July 28, 2014

Every job comes with its hazards. You can easily have accidents in any workplace environment. Granted, some jobs are more dangerous than others obviously.  But, for nurses, the ones who make a living taking care of the sickness and injuries in others, we must try to avoid the common  ailments that can happen to us while working at the hospital. Additionally, nursing has the second highest rate of non-fatal work-related injuries of all modern U.S. professions!

Reasons for high amounts of injuries:

  • Long periods of standing (causing exhaustion)
  • Working harder due to under-staffing/staff shortages
  • Handling too heavy of weight
  • Not adequately being educated by employers about personal safety measures
  • Increased patient loads

Common Injuries

Back pain surprisingly is extremely common among nurses. Remember the cliche saying, “lift with your legs, not with your back”? I actually mean remember it! Avoid pulling your back out. Back pain is common especially due to job shortages and needing to assist patients by physically moving them without proper assistance. Nearly 50% of nurses have reported instances of back pain suffering. If we could equip our facilities with proper tools for lifting patients, especially those elderly and overweight, we could reduce the amount of healthcare staff hurting themselves.

Foot problems are common as well. To combat this, don’t compromise on shoe comfort. Because nurses are always on their feet, you might as well invest in some super comfy kicks to rock around the hospital in during your long-shifts. Don’t be cheap when it comes to the house for those little piggies. Or, you’ll risk a foot or ankle injury that’ll make you go “wee, wee, wee, all the way home”–injured from work.

Wrist sprains are also common from extensive typing and such. Be sure to try and rest up those hands with as many breaks as you can squeeze in.

Cuts happen commonly in the workplace for nurses, too. A teeny hangnail that turns into a cut or papercut needs to be treated properly STAT. Because you’re working in an environment that is crawling with bacteria, the most minor little scrape could easily escalate into a full fledged nightmare with infection. Also, nurses are at risk because their workplace environment is full of sharp objects like needles and sutures.

Washing your hands constantly can only protect one so much from picking up some of the sicknesses floating around a nurse’s workplace. Also, infectious disease risks are high for anyone who is exposed to so many sick people on a daily basis. Hand-to-mouth transfer, skin absorption, ocular irritation and respiratory inhalation can transfer a number of pathogens onto caregivers like nurses. It’s crucial to constantly be on guard by wearing proper shields against these.

Assault and violence surprisingly is a factor nurses must be weary of unfortunately. Most nurses will tell you they’ve been hit, screamed at, bit, scratched, or had an item thrown at them. Patients, families and friends going through a lot of stress can  have extreme violent outbursts that they unfairly unleash onto medical staff. It is important to speak up if you feel that you or a coworker is in danger. Be weary of angry guests and families in the hospital as well as inappropriate behaviors. And, don’t be shy to report any bizarre behaviors you may notice at work. Better safe than sorry!

Considering the nurse staffing shortage and all the possible ways to get injured while on the floor, its super important to be conscious of all the possible ways to avoid harm. After all, as a healthcare provider, you don’t want to become a patient yourself after hurting yourself while working!

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July 22, 2014
A healthy nurse is a happy nurse.

A healthy nurse is a happy nurse.

Studies show that stress levels may highly be affected by the foods you eat—especially if you don’t have time to sit down and eat the proper daily recommendations of nutritious foods.  Taking on stressful tasks as a travel nurse isn’t something out of the ordinary. Luckily, there are foods that can help with your stress levels at times you are feeling overwhelmed.

Unfortunately, there are foods on the opposite end of the spectrum that can trigger stress receptors and send them into over drive. Typically, “trigger foods” are more accessible in stressful times than what should actually be consumed in frantic times.

Stray Away From Aggravations

Travel nurse positions can be a bit of an overload at times. Make sure you aren’t making things harder on yourself by consuming the wrong foods and drinks. Even on the go, keep conscious of what you are putting into your body because it may be causing you to feel worse. It will be a lot easier to keep your patients feeling their best if you are at your best as well!

 Foods and drinks that you want to stay away from that can aggravate stress include:

  • Coffee, cocoa, energy drinks, sodas, and tea- try to stay away from these common drinks if you are feeling a little overwhelmed and stressed. Although they provide a kick start to the day the neuro-stimulators, such as caffeine, have been linked to increasing stress levels.
  • Fast foods- takeaway foods and junk food may be of the easiest access to you but steer clear! Containing high levels of fat and carbs, junk food is far from packed with the vitamins and minerals you need to reduce stress.
  • Sugar- blood glucose levels increase when you are stressed and sugar should be avoided to ensure that you don’t develop a higher risk of becoming diabetic in these times.

Don’t get too down in the dumps; you don’t have to avoid all delicious beverages and food when you’re stressed! Remember: A happy nurse is a healthy nurse. If you are feeling a little overwhelmed or constantly on the go, reduce your anxiety with some of these quick and healthy alternatives!

