This is a scary time to be moving from place to place, but it’s almost impossible to avoid as a travel nurse. It is possible to move safely, though. Here are some tips for settling into your new temporary home.
Choose your moving company carefully
If you’re moving from one state to the other, which you likely will be, your moving company options might be a bit limited. But you can go to Move.org and find out what options you have. Then it’s important to call and ask detailed questions to each moving company about their COVID-19 policies. How often are they monitoring the health of their crew members? What kind of supplies, including face masks, gloves, and hand sanitizers, are being made available to movers on a daily basis?
Also ask them about paperwork. If you’ve ever moved before, you know there are a myriad of things you need to sign before you get going. But in the time of Coronavirus, it can be risky to sign all the documents you need in person. Ask your moving company if it’s possible to switch all your transactions to virtual, including virtual quotes.
Buy all the supplies you need ahead of time
Your moving supply checklist has gotten a little longer during the pandemic. Make one big trip to the store a week before you move to make sure you have everything you need. This should include lots of cleaning supplies. You can also order boxes and tape online now at a number of retailers and Amazon. You can use this neat packing calculator to figure out how many boxes you need based on what you’re moving.
Clean as you pack and pack ahead
Packing is a hellish experience where you realize you have way too much stuff and you also realize you haven’t cleaned half of that stuff since you moved the last time. Now it’s even more important to clean and disinfect everything. So as you’ve gathered all your things into one place, what better time to wipe all of them down and make sure they’re clean? You also shouldn’t procrastinate with packing if you want to be extra cautious while moving. Coronavirus can live on cardboard boxes for up to 24 hours. So to be courteous to your movers, make sure you have everything packed and untouched for at least a day before your movers arrive.
Put everything in boxes or plastic
Although you’ll probably want to be extra careful and sanitize all of your belongings again when you move into your new home, you’ll still make it a whole lot easier on yourself if everything you own has a barrier between it and the stranger picking it up. Put everything you can in boxes, and if you have furniture or larger items that won’t fit in boxes, at least wrap it in plastic you can throw away afterward.
Also, be sure not to use recycled or borrowed boxes. It might be environmentally friendly, but as we said earlier, coronavirus can live on cardboard for a long time.
Plan for unpacking on your own
While before, your moving company would usually unpack your belongings for you, now that seems like a risky move. That means you’re on your own in the unpacking process. And since you’ll likely be moving to a new placement where you don’t know anyone, it’s time to mentally prepare yourself for unpacking alone. This doesn’t have to be a painful process if you 1) give yourself the proper amount of time off work to make it happen 2) make it fun! Install your TV and your speakers first so you can have some entertainment while you’re working. Have a pizza and a bottle of wine delivered to your new digs and give yourself the treats that you usually promise to friends in exchange for their moving help. It’s all on you which means all the pizza is YOURS.
You got this. The key is disinfecting everything, keeping the talking and in-person interacting to a minimum, and finding enjoyment in being self-sufficient.
Ready to pack and move to your next placement? Check out all the cities you can go under Stability’s website here.Read More
Both male and female nurses experience higher rates of suicide than non-nurses, according to a national study from last year. The study, conducted by the University of California San Diego School of Medicine, showed that the rate of suicide for female nurses was 11.97 per 100,000 and the rate for male nurses was 39.8 per 100,000. Both are statistically much higher than the suicide rate for non-nurses (7.58 and 28.2 per 100,000 respectively).
Especially in the wake of COVID-19, when many nurses are confronted with war-like emergency rooms, challenging and uncertain medical quandaries and a lot of death, it’s even more important to check in with yourself and others about your mental health.
“Nurses are known not to care for themselves as much as they care for others. It’s just a part of who we are,” RN Nurse Judy Davidson told MedPage Today. Davidson spearheaded the study after three nurses at UC San Diego died by suicide within a short period of time. “But now with this whole movement towards preventing burnout, increasing joy in the workplace, increasing resiliency, this is a piece of that puzzle … sadly it took a tragic event to get the ball rolling.”
In support of Suicide Prevention Month, we’re providing resources and information about depression, where to go if you need to seek help, how to recognize the signs of suicide risk in your colleagues and how to talk to them about it. This week’s blog is all about how to check in with your coworkers and understand depression so that you can be an empathetic advocate for those who might be struggling around you.
Checking in on your friends and colleagues
It’s a cliche, but it’s true: You never know what the people around you are going through. Someone could have a bubbly and bright personality all day long and still have a life-long struggle with depression. So first and foremost, always be kind when you can, even if that kindness isn’t always reciprocated.
But also, check in with your friends and colleagues at work, especially on busy weeks or even difficult news weeks. Saying “how are you?” doesn’t always cut it. Often, there is shame associated with depression and suicidal thoughts and for those who are struggling, it can be hard to answer a question like that honestly. Instead, try some of these alternatives when you want to check in.
