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2012 Nursing Conference

In August, Critical Care Training Center participated in the California Nursing Students’ Association Conference at West Coast University Los Angeles. During the conference we raffled FREE ACLS & BLS Class. Congratulations to the following prize winners!:

  • FREE ACLS Class – Jaleh Jaffari from California State University San Marcos
  • FREE BLS Class – John Capistrano from West Coast University Los Angeles

Left: John B. James IV, CNSA Membership Director South 2011-2012 with Critical Care Training Director Shota Mkrtumyan
Right: Looking on as the raffle ticket is chosen.

106 Reasons Why Everyone Should Love Nurses

Nurses are indeed the backbone of the medical field. They’re on the front lines every day, dealing with the heart of each patient’s issues, while ensuring that they feel comfortable and secure every step of the way. There are probably a million reasons that everyone should love nurses, but we’ve come up with of the top ones.

106 Reasons Why Everyone Should Love Nurses

1. Nurses are regularly voted the most trusting of professions–and for good reason.
2. Somehow, they find ways to make their scrubs look so stylish.
3. They’re tough and nurturing at the same time.
4. They know how much we weigh but won’t tell a soul.
5. They break the rules for their patients everyone once in a while.
6. Decoding confusing doctor garble(written and spoken) is their M.O.
7. They’re our therapists, parents and drill sergeants rolled up in one.\
8. Bedside manner is their specialty.
9. When we’re discharged, they shed tears of joy and sadness.
10. They’re experts at dishing out constructive criticism that actually makes us want to do the right thing.
11. They bring color (via personality) to the white walls of a cold medical facility.
12. Sometimes they let us cheer them up.
13. They’ll take only so much crap before they get a demanding patient in line (nicely, of course).
14. They’ve seen it all and therefore keep their heads in difficult moments.
See the other 92 reasons here!

Longest working Los Angeles County Employee Honored By Board of Supervisors

image: Leophis Hester and Supervisor ark Ridley-Thomas

The County’s longest serving employee was recognized by the Board of Supervisors Tuesday, which lauded Leophis Hester, a licensed vocational nurse at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center for a stunning 60 years of continuous service to Los Angeles County residents. Hester’s tenure at Harbor-UCLA makes her the longest working employee of more than 100,000 people working for the County today.

“Six decades of service is truly remarkable,” said Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, who presented a certificate of commendation to Ms. Hester. “We salute Ms. Hester not only for the dedicated service she has provided and continues to provide, but also for the extraordinary example and inspiration she has provided to generations of young people.”

Known to her colleagues at Harbor-UCLA as “Queen Leophis,” Hester is a true role model for her commitment to more than just working, but to providing high-quality patient care.

“Leophis Hester has worked tirelessly for our patients for 6O years,” said Harbor-UCLA Chief Nursing Officer Peggy Nazarey. “Her joyous spirit to care for our patients with professionalism and integrity is recognized today with much gratitude for her years of service.”

At 21 years old, Hester began her career as a nursing attendant at Harbor General Hospital, now known as Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, when she was hired in 1952. She later became a neurology technician before becoming a licensed vocational nurse at the hospital, a position she has held since 1954.

As a licensed vocational nurse Hester checks vital signs such as blood pressure, temperature, respiration, and pulse, performs routine laboratory exams, and administers immunization injections. The 81-year-old LVN not only has no plans to retire but says it’s her intention to continue her career for another 20 years. Read the entire article here

Food and soft drinks provided to all attendees
Gifts for first 25 attendees
We will raffle the following items at 12:30 PM
Free ACLS Class (one) valued at $175.00
$100 Gift Certificate (to be used toward any course that we offer & it’s transferable) (two)
$50.00 Gift Certificates (to be used toward any course that we offer & it’s transferable) (three)
FOR RSVP please call: 818-766-1111 or send us an email with the list of your attendees to: support@ACLS123.com

ACLS123.com Critical Care Training Center’s upcoming schedule

We offer classes in CPR, BLS, ACLS, PALS, STEMI, ECG and more!

