All posts by J. Enrojas

08Mar/17

Home medication knowledge

For this assignment, I interviewed a family member about his home medications and was not completely surprised by their limited knowledge about their medications. This particular family member has type 2 diabetes mellitus and was taking metformin up until a year ago when his physician switched him to an insulin auto injector pen. He was able to tell me the names and dosage(s) of his medication only after walking over to the refrigerator to retrieve his medication. And upon further inquiry, he confirmed that he only kept unopened/unused insulin pens in the refrigerator. He was able to tell me the purpose of each insulin and how to go about administering it. He was able to list side effects and adverse reactions, and when to seek medical care. Although he knew about following a healthy diet, he confessed that it is not always consistent and that he didn’t always check his blood sugar; and sometimes even went off of “how” he felt. It was at this point that I switched from interviewing to providing education regarding the importance of checking his blood sugar regularly and maintaining a consistent carbohydrate diet in order to avoid big fluctuations in his blood sugar throughout the day. In addition to insulin, he is also taking Statins and antihypertensives – although he did not know their names off the top of his head, and was only able to tell me a few side effects for each. In addition to providing education on these medications, I also suggested [insisted] that he type a list of all of his regular medications on his iPhone notes (in alphabetical order) with the following information:

Trade name/Generic name (purpose) dosage, frequency

At least this way, he will have easy access to a list of all of his current medications regardless of where he is. I plan to follow up on this suggestion next time I see/speak to him to make sure this gets done, even if I have to do it for him at first.

15Feb/17

What is cardiopulmonary arrest, or an MI? What do you think happens during CPR?

I decided to quiz my husband on what he knew about cardiopulmonary arrest, myocardial infarction and CPR. Given that I’m in nursing school and study a whole lot at home, I don’t always read content out loud; so I was pretty curious to see how much my husband has picked up on:

[Me] What do you think “cardiopulmonary arrest” means?

[Husband] A heart attack? When your heart stops beating.

[Me] What is an “MI”?

[Husband] Oh that’s a heart attack. Your heart muscle looses oxygen and it starts to die, right?

[Me] What do you think happens during CPR?

[Husband] The person doing the CPR is acting as the person’s heart. Compressions are helping to pump the blood to the brain and through the rest of the body, and the breaths are providing some oxygen. But I think its very little right?

[Me] What machine is crucial during CPR?

[Husband] An AED shock cart thing. It shocks the person’s heart.

 

After conducting this interview, it was very apparent to me that although he knew most of the answers, he wasn’t absolutely confident with all of his responses. This exercise made me want to set up a CPR course for us to take together, but also include our immediate family. I plan on bringing this up next time we visit them and I definitely plan on setting up a CPR course for us in the [hopefully] near future!

09Feb/17

The Future of Heart Health

The first 3D-printed heart on a chip has been developed by Harvard University.

Because it can be quickly fabricated and customized, the hope is that it will allow researchers to collect data for short- and long-term studies, avoiding the use of animal subjects.

What stood out to me the most about this new technology is the ability to manufacture a heart that matches the specific properties or disease of an individual patient’s cells, thereby allowing researchers to test things such as experimental medications on specific types of conditions using these manufactured organs-on-chips.

3d-printed-heart-on-chip-with-integrated-sensors

28Oct/15

Disconnecting

Our assignment this week was to try to ‘disconnect’ for 24-hours. My first thought was, how am I supposed to do that? I have homework, study guides, and papers to type.

As amazing as disconnecting from technology sounded, I realized how difficult disconnecting has become and felt an immediate sense of sadness. So, I decided to take on the challenge to see how long I could disconnect (without loosing too much time for homework of course).

My weekend began with grocery shopping. I went old-fashioned and handwrote my grocery list (which I usually type on my phone). While at the store, I could not help but notice that the only ones carrying paper lists were older people. They were also the only ones who smiled when I walked by. This was also the case at the art supply store I went to later in the day.

That evening, my fiancé and I went to visit his family, since his sister was visiting from Georgia. It was the perfect opportunity to keep me from going back to my computer/phone screens.  I also made a point to not take my laptop or any books (which I usually do) so that I could devote my entire attention to spending quality time with family.

It was interesting to hear everyone’s reactions when I told them what my assignment was. And by the end of our night, they even mentioned how difficult, almost impossible it was for them to even try it for a few hours.

Overall, I was grateful to have had an excuse to disconnect, even if it was less than 24 hours.

09Sep/15

Lasix

Group members: Jen Zuniga L. & Brenda Valencia

Drug: furosemide [Lasix]

Furosemide [Lasix] PO

Furosemide [Lasix] PO

Who?  – Fluid overload/edema due to HF, hepatic impairment or renal disease; hypertension

What? – It is a loop diuretic. Inhibits the reabsorption of sodium and chloride from the loop of Henley and distal renal tubule. Increases renal excretion of water, Na, Cl, Mg, K, and Ca. It is effective even in impaired renal function.

When? (frequency) – Edema PO (Adults) 20-80 mg/day as a single dose is given initially, may repeat in 6-8 hr; may increase dose by 20-40 mg every 6-8 hr until desired response. Hypertension PO (Adults) 40 mg twice daily initially (when added to regimen, decrease dose of other antihypertensive by 50%); adjust further dosing based on response.

Where? (Chronic home med – Acute care – both?) – Both

Why? (Reason – Action) – Edema due to HF, hepatic impairment or renal disease; hypertension

How? (Dose, Route, Safety) – PO (20-80 mg/day), IM (20-40 mg), IV (20-40 mg). SAFETY: monitor electrolytes (potassium!); change positions slowly to minimize the risk for orthostatic hypotension; dehydration; report any hearing loss or tinnitus; report rashes, itching (Stevens-Johnson syndrome).