Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Scary Stats

The following post contains some disturbing facts, so if you don't wish to read them, please don't.

In our discussion on sexual health, we learned some eye opening and disturbing statistics regarding rape, violence, etc... Here are some:

  • 1 in 8 women are raped in their lifetime (most of whom know their attacker)
  • 1 in 3 women are sexually assaulted at some time in their life
  • The % of rape in Utah overall is higher than the national average (Utah county is lower than the national average, but Salt Lake County is higher)
  • College age women are 4 times more likely to be raped
  • Alcohol or drugs are used in 72% of rape cases
  • The average rapist rapes 7 or 8 women before being charged
  • 70% of violent injuries are head, neck, and upper body strangulations
Some of these surprised me, like the one about Salt Lake County being higher than the national average and most rapists not getting caught until their 7th or 8th victim. The thing to remember about rape is that it is not about sex, it is about violence and power. It's very important to be smart and take some precautions. Here are some common ones:

  • Don't walk alone at night
  • Lock your door both when asleep and when leaving your place of residence
  • If you go running or walking at the same time through parks or other slightly shady areas, change up your route and time of day to prevent stalkers.
  • Stay away from narrow alleys or dark streets
  • Never take a shortcut through a rough neighborhood or deserted paths and always stay on the main streets
  • Do not get into an elevator alone with someone you do not know (stay within reach of the control panel if you can't avoid it)
  • A large number of women are attacked while getting in their cars, so have your key ready to put into the door right as you get to your car so you do not waste time fumbling for your keys
  • The main entrance to your home should be properly lit so no one can hide in dark shadows
  • Make sure your door has a peep hole and never open for a stranger unless you are completely satisfied with their answer.
  • Do not accept a drink from someone you do not know, (even if you know them, it's best to get your own) if you leave you drink unattended at a party, do not drink out of it again (date rape drugs can be mixed in your drink in the blink of an eye making you a target for date rape)
  • Carry mace, a small knife, or even a taser gun in your purse at all times
  • If you ever have to fight an attacker, commit yourself 100%. Try a loud, verbal assault first, then go for the hair, eyes, throat, and groin
In general, just be aware of what is going on around you and be alert. Some people don't like to hear all the tips, and call it paranoia, but unfortunately in the world we live in, it's important to be aware of them.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Free 50" TV and I'm Immune to Anthrax?? Sign Me Up!

I went in for my last visit today for a medical study I have been in for the past 4 months. The study was for an anthrax vaccine.

There has been an anthrax vaccine in use for many years but they added an adjuvant to it to see if it would kick the bodies immune response into high gear upon being exposed to anthrax. This study was ordered to be done by the federal government to find a vaccine that can be given after exposure and still save the person, rather than given to many people before exposure. (It would save the government a lot of money, and make the world that much of a safer place). I may or may not be vaccinated against anthrax right now, it's a double blind placebo study, so I can't know until the study is completely over. For the study I had to receive 2 injections of the "anthrax vaccine" about 2 weeks apart, and go in about 14 other times to have a lot of blood drawn.

This is me getting my blood drawn today for the last time

I had my vitals checked at each visit, and there have been no adverse effects at all. For participating in the study, I was given this:

A 50" Samsung 1080p flat screen TV (and the sound system you see with it)

Actually, they gave me about $900 dollars that I could do whatever I want with, and this is what I chose to buy with it. Christine and I have wanted a new TV for a while and we didn't want to use our savings for it, so this was the perfect opportunity. We love it so much, we hook my laptop up to the TV and watch netflix (24 mostly right now) with the sound system blasting at us. It. Is. Awesome!

