Rebecca Jung, RN, BSN was attending Texas Tech University with a major in Geology when she decided that nursing was her calling. She was managing a veterinary clinic at the time, and had fallen in love with the science and healing. Shortly thereafter, she moved home to north Texas and attended nursing school at Weatherford College.
After graduating with honors, Rebecca took her Associate of Applied Science in Nursing to Long Term Acute Care. Working with the critically ill patients of this population taught her not only the basics of nursing, but how compassion and strength are needed as well. Rebecca moved to Houston, Texas and received a job in the Texas Medical Center.
Still working in Long Term Acute Care, she specialized in Transplant nursing – heart and lung transplants mostly – and expanded her nursing experience exponentially. Utilizing her now expanded knowledge base, Rebecca applied for and received a promotion into Transplant Case Management.
During this time, she also attended school at University of Texas at Arlington and completed her Bachelors of Science in Nursing. Having completed research courses as part of the curriculum, Rebecca fell in love with Research Nursing. She was recommended for the position of Program Coordinator for a research program her hospital was launching as a sub-cohort of a grant from CMS. Rebecca soon found herself managing a major research grant with a focus on Sepsis early detection and intervention. She initiated and created training for employees and physicians, and assisted with the development of a Sepsis protocol for her hospital system.
Being on the forefront of the new Sepsis awareness in healthcare, Rebecca has helped develop simulation scenarios for sepsis education, refined research protocols to better patient outcomes, as well as formulate a data analysis of lives saved through the program, as well as cost savings from early intervention of sepsis. Rebecca feels that in the time she has spent on the Sepsis grant, she has helped save more lives than she ever could as a bedside nurse. She is currently in the process of expanding the Sepsis program to the rest of her hospital system’s campuses in the Houston area. Looking forward to Graduate School, Rebecca hopes to receive her MS in Nursing Education and eventually teach nursing someday.
When Tove Schuster raced to help a fellow nurse lift a patient at Crozer-Chester Medical Center near Philadelphia in March 2010, she didn't realize she was about to become a troubling statistic.
While working the overnight shift, she heard an all-too-common cry: "Please, I need help. My patient has fallen on the floor."
The patient was a woman who weighed more than 300 pounds. So Schuster did what nursing schools and hospitals across the country teach: She gathered a few colleagues, and they lifted the patient as a team.
"I had her legs — a corner of one of the legs, anyway," says Schuster, who was 43 years old at the time. "And as we swung her up onto the bed, I felt something pop. And I went 'ooo.' "
She finished the shift in pain and drove straight home to bed.
But after Schuster woke up late that afternoon, her husband, Matt, heard her shouting. He says he ran to the bedroom and found her crawling across the floor. "I thought it was a joke at first," he says. "And she says, 'I can't walk.' "
Schuster had injured her back moving the patient, which the hospital acknowledged. And today, X-rays of her back show how a surgeon repaired a damaged disk in her spine using a metal cage and four long, sharp screws.
"I can finally walk and sit again without being in excruciating pain," Schuster says. "But the career I had as a floor nurse is over."
According to surveys by the Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there are more than 35,000 back and other injuries among nursing employees every year, severe enough that they have to miss work.
Nursing assistants and orderlies each suffer roughly three times the rate of back and other musculoskeletal injuries as construction laborers.
In terms of sheer number of these injuries, BLS data show that nursing assistants are injured more than any other occupation, followed by warehouse workers, truckers, stock clerks and registered nurses.
The number one reason why nursing employees get these injuries is by doing their everyday jobs of moving and lifting patients.
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