December 16, 2014

common holiday injuries

Every season, emergency rooms treat countless Americans for injuries sustained from the hazards of the holiday. People hurting themselves around Christmas time is about as traditional as singing carols. But, it only makes sense considering the basic ingredients for disaster are totally afoot from November until January. Folks are going overboard with the eggnog and the Christmas lights leaving them vulnerable to harm. Nurses, beware, ’tis the season for some of the craziest accidents. And, the worst thing about this somewhat-silly injuries that pour in the ER each year is that they all begin with very plausible scenarios, that really could happen to anyone.

Holidays in the Hospital: Most Common Holiday Hazards

Falling while Decking the Halls.

The US Consumer Safety Commission reported over 13,000 injuries sustained in 2010 from decorating-related mishaps. Unfortunately, that’s the most recent statistic so it is hard to say whether that has changed over the last few years or not. Either way, YIKES!

According to CNN, there’s 3 main types of holiday fall groups:

  • Older people hurting their necks or heads putting up lights outside.
  • Intoxicated middle aged men hurting their wrists or shoulders.
  • Children trying to help decorate and ending up with head injuries or concussions.

Falling can happen from something as silly as slipping on black ice when putting up lights or losing balance on a ladder.

Decoration-related Fire Ho,Ho,Hazard.

The national fire protection association says Christmas trees are highly dangerous. Roughly $990 million dollars of damage happens in the U.S. annually from fires annually. And, 400 lives are taken from fires each year according to the U.S. Fire Administration.

Prevention of holiday fires include:

  • Buy fresh trees- Check for green color; not brown. Also, make sure the needles are strong still by seeing that they don’t break when bent.
  • Look for fire resistant fake trees
  • Place trees away from heat sources- make sure that they are not near fireplaces or vents
  • Use fake candles- especially when you have children or pets in your home
  • Place candles in safe areas

Alcohol-related Holiday Accidents.

And then of course, the source of so many oopsie-daisies; regardless of what time of year it is–ALCOHOL. During the season, people are more likely to indulge in over consumption of the hard stuff.  It makes sense, everyone is off from work and attending those booze-fueled holiday shindigs. No matter the other ingredients (operating vehicles, having family altercations, falling, or cooking knives), drunks are always the main part of a recipe for disaster.

“New Toy” Injuries.

Believe it or not, a large bunch of people that end up taking a trip to the ER during the holidays, are because of accidents that occur with presents they just received. For instance, anything new with wheels has the potential to cause a major spill. Like when Uncle Jim gets new Harley and gets just a little too excited about hopping on the hog and crashes immediately. Let’s just hope that people start gifting more helmets with these kinds of gifts.

 

Each year, nurses wait quietly as mice, waiting for both the silly and sad holiday accidents to pour in. Let’s just hope that these holiday hazards don’t ever happen to us!

No Comments | Tags: nursing issues, Uncategorized

December 12, 2014

a nurse resume

The new year is almost here! It’s hard to believe it’s been 15 years since we were all worrying about Y2K and hoarding bottled water. As we all strive to think of our new year resolutions, there’s one you may not think to add to the list. All nurses should be resolving to revamp their resumes for the modern age. Even in one of the most traditional fields of work, there’s always competition and a need to keep relevant in the job market. Why not use the new year as the time to modernize your resume?

How to Make Your Nursing Resume Relevant in 2015

Add a splash of color.

Traditionally, resumes all were in black and white. Boring used to be the ticket to a “safe” resume. However, with competition being fierce these days, employers expect more than just typical in their potential hires. It only costs a few dollars to print your resume in color and it adds a world of difference.  It brings eyes to your talents and shows a creative spirit that sets yourself apart from many others. However, despite the advantages to adding color to your resume, it must be done tastefully. You don’t want it to turn tacky. Stick to one color theme and the less like a bowl of fruity pebbles, the better.

Include a photo.

Picture this: your resume with a photo! Along with the concept of adding color to your resume, you should be adding a head shot of yourself, too. A small and professional picture of yourself is a good way to make yourself more personable. Be careful to use a tasteful photo and keep it small. Sure, a registered nurse is not a model, but having a photo makes your credentials on paper matched to a real person. The sense of “human” adds a benefit to your resume.

