Tips for Working the Holiday Shifts

Christmas Stethoscope

For most, the holiday season is a time to gather with loved ones and celebrate. It’s a time for cheer, joy, and relaxation. Unfortunately, the magic of the holiday season doesn’t stop people from getting sick and needing medical attention. This means that many dutiful, caring nurses and other medical professionals must work on the days that most people spend with their families.

This can be disheartening for many nurses. However, with some preparation and a few small changes, you can fulfill your duties as a nurse without sparing any holiday cheer. Here are just a few ways to keep the joy this season.

1. Celebrate on Off-Days

“A holiday is whenever a family can be together,” Diane Speranza, RN told Monster.com. We can’t help but agree. Try to plan family gatherings and traditions on days you will not have to work. This way, you won’t feel like you’ve missed out on all of the fun.

Alternatively, you can plan to celebrate major holidays, like Christmas, before you leave for your shift or when you get home.

2. Ask Your Family to Lend a Hand

As great as the holidays can be, they can get stressful at times. Don’t be afraid to ask your family for help planning, shopping, cooking, and decorating. A little delegating can go a long way for your emotional health.

3. Get Into the Spirit

If your workplace allows, wear holiday-themed clothing and accessories. Scrubs with candy canes, snowflake earrings, or reindeer antlers can help to make the season bright. This works especially well if you work with children.

4. Share the Holiday with Your Patients

Chances are, your patients aren’t having their ideal holiday. Nobody imagines spending the holidays needing medical attention. However, a little joy and some good tidings from a kind nurse can put a smile on any patient’s face. Happy patients make happy nurses.

5. Look on the Bright Side

Often, employers will pay higher for holiday work or even provide free meals on Christmas and Thanksgiving. Other times, the staff may make their own holiday cheer. It may not be the same as being with your family on that special day, but concentrating on the good things can help make the shift much easier.

Do you have any other tips you would add to this list? Let us know. For more tips, information, and humor follow NurseCore on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Energizing Snacks for Nurses

It takes a lot of energy to be a nurse. From being on their feet for hours on end to helping patients and running to the rescue, nurses put their bodies through a lot. It’s a tough job, but so worth the fulfillment that comes from helping others.

Unfortunately, many nurses tend to put their own health on the back burner while tending to the needs of others. Many healthcare providers turn to vending machine goodies for a quick burst of energy, and it’s easy to see why. When you’re working hard on a 12-hour shift with no time for a proper break, even the most lackluster candy bars begin to sound amazing.

But there’s a better way. Here are a few make-ahead snacks that are as delicious as they are energizing.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Energy Bites

Snack 1

You don’t have to give up chocolate or peanut butter to get the energy you need. These delicious bites are simple to make, easy to carry around with you, and really put some pep in your step. Substitute sunflower butter in place of peanut butter for an allergy-friendly recipe. Find the recipe here.

No-Bake Cheerio Bars

Snack 2

This no-bake recipe turns a few simple ingredients into something incredible. It calls for a winning combination of plain Cheerios, honey, almond butter, flaxseed meal, dark chocolate, and coconut oil. Better yet, this recipe will only set you back 100 calories per bar. Find the instructions here.

Superfood Gummies

Snack 3

This recipe calls for only four ingredients: water, a tea bag, gelatin, and some sweetener. You’ll get the energizing boost of a cup of tea, without taking the time to sip on it. Get the full recipe here.

Pumpkin Spice Latte Bites

Snack 4

If you prefer lattes to tea, this one’s for you. These bites are vegan, gluten free, dairy free, and paleo-friendly. Most importantly, they are awesome. Find the recipe here.

Candied Apple Granola Bars

Snack 5

These homemade granola bars are free from sugar, dairy, and gluten, but full of flavor. Make one batch of these and have snacks for the whole week. They would even be suitable for a breakfast on the go. Find the recipe here.

What’s your go-to healthy snack? For more helpful hints, make sure to follow NurseCore on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

5 Myths About Nurses that Should be Busted

On September 14, 2015, “The View” co-host Joy Behar carelessly asked why a nurse in the Miss America contest was wearing a “doctor’s stethoscope.” Many people in the nursing community were outraged by the insensitive comment. While the emotional reaction is certainly understandable, it’s important to think about why Behar would have such a fundamental misunderstanding of nurses’ role in healthcare.

The fact of the matter is that there are still many terrible myths about nursing that the general public believes. On top of the challenges nurses expect to face in their line of work, they must also deal with the fact that many people have little understanding and respect for the lifesaving work that they do. Here are just five of the biggest myths about nursing that need to be busted.

