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John Cupp is in charge of staffing at the Lakes Care Center in Oklahoma City. The LPN enjoys the team spirit at work.

by James Coburn – Writer/Photographer

The smiles on the residents’ faces as they walk down the hall  of the Lakes Care Center keeps John Cupp in the field of nursing, he said.
Cupp was hired by the Lakes Care Center in December, he brought years of experience to the arena of long-term care and skilled nursing.
Today he serves as the staffing coordinator for the Lakes Care Center in Oklahoma City. He has been a licensed practical nurse for almost 20 years and graduated from the bygone DeMarge College in Oklahoma City, he said.
He learned about the opportunity of working at the Lakes Care Center from his sister, Karen Shelton, who works in the human resources department.
“Oh, I love working with the elderly,” Cupp said. “It’s a passion. You’ve got to have the right mentality to work with people living with dementia as well. It takes a special person.”
Cupp is in charge of hiring new employees and staffing at the Lakes Care Center. He must ensure there are enough nurses and other staff members for the three shifts of work at the Lakes Care Center.
“I try to keep everybody happy as far as the residents and staff,” he said. “The residents get to know the staff as well. If something is wrong, they’ll let the staff know about it.”
At places where there is continuing new staff coming in, it takes a while for the residents of those places to warm up and get used to them, he said.
There are neighborhood councils. And when a staff member goes in to a room to perform routine checks, residents always have opportunities to express themselves, he said.
“The CNAs know if their head hurts or they’re not feeling good,” Cupp said. “Then they’ll go and let the nurse know and the nurse will go in and check them out and figure out what’s going on.”
Whenever there is a nurse who is sick, he will work on the floor quite a bit.
“That’s the only way you are going to know the residents,” he said. Many of them tell them about what has been important in their lives through their many years.
“Some of them are very special and unique on how they grew up,” he said. “They didn’t have anything but what they had on their back as they worked in the fields to get their food.”
Cupp said he is gratified to see the nursing staff working well together as a team for the common goal of optimal patient care.
“They are dedicated,” he said. “As for nurse-wise, I don’t have any complaints as far as not happy. You’ve got to love the elderly and you’ve got to be dedicated to want to care for them.”
Nursing is not a field to enter with the expectations of becoming rich, he said.
“You come in to help people,” he said.
Twenty years ago, Cupp embarked on a nursing career with the inspiration of his mother, who was also a nurse. She worked as an LPN at South Community Hospital. She provided many opportunities for Cupp to learn about being a nurse during his formative years.
“So I decided to follow in her footsteps and become a nurse,” he said.
He has always served in nursing homes. When he first graduated from school, Cupp worked in Wyoming for almost five years as a nurse on an Indian reservation before moving to Oklahoma.
“You are always going to need nursing. It’s part of life,” he said of why it’s a good time for people to consider a nursing career.
“Baby boomers are getting older,” he said. “There is much demand for nursing right now.”
A good attitude is an essential quality for a nursing career, he said.
“If you have a good attitude, and the residents see that, then they’ll have a good attitude and will be more willing to get up and get out, participate in therapy and get stronger,” Cupp said.
He likes spending his time off from work with this wife and children, he said.
“We goof off, play around the house. It’s family time,” he said. “On Sundays I love my Nascar. And then in April I plan on going to the Texas Motor Speedway.”
There’s a difference between going to the races and watching it on television,” said Cupp, who has been a Nascar fan for 15 years.
“You get a totally different aspect of how much power those cars have, when you’re in the stands, than from the television,” he said.
At the Lakes Care Center, Cupp is still trying to see who are the football fans, Nascar fans and which residents prefer something else other than sports.

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Miracle Kid Ryder puts his “guns up” with some of the OSU Cheerleaders.

