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DiversityNursing Blog

Nursing Myths Debunked: Setting the Record Straight

Posted by Ryanna Brown

Tue, May 21, 2024 @ 01:25 PM

Nursing is a profession enveloped in myths and misconceptions. Despite being one of the most respected careers, many misunderstandings persist about what Nurses do, their level of expertise, and the nature of their work. As a Nursing Career and Information website, we want to clear up some of these common myths and shed light on the realities of the profession.

Nurses Are Just Doctors' Assistants

One of the most widespread myths is Nurses are merely assistants to Doctors, following orders without their own critical thinking. In reality, Nurses are highly trained professionals who provide independent patient care. They assess patients, develop care plans, administer medications, and educate patients and their families. While they collaborate with Doctors, their role is distinct and autonomous, often involving complex decision-making and specialized skills.

Nursing Is a Profession For Women

The stereotype that Nursing is a career for Women is outdated and inaccurate. While the profession has historically been dominated by Women, Men have always been a part of Nursing. Today, the number of male Nurses is steadily increasing, bringing diversity and challenging gender norms within the field. Nursing is for anyone with a passion for healthcare and patient advocacy, regardless of gender.

Nurses Only Work in Hospitals

When people think of Nurses, they often picture hospital settings. However, Nurses work in a variety of environments, including schools, community health centers, research labs, corporate offices, and even patients' homes. They play crucial roles in public health, policy-making, education, and beyond. The versatility of Nursing means there are opportunities in countless settings.

All Nurses Do the Same Thing

Nursing is a diverse field with numerous specialties. From Pediatrics to Geriatrics, Oncology to Critical Care, each Nursing specialty requires specific knowledge and skills. Advanced Practice Nurses, such as Nurse Practitioners (NPs) and Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNSs), hold advanced degrees and provide specialized care, often similar to that of Physicians. The scope of Nursing specialties offers varied and fulfilling career paths.

Nurses Are Always Caring and Compassionate

Nursing is a profession that demands a unique blend of qualities, beyond just empathy and compassion. It requires resilience to navigate challenging situations, critical thinking to make quick decisions, and technical expertise to provide high-quality care. Nurses are not just caretakers; they are healthcare professionals who juggle multiple responsibilities, from managing complex medical conditions to advocating for their patients' needs.

Working under significant stress is a reality for many Nurses, yet they continue to show dedication and determination in providing the best possible care. The stereotype of the always-smiling, endlessly patient Nurse overlooks the depth and complexity of the profession, where Nurses are skilled professionals who make a difference in the lives of their patients every day.

Nursing Is Easier Than Being a Doctor

Nursing and medicine are distinct professions with their own challenges and demands. Nursing requires rigorous education, including anatomy, pharmacology, and patient care. Many Nurses pursue advanced degrees and certifications to specialize further. The emotional and physical demands of Nursing are significant, and the notion that it is an "easier" path undermines the dedication and expertise required.

Nursing is a dynamic and evolving profession that goes beyond the outdated stereotypes. Nurses are integral to the healthcare system, providing expert, compassionate care across diverse settings. By debunking these myths, we can better appreciate the complexity and significance of the Nursing profession. Whether you're considering a career in Nursing or simply want to understand it better, it's important to recognize and respect the critical role Nurses play in healthcare.

Topics: nursing program, nursing, nursing career, nursing experience, nursing profession, nursing shift, nursing practice, nursing field, nursing myths

Helpful Apps Every Nurse Should Have

Posted by Sarah West APRN, FNP-BC

Thu, Feb 01, 2024 @ 11:37 AM

Mobile apps have transformed how Nurses provide care to their patients. Smartphones allow Nurses easy access to applications designed to assist in daily tasks, improve efficiency, provide knowledge, and enhance patient care. Here are some of the most helpful apps every Nurse should have at their fingertips!

Medscape: Medscape is a medical database that lets you stay updated with the latest medical news, research, and clinical data. Within the app, you can access helpful drug and diagnosis information to ensure you stay updated on the most recent recommendations.

The app also offers a pill identifier tool that helps you quickly identify medications, which can be extremely helpful when encountering unlabeled medications patients bring from home. Medscape also offers a med calculator, a drug interaction checker, and easy access to continuing education courses and programs. Medscape provides something for just about every Nurse, whether you are just starting or are well seasoned within the profession.

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MediBabble: MediBabble is a free, professional-grade medical interpretation app that every Nurse should have on hand to better communicate with non-English speaking patients.

This app was designed to help provide medical professionals with safe and effective communication with patients who speak foreign languages. Get timely and accurate translations of 7 languages, including English, Spanish, French, Cantonese, Mandarin, Russian, and Haitian Creole, at the touch of a button.  

Code Scribe: Emergency situations can be stressful, but with Code Scribe, you can time and clock code situations quickly and efficiently. Instead of using a scrap piece of paper or a paper towel (you know you've done it) to write down your code times, you can track all necessary documentation within the Code Scribe app.

With the tap of a button, you can start and stop your code timer, clock medication administration, and so much more. Codes can be tracked in real-time with a CPR and epinephrine timer. After the code is completed, you can easily copy the log and send it by email to be printed and placed in the chart as official documentation.  