Share your LinkedIn.

RNs are expected to be more than caregivers; they need to be tech-savvy these days, too. Let’s face it, software has replaced the paper and pen. I’m always an advocate for boasting a great LinkedIn page, because they are basically like a resume on steroids. If your LinkedIn is full of recommendations from former colleagues or employers as well as showing your endorsements, experience, and personality; an employer will be impressed. Share a link your page and employers will get a side of your talents that you can’t get from your resume alone.

Keep it short and sweet.

A lot of us have it drilled in our heads still from college to cram as much as we can onto our resume. But, more important than filling our resumes to the brim is to embrace the space. Show off your skills and expertise, but format it in a concise and easy to digest format. Brevity is a blessing for employers who basically just want you to get to the point. The more wordy your resume is, the less anyone is going to want to read it.

Convert it to a PDF.

A lot of nursing jobs get applied to online these days. Travel nurse jobs, for example, are solely applied to digitally. Since most of use Word to create our resumes, take a moment to convert your file to PDF format. The reason for this is because it will be the best quality when it reaches the screen of the employer. Sometimes there’s strange conversion issues so the safest way to get all your things read as you designed it, is to make it in a format that won’t get changed.

Write an awesome description.

In real life conversations, we don’t just scream out first, “I attended So & So University Class of whenever and worked here these years and look at all my skills.” We start it off with an introduction. You should consider adding a brief introductory statement about you. Again, doing this adds personality to your resume which is great to any potential employer. Creativity lands interviews.

After your nursing resume is flawless, browse travel nurse jobs and find your perfect job.

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December 2, 2014

xmas list for nurses

The end-of-the-year holidays are quickly approaching and Santa better start saving money! Remember when you were little and the holidays were a glorious time of year when most of us got everything you wanted– Keyword being wanted because for quite some time now, I only ask for items I need (and they usually aren’t fun to play with, cute to wear or very luxurious). If you’re reasonably scatter-brained this time of year, like most of us, you may forget to ask your loved ones for some essentials & accessory “must haves.”

To ease a little bit of stress, and lighten the mood, we’ve compiled a list of some common “must haves” for travel nurses, like yourself. [Not in any particular order]

1. Contigo Autoseal Kangaroo Water Bottle

This is the perfect water bottle for busy nurses! It has patented autoseal technology; no cap to remove. It’s convenient and small enough to hold with one hand, spill-and leak-proof! The coolest part about this 24 oz. water bottle is that it features a built-in compartment- store your ID, money, key and more!

You can purchase this water bottle, in blue or purple, on Amazon.

2. Reliable Laptop/Tablet

As a travel nurse, a huge part of your career is, well, traveling. While traveling, it’s extremely important to keep in touch with family and friends you won’t see while on assignment. It’s best to purchase a laptop/tablet that is WiFi compatible and has a lot of memory space.

For some good deals and options check out Best Buy.

3. GPS

Since you are traveling, usually through unfamiliar places, a GPS would be very helpful. Yes, your smart phone most likely has a “maps” app, but your phone may not always work while on the road, especially if you lose service.

You can find reliable GPS devices at Best Buy.

4. Credit Card (without high interest fees)

Traveling and charging go hand in hand. Lucky for you, you’ll most likely be getting reimbursed for certain spendings. However, that may take a little while so in the meantime you don’t want to be paying an arm and leg in interest.

For an idea of some low interest credit cards that come with some added benefits check out CompareCards.

5. AAA

Investing in AAA or another roadside assistance program could potentially save your sanity down the road (pun intended). The last thing you want is to get a flat tire, run out of gas or break down in the middle of the road on your way to work or another assignment, especially when you have all of your belongings packed throughout every inch of open space within your vehicle.

Learn more about a AAA membership HERE.

6. Stethoscopes

It’s unbelievable how easy it is to misplace these things. Having an extra pile of stethoscopes in your car, office, cubby or where ever could save your butt one day! If you have a stash already, then think about investing in some of these cool stethoscope covers to be sure nobody ‘accidentally’ takes yours!

