Best Travel Nursing Advice

As you begin to think about starting your first contract as a travel nurse, you are faced with a lot of unknowns: “How do I even get started? Where am I going to live while on my assignment? How am I going to make friends in my new town? How do I adjust to my new shift? What’s included in my contract?” We’re here to help answer some of these initial questions and quell some of the anxieties associated with starting your travel nursing career. We’ve rounded up some of the best travel nursing advice out there and are here to share all the nuggets of wisdom with you.

Find a recruiter you really vibe with

Before you make the leap into travel nursing, the first step is finding a recruiter. But don’t settle for just any recruiter. Jackie S., an LTC RN with Premier, gives this travel nursing advice: “Find the best recruiter, build a relationship, and trust each other.” You should feel 100% comfortable sharing your goals, concerns, and preferences with your recruiter. A recruiter is there to support you in finding your perfect travel nursing assignment, and forming a strong relationship with them is key to getting exactly what you’re looking for in a contract.

Agents' Choice: Best Headset, Phone and Antivirus Software - Liveops

Read the fine print

A super important piece of travel nursing advice given by Darby F., RN, is to always read the fine print of your contract: “I have always told nursing students, ‘If you didn’t chart it, you didn’t do it.’ The same principle applies to your contract.” If something isn’t written in the contract, do not expect it to be implied. Be sure the contract lists your hourly or weekly rate, any housing stipends, the length of the contract, and has a clear outline of your role and responsibilities. The contract should also include: the start and end date of the assignment, the shift you will work, number of shifts per week, contracted hours for each shift, overtime rate, and limits, pay frequency, benefits, and stipends. Make sure everything written in your contract meets your expectations, and you’ll be good to go.

Do You Need a Contract for Freelance Work? | FlexJobs

Arrive early on the first day of your new assignment

Another great bit of travel nursing advice is to arrive 15-30 minutes early on your first day. There is no feeling worse than feeling rushed, especially when it is your first day as a first-time travel nurse. Give yourself plenty of time to arrive at work and get the lay of the land. You only get one time to make a first impression and arriving early will demonstrate to your coworkers and nurse manager that you’re prepared and reliable.

Amazon.com : Nursing Clipboard Foldable, Nurse Clipboard 3 Layers, Nurse Clipboard Foldable with Medical Sticker on it, Trifold Nursing Clipboard for Medical Students, Nurses (Black) : Office Products

Be flexible

Flexibility is a virtue in travel nursing. Kristy, a NICU RN, describes: I’m a very A-type person, I’ve always needed things planned out to feel comfortable. When traveling, all of that goes out the window. There are so many unknowns. The first few assignments, you’re scared. But then you get through it, and you gain confidence in your ability to adapt. After that, you’ll know that you can get through any obstacles thrown at you.”

Nurse Running Stock Photos, Pictures & Royalty-Free Images - iStock

Get to know your fellow travelers

Many nurses worry about being lonely on the road. After all, it’s a big step to leave your friends and family at home and head out on your first travel nursing contract by yourself. But you can relax knowing you won’t be the only traveler at your facility or in your area. There will be plenty of other people in the same situation who have the same excitement and fears about their assignment and are anxious to make new friends. Not sure where to start? Ask your recruiter for leads on other travelers in the area or check out our blog post full of travel nursing advice on how to avoid loneliness while on a contract.

5,672 Nurses Laughing Stock Photos, Pictures & Royalty-Free Images - iStock

Looking to travel with Premier? Apply below!


How to Effectively Communicate with Your Nurse Manager

Behold the nurse manager: the venerable head of your unit. Nurse managers are responsible for planning and directing operations on the floor of a hospital or clinic to ensure optimal patient care. They also maintain an authoritative role over all the other nurses working on the unit. During your career as a nurse, you will more than likely work under many different nurse managers with many different leadership styles. Building a professional rapport with your nurse manager and conveying your needs to them may seem daunting, but never fear- we have the tips and tricks you need to communicate with your manager like a pro.