Recognizing the Signs
It’s important to think preventatively about mental health, for both yourself and those around you. And prevention often involves access to mental health resources, being kind and paying attention to those around you, looking for ways you can do things together and encourage each other. But it’s also important to recognize if someone has reached a certain threshold with their mental health that is concerning and possibly life-threatening. While it’s true that a lot of people conceal their depression, and are able to function well even though they are struggling, there are some signs to look out for that might indicate a friend or colleague is considering hurting themselves.
Some of these signs include an increase in drinking or drug use, talking about being a burden to others, asking existential questions like “why does any of it matter?”, extreme mood swings, behaving recklessly or without concern for consequences and strong amounts of negative self-talk. Here are additional warning signs to look for.
In assessing whether some of these signs might be indicating that your friend or coworker is in danger, you could always use this list of suicide risk assessment questions from the Lippincott Nursing Center:
* How are you coping with what’s been happening in your life?
* Do you ever feel like just giving up?
* Are you thinking about dying?
* Are you thinking about hurting yourself?
* Are you thinking about suicide?
* Have you thought about how you would do it?
* Do you know when you would do it?
* Do you have the means to do it?
* Have you ever attempted to harm yourself in the past?
It may seem weird to use your nursing skills on other nurses but even if your colleague catches on to what you’re doing, it might indicate to them that someone else cares about their wellbeing.
What to do if you suspect someone you know is suicidal
If you’ve recognized a few warning signs and perhaps have even confirmed that a coworker or friend suffers from depression and has considered self-harm, what do you do now?
There are three things you should do right away if you seriously think someone might harm themselves.
The first is not to leave them alone. Invite them over for dinner and insist on them coming if they decline the first couple of times.
The second, if you really think they are in immediate risk, is to call a local emergency number or contact a trained professional right away. Fortunately, you both work in healthcare, so you should have even more access to someone who is qualified to help. If you’re concerned for a friend but don’t think they’re an immediate danger to themselves, you might decide to instead encourage them to call a suicide hotline, like the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (800-273-8255) which will put you in touch with a trained counselor.
And the third is to tell a family member what is going on as soon as possible.
After you have responded to someone’s immediate risk, here are a few things you can do to continue supporting them:
- Get their insurance information and make a list of licensed therapists in their network. Offer to set up initial appointments for them to get the ball rolling.
- If they have to undergo emergency treatment, make future plans with them doing something normal like going to the farmer’s market or an exercise class. Make it clear that just because they’re going through something doesn’t mean that your friendship will change or that you’ll start treating them differently.
- Make sure to acknowledge their feelings and be careful about not dismissing anything they confide in you as irrational. Emphasize that they’re not a burden to you and that you want to hear from them about what they’re going through.
For more info, check out this guide to supporting your depressed friends.
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
As Coronavirus cases are ramping up in nearly every state in America, it’s becoming a bit more complicated to be a travel nurse. But if you’re planning to hop on a plane in the next few weeks to your next work destination, this guide has you covered. Here’s everything you should know about how travel is changing right now, and the best tips to staying safe, whether you’re commuting in a plane, train, bus or car.
Top Tips for Traveling Safe
Start planning your “Corona Travel Kit” weeks before you leave
Hand sanitizer, Clorox wipes, and other sanitary necessities are becoming hot commodities again. If you know you’re traveling, make sure you’re stocked up well ahead of time. And think hard about what you’ll need in various travel situations.
For instance, if you’re flying, you can only carry on a bottle of hand sanitizer that contains 12 ounces or less. So stock up on mini-bottles. And also consider alcohol and Clorox wipes (get both) as a better option for flying. After all, wipes can also sanitize where you’re sitting and putting your hands on. And you can use them to wipe down your phone and wallet. Disposable gloves can be useful too, but make sure not to touch your face with your gloves on.
If you’re driving, there are a couple of other items to consider bringing with you. Keep a package of trash bags handy as your Clorox wipes and disposable gloves begin to pile up. You could also consider buying an air purifier for your car if you’re driving with others.
Avoid shopping while traveling
Whether you’re flying or driving, the most likely way you’d come into contact with strangers is through shopping. Whether it’s buying a snack at a gas station, or a water bottle at the Starbucks near your terminal, this is putting you at extra-risk of interacting with strangers and touching items that others have likely also put their hands on. Just plan ahead and avoid this altogether if you can. Bring more snacks than you think you need, and plan for a packed lunch and possibly dinner, even if you’re flying. Bring an emptied reusable water bottle if you’re flying. And if you’re driving, bring multiple water bottles (though don’t drink so much that you have to stop to pee all the time).