Browse some cute covers on Pinterest!

7. Large Enough Car

Traveling every couple of months, or weeks depending on your assignments, can get frustrating especially if you don’t have the space in your car to easily pack all of your essential belongings. A decently sized car, preferable all-wheel drive for bad weather and lots of travel would be ideal. You may be able to find a great holiday deal on a versatile vehicle that allows you to put the seats down to make room for boxes and everything else from now until a little after the new year!

8. A Travel Buddy

Traveling on your own all of the time can get a bit lonely, however if you have a travel buddy you can ease this feeling. Your travel buddy can either be a loved one, friend or pet! Puppies and dogs may be a bit harder to maintain with your work hours, but it is feasible. Sharing your traveling experiences with a companion can make them even more exciting and enjoyable!

 

Whether you’re able to make it home for the holidays or not, this wish list is guaranteed to get you through any travel assignment and make your upcoming holiday worthwhile!

No Comments | Tags: Travel Nurse Blogs, Travel Nurse Tips, Uncategorized

November 24, 2014

thanksgiving for travel nurses

If you’re like me you are preparing yourself for next week, aka the fattest holiday of the year– Thanksgiving. You might already be having dreams of your mom’s pumpkin pie recipe, stuffing, cheesy mashed potatoes, juicy turkey and all the other trimmings. It never ceased to amaze me how all aspects of the meal were prepped, cooked and ready by the time dinner came around; which for some reason is always before 3 p.m. (at least in my household on Thanksgiving). By 4 p.m. everyone feels full to the point of explosion and swears they can’t eat another bite! But then, the pumpkin pie timer goes off and you smell the deliciousness of it and all of a sudden you have room for a piece, or five. Then, you go take a glorious nap and eat another meal when you wake up–this really is the greatest holiday.

But, while most people have “stationary” jobs and are able to spend their free-time with loved ones this season; however, if you’re completing an assignment away from home during this upcoming holiday season you may not be blessed with the same opportunity. Sure, travel nurse jobs have their perks, but it can be difficult for anyone to feel lonely this time of year, don’t fret–we’re here to provide you with some ideas on how to make your Thanksgiving feel at home!

Thanksgiving Away From Home: Tips for Travel Nurses

 

Have a virtual dinner with your family

Since you can’t spend your holiday dinner physically sitting around the table with your family, set up your computer, FaceTime, tablet or whatever else that has a webcam, have your family do the same and have a virtual dinner! This will allow you to join in on conversations around the table–tune out when things get heated, like at any family gathering– and not feel lonely! Also, you get to share your creative version of Thanksgiving dinner.

Have a ‘friends-giving’

Having a ‘friends-giving’ is actually quite great, it’s kind of like a potluck. You invite all of your friends over, and everyone prepares (or buys) their favorite dish and you all enjoy a Thanksgiving dinner together! This is especially nice because of two things: 1) you don’t have to deal with the family drama like at home and 2) you only have to cook (or buy) one thing!!

Create a new tradition

Spending the holidays away from family can actually be less stressful. Think about it: when you’re stuck with traditions that you have been doing since the dawn of time, there’s a lot of pressure to keep them going as good or better than the year before. There’s a laundry-list of things to do like baking 12 dozen cookies for the neighbors, picking out the best tree, etc. Do something new to rock-out this holiday season away from home. Maybe go to a hip Asian-fusion restaurant instead of slaving over a hot oven prepping the old-fashioned holiday bird. Then, for dessert, why don’t you swing by a martini bar or karaoke lounge? Being alone for the holidays may be different than you’re used to, but there’s no reason it should be any less fun!

Chain-Restaurants Open on Holidays:

  • Denny’s
  • Buffalo Wild Wings
  • Starbucks
  • Waffle House
  • Boston Market
  • Panda Express
  • Taco Bell
  • Subway
  • IHOP
  • Burger King
  • McDonald’s
  • Baskin-Robins
  • Jack in the Box
  • Chipotle
  • PF Chang’s
  • Cracker Barrel
  • Dunkin’ Donuts
  • Arby’s
  • Red Robin

Distract yourself.

