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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. 

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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 Find the Best Job and Salary in Your New Nursing Career

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 how to find the best job and salary in your new nursing career. 

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Considering the current shortage of nurses, it would seem that finding your dream nursing job would be relatively simple. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Because of the competitive atmosphere in the healthcare industry, it takes time, energy and planning to find your perfect job. Taking a proactive stance in your career development is the best way to find your ideal position. Whether you are a recent graduate from nursing school or an established nurse, there are a variety of steps that you can take to build your perfect career. Here is how to find the best job and salary in your new nursing career.

Know exactly what you want

Of course, there is no guarantee that you will get it, but knowing what your dream job is, including the specialty, the shift and the pay, makes it much easier to decide if a posted job opening is the right one for you. You cannot expect the perfect job to fall into your lap, and by knowing what your goals are, you can make an educated choice when applying for a position.

Be ready to compromise

It is rare that one job that has everything an individual prefers. Even people that love their job have days when they do not want to put on their scrubs or dread heading to work. Your goal is to minimize those days, while still having a job that pays well and allows you to have a life outside your work. To effectively compromise, you have to know what is most important to you, and realize that this can change several times over your career. When you are fresh out of school, single, and ready to repay your student loans, money may be the most important factor. If so, working less desirable shifts that offer a shift differential can be very attractive and a smart decision. Ten years later, married and with children to shuttle to soccer practice or piano lessons, you may prefer less money but straight days and no overtime, again, a smart decision at the time. You cannot make these decisions, though, without having a clear set of priorities and the ability to compromise.

Develop a long term career path

While your long term plans may change over time, it is important to consider what you want out of life, and where you want nursing to take you. For some people, nursing is a stepping stone to a hospital management or supervisory role. For others, the hands-on nursing work is where their passions lie. Some individuals want to leave nursing and enter the nurse educator field, which is a fine career goal as well. Regardless of what your choice is, it will not happen overnight. Planning ahead is the best way to achieve your goal.

Continue your education

If you received your RN through a community college, and have an associate degree, you may want to consider taking courses to receive your B.S.N., if you have your B.S.N., you may want to take graduate level courses. With so many courses available over the internet and with limited class time, as well as the fact that many hospitals provide tuition reimbursement, it makes sense to continue your education.

Join local professional associations

The best way to stay up to date with what is happening in your industry is thorough local professional groups. They provide insider knowledge about what is going on at each hospital, and you will often find out about job openings before they are advertised. The benefit of networking with other professionals is understood in many industries, although the nursing industry has been slower to catch on. Networking provides you with the opportunity to make connections with many people that can later provide you with references, job leads or even emotional support.

Don’t burn any bridges

This is the final tip on our list of how to find the best job and salary in your new nursing career. No matter how much you hate your job, your coworkers or your boss, make sure to act professionally at all times. It doesn’t matter if you promise yourself that you will never work for them again or even if you are sure that you will never see them again, it is important not to burn any bridges. The healthcare industry is a small world. People move around, to different floors, different hospitals, and what feels like righteous indignation to you may sound like bad behavior to others.

A career in nursing can provide a lucrative and secure future. By taking the time to formulate a game plan, negotiate the things that are important to you, and continue your education, you will find that you are in a position to take advantage of your ideal career opportunity when it presents itself. If you do not know what you want, or think that you will recognize the perfect job when you find it, you will be disappointed. People that take this approach to their career often find themselves moving from job to job with no clear progression.

Why You Should Consider Becoming a Midwife

Becoming a midwife is perfect for those who are ambitious and have a passion for Women’s Health. You will need to be able to handle childbirth though. If you’re not squeamish; however, midwifery is an extremely rewarding career. Here are three reasons why you should consider becoming a midwife. 

You Have Long Term Patients  

Midwives often provide care throughout a pregnancy before aiding in the birth. This allows for them to really get to know their patients and establish trust. This is a great option if forming this relationship with patients is important to you. You may also see patients more than once if they have more children later on. 

Your Job Location May Vary  

As a midwife you get the option to work at a hospital or do house calls. This is great if you feel as if you need a variety of locations at work. However, if you prefer working in one place that’s ok too. Many midwives choose to only work at a hospital. 

You are Considered an Expert in a Field 

Midwives are considered to be experts in their field, and, because of this, they tend to be their own bosses. For some, this is an ideal work situation. If you feel comfortable making your own decisions in potentially stressful situations, then being a midwife may be the perfect fit for you.  

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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.

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Tips to Achieve a Healthy Work-Life Balance as a Nurse

Working too much or too little can have some serious consequences on your life. Working too little slows the establishment of your career and makes less money. Meanwhile, working too much causes stress and tends to make people burn out pretty quickly. Here are some tips to help create a healthy balance between work and home life. 

Stay Healthy

When you work in a demanding job it is crucial to remember to live a healthy lifestyle. This includes eating balanced meals, getting enough sleep, and exercising regularly. In addition, it may be important for you to have some time to yourself. This can be achieved through starting a hobby and exercising. 

