EP 167: Should You Start in a CVICU as a New Grad?

EP 167: Should You Start in a CVICU as a New Grad?

Should You Start in a CVICU as a New Grad?

Start in a CVICU as a new grad? Why not! One of the exciting areas to start working as a nurse is in the Cardiac ICU. The cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit or CVICU is a hospital ward that caters to and cares for patients with ischemic heart disease and other severe heart conditions. 

Patients who suffered a heart attack and need close monitoring are also placed in this unit. The same goes for patients recovering from heart surgery and with other severe conditions like cardiomyopathy, arrhythmia, heart infection, or unstable angina. 

Most patients in the CVICU often have various complications such as respiratory failure and renal failure. Therefore, medical staff who work at CVICU are required to have the ability to practice systemic intensive care.

In this episode, we introduce you to one of our followers, James Hatano. James is a New grad nurse in the Cardiac ICU at a Trauma 1 hospital in Cleveland, Ohio. He is also a certified CrossFit coach and a baseball coach. Today we will talk about his new grad experience as a Cardiac ICU nurse. So if you are interested to start in a CVICU as a new grad, this episode is for you. 

QUESTIONS FOR GUESTS:

The questions below are some we’d like to tackle. We go off-topic all the time so we don’t expect to hit them all. If you have any ideas please let us know. Looking forward to our conversation!

  1. Your BSN is your second degree, you also have a degree in exercise physiology. What made you decide on exercise physiology and then what made you transition into nursing?
    1. Are there some aspects of exercise physiology that have helped you in nursing school, being a nurse, and/or with life in general? 
    2. How did you survive nursing school? What do you think was the key? Time management, good schedule, etc…?
  2. Was the Cardiac ICU something you wanted to get into right off the bat? 
    1. Why did you choose the Cardiac ICU? Do you fit the typical cardiac ICU stereotype? (craziest lives but neatest lines, control, OCD)
  3. Biggest difference between nursing school and the ICU?
    1. What’s something you wished you knew going into school?
    2. What did you struggle with most in school? What do you struggle with most now?
    3. Tips for nurses trying to join the ICU.
  4. Nursing is stressful, we can agree that it is never going to change. No matter if there are appropriate ratios and great morale, working with patients that are very sick you’re always going to have that stress on your shoulders.
    1. What do you do to help balance that stress, do you have any issue with not leaving it at work and bringing it home with you?
  5. You’re big into fitness you’re even one of the top 50 fittest nurses in the world, how has that helped you through life?
    1. How has fitness played a role in your life and how has it helped you with nursing?
    2. How has your exercise changed over time?
  6. The drive podcast by Peter Attia, what got you into it and why do you enjoy it, what do they talk about?
  7. Chop wood, carry water book, would you recommend that book, why and/or to whom?

ENDING QUESTIONS:

Before we end the show we have one last question we like to ask all our guests. If you had the opportunity to have a Cup of coffee with anybody one last time, who would it be & why? 

You can find James on Instagram @jameshatano to know more about CVICU nursing.

You can also watch the full episode here 👇

TIME STAMPS:

00:00 Intro
00:45 Episode Introduction
01:33 About the guest
03:29 James Hatano and nursing
06:46 How does nursing school impact life
09:57 Transitioning out of nursing school
12:17 Life lessons you learned from being a CVICU nurse
13:51 Struggles as a new grad
20:03 Balancing Work and Life
22:15 Managing time
25:03 Managing relationship
30:32 How is it working with a female dominant profession
33:44 What would you like to improve in the healthcare system
37:00 A thing that you always have
39:47 The person outside nursing
43:52 Personal interests
46:34 Who would you want to have the one last cup of coffee?

6 Stress Relieving Tips for Nurses 

6 Stress Relieving Tips for Nurses 

6 Stress Relieving Tips for Nurses 

Being a nurse is a stressful job, and it’s not even a joke! Knowing different kinds of stress-relieving tips can help nurses from all walks of life. 

