Should nurses be forced into getting the flu vaccination? Or is there a bigger issue not being addressed?

The time of year is upon us again…the dreaded flu season! Many of us just become germaphobes this time of year!

For many nurses and other healthcare providers, it becomes a moral dilemma. The dilemma is made by well-intentioned organizations that set policies that providers have to obtain a flu vaccine. If they do not, then they’re forced to wear a mask half the year, or worse lose their job. This is to protect the providers and the clients that they serve. Should nurses be forced into getting the flu vaccination? Or is there a bigger issue not being addressed? We are going to take a look at both sides of the argument, and see if it is really all about the flu shot, or something else.

The argument for the forced flu vaccinations

  • The number one argument for forced flu vaccinations is for client safety. By taking the step of vaccination and getting the vaccine ourselves, we are protecting the spread of influenza to our clients. Organizations do not want their doctors and nurses giving the patients they are treating the flu.
  • Another is how effective the vaccine for the flu is overall. According to the Nurse Journal, the flu vaccine has been found to be about 70% effective. That is pretty good prevention for one shot.
  • Healthcare providers are typically more at risk of contracting the flu. It only makes sense, we are the ones closest to sick patients. We are on the front lines so we are at higher risk for getting sick ourselves.

The argument against forced flu vaccination

  • If doctors and nurses are forced into getting flu shots, then will everyone else be forced to get vaccinated eventually? When you force one part of the population to do something like this, then it opens up the door for more organizations to try and enforce flu vaccines.
  • The side effects of the flu vaccine can be severe. This really calls into question the benefit to risk ratio. The flu vaccine has shown a slight increase in risk for Guillain-Barre syndrome. According to the Eurosurveillance Journal, one flu vaccine can cause an increase of 2-3 times as many hospitalizations for seizures in children.
  • The year before the vaccine is made in prediction to what the next flu season viruses will be. Sometimes the mark is completely missed and vaccination does not work against certain viruses. This can cause a false sense of protection, and people can believe that they are protected, and they are not.

 

What’s the bigger issue and why is it not being addressed?

I personally receive the flu vaccination every year. It is my choice and I am not forced. I guess theoretically, I have worked places that do have policies that require vaccination or your job is lost, or you wear a mask. So I have been able to watch some of these scenarios unfold with fellow nurses, who choose not to vaccinate and the implications.

Client safety is very important. Flu shots are just the focus as of right now. It is easier to focus on this, instead of the bigger picture. Ask yourself a question. How many times have you gone to work sick? Was it because you didn’t have sick pay or forced to come in because no sick time? I have personally experienced being forced into work after a positive flu result. I was told come in or lose your job. This was a positive test and yes I was vaccinated prior. Hows that protecting our clients? Maybe the effort needs to be more on supporting our healthcare workers when they are sick and giving them ample sick time if needed. I have also experienced nurses coming to work when they are sick. In between clients they are checking their temperatures and they have a high fever, but still working. If you ask why they are working and not at home recouping. The answer is I can’t afford to take the time off. Maybe the answer is if you have a highly contagious virus like the flu, that has been positively identified, then you get paid time off. That will cut down on our poor clients who come in contact with us and our fellow co-workers. It is a much bigger problem than a flu vaccine. It is a whole system that needs to be reevaluated. It is just easier to pawn it off on mandatory flu vaccines. What do you think?

 

https://nursejournal.org/community/should-nurses-be-forced-to-get-flu-shots/

(Feature image)Photo by Hush Naidoo on Unsplash

 

Things you need to know when your married to or dating a nurse!

I have been married for 16 years and there are still things that my husband doesn’t quite get when it comes to being married to a nurse. Dating or being married to a nurse can both be good and bad, and no matter what relationships take work! If you have an idea of what to expect before dating a nurse or walking down the aisle, just sit back and read on.

Sometimes we just need quiet time and space!