Speaking of peeing, do it at your house before you go!
Cover that face!
It’s human nature to want to touch your face, and it’s a habit that is incredibly difficult to crack. So the easiest way to stop yourself from doing it in a high-risk situation like traveling is to cover as much of your face as possible. Wearing a mask is a given, but also wear your reading glasses or even your sunglasses if you can. It might not take the temptation away, but if you have to take the extra step of taking your glasses off before rubbing your eyes, you’ll have time to realize what you’re doing and quickly put some hand sanitizer on.
Check in to your flight online/ use a carry-on suitcase
Another way to avoid as much human contact as possible while flying is to check in ahead of time online, and try and limit yourself to a carry-on suitcase. That way you can head straight to security and skip a step of standing in line and talking to TSA.
Take a window seat
When you travel by air, you’re actually at quite a limited risk of contracting disease from inhaling particles because of the HEPA air filters found on most planes. But still, it’s hard to abide by the 6-feet-apart social distancing guidelines when you’re crammed in a plane. While you might usually prefer the aisle seat, consider taking the window seat instead. The aisle will put you in close contact with flight attendants and any passenger getting up to use the restroom.
Also, wear a mask for the duration of your flight. We know it sucks. But it will ensure your safety and the safety of those around you.
When driving, prepare for the worst
Limiting how many times you stop during a road trip also means prepping as much as you can to avoid emergency stops. AAA isn’t always going to save you, and it will put you in contact with strangers. Also, because of COVID-19, a lot of local repair shops have limited hours. Try and be as self sufficient as you can. Make sure you have a spare tire and jack, and practice changing a tire before you go. Get new wipers, your oil changed and your fluids topped off before you leave. Maybe even have someone who knows cars pretty well take a look at your engine.
As a last resort, look up all the auto-repair shops along your root and jot down their hours and numbers.
Change your mindset
If you’ve been in one place for several months, you might start getting lax about sanitizing your hands, not touching your face, or keeping 6 feet away from others. Even if you’ve been going into a hospital every day, it’s easy to be lulled into a sense of normalcy around this virus as we’re now into month four of the pandemic. So hours before you board a plane or get into a car to travel cross-state, put yourself into a little bit of a panic mode. You don’t want to have so much anxiety about traveling that you freak out and don’t think properly, but a little bit of fear can be powerful. Read a couple articles about the dangers of COVID-19 before you leave the house, to refamiliarize yourself with the risk you’re facing.
Make a checklist
And then once you’re sufficiently scared of this possibly-deadly virus, immediately make a checklist for everything you need to be mindful of before you get into an airport or a car.
- Am I touching my face?
- Am I applying hand sanitizer every 15 minutes or so, or before I touch my face? (You could even make a timer on your phone)
- Has my phone or wallet come in contact with any surface?
- When I’m taking my mask off for any reason, are my hands clean?
- What are the conditions in which it’s okay to take my mask off?
- How can I avoid contact with strangers as much as possible?
- If I’m driving, how many times should I expect to stop?
- Have I wiped down the gas pump before using it?
Plan for after you arrive
If you’re flying into your new destination, make sure you’re thinking about how you’ll get to where you’re staying once you get off the plane. Public transportation has been shut down in many states, and shuttles can be too-close-for-comfort. If you’re going to take an Uber, make sure to keep your mask on and the window down. Also look up where the pick-up location for ride-shares and taxis is before you land.
Also, if you’re staying in an AirBnb or some other temporary lodging, go to the state website and see if they’ve placed any kind of guidelines or restrictions on lodging. Some places like Maine, require you to present a negative COVID-19 test to the owners of your AirBnB or hotel.
The best way to limit your travel and stress levels? Get tested for COVID-19 before you head out, and after you arrive. Make sure you get your test in time to have the results back before you leave, and try to quarantine as best you can while waiting for results.
Some states or workplaces ask that you get a test within 24 hours of arriving in your city. But if this isn’t your situation, try and wait four or five days after traveling to get tested. It’s more likely your test will be accurate if you wait a few days beyond when you think you might have been exposed. If you’re forced to take a test right when you get into the city, maybe take another one a week later, just to be safe.
Navigating travel restrictions
As states like Texas and Florida have begun seeing more cases than ever before, some other states are closing or restricting their borders to outside travelers coming from certain areas. If you’re traveling on assignment, these restrictions don’t necessarily all apply to you. Most states have made exceptions for essential workers, but it is still important to know all the rules before you travel. This will allow you to plan ahead and possibly arrive in a city a few weeks before your assignment starts if you are expected to quarantine. Restrictions can change week-by-week and even day-by-day, but here are some of the states that have travel restrictions as of Thursday, July 2.