Myth #1: Nursing is for People Who Couldn’t Handle Being a Doctor

Fact: Nursing is a Deliberate Career Choice

Nursing School

It’s rare to come across a nurse who has never been asked why they didn’t become a doctor instead. This seemingly innocuous question comes from the misconception that nursing is simply a fallback for people who couldn’t make it as doctors. The truth is the decision to be a nurse is a conscious career choice that requires dedication.

This myth is further perpetuated by the idea that nursing is somehow easier than being a doctor. However, all people in the medical field face challenges that nobody else must face. Dentists, surgeons, paramedics, and nurses all take on uniquely difficult situations in their day-to-day lives.

Myth #2: Nurses Have Only One Career Path

Fact: Nurses Have Many Career Options Available

Group of nurses

Some people believe that once you get your nursing license, you are destined to stay at a hospital or doctor’s practice for the rest of your career. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Many nurses practice home healthcare, work in skilled nursing facilities, or even go on to teach.

There are also over 100 specialties for nurses to choose among. From hospice to hematology, and from neonatal to neurology, nurses can choose to specialize in a variety of areas. Throughout a nurse’s career, he or she may change settings or specialties a number of times.

Myth #3: Nursing is Only Grunt Work

Fact: Nurses Play an Important Role in Healthcare Decisions

Nurses save lives

It’s true, nurses do some of the things that nobody else wants to do. They leave work with stories that would gross out anyone else. However, that’s not all that nurses do. They are an important part of the medical team.

Nurses provide comfort, give life-saving medication, and sometimes have to make quick decisions to save a patient. There’s no possible way to boil nursing down into “just” one thing; nurses do anything and everything they can to provide exceptional medical care.

Myth #4: Only Women are Nurses

Fact: 6% of Nurses are Male

Male nurse

There is nothing about the nursing profession that requires nurses to be women. In fact, 6% of nurses are men. While that number is certainly low, it is steadily rising. As the stigma against male nurses starts to fall, more and more men are joining this honorable profession.

Myth #5: We Have Enough Nurses

Fact: Nursing is a Growing Profession

Help Wanted!

As baby boomers age, the need for healthcare staff will continue to grow. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has projected that Registered Nursing will be among the fastest-growing jobs through 2022. In fact, NurseCore is consistently looking for passionate and talented people to join our team.

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Share this with your friends and we can bust these myths together. For more information, tips, and nursing humor, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

How to Survive the Night Shift as a Nurse

It’s no secret that night shift nurses have many challenges to overcome. They work while the world sleeps, sleep while the sun shines, and face the dreaded full moon every month. However, with a few adjustments, many nurses find working the night shift to be a rewarding and enriching part of their career. Here are a few tips on how to survive and thrive as a night shift nurse:

Prioritize Sleep

Tired Nurse

Working while the moon is out and sleeping while the sun is up is no easy task. It can throw your circadian rhythm out of balance. That’s why it’s so important that night shift nurses prioritize sleep. Ensure that you get eight full hours of sleep without interruption each day.

You need to trick your body into thinking it is nighttime. Turn off anything that emits much light, including the television, and outfit your bedroom with blackout curtains. Keep the noise levels to a minimum. This will help you stay more alert in the waking hours.

Enjoy Some Coffee

Nurses drinking coffee

The amount of caffeine in two cups of coffee per day can keep you awake and alert without disrupting your sleeping patterns. Any more caffeine than that has the potential to make sleeping more difficult, thus perpetuating the need for caffeine. If you are currently having more than the equivalent of two cups of coffee per day, consider slowly reducing your caffeine intake.

Eat Well

Nurse and Salad

When hunger strikes during the night shift, the results can be frustrating. Typically, night shift nurses will have a harder time finding food during their shift. That’s why it’s important that these nurses eat a full, well-balanced meal before the start of the shift. Also, remember to bring energizing snacks with you, such as almonds or fruit.

Relax When You Get Home

Relaxed Nurse

Most people who work the day shift do not come home and immediately go to bed. There’s no reason night shift nurses should do that either. Your brain may need some time to unwind before it is ready to fall soundly asleep. Give yourself permission to indulge in some television or get lost in a good book. Only head to bed when your body feels ready.

Make Friends with Your Co-workers

Friendly Colleagues

A strong team can make any nursing shift easier and more enjoyable. Never is a strong bond more important than on the night shift. When you know you can count on your co-workers, the shift simply goes more smoothly – even on a full moon. New to the shift? Make sure to introduce yourself to your colleagues and be friendly with them.

