Category Archives for "Nursing Facts"

3 Things About Nursing That Most People Might Not Realize

The nursing profession comes with a lot of challenges starting from the groundwork all the way to their fieldwork. For one, the hardship starts with education of any aspiring individuals, grasping all the medical knowledge that this demanding job requires.

nurse helping patient

The foundation of which includes a wide range of subjects. It comprises of general care, psychiatry, pharmacy, a splash of chemistry for laboratory analysis, surgery, anesthesiology and so much more. This comes as a dandy equivalent of a doctor with a wide array of specialties. With a nursing degree, a professional can be involved in various fields which can be both exciting and challenging.

The career of a nurse offers a tremendous challenge with time management due to the fact that most nurses are on duty most of their professional lives. Add the fact that their duty to their patients often extends even when they are out of the hospital.

One would think that a nurse should just have time to relax and lay off the work. Getting Vernon accommodations for the family would be a perfect cap to a seemingly endless shift. However, with the workload that they have, they might as well have it rescheduled right off the bat. Then again, it is still imperative to remind nurses that their personal life should be central in making them more equipped as professionals to handle great stresses entailed in their job.

On the bluer side of things, however, the profession has been riddled with a humongous amount of doubt considering all the hardships the career presents. They have been ridiculed both explicitly and implicitly by some eyes that know nothing about the tasks a nurse handles. This is why some of the people who practice the noble occupation become discouraged and disheartened.

Thus, it is imperative that people be more educated on the things which nurses can actually do. It is with same significance that all eyes see the importance of the gallant field of nursing, as well as to appreciate its essence to human living and to the world.

Here are some of things nurses can do that most people cannot.

Study A Wide Range Of Medical Subjects

Nursing comes with a curriculum filled with various subjects that are way harder than it looks. This is indeed a fact for all the educational institution offering this program.

Nursing checklist

The course takes into account a wide range of topics that are integral to the profession.  The curriculum takes into consideration the topics of health observation and assessment, anatomy and physiology, human development, medical ethics and drug classification and use.

This may prove to be too much to handle for a normal person, considering the amount of sciences which is necessary to digest to become an equipped nurse. However, that is far less than what aspiring nurses actually have to take- more so to pass.

Nursing graduates are instructed with the introduction of nursing practice which focuses on the history of nursing, the theories behind the science, as well as the indispensable skills which every professional should hone.

Considering the powerful educational requirements of being a nurse, one of its more important and more challenging facets is pathophysiology. It deals with the effects of diseases of the body, the common illnesses and ways to heal it.

Students also receive an in-depth lecture on pharmacology, which makes nurses more informed about the importance of drug therapy and how these therapeutic drugs affect bodily systems.

Health assessment comes as another study which people in this career are given. It is vital that each nurse is learned on the assessment of patients which includes cardiac, respiratory, lymphatic and musculoskeletal systems.

All these, and more, are some of the technical knowledge that every nurse has undergone, which a normal person might find too much to handle. Believe or not, these subjects are just the tip of the iceberg of this deep and intense course.

Master The Art Of Time Management

Simply put, nursing trains a person to master the art of time management. For a good reason. It is a fact that most people in the field of nursing spend half of their time attending to patient care. They even go to spend half of their personal time contemplating on how to improve their care.

The idea of thinking about others’ welfare before one’s self can be a motive to call nursing a noble profession. In fact, nurses are introduced to the skill in the early stages of their education. With the amount of stressing subjects nursing students juggle in a semester , and still have their own personal, the program ensures that the student should be able to effectively utilize what time he or she has. This is an integral part of being in this career.

nursing time management

Studies show that nurses around the world are overworked, considering the high demand of healthcare induced by the rising number of illnesses going about the planet. Logically speaking, nurses should be able to match the demand, which is why it is significant that people start acknowledging these health care professional to encourage them to keep improving the care they provide.

With the amount of knowledge they have on juggling and dealing with time constraints, plus the reassurance of people around them, nurses can continue giving their hearts out in today’s extremely tough times.

Educate Yourself On Various Fields

Being a nurse comes with a common misconception of being so linear and one-sided. This comes as a contrary to the fact that most people in this profession, given the rapidly increasing demand for multitasking, start to engage in converging fields other than their own.

In the nursing field, a professional can be of various occupations and specialties, much like what doctors or any professional track can be. In fact, it has become one of the most important careers that can effectively cross to other fields.

