New Nurse: Rachel’s Story – Week 9

New IU Health Methodist Hospital nurse Rachel Ketelaar takes on discharges, transfusion and patient updates.


  • Lots to talk about today! I was on my own again for a few hours in the morning, but I realized I am never really on my own. One patient needed me to feed her because she was at risk of choking. The doctor ordered medication by capsule but I wasn’t confident this patient could safely swallow a capsule. So I went to the charge nurse and she advised me to ask the doctor. The doctor changed the medication to a liquid form and everything worked out.
  • Free appreciation lunch today for IU Health employees, served in a huge tent on the front lawn. We were so busy that they brought boxed lunches up to us and I didn’t get to eat mine until 3:30. It was delicious! (Though I only ate a little because I packed my own lunch today.)
  • I was/am a little intimidated giving patient updates to doctors. But I realize much of what doctors ask about are things I observed or charted and I actually know more about the patient than I thought I did. Most of the time the doctors just want to know if the patient is eating, walking, going to the bathroom, feeling less pain, improving in vitals, or if I have any concerns about the patient.


  • I had the opportunity to discharge 3 patients. This is great practice. Discharges involve getting the patient’s discharge paperwork and belongings together, removing their IVs, educating them on their medications or lifestyle changes and making sure they safely get to their vehicle and have a ride home. For one of my discharges I had to give a report on the patient to the rehab facility and the ambulance staff that was transporting her.


  • Today I did a blood transfusion with Ty’s help. It is a process! We had to make sure the patient consented, send a blood sample to the lab to verify the patient’s blood type, double-check the donor’s and the patient’s blood type and IDs, then monitor the patient during the transfusion. The first 15 minutes are most crucial since this is when many adverse reactions occur. During these 15 minutes, I assessed the patient, took his vitals, and he taught me a fun card game.
  • I so appreciate working on A2N. The nurses are so willing to lend a hand, whether it’s when a patient must be turned or medications administered. I love the willingness on A2N to lighten each other’s loads!

Read more:

New Nurse: Rachel’s Story – Week 1
New Nurse: Rachel’s Story – Week 2
New Nurse: Rachel’s Story – Week 3
New Nurse: Rachel’s Story – Week 4
New Nurse: Rachel’s Story – Week 5
New Nurse: Rachel’s Story – Week 6
New Nurse: Rachel’s Story – Week 7
New Nurse: Rachel’s Story – Week 8
New Nurse: Rachel’s Story – Week 9

Apply Yourself – Being a nurse at Indiana University Health means building a professional nursing career designed by you, with competitive benefits and a culture that embraces your unique strengths and supports your personal and professional goals. If you are seeking an organization where you can engage professionally, develop clinical expertise, embrace learning, foster new relationships and fuel your spirit of inquiry, apply today.

IU Health’s new midwifery practice delivers first baby

The timing couldn’t have been better, said certified nurse midwife Darla Berry, who helped deliver little Isla Mae Nelson, the first child of Rachel and Josh Nelson, at IU Health Methodist Hospital last week.

By Maureen Gilmer, IU Health senior journalist,

She is 7 pounds, 13 ounces of cuteness and she is now the poster child for IU Health’s new midwifery practice.

After all, what better way to mark the recent opening of the hospital system’s first midwifery practice than with the arrival of its first baby.

The timing couldn’t have been better, said certified nurse midwife Darla Berry, who helped deliver little Isla Mae Nelson, the first child of Rachel and Josh Nelson, at IU Health Methodist Hospital on Tuesday afternoon.

It was a speedy delivery for sure. Rachel had been texting with Berry that morning as her labor began, but by the time she arrived at the hospital at 2:30 p.m. she was fully dilated, Berry said. “We had a baby at 4:04.”

She, Josh and Rachel were beaming Thursday morning while Isla Mae squirmed and squealed, shortly before mom and daughter were discharged from the hospital.

“The stars aligned perfectly,” said Berry, manager of Nurse Midwifery Services for IU Health. “I am over the moon.”

She is the lone midwife in the practice at this point, but three others have been hired and will start in March and April. The practice is housed at the Artistry Building, 404 E. Washington St.


The World Health Organization has declared 2020 as the Year of the Nurse and Midwife, Berry said, because it understands globally “what we don’t get nationally – that midwives are crucial to health.”

A midwife for 20 years, Berry said she has long thought that IU Health and its female patients would benefit from a midwifery practice. After much discussion and collaboration between IU Health and the IU School of Medicine, it’s finally happening, she said.

