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Healthcare Workers

Best Jobs in America: Nurse Anesthetist

by Howard Gerber on December 13, 2012

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Best Jobs in America: Nurse Anesthetist

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MSNBC recently posted the results of their annual report of The Best and Worst Jobs in America.  Nurse anesthetist (CRNA) came in at number 15, a respectable position considering the number of jobs that were considered (7000). But what makes nurse anesthetist better than, say, ICU nurse or surgical nurse? [continue reading…]

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Why Are Nurses Unhappy?

by Howard Gerber on December 6, 2012

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Why Are Nurses Unhappy?

Several studies have shown that nurses have a low happiness quotient, but why? It’s an important job, it requires a great deal of skill, and it’s one of the few professions that offers directly expressed customer satisfaction. You make patients comfortable and happy, and they are quick to tell you how much they appreciate it. Not that every patient is grateful or that every one credits you with making them comfortable, we all know that’s a fantasy. But there are enough patients who appreciate what you do to make your job an overall satisfying experience. Right? Perhaps not.

In February, Monash University researchers released a study called What Nurses Want: Analysis of the First National Survey on Nurses’ Attitudes to Work and Work Conditions in Australia that shed light on some of the problems standing in the way of nursing happiness. Although the study dealt with nurses on another continent, I think you’ll find their answers surprisingly familiar. [continue reading…]

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Negotiating your Contract

by Howard Gerber on November 29, 2012

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Negotiating your Contract

An experienced travel nurse never assumes every contract is “standard.” Nothing could be further from the truth. A good contract lays it all out: Terms, bonuses, living arrangements, sick days…the things that will define your work and life for the next few months.

An experienced recruiter will help you hammer out the details, but never be afraid to speak up and try to amend the contract to get a better deal. Before you sign off on the changes, though, make sure the recruiter or company representative has the authority to make changes.  Some potential changes and amendments may be part of the original contract; adjustments the company allows without question. Other things may not be clear, and this is where you need to ask the right questions and advocate on your own behalf. [continue reading…]

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The Pros and Cons of Traveling Nursing

by Howard Gerber on November 15, 2012

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The Pros and Cons of Traveling Nursing

Thinking about a career as a traveling nurse, but aren’t sure it’s for you? There are a lot of perks, but there are some negatives as well….and some parts of the job belong on both lists, because one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Confused? Don’t worry, you’ll see.

Pros of a Travel Nursing Career

1. The travel. Obvious? Maybe. But have you stopped to think about all that travel has to offer? You choose what assignments to accept and where to go. It’s a great way to try Boston clam chowder in Boston and visit all the historic sights…maybe ride that silly duck tour. Or accept an assignment in Cincinnati in the fall to catch a few Bengals games….or the Yankees in NY.

If sports aren’t your thing, maybe you’d like to dip into history and visit Washington D.C. and colonial Williamsburg. Or follow the warmth and hop from coast to coast for the beaches.

2. The money. Travel nursing nearly always pays more per assignment than a permanent position, but the money adds up in other ways as well. All your expenses are paid. So not only do you pocket a more than competitive salary and often an attractive bonus package, you aren’t paying all those bills that would normally come out of your salary.

3. The networking. Your average nurses in the trenches can’t meet and impress the sheer number of doctors, administrators, and other nurses. The advantage of networking is simple. Employability.  The more contacts you have, the more likely you are to get a job when you decide to settle down. Put your best foot forward and people will remember you.

4. The freedom. You’re in control of your own career. Once in a while, you’ll land a bad assignment. But it’s only for a few weeks…and then you move on. If it’s really bad, you never have to go back. Few people have that kind of career freedom. [continue reading…]

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Heroism in Crisis: Nurses Step Up

by Howard Gerber on November 8, 2012

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Heroism in Crisis: Nurses Step Up

It should come as no surprise that nurses are among the most selfless, heroic people on the planet, but they are so often overlooked that news stories are rare. Last month, though, When Hurricane Sandy tore a wide swath of destruction through NYC, no one could ignore the contribution made by nurses who risked their personal safety to put patients first.

The stories bring the effects of the storm home, put a face on the faceless victims, and show human nature at its finest (for the most part – excluding the guy that locked his door against a frantic woman and her two young children during the storm surge. He represents the exact opposite.). [continue reading…]

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Are You Cut Out to Work in Emergency Medicine?

by Howard Gerber on October 25, 2012

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Are You Cut Out to Work in Emergency Medicine?

The emergency department is an important part of any hospital, and the medical staff in the ER often has to make split-second decisions that are literally a matter of life and death. These men and women make a difference in people’s lives every day. Do you want to be one of them?

Making a Difference in the ER

From triage to emergency room nurse in the trenches, you will be taking care of patients in a time of crisis and intense need. Emergency room physicians are responsible for treating patients at various levels of trauma, and emergency room nurses are there to support both the doctors and the patients. If you’ve ever been a patient or the family member of a patient in the ER, you know how much it means to know the medical professionals are doing their best to help you or your loved one, and how grateful you can be afterward to those people. By working in emergency medicine, you can be one of those professionals that patients are so grateful for every day.

Fast-Paced Environment Where No Two Days are the Same

Life as an emergency medicine professional means that you will see a variety of patients presenting with a wide array of injuries and illnesses, from broken bones and severed fingers to heart attacks and strokes. You can learn a lot about conditions you’d never see working in general practice or even the ICU. Though there may be slow periods every once in a while, it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll never be bored working in the emergency department. You need to be sure you can physically and mentally handle being on-your-feet busy throughout every shift.

Trauma and Death

Because of the nature of emergency medicine, you will be exposed to the sort of trauma they can’t sure during prime time on even the goriest medical dramas. Gaping wounds, severed limbs, multiple gunshot wounds, bizarre worksite injuries – you’ll be up close and personal with all of them. You’ll need to come to terms with the fact that not every patient can be saved, either. The severity of illness and injury may be too great to “fix” or cure by even the most skilled medical professionals, and you will have to face patient death on a regular basis. If you do not think you can handle this mentally and emotionally, the emergency department is probably not for you, or your work will tear you apart.

Do you work in the emergency department, or have you ever done an emergency medicine rotation? What else do you think is important for medical professionals who are considering a career in emergency medicine?

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Travel Nursing – Is Your Skill List Up-to-Date?

by Howard Gerber on October 4, 2012

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Travel Nursing – Is Your Skill List Up-to-Date?

So you’re ready to start travel nursing. You’ve got the education and experience, your resume is newly polished and you’ve prepared for those tricky interview questions. Have you forgotten anything?

If you’re using a recruiter affiliated with a service – which I highly recommend – it’s a good idea to make a list of your skills, talents, and competencies. This helps the recruiter match you up with jobs that are perfect for you…and helps avoid wasting time on jobs that are not. [continue reading…]

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