It was a Friday afternoon, February 4, 1977, just a little after 5:20 P.M. Office workers in Chicago’s central business district called “The Loop” were headed home. Many rode the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) elevated trains: the Ravenswood, the Lake—Dan Ryan, and the Evanston Express.

The elevated tracks formed a rectangular pattern above Lake Street, Wabash Avenue, Van Buren Street, and Wells Street. In 1977, three lines operated on the Loop. Each line operated in a different direction. Wikipedia, “1977 Chicago Loop derailment,” describes the situation: “The Ravenswood Line operated counter-clockwise around the loop, while the Evanston Express operated clockwise opposite from the Ravenswood trains. The Lake—Dan Ryan Line operated in both directions, but only used the Lake and Wabash legs of the Loop.”

On this day, a switching issue forced dispatchers to reroute the Evanston Express to run counter-clockwise around the Loop instead of its normal clockwise route. This put the Evanston Express on the tracks normally used by the Ravenswood and westbound Lake—Dan Ryan. The Ravenswood train would have to stop short and wait for the Evanston Express to clear the tracks before it could proceed. Likewise, the Lake—Dan Ryan would have to stop and wait for the Ravenswood to clear the track before it could proceed.

At approximately 5:25 P.M., a Ravenswood train was stopped on the tracks, just past the northeast turn, waiting for the Evanston Express to clear the State/Lake platform. The Lake—Dan Ryan approached the Ravenswood train, but it neglected to stop. Instead, ignoring both track and cab signals, it proceeded and bumped into the Ravenswood train.

What happened next could have been a scene from a horror movie. After the initial impact, the operator of the Lake—Dan Ryan train continued to apply traction power. Therefore, the rear cars of the Lake—Dan Ryan train continued to push forward. That pinned the front of the train against the waiting Ravenswood on the right-angle turn of the track. The pressure from behind caused the coupling bar between the first two cars to bend. The coupled ends of these first two cars were pushed up into the air. Then the third car was forced upwards until the three train cars jackknifed and fell off the tracks. The first train car fell onto a track support structure. The second and third cars fell all the way to the street below. The fourth car dangled between the track and street. The last four cars remained on the tracks, still in the Randolph/Wabash station.

Eleven people were killed, and more than one hundred and sixty were injured. The cause of the crash was determined to be operator error.

—By Karen Centowski

To see the video “El Crash Chicago 1977 (ABC News Special Report)—You Tube,” go to



If you are still paying cash for your groceries or fast food or anything else, you have probably received change and lots of it. Sometimes it feels like a conspiracy to take away your fives and tens and twenties and fill your pockets with pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters. How does this happen?

Blame sales tax for part of your grief. For example, if you buy an item for $12.99 and you have to pay sales tax at the rate of 8.25%, you are paying $1.07 in sales tax. That makes the total $14.06. You receive $.94 in change to weigh down your purse or fill up your pocket. Say you are at Jewel-Osco and purchase $68.69 worth of MightyVine tomatoes, kiwi, chocolate Easter eggs, orange juice, cinnamon rolls, paper products, and Pepsi, you will pay .66 sales tax at the $1.75 rate plus 2.82 in sales tax at the $8.25 rate for a total of $71.11. That means the cashier hands you $.89 in change. More pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters!

What can you do with all of this change? Sometimes a store will offer you the chance to donate the pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters to a good cause. For example, ACE Hardware offered the customer the opportunity to round up the bill to the next highest whole number and donate that change to a charity ACE had chosen. Therefore, if you paid $12.27 for a new sump pump hose, you could pay $13.00 in cash and donate the $.83 to the charity. Everybody wins!

It is no accident that the Salvation Army bell ringers stand next to the exit door at Jewel during the Christmas holiday season. Sit in the parking lot and watch what happens. When a customer comes out of the store, he passes near the bell ringers. Many customers reach into their pockets and pull out cash and change to throw into the kettle. That gets rid of the change and helps a good cause, too.

