EP. 168 Empowering Nurses with Alice Benjamin

EP. 168 Empowering Nurses with Alice Benjamin

Empowering Nurses with Alice Benjamin

Nurses are the backbone of healthcare, and we take pride in that. However, there are times when nurses don’t feel like they are as important in our community. A bad work environment can also add up to the stress that many nurses feel. In some cases, many nurses do not feel like their efforts are given enough recognition, so they don’t perform well, or worse, they don’t provide quality patient care any longer. 

While many nurses take their profession seriously, some are not sure anymore. What can we do to help our fellow nurses? Is there a way to inspire and encourage them to do better? What needs to improve in a nurse’s work environment to help them feel empowered?

In this episode, we would like to introduce you to Alice Benjamin, better known as Nurse Alice, America’s favorite nurse. She is a cardiac clinical nurse specialist and family nurse practitioner with over 23 years of healthcare experience. Alice is Nurse.org’s Chief Nursing Officer and Correspondent and hosts the popular ‘Ask Nurse Alice’ podcast. 

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!

  • Being in over 20 years in healthcare, what are some changes you would like to see in healthcare? 
  • How do you think the pandemic has affected nurses? 
  • How should new nurses empower themselves going into this profession in 2022? 
  • What do you think about the RaDonda Vaught case?
  • She was sentenced on Friday to three years of probation in a Nashville criminal court. After the probationary period, she could ultimately have her conviction dismissed.
  • Found guilty in March of two charges, criminally negligent homicide and abuse of an impaired adult, after a medication error contributed to the death of 75-year-old Charlene Murphey in December 2017.
  • What are some of the biggest challenges you have taken on recently? 
  • What is something nursing has thought you that you can apply in life? 

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? 

Socials:

Learn how to become an empowered nurse by watching our full episode. Click here for more 👇

TIME STAMPS:

00:00 Intro
01:35 About Alice
02:30 What are some changes you would like to see in healthcare?
06:26 How can we improve the healthcare system?
09:46 Reasons for some patients’ noncompliance
15:24 One-size-fits-all patient treatment does not always work.
17:57 How should new nurses empower themselves?
20:26 How to be a better nurse
24:13 What are the challenges of being a nurse
29:52 Thoughts about the RaDonda Vaught case?
43:31 The last one cup of coffee with?

Should You Volunteer as a Student Nurse?

Should You Volunteer as a Student Nurse?

Should You Volunteer as a Student Nurse?

Volunteering gives you the chance to experience what it is like to work as a real nurse. It allows you to see if it is indeed the right path for you. So should you volunteer as a student nurse? 

What to Consider When Volunteering

As a student nurse, your time is preoccupied with a lot of things in nursing school. However, if you want to gain experience in nursing, signing up as a volunteer can help you in many ways. So what should you consider before giving it a shot? 

Consider the time you give

When you volunteer, you are adding more responsibilities to your plate. It could lead to more problems in the future and might even affect your school performance and grades. 

Before you volunteer, consider how much time you are willing to give into it. Remember, your commitment is needed when you volunteer for something. It will also show on record how trustworthy you are with the opportunity granted to you. 

Your reasons for volunteering

What are your reasons for volunteering? If you know why you are volunteering, then all is well. Although there is no concrete reason why people volunteer sometimes, it is still best to narrow down why you want to volunteer. And once you know why you can prioritize the things you would like to pursue. 

The requirements needed

Keep in mind that not all volunteer opportunities are the same. Some may ask for minimal requirements, while others might require you to train first before they accept you. Before volunteering, it is best to check the conditions first to see if you fit the part or not. It will save you time and effort.

The responsibilities

Before volunteering, you should also consider the responsibilities that it comes with. As a student nurse volunteer, you will be dealing with patients and nurse staff, so quitting once the odds are not in your favor is not an easy option. You must see through it before you say no. 

Should You Volunteer as a Student Nurse? YES!

Now that you know the things to consider, here’s why you should do it:

Networking opportunities

As a volunteer, you have the chance to reach out to other nurses and student nurses alike. Get to know the people you work with when you volunteer. You might be working with the best people in the healthcare field. Having them as part of your network gives you better opportunities when applying for a nursing job in the future. 

