DiversityNursing Blog

Erica Bettencourt

Content Manager and Social Media Specialist

Recent Posts

Tips For Nurses Working Through The Holidays

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Wed, Nov 23, 2022 @ 02:47 PM

GettyImages-1423947212Many people look forward to the holidays, however it can be a stressful time for Nurses working through the holiday season and missing festivities. Here are several tips to help make working through the holidays a little brighter.

Holiday Feast

Take time during a shift to fuel up with some yummy foods. Have everyone bring in their favorite meal or side dish, holiday treat, or order some take out. 

Work Fun

Organize a secret Santa with your unit or you may also consider planning a holiday party outside of your work setting. It’s nice to take the time out to blow off steam and enjoy your co-workers’ company. 

Decorate

With permission from your manager, decorate your work station, the hallways or even yourself with some holiday swag. Hang up paper pumpkins and turkeys. String twinkle lights and set up a holiday tree. Just be sure to be sensitive and inclusive of everyone’s holidays, not just your own. 

Celebrate On A Different Day

If you can't celebrate a holiday on the actual date, pick another day that works for your family or friends. Being with the people you love is what's important, no matter the date. 

Spread Holiday Cheer

This season is all about giving and as you know, giving makes you feel good. Try giving small gifts like scented hand sanitizers, cards, or decorative trinkets to your coworkers. Brighten patient's day with a note, little ornament, or holiday craft. 

Stay Connected

Make the most of your breaks during your shift. If able, FaceTime or Zoom with friends and family, follow their posts on social media, or ask someone to share videos of the holiday gatherings with you. Utilize available technology to stay as connected as possible. 

Silver Lining

Focus on the bright side, there may be benefits to working a holiday shift, such as extra pay or the next holiday off. You may also, hopefully, get to enjoy a slower work pace or less traffic during your commute.

Remember You're Important

Healthcare will always be 24/7 and someone must be there to care for patients. You're saving and changing lives by showing up to work. During the holidays that care can mean the world to a patient especially if their family or friends aren't able to visit or stay long. What you do as a Nurse is so important, don't you forget it! 

Topics: Holidays, holiday shifts, nursing, nurses, working holidays, nursing career, holiday stress

Caring for Patients With Alzheimer’s

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Mon, Nov 14, 2022 @ 02:06 PM

GettyImages-1176484212Alzheimer Disease (AD) is the most common type of dementia, accounting for at least 2/3 of the cases of dementia in people age 65 and older. AD is a neurodegenerative disease that causes progressive and disabling impairment of cognitive functions including memory, comprehension, language, attention, reasoning, and judgment.

According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, there are over 6 million Americans living with AD with 3 million new cases diagnosed each year. This disease is deadlier than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined. 

Often, early warning signs are dismissed or mistaken for normal aging behaviors such as forgetting or misplacing things. Early detection can help people maintain their independence longer and slow the progression of symptoms.

Ann Kriebel-Gasparro, a faculty member in Walden University's Master of Science in Nursing program emphasizes that Nurses who have training in dementia and AD with Gerontological patients can provide quality medical care to help track and manage symptoms. 

Common warning signs/symptoms include:

  • Memory loss that disrupts daily life
  • Challenges in planning or solving problems
  • Difficulty completing familiar tasks
  • Confusion with time or place
  • Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships
  • New problems with words in speaking or writing
  • Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps
  • Decreased or poor judgment
  • Withdrawal from work or social activities
  • Changes in mood and personality

To provide high quality care, it’s important to consider these best practices when treating patients with Alzheimer’s:

Communication

Do not assume a patient can not communicate or express their feelings on their own. Instead, try using these communication techniques

  • Maintain eye contact and direct one-on-one interaction.
  • Be patient and offer assurance when the patient makes mistakes or feels embarrassment.
  • Ask clear and simple questions requiring yes or no answers to minimize confusion.
  • Do not interrupt or argue.
  • Engage in conversations in quiet spaces without distractions.

