Monthly Archives: May 2016

Most Memorable Mentor: Nurses Week

Robin DealRobin Deal, BSN, RN, CCE is the Perinatal Services Manager at UNC REX Healthcare and has over 37 years of nursing experience in Women’s Health. She is the proud “Nana” of two little girls and expecting a grandson in September.

Happy Nurses Week!

Several years ago, ADVANCE for Nurses encouraged their readers to write about their most memorable mentor. “Mentors play an important role in the lives of nurses. Whether they inspire you to choose this profession or provide you with advice and guidance along the way, they are the ones who make a difference in our lives. More than 250 submitted their stories telling about that special person that made a difference in their career. These stories made it clear the nursing profession is full of compassionate and caring individuals that not only care about patients but each other as well.

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During Nurses Week, it is nice to reflect on the individuals who have influenced and supported us in our profession. Here is the story of the individual they chose as their Most Memorable Mentor.

“Louise” has been an outstanding mentor. Not only has she been my mother but a shining example of what a nurse should be and my inspiration to dedicate my life to nursing. As a little girl I remember the care and concern she showed to the patients of Dr. Bob. She took care of babies, kids, and adults with compassion and care. She retired in 1992 but families still see her in the community and say “I remember when you took care of me as a child” or “you took care of my mother when she was sick.” Her dedication to her profession, her passion to do a good job, and her understanding and care for people not only was present in the hospital and office where she worked, but she took it into the community into her church and her family. In 1973 when I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease, she wore her “mom” hat but dedicated herself to care for me while in the hospital and through radiation therapy. She coached me through nursing school and was always willing to talk “shop” and encourage me. Even when she retired she worked in the local Medical Ministries organization to assist physicians in providing free medical care to indigent patients in the community. Then in 2003, she took on her most difficult nursing job ever. She put her excellent nursing skills and sent her compassion into overdrive all over again when she cared for my sister who had been diagnosed with a very aggressive glioblastoma. She and my dad spent 7 months in Texas (they live in NC) as primary care givers for my sister until she died. In a truly very difficult personal situation, she advocated, cared for, and grieved for her oldest daughter with dignity, compassion and love that she has shown to thousands of people over the years. Her dedication and inspiration to her profession truly served as a mentor for me and every day I try to live my career in the same way I have witnessed such an outstanding nurse over 54 years. Louise is truly a shining star for Nursing and always will be.

This week, take time to remember those who have influenced you as a nurse. Be proud of the nurse you are and the wonderful care and compassion you provide to your patients, their families and to each other. Thank you for all that you do and the influence you have on others as mentors.

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A Gift of Song

Searching for ways to give back to new mothers, fathers, and families at the REX Women’s Center, UNC REX postpartum nurse, Meghan Presnell, RN, teamed up with eleven co-workers to create an album of lullabies.

Meghan Presnell’s love for music always thrived in her heart. At the age of 20, she launched a career as a country music singer in Nashville, Tennessee. For two and half years, she and her band wrote, produced, and performed their own music together.

Upon her engagement to her now husband, she decided to start a new life and career in North Carolina.

Meghan Presnell, RN“I found a love for nursing – I’m passionate about women and children’s health and those were the type of patients I wanted to work with,” says Presnell, who graduated from the University of North Carolina.

Presnell, who was born at UNC REX, knew exactly where she wanted to start her new career as a health professional.

Over the past three years of working at the hospital, Presnell witnessed and cherished many unique moments at the REX Women’s Center.

“We see births ever day in the work that we do, but we have to step back and remember, for the women we serve, that this is one of the biggest highlights of their lives,” says Presnell.

Searching for ways to celebrate new mothers, fathers, and family members at the birthing center, Presnell thought about collaborating with her fellow co-workers to create a music album.

“We wanted to show families at UNC REX that we are also thankful to be a part of the most incredible part of their life,” Presnell says, who was one of the leading coordinators of the lullaby project. “What better way to give back than by giving them the gift of song!”

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After suggesting the project to her nursing managers, Wanda Adams, RN, and Tanya Creek,RN, the pair immediately latched onto the idea and connected Presnell with staff leadership.

This Mother’s Day, families and medical staff will hear the first-ever lullaby album, ‘What a Busy Day,’ sung by UNC REX co-workers and volunteers.

Laurie Cain, RNAccording to one project member, Laurie Cain, RN, the album will be beneficial for life at home and at work.

“With the hearing screening program, babies are screened on their first day of life and they have to be very calm in order to get through the test successfully,” Cain says, a child birth educator and infant massage instructor.

“To lull the infants to sleep, I sometimes sing lullabies. Now, I use new material we learned from the project, like the Braum’s lullaby and it works great!” Cain continues.

Though a majority of the singers and instrumentalists carry strong backgrounds in music, this project taught the group’s piano player Chris Morris new aspects about studio production.

“Because we were recording these songs in layers, it was an experience that I wasn’t quite used to at first,” says Morris, a child passenger safety technician at UNC REX. “Since then, if I listen to a song now, I have a better understanding of how music is created,” Morris continues.

Chris MorrisThe group had to review more than 100 songs in order to find seven that worked well with the project’s theme and were affordable to obtain due to licensing rights. Once the song choices were finalized in February, the album’s producer John Carlson began rehearsing with the group. Towards the end of April, several days were spent in the studio to record, mix, and master.

Presnell, Morris, and Cain believe this album is a solid representation of how an employee-driven initiative can spawn into a meaningful work of art.

