Only about two-thirds of participants pass the NCLEX. With all of the content that is shown on that exam, this statistic shouldn’t come as too much of a shock.
However, if you want a career in travel nursing, you need to pass this exam.
If you’re worried about passing the NCLEX or just want some study tips, keep reading. We have the best tips and tricks for taking and passing the NCLEX exam. Just keep reading.
Cater Your Studying to Your Learning Style
You need to cater to your learning style while you’re studying. This is the best way to soak up as much information as possible.
Be sure that you take the time to understand what your learning style is. Take some time to think about how you’ve learned well in the past.
For example, you may remember your Latin conjugations from high school because you made songs to learn them. If so, you’re probably a musical learner. Use songs and rhymes to learn new information.
Whatever your learning style is, cater towards it. Don’t cut yourself short and think that reading is enough. If you aren’t an auditory learner, you aren’t helping yourself.
Start Earlier Rather Than Later
The earlier you start studying for the exam, the better off you’ll be. If you start the week before, you’re not likely to have much success on the exam.
You want to give yourself the most amount of time possible to study for the NCLEX, especially if you have multiple subjects that you’re feeling weak in.
Many students make a study schedule the semester before they start studying for the exam, just to ensure that they know exactly what they’re going to be doing well in advance. It’s also important to schedule the exam around studying for class.
Look Over Past Exams
Your nursing professors likely formed your exams similarly to the NCLEX. Many nursing professors do this to make sure that you’re studying for the NCLEX while you’re studying for their exams.
Looking over those exams can remind you of how your professors phrased the questions and answers. You can refresh your memory as to how some questions may have tripped you up in the past as well.
If you don’t have access to old exams, there are many online exams that mimic NCLEX exams. You can use those to help you prepare for the kinds of questions that may show up on the NCLEX.
Finding Your Career in Travel Nursing After You Pass
Once you’ve conquered the exam and passed with flying colors, it’s time to get ready for your career in travel nursing. Finding a job after all of that studying shouldn’t be more stressful than the exam itself.
If you’re looking to find a career in travel nursing, you can use our search engine on our home page. You can also use our travel nursing resources if you need help with finding housing, financing, and more.
We wish you luck with your exam and your future career in travel nursing. You can do this!Read More
The United States is home to 3.8 million registered nurses. Of these current RNs, almost 85% practice their profession.
That seems a lot, but experts say there is a potential for a shortage. This is especially true when it comes to those with a nursing specialty. To avoid these deficiencies, the US requires an additional 11 million RNs.
As a nursing student or new nurse yourself, all these translate to more job opportunities. Even more so in specialized areas, as these tend to have higher shortages.
The big question now is, how do you choose the right nursing specialization?
This post will give you some tips to help you arrive at a decision, so be sure to read on!
Factor In Your Personality
A survey found that a whopping 90% of people aged 21 to 65 regret their career choices. Many of them admitted that their mistakes stemmed from not knowing what they wanted to do. Many others decided without considering their values and interests.
This is why it’s crucial to factor in your personality when deciding on a nursing specialty. Base your decision on the things that interest you while still upholding your values. Can you imagine yourself happy and fulfilled in that sector within the next five, ten, or twenty years?
Let’s say that you have an impressive way of “keeping your cool” under the most distressing events. You’ve always been one of the first to react in emergencies. In this case, an ICU nursing specialization may be a great fit for your super-fast responses.
On the other hand, if you thrive in academics, then you may want to consider clinical research. Clinical research nurses help create and formulate new and better treatments. This may also be an excellent fit for you if you’re an outstanding critical thinker.
What if you’re a great conversationalist, and you love to meet people from all walks of life? Then you may want to consider becoming a travel nurse. A travel nursing job will not only let you work within a single state; you can move from one state to another!
The most important thing here is to choose a specialty that jives with your personality. Don’t let external factors, especially “pressure,” have a massive influence on your decision. Remember: your choice now will affect your life in the many years to come.
Consider the Work Environment
When deciding how to specialize as a nurse, imagine yourself in various work settings. That’s right: nurses aren’t always in hospitals, although that’s still an option. You have many other choices, though, from private practices to schools and corporations.
Keep in mind that there are more than 60 nursing specialties that you can choose from. If you don’t want a job surrounded by four walls, you can work 5.9 to 7.2 miles above the ground, in an aircraft. This the kind of environment in which flight or transport nurses work.
If the air isn’t for you, then perhaps you’d like to surround yourself with clear, blue waters. In this case, you may want to consider a specialization in cruise ship nursing. Many travel nurse jobs also provide such benefits.
Think About the Age Group You Best Identify With
Of all healthcare professionals, nurses spend the most time attending to patients. A study even found that patients spent over 80% of their time with nurses, compared to about 13% with doctors.
With that said, you should also factor in the age groups of patients that you’re most comfortable with. It’s much like how teachers specialize in specific grade levels. As a nurse, however, you’d consider age brackets, such as infants or elderly adults.
Let’s say that you’re always the first person that people turn to for help with their babies. You also enjoy taking care of infants, and you’re very good at it. In this case, you may want to consider a pediatric nursing specialty, such as neonatal nursing.
At the other end of the spectrum is geriatric nursing. Geriatric nurses specialize in taking care of aging and older adults. They can work in medical facilities, but they can also work in the home of their patients.
