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COST: FREE TO OKVAN MEMBERS, $15 FOR NON-MEMBERS
Thank you to Access Scientific for providing this educational opportunity
by Vickie Jenkins, Staff Writer
Meet Amy Snyder, RN, BSN where she works at Integris Southwest Medical Center. She can be found taking care of the babies in the Newborn Nursery, Level II NICU or the Mom-Baby Postpartum Unit. “I am doing exactly what I want to do. I am fortunate to be able to work with all of these sweet little babies,” Amy said.
Amy stays busy, doing many different jobs at the hospital. “My typical day varies, according to census and acuity, but usually includes a variety of things involving deliveries and providing care to new moms. Whether the woman is having her first baby or her fifth, all moms need a little TLC and I enjoy providing it, and of course, caring for the babies as well. I teach the moms how to take care of their little bundle of joy. There are also times when I care for the sick or premature baby in the special care nursery. Those babies need a little more care than the others but I have to admit, those are the babies that are my favorite,” she said with a big smile.
Amy’s duties include attending deliveries where she does assessments on the babies from time of birth until 2 hours old. Frequent checking of vital signs, ensuring the baby is staying warm, giving medications and vaccines, obtaining weight and measurements, initial feeding with the mom and baby, monitoring lab work if needed plus initiating safety and security.
“On some occasions, babies have issues that require special care, such as premature babies, respiratory issues, critically low temperatures, low glucose levels or suspected infections. Those babies spend some time in the NICU,” Amy said. Other times, Amy spends her shift giving care to new moms and their healthy babies, monitoring their vital signs, weight, feedings and output. A lot of mom/baby patient education is given as well.
When I asked Amy to describe herself in 3 words, she replied, “I guess I would say, funny, patient and diligent. I rarely give up on something when I set my mind to it and I like to have fun along the way.”
Amy grew up in Bethany, OK. With her mom being an ICU nurse at Deaconess, Amy was familiar with doctors and nurses. “Many of my mom’s friends were nurses and encouraged me to pursue nursing when I got older. In fact, when I was a baby, I had some health issues and I had to have a trach for the first five years of my life. I was around a lot of doctors and nurses. I spent those years in and out of NICU and the pediatric floor. It must have had a lasting impact on my life. That is likely the reason I work where I do today.”
Amy has been a nurse for 18 years. When asked what qualities make a good nurse, she replied, “I think a nurse needs to be loving, compassion, diligence, flexible, have common sense, a love for learning and a sense of humor, along with good time management and critical thinking skills.”
Amy would not change anything about her job. “My greatest reward is when I get to see patients recover and do well, or see a baby return with their parents to have little siblings later on and they remember me fondly. It’s a privilege to share those first few days with a new family. My favorite thing about nursing as a whole is the flexibility in the field. There are endless career choices and possibilities. My favorite thing about my current job is so obvious…it’s all those babies!”
Amy is a single mom and has 3 wonderful boys, ages 25, 14, and 11. She also has a granddaughter that is 2 years old. She loves spending time with her family. Her hobbies include gardening, bargain hunting and garage sale shopping with friends. “I love to repurpose furniture, decor items, and do all kinds of crafts.”
When it comes to advice for anyone interested in a career in nursing, Amy has some encouraging words; “Stick with it and don’t give up, even if you don’t feel the passion right away. There is so much flexibility, there is something for everyone. It can be very rewarding work! Being here at Integris Southwest Medical Center is definitely where I belong. I love it and I am blessed that I found my passion.”
by Bobby Anderson, Staff Writer
Oklahoma State University is helping grow the next generation of nurses by offering a new RN to BSN program.
Mary Malaska is the new director of the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) online degree program at Oklahoma State University, where she also serves as an assistant professor on the Stillwater campus.
The new RN to BSN program offers registered nurses who have completed an accredited associate’s degree or diploma program the opportunity to earn their bachelor’s degree in nursing to enrich and expand their careers.
Malaska, who holds a doctorate in nursing practice from Duquesne University, received her associate’s degree in nursing from OSU-OKC in 1978 and is a certified nurse instructor.
She was named Nurse of the Year in 2011 at INTEGRIS Baptist Medical Center, where she provided care to new mothers, infants and female surgical patients as a staff nurse from 1997-2016.
Malaska has served in several positions at the OSU-OKC campus, including associate professor and division head of health sciences. She was also the team leader of the Nursing Care of Vulnerable Populations teaching team, which assisted nursing students and provided clinical supervision. She received the Dean Stringer Excellence in Teaching Award from OSU-OKC in 2007.
Malaska earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in 1993, and a Master of Science in Nursing Education from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in 1996.