Maintain Professionalism

As a nurse, you are likely to establish bonds and friendships with other RNs on your unit. Nurses often maintain a casual manner with one another when chatting in the break room or catching up in the hallways. However, when communicating with a nurse manager, it’s important to remember that they are your boss. Maintaining a professional manner with your nurse manager will help you communicate effectively with them and shows respect for their position. For some helpful nurse communication tips, read our blog post here.

Sometimes, nurses treat their managers as someone to vent to about work, or even about drama with coworkers. These types of conversations should be highly discouraged. However, if you are seeking managerial support to deal with certain behaviors on the unit, that would be an appropriate time to approach your nurse manager.

71,166 Nurses Talking Stock Photos, Pictures & Royalty-Free Images - iStock

Don’t Go to Your Nurse Manager to Solve a Problem You Could Solve Yourself

Nurse managers are often busy making sure the unit is running smoothly. When encountering roadblocks on the job, it’s important to ask yourself “can I solve this myself?” before approaching your nurse manager with an issue. Try to do everything you can to solve the problem independently before asking your manager for support. Being strategic with issues you bring to your nurse manager is a very important rule of thumb in establishing a good rapport with them.

Qualities of an Effective Nurse Leader | Carlow University Online

Be Self-Aware

Before bringing up an issue with your nurse manager, make sure you take an honest look at yourself. Self-reflection is important to set the appropriate frame of mind for a conversation with your manager. Before bringing up any situation to your nurse manager, look for any bias or personal agenda and consider possible trigger points that might cause an emotional reaction. Remember, the conversation should focus on the situation at hand and not personal emotions. It is also important to hold yourself accountable and be truthful about any wrongdoing you may have caused in the situation you are bringing to the attention of your manager.

Nurse manager vs. nurse leader: What's the difference?

Don’t Complain Behind Their Back

It’s okay if your nurse manager isn’t your best friend, or even your favorite co-worker. For most people, they aren’t. That said, if you don’t get along well with your manager, don’t go around spreading rumors or sharing personal information about them that could hurt their reputation or their feelings. Regardless of if you get along well with them or not, your nurse manager has likely worked hard to be in their current position. It reflects poorly on you as a nurse to engage in gossip and complain behind your manager’s back, not to mention tarnish your rapport with them.

Nurses having a conversation in the ICU | free image by rawpixel.com / Chanikarn Thongsupa | Women, Images of nurses, Medical

 Ask for Feedback

Constructive feedback exercises are a great way to connect with your nurse manager. Especially when starting a new role, you’ll benefit from even just a little bit of feedback, since it will help you build a good relationship with your manager. Doing so can help you understand your strengths and areas that need improvement.

The Most Important Qualities of a Successful Nurse Manager — Healthcare Staffing | WSi Healthcare Personnel

 

Highlights of 2022 According to Premier Staff

We are so proud and excited to look back on 2022 and round up some of our favorite moments as a team. This past year, we celebrated milestones, made memories on company outings, and grew through challenges. Check out what our corporate employees said were their highlights of 2022.

Amanda (Recruitment Manager):

Since I am a fully remote worker, my highlights of 2022 were the weeks that I came to work in the office! I especially loved our outdoor team bonding event where we ate pizza and played bags.

Regina (Client Manager):

My highlight was the Christmas party — it just really felt like one big family.

Samantha (Talent Acquisition Manager):

Starting work with Premier in October and getting the opportunity to work with some really great clinicians & even better coworkers!

John B. (Client Manager):

My highlight is just how great the Client Management team works together and how cohesive we are. I truly enjoy the team and the hard work we do.

 

Sarah (Talent Acquisition Manager):

I would say my biggest highlight of 2022 would be leveling up from TAM to TAM 1! I was able to achieve a higher headcount to be considered, collaborated with other team members, and presented a new submission process to the TAM and CM team as well as continuing to build on my professional development.

John S. (Compliance Specialist):

When I think of my 2+ months at Premier I always first think of the following…Positive People!

