August 28, 2014
fall travels

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A new season is upon us. The nights are getting brisk, the kids are going back to school and the leaves soon will change color and fall. For a natural-born adventurer like a travel nurse, its prime time to pick up your belongings  and head to a new place  to enjoy the autumn harvest.

New England

The New England region is a marvelous place to be in the fall months. As the foliage begins to paint the avenues with vibrant yellows, oranges and reds its a spectacular time for anyone who enjoys nature. Photographers can take in the simplistic, small-town beauty and share masterpieces they capture while on a travel nurse assignment. Take a day to explore a pumpkin patch or go pick some top quality, fresh apples and bake the most superb pies. Celebrate some Halloween activities in October while on a travel nurse assignment in a New England state. For example, visit Salem, Massachusetts to see the spot of the notorious Salem Witch Trials. Or, scare the you-know-what out of yourself at the site of the Amityville Horror House in New York state where an entire family mysteriously was murdered and what inspired several twisted major motion pictures.

New England is legendary for its Indian Summers and bright, dynamic foliage. Take a tour of the breathtaking sites or go off hiking on your own to see all this grandeur by traveling to a New England this September on a travel nurse assignment!

East Coast Beaches

Are you a person who loves the tranquil sound of waves crashing on the shore but hate to experience it with all the loud overcrowded tourist beaches? Well, then take on a travel nurse assignment after Labor Day. This way, you can temporarily live in the gorgeous popular beach towns without the annoyance of loud crowds and traffic jams. Plus, the weather is starting to cool down in September and October so its less excruciating to spend time laying on the beach. Grab a book and a light sweater to indulge in a super relaxing afternoon on the sand! September is the best time to experience East Coast waterfronts. Just be careful of hurricane season!

Denver, Colorado

If you’re an avid beer snob, you may find yourself hankering to soak up the suds more than the sun. In the fall, Denver is an awesome city to live in if you want to check out some of the best beer festivals in the country. According to travelandleisure.com, “Fall here brings a chockablock lineup of sudsfests: the Denver Oktoberfest, the Denver Beer Fest, and the Great American Beer Festival, featuring 2,000 different beers from more than 400 brewers.”

Nashville, Tennessee

The Music City is a prime location for travel assignments in the fall months. Get out there early so you can experience the best the rockin’ city has to offer. Countless autumn music festivals are paired with farm-to-table fresh cuisine in the Nashville fall months. Food, wine, music, and book festivals are some of the reasons Nashville is one of the best places you could visit in September for a travel nurse assignment.

 

If you’re an RN looking to find some cherished moments of the season, explore some job openings in some of the regions above with Travel Nurse Source.

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August 27, 2014
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Savor the last weekend of summer!

Labor Day weekend is just around the corner and you know what that means: BBQs, yard games, bonfires, and hopefully a three-day weekend! Labor Day weekend serves as the nation’s last Hoorah as the carefree season comes to a close. So whether you’re hosting a party personally or attending a friends’, it’s always a great idea to have everything you’re going to cook or contribute sorted out ahead of time so you can be sure you have all the ingredients and save yourself from having to stress out or running around last minute!

Hosting or attending big cookouts such as those organized during Labor Day weekend attracts a lot of people with different tastes, so here’s a compilation of quick grilled dishes that are guaranteed to make everyone’s mouth water!

Chicken & Cheese Stuffed Jalapeño Poppers:

These poppers make for a great finger food snack or appetizer; it’s perfect for cookouts. It’ll provide a little kick among the other dishes you may be serving, and the fresh jalapeño will savor the flavor of summer!

Ingredients:

  • Large, fresh jalapeño peppers
  • 1/3 cup shredded chicken
  • 1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 4 Tbsp. reduced-fat cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup corn
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1 Tbsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. pepper
  • 1 Tsp. minced garlic

Instructions:

  1. Cut the jalapeños in half (length wise), removing the seeds and tops. Make sure you don’t leave any of the seeds unless you like it EXTREMELY hot.
  2. Mix the shredded chicken, cheddar cheese, cream cheese, corn, and spices together to make the filling.
  3. Scoop enough of your filling to fill the jalapeño halves.
  4. Sprinkle cheddar cheese on top of each popper.
  5. Using tongs, place them on the grill and cook for 8-10 minutes on medium heat or until the cheese starts to brown.

