EP 135: International Nursing with Tanya Freedman

EP 135: International Nursing with Tanya Freedman

Ep 135: International Nursing with Tanya Freedman

In this episode, we would like to introduce our guest Tanya Freedman. Tanya Freedman is the founder of Connetics USA and is an expert in international nursing. And we can say she is a career matchmaker.

Connetics USA specializes in medical placements and working across a range of disciplines within the medical industry. They also provide highly-trained nurses that meet every requirement of their client companies.

Some of the questions that we asked Tanya:

  1. Tanya, tell us a little bit about your life. Where did you come from, and how did you end up where you are today?
    • Tanya, how did you get started with Connetics USA?
  2. Why do nurses want to come to the US?
    • Better pay?
    • More opportunity?
  3. We know many countries differ from the US. Have you noticed any common struggles faced by nurses in other countries?
    • Poor living conditions, poor hospital environment, lack of career opportunities? 
    • Is there a particular story or stories that really stand out to you from any of the international nurses you’ve placed?
  4. How do nurses from other countries differ from nurses in the states? 
    • What are some benefits of hospitals and care facilities in hiring international nurses?
  5. What is the process for international nurses to get work in the states?
    • Do they need a visa?
    • Does their degree transfer over?
    • Do they need to retake the NCLEX?
    • Short-term contracts? Longterm contracts?
  6. How has Covid and the pandemic affected you and Connetics USA

To learn more about international nursing, watch the full Episode 135 here 👇


0:00 Cup of Nurses Introduction
1:41 Guest Introduction
2:17 Tanya Freedman’s background
3:17 What made you start your business?
4:18 Why do nurses want to go to the USA?
5:26 What is the difference between International and US healthcare?
7:40 Memorable international nurse story
9:52 Do you place nurses in all states?
10:51 How does the international nurses’ contract work?
12:36 Can international nurses switch units?
13:30 Do you have to pass the NCLEX to work in the US?
16:34 How do visas work for international nurses?
17:44 Do you see hospitals hiring international nurses now?
19:36 What is the timeline between passing the NCLEX and starting working?
22:44 Do international nurses pursue higher education?
24:14 Do they bring their family over to the US?
25:27 Changes in Immigration laws
28:28 What are the struggles of international nurses when they arrive?
31:48 Do hospitals help in the process of hiring?
33:37 Is it hard to get a green card in certain countries?
35:46 What’s the country with the highest number of applicants?
38:32 Facebook group and Instagram Live
41:48 What is your current obsession?
43:49 Where can people find Tanya Freedman?

Health Anxiety with Aleks Zubek

Health Anxiety with Aleks Zubek

Health Anxiety with Aleks Zubek

Anxiety and depression are something that many of us are dealing with these days. It has been reported that about 264 million people suffer from it all over the world.

In this episode, we would like to introduce our guest, Aleks Zubek who is a Licenses Professional Counselor with a Master’s in Counseling Psychology.

We dive into some interesting topics such as depression and anxiety, how it affects us, what we can do, and finding our inner self. It is another informational episode where you’ll surely have a lot of takeaways.

The questions below are some we tackle.

  • You’ve got your Master’s in Counseling Psychology and now are a Licensed Professional Counselor, what made you choose that route? And what’s the schooling process?
  • What does an LPC do? Do you work with a team?
  • Is there a certain psychological or mental demographic that you specifically help or is it a wide range?
  • You taught us a little about health anxiety, it’s almost like the fear of getting sick or imagining an illness, can you explain what it actually is?
  • Where does this stem from? Are certain people more susceptible?
  • How do you treat it or help someone with health anxiety?
  • What kind of patients do you work with?
  • Is there a trend or an increase in certain mental illnesses that you are seeing?
  • Do you have a favorite type of patient?
  • Is there any advice that can generally help most people?
  • More open communication, being honest, getting help, meditation?

To watch the full Episode 71, click here 👇



0:00 Cup of Nurses Introduction
1:56 Guest Introduction
2:15 News and updates about Aleks Zubek
5:15 What is your day-to-day as an LPC?
9:46 What is the state of the unit in terms of mental health?
11:28 What are the common mental health issues of your patients?
12:48 Are you seeing a lot of health anxiety lately?
17:00 How do you help someone manage their anxiety?
19:38 How do you stop the disease that is causing the symptoms?
21:50 Is it depression that causes anxiety or the other way around?
23:30 What are your tips to people who are suffering from anxiety/depression?
28:23 Have you noticed any trends or issues that are more prevalent now?
34:28 What are the traits that a person needs in order to overcome trauma?
36:47 Questions you can ask yourself to assess your own mental health
41:48 How do you get somebody to open up 100%?
46:20 How do you develop emotional literacy?
49:40 How soon do you start seeing improvements in your patients?