“If you speak it into existence, sometimes the universe follows through for you,” she laughed.

Berry said midwifery is garnering a lot of attention nationwide at this point “simply because our outcomes are stellar.”

“I think the relationships we can create with women, the opportunities we can create for women to have midwifery care … we just catapulted ourselves ahead of the game.”

Rachel Nelson, whose husband is manager of Methodist’s wound care center, knew she wanted a midwife for her delivery, but she had to wait for IU Health’s new practice to open its doors. She was already 36 weeks pregnant before her first appointment with Berry, though she had been under the care of a physician and had done her homework when it comes to understanding pregnancy.

“I’ve done a ton of reading and research already and knew I wanted to find a midwifery practice to be able to partner with in this,” Rachel said before she gave birth. “I wanted someone who was an expert in a ‘normal’ birth. Having that partnership and that communication was super important.”

The two women connected instantly, Berry telling her patient that she would be “the guardian of all things normal” and would help navigate what Rachel wants with what the medical world says needs to be done.

Ironically, Josh met his wife’s midwife before she did, when both he and Berry attended an IU Health leadership conference in November.

“She waited very patiently,” Berry said of Rachel during their last appointment before Isla Mae made her grand entrance. “In terms of getting to know her, I feel like we’ve done some speed dating.”

But her medical care had been good, and Rachel was self-motivated to learn all she could.

“She is an ideal first patient, exceptionally prepared,” Berry said. “She is very low-key, so not a lot ruffles her, and I would include labor in that.”

The timing could not have been better for the practice, she said, “with a birth right out of the gate.”


For now, Berry will deliver babies at Methodist, which has established itself as a leader with regard to midwifery care, she said. Eventually, labor and delivery will move to the new mother-baby unit under construction at Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health.

While having a midwife is not necessarily about un-medicated birth, the hospital staff must support the option, she said. And the staff at Methodist does.

“The hardest work is already done for me in terms of building this practice and providing this service because I already have the nursing staff, management and administrators that are totally on board and supportive,” Berry said.

Physicians are on board as well, she said, noting that more and more medical interns and residents are gaining experience with midwifery in their education.

Berry said midwives offer a more personal birth experience for pregnant women.

“It’s my job as a midwife to help reconcile this often idealized picture of what birth looks like for women, especially those who’ve never had a baby, and talk through what your options are in terms of medication, intervention, monitoring and how to balance it.”

Having a midwife doesn’t mean a woman has decided to have an un-medicated birth, Berry said, but it is certainly an option. Rachel chose to forgo medication and has no regrets. The labor and birth were pretty much what she hoped for, she said, and her baby girl came out healthy and strong. Had there been complications, however, Methodist staff were prepared to step in.

“We work very closely with physicians,” Berry said. “If there are any questions prenatally, then we consult. If questions or concerns come up once labor starts and you’re in the hospital, we’ve got staff in house 24/7. So someone is there to offer a second set of eyes, consult or to transfer care if that’s what needs to happen.

“We’re not out here doing wacky, wild, unsupported stuff,” Berry said. “Our care philosophy is research-based, and my job is to help women walk that path and know what their options are and know why they’re choosing to do or not to do something.”


The new midwifery practice presents opportunities for women of all ages to seek care from practitioners who have a passion for supporting women. While midwives are most associated with delivering babies, they can treat women at any time, Berry said.

“As midwives, we are ‘with women’ and we are with women for a lifetime, so I can see you as a teenager and help you through irregular periods and birth control, through the child-bearing years, and I can stay with you through menopause.”

Berry, a mother of four herself, had an obstetrician deliver her first two children, then delivered her next two at home with a midwife. She describes the moment when a woman meets her child for the first time as “sacred,” and believes everything should be done to protect that moment.

“We are here to ensure that every woman knows they have one person on this side of the fence in the medical arena who will listen to them and help them navigate the system, which is often so ridiculously complicated.”

Berry believes IU Health’s new midwifery practice is one more piece in the puzzle that will help address Indiana’s high maternal mortality rate – 41.4 women die for every 100,000 births – which is more than twice the national average.

“What this practice and an endorsement by the School of Medicine can do is solidify our place at the table as midwives and as owners of that midwifery body of knowledge that acknowledges we are a piece of the solution to this problem.”

To schedule an appointment with IU Health’s new midwifery practice, call (317) 944-8231.