It’s good for your health

Volunteering improves your health in general. According to PublicHealth.org, research done by the University of Exeter, people who volunteer adjust better to stress, cope better with changes, have lower rates of depression, and get to live longer and healthier lives. 

Enhances your resume

Applying as a nurse means sending out your resume, and for it to stand out, you must have an impressive resume ready to go. Volunteering gives your resume the spark it needs. It will also show that you are not afraid to take responsibility and are dedicated to the profession. Your experience as a volunteer will also give you the confidence you need when answering an interview and increase your chance of being selected for the job. 

Hands-on experience

Of course, the main reason why you volunteered is to gain first-hand experience. While you are not licensed as a nurse yet, your experience as a volunteer gives you the chance to see what it is like to be one. As a student nurse, your knowledge is also an asset to the facility. So, it is like a give-and-take relationship. You volunteer to help the nurses, and your time as one shapes your skills and comprehension about the job. 

Volunteer Today and Enjoy the Experience

If you have plans to volunteer, do it. You will not regret it – not only will you enjoy the time you allotted in it, but you will also learn a lot of things as you go, call it a sense of satisfaction. Volunteering seals your commitment to saving lives. So, head to the nearest healthcare facility and sign up as one.

 

8 Mistakes That Rookie Travel Nurses Make While on the Job

8 Mistakes That Rookie Travel Nurses Make While on the Job

8 Mistakes That Rookie Travel Nurses Make While on the Job

Working as a travel nurse is one of the best decisions you will ever make in your nursing career. Of course, just like any other newbies, you can’t wait till you are assigned to a different location. While waiting for an assignment, it is best to read about the eight mistakes that rookie travel nurses make so you can avoid doing them in the future. Here’s what you need to know. 

Avoid These While Going Through Your Contract

#1. Skimming through your contract.

It is a big booboo on your part if you do not read your contract thoroughly. Your travel nurse contract is an essential part of your assignment, so any responsible nurse will carefully read through it before signing [1]. Skimming through your contract will place you in a situation that you might not like. 

Before signing, make sure to check for accuracy and completeness. Check also for the assignment, pay rate, dates, travel reimbursements, bonuses, time offs, and other special agreements that you may have. Your agency should be able to answer all your concerns if needed. So, don’t just skim through it; read your contract well!

#2. Being unprepared for your assignment.

As nurses, we are trained to be ready at all times. We can even make boy scouts a run for their money if we talk about preparedness! It is a part of our nurse skills to be alert and ready for anything. However, rookie travel nurses are too complacent about their assignments that they don’t bother preparing – big mistake! They let their excitement get the best of them. Remember, you are traveling for work, not for fun. Be in a work mode mindset as you take on an assignment. While you can still see sights along the way, or maybe during your offs, you still have to be prepared to do your nursing duties. Avoid these mistakes that rookie travel nurses do and you will save yourself from trouble.

Agencies will help you process everything you need – even your license entering a compact state. In short, you have all the help you need. All you have to do is show up on time and make sure that you make a good impression on your first day. Always bring your supporting documents if your supervisor needs them – it will show how responsible you are for a rookie travel nurse!

#3. Bringing too much stuff with you.

The shortest duration of your assignment is around four to eight weeks, with the longest of thirteen weeks. There’s no need to bring too much stuff with you. Bring only the essentials, and make sure you have enough to reuse. If you are assigned to a different state during winter, bring clothes suitable for the weather. Other than that, leave the ones you don’t need during this assignment. Besides, the weeks will fly by, and the next thing you know, you are off to another location again. 

Take note also of the place you are staying. Is it furnished or not? See what is included in your accommodation. This way, you can decide whether to bring other items along or not. 

#4. Not asking questions.

As a travel nurse, you will always be the “new kid” in town. And as much as you want to do your job and go, it is not always the case. Whenever you are assigned to a new facility, be sure to ask the right questions. You need to learn where things are, who you need to call for emergencies, what practices are done, or protocols to follow. Asking these questions will help your survival on each shift. 

Be sure to make new friends too. Sure, you are the extra hand, but it won’t hurt if you greet people and be friendly. After all, you work in the same facility. Besides, having new friends broadens your network. So, do not hesitate to be nice to everyone you meet along the way. You will need guidance and help as you go. 

