6 Tips for Creating a Healthy Workplace Environment

6 Tips for Creating a Healthy Workplace Environment

6 Tips for Creating a Healthy Workplace Environment

A healthy workplace environment is possible, but it takes cooperation to do that. Our place of work should be something that we love going to. It should be a safe space where employees can communicate openly, discuss issues, and work together to keep the company moving. But sometimes, misunderstandings among coworkers or employers do happen. A toxic workplace can sometimes be unavoidable. It’s part of the work-life, but it doesn’t always have to be like that. 

Why a Healthy Workplace Environment is Essential

Keep in mind that the people you work with have different ideologies, points of view, and opinions. One way or another, someone will clash with somebody at work. But wouldn’t it be nice if we keep our work environment a healthy and happy place for everybody? 

As nurses, we have our fair share of ups and downs in our workplace. What makes a company a great place to work? It can be perks, locations, and incentives, but creating a healthy work environment will retain employees. And to do that, here are helpful tips that you can apply: 

Give your employees a real voice

  • Employers need to create a space where employees can express their feelings. After all, that’s how you identify pain points. Feedback is one of the most valuable tools you can get, to improve the workplace. There are tools such as annual surveys, but they don’t result in timely action. 
  • Feedback is excellent in real-time; that is why your charge or manager must have excellent leadership skills to honor your voiced opinion. Are there issues with other units or staff, and how are these problems addressed in real-time? 
  • There needs to be change implemented post feedback, just like in the surveys. If things continue, this leads to lower engagement, and ultimately your staff will fail to voice future concerns. 

Showing appreciation every day

  • When was the last time you got a shout-out from your manager when you least expected it? Sometimes those little words of affirmation can give you a big boost of confidence, instantly improving your mood. Recognition is essential to let employees know that their hard work is valued. 
  • Meaningful recognition can dramatically improve employee engagement, retention, and satisfaction. What is a simple way to show appreciation? Maybe something small like having a day off on your birthday. 

Create an environment of psychological safety and trust

  • Creating an environment of psychological safety is where employees are comfortable being themselves. When an employee feels safe, there is a sense of confidence that the team will not embarrass, reject or punish someone for speaking up. 
  • On the opposite spectrum, employees will be scared to speak up if they fear failure, judgment, or disrespect. 

Clean and functioning workspace 

  • Nothing makes life more complicated as a nurse than dealing with faulty equipment. Equipment includes things like computers, scanners, glucometers, suppliers, etc. Nothing grinds our gears more than not having the proper equipment to complete our tasks.
  • In every facility we worked at, this has been a reoccurring problem. It only added stress to the nurse who’s already dealing with patients’ lives. In the current facility we work in, we salute them for having proper lift equipment in every room.

Empowering your team members

  • This multifactorial approach requires managers, HR, and anyone else in the chain of command. No matter how capable your workforce is, they still need support to be their best selves at work. It is important to establish open feedback to show that your organization listens and encourages the team to keep voicing their wants and needs. 
  • Get to know your employees on a human level. Taking the time to do this will help uncover the best way to empower them and create an environment that makes them feel safe.
  • Empowering team members should also include building team-building skills. Often, nurses work individually within their role, but employers can encourage teamwork to make a better workspace environment. We all felt that unit where nurses and staff come to ask you if you need help with anything. 

Promote wellness through a healthy workplace environment

  • Wellness can be overlooked in the workplace, but psychological, emotional, and physical are essential to having a healthy workplace environment. Being a frontline health worker requires us to juggle between chill mode and fight-and-flight. The constant release of cortisol in stressful situations can inhibit rational and logical thinking.
  • A healthy workplace should encourage breaks for shifts and be mindful of workloads. Encouraging employees to rest is overlooked in most healthcare, but it’s crucial to take a break and boost energy to continue a busy shift. Randomly, imagine if a unit invests in apps like Headspace to help mitigate stress?

Do you want a healthy work environment? Follow these tips here 👇

 

SHOW NOTES:

00:00 Intro
00:47 Plugs
02:27 Episode Introduction
04:23 Tip 1: Give your employees a real voice
07:20 Does annual surveys work?
08:50 Tip 2: Showing appreciation every day
11:06 Difference between Professional and Genuine Appreciation
12:41 The power of giving and take
16:16 Money as the solution
19:09 Tip 3: Create an environment of psychological safety and trust
21:57 Compromised and abused nurses
23:09 Inadequate Ratio
24:28 Tip 4: Clean and functioning workspace
26:38 Additional protocols for additional profit?
29:06 Nurse’s safety being last on the list
32:29 Tip 5: Empowering your team members
37:32 Being considerate to other practitioners, races, and cultures
42:09 Tip 6: Promote wellness
45:54 Incentive program for nurses

The Top Five Personality Traits

The Top Five Personality Traits

The Top Five Personality Traits

There are five personality traits that we all have in common. Even though every one of us is different, ranging from our personality to our physical appearance, psychologists and psychoanalysts have been trying to predict behaviors and thought processes. 

Body Types

Look at the friends around you. Do you share any personality traits with them? When you think about it, we are not entirely nonidentical. Even though drastically different from one another, humans do have many similarities. On the physical level, when it comes to body type, the majority, if not all, fit into three main body types:

  • Endomorph
  • Mesomorph
  • Ectomorph

Each body type has its strengths and weaknesses. In the same way, there are general body types. We all share certain personality traits, for example, agreeableness. We are all agreeable but to a certain point. Some might be very agreeable and are ready to say yes, while others are less agreeable and will need some convincing to take your side. 

Background on the Top Five Personality Traits

Initially developed in 1949, the big five personality traits is a theory established by D. W. Fiske and later expanded upon by other researchers, including Norman (1967), Smith (1967), Goldberg (1981), and McCrae & Costa (1987).

It’s suggested that as early as the late 19th-century, social psychologists were trying to gain a more scientific understanding of personality. However, it wasn’t until the first official study in the 1930s by Gordon Allport and Henry Odbert that personality had some scientific acknowledgment [1].

They took 18,000 words from Webster’s Dictionary to describe personality traits and found adjectives that described non-physical characteristics creating a 4500-word bank of visual behavior markers. 

There was a hiatus from the late 1960s to the 1970s; the changing zeitgeist made publishing personality research difficult. In his 1968 book Personality and Assessment, Walter Mischel asserted that personality instruments could not predict behavior with a correlation of more than 0.3.