If an altered Thanksgiving still can’t satisfy your holiday cheer, then consider removing yourself from the celebration completely. Head out for a hike or run and enjoy the benefit of not consuming 12 times the “daily recommended” calories you would have otherwise consumed. If you don’t want to think of the holiday at all, avoid watching television that will be loaded with food specials and gobble-themed commercials. Instead read the book you’ve been dying to open or binge watch you favorite series on Netflix. It’s your choice whether to celebrate or not; if you don’t like the idea of having a holiday without your family, then don’t!

Reschedule.

If you just can’t get your family to bring Thanksgiving dinner to you and you’re unable to make it to them, celebrate it on a day that you actually can. It will be just as special and focus solely on the main reason for the season: family.

No Comments | Tags: New Nurse, Travel Nurse Blogs, Travel Nurse Tips, Uncategorized

November 20, 2014

how nurses should use linkedIn

LinkedIn is more than merely a social network. It’s a tool that can help you build a strong professional contact list, showcase your skills and experience, and find a job. But, this tool only benefits you if you know how to use it. Like all professionals, it’s crucial for nurses to keep their professional edge sharpened. Surpriseingly, however,  a lot of nurses are forgetting to capitalize on free career-boosting opportunities like focusing on cultivating an excellent LinkedIn page. Apparently 225 million+ professionals are logged on…are you?

 

How Nurses Should Use LinkedIn

1. Develop thoughtful messages for your profile.

Ask yourself, “If I was an employer, what would I want to see in a prospective hire?” Edit your LinkedIn profile to reflect both your expertise and your individuality. Nursing is one of the most popular fields to study these days, so young tech-savvy grads can be a seasoned-nurse’s biggest competition in the job market. For inspiration, visit the pages of healthcare colleagues you highly respect and see what they have to say on their profiles. A brief but comprehensive summary is an easy way to “sell” yourself as a talented nurse.

2. Make your page public to use for your resume.

When you have a great LinkedIn profile, you absolutely should make it a public URL so that you can put the address on your resume. If you have a lot of recommendations, experience, and endorsements; it can really add a lot to your chances of landing a job. Plus, you can customize the URL, too (just make sure to keep it professional…stray away from one such as “www.linkedin.com/bbygrl1988″)

3. Make sure your resume and your profile are consistent with one another.

Be careful to ensure that the dates and information on your resume and LinkedIn have the same information. Even if there are accidental discrepancies, an employer might interpret it negatively.

4. Solicit recommendations and endorsements.

Asking colleagues and former co-workers to speak positively about you and your skill-set is a great advantage. The more people that vouch for you and the more diverse the skills, the better. The best nurses are flexible and talented in many different areas.

You can send messages and specifically ask for certain things to be recommended, as well. Example: Perhaps you want employers to know your passion for “timely documentation.” Simply ask connections to recommend you for that particular attribute.

5. Follow relevant groups.

Don’t clutter your page up by following any old group. Be selective and follow pages that are best suited to your career goals. If you follow good pages, you’ll receive valuable opportunities to see jobs and be seen by employers.  Search medical and healthcare related groups then find pages of hospitals, clinics, etc. that you would want to possibly work for. Ask yourself which groups you most want to target and follow them.

6. Evaluate the effectiveness of your page.

  • Look at your friends list. What percentage of them are valuable professional connections? Less than 50%? Do something about it.
  • How often are you getting views? And what type of people are looking at your profile? This can say a lot.
  • Check the network statistics. Go to the drop-down menu of your contact list and pay attention to the medical specialties in your geographic location.

7. Use a great photo.

A high quality, friendly, and professional photo is a must on LinkedIn. Your personality will definitely be judged by an employer so using a picture that captures you dressed professionally with a positive facial expression is crucial. (For example, seriously do not post a picture of yourself and your girlfriends holding cocktails!!)

 

Although making a top-notch LinkedIn profile is a very smart thing to do when looking to expand your nursing opportunities, another great thing to do is to explore through the Travel Nurse Source job board. Here you can find opportunities in exciting temporary healthcare jobs all over the country. (Just think about all the professional connections you can meet through Travel Nursing!)