Why are Nurses Stressed?

As a nurse, your life is extra busy most of the time. As a nurse, the most helpful way to combat stress is to understand what stresses you out. It is not always easy to identify stressors but we can help you narrow it down, here are the most common causes of stress for nurses:

Constant use of critical thinking  skills 

Being a nurse you are always critically thinking, either how medication can impact a patient or when a family member has a difficult question. it can be a mentally draining job. A nurse’s job is demanding, and you do not always have the time to check out even if you want to.

Work environment demands 

There will be constant pacing while working with doctors and other healthcare providers when you are at work. It is common to clash with coworkers and patients at times or have miscommunication, leading to pressure and stress. 

A 12+ hour job

Long shifts can be exhausting, and nurses often work insanely long shifts. Many nurses work 12+ hours a day any extra overtime leads to increased stress and a drain on energy.  So it is prevalent among nurses to be a little cranky after each shift as it can be physically, emotionally and mentally draining, especially on the night shift. 

An emotional job

When you look at it, a nurse’s job is to take care of the sick and dying. But while they are caring for sick people, they also take care of the families left worrying or grieving. It can put an emotional strain on nurses and also be stressful on their part. In addition to that, some families can be challenging to deal with. While nurses are empathetic, coping with demanding families adds pressure to their jobs. 

The Pandemic

We were not prepared for the pandemic, and among healthcare providers, nurses are the most affected. Their responsibilities did not only double but also folded twice. They deal with the increased workload a pandemic brings while also putting their health on the line. Some are even assigned to do a job they were not adequately trained for to meet the nursing demands. Because of this, saying a nurse is stressed is underrated. 

Helpful and Stress Relieving Tips You Can Apply

So, what can you do to release the stress you feel each time you are under pressure at work? Knowing different stress-relieving techniques can help nurses big time. Here are a few:

Find a nursing path that you love

Are you stuck in a nursing job that you don’t like? Or are you looking for an option to do something else? If you answered yes to either, it’s time to move on to a different path in nursing. Keep in mind that nursing is an ever-dynamic field, so there is always something to do. If you love traveling, become a travel nurse, and if you enjoyed your time in the Operating Room as a student nurse, pursue a career in OR nursing. Maybe you are done with acute care and want to settle down in an outpatient clinic. The options are endless. Just make sure that the path you selected is something you would like to do for the long haul. 

Remind yourself why you became a nurse

Earning a high salary is one of the benefits nursing brings, but is it all you want? When things get tough, ask yourself why you became a nurse. Is it because you love helping others? Was it a good route for financial security?? – Whatever your reasons are, going back to the reason why you became a nurse will shed light on your darkest hours. So, whenever you feel stressed, use that reason to get back on your feet!

Sweat it out!

Another good way to relieve stress is through exercise. Many nurses find themselves sweating their stress out in the gym more often these days, so why not do the same? If you don’t like the confines of the gym, you can always work out at home. You can follow exercise apps or YouTube videos and burn those calories of frustration! Not only will you feel good, but you will also feel energized again, improve your health, and be pumped for your next shift.

Eat Healthily

Since we are talking about exercise, you might as well include your diet. To stabilize your energy, pair your workout with a balanced meal. Your diet must consist of energy-giving foods to keep you on your feet all the time. Eating green leafy vegetables, fruits, juices, and superfoods like nuts, avocadoes, sardines, berries, etc., must be included in your daily meals. These will keep you healthy and help reduce the stress and anxiety that you may feel at work. 

Practice meditation and breathing exercises.

Besides doing your workout routines, you must also practice breathing exercises and meditation. When things get crazy, pause, meditate and be mindful of your breathing. You don’t have to bring a yoga mat! Breathing techniques can be done anywhere, even at work. So, plan out your day, and take time to meditate, and refocus. It will help you get through even the most toxic shifts! 

Don’t forget to take time off.

