Obama Details Revised NASA Vision

 From Fox News:

Forget the moon, President Obama said. We’re going to Mars. Yet the President stopped short of setting specific goals, leaving a question lingering in the minds of many: When?

“By the mid 2030s, I believe we can send men to Mars’s moons and return them to Earth,” he told a crowd at the Kennedy Space Center

in Florida, near the launch pads where U.S. space voyages begin.
Armstrong and other astronauts expressed concerns over the past few days that scrapping the moon program would have deep consequences in terms of America’s standing in the world. They wrote an open letter to Obama voicing their concerns.

Apollo 13 astronaut Jim Lovell, who signed the letter with Armstrong, told Fox News he believes Obama’s plan is “short-sighted.”

“We’re going to be a third-rate nation. China and Russia are going to be premier,” he said.

This is a profoundly bad and dangerous idea. China and Russia are not our friends, they never have been and never will be. But the Obama administration knows this, as have every administration before him. I am very afraid for this country.

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The In’s and Out’s of Travel Nursing

By Susan Frances Bonner, author of Opening A Registered Nurses Eyes; A life Altering Journey Across North America

What’s a Travel Nurse? This is a question that I have gotten from numerous patients as I traveled the entire North American Continent, as a Travel Nurse.

So, with that said, I will give you a brief definition of what a Travel Nurse is; from travelnursejobs,org. “Due to a nursing labor shortage and nurse specialization in the early 80s, the travel nurse was born. A travel nurse is a nursing professional who works with a staffing company and typically works at a hospital or healthcare facility in a temporary assignment that is usually 13 or 26 weeks. Travel nursing started as a means for these facilities to fill scheduling shortages resulting from census increases, maternity leaves and vacations.”

I became a Travel Nurse due to the nursing shortage that occurred in North Florida in 1998. The only job I could get was as a Travel Nurse because I lived in a rural area and there were only two hospitals, very few Doctor’s offices and one Home Health Agency outside of said hospitals. I did work for the one Home Health Agency in my area, but was laid off because of the hospitals. (That story will be for another article in the future.)

Travel Nursing, in my humble opinion is the most unique form of Nursing in the field. For starters, you have to have the mind set of becoming an independent contractor. Now, most Nurses know what it means to be independent or we could not do our jobs. But most of us work for either a hospital or other organization. We are given a schedule, shift time and know what departments that we will work in.

When you are a Travel Nurse however, you more than likely will have to be flexible when it comes to all of the above. See, hospitals hire Travel Nurse’s to fill shortages and most shortages occur during evening and night shifts, weekends and holidays. They also usually occur on a floor or department which is very busy and less desirable to work on. And not every hospital will have slots open that cater to your area of expertise. I found this out the hard way. All of these factors have to be carefully considered before you even look for an agency.

Next consideration is choosing an agency. And there are many out there to choose from, which believe it or not is a good thing for you. More agencies mean more competition in the hiring arena, which means that you are more likely to get an assignment that you really want and fits your needs. This is the most important part of becoming a Travel Nurse and by far the most critical. As I alluded to in the previous paragraph, Nurses are not used to being independent contractors. This is where that roll comes into play and it is a hard one to master, at least it was for me.

Make sure you contact more than one agency at a time, while looking for an assignment. I made the mistake of jumping in with both feet with just one agency my first time out. I picked the first agency I found in one of my nursing magazines and ran with them. As I chronicle in my novel; Opening a Registered Nurse’s Eyes, I only learned more about contracts and agencies when I met another Travel Nurse during my first assignment. I call her my “Travel Nurse Guru”.

She taught me that I could solicit more than one agency at a time and I could do so even while working on my current assignment. Pretty cool, huh? It’s just a perk that comes along with being an independent contractor. I didn’t know that at the time, so I ended up taking an assignment with an agency that was very small, did not have many contacts and I got gypped out of a chance to bargain for higher pay and a better place to live. During my first assignment we lived next door to drug dealers.

Once you find an agency that fits your needs; (and please make sure you find one that does), you must be vigilant when you are constructing the contract. I have had so many horrible assignments because I did not cover all of my bases during the contract phase of Travel Nursing.

