Nursing is a stressful, demanding and rewarding job for most and the demand for nurses is at an all time high. COVID-19 has taken a toll on nurses and their mental health. This pandemic has been hard on everyone but especially hard on healthcare workers. Almost 4 million nurses nationwide have had critical roles during COVID-19, by keeping families safe and healthy. Normally, National Nurses Week is celebrated every year from May 6th to May 12th. This year, the celebration of nurses will continue all month long. National Nurses Week is an opportunity to reach out to nurses and let them know they are appreciated.
“When a person decides to become a nurse, they make the most important decision of their lives. They choose to dedicate themselves to the care of others.”Margaret Harvey, PhD, RN, president of the Indianapolis Campus of the Chamberlain College of Nursing
What is Nursing?
Nursing is the nation’s largest healthcare profession. To put it simply, nurses save lives and can provide care in all aspects of their patients’ health, unlike doctors who typically provide care in one area of work. Nurses oversee the general care of their patients and identify any problems that arise within their care.
Roles of a Nurse
Nurses take on many roles and responsibilities during one shift. Working as a nurse, you must be adaptive, be able to coordinate care with various healthcare professionals, and prepared for any challenge. Overall, nurses evaluate and monitorpatients around the clock. Among these evaluations’ nurses also:
Perform physical exams.
Monitor patients’ vital signs.
Record patient’s medical history and symptoms.
Administer medications and treatments.
Analyze results of tests and provide results to patients.
Provide emotional support to patients and families.
Perform various testing, such as drawing blood.
The duties of a nurse revolve around patient care and doing what is best for the patient. When deciding on the best treatment options for a patient, they always have their best interest at heart. Nurses work hard to make sure that patients are educated about their illnesses, treatment options, and decisions they can make.
The best part about nursing is that there are so many specialties that you can choose from. Depending on what interests you the most, you can choose a specific nursing specialty that fits your needs. When nurses decide on a specialty it is important to enjoy what you are doing and do what makes you the happiest.
Registered Nurse (RN): Provide health care to the public and is the backbone of health care.
Cardiac Nurse: Focus mainly on patients with issues of the heart.
Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA): Well trained and specializes in helping with anesthesia during operations.
Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS): Type of advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) who often takes part in leadership and educative roles.
Critical Care Nurse: Specializes in emergency situations.
ER Nurse: Specializes in providing care and assessments in the emergency room setting.
Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP): Focuses on primary health care for all ages and families.
Geriatric Nursing: Focuses on the care of older adults.
Perioperative Nurse (Surgical/OR Nurse): Specializes in care in the operating room and post-operation care.
Nurse Midwife: Assists in the care of pregnant women and labor and delivery.
Nursing Administrator: Oversee nursing units and manages the duties of each nursing team.
Oncology Nurse: Specialize in care and education of cancer and treatment options.
Pediatric Nurse: Focuses on the care of children.
Travel Nurse: Able to travel to different locations around the country to work and expand professionally.
These are just some of the many choices you have when you chose nursing as a career. There are many different specialties, and you are guaranteed to find one that you really enjoy.
How to Become a Nurse
Becoming a nurse is very time-consuming and could be considered a challenge for some. There are different educational requirements depending on which field of nursing you choose. Typically, there are two main types of nurses that require education, a licensed practical nurse (LPN) or a registered nurse (RN).
Education Requirements to become an RN:
Education Requirements to become an RN:
Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN); a 2-year program
Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN); a 4-year college program.
Education Requirements to become an LPN:
1-year degree from a trade or vocational school, or hospital
Regardless of what degree level is chosen, to become a registered nurse or licensed practical nurse, you must take and pass the National Council Licensure Examination or NCLEX-RN. Those who decide to further their education past a Bachelor’s degree, will go on to earn their Masters of Science in Nursing (MSN) or Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP).
What Specialties Can I Chose with a Masters of Science in Nursing?
Nurse Practitioner (NP)
Certified Nurse-Midwife (CNM)
Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)
The length of time it takes to become a nurse depends on what degree level you decide based upon the specialty you have chosen. Becoming a nurse takes a lot of time and hard work, but one step at a time will get you that much closer to your goals.
Thank you, Nurses!
Nurses are heroes. They deserve to be celebrated not just this week, but everyday for dedicating their lives to the care of others. The COVID-19 pandemic has made their work even more difficult, so the appreciation is more important now than ever. Many businesses are showing their gratitude by offering discounts and free items to healthcare workers. Sending thoughtful letters, cards, or gifts are some ways to show nurses that you care. Remember to thank your hardworking nurses for all that they do!
“Nursing is the most rewarding career, and I am so thankful I get to do what I love every day.”Cassandra Feezle, BSN, RN, at Essentia Health St. Mary’s Medical Center in Duluth, Minnesota.
