April 1, 2011

How to Show Your Coworkers You Care

Posted in Nursing Tips tagged , at 5:15 am by Nursing Tales Team

Your coworkers are some of the people that you see the most during the week. For eight hours a day, five days a week, you share the company of your fellow employees. If only for that fact alone, it is very important to show them that you value their time and care about them. There are a few things that you can do to express your feelings for your coworkers and make them feel special.

A great way to show your coworkers that you care is by getting them a small personalized gift that adds ease to their day. Many companies require their employees to carry IDs. These IDs can get lost or misplaced during the daily rushes of the day. Why not get your coworker a simple lanyard to help keep all of their IDs in place? lanyards and badge holders add ease to your coworker’s life by allowing them to have instant access to all of their important documentation. You can also customize the lanyard by adding your coworkers name or favorite colors to it.

Lanyards come in all shapes and sizes and can add both function and fashion to your coworker’s wardrobe. They will appreciate the simple gesture that also has a huge impact on their hearts.

Did you enjoy field trips as a child? Try organizing a fun trip to a local museum or aquarium with all of your coworkers. This fun filled day will help to bring all of you together and realize how much you enjoy each other’s company. Have one of your coworkers book the venue and another one schedule a meeting place for all of you to meet up at. Try to reach a group consensus on where you’d all like to go. If somebody wants to go to the zoo and another person wants to go to a play, reach an agreement to see a show about animals

Another great way to bond with your coworkers is to have your boss organize a potluck for the office. Everyone can bring their favorite dish and participate in the party. If it’s the holiday season, ask your boss or HR to help organize an office holiday party at a local restaurant. This will get everybody in the office excited and into the holiday mood. You can also request of your boss to throw a Secret Santa event where everybody can get each other small, inexpensive gifts, Everybody will enjoy receiving the gifts and giving them.

Coworkers are a very important and vital part of our lives. We share in their company a lot during the work week. Getting along with your coworkers create a welcoming environment that everybody is sure to enjoy. Showing that you appreciate them by giving them function presents such as lanyards and badge holders will show them that you care. To make your workday go by smoother, try showing them how much you care and appreciate them. Everybody will bond and your work day will be much more relaxed and fun.

February 20, 2011

Tips for Reducing Stress in the Workplace

Posted in Nursing Tips tagged , at 5:04 am by Nursing Tales Team

Stress is defined as a feeling experienced when a person receives demands that exceed the personal and social resources the individual is able to mobilize. Every work environment has its own share of stress, but hospitals are especially stressful because patients’ health is an urgent matter and nurses handle situations daily that may result in death if not handled correctly. With higher populations and a rise in chronic conditions such as obesity, budget cuts, and a shortage of adequately trained health care professionals available to fill the need, more work is expected from nurses with fewer resources to fill that need. These tips may help you reduce the stress in your workplace.

1. Standardize. Your training and the hospital’s policies probably regulate most of the processes in your department, but look for areas of inconsistency. Where do you find gaps in information, communication, or follow up? Can you work with your fellow employees to determine the smoothest work flow and define best practices to be used by everyone in your department? Develop checklists for as many routine procedures as possible to make sure customer care is consistent, regardless of who is on shift. You might put the most basic items on badge cards and pass them out on beaded lanyards for the nurses to wear.

2. Do not rely on your memory. Your brain has so much to process; do not tax it more than necessary. Write everything down! Create a To Do list every morning as you come into work or at the end of the day in preparation for the following morning. Keep a notebook handy for any personal errands you need to run after your shift. Organize your workspace and implement useful techniques like wearing your ID badge on a lanyard around your neck at so you have it with you at all times. A lanyard can also carry Post-It note reminders of your To Do list.

3. Manage up. Get to know how your boss operates. Does she need to see things written down or does she prefer hearing the information spoken? Is he an internal or external processor? Assume that your boss is genuinely interested in become a better manager and extend empathy when you offer suggestions for improvement. Look for proactive ways to make her life easier and help her be more efficient. You might also remember her with a gift like beaded lanyards on Boss’ Day (October 16th).

