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Stretches for Travel Nurses

As a travel nurse, you probably struggle with finding the time to keep up with your personal fitness. Let’s face it- you spend most of your day moving around caring for patients, so getting to the gym after your shift can pose as a challenge. Luckily, there are ways to keep up with your health that only take a few minutes each day.  Implementing some simple stretches into your daily routine will help relieve stress, and soothe tired and sore muscles. Stretching is an important part of fitness, as it improves your range of motion and gets the blood flowing throughout your body. Check out the list below for some exercises that will leave you feeling refreshed and energized to tackle any shift!

1. Pelvic tilt. This is a quick and easy stretch that you can do to help relieve lower back pain. To start, lie back on the floor with your knees bent, and your arms out in a “T” position.  As you exhale, press your lower back into the floor with your abdominal muscles, and hold for a few seconds. Next, inhale while creating an arch between your lower back and the floor. Be sure to keep your hips and tailbone on the ground. Rest for a few seconds in between, and repeat.

2. Chest and shoulder stretch. Looking down at patient charts can be tiring- this stretch will help get rid of that unwanted neck pain. First,stand up straight and hold your arms out to the side. Rotate your hands until your thumbs are pointing at the wall behind you. Arch your back, pressing your shoulder blades together and hold for 5 seconds.

3. Neck stretch.  This stretch will leave your neck muscles feeling loose and well-balanced. Stand up straight, and place one hand on your lower back. Put your other hand on top of your head, and gently pull your head to one side. You should be able to feel this stretch in your neck, shoulder and core muscles. Hold for 20 seconds, and repeat on the other side.

4. Lying bed stretch. The bed stretch is known to help relieve back and neck pain, and you don’t even have to leave your bed to do it! Start by lying back on your bed, and raise both arms over your head so that your hands dangle over the edge. Hold this position for about 15 seconds, and bring your hands back to your sides. Repeat this stretch as many times as needed.

Travel nurses are constantly on the move. Adding some of these stretches to your daily routine will help you let go of stress in a healthy way, and prevent future injuries on the job. At Stat Staff, we offer a wide range of contracts and per diem opportunities to help you find your dream job. Visit our website to book your next travel contract today!

 

Medical Team Joining Jigsaw Pieces In Huddle

Why Teamwork Matters

As a nurse, it’s your job to ensure your patients are receiving the best care possible. Whether you’re on a team of different healthcare experts, or working with other nurses to care for an entire unit, teamwork is imperative to getting the job done and improving patients’ health. So–how can you be a key team player and contribute to your nursing unit? Below are a few tips and tricks on how to become the most valuable asset to your team!

Communication is key. Sharing information with your team members is important, as misunderstandings and errors will be less likely to occur. When changing shifts, be sure to clearly communicate all of the details of your patients to the next person coming in. Effective communication among team members will lead to a more balanced workload for everyone, and better patient outcomes.

Adapt to new situations. Practicing adaptability on the floor will allow you to be more flexible, and make the workload easier for all of your team members. In your spare time, if you find that a nurse is struggling with a patient load, you could volunteer to assist them. If someone calls in sick, a well-functioning team will be able to adjust and fill in to ensure all patients are receiving the best care.

Know your team members. It is important to get to know each of your team members and be comfortable with them. Building relationships with your team members will help you instill trust, and understand how each member of the team functions. If you’re familiar with your team, you will be able to step in in situations where you normally wouldn’t have been able to.

When you are able to act as part of a team, your job becomes easier and you will find things are being done more efficiently. Research has found that working together will improve patient safety and reduce medical errors. Do you want to become part of a healthcare team? At Stat Staff, we offer contract and per-diem opportunities that will help get you started on your path to success. To learn more about our open contracts, visit our website.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month—a time to learn the facts and take action. It’s also a time to honor all the women warriors out there who have had to, and continue to, fight this battle. Did you know that one in every eight women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with breast cancer? Here are four things that you can do to take part in Breast Cancer Awareness month.

Educate yourself. It’s crucially important to become knowledgeable and fully informed of the risks, factors, and prevention techniques surrounding breast cancer. The National Breast Cancer Foundation provides extensive resources for women to educate themselves and find help and guidance.