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Whether your an introvert or an extrovert, when you are a nurse sometimes you just need some time alone. You have just spent 12 plus hours talking to patients, families, doctors, labs, coworkers, and more! Many of your patients think your RN stands for Refreshments and Narcotics and use you as such. So by the time you are finally home, your patience and hospitality have been spent! So when the nurse in your life comes home and takes a shower, and hides under the covers for awhile. It is not you, they are just recharging and looking for a little peace and quiet! Don’t take it personally.

They eat like their food is about to run off their plate!

watermelon

 

Let’s be honest, when we are at work sometimes lunches and snacks are hard to come by. There are times when we actually get a lunch and we are called away right when we sit down to eat. So it is either starve or shove it down! Then you have a belly full of regret! This can be quite shocking for your date. Sometimes you don’t even realize how fast your eating, but your so used to eating on the run, that you are trained to inhale and run! Nurses are big multi-taskers because we have to be. Sometimes that means getting your lunch down on the go! This can be shocking to people who are not nurses.

There can be graphic dinner conversation! 

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Guilty! Nurses sometimes forget that they are not with their nurse buddies and conversation can go way south! As nurses, we have seen and done a lot. So it can take a lot to gross us out. We cope with this by sharing our stories. Unfortunately, we don’t realize just how gross something might be until we see the faces of our date, family, or friends!  Nurses also tend to develop a twisted sense of humor and this can really make people wonder about us!

Dates will be canceled or occasions missed.

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It is just the nature of our profession. We will have to work holidays and be scheduled when we really want to be somewhere else. We have to cancel because some of us are on call or we are called in because of short staffing. It is important for anyone dating nurses to understand this because it is a big part of our life. Even for those of us that are married, it can be a hard pill to swallow!

These are just a few things to know when dating or married to a nurse. There are much more for sure! So when we say it’s the nurse life, you now have a small glimpse at what that entails.

Bonus: 

When a nurse finds out that they are also talking to a nurse, be prepared for stories to exchange like old war stories! There is nothing like talking to another nurse that gets it!

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Book review: The Nurses Guide to Blogging- Authors Brittney Wilson, BSN RN & Kati Kleber, BSN RN CCRN

*This post contains affiliate links. I never recommend products that I haven’t used. It cost you nothing extra to purchase through links. It just helps me with maintaining my blog!*

I recently just started getting my feet wet in the blogging world. What really inspired me to write a blog was seeing nurses like, The Nerdy Nurse (Brittney) and FreshRN (Katie), putting themselves out there! They are both valuable resources for beginning nurses and seasoned nurses. Personally, I wanted to start a blog, because I was dealing with the stress and effects of nurse burnout. I wanted to blog because I find writing therapeutic and hoped that by me sharing my experience, I could help others. When I launched my blog I quickly realized, there was way more to blogging than I thought! It is time-consuming and actually cost some money, gulp! I had already been reading some nursing blogs, but I was really wanting something that could help me with starting my own blog. Not just any blog, but nursing related! I found the book, The Nurses Guide to Blogging Building a Brand and a Profitable Business as a Nurse Influencer. I bet you can’t say that title three times fast, ha! All kidding aside it was everything I was looking for! I spent a considerable amount of time researching how to start a blog and everything in between, but this book really is the blueprint you need! The authors do the research for you and lay it all out in an easy to read, and reasonable 10 chapters! Below I will highlight some of the chapters and some of the takeaways I got from the book!

Image result for the nurses guide to blogging

*above is the picture of the book being reviewed by Authors Wilson & Kleber*

 

The Nursing Guide to Blogging points

  • I really enjoy how each of the authors writes about how they started their blog, along with the things that worked and didn’t work! It was really refreshing to see their stories and to see how they grew their business, and the time it took to do so!
  • The authors explain how blogs can be a great place for readers to learn about you and your passions! The book really goes into how nurses can influence health care and that is really cool!
  • I really like the chapter about finding your blogging niche. Before I didn’t really think about writing about a certain problem or finding a niche in blogging. This chapter also discusses the importance of an accountability partner!
  • The book goes into really great detail about your brand. This is important with blogging because you’re really starting a business! That was something that I had not really wrapped my head around until reading this book.