Social psychologists like Mischel argued that attitudes and behavior were not stable but varied with the situation. Indication of behavior from personality instruments claimed to be impossible.

The Paradigm of the Five Personality Traits

The paradigm shifted back to accepting the five-factor model in the early 1980s. During a 1980 symposium in Honolulu, four prominent researchers, Lewis Goldberg, Naomi Takemoto-Chock, Andrew Comrey, and John M. Digman, reviewed the available personality instruments of the day. This event was followed by widespread acceptance of the five-factor model among personality researchers during the 1980s.

By 1983, experiments had demonstrated that the predictions of personality models correlated better with real-life behavior under stressful, emotional conditions, as opposed to typical survey administration under neutral emotional conditions. 

Emerging methodologies increasingly confirmed personality theories during the 1980s. Though generally failing to predict single instances of behavior. Researchers found that they could predict behavior patterns by aggregating large numbers of observations. As a result, correlations between personality and behavior increased substantially, and it was clear that “personality” did exist.

Personality and social psychologists now generally agree that personal and situational variables are needed to account for human behavior.

In 2007, Colin G. DeYoung, Lena C. Quilty, and Jordan B. Peterson concluded that the ten aspects of the Big Five might have distinct biological substrates.

The FFM-associated (five factors model of personality) test was used by Cambridge Analytica and was part of the “psychographic profiling” controversy during the 2016 US presidential election.

The Big Five Personality Traits

Although a person’s personality and behavior are hard to predict, there are specific tools that we can use that can provide insights into it. These tools help us understand others and ourselves better.

The five personality traits are broad, but they will give us a good general understanding of how people behave [2]. So, what are these traits? 

1. Openness

By openness, it means open to experiencing a general appreciation for art, adventure, unusual ideas, imagination, curiosity, emotion, and various experiences. People who are available to new experiences are often intellectually curious, sensitive to beauty, open to feelings, and willing to try new things.

These individuals are known to be creative and aware of their emotions. They are also most likely to have unconventional beliefs. And because they are open to these new things, they are often unpredictable. They also lack the focus they need sometimes and are most likely to engage in behaviors that are against the norms. 

The Risk-taker Among Five Personality Traits

Very open people often pursue self-actualization by seeking out euphoric experiences. Conversely, those with low openness seek to gain fulfillment through perseverance and are characterized as pragmatic and data-driven, maybe even close-minded and dogmatic. 

*Some disagreement remains about interpreting and contextualizing the openness factor as there is a lack of biological support for this particular trait. Openness has not shown a significant association with any brain regions as opposed to the other four attributes, which did when using brain imaging to detect changes in volume associated with each trait.*

Creativity also plays a big part in the openness trait; this leads to a more significant comfort zone in abstract and lateral thinking.

It includes the ability to “think outside of the box.”

Think of that person who’s always ordering the most exotic things on the menu, going to different places, and having interests you would never have thought of. That is someone who has a high openness trait.

People who are high in this trait tend to be more adventurous and creative. People low in this trait are often more traditional and may struggle with abstract thinking.

High

  • Very creative
  • Open to trying new things
  • Focused on tackling new challenges
  • Happy to think about abstract concepts
  • Curious
  • Imaginative
  • Unconventional
Low

  • Dislikes change
  • Does not enjoy new things
  • Resists new ideas
  • Not very imaginative
  • Dislikes abstract or theoretical concepts
  • Predictable
  • Prefer routine
  • Traditional

 

2. Conscientiousness 

Conscientiousness tends to display self-discipline, act dutifully, and strive for achievement against measures or outside expectations. It is related to how people control, regulate, and direct their impulses. 

A person with high conscientiousness is perceived to be stubborn and focused. Those who have high scores on conscientiousness are usually people who do not go without plans. They prefer a reliable method rather than spontaneous behaviors. 

The Planner Among Five Personality Traits

The best example of a person with this personality trait is when someone you know likes to plan ahead of time the next time you meet. They also keep in contact and check on your wellbeing. People with this trait often want to organize their dates and events. They are also focused on you when you do meet them in person. 

On the other hand, those with low conscientiousness are associated with flexibility and spontaneity but can also appear sloppy and lack reliability.

People low in conscientiousness tend to dislike structure and schedules, procrastinate on essential tasks and fail to complete tasks.

The average level of conscientiousness rises among young adults and then declines among older adults.

 

High

  • Spends time preparing
  • Finishes important tasks right away
  • Pays attention to detail
  • Enjoys having a set schedule
  • Competence
  • Organized
  • Dutifulness
  • Achievement striving
  • Self-disciplined
  • Deliberation
Low

  • Dislikes structure and schedules
  • Makes messes and doesn’t take care of things
  • Fails to return things or put them back where they belong
  • Procrastinates important tasks
  • Fails to complete necessary or assigned tasks
  • Incompetent
  • Disorganized
  • Careless
  • Indiscipline
  • Impulsive

 

3. Extraversion

Extraversion is a trait that many people will have come across in their own lives. It’s easily identifiable and widely recognizable as “someone who gets energized in the company of others.” The other traits of a person with extraversion include:

  • Talkativeness
  • Assertiveness
  • High levels of emotional expressiveness

All of which made them recognizable in many social interactions or settings. Have you noticed among your family members that there is always someone who is not afraid to express their feelings? They’re often loud and one who laughs the most audible among others. These people are also social butterflies and have the most friends or groups you know. 

Extraversion is characterized by breadth of activities (instead of depth), surgency from external activity/situations, and energy creation from the external environment. The trait is marked by pronounced engagement with the outer world. 

The Energetic Among Five Personality Traits

Extraverts enjoy interacting with people and are often perceived as full of energy. They tend to be enthusiastic, action-oriented individuals. They possess high group visibility, like talking and asserting themselves. Extraverted people may appear more dominant in social settings than introverted people in this setting.

On the other hand, introverts have lower social engagement and energy levels than extroverts. They tend to seem quiet, low-key, deliberate, and less involved in the social world. However, do not mistake their social involvement as shyness or depression. They are more independent of their social world than extroverts. 

Introverts need less stimulation and more time alone than extroverts. But this does not mean that they are unfriendly or antisocial; instead, they are reserved in social situations. Generally, people are a combination of extraversion and introversion.