The Demand for Your Preferred Nursing Specialty
As mentioned above, shortages are more common among nurses who have specializations. However, there are some, like travel nurses, who are even more in demand. One reason for this is that many states are experiencing regional shortages.
California, for example, may have a shortage of up to 45,500 registered nurses by 2030. Alaska, on the other hand, would have the highest estimated RN job vacancy, at 22.7%. Many other states, like Texas and New Jersey, will also experience the same woes.
It’s because of this that travel nurses will always have work awaiting them. Critical care, labor and delivery, and geriatric nurses are also in high demand.
Additional Specialization Certification and Requirements You Need to Meet
Most specialties require additional education and training on top of nursing school. Specializations also warrant specific nursing certifications. You need to obtain these before you can work in your desired specialized field of nursing.
With that said, it’s also crucial to consider how these requirements will sit with and affect you. They will extend the time you need to spend in education, after all. However, they are well worth it, as they will boost your professional recognition.
The greater your professional recognition, the higher your earning potential becomes.
Fulfill Your Dreams With a Rewarding Nursing Career
Choosing a nursing specialty takes a lot of deliberation and mulling over. At the end of the day, though, you’d want to have a career that makes you feel utterly fulfilled. Something that you’d look forward to until you retire, and one that you’d be proud to tell the grandkids.
Just remember that fulfillment carries different meanings for different people. For you, this may mean taking care of people, making them better, and being able to travel too. If so, then you may do very well as a traveling nurse.
Interested in learning more about traveling nurses? Stability Healthcare has all the resources you need, and we can even help with job placement. Feel free to browse travel nursing jobs or by reading our many guides on nursing must-knows!Read More
This global pandemic is far from over. In the United States, it’s ramping up dramatically, and nurses are once again in high demand. It’s important to stay updated on spikes, death toll and hospital capacity across the country. Here are all the COVID-19 updates you need to know right now.
- As of Friday August 7, there were 4.9 million cases in the United States total and 60,608 new cases.
- Across the world there are over 19 million cases, and 263,722 new cases.
- The United States has by far the largest number of cases of any nation. Following behind the U.S. is Brazil with almost 3 million cases and 49,500 new cases. Then India, which has 2 million cases. India actually surpassed the United States for new cases on Friday, with 61,455.
- The United States surpassed 164,000 deaths on Friday, with an average of about 1,200 people dying every day last week.
- Across the world, 722,764 people have died. Which means the United States accounts for more than 22 percent of the world’s total death toll.
- Worldwide, over 12 million people have recovered from the Coronavirus, or 95 percent of closed cases. Of cases ongoing, only 1 percent, or 54,932, are considered to be critical. Although, many have pointed out the dangerous health effects of even a mild COVID case.
- According to an NPR tracker, new case numbers are rising or staying at their current rate in most states.
- States that have recent growth in newly reported cases over the last 14 days are Oklahoma, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Nebraska, Puerto Rico, Illinois, Montana, South Dakota, Hawaii, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and New Jersey.
- New COVID-19 deaths are increasing most handily in Florida, Mississippi, Texas and Georgia. They’re increasing in 22 states total, also including California, Washington and Tennessee..
- Florida and Texas have reported the newest cases in the last 7 days, totaling over 100,000 cases just in those two states. While many Northeastern states reported far fewer cases. Vermont only reported 38 cases, Maine only reported 109, and Washington D.C. only reported 461.
- California still has the greatest number of total cases, and Vermont has the least.
- Hot spots by county include Taylor, FL along the Gulf Coast which reported 857 cases last week and Cameron County, Texas, also along the Gulf Coast, which reported over 15,000 cases last week.
- Texas, one of the hardest-hit states by the recent wave of COVID-19, has several counties reporting at 0 percent ICU and ventilator capacity, including Gonzalez County outside of Fort Worth and Grimes County, outside of Houston. This will likely put a greater strain on already struggling metropolitan hospitals now having to take in rural COVID-19 patients.
- An NPR data analysis also found that southwest Louisiana, eastern Washington state and Boise, Idaho are particularly struggling with hospital capacity.
- Here’s what Dr. Ashish Jha, the director of Harvard Global Health Institute, said about what to look for in terms of hospital capacity across the nation: “”It may come differently as opposed to a single massive surge that overwhelms hospitals. What we might get is just this constant flow of critically ill patients that are just barely what a hospital can manage. Once you get out of those major academic centers and start getting into community hospitals and regional hospitals, they don’t have those deep benches. They don’t have the wealth of resources that they can tap into. So I am very worried that in the days and weeks ahead, if these hospitals continue to function at or above capacity, they’re going to have a very hard time keeping going.”
Scientific Progress / Discovery
- Back on May 22nd, NIAD Director Dr. Anthony Fauci said it was possible that a coronavirus vaccine using classical or innovative technologies could be available by December 2020. Right now, there are more than 100 potential vaccines in clinical trials running at an unprecedented pace.
- But even before this vaccine emerges, Fauci and other scientists predict a different solution will come even faster: targeted antibodies that could provide an instant immunity boost against the virus. These antibodies could both prevent and treat the disease, and clinical trials could verify their efficacy within the next few months.
- On a less optimistic note, scientists discovered in late July that mutations in SARS-CoV-2 might allow the virus to thwart antibodies.
