6 Things That Will Happen When We Don’t Have Enough Nurses
The nursing shortage has been an ongoing issue for many years, but this is all propaganda. We now know that there is no real shortage of nurses. But then again, what will happen if we are short on nurses? What happens when there are not enough nurses in the healthcare field? Here are six things that will happen.
When Nurses Disappear
Nurses are the jack of all trades in the healthcare industry. They do almost everything. From completing their front desk duties to transferring patients, and laboratory work, nurses, are there, working all the time. But when nurses are gone, will the world still be the same? Six things could happen when nurses are no longer here to do their job.
There will be more burnouts
When there are not enough nurses, more nurses are compelled to work more and stay on longer shifts. There’s no more downtime, and spending time with their family and friends is little to none. Tasks will pile up, and the remaining nurses will feel overwhelmed. This will drain them more to the point that they are no longer happy to do their job. In time, they will also quit, leaving fewer nurses to do the same routine and heading to the same route as their former colleagues. If no more nurses are left, this cycle will continue until no one is left to care for the sick and dying.
Low-quality patient care
Burnout causes nurses to lose patience quickly. When you’re always tired, dealing with difficult patients is challenging. And worse, burnout nurses won’t bother getting to know their patients or their cases any longer. This could affect the kind of care they give to their patients. And as a result, this could lead to poor quality care and many problems for patients and nurses.
More medical errors
No other healthcare professional stays with the patient longer than nurses. We are the ones who take care of the patient when the doctors are not around, and we make sure that all of them are taken care of. But what happens when a nurse is burned out? Tending to one patient can take around 15-20 minutes tops.
If you have ten patients waiting in line for their medication, you must take time and assess each medication so the right one goes to the correct patient. And when you’re a burned-out nurse, you could miss a small yet important detail about your patient’s medication. It can cost your patient’s life and your job on the line.
Low patient satisfaction
A burned-out nurse cannot provide quality patient care, leading to low patient satisfaction. The lack of available nurses can also affect this; many patients will feel like they are not given the care they came to the hospital for.
High mortality rate
Nurses are the ones who care for the sick and dying. When there are not enough nurses on the floor, emergency patients will be forced to wait longer. Emergency services will be delayed, and medical assistance will also be slow. We know that time is of the essence, especially when it comes to critical patients. When nurses are burned out, the lives of our patients are at stake.
Animosity among nurses
A short-staffed hospital means more work for the remaining nurses. This puts them under a lot of pressure and stress. And when stress takes over, peer relationships can get strained easily. Misunderstandings, like a simple bathroom break, coming in a few minutes late for work, or late endorsements, become a big deal to each other.
There is no nursing shortage if healthcare facilities take care of their nurses. Providing them with the help they need when they’re feeling down, like counseling or some needed time off, will make a difference. Nurses are not robots; we must take care of them. If we want nurses to be around longer and happier, we must find a way to help them too.
Personal finance must be your top priority. The nursing profession is indeed a lucrative job. It has its perks and advantages, mainly if you choose to be a nurse in a specific field like travel nursing. If you’re a student nurse right now, you’re probably thinking, “I want to be a nurse because it pays well, ” While this is true, this should not be your end goal. Just because the job pays well, that’s all you’ll ever chase. Being a nurse is more than just the dollar sign; being a travel nurse requires time and dedication. And if you want to do both and get the paycheck you deserve, you must also learn how to build a solid financial foundation.
Remember, you will not be a nurse forever, and learning to manage your finances as early as now will help set your future. What can you do about it? And what are the benefits of having a solid financial foundation?
In this episode, we would like to introduce you to Anthony Swain. Anthony has been an RN since 2014 and works as a travel nurse and Nurse Finance Coach. He recently released his new e-book, The Travel Nurses’ Guide to Personal Finance. The goal of his book is to help nurses & other healthcare professionals develop a solid personal financial foundation so that they can be empowered by money rather than be hindered by it. His mission is to help others reach financial independence.
QUESTIONS FOR OUR GUEST
The questions below are some we’d like to tackle. We often go off-topic, so we don’t expect to hit them all. If you have any ideas, please let us know.
Looking forward to our conversation!
These are the questions you had in Calendly. We’ll go off your questions and wherever else our conversation goes.
Can you please give us a little background about yourself?
Before we dive into some financial tips, what was your favorite unit to work on?
