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National Eye Care Month

9 Jan

January is National Eye Care Month, and the stats are flying at me fast and furious! This week, I thought I’d share with you some of the interesting statistics I’ve come across.

According to the Vision Council of America (2006), of the total adult American population:

• 64.0 percent use eyeglasses
• 19.0 percent use contact lenses some of the time
• 85.6 percent use non-prescription sunglasses
• 14.0 percent use pre-made “drugstore” reading glasses
• 12.1 percent use clips for sunglasses
• 4.4 percent use computer glasses

From these statistics, it’s clear that eyewear touches the lives of nearly everyone in the United States. More than 2/3 of the U.S. population wear glasses, alone!

Eyewear is just the tip of the eye care iceberg, though. Millions of people are impacted by eye problems, injuries and diseases every year.

For instance, over the age of 40, 20 million people have a cataract in one or both eyes, and 2.2 million are affected by open-angle glaucoma. 1.8 million Americans over the age of 40 have Macular Degeneration.

Thousands of Americans encounter eye problems due to injury, as well! Of the 9,000 people injured by fireworks each year, 30% incur an eye injury, and 25% involve vision loss or blindness.

Lack of proper protective eyewear causes thousands of injuries each year. In the workplace, 2,000 workers experience job-related eye injuries each year. While playing sports, 42,000 eye injuries occur each year. But maybe most interestingly, from 1998 to 2000, eye injuries due to paintball guns rose from 545 to 1200 injuries a year—More than doubling the injury rate!

All of these statistics lead me to one conclusion. Although we often take our vision for granted, it is certainly not something to be taken lightly. This month of eye care acknowledgement certainly offers us an opportunity to pause, pay attention to what we are lucky enough to see around us, and of course, schedule an appointment with our favorite eye care professionals!

But perhaps you are one such professional already, and I am preaching to the choir! Well, then may I please direct you to the Welch Allyn Ophthalmoscope area of our website?


Scrubs Fashionista

5 Dec

I read an article a few days ago about ideas for jazzing up your scrub wardrobe. Wearing monochromatic scrubs can get rather monotonous, and after reading this article, I thought I would put my style talents to work. Since Cherokee makes great scrubs that appeal to almost everyone, I took advantage. I love Cherokee scrubs for the same reasons you probably do. They always seem to have a great fit, wash well, and there is a style for just about everything and everyone!

So without further ado, here is my attempt at working as a Scrubs Fashionista!

How about this V-Neck top in the Eco Floral Pattern with these cute straight legged cargo pants in chocolate brown?

Or check out this “keyhole” top. It looks like a classic tunic with the mild v-neck and side vents. It would look great paired with these “Touch” drawstring cargo pants in turquoise. These pants have the added benefit of being soft as can be!

Here’s another cut I really like from Cherokee—the empire waist top. Pair this top in the “Papavero” or “Modern Dot” print with these low-rise flare leg scrub pants in black and you could almost stop at a happy hour on your way home from work!

What is your favorite Cherokee inspired outfit?

A Personal Look at the Breast Exam Debate

21 Nov

As the mammography debate is raging on, I want to take a moment to tell a personal story.

Three years ago, during a self breast exam, I found a lump. I happened to have a routine OBGYN visit around the corner and through a simple clinical exam, my doctor also found the lump. My doctor was concerned and sent me to a women’s diagnostic center to have an ultrasound done. My ultrasound revealed that the lump was a fibroid and nothing more—“lay of the caffeine for a month, and it should go away,” said my doctor. My relief was palpable—I was a false positive. It was a traumatic experience, but one I am glad I went through.

The part of this story that still has me thinking about that day, however, was a woman in the waiting room. Let’s call her Judy. Once I had signed in, I was told to put on a gown and wait in a communal waiting area. So here I am, in a room full of vulnerable women wearing nothing but a cotton gown, all with an unknown lump on our body. Naturally, we began to chat. Most of the stories are the same. Our doctors had either found a lump via mammography or clinical exam. But Judy, well, Judy piped up and said she had found a lump 4 months earlier during a self-exam, and had just gone to her doctor. Judy was probably nearing 50. She was a beautiful woman, but clearly, she was scared. She had been letting this lump grow for 4 months! I was scared for her. Now of course, her lump could be benign, it could be a fibroid, it could be a cyst, but with all of those “could be’s” there is also the big BC. And the fact that Judy didn’t feel comfortable telling her doctor for 4 months about her lump is and was terribly concerning to me.

