There’s nothing more infuriating than getting home after a 12 hour work day on your feet, getting into bed, and then realizing you can’t fall asleep. It doesn’t make any sense! You were yawning for the last three hours of your shift! You are mentally and physically exhausted. But your brain says tough luck and starts racing instead of winding down.
This can happen for a number of reasons — if you had that last cup of coffee a little too late in the evening, if you waited to eat dinner until 9 or 10 p.m. But when you’re a nurse trying to stay awake for your shift, sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. There are some easy nighttime rituals that will make it easier to go to bed after a rough shift. Believe it or not, yoga is a great way to help your mind and your body wind down after a hectic day. A national survey found that over 55% of people who did yoga found that it helped them get better sleep. Over 85% said yoga helped reduce stress. Here are five moves, recommended by the Harvard Health Blog, to try before you crawl into bed.
Wide-Knee Child’s Pose (Balasana)
A fan favorite, child’s pose can help promote a sense of stability and calm. It gently stretches your back and your hips, but is static and secure, so you’re not getting those nerves in your neck and spine fired up. Put your feet together on the mat, and widen your knees hip width apart. Exhale and just fold your torso over your thighs. You can relax your hands, palms up, stretching back by your feet. This is better for nighttime than reaching your hands forward on the mat, which is a more active pose.
Just rest your forehead on the mat and take as many deep, concentrated breaths as you want.
Reclining Bound Angle (Supta Baddha Konasana)
Staying on the ground for this move, you can lie flat on your back and give yourself a good hip and groin stretch. Make the balls of your feet tough and let your knees fall away from each other, as close to the ground as they’ll go. Relax your arms on the floor about 45 degrees away from your torso, palms facing the ceiling.
Legs Up The Wall Pose (Viparita Karani )
This one is especially good for nurses, as it helps recirculate the blood flow in your feet, knees and ankles, which can get swollen and inflamed after a day of working on your feet.
Bring your mat up as close to the wall as possible, lie flat on your back, and gently place your legs up the wall. Try and keep them as straight as possible. Relax your arms by your sides and take a few deep breaths.
Standing Half Forward Bend (Ardha Uttanasana) at the wall
You’ll also need a wall for this one. Stand about a foot away from whatever wall you choose, and with your feet hips width apart, press your hands against the wall with your palms spread at the height of your hip. Step back enough so that your back becomes flat and perpendicular to the floor. Keep your feet hips width apart and press your hands into the wall to lengthen your spine. You should be making a backwards L shape with the wall. Your back will feel soooo much better after doing this pose.
Corpse Pose (Savasana)
Finally, the perfect pose to do right before getting into bed. Lie on your back, take your knees into your chest and take in a big inhale, then exhale and press your legs straight, touching the floor. Lie with your hands relaxed at your sides, palms up. And practice a few deep, concentrated breaths.Read More
Burnout culture for nurses is REAL. You might think that you’re handling the constant overtime, 12-hour days filled with blood and guts and sickness, perfectly fine. But a mental health crisis can creep up on you, and you may not notice you’re in need of a break until you’ve reached a breaking point. It’s good to check in with yourself and recognize when you’re overworked. If you’re in a state of crisis, it’s not good for you or your patients!
Here are four signs you should take a mental health day ASAP.
You feel tired all the time
If you can’t sleep, something’s wrong. And if you are sleeping, but you wake up still exhausted and can’t retain energy throughout the day, something is also very wrong. Sleep can be a vicious cycle for emerging anxiety and depression. If you’re anxious or depressed, it can usually result in a lack of sleep. And then in turn, a lack of sleep can result in more anxiety and depression. If you catch yourself needing more than five cups of coffee a day to keep you going throughout the day, but then find yourself tossing and turning when you try to go to bed, it’s time for a lifestyle change. And it’s hard to reset if you can’t get a break from work. Take a day to look up some natural remedies for retaining your energy throughout the day.
