Back to The Gym…

by Candy on January 14, 2014 No comments

Beautiful Happy new year 2014 bright colorful celebration backgr


 Happy New Year, loyal followers!

Follow the link below to my latest article, published earlier than expected in   Portland Family Magazine.

It came out during the holidays— incentive for the January diets?

Sometime next year, It will be featured in a collection of stories, tentatively titled, This Race Called Life.

 Interesting story behind the story: Immediately after this   experience, I limped into the ladies’ room to wash my face before I went   home to collapse. There, I ripped off about 18” of industrial-strength paper  towel and scribbled down the ideas.  The paper got stuffed into one of the several boxes of notes I keep with funny bits and story ideas. Every time I moved my office, I would look at it and say, “Yep, someday I’m going to write this up.” Well, I moved my office AGAIN this summer, it hit me: I’m no spring chicken anymore. I have successfully procrastinated for 33 years. So, there you have it. No sooner was it written, than it found a home in my book, with reprint rights to PFM. Many folks have written to say they enjoyed this story. I hope you do, too!




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CandyBack to The Gym…

Florence Nightingale’s Birthday Present

by Candy on May 6, 2013 No comments

Flo portraitI’m happy to report that not only is this Nurses’s Week,   but on May 12th, it’s Florence Nightingale’s birthday! The date is easy for me to remember, since my own birthday is May 15th. [Guess we are both under the sign of Taurus the bull, not that I follow such prognostication, but a correlation has been made in my family that if the nose ring fits…]

I wonder what Flo would say about some of the headlines today? Aside from wars and rumors of more wars, technological miracles, and the odd ritual of camping outdoors once the weather is nice, what would she say about California Senate Bill 491?

I’m sure she would be very interested in the latest political action here in California, where nurse practicioners are fighting to practice to the full extent of their licenses.

Indeed, California is one of 34 states that have laws prohibiting licensed nurse practicioners from practicing unless they do so under the supervision of an M.D.

Would that be safe, you may ask? Good question. The Institute of Medicine [an arm of the prestigious National Academy of Sciences] asked the same thing, then studied the situation. Results of the research show that nurse practicioners [NPs] have a stellar record: They should be allowed to practice to the full extent of their education and training, just like any other professional group. How so? All the prime nurse – indicators of “what can go wrong” have been avoided with percentages rival or exceed the MD outcomes. Throw in golden patient satisfcation scores, and you can understand the ire of Advanced Practice Nurse Practioners [APRNs] who are ready and willing to take on more patients, but cannot.

Time to get out your ink and quills, and let’s flood the Senate halls with paper!

And please, recycle.


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CandyFlorence Nightingale’s Birthday Present

Hub-Caps to H-CAHPS

by Candy on July 27, 2012 No comments

As surely as the white-walled hubcaps on my father’s shark-finned ’59 Buick, which I drove when I was 16, would have been replaced with wire-rims (were it still running), the CAHPS (Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and System) assessments have morphed into H(for hospital)CAHPS. (Say, “H-Caps.”)

What does this mean? And who cares?

You should, dear reader. The HCAHPS is the next generation, Ralph Nader-type of brainchild that healthcare consumers (i.e., all of us, eventually) conceived in the early 2000’s.  It all started as a back-lash movement against the atrocities reported in the original 1999 IOM report that outlined close to 100,000 hospital deaths due to system errors… per year!

If you follow public health policy news, you know we healthcare advocates have been arguing for the general populace, in places like Sacramento and D.C., in favor of just such an instrument, for years. We have labored through a prolonged, and complicated gestation, to see it grow into a real-live-tool, for about 3 years now. The results are helping shape the future of healthcare. So, when you have the opportunity to complete a “patient satisfaction” or other survey from your healthcare provider, DO SO!

Like the right to vote, it doesn’t help if you just complain.

Ya gotta say something to be heard.



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CandyHub-Caps to H-CAHPS

So You Wanna Run Barefoot?

by Candy on July 19, 2012 No comments

     This really sounds like something you’d say to your toddler, with a wry smirk on your face.  Be the interlopers rocks, glass, or just the random asphalty-hardness, what child hasn’t learned, as the punsters say, the hard way?