Gift to benefit Children’s Hospital Foundation and its work to improve the health of children

 

Oklahoma State University students participating in OKState Dance Marathon raised $134,304.15 for Children’s Hospital Foundation, an affiliate of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. The event kicked off Sat., Feb. 21 at 10 a.m. and concluded at 10 p.m. Students were up on their feet dancing the entire 12-hour event to raise money to help Oklahoma’s kids.
“If I had to sum up this year’s OKState Dance Marathon into one word, it would definitely have to be historic. We not only had more than 1,500 people register and increased our fundraising by 79%, but we also managed to create a one-of-a-kind event that has outdone anything else at Oklahoma State University. The best part about this year was the team’s dedication to the kids at every point of the journey. With keeping the kids as the main focus through everything, we were able to make history at OSU,” said Chris Stockton, executive director, OKState Dance Marathon.
During the opening ceremonies, students formed a long tunnel for each Miracle Kid to run through. A total of eight Miracle Families, families with children who have received care through programs supported by Children’s Hospital Foundation, attended the event. Activities for the kids ranged from dancing, playing basketball and jumping on giant inflatables to making craft projects.
Attending the event for the first time was Miracle Kid Ryder, 5, from Edmond. His family describes him as “a huge OSU fan.”  Although Ryder has Spina Bifida, nothing slows him down. Throughout the event, Ryder played basketball, interacted with students, blew bubbles and more. Ryder’s parents, Brian and Christy, shared his story with the crowd. They encouraged everyone to stay on their feet and keep dancing. The National Dance Marathon motto is to “stand for kids who can’t” and that is exactly what the students did for Ryder.
“We are grateful for the tremendous passion and energy these OSU students displayed,” stated Kathy McCracken, executive director, Children’s Hospital Foundation. “To see such a commitment and such a genuine spirit of philanthropy was truly inspiring.”
This was Oklahoma State University’s fourth Dance Marathon event. Students helped to raise the money throughout the year by hosting silent auctions, benefit nights, two-stepping events, letter writing campaigns and online fundraising.
Sponsors for the 2015 Dance Marathon included: Integrity Audiology and Hearing Center, Aspen Heights, OSU Student Alumni Association, Keystone Food Service, Dough Pokes, Oklahoma State University Resident’s Hall Association, Stillwater Flats, Renaissance Schools, Whataburger, Edward Jones- Matt Hull, Sudden Link, Oklahoma State University Fraternity & Sorority Affairs, WW Builders Inc., The Odyssey, Oklahoma State University Campus Recreation & Wellness, Madison Miles Media and Oklahoma State University Student Government Association.

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Soonerthon Morale with Miracle Child Brock Hart.

Soonerthon Raises Over $561,000 to benefit Children’s Hospital Foundation

The 19th annual Soonerthon, presented by The University of Oklahoma Campus Activities Council and Love’s Travel Stops held on Saturday, March 7, raised a record-breaking $561,268 to benefit Children’s Hospital Foundation.
“This year was record breaking for Soonerthon; the official Dance Marathon of the University of Oklahoma. Due to the combined efforts of over 2,500 students we have catapulted to the top Dance Marathon in the Big 12 and the 8th largest Dance Marathon out of over 300 colleges across the nation,” said Jessica Freeman, Soonerthon chair. “We appreciate everyone who helped make this year such a success, and we cannot wait to continue striving for the kids.”
While nonstop dancing kept the students entertained, interaction and activities with Miracle Children kept them inspired. For 12 straight hours, students participated in a spirit tunnel, a Miracle Kid’s talent show, morale dance, children’s carnival and rave to name a few.

While the participants of Soonerthon strive to set record-breaking totals, they never lose sight of the true purpose of the event, which is to stand for kids who can’t. Soonerthon is able to raise awareness for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and all the families of children who are impacted by life-threatening illnesses.

