April 2016
  We are happy to present you with the New York State Emergency Nurses Association's latest electronic newsletter. It's packed full of information and many opportunities for our members.  As always, we welcome your comments, feedback and suggestions!  Contact us at newsletter.nysena@gmail.com.
2016 Setting the Pace Conference
A HUGE Success!!! 
Great Speakers, Many Vendors, Basket Raffle, and Good Food!
This year's Setting the Pace Conference was held in Saratoga Springs, NY April  7 & 8, 2016.  Our Conference Committee did a great job with food, vendors, speakers, and the popular basket raffle.  We had a large enough attendance this year and outgrew the Holiday Inn's restaurant and had our awards luncheon in the room with the vendors.    When you see one of the Conference Committee Members, please congratulate them on a job well done!
What did you learn?
What COULD you have learned?  
~ Tammy A. Ophardt, MSN, RN, CEN, CCRN
      There are so many things to include, I don't know where to begin!  It will be hard to put the summary into a nutshell, but here I go.
     The toxicology let us know about emerging  trends of drugs that could be seen in the emergency depart that are being abused such as: loperamide, phenibut, Kratom, and W18.
     In becoming and remaining an ED nurse, nursing turnover rates are increasing due to stress, staffing, and burnout.  An ED staff nurse needs to recognize how to handle the workload and recognize the acuity of patients while also seeking higher education and understand the hierarchy of staff in the ED.  Further studies that need to be considered include coping, camaraderie, and why nurses leave.  
     Stroke may not be visible blood and guts trauma but it is a big trauma to the brain.  Stroke is a prevalent morbidity and there are different ways of treating the types of stroke from observation to thrombectomy to surgery.  Recognizing symptoms and prompt treatment in the ED is key.
     Social media can be used for positive things such as networking, education, and the exchange of information in a positive way.  Know your privacy settings, establish ground rules regarding social media at social events, and keep your postings professional. 
     Social media can also be used for negative things.  Some things to be aware of:  HR departments use social media to view potential employees.  When you are employed avoid venting about your job in social media and know what your company policies are regarding social media.  Seemingly proud moments could be considered a HIPPA violation.  Be aware of your privacy settings and make sure you separate your personal and professional life.  Once a post has been made, it is there to stay and can be recovered.
     Lessons learned from a Army Lt. Colonel taught us in order to be a key leader for your staff, the leader needs to be aware of the capabilities of their team and place them where they are needed.  Learn how to minimize distractions in the workplace to focus on the important things.  Make an investment in your staff and teach them how to work as a team. 
      There are more lessons to learn.  Please visit the power points and handouts supplied to us by our gracious speakers.  
Use the link below.     
Setting The Pace Raffle

The Setting the Pace conference was a big success.  The closing reception was a lot of fun with excellent food and an exciting basket raffle.  There were 74 items raffled, and included flat screen TVs, Coach bag,  a lot of lovely jewelry, a beautiful lilac bush, and plenty of culinary treats .  The total proceeds reached almost $3000 will be sent to the ENA Foundation for the annual State Challenge.  Thanks to all who donated these great items and all the participants who donated their money to the raffle for the 911 Scholarship Fund.  We look forward to holding this wonderful event at the conference next year.

~ Mickey Forness, RN

Congratulations Award Winners!!!

At the Setting the Pace conference the annual state awards were presented.  As usual the recipients were truly worthy and an asset to ENA.

            Andrew Wong was the recipient of the Rising Star Award.  His nomination stated that he has become an active member at the state level over the past couple of years.  He is serving as a representative from the Manhattan/Bronx chapter and served as a delegate to General Assembly.  He has jumped right in and taken on many jobs.  Last year to celebrate our 45th anniversary, he produced a wonderful video that ran throughout the conference.  This video was an excellent presentation of ENA, capturing pictures of many past members as well as state activities.  This year Andrew has taken on the roll of conference chairman under the guidance of Kathy Conboy.  In his work place, he has been a driving force in assisting his coworkers to become certified.  With up and coming members line Andrew Wong, our organization is in good hands for the future.