Photos by Mike Dickbernd, IU Health visual journalist,

“I was living in a food fog” – Patient reverses her diabetes diagnosis

She had tried various diets with some success. But in the end, Amy Magan knew her weight loss came down to this: Changing her mindset.

By IU Health Senior Journalist T.J. Banes,

She thinks she was about nine when she realized she was overweight. Amy Magan was never really happy about that realization. At that young age, her family had just moved to Ohio. She was the first-born in a family of four siblings and considered herself very much a leader in the family hierarchy.

“When we moved, I remember all my siblings had a match in the neighborhood – someone to hang with. There was no match for me so I read and I ate. Mostly I ate while I read,” said Magan, who works as a communications manager for UINDY. After high school she attended Butler University and she remembers periods throughout her life when she tried various diets – often losing up to 40 pounds. At 5’2 her highest weight was 229. She was considered morbidly obese.

“I’d feel good when I lost weight but it was more about calories in and calories out. What I’ve come to realize is my weight is a part of my physical, emotional and spiritual self – it’s about what I’m really avoiding when I’m eating,” said Magan.

Twenty-six years ago she married another Butler communications student – Mike Magan. They have three children – Annie, 23; Charlie, 20; and Robbie, 16. It was when she was pregnant with Annie that Magan was diagnosed with gestational diabetes. She controlled it with diet and exercise. When Robbie came along she was dependent on insulin – giving herself injections three times daily.

“If you have gestational diabetes you are more prone to Type II diabetes. I also have a family history of diabetes,” said Magan. Her father was diagnosed with Type II diabetes. “I can’t tell you when exactly I was diagnosed because I’d get information and I’d ignore it,” said Magan. Eventually she couldn’t ignore it. She began medication to control the diabetes and at one point was on half a dozen prescriptions.

“I just thought I was going to be diabetic and that was the way it would be,” said Magan. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive Diseases lists the following health risks for being overweight: (in addition to diabetes), stroke, cancer, heart disease, liver and kidney disease, and high blood pressure.

“I’d go to my physician and it was like a wheel of meds,” said Magan. “I’d get blood work every three months because my health was so iffy and my doctor would spin her wheel of meds and I’d leave and go on – I wasn’t comfortable with that.”

In March of 2016 Magan had a wake up call. Her weight resulted in complications during an esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) – to examine the lining of her esophagus. The gastroenterologist told her she needed to lose weight. Her health was in danger.

“I didn’t go home right away and make changes. I was in a pattern where I’d eat breakfast, have a snack, eat lunch have a snack and repeat. I was sedentary and I was in a food fog. I could be physically present but not emotionally and spiritually present with people because I was thinking about what I was going to eat next or ashamed of what I’d just eaten,” said Magan.

Within a few months, she began to seriously think about how she could change the pattern, the lifestyle. She also became a patient of IU Health Dr. Debra Balos.

“She’s an osteopathic doctor which makes a huge difference for me. She wants to know beyond the basic health – other things going on in my life like family issues,” said Magan. “She never once said ‘you need to lose weight.’ She wasn’t shaming me.” But Magan had reached a point where even with medication; her hemoglobin was so high that she was close to requiring insulin to control her diabetes.

“I had a sense I wasn’t living the life God had called me to live. It was a total awakening,” said Magan. She joined a support group and learned to change her focus, to find her way out of the food fog. Over time she has lost 65 pounds and is no longer considered diabetic. Her medications have been reduced to two.

“Before I was frequently losing weight for something – a wedding, a reunion – and when I hit the finish line I was done. Now I realize I’ll never hit the finish line because I’m working toward a better physical, spiritual and emotional life,” said Magan.

What’s changed in her day-to-day living?

“I think culturally we still celebrate with food; we still grieve with food. I had to change my mindset,” said Magan. She remembers the first Christmas she began changing her habits and she wanted to eat a cookie that reminded her of her grandmother. Instead, she kept a picture of her grandmother in her pocket, using that to feel connected and loved. She doesn’t believe in putting others out by her decision to eat healthy, so if she needs to, she’ll pack her own foods. One of the biggest things she has cut from her diet is sugar. If there’s sugar in the first three ingredients, she won’t buy it. She has also given up Diet Coke because the drink’s aspartame tricked her body into thinking it was processing sugar, resulting in increased insulin production.