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November 13, 2014

nurse personalities

As much as I hate promoting stereotypes of any sort, I think as nurses we all can relate to the similar characteristics certain colleagues, or former nursing school classmates, possessed can be kind of universal. No matter what city you’re from or what facility you’re working in, I can bet you can identify some of these comical nurse personality-types. (Maybe, you’ll even fit into one of these categories yourself!)

8 Types of Nurses You’ll Meet

The “Seasoned” Nurse

Everybody knows that one nurse who probably has been doing it since before you were even born. You know that because they constantly remind you of the fact. And although they may not be as quick on their feet as they once were (back in the stone ages), they’ll still overwhelm the younger nurses with their abundance of “wisdom and expertise.”

Must commonly you’ll find this type of nurse sitting on their swivel chair and slowly, eventually, getting to their tasks.

Best way to deal with this type of nurse? Remind yourself that their retirement is approaching…

The New Nurse

The “seasoned” nurse is one thing but, the “new nurse” is a whole different entity. New nurses can often be spotted flailing about with expressions like a deer in headlights. A lot of hand-holding happens with these breeds of nurses.

Best way to deal with this type of nurse? Take them under your wing and teach them to do things the proper way. That way you’ll never have to teach them again OR clean up their messes.

The “Nibbling Nurse”

Snacking is a great way to keep motivated and energized throughout a shift, especially when there’s not time for a real meal. However, there’s always that one nurse that is always snacking on something. This is what I lovingly refer to as the “nibbling nurse.” I don’t know how they do it, but they are constantly eating. Either that or they’re keeping their oral fixation at bay with a beverage in hand.

Best way to deal with this type of nurse? Keep some treats at your work station.

The Humorless Nurse

There’s always a nurse that cannot take a joke. And, their face is always about as stiff as one of those British gate-keeping guards that wear those tall hats. But, they’re not so humor-lacking because they’re mean or anything…they’re probably just really focused on their job. Don’t take it personally if this person doesn’t laugh at your hilarious story about your child’s potty-training progress.

Best way to deal with this type of nurse?  Just be nice (…and don’t bother with the knock-knock jokes.)

The Token Testosterone Nurse

Even now, nursing is still a female-dominated field. But, whenever there’s a scenario that might need a man’s touch, you know that you turn to some certain male nurses to get the job done.

The Wild Nurse

The “Wild Nurse” can be found in their natural habitat, as the center of attention. They’re the type that’s not afraid to spill their most intimate and honest thoughts. This outgoing RN may seem boisterous at times, but hey, they’re also a lot of fun to be around!

Best way to deal with this type of nurse? Probably go out for a drink with them and ask about their college years…and hilarious stories surely will ensue.

The Fashionable Nurse

While the rest of us recycle the same couple pairs of boring scrubs, the Fashionable Nurse always is strutting around in new ones in every pattern fathomable. Or, they’ve got their makeup on photoshoot-ready daily. It may seen excessive, but if that’s what makes them happy, who’s to judge? You go, Fashionable Nurse!

The Fitness-focused Nurse

Okay, this nurse can’t be human. I have a theory that were created in a lab or a robotic production line because they somehow are able to successful hit the gym after a 12-hour shift. Like, HOW???!! Fitness obsessed nurses will always judge you for eating Chips Ahoy and will always be on top of their sneaker game with the freshest kicks to date.

How to deal with this nurse? Avoid conversations with the word “gluten” in them….

 

(Side note: Travel nurses get to experience these lovely personalities even more frequently.)

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November 6, 2014

nurses fight bullying

 

On the outside, nursing appears to be a profession built on caring and compassion. And although, in a lot of ways, that’s true…there are still some “nurses that eat their young.”

Bullying isn’t just annoying, it’s a form of psychological abuse and contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t just fade away after high school. Bullying can evolve into adulthood and take on new forms…even for nurses. Unfortunately, nurses are not immune to the badgering in nursing school and even in the workplace. What is even more shocking is the lack of acknowledgement of the tremendously daunting bullying that takes place in professional healthcare environments daily. It is unclear how many cases of nurses and bullying are happening. However, because it is so common, victims do not speak up about their abuse.

