Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Be Cheerful: On Why I’m Now Runbrarian

Tuesday, April 26th, 2016

Really, the 2,400 year old skeleton mosaic says it all: Be Cheerful And Live Your Life.

becheerful

Where did you vanish to? 

Collaborating on a 5 state regional medical education session last week with 10 librarians in two different roles, regional faculty, and an academic learning technology department meant attempting to make 4 different groups happy in the time leading up to it. That was impossible. However,  I succeeded by successfully advocating for direct librarian involvement at some sites that hadn’t previously had them and things went rather well. In other ways I failed, although many of the ‘I wish I could haves’ are balanced with the reality that a lot of factors were entirely out of my control regarding them.

On the day after our instruction, all the Canvas courses I’d used the LibGuides LTI in failed.  With that plus the unexplained development course December LTI fail I called that pilot project over & wiped all instances of the LTI from our courses and replaced them with integrated curriculum block-specific LibGuides URLs in the modules. 3 rounds of student technology surveys have confirmed that this integration of the library resources is noticed & greatly appreciated. Fail lesson learned: Unless you have your organization IT’s explicit support of an app in the course management system, don’t try one out on your own. Onward!

Is that why Twitter #medlibs chats are monthly now?

It is true that lately I was pressed for coordinating the Thursday night #medlibs chats that had run nearly every week since June 2012. The reality is that I’ve noticed a sharp decline in 2016 participation despite unchanged (perhaps even increased?) blog post access stats though. It did not seem fair to a small but dedicated group of participants and leaders to be investing so much of their time for a diminishing return, thus I made the call to shift things to a monthly chat and see how it goes. I similarly can’t lead assessment efforts and propose other solutions regarding the chat. #medlibs chats have always been on my personal time because I can’t commit work hours to them. Perhaps that is part of the reason since I know 9pm on a weeknight is late for the East coast, perhaps after almost 4 years we’re all chatted out on a weekly basis, perhaps other factors are involved. I’m very happy with the years we’ve had, our role in helping #ukmedlibs launch, and contributing data to an article published on April 20th about #medlibs.

What’s the deal with going from @eagledawg to @runbrarian? 

Eagledawg was always an anomaly, a random decision on what to call a blog for a 2008 continuing education course when I wasn’t yet a librarian. I didn’t even put my own name to Eagledawg until 7 months later due to nuances of my job and the newness of blogging in the field at the time, even before the threats came. I am known as Eagledawg by many medical librarians and am met with confused looks by others when they hear that name. Not an especially good personal branding strategy as I’m becoming more involved with other organizations outside of librarianship. Running, however, is something I have claimed as my identity (much to my surprise) in addition to being a librarian that is understood by everyone – hence runbrarian.

Why do you post about Jamberry nails in social media now?

When learned at the end of March that the Seattle Public Schools has no money budgeted for their library resources I was furious. That fueled a purpose for a hobby I’d been considering for a while. The time I once spent coordinating the weekly #medlibs chat is now spent dedicating my commission from being an independent Jamberry nails consultant to the cause of #SPSLibraryEquity. If my clients and I are going to have awesome nails we might as well have them support a good cause, right? I launched that as runbrarian.jamberry.com and it’s made sense to consolidate everything under that name instead of trying to maintain a split Twitter personality.

We have firsthand experience with the enormous resource disparities between the previous school with a 61% free & reduced lunch (FRL) rate and the current school with a 9% rate and they sicken me. There is no excuse for a city like Seattle that prides itself on a strong public library system for selling the public school libraries short for the students that need them the most. The public library branches are not always close by to help fill the gaps between the haves and the have-nots either: the 61% FRL school is near a public library, but another one that’s 82% FRL? Nope.

Are you stopping this blog?

I’m not going to delete my Eagledawg blog and may pipe up with something to say here once in a while. What brings cheer to living my life is creativity in coming up with fun photos and posts at runbrarian.blogspot.com now though.  My clients & I have already raised enough to provide basic school library resources for 15 students ($150) and I’m starting to get my act together for some academic publishing.

