As a Stability nurse, you may be working in a variety of facilities, from small clinics to level 1 trauma centers. The amount of physical energy you’ll exert is dependent on your specific position. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, a nurse may be working many long, overtime shifts. Although the time length of your travel nurse shift may vary, one fact remains the same: one must have the proper equipment to keep themselves comfortable and healthy. Below is a basic guide to what a travel nurse can wear during their shift to help alleviate discomfort and maximize productivity.
The Best Scrubs
There are hundreds of scrubs that a travel nurse can choose from. These are very customizable since different nurses will look for different assets, like material, stretch, color, or fashion appeal. Here are some of the most reliable and highly rated by nurses:
FIGS Scrubs have one of the most impressive selections of affordable scrubs. One of their best sellers is Katsina, an oversized scrub top. The shirt has impeccable seaming details and a side pocket large enough to fit a tablet or a notebook (or your midday snacks). Since it’s oversized, you have plenty of room to move. Their Leon top is a two-pocket scrub. Its cut is tailored and slim and its super soft material is anti-wrinkle and moisture-wicking, so you’ll stay fresh when you’re on your shift. *pictured above
Dickies originated in 1922, making workwear specifically for those with blue-collar jobs like farmers and ranch hands. Since then, they’ve branched out into several different clothing branches, including a scrubs branch. Their scrubs are broken into 7 different categories: EDS Signature, EDS Essentials, Essence, Gen Flex, Xtreme Stretch, Dynamix, and Advance. All scrubs come in multiple colors and fits.
Here are two examples and their benefits:
EDS Signature is one of their most popular scrub types. According to their site, the scrubs “feature a unisex fit, natural rise and adjustable drawstring for the perfect fit for men or women.” A bonus: the pants have a pocket on the back, a perfect place to stow any loose items.
For anyone looking for scrubs with more storage, Dickies’ Gen Flex scrubs would be the way to go. In addition to front pockets, the Youtility scrub pants have two cargo pockets on the legs and two back pockets. The material is fairly stretchy, so you have plenty of mobility.
Elle Medical Apparel are the scrubs for female travel nurses looking for something fashion-forward without compromising comfortability. Although more basic scrubs are available, they offer more decorative pieces, like the Ruffle Yoke Top or their Mid Rise Tapered Leg Pull-On Pant. The ruffle yoke top features side vents for added mobility and large front pocket, all in a slimming form. The mid-rise tapered leg pull-on pant also features side vents, and an elastic waistband. Small details, like metal eyelets, give a chic edge. As a fun extra layer, Elle Medical Apparel makes contemporary-cut jackets to wear on your break or to wear on your way to your shift.
Other brands that make scrubs:
The Best Shoes
There’re a few different brands that are recommended for workers who are on their feet. Seeing as long shifts can be extra stress on your lower limbs, you want to make sure the shoes offer plenty of support, with a thick sole and footbed. Ideally, the shoes would be non-slip or slip resistant (check to see if your facility had any requirements). Here are a few suggestions:
Dansko is amongst the most popular choices for people who are constantly on their feet. The company is known for their reliable, good-for-your-feet choices, such as their Wynn shoe. A slip-resistant outsole, superior shock absorption, and a thick midsole ensure optimal support and comfort.
Hoka One One’s Arahi 3 is technically an orthopedic shoe, but it’s also a great asset for traveling nurses. It’s available in a few different color combos, including more vibrant swatches and neutral options, and features “a refined midsole and improved heel rocker.” Its upper sole is made of breathable mesh, so your feet won’t get as hot throughout a shift.
These clogs are easy to slide into if you’re in a rush to get to your shift. It has a large toe box and a slip-resistant sole that is also a heel-to-toe rocker. If the $120 price tag seems daunting, Timberland offers a 4-part payment plan.
Other brands with comfortable, supportive footwear:
Other suggestion of what to wear & have with you during your shift:
- If you have long hair, bring a hair tie or two so you can pull back any loose ends.
- Two pairs of shoes – wear the first pair during your first half, then switch into the second. Footbeds can decompress over a certain period of time, so this will help keep your foot supported.
- If you’re breaking in shoes, wear thick socks to prevent blisters.
- A sweater, in case you get cold on your break or want to feel a little more homey when you have free time.
One of the most challenging aspects of being a nurse is managing your emotions. When you’re a travel nurse, this often means you don’t have your core support system by your side to balance the long shift and emotional-draining days that come with being a nurse. Some days, especially when anxiety levels are higher than usual, handling your emotions can seem like an impossible task. Nonetheless, you still have to power through and continue duty as usual.
Focus on Self-Care
When your job is to care for others all day, it’s easy to forget about caring for yourself. However, the best way to handle your emotions is by focusing on self-care. From making sure you’re eating healthy, taking time to do things you enjoy, and caring for your mental health.
Even with hectic schedules, you can still find a few minutes to focus on self-care. The best way to incorporate self-care into your lifestyle is by setting a time on your schedule. Set 15-minutes to a daily lecture, go for a walk outside, or something as simple as taking a hot shower at the end of the day.