 Keep these foods near and dear when stressed:

  • Water- being that 70% of our body is made up of water, it is important to keep your body functioning at its best, so you must stay hydrated without adding the sugar and artificial flavoring that comes along with other drinks. Keep it simple and start feeling better in no time!
  • Fresh fruits and veggies- these super foods are vital in keeping your body and mind in top condition as they are packed with an array of vitamins and minerals. For an added bonus, fresh fruits and vegetables are high in fiber to help your digestive system stay on track while stressed.
  • Fish- the omega fatty acids found in fish are excellent for heart health and reduce risks of developing heart diseases. If you seem to be forgetting things lately due to stress, fish is also high in choline, which is a natural memory booster!
  • Yogurt-make sure you’re eating a nutritional yogurt and not a sugar filled decoy! Nutritional yogurts contain essential vitamins and minerals that help in controlling nerve impulses, like calcium. You can even double up and add some fresh fruit to your yogurt and feel better in no time!

Plan for the day

You may not have hours on end to prepare and cook nutritional foods for every meal of the day, in turn that could actually stress you out more! Take it easy and design a meal plan in advance for the next day or even the week that includes some of these helpful super foods.

In order to get the jumpstart you need in the morning, it’s important to eat a big breakfast something like:

  • fresh fruits
  • oatmeal
  • yogurt

You’ll most likely be busy during lunchtime, so pack something light like:

  • Fresh vegetables
  • Cup of soup

Your breakfast should be able to hold you over throughout the day that is the goal, so come dinnertime you may still be pretty full! Prep for another small meal, something like:

  • Roasted vegetables
  • Grilled fish
  • Salad

Start feeling your best today! With these healthy food alternatives you should be less stressed in no time. Being a travel nurse you’re consistently on the go and helping patients so it’s important to be the best you can to provide your patients with the care they deserve. For more helpful healthy super food recipe ideas, check out this post from our friends at Allied Travel Careers.

No Comments | Tags: nursing issues, Travel Nurse Blogs, Travel Nurse Career, Travel nursing jobs, Uncategorized

July 22, 2014
travel nursing FAQs answered

travel nursing FAQs answered

From the basics to the benefits, before applying for travel nurse positions it’s good to know what you’re getting yourself into. Travel nursing is a good way to keep your career exciting and visit the places you’ve always wanted to while utilizing your well-deserved license.  Here are some FAQs to help ease your worries and better prepare you!

 The Basics

  1. What qualifications are needed to become a travel nurse?

You must be a graduate of an accredited nursing program within the United States or sometimes Canada, as well. You must be able to provide valid licensing or certificates, along with proof of your right to work in the U.S. Depending on your specialty and the medical facility, minimum experience requirements may vary. Typically, it is requested that travel nurses have at least 18 months of experience under their belt. Specific specialties such as psych, rehab, and med/surg may require a minimum of two years experience.

  1. Do I have to sign a long-term contract?

No, the assignments are typically 13 weeks long, some companies offer per diem positions too. Permanent positions are also available, in which case a long-term contract may be required. You always have the freedom to choose travel-nursing jobs that fit what you’re looking for.

  1. Where are travel nurse assignments located?

Through our search engine you are able to choose whatever destination you desire! You are eligible to select a specific location or search for travel assignments throughout the nation to see where best fits you. There is a wide range of medical facilities looking for travel nurses; you may want to work in teaching institutes, research facilities, or maybe you’re more comfortable with small health care centers or community hospitals, the choice is yours!

  1. What is considered full-time for a travel-nurse?

For travel nurses working eight-10 hour shifts, a 40-hour work week is considered a full-time nurse. However, 36-hour work weeks are considered full-time for travel nurses that work 12-hour shifts. Typically, contracts will guarantee a minimum weekly payment agreement for full-time schedules.

 Housing

  1. What type of housing accommodations can I expect?

Typically, travel nurses share a two-bedroom, two-bathroom condominium or apartment that is close to their workplace. If you choose to find your own housing, the agency will arrange monthly rent stipends. Each travel nursing company is different; make sure to explore your options with your recruiter specifically.

  1. Do agencies pay for 100% of my housing?

It usually depends on the agency, but if you take the agency provided housing then yes. If you choose to find your own place, and go with the stipend option then as long as you can find something within the budget it should also be covered by the agency. Usually, travel nurse companies pay for utilities, up to a certain limit, as well. Luxuries such as cable and internet may not be covered by the agency, but be sure to check with your recruiter!

  1. Is the housing provided furnished?

Yes, the housing provided is always furnished, with utilities already set up by the agency you’re working with. Take note, some agencies only provide the minimum such as:

Bedroom:

  • 1 queen size bed
  • 1 night stand
  • 1 dresser
  • 1 lamp

Dining area:

  • small table
  • 4 chairs

Living room:

  • 1 couch
  • 1 chair
  • end table
  • coffee table
  • 1 lamp
  • TV stand

Extra accommodations such as dishes, linens, TV, vacuum, etc. is available sometimes at an extra cost, depends on the agency.

  1. Will I have a roommate?

Usually, no. However, some short-term assignments may require you to room with somebody. Before you even apply, this should be addressed by the agency though.

  1. May I bring a pet?

Yes, you are allowed to bring a pet! It is something you will definitely need to talk with your recruiter about prior to your assignment because they will have to find you pet friendly housing. You will most likely need to pay a pet deposit as well.