For one, people in this program can join the army, which is transforms them into a field medic. Since armies are more so involved in conflicts especially at these warring times, army nurses put their lives on the line to save the military.

strong nurse

Furthermore, nurses can implore their inner traveler and become a traveling nurse. Travel nursing is a profession where nurses are sent from a place to another to tend the needs of the people in the same proximity for a short period of time. Another type of a travelling nurse is a cruise ship nurse where a nurse gets to travel in a cruise ship to give medical care to the people on board. This is actually an eccentric way for a nurse to practice his or her knowledge.

For those who want more action and go full throttle, emergency room nurses are introduced to an environment where life lies on the matter of seconds. It’s a demanding job for these individuals, and they come as well-trained as they can be to do such heroic deeds.

Nursing comes as a very demanding job for those who are in this field. This is an understatement, seeing the fact that the need for healthcare services is drastically rising these days. The sad thing is that many people see it as a rather mini career. Belittled and demeaned, many nurses are discouraged to continue their health care capabilities to the world.

This makes it imperative that people look at them with great admiration. To encourage these people in the act of providing health care means a great deal to them, especially that they are under intense stress in dealing with the role of actually saving lives. If being ‘just a nurse’ means being the master of time management, being able to be educated in various subjects, and being awesome in different fields – then being ‘just a nurse’ is the most exclusive thing in the world.

You Already Have the Tools for Nursing Success

When my husband and I were planning to purchase a new car, we really had no idea what make and model we wanted. All we knew was that we wanted an SUV. Our family and friends gave us their opinion (Hondas, Mitsubishi, etc) but we still weren’t sure. We decided to visit a Mazda dealer because the sales person was a friend of our neighbor. She trusted him and that was more important to us than the car.

He recommended a Mazda CX5. And we bought it.

I never heard of one or seen one but as soon as we drove the car off of the lot, I started to see Mazda CX5s everywhere!

Did the human race all of a sudden start copying me? Or, where there always Mazda CX5s on the road but I just didn’t notice them?

No magic here. They were on the road before but I didn’t notice them until I started to FOCUS on them. We have our reticular activating system in our brain to thank for this.

Our reticular activating system (RAS) is a rely center. As our brains are bombarded by sounds, images, and physical feelings, it’s this center that decides what gets our focus. Image if you weren’t able to ignore the humming of the air conditioner, tweeting of birds, and slight headache to be able to focus on writing, say, a blog post! You’d go crazy. The RAS filters the non-essential messages so that you only capture what’s important.

There were Mazda CX5s on the road before I bought one – I just didn’t NOTICE them.

We can use this same system to tell our brain to focus on whatever we want.

I just had an amazing string of experiences. I gave the closing address at the National ASPAN Convention (Celebrate Nursing: Human by Birth – Hero by Choice) then had an opportunity to practice what I preach.

Nursing Success

On Uber car ride from the hotel to the airport, another young male passenger was sharing the ride with me. I found out that he had never flown before. When I asked him what time his flight was, he said his flight left in 1 hour!!! He didn’t have his boarding pass yet (thought that the email confirmation was enough), didn’t know if he was checking a bag or not, and didn’t have a CLUE what to do when he got there. I had serious concerns that he wouldn’t make his flight from Philadelphia to Los Angeles.

Nurses help. It’s in our DNA. So I helped.

I walked in with him, got him boarding pass, gave him instructions and because he didn’t have TSA pre-check and I do, I went to his gate and told gate agent NOT to leave without him. He made his flight. Whew!

Then, after I grabbed bite to eat, I walked past a man being helped by the crew at a gate. I stopped and said, “I’m a nurse. Do you need help?” They said, “YES!” The man was having chest pain. I assessed him, asked him several questions, and calmed him down until paramedics got there. Personally, I think he was having a PE.

While getting ready to board my plane, I noticed a young mother with a newborn baby in her arms, a big stroller, carry-on bag, and a wheeled bag. My first thought was that there was NO WAY she was going to be able to get that baby on the airplane without help. So I helped. While asking her if I could carry her bags down the ramp, the flight attendant approached and offered to do the same. While I was boarding, the same flight attendant approached me and said, “You’re the nurse who helped us with the gentleman who was having chest pain, aren’t you?” She then said, “You can tell you’re a nurse.” I felt good.

When I got to the plane door, the mom was there trying to collapse the stroller while holding the baby. Guess what? I got to hold that precious newborn while she handled her equipment.