- On a testing level, scientists have now developed a spit test for COVID-19. The saliva test would be much less invasive and could be applied without the help of a healthcare professional. Initial validation experiments have shown the test to be almost equally effective to swab tests, and researchers are asking the FDA to fast track approval.
- You can see daily scientific updates on COVID-19 here.
News of Interest
- Scientific American said that superspreader events drive most of the COVID-19 spread in the United States.
- Many Georgia county public schools reopened last week. And a photo of a crowded hallway filled with students not wearing masks went viral. Meanwhile, due to low rates of new cases, Governor Andrew Cuomo said it was safe to reopen schools in the fall.
- The Atlantic wrote a searing account of President Donald Trump’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- And the next COVID-19 stimulus package is still in limbo, while the Pandemic Unemployment Insurance benefit of $600 a month ran out at the end of July.
- Vox published an account of what it’s like to be a travel nurse in COVID-19. Read it here.
Wanting to go where you’re most needed? Search for career opportunities, set an interview, and book your next nursing assignment through our detailed online portal. Browse for travel nursing jobs here and find your ideal placement today…Read More
Nursing is a noble career choice — but not everyone is suited to this type of job. Nurses are a special breed of people. They work exceptionally long hours and work under constant pressure. Their job requires empathy, kindness, quick thinking, skill, and intuition.
Nursing can also be a very fulfilling profession. It’s filled with plenty of challenges and excitement to help you grow as both a person and a medical professional. There’s also a brilliant opportunity to branch off into travel nursing. This allows you to explore a country while broadening your nursing skill and knowledge.
If you’re thinking of becoming a travel nurse, this blog outlines everything you need to know.
What Is Travel Nursing?
A travel nurse is a registered nurse with the same clinical background as any other nurse. They work for an independent staffing agency that assigns them to different care areas to fulfill short-term employment gaps. These travel nursing positions are temporary, generally spanning 13-weeks at a time.
Travel nursing came about when the field of nursing faced a shortage throughout the U.S. Hospitals and clinics developed a scheme that offered open nursing positions, higher pay, and housing while covering the cost of relocation.
Travel nurses are generally legible to work in any state across the country as well as at international nursing locations. The appeal of travel, higher pay, and broadening your skillset is what makes travel nursing highly popular today.
The Importance of Travel Nurses
Travel nursing serves a major socio-economic purpose. It helps to bridge the gap between supply and demand within the healthcare industry. This ensures that the nationwide population receives the care they need and deserve.
Travel nurses also help to fulfill the mandatory nurse-patient ratios throughout hospitals and clinics across the country. Essentially, this increases patient safety, lowers mortality rates, and improves patient outcomes.
To add to this, travel nurses bring with them a different skillset and bags of knowledge from different care areas, backgrounds, and geographic locations. Overall, this makes for a more diversely skilled healthcare industry.
A Quick Guide on Becoming a Travel Nurse
In order to become a travel nurse, you’ll have to complete and receive a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing. Otherwise, an Associate’s Degree in Nursing from an accredited university will also suffice.
After this, all nurses must pass the NCLEX — the National Council Licensure Examination. This means you are a licensed nurse in your chosen state of practice. The NCLEX is a nationwide exam for all nurses in the U.S. and Canada. Schooling generally takes two-four years, depending on the length of the nursing program you choose.
When it comes to medical practice, there is no better way to broaden your knowledge and skillset through hands-on experience. With nursing, experience is probably the most important factor in becoming a sought-after travel nurse.
Most travel nursing agencies look for nurses with a minimum of two years’ experience in the healthcare industry. If you have the following traits, this makes you extra appealing to nursing agencies:
- Strong leadership skills
- Expertise in a chosen field (additional certifications)
- Good communication skills
- Dependable and reliable
- Works well under pressure
- A good problem solver
Aside from this, nursing also requires you to have great interpersonal skills. This is because you will have to deal with many different walks-of-life throughout your nursing career, especially when travel nursing.
Bear in mind that it’s important to investigate nursing license requirements for each state. You may need to apply for a different nursing license depending on what state you intend to work in. Licenses may take days, weeks, or even months to obtain, so always plan ahead!
Travel Nurse Certifications
You don’t necessarily have to have any additional nursing certifications other than your nursing degree and license. But it does give you an edge over other nursing applicants.
Having an advanced RN certification makes your skillset all-the-more desirable to hospitals, clinics, and travel nursing agencies. Some of the most worthwhile certifications that are nationally recognized include:
- Certified Dialysis Nurse (CDN)
- Certified Nephrology Professional (CHN)
- Certified Medical-Surgical Registered Nurse (CMSRN)
- Certified Post Anesthesia Nurse (CPAN)
- Certified Nurse Operating Room (CNOR)
- Certified in Care, Coordination, and Transition Management (CCCTM)
It really does depend on your preferred area of expertise, but additional certifications can make all the difference in your travel nursing applications and placement.
Travel Nurse Salary and Other Benefits
Travel nursing salaries tend to vary greatly. This is due to the average earnings based state-by-state, the nursing department, the nursing agency, and any additional certifications. Most travel nurses are paid an average of $1,300 to $2700 per week. This makes for an average annual income of $44,727 to $106,985.
Generally, nurses with specialized experience in more intensive departments tend to earn more. This includes Neonatal Intensive Care, the Operating Room, Intensive Care, and the Cardiac Cath Lab.