 The Benefits

  1. How much will I be paid?

As a travel nurse, pay rate depends on your specialty, the facility, and it’s location. Generally, pay rates for travel nurses are higher than that of equally experienced permanent staff members.

  1. Will I be reimbursed for travel expenses?

Travelers are usually reimbursed for their round-trip mileage at the rate of 30 cents per mile and tax-free! Travel nurse companies typically pay the traveler directly.

  1. Do agencies offer health care and dental coverage?

Yes, most agencies do offer health care and dental coverage; packages may vary depending on the company. Before you sign a contract, make sure you learn about all the options and details about the type of coverage offered.

  1. As a travel nurse, will I be eligible for 401k programs?

Many of the travel nurse agencies offer retirement or 401k programs. The programs vary by company, so be sure to check the details.

 

No Comments | Tags: Destinations, nursing issues, Nursing Shortage, Nursing Shortage Solutions, Travel Nurse Agency, Travel Nurse Blogs, Travel Nurse Career, Travel Nurse Destinations, Travel nursing jobs, Uncategorized

July 21, 2014

nurse patient boundaries

Most nurses join the healthcare profession because they genuinely care about other people and have compassionate hearts. Really, nurse’s ability to provide assistance and comfort is a virtue. Sometimes, however, what one considers innocent-support is not seen as professional. It may cause the nurse to cross over the invisible nurse and patient boundary line. Occasionally, due to the sensitive nature of certain situations, some are more susceptible to offering support that could be misconstrued. So how does a nurse keep a balanced level between supportive care without getting TOO involved? The line between therapeutic and improper is a line that varies depending on the particular situation. Nurses, especially travel nurses who may try to form friendships with patients because of them not knowing locals as well, can find themselves accidentally acting in a way that is not proper. However, the rules are confusing, let’s be honest!

The American Nurses Association’s (ANA) code of ethics states, “The nurse acts to safeguard the patient when his care and safety are affected by the incompetent, unethical, and illegal conduct of any person.” – See more at: http://www.nursingcenter.com/lnc/cearticle?tid=696139#sthash.lSB5kQ9M.dpuf

The best thing you can do to understand proper etqieuette between relationships with someone you’re treating, you’ve got to get schooled. In order to ensure your patient feels safe and that you do not accidentally jeopardize your career, its crucial to get yourself educated on what is appropriate and what is not. Read up on the literature out there and maybe even find a seasoned nurse that can help mentor you so that you never run into any issues. At the same time, if you see a new nurse that may not know proper boundary protocol, try taking them under your wing and teaching them!

The American Nurses Association’s (ANA) code of ethics states, “The nurse acts to safeguard the patient when his care and safety are affected by the incompetent, unethical, and illegal conduct of any person.” – See more at: http://www.nursingcenter.com/lnc/cearticle?tid=696139#sthash.lSB5kQ9M.dpuf
The American Nurses Association’s (ANA) code of ethics states, “The nurse acts to safeguard the patient when his care and safety are affected by the incompetent, unethical, and illegal conduct of any person.” – See more at: http://www.nursingcenter.com/lnc/cearticle?tid=696139#sthash.lSB5kQ9M.dpuf
The American Nurses Association’s (ANA) code of ethics states, “The nurse acts to safeguard the patient when his care and safety are affected by the incompetent, unethical, and illegal conduct of any person.” – See more at: http://www.nursingcenter.com/lnc/cearticle?tid=696139#sthash.lSB5kQ9M.dpuf

What is the definition of “professional boundaries?”

The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN), says professional boundaries are “the spaces between the nurse’s power and the client’s vulnerability.” So what exactly does that mean? Well basically, it means that because you are the one in the position of the professional and they are in the position where they depend on your care, its important to conduct yourself in a way that makes your patient’s needs met safely. 

Different Levels of Boundary Crossing

Not all boundary crossing in created equal. It ranges from slight or accidental done as to help the needs of a patient to the other end of spectrum–wildly inappropriate behavior from nurse to a patient.

  • Boundary Crossing- These might be accidental or done with the best interest of the patient in mind. This is the most common form of boundary crossing that occurs between patient and healthcare professionals. Some examples of this would be a nurse disclosing/over-sharing too much personal information to someone they were treating.  This usually happens as a way to reassure or relate to the patient. But, despite the good intentions of doing so, it can interpreted as unprofessional or make the patient feel uncomfortable. Accepting gifts from a patient also is not okay. It may seem like a nice gesture, but it can become inappropriate. Also, giving excessive attention to a patient where it is not necessary is boundary-crossing. (However providing too little attention is also a big no no.)However, these mild behavioral slips usually do not lead to punishment or go unnoticed.
  • Boundary Violation- A common boundary violation is when nurses break the privacy provisions of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) by discussing or disclosing a patient’s personal information outside of for treatment purposes. Do not share intimate feelings or personal problems (and absolutely never talk about anything of a sexual nature–that crosses into the next level, sexual misconduct.)
  • Sexual Misconduct- This is absolutely the worst level on the totem pole of boundary-crossing in nursing. ANYTHING between a nurse and patient that can be interpreted as sexual in nature falls under sexual misconduct. You can’t hint around about kissing (or heaven forbid worse actions) to any patient or relatives/family of the one you are treating. You also cannot solicit dates from any of these people. A sexual relationship with a patient, even if it is started by the patient or they offer consent, still is sexual misconduct.