LIS Mental Health Week 2016

Monday, January 18th, 2016

This post is in support of the LIS Mental Health Week and #LISmentalhealth Twitter chat happening today (Monday, January 18th) at 7pm Eastern/4pm Pacific. I particularly encourage my medical library colleagues and related organizations who are active in social media to participate and help share resources!

Stick figure sketch: 'I'm brainy' 'No your not your a libraran' 'Oh wait librarans are briany ha!'
image flashback courtesy of 5 years ago

What exactly to blog about for LIS Mental Health week was fairly open, so I decided to focus on the role of stress reduction both for ourselves and for the students in our academic libraries.

5 Ways Library Staff Members Can Reduce Stress For Themselves

  • 23 Things to Do to Improve Mental Health in 2016 – don’t even think about trying to do everything on the list since that will cause even more stress ! I’m particularly a fan of 2, 8, 11, and 21.
  • Use your employee assistance program (EAP). I know not every workplace has them, but I also know that many employees have no clue that free, confidential services are available ranging from 24/7 phone lines with professional counselors to online resources. Please don’t hesitate to check in with your human resources (HR) staff to learn more about your EAP or check out that EAP website you saw on the flyer in the staff lounge.
  • Many of us are stressed out for a number of reasons and this can spill over into our work relationships. I am keeping these pearls in mind from Defusing an Emotionally Charged Conversation With a Colleague more often:

Partnership:

  • “I really want to work on this with you.”
  • “I bet we can figure this out together.”

Empathy:

  • “I can feel your enthusiasm as you talk.”
  • “I can hear your concern.”

Acknowledgement:

  • “You clearly put a lot of work into this.”
  • “You invested in this, and it shows.”

Respect:

  • “I’ve always appreciated your creativity.”
  • “There’s no doubt you know a lot about this.”

Legitimation:

  • “This would be hard for anyone.”
  • “Who wouldn’t be worried about something like this?”

Support:

  • “I’d like to help you with this.”
  • “I want to see you succeed.”
  • Build high-quality connections at work & set some learning goals together this year. What does that mean? Bold emphasis mine, I think there’s an awful lot of that in workplaces and it doesn’t have to be this way:

    We grow in high-quality connections because our thinking is broadened, we absorb knowledge more quickly, our action repertoire is expanded, and we are more engaged, playful, open, and resilient in the face of setbacks. High-quality connections stand in stark contrast to low-quality connections, in which feelings of inadequacy, defensiveness, and lack of safety undercut growth possibilities.

    I know I’m going to be re-reading We Learn More When We Learn Together this year.

  • … or can we really de-stress if there really is no work/life distinction in our work? Compelling thoughts on if we ever can take off the mask and more from The Stereotype Stereotype:

Librarianship tends to be a very public-facing occupation, both on the job and off the job. People recognize librarians throughout their community and engage them in conversation. This creates a sticking point for librarians: At what point in their day can they take off the mask of professionalism that they are wearing? This extends beyond physical space. Consider the situation in which librarians become acquainted with their patrons through social media. Does the idea of professionalism extend to this realm as well?

Academic Libraries – 1 Awesome Way to Reduce Stress for Students

I really, really love and want to steal this idea for our library:

Pulling the Cord: Of MLA, Technology & Toyota

Friday, January 1st, 2016

January 7, 2016 edit: 

I would like to encourage you to read May – December 2015 TAC Chair Kimberley Barker’s perspective at The Dissolution of the TAC posted today,  May 2014- May 2015 TAC Chair Eric Schnell’s perspective comment from Monday, and (an extreme rarity ever these days) the entire comments thread.  I am not sure I have seen so many thoughtful, articulate perspectives shared in social media comments for a very long time.

I would also like to reiterate that I appreciate the work our colleagues do as volunteer members serving national leadership roles. They are absolutely included in my first point of clarification that I care about colleagues as people above all else. I did not write my post to blame. I wrote it to share my perspective and ideas for possible consideration.

