X

Why Mental Health Is Important For Nurses

Fabiah Blog is supported by Fabiah.com, where you can purchase affordable, comprehensive malpractice insurance for nurses and healthcare professionals. If you are not already insured, you are uncertain about purchasing a personal policy, or would simply like to learn more about personal medical malpractice insurance, then please read this article. Now, here’s why mental health is important for nurses. 

*****

Keeping up with your mental health is possibly more important than ever. Although this is true for everyone, this can be especially truthful for nurses. The nursing field can be stressful, and it is possible to experience some very emotional events while on shift. The uplifting and good emotional experiences can be moving and keep nurses going. However, the negative emotional events can be soul crushing. Here us why mental health is important for nurses, and how you can keep up with it. 

Nursing Can be a Stressful Career At Times

Nursing can be a stressful job, and some nursing positions are more stressful than others. Even just the presence of frequent stress could cause mental health problems over time if not addressed. Luckily, there are some simple everyday practices that you can do to maintain good mental health and prevent burnout. If you feel that you are stressed out by work as a nurse, don’t wait. Seeking out help early can make the process of managing things like work related stress and work life balance much easier. 

You Can Experience Some Emotional Events 

There is also the standing fact that you can experience some extremely emotional events while working as a nurse. Although the positive emotional experience can be uplifting and keep nurses going, the negative ones can be extremely difficult to process.  Like work related stress, some nursing positions will make you more likely to experience tragedy. Things like experiencing  patient death, violent patients, and other difficult topics are nothing that should be ignored. Luckily, many medical facilities provide nurses and other healthcare professionals with resources for processing these kinds of events. There are also many online resources for nurses going through mental health issues in addition to this. 

How You Can Keep Up With Your Mental Health 

Serious mental health issues should be evaluated by a mental health professional. However, everyone should maintain their mental health, even if no serious problem is suspected. Here are some easy practices that you can incorporate into your daily routine. These are great for maintaining good mental health and managing stress. In addition to this, you may be interested in our article on healthy lifestyle tips as well.

Have Post Shift Rituals 

Post shift rituals are great for nurses for a couple of reasons. The first is that they are great for de-stressing after an eventful shift. We have all had those days, and having a post shift ritual prevents you from taking this stress home. The next benefit to having a post shift ritual is that it helps balance your work life and personal life. You will be able to leave your work at the hospital or clinic and your personal life at home with your family and friends. A post shift ritual could be anything from listening to music on your way home from work to even just showering once you get home. After all, it’s likely that you do these things everyday anyway!

Take Some Time For Yourself 

The next important thing that you should do as a nurse to maintain mental health and manage stress is to take some time for yourself. Even things as simple as having hobbies and taking time out of your day for self care are included in this. Taking time out of your day for yourself should be done frequently both during the work week and your time off. All you need to do is relax and focus on you!

Advocate For Yourself 

Of course, if you feel as if you are having problems at work it is crucial that you advocate for yourself. This could be talking to your boss about your workplaces resources, changing positions, or even changing your workplace all together. It is completely alright if you discover that your current nursing position or workplace is no longer a good fit.The most important thing is that you are happy and comfortable in your nursing position. 

Seek Help If You Feel Like You Need It 

It is crucial to remember that you should seek out professional help if you feel like your mental health is becoming a problem. Mental health conditions like depression, PTSD, and anxiety are unfortunately not uncommon among medical professionals and staff. These conditions can make life difficult for both your work and personal life, and even be dangerous to the individual suffering from one of these conditions if left untreated. If you are looking to receive professional help for mental health you can seek out therapists, counselors, and even psychiatrists.

How to Protect Yourself as a Nurse

Fabiah Blog is supported by Fabiah.com, where you can purchase affordable, comprehensive malpractice insurance for nurses and healthcare professionals. If you are not already insured, you are uncertain about purchasing a personal policy, or would simply like to learn more about personal medical malpractice insurance, then please read this article. Now, here’s how to protect yourself as a nurse and why it is important. 

*****

Having to protect yourself as a nurse is not usually the first thing that people think of when considering this field. However, this does not mean that it is not important. In fact, it can be extremely important depending on what nursing position you have. Dealing with violent patients or other individuals can be a very real part of the job for certain types of nurses. This can be especially true if you work in psychiatric units, prisons, and even nursing homes. Regardless of where you work though, it is a good idea to know how to protect you and your co-workers. Here is how you can protect yourself as a nurse. 