Every 73 seconds, another person becomes a victim of sexual assault. Sexual assaults are one of the most common crimes in the United States with the majority going underreported. For many years, a lot of work has been devoted to changing the stigma around sexual assault and allowing victims to speak up. April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and there is no better time than now to learn about sexual assault and what you can do to help.
What Is Sexual Assault?
Sexual assault consists of the performance of unwanted sexual acts. These acts are performed without consent and against a person’s will. But what does consent mean? Consent is the act of giving permission, and saying yes. In some cases, consent is not given due to mental issues, under the influence of drugs, age, and various other reasons. Abusers will then force these individuals to perform sexual acts against their will, resulting in sexual assault. Often, abusers tend to be spouses or family members, but can also be friends, coworkers, or complete strangers. Knowing signs of sexual assault can help victims to come forward and report their crimes.
Signs of Sexual Assault:
Appetite and sleep changes.
Disconnecting from friends and family, and extreme sadness.
Thoughts of suicide or self-harming.
Avoiding specific people and places.
Alcohol or drug use.
Physical markings, such as bruises or cuts.
How COVID-19 has Affected Sexual and Domestic Violence.
Sexual and domestic violence have been common crimes for many decades. Today, with COVID-19, lockdowns, and stay-at-home orders, domestic and sexual assault cases in the home are on the rise. People forced to stay at home during these stressful times increases the risk of violence, especially from a spouse or partner. Travel restrictions due to the pandemic have also made it difficult for those victims of sexual assault. Closures of shelters, hotels, and housing leave victims with nowhere to go except for at home with their abuser.
Not only is COVID-19 increasing the risk of domestic and sexual violence, but it is also causing obstacles for survivors. Survivors are scared to seek medical help from hospitals, with fear that they will contract the virus. Survivors are dealing with pandemic-related problems and are waiting to go to the hospital. Time to collect evidence after an assault ranges from 120 hours, or five days, for adults and 72 hours or 3 days for children. After these time periods, evidence of an assault is gone forever. Without physical evidence collected at the hospital, it makes it more difficult to conduct a case against their abusers.
Domestic and sexual violence survivors are also avoiding hospitals due to the mass amount of care going towards COVID-19. As hospitals become overrun with COVID-19 patients, sexual assault survivors do not want to seek care in an already overwhelmed hospital. Even those survivors who are going to the hospitals after an assault are noticing certain resources are no longer available. Normally, when a sexual assault is reported survivors are matched with a social worker or licensed volunteer to provide trauma support during their exams. Because of COVID-19 volunteers are not allowed to be with patients in hospitals. Leaving survivors with phone options for support after a traumatic event and for some survivors, it is not enough.
Heightened Violence Against Children
Although sexual violence among adults is common, the pandemic has caused an increase of children becoming sexual assault victims. Commonly, child sexual assaults are committed by a family member or family friend. With most schools going online and parents working at home, this is a perfect environment for abusers to attack. This can also remain true for babysitters or child caregivers who have been at home with children during the pandemic as parents work. It is important to always listen to children who state that sexual assault has occurred, even if they accuse family members. Reporting them and getting them checked right away can help catch the abuser and make your children feel safer.
“Even in the midst of a pandemic, we want survivors to seek the care they need.”
As a society, we have become a digital country. Advances in technology have made major impacts to the medical field. But what most people do not realize is that the internet is also a common place for sexual exploitation to occur. Most children today live with cell phones, computers, and tablets making them vulnerable to online predators at the click of a button. Monitoring children to recognize signs of predators online, can make the internet safer for adults and children.
Signs of Online Sexual Exploitation:
Sends or asks for sexual images against your will.
Performing sexual acts virtually without your consent.
Grooming children for future sexual abuse.
Threatening you into performing/sharing sexual content.
Sends you sexual photos.
Men are Victims Too
Most sexual assault cases tend to be female with 1 in 5 women in the United States have experienced sexual assault. It is important to recognize both male and female victims of sexual violence as they are equally important. Although less common than women, 1 in 71 men in the United States have experienced sexual assault. These numbers for male victims are still alarming because in a perfect world, sexual assault would not occur at all.
Resources and Hotlines
There is a great number of resources available to domestic and sexual abuse survivors. Getting help and discussing what happened with a professional is the first step in coping with the trauma. Never be afraid to ask for help and use these servicesat any time. Remember to be an advocate for yourself and others and speak up when you or someone you know has been sexual assaulted. You are not alone.
National Sexual Assault Hotline: Call 800.656.4673 or chat online at: online.rainn.org.
During this uncertain time, it is hard to keep your mind from worrying and stressing over every detail. Did I wash my hands enough? Do I have my mask? Am I social distancing? All these questions are becoming the new norm as we transition through February 2021, marking one whole year of the COVID-19 outbreak. Working from home, becoming unemployed, children doing virtual school, not being able to see friends or family members and overall fear of contracting the virus, all impacting our mental health. Learning about what you can do to support your mental health, for yourself and families, during difficult times is the key to happiness.