Sign me up for another study!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Life Really is Wonderful

I had an experience at work today that has really got me thinking about a lot of things. About life, about how blessed I am, about how lucky I am to be married to the most wonderful woman on earth. About how wonderful my family is. About how beautiful of a planet it is that we live on...
I was assigned to spend the day with an older man in the hospital who tried to take his own life less than 24 hours ago. This man doesn't have a home, he's been living in a motel lately, and his entire social circle consists of his "drinking buddies."
The thing that has stood out to me the most is how we each get such bad tunnel vision as we live our lives day to day. We get so caught up in the thick of thin things. This man had such a horrible case of tunnel vision last night that he didn't think life was worth the battle anymore. Now that the dust has settled somewhat, he is glad to still be alive, and is ashamed of what he tried to do to himself.
I can't help but think of how God is going to judge this man differently than me. Very differently. I think that we will be surprised to see how many of God's children return to him one day because they are not going to be judged according to the same set of standards that I and many others will be judged by.
Today's experience has really made me take a long step back and realize some things.

#1) Life is not as bad as it seems sometimes. Someone out there always has it much worse than I do.

#2) I need to be more grateful for all that I have been given. I take 99.999% of things for granted, mainly because I don't realize how good I have it until something is taken away from me.

#3) When life gets tough, I need to remember to slow down, take a step back, and realize that the dust will settle, the sun will rise again, and everything will work out.

I really like the picture above because to me, it takes an ordinary and bare tree, and turns it into one of the most incredible, beautiful sights that exists. When we get down on ourselves, we need to realize that we may feel like that bare tree, but to our Heavenly Father, we are so much more than we could ever imagine. I'm grateful for experiences like this that get rid of my tunnel vision and put things into perspective.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

The 5 Kinds of Nurses

In my experience so far, I have found that there are about 5 kinds of nurses. Some are great, and some are difficult to deal with. Here they are:

1. The Stud
You could go hang out with him after being discharged. Your personalities click perfectly and you feel like he's your best friend.

2. The wannabe
He just can't handle seeing all the doctor's walking around him all day wearing their lab coats, so he wears one too.

3. The Foreigner

You can't understand a single word coming out of their mouth if your life depended on it. Unfortunately..... your life may depend on it. Better ask for a translator.

4. The Holier Than Thou

The entire hospital orbits around them. Most likely because everyone is staying away from them.

5. The Grandma
She might only be 3 years older than you but she speaks to you like you are her grandchild with lots of "sweetie's" "hun's" and "dear's".

These are just some of the funny yet true personalities of nurses that I have noticed while working in a hospital. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

"Greg's a male nurse." "Yes. Thank you. Jack."

I'd like to start off with one of my favorite quotes from meet the parents:

Jack Byrnes: Greg's a male nurse.
Greg Focker: Yes. Thank you, Jack.
Kevin: Wow, that's great. I'd love to find time to do some volunteer work. Just the other day I saw a golden retriever, he had like a gimp, ya know I just wish I could have done something.
Greg Focker:
Yeah, well I get paid too so it's sort of an everyone wins thing.

I haven't had too many people make fun of me for wanting to be a male nurse, in fact, the other day at the hospital I was very glad I was a guy. I was in the ICU in a patients room sitting by the side of his bed making sure he stayed there. He was there for some breathing troubles, but he also had some serious bi-polar. I was trying to watch some of general conference on the TV while he slept when out of nowhere, he laid up in his bed, looking very agitated. He started by ripping out his IV, then tore off all of his EKG chest leads. He then tore his hospital gown off, and headed straight for the hallway.
This all happened in a matter of 3 seconds, and I was on the side of his bed away from the door, so I had no time to do anything to stop him. He was about halfway out of his room when I caught up to him and pulled him back. This guy was pretty well built, so that's why I was glad I was a guy. I pulled him back, and then the battle started. As he hurled profanity after profanity at me, we wrestled each other. He was a big guy, but I was able to hold him off for a little bit.
Finally, after a minute or so, a couple nurses heard the commotion from down the hall, and came running to help me. We got him calmed down and sitting on the edge of his bed. Unfortunately, 15 minutes later, he got back up, headed straight for the hall again, and the fight started up again. This time, a couple of hospital security officers came in and relieved me of the fight. They threw the guy back and put him in a double wrist bend until he calmed down again.
By this time we had a doctor from the ER run up and order some IV Ativan for him, and we were finally able to relax again. This is one day that I don't think I would have been made fun of for becoming a male nurse.
I don't plan on being a nurse for more than a year or two, as I will hopefully get into graduate school after I get the required amount of critical care experience and go on to do what I really want to do: anesthesia. Man, that would have been nice to have some anesthesia agents that day! Just remember, if your ever dealing with a severe bipolar, sit in between them and the door! Stay tuned...

