Friday, April 26, 2013

Product Review: Dickie's Scrub Top

A few months back I was contacted by a marketing analyst for Uniform Scrubs to see if I was interested in reviewing a new Dickie’s top that is part of their spring and summer collection. Although I never wrote about clothing before, I decided to do this review because I thought it would be fun! Several weeks later, after much anticipation, I received the top in the mail. The top is a junior-style, V-neck white scrub with dark grey trim from the "Hip Flip" line (Picture 1).
Dickie's Junior Scrub Top (Picture 1)
I thought the best way to approach this review was to gather feedback from staff by using a focus group minus the post-evaluation forms! One day, during break, I presented the top to a group of nurse educators and asked them to scrutinize the top and provide their honest opinions on the following:
appearance, durability, positive features and potential drawbacks. Overall, the top received high marks on its overall appearance that is simple, sporty, and yet attractive. Many described the top as “nice looking.” The top is well made and the contrasting trim is reinforced with a zigzag stitch. The pockets are also reinforced. Additional stitching is found at stress points on the fabric. There were two features that everyone in the group agreed upon as impressive:
  1. The neckline has an added piece of soft material that is sewn between the V-neck (Picture 2).
    V-neck (Picture 2)
    added feature provides a better fit and support around the V-neck especially when bending forward. This helps avoid potential unintended exposure! 
  2. On the right side there is a double pocket (Figure 3) and a large pocket on the left side. These are good for holding and separating a variety of items that may be needed during the day 
Pocket (Picture 3)
One potential drawback depends upon your institution’s dress code. If the institution has a solid color dress code, for example: nurses wear white, the contrasting trim and black material on the V-neck may not meet with the policy guidelines. However, the colored trim could represent different levels of staffing within a discipline of an institution. One staff member wondered if the top could be bleached due to the colored trim and black material piece found at the V-neck. In such cases, I would use color-safe bleach. In general, the top was well received!

 I did have the opportunity to look at Uniform Scrubs site and found they have a large selection of scrub tops, lab jackets, and uniform pants at competitive prices.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Patient-Family Support Websites: A wonderful Idea!

CaringBridge horizontal logo version thumbnail 

I recently learned about patient-family support websites such as following the unexpected and heartbreaking hospitalization of a family friend that has become protracted. I have witnessed as a nurse and with friends how prolonged hospitalizations can cripple a family financially. Communicating information to anyone connected to the patient adds additional stress to family members closest to the situation. Patient-family support websites make an excellent alternative for the endeavor of informing family and loved ones of the patient's condition. In popular social media sites, posted announcements about the patient can be easily lost in the rapid stream of information. Privacy may also be a concern.

On “caring sites,” Patient stories can be shared by the family in a private setting. Caring Bridge offers, a personal, protected online space where one can post health updates and keep friends and family informed. On my friend’s account, journal entries made by the family keep me informed of his current status. Friends and family can also enter messages in the “Guest Book” that is also found on the personal site. In general, messages are a source of support, encouragement, prayers, and hope.

Imagine a head of a household or a self-supporting individual who is unexpectedly hospitalized. Consider if the hospital is not nearby or the family members are from out of state. Commuting, childcare, meals, and lodging expenses add up quickly, while household bills must still be paid on time. Raising money helps in this situation but there are very few people I know who are experienced in fund-raising or setting up a web site to accomplish this task.  Patient-family support websites can also serve as central area that can link to donation accounts specifically set up for the patient.

The Caring Bridge is a non-profit 501(c)(3) charity. The individual sites are made possible at no cost through donations.  See the video below for more information on CaringBridge.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Twitter 2012 Basics for Nurses

Have you ever thought of joining Twitter? Below are three videos on getting started in Twitter from setting up an account to engaging in a chat.

Setting up an Account:

Overview of Twitter Terminology:

Chatting on Twitter:

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Big Marker Video Conferencing for Nursing Education

Last June I searched web-conferencing sites for my STTI Region Coordinator and I came upon the site. is a videoconferencing site where the user can collaborate with others and provide community hosting. The application is cloud-based so users do not have to download software or install updates. What intrigued me was what the site offered for FREE and/or low cost. A free membership offers unlimited public video conferencing with up to 50 person Conference Rooms | 3 Hosts to start + 1 for every 50 members, unlimited members in your community, 8GB file storage, discussion boards, and a community calendar. Click Here to see the other pricing options that range from $9-$99 for their “Pro Communities.” The major difference between Pro Community from the Free Community membership is that one can offer both public and private conferences in addition to other amenities.
For those of you familiar with on 6/22/12 the site revealed new updates to the site including a conference room with the following features: easier navigation in the conference room, an optimized audio system, microphone optional, able to listen in via android mobile devices, and more.
View the "How to Use" YouTube video below to see how their conference room works:

I decided the best way to try the site was to host a webinar by creating a free community membership. I found setting up a conference easy to accomplish.
The feedback I received from participants related to the platform was positive. One participant reported some feedback with the audio on her end. I was using a headset to deliver the presentation.  I did report this issue to Big Marker Support. I was informed that the conference room was meant to work without a headset. I am planning to give another short webinar on the Big Marker site, September 26, at 7:00 PM ET on Success Tips for Nurses Considering Online College. This time I will not use a headset and hopefully the audio reception will be improved!
While experimenting with the site I found that I was able to open and use this application in the hospital setting which I found to be a pleasant surprise considering the firewall and video blockers. The low price for private video conferencing makes this an attractive offer and application for hospital and system-wide group projects.