What was it like working with liver and kidney transplants? What did the day-to-day look like?
When it comes to liver and kidney transplants, what are some protocols you follow or things you pay attention to?
When you started travel nursing, what really surprised you? Were you surprised by how little focus is placed on investing and saving for your future?
Is working overtime worth it? Doesn’t a lot of it get eaten away by taxes?
What are the most critical systems to put in play when travel nursing?
Where should people start to put their money?
In your book, you mention asset and investment allocation; what are they, and are they different?
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?
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Want to learn more about managing your personal finances? Click here for the full video 👇👇👇
00:00 Introduction 01:44 About Anthony Swain 03:37 Travel nurse financial lesson 04:48 Financial tips for new grad nurses 10:02 Possible modifications to make student loan repayment easier 14:25 Financial advice for nursing staff who want to do travel nursing 17:16 What to do with the money you’ve saved? 18:32 The journey of writing a book 20:31 What’s inside the book 21:50 How to begin building financial stability 24:54 How to track your finances 30:35 What to do with your extra money 33:36 Can a nurse retire early? 36:45 Difference between Asset allocation and Investment allocation 38:01 Where are Anthony’s Investment 40:57 Difference between an Index Fund and a Stock 45:38 Universal Life Insurance vs. Term Life Insurance Policy 50:12 Wrapping up the show
Regarding nursing career paths, travel nursing opens up many unique opportunities. When you work in this field, there is no telling where you can go or your next assignment. The good news is that if you crave adventure and exploration, being a travel nurse is an exciting career.
As a traveling nurse, you have plenty of opportunities to go around the country for work and make memories. But you can also avoid the hospital setting to enjoy this line of work. You can go out of your comfort zone and explore other paths to nursing. Here are unique travel nurse jobs that you might consider doing.
Cruise Ship Nurse
Do you love traveling the seas? Becoming a travel nurse on a cruise ship is a different experience that you should consider. With an average of 3,000 guests, a nurse on board is a must. Many cruise ships hire a team of nurses to help their passengers in medical emergencies.
To become part of a cruise ship nurse team, you must be an NCLEX-RN with at least three years of full-time experience and an ACLS or Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support certification.
Flight or Transport Travel Nurses
Flight or transport-trained medical nurses help accompany patients when they are transported by aircraft. Most of the time, these patients are in advanced critical care, and it is the flight nurse’s responsibility to care for the patient while in transport. Many flight nurses are needed in rural areas that don’t have medical resources for emergencies.
To become a flight nurse, you must have 3-5 years combined ICU/ER experience and certification as a Certified Flight Registered Nurse or CFRN. You’ll have even better opportunities if you have flight and navigation experiences.
Working in this field exposes you to many unique travel nurse locations, cultures, and people. You can work in luxurious hotels in tropical countries or high-end ski resorts. Wherever you want to go, you always have options to choose from. As a travel nurse working in a vacation resort, you will be the primary point of medical contact for tourists and guests.
To qualify for this position, certifications in first-aid and CPR are needed. You must also have strong communication skills, and speaking a different language is a plus. A resort nurse also interacts with resort guests, mainly if you apply for a resort overseas or in other countries. You must also meet the license and degree requirements needed for the country you choose to work in.
A humanitarian nurse is one of the best career paths in nursing that you can pursue. Nurses travel world with medical organizations like Doctors Without Borders and the International Medical Corps. They hire nurses to help them respond to global crises and emergencies. They help immunize children in villages and provide medical assistance to countries or places where natural disasters are on high alert.
You must have a few years of nursing experience to qualify for this position. You must also take relevant courses in humanitarian health provided by NGOs or universities. They also prefer nurses with a second language, so it’s a good advantage if you’re bilingual or multilingual.
Do you enjoy working with kids in the summer? If you love exploring the wild and campfires, then becoming a camp nurse is an ideal travel nurse job. You get to work with kids to ensure they are healthy enough to explore the outdoors across the United States. You have to determine what type of camp benefit most from your expertise and background. Many camps specialize in specific activities and focus on children with cancer, mental disabilities, and other special populations.
There are no specific certifications to become a camp nurse, but you must be certified and trained in CPR or Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation.
Be a Travel Nurse Today
Travel nursing is an exciting nursing field that opens doors to different opportunities. You get to meet other people, know many cultures and will touch so many lives with your profession. If this sounds like your dream job, go ahead and start sending out your applications! It’s still possible to pursue a travel nursing career. It may be the opportunity you are looking for!