“I have an action plan that I try to do every day and part of that involves purposeful movement. It may be going to a different floor at my office for a bathroom break, it may even include a walk around the building,” said Magan. “It’s about discipline and the surrendering of my own will and I’ve seen how impactful it has been to make the change.”

As a result of her improved health Magan says she has become more carefree and less controlling. She has also developed more confidence – returning to school for her master’s degree.

Magan’s advice to others struggling with weight loss: “Figure out what foods set you off the rails – what you can’t stop eating once you start and then change the way you look at food. Find people who support your efforts and don’t get discouraged if you don’t do it perfectly. Just keep trying to make the next right choice.”

Checklist for Quitting Smoking: Your Step-by-Step Guide to Kicking the Habit

You can make 2020 your year to join the ranks of former smokers. Laying some groundwork first will boost your chances of successfully quitting smoking, said Patricia Colon, MPH, IU Health Bloomington Community Health tobacco prevention coordinator. START your non-smoking lifestyle!

S: Set a quit date

Quitting smoking is a process. It begins before you quit and ends sometime after your last cigarette. Pick a date that gives you time to develop your plan and get ready to quit, ideally within 2-3 weeks.

T: Tell family, friends and coworkers you’re quitting

Quitting smoking isn’t easy for most people. Ask for their understanding and support when cravings and stress hit.

A: Anticipate challenges

You’re going to hit challenges that test your resolve to quit—they’re part of kicking an addictive habit. Make a plan for how to get around them.

R: Remove tobacco products from your environment

Before quitting, clean up and clean out — cigarettes and old butts, ashtrays, lighters — anything that’s part of your smoking habit. Make your home smoke-free and avoid smoking in other places where you spend a lot of time, like your car or work.

T: Talk to your doctor

Quitting smoking cold turkey isn’t for everyone. Talk with your doctor about nicotine patches or gum and other medications that can help you quit.

Get the one-on-one coaching and resources you need to finally kick your smoking habit—for FREE! Go to and get started today!

IU Health Arnett Cancer Center recognized for achieving NAPBC Accreditation

The National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC), a quality program of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) has granted Three-Year Accreditation to Indiana University Health Arnett Cancer Center. To achieve voluntary NAPBC accreditation, a breast center demonstrates compliance with the NAPBC standards that look at a center’s leadership, clinical services, research, community outreach, professional education and quality improvement. Breast centers seeking NAPBC accreditation undergo a site visit every three years.

As a NAPBC-accredited center, IU Health Arnett Cancer Center is committed to maintaining levels of excellence in the delivery of comprehensive, patient-centered, multidisciplinary care resulting in high-quality care for patients with breast disease. Patients receiving care at a NAPBC-accredited center have access to information on clinical trials and new treatments, genetic counseling and patient centered services including psycho-social support and a survivorship care plan that documents the care each patient receives and seeks to improve cancer survivor’s quality of life.

“We are proud to achieve this prestigious accreditation. Our staff has worked tirelessly to achieve this certification and it reflects our dedication to excellent patient care and services,” said Phyllis Martin-Simmerman, MD, radiologist with IU Health Arnett. “In awarding us NAPBC Accreditation, ACS has provided us with the opportunity to celebrate the exceptional care we provide to our patients and our commitment to the well-being of our community.”

Receiving care at IU Health Arnett Cancer Center ensures that patients have access to:

  • Comprehensive care, including a full range of state-of-the-art services
  • A multidisciplinary team approach to coordinate the best treatment options
  • Information about ongoing clinical trials and new treatment options

Recovering from addiction: “This disease isn’t going away”

Cynthia Thompson tried other recovery programs. She said they didn’t make as much of an impact as her participation in the Addiction Treatment Recovery Center at IU Hospital West.

By IU Health Senior Journalist T.J. Banes,

She’s an active mother and grandmother. She’s involved in the community. She is someone’s neighbor, someone’s friend. She is also a recovering alcoholic.

The first time Cynthia Thompson went through the Addiction Treatment Recovery Center at IU Health West was in July of 2019. She returned to the program the end of September.

“The second time I entered the program it was raw, emotional,” said Thompson. “I’ve always had a sense of humor but this was nothing to laugh about. I felt like I would be missing something in my life if I couldn’t get this right.”

In the past, she went into recovery knowing it was the right thing and eventually decided she didn’t need it anymore.

Now she wakes up each day and writes down at least one thing she is grateful for. She works out on a mini trampoline, participates in yoga exercises, designs clothing and makes jewelry. She also attends regular AA meetings.

