Friday, April 29, 2016

The Nursing Site Blog Recognized Again


top-40-nursing-blogs

Once again, I am very honored to have The Nursing Site Blog named one of the Top 40 Nursing Blogs 2016. This time the honor comes from HealthcareAdministrationDegree.co.

I am honored to be chosen along with so many fabulous blogs. Please be sure to check out the list and all of theses great blogs! And be sure to have a look around the website as well.They have a lot of very helpful information for nurses and student nurses.

Thanks so much for this recognition of my efforts to serve the nursing community!



Friday, April 22, 2016

Health Care Illiteracy

Health care illiteracy is a subject near and dear to my heart. Having spent the majority of my career in home health and hospice where I got to spend quality time with patients and their caregivers and loved ones, this issue became very evident in the patient education process. This field affords nurses the opportunity to spend one-on-one time with patients and follow through for a short while to see the effects and hopefully improved outcomes.

We all learn in similar and yet different ways. I know I'm a visual and tactile learner. If I can't watch and touch and do, it's almost impossible sometimes. So to hand me a brochure and say read this and learn about your medication or illness is not an effective tool for me!

And when you don't know enough about something to even begin to ask questions, it's a very scary feeling and situation to find yourself in.

I was so very pleased and humbled to be asked to write an article of my choosing for the American Nurses Association's (American Nurse Today) new blog launch. My topic is Non-compliance or Health Care Illiteracy? It posted the week of April 13. There are some great nurse authors contributing to the blog so be sure to check it out every week.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Culture of Safety Nurses Week 2016 Theme

The American Nurses Association theme for Nurses Week 2016 is Culture of safety, it starts with YOU. Nurses Week is May 6-12 each year. The ANA is offering a FREE Webinar. Register now to attend "Culturally Congruent Care; Why Diversity makes a Difference."

Check back here every day May 6-12 for some great Give-Aways from The Nursing Site Blog. And if you'd like to get some recognition for your nursing-related products, contact me about adding your product(s) to the Give-Away list.

Gift cards for purchasing your item(s), books, socks, scrubs, courses, etc., all make great Give-Away items. You'll get exposure through all of the Nursing Site social media as well as hundreds of thousands of readers.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Time Management Skills Ebook from Kathy Quan

Time management skills are not easily taught in nursing school. Often because nursing students may be assigned only 1-3 patients at a time, and this barely approaches the real world scenarios that new grads are thrust into.  (And remain for the duration.)

  • Organizational skills are the heart of the process of managing time, and if you are not organized, you will never manage your time effectively and efficiently. 
  • Communication is another key element and inherent in effective communication is listening as well as speaking. Communication is an art that requires constant practice.  
  • And the third major point is expecting the unexpected which is almost a guarantee every single shift in health care no matter the field in which you practice. 

Explore with me how to begin the processes of organizing your day, communicating effectively and learning to flex with the unexpected that is inevitable. Learn how to work smarter and not harder.

While this is not rocket science, learning to better manage your time can make all the difference in the world to your performance, productivity and stress levels. Your patient outcomes will improve as well.

Take a long hard look at yourself and see where you can improve. I have often written about the subject and have now combined that information into one document.

The Ebook is now available on Kathyquan.com.
 NOTE: Should you experience a glitch in accessing the .pdf after purchase, contact me and I will get you your file ASAP! 

Check it out....


Friday, April 8, 2016

Check Out Improvoscopy:Serious Play for Safe Care

I would like to take this opportunity to introduce you to an innovative program currently under development from Beth Boynton RN MS of Confident Voices in Healthcare. 

 Improvoscopy: Serious Play for Safe Care is a program designed to utilize medical improv activities to educate nurses and other healthcare professionals using a FREE "online library for the healthcare workforce designed to promote emotional intelligence (EQ) and interpersonal skills!  There isn't much of this training in medical and nursing schools and the skills are essential for working together in teams and providing care that is heartfelt and safe!"

Improvoscopy: Serious Play for Safe Care is in the funding stages. You can view demos of the program, and make a contribution to help fund this fabulous innovative project.