Connecticut, New York and New Jersey
Governors of the tri-states all came together late in June and decided they would place restrictions on travelers coming from high COVID areas. Travelers coming from a state that has a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents or a state with a 10% or higher positivity rate over a 7-day rolling average are expected to quarantine for 14 days.
These states as of Thursday are: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Utah. You can always check for updates here.
Each of the three states has slightly varied exemptions for essential workers and short-term travel, as well as enforcement.
In New York, essential workers, which includes almost any kind of health care worker, “should seek diagnostic testing for COVID-19 as soon as possible upon arrival (within 24 hours) to ensure they are not positive.” They’re also directed to avoid spending prolonged time in public places or congregate settings for at least 7 days. So don’t go to the outdoor patio bar until you’ve gotten your COVID test results back. If you are reported or caught violating any of these travel restrictions in New York, you’re subject to a $2,000 fine. Governor Andrew Cuomo hasn’t gone into great detail about what enforcement will look like, but you might want to have some kind of hospital or work identification with you at all times, especially in the airport. You can read the full travel advisory here.
Connecticut’s travel policy is a little more lax. It simply states that travelers who work in critical infrastructure as designated by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency are exempt from quarantine. You might want to call the helpline if you are working somewhere that is not an Emergency Room, because the CISA only designates “emergency medical services” as essential. Connecticut has no fine for violators of the quarantine. “It will be up to individuals to abide by the advisory.”
Finally, New Jersey says that anyone “traveling for business” is exempt from the quarantine rule. While vague, this should include travel nurses. And the quarantine is technically voluntary.
At the start of June, New Mexico reinstated its order that outside travelers from anywhere must self-quarantine for 14 days. Healthcare workers are excluded from this policy, but if you have friends or family traveling with you, check out all the rules related to travel quarantine here.
Rhode Island’s list of states subject to travel restrictions is even longer than the tri-state list. You can check out the current 24 states here. If you’re traveling from one of these states, you are expected to quarantine for 14 days, OR you can get a COVID-19 test and only quarantine until you receive negative results.
If you need to go to work straight away, you can also get a COVID-19 test 72 hours prior to your arrival in Rhode Island, and the restrictions will be waived when your results come back negative.
Maine requires that all travelers coming from anywhere except New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, New Hampshire and Vermont, quarantine for 14 days, or get a COVID-19 negative test result shortly before or after arriving. Maine is particularly strict with its policy, and requires non-residents to sign a Certificate of Compliance indicating either that they have received a negative COVID-19 test result or that they will quarantine in Maine for 14 days. If you’re staying in an Airbnb, hotel or any other kind of lodging, you’ll be expected to present this Certificate of Compliance to the owner of said establishment. Essential workers are exempt from this.
Florida, Hawaii, Kansas, Massachusetts
To check out the details of all these states’ travel restrictions, go to this Southwest page. Southwest, and most other airlines, keep track of all the changing travel restrictions on their home sites, so keep checking them regularly to see if any of these policies might affect you.
Itching to travel to your next destination?
Now that you’re informed about how to keep yourself safe while traveling, are you ready to pick a new nursing gig? Remember that with Stability Healthcare, you can easily find great travel nursing placements. Sign up today!
As an increasing number of people start seeing the environment (and their wellbeing) as a priority, cities have no choice but to adapt to this new mindset, and one of the main ways in which this occurs is through the creation of bike lanes.
Citizens want to switch their cars by their bikes, and in order to do so safely, they need to have the right infrastructures.
The question is, which cities are most ahead when it comes to this fast pacing trend?
Discover the answer today, as we list six of the most bikeable cities in America!
1. Minneapolis, Minnesota
In Minneapolis, you’ll find 40 miles of bike-accessible paths, which were once the abandoned railroads of the city.
However, there’s even more to come for cyclists in Minneapolis, as the city is currently working on a transportation plan that puts bike-friendliness as a number one priority.
2. Chicago, Illinois
Divvy is the second biggest bike-share system in the U.S. and guess where it comes from… Chicago!
Although it is a busy city, you won’t have a hard time finding bike lanes and parks everywhere, and hey, cycling by the beach while feeling the fresh breeze on your face doesn’t sound like a bad idea, does it?
3. Portland, Oregon
Portland has 385 miles of bike lanes, which are valued at $60 million, and that were used, in 2017, by over 22,000 people to get to work, making it a platinum bicycle-friendly community, according to the League of American Bicyclists. Need we say more?
4. Austin, Texas
In Austin, you’ll find nearly ten miles of protected bike lanes and there’ll be no shortage of people riding around in their bikes, whether they’re commuting or simply having fun.
Chances are that these lanes will grow and become even better over the next few years, as the city is expanding, so we’d say this is a great choice for any cyclist!
