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PULSE: November 2009 edition

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PULSE: Editor’s Notes

Thanksgiving
 is the time to count our blessings. This month, I’ve been listening to your responses as many of you graciously answered the question, “What makes you thankful to be a nurse?”

Who knew this topic would quickly exceed the limits of a Pulse article? We could have published a book of answers.

Editor's Notes by Pulse editor Laura Raines.

Editor’s Notes by Pulse editor Laura Raines.

When I talked to nurse Rose Pope, she asked for more time to think about it. Before I could answer, she said, “No, I think I can answer now.” About 20 minutes later, she was still coming up with reasons that touched on career fulfillment, respect, challenges, job security, pride in her workplace and co-workers, and the opportunity to learn and grow.

Imagine what she would have said if I’d given her more time to think about it.

Retired nurse Betty Daniels was thankful to still be “on the job,” giving advice to fellow residents in her retirement home. Gail Gibbs wrote about the joys of returning to the field after …

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Pulse: Nurses have many reasons to be thankful

By Laura Raines, 
Pulse editor

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, we asked some Georgia nurses what made them thankful for their profession. As you can imagine, we got a cornucopia of answers — no two alike. We’d be willing to bet that you could add to the list.

Marcia Bishop (left) and Kelly McDonald are members of the Angel II Neonatal Transport team.  Photo by Barry Williams, AJC Special.

Marcia Bishop (left) and Kelly McDonald are members of the Angel II Neonatal Transport team. Photo by Barry Williams, AJC Special.

“In obstetrics, I loved being the first one to hold a newborn baby, and in other situations, I’ve been the last person to touch a dying patient and his grieving family. I’m thankful for the lives I’ve touched and the people I’ve helped.” – Barbara R. Johnson, MSN, MBA, RN, Manager of Clinical Education, Kaiser Permanente of Georgia. Age: 60 (34 years as a nurse).

***

“I’ve been fascinated with babies since my sister had her first child when I was six, so neonatal nursing is the perfect job for me. But I’m also thankful that nursing allowed me to take care …

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PULSE: Just the facts on the H1N1 virus

By Laura Raines
, Pulse editor

“Georgia is overachieving when it comes to the H1N1 virus — and that’s not a good thing. It’s truly a pandemic here, because of the widespread outbreaks,” said Dr. Rhonda Medows, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Community Health (DCH).

Dr. Rhonda Medows, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Community Health, calls the outbreak of the H1N1 virus a “pandemic.” Behind her is a projected image of the virus. Photo by Barry Williams AJC Special.

Dr. Rhonda Medows, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Community Health, calls the outbreak of the H1N1 virus a “pandemic.” Behind her is a projected image of the virus. Photo by Barry Williams AJC Special.

This year, Georgia’s flu season started at the beginning of the school year instead of its normal October time frame. Because the H1N1 virus is a new mutation, nobody is immune to it, so it’s transmitted much faster than normal flu strains.

“Most of our schools started on Aug. 10,” Medows said. “By the first week, we were starting to see absenteeism of students with flu-like symptoms, and by the second and third weeks, the percentages were really starting to pick …

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PULSE: Portrait of a nursing family

By Laura Raines
, Pulse editor

He was from South Dakota. She was raised in Atlanta. They met in 1997 at the University of Alabama Hospital in Birmingham, where she was a trauma nurse and he was a nurse in the open heart intensive care unit.

Nurses Shalice and Chad Pickering have their hands full with Gracie and Matthew.  Photo by Barry Williams,  AJC Special.

Nurses Shalice and Chad Pickering have their hands full with Gracie and Matthew. Photo by Barry Williams, AJC Special.

Today, they’re married and the proud parents of 18-month-old twins. Like any two-career couple, they’re struggling with achieving a good work/life balance.

Chad Pickering knew there was a good possibility he would marry a nurse.

“Working with so many young women at the hospital, there seemed to be a high likelihood of it happening. It didn’t matter to me either way, but when I met Shalice, I knew,” he said.

The two started dating in 1997.