Janelle (Director of Marketing Operations):

My highlights of 2022 were getting involved in the community. This year, we participated in Salvation Army’s Adopt-A-Family program once again. Also, taking part in the Susan G. Komen Pink Walk was a very memorable group outing!

Lauren K. (Talent Acquisition Manager):

Getting a promotion to TAM 2 and being awarded to become a TAM Lead to Manager of two internal employees for the upcoming year!

Tim (Compliance Lead):

Starting with Premier was what I think to be my highlight of 2022. It’s been a fantastic experience.

Emily (Content Marketing Coordinator):

One of my Premier highlights of 2022 was attending the Best Places to Work luncheon! Representing Premier as one of the Milwaukee area’s best places to work was so special.

Lindsay (Director of Client Management):

My highlights of 2022 were: Seeing Brian be promoted, hiring Chelsea and Olivia to join John and Regina to start up the Long-Term Care division, and hitting our goal headcount.

Leigh (Talent Acquisition Manager):

This is a hard one. I think my highlights of 2022 all simply involve being a part of the Premier team. Everyone has been so great to me, especially during my surgery and radiation. I’m lucky to be on a team that is so helpful, supportive, and accommodating.

Cailey (Talent Acquisition Manager):

I would have to agree with Tim in that starting at Premier was AMAZING. I truly loved all of the bonding and fun I have had with our corporate team. Another favorite of mine is how many amazing connections I have made, both on the corporate side as well as nurses!

Meaghan (Digital Marketing Strategist):

Overall, the in-office-shenanigans were top tier! Loved the rock-climbing outing and all of the 20th Anniversary celebrations too.

highlights of 2022 rock climbing premier

Are you ready to join the Premier corporate team? See our open positions and apply here!

Healthcare Predictions for 2023

2023 is right around the corner, and it is anticipated that it will usher in new challenges and focuses in medicine. Not only will technological advancements continue to enhance the way patients are treated, the way organizations treat their clinicians will need to change as well. No doubt, it will be a year of significant change for healthcare workers and administrators around the world.

Prediction #1: AI Will Continue to Gain Traction

Artificial intelligence will continue to drive healthcare innovation in 2023, and care providers (as well as clinicians) will need to seek training and education to adjust to this quickly evolving landscape. One exciting new way artificial intelligence will support doctors and nurses is by revolutionizing the capture and analysis of surgical video. Touch Surgery™ Enterprise, the first AI-powered surgical video management and analytics platform for the operating room, is on the cutting edge of the AI-in-healthcare revolution. Studies show that video analysis can improve surgeon performance, and Touch Surgery Enterprise makes it easier to connect operating rooms to the cloud to seamlessly record and upload video and uncover new insights. The device uses AI to automatically upload surgical videos without the need for USB drives, DVDs or encrypted drives so surgeons, surg techs, and nurses can access and analyze surgical videos more easily. In 2023, healthcare workers will see the implementation of more technologies like this to enhance the quality of diagnostics and patient care.

Contributed: The power of AI in surgery | MobiHealthNews

Prediction #2: COVID’s Impact Will Continue

In 2023, especially during the winter, COVID will continue to make its way through the United States and will remain a part of the national healthcare landscape. We are already seeing full ERs in many cities due to COVID surges, and while the majority of the country is adapting to “post-COVID-life,” nurses are still feeling the burden of cases rising this season along with the flu and RSV. Due to this, healthcare providers will continue to focus on the downstream effects of COVID, and we will see a push toward preventative healthcare and chronic disease.

On the bright-side, COVID-mediated innovations in the healthcare system, like the broad adoption of telehealth, will be here to stay with increased resources to support it.

Biweekly confirmed COVID-19 cases per million people, Dec 20, 2022

Source: ourworldindata.org

Prediction #3: Healthcare Organizations Will Focus on Solving Clinician Burnout

In 2023, healthcare organizations will be forced to look at the underlying causes for burnout in their systems. They will hopefully realize what many of us have known for a long time: that being a worker on the frontlines of today’s healthcare landscape is taking a toll on the mental health of clinicians. And because of the heightened need to retain employees, healthcare organizations will begin to fix it. This may look like: promoting and honoring clinicians in an authentic way, making significant changes to the daily life of clinicians with a renewed focus on self-care, providing more flexible scheduling options, and promoting equity in benefits across the board for employees. Acknowledging that clinicians are the product in most healthcare organizations, there will hopefully be a significant shift in focus on the person rather than the profit.

