8 Career Alternatives for Nurses: Part 2

8 Career Alternatives for Nurses: Part 2

8 Career Alternatives for Nurses: Part 2

Our previous post tackled the eight career alternatives for nurses that you can choose to work in if you are looking for a career change. In this second part, we have added other nursing career options that you might enjoy doing in this second part. 

What are Your Choices?

If you want to boost your career as a nurse, trying these alternatives may work out for you. Here are eight choices to choose from:

Academic Nurse Writer

Have you heard about this position? An academic nurse writer is a job where nurses work outside of patient care. Nurse writers often enjoy a lucrative career in healthcare-related companies like pharmaceutical, insurance, and other patient care services. 

What they do is they create nursing-related content for websites, like training manuals or textbooks which tailors the information to the general public od other nursing professionals. 

It is an excellent opportunity for nurses who have a good background in research, writing, communication, and health services. And the best part of this is that all you need is a BSN to qualify. The average income for an academic nurse writer is $73,500 each year. 

Nurse Health Coach

Do you have an interest in working with one client or patient at a time? How about helping people achieve their health goals? If yes, becoming a nurse health coach is one of the career alternatives for nurses to pursue. 

A nurse health coach is a nurse who works one-on-one with clients to help them keep a healthy lifestyle and prevent health conditions from happening. They usually work in health care facilities, insurance companies, and social services [1]. 

Nurses in this job often create a diet plan, monitor clients, and establish safe exercise routines. It is also part of their work to help motivate clients to be in their best health. 

To qualify for the position, you should have a BSN. However, some employers don’t mind. Nurses with an associate degree can also be eligible for this position. If you want to earn more, it would be best to have a BSN degree instead. The average income for this position is $49,000 per year.

Public Health Nurse

Another exciting career alternative for nurses is to work as a public health nurse. This job addresses community health care, and nurses who choose to work in this area have the opportunity to be in social service agencies. They can also work in schools and nonprofit groups. 

The main job of nurses in this profession is to identify at-risk groups and individuals and develop preventive care programs. These programs have also been proven helpful, especially now that we are experiencing the stress of this pandemic

For a nurse to qualify for this job, one must have a Master of Science in Nursing degree in addition to their RN license. Both degrees are needed to earn more in this nursing field. The average income for public health nurses is $59,500 per year. 

Hospice Nurse

If you are interested in taking care of patients with Alzheimer’s, terminally ill patients and providing assistance to their families, being a hospice nurse is the ideal job for you. As a hospice nurse, your job is to administer pain medication, provide nursing care, and monitor the patient’s vital signs. 

If your patient is at the end-stage of life, maintaining comfort is also an essential part of your job. The hospice nurse also must provide emotional and educational support to the patient’s family. 

A BSN degree is needed for a nurse to qualify for this job. Additional hospice care and palliative nurse certifications are also helpful for nurses seeking employment. The average salary for a hospice nurse is $70,000 each year or more, depending on the certificate and training. 

Dialysis Nurse

One of the most in-demand jobs for nurses belongs to this area. Usually, dialysis nurses work for nursing facilities, hospitals, clinics, or private dialysis nurses. They care for patients who have kidney-related illnesses, where they develop treatment plans and conduct dialysis procedures for the patients. 

It would be best if you had at least a BSN and RN to qualify for the job. Other employers may also require candidates to be certified nephrology nurses or have nurse dialysis credentials to further allow for the position. An average salary for dialysis nurses is $71,100 per year. 

Legal Nurse Consultant

A legal nurse consultant is a nurse who specializes in researching medical and disability cases, employment records, and other legal documents. They also make recommendations that give legal proceedings. insurance cases and law enforcement investigations the information they need. 

Interested nurses must be licensed RNs who have completed an associate degree in this field. If you have a BSN with clinical and case management experiences, specialized legal certification, and paralegal training, you can also be a legal nurse consultant. 

You might also consider becoming a nurse attorney if you are interested in pursuing a law degree if you already have a BSN. The average income for a legal nurse consultant is $79,000 to $80,000 per year. 

Disease Prevention Nurse

Nurses who want a career in the nursing field but does not require them to be in a hospital setting can work as disease prevention nurse. Their job is to research diseases, how it spreads to patients, the community, and health care workers. 

