The medical field is a demanding place to work and maybe no one knows this better than nurses. While a career in nursing is often extremely fulfilling, it can also be taxing. What can separate a good nurse from the rest of the pack are smart nursing philosophies. These philosophies help a nurse maintain a sense of dignity and worth both on and off the job. Here are some ideas to help you create your own smart nursing philosophy.
Always take good care of yourself. The better care you give yourself, the better care you can give your patients. Vow to eat well and cut out any unhealthy habits. Make sure you get enough rest in between shifts and stay hydrated while working. As a nurse, it is important to reflect the level of self-care you expect from your patients. This is part of the leadership role nurses play in today’s world.
Another aspect of leadership is working cooperatively with others and offering support when possible. Smart nursing philosophies embrace an understanding of the importance of community. No nurse works alone. It is important to help create a positive, healthy work environment and take responsibility for your actions. Nurses are just as human as their patients and smart nursing philosophies encourage the ability to own up to mistakes as well as receive accolades with dignity.
Remember to keep a light heart. Although nurses may deal with traumas, it is important to find a way to remain grounded and a good way to do that is through your sense of humor. Take care of yourself in a way that allows you to remain positive and peaceful even in the midst of travesty. This will be a wonderful gift to your patients and their families, allowing them the opportunity to feel safe while they adjust to their own emotions. Smart nursing philosophies include methods for being empathetic without becoming emotionally and professionally burnt out.
The best nurses have learned the importance of listening. Make sure to review a patient’s information prior to meeting so that the patient will feel more comfortable during the visit. Also, practice active listening skills in order to both ease the mind of the patient and extract as much necessary information as possible. Keep your mission in mind at all times. You have become a nurse to take good care of people and in order to do that you must know what they need.
Every day, strive for excellence. Nurses with smart nursing philosophies will be in high demand both in and out of the medical field. By treating yourself, your coworkers, and your patients with respect and consideration, you will find that your career becomes increasingly satisfying. By taking care of your needs, you will have more energy and desire to care for others. And, that is what nursing is all about.
The United States is facing a major shortage of registered nurses. The problem is partially rooted in a shortage of nursing instructors, which means that colleges are limited in the number of nursing students they are able to train. In spite of this situation, it is important to increase the number of nurses so as to prevent avoidable patient deaths. The United States has some of the best-trained nurses in the world, so what can we do to provide our citizens with the best nursing care while we overcome this crisis? Some say the answer lies in foreign nurses.
It is an arduous process for a nurse in another country to become a nurse in the USA, but it is not impossible. The first step is to obtain a review of credentials through the Commission of Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools International (CGFNS International). They will let the nurse know how current credentials relate to United States standards. They also offer a qualifying exam three times a year in various countries around the world. Taking the CGFNS Qualifying Exam and an English language exam satisfies state licensure or immigration requirements.
There are three main English language exams: Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC), and International English Language Testing System (IELTS). TOEFL and IELTS seem to be the preferred tests among nursing recruiters and results must be sent directly to the state board by test administrators. The English exam may not be required by applicants who attended nursing school in Australia, New Zealand, Canada (except Quebec), the United Kingdom, or the Republic of Ireland. Applicants whose nursing school used English textbooks or trained in English may also be exempt.
Once all required examinations have been passed and proper licensing acquired, it is important to find an employer in the United States or a recruiting agency to work with so that the applicant can get a Registered Nurse immigrant visa. Either an RN recruiter or a US employer can act as the petitioner. Foreign nurses will also need a Visa Screen Certificate (VSC) which is issued by The International Commission on Healthcare Professionals (ICHP), a division of CGFNS International.
After approval of the visa, prospective nurses will deal directly with the National Visa Center (NVC). A package from the NVC will let the nurse know what further steps to take, including an interview and medical examination. It could take from months to years to get through this process, but the result is new nurses working in the United States and improved healthcare for our citizens.
Job security, room for career advancement, and financial stability are issues that are on the minds of the country as a whole. As an answer many have turned to the medical field. Nursing jobs are amongst the highest in the country in terms of demand, stability, and salary. Not to mention that nursing is a job that many find to be personally fulfilling and rewarding. Recent studies show that the demand for nurses is going to continue to increase in the future due to ever evolving technology and better preventative medical treatments. Facing a widespread healthcare provider shortage, nurses are in high demand.