Maybe you go home, empty out your pockets, and throw the change into a container such as a large jar or coffee can or empty plastic Coke bottle. Maybe you use an empty plastic water jug. One man threw his change into a five-gallon bucket in his bedroom closet. Individually, the coins seem almost worthless.

Five or six years later, you look at all this loose change you’ve been hoarding. You sure could sure use some cash to go on vacation. Why not use this stash of change? How can you get it converted to cash?

First, check with your bank where you have a checking or savings account. Will they convert the change into cash for you? Is there a fee? Do you have to roll the coins in paper sleeves? According to, not all banks will accept the loose change. In fact, the U.S. Department of the Treasury does not require that banks take your stash of coins. Why not? Coins take up room, and they are heavy to transport. Counting machines are expensive to own and maintain.

Some grocery stores have counting machines in the front of the store. According to the article, Coinstar machines, which can count up to $3,000, are the most popular. The machine will count the coins and give you a voucher to redeem for cash at the store’s register. Expect to pay a fee of 10.9 per cent or more.

—By Karen Centowski

To see a video “COWPOTE BROADCAST June 5, 2012 called “Save your change and you will be rich,” go to

Free IV CLASS at American Home Health

Free IV CLASS at American Home Health

In this class we will cover the following:

  1. Peripheral IV Insertion
  2. Central Venous Line Access (CVL)
  3. Port-A-Cath

Date: April 19, 2018
Time: 10:00 A.M. – 2:00 P.M.
Instructor: Cynthia McKenna, Clinical Manager
Cost: Free
Address: 1660 N. Farnsworth Ave., Suite 3, Aurora, IL 60505


  1. Phone: 630-236-3501
  2. Web: (Description: “RSVP for IV Class”)




When recent media stories focused on Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein and his history of sexual harassment, the reader might have dismissed this as more Hollywood “trash.” Surely this type of behavior does not occur in other occupations such as nursing. Wrong! In fact, home health nurses often deal with sexual harassment by patients.

On December 20, 2017, Medscape conducted an online poll of nurses. According to an article entitled “Me, Too! For Home Care Providers,” “73% of nurses polled said that they had been sexually harassed by patients.” The harassment could have been anything from offensive jokes and sexual comments to inappropriate touching.

Why would this occur so frequently in home health? The article, “Me Too! For Home Care Providers,” says that the conditions are right for this to occur. Home health nurses provide care in the homes of the clients. The nurse is often alone with the client. The client is on his “home turf” and may feel emboldened to act inappropriately. Sometimes the client’s medical condition may impair his ability to behave appropriately. For example, the client may have suffered a stroke which has affected his behavior.

Both federal and state laws forbid sexual harassment. The article “It’s Not Just Hollywood: Sexual Harassment in Nursing” at lists the following steps a nurse can take when a patient behaves inappropriately:

  • Set boundaries early. What can begin as a seemingly innocent joke can quickly escalate to an onslaught of sexual commentary.
  • Make it clear the attention is unwanted. Sometimes changing the subject or an unamused look isn’t enough to get your point across.
  • Report the harassment to your supervisor. They may be able to reassign the patient to another nurse.
  • Do not be alone with the patient. If you are unable to have the patient reassigned, bring in a coworker.

It is very important for nurses to document every instance of sexual harassment by a patient. The documentation must be very specific. “Me, Too! For Home Care Providers” gives the following example of documentation on the case of inappropriate touching: “The patient touched my left breast.”

After receiving a report of sexual harassment, the supervisor and upper management will investigate the situation and take necessary action. This may include reviewing clinical notes, interviewing other nurses on the case, and counseling clients and care-givers. Every part of the investigation must be documented.

If it is possible that the client’s behavior may be caused by a clinical condition such as a stroke, the supervisor and upper management need to contact the patient’s physician to seek assistance. It may be necessary for the provider to discontinue services to the client.

—By Karen Centowski

RNs or LPNs Needed For One Year Old in Chicago



RN (Registered Nurse) or LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse)


Chicago, IL


M is a one year old boy with Myotonic Dystrophy. His life is supported by having a Ventilator (LTV 115), Tracheostomy, and G-Tube.