The Coronavirus pandemic is causing a lot of stressful challenges for many of us. For adults, working from home can soon become overwhelming. Online school can also cause distress and high emotions for children and young adults. Following social distancing rules can also make us feel alone, stressed and cause anxiety. There are many ways to cope with stress in a healthy way and help you realize you are not alone.
Limit watching, reading, or listening to the news and disconnect from your screen time for a while.
Exercise daily and get enough sleep.
Be mindful of your body. (Meditating, breathing exercises, yoga.)
Maintain a healthy diet.
Discuss with others how you are feeling. (Friends, family, or therapists.)
Take time for YOU. Unwind and do relaxing things you enjoy. (Read a book, take a bath, go for a walk.)
How to help others cope:
Online video chats can help you stay connected.
Phone calls, emails, texts, can let someone know you care.
Offer advice and listen to their concerns.
Coping with Loss
Along with stress, COVID-19 is also bringing large amounts of grief and loss. In the United States, 463,445 people have lost their lives to COVID-19. That is 463,445 families grieving the loss of a loved one. Coping with the grief of losing family members and friends is not easy and takes a large toll on our mental health. There is no handbook on the grieving process but recognizing that there is life after loss can make this difficult time a little easier.
Do not be hard on yourself. Be kind and listen to your body and mind.
Let yourself feel whatever you are feeling. (Do not hold it in)
Express your emotions. (Talk to someone, go for a walk, do an activity)
Be patient with yourself. Grief is a journey, it takes time.
“We believe grief is a form of love and it needs to find a place in your life after you lose someone close.”
Psychiatrist Dr. M. Katherine Shear at Columbia University
Ways to Support Mental Health
Managing stress and coping with grief are two important factors to control during the pandemic. Along with stress and grief there is an overwhelming number of emotions that also occur. Adapting to this new way of life can be challenging for all of us, especially parents, older adults and those who already have a mental illness.
Make sure to stay involved during children’s in-home learning. Set time aside for schoolwork and activities.
Keep them informed of COVID-19 and safety rules. Use easy to understand language if they are younger.
Keep the same routines from before the pandemic. If these are not possible, form new routines and stick to them.
Encourage video chats with classmates, friends, and family members to stay connected.
Limit screen time. (Do activities together that do not require a screen)
Spend extra time together and give extra attention.
Advice for older adults:
Stay informed on current Coronavirus information.
Stay home and stay safe. (Especially if you have a preexisting medical condition)
Keep in touch with family and friends through phone calls, emails, and video chats.
Keep a healthy diet.
Participate in physical activity daily.
Use resources to limit time out in the public. (Grocery delivery services, restaurant delivery).
Make sure to have extra supplies of medications.
If you must go out in public, wear a mask and stay 6 feet apart.
Reach out to family, friends, or neighbors for help.
Advice to help all of us look after our mental health:
Make a routine. (Go to bed and wake up at the same time, eat meals at the same time, consistent exercise)
Stay connected by social contact. (Virtually through video chats, FaceTime, Skype).
Stay informed but make sure to not overdo it. (Limit television and news to a few times daily)
Minimize screen time daily.
Support others by helping them through this time.
Support healthcare workers. Make sure to thank them online and in your own communities.
What do I do if I already have a mental health condition prior to the pandemic?
Living with a mental illness through a pandemic can worsen symptoms and make it more difficult to work through your mental illness. If you are struggling, just know you are not alone. There are healthy ways to cope with a mental condition during the pandemic. There are various resources and programs that can assist you during this time.
Advice and resources for those with a mental health condition:
Make sure to keep enough medications on hand. (Ask your doctor for extra supplies, refill them early)
Continue routines. (If old routines are interrupted, create new ones to fill the gap)
Get involved in virtual meetings for clubs, friends, and family members.
Stay connected with psychiatrists and therapists. (Virtual video therapy sessions or phone calls)
Get in touch with a warmline. (A support tool run by others suffering from mental illness).
“COVID-19 can result in psychological issues due to both pandemic stress and the physical effects of the disease,”
Brittany LeMonda, PhD, a senior neuropsychologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.
Anxiety, depression, and panic disorders are on the rise due to COVID-19. Even those recovering from COVID-19 are likely to develop some mental health condition. Those who have gotten COVID-19 are twice as likely to develop a mood or anxiety disorder sometime after their recovery.
Staying connected and supportive of others will help us get through the pandemic. Supporting healthcare workers, local businesses and staying safe are important rules to follow during this stressful time. We are all in this together.
It might be hard to imagine what life was like before the coronavirus pandemic put us in our current situation. At the same time, looking for the positives can be the encouraging push we all need to stay strong through such an uncertain time.