Create a Daily Care Plan

Having a structured and predictable daily schedule is important for patients. It helps to reduce restlessness, anxiety, episodes of confusion and thought process impairment. This set routine helps them maintain a degree of autonomy in their activities of daily living.

Scheduled care plans usually include:

  • Meal times
  • Walking or gentle exercises 
  • Drawing or painting
  • Reading books and magazines
  • Watching favorite shows or movies
  • Listening to music

Proper 
Hygiene

People with AD may struggle to maintain their personal hygiene. Some might simply forget  they need to care for themselves, or, in later stages, forget how to do so. 

Some considerations for assisting with personal care:

  • Be flexible — adapt to the person’s preferences.
  • Help the person be as independent as possible.
  • Guide by using easy, step-by-step directions.
  • Speak in short, simple sentences.
  • Avoid rushing the person through a task.
  • Encourage, reassure and offer praise.
  • Watch for nonverbal communication.
  • Experiment with new approaches.
  • Consider using different products.
  • Be patient, understanding and sensitive.

Pain Management

When working with people who have Alzheimer’s it's important to remember pain is a common symptom experienced by patients. It can be difficult to assess pain levels of a patient if they struggle with verbal communication. 

There are different pain assessment and management tools, such as the Abbey Pain Scale or Pain Assessment in Advanced Dementia Scale (PAINAD) that can help you understand when nonverbal patients are experiencing pain. 

These tools work best when you spend a lot of time with the same patients and have a baseline of what is normal behavior and comfort for them. 

Fall Prevention

According to the CDC, more than 1 in 4 seniors fall each year. Having Alzheimer's can increase that risk because AD can impact balance and spatial reasoning. 

Knowing that your patients are at greater risk is a crucial first step, but there is more you can do to prevent falls such as:

  • Keeping rooms and walkways clear to prevent tripping or stumbling
  • Supervising or providing a safety companion to help patients walk 
  • Keep patients occupied and entertained so they are less likely to wander or move around unnecessarily
  • Promoting safe physical activity to improve balance and coordination
  • Providing better lighting so patients can see better
  • Offering assistive devices, such as a walker or handrails, when necessary
  • Encouraging appropriate clothing and footwear
  • Assessing medications, especially if they make patients feel dizzy

Wandering Prevention

According to the Alzheimer's Association, AD causes people to lose their ability to recognize familiar places and faces. It’s common for a person living with dementia to wander or become lost or confused about their location, and it can happen at any stage of the disease. Six in 10 people living with dementia will wander at least once; many do so repeatedly.

The following tips may help reduce the risk of wandering:

  • Provide opportunities for the person to engage in structured, meaningful activities throughout the day
  • Identify the time of day the person is most likely to wander (for those who experience “sundowning,” this may be starting in the early evening.) Plan things to do during this time — activities and exercise may help reduce anxiety, agitation and restlessness.
  • Ensure all basic needs are met, including toileting, nutrition and hydration. Consider reducing – but not eliminating – liquids up to two hours before bedtime so the person doesn’t have to use and find the bathroom during the night.
  • If the person is still safely able to drive, consider using a GPS device to help if they get lost.
  • If the person is no longer driving, remove access to car keys — a person living with dementia may not just wander by foot. The person may forget that he or she can no longer drive.
  • Place deadbolts out of the line of sight, either high or low, on exterior doors. (Do not leave a person living with dementia unsupervised in new or changed surroundings, and never lock a person in at home.)
  • Use night lights throughout the home.
  • Install warning bells above doors or use a monitoring device that signals when a door is opened.
  • Place a pressure-sensitive mat in front of the door or at the person's bedside to alert you to movement.
  • Label all doors with signs or symbols to explain the purpose of each room.
  • Store items that may trigger a person’s instinct to leave, such as coats, hats, pocketbooks, keys and wallets.
  • Consider enrolling the person living with dementia in a wandering response service.
  • Ask neighbors, friends and family to call if they see the person wandering, lost or dressed inappropriately.
  • Keep a recent, close-up photo of the person on hand to give to police, should the need arise.