Nurses can encounter bullying in ways that range from extreme yelling to more passive and insidious mistreatment. Gossiping and exclusion can cause equally or greater harm than criticizing work performance, in some cases. Usually, this comes from perceived imbalances in power. It can occur from nurses who feel they are superior to newer nurses and making them feel inadequate and vice versa; newer nurses feeling more technologically capable their veteran-nurses.  Or, it can come from higher-ups causing fear with in the workplace. Relational aggression is the term for these types of psychological abuse that occur in adult situations.

Vertical Bullying vs. Horizontal Bullying

  • Horizontal bullying is when nurses bully their colleagues.
  • Vertical bullying is when nurses are bullied by a manager, under their supervision.

Negative Effects of Bullying on Nurses

  • Increased workplace turnover when nurses feel forced to quit
  • Demoralization
  • Lowered job satisfaction
  • Decreased self-esteem
  • Feelings of isolation at work
  • Threats to patient safety

What Causes Relational Aggression towards Nurses?

  • Triggers- Certain things can throw a person over the edge and cause them to lash out on a co-worker. Sometimes, a new hire will cause stress that results in bullying for example. Or, someone feeling that they missed out on winning a certain achievement recognition over another will cause bullying.
  • Superiority complexes- Have you ever encountered a “SUPER NURSE” who just seems to THINK they are the best at everything? Well, these elitist co-workers can cause workplace frictions through many actions, even ones as minor as rude glances or the way they fold their arms. The “Super nurse” is not afraid to criticize another nurse and although they may feel like their comments are helping, they can be hurtful.
  • Resentment- If a nurse holds a personal vendetta against a co-worker, their inability to let the past go can transgress into bullying.
  • Backstabbing- Nurses that betray colleagues can cause workplace problems.
  • Envy- Certain personalities make a person jealous over another person. If this transpires in the workplace, it can ultimately end up in negative behavior.
  • Gossip, rumors, put-downs- Any form of negative social behavior can account for a plethora of trouble  for nurses.

How Nurses Fight Bullying:

Bullying for nurses is a problem that can cause up to 70 percent of admittedly abused employees to quit their jobs. And, this can in turn cause unhealthy environments for the rest of the staff, regardless of their involvement.

Zero-tolerance policies need to be put in place in hospitals and medical facilities to shield against potential acts of bullying. Surveys taken by staff, under strict anonymity, should also be conducted to ensure that everyone feels that they are working in emotionally stable conditions. Promoting positive treatment at work and encouraging an end to disrespect is the only sensible approach in ending nurse bullying for good.

Additionally, nurses who feel that they are being bullied should reach out for support. A 2007 survey showed that over half of nurses reported being put-down and/or threatened by a fellow nurse on staff; it is not uncommon to get treated badly by a co-worker.

In the stressful day-to-day routine, it’s easy for many to sweep these kinds of problems under the rug. Also, if you are a nurse that knows a colleague is being psychologically abused by someone in the workplace, advocate for them.

Together we can put take nurse bullying by the horns…and stop it for good!

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

October 30, 2014

 

pre-shift tips for nurses

If you’re finding that you suddenly would rather be doing your taxes then heading into work, you probably should do something about it.

The secret to a wonderful shift at work just so happens to depend on a nurse’s habits that happen before they even clock in. Smart nurses already know that implementing certain rituals before they start a long workday can turn the whole thing around. So if you’re finding that shifts are feeling uncomfortable, you may want to start practicing some of these easy tips.

Pre-Shift Tips for Nurses

 

Come to work early.

For me, I feel like its natural to almost procrastinate every moment I can before leaving to go somewhere I don’t want to go. Not that nurses dread their career necessarily, but knowing you have a 12-hour shift ahead of you can cause even the most dedicated employee to wish they were doing something else. And, is it just me or does Pinterest and Buzzfeed seem way more interesting all of a sudden when you have to leave for work in 3 minutes?

Coming to work early is beneficial to your mental well-being, especially when you’re about to step into the hectic life of a medical professional. That little bit of extra time can relieve most of the pre-shift anxiety. First of all, the whole rushing around and need to “beat the clock” only makes matters worse. Give yourself ample time so that you can saunter, not sprint, into the start of your shift. If you add just 15 minutes to your day by coming in early, you can get cleaned up and ready to work ahead of time. Lastly, the added time will give you time to mentally meditate so you’re thinking the most clearly throughout your work day.