     Then what sense can we make of the newest adult-fad, barefoot running? Despite the much-touted book on the subject, there exists no reliable scientific evidence to cushion the fall.  (Could it be a nefarious podiatrist’s plot to garner more customers??) Not surprisingly, sports’ medicine experts and cast-adorned would-be runners have “come out” against the practice, pointing to the painful (and expensive) fruits of their labor-of-love. Experts warn that running with shoes can lead to anatomical injuries, since folks often run “recklessly” with highly padded footwear.

     Whether it’s the Chocolate Diet, (and other  fantasies), texting while driving and /or walking, or barefoot running, let us not forget the words of P.T. Barnum, circus entrepreneur, who reminded, “There’s a sucker born every minute,” and “Opinions are like assholes- everyone’s got one.”

     For those 21st century running enthusiasts, who’d like to mimic their third world counterparts, here’s a healthful sports tip : Take it easy; know your limitations, or just say NO !

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CandySo You Wanna Run Barefoot?

NICU Stress Part 3: Breastfeeding Advice For Moms of Premature Infants

by Candy on March 24, 2011 No comments

Breastfeeding Advice For Moms of Premature Infants

NICU fallout: It’s not about radiation

preemie image

Are you the mom of a preemie who dreads pumping milk at night while the baby is in the NICU? You are not alone. Who can blame you? It’s inconvenient. It interrupts your sleep. It also interrupts your sleep! (If you noticed that repetition, you are probably NOT pumping at night.) Unfortunately, even though you are pumping every 2-3 hours during the day, your milk supply is also down…or dwindling.

But why?

Research shows there are five simple prerequisites for making milk: increased nutrition (500 calories a day is recommended, and we’re not talking just banana cream pie), increased fluid intake (10-12 glasses of water or other non-caffeinated and non-sugary drinks are best), decreased stress (I know how ridiculous that sounds with a baby in the NICU, but that’s what the experts say), lots of sleep (another laugh, since I’m telling you to get up in the middle of the night!) and pump every 2-4 hours round the clock.

While there is no solution to the fact that your milk supply follows the simple principle of supply and demand (ie, if the demand exists, the supply will follow), here is a suggestion for making the process more efficient and effective.

Set up a ‘pumping station.’ This would be ideally placed in a comfortable, well-lit area away from your partner (no need for you both to lose sleep). Before you retire for the evening, cover a plate of healthy snacks, (ie, celery and PNB, apples and cheese, or any protein/fruit/veggie combo which won’t require refrigeration overnight) and place it at your cozy spot where the breast pump is connected and RTG. Add a pitcher of iced water (or water + juice), a photo of your newborn, headphone access to soothing music, and you’ll be GTG when the alarm clock buzzes you awake.

Economy of movement

Your pumping cycle should take no more than 30 minutes. Here’s how:

1. Rise, empty your bladder & wash your hands. (In your haste, you may be tempted to skip this step , but omit it at your peril—breast infection, or mastitis— may be the painful result.)

2. Sit comfortably upright at your prepared place (good lung expansion increases milk flow), attach the pump on both sides simultaneously (find a device to facilitate this move online or at your local maternity shop), and start snacking.

3. Pump for 20 minutes, rinse your equipment, and back to bed, my pretty!

The additional early am snack will help keep your blood sugar level in a more even state, which in turn serves to increase estrogen and prolactin levels, which help elevate both your mood and your lactation supply. You should see results in a day or two.

Happy pumping!

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CandyNICU Stress Part 3: Breastfeeding Advice For Moms of Premature Infants

Podcast re: Graham’s Foundation

by Candy on January 2, 2011 2 comments
Xmas 2009

Jenn, Reece, Nick Hall of Graham's Foundation

Dear Readers,

The following podcast is one of our most emotional interviews of 2010. The story of Nick and Jenn Hall’s journey, and Jenn’s delivering micropreemie twins, is all too common these days. “The well-meaning things people say that hurt” may sound familiar to anyone who has gone through the chaos of the time; for others, this may be an enlightening bit of news.

Listen how one family channeled their grief into a bit of comfort for other parents. The Graham Foundation “care packages” bless those who must navigate the treacherous waters of the NICU, with practical items, and wearable signs of hope.