“Sobriety and recovery are my number one focus because without it nothing else in my life will work out,” said Thompson.

What changed this time?

Thompson said she started binge drinking around the age of 48. She didn’t really think it was a problem until her 23-year marriage ended. The binge drinking continued – she faced legal issues; hospital stays; and court appearances. She had a sponsor for 15 years.

“There were so many times I thought ‘I’ve got this. I can do this on my own,’” said Thompson, 69. “It’s tough at my age to connect with younger people going through this. This time I realized this disease isn’t going away and there’s nothing glamorous about being an alcoholic.”

Through the Addiction Treatment Recovery Center at IU West Thompson said she began to see that her disease is physical, spiritual and emotional. “If I hadn’t accepted that this is a disease and it is all encompassing, I may never have found my road to recovery,” said Thompson.

She also found people in her group that held her accountable. She connected with those people on a deep level.

“I grew up in a household that forced me to be stoic, to hide my feelings. When I got into this group I had to dig deep. I had to open up and be honest and authentic and when I didn’t, there were people there who would call me out,” said Thompson, the mother of two adult children. For a long time, she used her family as an excuse to get sober. “Through this program I learned you don’t get sober for someone else; you do it for yourself,” said Thompson.

Through the IU Health Addiction Treatment Recovery Center physicians, nurse practitioners, therapists, peer recovery coaches and nurses work together to help break the cycle of addiction.

“The focus of treatment here is to let people know that they are important and welcome and that recovery is possible. We offer a joint medical and therapeutic approach that allows us to treat the whole person when they’re ready – even same day appointments,” said Trisha Palencer, a therapist and director of the program.

The program includes group psychotherapy and education, and individual and family therapy. The goal is to help individuals improve their relationships with others as they work toward recovery.

“I’ve tried to rewrite my past so many times,” said Thompson. “I’ve felt guilty for the relationships that I’ve damaged and yet I’ve learned that I can’t help anyone until I can say, ‘Cynthia, you’re OK.”

Elementary teacher, wife, mother, Purdue fan – Second bout of sarcoma

She’s dedicated her life to teaching and now Lisa Fankhauser is using the same determination in fighting cancer.

By IU Health Senior Journalist T.J. Banes,

The young lives of second through fifth graders have been touched by her devotion. Her own three children have learned about her abundant love, and her husband of 33 years supports her determination.

At 55, Lisa Fankhauser is bringing on her “A game” – giving it her “All” to face a second bout of cancer. The timing is bad; but she knows that’s how life works sometimes. As an elementary teacher she is accustomed to expecting the unexpected.

It was 2004 when she was first diagnosed with Synovial sarcoma (SS), a rare type of cancer that affects the soft tissues supporting the bones and organs in her body. Under the care of IU Health Dr. Daniel Wurtz she underwent surgery on her left leg. The procedure included removal of the sarcoma in her hamstring and a benign bone tumor in her femur – replacing it with a cadaver bone and steel rod.

Three years later the cancer began to spread to her lungs. She became a patient of IU Health oncologist Dr. Daniel Rushing and began a chemotherapy regime. After a clear scan, Fankhauser thought she’d beat the enemy.

A native of Munster, Fankhauser was number four of five children who grew up to become a diehard Purdue fan. Her father is a Boilermaker and four of his five children attended Purdue. She met her husband Jerry at the West Lafayette campus and they were married 33 years ago. Together they have three children – a daughter, Jordan Keen who lives in Michigan, and sons Trey, who lives in Crown Point, and Luke who lives in in Gainesville, Fla. The family lived most of their life in Lafayette where Fankhauser’s husband taught at Purdue and she was an elementary teacher at Wyandotte Elementary.

“I think my favorite thing about teaching is I love the smiles I get from kids from kids and every day is a new day,” said Fankhauser. “When you see something clicks with them, it just makes my day. I love serving others and children have always had a place in my heart.” For Christmas this year she bought ginger bread house kits for all 20 students in her second grade class. She also sent a note home to parents letting them know her cancer had returned. In addition to teaching she loves Cubs baseball and once decorated her classroom in a Cubs theme.

She also loves Purdue sports. Her favorite games are the first ones of the season when she can tailgate with friends and family.

She was in the stands of Mackey Arena the first week in December when Purdue faced off against second-ranked Virginia. Purdue dominated and the game ended in a 69-40 victory over the defending national champions. It was a moment that would come back to offer inspiration to Fankhauser later as she again faced her cancer treatments.