Writing

 

  • Something else I really never gave thought to, before this book, was Search Engine Optimization (SEO). This is something I still struggle with, but The Nurses Guide to Blogging really helps to explain the in’s and out’s, in a language you can understand!
  • Chapter 5 has some great ideas on how to create the best content for your blogs, including some mistakes you might not know your making! I know I took quite a few pointers from this chapter!
  • Eventually, if you’re going to blog for the long haul, then monetization needs to be considered. The book goes into explaining more in detail how to do this, but not only that, it helps you not feel so guilty about it! As nurses, we want to help people, and we tend to feel guilty about things we need!
  • In the beginning, I was just on Facebook. Then I read this book and realized how important social media is for spreading your message! I had no clue how each social media presence like Twitter and Instagram, are used. This book really breaks several social media platforms down and explains how to use each platform correctly to grow your blog and get your message across.
  • Lastly, for me, Chapter 9 “practical considerations”, was the most helpful. It goes into more depth about organizing your blog business and the legal aspect of it.

The Nurses Guide to Blogging is a great book if you already have a blog or considering starting one. It is easy to read and I will be reading it again! I will be using it as a check list to make sure I get off to a good start. I am thankful for these two authors who helped pave the way for a whole new platform for nurses to educate and influence others in healthcare! I suggest picking yourself up a copy if you are at all considering blogging as a nurse. I think you will be pleased with the book and the information given by the authors!

www.Crispyfriednurse.com

7 myths about nurses!

There are many, many myths out there when it comes to nurses and the nursing profession. It is important for the general public and future nurses, to understand that most of these myths are not true. I have either encountered people projecting these myths on to me or have fallen for them myself. So here are 7 myths about nurses I have compiled that is important for you to know!

 

Nurses really want to be doctors

If I had a nickel for every time someone has said things to my colleagues and I like, “You’re so smart! Why are you not a doctor?”, or “I bet you wish you would have been a doctor!” Most of the time it is meant as a backward compliment, but it is strange that this myth persists. Most nurses went into nursing to become, well nurses! There are some who go on to become doctors or nurse practitioners, and that is fantastic! Nurses can move on to become practitioners in their profession. Most nurse practitioners actually have a Ph.D.! They work as colleagues with physicians to meet patient care needs. There are many reasons why we chose to be nurses instead of doctors. Nurses spend more time with the patients, they have the opportunity to develop bonds with clients, and there are many opportunities in nursing! Nursing is a professional organization and professional career, that we are glad to be a part of. These are just a few of the reasons that this myth is not true.

Nurses just clean up…poop

I get this from family and random people ALOT. They seem to think a nurses job is cleaning up after people and that’s where it ends. Yes, we do clean up poop, but there is so much more to nursing. We administer medications, work with the doctor and multiple other departments, take off orders, start IV’s, draw labs, and the list goes on. Those are just some of the technical things we do. We are also strong patient advocates! Patients open up to us and we are able to try our best to get what the patient wants/needs. We cry with patients and family, sing, and dance! You never know what each new day will bring in nursing.

Nurses have the best schedule, they are off 4 days a week

Ah, yes! This was what I was most looking forward too! But those 3 day work weeks come with a price dearie! (That is my Rumpelstiltskin impression). Most of those 3 shifts will become a 14-hour shift. Then there is management calling you asking you to come in on your day off. If it was a hard, stressful shift, then 1 of those days off will probably be used for recovery! I do miss the 9-5 a little. I wouldn’t know what I would do with myself if my shift ended in 8-9 hours. It would probably seem lightning fast.

Nursing school is easy

It really baffles me that people still look at nursing as an easy degree. Nursing is usually up there in the top 10 hardest bachelors degrees. Not only is nursing school challenging, but you have to fight just to get into the nursing program.  Many times there are entrance exam, point systems based on grades, and recommendations. Then they only take so many applicants! After you get in the program it doesn’t slow down or get any easier until the end. You have the BOARDS.