Schedule regular screenings. The American Cancer Society recommends following an annual and bi-annual schedule for mammograms and screenings for those women aged 40 years and older. Check in with your primary or OBGYN to find out what you should be doing and when.

Learn how to give yourself a home exam. In addition to getting health screenings from a professional, you can and should give yourself a monthly breast exam at home. Talk to your doctor and ask them to teach you how!

Take care of your health. Leading an active lifestyle, with healthy eating habits and a lower body weight, has been proven to reduce the risk of cancer in women. Be sure to load up on fruits, veggies and proteins. Remember to exercise regularly, and get enough sleep every night!

Get involved. Maybe you or someone you know has been effected by breast cancer—why not join the fight? Today there are over 2.8 million breast cancer survivors in the United States alone, and with our help that number can continue to rise. There are an incredible amount of opportunities to donate, volunteer, and raise money. Here are a few options.

The most effective method of prevention and early detection is through education and awareness. As a healthcare professional, you spend all your time taking care of others–don’t neglect yourself! Remember to stay on top of your health, and join the fight today!

 

 

Fashionable Artist In The Mountain

4 Things You Didn’t Know About Travel Nursing

By now, you are probably aware of the high demand for nurses. If you are looking for a stable career that is both challenging and adventurous, you might want to consider becoming a travel nurse. By embarking on a travel nursing career, you will not only expand your medical experience; you will gain a tremendous amount of insight. Travel nursing provides several advantages to nurses that they may not receive through a stationary contract:

Control your own schedule. Travel contracts vary in location, time, and position. With a travel assignment, you have the ability to make a schedule that fits your needs.

Freedom and flexibility. Your freedom and flexibility increase greatly as a travel nurse. You are able to explore the city you are in at your leisure, and introduce yourself to different cultures, people, and ways of life.

Learn skills beyond nursing. You will develop valuable skills from your encounters with different people and situations. This will enhance your communication skills, and force you to learn to adapt in new situations. These situations and experiences will prepare you for your future, both in and out of the workplace.

You are well-compensated. As a travel nurse, you have the opportunity to make more money than a staff nurse, particularly if you have a specialty or decide to work overtime.

To book your travel assignment today, visit our website at http://statstaffpro.com/open-jobs/

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Ethics: The Choice Is Up To You

Having good ethics is important, especially in the field of healthcare. Nursing is one of the most trusted professions in today’s world. According to a survey conducted by Reader’s Digest, nurses are found to be trusted by over 90% of the people taking the survey. Ethics are essential to the field of nursing, as nurses play a vital role in patient care. The public should be able to feel like they can instill trust in their caregivers.

The Guide to the Code of Ethics for Nurses by the American Nurses Association states that a nurse should practice compassion and respect for inherent dignity, worth, and uniqueness of every individual, without the influence of social or economic status, personal attributes, or the nature of health problems in all of their relationships. With this being said, nurses should treat every patient with full respect and leave their personal lives at the door.

What about the relationships outside of the nurse to-patient-world? Nurse relationships outside of the patient world are very important, along with relationships inside the workplace. Good relationships in the workplace earn trust within the business and trust between the employees. When trust is formed, the employees will be able to work as a high performing team while striving for the business goal. Ethics are always a good guideline to follow while questioning the right thing to do in and outside of the workplace.

One huge ethical dilemma in the healthcare industry is the falsification of medical records. Altering your patients or even your own personal records is forgery, a serious crime. The consequences are huge, so think hard before you risk everything. If a nurse ever questions what is ethical and unethical they should refer to their boss, Human Resources, or the Guide to the Code of Ethics for Nurses.

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Patient Safety: A Guide for New Nurses

As a nurse, you spend more time with your patients than any other healthcare provider. You play a key role in ensuring and promoting safe healthcare practices, and this is why it is important to be confident in your own knowledge and training. According to the Journal of Patient Safety America, deaths caused by preventable medical errors in the U.S. reaches anywhere from 210,000 to over 400,000 a year. You can help reduce this number by following these six simple safety procedures:

Report errors. Report errors in the workplace as soon as they are detected. This is essential to maintaining patient safety. Although it is easy to be discouraged and embarrassed by mistakes, taking responsibility for them is important because it could mean saving a patient’s life.