Offered in the College of Education, Health & Aviation, the online program is designed for individuals who have obtained Registered Nurse licensure and have successfully completed either an accredited associate’s degree or diploma program.
The BSN at OSU-Stillwater delivers coursework 100 percent online over three successive semesters and is designed for working adult learners. Each student will have an advisor who provides system guidance, support with online activities, and serves as a mentor while navigating the online degree process.
The OSU RN to BSN program concept is unique because of the health and wellness concentration of the degree. The College of Education, Health & Aviation includes a strong health focus with programs in health education and promotion, applied exercise science, recreational therapy, physical education, and counseling and counseling psychology.
The program plans to seek accreditation through the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.
With a national focus on the need to prepare more registered nurses with advanced education, OSU and the College of Education, Health & Aviation welcome the opportunity to provide a quality program that will produce leaders in clinical nursing practice.
“The new Bachelor of Science in Nursing program meets an expressed need for the state’s health care community and it expands the emphasis on health that is present in the College of Education, Health & Aviation. We are excited to offer a high-quality program that will produce more nurses with advanced education for Oklahoma, the region and the U.S.,” says College of Education, Health & Aviation Dean John Romans.
CAREERS IN NURSING
KEEPING IT SIMPLE: ALLIANCEHEALTH DEACONESS
by Vickie Jenkins – Writer/Photographer
AllianceHealth Deaconess Oklahoma is dedicated to helping people rebuild their lives after illness and injury. Their services address both the mental and physical aspects of rehabilitation. The Rehabilitation team includes knowledgeable, caring professionals who are dedicated to providing quality care and support.
On the third floor of AllianceHealth, Rehab, you will find Lori Stewart, RN, BSN, and Nurse Manager. Lori wears many hats as she handles many responsibilities. With a friendly smile, she is very outgoing and professional.
Born and raised in Oklahoma, Lori has been the nurse manager for one year. Lori has been a nurse for 23 years and has worked in many areas of nursing. “Most of my work was as an oncology nurse and a breast cancer navigator at Saint Anthony’s hospital. I was also a travel nurse. There are so many options and job opportunities in the medical field,” Lori added.
When asked what qualities make a good nurse, Lori replied, “I think the first quality a nurse needs is compassion. They need to have the ability to make decisions and stay calm under pressure and not let their problems cross the threshold of the patient they are taking care of. One important quality is to be an advocate for nurses and be able to speak up. I know in my case, a nurse can teach anyone different tasks but the main thing to be a nurse; not be afraid to take care of the patients. Feel what they feel, try to experience what they are feeling. To be a good nurse, it’s more about understanding the whole patient and be where they are. The patient is in a vulnerable position and we need to provide the best care we can.”
Lori mentioned some of her accomplishments: “I was a member of Sigma Theta Tau, and I have my Oncology certification and Breast Care Navigator certification. I have an associate’s degree and I was an honor graduate in my class at SNU. I am proud of my accomplishments.”
Asking Lori what strong qualities she has as a nurse, she replied, “I have the ability to listen, trying to see both sides of things, being fair. I am organized, and have flexibility, learning not to set my expectations so high that they cannot be met. I have learned to live for today, not focusing on ‘what ifs.’ I like to think that I am pretty easy to get along with. As a nurse manager, I can’t always do what everyone wants but I try to come up with a solution and work towards it. I think we work as a team. Nurses need to work together and remember they are nurses first.”
Did you want to be a nurse when you were little? I asked Lori. With a laugh, she said, “Oh no, I wanted to be a princess! I decided I wanted to be a nurse when the Gulf war broke out and I had two little boys, wondering how I would provide for them if anything happened to their daddy. At the time, I really had no desire to be a nurse, but ended up taking a biology class and fell in love with it. It was a natural progression from there. Little did I know that I would become a nurse. Being a nurse makes me the proudest.”
Asking Lori what advice she would give to anyone if they wanted to go into the medical field, she replied, “Keep your options open. If this is where you want to be, don’t stop until you get here. Have common sense and a desire to learn. Nursing is an excellent field to get into; your options are unlimited.”
Lori spent most of her time in the medical field under the oncology umbrella; working in hospital settings and doing breast cancer procedures. “Oncology will always be very dear and close to my heart, but as the manager nurse in Rehab, this is definitely my dream job. I love seeing the progress of the patients as they leave. I am thrilled with the opportunity of being here.”
Lori has 2 sons, Brian, 35, who also works at AllianceHealth as a charge nurse and Andrew, 32, who is a defense contractor.
When Lori is not working, she likes to spend time with her 3 Bassett Hounds. Lori’s hobbies include reading, going to movies and shopping at thrift stores.
