We All Trust Nurses, Now Let’s Support Them

We All Trust Nurses, Now Let’s Support Them

For the 18th straight year, nurses ranked as America’s most trusted profession, according to Gallup. More than 80 percent of the 1,000-plus adults surveyed said that nurses’ honesty and ethical standards were “high” or “very high.” 

As a maternal-fetal medicine nurse, this statistic does not surprise me. Every time I work with patients and their families, I see how nurses fill the gaps in the health-care system, tying good medicine together with a holistic human touch.  

When I look more closely at Gallup’s data, however, I am surprised by how consistent this trust is across categories. Male and female, conservative and liberal, white and non-white—the numbers are nearly the same. Americans trust nurses. 

So what do these statistics mean for women’s health and for health care more broadly? 

First, the Gallup finding reminds me of what many experts are already saying: That nurses have a vital role to play in fixing health care. Over the past few years, I have been pleased to see the increasing attention paid to nurses as innovators. 

For example, Johnson & Johnson created a Nurse Innovation Fellowship to support nurse entrepreneurs, while nurse-entrepreneur Rebecca Love, the first nurse to have her TEDx talk featured nationally on TED.com, has organized nurse “hackathons” through SONSEIL, a new professional society that supports nurse leaders. I hope we will continue to see new types of support for nurse-led health-care innovation.

Second, I hope that the profession of “nurse practitioner” will be added to future Gallup studies.  Nurse practitioners, who may specialize in family medicine, women’s health or other areas, are licensed to diagnose and prescribe, like a doctor, but their degree of autonomy is determined by state law. They exist in a middle ground between registered nurses and physicians. 

Research shows that health outcomes with nurse practitioners are similar to physicians, while often saving money, increasing patient satisfaction and reducing the length of hospital stays. And many public health experts argue that nurse practitioners—whose salaries are significantly lower than doctors’—are an important part of the solution to the shortage of primary care providers nationally. Nurse Practitioners deserve to be understood as a distinct profession, one that links the best of nursing with the best of medicine.

Finally, I ask why, if nurses are America’s most trusted profession, those same nurses are not happier and healthier. I know firsthand how many nurses are neglecting their own health, which is why we encourage all nurses to join our #BeHealthiHer movement. According to research conducted by the American Nurses Association, nurses are less healthy than the general public: They not only get less sleep but also tend to weigh more and experience more stress. As Sophia Thomas, president of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, recently told HealthyWomen, chronic stress can lead to physical symptoms. New research also shows that nurses are at high risk for occupational burnout. 

Nursing remains a female-dominated profession—more than 90% female in 2017, according to the National Nurses Workforce Study—and therefore nurses may be undervalued and underpaid. While a number of initiatives aim to improve nursing as a profession, we need to do more on a policy level to ensure that nurses are fairly treated and fairly compensated.

As we move forward together, let’s listen to our nurses, look to them for solutions, and ask what we can do to support them. 

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Time-Efficient Total-Body Kettlebell Workout

There’s something to be said for simplicity, and this minimalist, time-efficient workout is the perfect remedy for jam-packed days. “A unilateral flow like this gets you moving in all planes of motion,” says Lauren Kanski, NASM-CPT, Pn1, FRCms, RYT 200, creator of (and model for) …

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What You Don’t Know About Your Eyes Could Hurt You

What You Don’t Know About Your Eyes Could Hurt You

When it comes to our health, we often ignore important symptoms. In discussing this tendency with friends, I’ve discovered that there are various reasons. We don’t want to overreact or to seem “hysterical.” We don’t want to make “something” out of “nothing” or be labeled a hypochondriac. We’re afraid we won’t be taken seriously by our doctor.

And lastly, this: We’re not even aware that the symptoms are important. We simply don’t know the symptoms of many health problems. Indeed, a new Harris Poll survey from the American Academy of Ophthalmology has found that many Americans have very little knowledge of eye health and the symptoms of vision loss—even when problems may be present.

One day last January, when the vision in my left eye seemed “off,” I dismissed it at first, thinking I had something in my eye (maybe a stye?) that was causing irritation and blurriness. But the problem persisted beyond just one day, progressively worsening over the course of a few days.

That’s when I thought back to an interview I had done just a few days prior with a Cleveland Clinic ophthalmologist for an upcoming article I was writing for Parade magazine. We were chatting about vision problems and their symptoms. I thought back to one in particular—a detached retina—and that’s when I realized I needed to call my ophthalmologist. 