Many college students and people looking for a career change are turning to nursing. Many organizations are offering nursing incentives to help students receive their education and enter into the nursing field. Nursing incentives can come in the forms of scholarships, grants, or loan repayment programs.
The National Health Service Corps offers student loan repayment for both on campus nursing education and online nursing education. They require a commitment of at least two years for partial repayment. The amount of repayment goes up with the number of years of service to the organization. For a commitment of six years or more they will forgive full educational expenses. The locations through which you can serve the organization include federally-funded medical facilities, public health department clinics, prisons, rural and Indian Health Service clinics. They also include other understaffed medical care environments.
Many states also offer scholarship opportunities for students looking to enter the nursing field. For example Virginia offers scholarships through the Office of Minority Health and Public Health Policy. When considering nursing schools students should take into consideration any state scholarships to help them with their expenses along the way. Scholarships may be especially prevalent in states with large shortages of professionals.
Opportunities within the nursing field are ever growing and changing. The availability of scholarships, loan repayment and forgiveness programs for those pursuing a degree in nursing continues to grow in the face of advancing technology and increasing need. There are many ways to start a nursing career that will be both challenging and personally rewarding. The ability to fund education through online learning or campuses is plentiful as there is an increasing need for skilled medical professionals.
Qualified nurses are in demand today in hospitals, clinics and medical organizations across the country. The U.S. is facing a nursing shortage that is predicted to grow through 2018, and perhaps beyond, due in large part to the retirement of nurses in the Baby Boomer generation who, in turn, will also require the same nursing care as that generation enters into its golden years. The lack of nurses in all specialties will have a strong impact on the health and wellness of people of all ages, and with no relief in sight, today is the perfect time to begin the education and training required to begin a career in nursing.
In response to the demand for nurses, in addition to the technological advances in education, accelerated nursing degrees are a smart option for those looking at nursing as a new career option. These “fast track” programs are perfect for the person that has already obtained a degree in another concentration, such as a Bachelor of Arts degree, or for the established nurse that wishes to expand career options and complete a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. Accelerated nursing degrees use the experience and education gained through other degree programs and apply it to a BSN or even MSN program, reducing the time and costs associated with pursuing those degrees. Additionally, several online or campus-based nursing schools are also offering accelerated DNP programs for nurses considering a career as a nurse practitioner or advance practice nurse.
With more options for entering into nursing, or even improving career options for a nurse that has already obtained a job in nursing, the weight of the nursing shortage can be lessened dramatically. The shortage of nurses in all specialties and concentrations can be addressed through eliminating obstacles and increasing interest in a nursing career with incentives and specialized, accelerated nursing programs. Accelerated nursing programs are a smart option for any person considering a career in nursing, especially during this time when the nursing shortage is expected to have a negative impact on the health and wellness of people across the country.
Currently, one in every five new jobs created in the United States of America is in the healthcare sector. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that Registered Nursing will have the greatest job growth of any employment field through the year 2020. It is expected that we will require 1.2 million more nurses by 2020, due to growth and replacement needs.
But, how will we fill these nursing positions without enough nurse educators to teach the new recruits? In order to educate the future, in 2010, the Institute of Medicine reported that we need 80% of our nurses educated at the baccalaureate level and double the current number of nurses with doctoral degrees. Presently, only 50% of our nurses are prepared at either level. With so many nurses and nursing educators retiring or planning to retire by 2020, some people predict that we are facing the largest nursing shortage we have seen since the 1960s.
The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) reports that a main contributor for this shortage is that nursing school enrollment is not high enough to cover the demand. And, the main contributor for low enrollment numbers is a shortage of nursing school faculty. United States nursing schools rejected 75,587 qualified applicants in 2011 and almost two-thirds of them cited a shortage of faculty as the reason.
Nationally, we have a nursing faculty vacancy rate of 7.6%; however, 88.3% of those vacancies are for faculty positions that either require or prefer a doctoral degree. When fewer than 50% of our nurses have doctoral degrees and so many nurses are reaching retirement age, the pool from which we can select nurse educators is getting smaller and smaller. The two reasons cited most from schools for why it is so difficult to find nursing school faculty? A limited number of nurses with doctoral degrees and noncompetitive salaries compared to nurses who work in the practice arena. Nurses may not feel encouraged to pursue doctoral degrees or positions as educators because of salary concerns compared to working in a hospital, clinic, or other healthcare facility. On average, a nurse educator with a master’s degree can expect to earn about $20,000 less per year than a nurse practitioner in any setting or specialty. However, many nurse educators enjoy the perks of being a faculty member, or a break from clinical nursing, and the satisfaction of training new cohorts of nurses.
