Gatorade/PowerAde.

Problem - Potassium Depletion
Symptoms - Fatigue, muscle weakness, gas, bloating, shortness of breath, decreased sensation in arms and legs.
Treatment - Increase intake of foods high in potassium, such as orange juice, bananas, and/or Gatorade/PowerAde.

Foods high in potassium:  black-eyed peas, bananas, bouillon, chicken, fish, oranges, pinto beans, potatoes, raisins, tomato or vegetable soups, veal, watermelon and yogurt, to name a few.

Foods high in sodium:  broth, buttermilk, canned soups, canned vegetables, cheese, soy sauce, table salt, tomato juice and most commercially prepared foods. 

Source:  UOAA Diet & Nutrition Guide, UOAA Update 3/12

Monday, March 25, 2013

Murphy's Lesser Known Laws

- Light travels faster than sound.  This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

- He who laughs last, thinks the slowest.

- Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.

- Nothing is fool proof to a sufficiently talented fool.

- The 50-50-90 rule:  anytime you have a 50-50 chance of getting something right, there is a 90% porbability you'll get it wrong. 

- If you lined up all the cars in the world end to end, someone would be stupid enough to pass them, five or six at a time.... on a hill... on a curve... in the fog. 

- If the shoe fits, get another one just like it.

- A flashlight is a case for holding dead batteries.

 - The shin bone is a device for finding furniture in a dark room.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Top 10 Favorite Songs After a Tough Shift

1. Bob Marley, “Three Little Birds”…“Don’t worry ‘bout a thing, ‘cuz every little thing gonna be alright.” Sometimes that little reminder is just what I need…and it makes me think of being on a beach, worry-free. :) —Meghan D

2. “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” by Pat Benatar…with dance moves and all!!!

3. Well, I’ve been retired for a while, but back in the day during my 20-some-mile drive home, I fell in love with ACDC ‘cause it was wild and raucous enough that I could crank it up, sing at the top of my voice, thump the beat out on the steering wheel and just “get it all out” so that I was once again sane when I got home to my family! LOL!

4. Peace and quiet leaving and “Welcome to the Jungle” arriving.

5. Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy.” The funny thing is…I work in a mental hospital and, until now, never even associated the two!
—Patti Ann

6. “Nah nah nah nah, nah nah nah nah, hey hey hey, goodbye!”

7. Janis Joplin’s “Me and Bobby McGee.” I actually got pulled over by the police one night after a long shift for blaring it too loud…ha ha ha…such a great stress-reliever song!

8. Johnny Paycheck, “Take This Job and Shove It.” Just kidding! I love my job, but some days… :)

9. “I Will Survive.”

10. Um, is the sound of wine hitting the glass considered a song?

What’s your favorite song to unwind to after a long, tough shift?

Friday, March 15, 2013

Murphy’s law of personal protective equipment

by Sean Dent

As a nurse, personal protective equipment (PPE) is probably the most-used piece of equipment in your arsenal (next to your stethoscope). I mean, seriously: How many times per shift do you put on or take off a pair of gloves? Add into the mix taking care of a patient in contact/droplet precautions and you probably spend almost a quarter of your shift just gowning up. Just imagine if you have more than one patient in some type of precautions. Yep, we’ve all been there.

I know I’m not the only one who notices the handful of ironic situations that are guaranteed to happen almost immediately after you’ve completely gowned up. It’s sort of like saying the “Q” word on the unit–there are just certain inevitable events that are bound to happen after you have on your mask, gloves and gown. Here are just a few:

Your nose itches uncontrollably.

Unless you have a mask on, you SURELY can’t scratch your nose with gloved hands.

There’s a phone call for you.

Yeah, that provider or colleague you’ve been paging all morning is finally calling back.

You need to write something down.

And you realize the only writing instrument you have is buried underneath your PPE gear.

Equipment?  You just realized there isn’t a designated stethoscope in the room. Or you need another IV pump. Better yet, you just realized there aren’t adequate wound care supplies.

The IV machine is beeping.

And you need a new bag of fluid.

It’s the little things that drive you up the wall, huh? (Insert sarcastic snicker.) I don’t know about you, but I still run into “Murphy” and his gosh-darn law no matter how well I prepare before gowning up and entering my patient’s room.

What else would you add to the list?

Monday, March 4, 2013

The top 10 ways nurses boost their moods on the job

The top 10 ways nurses boost their moods on the job

1. I remind myself, “Self, as long as your patients are alive and pain-free at the moment, your day isn’t that bad and half the battle is over…the other half is charting to prove that my patients are alive and pain-free.” Deep breath, looooong sigh and carry on, girl, because you’ve got this!”

2. Maybe eat lunch or go pee…those are always nice. LOL!

3. We adopted a five-second dance-off at the top of the hour. Regardless of what you’re doing in the ER, when the music comes over the intercom, you have to stop and break it down! Doesn’t go over well with the director, but what he doesn’t know…and it really works!

4. I use my break to call the ones I love. My husband and my mom are great for reminding me why I do this job. My mom—one of my favorite people to call—is also a nurse, and has done three deployments in more than 25 years of military nursing. If I think I’m having a bad day, I know for sure she’s gotten through worse ones, and she gives great advice. A little perspective goes a long way.

5. Hand puppets. Life is better with hand puppets. Seriously. They make you laugh.

6. Sometimes I look at job listings for positions outside of the medical field. Every time I read them, it reminds me I would never, ever make as huge an impact on anyone’s lives like I can in nursing.

7. I’m gonna go with “drink.” After work, of course.

8. As corny as it is, I go into the bathroom, stare at myself in the mirror and start making funny faces. Gives me a chance for a breather, and hey, if you can’t laugh at yourself, then who can?

9. We send jokes to other departments via fax or tube system to try to brighten someone else’s day. It’s very rewarding. ;)

10. I remind myself that if I’m having to nurse someone for any reason, they are having a worse day than I am. A smile goes a long way, and seeing and making someone else smile ALWAYS makes me feel better…and them, too!

What do you do to boost your mood when you’re having a rough day on the job?

Friday, March 1, 2013

Friday Funny for Nurses