Seniors & Depression

When a person is depressed, they may have problems with sleep, moods, general outlook on life or even their ability to have social interaction with others. Depression affects millions of people, and many times the signs and symptoms of depression can be clear, especially in children or adults. Unfortunately, these same symptoms can be seen in the elderly, but are often mistaken as symptoms of other physical issues or medications taken, due to the age of the patient.

senior citizen depressionDepression can be a life-long battle, situational, or anywhere in-between. For an elder, the loss of independence, mobility, health, career, or a loved one can bring on, or exacerbate depression. The problem with many of these issues is that the physical health of the individual takes precedence over the emotional in many situations, leaving the person to battle their own sadness or ignore their own emotions and possibly making it harder for them to control their physical illnesses. Isolation is another factor that can add to depression, especially when the senior is only social with a few friends battling similar physical issues, a Geriatric Nurse or other family members. With mobility issues, seniors have a hard time finding places to go or even getting there, which can lead to feelings of hopelessness and abandonment.

The National Institutes of Health reports that out of the 35 million Americans age 65 or older, close to 2 million suffer from full-blown depression, while another 5 million report less severe forms of the illness. Seniors who face depression may not even recognize the problem in their own lives. Fatigue and general malaise are often overlooked as a product of age, and while that may be the case with many elderly men and women, depression can also explain these issues. Being properly diagnosed and treated for such a medical issue can make a big difference in the quality of life of our elder generation.

Whooping Cough

infant sleepingWith all of the controversy surrounding vaccines and children, many families are opting out of standard vaccinations and attempting to keep their children safe from these "antique" illnesses through other means. With the prevalent fear of autism spectrum disorder, vaccines are now under scrutiny and while many parents and medical professionals argue over this sensitive issue, the fact remains that former illnesses such as measles and whooping cough are on the rise.

Whooping Cough, or Pertussus, is a respiratory infection that is characterized by coughing spells and a “whooping” sound. It is highly contagious and is spread through fluid from a person’s nose or mouth. Symptoms may begin like that of the common cold, or in the case of infants, there may not actually be symptoms, and then increase over a few weeks. The time it takes to get over Whooping Cough can be well over a month and only with the help of antibiotics. Since this illness is on the rise, its best to be aware that Whooping Cough can also lead to secondary infections such as pneumonia. Infants under the age of six months, as well as children over the age of 11 are most at risk for developing Whooping Cough.

Vaccinations are a personal decision to be made within a family, along with medical professionals such as your nurse practitioner or family doctor. Illnesses like Whooping Cough are preventable, and can be fatal if not treated properly. Always be sure to weigh the benefits versus risks when confronted with any sort of medical treatment, and educate yourself before making any decisions.

 Nursing School Spotlight

Nurse EducatorGrand Canyon University's Nurse Practitioner MSN program offers an online classroom format that has been perfected and proven effective for thousands of successful online graduates. Attend class anytime, anywhere, 24/7.

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Certified Nurse Midwife

Birthing centers and birth professionals have established their presence as viable alternatives to hospital births as more women become informed about their choices regarding childbirth.

Many women are wary of the medical interventions used in assisting childbirth and want to celebrate the birth of their child in a less-invasive way. Tub or pool births are an option that is available, as well as the option to forego medication during childbirth in order to have a full experience. Birthing centers feature rooms that are family-friendly, less sterile than typical than hospital rooms and offer assistance to the mother who may want to try different ways of managing her own pain or discomfort. Many women also want to respect their cultural traditions when it comes to childbirth, and by choosing a midwife, they have a better option of helping to conduct the childbearing experience of their dreams.

Certified Nurse Midwives are part of this trend. A Certified Nurse Midwife is a specialized nurse that helps to supply the knowledge, support and resources to encourage women in their desire to have the most natural birth experience possible. Certified Nurse Midwives can provide the resources for these women as well as support them through their birth and during the immediate postpartum period. Having a baby under the care of a midwife is safe and studies show that outcomes are the same as physician-attended births. That care also brings the mom-to-be to a better place physically, mentally and emotionally as she gives birth under the watchful eye of her advocate and birth professional.