PEPID: PEPID is an all-in-one medical resource for medical professionals of all degrees, including Nurses and Nursing students. The app offers Nurses access to a wealth of point-of-care clinical knowledge, including a pill identification, IV drug compatibility checker, and drug interaction checker.

Within the app, you can also access a lab manual with over 200 lab results and ranges with complete lab information to help you better care for your patients. There are also over 750 procedural and examination videos available in their comprehensive medical video library that you can easily access while on the job.

Epocrates: Epocrates is a trusted healthcare app every Nurse should have available to ensure safe medication administration. The app provides comprehensive medication guides that include medication dosages, drug interactions, and side effects.

Quickly access medication information on the job and use the resources to find information to answer your patients' medication questions quickly and accurately. The app also provides continuing education materials and a pill identifier feature to use on the go.

NurseGrid: NurseGrid allows you to balance your work life and personal life right from your phone. Nurses designed the app for Nurses, so it has everything you need to manage your work schedule most efficiently.  

The app allows you to carry your work schedule everywhere you go and share your schedule with coworkers so you always know who you are working with or who may be available to switch shifts. Overall, NurseGrid is a great way to track your work shifts and your PTO so that you can make the most of your time off! 

Nursing can be a demanding profession requiring constant access to medical knowledge and clinical skills. Thanks to smartphones, Nursing and technology have combined to provide new graduates and experienced Nurses with quick and reliable access to medical resources at their fingertips. Access to these resources and many others can help you stay informed, organized, and confident so you can continue to provide your patients with the best care.

Topics: nurse apps, nursing apps, nursing jobs, nursing profession, nursing shift

Nurses Holiday Survival Guide

Posted by Sarah West APRN, FNP-BC

Thu, Dec 14, 2023 @ 09:42 AM

Being a Nurse means you will most likely have to spend a holiday or two a year working a shift. It can be disappointing to forego your holiday traditions and festivities with your loved ones to head to work instead.

Although having to work the holidays can be difficult, it is important to remember that your presence can make a huge difference in the lives of your patients. Follow this holiday survival guide to continue spreading holiday cheer, even if you must spend the holiday in your scrubs.

Put Your Mental Health First

Nurses have a physically and emotionally exhausting job, and the emotional toll can become especially hard during the holidays. It is important to prioritize your mental health, especially during the holiday season. Set time aside to recharge before, during, and after your shift by taking a short walk, a bubble bath, or reading a good book.

Prioritizing your mental health while working the holidays will set you up to enjoy celebrations in your personal life.

Find Ways To Celebrate the Holidays at Work

Just because you must work the holidays, it doesn't mean you can't celebrate them. One of the best ways to spread the holiday spirit and enjoy your time at work is to bring the celebration into your shift.

Consider organizing a holiday party at work where everyone brings a dish to share, wear holiday accessories or scrubs, or even plan a Secret Santa with your coworkers. Although working the holidays can sometimes feel like a drag, these simple holiday traditions can make all the difference.

Think About Your Patients

If you are disappointed to be spending the holidays working and away from your family, odds are your patients are feeling the same way, maybe even worse. Be cheerful when interacting with your patients and tell them they are not alone.

You could decorate patient rooms to spread holiday cheer or help them call or Facetime their loved ones to help lift their spirits. A great way to uplift your mood is to boost the mood of others, and a little extra holiday cheer can make a huge difference in the lives of our patients.

Stay Connected to Friends and Loved Ones

It can be challenging to work the holidays instead of spending time with your friends and family, but staying connected the best way you can is essential. If possible, arrange with your loved ones to move your usual holiday traditions to a different day so you can attend. This way, you can still enjoy time together celebrating the holidays. Because at the end of the day, all that matters is time spent with loved ones, even if you celebrate the holiday on a different day.

If you work as a travel Nurse and distance is a struggle when trying to stay connected, arrange for a virtual celebration so that you can stay connected despite the physical distance.  

Splurge on a Gift for Yourself

One of the perks of working the holidays is holiday pay or bonuses. If you are working during the holidays and find yourself with a little extra cash in your pocket, consider buying yourself a gift to celebrate your hard work. Nurses put so much of their time and energy into caring for their patients. You deserve to celebrate your hard work with something special.

Prioritize your Rest to Combat Fatigue

The key to success in surviving the holidays is remembering the basics of self-care, and this includes prioritizing your rest. Caring for yourself and getting enough sleep between your holiday shifts is essential to combat the physical and emotional fatigue that comes with working a busy holiday shift. Establish a relaxing bedtime routine to help unwind and reset your mind for a good night's sleep.

Maintain Boundaries

We all know, the holiday season is a busy time of year. It can be challenging for Nurses who work off shifts to coordinate attending specific gatherings, especially when it seems like there is a gathering planned every day of the week.

 It is important to set clear boundaries between your work and personal life. When you are off-duty, focus on relaxing and enjoying the time with your loved ones and not overcommitting to social events if you need the time to recharge between your busy holiday work shifts.  