Learning is over once you graduate

Be prepared to graduate nursing and feel like you still know nothing. You will learn a lot more on the job. This is common because nursing is constantly evolving. For this reasons, healthcare providers have to be up to date on their evidence-based practices. There will always be new skills or medication to learn. When you sign up for nursing, you sign up to continue growing and learning all your professional career!

Nurses are the physician’s gopher

Okay, there are some days you are going to feel like the physician’s gopher. The truth of the matter is, we are all in this together and we are colleagues. If there are a lot of procedures that are done at the bedside on your floor, then you might have to set up the doctors supplies. That doesn’t mean you’re a gopher. You’re a team player! They have multiple people they are seeing on multiple floors. It would probably take them forever just to locate the supplies they need on your floor. Most doctors truly appreciate nurses and are great team players! When we all work together there are better outcomes for the patients and work is much more tolerable!

 

Nursing is a women’s job

This is one myth that stills hangs around, but it is slowly going away, I hope. I have worked with many nurses male and female! Every nurse is unique and brings different skills to the table. I think that it is great that our profession is expanding more and is open to both male and female. I’m not sure why people think nursing is a women’s job? It is a stereotype that is being broken, thanks to many wonderful male nurses!

These are the 7 myths about nurses that I have encountered! I am sure there is more. Feel free to discuss in the comments below! What nursing myths have you busted or even found to be true?

***Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram (Cripsyfriednurse) and Facebook (Crispy Fried Nurse) @ the bottom of page***

What you need to know about online nursing education —Nurse.com

Below is a great article that describes the pros and cons of online nursing schools. If it were not for online nursing schools, I feel I wouldn’t have been able to accomplish the growth in my professional career. I am currently in my Masters in nursing education program and it is online. It is great for students that have to work or have other obligations, and they cannot make it to a traditional brick and mortar school.

It is not easier, this is a myth. I think it is actually a little harder, because it requires discipline and major organization. It is not for everyone, but is something that could allow you to pursue a higher degree, if you can make it work. I achieved my Associates degree via a hybrid program. This was online and then we went to the school for labs and test. Clinical was scheduled at local hospitals. My bachelors degree was entirely online. I am used to the online program layout and having to be self initiating with my studies. My Masters degree I am struggling with the self initiating part. It has been really hard this time around for me to organize and sit down to do my work. Blogging and crafts is were I want to spend my free time, and watching Stranger things! Ha! I need to get it together though, because if I don’t get through it I will want to kick my own butt.

The article below is from nurse.com. It really explains how the nursing education is shifting and how this can be a valuable tool to allow professionals to increase their education!

Nursing ranks among the top three most popular undergraduate and graduate online education majors. It trails only business administration and computer science and engineering, according to the “Online College Students 2016: Comprehensive Data on Demands and Preferences” report. Online educational opportunities in nursing have taken off, according to Karen Ouzts, PhD, RN, APHN-BC, BSN program director…

via What you need to know about online nursing education — Nursing News, Stories & Articles

Have you found your niche in nursing? If not, is it so bad?

I always envied other nurses in school, who started and knew right then what they wanted to do as a nurse. There was team ER, ICU, Pediatrics, Surgery, and Psychiatry to name a few. I knew that I wanted to be a nurse, but I never was extremely pulled one way or the other. I hoped by the end of nursing school I would find that coveted niche I longed for. Well, I have graduated from nursing school 3 times (LPN, ASN & BSN) and never found it. I was discouraged at first, but when I look back at the diversity of my nursing positions, and how each one helped me grow as a nurse I am thankful. So in a sense, I have never been type casted. I am the jack of all trades and master of none, which is okay! If your lucky enough to find an area of nursing and love it, congrats! It’s not that I don’t like being a nurse, I just haven’t found that one speciality that makes me go a-ha! This is it! So here are some positives if your like me, and are a tumbleweed blowing in the wind, maybe just maybe, that’s our niche!