#5. Acting like you are not part of the team.

Sure, you may be a temporary nurse extending help, but that does not mean you should also exclude yourself from others. Staff nurses will expect you to do your best. Showing up on time and doing your duties are essential, but you are not hired to work there to separate yourself. 

Try to be a part of the team, be nice to people, be prepared, and do your part. If you work like you are part of the team, your coworkers will treat you the same. Don’t be a total stranger. 

#6. Acting like you know it all.

Another mistake that rookie travel nurses make is acting like they don’t need help from anyone. Being a know-it-all is something you should avoid. Sure, you have the skills and knowledge, but ignoring protocols and not following the standard procedures in the facility you are working in is a huge mistake. 

Take time to listen and learn from your coworkers. It does not matter how long you have been a travel nurse or new to the job. Being open to suggestions and learning the trade is vital if you want to keep your job. Besides, learning new skills will only strengthen your ability as a nurse. Once you have shown that you are valuable to the team, you might find your coworkers asking for your input. 

#7. Joining the hospital drama.

One mistake that rookie travel nurses make is by joining the hospital politics during their brief stay [2]. As a result, they found themselves tangled with the drama that they could’ve avoided in the first place. 

As tempting as juicy gossip can be, avoid engaging in it. Remember, you are only working in this facility for a few weeks. It is always better to build strong relationships than to be part of the gossip crew. Besides, you don’t know the people involved or the whole story, so why bother becoming a part of it? So, do what you came to do, avoid gossiping, and focus on your patient care. You will be appreciated more!

#8. Working hard or hardly working.

Last but not least, one of the mistakes that rookie travel nurses make is working too much or too little. As a nurse, your work is a priority, but you can become a workaholic when you work too much and don’t pause to breathe. So find time to balance work and recreation. One of the reasons you became a travel nurse is to see other places, so do it! Take a look at your schedule and plan an activity for the day. While you are assigned a job, why not take the opportunity to see places? Knowing when to work and have fun has its perks. Besides, after a long day of serving patients, a breather sounds about right. So, enjoy the moments while you can! 

Find Balance on Your First Job

Becoming a travel nurse is exciting, primarily if you are assigned to a place that you haven’t been to before. But as you do, find balance in your work and play. Be mindful of your ways, be presentable, arrive on time, and leave work at work. Over time, you will enjoy each assignment, and you don’t have to make the same mistakes rookie travel nurses make! Being a nurse is a rewarding job, and for you to deliver quality care, you must also take care of yourself. Hopefully, this list cleared it out for you. Best of luck! 

 

EP 164: Improving Patient Communication with Jennifer George

EP 164: Improving Patient Communication with Jennifer George

Improving Patient Communication with Jennifer George

Improving patient communication is an effective way to provide patient care. Without proper communication, it is easy to miss out on your patient’s needs. But how can you become effective in this situation? Will this help lessen the stress nurses feel? 

In this episode, we will talk about effective communication and how nurses can improve the way they speak to their patients to get the message out. We also welcome our guest, Jennifer George. She is a compassion-focused physiotherapist with vast experience in the private and public care sectors. 

Jennifer has spent the last 14 years learning and reflecting on the importance of communication in our health and education systems. 

She is also a mentor to future and current health providers on discovering their purpose, achieving fulfillment, and creating empowering patient experiences. Author of her book, Communication is Care: 9 Empowering Strategies to Guide Patient Healing. 