Other than their weekly salary, travel nurses are also legible for non-taxed stipends for their living expenses and housing in each state they work in. These stipends are paid on top of your hourly nursing rate. Some other stand-out nursing benefits include:
- 401K investment options
- Free continuing education courses
- Tax advantage plans
- Medical, dental, and vision insurance
- Nursing license reimbursement
- Referral bonuses
- Liability and disability insurance
- Worker’s compensation
Keep in mind that you should do your homework before signing up with just any travel nursing agency. Your nursing recruiter is an important figure in your career as they are the bridge between you and your next travel nursing placement.
They also ensure you are paid what you’re worth, and should always be open and honest with you about placement opportunities. Do your research, and find the best agency fit to suit your career needs.
Bring Your Travel Nursing Career to Life With Stability Healthcare
If you’re interested in becoming a travel nurse, Stability Healthcare is your go-to for finding some of the best travel nursing opportunities in America.
Search for career opportunities, set an interview, and book your next nursing assignment through our detailed online portal. Browse for travel nursing jobs here and find your ideal placement today…Read More
Anti-racist reading lists have been circulating across the internet in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd. Non-black people who want to be better allies have been rushing to book stores to pick up Ibram X Kendi’s “How to be an Anti-Racist” or Robin DiAngelo’s “White Fragility.” But the backdrop of the Black Lives Matter movement is health care. The COVID-19 death rate for black Americans is 2.33 times higher than the death rate for white Americans, according to a report put out by the APM Research Lab on June 11. As the American Public Health Association has said, racism is a public health crisis.
It’s important for front-line workers, especially nurses, to take time to understand why these racial disparities in health persist. Black Americans aren’t simply dying of COVID-19 at higher rates because they make up a higher percentage of essential workers, although that’s a problem in itself. There’s a great mistrust of healthcare in the black community based on a long history of abuse that still continues today. There are great books written on this very issue. So if you’re a nurse, here’s YOUR reading list.
Medical Apartheid by Harriet A. Washington
If you really want to understand the full history of racial abuse in health care, spanning from the days of slavery to 2007, when Medical Apartheid was published, this is the book to get you started. In grade school, you might have learned about the Tuskegee experiments, in which the government experimented on black men with syphilis for 40 years, allowing many of them to die in the process. But Washington digs into lesser known experiments that date back even further. She examines how social Darwinism and the pseudoscience of eugenics were born out of strings of experiments on slaves and freedmen. Washington’s book was revolutionary at the time it was published, because it allowed public health experts to understand that a century of abuse that sowed distrust of healthcare professionals in black America has more to do with the racial health deficit than anything else.
Black Man in a White Coat by Damon Tweedy, M.D.
Once you know your history, it’s time to look at how racial bias persists in healthcare today. In this deeply personal memoir, Tweedy tells a first-hand account of both the discrimination he himself faced in becoming a doctor, and what he came to learn about race and healthcare through his patients. In medical school, Tweedy heard over and over again the phrase, “more common in black than whites” about a slew of diseases. But as he came face to face with black patients, he realized there was more to the story.
Medical Bondage by Deirdre Cooper Owens
Owens zeroes in on a specific branch of medicine: gynecology. In her book “Medical Bondage: Race, Gender, and the Origins of American Gynecology,” she examines how the advances of modern gynecology were built on the backs of poor black women exploited by doctors. This book is powerful in bringing to light and dispelling myths about blackness and medicine that doctors have been treating as doctrine for years. It’s important literature for understanding your own biases as a healthcare professional and the possible biases of the doctors around you.
Body and Soul: The Black Panther Party and the Fight Against Medical Discrimination by Alondra Nelson
While the Black Panthers are most remembered for their revolutionary and militant struggle for justice, they were also trailblazers for health advocacy surrounding racism. Nelson tells the little-known history around the Black Panther’s network of free health clinics, its campaign to raise awareness about genetic disease, and its challenges to medical discrimination. Nelson’s deep dive into how the Black Panthers addressed health care back in the 1970s could be a guidepost for solutions proposed today.
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
If you haven’t heard of the name Henrietta Lacks by now, you might be living under a rock. Oprah played her daughter in a movie! But before Skloot’s book in 2010, few knew the infamous story behind the naming of the HeLa cell. If you haven’t read Skloot’s nonfiction narrative about a black woman exploited up until her death, and her family’s fight for justice, you should definitely pick it up. Lacks’ story is just one of thousands of black women whose bodies were used for scientific advancement, despite never benefiting from those advancements.
Invisible Visits by Tina K Sacks
Sacks, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, chooses to highlight middle-class black women’s experience with health care, showing that it isn’t just poor people who are treated differently in healthcare settings, rather the issue is race-specific. The book is filled with unsettling anecdotes about black women’s pain being dismissed, and the great lengths they must go to advocate for better treatment. Sacks also discusses what must happen to end racism healthcare. We must go beyond anti-bias training and get to the root of the issue, she says.
Just Medicine: A Cure for Racial Inequality by Dayna Bowen Matthew
Speaking of solutions, Dayna Bowen Matthew offers up a comprehensive one in her 2015 book “Just Medicine.” Matthew agrees with Sacks that the money our healthcare system spends on bias training will have only a small effect on the massive death toll health disparities have cost black Americans. Through a slew of research, Matthew has determined that the greatest solution to address medical racism is through an overhaul of the legal system, putting in place legal remedies that accurately address implicit and unintentional forms of discrimination.
