Category: Inspiring Nurses

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11 Inspiring Quotes About Gratitude

Celebration of Life

Practice an attitude of gratitude this Thanksgiving season with these 11 inspiring quotes about gratitude!

Thanksgiving is one of our favorite holidays at Medical Solutions. Not just because it means a license to eat all the yummy food and because gravy is usually involved, but also because we are true believers in the reason for the Thanksgiving season: Gratitude.

In this 11th month of the year, we offer you these 11 inspiring quotes about gratitude to encourage you to practice gratitude — throughout November and beyond. What are you grateful for today? What incredible goodness, kind gesture, beautiful sunset, delectable meal, fun road trip, perfect travel contract, roaring laugh with friends, or strategically unanswered prayer that leads you down an even better path will you be thankful for tomorrow?

Enjoy these 11 inspiring quotes about gratitude as you ponder all that you have to be thankful for!

“Be thankful for what you have and you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” — Oprah 

“The roots of all goodness lie in the soil of appreciation for goodness.” — Dalai Lama

“When you are grateful, fear disappears and abundance appears.” — Tony Robbins

“Wear gratitude like a cloak and it will feed every corner of your life.” — Rumi

“May the gratitude in my heart kiss all the universe.” — Hafiz

“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” — William Arthur Ward

“I don’t have to chase extraordinary moments to find happiness — it’s right in front of me if I’m paying attention and practicing gratitude.” — Brene Brown

“Some people grumble that roses have thorns; I am grateful that thorns have roses.” — Alphonse Karr

“Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” — Marcel Proust

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words but to live by them.” — John F. Kennedy

“When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around.” — Willie Nelson

Colorful Papers Hanging On Clothespin With Text Against Wooden Wall

Thank YOU for everything you do!

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Got Pink? Celebrate Breast Cancer Awareness Month!

Medical Solutions Pink Out

Medical Solutions’ Omaha office recognizes Breast Cancer Awareness month with our annual Pink Out Day!

Last October, in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Medical Solutions shared the story of one of our most beloved team members, Amber Barna, BSN, RN, Clinical Director of Nursing at Medical Solutions. Amber is a brave breast cancer survivor, amazing leader, and just generally a wonderfully infectious ray of sunshine within the Medical Solutions family.

Medical Solutions Pink Out

The San Diego office gets their pink on!

This year, Medical Solutions had our annual Pink Out Day recognizing Breast Cancer Awareness Month, so I’ve shared a few of our Pink Out pics with you in this blog. In honor of Amber’s story, and breast cancer survivors everywhere, I’d also like to share a really cool effort by The Kroger Company to help their employees tell their survivor stories.

At SharingCourage.com, Kroger hosts a collection of “Stories of Courage” from their team members who’ve bravely fought breast cancer. Their stories take them from stunning, scary diagnoses to hard-fought battles to cancer-free status, and each one of them is truly an inspiration! One uniting factor of these stories, much like Amber’s, is that these survivors gain a new appreciation and sense of gratefulness for life.

Here are a few of their quotes:

“Cancer brought me to my knees … then it brought me to my feet.” — Linda

“It’s a beautiful world on the other side of cancer!” — Cindy

“I found a reserve of inner strength that I never thought possible.” — Sharon

“Every day I find another reason to be thankful.” —Tina

“Since breast cancer, I’ve learned not to stress about things in life.” — Carolyn

Medical Solutions Pink Out

The Tupelo team is thinking pink!

Kroger, which has a vast family of stores under different names nationwide, also uses their platform to generate funds for organizations that fight breast cancer. You can enter your current zip code on their site to see how much money they’ve generated for your current local area. Mine was $78,500 in 2015! And all of that money stayed in local organizations that continue to lobby for breast cancer awareness and fight hard for a cure.

As a Traveler, it’s pretty cool to think that you can help make an impact in tons of locations across the nation!

As you recognize Breast Cancer Awareness Month, make sure to check out Amber’s inspirational story as well as those of the survivors featured by Sharing Courage!

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Recognizing Breast Cancer Awareness Month: One Nurse’s Brave Fight Against Breast Cancer

Nurses Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Dynamic Trio: Our in-house team of nurses (from l to r) Ann, Natalie, and Amber rock the pink.

There are many ways to go about recognizing Breast Cancer Awareness Month each October. Some dress in pink, donate to breast cancer-fighting organizations, or do their first breast self-exam. Others may share important statistics, like the fact* that one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime, or that it’s the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women and also the second leading cause of death among them.

For the Medical Solutions family — like so many others — the fight against breast cancer is personal, so we’d like to recognize Breast Cancer Awareness Month by sharing the story of our very own Amber Barna, BSN, RN, Clinical Director of Nursing at Medical Solutions, and brave breast cancer survivor.

Amber leads an amazing in-house clinical and quality team that acts as a constant resource for our Travelers. She also brings tons of sunshine and fun into our daily lives, and for that we love her tremendously.