Saturday, March 26, 2016

Documentation Help for Nurses and Home Health Professionals

Documentation is a common issue for many nurses. It's an absolute necessity wherever you practice. And we all learned in Nursing 101 that if you don't chart it, you didn't do it! It's a legal issue and it's a nursing issue for continuity of care.

How often have you gone in to follow another nurse and felt uncomfortable because it isn't clear in the chart what was done, what was given and/or what education was provided; never mind what the outcomes were?! 

Patient safety is left at risk. Precious time is wasted re-inventing the wheel in a system where a shortage of staff can not afford to waste any time! Concise, accurate, effective documentation is an absolute to providing and improving quality patient care.

Yet documentation always seems to be left to the end of the day to record all that transpired and exhausted nurses simply cannot give it their best efforts. That's just not acceptable!

Yes, the hands on care and teaching you do with every patient is essential to making a difference, but documentation is the glue that holds the case all together. It doesn't have to be a novel. It just has to tell the story of who, what, when, where, why and how. And that doesn't have to be complicated.

My specialty is home health and hospice. Recently I published a course on Teachable.com to help skilled home health professionals improve their documentation through a process that makes it easy to identify key elements that MUST be in the documentation.

The course includes information about the Basic Requirements and how to ensure they are met. And then there are 4 case studies to review for examples to learn the process. It can be taken as an individual or an annual fee basis is available for agencies to use as part of their staff education curriculum. I hope you'll check it out and find it helpful in your practice.

Watch for more courses coming soon.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Staying Safe at Work

Staying safe in the workplace is important to maintaining your personal health and longevity in your career. This can be particularly challenging in health care environments where there are multiple hazards that workers face every day. There are numerous issues that can occur during one shift of nursing or other health care work activities. Here are a few reminders of how you can maintain your safety in the health care workplace.  
 
Basic Steps You Can Take
There are a variety of ways you can stay safe in the work environment in general. In order to prevent injuries, make sure you wear protective gear, take breaks to relax and stretch your muscles, lift items or people using safe lifting processes, check that your equipment and uniforms are a fit for your body, and ask about any health resources that are available. 
There are other general precautions you can take to prevent injury or illness, including getting enough sleep, maintaining a healthy weight, managing stress in an appropriate way, eating a healthy diet and staying active. These steps help ensure you support your body with positive health.

Good health is one of the cornerstones of staying safe at work. If you compromise your health by losing sleep and not dealing with stress, this can have a negative impact on your safety at work.

Nurses and Safety
Safety is one of the number one issues that face employees who work for a heath care organization. Because health care is one of the fastest-growing industries in the country, preserving the health of this worker population is important to economic growth and development. Health care workers face a number of safety hazards, including:
·       Stress
·       Needle stick injuries
·       Back injuries
·       Violence
·       Latex allergies
The exposure to these hazards cannot be eliminated. However, strategies to avoid or reduce occurrence and limit the impact of these safety issues can be adopted. Be sure to follow your facility or agency policies carefully, and be proactive in suggesting improvements. Nursing staff face the highest risk for exposure to these conditions and issues. Nurses need to be tested for TB yearly, and be trained to protect themselves from these hazards. This training should be an annual event and include:
·       How to avoid musculoskeletal injury and other soft tissue injuries
·       How to use safe lifting procedures and mechanical lifting devices
·       How to advocate for safety measures to curb any potential violence issues in your facility
·       How to safeguard against needle sticks
·       Why wearing gloves is an important protection measure
·       What consistent safety procedures are required, for example, a yearly flu shot
Protect Yourself
Health care workers and nurses in particular face a number of safety hazards on the job. Protecting yourself from these hazards is essential to continued career longevity and reduced injury. Measures should be adopted by organizations that help to prevent injury and support health care workers at they try to stay safe at work. 

photo
Jennifer E. Landis
Health Journalist

Thanks Jennifer!


