FNP Perspective Peer Response
Please respond to your peer’s posts, from an FNP perspective. To ensure that your responses are substantive, use at least two of these prompts:
- Do you agree with your peers’ assessment?
- Take an opposing view to a peer and present a logical argument supporting an alternate opinion.
- Share your thoughts on how you support their opinion and explain why.
- Present new references that support your opinions.
Please be sure to validate your opinions and ideas with in text-citations and references in APA format. Substantive means that you add something new to the discussion, you aren’t just agreeing. Be respectful and thoughtful.This is also a time to ask questions or offer information surrounding the topic addressed by your peers. Personal experience is appropriate for a substantive discussion and should be correlated to the literature.Minimum of 100 words.
Stress is correlated with poor health outcomes. How would you assess stress levels and stress responses in women during annual well women health exams?
Stress for the woman can be an overwhelming feeling. Women are mother, wives, hold jobs, tend to the home, and can be caregivers to older members of their family. Stress can have benefits and can impair quality of life. Each individual handle stress differently. Stress is a reaction to a change or a challenge. In the short term, stress can be helpful. It makes you more alert and gives you energy to get things done. But long-term stress can lead to serious health problems. Women are more likely than men to report symptoms of stress, including headaches and upset stomach. Women are also more likely to have mental health conditions that are made worse by stress, such as depression or anxiety (U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, 2019).
Short-term stress can come from everyday occurrences like being stuck in traffic, deadlines, short on money, and disagreement with spouses or friends. Long-term stress can occur from poverty and financial worries. Women who fall below the poverty line tend to have more depression. Women in poverty who care for children or other family members as well as themselves may experience more severe stress. Woman can experience gender discrimination in the workplace and racial discrimination resulting in higher instances of depression and anxiety. Traumatic events such as being in an accident, disaster, and all forms of assault. Women are more likely than men to experience certain types of violence, such as sexual violence, that are more likely to cause mental health conditions, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) (U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, 2019).
During my woman’s health rotation, we evaluate stressors in all of our woman’s wellness exams. We simply ask them what are their current stressors in life. This is an open ended question and many woman respond with what kind of stressors they currently have. Once we have identified the stressors and determined severity we are able to assess how they are handling these stressors and what kind of impact it is having on the patients life.
Everyone experiences stress. The key is to know how to handle it and seek help. As working students we experience a lot of stress with all the demands we have in our lives. Helpful steps for ourselves and our patients to manages the short-term stressors.
- Take deep breaths. This forces you to breathe slower and helps your muscles relax. The extra oxygen sends a message to your brain to calm and relax the body.
- Stretch. Stretching can also help relax your muscles and make you feel less tense.
- Write out your thoughts. Keeping a journal or simply writing down the things you are thankful for can help you handle stress.
- Take time for yourself. It could be listening to music, reading a good book, or going to a movie.
- Meditate. Studies show that meditation, a set time of stillness to focus the mind on a positive or neutral thought, can help lower stress. In addition to traditional medical treatments, meditation also may help improve anxiety, some menopause symptoms, and side effects from cancer treatments and may lower blood pressure. Meditation is generally safe for everyone, and free meditation guides are widely available online.
- Get enough sleep. Most adults need 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night to feel rested.
- Eat right. Caffeine or high-sugar snack foods give you jolts of energy that wear off quickly. Instead, eat foods with B vitamins, such as bananas, fish, avocados, chicken, and dark green, leafy vegetables. Studies show that B vitamins can help relieve stress by regulating nerves and brain cells.
- Get moving. Physical activity can relax your muscles and improve your mood. Physical activity also may help relieve symptoms of depression and anxiety. Physical activity boosts the levels of “feel-good” chemicals in your body called endorphins. Endorphins can help improve your mood.
- Try not to deal with stress in unhealthy ways. This includes drinking too much alcohol, using drugs, smoking, or overeating. These coping mechanisms may help you feel better in the moment but can add to your stress levels in the long term. Try substituting healthier ways to cope, such as spending time with friends and family, exercising, or finding a new hobby.
- Talk to friends or family members. They might help you see your problems in new ways and suggest solutions. Or, just being able to talk to a family member or friend about a source of stress may help you feel better (Chaplin, Hong, Bergguist, & Sinha, 2008).
Chaplin, T. M., Hong, K., Bergguist, K., & Sinha, R. (2008). Gender Differences in Response to Emotional Stress: An Assessment Across Subjective, Behavioral, and Physiological Domains and Relations to Alcohol Craving. Alcohol Clin Exp Res., 1242-1250. Retrieved from Alcohol Clin Exp Res.
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. (2019, January). Stress and your health. Retrieved from Office on Womans Health: https://www.womenshealth.gov/mental-health/good-me…
Sleep disturbances in women who are post and perimenopausal are very common. One specific occurrence many women complain about are night sweats/hot flashes that wake them up during the night. Often times they will wake up drenched in sweat. However, there are many other health problems that can cause sleep disturbances. Three health concerns that can be related to inadequate sleep are depression, sleep apnea, and fibromyalgia (Eichling & Sahni, 2015). All three of these problems can also be related to menopause.
When a women is treated for menopausal symptoms, there needs to be a full understanding of risks and benefits. Hormonal replacement therapy (HRT) involves informed individualized treatment associated with the patient’s current symptoms. The most common symptom women report is the hot flash. Currently, the North American Menopause Society suggests to use as low a dose as possible for a short period of time following menopause. Usually five years is the “safe” time frame cited (Eichling & Sahni, 2015). Conversely, HRT should not be considered to be the first line of therapy for all or even most of the sleep disorders that follow menopause. If a women is looking for a natural remedy for hot flashes, Black Cohosh may be an alternative method for her. Black cohosh is an herb that is often used to treat menopausal symptoms such as moodiness, hot flashed, vaginal dryness, and excessive sweating (Huizen, 2017). The symptoms of perimenopause can last for a period of four years or longer so it’s important to ask our patients about their symptoms.
Huizen, J. (2017). ses and side effects of black cohosh for menopause. MedicalNewsToday. Retrieved from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/317530.p…
Eichling, P., & Sahni, J. (2015, November). Menopause Related Sleep Disorders. Retrieved from http://jcsm.aasm.org/articles/010312.pdf