Why Knowing How to Protect Yourself is Important for Nurses

Although self protection is not something that most nurses consider when taking the job, that does not mean that it isn’t important. Some nursing positions may be more likely to involve violent patients than others. These positions could include but are not limited to nursing home positions, psychiatric wards, and nurses who work in prisons. 

However, due to the fact that nurses often work with many people over the course of their shift it is still important that all nurses know how to protect themselves and their co-workers. After all, you never know when a potentially dangerous situation could arise. It is important to note that these protection tactics should be in the back of your head just in case you need them, but they should never be dwelled on. This could cause some unneeded anxiety. 

How You Can Prevent Violence and Protect Yourself

There are some ways that you can prevent a violent situation from taking place. The first is remaining calm and using language that makes the patient feel respected and understood. This prevents situations from escalating into something violent. You could use phrases such as “I understand that you feel angry, sad, etc about this situation” or “ I understand the problem that you are having, here is how I (or somebody else) can help”. After this you should definitely follow through with your promises, or get someone who can help. 

In addition to this there are a few practices that you can do to prevent a patient from hurting you. The first is to always keep your back towards the door and your front always facing the potentially violent individual. This prevents them from grabbing you or hitting you from behind. Keeping your eyes on them also prevents them from making any unexpected moves or advances. Similarly, you should avoid wearing easily grabbable clothing or jewelry. You should keep at least two arms length from individuals who you think may become violent as well.

How You Can Protect Your Co-Workers

There are some things that you can do to protect your co-workers in addition to protecting yourself. The first is marking the charts of potentially violent patients. This alerts anyone going into that room to be vigilant and work to prevent any altercations. The next thing that you can do to protect your co-workers is offer to join them when they need to go into that room. People are less likely to react with violence if they have more than one person around. 

What Resources Are Available For Nurses?

Luckily, most healthcare facilities have resources for their staff that prevents violence and protects their workers if workplace violence occurs. These include but are not limited to panic buttons, training, and additional safety measures both inside and outside the healthcare facility. Of course, if you feel that a safety measure in your workplace is lacking then you should speak up to the relevant personnel about implementing important safety measures. 

The Important Takeaway

Knowing how to protect yourself and your co-workers is crucial for any healthcare worker. Although some medical positions are more likely to involve violent patients, nurses often work with many patients everyday. For this reason, it is important to have some safety tips in the back of your mind to ensure workplace safety. However, you should not dwell on safety tips or training, because this will only give you unneeded anxiety during your shift. Luckily though, most medical facilities have safety measures and resources in place for their staff. These typically include things like help buttons, proper lighting in and around the medical facility, and required safety training. The most important thing for any nurse is that they are comfortable and safe in their work environment. 

What is the Difference Between the NCLEX RN and the NCLEX PN?

Fabiah Blog is supported by Fabiah.com, where you can purchase affordable, comprehensive malpractice insurance for nurses and healthcare professionals. If you are not already insured, you are uncertain about purchasing a personal policy, or would simply like to learn more about personal medical malpractice insurance, then please read this article. Now, here”s the difference between the NCLEX RN and the NCLEX PN. 

*****

There are many reasons why an individual may be wondering about what the difference between the NCLEX PN and RN tests are. However, new nurses considering the differences between being an RN or LPN are possibly the most inclined to wonder. After all, you have to take at least one of these tests to become a nurse, and you probably want to know if they are radically different or if they are similar. Here is the difference between the NCLEX RN and the NCLEX PN exams. 

The Fundamental Differences Between the NCLEXs

The Fundamental Differences Between the NCLEXs

The first and possibly most obvious difference is who the tests are for. The NCLEX RN has been created for aspiring RNs, and the NCLEX PN has been created for aspiring LPNs. The next differences involve the differences  between the two nurse positions. For example, LPNs collect data about patients and only delegate to UAPs. On the other hand, RNs assess patients and they can delegate to both UAPs and LPNs. As a result the wording and content on both tests slightly alter to accommodate this. In addition, the NCLEX RN is the only test that has questions on topics such as blood, IV therapy, and TPN therapy. 

Are The Number of Questions on Each Exam Different? 

Are The Number of Questions on Each Exam Different?

Yes, the number of questions on the NCLEX RN and the NCLEX PN differ slightly. On the NCLEX RN you have the possibility of having to answer between 75 and 265 questions depending on the test taker. Meanwhile, on the NCLEX PN exam you may answer between 85 and 205 questions. Therefore, there is a small difference with the potential of the NCLEX RN having more or less questions depending on the test taker. This is due to their wider question amount range. 