Once they have the data they need, disease prevention nurses will analyze it and decide how to contain it, prevent it from spreading, and more. Nurses in this area can work in nursing homes, hospitals, and even private practices. 

Before qualifying for the position, applicants must have nursing experience first. They are also required to have at least a BSN under their belt. The average income for disease prevention nurses is $85,000 or more, depending on the degree they hold and nursing experience.  

Flight Nurse

Do you enjoy traveling? Are you a nurse who isn’t bothered by flying? If yes, then being a flight nurse is perfect! As one of the best nursing career jobs, this is a popular alternative for nurses who do not want to work in hospitals [2].
 
One of your primary duties as a flight nurse is to handle stressful situations while on the flight. It could be an emergency situation too, for example, a passenger on board had a heart attack. It is your role to provide emergency aid.
 
Flight nurses can also work on rescue planes where they help provide emergency care. It usually involves patients transported to hospitals via airlift.
 
Usually, flight nurses work in trauma centers, hospitals, fire departments, and many others. According to reports, this job will grow by 15% by 2026. Depending on their employers, flight nurses can earn $67,000 to $80,000 per year.

What is the Best Nursing Career Option?

All nursing fields offer unique experiences and may help increase your skills. The best ones are the ones you enjoy working as a nurse. Whether you choose to be a legal nurse consultant or a dialysis nurse, loving the job and providing the best nursing care to your patients matter most! 

To know more about nursing career options, click here for the first part.

 

The Basic Roles of Student Nurses

The Basic Roles of Student Nurses

The Basic Roles of Student Nurses

The roles of student nurses are essential in the healthcare system. Don’t feel like you cannot do much because you are still a student. And if you want to know what student nurses do, this post can help clear this up! 

What is a Student Nurse?

Student nurses are individuals who study nursing. They also work to maintain, restore, and promote patients’ health while following the policies and procedures laid out by the hospital or healthcare facility. 

The duties of a student nurse are limited. Often, approval is needed before you can administer care to patients. They must also follow the instructions given to them by their clinical instructor. 

Working at a health care facility gives student nurses a chance to practice what they have learned in school. They are also given a specific time frame to complete these duties. 

Roles and Responsibilities

As student nurses, you will also have roles and responsibilities to do. Take it as your “warm-up exercises” in the nursing world as you prepare yourself for your future role. 

Getting your patient assignment

Clinicals are exciting for many student nurses. This experience will give them a feel of what it is like to be actually on the job. As a student nurse, one of your roles is to acquire a patient assignment. It will consist of the names of patients you have to take care of during the day. 

Your instructor will expect you to understand the diagnosis of the patients under your care. It means that you must understand their medical condition to execute the treatment they need. Whether it be a bed bath or a simple change of bedding, knowing your patient’s condition will also help you determine the right kind of treatment to give. 

In addition to that, it is also vital that student nurses are well-versed in modern technologies. It will be helpful when it comes to giving patient care. 

Giving medications

As part of your clinical rotation, student nurses must experience administering medications to patients. However, this is not done of their own accord but with the instructions and supervision of a clinical instructor and physicians’ approval. 

Administering medication involves preparing them in the appropriate dosage, specified time, and correct procedures. They must also ensure that they give the right drugs by asking their names. To avoid confusion, student nurses must also check the patient IDs to confirm the right person. 

Nursing Care

One of the primary roles of student nurses is to provide patients with the proper care they need. It could be eating, bathing, or changing bed linens; student nurses assist these patients. 

Student nurses must also provide nursing care to bedridden patients. One of their duties is to bathe them. It could be laborious, but they must ensure to execute the procedures correctly and provide bedridden patients with blankets to keep them warm. 

Before doing these nursing care procedures, student nurses must first ask for the patient’s consent. It is best to remember this as some patients are uncomfortable with student nurses. 

Charting

A patient’s chart is essential in learning about the patient’s health history. It provides the involved healthcare professionals with the information they need to administer the correct patient’s treatment. This chart is also a good opportunity for student nurses to learn more about their patients. 