For a brief moment, I hesitated, since it was a Saturday and I knew the office was closed. I didn’t want to bother her on her day off. But knowing what I knew and fearing for my eye, I ignored my hesitations and summoned the courage to call. And I’m so glad I did.

To make a very long story short, it was, indeed, a detached retina. I needed emergency eye surgery, which thankfully saved my vision. Had I waited, I’m not so sure I’d be seeing with my left eye.

This experience begs the question: If I weren’t a health journalist, would I have known to do something? It’s possible, even probable, that I would have waited until it was too late. Fortunately, I had the knowledge I needed to realize the symptoms were serious and shouldn’t be ignored. Read more about my retinal detachment. 

But we are not all health journalists, nor are we all schooled in, or even that interested in, our health. Besides, it’s impossible to know everything about each part of your body. But even if you’re not a health journalist, it’s imperative to read what they write about.

A new survey from the American Academy of Ophthalmology found that most of us know a lot less about eye health than we think we do. And that’s a problem that can lead to all sorts of complications and compromise to our vision—or even destroy it.

Learn more about What to Expect When Your Eyes Start Changing.

It’s not just the fact that we’re ignoring our symptoms, either; sometimes there are none. The survey found that only 37 percent of people knew that you do not always experience symptoms before you lose vision to eye diseases. And even if there are symptoms—the most common one being blurred vision—our brains can make it difficult to recognize vision loss because our brains can adapt. 

Knowledge of symptoms is so important. (Read about the symptomos of retinal detachment here.) So is visiting an ophthalmologist for a comprehensive eye exam by age 40. You should have your eyes checked every year or two if you’re 65 or older, as well.

Below are just a few of the articles I wrote for Parade magazine about eye health, including this one. I hope you will read them and learn something helpful and valuable. By the way, one of the easiest things you can do for the health of your eyes is to protect them from the sun. There are many great sunglasses on the market; some of my faves are by Maui Jim.

If you’d like to read more about your eyes and best ways to keep them healthy, click here.

This post originally appeared on mysocalledmidlife.net. 

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Too often we ignore symptoms that indicate vision problems—and sometimes there are no symptoms. That’s why it’s important to know about your eyes and to regularly visit an eye doctor.
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Black Women’s Health Imperative, Friends of Cancer Research, and Stand Up To Cancer Approved for a PCORI Engagement Award for Project TEACH

Atlanta, GA – January 27, 2020 – A team of leaders in patient advocacy and education at the Black Women’s Health Imperative (BWHI), Friends of Cancer Research (Friends), and Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) have been approved for a funding award through the Eugene Washington PCORI Engagement Awards (Engagement Awards) program, an initiative of the […]

The post Black Women’s Health Imperative, Friends of Cancer Research, and Stand Up To Cancer Approved for a PCORI Engagement Award for Project TEACH appeared first on Black Women’s Health Imperative.

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Sex is for EVERYbody

Would you deny sleep to someone who has a disability*? How about water or oxygen? Of course not. So why would it ever be acceptable to deny sex to anyone – ANYONE – who wants to have it? Much of society still views those with physical disabilities as either not requiring physical pleasure or as …

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How to combine Peloton with other workouts (+ sample workout plans!)

+ a sample Peloton workout class schedule Hi friends! How’s the day going? I hope you’re having a good morning so far. I taught bootcamp last night (so fun!!) and today is parents’ day at Liv’s new school. We’ve been really happy with the switch so far (it was definitely the right choice) and all…

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Easy Black Bean Hummus Recipe

Ingredients1 15-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed1 15-oz can chick peas, drained and rinsed1/4 cup reserved liquid from bean cans1/4 cup water4 tbsp lemon juice3 cloves garlic, finely minced1 tsp sesame oil1/4 tsp cumin5 pieces sun-dried tomato1/4 tsp ground red pepperSea salt and black …

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5 Foods to Help Balance Your Blood Sugar Levels

5 Foods to Help Balance Your Blood Sugar Levels

We’ve all felt those intense cravings for sugar – moments where we can think about nothing else other than cake, chocolate, ice cream and donuts. It’s important to remember that sometimes sugar cravings are completely normal! You know I’m all about indulging in moderation, you do not have to go without!

But if you’re seriously struggling with these cravings, or regularly experiencing significant ups and downs in your energy levels, it might be time to consider how you can stabilise your blood sugar levels.

We always want to aim to keep our blood sugar levels steady to manage cravings, keep our energy levels stable, and prevent fatigue, irritation and hunger!

So try these five foods to help regulate your blood …

The post 5 Foods to Help Balance Your Blood Sugar Levels appeared first on JSHealth.

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