Is The Content on Each NCLEX Different?

Is The Content on Each NCLEX Different?

The majority of content on both exams are pretty much the same. However, there are a few minor differences. The first is that wording on the two tests are different based on the differences in nature of the RN and LPN positions. For example, RNs are the only one out of the two that “assess patients”. In addition to this there are some minor changes entitled to sections depending on which test you take. However, the majority of the content in these sections is generally the same. 

The major content that is left out of the NCLEX PN and is included in the NCLEX RN are system specific assessments, hemodynamics, and illness management. In addition to this, the NCLEX RN is the only exam that involves questions on blood, IVs, and TPNs. Other than these topics, the two tests are very comparable and have extremely similar content. 

Do You Need to Study Differently Depending on Which NCLEX You Take?

Do you need to study differently depending on which NCLEX you take?

There are no differences in strategy that is recommended for studying for either NCLEX exam. The content of both exams are mostly the same. Of course, if you are planning on taking the NCLEX PN then you do not have to study the few topics that will not be on your exam. For example, LPNs do not need to worry about studying topics such as blood and IVs. If you are interested in NCLEX study tips, you may be interested in our previous article about that here

The Main Takeaway 

NCLEX test differences main takeaway

The main takeaway from all of this is that there are small differences between the NCLEX RN and the NCLEX PN. There is slightly different content due to the differences in nature between RN and LPN job titles. These differences in content include topics like blood, IV and TPN therapy, hemodynamics, illness management, and system specific assessments.

Otherwise the differences between the two tests are minor and only include trivial things like question wording and altered section titles. As a result the two exams are very comparable and require the same amount of studying. Of course, this excludes the topics that are only included in the NCLEX RN for NCLEX PN test takers. Regardless of which test you have to take, passing the NCLEX is an amazing achievement. Both exams also require a lot of work. Good luck if you are planning to take this exam soon, and congratulations if you have passed this test already. 

Top Ten Travel Nursing Hot Spots

Fabiah Blog is supported by Fabiah.com, where you can purchase affordable, comprehensive malpractice insurance for nurses and healthcare professionals. If you are not already insured, you are uncertain about purchasing a personal policy, or would simply like to learn more about personal medical malpractice insurance, then please read this article. Now, here is our list of top ten travel nursing hot spots!

*****

The great thing about being a traveling nurse boils down to one key component – it’s about the travel!  For those of us who love moving around and seeing the world, travel nursing is the profession of our dreams.  There are many travel destinations available, based on weather, activities, cost of living, and salary.  Therefore, I have gathered a list of my top ten travel nursing hot spots based on the number of travelers who inquire about each location every month.  Are you a travel RN scouting a new assignment?  Then I’d like to suggest the following ten “Hot Spots”.

1. Hawaii

This is the first item on our list of top ten travel nursing hot spots.  It’s no shock that Hawaii generates over 500 travel nursing inquiries per month.  The wide range of outdoor activities from snow-capped mountains to snow-white sandy beaches elevates Hawaii to one of those meccas. Here you can build a snowman or a sand castle all in one day.  Nurses tell me that you’ll discover virtually every type of outdoor activity imaginable—hiking trails that wind through erupting volcanoes, secret beaches, and lush green ranchlands.  Many travelers also hunt, mountain bike, go rafting, and golf on some of the world’s most extravagant courses.

2. Alaska

 Travel nurses are intrigued by the possibilities of Alaska’s rugged mystery.  Alaska is a huge wilderness with beautiful scenery. Luckily, travel nursing assignments offer plenty of time to see and do everything you want. Winter’s darkness under northern lights, or the glorious spring and summer where it’s light most of the time are both available. Outdoor enthusiasts enjoy Alaska for its wildlife, spectacular natural landscape, and fishing expeditions. The fish really are as big as the stories about which they’re told.  Countless day cruises and sightseeing expeditions abound, as well as opportunities to hike, kayak, canoe, ski… Need we say more?

3. Montana 

Whether photographer, adventurer, or both, Montana is truly a state that beckons with open arms.  River trips, fishing and camping, history, snowy mountain ranges, and waterfalls are what you’ll encounter. There is also plenty of open space to explore.  Assignments in Montana appeal to those who just need some time to break away from their city grind to enjoy marching to the beat of an entirely different drummer.  The Big Sky Country boasts some of America’s most famous mountains, canyons, river valleys, forests, grassy plains, badlands, and caverns. Many travelers find it just irresistible enough to keep coming back.