Amber was kind enough to share her story — one nurse’s brave fight against breast cancer — in the Q&A below. Thanks so much, Amber, for sharing your story! You are an inspiration to us all.

When and how were you diagnosed with breast cancer?

In September 2009, after my doctor found a lump when I went in for a regular annual exam, I was sent in for an ultrasound. When the radiologist came walking into the room, I knew it probably wasn’t good. He told me that the lump was suspicious for cancer, but advised me to have a mammogram done. With that, I was set up for a mammogram and that radiologist noted a biopsy would be a possible next step. From there, I met with a general surgeon and had a surgical biopsy on a Friday then got a call that Monday that is was Ductal Invasive Carcinoma Breast Cancer. I was lucky because this is a common type of breast cancer.

I was a stage 2 they thought initially, but then there was micro-metastasis in my lymph node which pushed me to be an early stage 3. I had triple positive breast cancer, so I had to do 16 rounds of chemo to cover the breast cancer and metastasis to my lymph node. I also had to complete a year of an IV medication called Herceptin which combatted an aggressive trait of my breast cancer. Lastly, I am on 10 years of Tamoxifen which is an oral medication to better help me with reduction of reoccurrence.

Nurses Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Like a Boss: Amber’s team decorated her office with pink streamers for Boss’s Day.

Can you take us through your fight against breast cancer? How long was the process, what were some highs and lows, when did you know you were in remission and how did that feel?

For me, the biggest low was the day I was diagnosed, that night, and into the next day. I had no idea truly of what I was dealing with and the unknown was killing me.  Once I found out the specifics after meeting with several doctors, that is where my fight or flight kicked in and I decided it was game on from there.

I had a bilateral mastectomy with lymph node dissection, port-a-cath placement and tissue expenders placed. This was pretty rough because I was sick for a few days after the anesthesia and not able to go home right away. Having two little boys at home, this was the most difficult piece. Also, once I went home, I couldn’t hold my boys and I had drains which the baby would try to pull at, so that was rough.

About a month after surgery, I started my chemotherapy. With chemotherapy came hot flashes. I was only 30 years old, so this was pretty rough as I have never been so hot in my life. I went through 16 rounds of chemo. The first 4 rounds were every other week, then 12 weekly treatments. I started the Herceptin during the last 12 treatments, so once I was done with chemotherapy I had about 10 more months of the Herceptin to complete via my port-a-cath. During some of the chemotherapy treatments, I would have to take shots in my abdomen to help stimulate blood cell production that was falling due to the chemotherapy. My husband learned how to administer this for me because even though I was a nurse and can help others, I could not get myself to actually give the injections.

During the chemo, I would go to my plastic surgeon who would inflate the tissue expanders every couple of weeks to stretch the skin and ready my chest area for the breast implants. I learned very early on not to eat prior to chemo, and after chemo to only eat somewhere that I wouldn’t mind if it made me sick and repulsed me after.  This way I didn’t ruin any of my favorite dining spots.

Once I finished chemotherapy and my blood counts were normalized, I then had surgery to remove the tissue expanders and replace them with breast implants. The good part was it was an outpatient surgery, but this again meant I couldn’t hold my boys, so that was the hardest part of this. A couple more outpatient surgeries followed to put the final touches on the newly constructed breasts. In the upcoming year or so after this, I had a total hysterectomy which was not too bad at all and I only missed a couple days of work so that was good. After some time, I ended up having an implant rupture, so I had to have surgery again to remove the old implants and place new ones. That was pretty rough, but at least I got to go home the same day. During this entire time, I felt pretty good. I would get nausea/vomiting from the chemotherapy and surgeries, but I missed very minimal work time and the days of chemo I had a ton of energy because they would give me steroids before the chemo to decrease the reaction to the chemo.

I am in remission now, and I just recently at five years out got moved to only annual oncologist follow-up appointments. I was told at that appointment that my risk of reoccurrence was the same as the general population — which is awesome! I am “normal” again. I continue taking my Tamoxifen orally daily and have a little under five years left of this medication, but it isn’t too bad.

Nurses Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Workin’ It: Amber walked with fellow breast cancer survivors in 2015’s Omaha Fashion Week. Photo Credit: Sarah Hoffman/Omaha World-Herald

What gave you the strength to fight this disease?

Truly, my family, my kids, my friends and my work family. I had to fight because I couldn’t let them down. I was not going to let them down by letting this disease beat me. It wasn’t an option. I had a 4-year-old and 9-month-old when diagnosed and my brother had recently passed away, so I couldn’t leave my family or cause them more pain.

Do you believe that the process of being diagnosed and fighting breast cancer was any different for you as a nurse — with your clinical knowledge — than it might have been for a non-clinical person? If so, how? 

