From the category archives:


How to De-Stress After Your Nursing Shift

by Howard Gerber on December 26, 2014

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de-stress tips for nursesEveryone has days when they feel stressed out, and if you work in healthcare, you may have had many. Healthcare can be a very stressful job. Even if you love the work, there can be days when stress is high.

What Causes Stress Among Healthcare Workers?

Working in healthcare can be tough for a number of reasons. In some situations, healthcare workers may be dealing with life and death circumstances, which is a lot of pressure even for the calmest person. In addition, patients can be demanding when they do not feel well. Healthcare workers may also have to deal with pressure to meet a certain level of productivity, which can add to feeling overwhelmed. Additionally, employees who work the graveyard shift may be dealing with an unconventional sleep schedule.

The Cost of Stress

A little stress is unavoidable and can keep you alert. But chronic stress is never a good thing. Too much stress can lead to depression and interfere with relationships. Stress can also cause burnout and a poor job performance.

In addition to emotional issues, stress can also cause physical problems to develop. According to the Mayo Clinic, chronic stress increases your chances of developing conditions, such as high blood pressure, heart disease and strokes. Too much stress can also increase cortisol levels in the blood, which may lead to problems losing weight and sleep difficulties.

Finding Time to Relax

With all the possible consequences of stress, making time to de-stress should be a priority. If you are a healthcare worker, you are probably used to taking care of others. But it is essential to recognize signs of stress in yourself. Signs of stress include:

  • Trouble sleeping or sleeping excessively
  • Depression
  • Loss of interest in activities
  • Physical complaints, such as headaches
  • Feeling anxious frequently
  • Increased anger or moodiness

Ways to De-Stress

There are several ways to combat stress. But it may take a little trial and error to determine what works best for you.

Exercise: Whether you enjoy walking, swimming or dance classes, getting regular exercise is one of the best ways you can de-stress. Exercise releases chemicals in the brain, which help promote relaxation. Try to do some type of aerobic activity for a minimum of 20 minutes on most days.

Deep Breathing: If you are looking for a quick way to relax, deep breathing may do the trick. When you feel stress building, take a minute and breathe deep. Slow, deep breathing can lower your blood pressure and decrease anxiety.

Laugh: It is hard to feel stressed, when you are smiling. Think about it. How did you feel after you had a really good laugh? The answer is, probably pretty good. Laughing releases endorphins, which are chemicals that boost mood. Find things that make you laugh. Read a funny book, watch a comedy, or spend time with people who make you laugh. Laughing is good for stress reduction

Counseling: In some cases, professional help dealing with stress may be needed. If you don’t see a reduction in your stress level, after trying some things at home, consider talking to a counselor who can provide you with ways to cope with stress.


Nursing Certifications You Should Consider

by Howard Gerber on November 20, 2014

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types-of-nursing-certifications-nihss-acls-palsIf you are planning on working as a nurse traveler, you want to make yourself as marketable as possible. Depending on where you want to travel, assignments can be competitive. Maybe you don’t have the time or desire to go back to school for a bachelor’s or master’s degree, but you still want to enhance your skills. There are several certifications you can earn in as little as a weekend, which increase your knowledge and your chances of being offered a great travel assignment. Certification classes are often offered at hospitals, colleges, and private companies. [continue reading…]


Discharge Planning as a Nursing Career

by Howard Gerber on November 13, 2014

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discharge-nurse-nursing-career-specialtyThere are several types of nursing careers that do not involve direct patient care. One option for nurses with at least a few years of experience is discharge planning. Discharge planners are registered nurses who help patients with the transition to their next level of care when leaving the hospital. In some situations, it may involve making arrangements for care in the patient’s home or placement in a nursing home or rehabilitation hospital. [continue reading…]


Rediscover Your Passion for Nursing

by Howard Gerber on October 16, 2014

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passion-for-nursing-careerThose who have been working as a nurse for a number of years know it can be a tough job. Taking care of sick and injured people is physically, mentally, and emotionally draining. As if that were not enough, add in long hours and hospital politics, and it’s no wonder you may have lost some of your passion for the job.

If you wake up one morning and wonder where your fresh-faced enthusiasm for the profession went, you are not alone. According to a 2013 study conducted by AMN Healthcare, almost a quarter of nurses age 55 or older responding to the study plan to leave the nursing field or decrease their participation in the nursing profession. [continue reading…]


Sunbelt Nurse Earns L.O.V.E. Award

by Howard Gerber on September 29, 2014

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Ken-JeriWhat a great week at Sunbelt! Jeri Smith, a Sunbelt ER nurse, was recently presented with the L.O.V.E. award by Mercy Hospital of Buffalo. The L.O.V.E. award stands for “Living Our Values Everyday” and is presented to hospital associates who deliver outstanding service day after day. Our division director, Ken Kistner, attended the award ceremony to congratulate Jeri. Below is the letter written by a colleague that nominated Jeri for the L.O.V.E. award:

“I was working with Jeri on Friday, June 13, 2014, in the ER. We were taking care of a 42-year-old woman who was complaining of leg swelling. Upon assessing the patient, Jeri found out that the patient was suffering from cancer and now has Lymphedema.

Jeri had asked the patient if she was using a compression machine for her lymphedema. The patient responded that her doctors had ordered for one but her insurance did not cover the full expense and she could not afford it. These machines can cost thousands of dollars.

I heard Jeri explain to the patient that she had one in her car that belonged to her mother. Her mother had unfortunately passed in the beginning of the year and she planned on donating it to someone in need.

Without hesitation Jeri said, “It’s yours. I will get it for you before you are discharged.” Upon discharge, the patient was so elated and could not express enough gratitude through her tears.

This is why Jeri should be recognized for her compassion. It was a lifelong gift that she gave to a complete stranger.

This just proves that nurses help people in need every day and nursing is not only about the paycheck… it’s much more!”

Well done, Jeri! Congratulations from all of us at Sunbelt Staffing!

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Avoiding Nursing Mistakes

by Howard Gerber on July 31, 2014

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top-nursing-mistakes-new-nurseEveryone makes them from time to time. But if you make a mistake as a nurse, it can have serious consequences. Depending on the severity of a mistake, it can land you a warning, a formal write-up, or even cost you your job. Although it is impossible to do everything perfectly all the time, there are several things you can do in order to reduce the chances of making a nursing mistake. [continue reading…]


Volunteer Opportunities for Nurses

by Howard Gerber on June 26, 2014

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nurse-volunteerIf you are between travel assignments and are looking for a way to fill the gap, volunteering may be an exciting and rewarding way to spend your time. There is a wide variety of volunteer opportunities for nurses both in the United States and internationally. [continue reading…]


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