High

  • Enjoys being the center of attention
  • Likes to start conversations
  • Enjoys meeting new people
  • Has a wide social circle of friends and acquaintances
  • Finds it easy to make new friends
  • Feels energized when around other people
  • Say things before thinking about them
  • Sociable
  • Excitement-seeking
  • Outgoing
Low

  • Prefers solitude
  • Feels exhausted when having to socialize a lot
  • Finds it difficult to start conversations
  • Dislikes making small talk
  • Carefully thinks things through before speaking
  • Dislikes being the center of attention
  • Reflective

4. Agreeableness

Being agreeable or agreeableness refers to how people treat their relationships with others. Compared to extraversion, who like to pursue relationships, agreeable people focus on their interaction and orientation with others. 

The agreeableness trait also reflects individual differences in general concern for social harmony. Agreeable individuals value getting along with others. They are generally considerate, kind, generous, trusting and trustworthy, helpful, and willing to compromise their interests with others. Agreeable people also have an optimistic view of human nature.

Disagreeable individuals place self-interest above getting along with others. They are generally unconcerned with others’ well-being and are less likely to extend themselves to others. 

Sometimes their skepticism about others’ motives causes them to be suspicious, unfriendly, and uncooperative. Low agreeable personalities are often competitive or challenging individuals who can be argumentative or untrustworthy.

Since agreeableness is a social trait, research shows that this positively correlates with the quality of relationships with their team members. Agreeableness also positively predicts transformational leadership skills. 

The Strongest Among Five Personality Traits

In a study conducted on 169 participants in leadership positions in various professions. These individuals were asked to take a personality test and have two evaluations completed by directly supervised subordinates. The results showed that leaders with high levels of agreeableness were most likely considered transformational rather than transactional. 

Although the relationship was not strong, it was the strongest of the five personality traits. However, the same study showed no predictive power of leadership effectiveness as evaluated by the leader’s direct supervisor.

Conversely, agreeableness is negatively related to transactional leadership in the military. A study of Asian military units showed leaders with high agreeableness are more likely to receive a low rating for transformational leadership skills.

Agreeable people tend to find careers in areas where they can help the most. Charity workers, medicine, mental health, and even those who volunteer in soup kitchens and dedicate time to the third sector (social studies) are high in the agreeableness chart.

High

  • Has a great deal of interest in other people
  • Cares about others
  • Feels empathy and concern for other people
  • Enjoys helping and contributing to the happiness of other people
  • Assists others who are in need of help
  • Trust (forgiving)
  • Straightforwardness
  • Altruism (enjoys helping)
  • Compliance
  • Modesty
  • Sympathetic
Low

  • Takes little interest in others
  • Doesn’t care about how other people feel
  • Has little interest in other people’s problems
  • Insults and belittles others
  • Manipulates others to get what they want
  • Skeptical
  • Demanding
  • Stubborn
  • Show-off
  • Unsympathetic

5. Neuroticism

Neuroticism is characterized by sadness, moodiness, and emotional instability. Often mistaken for anti-social behavior, or worse, a more significant psychological issue, neuroticism is a physical and emotional response to stress and perceived threats in someone’s daily life.

Individuals who exhibit high levels of neuroticism tend to experience mood swings, anxiety, and irritability. Some individuals who share sudden changes in character from a day-to-day perspective could be highly neurotic and respond to high-stress levels in their work and personal lives. 

Anxiety, which plays a large part in the makeup of neuroticism, is about an individual’s ability to cope with stress and perceived or actual risk. People who suffer from neuroticism will overthink many situations and find difficulty in relaxing even in their own space.

The Skeptic Among Five Personality Traits

These problems in emotional regulation can diminish the ability of a person scoring high on neuroticism to think, make decisions, and cope effectively with stress. Lacking contentment in one’s life achievements can correlate with high neuroticism scores and increase one’s likelihood of falling into clinical depression. 

Individuals with high neuroticism also tend to experience more negative things in life. However, this also changes in response to their positive and negative life experiences. 

Of course, those who rank lower on the neurotic level will exhibit a more stable and emotionally resilient attitude to stress and situations. Low neurotic sufferers also rarely feel sad or depressed, taking the time to focus on the present moment and not get involved in mental arithmetic on possible stress-inducing factors.

High

  • Experiences a lot of stress
  • Worries about many different things
  • Gets upset easily
  • Experiences dramatic shifts in mood
  • Feels anxious
  • Struggles to bounce back after stressful events
  • Angry hostility (irritable)
  • Self-consciousness (shy)
  • Vulnerability
Low

  • Emotionally stable
  • Deals well with stress
  • Rarely feels sad or depressed
  • Don’t worry much
  • Is very relaxed
  • Calm
  • Confident
  • Resilient

 

The Five Personalities Traits and Their Influence

From nature and nurture to age and maturation, the big five personality traits have been widely studied where we can see what influences their impact on a person’s behavior and character. 

Personality has often been hypothesized as a question of nurture or nature. One particular study looked at 123 identical twins and 127 pairs of fraternal twins. The results suggested that the heritability for each trait is:

  • 53% for extraversion
  • 41% for agreeableness
  • 44% for conscientiousness
  • 41% for neuroticism
  • 61% for openness

It has also been widely recognized that the older we get, the more our behavior traits will change. We become less neurotic, extraverted, and less open to new experiences as we age. However, our agreeableness and conscientiousness grow as we get older. 

Five Personality Traits: Men vs women

The consensus is that men and women are more alike than what normative social science would have us believe. But as the title would suggest, there are some exceptions. 

Weinsberg and DeYoung 2011 studied the big five traits and, in particular, Gender Differences in Personality across the Ten Aspects of the Big Five. They concluded that women tend to score higher on Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism than men. 

Other studies have concluded that while the differences may be present, some traits are not extensively separate. Getting older will tend to align behavior traits such as agreeableness and extraversion, where both genders tend to score lower as time moves on.

