Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Nurses Be Kind to Yourself

I have always said and will repeat it again: nursing is one of the most rewarding careers, but it is also one of the most challenging; both physically and emotionally. Therefore it is essential for nurses as the premiere level of caregivers to set the bar high to take care of you! Nurses are the worst at taking care of themselves so it's time to once again nag and encourage you to try again to make you a priority. Nurses be kind to yourself and set a good example for your patients, their loved ones and caregivers.
  • Always make sure your body mechanics are correct and if they aren't STOP and get them right! Your back is your most important tool! If you harm your back, you will never be the same again. Don't take chances.
  • Do no harm, means to you too! Your safety has to be a priority! Those of us who work in the community (home health, hospice, etc.) know this rule. Those who work in facilities have to take care as well. Listen to your gut. Make safe choices in parking, entering and leaving cars and buildings, driving, etc. If it's not safe, don't go! Drive around the block and find another way.
  • Pack snacks and a healthy, nutritious meal (or 2) for your shift. Make this the routine and not the occasional option. Plan ahead and get into the habit of shopping for your snacks and meals and packing the brown bag.
  • Take time to eat as slowly as possible. And if necessary, snack through your shift, but make sure you put nutritious foods into your body every couple of hours. Feed your brain so you can make the best decisions.
  • Take time to pee. I know it seems impossible sometimes, but you need to take a couple of minutes for YOU so that you keep your body healthy.
  • Drink fluids. Yes, you'll have to pee again, but you needs adequate fluids to function properly.
  • If you don't take care of YOU, you won't be in the best shape to give your patients your best quality care!
  • Organize and prioritize your chores at home so you can do the simpler ones during your workweek, and only have a few things to accomplish on your time off. This way you can play and refresh and replenish your soul! Make lists and designate a time and a place for all the chores. And delegate whenever possible.
  • Make a reward journal. Write little notes to yourself to remind you of patients (no identifying info please) and the things you did that made a difference in their lives. Read the entries often, and especially when you've had a bad day. If you're not a journal writer, try writing a few words on a small piece of paper and putting it into a nice box.
Do something special for YOU at regular intervals. Take are of YOU so that you can give your best at taking care of others.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Top Career Tips for Nurses

The healthcare sector is in constant demand for nurses and it is one of the only sectors that is showing a constant demand for qualified personnel. Nursing is one of the areas where countless students are taking up studies and looking to begin their nursing careers. Understanding the job market and taking the right steps in your area of study will help you secure your nursing career. These are some tips you can use if you are planning to pursue a career in nursing.

Educational Qualifications

Obviously the first step in securing your nursing career is examining your educational qualifications. There are different educational qualifications required to become a nurse; one option is to get a bachelor’s degree in nursing from an accredited institution, and the second option is for students to complete an associate’s degree in nursing, the third option is for students to get a diploma from an accredited nursing program. The third option is ideal for those who are unable to commit to being a full time student however, in the U.S. this option has become rare. The LVN/LPN route for bedside nursing is more common. All options have prerequisites and educational requirements beyond the realm of clinical nursing skills such as math, sciences, and general education courses.

Successful Nursing Career Tips

  • Stress Management – As a nurse you will be faced with tough situations and it is important that you manage your stress levels well. You can learn stress management techniques and use them regularly.
  • Time Management – To be successful in your nursing career, you must be able to manage your time well.
  • Avoid Nurse Burnout – Nursing is a demanding profession and you should take care not to burn yourself out. Take time off for yourself regularly and relax. If you are stressed out and physically tired, you cannot effectively fulfill your nursing obligations.
  • Stay Up To Date – As a nurse you need to keep up with your education and skills. Nursing is a constant learning process and you have to stay up to date with your profession and learn new skills. You can also learn something about other fields as well. This will give you a better chance of moving up or working in other areas if the need arises. Try not to get stuck in only one area of expertise.
  • Excellence – As a nurse it is up to you to strive for excellence. Set the bar high and work hard to achieve your goals.
  • Team Player – As a nurse, you need to remember you are a part of a team. Be a leader when you need to be a leader, and a supporter when you are required to be a supporter. Do not try to be the “I” in the team, be a role model for others and help others be good team players.
  • Limitations – You should know your limitations and how to say “no” if required. If you plan on saying “yes” all the time, sooner or later you will get burned out. Always be part of the solution and never the problem.
  • Strategy Planning – Get involved with strategic planning at your workplace and do your part in making it a better place.
  • Ask Questions – As a nurse you never can say that you know it all. Do not be afraid to ask questions as this will help you grow and be a better nurse.
As you pursue you nursing career, make sure you remind yourself why you became a nurse. This will help you stay focused and on track.