Stepping the line of personal boundaries in the nursing profession is a slippery slope. In order to make sure that nothing you do ends up escalating negatively or so that your innocent actions don’t get interpreted the wrong way, be mindful of some practices you should shun in your practice. Some examples of  things to avoid while in the professional setting include:

  • Speaking of your own/your co-workers inabilities in the profession
  • Discussing topics with patients/their families that are outside of what is related to the practice
  • Singling out certain people–giving them excessive attention compared to other patients (or providing less attention)
  • Sharing secrets with guests
  • Feeling that you understand the patient more than other hospital staff
  • Making rude comments
  • Doing outside favors like getting groceries for patients
  • Flirting (obviously! Just don’t do it.)

To find more about proper nursing boundaries click here.

 

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July 14, 2014

I recently had the opportunity to Skype with an experienced recruiter from Next Medical Staffing, Brian Plunkett, that has helped countless travel nurses, as well as allied health professionals, land assignments throughout the past decade in the healthcare recruitment field. Although our conversation was brief, I learned a lot of useful information about what it takes to seriously stand out and make a great impression on travel nurse employers!

Screen Shot 2014-07-14 at 1.02.31 PM

An Interview with A Seasoned Travel Nurse Job Recruiter

Travel Nurse Source: Good morning, Brian! Thanks for chatting with me about some of the industry insider tips on how to rock a travel nurse phone interview. First, tell me about your career and what you do.

Brian Plunkett: Good morning. I’ve actually been in the travel nurse industry for almost ten years and recently had the opportunity to come on board with Next Medical Staffing. I work directly with the facilities in providing travel nurses to the hospitals; not only outpatient but also in home health programs. I also work with a team of recruiters that are working on a daily basis trying to match them with the best opportunities that we currently have.  So, its my job to make sure I have a lot of information from the hospitals about the positions so the recruiters are prepared to talk directly to the nurses.

Travel Nurse Source: Wow! Okay, I’m excited to learn some tricks of the trade from you. First off, how important is it to research whichever agency you are trying to get a job through?

Brian: Well, I think its very important. Whether you’re interviewing through the agency or the hospital that you do your homework first. Obviously in this day and age its very easy to go out on the web to their websites to get a good feel for the agency. And, when you’re talking to the recruiters you can ask them specific questions about their agency. The same goes for the hospital; if you have an opportunity to interview with a hospital you want to take a few moments to get information specifically if you haven’t already gotten from that recruiter that you can ask some of the questions to whoever you’re interviewing with.

Travel Nurse Source: So, what kind of questions should they ask the agency?

Brian: When it comes to the agency, you want to be sure as a traveler that you fully understand the whole process and how the agency is working directly with the hospital, or through vendor management system. You really want to make sure that you are familiar enough to know whether its going to take one day, two days, a week, whatever the time frame might be so that you, as a nurse,  are not disappointed when you don’t get an interview in 24 hours. Or, you don’t get an interview in a time-frame. So ask those questions when working with the recruiters to make sure you are very familiar with your pay patch and whether you know what the hospital’s expectations are. Also, its important to understand the process from beginning to end including compliance requirements so then when you are talking to the hospital you don’t need to talk to the nurse manager about [the process.] When you’re talking to a hospital its important to know their expectations in the unit you are interviewing for. For example; the nurse to patient ratio, what your hours are on the floor, etc because sometime we [recruiters] will be very general in saying its a 12 hour shift but they want you to realize it includes a half hour for lunch, break. Ask those questions so you know. Also ask about any call-off for any situations that may come up over your thirteen week assignment.

Travel Nurse Source: Okay, so when you’re about to have a phone interview for a travel nurse assignment, what materials should you have ready right in front of you for during the call?

Brian: You should always have your resume, application (or whatever you want to call it) information. You want to make sure you do because that is what the nurse recruiter is working from and they’re going to be asking specific questions off of that. Now, each agency refers to the paperwork/the documents that are sent over to the hospital differently. Some of them call them resumes, some of them call them applications, some of them will call them profiles. Whatever it is, make sure you have a copy of that document in front of you. For example, here at Next Medical Staffing, we have a beautiful, what I call a “state-of-the-art” application form that is completed by the nurse as well as the recruiter that is sent to the hospital…that’s what the hospital is looking at so you want to be sure that you have it as well in front of you while you are on the phone. So when they’re going through your work history or going through your checklist, you’re going to see what they’re referring to when they ask you specific questions about your time-frame or checklist. Your profile or your resume may not be what exactly what the nursing staffer is looking at because a lot of times agencies send their specific profiles or applications to the hospitals. So be sure to ask your recruiter for a copy of that!

