February 23, 2015
travel nurse housing

The Basic Guide to Travel Nurse Housing

Travel nursing usually has two different offerings for housing; you could be agency placed or receive a housing stipend. Depending on the assignment itself and the location housing can differ wherever you decide to travel to. The benefits of being agency placed is that you do not have to go off searching by yourself which can be hard to do especially in smaller cities. Another benefit is the simplicity factor, all you have to do is show up at your destination and the housing is already there. You also do not have to pay out of pocket for deposits/leases, which removes the issue if your assignment were to be all of a sudden cancelled.

Utilities and Furnishings

Most agencies will pay for utilities such as, gas, electric, and water. As for cable and Internet this depends, some will pay some will not. Furnished housing usually consists of a queen-sized bed, dresser, nightstand (the usual bedroom necessitates) and kitchen table, couch, chair, lamp, coffee table and television. Items like a microwave, washer/dryer are not always considered usual items but can be discussed with the agency. Make this temporary housing your home and re-decorate a bit. This can give your home for a few weeks a temporary touch of personality.

Family, Friends, and Pets

If you choose to stay with a family or friend in the area that you are traveling to, you will be able to receive a housing stipend depending on the location of travel and the contract signed with the agency. As for roommates, you will usually not have a roommate while on assignment. In some cases however, if it is a very short assignment you could possibly have a roommate. This again, is up to the agency that you are on assignment for.

Bring your family bring your pet! While on assignment you can most definitely bring your loved ones. What better way to have this adventure than with your family, they too will be able to have this experience and be able to share it with you. Be sure to discuss this with your recruiter so that the proper accommodations can be made. When bringing your pet, keep in mind that there most likely will be an added deposit that you will have to pay to bring your furry pal. You can travel with another travel nurse as well. This could be beneficial to both of you for housing and stipend options.

Getting Settled

Usually you are allowed two days before the start date of your travel nurse assignment to move into your temporary home. This way you can be settled in your new space and ready to tackle the new city you are working in. Travel nursing is an extremely rewarding career, and being comfortable in where you will reside for those weeks is crucial. Finding the right city and the right housing is essential to having a great experience at your next destination. Depending on your preferences for housing, your nursing agency will help you every step of the way to ensure an unforgettable experience.

No Comments | Tags: Travel Nurse Career, Travel Nurse Housing, Travel Nurse Tips

February 18, 2015
sick days nursing

Call-off Conduct: Do Travel Nurses Get Sick Days?

In the travel nursing industry, an unspoken rule is that you just can’t miss any of your shifts. So what do you do if you’re sick as a dog and don’t want to end up in the doghouse at work?

Unforeseen circumstances like illness are difficult (and impossible) to avoid, especially for healthcare professionals who are exposed to contagious patients every day. However, in travel nursing it’s far different to take a sick day than for permanent staff. Permanent nurses can easily find a colleague to work in their place, but travel nurses don’t really have that same luxury. After all, considering a travel nurse’s role is to sometimes fill in for another person who had to go on medical leave for a period of time, sick days can get a little complicated.

Ask about sick days BEFORE it happens.

Before you sign your contract for your travel nursing assignment, among the plethora of other questions you definitely have to ask, you must ask about the protocol for missed shifts in the event of an illness or emergency. You need to know who to contact if you do have to miss a day of work while on your travel nurse job.

  • Find out if you need to contact the hospital or your agency—-or both. This varies depending on which facility you’re working in and which agency you’re working with.
  • Tip: Usually, you should contact the hospital you’re working in the very moment you know you have to miss your shift. However, certain agencies enforce policies where you must contact them first.
  • Find out what possible ramifications there are for if you have an unexpected missed shift.

Sometimes you can’t afford to get sick:

There’s no paid days off for a travel nurse.

Travel nurse benefits like housing and travel stipends are all allotted based on a certain number of contracted hours. Agencies get the money for those things from the hospital based on the hours worked so if their contractually obligated nurses don’t work them, the agencies don’t get paid. The ramifications for this usually come down on the nurse then. Again, these will vary depending on which agency your assignment is with, but usually you could expect to pay a penalty that would cover the costs that were accumulated due to those missed hours. However, in some instances travel nurses can simply make up the hours by working more that week.

