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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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.

10 Motivation Quotes for Nurses to Get You Through Anything

It’s no secret that nurses deal with a lot of stress. Between saving lives, answering important questions, providing much needed comfort, and all the charting, nurses can feel overwhelmed. It’s completely understandable. However, for your own sake and that of your patients, it’s important that you take time for some self-care.

One of the best quick ways to lift your spirits is to have a mantra. That little quote that sums up why you do what you do can be the difference a trying day and a triumphant one. Here are 10 quotes nurses can use for exactly this purpose.

When You Feel Insignificant

Quote 1

“Constant attention by a good nurse may be just as important as a major operation by a surgeon.” -Dag Hammarskjold

When You Need to Remain Calm

Quote 2 (1)

“Panic plays no part in the training of a nurse.” -Elizabeth Kenny

When You’re Feeling Powerless

Quote 3

“Save one life… and you are a hero. Save one hundred lives… and you are a nurse.” -Chuck Stepanek

When You Need a Laugh and Some Truth

Quote 4

“How can anybody hate nurses? Nobody hates nurses. The only time you hate a nurse is when they’re giving you an enema.” -Warren Beatty

When You Need a Pat on the Back

Quote 5

“It would not be possible to praise nurses too highly.” -Stephen Ambrose

When You Think Your Patients Don’t Remember You

Quote 6

“People will forget what you said, they will forget what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel!” -Maya Angelou

When You Feel Like a Failure

Quote 7

“To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived, that is to have succeeded.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

When You Think It’s Too Hard

Quote 8

“I’m not telling you it’s going to be easy, I’m telling you it’s going to be worth it.” -Art Williams

When You Feel Heartbroken

Quote 9

“Tenderness and kindness are not signs of weakness and despair, but manifestations of strength and resolution.” -Gibran Khalil Gibran

When You Have Forgotten Why You Chose This Path

Quote 10 - blog

“As a nurse, you know that every day you will touch a life or a life will touch yours.” -Metro Nursing Service

 

Just remember that you are at the heart of healthcare. Everything you do matters because you’re a nurse.

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

What Nurses Should Know About PTSD

PTSD - FB

In the American Civil War, soldiers who suffered through traumatic experiences and exhibited a certain set of symptoms were said to have “soldier’s heart.” In World War I, such soldiers were diagnosed with “shell shock.” In the next World War, that term changed to “combat fatigue.”

We now know that these soldiers were likely suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD. Although this disorder is commonly associated with soldiers, it can occur in anyone who has lived through a traumatic experience.

In fact, PTSD is more common than many people realize. The Department of Veterans Affairs said that 7% to 8% of all Americans will experience PTSD in their lifetime. This means that, at any given time, 5.2 million Americans are struggling with this disorder. With stats like that, every healthcare professional should be aware of the unique challenges that PTSD creates, so that they can give the best care possible.

Causes of PTSD

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is triggered by an event that caused the patient to feel intense helplessness, fear and/or horror. Such events are more common in war zones, which is why this disorder is so prevalent among military personnel.

However, civilians can also experience PTSD. Traumatic events such as car wrecks or violent crimes can trigger this disorder. Anything that leaves a person feeling immensely afraid and hopeless can be a traumatic event.

After the event, a survivor might be unable to fully cope with the horror they experienced. This can lead to PTSD, which has many different symptoms and can present differently in each patient.

Know the Signs

Like many people with psychological illnesses, people who struggle with PTSD often do so silently. For this reason, it can be difficult to detect. However, there are still signs that nurses should look for when treating a patient who may have PTSD. The Mayo Clinic lists the symptoms as:

  • Intrusive, recurrent memories of the traumatic event – this can come in the form of memories, flashbacks or dreams
  • Emotional and physical reactions to something that reminds the patient of the traumatic event. For example, panic caused by loud banging noises, which sound like gunfire.
  • Avoidance of people, places, and things that could trigger the memory
  • Inability to experience positive emotions
  • Other characteristics of depression, such as avoiding activities the patient once enjoyed
  • Memory problems
  • Irritability and aggressive behavior
  • Self-destructive behavior
  • Trouble sleeping or concentrating
  • Always alert or on guard

Current Treatments

As with many psychological disorders, treatment for PTSD may include therapy, medications, or both. Common therapies include Image Rehearsal Therapy (IRT) and Cognitive Therapy. With IRT, a healthcare provider may ask the patient to record every detail of dreams that resemble the traumatic event. They may even ask the patient to rewrite the traumatic event, giving it a different outcome.

Cognitive Therapy teaches patients how to control their negative thoughts, which then keeps unwanted behaviors at bay. This type of therapy reminds patients that their response is natural. Then, the healthcare provider teaches the patient to deal with triggering events in different ways.

If medication is recommended, patients are given medicine to help cope with specific symptoms. For example, one patient may be prescribed Prazosin to help stop nightmares, while another patient might be given Hydroxyzine to promote healthy sleeping patterns. Patients who experience hyper-arousal may be prescribed Clonidine.

It is not recommended that PTSD patients take any narcotics during treatment. These drugs will not relieve the patient’s psychogenic pain, but will set the patient up for dependency.

Educating the Patient

It is often very difficult for people suffering from PTSD to admit that they need help. This tends to be especially true with military personnel. Although it is not at all a sign of weakness, PTSD is still perceived that way by some people.

Even with these struggles, it is vital that patients with PTSD learn coping mechanisms, such as how to stay in the present. Nurses may give a possible PTSD patient a list of organizations, groups and healthcare providers that the patient can contact if and when the patient is ready. Even a gentle nudge in the right direction can have profound effects.

Nurses play an important role in caring for all patients, especially those struggling with PTSD. Nurses who are armed with knowledge and compassion can help these patients recover.

For more helpful information, make sure to follow NurseCore on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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