Work on Your Emotional Intelligence
One of the most critical skills you’ll develop as a nurse is your emotional intelligence. One study says emotional intelligence (EI) can be 2x as important as technical skills. Successful nurses have an above-average EI, which will be essential to manage your emotions.
Working on your EI will not help boost your professional career, as people with high EI tend to be more empathetic. But, it will also help you manage how other people’s emotions affect you. Some ways to work on your emotional intelligence include:
- Practicing self-awareness
- Motivating yourself to do what you love
- Staying open to feedback
Find a Support System
In any job, especially in nursing, finding “your person,” one you can go to for support and venting. Having this kind of support at work is paramount, particularly for dealing with highly emotional days. Find a person that you can trust, that lets you describe how you’re feeling, and shares frustrations but also is as passionate as you’re about nursing.
Additionally, working on maintaining your support system back home. If your family isn’t close, make sure you reach out to them whenever possible. Phone calls, text messages, and video calls are all wonderful ways to stay connected with your family.
Have a Safe Space
While having friends at work helps take time off and relax, you also need a safe space. Find a safe space at work you can resort to whenever you need a few minutes for yourself. Consider this safe space your venting space to cry, deep breathe, sit for a minute or two. Don’t be picky about this spot. The bathroom, an empty patient room, or a staff break room can also be helpful.
Practice Deep Breathing
The power of breathing can do wonders for managing your emotions. All you need is five minutes to reset yourself. Whenever you’re feeling anxious, overwhelmed, or experiencing emotional stress on the job, a deep breathing practice can help.
One of the most popular and effective breathing technique is the 4-7-8 technique. Here’s how to do it:
- Exhale making a whoosh sound.
- Close your lips, breathe in for four.
- Hold your breath for seven counts.
- Exhale and open your lips, making a whooshing sound for eight counts.
When you take time to practice deep breathing, make sure you do so in a quiet and calm space. Remember that you can’t control everything, deep breath can help you regain control of your emotions.
Know When to Seek Help
While we can do many things to manage our emotions as nurses, sometimes it isn’t enough. Recognize that sometimes talking to a professional can be beneficial. A mental health professional can help you find the right techniques for managing your anxiety levels. Try to carve time in your schedule to visit a therapist or talk in a support group.
If you’re noticing that your anxiety levels are higher, you’re struggling with depressive episodes, or you’re having a harder time than usual processing emotions, it might be time to speak to someone.
Handling Your Emotions Is an Ongoing Process
Every day is a different hurdle. If you have a difficult patient or an emotional case, know that it’s okay to cry, to feel stressed, or to need a break. It’s fine to need to talk away from the situation.
Remember that handling your emotions is an ongoing process. Take time to focus on your emotional intelligence. Find a mentor how can couch you through emotionally-challenging situations. And practice self-awareness in your life. Recognizing and managing your emotions as a travel nurse will benefit your professional and personal life.
If you ever need help with assignments, handling the stress of continually moving, or need the right assistance to find help. Don’t forget to reach out to your agency recruiter for help.
For travel nurses, understanding how compact nursing states operate is paramount for an established, long-term career in the field. Having a multi-state license is not only a must-have as a travel nurse, but it is also a mechanism to ensure you’re practicing nursing under legal standards that apply to most of the states you work.
What’s the Nursing Licensure Compact?
The Nursing Licensure Compact (NLC), which started back in 1977, is an agreement that allows nurses to have a single license that permits them to practice in multiple states. To this date, there are 34 states which have ruling NLC legislation available, which means they recognize a multi-state license or have this legislation currently pending.
What about the Enhanced Nursing Licensure Compact (eNLC)
Stemming from the Nursing Licensure Compact, in 2018, legislation that adopted new requirements for nurses to work in these compact states became available. The Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact (eNLC) ensures nurses with the flexibility, time-saving, and lower expenses of taking on travel assignments in any of the participant states. Not to mention, nurses are now able to practice in-person or through telehealth from their home state of licensure or any other eNLC state. There are currently 29 stats with the eNLC legislature.
Who’s Grandfather Under this Agreement?
Members of the original NLC may be grandfather into the eNLC. Any nurse who held a multi-state license before July 2017 may be grandfathered. To verify if you’re part of this group, visit nursys.com and enter your license number on their QuickConfirm form to confirm you have the authority to practice.
Why the Nursing Compact States Are Important
As a travel nurse, you already understand the implications of working in multiple states. The Nursing Licensure Compact aims to remove these complications and make it easier for nurses to work across state lines. The NLC allows you to get rid of multiple renewal requirements and fees while expanding your mobility and giving you access to a nation-wide healthcare system of nurses.
Eligibility for Compact Nursing License
First of all, only nurses who declare a compact state as their primary state of residence may be eligible for a multi-state license. If you don’t live in a compact state, you will be limited to a single-state license that is valid in that state only and might require other single-state licenses if you want to work in another state. As a resident of a noncompact state, you can apply to as many single-state licenses as you want.
If you do live in a compact state, some of the eligibility requirements include:
- Primary residence in an NLC state.