EP 134: Pediatrics and Parenthood With David Metzger

EP 134: Pediatrics and Parenthood With David Metzger

EP 134: Pediatrics and Parenthood With David Metzger


Can you combine pediatrics and parenthood? In this episode, we would like to introduce our guest David Metzger. David is a Pediatric oncology nurse, host of the Nurse Papa Podcast, and also an author. He has recently written a book titled Nurse Papa 18 Meditations on Parenthood From a Pediatric Oncology Nurse. 

Catch the full episode as David shares his experience being a Pediatric Oncology Nurse and father of two as he answers the following questions:

  1. We last spoke to you in March/April; how has life changed?
  2. Has pediatric oncology changed since you started nursing?
  3. How has the pandemic changed your unit/care/protocols?
  4. Are there a lot of pediatric oncology children suffering from covid?
  5. What made you write 16 Meditations on Parenthood From a Pediatric Oncology Nurse?
    • Can you tell us what the book is about?
    • In your opinion, what is the biggest struggle for the parents of the children you care for?
    • What really puts a smile on a parent’s face?
    • How can families cope with a child that has cancer?
    • How do you fill your own cup to be rejuvenated again for your family?
  6. What are some mistakes/things you’ve learned from having kids? Since you have 2 children, how have you grown as a parent from the first one?
  7. New hobby with water activities, how is SUP?

Guest promo links: 

Catch more on David by watching the full Episode 134 here 👇



0:00 Cup of Nurses Introduction
1:27 Guest Introduction
1:54 David Metzger Background
2:31 How do you balance being a pediatric nurse, father, and husband?
6:11 Struggles of children because of the pandemic
9:00 Meaningful life lessons from children
17:40 How can families handle pediatric deaths
23:43 Struggles of parents having kids in pediatric oncology
26:13 How do you keep the positive energy from your patients to your family
28:20 Learnings and advice for newbie parents
34:18 Profound moment with the book
47:23 Hobbies outside work
51:18 Where to buy Nurse Papa book

How to Pass Nursing School Like a Pro

How to Pass Nursing School Like a Pro

How to Pass Nursing School Like a Pro

There’s no doubt that nursing school is challenging. When you think about it, it’s supposed to be hard, right?

People will rely on you to take care of them. In summary, nursing school is your training ground to become a real nurse.

That said, the challenges you face here are NOTHING compared to real-life scenarios. So your time in nursing school should be challenging! But how to pass nursing school like a pro?

How can you tackle the challenges, and what should you expect in your first semester of nursing school? Let’s break it all down. 

Honestly, I have no idea how I passed my first semester, but I remembered tears and late-night studying. It sounds funny now, but I did go through all of that! But this doesn’t have to be your case.

People cope differently, and that’s how I was back then; fortunately, I passed my first semester and eventually graduated. So how can you pass the first semester? Here are helpful tips that you can use:

Nursing School Challenge Accepted!

The amount of information you learn in your first semester can be overwhelming for newcomers, but don’t let that drag you down. It’s just the beginning, after all!

The real challenge is passing the first half of the year in one piece [1]. So how can you get it without losing your head in the process? Here are helpful tips that you can use:

How to Pass Nursing Tip #1: Learn to be flexible

I know, you’re probably thinking, what did I get myself now? Yes, there will be times when you feel like you made a mistake when you applied for nursing school but relax. Take a second and keep your overwhelming feelings in check. Learn to be flexible by organizing your time.

Consider getting a planner. Write down all your commitments so you can see your tasks on a weekly or monthly basis. Looking at the bigger picture will make it easier for you to adjust or make schedules.

Doing so will let you juggle multiple tasks without missing time with friends and family or losing sleep.  

How to Pass Nursing Tip #2: Hone efficient habits

Your habits play a role in your survival during the first semester. One of the habits that you should develop is your studying habits. Sure, it’s tempting to sleep in rather than study, but growing time to study can help you in so many ways.

Figure out what type of learner you are. Are you a visual learner? Print out pictures. Are you an auditory learner? Listen to nursing podcasts like Cup of Nurses.

If you prefer learning using your voice, record it. Whatever your study style is or how you like to study, make sure to develop the habit of doing them.

It will help you understand topics better and make learning more accessible in your first semester. Once you establish these habits, it will be easier to carry on to the next level of nursing school. 