Author Info: Robert Harris is a blogger and content writer for www.jobs4medical.co.uk - a Medical Professional Recruitment Specialists in the Medical Healthcare and Pharmaceutical Sectors, enable employers and agencies to reach their target market.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Have You Had Your Mammogram?

October is Breast Cancer Month and as such is an easy way to remind women to have their annual mammogram. Some prefer to schedule in their birthday month, or have some other way of remembering. What ever your choice, please be sure to schedule it and remind the other women in your life to have one as well.

The National Breast Cancer Foundation offers an abundance of information and resources such as educational materials about monthly self examination and how to find sources for those who need financial assistance with mammography.

image: http://pinkforoctober.org/badges.html

Friday, October 4, 2013

Career Advancement Opportunities for Medical Assistants

When considering nursing as a career, you might want to look at a few other healthcare career options and advancement opportunities for comparison. Here's a great post from Sandra Mills.
~ Kathy
You already know that you want to be a medical assistant, or maybe you’ve already been in the industry for a few years. Medical assistant schools can offer a rewarding career for life, but some professionals want to go above and beyond the call of duty. Maybe you’re considering specializing in a specific field or taking your education to the next level. Medical assisting is a fantastic career in and of itself, but what happens when you want to go to the next level?

The good news is that completing medical assistant programs lays the foundation for a myriad of options. Maybe you want to pursue an RN program, or maybe your experience working in an assisted living home has motivated you to specialize in geriatrics. No matter what path you’re considering, having your medical assistant certificate in hand gives you a leg up. Here’s a look at a few of the career advancement opportunities at your fingertips.

Medical Perfusionist
If you haven’t heard of this career before, don’t worry—you’re not alone. Medical perfusionists operate bypass machines and are critical in cardiology clinics or in the OR when someone is getting a bypass for heart failure. Depending on your location and your employer, a bachelor’s degree or a specific certification may be required. You might have to be licensed depending on the state, but all perfusionists must pass a test administered by the American Board of Cardiovascular Perfusion. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), perfusionists can make up to $100,000 per year. These professionals should be:

·       Very detail-oriented
·       Able to handle a high-stress environment
·       Have a knack for technology

Clinical Trial Manager
Well before a drug makes it to the market, numerous clinical trials are necessary—and these trials need managers. You’ll be responsible for ensuring everything adheres to Federal Drug Administration (FDA) standards and be at the helm of some exciting and potentially life-saving research. Forbes recommends being a Clinical Trial Manager as a great career path, and the average salary is $92,300. You might need a degree, or a certification may suffice. Clinical Trial Managers should exhibit:

·       Attention to detail, especially with FDA requirements
·       Empathy
·       The ability to see the big picture

Doctors need professionals to actually translate all of those x-rays and MRIs into something meaningful. Usually, it’s not doctors who look at imaging results, but radiologic technicians. Sometimes an associate’s degree is required, and the BLS reports that these careers are growing at 28 percent per year, which is much higher than other careers. The average radiologist makes $54,530 per year, but requirements vary by state. To be a radiologist, you should have these skills:

·       Incredible attention to detail, since you’ll be the one decoding the results of a patient’s scan
·       Compassion, since radiologists often administer scans as well as read them
·       A passion for technology

Physician’s Assistant
A natural advancement opportunity for a medical assistant is becoming a physician’s assistant. PAs practice medicine under the supervision of an MD. You can diagnose injuries, examine patients and even give treatment (under the physician's supervision). Depending on where you live and the employer, a bachelor’s or master’s degree is required. The BLS reports that PA positions are growing at an impressive 30 percent rate and the average salary is $86,410. A good PA is:

·       Caring and compassionate
·       Has an interest in practicing medicine
·       Might be on the path to becoming an MD

Medical assistant schools are a great place to begin your medical career. Whether you want to be a medical assistant or advancement to another career, it’s crucial to start with a great education. Medical assisting can be your springboard to just about anything in the field of medicine.


Sandra Mills is a freelance writer who has a passion for healthcare and education. Sandra has written numerous articles on healthcare training courses like medical assisting as well as posts on new medical technology and health improvement tips.