1) You will work with some amazing people!

One positive is by working in different specialties, you will work with some very passionate people! They love everything about their specialty and most are willing to teach you about it. It is really inspiring to work with these individuals! If your willing to learn from them, then you will be so much better for it.

2) You will learn so much!

Be open to learning! This is almost a prerequisite for not having a niche. Because everytime you start a new area in nursing, you almost feel like your starting out as a new nurse again. If your open to learning then as a nurse and a person, you will grow and be able to use your knew acquired knowledge for your clients!

3) You are more comfortable with change and the unexpected!

Because you haven’t found your niche yet, your used to change. So when changes come about in your work, it’s a lot easier to accept. Plus, your always on your toes. So when something unexpected happens, like a change in a clients condition, you just might be the go to person! Maybe it’s something they haven’t seen before, but you have!

4) You will continue to grow as a nurse!

Haven’t found your niche yet? If not, is it so bad? Because you haven’t claimed a niche or found one that suits you. The sky is still the limit! Because I couldn’t find my niche, I kept going back to school to increase my education. I was able to learn and observe many different areas of nursing. It’s really not something I think about until someone ask me where I have worked. Over the 12 years I have been in long term care, a physicians office, medical surgical, acute care, and community health nursing! I am thankful for each one of these experiences!

5) You will become a valuable resource!

Another positive is when something different happens on the unit or a new medication is prescribed. You just might have encountered it before and become the resource! Because you are the jack of all trades, this just might be your time to shine!

As you find yourself going into different nursing professions, try to stay positive. It can be really upsetting when you just don’t find that one area that your extremely passionate about. It could be your niche is just learning along your journey in nursing. Never stop looking for that unicorn of a niche. The journey will be amazing if you let it! Keep your head up and know it’s okay if you don’t have a niche. There is a place for everyone in nursing including our niche less selves! So the next time someone says to you, have you found your niche in nursing? Stand tall and tell them I don’t need no niche, I am a niche! Or something like that, ha!

 

 

 

Your guide for improving bedside manner, nursing edition!

My brother has been in the hospital for a little over week. He was in one hospital and then transferred to another one. Most of the nurses, cna’s, and doctors have been real good! There are a few though that has inspired this post! Why is bedside manner important in nursing? It helps you to establish trust with the patient and their family. Usually, when you think of bedside manner, nurses tend to think of doctors. It is just as important, if not MORE important, that we are practicing what we preach! Nurses are with the patient way more than the doctor, and you are their advocate. This doesn’t let doctor’s off the hook, but we are talking about nurses. Sometimes we just need to  have a reminder on how to better our bedside manner. Bedside manner can be forgotten with the fast pace we are having to keep, and the amount of patients we care for, but it is still important! So this is your guide to improving bedside manner, nursing edition!

  1. Listen! In our fast pace environment and patient loads we can simply forget to listen to our patients and our families. They are a treasure trove of information if we just listen. For example, my brother is down syndrome. When he is in the hospital we always have one family member at his bedside. My brother is non-verbal. He has trust issues. There are certain things you can do to get his trust and a special way to communicate with him. He uses sign language for certain things, and different mannerisms for others. The family in this scenario are the experts. It doesn’t matter how many initials come after you name, LPN, RN, RN-BSN, MSN, or PhD! The family and client are the more knowledgeable ones when it comes to themselves and family. I’m not saying that they always know best, but it helps to listen, and gain trust, before coming in slinging mud.

Vector graphics of grayscale listening ear

2.  Use everyday language to explain things. This is an easy one to forget, because in the medical field we have our own language, and we use it all day long. It is extremely important that patients and families understand what you are trying to communicate. If you told a patient that they needed to take their medicine PRN and PO (as needed and by mouth), they might shake their head like they understand, when they really don’t. A lot of times they will not speak up because they don’t want to sound dumb, or like they don’t understand. We can get in a hurry and the medical language we use every day can just slip out. So it is important to make sure they understand by having them repeat back or teach back!