- Have an active license as a registered nurse (RN) or licensed professional nurse (LPN) or licensed vocational nurse (LVN),
- Meet specific requirements held by your home state and of the state where your practice is.
- Pass an NCLEX Nurse Examination.
Keep in mind that an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) isn’t eligible for a multi-state license and must hold an individual state license in each state of APRN practice.
Current List of Nursing Compact States
Here’s the latest list of nursing compact states. Keep in mind that more states are continuing to adopt the multi-state license requirements and offerings.
- New Hampshire*
- New Jersey
- New Mexico*
- North Carolina*
- North Dakota*
- South Carolina*
- South Dakota*
- West Virginia*
*These are states that have an existing eNLC legislation.
Additionally, these are the states with NLC legislation currently pending:
- Rhode Island
Thankfully, over 50% of the states are members of the eNLC legislation, which means you’ll have plenty of opportunities to move across states.
How to Apply for a Compact Nursing License
Once you’re sure you meet all the requirements, you can start the process on your state board of nursing website. Find the application form, often listed under “eNLC Upgrade Application” or “Apply for a multi-state license.”
Go through the application progress, if you need assistance, working with a travel nurse agent can be helpful. Then, complete the mandatory fingerprint scan and background check, which will occur at an approved center in your residential state.
After this step, usually a few days or after a couple of weeks, you will receive your new multi-state license in the mail. Once you receive this license, you should be ready to practice in all participatory eNLC states.
Remember to check your current license status. There’s a possibility that your current nursing license is a valid multi-state one. If you’re unsure, check your eligibility using the website mentioned above for verification.
Whether you’re just getting started as a travel nurse or you’re a seasoned nurse, working with a travel agency to ensure your multi-state license is valid and active can place you at an advantage with other nurses. Make sure to reach out to your coordinator or travel nurse agent to go over requirements, updates, and any other processes needed to be able to practice nursing in compact states. At Stability Healthcare, our recruiters and staff members are always available to answer your questions and guide you through the process of obtaining your multi-state license.
The concept of social distancing during COVID-19 is daunting, but incredibly important. As a travel nurse, you should still be practicing social distancing while you’re not at work. Keep in mind that even though Stability Healthcare offers day one insurance with United Healthcare, you still want to take steps to keep yourself in the best physical shape.
It’s easy to feel sluggish while you’re home, especially in between shifts. It’s important to remember that keeping active will help with your energy levels and overall health. Below, find an overview of what social distancing is, and how to stay active when you have to actively distance yourself.
What is social distancing?
According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, social distancing “is deliberately increasing the physical space between people to avoid spreading illness.” That’s why upcoming events, such as conferences and concerts, and non-essential businesses, like movie theaters and restaurants, have been closed until further notice. Additionally, the CDC recommends that people stay at least six feet away from each other, preferably more. This applies when you need to go out for necessities, like food or medication.
This does not mean that you should still go to the beach or a popular hiking path. The best way to protect yourself and others is to stay at home. Even though a brisk walk to get a latte from the walk-up coffee shop seems tempting, it’s not worth the risk. Protect yourself and others by staying at home.
Ways to stay active while socially distancing yourself
Use online methods to exercise
Skip going to the gym, whether it’s in your apartment building or on the way to work, and exercise at home instead. Chances are, your gym is closed anyway. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of credible online guides for at home workouts. If you’re lucky, you may have some equipment at home to work with, such a stationary bike or weight lifts. However, don’t fret if you don’t own any workout equipment. There are several bodyweight exercises you can do, or you can turn objects you have at home into make-shift weights. Here is a brief list of a few suggested exercise guides:
The MyFitnessPal app is available online and on most smartphones. In addition to being a useful tool if you’re counting calories and tracking your weight, the app offers different exercise routines. These routines fall in different categories – “Healthy At Home”, “Run Strong,” “Core Strength,” etc. There are also different routine lengths – so if you need a quick workout between your travel nurse shifts or a longer workout for when you have the evening off, MyFitnessPal can be tailored to your needs. Although the basic app is free, you can upgrade for perks like macro and micro counting food, amongst others.
Making household objects into weights
This will depend on what you have available at your house and if you like to lift weights. For decades, people have been turning household objects into weights; cans of beans, milk carton, vinegar bottles, laundry detergent, and more. There are quite a few articles that give suggestions on what to use and how to use them, like Cosmopolitan, Thrillist, and HBFIT. Obviously, this is customizable to what you have in your household.
Blogilates (plus other Youtube channels!)
Blogilates was started by Cassey Ho about a decade ago. Since then, she’s won awards for her social fitness videos, and has amassed millions of social media followers and subscribers. She has hundreds, if not thousands, of videos to choose from, ranging from 10-minute core exercises to full-length at home workouts. She also does 30-day workouts, which include different daily routines. Seeing as social distancing is most likely going to span several weeks, this may be a fun challenge to try. Ho is incredibly easy to understand and is very encouraging, and a great at-home workout guru for beginners.
