Many of America’s nurses admit they are stressed out, consuming too much junk food and getting too little sleep, says a Ball State University study.

 The Impact of Perceived Stress and Coping Adequacy on the Health of Nurses: A Pilot Investigation, published in the online journal Nursing Research and Practice, found that nurses with high stress and poor coping had difficulty with patients, working in teams, communicating with co-workers and performing their jobs efficiently.

“This study reveals stress takes a toll on nurses’ health and they need better ways to handle it,” said Jagdish Khubchandani, a Ball State health science professor who was part of a multi-university team that examined how nurses cope with stress. “Nurses need to improve their lifestyles and health behaviors, take advantage of all health benefits available to them and learn to manage stress and conflicts at the workplace.”

The study of 120 nurses working in the Midwest found that most nurses had poor health habits:

  • 92 percent had moderate-to-very high stress levels.
  • 78 percent slept less than eight hours per night.
  • 69 percent did not exercise regularly.
  • 63 percent consumed fewer than five servings offruits and vegetables per day.
  • 22 percent were classified as binge drinkers.

The study also found that when confronted with workplace stress, 70 percent of nurses reported that they consumed more junk food and 63 percent said that they used food as a coping mechanism.

Nurses in the “high stress/poor coping” group had the poorest health outcomes and highest health risk behaviors compared to those in other groups, researchers also found.

“Management has a big role to play in providing health promotion services and employee assistance programs to help deal with stress-related poor health behaviors, such as addiction,” Khubchandani said.  “What I find severely lacking is the understanding of burnout in nurses, its prevalence and its long-term impact on the nursing workforce of any facility.

“Management needs to invest in assessing and addressing these issues. In the long term, employers can save costs if their nurses remain fit and perform to the best of their abilities.”

Marc Ransford

Senior communications strategist

Ball State University


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by Bobby Anderson, Staff Writer

School nurses from around Canadian County were able to attend a unique learning opportunity recently at Integris Canadian Valley Hospital.

During a break between speakers at the recent Canadian County School Nurse Consortium, Teresa Gray, RN, BSN, MBA looked around the room and had to smile.
The Integris Canadian Valley Hospital Chief Nursing Officer watched as a school nurse from Yukon talked to another school nurse from Mustang.
To her right a representative from the Oklahoma State Department of Health was talking to a school nurse from Piedmont. And all around the room, school nurses from every school district in Canadian County were engaged in conversation that – without the consortium – likely never would have happened.
It was in early 2015 when Gray came up with the idea of a day-long informational session for school nurses in Canadian County.
It came through dialogue with area nurses at various outreach events. What she kept hearing was that school nurses needed an outlet for greater networking, more education and the ability to standardize processes and develop best practices in school nursing throughout the county.
A partnership was formed to collaborate on ways to help strengthen school nursing throughout the communities and the first Canadian County School Nurse Consortium was formed.
“Often times we are both caring for the same patients,” Gray said. “Today they may be a student at their school and tomorrow they may be a patient in our hospital.”
The event has become annual and the agenda is set based on topics relevant to practice as a school nurse.
Each session features expert speakers in areas relevant to care of school-aged children.
The group draws from Yukon, Mustang, Calumet, El Reno, Piedmont, Union City, Western Heights and Maple school districts.
The Canadian County Health Department is also represented at each event.
“Each year we have strengthened our relationship and work together in other venues to support the schools,” Gray said. “The hospital often sponsors events that promote the education of the school nursing staff. This year we have supported four nursing representatives to attend a local conference designed specifically for school nurses”.
Gray said that since school nurses play such an critical role in educating students and are on the front lines of population health Integris considers the consortium as an investment into the health of children and the population at-large.
This year’s event included mental health topics, current drug trends among teens as well as abolishing injustice in the 21st century.
The Oklahoma Board of Nursing also sent representatives to update school nurses on changing practices.
Since the event is geared toward the needs of school nurses, Gray explained the event is highly fluid in its composition. She sends each nurse a needs assessment months in advance and pieces together the day based on what the nurses would like to hear more about.
She makes sure lunch is provided as well as a longer lunch break.
“I make lunch longer because they’re networking with my leaders and each other.”
It makes the veteran nurse smile.
“I heard them talking and talking, sharing things,” Gray said with a grin. “It makes sense for us to be on the same page with each other.”
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends a full-time nurse be present at every school, but that is often not the case. According to data from the National Association of School Nurses, only 45 percent of the U.S. public schools have a full-time, on-site nurse. Thirty percent had a part-time nurse, often one that splits time between several schools, and a whopping 25 percent have no school nurse at all. When no nurse is available, schools often rely on administrative assistants, counselors and teachers to tend to hurt or ill children and to distribute medicine. Stretching resources and expecting expert advice from those who are not trained in the medical field can have scary consequences when it comes to the health of a child.
Life-threatening conditions like childhood asthma and food allergies are prevalent in most schools. The NASC reported that 67 out of every 1000 students has asthma, while 20.7 out of every 1000 students reported having life-threatening allergies.
Having a professional nurse on site can also cut down on missed school time for students. The first inclination for an untrained staff member tending to a sick or hurt child is often to call the parents.
The NASC reported that of the students seen by a school registered nurse, only nine percent were ultimately sent home from school.