Nursing is an incredible career with rewarding rewards. You’ll meet all kinds of people and work in different fields. But it would be best if you had nursing career goals in mind. Remember, you will not be working in this field for the rest of your life. Set goals, work on them, and achieve them.
Why should you have career goals?
Having your first nursing job is exciting. And while it is good to have a job, you must also have career goals. Why? Career goals help you stay focused. It will keep you from getting stuck on a cycle where everything looks and feels the same. Goals are your finish lines. They make your job more exciting. It gives you something to look forward to, steps to follow, and progress to make.
As a nurse, your career goals may vary. But as you go through these goals, be sure to have achievable ones. What kind of career goals should you have as a nurse? Here’s what you need to know.
#1. Having an Advance Degree is a Plus
Furthering your career is always a wise decision. Advancing your career in nursing can boost your resume, increase job opportunities and security, and even help you earn more money. An Associate’s Degree is good but consider working towards your Bachelor’s Degree. It will allow you to work in magnet-status hospitals and offer you management positions. It will also open doors for leadership positions in nursing administration and management. That said, a Master’s Degree of Science in Nursing is helpful to have.
Advanced practices are also an excellent option to take. This path requires you to have either a Master’s or a Ph.D. It will also give you more one-on-one care relationships with your patients.
Choosing any specialty is one advantage of having a higher or advanced nursing practice. It will also give you better hours and a pay raise. Sometimes, nurses in this field become physician’s assistants or even pursue being a doctor. The most common paths for advanced practices are:
#2. Upgrade Your Nursing Certifications
As your nursing career grows, so should your certifications. Certifications are helpful in all stages of your nursing career. Whether you are new or already working as a nurse, this could put you in a good position. It will also give you an advantage over other candidates, especially when applying for a particular area you are interested in.
If you aim to work in a specialty area like ICU or other intensive care units, increasing your knowledge and credentials is the best way to do it.
Be always on the lookout for ways to increase your knowledge. Specific certifications can also increase your competency as a nurse, and the more knowledge and skills you have, the more valuable you are.
Many hospitals offer classes in-house for nurses who wish to obtain advanced certifications. All you have to do is sign up and start your journey from there.
#3. Volunteer to boost your career
There is a constant need for nurses to volunteer all the time. Many clinics, hospitals, and other facilities need the help of volunteer nurses both in the United States and abroad. This is the best time to do some volunteer work. Nurses who volunteer internationally are highly appreciated in developing countries. There is a greater need for them in countries that need medical help.
The excellent news about volunteering is you can start doing them even as a nursing student. As a registered nurse, volunteering can help boost your career. It is also a gratifying experience that no textbook or classroom can teach you. So, list volunteering as one of your career goals in the nursing field. You may enjoy it in the future.
#4. Learn advanced technologies
The use of medical technology is constantly evolving, and nurses working in medical fields must adapt to these changes. These technologies could be portable patient monitors or telehealth services – all used to create, update or access patient files. Nurses must learn to use these technologies; mastering them can benefit your career in many ways.
How can you stay updated with advanced technologies? For one, you can read free blogs for nurses. There are also many apps that nurses can use and familiarize themselves with the latest technologies used in patient care. Subscribing to journals and magazines for nurses is also helpful. They keep nurses updated with the latest technologies in healthcare. If you want to take it a step further, joining professional organizations for nurses can also help you.
#5. Specialize in a specific nursing field
Nurses are the Jack of All Trades in this industry, but it is always wise to master one trade. There must be a reason why you decided to be a nurse. Maybe a family member inspired you to be one, or you have a passion for working with children. Either way, having a specialization helps you advance your career. If you are thinking of an area to specialize in, consider the following:
Infection control and prevention
Pediatrics or children’s healthcare
Psychiatric or mental health care
#6. Improve your communication skills
Nurses must communicate well with patients, families, and colleagues. And improving your communication skills can boost your career and growth as a professional nurse.
Strong communication skills can boost patient health outcomes and enhance professional relationships with co-workers, patients, and their families. But beyond oral and written communication, nurses must also be good at active listening. It is your job to care for patients, take orders/directions from doctors and be part of a nursing team.
Effective communication also includes patient education, compassion, awareness of people’s cultures, and presentation skills.