If a travel nurse has to take off a couple days, that’s usually fine. If they have to take off a week or something, then that’s a different story. Most likely instances like that will end with a cancelled contract and a very devastated RN. When this happens, it might take a while to get cleared for future assignments.

Missing shifts as a travel nurse can affect your bonuses as well. To get most bonuses in travel nursing, there’s a certain number of hours that must be worked during that contract. Even one hour missed could totally blow it!

Your attendance record is at stake.

Travel nurse assignments are usually only about 3 months so if you get struck with the flu and take off 3 days or so, you risk jeopardizing your attendance record. It could be the only 3 days you have missed in 5 years, but in the eyes of the hospital you appear to be unreliable because you are only a temporary employee. If you do happen to get a bad attendance record at a facility, your reference from the hospital won’t be very good. It’s not fair, but that’s just how it goes.

Sickness happens.

Although it’s not an ideal scenario to have to take a day off due to illness, it’s not the end of the world. Nurses are people, too, and everyone gets sick every now and then. Your agency will understand and if you can make up the hours it will have no effect on anything. The worst thing you could do is to go into your shift with a contagious illness that could end up spreading to staff or patients!

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

February 9, 2015
Easy Meal Ideas for Travel Nurses

Easy Meal Ideas for Travel Nurses

Sometimes travel nurses don’t always have a lot of flexibility in their schedule, which means that sometimes being able to find time to eat healthy can be nearly impossible. Whether you are being called in earlier than expected or an emergency appears and you have to rush to the hospital, you will find yourself having to abruptly leave with barely a moments notice. There’s not always a whole lot of time to cook and picking up take-out can be damaging to both your wallet and your waistline!

Luckily, there’s a lot of easy options with little-to-none prep-time needed. Instead of just hitting the drive-thru or just forgoing meal time altogether, try out some simple snack or meal that you can throw together in just a moment’s notice. The tiniest alteration to your eating routine can prove to improve your life in many ways; from feeling more energized by fueling your body with nutritious nibbles to saving time, money, and calories.

Breakfast Options:

 

Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie

  • 1 Frozen Banana
  • 2 Tablespoons Peanut Butter
  • 1 Cup Almond Milk
  • A few ice cubes and blend.

 

Avocado Toast with Egg

  • 2 Slice of Whole Grain Bread
  • Smashed Avocado with salt and pepper
  • Add two sunny-side up eggs for some protein

 

Ricotta and Tomato Breakfast Sandwich

  • 2 Whole grain Pieces of toast
  • Spread 1 Tablespoon on each piece
  • Add 1-2 pieces of tomato on each slice with salt and pepper

Lunch Options:

 

   Turkey Wrap

  • 1 Whole Wheat Wrap
  • 3 Slices of Deli Turkey
  • 2 Tablespoons Hummus of your choice
  • 1 Tablespoon goat cheese
  • 1 Handful of baby spinach

 

Spicy Black Bean Burrito

  • 1 Whole Wheat Wrap
  • ¼ Cup black beans
  • Few Slices of Avocado
  • ¼ small sliced red onion
  • 1 Teaspoon Hot Sauce of your choice

 

Ham, Pear, and Swiss Sandwich

  • 2 Slices od Whole Wheat Bread
  • 3 Slices Deli Ham
  • 1 Slice Swiss Cheese
  • ½ Sliced Pear
  • 1 Teaspoon Honey Mustard

 

Side Snacks to go along with your lunch:

  • Handful of Sweet Potato Chips
  • Any Fruit
  • Cucumber Sliced with Hummus
  • Handful of Pita Chips
  • Handful of Tortilla Chips with Fresh Salsa
  • Mixed Olives

 

Dinner Options:

 

            Zucchini Noodles with Leek-Tomato Sauce

  • ½ Zucchini sliced thin whichever way you like
  • ¼ cup chopped white onion
  • ½ leek chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ cup tomato puree
  • Salt, pepper, any other herbs of your choice

 Set cut zucchini aside, heat olive oil at medium heat and then add onion, leek with salt, pepper and other herbs. Add tomato puree to pan and mix. Pour over zucchini and enjoy!