Final Stages of Care

Nursing care for Alzheimer's patients becomes especially critical during the final stages. Skilled Nurses with extensive AD knowledge not only provide treatment to patients but also help families prepare for end-of-life decisions. They also provide emotional support to family members and provide suggestions for preparing for the final stages.

Click Here For Alzheimer's and Related Dementia Resources for Professionals

 

Topics: dementia, Alzheimer's, alzheimer disease

Best Practices In Caring For Patients With Intellectual or Developmental Disabilities

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Fri, Nov 04, 2022 @ 11:02 AM

GettyImages-531468860Patients with Intellectual or Developmental Disabilities (IDDs) have unique needs. It is important Nurses know how to properly provide  care, and make health care more accessible for this population.

An IDD, includes many severe, chronic conditions that are due to mental and/or physical impairments. It usually lasts throughout a person's lifetime. People who have IDDs have problems with major life activities such as:

  • Language
  • Mobility
  • Learning
  • Self-help
  • Independent living

According to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), IDDs encompass hundreds of diagnoses — autism, cerebral palsy, and Down syndrome among them — that affect about 6.5 million people in the United States.

Research suggests that the attitudes of health care professionals are among the biggest barriers to people with IDDs receiving equitable access to services.

Nurses must provide care that enables people with complex care needs and difficulty with cognitive functioning to live fully with as much physical, emotional, social, and spiritual well-being as possible.

The “fundamental principle that underlies all Nursing practice is respect for the inherent dignity, worth, unique attributes, and human rights of all individuals” (ANA, 2015, p. 1).
 

Here are some helpful guidelines for treating patients with mental and/or physical disabilities. 

  • Speak directly with the patient, not to any companion that the patient may have.

“Don’t make the mistake of thinking they don’t contribute to their care, because they are your most valuable source of information,” Priya Chandan, MD, MPH, PhD, an Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery at University of Louisville School of Medicine said. 

  • Avoid making assumptions about what assistance the patient needs. Offer assistance, wait for offer to be accepted and wait for instructions.
  • Talk to persons with disabilities in the same way and with a normal tone of voice (not shouting) as you would talk to anyone else.
  • Ask how you can help them and respect their answers.
  • Use “people-first language”: refer to “a person with a disability” rather than “the disabled person” or “the disabled”.
  • When communicating with a person with a disability, it is important to take steps to ensure that effective communication strategies are used. This includes sitting or standing at eye level with the patient and making appropriate eye contact.
  • Presume that patients with disabilities are competent to handle their own medical care. If patients do not have anyone to assist them, do not ask them whether they brought an aide or a companion.
  • Be patient because it may take the person extra time to communicate. Do not speak for the person or complete the person’s sentences.
  • Allow time for history taking and thorough exam.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask the patient questions if you are unsure.
  • Keep in mind that the personal space of a person with a disability includes the person’s wheelchair, scooter, crutches, walker, cane, or other mobility aid.
  • Do not push or move a person’s wheelchair or grab a person’s arm to provide assistance without asking first.
  • If the person uses a communication device, such as a manual or electronic communication board, ask the person the best way to use it.
  • Do not pretend to understand if you do not. Tell the person you do not understand what he or she has said and ask the person to repeat the message, spell it, tell it in a different way, or write it down. Use hand gestures and notes.
  • Repeat what you understand and note the person's reactions, which can indicate if you have understood correctly.
  • Develop a specific communication strategy that is consistent with the person’s abilities: nod of the head or blink to indicate agreement or disagreement with what you have asked or said.
It's important to understand that a person with disabilities often has the same wants, needs, dreams, and desires as anyone else, so treat them as such.
 
 
Sources:
 
 

Topics: disability, disabilities, IDD, Developmental Disabilities, Intellectual Disabilities, chronic conditions

The Growing Role of Nurse Case Managers

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Wed, Oct 12, 2022 @ 01:59 PM

GettyImages-1389496437A career as a Nurse Case Manager gives you the opportunity to make a huge impact on patient's lives and develop rewarding relationships.