Recipe by: Saving Cents with Sense.

Hawaiian BBQ Burger:

This burger is delicious and takes about 5 minutes to prep and 15 minutes to cook! The ingredients listed below serves 4 people, so adjust measurements according to how many you plan to feed. This burger is light, quick, easy, and provides amazing flavors of summer with the added pineapple!

Ingredients:

  • 1lb ground beef
  • 1/4 bottle of KRAFT barbecue sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. pineapple juice
  • 4 slices of KRAFT singles
  • 4 pineapple slices

Instructions:

  1. Shape ground beef into 4 burger patties.
  2. Place burgers on a heated and greased grill.
  3. Whisk together KRAFT Barbecue Sauce and pineapple juice.
  4. While burgers are cooking, brush pineapple KRAFT Barbecue sauce mix on top until satisfied.
  5. Flip burgers and cook for an additional 5 -6 minutes (or until desired doneness).
  6. Place a slice of KRAFT Singles on each burger (about 1-2 minutes before burgers are finished).
  7. Grill pineapple slices and place on top of burger.

Recipe by: Made to be a Momma.

Fish Tacos:

This recipe is fresh, simple, and some of the best fish tacos out there! Takes about 15 minutes to prep and just 5 minutes to cook. This recipe serves 4 people, so if accommodating more be sure to adjust the measurements; it’s also gluten free!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup grape tomatoes chopped
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro chopped
  • 1 lime
  • ½ sweet onion, finely chopped
  • ½ Tsp. salt
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp. mayonnaise
  • 2 cups coleslaw mix or green or red cabbage, sliced into narrow strips
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 lb. whitefish – Tilapia or other whitefish
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 8 tortillas (use corn if gluten free)
  • 1 avocado, cut into strips

Instructions:

  1. Cut lime in half; juice one half and slice the other half into wedges.
  2. Combine tomatoes, cilantro, onion, jalapeño, onion, ¼ teaspoon salt and half the lime juice in a bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix yogurt, mayonnaise, and remaining lime juice.
  4. Combine coleslaw mix/ cabbage with 2 tablespoons of yogurt sauce in another bowl.
  5. Set extra yogurt sauce aside.
  6. Sprinkle whitefish with chili powder, black pepper, and remaining ¼ teaspoon salt
  7. Grill fish, cook 3 minutes on one side then flip and cook for 2 minutes.
  8. Serve by placing whitefish on top of tortillas and then adding homemade salsa, cabbage mix, avocado, and yogurt sauce.

Recipe by: Everyday Savvy.

Banana S’mores:

This is a dessert sent from above and super easy to make! Takes about 10 minutes to prep and grill, and your guests will LOVE it; it’s a perfect way to end your cookout!

Ingredients:

  • 1 peeled banana
  • 2 Tbsp. mini marshmallows
  • 2 Tbsp. chocolate chips
  • 2 Tbsp. slightly crushed Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal

Instructions:

  1. Preheat grill to medium high heat.
  2. Slice banana lengthwise and slightly open. Place on aluminum foil.
  3. Insert marshmallows and chocolate chips into sliced banana.
  4. Wrap banana in foil and grill for 5-6 minutes.
  5. Unwrap banana and top with cereal.

Recipe by: Tablespoon.

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August 18, 2014

 

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Almost as quickly as it came, summer is sadly coming to an end. Each year, we all make summer bucket lists but in reality, do you ever really get through everything you wanted to do? Most people get too caught up in their work flow or just forget to take the extra time to experience the new things they had hoped. Maybe you had some awesome events planned for the summer months and, like the majority of the population, just never got around to doing them…well summer may be closing in on us but it’s not too late to make an end of the summer bucket list and actually follow through with it!