4. Maine 

Maine’s splendor has inspired artists like Georgia O’Keefe and three generations of the Wyeth family, since the mid-nineteenth century.   Travel nurses can’t resist at least one adventure in this charming getaway.  Whether you embark on outdoor adventures like skiing, or if you prefer the cozy ambience of antiquing through charming villages Maine is legendary. It offers some wonderful experiences.  Its’ unique culture is outdoorsy and quaint. In addition, you get to enjoy lobster as the locals do—fresh from the ocean! 

5. California 

 Warm weather and world-famous beaches make California a favorite choice for traveling nurses.  Nine-hundred miles of coastline gives nurses in all locations the chance to spend many hours near the waves; and for nature lovers, California is home to many wildlife parks, remote wilderness areas, and safe-havens for endangered animals.  If you’re an excitement junkie, you can scout out a wide selection of theme parks; and no matter what your taste in music, concerts abound in every type of venue. Historic sites and museums invite, as do five-star restaurants and clubs in which to see and be seen. The shopping is unparalleled, whether it’s trendy Melrose Place, La Jolla, or the strand in Venice Beach; and of course it’s home to Hollywood, and, yes, movie stars.  Whether northern, southern, or coastal locations, traveling nurses return to California time and again.

6. Washington 

The Evergreen State boasts the gorgeous Pacific Ocean, the Cascade Mountains, desert experiences, rain forests, towering volcanoes, glaciers, and lush wine country.  Washington State rates high on the list of many nurse travelers.  Must-sees are the Space Needle and Coulee Dam.  The culture here is incredibly diverse; sophisticated, outdoorsy, and loaded with resorts, history, parks, museums, and botanical gardens.  Whether touring downtown Seattle for cozy antique and book stores, exploring ancient Indian grounds, or hiking and biking mountains or trails, Washington holds a strong allure for many nurse travelers.

7. South Carolina 

Endless adventure, excitement, fun and exploration represent why South Carolina is always a favorite destination for travel nurses.  America’s oldest landscaped gardens frame mansions rife with historical heritage, in addition to pristine beaches and legendary marshy wetlands.  For all you golfers, with over 330 golf courses, there’s always a new place to swing your clubs.  However, what fascinates many traveling nurses is the rich heritage in which South Carolina has paved the roads of culture, art, and folklore in our past.  You can visit several historical areas and discovery centers of American history, including the American Revolution and the Civil War.

8. Colorado 

World-class winter skiing and summer music festivals in the mountains are just two reasons that nurses love traveling to Colorado.  Boasting four spectacular seasons, Colorado is where travel nurses get to explore the state’s 18 million acres of state and national parks, and forests. There are also monuments for biking, hiking, fishing, mountain climbing, and kayaking, to name a few.  Colorado has many cultural treasures. These include ancient Native American sites and dinosaur fossil exhibits, historic ghost towns, and even award-winning vineyards in Grand Junction.  For those who enjoy city life, amid all this natural beauty lie wonderful metropolitan areas like Denver and Boulder. These are full of shopping, performing arts, and professional sports.

9. Tennessee

 From energetic nights of blues on Beale Street, to gorgeous rolling acres of Tennessee Walker horse country, Tennessee is a vacation that offers many world-renowned attractions.  Nurse travelers who visit Tennessee will find that they’re within a day’s drive of 75-percent of the U.S. population via quality interstates and highways.  Attractions in Tennessee include the Jack Daniels’ distillery, Elvis’s Graceland, the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, and lots of southern hospitality.  And don’t forget the crown jewel of the southern Appalachians, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

10. Arizona

This is the final item on our list of top ten travel nursing hot spots. If you adore the outdoors, then the Grand Canyon State might just be for you.  The nurses who go there just rave about Arizona’s landscape. Here tall mountain ranges, swift rivers, grasslands, sand dunes, and cactus forests all set against a beautiful sky that glows pink in the sunsets. Those who enjoy history will find plenty of it here. Historical areas including Old West reformations, Native American nations, and Spanish-influenced areas lay all in one state.  Arizona is also home to the nation’s greatest golf courses, resorts, spas, cabins, and ranches.

As you can see, limitless possibilities exist for nurses who want travel, fun, and adventure as part of their daily lives.  If  you’re a nurse who travels and it’s time for you to move on to a new location, try one of these top travel nursing destinations and see what new experiences lie ahead.