Travel Nurse Source: After the interview is over, how long does it usually take for a nurse to find out whether they secured the position or not?

Brian: Oh good question! Usually instantaneously, make sure when you’re in the interview, a travel nurse should always ask, just like in any other job interview situation, for the offer. You know, ask specifically, “do you think I’m a good candidate for this position?”, “do you have any idea when the next orientation is?”, something to lead up to the fact that that nurse manager is going to make you that offer. It doesn’t necessarily mean you have the offer, but at least you’ve gotten one step closer to possibly getting the offer.

Travel Nurse Source: So what if you don’t get an offer immediately? What’s the protocol for a follow-up? A day or two later…or?

Brian: Well, as soon as you get off the phone with the the nurse manager/director of nursing or whoever you were interviewing with at the hospital, you want to call your recruiter immediately. Let them know that you just have completed the interview and that’s when you can share with the recruiter that you either have been offered verbally or specifically what the nurse manager has said. They may have said “well we have other candidates to interview for the position” and if they say “we’ll get back to your agency in a few days.” Be sure you share whatever information it was and always, always make sure you get the person’s [who interviewed you] name while you’re on the interview so you can relay that information to your recruiter because then your recruiter is going to talk to the account manager who works directly with the facility or through a vendor management then they are going to get on the phone with a contact person and they are going to relay that information and try to push for an offer whether its an email offer or verbal offer from the facility. So the more information you can provide your recruiter as a travel nurse, the better chance that the account manager is going to be able to provide that information to the hospital or the vendor for that position.

Travel Nurse Source: Ah, gotcha. So finally, what do the best “interview-ees” do to make themselves shine above the rest?

Brian: The ones who are prepared, they’ve done their homework about the hospital, they ask specific questions about the hospital, they’re ready to talk about themselves, etc. Remember you’re selling yourself to the hospital and you have to sell yourself as the best candidate. But, be prepared. Be prepared with the documents in front of you, with specific questions about the hospital, and also remember you’re a traveler so you’re going to be there for, let’s say thirteen weeks. Go ahead and ask the nurse manager or whoever is on the phone with you for the interview about the community itself. Show them that you’re really interested in coming to  Timbuktu or wherever it may be!  And let them know you’re really excited about the opportunity like, “what are some of the highlights of the community that I’m going to be staying in for the next however many weeks so that I can know what to do on my off hours.” Really make sure that you express the interest that you have in that location, in that facility, and that you are the best candidate for that opportunity. And hopefully, your recruiter has helped you out as well giving you some insight beforehand of the hospital.

Travel Nurse Source: Well, this has been very helpful! Thank you so much for your time and for sharing your expert advice with me!

Brian: Of course, I appreciated the opportunity.  Thanks, take care!

 

 

No Comments | Tags: Travel Nurse Agency, Travel Nurse Blogs, Travel Nurse Career, Uncategorized

July 8, 2014

taking children along on travel nurse assignments

Single parents consider careers in travel nursing for several reasons. A main reason is that travel RNs typically earn higher wages than nurses that don’t travel for work. Also, when a parent doesn’t have a significant other tying them down, the idea of traveling can be an exciting notion. As a single parent it can tough to bring home enough bacon without help from a second person so therefore earning more money is always a plus! And, its so fun to be able to jet set all over the country for little increments.

But…parents always want the best for their children. Ensuring they can provide for them, get the best education available and raise them in a happy environment are especially huge concerns for working single parents. Jugging the role of both mom and dad while taking care of patients at work can be a heavy burden.

The Biggest Worries Single Parents Have About Travel Nursing

  • Education- For school age children, is it okay to make them adjust and make new friends constantly? Would they be changing schools? How do I make sure that the location I take an assignment in has a good school system? If I choose online schooling, how do I ensure they keep up if I am busy working and unable to monitor them?
  • Moving- Is it going to be hard for my child(ren) to adjust to temporary homes? Are there easy and affordable ways to move our things?
  • Childcare- Who can watch my kids while I work since I won’t know that many people in a new location?

Yes, you can be a travel nurse and a good parent. It just takes extra planning! And remember: travel nursing is not for everyone.

Consider Your Particular Circumstances First

Sit down and weigh the Pro’s and Con’s. Think about how many kids you have, what ages they are, how far you are willing to travel, if you have relatives or family near by, whether you would be homeschooling, etc. Also, have a conversation with your children. Open dialogues can gain valuable insight into your children’s feelings. Some children would enjoy seeing new things and meeting other people. But, others would feel lost and lose a sense of home.

Things to Consider for Every Children of Different Ages

Toddler Age

When debating on choosing whether the travel nurse lifestyle would suit the life of your young child, under 5 years old, there’s a lot to consider. Firstly, do you think you can handle taking on the “terrible 2′s” while adjusting to new housing, work environments, and all the other changes?

Question: Do you have a plan for how you will find someone to look after your child while you are at work?

Answer: Luckily, some facilities have on-site daycare services available. Also, if you choose a destination that has family nearby, you can see if they will be willing to look after your children.

Question: How far from home will you be traveling?