According to Lori, these are the words she lives by: Keep it simple.
Josephine Pannah, CNA
Donna Banks, RN
Angie Moser, RN
The Holy Land
Amelia Robles, volunteer
I am convinced that our society is addicted to being addicted. I have been in recovery from a serious eating disorder for five years. My thoughts will occasionally take me back to behaviors that I could engage in to lower stress but I work my program and “stay sober.” But I realize that in some ways society has benefited from my addiction and others. I will explain.
I have a friend Cindy, who weighs over three hundred pounds. She is carrying two people on her skeleton that was designed for one. Her ankles, knees and hips hurt all the time and she takes opiates for pain relief. She has been in therapy but had the typical addict responses, i.e, “I really don’t eat that much.” “I am big boned,” etc.
Cindy called me one day and while talking I could tell that she was eating. She told me that she had gone shopping at her “fat lady” store and she got a reward coupon for spending over $50.00. I held my breath imagining what the coupon “reward” would bring her. READY……… a free pie at one of the local restaurants!!!! A free pie for the obese shopper to make sure she comes back to the “fat lady” store.
I was outraged and wanted to call the store and scream at them but then it hit me; this store was in the business of selling clothes to overweight and obese people and they want to stay in business.
Fast food restaurants lure us in all the time. Who can’t afford the dollar menu. But what are the choices? How much do you know about the calorie content, as well as the nutrient content.
How many doctor visits and medications could be avoided if food choices were healthier. People will often say it costs more to eat healthy. Really think about that statement. It costs more………how many overweight people taking diabetic medication might be eliminating that medication with weight loss. I know for a fact doctors have told people, “If you lose weight you might not need medication.’
Just for grins, sit down and add what you are spending in doctor visits and prescriptions. How much healthy food could you buy with that money.
There are people advocating for healthy eating, less prescription medications (don’t even get me started on the amount of money being made by the pharmaceutical companies, they want you to eat the pie.)
I recently experienced a situation when I was at a gas station. A man with a large apron approached me and asked if I smoked. I said, No. I watched him approach the person next to me and handed them a free pack of cigarettes with a coupon attached. It never ends.
Addictive behavior is hard to change but it can be done. Be aware, have support systems and don’t eat the pie.
With temperatures on the rise, insects are once again spreading disease. And it’s happening faster than it ever has before.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that the number of Americans infected by Lyme disease, West Nile virus and other insect-borne illnesses has more than tripled since 2004, jumping from 27,388 cases to more than 96,000 in 2016.
According to Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation President Stephen Prescott, M.D., climate change appears to be a key driver for this trend.
“In the southern U.S. and Gulf Coast, we are seeing real changes in the types of mosquitoes that can survive there,” said Prescott. “More parts of the country look increasingly like the climate in Brazil and other tropical areas, so diseases we previously only associated with those places are now here, even in Oklahoma.”
Other contributing factors include the increase in global travel, a return of forestation in urban areas and suburbs, and a lack of new vaccines to combat the new threats, said Prescott.
In Oklahoma, the most common insect-borne diseases are West Nile virus, which is spread by mosquitoes, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever, which ticks pass from animals to humans.
“There are a lot of bad diseases here in Oklahoma already, and many more could be on the way. Some of them you might not even have heard of yet, like chikungunya or dengue,” said Prescott. “These can do serious damage to your health, and we need to be prepared for their arrival.”
So, how do you protect yourself?
The best defense, Prescott said, is to keep insects off your skin. “Whether you wear long sleeves and pants, use an insect repellent with DEET, or both, you are taking a crucial step,” he said.
Using insect repellant, said Prescott, doesn’t pose a risk. “There is no evidence that regular application in this circumstance is detrimental to your health. It represents far less risk than getting bitten by an infected insect.”
He also suggests limiting outdoor activities around dusk and dawn, when insect activity is at its highest. If you’re outdoors in the early mornings or evenings, avoid walking through grass, where you’re most likely to attract mosquitoes and ticks.
To help control insect populations, Prescott recommends dumping out flower pots that contain excess water and making sure gutters or storm drains aren’t full or clogged. Routinely change water in bird baths and pet water bowls, too, he said.
“The best advice I can give is this: do whatever it takes to avoid getting bitten by mosquitoes,” said Prescott.
You are invited to come join a growing team and be part of a great Physician owned company. Community Hospital will be interviewing on-site for nursing and healthcare positions at all campuses Thursday, May 31, 2018 from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Community Hospital North Campus, 9800 Broadway Extension, OKC, OK 73114. Positions may also be viewed at CommunityHospitalOKC.com/job-postings and NWSurgicalOKC.com/job-postings . Giveaways, Door Prizes and Food will be available.