The Case Manager's (CM) role is centered around working with patients and their families to make sure they are provided with appropriate health care providers, resources, and services so they receive the proper care they need. 

Primary responsibilities include:

  • Evaluating a patient's medical history

  • Acting as a liaison between patients, health care providers, and health insurers

  • Creating care plans and scheduling appointments

  • Educating patients and their families on relevant health-related matters

  • Keeping track of health outcomes and suggesting possible treatment changes


“Because Nurses are trained to work on interdisciplinary teams and understand how to deal with patients’ psychosocial needs, they are the perfect choice to manage their care,” says Tracy Towne, PhD, faculty member at Purdue University Global School of Nursing. “It’s a more holistic approach to care and services, and it is an incredibly valuable role when it comes to supporting those with chronic illnesses.”

You’ll also be able to choose which area you would like to specialize. According to Western Governors University, some of the most common Case Management Nursing specializations are:

  • Patient specialty—focuses on a specific patient population such as the elderly (geriatrics) or children (pediatrics).
  • Service specialty—focuses on a specific service area such as hospice, home healthcare, or rehabilitation.
  • Duration specialty—focuses on the length of patient care such as short-term injury rehabilitation or long-term illness management.
  • Disease specialty—focuses on patients suffering from a specific disease or chronic illness such as diabetes, cancer, substance abuse, or mental illness.

Choosing to become a CM is a great choice for Nurses, since it is less physically demanding, has great pay, and is in high demand. 

According to Zippia, CMs in the Nursing field are expected to rise nearly 16% over the next ten years. This increase is due to the growing elderly population as well as a rise in those with chronic illnesses. 

The estimated average salary for a RN Case Manager is $107,568 per year in the United States, according to Glassdoor.

Becoming a Nurse CM requires a Registered Nurse (RN) license. It is more common to switch to case management later on in your RN career.

This role requires experience so it is suggested you advance your career with certification programs. Certifications aren't mandatory for employment, but they can increase your pay and make you more eligible for future job opportunities.

Interested in learning more about Case Management? Check out these resources:

Case Management Society of America

National Association of Case Management

American Case Management Association

The Higher Education Case Managers Association

Topics: nursing, nurses, nursing career, case mangement, Nurse case manager, case manager

A Career In NICU Nursing

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Tue, Sep 20, 2022 @ 02:12 PM

GettyImages-1414996755If you're interested in joining the Nursing field, or changing your Nursing Specialty, you'll want to learn more about which Specialty is the right fit for you.

Looking to make a difference in the lives of infants and their families? Neonatal Nursing may be the perfect career choice.

Every year, 10 to 15 percent of babies born in the United States (roughly half a million) are admitted to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). 

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), there are 4 Neonatal care levels

Level I: Well Newborn Nursery

Level I facilities provide a basic level of care to neonates who are low risk. They have the capability to perform neonatal resuscitation at every delivery and to evaluate and provide routine postnatal care for healthy newborn infants. In addition, they can care for preterm infants at 35 to 37 weeks’ gestation who are physiologically stable and can stabilize newborn infants who are less than 35 weeks of gestation or who are ill until they can be transferred to a facility at which specialty neonatal care is provided.

Level II: Special Care Nursery

Care in a specialty-level facility (level II) should be reserved for stable or moderately ill newborn infants who are born at ≥32 weeks’ gestation or who weigh ≥1500 g at birth with problems that are expected to resolve rapidly and who would not be anticipated to need subspecialty-level services on an urgent basis.

These nurseries may provide assisted ventilation on an interim basis until the infant’s condition either soon improves or the infant can be transferred to a higher-level facility.

Level III: Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)

Evidence suggests that infants who are born at <32 weeks’ gestation, weigh <1500 g at birth, or have medical or surgical conditions, regardless of gestational age, should be cared for at a level III facility.