Answer: Sometimes with a young child at home, it is in the best interest of them to be close enough to return home in case of emergency. Friends and family being close enough distance to you can really benefit you while raising a toddler-age kid on your own while working a high-demand job.

School Age

When children get a little older and enter elementary and middle school, things get a little more complicated for traveling.

Question: Will I be traveling during the entire year, or just when the school-year is not in session?

Answer: Many single parents who do travel nursing only choose far away travel assignments during the summer months when their child does not miss school or have to change systems. However, if you decide to do travel nursing all year, consider choosing assignments nearer to home. Another option is to consider an online charter school. That way, your child can get the same standard education as public school from the comfort of home and you can be there to help them between shifts so that your busy work life won’t affect their schoolwork.

 

Question: Is your school-age child mature enough to live a traveling lifestyle?

Answer: This is different for everyone. It takes communication and knowing your particular child’s needs to determine this. Also, at this age children begin making friends and relationships that they will have a harder time being away from while they accompany you on far away assignments.

Teens

When your child is in those years of transition right before adulthood, having them accompany you on travel nurse jobs can either be easier…or much more difficult.

Question: Does my teen enjoy the new experiences that come with traveling?

Answer: As you child grows up, they may start to crave the adventure of living in new places. Or, they may have a school they attend that they don’t want to leave and friends they are too strongly attached to that would cause them to want to stay at home. Fortunately, by the teen years they will have more developed personalities and taste so you will be able to know what is best for them.

 

Question: What benefits would traveling along on my nurse assignments provide for my teen?

Well, what better way for them to see the country and possibly visit colleges they wish to attend after high school. Also, its an opportunity to really bond with them as they blossom towards adulthood.

In Conclusion

Travel nursing can be super rewarding and challenging. Research it before making the plans to take on big changes as a single parents. But, don’t rely on preconceived notions that its either impossible to achieve or easily obtainable. Travel nursing jobs are great, but just like many other things for single parents, can be a bit difficult.

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June 23, 2014
Healthy caffeine alternatives for traveling nurses fighting jet-lag.

Healthy caffeine alternatives for traveling nurses fighting jet-lag.

According to LiveScience’s caffeine info-graphic, as Americans we are the top consumers of coffee. Drinking caffeine has many benefits such as decreased risks of head and neck cancer, avid coffee drinkers have a slightly smaller likelihood of developing depression than those who avoid consumption, and most of all it boosts our mood and provides us with the energy we need to keep motivated throughout the day.

As a traveling nurse you know how important it is to beat jet lag and keep your mind and body in top shape! It takes about one day for each time zone crossed for our core temperature to adapt completely. And sleep is very likely to be difficult for a few days. However, as a travel nurse you most likely only have a few hours before arriving at your destination and starting your new job and it is very important to keep yourself energized while working with patients.

No coffee, no problem.

The strong aroma of coffee and its dreadful stains may not sit well with everyone. If you’re not a fan of coffee, don’t lose hope and even if you do love coffee, you may just want to change it up.  There are a lot of conflicting reports about whether coffee helps or hurts us. Such as, how the caffeine in coffee increases your stress hormones, which frequently increases insulin and inflammation causing you to feel shoddy. While on the contrary, it’s believed that coffee is the single best source for antioxidants– minus all the sugar and milk.

Substitutes for caffeine drinks that offer similar focus and wakeful results are as follows:

  1. Green Tea- contains slightly less caffeine than a standard cup of Joe but gives you just the boost you need without the coffee jitters. Green tea is also packed with disease fighting benefits and is great for lowering your cholesterol.
  2. Smoothies- Nuts are filled with protein and fiber, so mix it up and have a nutty smoothie made with healthy alternatives such as almond milk, protein powder, and nut butter, like almond or pecan, to help keep you blood sugar levels from dropping.
  3. Black Tea- It’s packed with antioxidants and has more caffeine than the above green tea alternative. Some different blends of black tea include “Awake,” “Focus,” and Organic Chai”– made by Tazo.
  4. Wheatgrass Juice- it’s a natural energy supplement and is known as a liquid shot of essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Whether you like the taste or not, there is no denying that it’s one of the most nourishing juices.
  5. Chai- it’s smooth, creamy flavor tricks your mind into thinking that it’s coffee. Commonly made with black tea, milk, and a variety of  nutritionally beneficial spices such as cinnamon, ginger, or cardamom.
  6. Iced Lemon Water- the cold water will kick-start your metabolism and the energizing effects of zesty lemon will stimulate your senses immediately making you feel more alert.

Not Thirsty? Try some energy boosting snacks!

Along with changing up your morning caffeine intake, you can continue to raise your motivation throughout the day with some healthy snacks. Snacking keeps your metabolism kicking and is a great way to boost your energy–if done correctly.

Always keep these nutritious energy boosting snacks handy!

