My Nurse Consultant

A Writer of HealthCare Management & Consulting

Long Term Care Nursing- A Culture of Toxicity

With the new nurse graduates, I decided to share this as a way of forewarning them of what to be aware of. I got the same advice when I graduated but sadly did not listen. Please don’t be me, learn from me!

Long Term Care (LTC) is NOT for the faint of heart. To thrive in  Long Term care, you have to be prepared to eat or be eaten- it is a toxic enviroment. My journey into LTC started as a new nursing graduate. Prior to that, I had heard of many horror stories but I chose to ignore this believing that I could overcome. Of course,  I had all the energy of a new graduate nurse with all the dreams as well. I was wrong; the stories were true- LTC is toxic.

From the corporate office whose only goal was how to spend the minimum amount of money while reeling in the profits to my co-workers who were also evil as all get out.

LTC was the place where I lost my new grad innocence- it was the place where I learned not to trust any co-worker.

LTC was brutal

  • It was brutal in the way co-workers stabbed each other in the back just to get ahead and sometimes simply for the heck of it
  • It was brutal with the revolving door, constant turn-over and having to work short
  • It was brutal in the way you had to avoid pitfalls of which there were many

LTC was poorly managed

  • It was poorly managed through the poor caliber of people hired to run the place. The Administrator that was only concerned about cliques, the DON that only wanted to supervise from a distance; the unit managers that had alternate personalities, it was rough.

LTC was a hell hole

  • The residents could also make life miserable for you with all the false stories that were told

I use was, because I refused to be burned any longer. I got out of LTC and went into home health. Now I care for my patients, as they should be cared for, one at a time too.Be warned, if LTC is where you choose to be, make sure that you go into it with your eyes open wide. It is not for the feeble. LTC will drain the life out of you if you let it. Be the wiser, RUN from Long Term c.

By Saren K

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Get Rid of The “Bad” Employee Quickly

Getting rid of a bad employee should not be overestimated. All it takes is one bad egg (employee) to infiltrate and destroy a formerly good work place culture. It takes work, time and effort to build a good workplace culture and it takes less effort for a disgruntled employee to destroy that good vibe.

As much as possible, try to “rehab” your “bad” employees as best as you can using different methods specifically tailored to meeting this employee’s needs. But when all else fails, do not hesitate in getting rid of them quickly. They will create and cause more damage than they are worth. You do not need that!

Five Ways to Determine a Bad Employee

  1. They can but are unwilling to learn
  2. They are at the center of most work place disputes
  3. They bad mouth their supervisors, upper management every single chance they get
  4. They influence new employees and not in a positive way
  5. They are very quick to find problems but never offer solutions

This list is not all comprehensive but gives you an idea of what to look out for in a bad employee. When you have determined this, using your workplace employee retention programs, create a plan specifically tailored to the employee and have measurable goals for them in interacting with other employees and building a positive culture.

One of two things will happen- they will either make it or they will not. Sometimes it takes a swift response to preserve the positive culture that you have so painstakingly built. Use it!Get rid of Bad employee Quickly

Have you had an experience with an employee such as that? Share your comments below and what you did to resolve it.

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How to Make Nursing In-services Impactful

Nursing in-services are a requirement for health care facilities and recommended for healthcare workers as a way of continuous improvement and keeping up with the ever changing dynamics of technology and healthcare.

The methods, skills and techniques that worked a few years or even months back, may not necessarily be what works in present day. Therefor as healthcare workers, the responsibility both to our patients and ourselves is to ensure that we are best capable in meeting challenges, situations that arise and if not, that we find ways to meet them.

This article is going to focus on how to make In-Services Impactful for the recipient

Focus based

The  educational in-services should be focused based. While there may be temptation to cover a lot of topics in a very short time space, avoid it. Using the Pareto Principle, pick the best focus that is bound to have the most impact on care provided. Covering too much information may mean that you are all over the place and no one retains any of the information

Story Telling

Drive home the focus points by using the method of story telling. Story telling only makes it more memorable and while people may not always remember the topic independently, tying it to a story or some memory makes it easier to retain the message of jog the memory into remembering.