August 25: ACLS, BLS/CPR (morning), BLS/CPR (afternoon)
August 26: BLS/CPR
August 27: BLS/CPR (morning), BLS/CPR (afternoon)
August 30: ECG & Pharmacology, BLS/CPR
August 31: ACLS Recertification, PALS Recertification
September 3: ACLS Recertification
September 6: BLS/CPR
September 8: PALS Recertification (morning), ACLS Recertification (afternoon)
September 12: BLS/CPR
September 14: ACLS Recertification (morning), PALS Recertification
September 15: FREE Friends and Family CPR

See all upcoming classes here.

Top-notch care around the corner: APN-run clinics are gems to neighborhood residents

By Cathryn Domrose

Erica L. Schwartz, DNP, MSN, CNM, wishes she could be a patient at her own clinic, Sheridan (Colo.) Health Services, a nurse-managed health center serving a low-income suburb of Denver. She believes the primary care there, provided by advanced practice nurses, is every bit as good as what she gets through her insurance, which does not cover care at Sheridan. What the nurse-run clinic offers that more traditional primary care does not, she said, is a strong wellness component.

With traditional care, “I go in if I have a problem, they address the problem and that’s it,” said Schwartz, executive director of Sheridan Health Services and assistant professor at the University of Colorado Denver College of Nursing. “I’m just processed through.”

Since she doesn’t have any chronic health problems, she said, the system works OK for her. But she says her clinic — with its health education programs, prevention services and integrated providers — offers ideal care for any population. “I think it would be nice to have nurse-managed health centers be the norm as gatekeepers of primary care,” Schwartz said.

Since Lillian Wald established the Henry Street Settlement in 1893 to provide health and education to the poor of New York, nurse-managed clinics have emphasized the importance of a holistic approach to overcome social and environmental barriers to health, instead of merely treating disease. Some 250 clinics managed by APNs currently operate in the U.S., according to the National Nursing Centers Consortium.

In addition to treating minor ailments and offering behavioral health services, they emphasize prevention, wellness and health education for their patients, many of whom are homeless or low-income and at risk for chronic health problems.

Sense of community
Preventing illness is a “big thing” to nurse practitioners, said Patricia Dennehy, RN, DNP, FNPC, FAAN, director of Glide Health Services, a nurse-managed clinic in San Francisco’s low-income Tenderloin neighborhood. “We tell people to come here when they are sick, but also to come when we can prevent illness. So when they come in for physical exams, we order labs and screen for different illnesses, and when we find an illness, we treat it accordingly.”

The clinic serves a large homeless population, as well as poor, working adults. NPs have creative ways of keeping in touch with their patients, who often do not have phones or permanent addresses. Ballesteros has worked out a system with a patient who was diagnosed with liver cancer. Twice a week he calls her cell phone for an update on his care plan, including lab results and appointments with a specialist. If she’s not available, he knows to call back. “We try to keep people from falling through the cracks,” Dennehy said.

For a while, Glide patients had high no-show rates for colonoscopies. NPs developed a system of steps to determine whether patients were likely to complete the procedure. After an initial appointment, patients were asked to return to watch an educational film. Then, with money from a grant, the clinic arranged for those who agreed to have a colonoscopy to stay in a hotel to give them access to a toilet during the prep. “We tripled the completion rate,” Dennehy said, with 80% showing up for the test. Read the entire article here.

Ads for herbal products in immigrant communities cause concern

By Erin Loury, Los Angeles Times

Nothing irks Dr. Bichlien Nguyen more than the herbal supplement ads that fill the airwaves of Vietnamese television and radio.

“You’ll have bottle No. 1 that will treat your kidney disease, and bottle No. 2 can treat anything from cancer to high blood pressure to diabetes,” said Nguyen, an oncologist in Fountain Valley. “It’s a mess, it’s really bad.”