  1. Fruits- such as bananas, apples, and oranges. They are easily portable and loaded with vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber. Any fruit is great for times when you need a little lift!
  2. Yogurt- it’s packed with protein which keeps you fuller for longer and gives you a bigger energy boost with healthy carbs. Change it up and add some cereal on top for some crunch.
  3. Nuts- such as almonds and walnuts are essential. They’re a great source of good fats, helping you to stay fuller for longer. They are also packed with fiber, and nutrients like selenium, vitamin E, and some omega-3s! Here’s a Tip: for the perfect serving size, fill an Altoids tin (about an ounce).

Kick start your new career.

Hopefully these healthy alternatives for coffee and other snacks will help ease some of the effects of jet-lag and get you moving.  Continue to keep your mind and body energized while staying in top shape so you can not only enjoy your job but also your surroundings while traveling!

No Comments | Tags: nursing issues, Travel Nurse Agency, Travel Nurse Blogs, Travel Nurse Career, Travel Nurse Tips, Uncategorized

June 3, 2014

springtime pollen allergies

The warm afternoon rainstorms, birds chirping, fresh leaves, and blossoming tulips in the garden. Yes, spring has officially sprung. But along with the pleasant picnic weather comes a less savory part of the season….the dreaded spring-time allergies. Ah, you can just feel it in the air. Literally. I mean; pollen, grass spores, and all those pesky airborne allergens floating all around. Travel nurses especially have a hard time overcoming the struggles of hay fever considering their active lives and being in a profession where the goal is to treat other people’s ailments.

We’ve all been there…especially the 17 million adult adults diagnosed with hay fever this year. Itchy dry eyes, making Claritin a main food group in your diet, and keeping an industrial-sized tissue box in our tote bags at all times. But, there’s hope for your springtime well-being yet! As a seasoned pollinosis sufferer myself; I’ve decided to lend some of my favorite ways to keep the allergies at bay in my hectic lifestyle. Here’s some tips all nurses should be adopt into their lives as the seasons change.

Easy Tips to Alleviate Allergies

  • Tip number one: schedule a check-up. If you haven’t already gone to an allergist and had a simple skin test to find the source of your reaction. As a child, I had one done and I discovered I was allergic to dandelions. The weeds I would blow on and make wishes with were the culprits of my pre-summer sickness. Once you find the source, sometimes it can help you know what is causing the issue.
  • Tip two: remember that spring allergies begin before the nice weather even arrives. Be ready! If you are someone who needs medications to treat severe allergies; you may need to start your regimen as early as even February.
  • Tip three: be aware of daily pollen counts. Maybe avoid spending a lot of time outside on days with high counts. I usually try to get my laundry done on days where I know I’m especially susceptible to  the irritation brought on by spring pollen. (And hey, my laundry needs to get done some time! Without allergies I may never get that task tackled.)
  • Tip four: do not sleep with the window open. I know its tempting when the weather is lovely and its nice waking up hearing birds chirping. But unless you really wanna wake up with a sore throat and a hardcore case of the sniffles, DON’T DO IT. In fact, don’t keep windows open in your house when pollens flying around. That’s like inviting your allergies to go nuts.
  • Tip five: make the most of those rainy days. Days that have more moisture and less wind are way better for allergy-sufferers. And, its a great chance for you to purchase a really hip raincoat.
  • Tip six: shower after being outside. It can’t hurt to wash off the nasty weed gunk from the air that might have gotten onto your skin, clothes or your hair during the day.

Other than that; keep stocked with a wide array of flavorful types of tea, be prepared with tissues, throat-soothing cough drops, and eye drops. And any allergy medicine that fits your needs most. Travel nurses know that traveling while suffering from irritated sinuses or allergies is not a walk in the park. So, steer clear of the springtime blues and enjoy the season.

 

 

 

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June 2, 2014

dying patient care travel nurse doctors hospital

The basics.

Caring for a dying patient can be very difficult and emotionally unsettling. You may not know what to say, how to act, or help them along at their end of their journey. As your patient reaches the end of their time, your duty as their nurse encompasses being present, providing comfort, and reassuring him or her with soothing words and actions that help maintain their comfort and dignity as he or she approaches death. Knowledge of the basic skills required to care for people who are dying can improve the patients’ and their family’s experience of death greatly. The first thing to remember is that communicating with a dying patient and their family is key. You cannot understand what your patient wants or what can make them happy in their last days if you do not take the time to listen to them.

Don’t withhold information.

It may be very hard telling the patient’s family that the patient is going to die. However, it must be done. It is always best to inform the family of any complications or facts you have concerning their loved one, especially when you know death is a factor. It is always a smart idea to share this information with the patient’s family, so they know how much time they have left with their loved one and can prepare accordingly for what is to come.  The family’s insight into the patient’s condition should be assessed and issues relating to dying and death explored appropriately and sensitively. The family should be told that the patient is dying and will die. Beating around the bush and using ambiguous language such as “may not get better” can lead to misinterpretation and confusion, which may just cause frustration and more depression among the members of the family.

More helpful tips and stories about family’s and their appreciation for knowing their loved one is dying can be found here.

Eliminate unnecessary discomforts.

While your patient nears death, they will start to experience pain and discomforts. It is extremely important to accommodate to the physical comfort of your patient. If he or she is in pain, focus on relieving that pain for them whether that’s with pain medication or extra pillows. Once their pain is eliminated they can draw their final thoughts towards something more important. Aside from physical comfort, you should also be very attentive to your patients emotional needs.