To know more about Episode 97, click here 👇:

TIMESTAMPS: 

00:00 Intro
00:46 Plugs
02:07 Episode Introduction
03:55 Background on the Big Five Personality Traits
10:04 Big Personality Traits: Openness
15:04 Big Personality Traits: Conscientiousness
18:01 Big Personality Traits: Extraversion
21:50 Big Personality Traits: Agreeableness
27:34 Big Personality Traits: Neuroticism
31:18 Big 5 and its Influence
36:19 How the 5 personality traits play role in gender
40:25 Wrapping up the episode

Understanding Disorders of Consciousness

Understanding Disorders of Consciousness

Understanding Disorders of Consciousness

Encephalopathy, delirium, and coma are disorders of consciousness (DOCs) frequently encountered by critical care nurses. 

For nurses in the hospital setting being able to have knowledge of encephalopathy, delirium, and coma is important in improving patient outcomes. Furthermore, it is also vital to perform standardized assessments and interventions that are consistent with the cue-response theory. 

What is the State of Consciousness? 

Plum and Posner’s Diagnosis book define consciousness, that is, being fully aware of the self and the environment, as having 2 aspects, content and arousal. 

The content of consciousness is defined as “the sum of all functions mediated at a cerebral cortical level.” The content of consciousness includes cognition, which reflects how well information is processed and stored across the 2 cerebral hemispheres.

Arousal, on the other hand, refers to the level of consciousness or state of being awake. Consciousness and responsiveness are separate phenomena. Some patients may be aware but not able to respond (eg, locked-in syndrome), and patients may respond to stimuli but not be aware of their surroundings.

Based on current research the thalamocortical interactions are crucial for consciousness experience and voluntary action. The thalamocortical system is made up of the Thalamus and Cerebral Cortex.

For Refresher: 

Thalamus – the primary function of the thalamus is to relay motor and sensory signals to the cerebral cortex.

Cerebral cortex – many areas of the cerebral cortex process sensory information or coordinate motor output necessary for control of movement. 

The Brain

The brain, like other organs, has a limited capacity to withstand injury. The brain reacts to acute stress that can result from:

  • Toxins
  • Infections
  • Inflammations
  • Metabolic or nutritional derangements
  • Use of nutrients, glucose, electrolyte level, hydration, or structural damage

 

A stress response results in multiple cellular-level processes and neurochemical changes that disrupt equilibrium.

This disequilibrium initiates multiple cascades that become a vicious cycle of competition between supply and demand, which are depicted as neuroelectrical changes on an electroencephalogram (EEG).

When the brain can no longer compensate, behavioral symptoms such as altered levels of arousal and disorganized thinking begin to develop.

Progression of Disorders of Consciousness

  1. Delirium 
    1. Delirium is a neurocognitive disorder that presents as an acute change in behavior secondary to impairments in consciousness and cognition. There are 3 types of delirium: hyperactive, hypoactive, and mixed.
    2. Regardless of delirium type, individuals are often disoriented to place and time and have impairments in cognitive and visual-motor functions.
    3. Patients with hyperactive delirium tend to have greater disturbances in their circadian rhythm (ie, sleep-wake cycle) and mood lability. Conversely, patients with hypoactive delirium are more likely to be inattentive, have a flat affect, and face challenges with language.
  2. Coma
    1. Like delirium, coma is on the continuum of altered states of consciousness. However, with a coma, there is a loss of both awareness and wakefulness
  3. Minimal consciousness state
  4. Persistent vegetative state 

ICU Synposis of Consciousness

When a patient has an altered consciousness, after 2 to 4 weeks, the individual will either progressively recover, die, or transition to a minimally conscious or more persistent vegetative state.

Encephalopathy 

The term encephalopathy is derived from 2 ancient Greek words: “enkephalin”, which means “brain,” and pathos, which means “suffering” and is associated with the disease.

Encephalopathy is defined as any diffuse disease of the brain that alters brain function or structure with the “hallmark feature being altered mental status.”

Although the phrases altered level of consciousness and altered mental status are often used interchangeably with encephalopathy, they are not the same. For example, sleep is an altered level of consciousness but is not caused by injury or disease.

Chronic Encephalopathy

Chronic encephalopathy is the result of permanent, usually irreversible, structural changes within the brain. The characteristics of chronic encephalopathy are prolonged alterations in mental status that usually progress slowly.

Examples of these are brain conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias or anoxic brain injury. Acute encephalopathy results from the rapid development of abnormalities in cerebral structure and/or function.

Level of Function
Function Coma Minimally 

conscious

Vegetative state
Self-aware No Very limited No
Motor Not purposeful Severely limited Not purposeful
Respiratory Variable but depressed Variable but Depressed Normal
Sleep-wake cycles No Yes Yes
Feels pain No No

Yes 

 

 

The Mechanism Responsible (DOC’s)

  • Interruptions in the delivery or use of oxygen
  • Changes in neuronal excitability
  • Signaling alterations and changes in brain volume. 

Potential Causes

  • Hypoxia
  • Ischemia
  • Toxic and metabolic disturbances
  • Acute organ failure
  • Seizures
  • Drugs and/or alcohol
  • Infection
  • Electrolyte imbalances.

Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal Axis 

Disorders of consciousness and illness severity are linked by the activity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, which response to stress by impairing glucocorticoid and glucose metabolism.

The severity of the DOC is directly proportional to the levels of glucocorticoids and glucose in the blood that enters the brain (Stress response). In addition to that, the levels of these substances are directly proportional to the strength of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal response, and that response is directly proportional to the severity of the illness.

Early  First Signs of Delirium Are Often:

  • Subtle changes in focus and attention, including distractibility, 
  • Delays in responding to stimuli
  • Short-term memory deficits
  • Disorientation

Prevention of Delirium in the Hospital

Nurses should pay particular attention to the following to prevent and resolve delirium:

  • Resuming home medications
  • Minimizing the use of chemical and physical restraints,
  • Providing adequate pain management and high-quality basic nursing care. 
  • Practice habits such as nighttime bathing, promoting uninterrupted sleep as well as day-time activity 
  • Hydration
  • Nutrition
  • Early mobility

Nursing Care for Comatose Patients in the ICU

  • Enteral tube feeding
  • Promotion of regularity of bowel and bladder functions
  • Airway management such as suctioning tracheostomy tube
  • Management of muscle tone (excessive tightness of muscles)
  • Prevention of infections such as pneumonia and urinary tract infection
  • Management of other medical concerns such as fever, seizures, etc

 

Source:
https://www.aacn.org/docs/cemedia/c2161.pdf

If you want to know more about the disorders of consciousness, check out our full episode here 👇

TIME STAMPS:

00:00 Intro
00:44 Plugs
02:31 Episode Introduction
04:35 What exactly is consciousness?
06:37 What happens to the brain?
11:38 Progression of disorders of consciousness
17:24 What is encephalopathy?
19:58 The mechanism responsible for the disorder
20:37 The Potential Causes of Consciousness Disorder
24:57 FUN FACT: How does DOC severity determine?
25:52 What are the early signs of delirium
28:54 How to prevent and resolve delirium
32:23 Nursing care for comatose patients in the ICU
33:55 Area management
35:10 Wrapping up the episode

3 Reasons Why Reading is Important

3 Reasons Why Reading is Important

EP 88: 3 Reasons Why Reading is Important

Reading is a crucial skill that all of us must learn. A person who reads exercises their comprehension abilities and analytical abilities. Imagination and memory recall is stimulated through reading. It also helps in stabilizing your emotions too. 