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Patti Abercrombie, RN, and her staff help families make home health care decisions easier with Around the Clock Home Care.

by Bobby Anderson, Staff Writer

When it comes to the health of family members, you can’t always know what’s ahead.
Patti Abercrombie, RN, knows this better than most.
It was a few years ago while living overseas that Abercrombie got the dreaded call.
Dad has cancer.
With a husband who was finance director for a large global company, Abercrombie had the luxury of hopping onto a plane and coming back to Chickasha to be with her family.
She put her nursing skills to work, pouring into her family for her father’s remaining few months.
After the dust had settled she realized that virtually every family gets one or two of those phone calls at some point.
But how many are able to hop on a plane and rush right home?
“I came back to take care of him. Most people just aren’t able to do that,” she said. “I was very fortunate.
“I thought ‘what if I hadn’t been able to get here.’”
Abercrombie came back to take care of her father, a Marine of 42 years, while he was battling bone cancer.
Out of that situation eventually led to Around the Clock Home Care in Chickasha.
“That was one thing that really bothered me. What about the people that don’t have anybody?” Abercrombie said.
“We’re there to stay,” Abercrombie says. “We’re not popping in and out every two or three days and moving on to the next patient. We really get attached and we see what’s going on.”
“I think it brings comfort for the families,” Abercrombie says of her company. “If they live in New York and have a loved one here that wants to stay in their house and they need someone to help them … I would be much more comfortable knowing there was a nurse there to oversee what is going on.”
Around the Clock Provides a fully customized care plan for families. With services ranging from three-hour visits to to 24/7 around-the-clock care, the company can meet most needs.
All care plans are customized specifically for family needs and visits can be planned for any time of the day or night and designed with daily or weekly visits.
Abercrombie is a dedicated RN with nearly 30 years supervisory experience in Oncology, Bone Marrow Transplant, Pain Management, Hematology, Home Health, and Hospice. She’s provided quality patient care, as a supervisor at a 700 bed hospital and brings her commitment to clinical excellence into the home setting.
She offers free in-home consultation with her or one of her nurses.
Long Term Care Insurance accepted as well as all major credit cards. Assistance with VA Aid and Attendance is also provided.
Around the Clock services Central Oklahoma and south.
One thing that makes Abercrombie’s staff very unique is their combined life history.
“I would say nearly every one of our staff members have gone through this with their own family member,” Abercrombie said. “They’ve taken care of their grandmother or were the only caregiver for their mother or father. They’ll tell me the stories.”
It’s one of the qualities she looks for when hiring staff. Those life experiences translate into the type of care she ensures.
Abercrombie utilizes RNs, LPNs, certified nursing assistants and sitters to accomplish the mission of helping people not only stay but thrive in their homes.
Coming back to Chickasha from Saudi Arabia Abercrombie felt at peace.
“Chickasha is so comforting. It was like Chickasha had stood still in time,” she said.
Those family values were still there.
Around the Clock is moving into its fifth year serving the surrounding counties and Abercrombie says the need grows every passing day.
About 1 in 3 people caring for someone at home (as opposed to a nursing home), said they had hired paid help in the past year, according to a survey by the AARP Public Policy Institute and National Alliance for Caregiving. The median cost nationwide for either homemaker or home health aide services is upward of $125 a day, assuming 44 hours of care per week.
When someone calls with questions Abercrombie will not let them off the phone without a solution – whether it be Around the Clock or another resource.
“All of these scenarios could be me and I’m not going to do anything to anyone I would not do to myself or my parents,” she said. “I’m not a bottom line person.”