All work and no play make you a dull person. So, relax, take time off and socialize. As much as you want to sleep on your day-offs, set time to socialize with friends or family. It is always good to have an outlet and to be yourself without worrying about the next patient chart you need to update. You don’t have to work all the time, find balance, and learn to live a stress-free life as a nurse. 

Your takeaway

As a nurse, facing stressful situations at work is a given. It is part of the profession. It is why you must find ways to destress. Don’t let the daily chaos of nurse life ruin your determination to help others. Try and see how these stress-relieving tips for nurses can help you. 

 

Ep. 166: Being a Travel Nurse Practitioner With Ebony Thyme

Ep. 166: Being a Travel Nurse Practitioner With Ebony Thyme

Being a Travel Nurse Practitioner With Ebony Thyme

Besides travel nurses, we also have traveling nurse practitioners. What is a traveling nurse practitioner anyway? By definition, they are healthcare professionals who work at a facility away from their home base. They act as immediate and often temporary staffing for healthcare facilities. 

Traveling nurse practitioners often work in senior care centers, hospitals, clinics, stand-alone emergency rooms, urgent care locations, and other healthcare facilities where there is a need for registered nurse practitioners. These facilities could need assistance from an NP because of patient overflow or a full-time employee on an extended leave or have retired.

They are also like travel nurses. The only difference is that a traveling nurse practitioner’s contract can last one day to one year. Meanwhile, travel nurses go on contract for as long as 13 weeks. 

In this episode, we welcome our guest Ebony Thyme, a full-time Travel NP and a full-time wanderlust. A free-spirited individual with eight years of nursing experience. She also worked as a Travel NP in four states and has traveled to more than 30+ countries. Ebony’s background includes Family Medicine. Before her NP journey, she was also an ICU Nurse.

QUESTIONS FOR GUESTS

The questions below are some we’d like to tackle. We go off-topic all the time so we don’t expect to hit them all. If you have any ideas please let us know. Looking forward to our conversation!

  • Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
      1. How did you get into nursing?
      2. What made you be ICU?
      3. What made you transition into being a travel nurse practitioner?
  • What made you enter into a traveling career?
      1. What have you learned? 
      2. What was the hardest thing for you to get used to?
      3. Advice to anyone that wants to be a travel RN or NP?
      4. How is the market for travel nurse practitioners? 
        1. What are some of the expectations and responsibilities? 
      5. What was your favorite state to travel to for work?
  • You’ve been to 30 countries, why do you travel so much?
      1. What have you learned from exploring so many cultures? 
      2. How has it expanded your mind and perspective?
      3. How important is it for you to travel and why should people do more traveling?
  • As an NP, how were you able to make your career give you financial freedom and the ability to control where your time goes?
  • What are you currently working on?
    1. NPing around the US?
    2. Travel boot camp? What is it?
    3. Locum Tenen Guide? 
    4. Thyme Talks podcast?

Before we end the show we have one last question we like to ask all our guests. If you had the opportunity to have a cup of coffee with anybody one last time, who would it be & why? 

You can catch Ebony on her Instagram accounts at @ebbthenp and @frontpage_eb. For her master class, podcast, and other sites, check out the links below:

If you are interested in becoming a traveling NP, watch the full episode here to learn more 👇

TIME STAMPS:

00:00 Intro
02:02 Plugs
02:56 About the Guest
05:27 The difference between Travel Nurse and a Travel NP
09:01 What is transitioning from Nurse to NP look like?
13:15 Advantage of a Nurse Practitioner
15:11 3 tips for nursing students
19:02 The importance of self-care
22:22 Solo traveling experience
24:31 Fears and Expectations
26:11 Difference between living on the east coast and the west coast
29:08 The humbling life in other countries
34:32 Places you should visit
35:35 What kept Ebony busy
39:51 Things I wish I knew earlier in my career
42:10 The worst contract
45:15 Toxic workplace
49:54 Who would you want to have a cup of coffee one last time?