            Mary Ellen Jennison received the Special Recognition Award.  Anyone who is brave enough and dedicated enough to serve as the New York State Treasurer for the past 4 years deserves this award.  Mary Ellen has spent countless hours keeping our financial situation  moving in the right direction.  She keeps the chapters informed of their financial and record keeping obligations, provides answers not only to the accountant but also the IRS.  She serves as the resource for the organization to maintain our not for profit status.  Her dedication certainly deserves our gratitude.

            Maria Giganti was the recipient of the Education Award.  Maria has served the greater New York area as one of the leading providers of TNCC courses.  Maria has recently become state faculty for the ENA courses.  Since her recent retirement , she increased her number of courses to help the staff in  hospitals seeking Trauma designations to complete the training required to achieve this status.  Her dedication to the education of emergency nurses is truly outstanding.

            Sandi Tetler was the recipient of the Anita Dorr Award.  Sandi has been active for many years in our organization at the chapter, state, and national level.  Sandi has served her chapter as President and currently as treasurer.   She has served the state as secretary for 4 years, was the president –elect in 2014, President in 2015 and currently as Immediate Past President.  Sandi has a passion for preventing workplace violence.  She represented all of us admirably in a television interview on this subject.  Last year she spearheaded the completion of the contract to fulfill our 9/11 endowment fund.  If that were not enough, last year she initiated the e-tickets and reminders for the Council meetings and established a process for committee chairs to hold free conference calls to work on Council business.  Our co-founder, Anita Dorr, would have certainly have been proud of Sandi’s accomplishments.

            Jeremiah DeHond was the recipient of the Ginny Hens EMS Award.  He has worked as an emergency nurse as well as a Flight Nurse/Paramedic.  His easy going attitude is extremely useful in working with a diverse group to gain multidisciplinary coordination of patient care.  He works well as with paramedic and student nurses to enhance their learning experience.  His positive attitude and unquestioned integrity have made him the true professional he has become.  All who have been treated by him or who have worked with him have come to respect his commitment to his patients and his excellence in patient care.  He is truly a model of an emergency nurse who is able to work with our EMS partners to provide the best in patient care.

~Mickey Forness, RN

A message from Our President
Hello all,               

NYSENA is all abuzz about the recently completed state conference!!  Excellent speakers, many vendors, great raffle baskets, special guest, ENA President-elect Karen Wiley, research posters and many great friends and colleagues.  We had a great number of first-time attendees, who voiced their pleasure with the conference.  We certainly hope they bring at least one colleague with them next year.  I hope the conference committee takes a week or two off before beginning to plan next year’s NYSENA state conference; save the date April 27th ---29th  2017 at Saratoga Springs, NY.               
Between leadership in Las Vegas and our state conference, I have learned that other facilities face the same challenges that our facility does.  No matter the size of the facility, the geographical location, the demographics of the patients.  We all different ways of dealing with the issues and while I always knew this to be true, it is nice to know that we are not alone in our fight for safe patient care, patient and nurse advocacy, nurse education and to continue to build our profession.  Speaking of advocacy, don’t forget Day on the Hill is May 10th & 11th in Washington, DC.  Day on the Hill was so well attended in 2015 that they had to limit the number of attendees this year.  Our own Jamla Bergman is attending for NYS, she will return with a wealth of information for members. Sorry this seems long but we have so much going on within the state we want everyone to know what your state council is doing for its’ NYSENA members.

Proud to be an emergency nurse.

Jacquie Glendinning, BSN, RN President, NYSENA

  What has ENA done for me?

In 2014 I was a proud recipient of an ENA foundation educational scholarship. This scholarship enabled me to continue my education at Roberts Wesleyan College in their RN to BSN program.  Receiving the scholarship enabled me to concentrate on my studies instead of financial worries.
Thank you so much ENA.

~Jacquie Glendinning, BSN, RN
NYSENA President

Share your stories of what ENA has done for you. Send them to newsletter.nysena@gmail.com
Rescinding the Motorcycle Helmet Law?
~ Tammy A. Ophardt,  MSN, RN, CEN, CCRN

In NYS in 2008  there were 1829 motorcyclists saved because they were wearing helmets. Helmets are 67% effective in preventing brain injury from a crash. Brain injury is the leading cause of death in motorcycle crash.  In 1984-2002 there was a savings of $19.5 billion in costs, mandating helmets would have save $14.8 billion more.