I also want to share that a Board member contacted me very soon after I posted on Monday, seeking permission to share with the Board. I granted that quickly, including “I can’t emphasize enough that this is not a personal attack; I am truly grateful for the Board’s service and you definitely have my permission to share. If I can be of any help with dialogue or clarification I warmly welcome that too” I received a kind reply back, and have just replied to the Board member again now encouraging consideration of Kimberley’s post and the entire comments thread.

Original post:

TL;DR version: I’m really concerned about some things, and the end result is that the main reason I’m renewing my national Medical Library Association (MLA) membership for 2016 is because I have to in order to be an officer for our awesome regional Pacific Northwest Chapter (PNC/MLA) and I will not flake on my commitment.

Long version: I’ve been concerned by conversations I’ve had with active MLA members who are angry about the direction things have appeared to be going with the national organization’s leadership during 2015. This anger is distinctly different than the usual organizational mumbling & grumbling about issues that we all have from time to time. Then, a decision was made by national leadership in November that I was personally very angry about. I remained angry for a month while awaiting the public explanation for this decision. I spent several weeks after the explanation considering what my written response to it here would be and whether or not I would renew my national membership. I freely admit my personal bias here as a nationally elected MLA Nominating Committee member for 2013 and Local Arrangements Co-Chair, Chair-Designate & Chair terms for national MLA committees between 2010-2014.

Points of clarification before I continue:

I care about my national medical librarian colleagues as people above everything else. It is because some of them (from my perspective – I do not write on behalf of anyone else) have been treated egregiously by our national organization that I can not be silent and pretend that everything is awesome. Instead, I am writing here with what I understand to have happened as my way of pulling the Toyota cord* because this does not seem right to me.  I’m also not one to stand for pointless whining and my stance on being a bitchbrarian remains unchanged (especially for myself).

I am not angry with any particular person. The opposite is true; I consider most of those involved with national leadership roles good colleagues and friends and am appreciative of the work they do in serving to the best of their ability. Through the committee roles I was elected and appointed to I understand enough (but not everything) about our national organization’s culture. Usually there are multiple perspectives that are discussed (sometimes passionately) by these groups then incorporated in every eventual outcome, other potential outcomes are considered and discarded as part of the decision making process, and all of this may or may not be evident to those outside the fold.

What happened?

The Technology Advisory Committee (TAC) of MLA was disbanded during a November MLA Board meeting effective December 31, 2015. This was publicly announced on the MLA blog with a strange URL of http://www.mlanet.org/blog/placeholder that was later revised to http://www.mlanet.org/blog/integrating-technology.

Here is where my personal bias becomes more clear: TAC is the national committee I was a member of starting in 2010 and was Chair Designate and Chair of between 2012-2014.

So what?

Technology-is-nothing-Steve-Jobs

The above is not Steve Jobs’ full quote, and I want to include that with bold emphasis mine:

Technology is nothing. What’s important is that you have a faith in people, that they’re basically good and smart, and if you give them tools, they’ll do wonderful things with them. It’s not the tools that you have faith in, tools are just tools. They work, or they don’t work. It’s people you have faith in or not.

I heard individually from multiple TAC members in November about what had happened and could not believe it at first.

Has something changed with technology advisory committees on the national library organization scene? No, there is still a member Website Advisory of the American Library Association (ALA). There is even a Web Coordinating Committee for the ALA section dedicated to technology (LITA – Library and Information Technology Section).

Why, then, is MLA excluding the membership’s voice regarding organizational technology by discontinuing a committee with a 20 year history of enthusiastic service to MLA’s members and the national organization leadership?

It is nowhere in the Technology Advisory Committee nor MLANET Advisory Board charge that members were ‘technical experts’ as stated in the explanation given. TAC members are not all technology librarians, or rather if that was a service qualifier then I was the biggest poser ever as a Chair. I agree that ultimate decisions and any directional activity regarding technology is well beyond the scope of a member advisory committee – that is ultimately headquarters’ responsibility – and this was never TAC’s scope in the first place.