Provider team burnout: undoing the human and organizational damage | Healthcare IT News

Takeaways:

While the expansion of technology and impact of the pandemic are certainly central to the future of healthcare, I believe that the most important focus for healthcare organizations will be on enhancing the lives of their clinicians. Nurses are at the heart of healthcare administration, and it will become more and more important to boost clinician retention and reduce burnout.

Continuing Your Nursing Education: Where to Start

Nursing is a career that involves lifelong learning. The healthcare field is constantly evolving and improving through research and advancements in technology, and continued education is vital to staying abreast to the most updated nursing techniques. Here are a few things to consider as you start to start to think about continuing your nursing education- you never know what a positive difference it can make in how you practice.

The Importance of Continued Education for Nurses

Continuing your nursing education can not only afford you the opportunity to learn and advance your techniques in patient care, but also open you up to career growth. Continued education, or CE, is the best way to absorb and apply the latest developments in nursing. Not all states require continued education for license renewal, but some employers require specific refresher courses for those returning to the field after being inactive for a while. Additionally, some employers may require specific CE or nursing specialty certifications necessary for maintaining employment or advancement. To view the CE requirements in your state, visit this page.

doctor and nurse talking

Varieties of Continued Education

In terms of continuing your nursing education, opportunities abound. No matter what type of CE sparks your specific interests, you can enroll in classes that will advance your career and grow your skills.

Skills-based education

CE courses can cover specific skills-based information, or “hard skills,” such as venipuncture, telemetry, life-saving techniques, IV management, and other critical areas of clinical knowledge.

“Soft” skills education

Growing your nursing “soft skills” is equally important to learning and applying clinical skills. CE for soft skills include lessons in communication, cultural competency, LGBTQ healthcare, patient privacy, grief and loss, and a plethora of others. In the ever-changing world of medicine, these are critically important areas in which nurses can grow their expertise, and such knowledge can translate to higher quality of patient care.

Community and societal issues

Each day, nurses deal hands-on with societal challenges that affect patient populations. These can include addiction and substance abuse, suicide, food and housing insecurity, and domestic violence. CE courses addressing these subjects lead to nurses feeling more in touch and informed when dealing with the struggles faced by the communities they work in.

New study reveals female & minority college students have to fight for online instructors' attention – Latina Lista: News from the Latinx perspective

What type of continued education fits your goals?

While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to continuing your nursing education, there’s a CE track that will match your specific nursing goals and lifestyle.

Master’s Degree

Masters in Nursing (MSN) programs prepare nurses for a variety of advanced roles in administration, teaching, research, and direct patient care. Nurses at this level are in high demand as clinical nurse leaders, nurse managers, educators, health policy consultants, researchers, and many other roles. Most RN-to-MSN programs take 30-36 months to finish, and you can choose between an online or in-person course of study.

Online Classes and Webinars

The most popular form of CE is online classes and webinars. Perfect for travel nurses and nurses with super-packed schedules, online classes offer so many opportunities for those who want to advance their skills and knowledge on their own time.

Live Events and Trainings

Live seminars and in-person trainings provide hands-on CE to any nurse looking to stay proficient and up to date in patient care. Many state-mandated CE courses are in-person, such as CPR re-certifications and IV skills classes. Not only are in-person events great for learning and practicing skills in real-time, but they also provide opportunities for networking with other clinicians.

Certifications and Specialty Advancement

If you are looking to advance or change your specialty, there is CE to help you get to that next step. For example, if you are a med-surg RN looking to expand into pediatrics, you can check online for a course of CE that will help you get your CPN (Certified Pediatric Nurse). There are specific requirements and trainings for each certification and specialty, so be sure to check the resources below before diving in.