I told my hubby about this (and my Facebook friends). Three days later when he was at the airport parking lot, he noticed someone needing help with their car. So, he approached this person. Apparently, he had a dead battery and needed a jump – so he helped him.

You see, when you focus on helping, you find opportunities to help. You can use this system to help you in other ways too!

Use your RAS to help YOU focus on the positive things in your life – not the negative. Once you do this, you will automatically FIND positive things! This is why goal setting works when you write down your goals and read them every day. This gives your RAS the opportunity to find ways to achieve those goals! Whether it’s a new car or a successful nursing career, understanding the RAS can help you succeed!

ReneeThompson_013_HRIf you like this post, I recommend the following:
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Thanks for reading. Take care and stay connected.




Ode to Florence Nightingale

They called her the Lady with the Lamp.

Healthcare professionals know Florence Nightingale as the founder of modern nursing; she established many healthcare practices the nursing community still uses today. Since May is her birthday month, find out more about the very first travel nurse, Florence Nightingale.

Early Life

On May 12, 1820, Florence Nightingale was born in Italy to an affluent British family. Despite her social status, Florence preferred philanthropy to parties. She spent much of her youth administering to the ill and poor near her father’s estate. She believed nursing was her calling in life, despite the protests of her family.

The War

In 1850, she returned to London to take up nursing at Middlesex Hospital and quickly rose up the ranks. It was the unsanitary conditions of the hospital that Florence focused on, especially after a cholera outbreak spread rapidly. Her goal was to improve hygiene practice among the nurses in order to save lives.

When the Crimean War broke out between the British Empire and the Russians, thousands of soldiers ended up living in very poor conditions along the Black Sea. In 1854, she received a letter from the Secretary of War asking her to organize a corps of nurses to help.

Florence assembled a team of 34 nurses and joined the war effort despite the horrid conditions. They found the hospital sat on top of a large cesspool full of contaminated water, the building fraught with rodents and other types of infestation, and even the most basic of supplies scarce. Patients were dying of infectious diseases like typhoid and cholera.

With the help of the less infirm patients, Nightingale and her crew sanitized the hospital from floor to ceiling, and it is estimated that this work in Crimea reduced the death rate by as much as two-thirds.

She traveled on horseback to inspect field hospitals and ensure they were operating under sanitary conditions, showing them how critical hygiene was to healing and overall health.

Nurse Training

After the war, Florence Nightingale established the Nightingale Training School for Nurses, not only improving the educational standards but also how the public perceived the profession. In 1859, she wrote the book Notes on Nursing, which became the cornerstone for nurse training at the time. Today, that book is still considered a classic to read if you want to work in the nursing field.

Florence Nightingale introduced the use of statistical visualizations to clarify data in healthcare. She often used pie charts and her own Nightingale rose diagram to illustrate the seasonal sources of mortality in field hospitals. She was the first female member of the Royal Statistical Society and honorary member of the American Statistic Association.

Through her efforts, Florence Nightingale showed the world that nursing was a profession dedicated to compassionate and diligent patient care. She proved that nurses were necessary to save lives and manage the healthcare environment. She demonstrated that the best way to benefit from nurses was to train them well and treat them as healthcare professionals.

Today, the Florence Nightingale Facility of Nursing and Midwifery is the number one facility for nursing in London and associated with one of the top universities in the world, King’s College.

The nursing community has much to thank the Lady with Lamp for, including the academic standards established for the industry and the professionalism it enjoys.

So here’s to you, Florence Nightingale.

If you’re interested in following Florence’s footsteps to become a travel nurse, apply with Fastaff.

3 Steps to Stop a Bullying Boss

Jackie became the target of a bullying boss after just 3 months on her new job, working in the Emergency Room at a Level I Trauma Hospital. Jackie wasn’t a new nurse but this was her first time working in a city hospital and therefore, she knew the people would be intense.

At first, she didn’t recognize she was experiencing various forms of bullying (public criticism and name calling, threatening disciplinary action to the point of termination, and being overly critical). Jackie thought it was normal behavior considering that she worked in the Emergency Department where stress levels are always high. She attributed her boss’s outrageous behaviors as an “alpha” personality type of someone who really needed to take control.

Jackie wasn’t sure but it seemed as though her boss never treated anyone else this way – just her.

How Many Don’t Recognize a Bullying boss?