An American Health Dilemma: A Medical History of African Americans and the Problem of Race: Beginnings to 1900 by W. Michael Byrd and Linda A. Clayton
While a little more academic, this book is comprehensive in documenting the important history, not just of how African-Americans were treated in the traditional healthcare system, but in how they developed their own kind of care and treatment. Reading this book in its entirety will give you a strong understanding of the roots of racism in health care, and the names of black medical pioneers that a traditional medical education largely leaves out.
If you’re interested in ordering any of these books online, check out this list of black-owned bookstores.Read More
World Oceans Day is held every year on June 8th to raise awareness of the vital importance of our oceans and the role they play in sustaining a healthy planet. To celebrate, we’re sharing 8 of our favorite Stability placements on the ocean. Now that the sun is getting hotter and the days are getting longer, there’s no better time to take a job on the beach… or at least near a beach.
San Diego, CA
Miles of sandy beaches, surfable waves, sailboats, and a zoo. What’s not to love about San Diego? Right at the bottom of California, where it’s sunny and warm all year round, it’s hard to find a better beachtown.
You can see all of our high paying California placements here.
When most people not from New York think of a beach getaway, they might not think of the north shore of Long Island. But why not? Long Island’s gold coast is beautiful and much less crowded than the Hamptons. Grab a craft beer and catch a bonfire on the beach this summer after work, and you won’t be sorry.
There are two placements in Riverhead, and you can see all of our high paying New York placements here.
Fort Bragg, CA
Describing Fort Bragg sounds like you’re making up a romantic little beach town for a novel. In Northern California off the Mendocino Coast, Fort Bragg is best known for Glass Beach, with its shore full of colorful glass stones. The beach is part of sprawling MacKerricher State Park, which supports varied birdlife and harbor seals. If you want a break from the ocean, you can hop onto The Skunk Train, a steam locomotive that weaves through the redwood forests of the Noyo River Canyon. This quiet old logging town is a perfect place to spend a sleepy summer in Northern California.
You can see all of our high paying California placements here.
A summer in South Florida is certainly one you won’t forget. Even with the restriction of COVID-19, you’re bound to have a fun time on the beach this summer. Eat some delicious Cuban food, take in the palm tree scenery, and gaze at that beautiful blue ocean.
Check out all of our Florida placements here.
This small university town on the north end of Humboldt Bay will offer you some beautiful beach days on the Gold Coast, as well as a relaxed hippie vibe to settle into after a hard day’s work. Arcata is known for its progressive politics and its vegetarian restaurants, but it’s also just outside of Crescent City, where there’s miles of white sandy beaches and the weather is always a little chilly, perfect for those long walks on the beach.
You can see all of our high paying California placements here.
The Western Gulf Coast of Texas is probably another beach that escapes most people’s minds when they think about where to vacation. But if you’re someone who loves wide open spaces and cheap rent, you might consider it. Brownsville might be the cheapest place in America you can live in and still be only a few miles from the ocean. And Boca Chica Park and South Padre Island boast truly beautiful beaches, with sea turtles and water parks and all.
You can look at all of our Texas placements here.
San Francisco, CA
If you want a scenic beach but you also crave city life, there’s no place better than San Francisco. As long as your calves are well equipped to walk up endless hills, you’ll experience so much culture and beauty in this city. And with Stability’s high paying placements there, you can actually afford the cost of living.
You can see all of our high paying California placements here.
We’re saving the best for last, because there is no beach like Venice Beach. Bring your skateboard and your hacky sack, and get ready to embrace the boardwalk lifestyle. Inglewood might be a small town landlocked outside of Los Angeles, but it’s only a 20-minute drive to Venice Beach, and a 20-minute drive the other way to Manhattan Beach. You can have it all living here, including an almost $3,000 a week placement.
You can see all of our high paying California placements here.Read More
Dealing with difficult patients is every nurse’s daily cup of coffee. After all, nurses tend to interact with patients when they’re at their best and worst versions of themselves. One report even goes as far as pointing out that at least 15 percent of patient encounters are what we would consider “difficult.” Yet, as nurses, caring for challenging patients is part of the job. A difficult patient can be:
- The dependent clinger that makes unreasonable demands
- The entitled demander who’s often a bully and has a long list of needs
- The manipulative will do anything to make things go their way
- The self-destructive who engages in dangerous behaviors
No matter what type of difficult patient you’re dealing with, following these helpful tools will help you stay calm and take care of yourself as well.
Give Yourself a Break
When the situation has escalated, and you start to feel tense, it can be impossible to deal with a problematic patient without taking a break. Most people will advise you not to take it seriously, but deep down, you know that’s easier said than done. After all, nurses are known for their ability to remain calm in stressful situations or to work with troublesome patients.
Communications skills are key here. Make sure you remain calm and continue to speak in a soft voice to your patient. However, allow yourself a break and set time to reset. To let it go, you need to step away from the situation. Go for a brief walk, talk to a colleague about it, fit in a quick meditation session, or maybe enjoy a sweet treat to bring the stress down. Giving yourself a break will help you come back recharged, refreshed, and ready to give it another try.