QUESTIONS FOR GUESTS

  1. As a physiotherapist, what do you do, and what are some significant takeaways or life lessons from your career? 
    • Work on inputs rehab currently
    • Patients need a team of professionals; physical therapy is only one piece of a much bigger picture in the healing process
    • Helped me to recognize the whole person
  1. How was your role as a caregiver for your father shape your personal experience of healthcare and later your professional career?
    • The power of communication and connection on healing – feeling disempowered, unheard, rushed, at times – good: learned to empathize and be an advocate for patients and families
  1. When did you realize how important communication was and its importance in healthcare?
    • After the first two years of my practice – I learned to better connect with patients before conditions and diagnoses and look at the bigger picture of their life and the impact of pain and suffering
    • Then after my dad died, it was like I became super conscious of the fact that my life as a caregiver/daughter shaped my professional interactions 
  1. Is there a difference between communicating in social engagements vs. communicating with patients? How should this differ? 
    • How can you keep a professional yet personal communication style with patients?
    • Is there such thing as communication burnout? I talk to my patients and many other people in/outside of work. Sometimes that gets tiring, and I need a day to myself and silence. 
  1. Where do you think misunderstandings arise from? When there is a break in communication, it causes misunderstandings. 
    • How/when does communication fail? What goes wrong?
  1. When speaking to patients, what do they mainly seek to learn? Or how can you pick up on what they are looking for? Does it vary between situations?

Learn how you can communicate more effectively with your patients by watching the full episode here 👇

TIME STAMPS:

00:00 Intro
02:37 Episode Introduction
04:08 The feeling of seeing your patient progress
06:00 The importance of communication in improving patient care
09:54 Building rapport with your patient
12:12 What are the barriers that affect communication with patients
15:06 How to be true to your patient’s care
17:36 How to start a conversation with a patient
19:43 Gauging patient for a good conversation
24:42 How to solve miscommunication
28:39 Guiding and educating patients to empower themselves again
33:35 The importance of Interprofessional Communication
35:41 The inspiration of how the book came up.
39:20 Caretakers aren’t taken care of
46:26 Patient safety as the main goal
49:33 Healthcare’s reactive approach to solving the problem
57:08 Wrapping up the episode

EP 155: Why Self-Care is Important For Women With Isabel Bogdan

EP 155: Why Self-Care is Important For Women With Isabel Bogdan

EP 155: Why Self-Care is Important For Women With Isabel Bogdan

How important is your health? Self-care is important but what steps are you taking to meet your needs? Do you do something about it? Or do you wait till you are diagnosed with a disease to get moving? In the era we live in, it is easier to pop pills when you are not feeling well than reevaluate your entire body and mind to get to the root cause of the problem. 

It is a known fact that many people today are more dependent on medication than doing something to change their condition. Why is it easier to take pills than make the change you need? When did people stop eating well and doing exercises that can benefit them as a whole?

We are joined by our guest, Dr. Isabel Bogdan, founder and owner of belev.co. She is also a health nurse practitioner with a doctorate in nursing practice. Dr. Bogdan has the vision to intertwine traditional medicine with a holistic approach for transformational change.

Join us today as we discuss the importance of holistic care and how it can change our way of looking at our health in this fantastic episode of Cup of Nurses. 

QUESTIONS FOR OUR GUEST

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. Can you give us a background about yourself and your nursing experience?
  2. What does it feel like to be in the daily life of Isabelle? 
  3. What have you seen as being the biggest factor associated with poor health, particularly women’s health?
  4. On an emotional level, what do women struggle with the most?
  5. How do you heal people in life?
  6. What are women struggling with most in their lives?
  7. Endometriosis?
  8. How do you control your hormonal health?
  9. How do you change people’s beliefs for them to think they’re superheroes of their journey. 
  10. What is your current obsession? – How are you making an impact in disease prevention? 

Why is self-care important? Learn more and watch the full episode here 👇

You can connect with Isabel through her Instagram @dr.isabelbogdan   or learn more about her business by visiting her website belev.co. or send her a tweet through her Twitter @isabel_bogdan

TIMESTAMP

00:00 Intro
00:49 Plugs
2:52 Episode Introduction
4:58 The Reason: Why is Conventional Medicine Failing?
8:52 All about Yoga
16:19 How is yoga done and how does it benefit the body?
20:45 Yoga’s spiritual side?
23:18 What are women struggling with most in their lives?
28:52 Isabel’s Take on What Is “Consciousness”
32:29 What is the impact of hormonal health?
38:40 What supplements can you take to stay optimal?
41:06 Dietary Consultation with Isabel
47:15 Everything is good in moderation.
51:37 All about gut health.
57:00 A study shows that cranberry juice prevents UTIs.
57:49 How to empower people to be the superheroes of their lives.
1:08:41 Where to find Isabel?