Good vibes welcomed.

It is very likely that a dying patient will embody feelings of hopelessness and depression. If you do not have the time to sit and talk with them or just listen to their thoughts, try and contact a counselor or family member to help them carry through and ease their final worries. It is also very encouraged to try and take the dying patient’s mind off of all the negative thoughts or regrets he or she may be having. As a traveling hospice nurse, show your patient that you have all of their best interests at heart. Take their mind off the negative thoughts that may be embodying their minds and ask them about what they have always enjoyed in life while and try to recreate a specific moment that made them feel a certain way. For example, if they enjoyed relaxing at the beach maybe play a peaceful type of music or ocean waves for them in their room so they can mentally go back to that time they felt the best.

Help ease their worried minds by asking questions such as:

  • where they grew up
  • how many siblings they have
  • did they marry/ have children?
  • have they traveled? If so, where have they been?

Spiritual healing.

As the patients timing comes to an end it is extremely essential to accommodate all of their spiritual needs and/or requests. Their religious and spiritual views are very sensitive topics, which reflect their entire cultural and lifelong beliefs. Do not leave spiritual requests unattended.

Insightful FAQs leading up to death.

Some questions you may want to ask your patient to make him or her feel more at ease with what will happen when, or as, they depart are

  1. How are you doing? Do you need someone to talk with?
  2. Would you like to go out for an hour or two? I could stay here while you are away.
  3. Who has offered to help you? Do you want me to work with them to coordinate our efforts?
  4. Can I help, maybe … calling a family member, finding old photos for you, etc.

There are more helpful suggestions and guidelines given in order to help provide your patient with full and proper care while he or she is dying here.

Just care.

Most importantly, just be sure to meet all the requests of your dying patient. Try to relieve them from a death-denying experience in their last couple of days on Earth– make it your goal to make their last days enjoyable. If you just take some time to get to know your patient during his or her last couple of days, they may leave you with a different outlook on your own life and aspire you to do something you’ve always wanted to.

No Comments | Tags: Travel Nurse Agency, Travel Nurse Blogs, Travel Nurse Career, Travel Nurse News, Travel Nurse Tips, Travel nursing jobs

May 28, 2014
gym traveling gymsurfing app
Find nearby Gym Facilities While Traveling

Travelers looking for a workout could turn to an app that directs them to the nearest gym.

The iPhone app, which launched on May 1st, allows people to book discount day passes to a diverse selection of gyms with just two taps on their phone for as little as $5.

A survey of 500 business travelers in the United States showed that most try to maintain a healthy diet and exercise, and just under half use the hotel gym to keep in shape, according to an American Express Global Business Travel. Granted, most hotels have gym access but they are usually limited to a few treadmills usually lined up along an enclosed, dark basement wall with just a few small free weights available for you– not very appealing. According to Kevin Bracken, the brains behind the new Gymsurfing application, the goal is to help travelers avoid hotel gyms, which can discourage those passing through from keeping up with their workout routines.

Trouble finding a gym near your location?

You may be mobile and quite possibly forced to change a few of your custom daily routines however, more recently introduced Apps are making it easy to keep your workout routines in tact. Gymsurfing, a new app, helps to  provide you with nearby gym access at ease.

“I travel constantly, and the most annoying part of traveling is finding a gym,” said Kevin Bracken, “if your home gym isn’t near your hotel or Airbnb, you could pay as much as $35 for a single day pass. If your trip is longer than that, you were out of luck until now.” The app allows you to sort your results according to location and/or pricing.

Gymsurfing helps travelers book single day passes to professional gyms with their smartphones, without needing to plan ahead, according to the creator.

Don’t settle for less.

This new app makes it easy to find a gym that provides exactly the type of atmosphere you are looking for while you workout.

When opened, the app provides a list of the nearest gyms to you and the prices of their day pass along with other offers they may be promoting. Other offers that may be shown are classes the gym offers and what time they are held.  The gyms that are available through the app range from corporate-style with state-of-the-art equipment to old-school body building and family-style establishments, where the day passes cost between $5 to $20. Similar iPhone apps include OmFinder, which helps users find nearby yoga classes, and GymPoints to find U.S. gyms that provide one-time day passes and drop-in classes for activities such as martial arts classes or Pilates.

Not only can you see what facilities are available in your current area, but you are also able to see a variety of the amenities that they offer, such as the type of equipment they have, and whether the gym has access to swimming pools, saunas, or spas.

Gymsurfing provides hassle free check-ins for whatever gym you choose to go to. The app provides you with the hours that the gym is open, how far it is from your exact location, and find you the greatest price deal for a day pass.

On your way to any of the following?

Since this app is new, not all locations on the map are available at this time. Thus far in its production, the Gymsurfing app features passes for gyms in the following cities: San Francisco, New York City, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Miami and Toronto. More cities will be added accordingly in the near future.

The application is only available for Apple users as of right now, but it will be available for Android phones and other devices soon.

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