Nurses Rank Tops in Ethics and Honesty

Nurses Rank Tops in Ethics and Honesty

A recent poll has once again handed nurses nationwide a reason to celebrate this holiday season. For the 15th year in a row, the nursing profession has been ranked as the most trusted in a long list that includes everything from senators to college teachers.

In the recent Gallup poll, 84% of Americans polled rated nurses’ honesty and ethical standards as high or very high, besting other professions. By comparison, pharmacists earned the second spot on the list with a 67% in the same category and members of Congress came in at the very bottom with 8% of respondents ranking them as high or very high in the ethics category.

In general, those in professional health care fields were seen as more honest and ethical than many other professions. Medical doctors earned a 65% and dentists earned a 59% rating.

Gallup first held this poll in 1999 and nurses have topped the list every year since then except for one. In 2001, firefighters were included on the list in the wake of the 9/11 attacks and they came out at the top of the list.

It’s no surprise to nurses that they are at the top of the rankings. Nurses have always been advocates for their patients and have the patients’ well being and interests as their top priority. In addition to holding a common outlook, nurses in the field are well prepared in school to tackle dilemmas they might never have expected. There are nursing codes of ethics to uphold, confidentiality to protect, and a sense of duty and a responsibility to do what’s right that nurses share.

In nursing school classes in ethics examine tricky situations nurses might encounter in a real scenario. With all that training, even the newest nurses are ready to handle themselves with the highest level of professional conduct.

Congratulations to all you hard-working nurses on this important recognition. Ranking as the top profession for honesty and ethical standards is something to be proud of in the new year!

Great Holiday Gifts for Nurses

Great Holiday Gifts for Nurses

If you have a nurse on your holiday list this year, you have lots of choices for great gifts that are both meaningful and useful.

Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Relaxing Shower and Bath Stuff

Nurses work so hard that buying pampering gifts are almost a sure bet.

Aching muscles come with the job so nurses can appreciate things that help those tight muscles relax and recoup from a long day. Shower gels and lotions are always a great choice, but don’t stop at the basics. Shower scent tablets, a small ball or tablet that releases scent into the shower, is great for nurses who don’t want to or can’t wear scents. They can still enjoy the relaxing fragrance of lavender or rejuvenating scents like grapefruit and tangerine without having it linger all day.

If your nurse is a bath time devotee, bath bombs, those big, fizzy, fragrant additions to the tub are a luxurious gift that’s fun, too. Bath bombs come in a range of scents and with additions like oil or even petals, bath time can become a real event.

Personal Comforts

With those sore muscles also comes the need for heat and cold sometimes. Herbal heat packs that can be heated in the microwave and placed right on sore shoulders or lower backs will get lots of use. You can also get a few ice packs to help your nurse alternate. And don’t forget super-squishy slippers or socks so soft they feel like walking on clouds.

Nurse-Themed Everything

Nurses can show pride in their profession with a whole host of nurse swag. There are great items to add bling to stethoscopes, phones, and even cars. You can choose special jewelry like charms with medical symbols or RN that can make a bangle or a necklace special.

Lots of fun clothes are available like t-shirts or socks that pay homage to the nurse’s job and also just add fun or whimsy to an outfit.

Gifts of Time

Making dinner or giving homemade dinners that can be frozen and taken out (soup, chili, lasagna) can be a lifesaver for nurses who have a lot going on and could use some relief. If the person you are getting a gift for is taking care of family, is working more than one job, is a single parent, or is also a student, giving the gift of homemade food (which both saves them time and shows them extra caring) is most welcome.

You can also buy the gift of an experience. Depending on your budget, tickets to a play or a concert, ski lift passes, or a museum membership are all good choices.

Don’t Forget Grab-n-Go

What nurse can’t use a good mug to hold hot (or iced!) drinks. They come in all sizes and styles. Some even have nursing logos or saying written on them. Choose the right type, color, size, and purpose for your favorite nurse. And don’t forget roomy and sturdy tote bags or insulated lunch packs for toting lunches, dinners, and snacks for long shifts. A large bag to bring all the necessities around – books for class, a change of clothes, workout gear – is also a good option. Look for something comfortable and with straps that won’t dig into shoulders if the load gets heavy.

Choosing gifts for nurses can be fun if you just think of what they would like and what can make their lives just the smallest bit easier.

Am I The Picture of Health? Confessions of A Stressed Out Nurse

Am I The Picture of Health? Confessions of A Stressed Out Nurse

I had never received the backhanded compliment of “oh, she has such a pretty face” until recently. That was a compliment reserved for fat women. I did not consider myself fat at all. I would describe myself as overweight, but never fat. If I could still purchase clothing out of regular department stores, I did not believe myself to be obese. Even when I was hospitalized last year and the doctor’s notes said “…obese, 47yrs old female,” it did not truly register. However, once my vanity was attacked it hit home.

Sometimes, I see myself in the mirror and wonder how did it get to be this way. I am 5’4″. I weigh 210 lbs and am a Registered Nurse! Euphemisms like “thick,”” full-figured,” and ” healthy” only mask what I know to be the truth. This body that I live in is well on its way to diabetes and hypertension. Thankfully, in this moment I do not have any of those diseases, but it is just a matter of when, not if.