You have complete control over your contract with an agency. Do not let any agent or agency tell you other wise. Even though they cover you with medical malpractice insurance, pay for your housing, travel expenses and give you a bonus, your professional license is yours. You own it, and you must protect it. You and only you can dictate what you will do as a Nurse. So keep that utmost in your mind when drafting your contract.

I cannot emphasize how important the contract phase is to becoming a happy successful Travel Nurse. It covers your shift, your department, your salary, your living expenses, your living accommodations, your travel expenses and terms of employment, not only with the agency, but what the facility can, and cannot do to you. Be meticulous in this process.

My second assignment was a nightmare because I was not explicit in its wording. See, I since I had graduated nursing school, I had always worked weekends, twelve hour night shifts. So, as a Travel Nurse, I wanted to continue that trend. I found that I was more marketable that way. But when I went to my second assignment, I was told by the assistant nursing supervisor, “I am paying a lot of money for you and I will schedule you when ever and where ever I choose or need you. You are mine for the thirteen weeks you’re working here.” And she had that attitude because I did not stipulate, 7pm-7am weekends, ONLY! One word caused a lot of headaches for me. Don’t let it happen to you.

When you are a Travel Nurse, you visit many places, you see many different types of medical care, and you make a difference. Believe me; I have changed many a floor as a Travel Nurse by bringing my unique perspective to any given hospital.

During my last assignment I had renewed a couple of times because this particular hospital was near the home I owned in Florida. The hospital was in a hiring freeze and many of the Travel Nurse’s did not renew, so we were critically short of nurses. My patient care load went from six to seven patients, up to ten to twelve patients. Very sick patients as well. One night I had a very heavy load and was told I would be getting two more admissions, something I knew I could not handle and would be putting my patients’ well-being in jeopardy. I told the charge nurse I would not take any more patients for the reasons I have stated above. I also explained that if I did take on more patients, I could not safely give my patients proper care due to the acuity of my current load. She told me that she would have to call the hospital supervisor if I refused these patients. I told her to go ahead and that I wanted to talk to her as well about what was going on, on this floor.

The house supervisor called just then and informed the charge nurses that our “census” was going to stay the same for the shift. We would not be getting any admissions that night because we were short staffed. I found out later, that the house supervisor was diverting any new admits to less crowded floors that night. According to existing hospital policy, if a floor was short staffed the supervisor was to be notified and other arrangements had to be made. The key concept here was the notification of the supervisory staff. Would I have done that if I was a regular employee of this hospital? Probably not, but since my contract was with my agency and the hospital was a secondary note, I had the freedom to do the right thing by my patients and the other nurses without fear of being reprimanded. So, keep that in mind when you hit the road.

In conclusion, Travel Nursing is an exciting and challenging form of our Nursing Profession. One for the “not faint of heart”. But one worth exploring if the timing is right and one is up to the adventure. And it is an adventure.

Medical Self Reliance Part Three

By Susan Frances Bonner

Author of: Opening A Registered Nurse’s Eyes; A Life-Altering Journey Across North America

In the two previous articles I talked about using knowledge as your best weapon in the fight to be as medically self-reliant as you can, and dealing with medical self-reliance when you are chronically ill. Now, let’s talk about some of the medication you must have in your arsenal that will help you stay healthy.

Every household should have a well stocked Emergency Kit. This could be one that you buy in a store or one you make yourself. But if you are not medically savvy, I would go with the pre-made kit. It will help get you
started on what is in one; which will allow you to customize one to your unique needs. Make sure that over and above the Emergency kit you have plenty of Aspirin on hand, an alternative anti-inflammatory, Benadryl, Sudafed, an anti-diarrhea medication, as well as a laxative. Cough suppressants and cough expectorants should also be in your arsenal. All of the above medications are readily available and are classified as “over the counter medications”, but most of you already knew that if you don’t live under a rock.

The above medications will help keep you and your family out of the doctor’s office for minor illnesses and trauma, such as a cold, diarrhea, constipation, cuts, scraps and minor allergic reactions. And, again, as a disclaimer, if any of these minor illnesses last for long periods of time or increase in their intensity, seek professional medical help immediately.