Typically summer bucket lists include vacations and other ideas that take time to plan and some extra cash. But savor the last weeks of summer and try some of these ways to live it up and give your brain a rest from you busy work days!

[End of] Summer Bucket List:

  • Have an all-day Netflix binge. Nothing is more relaxing after a long couple of days helping patients than not moving from your bed all-day and binge watching your favorite series. Lucky for you, this bucket list item doesn’t require any money or planning. Some of my favorite series include Breaking BadRevenge, and Parks and Recreation. Even if you don’t have a Netflix account, they happily provide you with a one-month free trial–Just be sure to set a reminder to cancel your subscription before your free month is over or you will receive a $7.99 bill!
  • Volunteer. Whether there’s an animal shelter near you or a soup kitchen, volunteering can help you to learn a lot about yourself and those you are helping. Knowing that you’re making a difference in someone else’s life is just one of the many rewards you could experience.
  • Have a cook out. On your next day off, invite your friends, coworkers, and/or family in the area and have a huge cook out. Fill your yard with fun games and put those delicious Pinterest recipes you’ve been pinning all summer to good use! This will relieve any stress you may be holding in from the past couple days of work, a nice day with family and friends is sure to be the cure you’re looking for! Hey, you might even catch a tan as well!
  • Bonfire. So maybe you can’t catch a break from work and spend the day playing yard games and cooking out with those around you. If you’re working through the day and into the evening, a bonfire is the perfect way to relieve stress and relax with friends. Don’t worry, you can still use some of those awesome Pinterest recipes. Here’s some awesome ideas for campfire get togethers.
  • Try something you’ve never done before. Summer is all about being care free and having fun, so why not try something you’ve never done before! Whether it’s somewhere you’d like to visit, a new type of food you’d like to taste, getting a new hairstyle, trying out a 5k, etc., trying something new will always keep your mind open to new experiences! And who knows, maybe this new experience will become one of your favorite hobbies!
  • Watch the sun rise. If you’re stationed by the beach or even if you’re not, one of the most beautiful things in nature you can experience is a sunrise. The colors will absolutely blow you away and give you a feeling of peace. It really is the perfect way to start your day!
  • Do something crazy. So dealing with patients all day can get vert stressful and sometimes that stress is hard to relieve. Get your endorphins going and do something crazy for one night. Go back to your high school and college days and pull an all-nighter, go skinny dipping, have a little more drinks than normal, etc. Anything that kicks your adrenaline into gear is great for forgetting your troubles and having fun!

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August 15, 2014

early fall travel essentials

Summer’s been a blast. I’ve hit the beach, rode my share of gut-wrenching roller coasters, and peeled some hardcore sunburn; but as September draws near, I can’t help to be pretty stoked for the up coming season. Personally, fall is my favorite time of the year. Apple picking, the vibrant leaves falling, all the good horror movies on TV and pumpkin spice lattes making their much-anticipated return to my daily rituals. But, as in every new season, there are different things we need to remember when we live the jet-set lifestyle. The following are some of my personal necessities I absolutely NEED in the autumn months and that any traveling nurse should be sure to keep with them at all times!

What to wear, what to wear…

It’s all about layers. Be prepared for chilly mornings, warmer afternoons and brisk evenings. Early fall is so tricky for knowing the appropriate things to wear. Is it going to be cold on my morning commute? Do I want to really be stuck lugging around a heavy jacket at the airport when I get too warm? I know. Dressing for the temperature becomes quite the predicament.

Keep it light, but versatile. Windy fall days can make your teeth chatter, but wearing camisoles, wife-beaters or light tees layered underneath tops can add a level of cozy on-the-go! Ladies, bring a light linen infinity scarf that can brighten up your outfit and keep you warm without being too cumbersome to throw in your purse if need be. A beanie or slinky knit hat are great accessories for travelers in the fall as well. Plus, you can totally conceal a bad hair day while keeping your head warm. Win-win!

Be prepare with a cardigan or sweatshirt even on warm days just in case you need one later on. Light jackets that have lots of pockets are a great clothing staple to add to your wardrobe in later fall when the weather begins cooling down.

