Ways childhood cancer survivors avoid post traumatic stress disorder

February 10, 2012

sick little girl

Dealing with childhood cancer is not easy, whether you are going through it or have survived it. Cancer at any age can have long lasting effects on a person’s mental health. A study reported that Post Traumatic Stress Disorder was found significantly more often by survivors of childhood cancer (those over the age of 18) than by the sibling control subjects. It’s not easy for someone to hear that they have cancer, let alone deal with the treatments that go along with it. It does have a mental and psychological toll on the individual. However, there are ways that one can learn to mentally cope with the disease.

Here are some tips for coping with post traumatic stress from childhood cancer.

Support Group. Know that you are not alone. Many people go through PTSD after surviving cancer. It will comfort you to meet with others that may have similar symptoms or experiences as you. They may be able to offer coping skills or just be there for emotional support. It may be scary to think about sharing your PTSD experience with others, but it can be the best way to help yourself.

Therapy. Seeing a therapist might seem scary, but it’s a great way to overcome PTSD. Different types of therapies may be used. Crisis intervention is a method that may be used in attempt to lessen symptoms and help the patient return to a normal life. The therapist may teach coping skills and problem solving to help the individual change their way of thinking. Relaxation training is another therapy to treat PTSD. This can help the patient change their upsetting thoughts to positive ones and lessen the sensitivity to certain triggers.

Prevention. As always, it is a good idea to become aware of PTSD if you or your loved one is diagnosed with cancer. Being able to understand the disorder is important. You will be able to figure out a way to help your child hone those negative emotions before it becomes PTSD. Joining a support group or seeking therapy whilst dealing with cancer may help the patient in the long run.  A home healthcare nurse will be an asset to your life if you are going through this. Not only will she be there through radiation and chemotherapy, she will be a support system for your family and child. At PSA, we will be there every step of the way. We make sure to comfort both child and family by implementing the right care plan for you. For more information on PTSD, coping with PTSD, and how PSA can help you, visit each to learn more or call to find out how our nurses can assist you and your family.


Guide to PSA resources for families

February 3, 2012

little girl

At PSA, we make it a priority to provide the best care services for your loved one. We not only care about those who need to be taken care of, but also the families so closely affected by it. We go beyond traditional home healthcare to offer support, guidance and education for all of your needs.

Our Resources page offers a list of agencies and institutions focused on specialty diseases and disorders.This guide is right at your fingertips on our Resources page.  We also offer an online support forum called Forum for Families, where you can connect with others who have similar experiences.  It’s an asset because friends and doctors can listen to you, but they may not always connect the way other families in similar situations can relate. The forum is a great way to express your feelings with people who can empathize with you, rather than sympathize.

If this is something that interests you, visit PSA Healthcare, the nation’s leading pediatric home care provider. Qualified to care for respiratory conditions, cardio-pulmonary conditions, complicated of prematurity, genetic syndromes and more, our nurses are highly skilled and specialized within the field, making us a sought after healthcare provider. With more than 50 locations nationwide, we make life convenient for you. We stand out because we not only work with you, but we work closely with doctors, case managers and discharge planners to care for your loved one the best way possible. For more on our experts, go to PSA Heathcare.   We look forward to caring for your loved one!


How nurses can eat healthy on the job

January 25, 2012
nuts and fruit
Nursing is a demanding profession that requires physical, mental, and emotional engagement each shift. Therefore, being healthy is an important aspect of your job. Intellectually you know the importance of eating healthy, but it is human to slip up every now and then! Here are a few food options to keep your mind and body alert :
– Red Peppers: To keep up your energy levels, lower cancer risks, and boost your beauty, crunch on red peppers. They provide vitamins A and C, as well as lycopene. Red peppers are so beneficial to your health, as well as delicious. Next time you are just craving a crunch, grab red peppers instead of reaching to the vending machine for a processed bag of potato chips.  

– Organic Dark Chocolate: For those of you with a sweet tooth, try organic dark chocolate to satisfy your craving. Sweets high in sugar can slow you down during the day. Dark chocolate provides antioxidants that will keep you energized throughout the long hours of your shift.