Make Family Time a Priority

It is important to spend time with your family, especially if you have kids. Making family time a priority whenever you have time off from work will likely make both you and your family feel better. It is important to spend time with your significant other if you have one as well. Simply setting time away to spend time with them can make a huge improvement on a relationship. The feeling of missing that quality time whenever you are away will likely begin to diminish. 

Say No

Although saying no isn’t always an option in a career like nursing, there will always be some instances where you have a choice. It is important to refuse doing nonessential work activities if you do not want to do them, even if you may feel pressured to go along with it. Setting up these clear barriers will help to create a healthy balance between your work and personal lives. 

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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.

If you liked this article, send our weekly summary newsletter to your inbox! To subscribe, type your email in the box below. We promise no spam and no selling your contact info.

Why You Should Consider Becoming a Nurse Practitioner

Have you been thinking about going back to nursing school lately? Being a RN is great, but you do not need to stop there if you don’t want to. Here are three reasons why you should consider becoming a nurse practitioner. 

Personal Growth  

Graduating from nurse practitioner school is a huge accomplishment. There are not many people who go for a doctorate, let alone a doctorate in nursing. It’s a lot of hard work, but it’s hard work that definitely pays off. With a lack of nurse practitioners in the United States, chances are you will be able to get your dream job in your studied specialty. Not to mention, you also get paid a lot more.

More Responsibility  

Nurse practitioners can do many of the same things that those with traditional medical degrees can do. (besides surgery of course) However, this adds a lot of responsibility. As a nurse practitioner you are able to make an official diagnosis and prescribe medication. If this idea is exciting to you, then becoming a nurse practitioner might be your right career development. 

You Can open Your Own Private Practice 

Opening a private practice comes with a lot of benefits. Through running your own clinic you have the opportunity to make choices on your staff, equipment, and salary. You also get to make your own hours. If you don’t like the idea of working on the weekends, then you don’t have to. In addition to all of this, you get the chance to create the work environment that you want. Maybe a more laid back atmosphere with a close knit team is what the doctor ordered.  

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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.

If you liked this article, send our weekly summary newsletter to your inbox! To subscribe, type your email in the box below. We promise no spam and no selling your contact info.

Part 7 of EI and Nursing – Sympathy vs Empathy

            Welcome back to the Fabiah Blog series, EI and Nursing! This time we cover sympathy vs empathy as well as compassion. Next time, in our final article of the series, we will see one more surprising way that EI helps nurses.

            What if, by saying something nice, we made a patient feel worse? What if phrases like “It’s alright,” and “You won’t even miss your hair,” and “You’re just the strongest person,” were exactly what they did not want to hear?

            That’s exactly what a 2017 study found. Shane Sinclair and Kate
Beamer asked palliative cancer patients about the responses people had to their suffering. The patients described one category of response that was unhelpful, unwanted, and even made them feel worse. And those “nice” phrases mentioned above fall right into that undesirable kind of response. If these are unwanted responses, then why do we say them? And, what should we say instead? As we delve into these questions, recall what we’ve learned about Emotional Intelligence (EI) and empathetic listening. Both will help us make sense of the results of this study.

            Sinclair and Beamer found patients making a distinction between responses that expressed sympathy vs empathy

            Of sympathy, one patient said, “Sympathy is very easy, it’s an emotion, probably one of the easiest emotions to fake. I hate sympathy!”

            According to patients sympathy is:

  • Distant
  • Selfish
  • Unhelpful

            From the patients’ point of view, a sympathetic response was a distancing response. By expressing sympathy, a person kept the patient’s suffering at arm’s length.
Sympathetic responses often included mitigation of suffering – “It’s not so bad.” – or shifting focus – “You should think about the good things.” Patients noticed people used this distance for self-protection. By rebuffing difficult feelings like grief and fear, sympathy protected people from coming too close to the patients’ suffering, but left patients feeling alone and discouraged.

            Empathy was given an almost opposite profile. Patients described empathy as being:

  • Connected
  • Selfless

            Empathetic responses were marked by the attempt to connect with a patient’s suffering. Rather than protect themselves with quick and shallow responses, people who expressed empathy adjusted their attitudes and emotions to be more aligned with the patient. The patient’s emotion was given priority.

            Of empathy, one patient reported, “Empathy enters into another’s suffering … it’s just the ability to be there.”

            Connections to the sympathy/empathy distinction have appeared throughout the EI and Nursing series. For example, we saw that empathetic listening is the effort to understand and connect with another person, which is exactly what distinguishes empathy from sympathy. Or consider Emotional Intelligence, by which we correctly identify and effectively manage emotion; Sinclair and Beamer found that a person’s inability to process a patient’s suffering is what leads them to express sympathy instead of empathy. We could say that sympathy is stuck in the attention phase of EI, where we have a general awareness that something is wrong, we feel distress, but can’t get any further. Without moving on to the clarity and repair phases of EI, we’re left with the knee-jerk reaction of sympathy.

            Above we gave sympathy three markers and empathy only two. Why didn’t we describe empathy as helpful the way we described sympathy as unhelpful?
Because patients in Sinclair and Beamer’s study used a third word to describe a response that both connected with their suffering and looked for some way to help. The word they used was compassion. Whereas empathy might listen and connect but do nothing further, compassion wants to find something to do to alleviate patients’ suffering. 