As a personal note; when I was growing up in the seventies, (yes, I’m dating myself), my siblings and I, very rarely went to the Doctor’s office. My family did not have the money, my mom was a stay at home mom and my dad’s insurance was limited. So my parents had to make decisions about our health everyday. And with four very active children to keep up with, the task was daunting.

When I asked my mother, God rest her soul, how she decided when to take us to the Doctor, she explained that when she was growing up most illnesses and injuries were treated by her relatives, using folk medicine that had been passed down from generation to generation. And if an injury was too life threatening; people just died. That was the reality of the time. Doctors were few and far apart and most hospitals were located inside a city, so folks relied on each other. She also told me that the population did not have the amount of chronic diseases that we have now.

People were more active, “back in the day”. They did not eat processed foods as much as we do, and there were no hormones or preservatives in their food. They also had no other choice besides; caring for themselves and their family, something; we as a society, need to get back to. We need to become more self-reliant in every aspect of our lives. Back to basics folks, whether you live in the inner cities or the backwoods of our great nation. Personal responsibility in all things will always make for a better life.
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U.S. Preparing Gitmo for Haitian Migrants

The situation with Haiti is totally out of control now. This is outrageous. How in all that is holy are Haitians going to rebuild Haiti if They Are All Living In The United States of America!!!!

From The AP:

GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE, Cuba — The U.S. has begun preparing tents at Guantanamo Bay for Haitians migrants in case of a mass migration spurred by the earthquake, a senior official at the base said Wednesday.

About 100 tents, each capable of holding 10 people, have been erected and authorities have more than 1,000 more on hand in case waves of Haitians leave their homeland and are captured at sea, said Navy Rear Adm. Thomas Copeman.

I know Club Gitmo is not in the USA, but we own it, pay for it, man it and secure it. So what’s the difference. Oh wait, we don’t secure our own country. Where’s the fence?
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Medical Self Reliance Part Two

By Susan Frances Bonner
Author of: Opening a Registered Nurse’s Eyes: A Life-Altering Journey Across North America

As a Home Health Nurse off and on since 1995, my main goal and all Home Health Nurses’ as well; was to keep my chronically ill patients out of the hospital, out of the doctor’s office and relatively healthy.

In case no one knows what a Home Health Nurse is, I have provided a definition from, mondofacto.com. “Home Health Nurse: A nurse who is responsible for a group of clients in the home setting. Visits clients on a routine basis to assist client and family with care as needed and to teach family the care needed so that the client may remain in his/her home.”

It was a daunting task, but achievable. Most of my patients suffered from Diabetes, Heart Disease, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Asthma, ect. Diseases, that could easily go from chronic to acute and require professional medical attention. I was also dealing with an aging population, another obstacle to keeping these folks out of the hospital. In order to do that, one has to distinguish between what you can and cannot do when it comes to the health of an individual. That includes yourself and your loved ones.

My husband is chronically ill. He has Ankoyolsing Spondialitis, Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia. We live an hour away from the nearest medical facility and during the winter the only way to get to town is to snowmobile to our vehicle down the mountain. So, we are very conscious of what we consider a “medical emergency”.

With that disclosed; let’s explore what we can and cannot due when it comes to our health. And this will include people with chronic diseases. One; when it comes to trauma, meaning catastrophic bodily injury, there is very little one can do without a medical facility. Even if you know first aide and CPR, the person that you performed that on will still need additional medical attention. Conversely, a diabetic has complete control over their blood sugar, just as someone with high blood pressure does.

Ok, I can hear everyone now. The diagnosed diabetic and the rest of the chronic disease crowd are already in the medical system. Yes, they are; but now what? Now, you use the tools given you to become self-reliant. Nutrition, exercise and knowledge of your disease process are key. Believe you me, my husband and I find that out everyday. It’s all an experiment when it comes to our health. Medical professionals do not have all the answers. That’s why it’s called “practicing medicine”. So don’t be so hard on yourself, you can take control of your health and your loved ones as well.

