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.

 

June 19, 2010

Tips To Soothe Dry Hands

Posted in Nurses, Nursing Career tagged , , , , at 3:47 am by Nursing Tales Team

Hand washing is a regular part of a nurse’s day on the job. Between the washing and sanitizing treatments, your hands can become chapped and cracked. Before you know it, your days of having smooth delicate hands are long forgotten and you fear you will never see them again.

Don’t despair over dry hands. There are plenty of treatment options to help you get back the smooth skin and maintain it for the long haul. All it takes is dedication and the right routine. You created the routine of regular washing (which landed you in this predicament), and you can just as easily add some steps into that new routine to make your hands healthy and attractive.

Obviously, smooth hands are made with moisture. With soaps and sanitizers stealing necessary moisture from your skin, you have to find ways to put it back. Lightweight lotions aren’t sufficient to give you the treatment that you need. What you need to really restore moisture is a nice thick lotion – one that stays in place even if you turn your hand over. Try out Eucerine Plus, Bag Balm, Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream, or Aquaphor Healing Ointment. Before starting a new routine, check with infection control to make sure that the lotion you choose will not pose a risk to the gloves that you wear or the patients you may be treating.

When washing your hands, it is important to try and avoid soaps that contain alcohol. If possible, use a gentler soap like Dove or Cetaphil at work and at home. You can carry your own soaps and lotions in travel sized containers in your pockets. Also, use cold or warm water to wash your hands instead of hot water. Hot water will also steal moisture from your skin. Pair with harsh soaps and you have a recipe for disaster. Keep it healthy by using the right soaps and the right temperature of water.

Create healthy hand habits at home as well as work. Damaged skin doesn’t only occur at work. Cold winter air is also quite dry; so in winter months, wear gloves or mittens to protect your hands from dry air. Also be sure to keep up your moisturizing routine in full force when you are at home. Carry lotion with you in your car or purse so when hands feel dry, you can react quickly and keep dryness at bay.

Through consistent effort, your hands should regain their moisture and elasticity fairly quickly. When you notice dryness going away, don’t slack off with your moisturizing routine. Keep up with regular washing and moisturizing; and protect hands from the elements. Should you go through all of these tips and find that your hands do not respond or get worse, see a dermatologist.

It’s best to take these measures quickly and consistently so you don’t have to fight an uphill battle. Your hands are a big part of your job. You want to show off hands that you are proud of and you also want to be comfortable as you go through your days.

Cracked hands can end up being harmful to patients if bacteria is present. So don’t procrastinate taking care of the dry skin problem.

The Realities of Dating a Co-worker

Posted in Nurses tagged , , , , at 3:41 am by Nursing Tales Team

Watch Grey’s Anatomy and you’ll think that dating different doctors and nurses where you work is the thing to do.  However, life at work can be made quite difficult when you do date new Hottie from the Cath Lab.  To maintain your reputation at work doesn’t mean that you have to steer clear of dating someone close to you.  Things happen, and should you experience a mutual attraction with a co-worker, you may want to explore those feelings to see where they go.  Who knows, you may be the one to get the happily ever after.  But make sure the facility you are working for doesn’t have rules against co-workers dating.

You cannot assume that your nursing team will be happy for you should you engage in a relationship with another co-worker.  So before you jump in with both feet, you need to determine just how to proceed.  Of course you are not at work to build relationships; you are there to help your patients and fulfill your career goals.  However, part of your success and job satisfaction is determined by your work relationships.  If you do feel that you want to apursue that spark that you share with that cute co-worker, here are some tips to help it go smoothly.

•    It seems obvious to assume you would not play bad nurse and hook up in empty storage rooms.  This is not Hollywood, it is your place of employment.  However, it cannot be overstated that you should refrain from any PDA (public display of affection) at work.  This goes for passing in the halls to having lunch in the courtyard.  When you are anywhere near your work facilities, maintaining a professional demeanor is your best plan of action.  Your relationship is private; for your enjoyment.  Keeping the details and the PDA for time away from the job can actually fan the flames even more!

•    Maintaining relationships with your friends at work is a must.  Your nursing team needs to operate as a cohesive unit; and if you suddenly disappear because you playing fast and loose up with Dr. Steamy Dream, it is likely that they will not take kindly to your absence.  Be sure to continue those lunches with the team, or the Friday night happy hour routine you have set up.  Whatever your routine has been, work your new romantic relationship around that and your co-workers will be all the more supportive when they do discover your romantic involvement.

•    Keep your career on track.  Let’s say you begin to date a doctor; maybe your childhood dream was to marry a doctor; you still have your own career to think about.  Don’t stop training or start slacking off on the job.  Should your romantic involvement reach heights in which you commit your lives forever, good for you.  But until then, it’s best to stick with your own personal goals that you had set so that you don’t wind up with regret.

Dating another nurse, a doctor, or anyone else in your facility does not exactly equal disaster.  That is not a given.  But it is also not a guarantee that you will ride off into the sunset either.  As with any time two co-workers date; decorum is of the utmost importance.