Purchase at-home workout equipment and guides
If you feel like you need actual weights, try looking online. Even though a lot of websites are backed up due to COVID-19, if you’re willing to wait a week or two, you should be able to get some basic weights online. On Amazon, you can buy everything from dumbells to weight lifting benches. If you’d like to support smaller companies, you can buy their in-house tools, like the Glute Lab’s glute loop.
Why is being physically active important?
There are ways physical activity benefits your overall health; it puts you at lower risk for chronic diseases, early death, cancer, diabetes, and more. Additionally, according to the CDC, higher amounts of physical activity can lower your annual health bills, improve your cognitive function, and help you destress. By keeping active during the COVID-19 pandemic, you can encourage your own personal and mental health.Read More
It’s clear that these are unprecedented times with a lot of uncertainty. With the recent spike in people infected with COVID-19, it seems as if everyone’s stress levels have skyrocketed alongside it. Being in the healthcare industry you are on the frontlines of this battle, which doesn’t make things any less stressful! Although it’s perfectly normal to feel anxious, confused, and upset about the current circumstances, it’s also important to find ways to try and destress. This will help you be able to think and react more clearly and calmly. You should spend time finding your own personal way to ease tension, but look below for some tips.
Familiarize yourself on COVID-19 prevention
Anxiety and stress aside, you should still be informed of the basics regarding COVID-19 and its best prevention methods. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is your best source. Here is the page for their suggested prevention methods. As the CDC says, the best way to avoid getting the virus is by refraining from exposure to the virus. This can be done by socially distancing yourself, washing your hands, and cleaning surfaces in your home daily. If you have to leave the house for any reason, you should try and stand at least six feet apart from others. Comb through the page to see more specifics on COVID-19 prevention.
Ways to handle stress
Take care of yourself physically
Although exercising may be daunting during a global pandemic, it can benefit you tremendously. Not only has exercise been clinically proven to help lower stress levels, but it provides an activity for you to focus on. Even under self-isolation, you can still take a walk outside or on a bike ride (just keep in mind to try and stay six feet away from others). If you don’t feel comfortable outside, there are several options to get a workout indoors. A few suggestions: Blogilates, which offers both short and longer exercise routines, Yoga with Adriene, who takes you through both beginner and more difficult yoga workouts, and Planet Fitness’ free live streams. These are just a few examples of many free workout plans available online. Additionally, if you have in-home work equipment, try and instill some type of daily physical activity in your routine.
Self-isolation is also a perfect time to try out the new recipes you haven’t had the chance to yet. After stocking up at the grocery store, find a meal plan suitable for you, putting healthy, clean meals at the forefront. However, it’s always a good idea to treat yourself every once in a while!
Find activities that you enjoy
Obviously your daily routine is going to look different while under self-isolation. It’s a great idea to make sure you try and do some of the normal activities you enjoy, whether that is reading a book, watching a movie, listening to music, knitting, playing card games, or chatting with friends.
- Movies: Luckily, we live in a digital age that allows us to have thousands of movies at our fingertips. With recent events in mind, there are dozens of streaming guides popping up on what to watch when you’re self-isolating, like Paste’s 30 Best Stand-up Comedy Specials on Netflix. There are guides for nearly every genre and streaming platform, like Thrillist’s Best TV Shows with 100+ Episodes to Stream, UPROXX’s 10 Best Rom Coms on Hulu, and more. There’s even a Netflix Party extension so you can watch something on Netflix simultaneously with others.
- Music: Free music is everywhere – on Spotify, Youtube, Reddit threads, Bandcamp, plus others. Make a calming playlist with music that relaxes you, or a playlist of pop music that you can dance to and take your mind off of things. If you use Spotify, you can even make a collaborative playlist with friends, which will lessen the burden of feeling isolated. Spotify, Apple Music, and plenty of other streaming services typically have already-made playlists that are curated for specific moods.
- Hobbies: Chances are, you will have more down-time for the next few weeks. There are plenty of hobbies you can pick up, such as reading, knitting, scrapbooking, embroidery, sewing, puzzles, and more. We recommend following self-isolation practices and ordering supplies online.
Chat With Family and Friends
Self-isolation doesn’t mean that you can’t talk to loved ones. Chat with family and friends over the phone, or schedule a Facetime session. There’s also Google Hangout, Go To Meetings, and several other online resources to video chat someone. If you want something more tangible, you can also write letters, or send momentos in the mail.
Take a break
It’s extremely important to give yourself a mental break. It might seem pertinent to keep updated on every single news item regarding coronavirus, but taking a break from the internet and TV can be beneficial. Putting aside time to meditate, or do a relaxing activity, or to chat with a friend over the phone can help put you in a more positive headspace.
While you’re busy taking care of everyone else right now, make sure you are taking care of yourself! If you need more resources, check out CDC’s advice on Mental Health and Coping During COVID-19. There are many online resources to help cope with stress during a global pandemic.Read More
At the time of this writing, there are 193,475 confirmed cases, 7,864 deaths, and 164 countries battling the COVID-19 outbreak, according to the World Health Organization. While millions of people choose to self-quarantine, practice social distancing, and stay home, healthcare workers remain at the forefront lines of defense against the virus. So far, dozens if not hundreds of healthcare workers have fallen ill with COVID-19, and more are quarantined after exposure to the virus, leaving the U.S. health system with an unexpected shortage of staff in hospitals.