Be a critical thinker. Think about all of the possible outcomes to consider the best course of action to take in all situations. Developing critical thinking skills will help you make quick and efficient decisions while under pressure.

Minimize distractions and interruptions. While working in the healthcare field, it can be difficult to avoid distractions and interruptions, even when performing critical tasks. To help minimize this, notify staff to avoid interrupting while you are administering medications. Keeping a checklist of tasks may be beneficial in remembering where you left off when disruption is inevitable.

Teamwork is important. Informing medical personnel about your patient’s needs and concerns when changing shifts will help to prevent mishaps. Working as a team when discussing patients will decrease the chance of making an error.

Familiarize yourself with reversal agents. Be familiar with the medications you administer. It is crucial to have knowledge on all of the reversal and rescue agents available to you. Know how to use them in case of an emergency.

Pay attention. Active listening is one of the most important skills you will need in the healthcare field. As a caregiver, you spend the most time with the patient, so you must be aware of their needs and concerns. This will help you maintain a safe environment for your patients.

Working in healthcare can be challenging, so it is important that you understand the role you play and how to be the best patient safety advocate you can be. Using these tips will help prepare you for whatever the workday has in store.

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Staying Active in the Workplace

Long work hours can take a toll on the mind and body, and many people struggle with finding the time for staying active in the workplace, especially in the field of nursing. Give yourself the energy you need to tackle that 12-hour shift by implementing a plan to stay active at work. Developing exercise habits is imperative, as it equates to a healthier, happier you.

Here are a few tips and ways to maximize your time and increase energy levels:

Say “no” to the elevator. Instead of taking the elevator every time you need to change floors, don’t be afraid to try taking the stairs as a healthier alternative. Stair climbing is one of the best exercises out there, as it burns more calories than traditional walking and increases blood flow to all areas of the body. It’s even recommended as a way to increase energy and loosen tension during a stressful day. This is perfect for nurses who struggle with finding the energy to push through a shift. Did you know? Taking the stairs is often faster than taking the elevator— just an added bonus.

Use your lunch break wisely. Be honest, how many times a week do you actually get outside to take a walk during your shift? Taking regular breaks to move and stretch throughout the day is a great way to reboot energy levels. Using your lunch break at least once a week to go outdoors and take a 30-minute walk adds that much-needed exercise to your daily routine. Not only will you be burning calories, the fresh air will have a positive impact on your mood. You will come back to work after your walk feeling refreshed, energized, and ready to face whatever the rest of the day has in store.

Change where you park. Park your car further away from the entrance. This will encourage you to walk an additional distance into work each day. Many people do not know the extensive benefits that walking that “extra mile” can have on your overall health. Walking not only helps maintain a healthy weight, it improves mood, balance, coordination, and helps to strengthen your bones and muscles. Think about it this way—you are able to burn an extra 10 calories each time you park further away. If you make that extra walk twice a day for a year, it adds up to 7,300 calories, or a little over two pounds!

If you’re struggling to maintain an active lifestyle while on the job, following these tips will get you on the right path to wellness. Your body will thank you!

Did you know? One way we help to keep our employees active is by engaging them in a FitBit competition. This is a great way for employees to track their steps, get involved, and stay fit!

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Spring into Wellness

Spring – the time of year known for blooming flowers and warm, sunny days –  is finally here, and it’s a time for renewal.  We can certainly feel it in the air and it’s no secret that when spring has sprung, we all seem to have more energy to focus on taking charge and replacing bad habits with good ones.   The key is finding an overall balance in the different aspects of your life.  Below are 4 ideas to help you spring into wellness!

Go to a local farmers market.  Farmers markets are a great, affordable way to buy organic  and healthy produce. If you prep snacks for the week, this is a great way to incorporate a healthy snack to get you through your shift.  Another benefit is, quite simply, the positive effect of choosing locally grown foods vs. store bought; not only will you notice the taste, but your body will feel the difference.

Get moving. This doesn’t mean you have to sign up for a gym membership or purchase a treadmill – walking is free!  This is a great opportunity to take a walk, or run, clear your head, and spend some quality time with nature.  Stat Staff has a wellness benefit and as an option, you can sign up for a FitBit and as a team we cheer each other on and compete to get the most steps.