Currently in the NYS Assembly and Senate there are bills in the Transportation Committees to recind the current law mandating helmets.

The current bill(s) for consideration states:

Motorcyclist over the age of 21 shall be exempt from the requirement to wear a helmet when operating or riding a motorcycle.

The following are the sponsors for the bill:

Senate S2381  sponsor: Nozzolio

Assembly A3241  sponsor: Lupardo

Members listed for the Senate Transportation Committee:

Chair Joseph E. Robach

Co-chair Carl L. Marcellino


Avella                Martins                   Ritchie

Diaz                   Nozzolio                Squadron

Dilan                  O'Mara                  Stavisky

Gallivan             Panepinto               Valesky

Kennedy            Perkins                   Young

Larkin                Razenhofer

Please consider writing a letter to your Assemblyman and/or Senator to keep this from becoming a law.  


Neurontin Abuse
~ Tammy A. Ophardt MSN, RN, CEN, CCRN
  Have you heard?  Neurontin is considered an abused drug.  Neurontin is similar to the neurotransmitter GABA in that it slows down the never cell activity in the brain.  It does not have an attraction for receptor sites that are often triggered during substance abuse, however when the body gets used to the drug, it will require more and more substance to give the person the high they previously had.  The high that can be obtained has been described as euphoria and like a sedative. One of the issues with overdoses on neurontin is that it has a long half-life and requires intense management.  There is no antidote for a neurontin overdose.  

Prescribers outside the correctional system are generally naive to the potential for abuse and find it hard to believe that it is well known drug to abuse among substance abusers.  Police have reported that neurontin is being used to cut heroin in the streets.  In substance abuse communities, neurontin is being used to mellow out methamphetamine and to potentiate methadone effects. 

Care providers need to be aware of the side effects of neurontin abuse such as memory problems, unusual thoughts, fatigue, tremors, and have psychoactive effects.  Obviously, many of these side effects could potentially cause issues with safety of the patient as well as the safety of the ED staff and security.  Neurontin can be tested in a urine drug screen if abuse is suspected.

Withdrawal symptoms that can be seen are pain, nausea, restlessness, and headache.  Symptoms can appear in one or two days after an abrupt withdrawal and takes about 2 days to clear the body.

Neurontin is not just for nerve pain anymore.  Be alert to patients potentially abusing this commonly prescribed medication.

Keller, J. (2016). Taming the beast: gabapentin. Corrections.com

Melton, S. (2014). Has gabapentin become a drug of abuse? Medscape.com

Prescriptiondrugabuse.org. (2016). Neurontin addiction and treatment. www.prescriptiondrugabuse.org/Neurontin-Addiction.htm 

Smith, B., Higgins, C., Baldacchino, A., Kidd, B., & Bannister, J. (2012). Substance misuse of gabapentin. British Journal of General Practice. Aug. 62(601): 406-407.
Conference and Meeting Schedule
May 10 & 11, 2016                  Day on the Hill                            Washington, DC
July 30, 2016                           NYS ENA Council meeting        Holiday Inn, Middletown, NY
September 14-17, 2016          ENA Conference                         Los Angeles, CA
October 29, 2016                     NYS ENA Council meeting        Double Tree, Binghamton, NY
Visit the NYS ENA Website!

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Tammy Ophardt
Newsletter requests
Hi Everyone!  
I am excited to have the chance to provide you information from the NYS ENA!
Just thought I would write a quick note about my expectations for contributions to the newsletter.  Please include any necessary pictures with your contributions, any special links that may be needed, and any supporting forms/paperwork as required.

Please share your stories, successes, lessons learned, or any information you think everyone would enjoy.  I would be happy to include any articles you may have and I welcome any authors to have reoccurring columns.   

~ Tammy A Ophardt, MSN, RN, CEN, CCRN
NYS ENA Newsletter Editor

email: newsletter.nysena@gmail.com
A Special Thanks to our 2016 Setting the Pace
Platinum Sponsors!