But then Jackie’s boss went too far by sharing personal information about Jackie with her co-workers. You see, one day, her boss yelled, “What’s wrong with you today? Snap out of it!” so she confided in her that the reason for her perceived distraction was because she was worried her husband was having an affair. She had found suspicious text messages on her husband’s phone and was really stressed about it. Now the entire department knew.

Jackie realized that her boss didn’t just have an alpha personality type; Jackie’s boss was bullying her.

According to the 2014 Workplace Bullying Survey, 56% of the bullies had a higher ranking than their targets. Basically, more than half of all bullies are bosses, which can make addressing bad behavior more challenging. However, there are some actions you can take to stop or at least, minimize them.

3 Steps to Stop a Bullying Boss

1. Observe
What is she doing that you believe is bullying? Is she constantly criticizing you in front of others but doesn’t do that to anyone else? Is she always looking to find fault and reasons to discipline you and not your coworkers? Be very clear on her behavior and as specific as possible.

2. Document
Start a documentation trail. Documentation puts the power back into the hands of the target. Documenting shows patterns of certain behaviors over time and provides a more objective account of behaviors that might be considered bullying. When you document, be very objective: date, time, location, incident; include any verbatim comments AND if you can link the behavior to a patient safety concern, it will strengthen your position.

3. Confront
Schedule a meeting with her. Share your observations of bullying (this is why you need to be clear on the behaviors) and that you are no longer willing to tolerate her behavior. Let’s say she only criticizes you in the middle of the nurses’ station. Tell her, “The next time you criticize me in front of others, I will remind you to speak to me in a respectful manner.”

In the end, your boss may not change her behavior and may even retaliate against you. If so, be prepared to take one of the following actions: 1) File a formal complaint with the human resources department, or 2) find another job. Seriously, working for a bullying boss is not worth sacrificing your health.

What happened to Jackie?

Jackie had had enough! Instead of taking a passive approach and hoping her boss would stop torturing her, she decided to take action. Jackie observed her behavior, especially compared to how she treated her co-workers. She then started documenting every interaction with her boss that she believed to be unprofessional. After just 6 weeks, she had enough evidence (18 pages) to clearly demonstrate a pattern of bullying behavior.

The next time her boss threatened to punish Jackie (in front of others), Jackie stood tall, looked her in the eye and said, “You just threatened me in front of everyone. I have 6 weeks of documentation of behaviors that I believe are bullying and undermining a culture of patient safety. Do not ever threaten me again.”

Jackie’s boss didn’t say a word. She just walked away. However, she never threatened or openly criticized Jackie again.

As you’re reading these steps, you might be thinking that confronting will NEVER work with YOUR bullying boss. And, you may be right. However, NOT confronting NEVER works. The point is to take action – any action to address bullying behavior. Even if the bully is your boss!

Together, we can stop the hemorrhaging of really great nurses due to bullying behavior. Nurses deserve to work in a supportive and nurturing environment!!!

ReneeThompson_013_HRThanks for reading. Take care and stay connected.

If you like this post, I recommend the following:
1. Share with your colleagues and friends using the social share buttons.
2. Subscribe to my blog.
3. Sign up to receive my latest updates and other resources via my website.

If you are a student or new nurse and want help to bully-proof yourself at work, make sure you check out my new Nurse Bully-Proofing Online Program.



Why Humans Choose a Career in Nursing

Although the human body fascinated me, I never thought about becoming a nurse. I wanted to be a physician. I wanted to become an OB-GYN physician and deliver babies. That’s all I ever wanted to do. So at the age of 17, I enrolled in a pre-med program at a large university.

But then life got in the way. At the age of 19, I found myself pregnant. We got married and I had a miscarriage. While on summer break, I got pregnant again and because of complications, I quit school. Two years and 2 kids later, I found myself wondering if I’d ever realize my dream of becoming a physician. Let’s just say, we were barely able to support our children and ourselves – let alone pay for school. But I knew I needed to so SOMETHING. So, I went to a trade school and became a medical assistant.

It was while working in a clinic that I had my first real exposure to the world of nursing.

Why I Chose a Career in Nursing

I watched the nurses assess, treat, and educate patients. They held patient’s hands while explaining complex procedures. The nurses cried with them and advocated for them. They were so smart and compassionate and I found myself wanting to be just like them.

One late Saturday afternoon, I was hanging out with the nurses. The last patients were getting prepped to leave and one nurse out of the blue said, “Renee. What the heck are you doing being a medical assistant? Girl. You need to be a nurse!”