How Healthcare Workers Are Keeping Up
When something like a virus outbreak turned pandemic occurs, the manuals of operations change on a daily if not on an hourly basis. The constant shift of recommendations from the CDC, hospital management, and the media can leave healthcare workers at a loss. Finding the right protocol in a situation that continues to evolve can be challenging for many hospitals. Let alone for conversations and best practices to trickle down to every healthcare worker in the facility.
Adjusting to the News
Due to the massive extent of the virus, with confirmed cases in all 50 states of the United States, the shortages of personal protective equipment is unavoidable. In response to this shortage, the CDC scaled back on its recommendations about PPE for personnel working with COVID-19 patients.
For example, the use of N95 respirators is now recommended to be reserved with procedures in which small particles are more likely to be produced, versus at all times. To deal with the shortage, the CDC is now recommending surgical masks as an alternative for N95 respirators. Other PPE, such as eye protection, gloves, and gowns, are still recommended.
The Quarantine Dilemma
Another issue both healthcare workers and hospitals are facing is the current quarantine protocol. So far, when a patient tests positive for COVID-19, large groups of staff members, including doctors, nurses, and administrative staff are placed on quarantine for at least 14 days before getting back to work. This is leaving hospitals short on staff to continue to address the situation.
Recently, the Berkshire Medical Center in Massachusetts quarantined 160 employees after exposure to patients who tested positive. This quarantine forced the center to find 54 temporary nurses to support the shortage of staff. Situations like this are happening all across the nation, leaving hospitals and healthcare personnel more vulnerable than ever before.
Besides, it’s not just those at hospitals and medical centers that are exposed. Caregivers outside hospitals and nursing homes are also vulnerable and exposed to risks.
Most healthcare workers understand the risk and have a call to stay in the front lines of defense against the outbreak. However, putting large staff groups in quarantine for 14 days after contact with COVID-19 patients is not a viable solution due to the shortage of staff happening allover.
Understanding the Risk
It’s essential to understand the occupation risk with COVID-19 and how to protect personnel that falls under each category. Here are some recommendations from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
For Low Exposure Risk Workers
These are jobs that don’t require contact with people known to be or suspected of being infected with the virus. They don’t have close contact with the general public and other coworkers.
- Additional PPE is not required
- Other controls are not necessary. Workers should continue operations as usual
For Medium Exposure Risk Workers
Workers with high-frequency interaction with the general public. In this case, additional measurements need to be implemented to make sure they’re working in a safe environment.
- Install physical barriers, such as clear plastic sneeze guards, where feasible
- In addition to N95 respirators, workers with medium exposure risk need some combination of gloves, a gown, a face mask, and a face shield or goggles
For High and Very High Exposure Risk Workers
These are healthcare workers at the front lines of treating patients with confirmed COVID-19 cases. In this instance, making sure the optimal levels of security are in place is paramount to safeguard their wellbeing and health.
- Making sure they wear all PPE gear to prevent contamination
- Have standards in place for how to proceed if a worker tests positive for COVID-19
Protecting Yourself and Your Family
If you’re a healthcare provider working through the COVID-19 outbreak, your family’s safety is most likely one of your top priorities. Even as your workplace takes significant safety precautions, you’re still in a risky environment, which exposes your loved ones to the virus.
As you return home, make sure you:
- Thoroughly wash your hands before greeting your family
- Wash any clothes you’re wearing
- If you’re a medium to high-risk healthcare personnel, considering keeping distance with your family members
- Ensure your home remains clean and disinfected every day
- Recommend that they self-quarantine if possible to prevent exposure
While the situation continues to evolve, keep track of everything you can do to stay safe, and keep your loved ones safe as well. Remember, like many other pandemics, this too shall pass. Try to focus on self-care, attend your mental health, and do your best to manage your stress levels. Find support within your community and loved ones. Remind yourself of your value to society and bravery for being at the front lines of the situation and find comfort in the thought that you’re saving lives each day.Read More
Spending a few weeks in Music City amid the COVID-19 pandemic? Nashville is known for its bustling music venues, and the Honky Tonks on Broadway, usually flooded with tourists. But on a beautiful Spring day and with a full tank of gas, you can have a perfect day off while still social distancing. Here’s a day worth of adventures, without all the cowboy-boot-wearing crowds.
Have an early morning to-go breakfast at Loveless Cafe
Drive straight down Highway 100 until you see an old sign for the Loveless Motel. There you can have the most delicious Southern Breakfast you could ask for. A global pandemic might be the best time to grab food at this Nashville breakfast staple without any wait time. Try their biscuits with the strawberry or apricot jam and no other biscuit will ever live up. Get grits, or a platter of biscuit sandwiches, chicken, sausage, and a personal favorite, pimiento cheese and fried green tomato. By the time you’re done, you’ll want to take a nap. Explore the grounds of what really was once a classic ‘50s Nashville motel (while keeping a mindful distance of those around you). There are local shops lined along where the rooms used to be. And there’s a Loveless gift shop where you can buy wholesale bags of the Loveless biscuit mix, stock up now so you can keep enjoying Loveless from the comfort of your own home!