Two; keep records, such as; what caused your disease? What medications, mainstream or holistic will help you control your disease? What types of foods and exercise regimens make your disease better or worse? How much stress do you have in your life and how does it affect your body? Knowledge is the key and without questions and answers there is no knowledge.

Now, common illnesses you can cure are: one the Common Cold. Antibiotics in no way shape or form help the Common Cold. The Common Cold is produced by a certain bacteria, which does not respond to antibiotics. So, the best way to cure it is to strive to keep healthy so your immune system is strong enough to battle all ills. Again, proper nutrition, (meaning, eat what you want, just in moderation), exercise and rest. Oh and laugh a lot. Laughter is the best medicine.

Two: the Flu. Three: Ear, eye and sinus infections. I am not going to elaborate on each because I want you to find out for yourselves how to prevent and cure the above. Again, knowledge is our best weapon.
And there are many different sources that you can access to gain said knowledge. Health care is very personal and it is up to you to taylor it to you and your loved ones individual needs. Do not let anyone tell you otherwise.

In conclusion I want to emphasize that all the above measures sound superficial but they are not. They are the basics. They are common sense approaches to keeping you and your loved ones out of the health care system, as much as possible.

Stay tuned for Part Three of this series coming to you next week!
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Country Musician Charlie Daniels Suffers Mild Stroke

The best way to combat a stroke is to get immediate medical attention. And it sounds like he did.

Fiddler-guitarist Charlie Daniels said he suffered a mild stroke while snowmobiling in Colorado and has some stiffness and numbness in his left hand and arm.

Daniels, 73, suffered the stroke Friday just outside Durango, about 230 miles southwest of Denver. He was treated at a local hospital then airlifted to a Denver hospital, where he was released on Sunday.

In a posting on his Web site Wednesday, Daniels said he was starting physical therapy. He didn’t say whether his playing had been affected but wrote, “I’m doing fine.”

Another statement on the Web site says he doesn’t plan to cancel any concerts. His next appearance is scheduled for Feb. 27 in Fort Pierce, Fla.

Good for him. I know he always appears in Sean Hannity’s concert series every year, I’m glad he will be able to do it again. The proceeds go to a good cause.
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Haiti Donations

Former Presidents Bush and Clinton were on Fox News a couple of days ago and stated that they were concerned about “false charities”, ripping people off. So they asked that if anyone wanted to give money to Haiti, they should go to their site, which is

clintonbushhaitifund.org

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Medical Self Reliance

Since my novel was published: Opening A Registered Nurse’s Eyes, I have decided to post some articles I have written for an on line magazine. So here it goes. This is one of four articles.

The health care debate in the United States of America has reached critical mass. As a Registered Nurse with a Bachelors Degree, I have seen first hand the problems as well as the possible solutions in the medical field over the 16 years, that I have been a Nurse.

The problem is “government involvement” and the solution is called “personal responsibility”. Let me give ya’all some background on the United States health care system.

We have had Government involvement in our healthcare since, “1949, the National Labor Relations Board ruled in a dispute between the Inland Steel Co. and the United Steelworkers Union that the term “wages” included pension and insurance benefits. Therefore, when negotiating for wages, the union was allowed to negotiate benefit packages on behalf of workers as well. This ruling, affirmed later by the U.S. Supreme Court, further reinforced the employment-based system”. (1)

Then came Medicare; “passed in 1965, Medicare was a federal program with uniform standards that consisted of two parts. Part A represented the compulsory hospital insurance program the aged were automatically enrolled in upon reaching age 65. Part B provided supplemental medical insurance, or subsidized insurance for physicians’ services.” (1)

And finally, Medicaid is born; “In 1966, Medicaid provided benefits for 10 million recipients. By 1999, 37.5 million people received care under Medicaid (Henderson 2002, p. 433) (1)

So, here we are now. One fourth of our population is insured by private insurance regulated by the Government; one fourth of our population is insured by the Government; one forth of our population is not insured; and one forth of our population takes their health care into their own hands. I’m estimating of course. So, which population would you like to be in?