Bullet Point Handouts

If you have an in-service blitz, remember that is a more stressful environment and people will retain little to no information. Be sure to have little take-away in bullet format which participants can take along with them and read on their own downtime.

Create Focus Boards

Selecting a high traffic area, create simple boards that Nursing In-servicesreiterate the focus of the in-services keeping it fresh in the minds of the participants. Remember to keep it simple and put only focus points on the board.

Make it Fun

Almost everyone likes to have fun, so make your in-services fun. Your participants are always your customers, so create a nice educational in-service for them. Have finger foods at the ready and make sure that your Clinical Education coordinators makes it a point to mix and interact with participants and be on the ready to respond to questions with no judgment

Do all these and you should ensure that you have a successful and positive filled  in-service for your participants.

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Overcoming Your Bias in Nursing & Healthcare

Overcoming your bias in nursing? You might say, -“What? Me? No way! I have no bias”. The sad truth is EVERYONE has some form of bias- whether it is learned or innate from our life’s experiences.Overcoming Your Bias in Nursing & Healthcare

We have bias when we see that patient that constantly requests for pain medication and we automatically label them, “drug-seeking”

We have bias when we see that patient that frequently comes through the doors of the hospital and we label them, “frequent fliers”

We have bias when we see that old lady that frequently uses her call light and we label her, “trouble some”

We have bias when we see that family that is afraid and are trying to advocate for their family and we label them, “difficult family”…the list could go on.

At some point in time, we have to stop and take a hold of ourselves and deeply examine if these labels are apt or that we have become so inured to the situation that we no longer take the time to look beyond the labels. Remember that once you give a person a label, you have impersonalized the person and no longer feel a connection  except that to which your labels best fit.

Beyond the label is most times, a patient (someone) with a genuine need, who may not always necessarily be capable of expressing it. And sometimes it may be up to you, to dig a little deeper.

The next time you want to quickly give your patient a label, stop and think- is this really apt or is there something that I can do differently. And if you MUST label, find some thing positive- you just might be surprised at how a positive connotation changes your attitude or response to that person.Overcoming Your Bias in Nursing & Healthcare

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The Financial Benefits of Becoming a Travelling Nurse

The financial benefits of becoming a travelling nurse cannot be overstated but it also depends on how financially savvy you are are. Becoming a travelling nurse affords one the opportunity to earn a lot in a very short period of time depending on how far you are willing to travel. With a travelling nurse, and depending on how your travelling nurse company operates, you can either get paid the stipend or get affordable housing or if you choose to travel to a city where you have friends or family, then you can easily pocket the housing allowance.

Nurses are becoming vocal and increasingly independent on how weTravelling Nurse want our professional lives to be. More nurses are getting into the driver’s seat and steering the course of their careers.

Five Benefits of Becoming a Travelling Nurse

  1. You get to pick your location- As long as you are able to get the license of the state that you plan on travelling to, it becomes very easy to travel anywhere. Even more better for you is if you hold a compact RN license- the opportunities are plentiful.
  2. More Experience: Imagine having to walk into a completely different settings with different equipment, culture, and PEOPLE! It’s almost a freak out, right? Wrong! As you take on more travel opportunities, the more adept you will become in communication and managing different experiences that you come across.
  3. Financial Gain- The financial gain is not to be underestimated especially when you are willing to pick overtime here and there. It does add up! The main thing is to be sure not to spend it all but to be able to save and then invest it into a good opportunity, in this way you savings is not lying dormant in a bank somewhere but is working for you.
  4. Networking- With being a travelling nurse, you get to network and meet new people and opportunities everyday. Who knows? You just might come across one that would be too hard to resist. Put yourself out there and get to meet people and let them meet you and always remember to put your best foot forward.
  5. See New Places- If you are considering a relocation, a travelling opportunity allows you to travel to that place to check it out WHILE still earning income. What is there not to love?

But before you do go on your first assignment, make sure to research all the companies and find one that best meets your needs. Ask friends, google it up…just as much as you want to invest your skills and expertise in travelling, you need to make sure that you find a company that does likewise. Travel nurse companies are in existence because of nurses- don’t let anyone short change you!

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