“I described this album once as a love project and that’s what it is – you had to love it and be invested in it. It took up a lot of time and you have to love it to do that and I think you’ll hear it in the finished product.”


img-rex-birthcenter-cdcoverProduced by: John William Carlson and Blue Yonder Media

Recorded, mixed, and mastered by: Bunker Sound Productions

Song performers:
Laurie Cain
Helen Dobbins
Claire Fitzpatrick
Mark Hackett
Sylvia Hackett
Chris Morris
Meghan Presnell
Joel Ray
Abby Schiller

You can purchase your copy in the REX Gift Shop for only $5. All proceeds from the sales of this CD go to the REX Healthcare Foundation to support the Women’s and Children’s fund. You can also order a CD by sending an email request or by calling 919-784-4424.

 

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Mental and Behavioral Health in Wake County

In Wake County alone, more than 65,000 people suffer from serious mental illness. Families, friends and communities are also affected.

shutterstock_212336449May is National Mental Awareness Month and UNC Health Care and UNC REX Healthcare continue to lead the way with mental and behavioral health initiatives in Wake County.

UNC WakeBrook, a behavioral health facility located in Raleigh, offers a continuum of services for people dealing with mental health and/or substance abuse disorders.

WakeBrook’s campus, at 107 Sunnybrook Road, Raleigh, provides a wide range of services for patients: crisis and assessment services, inpatient services, facility-based crisis services, alcohol and drug detoxification and primary care. Our leadership continues to work with Alliance Behavioral Health and representatives from area hospital emergency departments, crisis centers and other mental health providers to better serve the growing number of behavioral health patients in Emergency Departments. Some behavioral health patients have a multitude of additional needs, and are often in crisis.

One of Wake County’s strongest advocates is the National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) of Wake County. Its leaders Gerry and Ann Akland continue to shine the spotlight on mental and behavioral health needs. Last week, NAMI hosted its 10th Annual Celebration of Courage luncheon as well as a Gala of Hope and Courage. These events offer other advocates, health providers and loved ones an outlet of support and hope, and help to raise crucial funding. NAMI works diligently to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health. “No blame, no shame,” is a common, heart-felt phrase echoed by advocates. NAMI’s continued support offers education, awareness and hope to those who struggle with mental illness.

A visual reminder of Irises, the flower symbol for mental health awareness, graced UNC REX’s front lawn last week.

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Our commitment to providing access to the health care services those with mental illness need continues. In addition to WakeBrook opening an on-site primary care and dental clinic in last year, which has helped provide behavioral health patients with basic medical and preventative care, additional beds are set to open this summer.

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Stepping Outside with Seasonal Allergies

Brett E. Dorfman, MD, at Rex Ear Nose and Throat Specialists at Wakefield is board certified in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. Dr. Dorfman is also a member of the American Academy of Otolarygology and American Academy of Otoloaryngologic Allergy. The Rex ENT Specialists at Wakefield provide allergy testing and immunotherapy treatments in office or at home.

Are you experiencing constant sneezing, sniffling, stuffiness, or irritated eyes? Many people look forward to enjoying the fresh spring air, but not the common allergens that come with it. But, with proper preparation you can enjoy the great outdoors even if you suffer from seasonal allergies.

shutterstock_267288281An inhalant allergy occurs when your immune system overreacts to a normal substance that gets into your nose. Your body overreacts, creating a chemical response to attack the allergen. This chemical response then causes symptoms like watery or dry eyes, constant sneezing, and/or a runny nose. The common inhalant allergens are pollen dust mites, pet dander, and naturally occurring molds.

Follow these steps suggested by Dr. Dorfman before going outside. With these tips, you can learn how to enjoy the fresh air while keeping your allergies under control.

  1. Know what you are allergic to and when. When taking precautions for your allergies, the first thing to figure out is which seasons are you might be allergic to. Typically allergies tend to be caused by:
  • Trees in the spring
  • Grass in the summer
  • Weeds in the fall
  • Mold in the winter

If you can identify which season your symptoms flare up, then there are a number of things you can do. For example, if you’re allergic to tree pollen, you can visit AAAAI.org and find daily reports on the levels of pollen and for which specific trees.

  1. shutterstock_197035589Find the best times to go outside. The pollen count tends to be highest around dawn and dusk, try to avoid being outside during those times of day. During days when it’s raining or shortly after rain showers, pollen gets pulled to the ground and the levels aren’t as high. And on nice sunny days, you’re going to have pretty consistently high levels of pollen.
  1. Take your recommended medications. If you plan to be outside for a long period of time, and you know you’re going to be symptomatic, be sure to take the appropriate medications beforehand. There’s not a perfect allergy medicine that resolves everyone’s symptoms, however, different types of medication are best for different things.
  • Oral antihistamines are best for treating sneezing and itching
  • Nasal steroids help control running noses and congestion
  • Newer medications such as nasal antihistamines and antihistamine eye drops help manage itchy or runny eyes
  1. Flush out pollen afterwards. After you come in from being outside, using salt water (nasal saline) will help flush out and dilute any excess pollen that’s sitting in your nose. Change into clean clothes and wash any attire that accumulated pollen from being outdoors. Scrub and rinse hands and face with soap and water to wash off pollen on your skin.shutterstock_332413589

You can learn more on which seasons cause allergy symptoms by taking an allergy test with Rex ENT Specialists at Wakefield.

 

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