For a woman about to give birth to her child, having options and information available is imperative for her well-being, as well as that of her child. Having a birth professional who respects her decisions during this important time can make all the difference in how a child comes into the world and how the mother experiences that very special time.

Become a Certified Nurse Midwife

To become a Certified Nurse Midwife you must have achieved a Master of Science in Nursing, RN designation and certification by the American Midwifery Certification Board. Start your path to this high paying career that is incredibly rewarding by exploring education options below. We recommend getting information from several so you can compare the programs, costs, time commitments and financial aid options.

Online Schools:

Kaplan University Online

Kaplan University Online


RN to MS in Nursing

Advance your career with an online degree from Kaplan University.

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University of Phoenix Nursing

Walden University


M.S. in Nursing (MSN) - RN Track

M.S. in Nursing (MSN) - BSN Track

Earn a respected bachelor's degree, master's degree, or Ph.D. online at Walden University.

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University of Phoenix Nursing

South University


Nursing Specialization in Adult Health Nurse Practitioner (MSN)

Nursing Specialization in Family Nurse Practitioner (MSN)

Designed with the needs of working adult students in mind, South University, Online Programs is built on the same curriculum offered at South University's campus locations. As a student at South University, Online Programs you will receive the same degree, quality instruction, variety of learning options and level of service found at the campus locations.

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University of Phoenix Nursing

American Sentinel University Online


RN to MS Nursing

Earn a self-paced online degree in Nursing or Healthcare.

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Creative Nursing Jobs

Once you’ve been certified as an RN, LPN or other nursing degree, it may be overwhelming to start searching for a job. While there may seem to be plenty of nursing jobs available, there is also a lot of competition, especially in today’s economy. Finding a nursing job isn’t as hard as it seems, however, it just takes creativity, perseverance and dedication to yourself and your career path.

Most job searches start online, and with the infinite resources available in terms of searching and filtering criteria, it makes sense to see what is available where before you start to actually apply. Sites like HospitalSoup can give you advice and direction to where you want to apply. You can use websites like to help determine a fair wage in any area and even use resume blasting services to take the work out of the resume and cover letter submission process. There are resources available to help you find unique and creative nursing jobs as well, giving you insight into nursing careers that may not be mentioned while you are in school.

Keeping yourself ahead of the pack in terms of finding a nursing job begins well before you graduate with your nursing degree. Plan ahead, investigate and discover all of the possibilities that are available to you before you begin to apply. You never know where an online discovery session will lead.

Traveling Nurses

travel nurse careerWhen planning your career as a nurse, there are hundreds of options available to utilize your skills and interests. Nurses can specialize in a specific medical field, work with the elderly, educate other nurses, or even become traveling nurses – an option that allows nurses flexibility or the chance to see the world while helping others maintain their best health.

After becoming an RN, or Registered Nurse, you may be required to spend a year within a hospital environment in order to gain the experience needed to become a traveling nurse. This includes learning different specialties within that specific hospital, giving you a basis of knowledge that will be beneficial to your career and travel plans. Once you are ready to begin this new step in your nursing career, you may want to inquire within local hospitals or medical facilities to see if they offer placement services, or you can contact an agency and begin the screening process.

A traveling nurse can fill many roles, such as a temporary nurse in places where the population fluctuates, a mentor for nurses establishing a new medical facility or many other positions that require short-term, skilled nurses. You also have the ability to be a personal nurse for clients, and perhaps even travel with them as they go about their lives. The only limitation you may have is how much you are personally willing to commit to a lifestyle of constant change... and adventure.

If your love for travel, meeting new people and seeing the wonders of the country is second only to your love of nursing and helping to keep people healthy, then you should consider a career as a travel nurse.