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Take a hike in Percy Warner Park
Get back in your car, and head back East on Highway 100 for a few miles. On your right, you’ll see a mound of hills that make up Percy Warner Park. Hiking trails weave in and out of Nashville’s rolling hills. And they’re super easy treks. It’s a great way to take in some nature, and also burn off those biscuits. Hikes can range from a quick half an hour to four or five. Choose a quick one. You have more to do today!
Drive down Natchez Trace and get lost.
Since you’re already on the West side of Nashville, it’s hard not to hit the historic, and beautiful, Natchez Trace Parkway. When your legs are tired of hiking, experience Tennessee’s greenery driving with your windows down instead. Blast the ‘O Brother Where Art Thou folk soundtrack and drive down the parkway, going nowhere in particular. You’ll encounter some fun landmarks on your way. There’s the big white Natchez Trace Parkway Bridge. You can pull over and gaze out from the overpass at just how far Nashville’s green hills stretch into Franklin. Or take the exit right before and gaze at the bridge in its entirety. Either way, it makes a good photo op.
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If you’re feeling truly adventurous, take the exit for Leaper’s Fork, a small town just outside of Nashville. You can drive down the historic block lined with old country stores and antique shops. Stop in Puckett’s Grocery & Restaurant for a cone of ice cream. Then head back into the city. Hopefully the sun will be setting on your ride back. There’s nothing like a Nashville sunset.
Get a Martin’s Barbeque Sandwich to go
As you get back into the center of town, we recommend you try Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint for dinner. Go to the Belmont location, and try a sliced beef brisket or a pulled pork shoulder. And load up on sides, from hush puppies to mac & cheese. Get it all to go.
Eat it on top of your car in Love Circle
Then head to Love Circle, the hill in Hillsboro Village that offers an almost completely unobstructed view of the city. Eat your bar-b-que on top of your car and watch as the sun goes down. A perfect Nashville day.
Does Nashville sound like a place you’d like to explore? See available positions at Stability Healthcare and get a start on your next adventure!
Most people look to books as a form of escape from their challenging work and home lives. So for a travel nurse, a book about infectious diseases or bedpans might not seem like the obvious choice for that perfect airplane or train read. But nurses also have to stay up to date and informed, and sometimes a really good medical book can make you more excited to go to work in the morning. Here are five books that every travel nurse should read.
The Nurse’s Story by Carol Gino
Carol Gino has done, and seen, it all. In her career as a nurse she’s worked in the Emergency Room, Intensive Care, the Burn Unit, Medicine, Surgery, Pediatrics, Pediatric Intensive Care, and Hospice Care for the terminally ill. And her 1997 novel on the trials of life as a nurse was an instant classic. Particularly if you’re new to nursing, Gino’s book is a window into what is to come, whether it is leaving work after a patient has died for the first time, and wondering how to shed that feeling of loss coming home to your family, or making difficult decisions on how to treat a patient’s unbearable pain. Gino’s book is a lesson in empathy and also explores ethical questions that undoubtedly every nurse will encounter in their lifetime. But it also shines light on the joy and the love found in the job. What it means to bring a new life into the world, or to hold a person’s hand as their journey ends.
Gino’s book is both gutting and hopeful. It would be a great book to gift to friends and loved ones who want to know more about what your job entails. Gino also offers a sigh of relief for nurses who have been working for a long time, as she addresses compassion fatigue and how to deal with burnout.
You can order her book on Amazon for $14.95 here.
Hitting the Road: A Travel Guide to Nursing by Shalon Kearney
Shalon Kearney is a travel nursing veteran. And in her 2002 book, she offers a short and no-nonsense guide to “hitting the road” as a travel nurse. She has complete listings for 70 health care staffing agencies, she offers tax and financial advice, tips on planning international travel, and also offers ways to self-assess, providing useful check-ins for how to track your improvement as a nurse even as you’re on the move. This all-inclusive guide is a breezy read, and can be a life-saver for nurses just starting in the industry. Kearney takes some of the seemingly-impossible parts of the job and breaks them into easy and understandable steps.
Buy it on Kindle Books for $9.95 here.
One Nurse At A Time: On A Mission: A Personal Journey into the Heart of Humanitarian Nursing by Sue Averill and Elizabeth Coulter
For a less clinical and more uplifting and breezy read on travel nursing, Averill and Coulter’s book full of stories is wholly satisfying. Their 2017 book captures the adventurous and exciting spirit of travel nursing. Whether it’s taking place in an African riverboat or just a particularly goofy day in the emergency room, this book will remind you why your job, despite all it’s challenges, is fun. And more importantly, following these nurses on their humanitarian journey to change the world will remind you why your job is meaningful. Averill and Coulter are women to aspire to, and they’re also a barrel of laughs.
This book is actually free on Kindle Unlimited, or you can buy it for $12.99 in paperback here.