5. Manhattan, New York
When you think of New York, you probably picture the busiest city on Earth, which is why you might be wondering…
“How will I ever ride my bike there?!”
The truth is that it is possible, as over the past five years, the city’s Department of Transportation has built bike routes that go on for 330 miles, and the number of people biking there has been on the rise since then.
6. New Orleans
In 2005, Hurricane Katrina damaged countless infrastructures in New Orleans, forcing the city to repair and rebuild them.
During this recovery phase, the city decided to invest in roadways and parks where cyclists could ride safely, and the residents were undoubtedly big fans of this change, as New Orleans became on the most biked cities in America.
Which Bikeable City Will You Move to?
When it comes to turning its cities into more bikeable and accessible spots, America is definitely putting in the work. Now all that’s left is for you to choose where you want to move!
No matter which city you pick, remember that with Stability Healthcare, you can easily find great travel nursing placements. Sign up today!Read More
Breakfast is often referred to as the most important meal of the day—and for good reason. Not only will it replenish the nutrients in your body but it’ll also boost your energy levels.
Whether you’re coming home from your night shift or getting ready to head out for your day shift, it’s definitely not something that you want to skip! Here are a few healthy recipes that you might want to try.
1. Avocado Toast (With Optional Egg)
Avocado toast is both easy to make and delicious. Start by toasting two slices of bread—you want it to be golden and crispy.
From there, peel and mash one small avocado. Add in a teaspoon of lime juice and some salt and pepper to taste.
Spread the avocado evenly onto your toast. If you prefer, you can also top it with a boiled egg, poached egg, or scrambled egg. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
2. Yogurt and Berry Smoothie
This recipe is great for those with busy schedules as it takes less than five minutes to make. The first step is to gather your ingredients—we recommend using 3/4 cup of blackberries and 3/4 cup of blueberries.
Add the berries to a blender. Next, add in one cup of soy milk, one whole banana, and one pack of plain Greek yogurt. Pulse for 30 seconds.
Mix well with a fork and pulse for another 30 seconds. Serve immediately or put it in the fridge until ready to serve.
3. Cheesy Spinach Microwave Quiche
Believe it or not but you can make a quiche in the microwave. Start by adding 1/2 cup of fresh spinach into a mug. Add in two tablespoons of water.
Cover the mug with a paper towel and microwave for one minute on high. Drain the water from the spinach.
Crack an egg into the mug. Add in 1/3 cup of milk as well as 1/3 cup of shredded cheese. Mix with a fork until everything is thoroughly combined.
Cover with a paper towel and microwave again for 2-3 minutes on high.
4. Banana Chia Seed Pudding
Puree two ripe bananas and 1 1/2 cup of milk in a blender. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and add in 2-3 tablespoons of chia seeds.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow it to chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours. It can be refrigerated for up to a week if you store it in an airtight container.
Making Healthy Meals For Breastfast
And there we have it—four quick and tasty breakfast recipes. The best part is that you can make them easily anytime—whether it’s before or after your shift. After all, you can’t work on an empty stomach!
Are you a travel nurse? Thinking of broadening your knowledge and experience? Feel free to give our online platform a try—we offer exciting travel nursing opportunities that can expand your career prospects.
Interested? Check out our travel nursing jobs page for more!Read More
If you have the drive to help people by changing or saving their lives, then becoming an ICU nurse could be a potential career choice for you. But ICU nurses are a special make of people — not everyone can handle the pressure of an intensive care unit and the chance to save a life.
But if you believe you have what it takes to fill the shoes of a real-life hero, here’s what you need to know about pursuing a career as an ICU nurse.
What is the Exact Role of an ICU Nurse?
These types of nurses are absolutely crucial to the successful operation and management of any hospital and most importantly, the intensive care unit.
The ICU’s primary focus is to take care of people who have suffered some form of trauma, a life-threatening accident, had major surgery, organ failure, heart attack, and stroke. The ICU also looks after cancer patients who have reached a very critical point in their care.
The role of an ICU nurse is to oversee the care of a patient in an ICU unit by continually reading and monitoring their vital signs. Often times, a patient’s life falls into their hands. If their vitals are deteriorating rapidly, it’s the ICU nurse’s job to notify the right person, in the best time-frame. In some cases, an ICU nurse will have to take an intervention into their own hands. They are also required to speak with family members and doctors on a regular basis.