Career opportunities at all campuses include: RN Manager Positions (Outpatient Surgery and Pre-Admission Testing), RN Med Surg Night Positions (Full Time and Temporary Contracts), RN Positions in Pre-Admission Testing, Pre-op, PACU and Surgery, Surgical Techs, Sterile Processing Techs, Patient Care Techs, Paramedics, MRI and Ultrasound Techs (PRN) and more! To find out more information call 405-606-2600 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mercy Hospital Oklahoma City is expanding neurology services with the creation of the Herman Meinders Center for Movement Disorders at Mercy NeuroScience Institute (NSI), adding an expert physician and cutting-edge new treatment.
Dr. Cherian Karunapuzha, a neurologist specially trained in treating movement disorders, has joined Mercy NeuroScience Institute. A movement disorder is a neurological disease that impairs a person’s ability to move naturally. The most common types include Parkinson’s disease, essential tremor and dystonia.
“At Mercy, we have developed a comprehensive multidisciplinary program which serves as a one-stop shop for care for all aspects of movement disorders,” Dr. Karunapuzha said. “This first of a kind center for Oklahoma will provide patients and referring physicians access to advanced care without having to travel out of state.”
As part of the comprehensive approach to care, Mercy will now offer deep brain stimulation (DBS) for patients living with movement disorders. Dr. Eric Friedman, an experienced neurosurgeon, will perform the new procedure at Mercy Hospital Oklahoma City.
Deep brain stimulation involves implanting electrodes in the brain to help regulate abnormal body movements using electrical impulses.
“DBS essentially acts like a pacemaker for the brain,” said Dr. Richard Vertrees Smith, medical director of Mercy NeuroScience Institute. “Movement disorders may progress very slowly, often over decades, and some patients reach a point where medications no longer work. We are proud to be able to offer this exciting new technology that can dramatically improve the quality of life of our patients.”
The creation of the new comprehensive movement disorder clinic was made possible through a $1.7 million donation from local philanthropist Herman Meinders.
In 1970, Meinders founded American Floral Services Inc. (AFS), an international flowers-by-wire service based in Oklahoma City. AFS grew to be ranked as one of the largest floral wire services in the world. Meinders sold AFS in 1994, and it merged with Teleflora in 2000. He remains chairman emeritus of Teleflora.
Herman and his wife were longtime supporters of Parkinson’s research and treatment before he was diagnosed in 2014.
“When I became a patient of Dr. Karunapuzha, I realized what a great doctor he is and when I learned he was considering joining Mercy, I wanted to do whatever I could to make that happen,” said Meinders. “The fact my donation provided the funding necessary to create a comprehensive center for movement disorders and also allowed Mercy to add the best Parkinson’s doctor in Oklahoma to its outstanding staff made this an easy decision for me.”
At the Herman Meinders Center for Movement Disorders, patients will also have access to the most up-to-date imaging services, group exercise classes and a specially trained team of nurses, physical therapists and occupational therapists.
“We couldn’t be more grateful for Herman Meinders and his extreme generosity,” said Jim Gebhart, president of Mercy Hospital Oklahoma City and regional strategy officer. “This donation will have a profound impact on our patients and families for years to come.”
Dr. Karunapuzha will begin seeing patients May 21 at Mercy NeuroScience Institute Suite 218.
The American Academy of Nursing urges the Trump-Pence Administration to remove the “gag” rule on Title X. This Administration’s actions attack the fundamental principle of ethical and evidence-based health care.
The Trump-Pence administration placed a domestic “gag” rule on Title X – one of the nation’s primary birth control and reproductive health care programs. The American Academy of Nursing is on record supporting evidence-based policies that ensure that all people have full access to affordable, sexual and reproductive health services; facilitate expansion of clinical knowledge and evidence-based women’s preventive health services, especially related to preventing unintended pregnancies; and assure that all women’s health care, including reproductive health services and policies that support those services, is grounded in scientific knowledge and evidence-based policies and standards of care.
The gag rule prohibits health care providers, including nurses and nurse practitioners, from referring their patients for safe, legal abortion. It removes the guarantee that a Title X patient receives full and accurate information about their health care from their providers.
Nurses are the most trusted professionals in the United Sates, and we have an ethical and moral responsibility to maintain this trust. Trust requires that health care providers give patients complete and accurate information about their health care so that patients can make meaningful, informed decisions about their own health. For nearly two decades, the Title X law has been clear– health care providers cannot withhold information from patients about their pregnancy options. The Academy strongly opposes this gag rule and demands that the rule be rescinded.