In this episode, we will discuss the three reasons why reading is essential and why we should make it a habit. Towards the end of the discussion, we will dive into a book that we have read in the past year that we enjoyed reading. Be prepared because we are going to dive into life and philosophy on this one.  

History of Reading

The National Library Lover’s Month is in February. It’s dedicated to the people who love whole buildings devoted to reading, housing, organizing, categorizing, finding, studying, and otherwise loving books. Join us as we tackle another excellent episode of Cup of Nurses!

Where Did It All Start?

Around 4,000 to 6,000 BCE, Mesopotamia started the first known human civilization. This changed the course of history discovered in these city-states, the earliest known form of writing, cuneiform, and script.

It started with some squiggles on clay to represent a goat and an ox, this form was good to depict the list of goods. But, what exactly do human beings get from reading books? It is just a matter of reading for pleasure, or are there benefits behind the enjoyment of reading? 

The 3 Benefits of Reading 

Reading transports us to worlds we would never go to, and never see. It introduces us to people we would never meet and instills emotions we might never otherwise feel without reading. Are there other benefits? Reading books benefits both your physical and mental health as well.

1. Reading reduces stress

Put simply, by opening a book, you allow yourself to be invited into an artistic world that distracts you from your daily stressors. On a physical level, reading can even relax your body by lowering your heart rate and easing the tension in your muscles [1].

In a 2009 study from the consultancy Mindlab International at the University of Sussex, tests found that reading reduced stress levels by 68 percent. Thus making it a more effective means of relaxation than taking a walk (by 42%), drinking a cup of tea (54%), or listening to music (61%). 

In another study in 2009 as well, a group of researchers measured the effects of yoga, humor, and reading on stress levels of health science program students in the United States.

The study found that 30 minutes of reading lowered blood pressure, heart rate, and feelings of psychological distress just as effectively as yoga and humor did. Lastly, 30 minutes devoted to reading is something that can easily be incorporated into your daily schedule [2]. 

2. Reading strengthens your brain 

A small study in 2013 found that reading a novel increased communication between parts of the brain that control language processing [3].

These changes could be segregated into networks associated with short-term changes originating near the left angular gyrus (Langauge, reading & writing) and long-term changes dispersed bilaterally in the somatosensory cortex (receives and process sensory information across the body). 

Reading creates new neural pathways in the brain, this process is known as neurogenesis. Neurogenesis creates neurons that send messages and transmit information to different parts of the brain. How is this possible?

Reading books require thoughts, consideration, and effort to metabolize what’s being described in the book, which leads to the creation of new neurons. The question remains for further research to study how lasting are these effects. 

3. Reading percent age-related cognitive decline

Having an active life, mentally, is generally one of the best things you can do to protect yourself from Alzheimer’s. Cognition includes the ability to learn, remember, and make judgments.

A study published in 2020, a 14-year longitudinal study with a representative sample of 1,962 Taiwanese community-dwelling older persons aged 64 and above, followed up in four waves of surveys over 14 years [4].

Results showed that those who read one or more times a week were less likely to have cognitive decline at 6-year and 14-year intervals. After 14 years, older people who read more often had a reduced risk of cognitive decline compared to those who read less often. 

Reading is even associated with a lower risk of dementia. In a very large 2018 study in China,  15,582 community-living Chinese individuals aged 65 years or older who were free of dementia were followed up for a median period of 5 years [5].

Daily participation in intellectual activities was associated with a significantly lower risk of dementia several years later independent of other health behaviors, physical health limitations, and sociodemographic factors.

How to Make Reading a Habit

The easiest way to start reading more is to schedule it in your daily life. If you assign it into your planner or schedule, it’ll be harder to miss, having that accountability.

If you are trying to take better care of yourself with activities such as – sleep, nutrition, & exercise, you will want to schedule it into your daily life. 

Other tips:

  1. Keep a book with you when traveling or commuting places
  2. Reading books on topics you want to learn more about or are interested in
  3. Reading a book when you wake up or before bed
  4. Be patient – reading, like any skill/habit, takes time to develop

The Books We Like

We are avid readers and among the books that we’ve read, here are three of the best books that made us more conscious of ourselves and life in general.

1. Jordan Peterson – 12 Rules For Life: An Antidote to Chaos

It provides life advice through essays on abstract ethical principles, psychology, mythology, religion, and personal anecdotes. The book pushes the idea that people are born with an instinct for ethics and meaning and should take the responsibility of searching for meaning beyond their own interests. 

The critical idea of the book is that suffering is built into being. Being in the material and immaterial existence of a thing. With suffering people have a choice through life to either face it and transcend or withdraw which is almost a suicidal gesture.

He stresses that we live in a world of chaos and order and that everyone has a darkness that can turn them into the monster they are capable of being. However, when that darkness has a focus the impulse can be satisfied in the right situation.

Happiness Should Be a Byproduct

Another key point he brings up is happiness. Happiness should not be a goal of life it should be a byproduct or side effect of your life. Happiness should not be an aim because it’s not something that can stay there, it’s unpredictable and changing.

When you are unhappy does that mean you are a failure or failing? Happiness is based on perception and with perception, you don’t always realize what’s there.

The Gorilla Test does a good job of showing you how your perception changes based on what you are doing. Gorilla test conclusion: results indicate that the relationship between what is in one’s visual field and perception is based much more on attention than was previously thought. 