How to Pass Nursing Tip #3: Comprehension vs. Good Grades

There’s a fine line between intelligence and overachieving. Yes, good grades are excellent, but you don’t have to be obsessed about that all the time. What should you expect in your first semester of nursing school? Develop your comprehension skills first.

Working as a nurse is not graded, but your comprehension matters in the long run. So, while you are still in your first semester, focus on understanding the topics discussed in class. See how the content connects and develops your critical thinking early.

Good grades are fantastic, and getting good ones is a plus, but always remember that comprehension pays off better in the future. 

How to Pass Nursing Tip #4: Manage your anxiety

As I have mentioned, your first semester will be busy and overwhelming. It can be draining on your part as you will deal with quizzes, pop quizzes, tests, and finals. I am going to be honest when I say that your final exams weigh more than the others.

So if you have test anxiety or have developed a fear of taking exams, it’s best to find ways to manage it even before going to nursing school. Breathing exercises and meditation can help. Don’t forget to read on tips on passing nursing school.

The earlier you know how to pass nursing, the better you can manage your anxieties. You need to be mentally and emotionally ready the moment you set foot inside a nursing school! [2]

How to Pass Nursing Tip #5: Take Care of Yourself!

There’s no doubt that it will be a challenge to study to be a nurse, and if you want this job, then best to take care of yourself. Remember that you will be away from your family while studying to become a nurse. Most of the time, you will be alone, living in a dorm.

That said, make sure to care for yourself by eating well, exercising, and getting enough rest. Make sure to add a “me time” in your calendar so you have time to do the things that are good for your well-being.

Remember, there’s a time for everything, whether for studying or self-care; be sure to balance both. 

Your Takeaway

So, how to pass nursing school like a pro? What can you learn from your first semester? Character development, what else! Your first semester will probably break you but use it to your advantage; take it as a warming up for the real challenge ahead. 

Many years from now, you will be working with a team of nurses under your leadership. You will be saving countless lives and providing the best care to your patients.

You will be working in specialized areas like the Operating Room, Delivery Room, or ICU, where you will become one of the best in the field. Your patient will appreciate your presence and thank you for your compassion and kindness.

While this sounds like a movie plot, it can happen to you. So, is taking the challenge nursing school has to offer worth it?

When you pass your NCLEX and earn your license, you can be whoever you want to be in the nursing world, and YES, it’s worth the tears and sleepless nights!

Looking for more student resources? Check out these helpful links!



The Placebo Effect

The Placebo Effect

The Placebo and Nocebo Effect

The placebo effect is something that science is struggling to explain. It’s a remarkable thing, but it does not mean it is medicine. We should not overestimate its effectiveness and potential. But as it may, we must understand that it is a reoccurring phenomenon.

What is the placebo effect?

A placebo is any treatment with no active properties inhibiting the desired reaction. This could be anything such as a sugar pill or saline injection.
It is interesting to note that belief in treatment can create responses. And the idea that it can change the course of a person’s illness. Many clinical trials show the effectiveness of placebos. And it can definitely stir up some ethical dilemmas.
Even when people knew that they’re given a placebo, the outcome is still positive. How can science and medicine explain these situations?
A placebo effect is when a person goes through the desired treatment outcome. But it’s not the treatment aimed toward a specific result.
The response is often triggered by the person’s belief in that expected response. Almost like mind over matter, and if you believe you will succeed vibe.
Some possible explanations for the placebo effect:
  • Self-limiting disorders – good examples of these are the cold and flu. These disorders resolve by themselves at the end of the day. They do not necessarily need any medication or treatment. Either you can give a placebo or essential medicines. Those infections will resolve.
  • Remission disorders – excellent examples of these are lupus and RA. To name a couple of remission disorders. It means they tend to come and go with or without treatment. The treatment goals usually prolong remission for as long as possible. This means you are symptom-free between occurrences.
  • Changes in a person’s behavior – a patient improves their diet or increases exercise. This change of behavior was based on the medication or placebo. The treatment did not bring out any specific effect but changed the person’s action.
  • Altered perception – this is assigning treatment may change the person’s outlook. For example, a pain that they would describe as sharp may not turn into an uncomfortable itch or shocking sensation.

Effects on the Brain

  • Decreased anxiety – this happens when an individual experiences anxiety. It worsens specific symptoms or even causes an exacerbation. Giving a placebo or treating the anxiety may solve the person’s issue. This is because stress plays a significant role in the human body.
  • Altered brain state – studies show that a brain can respond to visualized situations. Walking through an imagined scenario may cause the person to have positive outcomes. Sometimes you can train the brain to get rid of specific fears, pains, and anxieties.