As nurses continue to reach the age of retirement and nursing school enrollment continues to fall short of nursing demand, we find ourselves further complicating our nurse shortage with a shortage of nurse educators. If we do not have enough faculty to teach our future nurses, we will never have enough nurses to meet the demands of our society. The healthcare field is the fastest growing employment arena at this time and without enough educators, we will find that a nurse shortage leads directly to a national healthcare crisis.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorders appear in many different forms, and affect people of all ages, gender and ethnicity. The behaviors associated with OCD can seem “odd” or “quirky” to an outside person and medical professionals, as well as to the person displaying the behaviors. However, while there may be periods of time when the person affected by OCD seems to recover or symptoms and behaviors lessen, these disorders are lifelong.
Symptoms of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder:
Obsessions/compulsions unrelated to illness or drug use.
Obsessions/compulsions that interfere with daily living.
These obsessions and compulsions can include:
Checking and/or rechecking movements or activities like turning off lights or locking the door.
Excessive counting or other verbalizations unrelated to Tourette’s Syndrome or other disorders.
The compulsion to repeatedly wash the hands to ward off infection; extreme fear of germs.
Picking at skin or other damaging, physical actions to the body, such as trichotillomania.
Trichotillomania is a type of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder in which a person pulls out hair on the head, eyebrows or eyelashes. On Nurse Jackie, the character, Grace, has been in counseling for trichotillomania, and due to family stress, the anxiety that led to the hair-pulling behavior seems to return. Knowing that OCD behaviors are never cured, it is common for stress and anxiety to trigger the behaviors back in full force. The typical treatment protocol for OCD includes prescribing selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) or a tricyclic antidepressant (TCA), as well as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).
When it comes to treating patients with an Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, a case manager should be involved in the entire treatment plan, coordinating therapists, physicians and psychiatric nurses in order to provide the best care possible. Obsessive Compulsive Disorders are more common than may be known, and current research proves the prevalence of these types of disorders. While Grace may have experienced a battle against Trichotillomania on Nurse Jackie, in real life, knowing she was not alone could have been a source of comfort.
The holidays are often a stressful time of year and the stresses can be compounded when caring for elderly patients. Home health nursing care during the holidays can present special challenges, but there are ways to make this time of year more pleasure and less pain…for everyone involved. Here are some ideas for keeping elderly patients comfortable during the holiday celebrations.
First, it is important to make sure there are no environmental safety concerns. Electrical cords and decorations should be arranged so that they cannot cause any unexpected falls, burns, or other injuries. It is also important that pathways to restrooms and other rooms that are used regularly are not obstructed. It is common for elderly people to feel cold, so make sure your patients are dressed with warmth in mind and the environment is warm enough for them. Any foods offered should be foods the patient is able to eat and enjoy. Also keep in mind that the elderly person may have certain decorating traditions that provide a sense of joy and peace and try to help with that, if possible.
The holidays can present extra emotions for all of us, including the elderly. There may be memories that the patient would like to share with you. Indulge as you are able. Part of feeling comfortable is knowing that the people around you care about your emotional health in addition to your physical health. Holiday celebrations are often steeped in tradition and those traditions come with their share of stories. Of course, some of the stories may be sad ones. Be prepared to deal with any grief or problems that arise while allowing the elderly person to maintain a sense of dignity. Try not to make too many assumptions and be fully present to the patient’s needs.
If possible, keep mealtimes consistent with the regular home health care nursing schedule. If that is not possible, make sure there are snacking options in case the patient needs to eat before the meal is ready. Keep the elderly person hydrated and comfortably situated. Remain mindful of any noise or light sensitivities. With celebrations might come noisy children, raucous laughter, and alcohol drinking. All of these things could overwhelm the elderly patient, as well as musical decorations and festive lighting. It’s a good idea to have a quiet room to go to should the elderly person become overstimulated.
The holidays are usually a time of wonder and high spirits. However, the elderly may not always agree. Remaining mindful during care can go a long way to ensuring the elderly patient is both physically and emotionally comfortable during any holiday celebrations. With planning and understanding, these tips can help elderly people, family, friends and home health care nursing providers continue to care for our elder generation even through the chaos that is the holiday season.