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An Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation scientist has made groundbreaking strides in research using models developed by his colleagues at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center that could ultimately lead to a reliable diagnostic method for a painful bladder disease.
In a paper published by the Journal of Urology, lead author and OMRF scientist Rheal Towner, Ph.D., reveals an innovative method to diagnose bladder leakage, which is a major symptom for patients with interstitial cystitis, also known as “bladder pain syndrome.”
Towner said doctors normally look for about 20 different clinical signs that point to the presence of the condition. But, as of now, there is no reliable method for diagnosing interstitial cystitis. It is often misdiagnosed as a urinary tract infection.
Towner and his colleagues are out to change that by taking a new approach to an old method of testing.
Towner took a chemical agent that is currently being used to enhance contrast in an MRI image and injected it directly into the bladders of rodents, rather than administering the contrast agent intravenously, which is the standard method.
“After injecting it directly into the bladder through a catheter, we look for any leakage of that contrast agent,” said Towner. “If the bladder wall is permeable, then that contrast agent will leak out into the peritoneal cavity, and that helps identify a key symptom of the disease.”
Following positive results in laboratory experiments, clinical trials were launched in human patients under the direction of Robert Hurst, Ph.D., at OU’s Stephenson Cancer Center.
The research, which has been underway for two years, was done in collaboration with OUHSC’s Hurst and Amy Wisniewski, Ph.D., of the Department of Urology; Abbas Shobeiri, M.D., Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology; and Beverley Greenwood-Van Meerveld, Ph.D., director of the Oklahoma Center for Neuroscience.
Bladder pain syndrome affects an estimated 4 million people in the U.S. and is primarily found in women. It can seriously impact quality of life; in addition to chronic pain, the disease can force some people to urinate as often as 60 times per day. The condition can take months or even years to diagnose.
“When children are born with non-functioning bladders or people lose their bladder due to cancer, it has a major impact on their quality of life,” said Towner.
The research scientists are also working on additional projects using the new technique with OUHSC researchers Bradley Kropp, M.D., and H.K. Lin, Ph.D., who are studying bladder regeneration.
“Disease-relevant research takes time and hard work, and fresh ideas like this can open doors to a wide range of possible discoveries that have us excited for the future,” said OMRF Vice President of Research Paul Kincade, Ph.D. “We are enthusiastic about these findings and the impact they could have for treatment.”

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To become a case manager or not get fired. Cole Chapman, RN

To get my first child out of college. Arika Tate, RN

To follow through with everything I get started. Karen Ritchie, RN

To get my RN license. Mark Shelby, LPN

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Multiple sclerosis is a disease of the central nervous system and is the most common neurological disorder diagnosed in young adults, but it affects men and women of all ages and all walks of life.
This disorder damages or destroys the protective covering (known as myelin) surrounding the nerves, causing reduced communication between the brain and nerve pathways. Common symptoms include visual problems, overwhelming fatigue, difficulty with balance and coordination, and various levels of impaired mobility. MS is not contagious but is often misunderstood and may lead to a disability.
The Multiple Sclerosis Association of America recognizes March as MS Awareness Month. In an effort to help raise awareness here locally, INTEGRIS is sponsoring a Faces of MS event.
The event will be Tuesday, March 24th from 9 a.m. to Noon at      the James L. Henry Auditorium at INTEGRIS Baptist Medical Center,                         3300 NW Expressway. A physician panel of neurologists Husain, Porter, Masih and Salins; psychiatrist Murali Krishna; urogynecologist Arielle Allen; sleep disorder specialist April Merrill; and fitness expert Nancy Shidler will all speak and answer questions.
Topics will include cognitive disorders; urological and sexual issues associated with MS; how MS affects your mood and can cause depression and how mindfulness and relaxation can improve these symptoms; positive effects of exercise on fatigue caused by MS; sleep disorders and strategies for managing sleep issues with MS; and infusion therapy and possible side effects.
The event is free and open to the public. For more information or reservations, please call the INTEGRIS HealthLine at 405-951-2277.