4. Make the most of break time. Do not eat your lunch at your desk. Get away from your station for at least ten minutes. Go to the cafeteria or walk around the building. If there is a nearby park, find a bench to sit on. Do not let other people interrupt your rest. Close your eyes and take slow, deep breaths while you envision your favorite location – the beach, or your best friend’s sofa, or your husband’s embrace. Let your mind release its responsibilities for a short period of time and it will be more useful when you return to work.

5. Learn to establish and maintain boundaries. Know yourself and how you handle stress; often a person has external indicators of stress levels, like nail biting. Be aware of these clues and take steps to reorganize your workload so that it is more manageable. If you need more time, explain why the original deadline was un-doable and be precise when asking for a new one. If you need additional funding, get quotes and have a proposed budget ready to hand in. In the end, you need to determine what you can handle and set boundaries around your personal time that others know they cannot cross. Learn to politely say no when appropriate and do not allow yourself to be coerced or cajoled into changing your mind.

January 19, 2011

Make the Most of your Nursing Conference

Posted in Nursing Tips tagged , at 1:23 am by Nursing Tales Team

The American Nurses Association 2011 NDNQI® conference is coming up this month! Conferences can be valuable and enriching experiences, so follow these tips to make sure you make the most of the opportunity!

1. Double-check your travel arrangements. Before the conference, whether in your hometown over or across the country, make sure you’ve planned ahead and made arrangements for getting to your destination. If you are flying, look online for the flight number, terminal, and whether or not it is on time. Will someone drive you to the airport or will you pay for parking? Could you carpool? Once you get to your destination, make sure you have a place to stay – with a friend from school or at a nearby hotel. Will you need transportation or does the hotel provide a shuttle? If you need to rent a car, ask your place of work and see if they have any special deals with rental car agencies; ask the rental car agencies if they offer special deals for health care professionals. If you feel very efficient, write down all the information you will need – flight numbers, phone numbers, and confirmation numbers – and keep it all handy in a binder or briefcase for easy access throughout your trip. You might also consider carrying your most important documents with you on a beaded lanyards around your neck. Don’t forget spending cash for the gift shop and the restaurants you will likely visit.

2. Know your conference. Even if attending the conference is not the way you would prefer to spend your weekend, make the most of the experience by looking at the information provided to you and taking advantage of the opportunities offered. Check out the key speaker’s credentials and maybe read one of their books so that you are prepared to ask questions if allowed. Look at the list of breakout sessions or workshops and decide ahead of time which ones sound most interesting. To maximize the value you get from a conference, be proactive and decide in advance which sessions will be most beneficial. And don’t forget to go in with an open mind. It is surprising how much you can learn if you are willing to do so.

3. Get to know your colleagues. Most conferences hand out name badges and badge holders at the event, so you can easily see the names of fellow attendees. When you introduce yourself, make a note of their name and use it several times during the conversation: “Larry, was it?” “Nice to meet you, Diana.” “So, Robert, where are you from?” “It was a pleasure meeting you, Claire.” Not only will this make a favorable impression on your new acquaintances, but the repetition will make it easier for you to remember their name in the future. When you meet them the next day and can greet them by name without even looking at their badge you will set yourself apart from the average crowd. Also, since you know the badge holders are almost always required at these functions, do yourself a favor and buy a beaded lanyard that you like. This is a way to polish your look AND make you smile!

January 9, 2011

Celebrate National Nurses Week 2011

Posted in Nursing Tips tagged , at 1:22 am by Nursing Tales Team

The American Nurses Association has announced the theme for 2011’s National Nurses Week as “Nurses Trusted to Care.” National Nurses Week is celebrated every year from May 6th – 12th (May 12th is the birthday of Florence Nightingale, the forbearer of modern nursing). May 6th is National RN Recognition Day, May 8th is National Student Nurses Day, and May 12th is National School Nurse Day. National Nurses Week was first observed in 1954 in honor of the 100th anniversary Florence Nightingale’s mission to Crimea; but it was not made official until twenty years later when President Nixon issued a proclamation in 1974. Since then, the American Nurses Association has made a point of using this week to honor the nation’s indispensable nurses for the tireless commitment they give 365 days a year.