36 bed pediatric hospital with a home setting looking for Nurses to provide individualized patient care. Must have current Oklahoma Drivers license.
Excellent Benefits Provided:
• Allowance provided to pay for Health & Dental insurance
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405-307-2800 | fax: 405-307-2801
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Lois Salmeron, Dean and Professor of the Kramer School of Nursing.

Oklahoma City University’s Kramer School of Nursing offers a wide range of innovative undergraduate and graduate programs, and has recently invested in a new simulation center.
In addition to a traditional bachelor of science in nursing program, KSN offers a path to a nursing career even if one’s first degree is in another field. Those who have an associate of arts or science degree from a regionally accredited institution and have taken a course equivalent to World Religions at OKCU, as well as those who have earned full undergraduate or graduate degrees, completely meet the university’s general education requirements. Students who choose accelerated coursework can complete a BSN in just 16 months.
The RN-BSN program honors working nurses by awarding them 94 credit hours for their RN licensure, certifications, and continuing education as they enter the program. No additional math or science courses, nursing exams, care plans, or clinical hours are required. RN-BSN students meet in person for just four hours per week and can complete their degrees in just two semesters. Not only are classes held at the Oklahoma City campus, but the RN-BSN faculty travel across the state as well. The program currently features classes at Mercy Hospital Ardmore and at Norman Regional Hospital.
Many students who complete their BSN at Kramer School of Nursing choose to stay and earn a graduate degree. In addition to a Master of Nursing (MSN) degree with emphasis in leadership or education, KSN offers a Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) specialization. The CNL is a relatively new role which serves as advanced generalist and interdisciplinary team leader, particularly in complex healthcare organizations. Other graduate programs include Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) and Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AGACNP) in which nurses with a BSN a doctor of nursing practice (DNP) degree in just four years of part-time study. A DNP-completion program with emphasis in administration or clinical specialization is also available, as well as post-master’s FNP and AGACNP certificates which help nurses transition between advanced practice fields. Advanced nursing programs also require advanced nurse educators, so KSN further offers PhD and BSN-PhD programs.
The school recently completed a $1 million renovation to create the new Meinders Simulation Center. Designed to look and feel as close as possible to an actual hospital, the facility features seven high-fidelity simulators which are used to provide enhanced educational experiences to students. The manikins create extremely life-like behaviors and reactions including pulse, breathing, pupil dilation, internal sounds, and vocal sounds which can present a wide range of normal and abnormal pediatric, obstetric, medical/surgical, and intensive care scenarios. The manikins can also be manipulated during a simulation exercise to demonstrate reactions to medication or other interventions. Undergraduate and graduate students will use the simulation center during their courses of study.
More information about Kramer School of Nursing can be found at okcu.edu/nursing or by calling (405) 208-5900.

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Norman Regional Health System’s Gary Young is gearing up for Thursday’s blood drive, after already donating seven gallons of blood.
Young, an Education Center representative at Norman Regional, has been donating blood four to five times a year for the past 13 years.
Young was on Norman Regional’s Blood Drive Committee for more than a year before he decided he should start giving blood if he’s going to be on the committee, Young said. Since then, he’s donated blood at 56 blood drives at Norman Regional, only missing one because he had low iron and was unable to give.
“It’s wild,” Young said. “Hopefully it’s been used to save a lot of lives.”
Young, 56, was born at Norman Regional Hospital and grew up in Norman, so he only gives blood at Norman Regional in hopes of his blood being able to help another Norman resident.
“It’s close to home. I like it here. It’s more like giving blood to a family member,” Young said.
“Through the years, we’ve had special people who needed the blood so I wanted to help those people. It gives me joy in my heart that I could save someone’s life with my blood.”
Young will have his 24th anniversary at Norman Regional this August and plans to retire from Norman Regional in about six years, but that won’t stop him from donating blood at Norman Regional.
“I plan to continue giving as long as I can, even after retirement,” Young said.
During Young’s time on the Blood Drive Committee, he came up with the idea of using an employee’s photo on Oklahoma Blood Institute’s blood drive posters so employees would pay more attention to the posters. Since it was Young’s idea, he was the first Norman Regional employee to be featured on a poster three years ago.
“It draws more attention since they know them. It’s been a better turnout since coming up with the idea,” Young said. “I still have my poster.” Stacy Hicks, mechanic operations with Engineering Services, is featured on the next blood drive’s poster with his granddaughter.
“I like the feeling that I am helping people in need. My granddaughter was a blood donor recipient in 2017. Your donation makes a difference,” Hicks’s quote reads on the poster.
On average, about 50-55 people give blood at Norman Regional Hospital, approximately 35-40 people give blood at Norman Regional HealthPlex, and at least 20 people give blood at Norman Regional Moore.
Young said Norman Regional Moore’s blood drives are continuing to grow again. Blood drives were hosted at Norman Regional Moore before the May 2013 tornado, but they waited a year after the hospital was reopened before beginning to host the blood drives there again.
Norman Regional’s next blood drive will be hosted from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Thursday, March 8th at Norman Regional Moore.
The blood drives are open to anyone and everyone, and Young said he hopes more people from the community attend and donate blood to save lives.