Consider the Root Cause
Patients can get irritated by infinite things while at the hospital. If you’re struggling with an angry or irritated patient, think about the root cause. Is it fear? Are they stressed? Could it be a side effect of medications? All of these are potential root causes that can improve the nurse-patient relationship. Try to think about the possible causes of their outburst. Once you understand this, it will be easier to assess the situation and know the next steps into achieving harmony. Talk to the doctors and other nurses, consider speaking to their family, whatever it takes to help you understand the patient better will help you find the best way to manage them.
Check Your Body Language
Nurses like to believe their patients can’t tell when they don’t like them. In reality, your body language speaks volumes. So does the tone of your voice. After the first rocky encounter with a patient, you might look tense, and your voice might sound more irritated, patients can quickly pick up on these pointers. At this point, both of you have your defenses up and are ready to fire at each other.
Before walking into the room or even speaking to your patient, do a body and mental check-in. Take a deep breath and remember that having an attitude towards your patient won’t do much good in the long run.
Lean on Empathy
When people say not to take it personally, they mean it. Remember that your role is about the patient and their journey. Lean on empathy and try to look at the situation from the patient’s perspective. Being at a hospital, for whatever reason, is a scary situation for anyone. Not being their best self is quite common. Lean on empathy and try to communicate your efforts for understanding how they’re feeling with your patient.
Even when you can’t 100% be in their shoes, expressing that you’re thinking about things from their perspective will make patients feel understood and cared for. It might also help them lose their guards since they’ll realize that you’re there to care for them.
Use the Behavior Agreement
Here’s the most crucial tool of all — the behavior agreement. Listen, while nurses are empathetic and caring, that’s no excuse for tolerating abuse. Set up clear boundaries with abusive patients that don’t understand these boundaries. Never let a patient yell, curse, diminish, or discredit you in any way. Ensuring they’re fully aware of these boundaries the moment they exhibit abusive behavior is paramount to stop them on their tracks.
Ask your supervisors about your abusive behavior protocols; many hospitals will allow you to be discharged from treating those patients. If that’s available to you, let the patient know that you won’t be treating them any longer due to their abusive behavior and that their abusiveness won’t be tolerated in the clinic. It’s surprising how many patients will change their demeanor after hearing such agreement and terms.
Know When to Ask for Additional Help
Sometimes, some patients will need additional help, and so will you. Recognize when you need to speak to another nurse for support. If you believe your patient might benefit from talking to a counselor or mental health specialist, don’t be afraid of raising the question. In the end, it’s all about the patient and their wellbeing.
Throughout your career as a nurse, you’ll always encounter difficult patients. Keep these helpful tools to stay centered and calm so that you can offer your patients the best care possible.Read More
There’s a wealth of podcasts out there targeting many different groups. As a nurse, staying on top of the latest news and educational resources is paramount. But your education doesn’t have to remain limited to a textbook or a guide. Podcasts are an excellent way of listening to what’s happening in the nursing industry, learn tips from seasoned nurses, and learn to cope with the ins and outs of being a nurse.
So, next time you have a few minutes to spare between shifts, your commute, or on your days off, tune-in to these podcasts that will help you grow as a nurse.
Listen for: Mental Health Care
Nurses, particularly travel nurses, need to nurture their mental health. Working with emotional cases, dealing with high levels of stress, and sometimes being at the forefront of chaos, can be mentally and emotionally drawing. Meditation Minis Podcast helps you focus on your mental health. Most episodes are around 10 minutes, which means they’re the perfect podcast to listen during shifts when you’re having a rough day at work. Plus, they follow a friendly setting that’s not intimidating for meditation beginners.
Listen for: Continuing Education
A must-listen for nurses everywhere. NRSNG features current content centered around nurses’ education and professional interests. From personal journeys to the latest developments in the nursing industry, this podcast covers it all. Tune-in to listen from an extensive network of certified nurses and special guests that bring a fresh, real-life perspective to nursing education and the nursing profession.
Listen for: Travel Nursing Insight
Maybe you’re a travel nurse looking for ideas on how to optimize your assignments. Or, perhaps you’re an RN looking to explore the world of travel nursing. No matter in which bucket you fall, this podcast will be your go-to place of everything travel-nursing related. Listen for an unscripted insight into travel nurses everywhere. Look out for new episodes sharing advice, personal stories, and the latest developments in the travel nursing industry. Even if you’re not planning on ever becoming a travel nurse, this podcast stills offers tips and solutions that can benefit any RN in the field today.
Listen for: Self-Care and Self Help
Even the most seasoned nurses know the importance of self-help/ This podcast, hosted by Robert Duff Ph.D., answers mental health questions without the BS. When you’re listening to the podcast, you feel as if you’re talking to that very frank friend who isn’t afraid of telling you the facts straight. The podcast explores mental health topics like depression and borderline personality disorder, which can come in handy for nurses dealing with patients in these conditions. But, it goes a bit further talking about topics like perfectionism, which might be quite common among nurses.
Listen for: Real-life Insight Into Nursing
While nurses work with many people all the time, it’s easy to feel lonely and misunderstood. This podcast is a nurse favorite because you’re talking to nursing professionals that go through the same experience as you are. Each podcast episode, hosted by two registered nurses. One nurse shares personal stories to impart motivation and inspiration, while the other taps into the darker side of nursing, not everyone talks about.