 

Turkey Sandwich with Brie and Cranberry Dressing

  • ½ cup pulled turkey
  • 2 pieces of your choice of bread
  • 1 Tablespoon crumbled brie cheese
  • Handful of greens
  • Drizzle cranberry sauce over all of the contents and season with pepper

 

While you are not working it is also a useful tip to have other foods prepared so you can just grab and go. Have cut up fruit ready for a fruit salad or cut up vegetables that you can dip into your favorite dressing. Pre-made egg salad or any other kind of salad and keep it in your refrigerator, so that you can simply spread it between toast, with some spinach and a slice of tomato for a quick meal. The options are endless for quick eats so that you can grab and go while heading out the door to the hospital!

 

No Comments | Tags: nursing issues, Travel Nurse Tips

February 2, 2015
strike nurse jobs

What are “Strike Nursing Job?”

There’s been a whole lot of nurses going on strike lately in the news. From California Kaiser’s nurses announcing their strike last month, to nurses from University of Chicago announcing theirs just a couple days ago. It all basically comes down to nurses banning together sick and tired of certain problems over sick leave, benefits, and other labor dispute reasons.

But—what happens when nurses strike?

When nurses strike, it can cause a lot of devastation. According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, during strikes in-hospital mortality rates of patients rises nearly 20%! Plus, admissions to hospitals reportedly also increase about 6.5% during time of strikes.

When it comes to strikes causing potential losses of productivity, something must be done. Because, being short-staffed in the healthcare industry isn’t just inconvenient…it’s deadly. From the high rise of these strikes,  rising from 670,000 to over a million from 1990 to 2008, there became a new industry–strike nursing companies. These companies started in order to help alleviate some of this desperate need for strike nursing jobs in the U.S. Their sole mission is to help short-staffed hospitals get skilled RNs to step in during their desperate times.

Nursing strikes isn’t just a health concern for the public and the patients who may not be able to get cared for, but it’s also a huge hit for the business aspect as well. No matter how many employees a hospital has, there’s going to be consistent numbers of patients always coming in. So they can’t very well lose the productivity (and profit) from being staffed sufficiently enough to provide proper care, but they risk lawsuits and losing time to help.

All about strike nursing jobs:

A lot of times, due to the urgency of filling positions in healthcare facilities and hospitals during strikes, nurses who volunteer to nursing strikes jobs are given some pretty sweet perks. For instance, some RNs get immediately offered large base rates because of the demand for replacement workers. And, because strikes are so sudden–facilities are ill-prepared for restaffing per diem employees. But, for RNs who sign up for strike nursing jobs, they can see flight itineraries sent out within like a day!

Perks of nursing strike jobs:

  • The money is a huge incentive—strike nursing companies have no choice but to pay top dollar for strike nurses because of the urgency and demand to fill positions.
  • Getting the experience and learning how hospitals may work differently in other regions or states can help nurses gain valuable knowledge that most other health professionals don’t get.
  • It’s great for people who want to travel, but want to on a short notice.
  • It lends a plethora of intrinsic rewards being able to know you are helping a hospital and it’s patients during a time of crisis.

Although all nurses value the profession, some feel that it is wrong to “wear the scrubs of a scab.” Scab is a term for a member of a nursing union. However, strike nurses aren’t undermining their fellow RNs, they simply are stepping in and temporarily performing duties that have to get done–no matter what! Hospitals always need to be fully-staffed and when there aren’t people there to treat the sick and injured, then our system is flawed.

Travel Nurse Source is proud to help strike nursing companies gain strike nurses to the American facilities that are in need desperate need of your talents.

No Comments | Tags: Nursing Shortage, Nursing Shortage Solutions, Special Nurses, Travel Nurse Career, Travel Nurse News, Travel Nurse Tips

January 23, 2015
History's Most Famous Nurses

History’s Most Famous Nurses

Believe it or not, the nursing profession as we know it, is less than 150 years old! Before that, hospitals/medical practice were relatively unsafe and many people just treated their sickness at home. It wasn’t actually until the 19th century that nurses even began having any formal training at all–it was typically just nuns or military personnel (during wartime) that treated people with injuries or illness. In the span of time that more modernized nursing practices have been in place, we’ve seen some notable nurses through the years. Some have faced adversity, others have just been straight-up innovators in the field, and some are just downright infamous.