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What brings joy to your life? Around the Clock Home Health, Chickasha

My granchildren ages two, nine and 14. There’s two boys and one girl. Patti Abercrombie, RN

It would have to be my children, grandchildren and helping others. Rhonda Langham, LPN

For me it’s my kids, my husband and being able to help others. Marisa Paul, office manager

My job helping others regain their health and my family. Tiffany Melton, coordinator

Golden Oaks Village Assisted Living located in Stillwater, OK Seeking an RN to serve as the Director of Nursing.
· Three years’ experience working as an RN in assisted living or similar facility
· Achieve and maintain compliance for all OK. State Dept of Health regulations governing long term care facilities
· Complete working knowledge of all applicable laws and regulations
· Experience performing routine assessments
· Strong managerial skills
· Implement recommendations to improve all facets of the Nursing department
· Active Oklahoma RN license
· Willing to re-locate and/or live in the Stillwater area
Work in a positive team environment with leaders who value our staff and have the chance to make a difference in the lives of those we serve.
Golden Oaks Village offers competitive pay, insurance benefits, 401k and paid time off.
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Q. I have become concerned about the day to day dynamics of my family. My two teenagers only come out of their rooms to eat and go to the bathroom. My husband is quiet, stays to himself a lot and reads. I can’t wait to get everything done and hit the bed. Basically our family time feels more like every one’s alone time. How can I change this?

Unfortunately your family dynamics sound like many other families who are too busy to spend quality time together. Alone time should also be encouraged, everyone needs some personal down time. But balance and moderation should be the goal.
Here are some qualities that help build healthy families:
1. Connectedness – This is what you seem to be lacking. Is it possible to set aside an evening during the week for family time, i.e., play games, order pizza and watch a movie together or eat as a family as many times as you can. This affords an opportunity to share your day and show interest in each other. NO ONE BRINGS THEIR PHONE TO THE DINNER TABLE!!! Everyone will survive.
2. Acceptance – Each person accepts the other, avoids judgment and creates a comfortable environment.
3. Appreciation – This really goes a long way. How often do you tell your spouse or your children how much you appreciate them?
4. Safety – All family members need to feel safe and secure in their surroundings.
5. Boundaries – It is important that parents be parents and not friends. It is equally important for parents to model healthy boundaries for their children. Adults need to have healthy boundaries with each other.
6. Truthfulness – Mean what you say. Children learn truth and honesty by the people around them. This sounds like a common sense statement but how many adults say and act one way but expect their children “to get it right?”
A family meeting is a good way to start making changes. Everyone attends the meeting. Have a list of topics to discuss. Make it short but to the point. Ask for feedback from all family members. This is important. Everyone may not get exactly what they want but the idea is to introduce changes are coming. Then meet again, continue to take inventory on how things are going.
Be consistent. Be committed. Your children are only children for so long. Now is the time!!

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Scott Plafker, Ph.D.

Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation scientist Scott Plafker, Ph.D., has received a four-year grant from the National Institutes of Health to study whether a natural compound can help prevent a common eye disease.
The grant, awarded by the National Eye Institute, will provide Plafker with $2.25 million to investigate whether sulforaphane, which is found naturally in broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts, can protect against age-related macular degeneration.
The compound has previously been shown to protect cells from stress and to have anti-cancer effects.
“The positive effects of sulforaphane are so widespread that it is in about 30 clinical trials at this very moment covering a variety of diseases ranging from schizophrenia to emphysema to autism,” said Plafker, a scientist in OMRF’s Aging and Metabolism Research Program. “With this grant, we are going to look at its protective effects specifically in age-related macular degeneration.”
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of irreversible blindness among the elderly in the U.S. This complex disease is characterized by death of the light-sensing photoreceptors cells in the macula region near the center of the retina. As a consequence, patients progressively lose their central vision.
With the new grant, Plafker and his OMRF research team will seek to determine if sulforaphane can preserve vision by maintaining and protecting the layer of cells in the retina that supports the function of light-sensing photoreceptors.
“I am excited about this because this is readily available in vegetables for cheap,” said Plafker. “People can get this with ease without prescriptions or high costs. That’s the best kind of treatment.”
Plafker’s research will be done in collaboration with Michael Boulton, Ph.D., from the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine and Raju Rajala, Ph.D., from the Dean McGee Eye Institute.
The grant, 1 R01 024944-01A1, is funded through the NEI, a part of the National Institutes of Health.

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Now hiring Full-time and Part-time RN’s and LPN’s in your area!
Our #1 priority is excellent
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Nurse Friendly Atmosphere
Nurse owned and operated.
We value our fellow nurses!
Paid time off, company 401K, medical, dental, and life insurance for all full-time employees.
Please call Lacey Gatlin at 580.745.9355 or email your resume to ljgatlin@healthwatchok.com to schedule your interview today!

Knee Center for Strong Families Positive Aging Initiative Continuing Education Program in Social Work and Counseling

When: Thursday, April 26, 2018 at 8:30am CT – 4:30pm CT
Where: NorthCare of Oklahoma City, 2617 General Pershing Boulevard, Oklahoma City, OK 73107.

CE Credits: This event offers 6.0 CE credits to attendees. CE accredited by Continuing Education Approved: LCSW, LSW, LSW-Adm. (6.5 hrs., including one hour of ethics) Home Care and Hospice Administrators (6.5 hrs., including one hour of ethics) LADC (6.5 hrs., including one hour of ethics) LPC and LMFT (6hrs., including one hour of ethics) LPNs, RNs (6.5 hrs., including one hour of ethics) Continuing Education Requested: Nursing Home Administrators and Certified Assistant Administrators (6 hrs.) RC/AL, Residential Care, and Adult Day Administrators (6 hrs.).
Cost: $65.00 with CE credits $20.00 without CE credits Lunch will be provided.
Topic: Full list provided here: https://okhpna.nursingnetwork.com/ PosAgeConfAgenda_2018
Speaker(s): Roberto E. Medina, MD Assistant Professor Reynolds Department of Geriatric Medicine Mark A Stratton, Pharm.D., BCGP, FASHP Professor Emeritus OU College of Pharmacy Jacqueline L. Millspaugh, M.Ed., LPC Clinical Support Manager Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services Karen Orsi, BA Director Oklahoma Mental Health and Aging Coalition.
Additional Information: For information and accommodations please contact Diane Freeman by phone (405)325-2822 or dkfreeman@ou.edu. Sponsored by OU Fran Ziegler and Earl Ziegler College of Nursing.

The Power of Palliative Care: Sponsored by Norman Regional Health Systems & Foundation 

When: Wednesday, April 4, 2018 at 7:30am CT – 4:30pm CT.
Where: Norman Regional Health System Education Center, 901 North Porter Avenue, Norman, OK 73071.
CE Credits: This event offers 5.0 CE credits to attendees. CE accredited by Norman Regional Health System through ANCC.
Topic: Introduction to Palliative Care, Symptom Management, Advance Care Planning, Communication & Cultural & Ethical Issues.
Speaker(s): Jeffrey Alderman, MD: Director of the Institute for Healthcare Delivery Sciences
Additional Information: This Educational Event is being sponsored by the Palliative Care Oncology Fund of Norman Regional Health System and Foundation. For questions or concerns please contact Bridget Pekah, DNP, MSN, RN at bpekah@nrh-ok.com or via 405-307-1517.
Applications have been submitted to offer CEs to nurses, social workers and respiratory therapists.