All posts by Brenda V


Aging Population

As future nurses, it is very important to be aware of the population that we will be caring for. Whether we care for the aging population directly or indirectly we will all be affected by the aging population. I found an article that talks about the changes nurses will have to make with the increase of people dying at a very old age. The article mentions the importance of nurses being trained and supported in caring for patients nearing end of life that might require additional care for conditions such as dementia. It emphasizes the importance of being skilled in communication, holistic assessment , care planning and being able to support people with declined cognitive ability. This is a very important component especially when nurses and healthcare providers are trying to uncover the patient’s wishes and preferences regarding life-prolonging treatments and preferred place of care and death.

As a caregiver, I work with an elderly woman who has dementia. I could only imagine how hard it would be to decide on life-prolonging treatments or trying to decide where her preferred place of care and death would be. As mentioned in another post, it is important to have these conversations before these situations happen.


Medication Education

The person I decided to interview was my uncle. He takes medication for diabetes and hypertension. Currently, he has metformin and Lisinopril prescribed. As soon as I asked him about the medications he was taking, he told me to ask my mom about them (my mom has been helping him manage his diabetes and high blood pressure). I then told him to tell me as much as he knew about the medications he was taking. Here is what he said

” I take medications for diabetes and high blood pressure. The diabetes medication is in the bottle and the high blood pressure medication is the one that is not in the bottle. Remember, you put labels on them? I know I have to take the blood pressure medication every morning and the diabetes medication before breakfast and before dinner.”

That was all he could tell me about his medications. He could not tell me the signs and symptoms of hypoglycemia and could not tell me side effects of any of the medications. After I gave him simple education about his medications (I did not want to overwhelm him with information) he actually learned something. He learned that Lisinopril can cause a dry cough. He had no idea that the medication was causing the dry cough that he has been trying to control.


New Device Could be a Safer Alternative to Lung Ventilators

An alternative to mechanical ventilation is extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). This alternative draws blood and runs it through a device that removes carbon dioxide and adds oxygen before returning the blood back to the patient. This type of procedure has been used when mechanical ventilation does not work. The article mentions that it is commonly used for children. Unfortunately, the devices that are available tend to clot the blood, which requires patients to take large doses of anti-clotting medications (which can be dangerous for the patient).

The article focuses on a new technology that is up and coming. This new technology is a microfluidic device that is simpler and actually provides an environment that is close to the environment that the blood normally encounters in the lungs. The designers of this device will design this device with microchannels similar to how larger blood vessels branch into capillaries.

New Device Could be a Safer Alternative to Lung Ventilators


What is an MI?

I decided to question my older sister. I asked her to tell me what she knew about MIs and if she knew what happens during CPR. She was able to tell me what an MI was. I was surprised that she was able to explain it to me very well. She then mentioned that she had just looked up this topic because one of her best friend’s dad had an MI. I was glad that she was able to find accurate information online. On the other hand, she said she could not remember the CPR guidelines.  She did mention that CPR helps provide blood to a person’s brain. I was happy to hear that because that is one of the main goals of CPR. I was able to educate my sister and my two brothers about the CPR guidelines. One of my brothers mentioned that every job should require CPR certification. Doing this really showed that there is a lot of education that is needed in communities. At the end, I felt guilty that I have not taken the time, prior to today, to educate my family about these topics.


Protein Patch for Heart Muscle Growth ♥

I found this on Harvard Health Publications (Harvard Medical School)

I thought this was really cool. This was about a protein patch that has shown to regrow damaged cardiac cells in mice and pigs. Researchers found that sewing the patch to an animal’s damaged heart muscle helped regrow the damaged cells. The neat part about it was that the function of the heart returned to near normal. A protein patch like this one can help someone regrow damaged cardiac cells after a heart attack and prevent scar tissue from forming. The article was published on January 2016 and mentions that scientists hope to begin human clinical trials within the next two years.

Harvard Health Publications. Harvard Medical School.(2016). 5 New Cardiac Technologies to Watch. Retrieved from



I was not able to disconnect for a full 24 hours because I had to use my laptop to complete some assignments but I did make some time to get out and enjoy my day. I normally go for a bike ride at night but I decided to go during the day. The route that I take leads me to a senior apartment complex and it was very heartwarming to see the older adults walking with their dogs and family. I really enjoyed seeing them walking and enjoying their day because I’ve been getting used to seeing older adults in a hospital seating. I also decided to go to my parent’s house that day and have dinner with my family instead of just calling them to see how they were doing. It was a great day and it is very rewarding when you actually take the time to visit family (or anyone) instead of just calling or sending a text.


Compartment Syndrome

  • Unrelieved or disproportionate pain may indicate complications- compartment syndrome is the most serious complication of casting and splinting
  • Must be reported immediately to primary provider to avoid necrosis, neuromuscular damage, and possible paralysis, which can occur within a few hours if action is not taken.
  • pain is relentless and is not controlled by modalities such as elevation, application of ice or cold, and usual dosages of analgesic agents.
  • S/S: dusky, pale appearance of exposed extremity; cool skin temp., delayed cap refill, parenthesis; and unrelenting pain.
  • Hallmark sign: pain that occurs or intensifies with passive range of motion.


compartment syndrome


-Brenda Valencia, Jennifer Zuniga Leon