Myotonic dystrophy is characterized by progressive muscle wasting and weakness. People with this disorder often have prolonged muscle contractions (myotonia) and are not able to relax certain muscles after use.

Shifts Available:

M needs your help with days, pms and nights.

Apply at:

Home Health Nurse Job Description

General Purpose: Provides quality nursing care to the client according to physician’s orders and in accordance with agency policies and procedures.

Supervision Received: Position reports to and receives supervision from the Team Leader and/or the Nursing Supervisor.

Supervision Executed: None

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  1. Provides quality and safe nursing care to the client according to physician’s orders; provides nursing care that reflects the client’s healthcare plans; promotes the health, safety, and development of the client.
  2. Implements procedures and treatments accurately and documents these appropriately.
  3. Writes progress notes legibly and completely every two hours at a minimum. Completes and accurately documents thorough assessments every shift and as needed. Assessments will include vital signs, a review of systems, functional status, a review of medication actions and side effects, sensory status, integumentary system, pain and effectiveness of pain management methods
  4. Communicates and cooperates with every team member including teachers, therapist, nursing supervisor, physicians, Durable Medical Equipment Providers (DME), parents/guardians to implement and coordinate an effecting nursing plan of care.
  5. Maintains client equipment per home schedule and documents maintenance on task sheets.
  6. Utilizes equipment and manages supplies in appropriate, safe, and cost effective manner.
  7. Provides a clean, orderly, and safe environment for the client.
  8. Administers medications and treatments according to physician orders, completes documentation legibly, and reports any undesirable effects to doctor and nurse supervisor as needed.
  9. Provides or assists with activities of daily living using standard nursing practices.
  10. Completes interim doctor’s orders, makes changes in nursing plan of care, communicates changes to family and staff, and forwards orders to office within 24 hours.
  11. Reports for duty on time and with dependability using clockwork whenever available.
  12. Promotes teamwork by sharing information and with open communication to solve problems.
  13. Responds promptly to client/family requests; promotes customer satisfaction.
  14. Provides staff development and hands-on training to ensure quality nursing care.
  15. Performs all duties within the parameters of the Nurse Practice Act.
  16. Complies with all state, federal, local laws, and American Home Health Corporation’s Policies and Procedures.
  17. Participates in client case conferences and team meetings.
  18. Remains current in clinical knowledge base and skills. Maintains knowledge base by participating in continuing education.
  19. Keeps personnel file complete and up to date.

Peripheral Duties:

  1. Participates in special meetings or committees.

Desired Minimum Qualifications:

  1. Education and Experience: Current State of Illinois nursing license as Registered Nurse or Licensed Practical Nurse with at least one year of experience in nursing.
  2. Knowledge and Skills: Ability to communicate effectively both orally and in writing. Ability to handle multiple tasks simultaneously. Effective time management skills. Ability to utilize critical thinking skills to resolve untoward issues in collaboration with peers, office support and supervisory staff in support of the plan of care.
  3. Special Requirements: Knowledge of approved and non-approved abbreviations used in nursing.
  4. Tools and Equipment: Fax machine, copier, shredder and pen.
  5. Physical Demands: Ability to see, hear, and speak; to sit for long periods of time; to stand, bend, ability to lift up to 50 pounds for private duty and 20 pounds for intermittent.
  6. Work Environment: The noise level is moderate.
    While the job description identifies essential functions of the job, if an applicant is disabled and therefore challenged by any of these functions, American Home Health Corporation will provide reasonable accommodations to allow an otherwise qualified applicant to participate in the position of Home Health Nurse.


  1. I have reviewed and understand the above job description and believe it to be accurate and complete, and I can successfully fulfill each duty or task. I also agree that management retains the right to change this position description at any time.
  2. I agree to pursue the responsibilities outlined above and to understand that this document will be used as the basis for evaluation once a year.
  3. Requirements are representative of minimum levels of knowledge, skills and/or abilities. To perform this job successfully, the incumbent will possess the abilities or aptitudes to perform each duty proficiently.
  4. This position requires a background check.

Revised 08/22/2014

Apply at: