As a nurse practitioner, I have the privilege of helping people achieve their health care goals. But in light of recent events surrounding social justice, I find that I am increasingly challenged in new ways. Ways that my training and likely other nursing or medical schools did not address. I have that uncomfortable feeling of being ill-prepared to address the ramifications of social justice on the health of my patients. ...

Read more...

It seems that adults need to be reminded and educated of the dangers life-threatening food allergies possess. If you think taunting people that have life-threatening food allergies occur only with very young children, you would be sadly mistaken. Case in point, comedian Jimmy Fallon's in his recent sketch "Masculine Man Masks Commercial" states that his character's masks "don't have to make you look like a big sissy with a shellfish ...

Read more...

She was naked in her seclusion room — a padded cell — with her gown on the floor and drenched in her urine. I was her nurse. I gave her lithium. She put the pill in her mouth and then spit it at me in my face. Then her tirade began: "I'm Jesus. The FBI is watching us. The computer chip in my head said to kill, kill, kill you. They're watching me. They're watching ...

Read more...

It's scary. Like 9/11, we have a new reference point touching everyone on the planet: life before COVID-19 and life after. Regardless if you get it or don't, the unknowns and secondary consequences are scary. Life before COVID was scary, too, minus the urgency. Before COVID, we sensed the weight of living on a sick planet. We felt powerless to change the tide of forces affecting our lives for the worst. ...

Read more...

Reproductive psychiatry, also known as perinatal psychiatry or maternal mental health, focuses on mental health concerns in pregnancy (also including planning and IVF), delivery, postpartum, and parenting. As a reproductive psychiatrist, I try to imagine myself in the situation of my patient, to conceptualize the stresses she’s dealing with, who can support her at home, and, on top of any needed meds—what sort of therapy, self-care, what strategies she would ...

Read more...

Every physician I know has a story about an unanticipated patient event.  A story that was traumatic at the time and easy to now recall in fine detail.  A story that was so impactful that it still haunts them.  When a patient suffers an adverse event, many people are affected — the patient, his or her family, and the health care providers. The physicians and their team who are most ...

Read more...

In this world of misinformation, fear, social media overload, and mistrust, seek counsel from your health care provider. Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, I have witnessed the bravery of my colleagues on the front lines treating patients and putting themselves and their families at risk, heroic nurses swabbing hundreds of patients tirelessly in 100-degree heat in full PPE, the selflessness of volunteers donating time and funds to those in ...

Read more...

We are tired, overwhelmed, very committed, missing our families, and carrying each patient with us as we try to deliver excellent care in a very disorienting time. We worry about the health of our families and friends and community as well as our own health, for we are no help if we become sick and cannot continue to care for our ...

Read more...

Some images stick in the mind as unreal and incandescent things, despite their lived experience. My mind holds onto the gray-haired woman, stooped from age and wearing the hospital-issue facemask, standing alone with her hands clasped tightly behind her back. She was peering through the window of the door to her husband’s ICU room where he had just died. I joined a small group of nurses to hold a distant ...

Read more...

Mary is a woman of sixty years.  She is obese.  Originally from rural Alabama, she told me her aunt and uncle raised her, and they were bootleggers, making their own liquor.  By age fifteen, she was drinking this homemade hooch.   She never told me how she made her way to New York and New Jersey, where her kids now live, and where she once had a husband.  She is unsure ...

Read more...

Most Popular

✓ Join 150,000+ subscribers
✓ Get KevinMD's most popular stories