Balancing work and your personal life can be challenging, and the holidays are no different. The best way to survive the holidays is to plan appropriately and prioritize self-care so you can enjoy the season and continue to take great care of your patients.

Topics: holiday shifts, working holidays, nursing career, Nursing tips, stress during the holidays, nursing shift, nursing practice, nursing field

Nursing Gig Shifts: What You Need to Know

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Mon, May 01, 2023 @ 11:16 AM

GettyImages-1129008172Nurse gig shifts refer to temporary or short-term Nursing assignments that are often offered through staffing agencies or online apps. These shifts can range in length from a few hours to several weeks or months and are often taken by Nurses who are looking for flexible work arrangements or who want to supplement their income.

Gig shifts can be beneficial for both Nurses and healthcare facilities. Nurses who work gig shifts have the flexibility to choose when and where they work, and they can often earn a higher hourly rate than they would in a traditional full-time position. Healthcare facilities can use gig shifts to fill staffing gaps or to cover unexpected absences, ensuring that patient care is not compromised.

According to The Wall Street Journal, embracing gig apps is one way hospitals and health systems are looking to provide flexibility and fill vacancies. This includes Providence Health.

Providence added gig Nurses last year and has filled 13,000 shifts for Nurses and other medical roles, Mark Smith, who oversees workforce analysis, staffing and optimization for the organization, told The Wall Street Journal. He also told the publication the health system plans to expand gig work from 12 hospitals and Nursing homes to 19.

“We make sure the Nurses who work through the app are thoroughly vetted and have the licenses and certifications required to work on the Nursing unit they’re receiving training to work on, just like our own caregivers do,” Smith explained. “At Providence, we’ve found that Nurses taking assignments through the app fill six shifts per month.”

Since late last year, Chesterfield-based Mercy has been piloting a program where both Staff Nurses and “gig worker” Nurses can sign up for shifts through an app. Now the health system is expanding it across all of Mercy.

“Millennials, and those even younger, are starting to look at work in a different way,” said Senior Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer Betty Jo Rocchio.

Among the apps hospitals are adopting are ShiftKey, which lets Nurses bid for shifts, and CareRev, which lets hospitals raise and lower their rates for different shifts. 

However, there are also some potential drawbacks to working gig shifts. These can include inconsistent work schedules, lack of benefits, and a lack of job security. Nurses who work gig shifts may also miss out on opportunities for professional development and career advancement that are more readily available in traditional full-time positions.

Overall, whether or not you should pursue gig shifts depends on your personal goals and priorities. It's important to carefully consider the pros and cons of gig work as well as research potential employers and platforms before accepting any assignments.

Topics: nursing shortage, modern nursing, nursing, nursing career, nursing staff, nursing trends, nursing jobs, nursing shifts, nursing opportunities, nursing shift, nursing field, gig shifts, shift app, Nursing gig shifts

Top Items Nurses Always Have on Hand

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Tue, May 03, 2022 @ 11:11 AM

GettyImages-1277113215As a Nurse, you always have essentials in your pockets or bag to help you get through a shift and day-to-day life as you never know when your experience and skills will be needed. Here are some of the essential items Nurses have on hand.

IIPHONE & CHARGER

Your iphone is a useful tool especially when you fill it with apps such as Eponyms, Nursing Dictionaries and Drug Handbooks. You can also use it to set alarms for important reminders.

LOTION & SANITIZER

Nurses are constantly washing their hands throughout the day, leaving their skin dry. That's why having lotion in their bags is important to keep skin in good condition. Meanwhile, the sanitizer helps them steer clear of those pesky germs.

STETHOSCOPE & CLEANER

Every Nurse needs their stethoscope! It's important to keep your stethoscope sanitized, so it's a good idea to keep stethoscope cleaner in your bag. It's an even better idea to have a cleaner with a rubber protecting agent to prevent cracking, keeping it in tip top shape.

EXTRA MASKS

You can never have enough masks and gloves!

FACE CREAM, CHAPSTICK AND MINTS

Wearing face PPE can cause skin irritation, acne and cracked lips. You can use face creams and lip balms to keep skin healthy. Wearing masks all day can sometimes cause bad breath, try keeping mints or a travel size mouth wash in your bag.

SCISSORS & TAPE

Nurses need to have these in their pockets for emergency use, especially for wound care. Micropore tape is also important and should be readily available, for example, when your patient accidentally pulls his/her IV.

SALINE FLUSHES

Nurses are frequently administering medications via IV so having saline flushes on hand is a smart move. 

SMALL NOTEBOOK

Mini notebooks are great for taking notes from Doctors and writing down important observations of your patients to remember for charting.

WATER BOTTLE & SNACKS

Staying hydrated is super important as well as eating healthy during your shift. Have a reusable bottle to keep your favorite beverage nearby and toss easy to eat and healthy snacks in your bag.

RETRACTABLE PEN HOLDER

No more losing your pens and markers. The retractable holder keeps badges, IDs, pens, markers and more attached to you for easy access and safe keeping.

What are some of your favorite items you keep nearby?

Topics: nurse life, nurse essentials, nursing shift

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