Her husband accepted a job at the University of Florida and Fankhauser was preparing to retire and enjoy the southern sunshine. But in November as she was helping her daughter move, Fankhauser was rubbing her sore shoulders when she noticed a fullness. A large mass was discovered on her right side. The cancer had returned.

“I have thought many times about that amazing Purdue win over Virginia. Purdue dominated and I thought ‘we’re back; we can do this,’” said Fankhauser. “That’s how I feel now. No one wants to hear they have cancer again. My kids are older and I feel like I’m in a good place and want to get rid of it once and for all.”

Under the care of Dr. Rushing she began 18 weeks of chemotherapy and faces surgery to remove the mass.

“Even as I was preparing to move to Florida we still feel comfortable sticking with our plan to have chemo and surgery here. I have such confidence in the expertise at IU Health that goes back 2004. I feel like I’m in the best possible place I can be.”

85 Things to Do Besides Smoking

The best way to break a bad habit is to replace it with something else. Quickly coming up with an alternative to smoking can feel near impossible. After all, craving a cigarette pecks at you like an insistent toddler in the candy aisle. Here’s an at-the-ready list to help you say no.

Just reading through this list can help strengthen your resolve. Try a few and track what helps. Keep the list growing by adding your own.

Right This Moment

  1. Eat crunchy, fresh vegetables
  2. Eat a piece of candy.
  3. Chew on a toothpick.
  4. Chew gum.
  5. Take deep breaths
  6. Drink a cold glass of water.
  7. Eat a popsicle.
  8. Brush and floss your teeth.
  9. Get the mail.
  10. Think about your reasons for quitting smoking.
  11. Take a shower.
  12. March in place.

Get Out & About

  1. Take a drive.
  2. Walk the dog.
  3. Read a book.
  4. Go to the library.
  5. Go to a museum.
  6. Take photographs.
  7. Go fishing.
  8. Watch the sunrise.
  9. Play in the snow or rain.
  10. Go hiking.
  11. Go to an amusement park.
  12. Take a walk in the woods or park.
  13. Enjoy a sunset.

Stay Inside

  1. Call a friend.
  2. Play with your cat.
  3. Write a friend an email.
  4. Do a crossword puzzle.
  5. Keep your hands busy with knitting, crocheting or needlepoint.
  6. Take a relaxing bath.
  7. Give yourself a manicure and pedicure.
  8. Take a nap.
  9. Read a magazine.
  10. Call someone.
  11. Sing.
  12. Explore your genealogy.
  13. Make a scrapbook.
  14. Write a letter.
  15. Make a healthy snack.
  16. Write a poem.
  17. Drink a cup of tea.
  18. Make a card for someone.
  19. Write a list of things you’re grateful for.

Feeling Productive?

  1. Scrub the floor.
  2. Organize a drawer or closet.
  3. Pull weeds.
  4. Go grocery shopping.
  5. Wash your car.
  6. Organize your computer files.
  7. Do the dishes.
  8. Clean out the refrigerator.
  9. Volunteer time to an organization that needs help.
  10. Balance your checkbook.
  11. Learn to play a musical instrument.
  12. Visit a retirement home.
  13. Paint a room.
  14. Organize photos.
  15. Do laundry.
  16. Work on your car.
  17. Learn something new.
  18. Pick up litter.
  19. Wax the car.
  20. Cut the grass.
  21. Plant a tree.

With Your Loved Ones

  1. Play a game with a friend.
  2. Read a story to your kids.
  3. Hug someone.
  4. Toss a ball with your kids.
  5. Play a card game.
  6. Share a kiss with someone you love.

On Your Own … Or With Others!

  1. Watch a movie.
  2. Take a walk.
  3. Go on a bike ride.
  4. Bake someone cookies.
  5. Practice doing a new hair style.
  6. Walk around the mall.
  7. Do a jigsaw puzzle.
  8. Exercise.
  9. Make a dinner reservation.
  10. Play a video game.
  11. Go bowling.
  12. Go antique shopping.
  13. Play mini golf.
  14. Treat yourself to a massage.


Additional Resources

Is 2020 your year to quit smoking? Join the ranks of former smokers who’ve quit for life.

Burmese nurse welcomes immigrants to south-side physicians’ office

Olivia Munday is proud of her Burmese roots and works to make others feel comfortable seeking medical care.