Another benefit to arriving early, is that you will gain respect from your co-workers. When you come in a little earlier, you know you’ll always be there on time to relieve the other nurse’s shift, it shows great character which others definitely notice. Avoid possible resentment from co-workers by coming in late. And who knows, this could really help you in the future. All your colleagues that think highly of you will be more willing to help you out if you ever need shifts covered in the future or need a hand.

Organize your space.

I read once that people sleep better when they crawl into a made bed at night. I found it extremely intriguing how cleanliness and tidiness can really relax a person. The same goes for your work station or desk. Making sure your work area is tidy puts you in control. And, in times that you’re feeling overwhelmed with your patients, having a disorganized work environment adds unneeded stress to that. If you’re feeling cursed during the workday, be sure to bless that mess.

Arrange your breaks ahead of time.

Prior to starting your long day, you need to make sure you’re going to be able to take small breaks in order to avoid overworking yourself or getting tired. Many nurse team leaders are flexible and allow nurses to choose times ahead of time. If you’re lucky enough to have this luxury, you most definitely have to take it! Plan your breaks at times when you know the workload will be the lightest and after you know you’ve finished a difficult task.

Check your schedule for the day.

Before you dive into the day, double-check what tasks are ahead of you. That way, you ensure you are right on track and not forgetting anything that needs to be done. Also, you can mentally cross off things that you accomplish.

Have a meal prepared.

Nutrition is vital for busy people, especially nurses! Even though sometimes our busy schedules make it hard to remember to pack lunches for work, its important to try to bring some food with you. If you’re someone who forgets to pack a snack frequently, a good tip is to keep granola bars in your car or purse. That way, you can reach for it when you need a quick pick-me-up during the day. A growling stomach can be distracting! Try to find foods that you can prepare quickly and bring with you and try to make it your routine to bring them with you.

& finally….

USE THE BATHROOM.

This one all nurses know all too well. If you don’t go before you clock in, you might miss the chance to for a LONG time.

 

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

October 23, 2014

sexy nurse halloween costume

Nurses have been sexualized in the media for decades. The “naughty nurse” stereotypes have been fed to our culture so much that when Halloween rolls around each year, we always expect to see some “sexy nurses” roaming the streets. The now traditional sexy nurse Halloween costumes has become a staple in our society every fall.

The creation of the “sexy nurse.” Where did this stereotype come from?

The sexy nurse has always been a stereotypical part of American culture. In fact, it’s always been part of every Western-society. If you think about it, a nurse has always been conceptualized as an image of pure health, right? Health, of course is associated with youth, motherly nurturing and attractiveness. This is what contributed to the creation of the sultry and overtly feminine nurse. Currently, the National Library of Medicine in Bethesda, Maryland is featuring an exhibit that just opened in September entitled “Pictures of Nursing.” The exhibit is compiled of postcards that indicate early 19th century nurses were used as almost advertising, recruiting, and even propaganda in the field.

According to the Smithsonian website, the early 1900′s nurse had a distinct stereotype in Britain and the U.S. This was the young, white, middle-class, and Christian young women. Nurses that didn’t fit into that category were ignored in the popular media. By the 20′s and 30′s, relevant actresses of the era played nurse roles while the male-counterparts played soldiers or dapper doctors. When television became available in the 1950′s and 1960′s, nurses began being portrayed in racier lights than ever before. By the 1980′s, society accepted and perpetuated the sexy nurse image. And of course now, every costume shop or adult dress-up website has a risque nurse costume in stock.

What do nurses think of the sexy portrayal of their profession every Halloween?

We can expect to see the revealing cartoon-like versions of nurses at almost any Halloween party we attend. But, how do actual registered nurses feel about this portrayal of their career? Opinions are torn down the middle. While some nurses find it extremely disrespectful to tarnish the image of their beloved livelihood by portraying it by  adorning themselves with lingerie-like garb; some are okay with it.  Additionally, some believe it is sexist to make nurses be associated with the “sexy” identity just because the majority of nurses still are women. With the shortage of nurses and the progression of our modern society, it is seen as taking steps in the wrong direction to assume that nurses are all women anyway.