Herbal products and dietary supplements do not receive the same testing and regulatory scrutiny that the Food and Drug Administration applies to drugs. And because their claims are unproven, Nguyen says, such ads can not only be misleading, they can also be dangerous. She worries that if people hear that a product can treat or cure cancer with no side effects, they may forego a medically accepted regimen like chemotherapy.

“I wonder how many people have died because they are not getting the appropriate treatment, and they’re trying to use these ‘cures,'” she said.

Nguyen tries to caution consumers during her weekly radio show hosted by the Vietnamese American Cancer Foundation, but she knows she is just one voice amid a deluge of advertisements. “This is a major problem,” she said, “and it’s a big industry.”

Such untested products are especially popular in immigrant communities that have long histories of treating illness with herbs and other traditional approaches. “Many consumers, culturally, are inclined to believe that these remedies work,” said Rigo Reyes, the chief investigator at the Los Angeles County Department of Consumer Affairs.

Unregulated supplements must nevertheless carry clear disclaimers on their labels that they are not intended to treat, cure or prevent diseases. But those warnings are only required to appear in English, even if the rest of the label is in a foreign language.

“It makes us cringe to hear advertisements that certain herbs can cure cancer,” said Becky Nguyen, who directs the Vietnamese American Cancer Foundation and is unrelated to the oncologist. “It is a vulnerable population … people who are trying to find hope, find a cure. It’s sad that they’re being taken advantage of.”

Nguyen has heard a few clients say they would rather try herbal medicines to treat their cancer because they fear the harsh side effects of chemotherapy. If the herbs don’t work, such patients may turn to medical treatment, but by then the cancer is at an advanced stage.

Although the law requiring label disclaimers does not explicitly apply to advertisements, many print ads, like the glossy pamphlets touting herbal products in Vietnamese drugstores, include such qualifications to avoid being accused of deceptive advertising. But if the disclaimer is the only part of an ad printed in English, which may not be the primary language of the consumer, the ad could still be considered misleading, said Laura Koss, an attorney with the Federal Trade Commission in Washington.

To be effective, a disclaimer “has to be clear and prominent, and people have to be able to see it and understand it,” Koss said. “If it’s in small print, if it’s in another language, if you can’t see it … it might result in a deceptive advertisement.” And just slapping on a disclaimer doesn’t permit a company to still claim that its product can cure or treat diseases, Koss added.

Officials may take a range of actions against companies that produce false advertisements, from issuing warning letters to filing civil lawsuits. The FDA can also seize and destroy products marketed with fraudulent claims.

Koss said the FTC also tries to encourage media outlets to voluntarily pull false advertisements off the air. Although media organizations aren’t held accountable for the truth of the advertisements they run, many have expressed interest in protecting the communities they serve, she said. “It can’t just be law enforcement” going after fraud, Koss said. “There are just a lot of bad actors out there, and we have limited resources.”

Experts say misleading health product ads still abound because FTC or county Consumer Affairs investigators can’t catch everything. “We don’t have the ability to monitor every ad that appears on TV or in the newspaper,” said Tom Syta, assistant director for the FTC’s western region, based in Los Angeles. Tracking the flood of suspicious claims in English language media is hard enough, and agencies don’t have the staff to also screen and translate foreign language ads.

So officials heavily rely on consumers to report dubious advertising. The FTC receives hundreds of thousands of complaints every month, Syta said, and the sheer volume requires simple triage: The higher the number of people who flag a given product, the more likely the agency will investigate.

But it can also be difficult to convince members of immigrant and minority communities to complain, county investigator Reyes said. Many may be reluctant to engage the legal system or don’t realize they can file anonymously. Read the entire article here.

Have you seen this show?

“13 Weeks” is the story of 6 traveling nurses on assignment in Southern California. From the ER to ICU to L&D, this award-winning documentary takes you inside the real lives of nurses. Follow their adventures as they explore the Southern California lifestyle, unwind in a multi-million dollar beachside mansion, and try not to drive each other crazy during their 13-week assignment. To watch the entire season of “13 Weeks” and more exciting nursing stories, visit www.nursetv.com Watch the show here.

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