Visit http://nursingworld.org/NationalNursesWeek to download a media kit for raising awareness of this event and of the value of the nursing profession in your community. Nurses are renowned for blending art with science. They must be dedicated individuals with a wide array of interests, strengths and passions as a result of the many ways nurses are called upon to serve. No matter where they serve — emergency rooms, school based clinics, and homeless shelters – they are expected to bring to each role a passion for the profession and a strong commitment to patient safety. Their strength and spirit allows them to meet the needs of every person with whom they come into contact.

Due to poor working conditions, long hours, reduced pay and increased duty demands, there is an ongoing nursing shortage across the industry. With nurses retiring and changing professions in large numbers, it is crucial to start spreading the word of the important need nurses fill in the health care equation. Reaching out to primary and secondary academic institutions and training students to consider nursing as a future career goal may help funnel talent back into the pool. Also, making nursing school more attainable by providing scholarships and daycare for single mothers might draw people who are interested in nursing into the profession. If you are a nurse, consider making time to appear at community functions such as Town Councils and raise awareness of the difficult and sometimes dangerous work load nurses are expected to fill. Identify areas that community leaders can get involved in solving the problems.

During National Nurses Week, make a point of telling a nurse in your life how much you care and respect the work they do! Since every nurse is required to keep their ID on their person, consider purchasing nurse-specific badge holder or beaded lanyards for badges to hand out. You can easily find a diverse assortment of badge holders and beaded lanyards for badges online that make perfect gifts for the nurses in your life. You might also take a bouquet of flowers to the local emergency room. Have students that you know decorate a large poster telling your school nurse how much he or she is appreciated. Be creative – nurses are worth it!

December 30, 2010

More Great Tools for the Busy Nurse

Posted in Nursing Tips tagged , at 7:16 am by Nursing Tales Team

In our last post, we highlighted some of the latest and greatest applications (apps) and tools such as the beaded lanyard.  In this post, we will take a look at more handy apps and some specifics of the decorative badge holder that will reveal why this and the beaded lanyard are so popular.

Is how you look at work of the utmost importance?  The answer to this question has to be yes.  Regardless of whether you wear a suit or scrubs to “the office”, the way that you present yourself speaks volumes to your superiors, peers and clients.  In the medical setting, the nurse’s clients are their patients.  And when a nurse presents themselves in the most professional way, they show their patients the level of professionalism that can be expected.

Does the beaded lanyard make that big of a difference in how you look?  Well, yes, actually!  When the standard uniform is scrubs, even if they are decorative, the way employee identification is worn stands out.  Sure, you could wear your identification on a standard badge holder; but convenience and style are added when you choose a decorative badge holder with a retractable reel instead.  These items are easy to find and quite affordable, so the busy nurse can grab a beaded lanyard or decorative badge holder to suit every mood or every season.

Now that you look professional and feel great with your beaded lanyard, check out some more of the apps you’ll want to use on the job!

  • Infuse is a drug infusion calculator that will help any nurse in any setting. This widely popular app allows nurses to set up a custom hospital database of standard concentrations. Once their database is set up, the nurse is then able to plug in a patient’s weight and dose desired.  The app then provides an infusion rate immediately. The Infuse app is convenient and easy to use, allowing nurses to change dosages quickly when necessary. 
  • PediSTAT is the app that any pediatric nurse will want to make the most of.  This app has been called the Broselow tape for the iPhone. To use this app, the nurse need only plug in a child’s age or weight. With this information, the app instantly provides a guide to airway equipment sizes, drug dosages, fluid/blood resuscitation, seizure treatment, normal vitals, sedation dosing, pain management and much more.  With so much to remember on the job and the need to access information quickly, this app is highly effective.
  • The Kathy White Fast Facts handbook is hugely popular among nurses, and now the pertinent information found in this handbook is available in a (far less bulky) app for the iPhone.  Using this app, the busy nurse has access to valuable critical care and emergency information with the tap of their mobile device.

Apps for the iPhone are a part of life now, and using this device wisely pays off for those in the medical profession.