Will free medical school lead to more primary care physicians? | AAMC

CE Resources

Continuing your nursing education will be a breeze with the right tools at your disposal. Check out the following sites to jumpstart your CE journey.

NurseCEU.com
Free CE Activities from AACN
Continuing Education Courses from ANA

Legal Concepts Nurses Should Know

On top of mastering the hundreds of nursing terms and abbreviations, it’s equally important to learn certain legal concepts as a new RN. I know what you’re thinking: “hey, I went to nursing school not law school.” However, you’d be surprised how many legal implications there are for nurses that affect everyday care. While you may be familiar with a few of them, here’s a crash course in the legal concepts nurses should know.

Confidentiality and HIPAA

Patient confidentiality is one of the most referenced legal concepts nurses should know. HIPAA, or the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, went into effect in 1996 in an effort to standardize electronic health transactions and give patients greater control over their health information (via Beyond the HIPAA Privacy Rule). Throughout the course of the nurse-patient relationship, nurses become privy to vast amounts of patients’ health data. As outlined in the American Nurses Association Code of Ethics for Nurses, all nurses are responsible for safeguarding this data and maintaining patient confidentiality. Sharing patient information with unauthorized individuals, whether via email, social media, or through casual conversation, violates HIPAA and can result in serious consequences for the liable party.

Negligence and Malpractice

Negligence

As the name suggests, nursing negligence occurs when a patient experiences unintended harm due to a nurse’s mistake or omission in care (via NursingProcess.org). This can refer to: failing to properly monitor a patient and missing a change in their vital signs, incorrect administration of medication, or not noticing a drug reaction or allergy on a patient’s chart.

Malpractice

Malpractice and negligence are similar terms that are often used interchangeably but have one important difference. While negligence refers to an unintentional failure to provide care, malpractice is considered intentional. Nursing malpractice occurs when a nurse knowingly and willfully does not follow the proper standard of care and the patient experiences harm as a result. For example, administering the wrong medication or wrong amount of medication, not feeding a patient, not notifying the provider about crucial patient information, or charting false information about the patient’s status.

An RN can be held liable for negligence and malpractice when their actions result in serious outcomes like injury or death of a patient, which is why it is among the most important legal concepts nurses should know about before starting their careers.

Mandatory Reporting

Nurses have the status of mandated reporters, which means that when they witness abuse or neglect, they must report it through the appropriate channels. Vulnerable populations such as children, the elderly, and victims of abuse are often unable to independently seek help, and count on nurses for assistance. Whether a nurse notices signs of abuse in a patient, or a patient divulges that they have been abused, the nurse is required to report it to law enforcement. To read more about mandatory reporting and to see your state’s mandatory reporting laws, check out this resource via ChildWelfare.gov.

Battery

Although you may think of a fist fight or beating when you hear the word “battery,” its legal definition in relation to nursing is quite different. Battery is defined as “touching someone without their consent” according to RegisteredNursing.org.  This is why nurses should always ask for consent before proceeding with any physical touching associated with patient care. Patients reserve the right to deny any physical interaction or treatment by a healthcare provider. Battery is one of the legal concepts nurses should know because if a clinician touches a patient without their proper consent, it can sometimes result in a battery allegation.

Invasion of Privacy

The legal definition of “Invasion of Privacy” is: the intrusion into the personal life of another, without just cause (via dictionary.law.com). Hospitals are busy places, and in the course of routine procedure, many patients have their privacy violated. Examples of invasions of privacy may include sharing the results of a test in front of family members or other patients without permission, leaving digital health records open for non-medical personnel to access, or gossiping about a patient’s health condition on social media. It is crucial to remember invasion of privacy when talking about work with your friends who are outside the medical profession because you never know when divulging patient information, even in the most casual of conversation, can result in a lawsuit.