The TAC charge, last revised in 2010 with bold action terms mine, was:

  • Identify, evaluate and recommend to the MLA Board appropriate technology, including but not limited to social media tools that would add value to MLA, its units, and MLANET.
  • Conduct periodic needs assessment of the MLA membership to determine their priorities for MLANET and other technology including social media tools.
  • Develop, review and advise the MLA Board on priorities, strategies and policies related to MLANET and other technology.
  • Monitor technology implementation on MLANET and conduct ongoing evaluation and analysis.
  • Provide an ongoing channel for communication by working closely with MLA units and committees to keep MLANET current.
  • Communicate with MLA membership about changes and enhancements to MLANET, social media, and other technologies that MLA employs.
  • Develop policies for maintaining, sunsetting, and archiving content published on MLANET and other social media sites sponsored by MLA.
  • Maintain liaisons to the chapters and sections.
  • Prepare and submit annual objectives and budget and midyear and annual reports.

Communicating. Advising. Recommending. Monitoring. Assessing. These are very good things to have a diverse range of perspectives working in an ongoing, collaborative committee discussion with our Section Council and Board liaisons and MLA headquarters staff. To me, this is especially important in developing assessment tools to include the membership at large so their collective voice is heard regarding technology. I am currently a member of our medical school’s Student Technology Advisory Team (medSTAT). We discuss the results of our technology surveys, online class experiences, and what is and isn’t working well with the technology. The students are not technical experts; they are enthusiastic about making technology work better for themselves and their fellow students, many take on a tech ambassador role with their fellow students (we are distributed across 5 states), and I have learned a great deal from their advisory perspective. My experience with TAC is that we were working in much the same way with the membership.

If MLA has now become an organization where the national leadership will make major decisions regarding national committees (are any others next on the chopping block?) without an opportunity for discussion from the committee  and/or membership on the matter, then can we please have transparency about this? If this decision was being considered by national leadership, why was it not brought up for a discussion with TAC or acted upon during the MLA meeting in Austin before 2 new members joined the committee? TAC members also did not have the opportunity to consider other MLA committees to apply for before the October 31st deadline since this notice was handed to them 2 weeks later.

(Reminder: my perspective, no one else’s) To me, this national leadership action in November is the same as MLA saying they have no faith in TAC’s people and that the technology tools in place are just fine without their ongoing input. This is not only a deep insult to a group of MLA members who come from a diverse range of perspectives and backgrounds who care about the medical library field and technology, but undermined all of their commitments for the remainder of their terms (end dates ranging from May 2016 to May 2018). This can have real implications for employment and performance evaluations with expectations for this type of professional organization service. I know since professional service weighed heavily in my own recent promotion.

(Still my perspective, no one else’s) If ‘we [the board] will continue to be mindful of technology, the technology goal has now rolled off the board’s priorities’ (source) then is it MLA headquarters who are the people behind the tools we are expected to have faith in without the MLA membership having a voice, except on an as-needed-by-HQ basis like the next decision regarding a learning management system (LMS) (source)? What has happened to the important roles of ongoing communication, monitoring, and assessing that TAC has always advocated for?

So what are you going to do about it?

Beyond writing this? I don’t know. I’m one person saying ‘You know what? This doesn’t seem right.’ I wasn’t on TAC in 2015 because my service term there was done. I’m not in a national leadership role now.

However, it’s not like technology growth is over and this is the zenith – we all know the landscape will continue to change very rapidly. We will laugh (are already?) about the datedness of Twitter and hashtag chats (yes, I like poking fun at myself being the lead #medlibs chat moderator & recently wrote an MLA News article) and Facebook the way we already (always?) have about the term Web 2.0 and MySpace. Keeping an eye on the horizon and continuing the discussion of what is really needed over the years ahead is vital.

Again, I believe the national leadership is doing their best and does not mean harm by this action. I respectfully disagree strongly with it. Healthcare technology works better with an inclusive team of perspectives (if you have not read Digital Doctor, put it on your 2016 reading list right now) and there’s no reason this should be different. I would love to see some iteration of TAC continue with liaison roles and a committee charge that has been reviewed and updated to continue serving both national leadership and membership needs, especially regarding communication and assessment.  I truly do not see how we’re going full speed ahead without this.