Level III NICUs are defined by having continuously available personnel (Neonatologists, Neonatal Nurses, Respiratory Therapists) and equipment to provide life support for as long as necessary.

These units should have the capability to perform major surgery on site or at a closely related institution, ideally in close geographic proximity.

Level IV: Regional Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (Regional NICU)

Level IV units include the capabilities of level III with additional capabilities and considerable experience in the care of the most complex and critically ill newborn infants and should have pediatric medical and pediatric surgical specialty consultants continuously available 24 hours a day. These facilities would also include the capability for surgical repair of complex conditions.

Nurses working in the NICU have a wide variety of responsibilities. Some of these duties include:

  • performing tests to evaluate any problems

  • monitoring infant health such as vital signs

  • documenting patient history

  • creating care plans with other healthcare providers
  • administering treatments and medications

  • educating new parents on how to care for their baby

  • providing comfort to concerned parents and family members

If you're interested in becoming a Neonatal Nurse you must start by earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and obtaining your RN license. Then you need to gain clinical experience in Pediatric and Neonatal settings.

Many Nurses may go on to get specific certifications and trainings to help advance their careers. Some of the certifications available to NICU Nurses include:


According to Salary.com, the average salary for a NICU Nurse is $82,269 per Year in the United States. The five highest paying states are: Alaska, California, District of Columbia, New Jersey, and Massachusetts.

It takes a person with a very big heart to care for such small patients. If caring for newborns and their families is important to you, this rewarding career could be the perfect fit.

Topics: neonatal nurse, Neonatal Intensive Care, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Nicu Nurse, NICU

NAHN, The Nation's Leading Voice For Latino Nurses

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Thu, Sep 08, 2022 @ 04:42 PM

294895751_10158707514991891_3544607862036391216_nSince 1975, the National Association of Hispanic Nurses (NAHN) has been the Nation’s leading professional society for Latino Nurses.

According to Nurse.com, data from a NAHN report finds that although Hispanics make up 17% of the total population, only 3.5% out of the more than three million Registered Nurses in the U.S. are Hispanic.

NAHN's goal is to advance health in Hispanic communities and to lead, promote and advocate for educational, professional, and leadership opportunities for Hispanic Nurses. 

Dr. Ildaura Murillo-Rohde, an active member of the American Nurse Association (ANA) founded NAHN in 1975 after concerns the ANA was not meeting the needs of Latino Nurses.

Ildaura's vision was to assist Latinas in securing their education to provide service to their community and in helping themselves. 

Last September, during National Hispanic Heritage Month, Google honored pioneering Hispanic Nurse Dr. Murillo-Rohde with a Google Doodle illustration created by guest artist Loris Lora. 

dr-ildaura-murillo-rohde-177cfb98c52649dfb6be04c82ce54c5c-1
"Hispanic Heritage Month to me is about celebrating our culture and recognizing the contributions of those who continue to inspire future generations. I enjoy learning about minority women who were trailblazers of their time and helped create opportunities for women who came after them," Lora said. "My sister recently became a Nurse and I found it interesting to learn about Dr. Murillo-Rohde and the things she stood for and achieved during her lifetime."

The association is continuing to grow with more than 40 local chapters across the nation. 

These chapters address the largest healthcare challenges facing Latinos. Members uniquely understand the challenges in providing better healthcare to America’s fastest growing segment of the population -- the Latino community. The NAHN Organization:

  • Connects culturally competent healthcare professionals to Hispanic health issues
  • Projects a unified voice for Hispanic health issues
  • Concentrates efforts to target disease states and decrease health disparities among Latinos
  • Raises awareness and support for effective health policy and programs
  • Promotes the Nursing profession to increase engagement, retention and prepare Nurses to lead change
  • Expands awareness and reach through the implementation of community programs
  • Enhances cultural competence to improve Latino patient care


From the federal to the state level, NAHN is the voice of over 276,000 Hispanic Nurses across the United States.