Consequences of Breaking the Law in Nursing

These legal concepts nurses should know are invaluable because you can face serious consequences as a result of breaking the law on the job. While the implications vary widely based on the accusations, nurses may face the following:

  • Loss of trust by patients, colleagues, and employers
  • Unpaid leave from work
  • Demotion
  • Job termination
  • Criminal charges
  • Heavy fines or penalties
  • Loss of any specialized board credentials and certifications
  • Cancellation of licensure on a temporary or permanent basis
  • Jail time

Going into your shift each day with a heightened awareness of the legal responsibilities of being a nurse is a great way to elevate your level of patient care and performance as an RN. These legal concepts are reminders of the ethical and moral weight being a nurse carries, and how much rides on following the law.

How to Make Temporary Housing Feel Like Home

After securing a travel assignment, the first order of business is finding housing in your new city. Your travel nurse agency should be able to help you arrange short-term housing, which can come in range of options. These include apartments with variable lease terms, sublets, extended stay hotels, and even vacation-type rentals through Airbnb or Vrbo. But all of them have one thing in common—they’re transitional, and by nature, living in them feels a lot different than home-sweet-home. Here are a few tips on how to make temporary housing feel like home when you’re on a travel assignment.

Put Away the Suitcases!

Living out of a suitcase is not only hard, but it’s a daily reminder that you’re living in flux. To combat this, make an effort during the first week of your assignment to completely unpack your suitcases and place everything in drawers and cabinets. Feeling like all your belongings have their place in your new living space will go a long way to make temporary housing feel like home.

Bring Photos

Personal photos are fantastic additions to your new home and will immediately cozy up the place. Surrounding yourself with pictures of friends, family, and places that bring you joy will make you feel comfortable in your new living situation. Instead of busting out the hammer and nails, grab a few tabletop frames for your photographs so you don’t have to make any holes in the wall of your rental. An even more travel-friendly option is bringing a photo album that you can place on the coffee table or nightstand.

Invest in a Houseplant

A surefire way to make temporary housing feel like home is to add a little green to your living space. Check out the local garden store and pick up a couple low-maintenance houseplants or succulents.  Having indoor plants is proven to not only improve the air quality of your space, but also reduce stress.

Use a Furniture Rental Service

When it comes to temporary housing, furniture is one big question mark. Landing a furnished space is not guaranteed, and the last thing you want to do is haul all your furniture to a temporary space, or God forbid, buy all new stuff. This is exactly where furniture rental services like CORT and Inhabitr come in. These services specialize in helping people furnish their temporary homes without stress. You simply select the stuff you need (bed frame, couch, coffee table), and like magic, your furniture appears! Best part? It’s super budget-friendly! You can rent a high-end sofa starting at only $35 a month.

Meet Your Neighbors

Getting to know to your new neighbors is a great way to both combat loneliness on your travel assignment and make temporary housing feel like home. It’s nice to know the people around you, even if you’re not going to be living near them for long. Offer up a friendly smile and an introduction when you first run into them so you can establish a camaraderie. Oftentimes, staffing agencies will place their clinicians in the same apartment buildings or hotels, so you may even meet fellow nurses. You don’t have to actively try to make any sustainable friendships (though certainly do so if you want!) but having a few friendly acquaintances around is a big step in feeling more settled and secure in a living environment, and particularly a short-term rental. While traveling with Premier, our nurses keep up with one another via our Facebook group, which is another great way to meet fellow travel RNs.

Splurge on Little Things that Bring You Joy

Think about what makes you smile when you’re at home and bring more of those little things into your temporary space. It could be a scented candle, plush bathrobe, pretty cutting board, or bobblehead of your favorite sports player. Little tchotchkes from local shops (yes, Target is ok too) are great additions to any travel RN’s living space. As long as these things make you happy, having them around are sure to make temporary housing feel like home.

Looking for a new travel assignment? Apply with Premier!


Common Nursing Terms & Abbreviations: A Guide for New Nurses

You’ve waited for this moment for years: finally getting your very first hospital job after nursing school. While many new nurses are feeling on top of their game after completing all the requirements of their certification, that first day on the job can be overwhelming, especially when all the veteran nurses are shooting around phrases and words you don’t know or don’t recall from your textbooks. Don’t worry, we’ve got your back. For a refresher on common nursing terms, check out this list and be ready to tackle that assignment like you’ve been on the job for years.