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by Mike Lee
Staff Writer

 

Unlike most people who work as hyperbaric techs, John Slayton, LPN, has a much more personal understanding of the machinery he works with on a daily basis.
Navy dive school first taught Slayton how punishing pressure could be.
“They had to take you down to over 300 feet to give you nitrogen narcosis to see how you respond,” Slayton said. “It was awesome. You’re in a hyperbaric chamber but it’s full of water and you have a huge, brass Mark V helmet on. You feel like you’re drunk and then you come up and it’s gone.”
The idea behind the test is to weed out the individuals who can’t handle the nitrogen buildup in their system. No one knows how they will react until they’re 300-feet deep.
The Navy makes this test routine for new divers, but for some it can be an experience.
“It’s like an alcoholic, they might be a normal person until they get drunk and then they just flip on you,” Slayton said of some who panic in the tube. “Most people don’t have a reaction to it. It’s always the last person you would think that tries to take their clothes off.”
But it wasn’t until he worked as a hyperbaric tech that Slayton would encounter all the benefits pressurized oxygen therapy could hold.
Slayton picked up his love for wound care while working at Midwest Regional Hospital. He spent three months doing hyperbaric therapy as a CNA. “I really enjoyed it. The only reason I left was because I got accepted to nursing school,” Slayton said.
Slayton later worked in medical surgical, home health and pediatrics after graduating Metro Tech for his LPN and began working on his RN at Rose State.
Helping raise a granddaughter has put getting his RN on hold for now.
Working at Oklahoma Heart Hospital doing vascular, Slayton noticed OHH would soon be doing hyperbaric therapy.
He showed up for the interview and all the people he had previously worked with at Midwest Regional were doing the hiring.
He fell in love all over again.
“The results,” Slayton said of what keeps him interested. “Some of these people have the same wound for a year and they think they’re at the point where they’re about to lose their leg. Then they go to hyperbarics and four weeks later that’s not even an option any more. And you really get to know these people. It’s not like a normal nursing job where they come even once a week and you see them for 10 or 15 minutes.”
“I spend two hours, five days a week with these people for four weeks or longer. They’re like family and that’s how they look at you, too.”
Obviously, nursing is a second career for Slayton, who spent 14 years in the military. Outside of diving with the Navy he also worked supply and then moved on to the Army and Air Force Reserves.
You might even say it’s a third career, as the 47-year-old Slayton is helping raise a four-year-old granddaughter.
“I wouldn’t have it any other way. I was furious when I found out … but now that little girl is everything,” he said.
Oklahoma Heart Hospital Wound Center opened its doors in January.
The new wound center brings the community treatment and protocols to treat chronic wounds including hyperbaric oxygen therapy, negative pressure therapies, bioengineered tissues and biosynthetics. Patients may also have the opportunity to participate in clinical trials and multicenter studies.
A member of the Healogics network, the wound center employs a rigorous scientific approach to explore, test, find and develop the clinically proven methods and technologies which reintroduce the body’s innate ability to heal. The network, comprised of academic medical centers, hospitals and thousands of professionals is committed to advancing wound healing by creating, sharing, and activating wound prevention and care expertise.
The next few years holds an RN degree for Slayton. He says his hyperbaric experience has been tremendous.
So far he’s shunned the inquiries for him to go into management. For now, he’s happy doing what he’s doing.
“I don’t want to get away from patient care.”

