The Dr. Oz Show
Air date: November 11/21/11
Nurses' Secrets That Can Save Your Life
- Five biggest health secrets according to nurses
- Nurses secret at-home remedies
- Blood pressure
- “Animal” Skin Problems
Doctors have all the answers, right? Nurses may know more, according to Dr. Oz. Nurses from Dr. Oz's own hospital, New York Presbyterian which employs 4,600 nurses, may know more than doctors. Five nurses from Dr. Oz's hospital are guests on the show today to share their biggest health secrets.
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Speed Round: Nurses Health Secrets
- When doctors give patients a time for a procedure, nurses always tack on 2 hours. There is always more preparation time required that the doctors often do not factor in.
- Flowers and plants are NOT good. The florists creation could interfere with recovery in the Intensive Care Unit due to potential allergies and bacteria.
- When you are told do not eat or drink before a procedure, absolutely do not eat or drink anything – nothing, none, nada. Not even a mint is allowed. Ingesting anything may create gastric secretions that can cause complications such as pneumonia.
- Talk to nurses about pain, they manage pain not the doctors. Nurses are the forefront of patient care as they are with the patient all day and nurses can provide better management of pain.
Nurses' Five Biggest Health Secrets
Nurses' Health Secret #1 - Nurses are primary car giver, not your doctors.
Nurse Donna Cardillo has been a nurse educator for 30 years. She sees the role of nurses as advocate and health educator for their patients. Nurses are with the patient 24/7 at their bedside monitoring, counseling, and coaching. With their knowledge and experience, nurses can help patients and their families to navigate through the health care system which is particularly important with a serious diagnosis. Nurses not only work in hospitals but they are also present in schools, in business and industry providing services and educational programs.
The fewer patients a nurse has to care for fewer complications are possible. The ideal number of patients for nurse in standard care is 5-6. In the ICU, two patients per nurse, depending on patient needs and nurse qualifications, is ideal.
Nurses' Health Secret #2 - We know you don't always tell the whole truth.
Nurse Nate Barkley shared that nurses know that patients don't tell the truth. When the patient says they have a couple of drinks a night, nurses know to double that amount to come close to the reality. When they patient says they only smoke a couple of cigarettes a day, nurses know that they actually smoke a pack a day. A patient who says they exercise a couple of times a week probably rarely exercises because people who exercise regularly exercise are happy to talk about it and about what they do.
Nurse Barkley encourages people to not be embarrassed about their personal information so that nurses, and doctors, can provide the best care. There is no judgment in this situation. The information provided, or not provided can effect how you are treated.
To illustrated, Dr. Oz showed that by not telling the truth about other medications, supplements, alcohol use and foods the patient could be putting their liver and kidney at risk. All these other things, if you're not truthful, could cause the kidneys and liver to become overloaded when other therapies are applied. When given anesthesia, the patient could wake up because of the amount of other things in the system interfering with the work of the liver.
The best way to keep track of what you're taking, use a personal information card listing all medications and supplements. [Dr. Oz said the card would be available on his website, but it's not there. Maybe it will be up there Tuesday?]
Nurses' Health Secret #3 - When we say you need a second opinion it's a code.
Nurse Holly Rae Stone has been in nursing for 10 years. Nurse Stone says that when nurses have a concern about a doctor's recommendation they will recommended to the patient to obtain a second opinion. A nurse's job is be an advocate for the patient and not to worry about the doctors ego - they want to do right by the patient. With this recommendation, nurses may be empowering patient to reconsider the option presented. A nurses silence may also be powerful message.
Dr. Oz shared that when he chooses a doctor for his family he is also looking at the nurses who will be part of their care.
Three Things Nurses Look For When Choosing a Doctor
The doctor has a full schedule – a doctor sitting around filing their nails could be a sign that the doctor may not be able to provide a high level of care.
They show subtle signs of safety – is the doctor washing their hands before touching touching the patient? Does the doctor clean their stethoscope before using it on the patient? These little signs could provide light on a bigger picture of safety.
They are open to non-trad methods of healing – many options are available to doctors that can be incorporated in a plan of care. If a doctor doesn't listen then they might not providing the best care, and not providing the care that is right for you.
Nurses' Health Secret #4 – There are good times and bad times to speak to nurses.
Nurse Jennifer Chaikin has been a nurse for 16 years and says a bad time to try to speak with nurses in 7am. Nurses typically are in the process of a shift change where vital patient information is being transferred. Interrupting this communication may result in missed key information to a patients care.