You’re easily set off
You might find yourself crying more than you usually do. Or getting really frustrated at small inconveniences to the point of rage. This usually means you’re exhausted. And you might be even more angry knowing you have a full work week ahead of you and you’ll have no chance to catch up on sleep. Your sensitivity can also manifest in how you treat other people. You might be getting short with people you would usually be more compassionate towards, or your coworkers might annoy you or anger you more than is reasonable. If you’re snapping at people and having mini meltdowns, it’s time to take a step back.
You can’t focus
If you all of a sudden find yourself pivoting from one task to the next without finishing anything, unable to keep your attention on one thing for more than a few minutes, you probably don’t have ADHD. It’s more likely that you’re tired, and maybe a little anxious. This kind of absent-mindedness can lead to careless mistakes, which is not good for a nurse working in an emergency room or the ICU. If you find yourself more scatterbrained than usually and struggling to keep up, take a day to recharge.
“Concentrating on emotional well-being could allow for some mental rest and improve work-related morale,” NYU psychiatrist Marra Ackerman M.D. told Women’s Health. “Practicing mindfulness meditation [during your mental-health day] is one tactic you can use to improve your concentration.”
You can’t stop getting sick
We’ve all been there. That point in your life where you’re working so hard you’re practically always sick with something. Sniffling all the time or a cough that won’t go away (which is extra scary in COVID times) can indicate that your immune system isn’t working as well as it should be. And this is almost always directly linked to a lack of sleep and too much stress. One day of rest can actually make a world of difference for your physical and mental health. Give your mind and body 24 hours to recover and your immune system might bounce back faster than you think.
One of the largest benefits of travel nursing is the ability to pick up and move around the nation, chasing peak seasonal activities in each area. You might spend Spring in Washington, DC to watch the cherry blossoms, summer in California to take advantage of the beaches, and winter in Colorado to ski to your heart’s content.
During the fall, there’s no shortage of beautiful destinations to book your next assignment. To help you narrow down your options, let’s take a look at four of the most picture-perfect autumn destinations for travel nurses.
1. The Smoky Mountains
Great Smoky Mountain National Park is nestled between the western border of Tennessee and the eastern border of North Carolina, meaning you have two states to choose from if you want to work near this gorgeous autumn destination.
The great thing about the Smoky Mountains is that “peak season” for fall colors lasts quite a while. Up at higher elevations, birch trees will turn a beautiful golden color around mid-September. Later in the month and through November, the reds, oranges, and yellows will travel down the mountains and into the valleys below.
Next, let’s travel all the way to the top corner of the United States and visit Maine. Here, the weather is brisk and the air is crisp as early as September, and autumn transitions gracefully into fluffy winter snowfalls near the end of November.
The most popular spot in the state to visit during October is Bar Harbor, well-known for its top-notch dining scene. If you want to get off the beaten path a bit, visit Acadia National Park for a vibrant display of autumn leaves. You can even book a ride on a whale-watching boat, take an idyllic kayaking trip, or cruise along the coast in a windjammer to spot the state’s iconic lighthouses.
What this tiny northeastern state lacks in big cities it makes up for tenfold in historic towns and a stunning cascade of fall colors. The town of Stowe is no exception. Known as the “Fall Color Capital” of the United States, it might just be the best place in the country to take a scenic hike or drive on a chilly autumn afternoon.
If you’re looking for a little more excitement, try ziplining through the vivid treetops. Afterward, take a moment to slow your pounding heart and enjoy a glass of craft beer. The best thing about working in a state as small as Vermont is that no matter where you’re stationed, you’re only a short trip away from fun activities.
4. New Mexico
Most people associate the east coast and some of the midwest with autumn, but other areas of the country have a lot to offer during this time of year as well.
Take New Mexico, for instance, where you can find one of the country’s most beautiful scenic drives. This 83-mile road starts in Taos and ends in Questa, taking you through the changing colors of desert brush and a stunning landscape. If you’re out at night, look up at the sky for a stargazing experience you won’t forget.
You Can Travel Nurse Across America
Where will travel nursing take you this fall? Whether it’s to the historic towns of Vermont or the peaks of the Smoky Mountains, autumn is certainly one of the best times to relocate as a travel nurse.