Most patients who go into ICU are in critical condition. Some of the most common conditions an ICU nurse will face include:
- Post-operative patients who have received an organ transplant or open-heart surgery
- Trauma patients who are recovering from near-fatal incidences such as a car accident, shooting, or assault
- Infectious patients who are suffering from dangerous conditions such as sepsis
- Stroke patients who are in need of post-operative care and physical therapy
- Cancer patients admitted for recovery after intensive chemotherapy, transplant surgery, or infection
The role of an ICU nurse is an important and stressful job — no doubt about it. But it can also be very rewarding. Learning to handle the stress of a critical moment and find your focus is essential.
Critical Traits of an ICU Nurse
So, in order to become an ICU nurse what kind of person do you need to be? Some of the over-arching qualities include:
- An ability to handle the pressure of life-and-death situations
- Being a good communicator
- Being a true team player
- Being able to multi-task
- Having commitment and dedication to working long shifts
- A knack for critical thinking
- Above-par time management skills
Aside from these personal traits, it’s also important that an ICU nurse is in good physical health. This job requires you to be on your feet for many hours a day, so physical stamina is part-and-parcel of the position.
Dealing with Difficult Situations
The atmosphere of an ICU unit can be super-charged one minute, and relatively somber the next. Being able to separate yourself emotionally from this vast range in work atmosphere is crucial.
Ultimately, an ICU nurse has to remember how important their job is and not let their own personal feelings come in the way of a life-and-death decision. But this is not to say you cannot feel or express empathy. In fact, this is another important part of the job. ICU nurses often deal with traumatic, end-of-life situations. You should be able to offer both psychological support and empathy to family members.
The same goes for applying or withholding medical care when a patient has a living will in place. If their wish is to not be kept on life support, it is your job to obey their wishes. This may feel like a completely unnatural part of the job. It goes against everything nurses are taught about saving lives. But if this is a legal wish, it must be honored.
Salary, Education and Nursing Skills
According to national data, the median annual salary for an ICU nurse is approximately $75,119 as of April 2020. However, this amount does range between $67,691 and $81,623. ICU nurses are also privy to a host of benefits including health insurance, paid leave, and 401k plans.
In order to prepare for a long-lasting and truly fulfilling career as an ICU nurse, you will have to meet a number of different qualifications, first. Ideally, you will need to study a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing (BSN). This should be with an accredited university, including specialized training in life-threatening conditions.
However, a BSN is not always necessary. You can also study an associate’s degree in nursing (ADN) and will have to pass the NCLEX-RN national exam that qualifies you as a registered nurse. You will also need to gain experience working in a critical care setting, then take an exam to become a critical care registered nurse (CCRN).
Some of the highly specialized, additional skills an ICU nurse should hold include:
- Advanced cardiac life support
- Life support
- Trauma care
- Critical care
- Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
- Patient and family education
- Discharge planning
Essentially, a bachelor’s degree lays the important groundwork for a career in nursing. Much of this additional skill is learned through additional courses and most importantly, real-life work experience.
Build a Fulfilling Career in Nursing
If you’re interested in a career as an ICU nurse, Stability Healthcare is here to help you take your nursing career to the next level.
If you’re already a trained and experienced ICU nurse, we also offer exciting travel nursing opportunities to help broaden your experience and knowledge. If you’re interested in a new career challenge, explore our travel nursing jobs for more…Read More
Movement and breathing seem like life’s basics. I mean, when are we not moving and breathing? But the truth is, our body appreciates when we take time to do both in a concentrated setting. Yes, we’re talking about morning yoga flows, people! For those who aren’t already dedicated yogis, yoga flows can seem useless and boring. You’re not even burning that many calories, what’s the point? But stretching and creating balance and space in your body can make a huge difference in your workday.
Here are some moves that won’t take you more than 15 minutes at the start of the day.
Your Morning Flow
Fascia, the connective tissue in your body that stabilizes your internal organs, enjoys movement in the mornings. That’s why a yoga flow that really flows is best for right when you get out of bed. You can save sciatic stretches, or more stagnant stretches, for the evening or afternoons. In the morning, you need some moves that will wake up your fascia so that you don’t feel stiff and sore throughout the day.
Tuck your chin towards your chest, and let your neck release, in a cat-like stretch. And then on your inhale, arch your back, let your belly relax and go loose. Lift your head and tailbone up towards the sky — like a cow looking at the moon. Then repeat.
Cat-Cow improves posture and balance. It stretches the hips, abdomen and back. Most importantly, it massages and stimulates organs in the belly, like the kidney or adrenal glands, which will leave you feeling more awake when you’re done. Cat-Cow also lets you come into your breath. You coordinate your inhale and exhale with the movement: Inhale on the cat stretch, exhale on your cow stretch. This will be important to hold onto for your next set of poses: the sun salute.
Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutations)
Running through a few rounds of sun salutations is guaranteed to leave you feeling good, and maybe a little sweaty, at the start of the day. You start standing in prayer pose, with your hands at your chest. Inhale as you reach your arms above your head and then on your exhale, fold your body over your knees, touching your hands to the ground. Bend your knees as much as is comfortable to you as you take a deep exhale in.