Others find no reason to find fault in it. In fact, some nurses support the notion of a vixen nurse. They feel that there’s no reason to be insulted. Sexy costumes are made for any type of jobs these days. And its not even just the quote on quote “feminine” jobs that have scandalous portrayals every Halloween. Construction workers, firemen, and even lumberjacks have sexy costumes manufactured and sold these days. It’s just a fun part of our culture to be able to dress in a sexy manner once a year, in some people’s opinions.

What do you think?

No Comments | Tags: nursing issues, Uncategorized

October 15, 2014
Source: News9.com

Source: News9.com

The first healthcare professional to contract Ebola in the U.S. has been identified as Nina Pham, a 26-year-old nurse in Dallas, TX. Ebola has been causing a whirlwind of worries now that it has been spread inside our home country. It is shocking that now Pham and the nurse assistant in Madrid have so quickly gone from caretakers to patients from this frightening illness. And, it brings up some major concerns. How much do we know about Ebola safety precautions? And, how much are hospitals training our healthcare professionals to handle this?

CNN reported a shocking statistic from a survey of 1,900 nurses where they found 76 percent of the hospitals they were employed in failed to communicate any sort of protocols for receiving inpatients that were infected with Ebola! And 85 percent said their hospital has not educated nurses about Ebola, with the chance to ask questions, according to the Dallas Morning News.

National Nurses United, the largest union for nurses in the U.S., is pushing for more education, equipment and training in the midst of this pandemic infection. Pham contracted Ebola from Thomas Eric Duncan, the man who contracted the disease in Liberia and later died in the Dallas hospital where she worked. The CDC is concerned with how patients are entering the hospitals. Employees in the front-lines are clearly are at a higher risk of infection. Additionally, despite Pham wearing the protective gloves, mask, and shield; the CDC reported some inconsistencies in her use of the safety garb. In order to keep hospital employees safe, we should focus on how Pham contracted it.

What could have caused nurse Nina Pham’s infection?

Pham is currently receiving blood transfusions from an Ebola survivor. As the reportedly “clinically stable” nurse fights for her life, our entire country needs to know how she contracted the deadly infection. The Center for Disease Control is investigating how she removed her protective clothing. It is possible that during the process, Duncan’s infected fluid may have been on her precautionary gloves, mask, or shield and then was transferred onto her. Now, the CDC is pushing for spotters to observe hospital employees removal of protective ware to ensure they are using the proper procedures.

“When you have potentially soiled or contaminated gloves or masks or other things, to remove those without any risk of any contaminated material … touching you and being then on your clothes or face or skin … is not easy to do right,” said Tom Frieden, the director of the CDC.

Pham’s apartment complex has been decontaminated and all the neighbors have been alerted via reverse 911 calls. Also, even Pham’s beloved dog, Bentley, has been quarantined. The brave nurse has even been able to post socially about her pet’s precautionary care. However, it is unknown how canines react to Ebola. Although, the treatment for an Ebola-stricken dog is far different than the dog of the nurse’s aid in Spain who was swiftly put to death after the owner contracted the disease.

ebola and pets

Source: Facebook

A National Nurses United press release from October 13th said the following:

“As of Monday afternoon, 2,200 RNs at more 750 facilities in 46 states and the District of Columbia have responded to the NNU national survey. 

Current findings show:

  • 85 percent say their hospital has not provided education on Ebola with the ability for the nurses to interact and ask questions – a percentage that remains largely unchanged
  • 40 percent say their hospital has insufficient current supplies of eye protection (face shields or side shields with goggles) for daily use on their unit; 38 percent say there are insufficient supplies of fluid resistant/impermeable gowns in their hospital – both numbers are increasing as more survey results come in
  • 39 percent say their hospital does not have plans to equip isolation rooms with plastic covered mattresses and pillows and discard all linens after use; only 8 percent said they were aware their hospital does have such a plan in place”

No Comments | Tags: Uncategorized

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