Being overweight has affected my self-esteem, my sense of self-worth, my self-love. It feels like a self-inflicted punishment. When I think back to when I was slim and feeling good, it almost brings me to tears. I start asking myself how did I let it get this out of hand? Why didn’t I just get up from the table? Stop eating at fast food restaurants? Continue to exercise? I am not a fat person who does not know how I got fat. I know exactly what I did, which I think makes it all the worse.

There are times I find it difficult to teach my patients about health and wellness. I wonder if they are looking at me and finding me a hypocrite. Or are they realizing that I, too, understand how hard it is to walk that path.

The heavier I became, the more crap I accepted from the men I dated. I no longer felt I that should be respected or loved entirely. Glad that they were in my life was enough. Trust me, when you do not love you, no one else does either. I stayed with a man who told me that he did not usually date “big girls.”  So, I sat wondering, should I feel special that you chose me? I found myself always trying to overcompensate for not being thin, for not being his ideal of beauty. I was showing him that my love was not worth it because it did not come in a perfect size 4, 6, or 8. I was depleted walking out of that one.

So now at this juncture, I am ready to lose the weight. I mean do what is necessary to get to where I feel comfortable in my skin. This is not simply about my vanity, but about my life, my health, and self-love. So, I am inviting you on this journey with me. Come along.

Hi, I’m Erika.

Ciao Bella!

Sesame Street Introduces First Character with Autism, Julia

Sesame Street Introduces First Character with Autism, Julia


Honestly, it has been a while since a news story actually evoked a smile on my face. While I was cooking dinner, I was kind-of listening to Lester Holt on NBC’s Nightly News. As I sliced some tomatoes, a mere sentence stopped me in my tracks. Holt reported that Sesame Street was adding a new character Julia, who has autism. To some readers, this statement may seem trivial. However, as a nurse, I believe that this is a huge step forward for the media and most importantly the general public. It’s great to see that a beloved and iconic show take a positive step forward by introducing a character that is representative of children with disorders like autism.

Characters like Julia give children with autism someone to look up to because he or she sees someone that goes through similar experiences. Even more, children without autism can learn that kids like Julia are not that different from them. As a new NP, I am always searching for educational shows to share with my pediatric patients and their families that embrace diversity and introduce important social themes. Without a doubt, I am so excited to share this resource with anyone that is willing to listen. I have talked about how awesome Sesame Street is with my coworkers and family. I can’t wait for my next pediatric case to show up so that I can whip out my iPad and share this cool interactive book that provides free of charge. Check out this interactive book below and share it with your friends, family, and patients. Thanks for checking out this blog. I can’t wait to read your responses and learn from your stories.

Provide Patient Friendly Education: How I Learned the Hard Way

Provide Patient Friendly Education: How I Learned the Hard Way

As nurses and nursing students, our profession is rooted in scientific knowledge. We can discuss in-depth about the pathophysiology of acute kidney injury perceived in critically ill patients to medications that are classified as Cytochrome P450 inhibitors. And to the ladies of The View, I didn’t need a doctor’s stethoscope to grace you with that tad bit of knowledge. Readers, please excuse my banter. As you can see, I am insulted by their senseless remarks. Seemingly, I have digressed from the topic at hand. So, I will get back to the point.

Certainly, nurses and nursing students are well versed in disease pathophysiology and advanced pharmacology. Moreover, we play many roles that range from caregiver to advocator. However, one of the most important roles that we play is as an educator. Frequently, patients ask us to restate in simple terms what a physician said after he or she exited stage left. Some doctors are notorious for dropping big medical terms to patients, and it causes the bewildered look seen below.


A patient’s reaction when a healthcare provider drops big medical words.

At one time or another, as nurses, we may have incited the same look when explaining a procedure or a medication’s intended action. As a nurse practitioner student, I was guilty of evoking the same expression that I lovingly labeled the ” Tim Gunn Look”.  One day, a patient presented to the clinic with symptoms of atrial fibrillation. So, I informed him that I would be performing a diagnostic exam called an ECG. Unfortunately, I provided the patient with an in-depth analysis. Midway through my explanation, I realized that I was dropping medical terminology because I induced the “Tim Gunn Look” on my patient. Consequently, I apologized to the patient and restarted. Here’s how I explained it the second time.

“An ECG is a test that measures the electrical activity of your heart. I will place several sticky pads on your body and wires will be connected to those pads. This test won’t hurt. Those pads and wires will pick-up your heart beats, and the machine will draw me a picture of how your heart is performing. This printout shows me if your heart is beating normally or abnormally, and this test can give me clues about heart conditions like atrial fibrillation. Healthcare providers may order this test if a person has chest pain, shortness of breath, palpitations, or before a person has surgery.“

From that experience, I learned a valuable lesson. Nurses and nursing students must be cognizant in the way they are presenting information to patients. Here’s the recap.

  • Provide the information in short sentences
  • Limit the use of medical lingo.
  • Use layman terms that the patient will grasp
    • However, don’t sacrifice important info if it doesn’t translate well

As healthcare providers, we must remember that most patients are not versed in the medical language. In the future, remember Tim Gunn’s expression when you provide patient education. You don’t want that face gazing back at you.


I encourage you to share your thoughts in the comments section below. I can’t wait to read and learn from your experiences!