May 6th is National Nurses Day and at Nurx we are celebrating our amazing RN team! Although they practice telehealth primarily through computer screens, our team of nurses are on the front lines of patient care, fielding questions and keeping our patients safe and healthy. We asked a few members of the Nurx RN team for their expert health insights, and about what they love (and don’t) about nursing.
What’s something you learned through nursing that changed how you take care of yourself?
“Get annual exams! Chronic health conditions can go without noticeable symptoms for years and we can stop the progression of so many diseases before they severely impact our lives. Having a professional do a physical and labs has caught some of these for myself. It’s even more important to me because my mom died at a young age from a hereditary disease and I don’t want to do the same.” — Andrea Kennedy, RN at Nurx
“Learning to prioritize self-care is a must. If we do not take care of ourselves, we can’t be the best us to care for anyone else.” — Heather Bridges, RN at Nurx
“We only get one body to live in so it is IMPORTANT to respect it and nurture it. Another thing I learned through nursing is that everyone deserves access to the tools they need to take ahold of their health.” — Faryn-Ashley Easterling, RN at Nurx
“In my 20s while still in nursing school, I self-diagnosed myself with Hypothyroidism based on one of my nursing school lectures we were having on the Endocrine system. I contacted my provider and told him based on the symptoms I’ve been experiencing, I would like to have my thyroid levels tested for Hypothyroidism. My provider felt I was young and healthy and did not think it should be a concern but after completing blood work it was discovered I indeed have Hypothyroidism. I immediately made a lifestyle change (nutrition, exercise, sleep, and stress management) which in addition to medication management enabled my thyroid levels to return to normal. Ever since then I have maintained a very healthy lifestyle.” — Dee Thompson, RN at Nurx
What is a question that you hear a lot from patients — and what is your answer?
What’s the difference between the brand of medication I received and the one my prescription is written for?
“Most birth controls on the market today are generics of pills that have been discontinued. When your prescription is written for one generic brand the pharmacy can substitute any equivalent brand they have in stock that is most affordable for you. Equivalent pills are FDA approved to contain the exact same dose and type of hormones – so they really aren’t different. That said, some people do have a reaction to an inactive ingredient in some pills so if you feel that’s happened to you please reach out!” — Andrea
Will I have side effects with my birth control pill?
“Unfortunately, all medications come with the risk of side effects. There is no way for us to predict what side effects you will have, if any at all. We recommend trying the medication the prescribed for three months. If you experience anything you feel may be a side effect, just reach out to us and we will be happy to help.” — Heather
Will my birth control cause weight gain?
“Some weight gain (usually less than 5 lbs) is a possible side effect when starting any new birth control, as your body adjusts to the hormones – estrogen can cause water retention, and can lead to water weight. Most people find this typically resolves in the first 3 months. The Depo birth control shot is the only birth control that has been proven to cause weight gain, and it goes away after you stop the shot.” — Dee
What health advice are you are always giving to your friends or family?
“Living in Central Texas, we have a saying that if you don’t have seasonal allergies when you arrive you – just wait, they’re coming! I am always telling people to use a corticosteroid nasal spray daily. This significantly decreases your congestion and discomfort which means lower risk of sinus infections too!” — Andrea
“The most important advice I give to family and friends is to be transparent with their medical providers. Providers do not want the information so we can judge the patient, we want those answers so we can provide them with the safest care possible.” — Heather
“Get check-ups! You may feel fine but it is really crucial to understand what is going on with your body on the inside. Regulary checkups to your local doctor are a huge part of tuning in with yourself. Remember: Prevention is key!” — Faryn-Ashley
“Chronic stress is one of the leading causes of premature deaths. Emotional stress is a contributing factor to the six leading causes of death in the United States: cancer, coronary heart disease, accidental injuries, respiratory disorders, cirrhosis of the liver and suicide. Stress management is so important for our physical and mental health!” — Dee
What is challenging about being a nurse?
“Knowing that our current healthcare system is not designed to provide equal access to care to everyone, but our job is to help everyone. It is heartbreaking to have patients decline needed healthcare because they cannot afford it.” — Andrea
“The most challenging part of being a nurse is the emotional involvement. It’s not always easy to separate yourself when you truly care about people and you are guiding them through some tough times.” — Heather
“Not everyone will take our advice even if it could possibly save their life.” — Faryn-Ashley
What do you love about being a nurse?
“Empowering patients through education! When people have the information they need to make informed decisions, they take charge of their health and advocate for themselves. I love being able to support patients in that way.” — Andrea
“I love being a nurse because it never stops giving me the opportunity to learn and grow. This provides me with more knowledge to educate my patients about things that are important to them.” — Heather
“I love that I can make health care less intimidating and less scary! Health education is super important in my line of work. It amazed me to see people struggle with health literacy. It also pained me when patients would tell me they understood something just so they won’t feel embarrassed or ashamed for not knowing. So I love that I can help create a safe space and minimize stigma by being a health professional.” — Faryn-Ashley
“I love educating patients about health and being a part of a system that aims to improve the health and well-being of others. I am also a Clinical Nurse Leader and I love having the opportunity to lead a team of nurses who provide outstanding nursing care to thousands of patients every day.” — Dee
This blog provides information about telemedicine, health and related subjects. The blog content and any linked materials herein are not intended to be, and should not be construed as a substitute for, medical or healthcare advice, diagnosis or treatment. Any reader or person with a medical concern should consult with an appropriately-licensed physician or other healthcare provider. This blog is provided purely for informational purposes. The views expressed herein are not sponsored by and do not represent the opinions of Nurx™.