#7. Climb the professional ladder
You can stay as a bedside nurse or change your career path. If you want to step away from bedside nursing, you can do that, but you can start small and work your way up. Start with a charge nurse position. As a charge nurse, you can handle different patient issues and are resourceful. You will also manage nursing staff, create shift schedules, and solve disputes during your shift. These roles are your precursor role in becoming a unit manager.
Unit managers must have at least five years of nursing experience and administrative work. Sometimes, hospitals may require a bachelor’s or a master’s degree to qualify.
Administrative positions remove nurses from the bedside and direct patient care, but big pay raises and banker’s hours come with that. If you want a thriving nursing career in the future, consider aiming for such a position. It will be an excellent option to keep open. Hopefully, these tips will help you reach your goals for your nursing career.
Nurses are among the essential workers in the healthcare world, especially now that we have a pandemic. However, miscommunication among nurses is an issue that happens quite often. How can this be avoided? What causes miscommunication among nurses?
How Can Miscommunication Among Nurses Be Avoided?
There are a couple of ways that nurses can avoid miscommunication. Keep in mind that being able to relay the correct information about their patients can make a difference in nursing care. As a nurse, you must provide accurate data regarding their condition so proper nursing can be given. Here’s how you can do that:
1. Make eye contact when endorsing patients.
There is a sense of relief whenever the shift is over, especially if it has been a toxic one since you first clocked in. While it is exciting to exit the nurse’s station once your shift is over, make proper endorsements first. The best way to ensure no miscommunication is to make eye contact with the next nurse on duty when endorsing the patient’s chart.
Take the time to explain everything, from the procedures done to the patient, medications given, the diagnosis (if you have to), and even the physician/s who came to check in with them.
Making eye contact gives you the chance to scan for any uncertainty in their face or if they understood what was said to them. It is also the best way to engage someone in a conversation and ensure they listen to what you say.
2. Use bedside nursing boards.
Bedside nursing boards are also commonly known as bed-census boards. These can help you with an open line of communication among nurses in the team/building, the patient’s families, and you as health care providers.
The boards help with the patient’s condition and communicate with their families and the rest of the hospital staff. Understand that there are tons of healthcare providers in the hospital working on patients. Failing to communicate properly can lead to negative consequences.
Bedside boards are essential in providing reports to the next nurse on duty. It can help them understand what happened during your shift and fill them in on the patient’s history if this is their first time handling them. Bed-census boards also prove to the patient’s families that proper care is given to their loved ones.
3. Take time to talk to your patients.
Nurses are often busy in each shift, and it is not surprising that they cannot give their patients full attention. However, taking the time to check on your patients, listen to their concerns, and show that you can help are enough to put them at ease. It is also a good nursing quality to have.
Allowing a few minutes of one-on-one conversation with your patients can be rewarding. It is easier to see how they are improving and establish a sense of trust as their nurse. Although you may not do this every day, it is best to create a routine and stick to it.
How Can Nurses Improve Their Communication Skills
Improving communication among nurses is possible. To do this, nurses like you practice patience and become better listeners. When you listen, you don’t offer one ear but both. Keep in mind that you are working with other nurses who are also busy. Listening to each other is crucial to providing better services to patients.
You can also avoid communication conflict when you practice active listening. Active listening is repeating the key points of the conversation to the speaker. So, make it a habit to listen to your coworkers and improve your listening skills.
Another way to avoid miscommunication among nurses is not to interrupt the speaker. This could be helpful during endorsements at the end of the shift. Allow the person to finish talking first before asking questions.
Keep in mind that even the slightest cues can determine the condition of patients. Resist the urge to ask questions whenever someone is talking.
As a nurse, you must also learn to maintain a positive attitude. Remember, happiness is contagious! Your positive outlook can also affect your coworkers and even your patients.
When things get a little serious, be sure to keep your emotions in check. Your nurse training taught you to remain professional and courteous during conversations. No matter how angry or upset you are, keep it cool.
Be aware that your emotions can affect others and your ability to communicate at work. When you do so, miscommunication among nurses will not happen.
Communication is an essential part of patient care, and when this is done accordingly, it is nurses can work together effectively. If you feel like you or your coworkers are missing out on proper communication, take the step to address this issue. It will surely help your team and other hospital staff to do better as you provide nursing care to your patients.