If you or your corporation would like information on how to request a care package or donate to the Graham’s Foundation 501(c)3, please visit the website:

Nick + Jenn Hall Part 1 – Their story

Nick+Jenn Hall pt 2-about the Foundation

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CandyPodcast re: Graham’s Foundation

Bringing Baby Home

by Candy on November 13, 2010 No comments



Bringing Baby Home

By Candace Campbell, MSN, RN

[reprinted with permission, Health4Women magazine]


Congratulations and welcome to a new stage in your life – parenthood! Or maybe this isn’t your first baby and it’s welcome back to the magic kingdom!

In an instant, your new baby has changed you from a couple into a family. The irony of your new essence, parenthood, evokes what I like to call a babylove addiction, which in a poetic sense, may be likened to a line from the old Eagles song, “You can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave.” In a few months, you’ll look back at photos and squint to recall life before babylove.

Basic Parenting 101

But first, there’s work to do. Your transition will require intense concentration and physical endurance (tempered by angelic smiles, the softest skin, and the sweetest giggles). You’ll likely not find time to tackle these tasks after baby is born, so tackle these top four areas before your little bundle arrives:

The Trenches

  • Declutter floors/stairs, secure throw rugs (for safe, late-night baby soothing).
  • Install childproof locks (wise parents practice fumbling with them before they’re sleep-deprived) and night lights in strategic places.
  • Place extra pillows around for comfortable infant feeding in any chair or couch.
  • Practice rapid installation and adjustment of baby car seat in all vehicles.

Chow and Chores

  • Make double portions of meals you enjoy, and freeze half. Cool thoroughly and label with ingredients, date and freezer life-expectancy. If using plastic bags, make sure they are specifically made for freezer use. Find food-safe practices recommended by the National Center for Home Food Preservation.
  • Buy or borrow a freezer and stock it. This will save many trips when you do NOT feel like going out.
  • Avoid microwaving baby’s food or milk. Microwaves work by vibrating molecules, so food and liquids heat from the inside out. The friction produces uneven heat. The contents of a bottle that may feel cool on the outside but could burn baby’s mouth and throat!
  • Breastfeeding moms remember to eat a balanced diet and take in an extra 500 calories a day. Don’t forget to feed yourself at night when you’re awake feeding baby. Plan ahead. Hubby can prepare a plate of healthy snacks before bed, plus a pitcher of juice or water and keep it by your breastfeeding area. Snacking at night allows your blood sugar to stay at a more even level, which protects against low dips. Fasting causes a cascade of hormone swings and results in mood swings to match.
  • Plan in advance how you will handle pet care, especially during the first few weeks after the baby’s birth.
  • Use a crib tent to keep your curious cat from jumping in to snuggle with your baby; it may make for a cute picture, but it could be dangerous since many cats like to snuggle on top of their people!

Ammunition – Keep germs at bay

  • Always wash your hands before touching your baby (and after every diaper change); insist that visitors do the same.
  • Stock up on liquid soap, hand-sanitizer, and paper towels.
  • Bar the door to anyone with a runny nose, cough, fever, or other cold/flu like symptoms. If you get sick, wear a surgical mask or a scarf around your baby. Turn your head away to cough or sneeze into your elbow or a tissue – never your hands, and wash your hands every time you use a tissue.
  • Prohibit smoking in the house, and If you smoke, quit.


  • Avoid crowds when possible (walk in the mall early or late); this is particularly important if your baby is born during the fall or winter flu seasons.
  • Protect baby from the elements, especially the sun (dark skinned babies also need protection!).
  • Avoid smokers.
  • Let curious toddlers touch your baby’s leg or foot, as opposed to her hand or face.
  • Bring more than one diaper and change of clothes in the diaper bag.

Got it? Good. You’re ready for action. Now go out there and enjoy your new baby.

About the Author: Candace Campbell, MSN, RN, has practiced as an NICU nurse and educator for 20 years. Her documentary film, Micropremature Babies: How Low Can You Go? plus her delightful children’s books, My Mom Is A Nurse, and Good Things Come In Small Packages (I Was A Preemie), are available on or: A percentage of the profits of each sale goes to the March of Dimes.