A chart includes the details of the patient’s condition, treatment plan, symptoms, and medication list. It also contains the treatment done to the patient or the medications/drugs given to them as part of the plan. 

As part of your duties as a student nurse, you must record these details by writing them down on the chart or recording them on the computer. 

Your Takeaway

Knowing what to expect during your clinical will help you understand the roles of student nurses better. These will help you get the experience you need, and you will be more confident in taking on the part of a future nurse. 

 

EP 173: Determining Fluid Status in Patients

EP 173: Determining Fluid Status in Patients

Determining Fluid Status in Patients

Maintaining the correct fluid balance in the body is crucial to the health of our patients. Knowing how to check for fluid status in patients will help determine if they are overhydrated or dehydrated. That said, learning how to determine fluid status in your patients is essential, and you will learn all about it in this post. Assessing a patient’s fluid status is a critical skill you will regularly do as a nurse. It involves evaluating if a patient is hypovolaemic, euvolemic, or hypervolaemic.

Hypovolaemia vs Hypervolaemia 

Hypovolaemia refers to a deficit of fluid in the body. Causes include:

  • Poor fluid intake.
  • Excessive fluid loss (e.g., vomiting, diarrhea, hemorrhage, excessive diuretic therapy).
  • Third, space loss of fluid.

Hypervolaemia refers to an excess of fluid in the body. It is also known as fluid overload. Hypervolaemia is expected in the elderly and those with renal or cardiac failure. It can be caused by excessive fluid intake or inappropriate fluid retention (e.g., heart failure, renal failure). It is also why checking patients’ fluid status is crucial. 

Assessment Findings Determining Fluid Status in Patients

  • Bleeding from any source
  • Vomiting: frequency, volume, presence of blood
  • Stools: frequency, volume, presence of blood
  • Fever and diaphoresis
  • Urine output: color and volume
  • Heart rate
  • Lung sounds
  • Pre-syncope/syncope
  • Mucous membrane – Wet or dry?
  • Skin tugor – skin tenting 
  • Capillary refills <3 seconds
  • Oral intake
  • Daily weight 
  • Fluid restrictions
  • Fluid overloaded symptoms:
    • shortness of breath
    • Orthopnoea
    • paroxysmal nocturnal dyspnea
    • leg swelling

Labs of Fluid Status in Patients

  • Full blood count – May reveal raised hematocrit in hypovolaemia  
  • Urea and Electrolytes – Urea/creatinine will be raised in hypovolaemic patients and those with acute or chronic renal disease. Electrolytes such as sodium may be low in hypervolaemic patients (e.g., dilutional hyponatremia).
  • Urine and Serum osmolality – consider if suspected SIADH or DI. 
  • BNP is a marker of cardiac stretch under the effect of fluid overload.

Passive leg raise

If a patient has a blood pressure cuff, and you want to see if the patient will be fluid responsive, a passive leg raise is easy to check. Passively raise the patient’s legs to at least 45 degrees and check a patient’s blood pressure before and after the leg raise.

You can also lift the foot of the bed and see if there are changes in the blood pressure. This motion acts as a mini fluid bolus because you are forcing the blood to go from the legs into the core. 

Orthostatic 

Orthostatic hypotension, also called postural hypotension, is a form of low blood pressure that happens when standing after sitting or lying down. To check orthostatic:

  1. Have the patient lie down for 5 minutes.
  2. Measure blood pressure and pulse rate.
  3. Have the patient stand.
  4. Repeat blood pressure and pulse rate measurements after standing for 1 and 3 minutes.

A drop of 20 mmHg in the systolic is supportive of hypotension.  

Jugular venous pressure (JVP)

JVP provides an indirect measure of central venous pressure. The Internal jugular vein runs between the medial end of the clavicle and the ear lobe. 

To check this position, see that the patient is in a 45-degree place, turn their head slightly to the left, and assess the vein. 

A raised JVP indicates the presence of venous hypertension/hypervolemia. It can also be indicative of Right-sided heart failure. 

Patients with a Central Venous Pressure (CVP) 

These patients have access to the central venous system and peripheral arterial line. When you have a Central Venous Pressure (CVP), you can measure the patient’s preload. That will directly correlate with the patient’s fluid status. 