3. Don’t Judge! In our everyday life we tend to make snap judgments of people. It is important that you understand this and make sure they are not coming out in the way you communicate. This includes the spoken word and body language. It is important that judging comments do not come across in the teaching or advice you give patients. There is a whole life and background of information that you don’t know. An recent example of this, a nurse scolded my husband over the fact my brother drinks cokes. He is a borderline diabetic. What she hasn’t seen is the years my brother has had this habit, and the effort he is and we are trying to cut them back. The way she stated it to my husband was really judgmental.  Tone is just as important in communication!

Judge hammer vector illustration

4. Be present. Before you enter the room clear your head of the other 10 million task you need to complete, and concentrate on this patient. If you don’t then you will appear distracted, and your client will notice. Patients know if they are being rushed. Like asking if they need something as your running out the door. If you have the time, try and have a seat by the patient and be at eye level. There have actually been studies that show the patient is more satisfied when this occurs and also feels that the nurse spent more time with them. Even though the same amount time was spent sitting as was standing. Sometimes it is just the little things!

Sometimes we all just need a good reminder to be professional and watch our bedside manner. When we are taking care of many clients and have multiple things we need to do. It can be easy to skip over bedside manner, but it is important that we make ourselves present, listen to patients and their families, don’t be so judgmental, and finally use everyday language!

What should you know about non-compete clauses!

Oh, the things you wish you knew yesterday! This will fall into this category for me! The non-compete clause. I always thought this was for doctors or maybe nurse practitioners. Wrong! They are showing up for nurses and even certified nursing assistants.

 

What is a non-compete clause mean for nurses?

 

The non-compete clause is something as nurses we should be aware of. It is something now I will ask about, and read what I am signing. Employers will not always point out in the 30 pages your signing of new hire paperwork, that there is a non-compete clause included. They should tell you, but if you sign something saying they did, then you can see it will be a hard argument to make that you didn’t know. It is up to you to read, and decide if you want to sign it.

 

What is a non-compete clause?

 

If you haven’t ran into one yet then look out! They are becoming more frequent. When you sign a non-compete clause then you are basically agreeing to not compete with your former employer for a length of time, and within a certain geographic area. So, an example would be, you are working for a nursing agency, and they have a non-compete clause that states you cannot work for the facility itself, or any other agency that is staffed in the facility if you leave this agency. This is to protect the employer from their employees jumping around to different agencies and facilities, because they want to be paid also. They also have a business themselves they are trying to keep open. It is a contract for you the employee to follow. So please read it! It can specify all sorts of things, and you want to be sure you know exactly what your signing.

 

Should you sign one?

 

Well, that is a question only you can answer. If you don’t then odds are they are not going to hire you. So, if you’re really wanting to work at this particular place, or really need the job you might have to. It is still something you might be able to negotiate or not. You never know until you READ and ask. I signed one and knew I did, I just didn’t really take time to read all the details. Well, that was a mistake! The facility I was contracted, ended up being sold, and due to my non-compete contract, I will not have a job in a few weeks. At the time it didn’t seem like that big of a deal, but I really wish now I would have done my homework. There were other agencies in the same facility that did not have these non-compete clauses.  Learn from my mistake READ!

 

What happens if you break it?

 

There can be many things, the number one being they will sue you! That can mean a big pay day for the employer, and major damage to your wallet!  If you are stuck in one of these contracts, then you can talk to your agency to see if they will let you out of your contract. Be sure to get this in writing. The other option is getting legal representation. Depending on what you signed this might be an option, but you can save yourself a lot of trouble just reading, and knowing what your signing. For me, they won’t let me out of the contract, so I am on the search for a new job!

 

 

 

I am not a lawyer, I am a nurse. Of course, I can’t give you legal advice! I’m just merely suggesting read what you sign. That’s actually good advice in most areas of life. You live you learn I suppose! If in doubt then obtain legal advice. Good luck!