Bag it up. Men can carry bags, too! Check out L.L. Bean for some uni-sex tote bags that are perfect for keeping with you while traveling. Also for under $10 more, you can get your bag personally monogrammed so that it can’t possibly get mixed up in transit. A lightweight bag can help you can keep tickets, a water bottle, a light hoodie, phone charger, tablet and any other important things with you while on catching flights, trains–what have you. If totes aren’t your style, a trendy messenger bag is appropriate for both men and women.

Keep your skin prepped for cold weather…

In warmer weather, you may travel as more of a minimalist. But, when the wind gets colder in the early fall, its time to start thinking about keeping your skin hydrated. You’ve got to start bringing an SPF chapstick or lip balm with you to keep your lips kissable, not cracked. My favorite is Burt’s Bees because its natural, has SPF and leaves my lips feeling tingly and protected. Plus, even when the sun is out in the fall, you can still get sunburn on theold smoocherooney! Additionally, be sure to carry a travel size lotion at all times. If you have sensitive skin, opt for a scent-free variety.

Be ready to alleviate any fall allergies…

If you suffer from allergies during seasonal transitions, you’ve got to also keep yourself on your toes for any allergy flair ups. Make sure you are fully ready with tissues, eye drops, cough drops, decongestants, antihistamines, etc.

Kick off the early fall with the right shoes…

When traveling and walking around a lot, a comfortable pair of kicks is key. Also, in a nursing career, its crucial that your feet don’t end up with blisters or soreness from uncomfortable shoes. Both men and women can keep their feet feeling warm and comfy in a pair of moccasins or boat shoes. My personal favorite early fall shoes for comfort are definitely classic Minnetonkas–it makes me feel like I’m wearing slippers that are appropriate in public. When fall really gets going, ladies can wear comfortable brown leather or swede boots as long as they don’t have an uncomfortable heel. I adore my classic brown leather boots and they also keep my legs warm. Flats and tennis shoes are also nice to rock when you are being active on your journey.

Whether you’re a constantly flying off the seat of your pants or more of a complacent-type nurse, its always a must that you can make the smooth transition into the fall weather without any problems.

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August 12, 2014
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Each profession comes along with it’s own outside of work thought processes and annoyances. You may find yourself pointing out technicalities on television shows, advertisements, articles, etc., that those outside your field of work would never be able to recognize and vice versa. Whether it’s avoiding inaccurate reenactments of medical scenarios or living by unbreakable work habit rules, you know you’re a nurse if…

  • You own pens with prescription medication names on them.
  • Everyone refuses to watch medical shows with you because all you do is sit there and correct every inaccuracy throughout the entire episode.
  • You wash your hands before you use the restroom.
  • You believe there is a special place in hell for whoever invented the terrible call light.
  • You’re baffled by patients when they have more piercings than you can count are afraid of getting a shot.
  • You’ve placed bets on someone’s BAC.
  • 12-hour shifts do not pose a threat to your bladder control.
  • You’re a strong believer that not all patients are annoying, because remember, some are unconscious.
  • You’ve had to run out of a patient’s room to refrain from laughing uncontrollably in their face.
  • On your day off, you avidly check your caller ID to make sure it isn’t someone trying to get you to come into work.
  • Your family and friends always describe their injuries/symptoms so you can diagnose them.
  • You’re fine with eating during the free time you have between hanging blood and plasma.
  • You include caffeine in your basic food groups.
  • Your number one rule is “don’t get anything on you.”
  • All of your clocks are set to military time.
  • You think you hear call bells and jump out of bed in the middle of the night.

Better Left Unsaid.