As of May 18th, 271,849 people in Ohio have been tested for Coronavirus. With only around 10% of these tests being positive, we are still well below the U.S. average. We have tested over 100,000 more people since the first of the month and with each passing day, we increase the amount tested.
In any event, testing the public helps scientists understand the virus better and can lead to a faster cure. With this in mind, there are options and multiple centers to receive a test.
Below are a list of local centers providing drive-thru testing:
Moderna Inc. has been experimenting with a vaccine to immunize coronavirus. Although in the early testing phase, the vaccine is providing positive results. In the final analysis, they will need to narrow down the dosage and begin testing that specific amount in July. Per the U.S. government’s project ‘Operation Warp Speed’, the idea is to have a vaccine and 300 million doses by January 2021.
While scientists are still testing out different vaccines, a new clinical trial testing a combination of medication shows promising results. Interferon beta-1b, lopinavir-ritonavir, and ribavirin, combined with standard care, has proven to treat mild to moderate symptoms of the coronavirus.
Professor at the University of Hong Kong, Kwok-Yung Yuen, lead the researchers in this 41 day clinical trial. They found that the control group’s symptoms lasted almost twice as long as those given the combination of medication.
Dr. Swapnil Mishra, part of the Imperial College Covid-19 Response Team, and his colleagues created models based around what is known about the pandemic. These models show the estimated death toll when no action is taken. Prior to receiving said models, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Boris Johnson, changed the countries pandemic response.
Now Dr. Mishra and his colleagues are taking a different approach; to predict the finality of this disease. After pushing Dr. Mishra to estimate a deadline of extreme precaution, Wendy finally received the answer:
“This is just what I think, we might have to be under a lot of measures at least until June. At the least, it is not at most, it is at least”
Dr. Swapnil Mishra
On the positive side, many residents and organizations surrounding our area have been gracious enough to lend a helping hand to those in need. Even with the recent reopening’s, many Ohio residents are still out of work and unable to afford groceries for themselves and their families. The following organizations are hosting food drives this month:
SHENANGO VALLEY MALL. (Hermitage). Tuesday, May 19th, 4-6 pm.
THE OASIS FOOD MINISTRY. (Columbiana). Thursday, May 28th, 3-6 pm.
THE SALVATION ARMY. (Warren). Friday, May 29th,
In addition to the above food drives, many food giveaway and pantry organizations are available around the area. Since some pick up locations differ, always call ahead for more information:
AUSTINTOWN COMMUNITY CHURCH. (Austintown). Every Wednesday and 4th Saturday of every month, 8:30-10:30 am.
BIG REACH CENTER OF HOPE. (Greenford). Every Friday, 9 am-3 pm. (330)-533-3278, ext. 503.
BOYS AND GIRLS CLUB OF YOUNGSTOWN. (Youngstown). Every Wednesday, 2-3 pm and 5-6 pm. (330)-782-2714.
BROOKFIELD UNITED METHODIST CHURCH. (Brookfield). Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, 9 am-12 pm. (330)-448-1001.
COMMUNITY ACTION AGENCY HEALTHIER PANTRY. (Lisbon). Every Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday, 8 am-4 pm. Every Wednesday and Friday from 12-4 pm. (330)-424-4013.
MAHONING COUNTY DISTRICT ST. VINCENT DEPAUL SOCIETY. (Youngstown). Every Monday through Friday, 9 am-1 pm. (330)-333-3601.
RUST CITY CHURCH. (Hermitage). Every Monday, 5 pm.
RUST CITY CHURCH. (Niles). Every Thursday, 5 pm.
SALVATION ARMY OF MAHONING COUNTY. (Youngstown). Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, 10 am-12 pm. (330)-270-5999.
SALVATION ARMY, WARREN CORPS. (Warren). Every Monday – Friday, 10-11 am, and every Monday – Thursday, 1-2:45 pm. (330)-392-1573
WARREN FAMILY MISSION FOOD PANTRY. (Warren). Every Tuesday – Friday, 9:30 am-12 pm and 1-3 pm. (330)-394-5437.
YOUNGSTOWN COMMUNITY FOOD CENTER. (Youngstown). Every Tuesday. 9-11 am. (330)-746-8436.
Right now, many people are feeling an increase in stress and uncertainty as COVID-19, also known as Coronavirus, cases increase in the United States. During times of crisis, it’s common to experience both. We know you have a lot of questions and unfortunately, a lot of misinformation is being shared. We want to help with some of your questions and added reliable sources for you to easily access. Those sources include:
Ohio Governor is keeping Ohioans up to date daily on what is happening in Ohio. This site is also sharing tips and resources on how to stay healthy during this pandemic.
Our mission is to protect you and your loved ones. The resources, that you can find on our site will provide the information to help answer your questions. If we missed your question, we will be happy to assist you in answering.