5 Great Tools for the Busy Nurse

Posted in Nursing Tips tagged , at 7:14 am by Nursing Tales Team

As any nurse can attest to, there are many tools of the trade that make the job run more smoothly.  There’s nothing like a useful tool to make you more effective at your job quickly and easily.  Here, we will take a look at some of the best tools for any nurse in any setting.  Most of these tools are general enough to work well across the board, while one or two may be specialized for the hospital setting.

Lanyards and badge holders are widely used in the health care industry, and have been for some time now.  However, for a long time that was just because they were useful.  Now, with the innovation of the beaded lanyard and decorative holders, lanyards and badge holders are more stylish than ever.  In the medical setting, with scrubs being the standard uniform, nurses and other medical professionals may find themselves looking for ways to add panache to their work attire.  The beaded lanyard is one way to ensure you look and feel great on the job while lanyards and badge holders are holding your necessary identification or electronic keys.

Technology provides ample opportunity for nurses to accomplish their tasks as smoothly as possible.  When you know what is available to you in terms of technology, you can arm yourself with new tools as they come onto the market.  The iPhone is one tool that allows the busy nurse to find new technology that will help them do their job.  Here are four applications (apps) that nurses are raving about.

  • The A.D.A.M. Symptom Navigator is an app that is now commonly used by patients.  While the nurse may not need the help of the app to determine the symptoms of their patients, it is useful to know what your patients are looking at on their own and how they may be assessing their own symptoms.  Knowledge is power, so take advantage of this resource!
  • Epocrates Rx is a free iPhone app that does not require a wireless connection because the app is downloaded right to your mobile device.  With this handy app comes a drug guide, formulary information and drug interaction checker.  With regular alerts to new updates and medical news, the busy nurse will never be without the most recent information related to pharmaceuticals.
  • The iChart app is great for keeping important patient information organized and safe.  This app stores patient data in an organized fashion.  Data stored included lists and medications and other important information that you need to access quickly.
  • Continuing education is a large part of any nurse’s life and career.  Now there is an easier way than ever to stay up to date with continuing education credits with the ReachMD CME iPhone application.  This convenient app is easy to use and also provides fully accredited Continuing Medical Education units for credit you can get right through your iPhone or even your iTouch.

The apps mentioned here are just a few of those available to help nurses.  Many more can be found, and we’ll take a closer look at more in our next post!

November 25, 2010

Holiday Gift Giving Made Easy

Posted in Nursing Tips tagged , at 6:25 am by Nursing Tales Team

Whether you work in a hospital, clinic or medical office, chances are the excitement over the upcoming holidays is getting stronger with every passing day. The holidays are a time when co-workers and colleagues can boost morale, become better acquainted and enjoy a little bit of fun at the office. However, because life is simply very busy during the holidays, it may seem too difficult to pick up anything other than a gift card to the local coffee shop for the holiday gift exchange.

There is no need to stress over holiday gift giving! With ID lanyards, you’ve got all the options you need to buy for anyone and everyone on your holiday shopping list. The lanyard is making a real statement in the medical profession, since most medical professionals wear an ID badge of some sort. Were it not for ID lanyards, every badge would be clipped to the work uniform and that would be that.

But because nurses and other medical professionals have shown their desire to look and feel great at work, the lanyard has become a highly fashionable item that enhances overall professional appearance even when the work uniform consists of scrubs.

No matter whom you have to buy a gift for, even if the gift is for a white elephant gift exchange, where each person draws a random gift to unwrap. This fun game is all that much better when the gifts are so good that they are “stolen” several times. ID lanyards featuring retractable badge reels and a chic design are some of the most popular gifts for this or any type of gift exchange. A lanyard with a retractable reel allows the medical professional to avoid bending to reach an electronic card reader when their ID badge seconds as a key to secure areas.

Planning ahead for your holiday gift giving allows you to eliminate the stress of purchasing gifts for everyone at work. Want to be sure and remember everyone? Go online and buy ID lanyards for everyone!