In May, Dr. Adrianna Nava, President of NAHN, represented these Nurses by attending a roundtable at the White House with Nurses from across the country who work in various specialties

According to the White House briefing, participants discussed the devastating impact the pandemic has had on Nurses and other health care workers, as well as patients, families, and communities.  They underscored the importance of addressing the pandemic-related burnout, advancing gender equity in health care, including through supporting women’s health care, and tackling the national mental health crisis.  Participants also highlighted the need to sustainably grow and support the Nursing workforce.

NAHN welcomes opportunities to work with organizations that seek to expand access to health services, improve health inequities, increase the Latinx/Hispanic Nursing workforce, participate in policymaking at the local, state and national levels and endorse policies that promote and improve health for all.

To learn more about NAHN and all of the great work they do, visit their website at https://www.nahnnet.org 

 

Topics: NAHN, latino nurses, National Association of Hispanic Nurses

Smart Socks Could Reduce Patient Falls

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Thu, Sep 01, 2022 @ 01:52 PM

154145443-9e7e357f-87d3-447f-993b-069632259bfaEach year, somewhere between 700,000 and 1,000,000 people in the United States fall in hospitals. 

Falls can have a major impact on a patient's health which usually results in high costs and extra days in the hospital.

The average medical cost for each patient fall is $10,220, or $10 billion annually.

Palarum’s PUP (Patient is UP) “smart” socks could help decrease patient falls. 

These smart socks are wired with sensors that sends an automatic alert to the three closest Nurses, via smart badges, when a patient tries to get up from a hospital bed and puts pressure on the socks. 

A group of Nurses at Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center (OSUWMC) conducted a 13-month study with 569 people who were at high risk for falling.

Results from the study show there were 4999 Smart Socks alarms, but none of the patients fell. They observed a lower fall rate, of 0 per 1000 patient-days, for patients wearing Smart Socks than the historical fall rate of 4 per 1000 patient-days. The median Nurse response time was 24 seconds.

"While further study is needed, I do believe there is an opportunity for these socks to be used in inpatient hospital settings, Nursing homes and rehab facilities," said Tammy Moore, PhD, RN, senior study author and Associate Chief Nurse of Ohio State’s Neurological Institute.

“Due to the rapidly aging population, the number of patients at higher risk of falling in hospitals is expected to increase substantially. About 30% of in-hospital falls are thought to be preventable, so it’s imperative to determine better ways to keep our patients safe from falling while hospitalized,” said study co-author Tina Bodine, a Nurse Navigator at Ohio State’s Neurological Institute. 

According to Scrubsmag.com, the sensors on the socks last about five to seven days before they need to be charged. Once the patient has been discharged from the hospital, the sensors are removed, cleaned and charged. The socks are laundered with the rest of the hospital’s linens.

Patrick Baker is the founder and CEO of Palarum. He is a retired Lieutenant Colonel who spent 25 years in the U.S. Air Force, has worked in hospitals for more than 30 years, most recently as Vice President of Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer with the University of Cincinnati Health System.

Baker said "Everybody already gets a sock when you go to a hospital. Why not have it be a smart sock that can help keep our patients safer?"

The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) and Palarum previously came together to evaluate Palarum's innovative e-wearable technology.  

"As a healthcare professional and retired Lt. Col USAF, I am especially proud to be partnering with the VA Palo Alto Health Care System to demonstrate the benefits of the PUP sock technology and its ability to reduce patient falls thereby increasing the safety of our hospitalized Veterans," said Baker.

 

Topics: preventing falls, smart socks, patient falls, Palarum PUP smart socks, fall risk patients

Hospitals Introducing Teens To Healthcare Career Opportunities

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Wed, Aug 24, 2022 @ 02:11 PM

GettyImages-483482847Hospitals are hiring or accepting volunteer teens and young adults as a long-term strategy to help combat shortages in the healthcare industry. 

Research shows, exposure to various healthcare fields is crucial to the development of career interests for adolescents and young adults. 

Earn while you learn programs give high school students the opportunity to gain knowledge in the field and make a better wage than the average part time jobs students often take.