*See Zenjidoka: The Power of Self Reliance. We got a new RAV4 named Rey so I may be biased towards Toyota too.

The Fail after camp

Friday, December 11th, 2015

Previously I shared that I was presenting for SpringyCamp 2015 about some of what I’m up to with the LibGuides LTI. I had a great time, hopefully attendees did too and learned a few things, and my presentation video and slides are here. If you’re curious about what I’m up to for work, are wondering what the heck an LTI is, and can tolerate my yammering for 28 minutes (since when have I used the term ‘unpack my acronyms’ multiple times?) take a look.

FAIL stamp
FAIL stamp with attribution

So after this successful presentation and full of confidence about the future, I had to suddenly abandon the LTI strategy last week for the course I talked about the most.

I received notification from faculty that there was a problem with the library resources. I investigated further and found that the LTI failed in the core development Canvas course for the newest curriculum block, which was being copied forward across our 5 state region the next day. The error was not only something I’d never seen before, it was also something the assistant director of the learning technology department supporting the school’s Canvas courses had not seen before. This was a very bad thing and I had to think fast on how to resolve it since the LTI is something we are piloting on a class-by-class install and is not supported centrally by IT at our university.

I ended up backtracking to direct links to the curriculum block library resources LibGuides, which are still an improved 2-click access to resources based on my redesign of them. Faculty wanted the library resources to pop up in a new browser tab and they are deeply integrated (well over 20 times) within the Canvas course content pages so keeping students within the Canvas framework wasn’t the top priority. I could not risk an LTI failure happening again and there seems to be evidence it was inexplicably working again 15 minutes before I deleted it. In some ways erratic behavior is worse than constant failure! All the LTIs in the other courses are still working just fine so I’m not certain if there was something about this particular Canvas course that was corrupted.

I’m excited about the faculty’s instructional design of the curriculum block content launching in January for 10 weeks and I think the students will appreciate it too. My hypothesis is that between their design and deep library resources integration we’ll see usage jump up even more than it already has. I will also develop a library resources-specific question for that course’s technology survey to help guide me on what direction (LTI or pop up LibGuides links) to head in for the following course.

Regardless, there will continue to be curriculum block-specific LibGuides, but perhaps the LTI part is not needed so much as targeted design and integration within the Canvas content. I’m still happy I had the chance to explore this and am looking forward to seeing what the new year brings!

In Remembrance Year 8 – Know the Signs

Tuesday, November 24th, 2015

Dorothy Irene
4/26/24 – 11/24/98

(yours truly in the 1970s culturally inappropriate Indian attire, with a wink and a smile to David Hale)

Heart Attack Signs for Women

This is my yearly post to increase awareness of the signs of a heart attack which is still the #1 killer for women. It’s not merely #1, it leaves deaths from all cancers combined for women in the dust (infographic excerpt source)

Although much progress has been made since I was making funeral arrangements for instead of getting ready to celebrate with my grandma  before Thanksgiving 17 years ago (the original post and story) I know more can be done.

Please make sure your family and friends know these important signs of a heart attack. Never disregard them as indigestion, the flu, or make a doctor appointment for later in the day when it’s more convenient for everyone else. It was too late for my Grandma (who I later learned did all three while she was in the early stages of a heart attack) by the time she saw her doctor – she died within hours despite every effort made to save her after being rushed to the emergency room. (Source of signs from Go Red for Women)

  1. Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of your chest. It lasts more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back.
  2. Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
  3. Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.
  4. Other signs such as breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.
  5. As with men, women’s most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting and back or jaw pain.

If you have any of these signs, don’t wait longer than five minutes before calling 9-1-1 for help. Also know what your heart attack risk factors are such as high cholesterol, diabetes, smoking and high blood pressure in addition to family history of heart disease.

Under 55 and think heart attacks aren’t possible for you? Think again. It is taking medical research a while but they are learning more about why heart attacks in women under 55 are often deadlier than they are for those who are older – possibly due to being linked to blood clots instead of plaque buildup in arteries (source)

In younger women, instead of chest pains, the symptoms of heart attack may include more generalized pain in different parts of the body, including the jaw, neck, shoulder, back and even stomach. Recognizing that younger women may be less likely to present with the typical chest pains of a heart attack could help more of these patients to get the treatment they need in a more timely manner

Thank you for taking the time to read this and spread the word this Thanksgiving!