There are also many times when, as a nurse, you wish you could just say exactly what you’re thinking. However, it’s usually best for the patient that these thoughts stay…well, thoughts. Here’s some things that as a nurse, you’ve thought, but (hopefully) have never said:

  • “Calm down, I’m not killing you.”
  • “This isn’t fun for me either.”
  • “It’s interesting that even though you describe your pain as 10/10, you’re able to sleep, eat, and talk on the phone just fine.”
  • “Your drug screening indicates that you do use drugs, despite you denying it. That’s weird.”
  • “Your arms are not broken as far as I’m aware, so please stop telling me they are.”
  • “I’m sorry, did you graduate from nursing school? Stop telling me how to do my job, please.”
  • “Stop being a baby.”
  • “You are not my only patient today.”

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August 7, 2014
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Believe it or not, celebrities are just like us. (Well, richer more glamorous versions of us.) But, everyone’s got to get their start somewhere. Some of our favorite people in the public eye were once in nursing school learning how to wipe other people’s tooshies! …yeah, as I was saying they once were just like us; I told you! You’ll never guess which famous people graced our country’s hospital corridors before making it on the silver screen.

Bonnie Hunt

For me, Bonnie Hunt seems like one of those celebrities that seem like they really have a genuinely caring personality. So, its not hard to believe that she once was a caring RN. Before she was given the small part alongside Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman in the movie Rainman, she was reigning supreme as an oncology nurse at the Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. Hunt may have been inspired to reach her dreams with the support of her patients. The actress said: “All the patients were telling me to go to California. My patients were dying, they were terminally ill. They said, ‘Go. Don’t fear failure. Go and fail, you’ll fail many times.’” And so she did.

Naomi Judd

Before the 5 time Grammy winner was a famous country musician in the Judds, she was working as a nurse in intensive care and also as a midwife. She was inspired to pursue a career in the medical profession after her brother passed away at the age of 17 and if she had not, she may not be the recognized woman she is today. While working at a nurse, it was actually a patient Judd was treating that landed her daughter an audition with the record label RCA. Together, they rose to stardom. (Nurses take note: you never know how helping others may ultimately shine some positive karma back. Pay it forward.)

Kate Gosselin

Famous for her reality show, Jon and Kate Plus 8, Kate let us get a peek into the life of a woman who was raising both twins and a set of sextuplets. But, before she had to put a normal career behind her, she was just like us. She worked at Reading Hospital and Medical Center in Pennsylvania. These days she is both an author, TV star and devoted mother (which as we all know, is more than a full-time job.) Maybe her training as a caregiver helped her get trained for the task of raising a small army of children!

Tina Turner

Before Tina Turner was “Tina Turner,” she was Anna Mae Bullock, just a girl from Nutbush, Tennessee dreaming of being a nurse. Turner worked as a nurses aid before she became the leggy songstress we know her as today.

Kim Zolciak

For 5 seasons of Real Housewives of Atlanta, Kim Zolciak, dazzled the nation with jaw-dropping drama and some fierce blonde wigs. But before we could watch Zolciak’s crazy adventures in Georgia, she received her nursing degree from University of Connecticut. It’s probably best that she took the move to Atlanta for her shot at reality stardom…I don’t think cat fights are appropriate on the hospital floor.

Walt Witman

Perhaps, 100% opposite of the previous celebrity on this list, famous “Leaves of Grass” poet was a nurse to soldiers during the Civil War.

 Jenny McCarthy

Jenny McCarthy, former Playmate, was once dreaming of being a nurse! Although she technically never became a nurse, she originally studied nursing at Southern Illinois University until she had to drop out because she couldn’t afford it. Who knows, if she had more funds, she may never have become the famous bombshell she is today. These days she’s traded in nursing scrubs and keds for designer digs and Louboutins.

 

 

These ladies all started out wanting to help people, but for different reasons were catapulted into new paths. Who knows, you just may find the next exciting chapter in your life as a nurse. Maybe you should try relocating with a travel nurse assignment  near Hollywood next.

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Kim Zolciak
Kim Zolciak

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August 6, 2014
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Patricia Hickey, vice president of critical care, conducted a large-scale study from hospitals throughout the country and cardiovascular services at Boston Children’s Hospital, revealing that nurse education levels and experience quite significantly correlates with patient mortality. Another study was conducted at the Radboud University teaching hospital in Nijmegen, the Netherlands, with similar results as well.