An important thing to remember when it comes to giving gifts to co-workers is to be considerate of culture and feelings. If you plan to participate in a department or office-wide gift exchange, be sure to purchase a gift that would be suitable for any person in the group. If there is someone special you would like to give a personal gift to, give them their gift away from the group so there are no hurt feelings. Also, gifts for the boss should be discussed, and a decision made by the whole department as to whether a gift will be given from the group or individually.. Gift giving at holidays or any other time of year is fun for both the giver and the receiver. With the lanyard being such a popular item in the medical setting, this one item is ideal for all of your co-workers. It provides a useful purpose, and when decorated with sophisticated or fun designs, enhances professional image as well.

November 23, 2010

Tips for Making the Most of Travel Assignments

Posted in Nurse Fashion tagged , at 6:24 am by Nursing Tales Team

Tips for Making the Most of Travel Assignments

Working as a travelling nurse comes with certain advantages – and certain challenges. Successfully navigating this career choice is dependent upon creating those habits that enable you to take full advantage of the perks that most interest you. Here are some tips for making the most of travelling nursing assignments.

1. Pack Wisely

When air travel is required to get to your job destination, packing light is key. Airlines have strict guidelines when it comes to baggage, and you don’t want to pay too much, if anything, to get your necessities to your destination. Learning to take the bare essentials is necessary. The essentials that you will need are dependent on how long you will be on the job. There may be some instances in which you will want to pay extra for baggage so that you have a wide ranging wardrobe.

To keep your work wardrobe up to date and fun, packing jewelry lanyards to hold identification is a great idea. The Id lanyard is a big part of any nursing job since you will wear an employee badge on the job. When you’re in a new location meeting new people, jewelry lanyards that feature fun designs gives you a little pep and makes you feel great. Jewelry lanyards have served to break the ice in plenty of situations, and travel nursing is just one example.

Packing an ID lanyard for every occasion is easy to do, since these items take up very little room in your suitcase. There are plenty of other tips for enjoying travelling nursing; but the point to this ID lanyard tip is to have more fun, to show off your stylish side and give yourself and others something to smile about.

2. Get the Lay of the Land

Visiting any new city is fun and exciting, even when work is involved. Many travelling nurses suggest that you arrange to arrive in new cities a few days early. By doing this, you give yourself time to settle in and even relax by the pool or go site-seeing before the hectic schedule of work begins.

When working as a travelling nurse, work is intense and busy. Many times you may be learning new skills. At the very least, you are learning new people, cultures and ways of doing your job. Each new job may come with its own unique set of circumstances and expectations, so taking time to relax when you’re not working is essential. Focusing only on the job defeats the purpose of travelling, doesn’t it?

3. Stay Connected

Although working as a travelling nurse has many perks, there is the issue of loneliness to deal with. For some, meeting and engaging with the new people they meet keeps them going. For others, the absence of tangible familial support can take a toll. It is important to find ways to stay connected to loved ones back home, especially if your assignment will keep you away for several months. Online tools such as Skype allow nurses to visit with family and friends “face to face”.

Working as a travelling nurse is not for everyone. But those who choose this as their career path, even for a short amount of time, will reap great rewards and create memories to last a lifetime.

October 29, 2010

Celebrating the Holidays at Work

Posted in Nurse Education, Nurse Fashion, Nurses, Nursing Career, Nursing Tips tagged at 1:44 pm by Nursing Tales Team

We spend a lot of time in the place where we work, and that can make the holidays a tricky time of year.  Many people have different ways of celebrating holidays; and different holidays that they celebrate.  There is no reason why you shouldn’t want to or be able to show your holiday spirit at work.  The best rule of thumb is to simply keep things simple.  By doing this, you can make sure no one is offended at your celebratory mood.  Here are some tips for celebrating holidays at work.

