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

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Can You Find That Vein??? An Affordable Product Can Help

A few weeks ago, I received an email from Matt at, asking if I would be willing to review this product. I'd seen it and some of the competitors products online and they certainly look like the could save a a lot of time and painful sticks for blood draws and IVs.

I received a box with 4 Illumivein flashlights in it and I have spent some time playing with one. Initially,  I have to say I really didn't think it worked all that well. Then I saw that you should try it with dim light in the room (I have to admit I'm one to jump in and read product instructions later). And sure enough there were my veins!  Since then, I've had success with it even in brighter light. It really does work. And I discovered my R antecubital vein really is there, it's just tiny and therefore easy to go right through.

The Illumivein is about 3 3/4 inches long, looks like a small LED flashlight which it is except the LEDs are red. It requires 3 AAA batteries and comes with a pouch and lanyard. It would fit easily into a lab coat pocket or nursing bag for home health nurses.

At $24.99, it's affordable and could be a life saver. Check it out!

And be sure to stay tuned. I will be giving some away during Nurses Week, May 6-12. So be sure to check back in.

NOTE: I'm starting the process of collecting products and gift cards for services or products for Nurses Week Give-Aways. Last year we had pretty awesome gifts. I look forward to new additions this year. Contact me, if you have something to add to our list. Each day May 6-12 products will be highlighted and again in the list of winners. My postings are shared on social media including Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

7 Healthy Snacks for Nurses on the Go

From Jennifer E. Landis
Health Journalist

Few jobs are as physically demanding as nursing. You’re on your feet all day long, and when your patients need you, it’s hard to find time to take a break for lunch or a snack.

When you’re pressed for time, it can be tempting to reach for convenience foods, but junk food doesn’t give you the nutrition and energy you need to make it through the workday. Instead of grabbing a candy bar, try these seven healthy – and delicious – snacks instead.

Steamed Salads

Raw veggies are fast, but sometimes they’re heard to digest. Try steaming healthy vegetables like carrots, broccoli and cauliflower and tossing them together for a unique salad. Top with a warm mustard dressing and zap for 15 seconds in the microwave to reheat for a delicious, wintery take on the typical salad.
 Mixed Skewers

When you don’t have time to cook, fruit and cheese skewers are a great way to get your fiber and protein in one great snack. Small fruits like grapes, strawberries or cubed melon hold up to being impaled on a skewer. Alternate fruits with cubes of your favorite cheeses. Cheddar, Gruyere and Monterrey jack all work well.

DIY Snack Mix

Mix up a bowl of your favorite nuts, dried fruits and granola for a personalized snack mix that you can munch on whenever you have a minute. The trick to a great snack mix is a balance of salty and sweet elements. Try adding wasabi peas for an extra kick, or toss in some chocolate or butterscotch chips for a sweet surprise.

Mexican Popcorn

Lighten up your popcorn by eating it Mexican style. Instead of dousing it in melted butter, add a squeeze of lime to lightly salted popcorn just before you eat it. The flavor is out of this world, and there’s no added fat.

Pita Pizzas

Who says you need an oven for a pizza? Try a cold take on take-out by stuffing mini whole-wheat pitas with fresh mozzarella, sun dried tomatoes and some fresh basil. You can also add olives or red pepper flakes to kick up the flavor a notch.

Chocolate Apricots

Dried fruit is a power-packed snack, but it can get dull. Pep up dried apricots by dipping them in melted chocolate – semisweet chocolate chips melted over low heat are perfect for this. Allow them to cool on a piece of wax paper and store in a Ziploc bag until you’re ready to eat them.

Celery Crudités

Remember ants on a log? Celery sticks still make a great base for delicious snacks, even if you don’t use peanut butter and raisins. There are lots of combinations of healthy spreads and toppings you can try. Get creative with hummus and olives, or try sunflower seed butter with dried cranberries for a change of pace.

Eating on the run doesn’t have to be boring. When you plan ahead to pack healthy ingredients, your lightning-fast snack sessions at work can give you the energy you need to care for your patients all day long.

Jennifer E. Landis
Health Journalist