Be the change you want to see in the world. ~ Ghandi

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

After the storm - Hurricane Sandy

After the disaster, what can you do to help? The three top organizations out there to help with Hurricane Sandy are The Red Cross, The Salvation Army and FEMA. The Red Cross by far has the easiest website to navigate for assistance. Here is the site: FIND HELP - RED CROSS  The Red Cross also has excellent information listed on their twitter feed and on their Facebook page.  Red Cross Facebook Page

The other two organizations also have easy to follow directions to find help. For the Salvation Army, select a state and then follow the directions for shelters or emergency assistance. I found the best up to date information was their twitter feed as well as their Facebook page. Both provided excellent information that was posted at least every 12 hours. Salvation Army Facebook Page 

Information listed on FEMA’s page has great resources for shelter services: To find a shelter, individuals can download the Red Cross Hurricane app, visit the Red Cross web site, or call 1-800- RED CROSS (1-800-733-3767) or check our local media outlets. Other things you can do is to register on the Red Cross Safe and Well website, a secure and easy-to-use online tool that helps families connect during emergencies. To register, visit or call 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

FEMA’s distribution centers have an overall inventory of more than 5 million liters of water, 3 million meals, 900,000 blankets and 100,000 cots. FEMA and the Department of Defense have established Incident Support Bases in Westover, Mass. And Lakehurst, New Jersey to pre-position supplies including water, meals, blankets and other resources closer to potentially impacted areas.

Other great information is found here: and The FEMA mobile site ( , smartphone app (, and text messages ( also provide regular updates. Sharing information using social media tools is also a good way for residents to stay informed. Follow FEMA online at ,, and www.facebook/fema and

I hope I have given out information that can be helpful if you are in need, but if you would like to help with establishing shelters, giving food, or emergency medical assistance here are your resources. Interestingly on FEMA’s website, the easiest way to volunteer and help is to provide a financial contribution to a recognized disaster relief organization. As you can imagine, this allows the organization to fund response and recovery efforts, obtain goods and services locally, and provide direct financial assistance to disaster survivors to meet their own needs. If you need help with deciding which organization to give to, a National Voluntary Organization Active in Disaster website has a list of major non-profits that are active in disaster work. 

If you are interested in giving a hand- here is your best bet: Volunteer with a local organization to help with the disaster victims. Ideally if you volunteer, register and are trained in disaster relief you are able to provide it when the next big event occurs. Many organizations and faith-based groups in your community have active disaster response programs that are always looking for volunteers.
The following groups are a list of suggestions for disaster volunteerism:
Lastly, if you are unable to physically help, or financially help, organizations will always take in donated goods such as clothing, miscellaneous household items, and mixed or perishable food.

We are praying for those affected by the hurricane and pray that aid and help comes quickly to those in needs. Please keep them close in your heart and prayers.

          - ONAAT

***If you are any of these organizations we are always looking to provide information to nurses about immediate needs or urgent needs, so if you have one, please contact us at

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Race Day

The morning was dark, cold, and the clouds were heavy, not an unusual day in Seattle. I awoke with the sound of rain splattering against the roof and windows. Another wet Saturday, but today we were going to spend it walking/running at Seward Park.

Quickly, I sent text and email to the crew- "Is everyone still walking in the rain?" Immediately I got a text back from Christine "Rain or shine, I will be there." Upon reading that, I got a little sad, because  my bed was OOHHH so cozy...but then quickly dismissed it and thought, heck yeah, let's get out there and do this! :)

We all arrived at different times, as we were traveling from different parts of the Seattle area. I had my two kids in tow - both with snow suits on, 5 blanket piled on top of them and snug in the double stroller with snacks in hand.

The turnout was surprising, especially since it was raining sideways, windy and freezing cold...people were still joyful and dressed up in their fabulous Halloween costumes. Surprisingly there were tons of kids running and in costumes - that was an try and beat them across the finish line. ha ha!  I actually got smoked by a 12 year old just 0.1 to the finish line.
There were tons of ladybugs, Luigi's and Super Mario's, as well as super scary ghosts. Sue said the best was a family of hotdogs - the kids were the toppings, ketchup, mustard, and the like! It was great. Lots of dogs also turned out in their costumes, I tried to keep my running pace with a black lab dressed as a skunk, but I failed to run as fast.