So, which population would you like to be in? My husband and myself, both being Health Care Professionals, I, a nurse and he, a retired New York City Paramedic; strive to be in the later category. And in this first, of a four part series, I will try to help you be in this category as well.

The first and most important step to taking control of your own health care is to identify your weaknesses and strengths. Oh, and your family history. Let’s face it; you can be the pillar of health and strive to live the “golden life”, but genes play a huge part in how and what you will become. So, information is your strongest defense against illness.

And since we live in the “super duper information age”, everyone has a way to access that knowledge. I highly recommend utilizing more than one source as well. Now, I must put my disclaimer in this article at this time. My suggestions are not to be taken instead of a Doctors advise and/or medical council. Especially, if you and your loved ones are already in the system and under a Physician’s care. Always consult with your Doctor if you have concerns about your health. With that said, I will continue on and give you some tools to keep you self reliant when it comes to your health.

We covered knowledge. So, let’s move on. The second step is nutrition and exercise. I am not a Vegetarian, nor do I advocate that lifestyle. Living self sufficient; I have had animals and will have animals in the future to provide me with milk, eggs, and meat. I also believe, that we as humans, can consume a variety of foods without becoming sick from them. My philosophy is “Moderation In All Things.” Eat what you want. Just do not eat yourself into a comma. There is no reason to, we have not yet reached the point that food is scarce. And as people who rely on their own resources; we have complete control of what we put into our bodies.

As far as exercise is concerned; self-reliant people most likely get more exercise than half the population of the earth. And, I do not want everyone to go out there and become a body builder, weight lifter or marathon runner. But a brisk walk once a day, stretching exercises, (yes, not only does stretching keep your muscles and ligaments limber, they strengthen them as well), and light lifting all help to keep your weight down and deter most injuries, acute illnesses and chronic diseases.

The third step is having the proper equipment to monitor your health. Of course, everyone should have a basic trauma kit. But if you have a traumatic injury, you are more than likely going to the Emergency room. I may tap into my husbands vast Emergency Medical expierince in the future to find ways of keeping you out of the ED, as we call it, “across the pond”, in future articles. Huh, something to ponder.

Anyway, the basics to help keep you out of the Doctors office, besides a well stocked trauma kit is; a Blood Pressure Cuff, Thermometer, Blood Glucose Machine, basic Urine Dipstick Kit and two books. Where There Is No Doctor; a village health care handbook, by David Werner and Where There Is No Dentist, by Murray Dickson.

Reference: (1) http://eh.net/encyclopedia/article/thomasson.insurance.health.us
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Antibody finds, wipes out prostate cancer: study

Now, if they could only find the antibody that wipes out cancer, period. But we all know that cancer generates too much revenue. I know, I’m being cynical, but I have seen a lot being in the medical field for 15yrs.

From Breitbart.com;

US researchers have found an antibody that hunts down prostate cancer cells in mice and can destroy the killer disease even in an advanced stage, a study showed Monday.

The antibody, called F77, was found to bond more readily with cancerous prostate tissues and cells than with benign tissue and cells, and to promote the death of cancerous tissue, said the study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS).

When injected in mice, F77 bonded with tissue where prostate cancer was the primary cancer in almost all cases (97 percent) and in tissue cores where the cancer had metastasized around 85 percent of the time.

Bye the Bye, would this technology be available to “everyone” under our elected cockroaches, “universal health care plan?”
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Water, Electricity Cut Off in Mayon Volcano Danger Zone

I reported on this volcano last week and just thought I would keep ya’all updated.

From Fox News:

Fewer earthquakes have been recorded in the Philippines’ lava-spilling Mayon volcano, but the local scientists still believe an eruption to be imminent.

In response to the continued seismic activity at the volcano, Albay Governor Joey Salceda cut off the electricity and water supplies within the extended and permanent danger zones around Mayon Volcano yesterday evening, reports the Manila Bulletin.

Salceda told the paper that the move was designed to is to ensure that people remain away from their homes and out of the danger zone. Reportedly, many evacuees have returned to their homes for the New Year’s.

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