And so I became a nurse.

That was more than 27 years ago.

I became a nurse because I love science AND I love making a difference in the lives of other people. I became a nurse because somebody believed in me; believed that I had what it took to join this honorable profession.

Career in Nursing

Over the years, I’ve asked other nurses why THEY chose nursing. It’s actually how I open my popular keynote presentation, “Celebrate Nursing: Human by Birth – Hero by Choice”. What I’ve found is that people choose to become nurses for one of 3 primary reasons:

1. They were sick as a child, were cared for by a wonderful nurse and wanted to grow up to be just like that nurse.
2. Their mothers or aunts were nurses and they were a powerful positive influence on their son or daughter, encouraging a career in nursing.
3. They wanted to make a difference in the lives of other people.

Being a nurse isn’t easy. After all, we are in the service industry caring for the sick public, which means that every day you work as a nurse, you are being inconvenienced. It doesn’t matter how WE feel, we must always consider the needs of our patients first. However, when you recite the Nightingale pledge, serving the sick is exactly what you are signing up for.

During Nurses’ Week 2016, let’s never forgot the reason why we chose to become nurses and why we continue to honor the profession.
As Florence Nightingale so eloquently said, “Let whoever is in charge keep this simple question in her head (not, how can I always do this right thing myself, but) how can I provide for this right thing to be always done?”

Happy Nurses Week!




Basic Facts About Nursing As A Profession

Helping others is a natural human reaction, but many people do this for a living and their profession is strictly dedicated to making other people feel better. Nursing is a part of the health care sector, and people who perform some form of nursing are usually generous, compassionate and warm, ready to assist at any moment. However, it is not easy to be a nurse, and many people will tell you that this job is not everyone and that ups and downs are a part of this profession, just like in any other job.

According to most sources, the history of nursing started all the way back in the time of ancient Greece, where male “attendants” were often mentioned. There are also several references to nursing in the Bible, mostly about Phoebe, who is often described as the “first nurse”.

Later, religious orders took the leading role when it comes to organized nursing, and many monasteries and convents were at the same time offering religious and medical attention to people who visited them.

In the 19th century things slightly changed, and civil groups and organizations began to offer nursing services. Florence Nightingale and her role in the Crimean War is legendary, and this epic lady inspired millions of girls to “join the ranks” of nurses and to serve to their country. Nightingale also established nursing schools and facilities, which also gave a significant boost to the popularity of this profession.

Nowadays, the role of nurses has slightly changed, but the basic principles remain the same – to care for the well-being of individuals, families and communities. The basic task that the nurses have is to protect, promote and optimize the health of their patients, and there are many ways in which this can be done. Therefore, many areas of the healthcare sector are in need of nurses, and nurses basically present the “front line” of an entire team of health care professionals.
For example, nurses develop a plan of care for a patient, and they even make the first decisions about the potential methods of treatment. When you come into an emergency room, nurses will be the ones who will “check” your status, and then you will be directed to the appropriate specialist. Nurses also constantly collaborate with physicians, therapists, patients and families, i.e. with everyone who can affect the patient’s health in a positive and beneficial way. Additionally, nurses are in charge of coordination of all those aspects to make them work in a smooth and continuous process so that patients improve their health or the quality of their lives.Florence Nightingale and her role in the Crimean War is legendary, and this epic lady inspired millions of girls to “join the ranks” of nurses and to serve to their country.

Nursing involves many other duties and responsibilities, such as educating the patients and teaching them about the ways in which they need to take the medicine, what to eat, etc. Nurses also empower the patients, helping them to walk, eat and perform many other functions that they are unable to perform on their own.

Besides that, nursing involves the protection of patients and their health and doing almost anything that can improve the quality of life for the patients.

Nurses Helping Nurses

Being part of the nursing blog community can be fun and interesting. Although my blog is usually geared towards the general public, I do get many student nurses and new nurses who visit to see what I’m writing about.

A couple of weeks ago, I was approached by an online nursing site and asked if I would share some tips for new nurses for a round up post. Sure – I like doing things like that so I gave her four tips that I thought were particularly important. They ended up being in this post, 101 Nursing Tips From the Experts. I wish I’d known or taken heed of some of those suggestions all those years ago, that’s for sure.

The list of contributors is impressive. Some names are familiar, while others are new to me, so I’m off to check them out. After all, I’m still learning too, even after all these years.