Topics range from daily issues nursing professionals face in their professional and personal lives to hospital challenges and workplace bullying. Expect to hear everything about the flu, nursing frustrations, and mental health in the workplace. The Good Nurse Bad Nurse podcast is an excellent option for everyone in the nursing field, but it’s a must-listen for nursing students or those looking to venture into this exciting field.
These are some of the podcasts you should be listening to right now. There are thousands of podcasts available online talking about nursing, mental health, family, wellness, even fitness. Tune-in to these podcasts whenever you have spare time, while on your commute, or as you’re filling in paperwork. A few minutes a day can make a huge difference in your day, so whenever you feel down, or you feel a bit lost, listen to one of these podcasts to stay updated, guided, and ready to go.
Whether you’re a nurse working on the front lines, or you’re taking this time to be with your family, building a strong immune system is so important right now. While everyone is furiously washing their hands and social distancing, it can be easy to forget about what’s working inside of your body. These home recipes might bring you some peace of mind, knowing that your body is strong and healthy. Plus they taste good and are a fun quarantine activity. Here are five fun immunity boosting recipes you can whip up in your kitchen. Make them for yourself and your kids!
How many times have your friends challenged you on Instagram to, “see a shot, send a shot”? Give your liver a break and take a few swigs of this jam-packed immunity booster shot recipe instead. It’s got every natural ingredient you need to strengthen your immune system, including garlic and ginger, lemon and orange juice, apple cider vinegar, honey, and turmeric. The best part is that most of this should already be hiding somewhere in your kitchen.
Here’s why all seven of these ingredients are like the Immunity Avengers, coming together to save you from any nasty seasonal cold or flu that might have you freaking out unnecessarily during a global pandemic:
Honey and turmeric are rich in antioxidants, which help protect your cells from free radicals, those pesky molecules that pop up when your body breaks down foods. Free radicals can play a role in heart disease, cancer and more common cases of the cold and flu.
Known for killing harmful bacteria, apple cider vinegar is totally the fighter we need in this crisis. And lemon juice and orange juice are both very high in vitamin C. Orange juice also has antioxidants, and lemon juice helps support your heart and digestive health.
Garlic and Ginger are your tale-as-old-as-time immunity boosters. Both have also been known to help reduce the symptoms of the common cold. They also serve as a flavor kick. After all, shots should be exciting!
Add a dash of black pepper and cayenne (also known to boost your metabolism, which is a win-win during this time of unlimited snacking), and you can make this shot in five minutes. Check out the full recipe here. You can make a whole growler full of immunity juice, that way it’s ready for you each morning, or you can make just a glass-full.
This doubles as an immunity booster, and a perfect Spring/Summer refreshment. Bring a pitcher of it outside on the patio while you garden or read a book.
Water Kefir, a bubbly, fruit-infused drink, is similar to Kombucha in that it’s filled with probiotics, but it’s a little bit less complicated to make on your own. It does take about three days to make, but with only five minutes of prep time. All you need is water kefir grains, which you can order on Amazon Prime and have delivered early next week, water, the fruits of your choice mixed with some organic sugar, maybe some ginger, a strainer, a kitchen towel and some big mason jars!
This fruity, refreshing drink is filled with probiotics to heal your gut, give you an energy boost and even clear up your skin. And warding off inflammatory reactions in the gut is also a really natural way to protect your immune system.
If you’re working from home, drink a glass of this halfway through the day and you’ll get a boost of new energy. If you’re going into the hospital, you can take it to go in a cute mason jar!
Here’s the full recipe with several fun variations.
There’s nothing like a superfood that also tastes delicious. That’s why sweet potatoes are always a go-to when you’re trying to eat a clean, plant-based diet. This recipe for sweet potatoes topped with ginger, miso and scallions is particularly good for the immune system.
You cut your sweet potatoes or yams in half, length-wise, and roast them in the oven for 30 minutes. Then you mix butter, shallots, miso and ginger together in a skillet, and spoon your tasty miso butter over your golden roasted sweet potatoes. It’s a delicious lunch, or a great side to go with dinner.
Sweet potatoes themselves are filled with beta carotene and vitamin A, which help support your immune system and also benefit your vision, your heart and even your teeth. They’re called superfoods for a reason! But it’s the other ingredients in this recipe that really make it a one-two-punch for building up the immune system. Miso itself is probiotic and great for the gut and immune system. And as we’ve said before, ginger is a go-to for boosting immunity.
Get the full recipe for this rich and uber healthy treat here.
Smoothies are some of the most fun and tasty ways to get all the good antioxidants, vitamins and probiotics you need to fight off the cold and flu. This one has everything you need and has enough natural sweetness to make it taste delicious.
First, put in some kale and spinach, which will load you up with Vitamin C, antioxidants, fiber and calcium. Whew! Add some mango pineapple and kiwi to make it taste tropical, but also to add even more Vitamin C. Squeeze in some lemon for an extra metabolism boost. And add some ginger because…. Do we even have to tell you?
Mix it all in with some almond milk, or oat milk, and you’ve got yourself a green smoothie. If it’s not quite sweet enough for you, add some cacao nibs — cocoa, believe it or not, is actually an incredible antioxidant! You can also add some avocado if you want a slightly creamier blend.
Sure, it’s easy to buy granola from the store, but often when you read the back-labels, even the more organic-looking blends have a high dose of fructose corn syrup or other artificial flavorings that cancel out the good protein and fiber you’re looking for. So now that we all have a little more time in the kitchen, take a stab at making your own granola!
