From the category archives:

Nursing

Which Nursing Specialties are in Demand for Travelers?

by Howard Gerber on March 28, 2013

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Travel nursing jobs can be a great way to see the country and get paid. Although there are travel opportunities in most areas of nursing, such as pediatrics, telemetry and medical floor nursing, some specialty areas of nursing are sought after. If you want to increase your chances of getting the locations and assignments you want, is there a certain nursing specialty that makes you more marketable? The answer is yes and no. [continue reading…]

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A Hidden Benefit to Travel Nursing

by Howard Gerber on March 14, 2013

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Maybe you’ve considered travel nursing, but don’t think it’s for you. You want to build a solid career, working your way up in a respectable hospital, being that nurse who knows everything and everybody. The go-to authority on all things in your department. It’s certainly an admirable goal. But how to achieve that? [continue reading…]

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Chances are when you think of natural disasters, the first things that come to mind are hurricanes, notably Katrina and Sandy. And well they should; they’re huge, frightening, devastating, and affect large swaths of populated areas. But hurricanes are not the only catastrophes you might have to deal with during your career. During any kind of a disaster, from a snowstorm to a large-scale natural disaster on the level of a wildfire, tornado, flood, or hurricane, nurses are always in great demand. [continue reading…]

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Starting out on the Right Foot in Nursing

by Howard Gerber on February 21, 2013

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If you’ve finally finished nursing school and started your new job, you may be wondering…what’s next? Launching a new career is one of the most exciting events in life, but it’s also nerve-wracking and overwhelming. You’ll find out pretty fast that no matter how hard you studied, you can never be 100% prepared for every situation. No school can teach every possible scenario…and no nurse can remember everything they learned right out of the gate. Take heart and don’t get discouraged. Here are some things to remember to make getting started easier.

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Home Health Care Nursing

by Howard Gerber on January 31, 2013

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Home Health Care Nursing

Nurses are unique individuals. Some love the high-stress, fast pace of a hospital or busy clinic, others like the individualized approach of a doctor’s office, and still others like the personal, one-on-one interactions best found in home healthcare. Would you be happy in such a position? Do you have the skills and the temperament?

Responsibility
One of the most important things to consider is the intense responsibility that home healthcare workers face. You’re the only one there to observe the patient and make a diagnosis. You can’t be there 24/7, so you might walk into any situation at any time; a patient who has forgotten to take his meds, who is in distress, who has had a reaction to a drug or treatment. Your assessment skills must be top rate, you don’t have the luxury of not knowing what to do, and above all, you can’t panic.

Triage Skills
When you do need support, you must be able to clearly describe the patient’s condition and recommend a course of action for approval. You’re not a doctor, but you’re there. On the spot. You know the patient, his condition, his medications, his vitals, and his wishes. You know how he reacts to care and to stress. The more concise information you can convey to a busy doctor, the better the outcome for the patient.

Decision Making
Can you act independently, make decisions, think fast on your feet? That’s the name of the game for home health workers. Today’s tools, like smartphones and tablets, make it much easier to collaborate with peers than in the past, but you’re still out there on your own most of the time. There’s nobody holding your hand or looking over your shoulder. You have to know what to do and be responsible enough to do it.

Social Skills
One thing a home health nurse should always be mindful of is personal boundaries. Even though you’re there to help, often every day, you are entering someone’s home. It’s important to remember that in order to respect your patient, you must allow them dignity and privacy. You may have to inform, educate, and even counsel family members, and carefully deal with family relationships. Families are never perfect, and long illnesses can be frustrating and strain family finances to the breaking point. Diplomacy is often your saving grace.

If this all sounds like you, home health care might be the perfect career choice. It’s personal, fiercely independent, challenging, and most definitely rewarding. You can build real relationships with patients and ensure that they get personal, consistent care.

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Getting Back in the Game – The Retired Nurse

by Howard Gerber on January 24, 2013

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Getting Back in the Game – The Retired Nurse

What happens if you retire and find that you’re not ready for a rocking chair? Many nurses return to the workplace after choosing to leave, and plenty of positions are waiting for experienced nurses of any age. The key is to find something a bit less stressful than the full-time position you may have built your career on. Here are some ideas for nurses who want to get back in the game – gently.