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CandyBringing Baby Home

CPR updates: Official and Intuitive

by Candy on October 18, 2010 No comments

Today the American Red Cross has issued a recanting of their long-held position about when a bystander must begin chest compressions. This makes intuitive sense, when compared to the recommendation since 1996, i.e.,  having to mingle spit and/or vomit with anyone, especially a perfect stranger. Eeeew. Most folks just call 911. Turns out, chest compressions completed while awaiting emergency crew arrival, makes a big difference. You always thought doing something was better than nothing, didn’t you?chest compressions

So when that loud, obnoxious dude in line keels  over  and spills his popcorn, yell, “ARE YOU ALRIGHT?” feel for a pulse, and     if none, go ahead: get physical. Lock your hands together, place them at the nipple line, and push on that sucker for all you’re worth.    He  may just live to thank you. (But don’t expect an apology for making you miss the movie.)

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CandyCPR updates: Official and Intuitive

The Affordable Healthcare Act: “The doctor will see you now,” may be announcing a nurse.

by Candy on October 3, 2010 No comments

October, 2010

The Las Vegas Venetian Hotel Conference Center was the place to be for nearly 3,000 of the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN) at the start of this month in the southwest. Outside temps  soared above triple digits, but inside we were comfortable in our climate-controlled atmosphere. I admit I didn’t venture OUT of the theme-park like atmosphere of this idyllic retreat. What a place!

Venetian Hotel, LV As we tourists  clicked photos of the gondolas, a “real” Italian family stood posing. I inquired of their friend, the photographer, how they liked the hotel. “Fantastico!” she answered, “It’s just like Venice…only cleaner!” Then i noticed the  faint smell of chlorine wafting my way, despite the pull of garlicy-savory delicacies exuding from a nearby restaurant. I suppose that’s easier on the olfactories than the algae-cum-whatever-else- lurks in real Venetian canals?

But I digress…Did you know this is The International Year of the Nurse? (I wondered how I’m so out of touch ? It’s almost over!) AWHONN hosts reminded of that fact, and Becky Patton, immediate past President of the American Nurses’ Association (ANA: not the union,the professional association) also spoke of her part in the forming of the new Affordable Healthcare Act. How great to hear that nurses got to be a part of the conceptual and frame-building process!

One result: Soon, advanced practice nurses (APRNs) will be allowed to mastermind health clinics and receive Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement. What does this mean? (Hint: It does NOT mean that clients will no longer be able to see an M.D.)

It does mean that for the bulk of a client’s clinic visits (disease-preventing, non-life-threatening ,  “upkeep”), the public will now have faster, easier access to healthcare by trained professionals with doctoral degrees…who just happen to be nurses. We have a feeling the public is going to be pleasantly surprised to receive  care and attention from nurses with a holistic view.

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CandyThe Affordable Healthcare Act: “The doctor will see you now,” may be announcing a nurse.

Maternal Risks of Prematurity Update

by Candy on June 8, 2010 No comments

preemie 26 wk Last week two stories in the news broke my heart.

The first, from the June issue of Pediatrics, mentions a study which found C-Sections may increase the risk of celiac disease, as opposed to  those infants born vaginally.

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder which leads to inflammation of the gut when the person consumes any foods containing gluten (a protein found in wheat, barley and rye). In terms of the western diet, that’s a toughie.

The researchers have no certain understanding of the process at this point, but hypothesize that  perhaps the phenomenon is linked to the fact that infants born via C-Section miss out on the squeeze down the vaginal tract. We know that action helps eliminate fluid in the respiratory tract, but now scientists think perhaps there are other important microbes an infant would ordinarily encounter which trigger some sort of digestive colonization. As in all closed systems,when one part malfunctions, the result has a domino effect.


Another story, out of the journal, Obstetrics & Gynecology, mentions a study of over 20,000 pregnancies in Scotland spanning a period of 60 years. The results are glum: mothers who were themselves born early (defined as 24-37 weeks gestation) were 60% more likely to have a preterm baby. Although there is no cure at this time, just knowing it,  makes a case for early prenatal care.

Hang in there, mothers. The March of Dimes is working as fast as they can to find a solution.

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CandyMaternal Risks of Prematurity Update