13 interview tips for your next nursing job!

I figured this was a good subject considering, I am about to find myself having to interview. My contract where I am ends November 3rd, and so I am on the look out! (Look for an article about non-compete clauses in employment contracts coming soon)! And of course it is Friday the 13th, so we have to do 13 tips! So here we go!

1. Relax!

I know this is easier said then done! But in an interview you really want to be confident. Being to nervous can come across as your not confident. It is okay to be a little nervous, but mostly you need to appear relaxed. Interview’s don’t have to be scary! Most interviewers know they are going to have nervous candidates. Just don’t get yourself so worked up you can’t answer  questions!

2. Do your homework!

If you are applying for an organization look up their mission statement. Does it align with your idea of a company you would want to work for? If not, then move on. If so, then work it into some of the questions they might ask. For instance, Why do you want to work at ____ &______? This would be a great time to tell them how your ideals match the companies. Bonus points if you look up the companies history, just to learn a little more about the company. You want to show them you did your research, but also don’t want to come off as stalking them  either!

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3. Dress the part!

Understand what your interviewing for. My advice is to not wear scrubs to an interview if you can help it. I have one time, but I let the interviewer know that I would be leaving work to come to the interview at the allotted time, and was it okay if I wore my scrubs. They said it was fine. I also ended up with the job. For the most part though, even though scrubs are what we spend most of our time in, you want to dress more for business. Probably not a good idea to wear flip flops. I only mention this because I have seen it done, on more than one occasion, and it cracks me up every-time! And yes these were nurses!

4. Be on time

Show up on time, if not a few minutes early. You don’t want to be so early that your putting pressure on the interviewer. They make these time slots, and most likely are working themselves, then fitting you in for an interview. 15 minutes early is probably max, unless they ask you to come in earlier, or you have another reason. Try your best not to be late! Things happen, but if your going to be late, due to traffic or some other unforeseen circumstance. Apologize, Call ahead, and let them know. It is courtesy, and will give them a better time-frame on when to expect you.

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5. Research interview questions

Research (Google search) commonly asked interview questions and commonly asked interview questions for nurses. This will give you good practice and you will have some answers ready if they come up. One I always struggle with if I am unprepared, is “name something about yourself professionally, that you need to improve” or ” what would you consider one of your weaknesses”.  These questions always trip me up. You spend most of the interview, telling them all the positives, and they flip the script. It is best if you can spin your negative into more of a positive.  Or another route would be how your improving  your weakness. What ever route your choose stay positive. This isn’t the time to confess you wake up at midnight, and eat ice cream, and watch the home shopping network!

6. Be prepared to ask questions.

They will ask you if you have any questions for them. Try to have a couple that are relevant to the position your applying for. See how the conversation goes when it comes to compensation. Most likely the person interviewing you has nothing to do with this. Negotiations will be apart of human resources. If you go in talking about what you will make an hour right away, it can be a little off putting. If the interviewer brings it up, it is a different story. If the interviewer sees your past salary and it is way more than this position is offering. It has been my experience before you even come in, or at the interview, this is one of the first things discussed. They don’t want waste your time or theirs if they can’t afford you.

7. Ask about follow up and time frame

This is something easily forgotten in an interview. You have answered the questions like a rock star, the interviewer and you hit it off. You are already imagining working for this company! Slow down, and be sure to ask when you will hear about the decision. If you don’t, then the suspense will eat you up. Some companies will send out letters to all candidates that state if you were chosen or not. Don’t expect this though, when it comes to not being chosen.  This is why a time line can help. If they say they have multiple candidates, and they say I plan on making a decision by the end of next week, and you don’t hear from them. It might be a sign you didn’t make the cut. It is also nice to know when and how you can contact them for a follow up!

