Friday, November 13, 2015

The Friday Five

I know.  It's been awhile...
Halloween hoopla, big birthdays, and still sick.

But, I am back today, to share what's good in my world...

Chris Stapleton + Justin Timberlake
Anyone catch this performance on the CMA's?
I'm not the biggest country music fan, but dang!  Their voices are on point!

@eastcoastcreative on Instagram
Need some new home design pornography to add to your feed?
This awesome mama + designer + DIY'er has some serious game.
I love her completely-put-together-yet-slightly-eclectic style.

Bone broth
I wish I did, but I don't, have time to make my own.  Bone broth is incredibly nutritious and health-boosting, not to mention super flavorful and full of protein.  Thankfully, "Pacific Natural Foods" has single serving sizes that can be warmed up in a mug for an instant, soul-soothing lunch!  Try the chicken lemongrass or chicken ginger flavors.  And since all the antihistamines and inhalers and cough drops in the world aren't helping me feel much better, why not delve into the "natural healing" department? ;)

NP Week
As you may have read this earlier this week, it's national nurse practitioner week!  I am still off service, but I had the complete pleasure of participating in "career day" at my son's preschool.  Each week, they've had someone come in and talk about the importance of their job.  Needless to say, these 3 and 4 year olds are pretty awesome...and I foresee a medical career in several of their futures!

"This is Parenting"
Read this little ditty over at The Pregnant Chicken.
So very true.

And and a few more fun links, just because...

Ugh, her House of Mackage jacket. #want

Dear Perfect Mom on Facebook... yassssss.

Oh, and another 40 awesome websites that will ruin your productivity today.

Finally, I've been gravitating towards this little mantra lately...

Hope your weekend is super relaxing and fun!

Xo, b

~ images via @eastcoastcreative on Intagram, Pacific Natural Foods / pics by bitsofbreezy ~

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Chimichurri steak & sweet potatoes

Here's an easy weeknight meal you don't want to miss!
Amazing on the grill and served with charred corn tortillas
(and a big glug of red, of course).


Simply combine the spices and smear this dry rub on meat (save any extra for next time!).
Sprinkle some of the dry rub, along with a hefty pinch of coarse salt and drizzle of olive oil, onto the sweet potato chunks.  Roast them at 375 for approximately 45 minutes (or until crispy and golden).

Meanwhile, whiz together the remainder of the ingredients (for the chimichurri sauce!) in a food processor and grill the steak for a few minutes per side (or to your liking).  Also throw on some corn tortillas just to warm through and get a little char.

Top the meat with your fresh and spicy sauce.
Use any extra for dunking your delicious sweet potatoes.
Wrap any (or all) of the above in the toasty tortillas.

Wash down with a bottle of red.

P.S.   This could easily be assembled into a freezer meal.
Simply place the meat with dry rub in a freezer bag.
Place sweet potatoes and dry rub in a separate freezer bag.
Make sauce and place it in yet another freezer bag or container.
Place all contents into one big freezer bag along with directions.
Simply thaw overnight in fridge and voila!
All the prep is done for you and your food is just ready to be cooked/assembled when you get home from a hard day at work.

Bon apetit!

~ images by bitsofbreezy ~

Sunday, November 8, 2015

" What's a nurse practitioner anyway?"

If you've been following me for awhile, you know that I am a woman of many interests - being a mom, cooking, reading, writing, entertaining, interior design, music, fashion, and creating fun things.  However, one of my greatest interests, the one I actually get paid to do, involves health, wellness, and being a nurse who practices medicine.  I am a nurse practitioner.

I decided to write this post in honor of "Nurse Practitioner Week" (November 8-14, 2015) and the 50th anniversary of our profession, but more importantly, because so many people don't really know what a nurse practitioner is.  It's not really their fault.  Our healthcare system is confusing at best.  I've been called "Dr. Nigro" and I've also been the butt of many a "nurse wiping up poop" joke.  I've been patronized by surgeons and embraced by patients and families whose lives I've saved.  I've frequently been incorrectly called a PA (physician assistant), even by some of my direct superiors and co-workers.  I've also been given ill-defined labels such as "advanced practice provider" and frankly, more demeaning ones like "mid-level provider" or "noctor"... but most people just call me "Brianna."  I love my job.

So, what exactly is a nurse practitioner anyway?  Let me clear it up for you.  A nurse practitioner (NP) is a registered nurse who has completed years of education beyond his or her bachelor's degree, usually a Masters of Science (and now even a Doctorate) in Nursing.  In grad school, I delved more deeply into learning about how the body functions, different disease states, how to formulate diagnoses, and treat common medical problems.  Upon completing grad school, NP's take board certification exams and must maintain an active NP license in the state(s) in which they practice.  While I had many physician preceptors and guest lecturers throughout my graduate program, NP education, licensure, and certification is not regulated or managed by doctors.  It is regulated by nurses.  

In my current role of hospital medicine, I take care of hospitalized patients with conditions ranging from chest pain and heart failure to pneumonia and other serious infections.  It's not uncommon for me to take a thorough medical history, perform several physical exams, order a CT scan and a handful of laboratory tests, counsel someone about smoking cessation, prescribe various medications, and assist in planning a complicated hospital discharge in just an hour on the job.  NP's often work in primary care, but many also work in "specialty" areas, such as Cardiology or Dermatology.  Others perform procedures, such as insertion of dialysis catheters in Interventional Radiology, for example.  Most NP's are employed by hospitals or physicians, but many actually work independently if their state regulations allow them to do so. 

Research has shown similar outcomes between patients who were treated by physicians compared to patients treated by NP's.  But, I personally think NP's have an edge... they are nurses first.  Patient education, advocacy, and holistic care are at the very core of nursing philosophy.  To a nurse, especially to me, a patient is not just the disease he or she has; a patient is a person first, with a complex host of physical, emotional, environmental, and spiritual parts that complete the larger, truer portrait of their health.  Patient education has always been one of my favorite things about my job, because knowledge is empowering.  

Today, people are living longer, patient care is more complex, and there are shortages of medical providers across the board.  Nurse practitioners are competent, integral parts of the healthcare "team," and I am constantly inspired by so many of the NP's I know.  So, the next time someone asks you, "what's an NP anyway?", I hope you reassure them that they're in good hands.  I can guarantee we are going to be around for  another 50+ years to come! :)

Brianna Nigro, MSN, RN, ACNP-BC