When Nurses Hurt Other Nurses: Hurt Nurses: Recognizing and Overcoming the Cycle of Nurse Bullying by Cheryl Dellasega, Sigma Theta Tau International Staff
Anyone who has spent time in this industry knows that it can sometimes be toxic. Nurses often go underpaid, and hospitals and clinics that are understaffed create a tense environment for employees who have to juggle responsibilities that should have been divided by a much larger staff. Younger nurses can face brutal treatment from managing nurses who have already weathered the storm of a nursing career. And this can be even more true for travel nurses, who are often new to a well-oiled machine. When you’re in a tough situation at work, it’s easy to think you’re the only one. It’s also easy to think it’s completely your fault. That’s why this book, published in 2011, was groundbreaking.
It explains the history of nurse bullying and examines why this toxic behavior occurs and looks at ways to prevent it. It includes workshops and tipsheets inside to help nurses in real time deal with difficult situations that arise.
One nurse on GoodReads said, “As someone who has been bullied, this was an important book for me to read. It helped me work through some of my feelings, and my anger. I am thinking of having it sent to my former supervisor and/or the COO who also played a part in the entire bullying experience.
It is nice to know that in some places around the world, bullying is recognized in the nursing profession and steps are being taken to stop the cycle.”
Buy it at Barnes & Noble for $25.34 here.
Highway Hypodermics: Travel Nursing 2019 by Epstein Larue
This is the bread and butter. The 300-page guide that leaves no stone unturned in pursuing travel nursing. Epstein Larue, a Cirrus Medical Staffing traveler, has been updating her helpful guide to how to find jobs as a travel nurse, how to balance expenses, and more, for over a decade. So you can trust that her most recent addition put out last year has literally everything you could ever want to know about being a travel nurse. She’ll guide you through finding that perfect travel assignment, negotiating contracts, and even getting the proper vaccinations and health checks. This is a must-read if you’re looking to branch out into travel nursing.
You can buy the most recent edition on Kindle for $9.99 here.
BONUS: Travel Nurse Coloring Book
Who doesn’t love a good coloring book? Destress while also recording some of your sweetest moments with patients with this whimsical coloring book made specifically for travel nurses.
Want to explore more about travel nursing opportunities?
Stability Healthcare is an industry leader in travel nursing. Check out our Travel nursing jobs page for dozens of listings for high-paying gigs all across the United States. If you still have questions, contact our representatives. They are always available to help you start a fascinating career in the travel nursing field.Read More
There’s always been an emphasis on washing hands – you’ve heard it from your parents, from your middle school health teacher, from the employee posters on the wall in restaurant bathrooms. However, many are unaware of its extreme importance, and how effective it truly is in preventing illness and disease. Handwashing helps protect yourself and others from getting sick and is a key factor in helping to stop pandemics, like the recent wave of coronavirus. Despite being taught how hand washing is beneficial, most people don’t know how to wash their hands correctly. Look below for a guide on how to do so.
Why You Should Wash Your Hands
According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), proper handwashing can help prevent the passing of infections and germs between people. Using water and antibacterial soap mostly eliminates germs from your hands. This is significant because people often touch their eyes, faces, and mouths, which are the primary orifices through which germs get into the body. Additionally, there are many customs throughout the world that have people touching each other’s hands, like a handshake as a greeting, which can lead to the spread of germs. If a person doesn’t practice proper handwashing, they can also pass along germs through the objects they touch, like handrails, door handles, etc.
Historically, the introduction of handwashing has helped decrease the number of people who get sick with respiratory issues and gastrointestinal illness, especially in more susceptible populations like children. Hand washing can also aid in fighting antibiotic resistance. If there are fewer infections, there will be fewer antibiotics prescribed.
How to Properly Wash Your Hands
- Turn on the faucet, wet your hands, turn off the faucet. You can use any temperature of water. There have been no significant studies that prove warm water is more effective in removing germs while hand washing, which is a huge plus for those whose skin may be irritated by hot water. By turning off the faucet, you’ll save water.
- Apply soap to your hands, lathering all over, including under your fingernails, and scrub for at least 20 seconds. It may seem counterintuitive to turn off the faucet and touch it again to turn it on, but there is no information that there is a significant amount of germs transferred between faucets and hands. Lathering and scrubbing with soap is one of the most important steps while washing your hands. It is much more effective in killing germs versus just washing your hands with water, and the friction helps pick up any microbes or foreign substances (like dirt) that can be on your skin. The ideal time for scrubbing is 20 seconds. If you have a hard time singing, you can think or hum the alphabet song twice.
- Rinse with clean water. After you’re done, turn off the faucet. This will ensure that you get all of the soap off your hands. If there is any leftover residue, it could cause potential skin irritation. Although many people in the past have recommended using a paper towel to touch the faucet and turn it off, there is no evidence that supports that this is an accurate safety measure against germs. Instead, it can lead to paper towel waste.
- Dry your hands. To dry your hands, use either a clean towel or air dry them. Studies that examine the benefits of using hand dryers are lacking, so as of now, a clean towel or air drying is the best method.