2. 12 Rules for Life Proposed by Jordan B. Peterson

If you like self-help books, this one is a good read. There are plenty of lessons and virtues that you can get from this book. Here’s our take on this book:

  1. “Stand up straight with your shoulders back.”
    • All animals including humans are governed by an internal hierarchy that is involuntary and biochemical. JBP talks about lobsters in this sense. When 2 lobsters square up for battle a winner is chosen before a fight occurs and many times it does not even lead to a physical battle.
    • Dominant lobsters have high serotonin to octopamine ratio leading to greater confidence, posture, and strength. That works in the human and nonaquatic world as well. In addition to that, stronger animals get more food, better homes, higher status, better mates, and cooperation from others. 
    • There is a really harsh passage from the bible that goes: (Matthew 25:29) “to those who have everything, more will be given; from those who have nothing, everything will be taken.”
    • The recommendation JBP gives in this section is to always wake up at a similar time each day. You don’t have to go to bed at the same time each night but waking up is crucial.
    • Don’t slouch, fix your posture and give eye contact because when both of those are poor it signals weakness. 
  2. “Treat yourself like you are someone you are responsible for helping.”
    • JBP brings up another fundamental t chaos and order, that fundamental is to consciousness. Consciousness is how you bridge the gap between chaos and order and that consciousness allows you to function in whichever manner you choose. 
    • What we should truly be doing for ourselves isn’t what we want and it is also something that doesn’t make us happy. No one understands us better than ourselves and no one can help us more than ourselves. 
  3. “Make friends with people who want the best for you.”
    • The environment around us shapes us. He asks the question if you have friends whose friendship you wouldn’t recommend to others why would you have that friend? 
    • We become the average of the people we spend the most time with. 
  4. “Compare yourself to who you were yesterday, not to who someone else is today.”
    • No matter how competent and accomplished you are there is always someone out there better.
    • Life is not just a game it’s you playing many games at the same time. If we are always playing the same game and always winning there is no difficulty, there is no growth. 
    • Pay attention, focus on your surroundings notice that something bothers you, concerns you, something that you just want to change. 
      • What is it that is bothering me?
      • Is that something I can fix?
      • Will I actually be willing to fix it?
    • What could I do, that I would do, to make Life a little better?
  5. “Do not let your children do anything that makes you dislike them.”
    • Children are constant learners trying to figure out where the boundary lies. They are always trying to figure out what the limit is, that is how they learn what they can and can not do.
    • If you want your children to talk more you need to communicate with them first. 
    • Raising children is having the ability to properly create order in chaos. Giving the child the right amount of adventure while still enforcing good behaviors.
    • Studies show that if a child does not learn the basics of socialization and discipline it will be a lot harder for them to learn later in life. 
      • Limit the rules
      • Use the least amount of force possible to enforce those rules
    • Don’t be a revengeful parent
    • As a parent, you are the proxy for the real world
  6. “Set your house in perfect order before you criticize the world.”
    • Many, perhaps even most, of the adults who abuse children were abused themselves as children. However, the majority of people who were abused as children do not abuse their own children.
    • Ask yourself, have you cleaned up your life?
      • Start with not doing what you know is wrong
      • Stop questioning the things you are doing wrong when you know they are wrong. 
  7. “Pursue what is meaningful (not what is expedient).”
    • The successful delay gratification they bargain with the future. The successful sacrifice. 
    • What are your values and do you follow them? Are they in your reality? You may have to sacrifice something you love best for you to become who you might become instead of saying who you are.
    • The one who wants to bring out the best of all possible futures will always make the greatest sacrifices. 
    • No tree can grow to heaven if its roots don’t reach hell 
    • Realize that thinking about life in a meaningful way is a difficult task for many individuals. Think about it this way CO2 emissions are relevant but are they relevant to someone that is hungry? 
    • Always aim up fix what you can but don’t be willfully blind or arrogant of others and your surroundings. 
  8. “Tell the truth — or, at least, don’t lie.”
    • Nazi Germany was built on small lies. 
    • What should you do when you don’t know what to do? Tell the truth. To accept truth mean to sacrifice. 
    • Don’t lie to yourself. Are your goals really aligned with what you want to be doing or plan on doing? 
  9. “Assume that the person you are listening to might know something you don’t.”
    • Memory isn’t only a tool for the past, it is something that guides your future. However, memory is there to stop you from doing the same thing. 
    • For many listening is too dangerous, they have an impulse to evaluate. It takes courage to listen. But if you listen, people will talk.
  10. “Be precise in your speech.”
    • The only way you can get your needs out is through speech. Furthermore, speech directs your actions and lets others know your wants and needs. 
  11. “Do not bother children when they are skateboarding.”
    • We are hard-wired to enjoy risk, but it’s the chaos that helps us develop. 
    • People compete to rise to the top. There is no reward without risk.
  12. “Pet a cat when you encounter one on the street.”
    • Maybe when you are going for a walk and your head is spinning a cat will show up. And if you pay attention to it then you will get a reminder for just fifteen seconds that the wonder of this being might make up for the ineradicable suffering that accompanies it.

3. Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

Meditations is a collection of 12 books written by Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius, who’ll introduce you to Stoic philosophy, the concept of logic, and self-discipline, and give you faith that the course the world runs is good. Aurelius called them “writings to myself.”

Book Chapters and Their Summary

Book 1 

Marcus Aurelius thanks those to whom he is indebted. His father showed him to be humble, frugal, and calm; his mother for teaching him to be generous and non-materialistic; and his teachers taught him the value of hard work, self-discipline, equanimity, rationality, humor, and tolerance.

Book 2 

Aurelius reminds us that each day we will meet some terrible people. He says death, is nothing to fear; it can’t hurt us. But what is most important about us is our minds.

We shouldn’t let them be slaves to selfish passions, argued with fate, or be anxious about the present or afraid of the future.

We can’t guarantee fame or fortune, but we can keep our minds calm and free from injury, a state superior to both pleasure and pain. Freedom is the control of our minds. 

Book 3

Aurelius tells us to be mindful of little things like cracks in a loaf of bread, and the texture of figs and olives. He says to think and talk about things you would not be ashamed of if they were found out. There is nothing more valuable than a mind pursuing truth, justice, temperance, fortitude, rationality, and the like.

Book 4

Aurelius tells us that we can always find solitude in our own minds. If our minds are serene, we will find peace and happiness. As for how others view us, we have little control over this.