In the end, we were soaking wet, red faced and happy to be out raising money for an excellent cause. We raised $265.00 towards Neighborcare health, a King County program to assist Seattle's most vulnerable homeless residents to get the health care they need. All of the proceeds from the Pumpkin Push went to support programs serving patients who are homeless at Neighborcare Health.

Thanks to everyone who participated and joined in! And thank you to our supporters who helped donate to the cause!

Till next year!

          ONAAT CREW

Friday, October 26, 2012

Ever Ready ER Nurse

  October is the month of several things, its Breast Cancer Awareness, Lupus Awareness, National Fire Prevention week, Domestic Violence Awareness, Dwarfism Awareness, Rett Syndrome Awareness, Pregnancy Loss and Infant Loss Awareness, Emergency Nurses Week, Physician Assistants Week, Auto Battery Safety Month, Autism Awareness, and even National Squirrel Awareness Month. It’s frankly a very busy month.

What I would like to guide you into thought is a couple of things. First be aware of those listed today and throughout the month. Secondly, how do you support your awareness months? Do you take clothes or toys to your local women's shelter? 

Since October sparks thoughts of others during this month, I also want to reflect upon the inevitable. Halloween is the start of a several holidays. It is also the start of high school dances, college football games, family get-together and holiday parties. Because October is such a busy month – I would really like to invite you to think about those around you and prepare yourself, your family, and your friends for the up-coming winter months.

My thoughts traveled to these two separate topics, partly because of Hurricane Sandy and the destruction that the hurricane has already left in its path. But also because tomorrow One Nurse At A Time is participating in a benefit for "Care for Seattle's Homeless" at Seward Park's "Pumpkin Push" 5k and 2 mile walk. I should also mention that I tend to be sightly obsessive when it comes to emergency preparedness, sometimes my husband scoffs at me a bit when I tell him that I really really really want him to make sure he has his emergency kit in his truck, but I like to think of myself as the "Ever Ready ER Nurse". 

With that in mind, I know I put out an emergency preparedness info listing of things you should keep in your house, but I thought today it may be helpful to list some sights that may have those packs and items already for you to buy and place in your car, home or at work. Today, I thought I would review a couple of bags and gear that can be easily found online for you to purchase for your Emergency/Disaster Kit.

Of course the first item that would be apparent for emergency preparedness kits would be the American Red Cross First Aid / Emergency Kits, here is a great link to many differing types of kits you can buy for different parts of your day/life. Go here to check it out --> Red Cross Store

-     These kits are great, unless your home is destroyed – if so, there has been reports that when you wear a red/yellow “emergency” bag you are more visible to other people who are not prepared and they will most likely want to take your pack it is bright and easy to see that it is an emergency bag.

-     The other thing about this site is that they are selling each item separately. So if you want a 4 person emergency kit, you will have to buy several things to make it work. I didn’t work out the financial details to compare them to the rest, but it seemed like a little bit of a hassle if you are trying to find something for the whole family.

Next up is a store online called EDS Emergency Disaster Systems. These kits are similar to the kits/buckets that Costco was selling up in Washington this last year. Go here to check them out --> EDS Emergency Disaster Systems

-     These kits have enough food and water in them to last four people 72 hours. They have great “grab and go” designs for at work, or the “essentials” bag. Again, the bag is read and has the words “Emergency Kit” written on the outside. The bucket is not bad, it is white and the lettering is small enough that you could probably get away with ripping off the sticker and walking down the street. But if you have to carry it a long way it could be a pain. The larger bag has the works, even a tube tent, and 70 piece first aid kit.

Costco’s American Preparedness Emergency Backpack Kit. This one is pretty cool. It thinks of the down time and has a deck of cards and coloring books for the kids. Costco American Preparedness Emergency Backpack Kit

-     The weight on this pack is 30 lbs. and as any backpacker knows, that’s a lot of gear for little weight (no sleeping bags..etc). However, this is probably the most all around solid pack. It has a hygiene kit, food/water and other contents kit, and a first aid kit. Not bad for $140.00  Again this is designed to care for 4 people. So if you have a larger family, consider buying two.

So, I can’t leave out Amazon. I would have to say that Amazon has the mother of all disaster bags…the BUG OUT BAG or as the experts call it “BOB”. There are several good reviews on amazon of BOB gear and what to put into your pack. I think I have found the all mighty reviewer, because this person has tried, tested and swears by the materials in his bag. Here you go --> Amazon

-      I might leave out the crush-able hat, but that’s just me. Otherwise the bag, gear and stuff listed is great!