Code Blue

“Code blue” is one of the most important common nursing terms that a new RN should know. When you hear “code blue” on the hospital floor, it means that a patient is experiencing an unexpected cardiac or respiratory arrest, requiring rescue and resuscitation measures. It is a hospital-wide alert, so chances are you will unfortunately hear more than a few “code blues” in your time as a nurse.

Peds

Pronounced “peeds,” this is nursing shorthand for the pediatric unit of a hospital.

SOPs

Standard operating procedures.

Crash Cart

A “crash cart” is a mobile shelving unit used in hospitals for transporting and dispensing emergency medication and equipment. “Crash cart” is one of the most common nursing terms since there is no other or “official” name for it. This is extremely important for a new nurse to know because crash carts contain life-saving tools that are essential in any unit.

Tachy

“Tachy” refers to tachycardia, or rapid heart rate. Tachycardia can sometimes indicate serious illness in a patient.

Noc

Nocs,” or “nocts,” (short for nocturnal) is one of the most common nursing terms you will hear as you start your career. The “noc” shift refers to the night shift, which in most hospitals is 7 PM to 7:30 AM or 6 PM to 6:30 AM. Before taking your first noc shift, check out these tips for adjusting to working nights.

DX

Diagnosis.

Vitals

Vital signs of a patient. These include body temperature, pulse rate, respiration rate, and blood pressure.

ADR

ADRs stand for adverse drug reactions. It is super important to know if your patient has any ADRs listed in their chart before treating them.

Hat

In nursing, a “hat” is not something you want to wear on your head. A hat is a device that fits into the patient’s toilet to collect samples to screen for cancers or other illnesses.

Sundowning

The term “sundowning” refers to a patient’s state of confusion or disorientation occurring in the late afternoon and lasting into the night. Sundowning in patients is often caused by Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. If you notice a patient getting confused, anxious, or agitated at night after seeming normal all day, they may be sundowning. Sundowning can also lead to pacing or wandering.

Ready to jumpstart your nursing career? Apply with Premier!



6 Tech Must-Haves for Nurses

While many of the classic nursing essentials (stethoscope, bandages, etc.) have been around for over a hundred years, there is a new generation of gadgets out there —and they make nurses’ lives much easier. These tech must-haves for nurses are here to assist you both on your shift and at home and can make even the most hectic days on the job that much easier.

1. Theragun Massager

A good muscle massager like the Theragun will help you recover faster after long days on your feet running around your unit. The Theragun is especially useful for nurses who exercise regularly and want to avoid being sore at work. Try the Theragun Mini, a portable version of the regular Theragun, to keep in your nursing bag or backpack so you can always have access to sweet muscle relief on the go.

tech must-haves for nurses

2. Smart Watch

Lots of clinicians swear by their smart watches, which is why they are among the top tech must-haves for nurses. Whether you want to check your heartrate, read texts, count your steps, or even schedule appointments, you can do it all from your wrist with a smart watch. This is extremely handy for nurses since smartphone access may be limited to break time, depending on your unit. Check out an Apple Watch or a Samsung Galaxy Watch to see what all the hype is about.

3. Amazon Blink Camera

Whether you’re concerned about home protection or just want to check to see what your pet is up to, a mini security camera is a great tool for nurses to have peace of mind while working a long shift. The Amazon Blink Mini is a budget-friendly USB camera that you can place anywhere inside or outside your house to monitor activity on your smartphone. It’s among the top tech must-haves for nurses because it is so easy to set up, and even has a two-way audio system so you can project your voice from the camera remotely (I use it to say hi to my puppy while I’m at work). This is a great feature for travel nurses with pets. See how it works with a tutorial on YouTube and see pricing on Amazon.

This is how I watch my puppy, Stanley, via the Blink Mini.