Another bad time to try to speak to nurses is 10am. In acute care settings 10am is a standard time to deliver medications. Interrupting this vital function poses a safety risks.
The best time to speak with nurses is both 3pm and 3am – though not many people or patients are awake at 3am. Three in the afternoon is a good down-ish time for nurses therefore a good time for patients and their family to speak with them. By this time of the day, nurses have a plan for the next 24 hours of patient care and can communication this with the patient.
Nurses' Health Secret #5 - If you ask us, we can make your tests and injections less painful.
Nurse Paula Jean Greer has been a certified nurse midwife for 37 years. Nurse Greer says if you've been approved to drink water before having blood drawn or an IV attached, then drink 3 glasses of water to plump up the veins making needle insertion easier.
If you ask, nurses can numb the area with a topical numbing cream to reduce the pain of an injection.
A drink prescribed before an test of the intestines can be chilled or even frozen to make it easier to drink. The cold temperature doesn't hurt the test results.
Nurses' At-Home Healing Secrets
...But First, Two More Speed Round Secrets
When your health care provider asks you if you have any questions, be sure to ask them what they would like to know if the roles were reversed.
Tell the truth to your health care providers. They will not be shocked. Tell them what they need to know so they can provide the best individualized care.
Healing Secret for Wounds
Nurse Paula Jean Greer shared that cabbage has healing properties. Take a leaf of cabbage out of refrigerator and put directly on a wound, wrap with dressing and it will drain the wound - change the dressing often. The cool cabbage provides relief and the natural chemicals in the cabbage support the body in healing the wound.
Healing Secret for Colds
Nurse Jennifer Chaikin recommended using a hyper-tonic saline solution as a nasal wash to support the sinuses during a cold.
Mix three heaping teaspoons of kosher salt – use kosher because it doesn't contain iodine [iodine can damage the sinus tissue] – with 1 teaspoon of baking soda in 1 quart of warm water. Use a bulb aspirator or an eye dropper to squeeze or drop the solution into one nostril while holding your head to one side. The solution will go up one nostril and out the other. [Do this in front a mirror and over a sink. Have a towel(s) handy.]
Nurse Chaikin says this solution can be used with infants less than a year old using the eye dropper. Blowing the solution in the nostrils, with an aspirator, of an infant can be harmful to their nasal passages.
Healing Secret for Hangovers
Dr. Oz says he's been waiting all day to hear this healing secret. Nurse Holly Rae Stone recommends drinking Pedialite as an excellent solution for hang overs. Nurse Stone says the electrolyte content of the drink is higher than waters labeled as containing electrolytes and therefore will better support hydration.
[BIG WARNING! The following message was displayed on the TV the entire time Pedialite was recommended for hangovers.] This is an off label use and is not FDA approved for treatment of effects following alcohol consumption.
Healing Secret for Burns
Nurse Nate Barkley recommends whole milk for burns. Don't go to the tap for cool water go for the cold milk. Soak the area in milk, or use a compress, for 15 minutes to help cool the burn and support healing. Add ice to the milk to further cool it. Milk contains a proteins and lipids which promote healing.
Healing Secret for Itching
Nurse Donna Cardillo recommends applying mint tea for pesky itches, a trick she learned at Girl Scout camp. Mint tea has menthol, an anesthetic, and muriatic acid, an anti-inflammatory that is easily absorbed. Because the tea is cooled, the cool temperature can also help relieve the itch.
Boil 2 cups of water and let steep 1 oz of dried mint leaves. Cool the tea then dip a towel in the tea. Place the minty towel on the itch.
Revolutionary Ways to Lower Blood Pressure
Heart disease number one killer of women and high blood pressure is a contributing factor. Dr. Oz shares some ways to support health blood pressure without prescription medications.
A healthy blood pressure number is below 120/80. Pre-hypertenion can occur when the number reaches above 120/80. A blood pressure reading of 140/90 and above indicates hypertension [and an increased risk of stroke]
The top number in a blood pressure reading indicates how hard the heart is working to squeeze blood through the vessels as well as how soft or stiff the vessels may be. The bottom number in the reading indicates how well the blood vessels can relax.
Blood vessel walls should ideally be soft and pliable as well as wide to allow blood cells to flow through easily. When blood pressure has risen and in cases of hypertension, the vessel walls can become stiff and narrow putting strain on the heart to push the blood cells through the body.
top squeeze ability stiff vessels, bottom how well vessels relax.