Book 5

Aurelius says to get up each day and do good work. We need to act naturally and contribute to society without expecting payment or gratitude for doing good deeds. Instead, be satisfied with being like a vine that bears good fruit. Virtue is its own reward. 

Book 6

Aurelius disavows revenge, not to imitate injury. It is our duty to act righteously and not be disturbed by the rest. Think of good things and control your mind. 

Book 7 

Aurelius advocates patience and tolerance. Nature works like wax, continually transforming—so be patient. Evil people try our patience and tolerance, but we can remain happy by controlling our response to them.

Book 8 

Aurelius argues that being disconnected from humanity is like cutting off one of your own limbs. Instead, live connected to nature and other people. No matter what you encounter maintain a moderate and controlled mind.

Last Chapters 

Books 9, 10, 11

Aurelius argues that we should be moderate, sincere, honest, and calm. If someone reports that you are not virtuous, dispel such notions with your integrity, and use humor to disarm the worst people. Kill them with kindness essentially. 

Book 12 

Aurelius asks why we love ourselves best, but so often value the opinion of others over our own. This is a mistake. Remember too that the destiny of the greatest and worst of human beings is the same—they all turn to ashes.

One of the last things that Aurelius wrote in his tent, in modern-day Austria, “Life is warfare and a stranger’s sojourn (temporary stay), and after fame, oblivion.”

To watch the full Episode 88, click here for more:

TIME STAMPS:

0:00 – Intro
0:46 – Plugs
2:50 – Episode Introduction
7:56 – History of Reading
9:23 – Reading reduces stress
14:20 – Reading strengthens your brain
18:25 – Reading percent age-related cognitive decline
26:50 – How to make reading a habit
29:42 – Peter on “Jordan Peterson – 12 Rules For Life: An Antidote to Chaos”
33:22 – Rule 1: “Stand up straight with your shoulders back.”
36:00 – Rule 2: “Treat yourself like you are someone you are responsible for helping.”
36:53 – Rule 3: “Make friends with people who want the best for you.”
37:58 – Rule 5: “Do not let your children do anything that makes you dislike them.”
39:10 – Rule 6: “Set your house in perfect order before you criticize the world.”
41:07 – RUle 7: “Pursue what is meaningful (not what is expedient).”
42:15 – Rule 8: “Tell the truth — or, at least, don’t lie.”
45:46 – Rule 9: “Assume that the person you are listening to might know something you don’t.”
47:04 – Rule 10: “Be precise in your speech.”
48:43 – Rule 11: “Do not bother children when they are skateboarding.”
49:28 – Rule 12: “Pet a cat when you encounter one on the street.”
51:13 – Matt on “Meditations: by Marcus Aurelius”
51:57 – Meditations: Books 1 to 12

What is The Law of Attraction & How to Use it

What is The Law of Attraction & How to Use it

What is the Law of Attraction?

Our mind is a powerful thing. That said, how we think and having a positive mindset helps us in many ways. The law of attraction is an ancient spiritual principle that says what you think and feel about something will attract you. It’s been around for centuries but has risen in popularity recently due to the book “The Secret.” The law of attraction teaches us that our thoughts are powerful; they’re energy. 

General concept: All thoughts turn into things eventually. The Law of Attraction dictates that whatever can be imagined and held in the mind’s eye is achievable if you take action on a plan to get to where you want to be. It is one of life’s biggest mysteries. Very few people are fully aware of how much impact the Law of Attraction has on their day-to-day lives.

Disclaimer: The law of attraction lacks scientific evidence for its claims and is generally viewed as pseudoscience. Some things science maybe can’t measure? 

Proverbs 23:7: “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he”. … For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he. Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.

Your Thoughts Help Shape Your Destiny

Dr. Joe Dispenza – If you believe that your thoughts have something to do with your destiny, and you can’t think more significant than how you feel, or feelings have become the means of thinking, then by the very definition of emotions, you’re thinking in the past. For the most part, you’re going to keep creating the same life.

Every morning most people get out of bed on the same side of the bed, go to the toilet, get a cup of coffee, take a shower, get dressed, drive to work the same way, do the same things, and see the same people who push the same emotional buttons.

That becomes their routine, and it becomes like a program. It is how people lose their free will to a program, and there’s no unseen hand doing it to them.

Most people wait for crisis, trauma, disease, or a diagnosis. They wait for loss or tragedy to make up their minds to change. And my message is, why wait? You can learn to change in a state of pain and suffering, or you can change in a state of joy and inspiration.

How does it work?

The Law of Attraction is the ability to attract whatever we are focusing on into our lives. Whether you’re doing it consciously or unconsciously, every moment, we act as human magnets sending out our thoughts and emotions and attracting back more of what we put out to the world. Having a positive mindset can certainly make a difference.

Here are the three universal principles of the law of attraction

Positivity Attracts Positivity 

When we have a positive mindset, good things happen, and when we have negative thoughts, bad things happen. It is because our thoughts are magnetic – they provide a direction or force which attracts like-energy (similar idea) towards us and repels opposite-energy (opposite view). 

Nature Abhors a Vacuum

The phrase nature abhors a vacuum is attributed to Aristotle. It means every space in the heart needs to be filled with something. It suggests that by removing the negative things from your life, life can make space for more positive things to take their place.

The notion is based on that says it is impossible to have a room in your mind and life. Since something will always fill this space, it is essential to fill that space with positivity

The Present is the Key 

The law focuses on the idea that you should focus your energy on finding ways to make the present moment the most enjoyable. Rather than feeling angry or unhappy, it is your choice ultimately how you think, react and what happens to you.

Most are still naive to the full potential locked deep within us. It’s easy to leave your thoughts and emotions unchecked. It sends out the same message to the universe and attracts more unwanted emotions and events into your life? 

Many people who believe in this theory also believe that there’s no such thing as luck – everything happens because of our choices. What do you think?

How to Practice the Law of Attraction

Now that you realize the power of the law and have a positive mindset, you can view yourself as an artist who has a blank canvas to paint on every day. If you don’t like something about your canvas, change it. 