By Maureen Gilmer, IU Health senior journalist,

Olivia Munday has come a long way since arriving in the United States as a refugee from Burma in 2008.

The IU Health nurse works in the Epler Parke primary care office on the south side of Indianapolis, where, as a Burmese immigrant, she is a welcome presence for the growing number of people who have come to this country, many fleeing ethnic and religious persecution in their homeland.

Munday worked hard to get her nursing degree while living in Pennsylvania, then moved to Battle Creek, Mich., for a job, before coming to Indianapolis. Today (Jan. 7) marks her one-year anniversary as a nurse in the IU Health/Riley physicians’ office.

It’s a role – and a place – that suits her, she said.

Currently, an estimated 14,000 Burmese people live in Indianapolis, primarily in Perry Township and Southport on the city’s south side. Munday lives in the area as well, with her husband, Scott, and their two dogs and attends Burmese Baptist Church.

Because of its location, the Epler Parke office attracts a growing number of Burmese patients, both adult and pediatric. Munday understands the challenges they face.

“I kind of know what they went through and how the medical system works over there,” she said.

For one, there was no appointment system as is common in the U.S. People would walk into clinics and just wait for as long as they had to before someone would see them. Also, language is obviously a hurdle for many.

In Burma, also known as Myanmar, Burmese is the official language, but not everyone speaks it. There are eight dialects for eight states in the region, Munday said. She speaks Burmese and Falam, a Chin dialect, and does her best to welcome all who visit the office.

“I can help some of the people and understand the challenges of others,” she said.

Munday, who grew up caring for her mother in Burma, is a natural caregiver.

“I love helping people,” she said. “I like to explain things and share knowledge. And I want to be in a position where I can help people coming into this country.”

And if being a nurse is not enough, Munday is enrolled in a nurse practitioner program and expects to graduate in 2022 and work in family practice.

Photos by Mike Dickbernd, IU Health visual journalist,

New Nurse: Rachel’s Story – Week 8

As new IU Health Methodist Hospital nurse Rachel Ketelaar returns from vacation, her confidence increases in her eighth week.


  • Back from my vacation and also back in the PCU unit. Today didn’t seem as nerve-wracking. I took on the 3-patient load and things went quite smoothly. I definitely am feeling more comfortable giving medications through a G-tube, which has always been a daunting task for me. Also feeling more confidence I can get all my charting done without feeling frantic.


  • Another T2P class for new nurses (Transition to Practice). Just to explain: In our orientation process, they give new nurses about 8 weeks on our unit and then bring us back to see how we’re doing and teach us about transitioning to work by ourselves. Today was the first of six sessions I’ll attend in the next few months.
  • Today’s session was on mindfulness: being aware of our surroundings and turning our brains off to the thoughts running through our heads. It made me realize that even when doing an assessment or giving medications, I am constantly thinking of the next 10 things I need to do. Nurses must always look ahead but that’s not always the safest thing for the patient. It’s better to be present in the moment and focused on the task at hand. So the instructor had us sit with eyes closed for 10 minutes and focus on our breathing. I realized how many times my mind wanders and how many times I had to refocus on breathing. It was crazy! With practice, I hope to start practicing mindfulness at work, in relationships with friends and family, and with myself too.
  • A second T2P lesson was on effective communication. We shared stories of where we hadn’t communicated effectively on our unit. The instructor gave us strategies on being comprehensive, yet clear, in what we communicate. These T2P sessions seem basic but are really helpful in interactions with patients and staff.


  • Back in the PCU again and a big moment for me. Ty had a health appointment in the morning, so for the first time, I was completely on my own for about an hour! I felt nervous about this, but also more confident in my abilities as a nurse. When Ty came back and I gave her an update on our patients, I realized: I can do this, I can be an independent nurse in a few weeks!
  • I have 3 more weeks until I’m on my own. That’s crazy! In these next 3 weeks, I have things to work on, including doing admissions/discharges on my own and calling physicians.

Read more:

New Nurse: Rachel’s Story – Week 1
New Nurse: Rachel’s Story – Week 2
New Nurse: Rachel’s Story – Week 3
New Nurse: Rachel’s Story – Week 4
New Nurse: Rachel’s Story – Week 5
New Nurse: Rachel’s Story – Week 6
New Nurse: Rachel’s Story – Week 7
New Nurse: Rachel’s Story – Week 8

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