A CVP is good for checking where your patient’s fluid level is moving. A normal CVP is between 8 to 12 mmHg. 

Systemic Vascular Resistance (SVR)

If you don’t have a Swan, you can still check and SVR by Non-Invasive Continuous Measurement. SVR is the afterload, the pressure the heart is working against to push blood across the body. A normal SVR is between 900 and 1440 dyn/s. If your SVR is below 900, you will be more dilated vascularly; if above 1500, you will be more clamped down. 

So if you have a patient that needs fluids, you will have someone with a high SVR because the body is clamping down to increase volume to help maintain blood pressure. Maybe your patient is low BP, but the SVR is down, well, that can be a sepsis issue, and we can fix the SVR with vasopressors. 

Swan-Ganz catheterization

Swan-Ganz catheterization is also known as right heart catheterization. The tiny catheter is placed into the right side of the heart and the arteries leading to the lungs. This catheter monitors the heart’s function, blood flow, and pressures in and around the heart. 

One way to check fluid status on a Swan is by looking at the cardiac index. The index relies on cardiac output and turns cardiac output into a normalized value that accounts for the patient’s body size. A normal Cardiac Index is 2.5 – 4.0L/min/m2

Here’s how you can determine fluid status in your patients correctly. Click here for the full episode 👇

TIMESTAMP:

00:00 Introduction
01:21 Hypovolaemia vs Hypervolaemia
03:36 Assessment findings to determine fluid status
13:28 Passive leg raise
15:13 Orthostatic
17:02 Jugular Venous Pressure
18:06 Central Venous Pressure
24:55 Systemic Vascular Resistance
28:24 Swan-Ganz catheterization
33:07 Wrapping up the episode

EP. 171: NICU Nursing & Building Good Habits with Alexis Correa

EP. 171: NICU Nursing & Building Good Habits with Alexis Correa

NICU Nursing & Building Good Habits with Alexis Correa

Having a baby is exciting, but sometimes, some babies are born with difficulties adjusting to life outside their mother’s womb. NICUs and NICU nursing were created to provide a similar environment for these babies to thrive and survive.

Any preterm birth, a difficult birth, or congenital disabilities in babies can make this adjustment changes more challenging. But with proper care in an environment where they are safe, secured, and monitored, they can also overcome these challenges. 

What is NICU?

NICU stands for newborn intensive care unit. It is a special nursery in the hospital where sick or premature newborn babies are provided with around-the-clock care. 

The NICU is equipped with advanced technology and trained healthcare professionals like NICU nurses to provide the best care for the hospital’s tiniest patients. Some NICUs may also have areas for babies who are not necessarily sick but need specialized nursing care. 

In today’s episode, we would like to introduce you to Alexis Nicole, a registered nurse with experience working in the ER, OB & NICU. She is also the creator of the Nurse Nook. Nure Nook is a Youtube Channel and brand created to share Alexis’ personal journey as a nursing student and nurse. She shares both experience and inspiration along the way. 

QUESTIONS FOR GUESTS

The questions below are some we’d like to tackle. We 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!

  1. Can you give us a little background about yourself? 
  2. What is it like being a Neonatal ICU nurse? 
    • What is it like being a nightshift nurse? We have our struggles, doing it for about five years. 
  3. How do you manage your nursing and social media career?
    • What are the dos and don’ts for using social media as a nurse? 
    • How do you stay motivated and productive as an influencer?
  4. What piece(s) of advice has resonated with you the most along your journey as a nurse?
  5. Can you recall the time in your career when you opened your mind to mindfulness?
  6. What are the healthy habits you follow in your daily routine?
  7. What is your favorite self-help book? 
  8. What is your current obsession?
    • Talk to us about therapy 

ENDING QUESTION

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 follow Alexis on her Instagram @aalexisnicole or subscribe to her YouTube Channel The Nurse Nook

What does it take to be a NICU nurse and how can you build good habits? Check out the full video here 👇

TIME STAMPS:

