Sunday, 25 January 2015

No Fear Go Smear

Have you had your smear test within the last 3 years?

I was reading in one of my online journals this evening that 1 out of 5 women do not go for a smear test because they are scared. I think that is so shocking, but I am only shocked at the statistic not because women are scared. 

It isn't the most pleasant of experiences is it? But it is so fundamental, particularly for those who are sexually active, since 70% of cervical cancers are spread through intercourse. I can totally understand why women feel so worried about having it done. There is a fantastic campaign at the moment in the UK called #NoFearGoSmear and it tirelessly tries to encourage women to have their smears done and alleviate their worries. 

Some women do not like how clinical it all is so nurses are going into their homes to perform the examination. Some women are scared about pain so they are seen in clinics beforehand to alleviate their fears and go through analgesia options (if needed). I have read how some women have panic attacks over the thought of having it done so nurses are encouraging women to bring in whatever it is that helps calm them like music, a friend, meditation etc. In some areas of the UK attendance rates are as low as 55% and I think a lot of it is to do with the negative attitudes people have towards it.

It can save lives, it really can and do you know something else? Cervical cancer could be eradicated if we all had smears and girls under the age of 16 have the vaccination. Isn't that amazing?! It's also really important to highlight that a smear (pap smear) test is designed to locate pre-cancerous cells. Below is a video which shows just how quick and simple the procedure is. I'm not expecting you to go to your exam in a fairy outfit though!

Have you had your smear test? And if you have friends being called now or soon be an encouragement to them!

Monday, 19 January 2015

Word Up

I know this may seem like teaching someone to suck eggs but I think the poster below needs to get round to so many people. Here in England all hospitals are so stretched. Since new year 16 hospitals have announced 'major incident' and this means there no beds at all, not even in A/E. My local hospital is one of those 16. Just last Sunday there were 8 ambulances queuing to get into A/E and they were emergencies. They could not be taken to another hospital as it they too had shortages for their areas.

A/E or ER is for emergencies only. It does not stand for anything and everything. My friend Charlotte works in A/E and she said that during the time the ambulances were queuing with people who had chest pain, signs of stroke etc she had over 10 people who were waiting with cuts, twisted ankles and allergies. These are not emergencies and can be seen by medical professionals in walk in centres, doctors surgeries etc. 

Please please think before going to Accident and Emergency! The only exception I think are children and babies because they can deteriorate so much quicker or they can't communicate their symptoms as easily. 

I hope this will provide some encouragement to those who are confused or not sure what to do.


Thursday, 15 January 2015

It's so frustrating...

...when you know what you want to do but don't have the opportunity to do it!

I think last summer I mentioned how I was starting to get a little lack lustre with my job. I enjoy being a nurse and I love my team but I want to do something new. In the summer I also went back to uni to top up some of my credits and I did a course in mentoring so I could train student nurses and new preceptors. It kind of reignited my bug to go back to uni too.

I have always wanted to do health visiting. I very much believe that improving lives, health and relationships begins in the community and I really want to work in it. I feel like now is the right time to do this.

But there are no courses, or the courses that are available are £££ and I simply cannot afford it. I am really lucky that the government offer the course for free at various universities but only at certain times of the year. So it's a waiting game...

And I am not a patient person.

I am just finding it really tough at the moment because I know what I want to do but I just do not have the means right now of doing it. So it just kind of sucks that I am in a job where I don't feel terribly challenged.

Anyone else been there?

Monday, 5 January 2015

Airmail Christmas: Thank You

A very happy 2015 to you all! On the whole Airmail Christmas 2014 was quite successful. If you are still yet to receive your card, please email me as I have the list of senders/recipients. I made a video of all the cards that were sent in memory of Anna. I loved putting it together and seeing her spirit travel from country to country. Below is the video for you to look at. I couldn't fit every single card in but if you type in #airmailchristmas on twitter/IG/fb then you can see them all.

Anna's family were beyond touched this year. After I posted the video Anna's family sent me this message:

'Hi Rebecca - the video you made is absolutely beautiful! Thank you so very much. It made me cry - love the cards, love the pictures, love the song. Thank you for honoring Anna and sharing her legacy around the world. Hope you have a very Happy 2015 - full of many blessings.'

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