 

Florence Nightingale

We all know Florence Nightingale—she’s essentially the mother of modern nursing education. Nightingale has several names that have been bestowed upon her such as “The Queen of Nurses” and “The Lady with the Lamp.” Her nicknames say it all–she was a revolutionary woman. After having treated countless British solider in the 1800′s, she realized her mission in life was to teach proper hygiene for patient-care.

 

Clara Barton

Clara Barton is perhaps the most widely-known American nurse of all time. After all, we all know about her main accomplishment of founding the American Red Cross in 1881 at the golden age of 60. However, she originally began working as a teacher before hitting the nursing profession during the Civil War where she was affectionately known as the “angel of the battlefield.”

 

Mary Breckinridge

Mary Breckinridge became an RN in 1910. During her career she practiced in Washington D.C., Boston, and France where she was part of the American Committee for Devastated France. While she was in France, Breckinridge decided that her new passion would be practicing midwifery. She started in London and eventually brought it into the United States. Today, she is credited with bringing the midwife practice to America. Breckinridge created the Frontier Nursing Service which brought prenatal/postnatal care to the people around eastern Kentucky. Her organization would provide care and transport newborn babies on horseback. For their services, they asked for little payment in return.

 

Mary Ezra Mahoney

Another memorable RN named Mary was Mary Ezra Mahoney. She was the very first African-American woman to become a nurse–or even finish nursing training at all. In fact, Mahoney was so good that she was one of the only 4 out of 42 people that ended up finishing the New England Hospital for Women and Children. She was allowed to attend nursing school as a black woman because they loosened their practices when they saw how talented she was. To combat discrimination that black nurses faced in that time, in 1908 she helped to found the National Association of Colored Graduate Nurses (NACGN).

 

Martha Jane Cannary (“Calamity Jane”)

I HAD to include Calamity Jane on this list of famous nurses in history. Although to be fair, she’s had quite a few other professions as well. She may be most known for hanging around Wild Bill around the time where she dressed like a dude and her favorite hobbies included swearing, drinking, and shooting. As she explored the Frontier, she worked as a miner, an oxen driver, a cook, a gold prospector, a prostitute, and a NURSE. When smallpox broke out in 1878, Jane apparently nurses 8 men. Legend has it, she saved 5 of them—perhaps due to Epsom salts and cream of tartar concoction.

 

Walt Whitman

Another famous nurse that was known more popularly for other professions was Walt Whitman. In addition to his time spent as a teacher, a journalist, and of course one of the best-known American poets–he was also a volunteer nurse for three years during the Civil War. Sure, he never received traditional nursing training but he was able to aid in healing wounded (both body and soul) by listening attentively to their stories and writing letters to their families back home.

 

Margaret Sanger

In the old days, contraceptive education was a total taboo. That is, until Margaret Sanger came onto the scene and completely led a fresh movement towards more progressive sexual dialogues. Born in 1916 to a large Irish-Catholic family, Sanger had seen the devastating effect 18 pregnancies had on her mother’s health. This may have been what inspired her to leave home for nursing school and ultimately open the very first birth control clinic in the U.S. (even though it was illegal….) Later in life Sanger would found both the American Birth Control League as well as the Birth Control Clinical Research Bureau. And, just six years before Margaret Sanger would pass away, the FDA approved the first oral contraceptive (“the pill”) in 1960.

 

 Florence Guinness Blake

In the 20th century, Florence Guinness Blake contributed to the advancement of education for nurses. Most of her career focused on caring for children and teaching nurses how to take care of pediatric units. She created the first ever advanced pediatric nursing program at the University of Chicago. Plus, she wrote several textbooks for RNs. She was a huge advocate for children and revolutionized the way we look at pediatric nursing.

 

Through history, we’ve seem some pretty interesting famous nurses.  (Maybe one day, you’ll even become one!)