Hold the breath. With your hands pressed to the floor, step your feet back into a plank pose. Exhale, and bring your chest to the ground. Then as you breathe in again, slide forward and raise the chest up into the cobra posture. Pushing your shoulders away from your ears, look up.
On your exhale, lift the hips and the tailbone up into downward dog. Try and plant your heels on the ground, and push your chest closer to your hips so you can fully sink into the stretch. Take a few deep breaths in and out, and then jump your feet up to your hands and sink into your forward fold, wrapping your arms around the back of your calves.
Raise your arms back up to the sky and bring them back to prayer, and you’ve completed a sun salute.
Now, there are different variations to this. If you want to crank up the heat, you can lift up one of your legs after your down dog, and bring them into the equestrian pose, or bringing one foot outside of your hand as the other leg straightens in plank position. You could even come all the way up into warrior 1, where you’d lift your hands up from the ground and bring your body upward into a standing lunge.
Whether you want to try these trickier variations or not, a sun salutation is the perfect way to start your day. I mean, it’s literally called a salute to the sun. These moves will help you warm up, get your muscles loose, and they work all of the 7 chakras (if you’re into that kind of thing).
Utkatasana (Chair Pose) + Parivrtta Utkatasana (Revolved Chair Pose)
Utkatasana, although very fun to pronounce, is one of the more uncomfortable poses in yoga. It requires a tightness in the core, lower back and quadriceps to allow your body to sink into an invisible chair. From photos, it might look like a prolonged squat, but with your feet together and your arms jetted upward, chair pose is more about firing up your core. It’s an amazing way to generate heat in the body and quickly build energy. It also allows your mind to stay focused and positive, ensuring that you are awake and ready for the day ahead.
But as we said earlier, in the morning, your fascia likes movement. So if you want to maximize the benefits to your body, add a little movement to your more static chair pose by transitioning into the revolved chair pose. All you have to do is bring your hands into prayer position while in your chair pose, and then twist your torso, so that your elbow can rest outside your knee.
Twisting poses are so good for massaging your internal organs. They help streamline your digestive system too, so they’re good for a first-thing-in-the-morning routine, if you’re catching our drift. Wait to drink your coffee until after you do these moves! You might not even need coffee when you’re done.
Virabhadrasana III (Warrior 3)
Now you might be wondering, why are we skipping Warrior 1 & 2 and going straight into 3, the hardest of all the warrior poses? Because your mornings are valuable and you only have limited time! And this pose involves SO much power that you don’t have to stay in it for very long to feel the energy effects. The warrior 3 pose is often also called a “standing split.” It requires you to plant one leg to the ground and lift the other back into the air. Meanwhile, you tip your upper body forward with your arms outstretched, so that your torso is almost parallel to the floor.
Warrior 3 is a real challenge. But sometimes starting your morning with a challenge is the perfect way to frame your day. You can accomplish anything. Your body is so powerful it almost defies gravity. What better energy to take into a hospital filled with sick patients? Plus, Warrior 3 is great for firing up your legs and your core, and ultimately, creating balance in your body.
5 Deep Concentrated Breaths
If you wanted to, you could skip all of the moves above and just go straight into this exercise in the morning. Because the truth is, no matter how fun and great it feels to move your body, nothing will leave you feeling better than some deep breathing and meditation. Clearing your mind might seem impossible for some of us, but concentrating on breathing makes it much, much easier.
You’ll want to prop your back up straight, and maybe sit in a cross-legged position if that’s comfortable for you. And then feel your breath normally for a second. Become aware of your surroundings. And then start. Inhale for 1, 2, 3 seconds. Hold for 1, 2, 3 seconds. And then exhale, for 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 seconds. Repeat five times.
You’ll notice that you feel energy at the top of the breath, and in the exhale. Keep this in mind throughout your day. You can cultivate that energy anywhere. In a breakroom. On a medical floor. Just take the time for five concentrated breaths.
And you’re ready to start your day!
Many travel nurses have the desire to go where they’re most needed, and their impact has been particularly elevated during this global pandemic. Nurses have been sent in troves to New York City as the virus rages through the city’s understaffed hospitals. And Stability Healthcare still has many placements topping at around $5,500 a week in New York. But as the worst of the outbreak appears to be over for now in the large metropolis, it’s also important to look at where COVID-19 might strike next in the United States.
As several states plan to loosen their shelter-at-home orders in the coming weeks, scientists are predicting that the worst of COVID-19 in the United States is far from over. It’s hard to track where the upper respiratory virus, which has claimed the lives of over 50,000 Americans, will hit the hardest in the next few months leading into the fall. Some of the outbreaks have come entirely by chance. A person without symptoms could be particularly contagious and spread the virus widely. Some scientists say that the weather has an impact.