4. Coffee Mug Warmer

Many clinicians find it difficult to get through a long shift without their reliable cup of joe. However, nurses are always getting called away to deal with one thing or another, and often come back to the break room only to find that their cup of coffee has gone cold. This mug-warming coaster can help solve this age-old problem. This electric disk plugs into an outlet or USB port on a computer and emits just enough heat to keep your coffee (or tea) at the perfect temperature.

 

5. UV Light Smartphone Sanitizer

Even if you can’t use your phone during your shift, do you still feel like it’s bringing hospital germs back to your house? Turns out, your scrubs aren’t the only things you need to disinfect upon returning from your shift. Did you know that the average smartphone is 10 times dirtier than a public toilet seat? Simply wiping the device down with a wet cloth isn’t always going to cut it, especially since clinical settings expose your phone to a lot of germs. If you’d like to give your phone a more thorough cleaning, consider getting the PhoneSoap smartphone sanitizer, one of the most logical tech must-haves for nurses. This simple device uses ultraviolet light to clean the phone as it charges. Plus, it’s portable enough to bring anywhere you go. Your immune system will thank you!

6. Tracking Tiles

As a nurse, you have a lot of things to remember at all times and it’s easy to misplace your phone, keys, or wallet during times of stress (especially if you’re adjusting to a new sleep schedule). If you’re constantly losing essentials, you should consider getting a set of GPS tracking tiles to attach to them. These devices hook onto keys and bags and slide into wallets so that important items will never go missing again. If you can’t find something, open the related smartphone app and activate the tracker, which will cause the item to beep until you can locate it.

Tips for Eating Well on a Travel Nursing Assignment

As a nurse, you always encourage patients to eat a well-balanced diet to maintain a healthy body. But do you struggle following your own advice? Eating well on a travel nursing assignment can be challenging for some clinicians. Between 12-hour shifts, commuting, and getting used to a new city, it’s easy for healthy eating to fall to the wayside. But we’re here to help you make nourishing your body a priority, and most importantly, an easy goal to achieve on a travel assignment.

Designate one day a week as “grocery day”

Hate coming back from work with no food in the fridge? You’ll never let your fridge go empty when you designate one day a week to restocking your necessities. Eating well on a travel nursing assignment means always having nutritious food staples stocked.

If going to the store is a hassle for you, try a grocery delivery option like Instacart and let the groceries come to you.

eating well on a travel nursing assignment
Subscribe to a meal delivery service

If you’ve been looking for an alternative to meticulously planning out your dinners each week, a meal delivery service may be a good solution. Services like HelloFresh and Blue Apron will send you healthy, pre-portioned ingredients for meals you pick each week, and most can be ready in 30 minutes or less. This is a great way to cut down on grocery trips, reconnect with your inner chef, and eat delicious, restaurant-quality food.

Meal prep

Many nurses rely on meal prepping to take the guesswork out of eating well on a travel nursing assignment. Prepping your lunches or dinners for the week ahead allows you to ensure you’re getting adequate nutrition for your day without having to worry. Set aside one day to prep easy meals and be good to go for the week. For some meal prep ideas, head to this article.

Set attainable nutrition goals

No matter what “eating well” means to you, you should always make it a priority to put your body’s needs first. Whether you’re working on gut health, mindful eating, or simply fitting in more greens, write down your goal and put it somewhere visible in your kitchen to keep your objective in mind when choosing what to eat. This is as simple as putting a post-it on the fridge that says something like “don’t forget your veggies!” Practicing one meatless day a week is another great goal for nurses who are looking to become more eco-conscious while eating healthfully.

Choose local

Who doesn’t love ordering delivery? Eating well on a travel nursing assignment doesn’t always have to involve cooking and meal prep. If you’re treating yourself to a delivery meal, make sure to support local restaurants. For delicious local food on the go, hit up a food truck. If you’re in a town with a farmer’s market, hop over there to grab your produce and other essentials. Not only is locally grown food fresher and more delicious, but you also support local agriculture by shopping at the farmer’s market.

Looking for a new travel assignment? Apply with Premier!