00:00 Intro
01:54 About the guest
04:11 The difference between working with pediatrics and with adults
07:01 What does a NICU shift look like?
11:45 Reasons why there are NICU patients
16:29 Neonatal Abuses
18:32 How to deal with stress and trauma?
22:50 Keeping work and life balanced
27:33 Advice for nurses
30:19 The dynamics of the NICU floor
33:19 How and why did you start making videos?
38:24 The Do’s and Don’ts of a Nurse Content Creator
42:02 How to keep of things you want to do.
45:15 How did you discover mindfulness
47:03 Benefits for nurses that you should know
51:07 Wrapping up the episode

 

How Nurses Cope with the Death of a Patient: 7 Ways to Do it

How Nurses Cope with the Death of a Patient: 7 Ways to Do it

How Nurses Cope with the Death of a Patient: 7 Ways to Do it

We all die in the end. It sounds morbid, but this is the reality and commonality for us all. For nurses, dealing with a patient’s death can be traumatic in some ways. How do nurses cope with the death of a patient anyway? 

How to Cope with the Death of a Patient

If you are a new nurse and have just experienced the death of a patient, it can be overwhelming. It is not always easy to deal with it. And just because you are a nurse, that does not mean you are immune to grieving. Truth is, it is part of the challenges nurses face. We do grieve for our patients, and we do these seven steps to help us cope with the loss. 

1. Understand that Death is Inevitable.

When you understand that life is a cycle, it is easier to cope with all the stress. We all are bound to die at some point, and while death can’t be avoided, you should accept that this is part of life. Of course, accepting it does not mean you are someone who doesn’t feel anything. You do, but you understand better, and as a nurse, it is part of your understanding that all life comes to an end. 

2. It is part of your job. 

As a nurse, dealing with loss is a daily part of your life. Showing empathy toward your patients is what makes you an excellent nurse, but it can also be painful when you lose a patient. You also mourn the loss whenever you lose a patient, and sometimes, longer than you thought you could. Death becomes personal for nurses with empathy, but they must also remember that it is part of their chosen profession. And as a nurse yourself, you must realize that your profession deals with caring for people, and grieving for your patients means you have done your job. 

3. Talking about it helps.

Being in the healthcare field means you are often surrounded by the sick and dying. Fortunately, you have coworkers and colleagues who have dealt with the same situation before. Whatever you are feeling, they have experienced it too. Processing your emotions out loud to another empathetic nurse can help you with that. Colleagues who have dealt with patient death can often relate to how you feel and may even advise you on what to do.

4. It’s OK to feel how you feel.

Sometimes, as healthcare providers, we often rationalize how we feel about the death of a patient. While this can sometimes help, this is not realistic. Of course, you have to remain as professional as you can be after losing a patient, but you can also feel sad about it. Understand that death is a tricky thing, but you are also entitled to feel how you feel. You can grieve for your patients in your way as long as it doesn’t affect your work. 

5. Take care of yourself.

As nurses, we often form a close bond with our patients. And when we lose that patient, we often find ourselves grieving for them like family. How nurses cope with the death of a patient can sometimes be more personal than anything. However, in the aftermath of this, you need to take care of yourself. Remember, your job as a nurse means taking care of patients. That said, you must also take care of yourself by getting enough sleep, eating well, and exercising regularly. 

6. Remember, you are making a big difference.

Part of a nurse’s job is to not only care for patients but their families as well. The loss of a patient can affect family members the most, and as a nurse, you have the opportunity to be there for them too. How you treat family members who suffer and talk to them can make a huge difference in their lives. It can also help them cope with the loss. So, in your little way, you helped them. 

7. Find an outlet to destress. 

Dealing with patient loss is no doubt stressful. How nurses cope with the death of a patient can sometimes be done creatively. If you are a creative nurse, finding an outlet to express your emotions can help you in a big way. You can try crafting, arts or painting, joining an art club, or anything creative. Nurses need a break, too, significantly when they are affected deeply by the death of a patient. Pent-up emotions can be deadly, so finding an outlet to destress helps. 

Your Takeaway

We all deal with death and dying differently. Choosing the path of being a professional nurse means you will be exposed to death more often than you think, so be ready for such cases. Remember that death does not mean you failed as a nurse, nor does it signify the end of patient care. 

Your life and job as a nurse are bittersweet – there will always be ups and downs. Always remember that the way you cared for and loved your patients will be remembered by those around them, so keep doing your best!