Well, I hope I have given you some food for thought at the end of this last month. It is going to be a doozy of a winter and I hope all of you take some time to reflect upon being prepared for everything. I also hope that I have opened your eyes to the different awareness ribbons and issues, so that you can take some time to give a little, share with others or just reflect. 

Cheers - ONAAT Crew

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Pumpkin Push

It's that time of year again- time to get in shape, (before the holidays =)) and donate to help out your local community. We are joining the Pumpkin Push this October as it benefits more than 8,000 homeless and recently homeless patients through a program which provides primary medical and dental care in Seattle.

Neighborcare Health is the largest provider of primary medical and dental care in Seattle for low income and uninsured families and individuals. Neighborcare Health has served our community for more than 40 years.
The Pumpking Push is a timed 5K run or 2 mile walk around Seward Park in South Seattle. My family has participated in the Pumpkin Push for 2 years, this being the 3rd! What is the most fun about the day is seeing all of the great costumes that people come dressed up as! At the finish line there is a festival hosted by sponsors of the race with prizes for top-finishers, give-aways, food and beverages, long-sleeved Pumpkin Push t-shirts and Halloween fun including a costume contest and complimentary pumpkins.
One Nurse At A Time has organized a team to run/walk in the event and hopes to spread the word about caring for Seattle's Homeless and encouraging them to get the health care they need. All proceeds from the Pumpkin Push support programs serving patients who are homeless at Neighborcare Health.
In 2011, Neighborcare Health provided health care to more than 8,000 homeless adults, seniors, children and unaccompanied youth - the highest number of homeless patients served in their 44 year history.
We are excited to be there and if you would like to join us, go here -> Register
If you can't join us, please consider sponsoring us as your contribution allows Neighborcare Health to continue to care for an uninsured, homeless child or adult. Our donation goal is $500.00, and we are currently at $265.00. Please help us meet our goal!
When: October 27th, 2012
Where: Seward Park, Seattle
To learn more please visi:

Monday, October 15, 2012 announces Mountain West Nursing Excellence Awards!

On the night of August 10th celebration and recognition for the 24 regional finalists of’s 2012 Nursing Excellence Program was held at the Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino in Chandler, Arizona. Judith G. Berg RN MS FACHE, was the host of the evening as well as the former vice president and nurse executive of West and Heartland/Midwest editions.

From’s website:
“We consider it a true privilege to recognize nursing excellence in this beautiful way,” Eileen Williamson, RN, MSN, senior vice president and CNE at Gannett Healthcare Group, publisher of, said about the program. “We wait with great anticipation for this night all year; truly it is one of the highlights of the year for us at”

Each of the 24 Nursing Excellence regional finalists was given a corsage and received a plaque bearing his or her name and regional achievement. Of those 24, six extraordinary nurses were chosen to represent Mountain West in the national Nurse Excellence awards to be announced this fall. The six regional winners each received an elegant sail-shaped, etched-glass award to commemorate the evening.

The program's national sponsors are The Johnson & Johnson Campaign for Nursing's Future and University of Phoenix College of Nursing. 

Our very own Sue Averill won the Mountain West Nursing Excellence Award for Volunteerism and Service.

Here is what had to say about her:

Sue Averill, RN, BSN, CEN, MBA, president and co-founder, One Nurse At A Time, and ED nurse, Swedish Medical Center, Seattle

When faced with the choice of continuing to work for a luxurious cruise line or working in undeveloped, inhospitable and far-flung places, Averill chose the work that paid her nothing. 

A nurse for 33 years in the ED, her own home care company, hospital management and business operations for Holland America, Averill changed course midstream in 1996 when she decided to work as a per-diem nurse stateside and as a volunteer nurse anywhere else that needed her.

Averill’s humanitarian work began with the 1985 earthquake in Mexico when she and 19 others grabbed their gear, flew south and helped set up a free clinic. Some time later, Guatemala called. Then Liberia. Then Ethiopa, Uganda, Nigeria, Cambodia, Darfur, South Sudan, the Philippines and Pakistan, where mothers and grandmothers of girls having surgeries wanted to take care of her.

“They were so kind and so loving and wanted to take me in,” Averill said. “They’d say, ‘Come up here on the bed with us,’ and we’d sit around together. I had a lipstick with a mirror. I’d take it out and put on the lipstick and then pass it around. Pretty soon everyone had on bright red lipstick and there was this huge bonding over it. Lipstick was not allowed in Pakistan society, but we could do that as this secret little group of women at the hospital.”