Part 5 of EI and Nursing – Discovering Empathetic Listening

            Welcome back to Fabiah blog! In this part of the EI and Nursing series, we move on to the topic of empathetic listening, a skill with deep connections to Emotional Intelligence (EI). A full treatment of this topic will take two articles. In this one, we go into what sets empathetic listening apart; in the next we’ll talk about barriers to empathetic listening and ways to overcome them.

            Empathetic listening can be defined as the skill of listening in order to understand and connect. EI depends on this skill. Think of Tabitha’s first reaction to her patient at the start of this series, which showed us how figuring out what someone is feeling doesn’t happen automatically. It takes putting our EI to work, and it takes a particular kind of listening.

            All listening falls into one of two categories: passive or active. Passive listening is how we take in the news or a weather report. We’re just looking for information, and it probably doesn’t take our full attention to gather as much as we want. If we listen to people this way, we won’t be able to understand or connect with them very well. Doing so requires more than merely gathering information, it requires interaction.

            Active listening is listening with interaction. This would be someone concentrating on what you’re saying, making eye contact, and nodding for you to continue. Active listening takes us beyond merely gathering information and lays a good foundation for strong understanding and connection. However, it doesn’t necessarily go far enough. Consider someone who listens very closely to you, but only responds with criticism. By the way, the important thing is not that their response is negative; if you were their boss, they might praise instead of criticize. What’s important is that, though they listen very closely and actively, they’re not really interested in you and what you’re saying. Without that interest in you, they can’t have empathy.

            You won’t be surprised to find that empathy is what lies at the heart of empathetic listening. It’s right there in the name, because empathetic listening takes aim at the same target: to see things from another person’s perspective, to get into another person’s shoes. To some people this may not seem as important as just getting the information. However, consider how strong our desire is to be understood. It’s the main thing we want from close relationships and those we depend on when we’re vulnerable. When it comes to speaking and being listened to, we are often happy to be disagreed with and told we’re wrong, as long as we have first been understood.

            Empathy is so important to us, that when we talk about its benefits, we have to start with the benefit it is all by itself. Empathetic listening simply satisfies a deep human desire to be understood. Many further benefits follow. Empathetic listening creates trust through mutual understanding, improves communication, and facilitates teamwork. As for stress and work satisfaction, it’s clear that each could only be improved by experiencing our workplace as somewhere we felt connected and understood. You may have noticed how closely the benefits of empathetic listening overlap with those of EI. Especially when it comes to the emotions of others, EI cannot be separated from the understanding and connection of empathetic listening.

            So, empathetic listening sounds nice. In fact it sounds very nice. Empathetic listening goes beyond passive listening, beyond active listening, into deep understanding and connection with another person. It meets one of our deepest desires, it comes with many benefits, and yet, there’s not as much of it as we would like. What exactly could be standing in the way of empathetic listening?

            Next time we’ll look first at barriers to empathetic listening and then strategies that can help. What we’ll find is a serious challenge set before us. We’ll find that empathetic listening, like developing a strong EI and providing excellent care, is not easy, but still very much worth the effort.        

            Be sure not to miss our next article and the ways we can improve at empathetic listening! Type your email in the box below to receive the next article as part of Fabiah Blog’s weekly newsletter.

Stressed Out? Try Yoga!

Whether you are a nursing student, have just graduated and are picking up your first shifts, or are a veteran in the field, chances are you are put under a lot of stress. In addition to getting enough sleep and eating a healthy diet, yoga is a proven way to reduce your stress levels and improve your mood.  

Why Managing Stress is important

Working in a high stress environment everyday takes its toll on mental and physical health. In order to prevent this from happening, or to reduce stress related issues that are already there, it is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle with a consistent amount of calming activities. This is individualized and varies from person to person. The amount of maintenance you need is up to you. 

Yoga Helps Reduce Stress. But How Does It Work?

Yoga combines three main elements, each of which are proven to aid in stress reduction on their own. A quick tip for stressful situations would be to practice deep breathing and mindfulness on their own or combined if you can’t break out the yoga mat. 

Regulated Breathing: Taking deep, regulated breaths allows you to take in more oxygen per breath, which oxygenates your blood faster. This allows your heart rate to slow and, consequently, for you to relax. 

Light Exercise: It is no secret that exercising releases endorphins and makes you feel good. It also helps support a healthy lifestyle. 

Practicing Mindfulness: Racing thoughts are not uncommon after a stressful day, especially if you have a patient you are worried about. Practicing focusing your mind on breathing and body movement provides a good outlet for forgetting your worries.