Substitute School Nurse
School nurses, like teachers, need time off. They get sick, they have babies, and they take vacations. An RN with a current license can sign up to be a substitute nurse on call whenever necessary. It’s a low-stress job that can generate a little extra money and get you out of the house now and then.

Pharmacy Clinic
Major pharmacy chains like Walgreens and CVS often have low-cost walk-in clinics, where your job would be pretty routine. You’d administer shots, take blood pressure, give diabetes advice, maybe look at a rash or two. If anything serious comes up, your job is to refer the patient to a doctor. You could work full or part time, under much less stressful conditions than a traditional medical office.

Travel Nurse
Travel nursing is a demanding position, but you can limit it to short bursts of time. For example, you could choose to work 12 weeks and take six months off. What’s more, you could choose a contract in Hawaii in the dead of winter, or cool Colorado when the summer heat gets to be too much. You’re always in control. You can even travel internationally. It’s a great way to visit all those places on your bucket list.

Temp Agencies
You can also fill in for local medical facilities on a temporary basis when they need help; for a week, a month, even a day. There are many situations that might result in a shot staff (the flu can wipe out a whole office in no time) or situations where an emergency creates a short-term need for extra hands. Registering with a temp agency gives you the option of filling in when there’s a need, and the freedom to say no thanks. Because, let’s face it, some days that rocker is awfully appealing. Or you already have plans to go windsurfing.

Teaching or Training
Check out local facilities that are looking for staff trainers and share your expertise with new nurses or nursing students. Some hospitals hire RNs for training sessions or new nurse orientation. You may even find a consultation position.

Writing
Every savvy medical facility or service has a website that offers expert advice, professional blogs, and other opportunities for you to share your experience. Offering fresh content is more challenging than you might expect, and nurses with experience and writing skills can quickly find themselves in demand. If your grammar skills are honed and you have the patience to do the research, writing might be the perfect way to earn some extra money from home, by sharing what you already know.

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Working with a Nursing Recruiter

by Howard Gerber on January 17, 2013

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Working with a Nursing Recruiter

If you’re considering a traveling nurse job or simply looking for a change, you might find yourself working with a professional recruiter. Do you know what to expect? What to tell your recruiter…and what not to?

Who needs a recruiter?
If your plan is to apply to local facilities and stay within your current position, you probably don’t need a recruiter. On the other hand, if you want to apply for a different type of position, move into an administrative career, work as a temporary or travel nurse, then your best bet is to seek professional help. Recruiters bring a lot to the table – they’ll help your polish your resume to make the best possible impression and have established relationships with the right people to ensure your resume is noticed.

The recruiter’s agenda
Your agenda is simple, get a great job. The recruiter wants that for you as well, but in order to do that, she must match the right candidate with the right opportunity. A lot of factors are in play, and the most successful recruiters have an instinctive feel for sending well-qualified applicants.

Put your best foot forward
When you present yourself to the recruiter, treat the interview with the same care you would a coveted job interview. Dress for success, be on time, be prepared, and speak with confidence. The recruiter represents you, but their jobs depend on making the employer happy. If you want to land those plum interviews, you first have to convince the recruiter that you’re a suitable candidate. She won’t stick her neck out for you unless you can convince her you’re worth it.

Pay attention
Recruiters have a lot of expertise to offer. If she tells you that you can beef up your resume by joining a group, getting a certification, volunteering, or doing something else that sets you apart and appeals to employers, listen and respond. You may not know what might up your pay grade…but she does. The recruiter can also help you with answers to deceptively sticky interview questions. If you’re unprepared, some common questions can be a minefield.

Be honest and be flexible
Tell the recruiter what you’re looking for. Be specific, but understand that your dream job may not be out there right now, or you may not have the qualifications. So be prepared with a well-developed plan B. Don’t agree to take anything that comes your way, but have a list of positions you’d be happy—really happy—to accept.

What to approach carefully
Religious affiliation can be an issue, and is better left out of the conversation. If you feel strongly about religion, and want to work in, say, a Catholic hospital, it can be a selling point, but understand that it can also be severely limiting. If your objective is to get a job wherever you can, keep your private life private. The same can be said for atheists. If the best job out there is at a church-sponsored hospital, lack of religion need not stand in your way. Either way, you may limit your options by volunteering answers to questions they won’t ask.

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