Break out the Smores, time for camp

Tuesday, November 17th, 2015

The problem with piloting online library resources integration strategies with new technology and new partners on a new job while keeping #medlibs chats rolling every week is that by the time I get home, the last thing I usually feel like doing is putting coherent thought into blogging. I miss writing.

What have I been up to since I last wrote in March?

Inigo Montoya: Let me splain. No there is too much. Let me sum up

  • I missed my medical librarian peeps in Austin but running Bay to Breakers in San Francisco with our son was awesome, and I also ran 2 half marathons this summer. Who is this crazy running lady?
  • My promotion to Associate Librarian with permanent status was successful effective July 1st
  • The faculty and student dedication to the new School of Medicine curriculum is seriously inspiring and keeps me going
  • I really enjoyed seeing everyone at PNC/MLA in October and sharing my work
  • I have learned to keep a constant supply of dark chocolate in my office

I have a great many things on my mind and am being more intentional in the time ahead to get some of them down. You have been warned.

If you’re curious to both hear about and see screenshots of what I’m up to with this pilot project, I’m presenting on Friday as part of SpringyCamp 2015. I’m honestly a bit nervous since I am not only the sole medical librarian but also the only one talking about the LibGuides LTI. Am I doing it right? Who knows.

SpringyCamp Blurb

There’s a surprise in my presentation that isn’t reflected in the blurb but became clear from the data when I went beyond 2 to 3 months of eBooks access stats. This is what happens when you talk about a work in progress!

Moving through rough waters

Monday, March 23rd, 2015

Fear has two meanings: forget everything and run or face everything and rise. The choice is yours. Zig Ziglar

That was then, that was that, that is gone

In January I was notified that my career as a librarian in service to the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM) was ending by April 30th. My year-to-year librarian contract was not being renewed, and the work I was doing would be a professional staff (not librarian) position for the last year of the five year contract.

I couldn’t choose so I did both meanings of FEAR at once: I put this all behind me every time I ran while training for a local 15K race in order to have a decent finish time (11:20 min. avg per mile) I could then use to start somewhere other than the back of the Disneyland Half Marathon. Yes, I am the same person who said “I can’t pull off running even at a very slow pace” 2 years ago. A lot can happen when you win a Fitbit in a bar. I also relied very heavily on my faith, family, and trusted friends & colleagues. Without them I wouldn’t have been able to keep moving forward. Remember this if you are facing similar challenges; the wisdom of a trusted network is there to help in ways you can’t even fathom compared to struggling alone.

I had never been more scared about my career in my life. The situation meant my librarian employment was ending 2 months before the effective date of promotion to Associate Librarian with continuing status effective July 1st if my application (documentation still undergoing review) ends up being successful. At that time I had no idea if I would be called to interview for a librarian position on campus I’d applied for back in December (I was), if I would have competition for it (I did), let alone if I would be the successful candidate (I was) or have that position or some other campus librarian employment work out before my time ran out (3 paychecks left).

I wish my former NN/LM colleagues well. You all have interesting times ahead and I look forward to hearing how you make the most of every opportunity the future holds.

Listen! This is now, this is here, this is me

On March 16th I began a new chapter of my career as a health sciences curriculum design librarian. It is very much in line with my “It’s hard to articulate what you see that doesn’t yet exist” from last April about the integration of instructional design, information science, and the effective use of learning technologies, and an affirmation of an even earlier career vision I wrote down in 2012 of “Distance Education Teacher: Concepts of Place and Space?”

I am extremely excited about the duties I now have in working as the point person in the library on the School of Medicine’s curriculum renewal and development, which includes a focus on active and blended learning using the Canvas learning management system as well as the OpalQM curriculum management system. My previous regional medical library work with NN/LM has prepared me well for working with our regional medical education format (WWAMI). I’m also excited about serving as a liaison librarian since I’ve not been able to do so before, and once again I have an amazing team of colleagues to work with who are already helping me to learn the ropes even though I’ve been around the library almost 7 years. Last week was somewhat surreal at times to suddenly shift from sorta to actually understanding what liaison work involves!

