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
Almost 85% of all registered nurses (RNs) are working in the nursing field in jobs in the hospitals, doctor’s offices, nursing care facilities, and schools to name a few.
A house supervisor is a role occupied by experienced registered nurses with Basic Life Support certification from the American Heart Association and an active professional license.
When it comes to addressing patient care and staffing concerns, let’s look at the responsibilities of a nurse supervisor or house sup, and the opportunities available.
Responsibilities of a House Sup
What does a nursing house supervisor do? The nurse supervisor job description includes the following:
- dealing with patient care issues
- attending to staffing matters
- supervise the nurses and other staff
- administrative tasks
- leading and directing the nurses and staff as they care for patients
- assure the quality of care
- staff development
- maintain nursing guidelines
Their role is mainly to supervise, direct, and lead a team of nurses and staff as they care for patients and perform other related duties.
Nurse Supervisor Job Duties
House supervisor job duties are extensive. They develop and interpret infection-control policies and protocols to protect patients and employees.
They coordinate with the patient, the patient’s family, and the physician to make sure the patient’s needs are being met and to resolve any problems that have come up.
They enforce the administration of medications, proper storage procedures, and regulations for controlled substances.
They document patient care services, ensure medical equipment is working properly by testing and overseeing preventative maintenance and calling for repairs when needed, and evaluate new equipment.
They are in charge of how confidential information is processed to protect patient medical records. They attend professional development workshops and keep abreast of new policies and protocols.
They keep an inventory of all nursing supplies through usage reports, looking at the present trends, and evaluating future needs. They also fill out supply requisitions and allocate money for supplies.
Nurse House Supervisor Salary
The average yearly US salary for a house sup is $77, 500. Some positions have bonuses and profit-sharing which can bring the salary up to $115,000.
The average varies greatly in different parts of the country. For example, in Indiana, the median salary for a house sup is $100,000. In California, a house sup salary rises to $114,000.
Advance Your Career
Now that you have some information on the role and responsibilities of a house sup, it’s time to get started on your next career move. House sups can go on to become nurse managers, executive directors, CEOs, directors of human resources, clinical directors, and more after having years of experience.
Are you ready to experience the freedom of a traveling nursing job? Sign up with us to find the best assignments in the locations you desire. Set your preferences in regard to location, pay, and schedule and you’ll be able to connect with your next assignment right from your phone.
As COVID-19 cases ramp up again, stress management is key, especially for a travel nurse. If you’re looking for new ways to manage anxiety, natural mind/body remedies can be helpful tools. To some, it might sound like some hippie witchy-woo-woo, but there is research that suggests aromatherapy and essential oils are useful in calming the mind and body. They certainly can’t hurt.
If you’re new to the essential oil game, here are seven oils that are known to help manage stress. You can rub these on your skin, diffuse them into your room, spray them on your clothes, or take a bath in them.
A study in 2013 suggested that inhaling Jasmine oil can promote a sense of well-being and even romance. The scent derived from white flowers has always been popular for it’s sweet fragrance. It even shows up in a number of perfumes. Now some scientists believe it has a calming benefit to the central nervous system, and unlike similar oils, it calms without causing sleepiness. So you can diffuse it in the mornings before work!
Lavender is one of the most common essential oils, and a familiar scent to most. But it’s ability to clear and calm the mind has also been backed up by science. A study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine asked participants to complete a memory-related task after exposing them to a stresser. Those who had inhaled a lavender aroma prior to the stressor performed better on the test than those who were given a placebo oil. It’s thought to calm anxiety through impacting the limbic system, the part of the brain that controls emotions.
Many use lavender oil as a spray. And in fact a study in the International Journal of Nursing Practice showed that using a 3% lavender oil spray reduced work-related stress for up to four days. You can also take a nice lavender bath by mixing the oil with an unscented bath gel.
Ylang Ylang Oil
Ylang Ylang, a scent derived from the tropical plant native to India, has been proven to reduce blood pressure and stress-hormone levels. It’s an oil better consumed later in the day rather than before work. One study found that while Ylang Ylang limited stress, it also impaired memory and lengthened processing speed.
Lemon Balm Oil
A 2011 study showed that taking lemon balm capsules may help people with mild to moderate anxiety disorders, as well as improve sleep. And when diffused into a room, lemon balm provides a fresh and uplifting scent.
If you’re a fan of Earl Grey, you’ll like this one. Bergamot is derived from a citrus fruit and is the featured aroma in the famous tea. It also may relieve your stress. Several studies show that bergamot can help improve negative emotions. And one study in 2015 linked bergamot to lowering saliva cortisol levels, a hormone often called the body’s “stress hormone.”
If you plan to use bergamot on the skin or in a bath, make sure you combine it with a carrier oil (like avocado or jojoba), as too much bergamot can cause irritation to the skin.