 – Apples: As the saying goes, an apple a day keeps the  doctor away, and although you may work side-by-side with them, you definitely do not want to be in the patient’s seat.
They are packed with vitamins, minerals, flavonoids and polyphenols. These antioxidants will keep you healthy and on point while at work.  
– Hummus: Are you a fan of dips? Instead of a creamy onion dip or ranch, try dipping your healthy veggies in an equally healthy dip–hummus. Made of chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper, this snack is packed with amino acids and calcium.
– Pumpkin Seeds: Loaded with magnesium, calcium, vitamin K, protein, and iron, pumpkin seeds will get you through your longest days. Whether you are forever away from your lunch break or are working the night shift, pumpkin seeds will hold you over until your next meal.
– Oatmeal: A great way to start your morning is with a bowl of oatmeal. A healthy carb, oatmeal will give you a natural surge of energy. Add blueberries or cinnamon into your oats for extra health benefits.


A small change in your eating habits can make a big difference! What tips can you add to helping your fellow nurses stay healthy?


5 Tips for Families Dealing with Long Term Illness

January 18, 2012
family
Many times we talk with families who have been trying to care for a family member with long term illness.  However, over time the realize they need assistance and that’s when they consider a home health care nurse.  Our staff is highly trained to assist families physically and emotionally.  Our nurses provide compassion and comfort, when many families need it most.  Some of the tips many of them will give to people include the following:
1. Remember the illness does not define your family.
2. Everyone in the family needs to take time for themselves.  Whether it’s reading a good book, mediation or exercise maintaining hobbies will help everyone stay refreshed.
3. Seek support from families in similar situations.  They’ll help you find your inner-strength. When friends and family offer help, accept and give them tasks to lighten the load.
To learn more, visit our family resource page.

5 ways social media benefits nurses

January 11, 2012

These days social media has become a prominent part of everyday life.  From your best friend posting a picture of running her first marathon to the joy of your sister-in-law announcing she’s engaged. People are sharing their funny stories, accomplishments, and even misfortunes through social media platforms every day. For nurses in particular, we love that social media fosters professional connections, is a source of support and a way to share feelings about the nursing profession. There are many benefits and reasons why nurses should use social media.  Here are our top three reasons: 

1. Using Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and blogs can help build your credibility as a health professional, as well as spark discussions within the health care community.
2. Nurses can provide basic health tips to the general public, i.e., the latest study on nutrition and exercise. After all, people daily turn to the web to find answers to their health concerns or read up on new studies.
3. You can share the daily routine of a home health care nurse, revealing the satisfaction you receive in providing quality care to your patients.  This is valuable information for someone considering the nursing profession or a nurse looking at work in the home health care field.Social media is a great tool, but some discretion must be taken when posting certain information. Keep these points in  mind when using social media to protect yourself and your patients!

• Leave your work at the office. Make sure when posting to your social media that you don’t accidentally divulge any information that may be private to your patients.

• Remain impartial on support pages and blogs.


The continuing growth of social media makes now the best time to get started. It can be used to your advantage, through career growth and helping others.


Reasons to Donate Blood in January

January 6, 2012

The American Red Cross annually kicks off each year with Blood Donor Month.  It’s an excellent way to begin every year, reminding all of us to continue giving back to those in need.  In fact, did you know one donation can benefit three recipients?  What a wonderful way to give back to your community!  You can also reap health benefits by donating.  Here’s our list of reasons why you should donate blood this month:

  • More than 38,000 blood donations are needed each day & 1 car accident victim could require as many as 100 pints of blood.  The average donation is 1 pint, which means your gift is saving lives.
  • Donating blood reduces the excess build up of iron in your blood, which can lead to heart attacks and strokes.  By donating, you’re giving to someone else while also benefiting your own health.
  • Blood donation is also used to aid cancer patients and those suffering with sickle cell disease.  Many of us don’t consider the thousands of patients who need routine blood transfusions due to illness.

To learn more on how you can donate blood during the month of January and all year long, visit the American Red Cross Blood Donation page.  You can also get more health tips on how donating blood reduces your personal health risk through Livestrong.


How to keep your resolution this year

December 28, 2011

list of goals

We all make resolutions, knowing many times we won’t keep the majority of them.  However, each year we focus on the typical resolutions of losing weight, exercising and reducing stress.  But what if this year we all did something different, something that has positive potential for our careers and patients.  Sarah Eder gave several wonderful suggestions earlier this year about how to make a resolution and stick with it.  Her blog post on ONS Connect shared tips on how to make a resolution and keep it.  Simply choose one that will enhance your career and you’re more likely to keep it.

Some of her tips include setting measurable goals that you can easily obtain throughout the year.  Also consider seeing your resolutions as something positive rather than giving something up.  You can also make your resolution about a specific outcome rather than a task, giving yourself a better chance of achieving your goal.  What tips do you have for other nurses who are wanting to keep their New Year’s resolutions in 2012?  Let us know by leaving a comment below.