I am also still in graduate school, as there was a curriculum revision that happened there last fall where they thought I could easily handle taking both beginning and advanced instructional design courses at once. I’m very thankful I told the advisory team no both for my sanity and because their Moodle server died during winter break and I’m currently designing schoolwork in cloud-based Canvas, being able to learn the similarities and differences between this platform and UW’s hosted version. This also means things are busy (family is doing well, including the 7th grader starting up track season the same week I started the new job) and not going according to my plans, but with less than 2 months until (I hope!) graduation it helps to know it won’t be this crazy forever. I’m looking forward to sharing what I’m up to more often here again!

Catch where the headers are from? 

In Remembrance Year 7 – Know the Signs

Monday, November 24th, 2014

 

Dorothy Irene
4/26/24 – 11/24/98

(yours truly in the 1970s culturally inappropriate Indian attire, with a wink and a smile to David Hale)

Heart Attack Signs for Women

This is my yearly post to increase awareness of the signs of a heart attack which is still the #1 killer for women. It’s not merely #1, it leaves deaths from all cancers combined for women in the dust (infographic excerpt source)

Although much progress has been made since I was making funeral arrangements for instead of getting ready to celebrate with my grandma  before Thanksgiving 16 years ago (the original post and story) I know more can be done.

Please make sure your family and friends know these important signs of a heart attack. Never disregard them as indigestion, the flu, or make a doctor appointment for later in the day when it’s more convenient for everyone else. It was too late for my Grandma (who I later learned did all three while she was in the early stages of a heart attack) by the time she saw her doctor – she died within hours despite every effort made to save her after being rushed to the emergency room. (Source of signs from Go Red for Women)

  1. Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of your chest. It lasts more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back.
  2. Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
  3. Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.
  4. Other signs such as breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.
  5. As with men, women’s most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting and back or jaw pain.

If you have any of these signs, don’t wait longer than five minutes before calling 9-1-1 for help. Also know what your heart attack risk factors are such as high cholesterol, diabetes, smoking and high blood pressure in addition to family history of heart disease.

Under 55 and think heart attacks aren’t possible for you? Think again. It is taking medical research a while but they are learning more about why heart attacks in women under 55 are often deadlier than they are for those who are older – possibly due to being linked to blood clots instead of plaque buildup in arteries (source)

In younger women, instead of chest pains, the symptoms of heart attack may include more generalized pain in different parts of the body, including the jaw, neck, shoulder, back and even stomach. Recognizing that younger women may be less likely to present with the typical chest pains of a heart attack could help more of these patients to get the treatment they need in a more timely manner

Thank you for taking the time to read this and spread the word this Thanksgiving!

Friday Foolery #121: Baby Got Back (Bacon)

Friday, October 18th, 2013

I Like Pork Butts and I Cannot Lie

Thank you, Bill the Butcher, for making me so thankful I took a different way home yesterday.

In other bacony news – Less Kids, More Choline!

 

Future of Health Librarianship: New #medlibs Participation Record

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

I’m thrilled to announce we’ve set a new participation record during the #medlibs chat on the Future of Health Librarianship for May 30th – 33 particpants cranking out 369 tweets in 75 minutes according to the analytics. Be sure to check out the great conversation in the transcript, and thanks Dean Giustini for diving in as a first time host for the firehose!

How do topics for #medlibs chats happen? If no one signs up to lead them, they’re automatically open mic. Look what happened Wednesday night though –

tweet conversation

Please sign up with your ideas on the form below the #medlibs calendar – the floor is wide open this summer. I am here to help with any and everything you’ll need to set up and have a successful hosting experience with support during most chats, but I am in way over my head both with work and life this summer (just in case you haven’t noticed the blog crickets around here) and can’t do all the #medlibs work myself – let’s keep our great group leadership dynamic going strong!