Holy Basil Oil
If flowery scents aren’t your thing, give a few drops of Holy Basil a try. It’s not quite the same basil you’d use to make garlic bread, but it has a similar smell. It contains a compound called eugenol which gives it a minty scent combined with a spicy aroma. One study in 2014 showed that holy basil has the potential to treat mental and physical stress.
Remember, just like the Italian food you’d cook with it, a little bit of holy basil goes a long way. You only need a few drops to diffuse the homey smell into your apartment.
Yuzu oil has been used in Japanese culture for centuries for its therapeutic properties. It is pressed from the fruit peel of the Citrus Junos Tree. Its scent is somewhere between a mandarin and a grapefruit. It’s also a great natural tool for stress relief.
According to a small study back in 2013, yuzu was found to decrease salivary chromogranin A, an indicator of stress. It’s also thought that the essential oil can suppress the sympathetic nervous system, which produces the body’s fight or flight instinct. So yuzu might not be best for a high stakes situation, but it’s great for relaxation.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!
On average, a registered nurse earns about $80,000 a year. Of course, this does depend on your credentials, experience, education, and a number of other factors.
Even so, if you’re thinking of getting your own RN license, know that a decent income is a definite possibility. And although the journey to becoming a nurse isn’t the same for everyone, there are a few things that anyone can do to get the most out of their learning experiences.
Do read our carefully outlined steps to getting your license below for more insight.
1. Studying the Requirements Specific to Your State
The very first thing you ought to do is look up the requirements specific to your state. Some states are a part of the nurse licensure compact which enables you to practice across multiple states with the same license.
Additionally, be on the lookout for other necessary requirements in the form of education, background checks, and more. Once you’re familiar with the rules within your state, you can then move on to getting the education you need.
2. Complete an Accredited Program
Find an accredited nursing program that’s approved by your State’s board of nursing. Since you want to pursue an RN license, you have to take a course that caters to that kind of training.
Make sure that whatever course you take is accredited and recognized. Your education will ultimately determine your job opportunities and salary to a large extent. When an institution is accredited it means that it meets that bare minimum standard set by the state board.
Find a good nursing school with a good track record, reviews, and credentials. Also, be on the lookout for scholarships or financial aid if you need it.
In addition to the usual program getting other nursing certifications are a great way to boost your employability and resume.
3. Get Experience Working Under an RN
During your course, you will have the opportunity to intern or work under an RN. Do take it to earn experience in your field and get on-field, practical knowledge about your job.
Supervised clinical experience is how everyone starts their careers, and it’s an important stepping stone to getting your own license to practice.
4. Apply for an RN License
You can apply for your license during the final months of your course, or after your course. If you want to expedite the process, apply towards the end, before your graduation.
Most states will allow you to access the application online. You may be asked to provide transcripts and pay a standard application fee. Once again, do note that the exact requirements will vary from one state to another.
Depending on your state policy, you may even be able to get a temporary license to practice.
5. Pass the NCLEX
Every one of the United States has the same licensing exam. This is the NCLEX. If you’re applying for an RN license, you’ll need to take the NCLEX-RN which might cost you approximately $200.
Your application is usually reviewed, and if accepted you’ll get around ninety days to schedule a test. Now, you can only take these tests once a year, so be sure to study and practice with the assistance of practice tests and other available material.
You can find good practice tests at the National Council of State Boards of Nursing. These computerized tests are designed to mimic what the real NCLEX is like. Once you’ve taken these, you’ll definitely feel more confident about taking the NCLEX.
Of course, this is not mandatory, but it does help if you’re someone who experiences test anxiety and would like to feel more prepared.
You have around 6 hours to complete your test, which follows computerized adaptive testing. This form of testing is one that adapts to the user during the test. If it senses that you are knowledgeable and well versed with your material, it may progress to more challenging questions.
The test stops when the algorithm determines your results with certainty or if you run out of time or questions. Depending on what state you’re in you will have to wait a few days until you get your final results. This usually takes around six to eight weeks.
6. Make Sure You Meet All Other Additional Requirements
Once you’ve cleared your exam, you have clear additional requirements required by your state. This could range from criminal background checks or an examination of professional and legal past. While having some sort of criminal history by itself should not automatically invalidate your license, withholding information could have different consequences.
It is advisable to be upfront and honest at the very beginning, rather than get found out later on and have your license suspended. You may also be required to sign waivers or other documents that give access to personal background information.
7. Getting a License in Another State
It isn’t necessary for you to go through this entire process again if you want to practice in another state. You will need to get your license verified by the state you used to practice in, and in some cases, you might have to take a refresher course.
However, as far as education or taking the NCLEX goes, you can skip them for the new state license.
Follow These Steps to Getting Your License
By following the above steps to getting your license, you should be an RN in no time. You can then explore various opportunities like working with a clinic or finding travel nursing assignments that work for you.
Once you get your license, be sure to check our website for the best travel nursing jobs available to you. We bring you the best assignments with the best pay rate around!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
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
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
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!