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With the right mindset and tools, many nurses find the night shift to be their favorite. For more information, tips, and nursing humor, make sure to follow NurseCore on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

What Everyone Needs to Know About the Flu Shot

Fall is in the air once again. Leaves are starting to change, pumpkin spice is everywhere, and it’s finally time to break out the sweaters and scarves. It’s easy to see why fall is so beloved. However, there’s one nasty part of this season we simply cannot ignore: influenza outbreaks.

Flu Shot

With large drops in temperature and humidity, more people staying indoors, and everyone getting less Vitamin D from the sun, the flu typically makes its big debut in October and sticks around until May. Luckily, the flu shot is readily available and here to protect us all. Here are a few things everyone should know about the flu and its vaccine:

  1. The Flu Shot Does Not Cause the Flu

The flu vaccine contains a few dead strains of influenza, which cannot infect you. The inactive virus then teaches your immune system how to react should you come across any of these flu strains in live form. Two weeks after receiving the vaccine, your body will be able to protect you from those strains.

However, some people report feeling slightly sick after receiving the shot. If this discomfort occurs, it is simply your immune system learning how to attack the virus. It is not contagious and not nearly as uncomfortable as the actual flu, which can be deadly.

  1. You Need the Flu Vaccine Every Year

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Flu viruses are constantly changing so it’s not unusual for new flu viruses to appear each year.” As new strains emerge and become prominent, it is important that you arm yourself with immunities to the new strains. Click here to learn more about how the virus changes.

  1. You Could Still Get Sick

There are a number of reasons you may come down with the flu after receiving a vaccination. In some cases, two weeks have not passed and therefore, the vaccine has not had time to take effect. In other cases, the patient has come in contact with a different strain of the flu than what was in the shot.

Richard Kanowitz, a flu vaccine advocate and founder of Families Fighting Flu, explained that this does not mean the vaccine was pointless. “Even if you end up getting the flu,” Kanowitz said, “the vaccine helps protect you by regulating your immune system so you don’t suffer from a more severe case of the flu, or even worse, from death.”

  1. Nasal Spray Available

If you are afraid of needles, you still have options for protecting yourself against the flu. Many health care centers offer a nasal spray that is as effective, or possibly more effective, than the typical shot. Simply ask your health care provider for a nasal spray and avoid the needle.

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The flu is a very serious and sometimes deadly disease. Luckily, we all have the power to protect each other. The earlier you are vaccinated, the better. So talk to your health care provider today about protecting you and your loved ones from the flu.

For more important information and tips, make sure you follow NurseCore on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

The Advantages of Working for a Nursing Agency

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As all nurses know, being a nurse is nothing like Hollywood makes it out to be. Rarely does a television show or movie accurately portray nurses. If you watch closely, you’ll see nurses being treated as merely “yes men” who only follow doctors’ orders, doing things that make no medical sense, or just being props while the sexy doctors save lives. While it may make for decent television, it does not represent the many experiences nurses have.

There’s another thing about nurses that Hollywood gets wrong – one that you may not have thought much about. Not all nurses work exclusively in hospitals. In fact, some nurses may work in several different facilities and/or visit patients at home. That’s because some nurses are healthcare staffing agency nurses, and they experience things that no other nurses will.

Although being an agency nurse may not be what you pictured when you first started nursing school, you may find that it suits you much better than a typical hospital setting. NurseCore’s nurses enjoy flexibility, top pay, quality insurance, and a friendly office staff dedicated to supporting your career.

The most notable benefit of working for a nursing agency is the flexibility. You can work per diem only when you want to or find a long-term assignment that suits your needs. Additionally, NurseCore can help you find temp-to-permanent and permanent placement opportunities. No matter how you want to work, signing up with an agency allows you to work your way. And when you work your way, you may find that nursing is more fulfilling than ever.

Agency nurses also gain experience with a variety of patients. If you are the type of nurse who is always learning and growing in your practice, you will enjoy working for an agency like NurseCore. Whether you want more experience with seniors, children, or anyone in between, you can find it with an agency.

Finally, agency nurses also experience more control over their earning potential. This is especially true of nurses who choose to work per diem. The more shifts and visits you take, the more you earn. It’s simple and lucrative.

Thinking about working for a nursing agency? NurseCore provides all the benefits of agency work while allowing you to be part of a team. Visit our careers page to learn more about our opportunities.

For more helpful information, blogs, jokes, and tips, follow NurseCore on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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