If you’re not sure where to go, Stability Healthcare can help. Visit our site to search through open jobs by location, schedule an interview, and get hired for your next travel assignment.Read More
This is a scary time to be moving from place to place, but it’s almost impossible to avoid as a travel nurse. It is possible to move safely, though. Here are some tips for settling into your new temporary home.
Choose your moving company carefully
If you’re moving from one state to the other, which you likely will be, your moving company options might be a bit limited. But you can go to Move.org and find out what options you have. Then it’s important to call and ask detailed questions to each moving company about their COVID-19 policies. How often are they monitoring the health of their crew members? What kind of supplies, including face masks, gloves, and hand sanitizers, are being made available to movers on a daily basis?
Also ask them about paperwork. If you’ve ever moved before, you know there are a myriad of things you need to sign before you get going. But in the time of Coronavirus, it can be risky to sign all the documents you need in person. Ask your moving company if it’s possible to switch all your transactions to virtual, including virtual quotes.
Buy all the supplies you need ahead of time
Your moving supply checklist has gotten a little longer during the pandemic. Make one big trip to the store a week before you move to make sure you have everything you need. This should include lots of cleaning supplies. You can also order boxes and tape online now at a number of retailers and Amazon. You can use this neat packing calculator to figure out how many boxes you need based on what you’re moving.
Clean as you pack and pack ahead
Packing is a hellish experience where you realize you have way too much stuff and you also realize you haven’t cleaned half of that stuff since you moved the last time. Now it’s even more important to clean and disinfect everything. So as you’ve gathered all your things into one place, what better time to wipe all of them down and make sure they’re clean? You also shouldn’t procrastinate with packing if you want to be extra cautious while moving. Coronavirus can live on cardboard boxes for up to 24 hours. So to be courteous to your movers, make sure you have everything packed and untouched for at least a day before your movers arrive.
Put everything in boxes or plastic
Although you’ll probably want to be extra careful and sanitize all of your belongings again when you move into your new home, you’ll still make it a whole lot easier on yourself if everything you own has a barrier between it and the stranger picking it up. Put everything you can in boxes, and if you have furniture or larger items that won’t fit in boxes, at least wrap it in plastic you can throw away afterward.
Also, be sure not to use recycled or borrowed boxes. It might be environmentally friendly, but as we said earlier, coronavirus can live on cardboard for a long time.
Plan for unpacking on your own
While before, your moving company would usually unpack your belongings for you, now that seems like a risky move. That means you’re on your own in the unpacking process. And since you’ll likely be moving to a new placement where you don’t know anyone, it’s time to mentally prepare yourself for unpacking alone. This doesn’t have to be a painful process if you 1) give yourself the proper amount of time off work to make it happen 2) make it fun! Install your TV and your speakers first so you can have some entertainment while you’re working. Have a pizza and a bottle of wine delivered to your new digs and give yourself the treats that you usually promise to friends in exchange for their moving help. It’s all on you which means all the pizza is YOURS.
You got this. The key is disinfecting everything, keeping the talking and in-person interacting to a minimum, and finding enjoyment in being self-sufficient.
Ready to pack and move to your next placement? Check out all the cities you can go under Stability’s website here.Read More
If there’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s that writing a resume isn’t an easy task. It’s something that most nurses don’t even go over in nursing school in the first place. With travel nursing jobs on the rise during the COVID-19 pandemic, lots nurses are revisiting their resumes. A travel nurse resume has some key differences from a regular nursing resume, and yours may need some refining.
If you’re trying to get that travel nursing job you dream about, make sure to include these five things.
1. Certifications & Licenses
If there’s one thing you can’t forget on a travel nurse resume, it’s your certificates.
There are a number of certifications you need to become a travel nurse. These often include a Master of Science in Nursing and a related nursing specialty certificate. You should always mention these in as much detail as possible, as well as any other certificates you may have.
The more certificates you can show off, the more qualified you’ll appear.
2. Relevant Work History
You want to be as honest and open about your work history as possible on your resume.