According to the study conducted at Boston Children’s Hospital, in order to decrease fatality rates among patients specifically undergoing cardiac surgery, analysts suggest there be no more than 20 percent of nurses with less than two years of hands on clinical experience present in pediatrics ICUs.

The survey examined 20,407patiends undergoing pediatric cardiac surgery. According to the study, in-hospital mortality rates were affected by the number of years experience nurses had; when nurses had less than two years of experience, the rates increased.  Hickey told Boston Magazine, “There is a continued need for retention strategies to ensure that experienced nurses remain in the pediatric critical care environment.”

Note: the total number of clinical experience was the major factor in this study, not how many years of experience nurses had in the ICU.

Similar findings, different country.

The Europe-wide study of hospitals and nurses also highlighted the affects of fatality rates among patients of nurses with varied education levels. The study was conducted by a combination of European and American researchers who looked at nurses’ qualifications across 300 hospitals in nine European countries. The study documented data for 422,730 patients admitted for surgery at participating hospitals in the Netherlands, Belgium, England, Ireland, Norway, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

The study done at the Radboud University teaching hospital required 23 nurses to examine a computer-generated cardiograph and practice their diagnostics skills; half of the nurses had university degrees in nursing while the other half had qualified through technical training. All 23 of the nurses were registered in one-year specialized courses to better develop their skills at the time, and the group included a mix of ages, qualifications, and experience levels.

Research shows, that each 10 percent increase within the percentile of nurses holding a bachelor’s degree correlated with a 7 percent decrease of fatality among the patient group.

Nursing Education Variations

While nursing education varies rom country to country, European guidelines require nurses to complete a minimum of 4,600 hours of relevant training, spread over three years; half of which should be spend training in a clinical hands-on setting.

Nursing education in the United States varies from state to state. Some states may required 500 hours of clinical experience, and limit the faculty-student ratio in the clinical setting to 1:10, while other states may not have minimal requirements for clinical hours but only allow a 1:8 faculty-student ratio in the setting. Some states may possess no requirement in clinical settings or experience at all.

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August 5, 2014
best traits of nurses

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It takes a special man or woman to be a nurse. Although, throughout my career, I hate to say I have encountered a few sour apple RNs. For me, I can’t understand that way of life. If you’re not happy with what you’re doing–how can you continue doing it? But, I realize everyone has a unique personality and skill-set. I just think that you should optimize what you’ve got. Because, if you don’t, you won’t ever make a difference! Life is short, make tiny but significant changes to the earth while you’re on it. Basically, the following post is a list of the traits I personally think not only make a great nurse, but all nurses should really have.

1. Compassion

As a nurse, you are frequently attending to patients who are absolutely terrified. These people can be children, mothers, elderly, whoever. You have to be mindful of what they’re going through. The best nurses are well aware of how their patients are feeling when they treat them. Also, the best nurses need compassion to understand how unruly family of patients might only be acting out of fear for a loved one. Once you can understand another person, you can interact with them in a way more positive way.

2. Patience

In the medical profession, patience is more than a virtue. Its the only way you can make it through the day. There’s a lot of dealing with other people’s needs. Not only the patients, but their families and even your co-workers. Let’s face it, hospitals are naturally stressful environments. And it often, there are a million things on hand you’ve got to worry about while on the floor. But, you have to think about what is most important. For someone who is sick, they need reassurance and care. You can’t rush through anything that involves the well-being of a person. You need to focus as much time as you need without getting worked up.

3. Professionalism

There’s a time and place for jokes…one place that is not appropriate for fooling around though is at work. Especially for a nurse. Yes, laughter is the best medicine, but only when administered in the right doses. And its important to give off a professional vibe so that your hospital’s visitors and patients know that they are in the most qualified hands. Your job as a nurse is to put others’ minds at ease, not fear that they are in the care of untrained amateurs. Also, you are going to encounter some highly disturbing things at work as a nurse, but you need to learn to not let it phase you.