“It was actually nice that we understood what each other went through in a day. We became best friends,” Shalice Nicholson Pickering said.

“It’s good to have …

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Why I Love My Job: Sally Vandenbos, RN, MPH, NCSN

By Laura Raines, Pulse editor

Job: Consulting nurse, Cobb County public schools

Sally Vandenbos is a consulting nurse with Cobb County public schools.  Barry Williams/AJC Special.

Sally Vandenbos is a consulting nurse with Cobb County public schools. Barry Williams/AJC Special.

What I do: “I oversee the licensed school nurses in 18 to 20 schools in Cobb County. A good part of my week is spent visiting schools and training new nurses, teachers and staff.

“Teachers have a lot on their plates, so when I schedule training about diabetes or asthma, the reaction is often, ‘Oh, not another training.’

“Later they say, ‘I didn’t know that.’ It gets them thinking about how to help their students in other ways.

“School nurses handle the day-to-day illnesses and emergencies. I’m here as another pair of eyes, a backup, and I put systems in place to help their jobs go smoother.”

What got me interested in this: “I was an ICU hospital nurse in New Jersey [and] found that a school nurse schedule worked better after I had children. I discovered I …

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PULSE: Fighting the flood

By Laura Raines
, Pulse editor

On a typical day, school nurse Sherry Farmer sees about 40 children in her clinic at Clarkdale Elementary School in Austell. She dispenses daily medications for chronic conditions, patches up scrapes, checks temperatures and doles out tender loving care to her young patients.

When torrential rains caused extensive flooding in more than 15 metro Atlanta counties in late September, normalcy was washed away. All 442 of her students were at risk and needed the calm presence and compassion of their school nurse, whose emergency-preparedness training kicked in.

Flood waters nearly reach the roof Clarkdale Elementary School in Austell. PHIL SKINNER, pskinner@ajc.com

Flood waters nearly reach the roof Clarkdale Elementary School in Austell. PHIL SKINNER, pskinner@ajc.com

“Monday [Sept. 21] started as a normal school day, only it was raining again,” said Farmer, RN, BSN.

When staff members noticed water under the trailers in back of the school, they brought the children, equipment and books into the main building where they thought it was safe.

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PULSE: Continuing Education

By Pulse staff

Nov. 20
Gwinnett Medical Center in Lawrenceville will host its annual stroke conference from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the GMC Resource Center. Doctors and nurses from around the country will discuss advances in stroke care. Topics will include the pros and cons of interventional devices used for acute stroke; neuroimaging as the future of patient selection in stroke treatment options; and the future of rehabilitation research. The cost is $75 and includes breakfast and lunch. To register, call 678-442-5000.

Jan. 29, 2010
“Critical Thinking at its Best 2010: Jack & Jill of all Trades,” a medical-surgical conference, will address clinical practice issues to promote excellence in patient care. The event will be at the Richard H. Rich Auditorium, which is on level M of the 77 building at Piedmont Hospital (1968 Peachtree Road in Atlanta). The cost for the conference is $60 before Jan. 15. The fee will include a light breakfast and a light lunch. Contact hours …

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PULSE News Briefs: Nurse scholar earns $350,000 grant

By Pulse staff

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has awarded Tami Thomas, Ph.D., CPNP, RNC, a three-year, $350,000 Nurse Faculty Scholar grant for her research. Thomas, an assistant professor at the Medical College of Georgia’s School of Nursing, is one of 15 nurse educators around the country to receive the award.

Thomas studies strategies to slow the spread of viral sexually transmitted infections in rural communities. Her research explores barriers preventing girls from being vaccinated for HPV (human papillomavirus), which can cause warts and cervical cancer. She hopes to develop culturally sensitive interventions to increase the vaccination rate for HPV in rural areas.

Best workplaces for mothers: Wellstar Health System and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta were named two of Working Mother magazine’s 100 Best Companies for 2009.

WellStar Health System was cited for expanding its family-friendly benefits — educational assistance, backup child care and …

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PULSE: 0ctober 2009 edition

About Pulse, Atlanta’s monthly publication for health care professionals
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