These programs offer roles such as:

  • Food Services
  • Transportation
  • Manage Gift Shop
  • Medical Library
  • Patient Support
  • Environmental Services
  • Administrative Support
  • Translator

According to Becker's Hospital Review, Mount Carmel launched its inaugural patient-facing role for those 16 and older: a student support associate position.

Student support associates work as part of the care team, with a multi-skilled technician. The younger workers can help with tasks such as bathing patients, taking patients' vital signs and restocking equipment. 

"We did elect to have specific criteria that students coming to us are actively enrolled in a Nursing program or a pre-Nursing program throughout their high school [career], so that we are really looking to support and foster their interest in long-term career growth and positioning them well to continue to work for us after they graduate from high school and ultimately matriculate into a Nursing program or another allied health program," Mount Carmel Regional Director of Talent Acquisition Rachel Barb told Becker's.

Volunteer programs help plant the seed and further educational opportunities for young adults.

Inova Fairfax Hospital in Virginia offers a volunteer Summer program where teens get to learn about different positions in the hospital and get hands-on experience at the hospital’s simulation lab.

Dr. Steve Narang, President of Inova Fairfax Medical Campus says to volunteers, "We are taking care of human beings, and this is just a gateway whether you want to be an accountant, whether you want to be in security, whether you want to be in IT or whether you want to be at the bedside. There’s a job for you in healthcare.”

Abrazo West Campus Hospital in Arizona hosts a volunteer program with interactive workshops.

“In those workshops, they have someone’s undivided attention, so they have a surgeon, a specialist, a radiologist that’s up there, and they tell them everything from A to Z, salary, challenges, rewards, education, the best career paths to take,” said Barry Worman, Director of Volunteer Services.

The Healthcare industry will continue to face workforce shortages in the near future so it’s crucial health systems offer opportunities like this to fill the gaps. 

Topics: nursing shortage, healthcare, healthcare industry, healthcare careers, healthcare organizations, healthcare hiring, healthcare workforce, healthcare staffing, teen volunteer programs, hospital volunteer, hospital volunteer program, hospitals hiring

A Career As A Certified Nurse Midwife

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Thu, Aug 18, 2022 @ 02:04 PM

GettyImages-1394920145Certified Nurse Midwives (CNMs) are becoming more common for women and mothers across the nation.

Overall employment of Nurse Midwives is projected to grow 45% from 2020 to 2030, much faster than the average for all occupations.

If you're interested in this career path,  it's beneficial to understand what CNMs do and their role in health care.

Nurse Midwives are primary health care providers for women of all ages and provide all types of gynecological, prenatal, and post-pregnancy care.

According to Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science, common tasks and duties include:

  • Confirming and dating pregnancy
  • Providing prenatal and postpartum care
  • Caring for women during childbirth including monitoring the mother and fetus during labor, assessing labor progress, managing complications, assisting with pain management, performing episiotomies if needed, and delivering the newborn and placenta
  • Providing education for new parents on infant care
  • Supporting new mothers that are breastfeeding with education and training
  • Preparing pregnant women for what to expect during the birthing process
  • Performing preventive health screenings and tests
  • Diagnosing and treating gynecological disorders such as sexually transmitted diseases and infertility

There are many different paths in the Midwifery field. According to Western Governors University, various roles include:

  • CNM: Certified Nurse-Midwives are Registered Nurses who have additional certification as a Midwife. That double licensure gives them additional opportunity and training in the medical field. Specific Midwifery education is the same for a CNM and CM.

  • CM: A Certified Midwife is someone who is certified as a Midwife, but doesn’t have a Registered Nursing license as well. The certification is identical for a CM and CNM, the only difference is the Registered Nursing license.

  • CPM: A Certified Professional Midwife is certified and must have particular experience in home-birth or out-of-hospital settings. The certification requirements are much less than that of a CM or CNM. A Midwifery program may still be involved, but often it is less detailed and intense.