 

Friday, March 4, 2016

Why 2016 is the Perfect Time to Start a Nursing Career

By Linus Minick

There has never been a better time to become a nurse! While you have probably already heard of the current nursing shortage throughout the world, this trend is predicted to continue into 2016. Studies show that about 233,000 additional jobs for registered nurses will open in 2016, but only 200,000 candidates passed the Registered Nurse licensing exam in 2015. While this is putting more demand on current health care staff, this also means that getting an education in nursing is highly employable. In fact between the years 2012 and 2020, employment for nursing is expected to grow by 19%.

The increased demand for nurses is multi-faceted, including an aging baby boomer generation, greater same-day care, financial pressure on hospitals to discharge patients sooner and stretch staff, and the need to replace a retiring generation.

Aging Population Increases Demand for Nurses
An increase in the aging senior population correlates to a rise in chronic conditions that will need extended, regular care. Patients who have chronic diseases with growing complications are expected to need more medical attention than the average patient with a curable disease. Multiple admissions to a hospital, for longer periods of time, is going to further stress the current shortage of nurses.

Better technology now allows for more procedures to be done within a doctor’s office, on the same day you have an appointment. Instead of your family practice sending an order to your hospital to complete a procedure, the procedure will be done in the same family office where you met your primary care physician. The inflation of same-day procedures is going to lead to a higher demand for skilled nurses in the private medical sector as well as in hospitals.

There are also financial pressures on hospitals to discharge patients quickly, which in turn has lead to admittance in long-term care facilities. Again, with more patients needing long-term care, this affects the demand for medical staff, nurses particularly. All of these factors, along with a large section of the baby boomer generation retiring or reducing their workload, leave an ever-increasing demand for registered nurses.

Nurses Salaries Increase With Education
Statistics aside, nursing also has fewer quantifiable benefits. Not only do nurses help people and save lives, there are many specialties within nursing to choose from. Each career choice a nurse makes comes with its own unique challenges, perks and income. The average salary of a registered nurse is $65,470, however with advanced degrees and training, salaries can easily reach six figures. While this of course varies depending upon the region where you are employed, you can rest assured that you will be earning a comfortable wage. In this way, you can choose a specialty that works best for you.


So if all this wasn’t enough to convince you that nursing is one of the most employable careers in the coming decade, think about the more serious consequences of the nursing shortage. The lack of skilled nurses is literally costing lives. Lower nurse-to-patient ratios coupled with longer time spent with patients, increases the quality of healthcare and reduces patient morbidity. Not only will you be saving lives as a nurse; you will enter a career that offers unbound opportunities for fulfillment and advancement.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Technology and Nursing: How Tech Savvy Should Nurses Really Be?


Technology continues to scale globally in every sector, and healthcare is no exception. From online job applications and software/computerized orientation education to electronic patient charting, technology is already a key component of healthcare even before the nurse gets to a patient’s bedside.

Technology and the generation gap
As healthcare continues to become more intricate and demanding, it is important that health care centers establish a strong, competent nursing team that works cohesively to provide patient-centered care. But this is not a very easy process, considering that today’s workforce comprises four distinct generations with a diverse age-group: traditionalists, baby boomers, generation X, and generation Y. Each age bracket offers a unique set of traits, values, and work views, and while the older generations (traditionalists, baby boomers, and generation x) were required to mentor the new, novice nurses, technology has changed the scenery.

Everyone acknowledges that advancement in technology in healthcare is necessary to streamline and hasten the process of information retrieval. The generation Y nurses are already comfortable and tackling technology with gusto, but many older nurses feel undermined and intimidated by the new requirements that involve electronic medical records, significant use, and other technologies in the workplace.

To help them become more technologically informed, empowered, and healthy, these seasoned nurses have to call on the expertise of the younger generation. So, the tech-savvy nurses are taking up a mentoring role to ensure smooth implementation of new technologies in the workplace. By mentoring their co-workers, the younger staff members feel valued, more respected, and self-assured. Seasoned nurses respect and appreciate the technical expertise of generation Y, and are more willing to exchange their knowledge for mutual growth.