No Comments | Tags: Uncategorized

January 9, 2015
nurses voted most trustworthy profession

Nurses Voted “Most Trusted Professionals”….AGAIN

When you think about the types of careers held by people with high standards for ethics and honesty, it’s no surprise that the care-giving and health fields are at the top of the list. However, once again, Gallup’s 2014 poll found that Americans view nurses as the most trustworthy profession—a higher ranking than given to medical doctors and pharmacists which tied for second.

Periodically since 1976 and annually since 1990, Gallup has asked Americans to rate their perception of both ethics and honesty in different types of careers. Nurses were first included in the survey in 1999. For most of the new millennium, nurses have been rated at least “very high or high level of ethics and honesty” by 80% of individuals surveyed. In fact, in 2012 an applause-worthy 85% of Americans said they viewed nurses as at least a high level of trustworthiness. The only exception to this was in the early 2000′s when firefighters were included in the survey and it was in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.

If nurses were voted extremely high on levels of trustworthiness, it was pretty predictable which professions Americans considered very unethical or dishonest. You may have guessed that car salesman and members of congress were among the bottom two trusted professions, respectively. People in fields like advertising, banking, business, and law also performed relatively low in their survey findings for trustworthiness. Nurses has consistently lead the pack in ratings of moral perceptions even beating out other professions like grade school teachers, daycare staff, and elder caregivers.

It seems that none of the ratings significantly changed from their ratings in the previous few years. One interesting development that has emerged from the survey, however, is the drop law enforcement has seen in the past year. It seems that due to a lot of the media coverage in 2014 and events that unfolded have caused decreased levels of perceived honesty and ethics in police. Fewer nonwhite respondents were saying that they felt police officers had high levels of trustworthiness. Screen Shot 2015-01-09 at 3.03.17 PM

Additionally, perhaps because of the Ebola scare that occurred this fall, there was a slight decrease in levels of overall trust this year as compared with last year’s results. And overall, there have not been any improvements in trustworthiness in any fields. Nurses even were a few percent down from 2013′s results.

The survey was conducted December 8-11, 2014. The sample size was random and consisted of 805 adults (over age 18) citizens in all the 50 states and was a phone interview (50% cellphones, 50% landlines dialed randomly.)

This 2014 survey, and the other surveys conducted in previous years, continue to remind us how respected and beloved nurses are.

 

No Comments | Tags: Nursing Surveys, Uncategorized

January 7, 2015

 

travel nursing destinations

What to Consider to Find Your Perfect Winter Travel Nurse Assignment

January is known as the busy season in the travel nursing industry. And, there’s lots of reasons why. If you think about it, this is the time of the year when temperatures reach their lowest points and severe weather can make some summer-souls want to run for the hills! Luckily, when you’re a travel nurse, you literally can make a run for any destination you desire and whenever you feel like it. But, when father winter strikes—how does a travel nurse know where to go to?

The first step is to think about what kind of place you’d like to be climate-wise. Are you looking into an assignment that will come in like a lion and out (in spring) like a lamb? Then choose a temperate location. Maybe Baltimore, MD or Williamsburg, VA. Or, maybe you want to embrace the extreme temperatures of the seasons—for better or for worse.

If you’re someone who hates being cold and especially hates shoveling, salting, and slipping on ice; you clearly want a warmer place. Think like, Sacramento CA or Miami, FL. Also, Texas is always super warm and there’s a huge market for travel nursing there. Pretty much anywhere where flip-flop season is every season is the place to be for nurses that crave the sunshine all year round!

If you’re someone who actually LOVES the cold, then choose a destination where you can indulge you’re inner snow-bunny. Consider Salt lake City, UT or Denver, CO. Or, perhaps Montpelier, VT! Picking an assignment where you can both work in your rewarding healthcare field AND hit the slopes on your down time is seriously a paradise for winter-loving travel nurses.

Another thing to explore when you’re choosing a winter travel assignment is your other life priorities and how the location may affect them. For example, would choosing a warm climate perhaps take you much further from family than you would hope for? Or, which locations are more interested in filling winter positions than others. Because of that, which facilities will offer the best pay and benefits? You also want to consider how far from your work your travel housing will be. If you’re choosing a colder place during the winter, it may cause some issues traveling during severe snow and ice conditions. And nurses can’t take snow days.