All of this uncertainty can make it hard to predict where nurses will be most needed in the coming months. But studies have proven that despite some uncontrollable variables, how a state’s leadership and its residents take action in preventing the spread of COVID-19 can make a notable difference in regional outbreaks.
If you’re a nurse looking ahead to where your work will be most needed, it’s wise to look at what government leaders are doing to keep residents safe, which states have higher elderly populations and which states have cut funds to hospitals in recent years. We’ve put together a list of a few places that might be at high risk for a major outbreak this year, and will certainly need the help of experienced travel nurses.
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp has come under fire this week for his controversial reopening plan. Kemp said in a tweet that nonessential businesses including hair salons, gyms, barbershops, tattoo parlors, bowling alleys, and nail salons will be allowed to resume some operations on Friday, April 24. And on Monday, April 27, theaters, social clubs and dine-in restaurants will be allowed to reopen also. With over 22,000 confirmed cases and 892 deaths in Georgia and the number of deaths per day still rising, many are saying Kemp is reopening way too soon.
Kemp said he felt confident that the state could reopen safely based on “favorable data and more testing,” but Georgia has only tested 100,000 people in its population of 10.62 million people. That’s only 1 percent of the population. A recent study out of LA County found that 55 times as many people had antibodies for CoronaVirus than the number of people who tested positive in the county. This could mean that all across the country, hundreds of thousands of people had or have COVID-19 without knowing it. And Kemp didn’t exactly do a good job of combating the spread of the virus at the forefront. He waited until April 2 to issue a stay-at-home-order — way later than most of the country. Even if everyone follows the social distancing rules when opening their business, another major outbreak in the state seems inevitable. And it doesn’t help that Georgia’s hospital capacity is lower than half the country’s, with a rate of 2.4 beds per 1,000 people.
Stability has about a dozen placements in Georgia right now, topping at $3,409 weekly.
This small New England state might seem like an odd place to experience a COVID-19 outbreak, but it has two damning characteristics: It ranks in the top 10 states with the highest elderly population in the country, and it ranks very low in hospital capacity, with only 2.1 hospital beds per 1,000 people.
New Hampshire has only seen 51 deaths related to CoronaVirus and only 1,588 confirmed cases. Numbers alone, this seems small. But with a population of only 1.36 million people, the small state actually has the same death rate as California and Florida. Its outbreak is also rising steeply. Test numbers from Thursday, April 23 showed that the state added 84 cases in a day.
Fortunately, Governor Chris Sununu said he is likely to extend the state’s stay-at-home order beyond May 4. Still, the state is predicted to surpass its hospital capacity and will certainly need some help.
There’s one high-paying placement open in New Hampshire right now, but also check back later as placements change week to week.
Missouri is another state toying with reopening many of its businesses as COVID-19 cases continue to rise. On Friday, cases reached 6,625, with a 20 percent increase in COVID-19 related deaths. However, Governor Mike Parson said that almost every business will be able to open in Missouri on May 4, citing a much lower case number than predicted at this point.
A member of the state’s coronavirus task force said that the state has ICU beds and ventilator capacity, and enough personal protective equipment. But early projections about the virus predicted that Missouri would far surpass its hospital capacity (about 3.1 hospital beds per 1,000 people), and an early opening for the state could make this prediction a reality.
There are over 30 placements available in Missouri.
If it isn’t clear by now, the states that should be watched most closely are the ones who were reluctant to close at the onset of coronavirus and are now considering reopening prematurely. Alabama, like Georgia and Missouri, fits the bill.
Governor Kay Ivey issued a shelter-in-place order for the state on March 28, well after many states in the country. And as Alabama has appeared to surpass its peak, with 14 days of consecutive decline, many are calling for the state to open its doors. Including, Will Ainsworth, the state’s Lt. Governor. Ivey’s stay-at-home order ends next week. But even Ivey herself has expressed concern about testing, with only 1.1 percent of the population tested. If the state opens too early, it could risk overwhelming its hospital capacity – which is only 3.1 hospital beds per 1,000 people.
Connecticut is already one of the hardest-hit states in the country, with the third highest death rate just below New Jersey and New York. But experts say that death and isolation will continue in the state for several more weeks. Statistical models predict that the state’s outbreak is less than halfway over, and deaths could possibly double from 1,544 to just over 3,000. Undeniably, the state’s hospitals are overburdened, with just 2 beds per 1,000 people.
Governor Ned Lamont said that businesses will likely not reopen until early June. As cases continue to grow, there are several high-paying placements for nurses in the state.
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