This recipe is filled with flavorful, natural ingredients that boost the immune system and leave you feeling full throughout the day. Paired with a dollop of greek yogurt, this is truly a breakfast of champions.
You can look at the full list of yummy ingredients for this recipe here. But we’ll highlight some of the best ones helping your body fight off bad actors.
First off, SEEDS. This recipe includes three different kinds of seeds: flax, pumpkin and sunflower. Flax seeds are filled with Omega 3 fatty acids which help your white blood cells fight off disease and infection. Flax seeds, along with pumpkin seeds, are also rich in iron and zinc, which have antiviral and antifungal properties. Sunflower seeds contain selenium, which helps fight certain types of cancers and boosts your immune system. Plus, they’re rich in Vitamin E which gives you healthy skin and nails.
This recipe also includes agave, the nectar of the tequila gods. If your husband or parents ever give you flack about your mid-day quarantine margaritas, you can always defend yourself by pointing out some of agave’s many healing properties. Agave contains fructans and saponins which are both known to boost your immune system.
Your homemade granola will also contain a healthy dose of cinnamon, which is a powerful antioxidant. It helps that all of these things, including the dried, sweetened mangos, are so delicious! Check out the full recipe and see for yourself.
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
With many states approaching their peak days as far as the number of cases and deaths attributed to COVID-19, people crave a path to normalcy. However, amid the pandemic, healthcare workers continue their fight to help as many people as possible, with limiting resources and staff members to support them. Coronavirus updates keep changing by the minute, if not by the second. With more confirmed cases, healthcare workers are still trying to piece together the ins and outs of this pandemic. For travel nurses, emergency nurses, and other essential healthcare personnel keeping up with COVID-19 updates are of the utmost importance for their health and wellbeing.
The Latest COVID-19 Numbers
As of this writing, there are 579,005 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the United States and 22,252 total deaths, expanding across 55 jurisdictions. Signs of the spread slowing down are optimistic if people follow social distancing and stay at home. However, there’s no way to guarantee this will happen, and we’ll indeed be able to flatten the curve.
While all of this is continuously happening, healthcare workers and facilities are now facing new challenges of their own. On the one side, healthcare facilities are now looking at strategies to mitigate personnel staffing shortages. On the other, healthcare personnel is scrapping for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) as shortages continue to worsen.
Healthcare Workers Looking for PPE
Right now, there’s a severe and mounting disruption to the global supply of PPE. Risk in demand, panic buying by healthcare facilities and civilians, hoarding, and misuse are leaving hospitals struggling to meet needs. The shortage of personal protective equipment is placing doctors, nurses, and other frontline workers at higher risks.
From gloves, respirators, medical masks, face shields, goggles, aprons, and gowns, the need for PPE is real.
Since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, beyond supplies diminishing, prices have surged. For example, surgical masks have increased prices six times.
The concern with supplies is that it might take months to go back to normal. According to the World Health Organization, we need close to 89 million medical masks each month for the COVID-19 response. The number goes up to 76 million when we talk about examination gloves. Plus, 1.6 million goggles per month. To meet these rising demands, the WHO estimates that the manufacturing of PPE must increase by 40 percent.
Strategies to Optimize the Supply of PPE You Should Know
As healthcare facilities left and right kept looking for ways to optimize the supply of PPE, the CDC stepped in with some guidelines.
- Reserve PPE for HCP and replace PPE typically used for source control with other barrier precautions such as tissues.
- Use re-usable PPE that can be reprocessed.
- Use PPE beyond the manufacturer-designated shelf life for training.
- Consider allowing healthcare personnel to extend the use of respirators, facemasks, and eye protection, beyond single patient contact.
Hospitals and Facilities Looking for Staff
At the frontlines of the outbreak, healthcare workers are finding themselves in an unprecedented staff shortage. Over 9,000 healthcare workers contracted COVID-19 over a week. However, the numbers are not one hundred percent accurate because many cases go unreported. The rise in cases correlates with the shortage of PPE to keep workers safe. Not to mention, ongoing staff shortages in healthcare isn’t a COVID-19 only problem. It’s estimated that even before the outbreak, the US needs to hire 2.3 million new healthcare workers by 2025 to care for the aging population qualitatively.
So far, the states facing the most number of cases include New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, closing the top five. Overall, job postings for healthcare workers tripled in the US in a matter of days. The top states with Coronavirus-related job openings include California, Washington, Georgia, Maryland, and New York. Altogether, these five states account for 61% of the job demand. Out of these job postings, about 21% of the market is looking for Registered Nurses.
The surge in demand for healthcare personnel expands to government entities, nonprofits, the private sector, and beyond. Right now, trying to fill staffing gaps is one of the top priorities to control the outbreak.
What Can You Do?
As a travel nurse, you’re probably wondering what’s the best way to navigate the situation. If you’ve chosen to be part of the frontline warriors, reach out to your travel agency to start making the necessary arrangement. Right now, travel nurses with the flexibility to move from one state to another quickly are what most healthcare facilities need. Stability offers placement for nurses in many of the cities experiencing a surge in demand. For all the brave nurses out there, reaching out to the various states battling the outbreak, Stability wants to be your ally and partner to make sure your placement arrangements are as straightforward as possible, so you can focus on what matters the most – caring for others.Read More