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by Mike Lee, Staff Writer

Nurses from across Oklahoma are gearing up to attend the annual Nurse’s Day at the Capitol.
As a professional organization, the Oklahoma Nurses Association is a community of nurses from all specialties and practice settings that empowers nurses to improve health care.
Each year, the ONA organizes a single day to arm nurses with the necessary information and give them the opportunity to discuss those issues with policy makers.
This year’s event will be held Tuesday, Feb. 24. You can still register online at www.oklahomanurses.org.
ONA Executive Director Jane Nelson says nurses are always well received at the capitol and typically find the day very informative.
“Nurses are powerful political advocates because they are members of the most-trusted profession in the country,” Nelson said. “With that comes a lot of power.”
The day begins with an informational session held at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum followed by an opportunity to go to the capitol and talk with legislators.
Nurses will have the opportunity to:
* Hear legislative experts, legislators and ONA’s Lobbyist
* Talk with legislators concerning the issues vital to ONA and the nursing profession
* Increase your awareness of the role nurses play in the political arena
* Voice your concerns regarding legislation affecting nursing practice, patient safety, preventive care and health education as well as Oklahoma’s health status
The cost for nursing students and LPNs is $30. ONA members and affiliates pay $40 and non-members can participate for $50.
Each year the Oklahoma Nurses Association sets its legislative priorities. For 2015, ONA is focused on the following:
Funding
Ensure adequate funding for vital health care related services, including direct care, disease prevention and health promotion. Shortfalls in health and behavioral health services will increase costs in other areas of the state’s budget, and will lead to dire negative consequences for individuals, families, and communities, placing all at risk. When funding falls below critical levels, every other health priority for nurses is negatively impacted. Nursing is one of the few professions in Oklahoma providing care to citizens from cradle to grave.
Governance
* Preserving the Board of Nursing’s oversight and regulation of nursing practice. Nursing is the largest group of healthcare providers; LPN, RN and APRN, each one with its own unique scope of practice, is already a consolidated Board. Ensuring professional nursing oversight of this board provides for the critical health and safety of the public. This self-sustaining, non-appropriated Board contributes revenue to the state general fund while providing for efficient, focused regulation of the nursing profession.
Nursing Practice
* Access to efficient, competent health care is supported when licensed Nursing professionals practice to the full extent of their scope of practice.
Competent nursing practice ensures the health and safety of every Oklahoman.
Public Health
* Improving Oklahoma’ Health Status will improve the physical, emotional, and economic well being of the individual, the family, and the community.
Education
* Support only those educational proposals that do not put the emotional and physical well being of school children at risk. Nursing education is an important and critical component in the development of Oklahoma’s nursing workforce, but also in ensuring lifelong learning and continued competency for all nurses in Oklahoma.
“This is a great opportunity to learn about legislative issues affecting nursing practice as well as how to advocate for those issues, Nelson said.”

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Connected to humanity: nursing develops knowledge for young