Research on Placebos

A study done in the US examined the effectiveness of the placebo effect. It looked at 84 trials of treatments for nerve pain over 23 years. The trials took place in the US. 
  • The researchers noted that the placebo effect wasn’t as strong in Europe. The hypothesis is that it was due to direct-to-consumer drug advertising. All those informercials you see on TV may have a subconscious effect on us and they are not legal in Europe. 
The authors saw a dramatic increase in positive responses. This positive response was often seen in the placebo group. While the medication group stagnated over time [1].
It can be confusing when the placebo shows effectiveness. It is harder to prove the effectiveness of the actual treatment. Another smaller trial was for Major Depressive Disorder and how placebos play a role. This study looked at 35 participants.

The Results:

  • Half of the participants received an “active” oral placebo. The other half got an inactive placebo. The active had so-called fast-acting antidepressant-like effects and the inactive.
  • After one week the participants then switched to the other. PET exams were then done to check the activation of mu-opioid receptor activity.
  • Two weeks later,  the participants were then put on actual SSRIs.
The results showed reductions in depressive symptoms after 1-week of “active” placebo treatment. Compared to the “inactive”, it was associated with increased placebo-induced μ-opioid neurotransmission. It was in a network of regions implicated in emotion, stress regulation, and the pathophysiology of MDD [2].

The Placebo Effects on Antidepressant Treatments

 Placebo-induced endogenous opioid release in these regions is associated with better antidepressant treatment response. It predicts 43% of the variance in symptom improvement at the end of the antidepressant trial.
The third study was a meta-analysis composed of 11 studies. It had totaled 654 participants. 
  • Researchers looked at whether Open-Label Placebos, OLP, had any effect on patients’ responses.
  • OPLs are treatments that the patient know is a placebo, so it has no deception. They looked at how OLPs compared to no treatment.
  • They looked at the effectiveness of placebos on back pain, RA, and cancer-related fatigue. It was also used in IBS, ADHD, allergies, MDD, and hot flashes.
Researchers concluded that OLPs appear to be promising and found a significant effect. But the research is not conclusive an only in its infancy. More research must be done on the effectiveness [3].

The Nocebo Effect

The nocebo effect is the opposite of the placebo effect. It hasn’t been studied as much as the placebo effect, even though the placebo effect is still in its infancy phase.

The nocebo effect is similar to the placebo effect because it is not an actual treatment. The main difference is that the nocebo effect can lead to unwanted symptoms and complications.

Adverse reactions to certain medications, treatments, or even placebos can happen based on the patient’s thinking. Media frenzies can influence the nocebo effect. It is the thought of a potential adverse reaction that causes the negative reaction to happen.

An increase in stress or anxiety can cause this. It is more prone in people with anxiety, depression, and even a pessimistic outlook on life or their situation.

Dr. Joe Dispenza

We recommend reading a book titled “You Are the Placebo” by Dr. Joe Dispenza. He was in a severe car accident years ago and contemplated surgery. To get back to normal, he was advised to get surgery. But with many potential risks and no guarantees of returning to normalcy. He then left AMA to spend three months reconstructing his spine and recovering [4].
“For two hours twice a day, I went within and began creating a picture of my intended result: a fully healed spine. Nine-and-a-half weeks after the accident. I got up and walked back into my life recovered—without having had a body cast or surgeries. I resumed my chiropractic practice ten weeks out. Eventually, I was training and lifting weights again. I continued my rehabilitation regimen at 12 weeks. Now, after almost 30 years since the accident, I can say that I rarely experience any back pain.”

Dr. Dispenza on Placebo and Nocebo Effects

“Think about the idea of giving somebody a sugar pill, saline solution, or a false surgery. A certain percentage of those people will accept, believe and surrender—without analysis—to the “thought” that they are receiving the real substance or treatment. As a result, they’ll program their autonomic nervous systems to manufacture the same pharmacy of drugs to match the real substance or treatment. They can make their antidepressants and painkilling medicines. Healing is not something that takes place outside of you.”

Want to know more about the placebo effect? Watch the full Episode 70 here 👇



0:00 Cup of Nurses Introduction
1:59 Episode Introduction
2:10 What is the Placebo Effect?
7:48 Possible explanations for the Placebo effect
29:01 Research on Placebos
39:48 What is the Nocebo Effect?