Yes, I feel like I was more aware of what was going on and what I needed to watch for. At times, I think it almost made it worse because I knew too much of what to expect. They say ignorance can be bliss, and I truly believe that in this case. I also was not the best patient as I overdid it a lot. I much rather prefer being on the side of providing the care and helping others rather than needing help. That is just how I am wired, but I am truly so thankful for the amazing doctors and nurses who saved my life.

What did you learn about life from this experience?

Life is short. Don’t take it for granted. Just be happy.

As a nurse and as a survivor, what advice do you have for someone recently diagnosed and/or fighting breast cancer?

Attitude is everything! Stay positive and there is always a positive to EVERY situation.  There are others who are stage 4 and who would love to have the opportunity to be going through treatment for cancer, so count your blessings and appreciate the opportunity to fight. Also, ask questions — lots of questions!

*Source: National Breast Cancer Foundation

Nurses Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Think Pink: The Omaha office pinks out in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, complete with pink cotton candy!

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Experienced Nurses Needed for Roundup River Ranch Medical Team

Roundup River Ranch LogoTravel Nurses get to experience all kinds of new locations and awesome adventures. But has a job ever given you the opportunity to go back to camp?!

Now’s your chance, because experienced nurses are needed for a wet, hot, rewarding American summer at the Roundup River Ranch in Gypsum, Colorado. ER specialty is particularly needed and pediatric experience is a plus for nurse staff positions, but there are also many volunteer opportunities for nurses in other specialties as well as people in other professions.

Roundup River Ranch, originally envisioned by actor Paul Newman, offers an old-fashioned, camp experience for children suffering from serious illnesses and their families. It gives them an invaluable chance to disconnect from being a patient and to reconnect with being a kid. They also benefit from the important healing power of happiness, laughter, and cultivating new friendships, all while having experiences that may have otherwise seemed off limits to them. Even better, this camp is provided free of charge to the kids and their families.

RRR Joy

While fun is the focus at Roundup River Ranch, the medical needs of the campers must also be met by professional, trained staff.

That’s where amazing summer staff and volunteers come in!

Roundup River Ranch Camper

A happy camper at the Roundup River Ranch!

Besides being a wonderful cause and a great use of your clinical skills, Roundup River Ranch also offers a great time, gorgeous location, and classic summer camp experience for its medical staff. Just imagine your “unit” is located in a gorgeous mountain valley! Click here to read about the medical care and facilities.

Positions at the Roundup River Ranch are not staffed through Medical Solutions. We just think this is a great opportunity for nurses and wanted to share it with you! As a Travel Nurse, it’s one you could easily take advantage of in between contracts without missing a beat.

To learn more, apply to be summer staff, or volunteer, please contact Roundup River Ranch’s Nursing Director, Lauren Andersen, BSN, RN, CEN at lauren@roundupriverranch.org or by calling 970.524.5711.

Visit RoundupRiverRanch.org to learn more about this amazing camp experience.

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Amazing Brave Video!

Brave Video

Thank you, U of M, for representing nursing so well!

Hey everybody, you’ll have to excuse me, I have something in my eye …

I must admit I shed a tear — or 20! — when I watched the University of Minnesota’s Amplatz Children’s Hospital viral YouTube video, “Brave.” Nurses, administrators, and other staff join young patients in lip syncing along to Sara Bareilles’ song “Brave” — a catchy, poppy song with the chorus, “I just wanna see you be brave.”

Watching the joy on the faces of these young, strong kids, as well as the dedication and care apparent from the staff members is truly inspirational. With other, sometimes questionable, portrayals of nurses cluttering up headlines this year, it is fantastic to see a video with such substance and understanding of what nurses do become popular.

In the video staff and patients frolic, get silly, and dance. At one point young patients hold up cards that read, “Be brave,” “Be courageous,” and “Be strong.” Staff and nurses hold up cards that read, “Stay fighting,” “Stay positive,” and “Stay courageous.”

One YouTube commenter wrote, “This was absolutely beautiful … I don’t cry often but this truly inspiring video got me going. God bless those kids and god bless the wonderful nurses and doctors who devote your time and care to making these kids have the best life they can while in this tragic circumstance. Thank you.”

Bareilles surprised some of the video’s masterminds in the middle of an interview with HLN, and she told them, “I was sent this video by a friend of a friend who lives in Minnesota, and I watched it late at night and immediately my eyes welled up. It’s moment like this that reminds me of the importance of music, and I can’t think of a more perfect incarnation of this song. It’s exactly the kind of thing that gives the life to this song that we were hoping for.”

The video comes to a close with more nurses and staff holding up the messages: “Supporting the fighters,” “Admiring the survivors,”  “Honoring the taken,” and “Never ever giving up hope.”

At Medical Solutions we never forget that what we do is help our nurses provide just this kind of inspiring, life-changing care. Thanks, U of M, and thanks to all of our awesomely brave Travelers! Check out the original video and Bareilles’ Skype session below.