by James Coburn – Writer/Photographer

Lana Adkisson’s favorite part of nursing is getting to know her patients as a registered nurse at Bone and Joint Hospital at St. Anthony.
“I like talking to our patients. I like to hear their story,” she said. “A lot of our patients are older, so they’ve had tons of life experience. And they have all kinds of crazy stories that you would never picture them being associated with. They like to reminisce, too, about their younger days.”
She serves in the Joint Replacement Center on the second floor of the midtown Oklahoma City orthopedic hospital. But she will occasionally work on the acute care floor.
“We mainly do hip and knee replacements, post surgical care,” Adkisson said. Most of her patients are older adults but there are also younger adults.
Orthopedic surgeons are specialized in sports medicine. People also come to the hospital for shoulder injury procedures, hands and feet, anything orthopedic in the body.
Several surgeons have clinics in the Oklahoma City area, but go to Bone and Joint to conduct their surgeries.
Before the patients even go to sleep for surgery, an injection of medication will be given around the nerves to feed the joint, the arm, whatever the surgeon is working on, to render that numb.
Less anesthesia is given as it proceeds, so patients will have fewer side effects from things like nausea and sleeplessness.
The pain is blocked for several hours following surgery. Many of the patients return home pain free and begin a regiment of pain medication taken orally. This helps the patient to stay ahead of the pain curve. It’s important for a patient not to wait to be in a lot of pain before trying to control pain.
Adkisson loves the nursing profession, she said. It’s a wide-open field where everybody can find something they like.
“Family members and friends will say, ‘Oh, I don’t like the blood and needles.’ But there are jobs you can find that don’t involve that. So I’ve tried to push everybody into it since I started.”
Adkisson graduated from nursing school in March at Oklahoma City Community College and past her examination in April of last year. At OCCC, she went through the accelerated program.
“I loved it. It was fantastic,” she said of meeting her educational needs. “So it was quick. It only took 10 months. They are pretty organized. And I’m told they have the highest pass rate at the lowest cost.”
Prior to going to nursing school, Adkisson earned a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology degree, which allowed her to go through the accelerated program.
She knew about Bone and Joint because her father had been a patient at St. Anthony Hospital. He had always seen Saints physicians, so it was a natural tie-in for Adkisson to find somewhere within the Saints umbrella, she said.
“I think that is why I became a nurse, to understand what was going on with him,” Adkisson explained. “A lot of the stuff he went through was over my head even with the science degree. So it was encouraging to go to nursing school and understand more.”
She enjoyed the surgical aspect during school. So Bone and Joint became the closest path as a new graduate without jumping straight into surgery.
Bone and Joint made the process smooth for Adkisson with 12 weeks or orientation.
“Everybody was great. They were so nice and helpful,” she said.
Adkisson is part of a team of professionals who have been recognized for exemplary care. In 2014 Bone and Joint earned the Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for its total knee and total hip replacement program by demonstrating compliance with The Joint Commission’s national standards for health care quality and safety in disease specific care.
The certification award recognizes Bone and Joint’s dedication to continuous compliance with The Joint Commission’s state-of-the-art standards.
“Other than it’s a great place to work, we’d love to have them here. They don’t have to be here, but we’d love to have them,” she says about people considering the nursing profession.
She enjoys coming to work each day. It’s not a job people dread going to every day, she said.
“Everybody here is so nice. It’s almost like a family of coworkers. We get along very well, and like to have a good time while we work,” she continued. “We always help each other out as much as we can.”
Her typical day in The Joint Center involves doing a morning assessment of her patients. She will change dressing and at times, even help out with therapy, she said.
“Morning is the busy part and then it kind of tapers off,” she said.
Adkinsson said she has a good balance between work and home. On some days she will relax and be lazy, but she also likes to spend her leisure time gardening and entertaining.

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Q. I know your paper is for medical professionals but as a teacher I wanted to get my message to as many people as possible. This is for all the parents who are using technology as a babysitter and sending your children to my classroom to deal with their behaviors. The following are examples of this problem.

A. Charlie – age 5  – preschool
While out on the playground Charlie had an altercation with a young male peer and stated, “If you do that again, I am going to kill you.” The other little boy was scared of Charlie and reported this situation to the playground teacher. There had been one previous problem with Charlie being physically aggressive.
When the teacher met with Charlie’s mother to discuss expelling him from preschool she was surprised the school would take such drastic measures. She did admit that Charlie “played on his phone a lot.” His teacher said Charlie was focused on acting out the fantasy of the games he was playing and feared that he could lose touch with appropriate behaviors and boundaries.
In order for Charlie to remain in school his mother had to agree that Charlie would not have access to a phone or any other device to watch and play games. She was encouraged to actively engage Charlie in appropriate age related games and activities, which were somewhat foreign to him.
Taylor  –  age 7 – 2nd grade
When Taylor’s phone was taken from her during English, for the 3rd time, her teacher called a conference with her parents. They were somewhat uninterested in the teacher’s concerns that Taylor’s grades were below average, she was easily distracted and oppositional to authority. They said that it was difficult to get her to do her homework and she often stayed up late playing on her phone which affected her sleep.
They presented as somewhat helpless to setting rules and sticking by them. This 7 year old was running the house and her parents. Then she came to school and tried to run the teacher.
These are just two of the many situations that have presented themselves in the classroom and playground. As teachers we are extremely concerned that parents have normalized the use of cell phones and other forms of technology as babysitters, something to keep their children busy and “out of their hair.” We need teamwork in order for this problem to get fixed. We are not excited about children missing out on their education because they are lost in fantasy.
When children as young as 5 use the word “play” to describe activities on their phones and show no interest in “playing” with legos, dolls, or swinging in the park, we have a BIG problem.

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