            So, now we can say why those nice sounding phrases can make a patient feel worse. In sympathetic responses, patients sense a desire to disconnect, which leaves them alone with their suffering. So why do we sometimes express sympathy instead of empathy? Because sympathy protects us, because we’re thinking of ourselves. It’s the same barrier we covered last time, standing in the way of empathetic listening. On the positive side, the three strategies we covered in the previous article apply here as well. In place of sympathy we can ask questions that lead to connection, like “What are you feeling?” We can reflect: “You seem frustrated with your options.” And, we can help: “Is there some way I can make things better for you?”

            If we put into practice all we’ve learned in this series, we should find ourselves moving more and more from sympathy to empathy and, lastly, into compassionate care.

            We hope you enjoyed this discussion of sympathy vs empathy. Be sure not to miss our next article! Type your email in the box below to receive the next article as part of Fabiah Blog’s weekly newsletter.

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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.

Stores that offer Discounts to Nurses and Nursing Students

Whether you’re a registered nurse or nursing student, there are stores that offer you discounts. Here are some of them:

Here are some of them:

  • Allheart: Allheart offers reduced pricing on orders of nursing uniforms, medical scrubs, and other accessories.
  • Atera Spas: Atera Spas offer nurses and other medical personnel special discounts.
  • Discount Medical Supplies: Nurses can get free shipping on orders more than $100 from Discount Medical Supplies.
  • Turf Valley: Turf Valley offers up to 15% discount every Monday on spa service for registered nurses.
  • Avista Resort: Avista Resort in North Myrtle Beach offers discounted rates to nurses.
  • Cheeca Lodge & Spa: The Cheeca Lodge & Spa in Florida offers a 10% room discount to nurses after booking reservations online.

Why I Love My Nurse Job

We are posting below a short letter received from one of our youngest contributors. Thank you Quadri!

The nursing profession can be quite tasking. You have to dedicate more time to caring for patients. Nonetheless, I still love my nurse job. Here are some reasons:

Care for Others: Being a nurse offers me the opportunity to care for patients. I can also help people going through difficult challenges get through.

Make a Difference: As a nurse, I am always happy to help people and make a difference in their daily lives.

Enjoy My Line of Work: I enjoy simply being a nurse. It just makes sense to care for patients and show compassion. The field of nursing also promises continual career growth, education, and development.

What You Need to Open Your Own Private Practice

Opening up a private practice has been the dream of numerous nurse practitioners. However, this does not mean that it isn’t a daunting process. With tons of regulations and piles of paperwork, you may feel as if you don’t even know where to start. If you are getting discouraged, don’t worry. Here is a list of things to keep in mind when opening your private practice.

Know Your State’s Requirements

Every state has its own unique set of rules for private practices. For example, some states allow for nurse practitioners to open a private practice, but only if a physician is also on site. This is not required in every state, however. It is important that you learn all of your state’s guidelines as a first step. In every state nurse practitioners need to apply for an NPI number though. You can go through the process easily on Medicare’s website.

Write a Business Plan

Your private practice is a business, and before anyone opens any kind of business they need to write up their business plan. This includes things like picking your clinic’s location, deciding what equipment you want to have, and figuring out how much staff you need. You should also clearly state your goals for both the near and distant future. This provides an outline on how you want your business to grow over time. In the beginning, you may also want to think about how you are going to advertise and get the word out that your clinic is now open.

Get Everything With the Insurance Companies Squared Away

This includes insurance for your patients and yourself. Anyone who owns their own private practice should have malpractice insurance. You also need to decide which insurance companies you want to work with for your patients.

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Why You Should Consider Becoming a Travel Nurse

A majority of nurses have thought about becoming a travel nurse at some point in their careers, but what are some of the benefits? Is it really worth it? Here are three reasons why you should consider becoming a travel nurse, other than the obvious opportunity to travel the world of course. 


1. You Earn More Money and Benefits 

The obvious perk to this gig is that you get a bigger paycheck, but most of the time your travel expenses get reimbursed as well. Depending on where you choose to go, your cost of living may also be reduced.This allows you to save some extra cash. You are essentially being paid to travel. How cool is that?


 2. It Expands Your Career 

If you are just starting out, this is a great way to grow your career and build your resume. You are also likely to learn something that you wouldn’t have had the chance to at home. Gaining new experiences is an excellent tool for keeping skills sharp. You also get the opportunity to help communities and individuals who desperately need it, which may make your work seem more meaningful. 


 3. It Prevents Burnout

If you are showing signs of burnout and are dreading going to work, then it may be a good idea to change up your work environment and rekindle your passion. Oftentimes all it takes to cure the burnout blues is a change in routine. As mentioned before, helping communities who need extra assistance may make you feel as if you are making a larger impact. This tends to make people more motivated and passionate about the work that they are doing, reviving the excitement seen at the beginning of most nursing careers. You also have the chance to travel somewhere cool along the way!