Averill said every country and group of people, no matter how different they were in terms of security concerns or heartbreaking situations, became a passionate interaction that made her feel alive. “Your focus is totally different,” she said. “Everything is new and you notice every little thing. Stepping away from our routine makes us feel alive. I come back from missions a better person, and then I also like nursing better.”

To connect other nurses to the satisfying experience of humanitarian work, Averill founded One Nurse At A Time, which links nurses with volunteer opportunities, offers scholarships for travel costs and provides preparatory information on international work and diseases uncommon in this country. Tens of thousands of underserved people across the world have received medical services through ONAAT’s support of nurses, her nominator said, and it is the go-to resource for volunteering information.

Averill, however, believes she is the lucky one. “I’m just this little nurse in Seattle and look at this amazing life I’ve been allowed to live,” she said. 


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Mission Impossible?

Since you read our blog, or are a fan of our Facebook page, twitter, or pinterest, you either have been on a mission or are interested in going on one. Well this post will specifically address those who haven’t been on a mission…yet. J

This is the picture I want to have in my head when I think about going on my first mission.  J

So, how do you start the process? I wrote a while back about the process of becoming a Red Cross Volunteer and hopefully gave good instructions on how that works, but what if you want to volunteer with an organization that isn’t as big as the Red Cross?

Several of the organizations we highlight weekly are not the bigger humanitarian organizations such as Doctors without Borders and the Red Cross. It’s difficult to find an organization if you do not know what you are looking for. Luckily we have made it a little bit easier for you.

With those thoughts in mind, I started to think about what my plans are going to be for this next year. Do I want to go and participate in helping internationally like all of the scholarship applicants I read about? I have a lot to think about- I have two young kids under the age of 3. I wonder how will my husband handle it? Will I be ok traveling by myself without my family and without seeing my husband and kids every night?

So, using what we created on our web page (here) I started to look at “Global Health Nursing”. I’m not totally sure what it means, but I think I have a faint idea and I know FOR sure I can’t handle pediatrics at this point in my life…and with that in mind, pediatrics excludes, disaster response, peds, and possibly women’s health. After deciding what kind of nursing I was interested in the next question on the list wanted to know how far I was willing to go. I selected international. Why? Because I thought, well I do volunteer locally, and I really want to experience health care in Central America or South America (I think Africa is too far for me at this point in my life).

The question “are you interested in an experience that is faith based” is next on the list of questions. For me it doesn’t matter and I would like to have every opportunity present itself first and then choose. The final question is in regards to the length of the trip, I choose short less than 4 weeks and optimally less than 2 weeks would be awesome – (because I think I would truly miss my family WAY too much to go longer).

Up popped about 10-15 different organizations for me to choose from. Excellent! But then I was suddenly overwhelmed. Yikes. What do I do with this information? How do I know which organization is a good fit, or that has had good first mission experiences, would I have help when I was there, what if I didn’t know what to do? The list of questions started to form in my head, and it kept going. I had to start somewhere, so I started to scan each organization by their name. What was interesting was that I recognized a lot of organizations from the scholarship applicants I read with One Nurse At A Time. For me that was refreshing, but I can imagine, for someone who doesn’t have that opportunity, it would be overwhelming to get this giant list and not know what really to do with it.

Since some sounded familiar I picked the first one that my eyes found, Christian Medical Mission Aww…more familiar faces… J What a relief. I click on the details button read the short bio on ONAAT. I recognized that the short bio’s were SOOOO helpful. When I checked out others, I could recognize right away, that I wouldn't be a fit because I could not determine from their organizations name if they were peds specialized or they were stationed in areas that were farther away than Central America.  

After determining I wanted to check out Christian Medical Missions, I simply clicked on the link provided. EASY!  Their website is super easy to navigate! Searching through their next trips, I found one which may work for me, it’s in May of next year. I clicked on the trip details and up pops the needs of mission. Here are the details: Villages surrounding Lake Atitlan, Guatemala, May 11-19th, 2013. What I can’t tell is if they have filled all of their positions for RN’s. It appears that they have one RN that has filled the pharmacy/RN position – so I will email them specifically to ask if the RN positions are filled. For more info about this trip click here.