Include full details on every nursing job you’ve ever had, and give your potential employer all the details they need to follow-up on your jobs. Details to write-in include:
- Job title and description of that title
- Name/location of the facility, type of facility, contact details
- Exact start and end dates
- Number of beds in facility, unit you worked in
- Specific duties completed
The more details you can give on your previous jobs the better. This shows you as a working professional. Only include relevant jobs — that grocery store clerk job you had as a teenager likely doesn’t have too much pull on a travel nursing job.
3. Professional Prose, Action Words
The best resumes use not just professional wording, but action words to hook the reader in.
Always triple-check your resume for spelling and grammar errors and awkward phrasing. You can even bring your resume to a professional to have it checked over if that’s not your strong suit. Once the language is perfect, it’s time to mix in some action words.
Action words like tested, administered, and coordinated may be suitable on a nursing resume. Fit them in where they make sense, and don’t overstuff your resume. These words will help keep your resume exciting when used tactfully.
You worked hard for your education, so flaunt it on your resume.
Include the full details of where you went to school, for how long, a full address and telephone number. List the degree achieved, your GPA, and any references you may have made there. If you did any interning, or any specialty courses while in school, mention those too.
5. Custom Summary
You should always tailor your cover letter for each travel nursing job, but that goes for resumes, too.
Study the position before you apply and tailor your professional summary to it. Highlight how you can help in the specific position, and include buzzwords you think they’ll like. The more you study the assignment listing and company (check social media pages, company website, etc.) the better you can pull this off.
Submit the Best Travel Nurse Resume Every Time
Your travel nurse career starts with a standout travel nurse resume. Follow the five tips above and wow the travel nursing agency every time!
If you need a good travel nursing agency to find your next assignment, click here to see what Stability can do for you.Read More
Both male and female nurses experience higher rates of suicide than non-nurses, according to a national study from last year. The study, conducted by the University of California San Diego School of Medicine, showed that the rate of suicide for female nurses was 11.97 per 100,000 and the rate for male nurses was 39.8 per 100,000. Both are statistically much higher than the suicide rate for non-nurses (7.58 and 28.2 per 100,000 respectively).
Especially in the wake of COVID-19, when many nurses are confronted with war-like emergency rooms, challenging and uncertain medical quandaries and a lot of death, it’s even more important to check in with yourself and others about your mental health.
“Nurses are known not to care for themselves as much as they care for others. It’s just a part of who we are,” RN Nurse Judy Davidson told MedPage Today. Davidson spearheaded the study after three nurses at UC San Diego died by suicide within a short period of time. “But now with this whole movement towards preventing burnout, increasing joy in the workplace, increasing resiliency, this is a piece of that puzzle … sadly it took a tragic event to get the ball rolling.”
In support of Suicide Prevention Month, we’re providing resources and information about depression, where to go if you need to seek help, how to recognize the signs of suicide risk in your colleagues and how to talk to them about it. This week’s blog is all about how to check in with your coworkers and understand depression so that you can be an empathetic advocate for those who might be struggling around you.
Checking in on your friends and colleagues
It’s a cliche, but it’s true: You never know what the people around you are going through. Someone could have a bubbly and bright personality all day long and still have a life-long struggle with depression. So first and foremost, always be kind when you can, even if that kindness isn’t always reciprocated.
But also, check in with your friends and colleagues at work, especially on busy weeks or even difficult news weeks. Saying “how are you?” doesn’t always cut it. Often, there is shame associated with depression and suicidal thoughts and for those who are struggling, it can be hard to answer a question like that honestly. Instead, try some of these alternatives when you want to check in.
Recognizing the Signs
It’s important to think preventatively about mental health, for both yourself and those around you. And prevention often involves access to mental health resources, being kind and paying attention to those around you, looking for ways you can do things together and encourage each other. But it’s also important to recognize if someone has reached a certain threshold with their mental health that is concerning and possibly life-threatening. While it’s true that a lot of people conceal their depression, and are able to function well even though they are struggling, there are some signs to look out for that might indicate a friend or colleague is considering hurting themselves.
Some of these signs include an increase in drinking or drug use, talking about being a burden to others, asking existential questions like “why does any of it matter?”, extreme mood swings, behaving recklessly or without concern for consequences and strong amounts of negative self-talk. Here are additional warning signs to look for.