Regardless of what your winter goals are, considering new locations to travel can be a hard decision no matter what season we’re in! The best way to get started is to really think about what your motives are. After all, in the profession of travel nursing, we do it so that we can get the opportunities to see what we wish to see and lead the lives we wish to live.

Most important of all though for travel nurses this season? Just enjoy and love every single minute of it. Get browsing for your next travel nursing assignment today with Travel Nurse Source.

No Comments | Tags: Destinations, Travel Nurse Career, Travel Nurse Destinations, Travel Nurse Housing, Travel Nurse Tips, Travel nursing jobs

December 29, 2014
best nurse characters on TV

TV’s Best Nurses Ever

TV has always had it’s share of healthcare professions in the spotlight. From “ER” to “Scrubs”, we’ve allowed some seriously awesome nurse characters into our living rooms over the years. But, some depictions of nurses put the profession in a better light than others and some TV nurses are downright crazy. Regardless, it’s still a treat to see our beloved career flash across screen. As nursing continues to be one of the hottest career options out there in 2015, it’s a good time to reflect on some of our favorite fictional RNs.

“Major Margaret ‘Hot Lips’ Houlihan” on MASH

Maj. Margaret 'Hot Lips' Houlihan (Loretta Swit), M*A*S*H

CBS/Landov

For over a decade, Loretta Swit played both humorous and series roles in her portrayal of “Hot Lips” on the show MASH. Not only that, but her character posed as a supreme role model for women as she spoke out against sexism in her male-dominated platoon.

 

“Carla Espinosa” on Scrubs

Carla Espinoza (Judy Reyes), Scrubs

Bob D’Amico/ABC

Judy Reyes played the ultimate sweet yet sassy nurse on the hilarious show Scrubs. It may have helped that Reyes had a real life RN for a sister. Either way, Carla Espinosa delighted us from 2001-2009 as the sensible colleague, wife, and friend to the other stars on the show.

“Nurse Jackie” on Nurse Jackie

Jackie Peyton (Edie Falco), Nurse Jackie

Ken Regan/Showtime

Despite the many qualms regarding the morals of Nurse Jackie on the hit Showtime series by the same name, the stellar plots and writing make her character strangely loveable. Sure, she may have been addicted to drugs and having an affair–but, Edie Falco’s talented onscreen presence was hard to turn away from.

“Carol Hathaway” on ER

Carol Hathaway (Julianna Margulies), ER

NBC

Besides the absolute jealousy most of womankind felt over Carol Hathaway’s on-again off-again romance with George Clooney’s character; her dynamic presence as ER’s head nurse helped make this long running medical drama a total hit with audiences worldwide.

 

“Ann Perkins” on Parks and Recreation

Ann Perkins, Parks and Recreation

NBC

Ann Perkins is probably the most sensible character in a hilarious ensemble of characters on NBC’s hit show Parks and Recreations. The right-hand woman to Ann Poehler’s eccentric “Leslie Knope”, Ann is always there to lend excellent friendship AND medical advice.

“Helen Rosenthal” on St. Elsewhere

Helen Rosenthal (Christina Pickles), St. Elsewhere

Herb Ball/NBCU Photobank

Christina Pickles played the more than competent senior nurse on the popular 80′s drama St. Elsewhere. On the show, her character showed strength against more than personal turmoils, but also a strong comradery between herself and staff at the fictional St. Eligius Hospital.

“Veronica Callahan” on Mercy

Mercy Nurse NBC

Mitchell Haaseth/NBC

Despite this nurse’s post traumatic stress disorder battles, the character of Veronica Callahan was a fierce lady leading a pack of young Jersey nurses. However, even with the fresh script and realistic dialogue, the show only lasted one season before it got the axe.

 

“Julie Baker” on Julia

Julia Baker (Diahann Carroll), Julia

NBCU Photobank

From the last 60′s until the early 70′s Diahann Carroll portrayed one of the small screen’s first African-American leading ladies in a non-stereotypical role. In addition to Julie’s strong role as a female of color, she also maintained a strong role as a single mother and Vietnam War widow.