Bridging the gap between technology and healthcare
Technology in healthcare is advancing rapidly as government incentives encourage institutions to implement and upgrade medical electronic records. A traditionally humanistic art, nursing is being pushed into a technologically dense atmosphere, which may become a stressor for the seasoned nurses. For nurses to stay ahead of the curve, some registered nurses are opting to specialize in IT and convert to nurse informaticists, whose roles include:
  • Nurse communicators – work hand-in-hand with other nurses to assist in the implementation and training of computer programs, and also identify and attend to computer system needs
  • Nurse programmers – they write, modify, and upgrade computer programs used by nurses
  • Nurse managers – administer or manage information systems  
  • Nurse vendor representatives – demonstrate systems to prospective customers
Healthcare facilities are opting to work with nurse specialists as opposed to IT professionals, because they have knowledge or experience with the nursing practice. But you cannot simply get training in nursing informatics without first completing nursing training, since informatics is a nursing specialty requiring an advanced degree.

IT is an inevitable part of clinical care, and nurses need to prepare for the changes. They need to be flexible and open to what is coming, remain educated on changing trends, and work with professional organizations and their co-workers to adapt to the new demands.  
 
This is a guest post from Marian College. Marian College is a nursing school located in California, providing students the opportunity to begin a successful career in vocational nursing. Marian College currently features 2 campus locations: Los Angeles, CA and Van Nuys, CA. Start a career in nursing!

Image courtesy of stockimages from Freedigitalphotos.net
 

Monday, February 22, 2016

Social Skills in Nursing – Introversion and Shyness

As a nurse, you’ll be in a field where talking is encouraged – it’s the nature of the job. It’s not your typical 9-5 office job where many people have limited communication because they are too busy doing technical work on the computer, etc. In the nursing field, you’re always interacting with your co-workers, your manager, and the patients. Social skills in nursing will surely benefit you.

I’m Shy and Introverted… Is Nursing for Me?
Many people who are shy and introverted have a tendency to be much less social than their counterparts – extroverted people who live off of social interaction. Those who are shy question whether or not nursing is the right field.

The quick answer: anyone can be a nurse
Just because you’re shy doesn’t mean you’ll make a bad nurse. You may even be able to perform your actual job duties better if you aren’t as worried about initiating small talk with everyone. Also, sometimes people would rather not be spoken to – but the safest play is to always remain courteous and at the very least “act” interested in someone’s life. We’ll tell you how this can be easily accomplished.

The Secret Ingredient: Validation
Validation goes a long way. Validation is something we all crave as human beings –it’s at the heart of our existence. In short, validation is simply giving someone attention in any manner. This can be done several ways:
  • Complimenting is a common way to validate someone’s existence
  • Congratulating someone on an achievement
  • Giving thanks
  • Asking how someone’s day is going. (not recommended for patients as if they are in the doctor’s office their day probably isn’t going too well)
  • Simply saying “Hi” or “Good morning”
  • Actively listening and asking questions is basic validation – can’t go wrong there!
The important takeaway here is that by validating someone, you will quickly see many conversation doors open based on their response. From their response,  you’ll be able to judge or pick up on whether or not the conversation will develop further. A patient may want to discuss his or her ailments with you and going into detail – just listen. A coworker might dive into conversation about his or her plans for the weekend – comment on how much fun that sounds (you may even get invited!). Your manager might validate you back by commenting on your performance on the job – thank them.

Social Skills is an Ongoing Learning Process
Building social skills is not something we’re magically born with – it’s something that is learned from childhood interaction with families, friends, and others while growing up. You can still remain shy and introverted and develop just enough social skills to become a star nurse! Trust me on this one and absolutely do not give up simply because you believe your shyness will make you unable to function as a nurse – scrap that mentality, don’t be afraid to learn through experience, and realize that many nurses are introverted just like you!

This is a guest post courtesy of Marian College. Marian College is a nursing school located in California, providing students the opportunity to begin a successful career in vocational nursing. Marian College currently features 2 campus locations: Los Angeles, CA and Van Nuys, CA. Start a career in nursing!

Image courtesy of artur84 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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