What kills you with high blood pressure is the sustained damage experienced by the heart doing heavy work all day, everyday. The blood vessels do not relax and the blood cannot get back to the heart for replenishment.
Three Natural Ways to Lower Blood Pressure
Blood Pressure Support #1 – Hibiscus Tea
To support healthy blood pressure levels, Dr. Oz recommends drinking one cup of hibiscus tea every day. Hibiscus is a mild diuretic which reduces the amount of cells in the blood aiding the heart in circulation the blood throughout the system. Dr. Oz stated that hibiscus tea can benefit blood pressure as much as many hypertension medications.
Blood Pressure Support #2 – Potassium-Rich Foods
Dr. Oz recommends to consume 4g per day of potassium-rich foods. Potassium can help to counteract the negative effects of sodium. Look to green veggies, bananas and salmon for to increase potassium in the diet.
Blood Pressure Support #3 - Accupressure
Stress! Reducing stress can support healthy blood pressure levels. Dr. Oz recommends practicing this easy accupressure move for a few minutes twice each day. Find the highest point of your ears, from there move your fingers up to the top of the head. That is the center point on your head. With one hand on this spot of the head move the fingertips in a small circular motion around this spot on the head. Place the other hand on the stomach while taking deep breaths. Feel the diaphram expand and contract with each breath. Keep the hand moving on the head while breathing. [This looks a lot like the old pat your head and rub your tummy trick just backwards and no motion on the tummy.]
Animals as Human Lifesavers
SeaWorld/Busch Gardens animal ambassador Julie Scardina brought four animal friends to discuss potential human applications of the animals adaptations. Looking at natures evolution and studying the animals can help us understand how to support human health.
Tarantulas – Heart Health
Two tarantulas took center stage – the Goliath bird-eating tarantulas (watch out, they can jump!) and one from Chile. There are 850 different species of tarantulas known to exist. Tarantula venom is fairly benign, much like a bee sting, it is not harmful to humans. Tarantulas venom is being studied in connection with heart health with a potential application for irregular heart rhythms and atrial fibrillation. Ms. Scardina said the science is 10 years away from medications to support heart problems and Muscular Dystrophy.
Sting Rays – Healing and Fighting Infections
Sting rays heal quickly and are able to withstand infections better than other animals. Scientists are looking at the sting ray's antibodies and their immune system for potential military applications when soldiers are wounded in the field where infections can be easily picked up.
Ground Hog – Metabolism and Weight Loss
The ground hog is a true hibernator. Digger, the ground hog, can reduce his heart beat and temp by as much as 60 degrees during hibernation. Ground hogs get chubby before their long and it's all due to metabolism. Digger is fed the same diet year round yet he puts on weight in fall and loses it in the spring, no matter what he is fed. Studies are looking at what allows his ground hog body to dramatically change his metabolism throughout the year. A future application could be to support weight loss or weight gain in humans.
Owl – Hearing Test
Cupid, a barn owl, was enticed to fly to Dr. Oz with a dead mouse – don't freak out, Ms. Scardina cautioned. Owls have incredible hearing – they are able to hunt in the dark. The ears on an owl are off-set. One ear is higher and the other is lower, one ear is more toward the eyes while the other is more toward the back of the head. Off-set allows the owl to triangulate any sound allowing them to hear a mouse break a twig from 75 feet away.
An owl's eyes will dilate in connection with sound levels. Human eyes may also dilate in response to sound. The hearing and eye dilation connection is being studied to determine a hearing test that could be applied in cases where the patient cannot speak, infants and injuries rendering a person without speech. Such a test could potentially be used sooner than other diagnostics that may require the patient to indicate sound awareness through speech.
How to Fix Your Problem Skin Areas From the Wild
Game Show Time!
How can you help fix crow's feet? Jojoba oil, daily glass of whole milk, or Vitamin C cream?
Vitamin C cream can help reduce swelling of the skin and it supports collagen growth. Dr. Oz recommends looking for a cream with Vitamin C listed at the top of the ingredient list.
How can you help fix raccoon eyes? CoQ10, concealer or grapeseed oil?
Concealer is the best remedy for raccoon eyes. Those dark circles are due to the blood vessels being more visible through the skin. Use a color correcting concealer in peach - not yellow or beige - to hide blue colors of the vessels.