In assessing whether some of these signs might be indicating that your friend or coworker is in danger, you could always use this list of suicide risk assessment questions from the Lippincott Nursing Center:
* How are you coping with what’s been happening in your life?
* Do you ever feel like just giving up?
* Are you thinking about dying?
* Are you thinking about hurting yourself?
* Are you thinking about suicide?
* Have you thought about how you would do it?
* Do you know when you would do it?
* Do you have the means to do it?
* Have you ever attempted to harm yourself in the past?
It may seem weird to use your nursing skills on other nurses but even if your colleague catches on to what you’re doing, it might indicate to them that someone else cares about their wellbeing.
What to do if you suspect someone you know is suicidal
If you’ve recognized a few warning signs and perhaps have even confirmed that a coworker or friend suffers from depression and has considered self-harm, what do you do now?
There are three things you should do right away if you seriously think someone might harm themselves.
The first is not to leave them alone. Invite them over for dinner and insist on them coming if they decline the first couple of times.
The second, if you really think they are in immediate risk, is to call a local emergency number or contact a trained professional right away. Fortunately, you both work in healthcare, so you should have even more access to someone who is qualified to help. If you’re concerned for a friend but don’t think they’re an immediate danger to themselves, you might decide to instead encourage them to call a suicide hotline, like the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (800-273-8255) which will put you in touch with a trained counselor.
And the third is to tell a family member what is going on as soon as possible.
After you have responded to someone’s immediate risk, here are a few things you can do to continue supporting them:
- Get their insurance information and make a list of licensed therapists in their network. Offer to set up initial appointments for them to get the ball rolling.
- If they have to undergo emergency treatment, make future plans with them doing something normal like going to the farmer’s market or an exercise class. Make it clear that just because they’re going through something doesn’t mean that your friendship will change or that you’ll start treating them differently.
- Make sure to acknowledge their feelings and be careful about not dismissing anything they confide in you as irrational. Emphasize that they’re not a burden to you and that you want to hear from them about what they’re going through.
For more info, check out this guide to supporting your depressed friends.
You’ve done it! Cap and gown, diploma, everything. You’re the freshest nursing school grad on the block, licensed and all, and you’re ready to hit the hospital or clinic floor running.
Maybe this is actually you or maybe you’re in the throes of fall semester and you’re manifesting this dream. But either way, you’ve done the hard work and now it’s time to talk about the fun stuff: SHOPPING.
There’s a lot you need to start your first nursing gig. Scrubs are a given, but here are five other essentials you don’t want to forget about before your first day.
#1: Comfortable shoes
Especially for new nurses, this one is an essential. Working those 10 hour shifts on your feet is a great time to discover that your favorite comfy shoes are maybe not as reliable as you thought. Not to worry though, there some are brands of kicks that have held tried and true for nurses and they have a lot of cute options.
Nursemates sells tennis shoes, slip-ons and clogs that are custom designed to keep you standing for hours on end. They also come in dozens of cute designs, so you don’t have to sacrifice style for comfort. Seriously, some of these are so cute, you’ll have no problem wearing them to the bar at the end of your shift.
Naturalizer is another brand that’s affordable, stylish and designed to be walked in all day long. They come recommended by podiatrists for having a sole that supports your heels and the balls of your feet, while also coming in several different width sizes and keeping you cool on the outside. And they’re cute! There’s lots of options on their website. But you can also buy them for a little cheaper on Amazon.
Another shoe that comes recommended by podiatrists is the Nike Tanjun Sneaker. These are a classic style that won’t get scuffed up easily and are roomy and comfy all day long. You really just can’t go wrong with the right sneakers.
No matter how good the brand is, being on your feet all day long will wear out the soles on any shoe you buy. So to take care of your feet, make sure you stock up on a couple different shoes to wear throughout the week. And also feel prepared to restock on your fave sneaks about twice a year. Here’s a good guide to knowing when it’s time to replace your shoes.
#2: A watch
This is an easy one to forget about, but essential. A watch that indicates seconds is crucial for patient care. Whether you’re monitoring vitals or injecting medication, you need to know you can count the seconds. Scrubs and beyond sells watches specifically for nurses. So does Speidel — theirs are a little more expensive, but really cute.