When and how to use hand sanitizer
Hand sanitizer is not interchangeable for hand washing. According to the CDC, soap and water is capable of eliminating more germs than hand sanitizer. Additionally, hand sanitizer is less effective when hands are visibly dirty (think dirt, oil, grease, etc.) However, if soap and water aren’t available, hand sanitizer is better than nothing.
A person should use a hand sanitizer that is made up of at least 60% alcohol. Typically, only a small amount is needed, but the label on the bottle will specify how much a person should use. Squeeze a dollop onto one palm and then rub your hands together until both hands are covered and dry.
There are many misconceptions about how to properly wash your hands. Clearly, correct handwashing is especially important during flu seasons (look at Stability Healthcare’s blog post about Coronavirus here), but the main priority is to always practice the right way of handwashing.
As a reminder, Stability Healthcare offers multiple healthcare plans when you’re a travel nurse. The best way to not get sick is to use prevention methods, like hand washing or using hand sanitizer in cases when you’re not able to use soap and water. Keep in mind that you’re not just keeping yourself safe, but you’re keeping others safe too!Read More
As a travel nurse, you’re at the frontlines of defense against the Coronavirus (COVID-19). As confusion, anxiety, and fear continue to escalate, the outbreak shows no slowing signs with more than 101,900 confirmed cases, 3,486 deaths, and 94 countries with cases, as of March 7th. Let’s explore the various ways you can stay safe as a travel nurse.
Keep Up with the Updates
While you don’t have to read every five-minute alert about the Coronavirus, knowing the basics is paramount. What we know about the COVID-19 virus right now is that it spreads person-to-person via respiratory droplets produced by coughs or sneezes. There’s some belief that if a person touches a surface infected with COVID-19 and then touches their nose, mouth, or eyes, the virus can also enter the system.
The incubation period is anywhere between 2-14 days, with symptoms such as fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Symptoms are very similar to the common flu or a cold.
How to Stay Safe as a Travel Nurse
Although there’s no way to prevent the infection, taking careful measurements is your best defense against the Coronavirus. The CDC recommends that all healthcare professionals working throughout the COVID-19 outbreak to practice Standard Precautions, Contact Precautions, and Airborne Precautions.
- Hand Hygiene: using alcohol-based wipes and washing your hands. Remember to do this before and after touching a patient, even if you use gloves, after contact with fluids or blood, after aseptic tasks, and after glover removal.
- Wear Personal Protective Equipment: always wear gloves, gowns, goggles, and face shields, as well as N95-or higher respirators.
- Use Disposable Patient-Care Equipment: if there’s multiple-patient equipment that can’t be disposed of, then clean and disinfect the equipment before re-using.
- Limit transport of patient: make sure patients are in a room that requires minimal interaction outside of the room, even for medical purposes.
- Follow Etiquette Procedures: adhere to respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette, hand hygiene, and triage procedures throughout the visit.
Other tips to keep in mind:
- Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue away.
- Avoid touching any public surfaces, bathroom handles, doors, etc.
Myths and Facts about the Coronavirus
With so much information out there, it can be challenging to differentiate what’s real from what’s not. Make sure you’re always fact-checking updates with organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC), who continue to share valid information every hour.
COVID-19 Is Deadly – Myth
Fact: Not to degrade the toll of the losses to Coronavirus, but so far, the fatality rate for this disease is still under four percent. Almost 80% of the cases report mild symptoms, with some people reporting no symptoms at all. At the moment, those who are at higher risk are people over the age of 60, smokers, and those with underlying medical conditions. Not to mention, fatalities are linked t further complications exacerbated by the virus, not the COVID-19 infection itself.
The Virus Only Affects Old People – Myth
Fact: While older populations are at higher risk, the Coronavirus can affect people of all ages, races, and backgrounds. What’s true, though, is that older people are more susceptible to complications and, as with any other virus, have a harder time fighting the illness.
Alcohol Wipes Kill the Virus – Myth
Fact: While it’s partially true that using rubbing-alcohol wipes can help disinfect your hands, it won’t prevent the virus from entering your system. Make sure you’re using a hand sanitizer with over 60% alcohol to kill microbes. Using hand sanitizing wipes will also help you get the bacteria off your hands and surfaces.
More Resources for Healthcare Professionals
As a travel nurse, odds are you’re taking the necessary steps to stay safe already. Beware that if you’re in the process of starting a new assignment, or if you’re being transferred to a new hospital to support the Coronavirus efforts, you’re likely to get tested before you can start your new position.
In the meantime, take the news with a grain of salt. Stay updated with your hospital’s prevention and containment plans. For more, here are some resources by the CDC:
- Healthcare Professional Preparedness Checklist For Transport and Arrival of Patients Potentially Infected with COVID-19
- Interim Guidelines for Collecting, Handling, and Testing Clinical Specimens from Patients Under Investigation (PUIs) for COVID-19
- Sequence for Putting on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
- Important Steps for Using NIOSH-Approved N95 Filtering Facepiece Respirators
- Healthcare Professionals: Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
As always, if you have questions about how to manage your travel nursing assignments during the Coronavirus outbreak, feel free to contact our representatives for guidance.