I have no idea what happened to Judy. I hope with my deepest hope that her lump was benign. But her situation begs the question, “What will this latest revision to the breast exam standards do to women like Judy?” By telling a woman like Judy that she doesn’t need to a mammogram until she is 50, and that she shouldn’t even be doing a self-exam, where does that leave her? She was clearly either too unconcerned or too scared to tell her doctor for 4 months. My doctor has always made it a point to insist upon self-exams, and yearly clinical exams. And I thank her for that dearly, because the day I found something, it wasn’t scary. I called her office, moved up my yearly exam, and had the lump checked out. It wasn’t even scary until I had left the diagnostic center and my relief took me over, all because it was somewhat routine for me.

I understand the logistics in place with the task force guidelines, however, from my perspective, my fear is that giving women the chance to ignore the possibilities is far worse than exposing them to a couple of days of stress—or heaven forbid, a couple of years of chemo.

The Holiday Schedules are Upon Us

13 Nov

As we all are well aware, one of the pitfalls of nursing is the holiday schedule. During most of the year, it’s bearable. We take our weekend shifts and night shifts in stride, but when your 25 closest relatives plan to be camped out at your house for turkey and football, well, it gets a little more frustrating.

What can be done to make the holidays a little easier? Well, at the top of the list, as with any job, is management that is willing to realize you have a life outside of work. Perhaps your hospital already has good scheduling karma, but if not, maybe it is time to speak up—respectfully!—and offer some new options for next year’s holiday scheduling.

Here are a few scheduling ideas to get you started:

• Allow everyone to prioritize the days they would prefer to take off. Perhaps Christmas Eve is more important in your family than Christmas Day. By setting your 1st, 2nd and 3rd choice of holidays, everyone is more likely to get what they want.
• If a sign-up sheet method is used, next to the sign-up sheet, post the holidays all employees worked the previous year. If everyone can see that Sarah worked Christmas Day and 4th of July last year, everyone can understand why she doesn’t want to work those days this year.
• Create groups. Group 1 works 4th of July, Thanksgiving and New Years’ Day. Group 2 works Memorial Day, Labor Day, and Christmas Day. Each year, the groups alternate, and groups are static for at least 3 years in advance.

Once the schedule is set however, there are always ways to make working the holiday better:

• Throw a party. Have everyone bring a dish, and have a potluck party. Be sure to invite any families that are visiting patients, as they are missing their holiday celebrations, too!
• Remember that airfare is cheaper just before and after the holidays. If you can’t visit family on Christmas, waiting until after the holidays won’t be the end of the world, particularly if the plane ticket is $200 cheaper!
• And lastly, don’t forget that your patients can’t be at home celebrating with their families, either. When your own troubles get you down, it is always useful to help someone else with theirs. Pay extra attention to your patients at the holidays and make their day a little brighter. It will inevitably make yours better in the process!

Name our blog contest winner update

15 May

We missed an earlier email entry so we are happy to announce we will have two winners. Stephanie your order is on the way!

blog_name_winner Stephanie Lasher is currently a volunteer at Southern Maine Medical Center while working towards earning her RN. She also has a BA in Anthropology and would like to get involved with international travel nursing after becoming a registered nurse. Stephanie and her husband Matt reside in Wells, Maine.

We have a winner!

5 May

The Pulse will be the new name of our blog. Congratulations to Katie M! We will be in contact with you to give you a $250 Shopping spree at!

Thank you to everyone who participated in the “name our blog” contest. We have some very creative customers and we appreciate all of you. It was a lot of fun and we hope to do more contests in the future. Make sure you are on our email list so that you don’t miss our next contest. Visit email specials page to be added to the list.

Thank you,