4. Good Judgement

All nurses should be skilled in the art of thinking on their toes. You need to assess a situation post haste and be able to evaluate the best route of treatment. Anyone who has trouble making smart decisions on the fly should probably consider choosing a new profession. A fraction of a second can mean the difference between life and death. Practicality comes into play as an RN as well. For example, radical treatment that rarely works and causes unbearable pain may not be the right thing to do in certain cases, but it may be all you really can do in other circumstances.

5. Strong Communication Skills

In a career where you are around people all day, you need to have superior social skills. You need to effectively get information from patients to provide to doctors and assess the best possible ways to suit their needs. If you aren’t a good listener, you run the risk of overlooking a major issue. You also need to be able to interact with families. Skill in communication is an absolute must so you can properly interact with families and co-workers.

6. Strong Levels of Endurance

There’s seldom time to rest your feet as a nurse. You constantly need to be on the floor rushing around. And hours are long. Plus under-staffing is a huge issue that causes a need to do a lot more than you may have initially signed up for. You need physical and mental endurance.

7. A Thick Skin

A nurse simply doesn’t have time to be emotional. You’re going to encounter deaths, sad stories, you name it. Sick children with terminal illness might check-in. You need to keep a straight face and not let it get to you. Or, at least not let it show on the outside or affect your performance.

8. Flexibility

You need to be able to adapt to the gamut of issues. Sometimes the day will throw you a curve ball or something you’ve never seen or dealt with before and you need to be able to put it together under pressure.

 

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July 30, 2014
Tips for New Nurse Grads

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The first few months after becoming a new nurse will be very stressful. It’ll definitely take some getting used to as you transform from the nursing student to the fully responsible nurse professional in a short period of time. Typically, it takes about 90 days after you receive your first position before you begin to fully comprehend all your responsibilities and really get comfortable with your new environment—each day you will be gaining new skills and confidence! By the end of the first year, you should be pretty set!

  1. Patience- as a new nurse, it is essential to be patient with yourself. There is no way you’re going to know all of the answers or how to do everything exactly right off the bat. It will take time to learn from your facilities specific peers and mentors—not everywhere will operate the same. It is common to feel as if you aren’t prepared, but you will learn through experience and be an expert in no time.
  2. Optimize your knowledge- familiarizing yourself with the multiple systems used in facilities across the nation is a must. Utilize the free training of systems used at your hospital, having beyond the basic knowledge of the programs used will help to make you stand out in the sea of new nursing grads.
  3. Volunteer- the best way to get your foot in the door is to do volunteer work. Most agencies seek to hire nurses with experience, and volunteering will give you just that. It will also allow you to learn hands on from mentors within the facility. It is very beneficial to volunteer for positions in the specialty field you’d like to flourish in, that way you get hands on experience with materials you will be using most.
  4. Ask questions- if you are unclear about a certain procedure or report do not hesitate to ask questions. Your mentors will be more than happy to take an extra minute explaining something to you. You want to be sure you’re learning how to do everything the correct way the first time, rather than having to change your routine down the road.
  5. Help others- even though you may be inexperienced, you can always offer a helping hand to a needy coworker. You may be able to learn a few things from the person you are helping—it’s more likely that they will help you in return!
  6. Show initiative- just because you are a new grad, doesn’t mean you don’t know what you’re doing. You may not have as much experience as others in your facility, but mentors love seeing initiative being taken from the underdogs. Don’t wait to be appointed during a familiar procedure, if someone needs an IV and that’s your expertise, go ahead and do it! Also, make it a point to ask to be apart of procedures that are new to you, so you can gain the experience you need from them.

Being a new grad from any school is a challenge, but we’re here to help you land that perfect nursing job! Especially if you dream of becoming a travel nurse, it’s good to know what qualifications travel-nursing agencies are looking for so that you’ll need to help you be ahead of the bunch!

No Comments | Tags: New Nurse, Travel Nurse Agency, Travel Nurse Career, Travel nursing jobs

July 28, 2014
common injuires for nurses

Courtesy of: 123RF

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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No Comments | Tags: nursing issues

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