Wow – before I started I thought it would have been more difficult- but as it turns out WE have a great website that will help you FIND the organizations you want to work with. Yeah!

As a side note, even though we have cancelled Jo’s Mission for this fall, we are definitely looking at opportunities to start it up again this spring. PLEASE STAY tuned!



Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Global Nursing Caucus Conference - UMass

Check out this interesting and informative conference being held at the University of Massachusetts, in Boston. 

Global Nursing Caucus has made it a mission to work at advancing the role of nursing in global health practice, education, and policy through advocacy,collaboration, engagement, and research. 

If you are interested please consider attending this two day conference where discussions will surround -
Nursing Education and Training Initiatives      
Skills for promoting health in resource constrained settings      
Partnerships and collaborations to advance health and the role of nursing 

Two keynote speakers, Toni Hays RN, PhD and Barbara Smith PhD, RN, FAAN will be engaging and empowering nurses in global health. Toni is the president of Regis College and has worked extensively on developing the Regis College Haiti Project. Barbara is a professor at the University of Maryland, School of Nursing. She has worked on many international nursing projects and research studies and is currently the principle investigator in a study Assessing Risk of Exposure to Blood Borne Pathogens among Health Care Workers in Sub-Saharan Africa. 

Registration Fees:
Attendee:  $150 after October 1
Student rate:   $75 after October 1

Please click HERE for the conference schedule
To register please click: REGISTER NOW

Scholarship Information:
A limited number of student scholarships are available.  To apply for a scholarship you must fulfill the following criteria:
            - Student actively enrolled in a graduate or undergraduate nursing or public health program, in good standing
            - Demonstrated interest in global health
            - Willing to volunteer and help at the conference
            - Have a professor send an email (from their school account) attesting you fulfill the above criteria. 
Please send an email to with the subject line “Conference Scholarship Application”; include a short description of your interest in the GNC Conference.  Applications are due by October 10th, 2012.


Monday, October 1, 2012

Unique Opportunity - Dominican Republic

Foundation of International Medical Relief of Children (FIMRC) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that is dedicated to improving pediatric and maternal health in developing countries. Their network of outpatient clinics and partnerships enable FIMR to assert a multidimensional strategy of services, extensive community outreach efforts and health education programs.
The program engages 700 individuals annually who volunteer their time abroad and make a contribution in exchange for the experience FIMRC provides. Over 90% of FIMRC's revenue is derived from their volunteer program. 
The program was founded in 2002, and is incorporated in Washington DC with its headquarters in Philadelphia, PA. The team includes over 3000 dedicated staff and volunteers worldwide who provide leadership and support necessary to achieve their mission of improving access to health care in under-served communities. 
Currently the program is establishing a project site in the Dominican Republic and has an amazing and unique opportunity for any nurses interested in community health. In the upcoming months, FIMRC will be conducting a meticulous community diagnostic and establishing the entire framework for the program. 

This opportunity is for nurses who may be interested in contributing to the overall health of a community in a way that is very "outside the clinic" states Meredith Mick, FIMRC CEO.
After visiting the website Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children, I found some very useful and FAQ's which may be helpful when determining if this project is something that is interesting to you. 
From the website, information can be obtained regarding housing, transportation costs and what FIMRC will provide. Mission trips with FIMRC generally are for longer periods which can be from one to three weeks and will accommodate longer-term placements if necessary. 

Also listed on the FAQ page was a 5 step process describing the steps necessary to initiate planing a medical trip:

1. Click the "Where We Work" tab to browse available locations.
2. Decide when you would like to travel. Spaces tend to fill up during peak seasons, so try and book 2 months in advance. 
3. Read all applicable sections of the Volunteer Program page.
4. Get in touch with the Officer of Volunteer Programs to discuss your options. Fill out the Inquiry Form and/or contact with the following details:
            Preferred volunteering location
            Preferred trip dates (please be specific)
            Length of Stay
5. Feel free to ask plenty of questions! And call if need by- 888-211-8575 Option 1.

Nurses who travel to their sites participate in the management of children with acute health issues as well as conduct well child visits and prenatal care. In addition to seeing the children in the clinics, health professionals can travel into the community to provide care as needed.  FIMRC relies on their volunteers to act as investigators and advise the foundation on areas for improvement, welcoming suggestions and comments when you return from your trip. 

We hope you find this information helpful and that there is a nurse out there who is willing to jump at this opportunity!  Remember we still have scholarships available to assist those who may need extra help with funding.