 

“Peter Petrelli” on Heroes

Peter Petrelli (Milo Ventimiglia), Heroes

Mitch Haaseth/NBC

Male nurses are largely underrepresented in our media, even today. Therefore, Milo Ventimiglia’s role a a supernurse (literally…he had superpowers) was almost a metaphor for nurses everywhere, regardless of gender. Because, when you think about it, all nurses are sort of like superheroes.

 

Did your favorite TV nurse make the list?

 

No Comments | Tags: Uncategorized

December 22, 2014

how nurses can shed holiday pounds

Temptation lurks around every corner between Thanksgiving and New Years. Overindulging and breaking the diets are just part of the holiday culture. The best to combat the inevitable weight gain of the season is to take preventative measures such as pacing yourself and not arriving to any holiday shindigs with an empty stomach—but, let’s be real. Where’s the fun in that? Travel nurses are even more susceptible to the allure of seasonal snacking than others. Being in a different place during the holidays can stir up a lot of emotions and cause us to over indulge. So in order to repent all of our face-stuffing sins, we can take a few easy steps to melt away those extra couple lbs from all that eggnog, gingerbread men, and holiday ham.

Nurses: Ways to Shed the Holiday Weight

Make realistic goals

Naturally, this is the time of the year where a lot of us decide to lose like twenty pounds or so. But, impatience ensues and our desires and pressure to quickly meet your goals backfire and it causes you to actually abruptly quit your routine. Weight loss doesn’t just happen overnight and unfortunately you can’t just ask Santa for your beach bod back. Think one or two pounds a week, not 5. If you deprive yourself, you’re likely to quickly gain back anything you lose.

Stay hydrated

As nurses, you’d think we would know something as simple as the difference between thirst and hunger. But, even still, we can mistake our need for H2O with a need for that extra doughnut. Make sure to always have a bottle handle and try to drink more than you usually do. Whether or not you’re aiming to lose weight, drinking water frequently through your shift is important in nursing. All the running around we do causes thirst and chance of dehydration anyway!

Eat frequently

Eating small filling and nutritious snacks throughout the day will do more good than fasting all day and then binging on a huge meal. Plus, the little healthy snacks will do good to boost your energy levels for a long shift at the hospital. If you only eat huge meals after a day of deprivation, you’ll end up feeling burned out and perform worse at work.

Don’t clean your plate

If you’re going out to eat, set aside a portion of your meal (about 1/3 of it) and ask for it in a doggy bag. Instead of consuming all those calories at once and then spending more money on lunch; save both money and calories by using the leftover portion as your next meal.

Add light-calorie flavor to your food

Instead of using condiments high in calories, substitute your flavor by adding salsa, garlic, or red pepper flakes to your food. The burst of flavor will satisfy cravings for tasty foods but won’t add those empty condiment calories like mayo does.

Put the bottle down

After all the drinking that you may do during the celebrations of the season, you should cut the consumption of alcohol. Alcohol is extremely heavy in empty calories and will lower your will-power to keep a healthy eating routine. Tasty cocktails are the worst offenders and one drink alone can pack as many cals as a rich dessert. Bottom line, if you want to lose weight, drink water instead.

Additionally, you should stay away from soda. Soda is a source of unneeded calories. In fact, according to a study conducted by Perdue University, subjects who consumed 450 calories of soda a day actually gained substantially more weight than people who consumed 450 calories of jelly beans a day. Weird!

Schedule splurges

If you have only 2 over-indulgent meals for every 21 you eat, you can still have “naughty” meals without sabotaging your commitment to your diet. Allowing yourself treats can make you feel less deprived and give yourself rewards for all your hard work.

Leave your self motivational messages

If you’re struggling to fight the urge to head to the fridge whenever you’re bored, leave yourself notes to keep yourself on the right path. You can do a lot to remind yourself of your goals by leaving positive messages for yourself. You can be your biggest supporter while becoming your smallest size!

 

Travel nursing can be difficult during the holidays, but losing the weight can be easier when you take small steps to make changes. Just remember that the biggest thing you can do to be healthy is to think positively!

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

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!

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