Stay positive. Being positive can enhance your health and lead to an overall happier life.  No matter how challenging the shift, you can always find something to be grateful for.  Remind yourself of the difference you are making and how hard you work every day to provide the best possible care for your patients.

Build healthy habits. Have you ever heard the saying “We first make our habits.  Then, our habits make us”?  What are your current habits?  Make a realistic list of the things that you might want to change.  Creating healthy habits with relationships, food and exercise will help you enjoy life get through those day-to-day challenges.

So get out there, get moving, smile, and embrace the day. These steps will help you jump-start your journey to wellness!

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5 Steps To A Healthy Heart

It’s American Heart Month, a time to be aware of the issues and the dangers surrounding heart disease and stroke. Heart disease is the number one killer of women, with 1 out of every 3 deaths being a result of heart disease. As healthcare professionals, you know the risks, causes, and effects better than most. You also know that while some contributing factors are out of your control, there ARE steps that you can take to reduce your chances of heart disease. Here are 5 steps to a healthy heart that are easy enough for you to actually follow:

Reduce sodium intake. The more sodium you intake in your diet, the higher the chances are that your body retains extra fluid placing an added strain on your heart. So next time you reach for the salt shaker, think about replacing that added flavor with a different, unsalted spice.

Quit smoking. We all know smoking is no good for you, but did you know that it SIGNIFICANTLY increases your chances of blood clot, and other related contributing factors to heart disease? There are a number of support options to help you on your journey to quit smoking, take advantage of them!

Exercise. Being physically active can lower your cholesterol and blood pressure, as well as provide a wide range of benefits to your body and mind. The American heart Association recommends 150 minutes of moderate exercise, or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise per week. Even if you have to break it up into small segments, get out there and get moving! 

Eat a balanced diet. So much of a healthy lifestyle and prevention comes down to your diet. Stock up on fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains and fiber, and lean protein.  Try to stay away from processed foods, sugary drinks, and sweets. It seems like a no-brainer, because it is.

Reduce stress. Go for a walk, read a book, take a bath, meditate. Often times we are not aware of the toll that stress takes on our body, both mentally and physically. A healthy mind will help you on your path to a healthy body.

These steps don’t just apply during American Heart Month, they should apply to every day of your life. Take care of your heart, love your heart, and love yourself!

Young woman blowing her nose with paper tissue.

6 Ways For Nurses To Avoid Getting Sick

It may have taken longer than usual, but winter is finally here. Which means yes, it’s that time of year when everything is going around. So how do you as nurses avoid getting sick when you are, by default, surrounded by illness? Here are a 6 ways for nurses to avoid getting sick and stay healthy this season:

Don’t bite your nails. Bacteria can build up under your nails, quickly. These germs and bacteria can enter your body through your mouth and cause infections and disease. (Addicted to biting your nails? Head to your closest drug store to try out one of those nail polishes that makes your nails taste bitter and FORCES you to quit.)

Wash your hands. While this seems elementary and implied, during a busy shift it is easy enough to let this fall by the wayside. Wash your hands after every interaction with a patient or coworker, no matter how brief.

Get your zzzz’s. You work long hours, and you have a whole life outside of work. Sometimes it might seem hard to get the sleep you needed, but it is crucial to do so. Without sufficient rest, your immune system is weakened and you are more susceptible to illness. Catch up with your favorite show later on DVR or Hulu, and get to bed earlier.

Stay hydrated! Drink as much water as you can to keep your system flushed and hydrated, and avoid overindulging with alcohol. Too much alcohol confuses your sleep cycles and reduces your immune systems strength.

Don’t share pens! This may seem strange, but bring your own pen with you everywhere you go. Don’t use the pen that comes along with a patient’s chart. Countless people have touched, breathed near, or sweat on it, and it could carry a number of different germs.

Bulk up with protein. Okay maybe don’t literally bulk up, but do make sure you’re getting enough protein to keep your body’s system strong. Bake some chicken for the week, ground turkey, or hard-boiled eggs. They are quick to make, and easy to bring to work.

Remember how important it is to stay healthy. If you aren’t at your best, you won’t be able to provide the best possible care for you patients, and they need you!