There are a few ways to practice the law of attraction. The easiest is to visualize what you want and hold that vision in your mind until it manifests. Some habits to incorporate into your life are:

  • Practicing being grateful
    • It allows positive feelings every day to crowd your thoughts. 
  • Visualize your goals
    • Imagine or visualize what you want your day to be like.
  • Optimism
    • Looking for the good in situations 
  • Learning how to identify negative thinking
    • Be the bearer of good news and not the source of negativity.
  • Use positive affirmations
    • “Today is going to be a great day.” 
    • “I can achieve anything I set my mind to.” 
  • Mediation
    • Meditation is beneficial in accessing your centers of energy that match the gut, heart, and head.
  • Be kind to yourself and others.
    • Self-care & Self-love. Set time for yourself
    • Diet/exercise
  • Reflect on your progress
    • It will help you stay focused on attracting what you want in life.
  • Practice acceptance
    • Focus on accepting things as they are. It doesn’t mean the future will suck, but you won’t be wishing for something different right now. 

It only takes 2-5 minutes to do the meaningful and focused law of attraction practice at home in the morning. In fact, according to Abraham-Hicks, it only takes 17 seconds to start the manifestation.

When is a good time:

  • Set off 2-5 minutes when you wake up.
  • Put off 2-5 minutes during Lunch
  • Try it again for 2-5 minutes before going to sleep

While this law may not be an immediate solution for all of life’s challenges, it can help you learn to cultivate a positive mindset and outlook on your life. That positive attitude may help you stay more focused and persistent towards your goals. 

Being Realistic About the Law of Attraction

No matter your belief, people’s lives are always the result of their daily actions. 

As you become older, you see that all habits catch up to good and bad people. Those people whose lives are on an upward trajectory, that momentum takes years to build. It’s thousands of days of compound work. 

With that being said, optimistic viewpoints drive proactive behavior that, in turn, creates attitudes towards your reality. So applying the law with discipline is a recipe for success. 

Concluding Thoughts

The law of attraction is a universal spiritual principle that says you attract what you think about. It’s not just some “new-age” concept – it works! When we’re open-minded about our desires and have a positive mindset before setting them into motion with our actions (known as affirmations), we’ll find ourselves attracting success quicker than ever imagined possible.

Do you want to know how to practice the Law of Attraction? Watch the full video here 👇

TIME STAMPS:

0:00 – Intro
0:50 – What is the Law of Attraction?
1:12 – You Are Who You Are
3:05 – We All Come from One
4:18 – Jesus said this
4:45 – In the words of Dr. Joe Dispenza
5:50 – Don’t wait for something bad to happen
6:25 – Change is NOT ALWAYS negative
7:38 – Taking action is part of the change
8:50 – Positivity Attracts Positivity
9:13 – Nature Ahbors a Vacuum
9:35 – The Present is Key
11:25 – Practicing Gratitude
14:08 – Positive Affirmations
14:50 – Meditate
17:13 – You are a Life-Long Learner
20:50 – Our experience with the Law of Attraction
21:05 – It’s a wrap!

EP 120: 5 Habits That Will Change Your Life

EP 120: 5 Habits That Will Change Your Life

5 Habits to Incorporate into Your Life

If you’ve been feeling like you’re stagnating in life or just can’t seem to figure out what to change, we have a list of 5 habits for you to start incorporating into your life outside of work and inside. We always try to better ourselves or change in some way, you usually start with a self-reflection and then some research.

Unfortunately, many people fail to realize that the best habits are fostered when introduced by someone else with life experience. 

5 Important Habits to Practice

  1. Create a Schedule
    1. What is something you enjoy doing in the morning or what is something you currently do that you enjoy? Maybe you like to meditate, work out, read, or enjoy a healthy breakfast. Whatever it is that makes you feel supercharged, kickstart your day with that habit. 
    2. Establishing a meaningful morning ritual helps you start your day on a positive, proactive note. Having a structured start to your day instead of rushing to make up for the lost time also helps eliminate stress, and mental fatigue and enhances your productivity.
    3. If you don’t know where to start, a good idea is to plan out your morning the prior night. You don’t have to plan out your whole day just think about 1 or 2 things you’ll do after you wake up.
  2. Do not stay up too late
    1. What we’ve noticed throughout the years as being the number 1 reason people stay up late is control. People’s lives get busy and some people almost lose control. So just like some drug users seek drugs because their life is in shambles and drugs are the only control they have, you seek to have control oversleep. This type of control is bad because you are tired, your body is saying sleep. You control when you go to bed and you will not let your body tell you who is boss. This is negative control because you lose sleep by staying up too late and this turns into a vicious cycle. 
    2. You can’t comprehend the effect and importance of going to sleep on time or early. You have more functioning day hours and you’ll feel great and more accomplished. Studies show that ⅓ people don’t get enough sleep. Don’t be one of them [1]
  3. Learn to single-task
    1. There are many people out there that say you need to multitask. What they don’t tell you is that only about  2.5% of people can actually multitask efficiently [2]
    2. It’s a simple concept that you think is inefficient simply because math always told you 2 are greater than one. That is not the case in life. Most people are a lot more efficient doing 1 thing at a time. This is especially true at work. Most jobs require you to handle one thing at a time, many people try to do more than one, and then their productivity dwindles and you can’t figure out why things are not getting done.
    3. This goes along well with prioritizing. What is due first, what is something you want to do first, and what is most important are good things to ask yourself before starting that first task. 
  4. Listen and be kind
    1. This sounds cheesy but it really works. Some people are struggling in life and just a simple conversation lights up their spirits. We all need outlets and the greatest outlet is speech. It is really that simple. Not only will you make someone’s day you will also learn something. This is also important at work, especially in the medical field. Just by actively listening you can figure out what is going through your patient’s head. You’ll be better at treating not only their medical issue but you’ll also be helping them on a mental and emotional level.
    2. What goes around comes around but if you want to change your life, you must also give something good. What energy you give to this world you receive back. Too many people surround themselves with hate and anger and you can feel it. There is too much negativity in this world so start doing kind things for others. It would blow your mind how much good advice and free things you can get just by being nice. People are at different points in life and in situations, we might not be able to comprehend. Share the love and you’ll get love back. 
  5. Always try to learn
    1. By this, we mean to try and experience everything. Changing your life is possible. Conquer your fears inside of work and out. Treat every experience as a learning opportunity. Try and do new things.
    2. Being uncomfortable is the area for growth. Learning is hard and it’s usually uncomfortable because you are dealing with something unfamiliar.