Staying Healthy During the Flu Season

Flu season is gearing up for 2010-2011. While the CDC explains that this flu season could be less threatening than last year, it is always important to know what to do to prevent you or your family from catching the flu.

flu season and nurses Flu shots are already available and are highly recommended for all ages, not just “high-risk” groups such as the elderly, pregnant women or those with compromised immune systems. Flu shots are generally administered by nurses, physician’s assistants, home health nurses, or doctors. Always ask a medical professional if you have any questions or concerns about the flu shot, drug interactions or other health concerns before you are vaccinated.

If you are uneasy about shots, keeping healthy by incorporating foods rich in anti-oxidants will help boost your immune system naturally, helping to keep illness at bay. You can also try various supplements (after consulting a nurse or other medical professional) that claim to resist the flu or increase your immunity.

Common sense always helps, and staying away from others who are already ill, washing your hands and encouraging others to cough and sneeze into tissues will increase your chance of surviving another flu season. You can also make use of the antibacterial wipes offered in stores for carts and baskets, helping to keep the germs away from you or your children

Flu season does not have to be a whirlwind of paper masks and hunting flu shots in grocery stores. As long as you take precautions against the germs that you may come in contact with, flu season should fly by without any problems or illnesses.

Autism and Administrative Careers

autism and healthcare administrationThe rate of children diagnosed with Autism is increasing as the definition of the disorder broadens and parents become more aware that their children may have some indications of Autistic behaviors. Autism currently affects one in 110 children, and as research further defines the disorder, that number may be on the rise. Autism is defined as a “wide-spectrum disorder” on which children may be severely disabled or have mild issues with socialization, verbal or non-verbal communication, or other sensory-integration problems including aversions to sounds, lights, tastes and textures.

Autism clinics and specialty practices are growing in number in order to accommodate the need for better care and therapies for patients diagnosed with autism. Among other treatments, specialists in occupational, speech and physical therapy are in demand, as well as intensive therapies for feeding issues, behavioral concerns or even teaching adult life skills. In order to bring these valuable therapies to the community, a specialist in Healthcare Administration is needed to help collaborate with doctors and therapists and keep these speciality clinics and offices running. From providing research to medical staff to coordinating schedules and keeping medical records private and up to date, a healthcare administrator is a valuable part of the team of individuals who help treat patients diagnosed on the Autism spectrum.

With the continuing research that provides more clarity and answers to the puzzle that Autism is, one of the most important jobs a person can have is assisting in the treatment of patients with Autism. The administrative duties that help keep facilities running are just as important as the treatments themselves and may further benefit the entire study of Autism by helping to provide and maintain therapeutic environments in which patients receive care while doctors and specialists learn more and more about this pervasive developmental disorder.

When Medicine and Law Collide

In today’s world, its common to read headlines about medical issues being resolved in court. Healthcare controversies such as legalizing marijuana, reproductive rights, stem cell research or vaccine controversies have crossed a line between personal medicine and politics, leaving the court system to rely on factual, medical evidence in order to try to define policies or resolve disputes.

legal nurse consultantLawyers and judges specialize in law and may not always be able to fully explain the medical concerns that arise when these issues come into court, and a liason between the medical and legal worlds may be needed in order to help define medical terminology or give insight into particular research. Lawsuits over medical malpractice are also commonly heard in court. From a baby born with cerebral palsy to an elderly person being allegedly mistreated in a nursing facility, the law helps protect both the provider and the recipient of medical care from abuses and negligence. A Legal Nurse Consultant (LNC) is a liaison between the medical and legal worlds. A LNC can explain in court about a particular treatment, symptoms, side effects or the personal experience within a medical facility. Their expertise in the medical field is needed in legal cases in order to explain or clarify medical records or research, identify standards of care, note errors in treatment or any number of other medically-based, legal issues in both civil and criminal cases.

In order for legal courts to understand the severity of medical issues, whether they happen to an individual or within the political realm, it is imperative that a knowledgeable person explain confusing medical terminology or other extenuating circumstances. Leaving medical decisions and rights up to a judge may seem counter-intuitive and it can be reassuring to have a qualified person to interpret medical information. Whether you are fighting for political change, or for your own family, the more information you can provide could mean the difference between a good or bad outcome for healthcare issues that matter most.