  • Doula: Doulas are not maternity care providers, but provide informational and emotional support for a mother during childbirth. Doulas provide services to mothers while they are pregnant, during their labor and delivery, as well as after the baby is born. Some Doulas work directly for birth centers or hospitals, while others are hired directly by expecting mothers. Because Doulas don’t provide medical support, there aren’t direct legal requirements regarding their practice. Some doulas get formal training, though it’s not required.

The average CNM salary in the United States is $116,574, as reported by Salary.com.

If you’re truly interested in becoming a Nurse Midwife, start with your BSN then find a Nursing school like Frontier Nursing University (FNU) to help get you started on your journey.

FNU graduates make up nearly 40% of the nation's Midwives!  

At FNU, their goal is to educate more Certified Nurse-Midwives so that Midwifery care is available to all women who seek it.

"The passion in my life—besides my own babies—is being with women as they’re growing their families and being with students as they’re growing their dreams to be with women and families … It’s a privilege to get to do what I do. I do not take it for granted. I am thankful every day," says Tonya Nicholson, DNP, CNM, WHNP-BC, CNE, FACNM, FNU Faculty.

 

Topics: midwife, certified nurse midwife, nurse midwife, midwives, Midwifery

The Importance of DEI In Nursing

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Mon, Aug 08, 2022 @ 10:24 AM

GettyImages-1384648626Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in the workplace is beneficial for employers, staff, and patients. More hospitals and health systems are recognizing the importance and are rolling out new DEI programs. 

Diversity is the range of human differences, including but not limited to race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, social class, physical ability or attributes, religious or ethical values system, national origin, and political beliefs.

Equity recognizes that each person has different circumstances and allocates the exact resources and opportunities needed to reach an equal outcome.

Inclusion is an organizational effort and practice in which different groups or individuals having different backgrounds are culturally and socially accepted and welcomed.

The United States will continue to grow more diverse, so it is imperative the Nursing workforce reflects its patient demographic. 

Historically underrepresented groups, combined, are projected to account for the majority of the U.S. population by 2044.

The Nurse.com 2022 Nurse Salary Research Report findings display a lack of Diversity in the nation's Nursing workforce. 

The report found that although Hispanics make up 17% of the total population, only 3.5% out of the more than three million Registered Nurses in the U.S. are Hispanic.

Also only 2% of the survey’s respondents were Black or African American men, whereas Black or African American women made up 8% of female Nurses. By contrast, Asian men made up 10% of male Nurses, and Asian women made up only 5% of female Nurses.

Having a diverse Nurse population improves patient care and satisfaction while also reducing healthcare disparities. 

Research shows, when patients see themselves within the healthcare workforce, they are more likely to trust their provider, thus making the patient feel more comfortable. 

This also breaks down communication barriers. When patients can't easily communicate their needs or fully express their concerns and issues, dire mistakes can be made.

When a Nurse has a lot in common with their patients, they can better advocate for them. 

“Diversity in Nursing ultimately enhances the Nursing workforce,” says Lorrie Davis-Dick, Nursing faculty member at Purdue University Global. “Nursing education and Nurse leaders recognize there's a link between a culturally diverse workforce and the ability to provide quality, competent patient care."

DEI is beneficial for patients, but also for healthcare professionals. 

According to Built In, Diversity creates a stronger feeling of Inclusion and community for healthcare workers, which makes the workplace feel safer and more enjoyable. Surveys show that more than 3 out of 4 workers prefer diverse companies.

While Diversity is important, Diversity without Equity and Inclusion won't work. Healthcare teams must represent all backgrounds, while also giving each member a voice and the opportunities to grow.  

Increasing Diversity in Healthcare is vital. It won't happen overnight, but it's crucial to create an environment where everyone is celebrated and appreciated. It requires dedicated leadership and staff who are looking to better the Nursing field.

Topics: diversity in nursing, diversity, inclusion, diversity in healthcare, diverse workplace culture, diversity and inclusion programs, DEI, diversity equity inclusion, equity

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