#3: A good stethoscope
Are you actually a nurse if you don’t have a stethoscope hanging around your neck? You might already have a few of these from your clinicals and classes, but it’s good to start fresh on your first real job. High quality stethoscopes can last your whole career. Reliable brands like Littman can be expensive, but worth your while. In fact, this might be a good thing to have on your register of graduation presents if you haven’t had your big day yet.
These little reference cards carrying helpful tips about anatomy, pharmacology, heart rhythms, lab orders and more, will be a life saver for you your first couple of weeks on the job. ScrubCheats sells pocket-sized cheat sheets in packets of 150 and more. Wade through them and pick the essentials to carry around with you so you can double check yourself.
#5: A Badge Reel
The one thing you should really avoid doing in your first week (aside from killing anyone) is losing your hospital or clinic badge. It’s not a good look to need a replacement early on, but as hectic as your first week will likely be, it certainly isn’t out of the realm of possibility. Sure, your clinic or hospital might give you a basic badge reel to keep on your person, but if you come prepared with one you like, you might be more likely to notice if it’s suddenly gone. Plus the hospital ones are cheap.
There are a ton of fun options out there, but here are a few we love.
Boojee Beads has a ton of fun options from pretty brooches, to funny designs to very classic and chic reels.
Uniform advantage also sells some sweet reels, and cute lanyards too!
And of course, if you’re looking for something artistic or quirky, Etsy shops will always be around to fill your shopping needs. Here are a few of our favorite reels on Etsy:
This sunflower reel you can personalize with your name or “RN” (*crying emoji* so cute).
These rose floral reels are adorable and cheap.Read More
Are you wondering where you can find the best men’s scrubs? When it comes to finding the best scrubs, you want to find something that is comfortable, durable, and well fitted.
Keep reading for our guide to the best places to get men’s scrubs so that you can find the best option for you. Find the quality scrubs you’re looking for today.
Cherokee’s Workwear Professional line is a great option for scrubs made of quality fabric. Their men’s scrubs are lightweight, allowing for breathability and are also stretchy for some flexibility. This fabric is made with anti-wrinkle materials so that you can look your best even after long hours.
These scrubs also offer a fantastic fit, as they aren’t too tight or too baggy in certain areas. This allows for a tailored fit that is still comfortable for all-day mobility.
Figs Chisec scrubs for men are made to be durable without sacrificing comfortability. This is a highly functional scrub option that has 10 pocket compartments to help you keep all of your gear on you when needed. This option is one of the most contemporary and stylish on the market.
Check out the men’s Carhartt Utility Scrub for a scrub that will last. The scrub’s fabric blend allows for ventilation while working to stand strong against wearing and tearing.
This is a great option for someone who wants a great scrub in a variety of different colors, as they offer 12 different tones. They also feature a longer back length to help keep you covered when bending down during the workday.
Dagacci Scrubs for men has eight pockets and is built with functionality and comfort in mind. The waist on the scrub set bottoms has an elastic band and drawstring so that they will stay put while you’re busy throughout the day. This is an affordable brand that offers awesome color choices.
Consider M&M’s scrubs for men for a design made with tailoring men in mind. This allows for a clean fit that will still allow for mobility.
With eight pockets, you can organize your items instead of fishing around for them. This is a long-lasting option that will resist wear and tear, all for a low cost.
If you’re looking for an option that can get delivered to your doorstep in days, check out Amazon Essentials men’s scrub. There are 15 masculine color options for whatever your preferences may be. They have a great fit and feel using quality fabrics, and feature 9 pockets.
The Best Places to Purchase Men’s Scrubs
When you’re on the go as a travel nurse, you may need to find reliable, comfortable scrubs, fast. When looking for men’s scrubs, check out these options to see what style type fits your unique needs and preferences. Make sure your scrubs work for you by finding options made of quality materials that allow for a great fit, comfort, and durability.
Are you hoping to find your next travel nursing assignment? Use our site to find the best assignments out there.Read More