Monday, April 4, 2011

Through the Eyes of a Nursing Student

Hey everyone, I have decided to create a new blog that will allow me to share a lot of interesting, crazy, and fun things that I experience and learn about as I journey through nursing school and work in the hospital.
As I was contemplating what I wanted to do for my career after returning home from my mission in Phoenix, I often wondered what it was like to go to nursing school. As I worked hard to get into nursing school, I kept on wondering what I was about to get myself into. So for this reason, I've decided to create a place that someone like me could have gone to a couple of years ago and had a lot of questions answered.
I plan on sharing different experiences I have, and interesting things that I learn in lectures. I think it's true to say that nursing school is the ultimate school for parents (on some serious steroids)! I learn a lot of things that are going to help me as a parent and I would like to share a lot of those things with you all (and some things that you might not care about). I hope you all enjoy reading and commenting!!
For my first post I would like to share some random facts about a few different topics:

People either have what's called an "internal locus of control" or an "external locus of control". People with an "internal" are those that can accept fault for something they have done wrong. They are not looking to pass blame to others for something they have done. People with an "external" are just the opposite, always blaming others for their problems and misfortunes. I find that I can sometimes fall into the "external" if i'm not careful. Interesting concept to think about, It's much more healthy and attractive to have an "internal," something that some of us could probably use a little work on. Which one are you?

11% of adults suffer from major depressive disorder, which is classified as feeling depressed for more than two weeks, for most of the day. I'm sure we all know people that fall into this classification. Just interesting to know what people around you are dealing with.

The Endogenous Analgesia System:
Is a fancy name for a system in your body that dumps endogenous opioids into your blood when you are experiencing some kind of high. They give you that feeling of euphoria and bliss. It what happens to a runner when they are on their "runners high". It happens during sex, when a women is getting her choclate fix, and interestingly enough, it happens inside an infant when hearing the voice of their parents or seeing them (ever wonder why your baby gets so excited when seeing you after a long period of absence? because their getting medicated!)

Gate-Control Theory:
This is an amazing theory that we learned about the other day regarding pain. The idea is this: our brains can only handle so much input at a given time. If a child is getting a shot at the doctors office, and you talk to the child on the opposite side of them that the shot is going to be given in, you might hear them say, "I hardly felt that!" That's because half or more of their attention was pulled away from the shot and given to the converser. This theory can be used for all sorts of situations, just use your brain to think of some (and don't let anyone distract you :)

Another thing about pain, if your child ever hurts their arm, a good trick is to massage the opposite arm. It has a canceling out effect of the pain.

This one is for all the girls:
If you deal with particularly painful menstrual cycles, here's a magic trick you need to try: upon feeling your very first sign or symptom of cramping, take 800 mg of ibuprofen as fast as you can. This will do many people wonders! Here's what's happening: upon menstruation, a surge of oxytocin is released which causes the uterus to contract, and it can be VERY painful for some women. The reason why it's painful are because of these little pain messengers called prostaglandins. They "deliver" the message of pain to your nervous system, and that is when you perceive the pain. Here's a parable: if you could take out the mail man before he delivers the dear john to you, you would never feel the pain of reading a dear john! That's what the ibuprofen is doing, it's taking out the messenger of pain before it gets to the nervous system. It does it by inhibiting prostaglandin synthesis. Just a little magic trick you need to try if you think you would benefit.

Stay tuned, more to come soon!