  • Keep feasting to a minimum.  It is a well known fact that the holidays are wrought with food, especially unhealthy baked treats that bring pounds with them.  Rethink what you bring to work and how often you and your coworkers will indulge with food items.  When you work with patients, there is a high likelihood that they will bring in treats for office staff, which eliminates the need for you and your coworkers to also bring in snacks.  Talk with your coworkers and consider planning one big luncheon where everyone can sit and enjoy some time together over a healthy meal.
  • Keep socializing to a minimum.  It is important that the workplace remain professional at all times.  Even if everyone is excited about the impending holiday office party or is simply in a great festive mood, patient care and work responsibilities should always be priority number one.  There isn’t much to celebrate if you get behind in your work.  If the work day is very busy, perhaps the best idea is to plan a time when the office staff can hold a holiday celebration when there is time to relax and really get into the holiday spirit.
  • Giving gifts to coworkers can be a fun way to show how much you appreciate them.  Since ID lanyards are items widely worn in medical settings, these make the ideal gift for all of your coworkers.  The thing about ID lanyards is that they are useful tools; hence why they are used by the majority of medical professionals.  Many ID lanyards today feature retractable reels that allow cards to be swiped to gain access to secure areas.  Not only are these items very handy tools, they can also provide a way to dress up scrubs.

Everyone knows scrubs are worn for comfort, not fashion.  Even though scrubs come in a wide variety of styles, patterns and colors today, finding alternative ways to show personal style are always welcome.  The lanyard, when decorative and stylish, gives medical professionals a way to look and feel great at work.  Ideal gifts, indeed.

Check with office or department policy to make sure you plan decorations, dress and events in a way that stays in line with that policy.  The holidays are a time to celebrate, not a time to offend.  Through adequate communication, employees can easily come up with a way to celebrate holidays together, without leaving any particular cultural aspects out.  Through inclusive celebrations, it is possible to create a more cohesive team.

October 27, 2010

The Act of Appreciation

Posted in Nurse Education, Nurse Fashion, Nurses, Nursing Career, Nursing Tips tagged at 1:20 am by Nursing Tales Team

Showing appreciation for a person or a thing enhances your opportunity to get more of it. This is a simple fact of life.  As a nurse, when you are feeling good about your job, coworkers, employer, etc.; you are riding a high emotion of appreciation and bringing more good things to your life through that emotion.

In the nursing profession, life is busy and there are many people’s needs to tend to.  We talk about this a lot; the need for medical professionals to de-stress and tend to their own needs to avoid becoming burned out.  Today, let’s take a look at the flip side of patting your own back and see how and when you can be the wings for someone you know.

Because of the stress that resides in the nursing profession, whether you work in a hospital, clinic or medical office, taking steps to create a congenial atmosphere pays off for everyone.  A staff who uplifts and encourages one another is a happy staff that works at a high level of productivity.  When you work with people who make your job enjoyable, it seems only natural to feel the desire to offer them a token of your appreciation every now and then.

We all do these types of things on special occasions; birthdays, holidays, weddings, etc.  But what if you began the habit of finding things to appreciate about more people you work with?  What if you took action and actually showed appreciation through a small gift or gesture?  Changes in the workplace could be started with one simple step of appreciation.  Here are a few very simple ways you can show appreciation at work.

  • Most medical professionals wear lanyards to hold their employee identification or security clearance.  This makes jewelry lanyards the ideal gift for the stylish medical professional.  There’s only so much you can do with scrubs, right?  Finding ways to show personal style in scrubs can be challenging, and jewelry lanyards do the trick at adding style to work attire.  Not only are jewelry lanyards ideal because of their reasonable cost; but they are such handy tools, everyone loves them.
  • Sometimes the best way to show appreciation for a coworker is to simply offer a helping hand when they need it.  Clearly, this doesn’t have to and shouldn’t interfere with your own responsibilities.  But if and when appropriate, you can chip in to help with tasks as you have time and inclination.
  • Appreciation is not about gifts, it is about letting someone know they have motivated, helped or inspired you.  If time is tight and your gratitude must be shown quickly, a simple note with words of appreciation goes a long way.

Appreciation doesn’t have to include a big show.  No elaborate or expensive gifts need to be purchased.  The point is that people who work together can take small steps to show their support for one another in little ways every day.  Maybe you want to bake cookies and bring them in for everyone to enjoy.  Maybe you need to recognize one person in particular that brightened your day.  Appreciation improves the work environment and might just lead others to do more for you too.

 

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