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8. Be mindful of body language

Try to stay open and relaxed. If your arms are crossed then it puts out a message of being closed off. Or maybe the interviewer will think your not interested. Smile when appropriate and make eye contact. This is all important to help convey your confidence. When leaving, a firm handshake can help. Don’t crush their hands, but you don’t want to make your hand a limp noodle either. You may want to practice with family or a friend. Also, standing in front of a mirror and practicing interview questions can help. See what you look like when you answer questions.

9. Get their business card

If the offer a business card take it! This will have their contact in case you have follow up questions. Also, you will need an email or mailing address. Sometimes during the interview, nervousness can make you forget important questions, or maybe you need some clarification. If you have their business card, no problem!

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10. Send a thank you

Be sure to follow up with a thank you, but don’t expect a response. This is just to help put you in the mind of the interviewer again and show courtesy. I personally like to send thank you cards via the mail. I feel it is more personal, but it also can be a little old fashioned. An email is appropriate if that is all you have or if that is what you prefer. Really either one is good, because your just wanting to express your thanks. An email has the advantage of being delivered right away. If you send a thank you card by mail, you take the chance of it getting lost in the mail, or being read after the decision is made. So emails can be better, it really is just a matter of preference.

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11 . Keep going on interviews

Even if you have a good feeling about this position, keep any interviews you have scheduled, or keep the job search going. It can really feel like you got the job, but you just never know. It could have nothing to do with you personally. The interviewer could be told they are no longer hiring for the position, so now the position you interviewed for is no longer available. There are many variables and things going on behind the scenes that you have no control of. So it is best if you keep your options open until, you have an offer in writing.

12. Follow up when advised

If they do tell you a time when they expect to follow up with you, try not to initiate contact before. Or if they tell you to contact them on a certain date then follow through. It can be very tempting to contact them before the time they gave you. It can seem like an eternity when your waiting to find out if you got the job or not! If you have a follow up question then this should be okay, just don’t keep harassing them if they have made a decision. You want to make contact with them even if you are no longer interested in the position. You never know if in the future you might be interested in this position again, or in the small world of nursing run into them again.

13. Keep your head up

Depending on where you live the competition can be fierce! There are people with varying degrees and experience. So if you don’t get the job, keep your chin up. It can be even harder when your a new nurse. You really need to stand out! Sometimes employees would rather hire someone who is new, so don’t let that discourage you. Try to find employers who are friendly to new nurses. Above all stay the course and keep trying!

I hope you find these tips useful. I have 12 years under my belt with nursing and interviews. That’s not to mention the jobs prior to nursing! These are some tips I have used and have found helpful. There is always more to learn when it comes to interviews! There is no absolute when it comes to interviewing, but with these tips, and your own research, you can be better prepared! Good luck!

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7 signs your experiencing nurse burnout

Do you really need to know the signs of nurse burnout! I think so! Having experienced it myself, I have found that it can really sneak up on you! Then you’re left with confusion, exhaustion, and you don’t know what to do! So here are 7 signs your heading for nurse burnout! And of course, all of these or just some of these might apply. If anything it might raise a red flag that something is a miss and you need to take heed! Also, am I in no way suggesting you quit your job, or nursing for that matter. I just want you to know the signs of burn out, and how to recognize the symptoms. You can do this by taking a break from your job if you can like a vacation, talking with someone, or maybe a job change is in order. That is okay! If you’re like me, you cant afford to up and quit, I would think most people couldn’t do that. But it can help to look at different specialties and see if a change could help!

1) Are you calling in a lot from work? So have you called in so much your starting to run out of excuses, and you start using some really weird ones like ” My dog has the flu” ” I can’t come to work because I’m stuck in the house” or maybe ” I tried a new recipe from the Food Network, and it was a fail, now I have food poison”. Well, in theory, some of these could be valid excuses, but really if you see the increase in calling in and the dread of going to work, you could most likely be burned out.

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2) Your tired, not just the, I stayed up late and watched Game of Thrones tired. I am talking no amount of sleep can cure this tired. When I get stressed I can sleep for over 12 hours and still not feel like I got any rest. Especially on days after I work. This can also be a warning sign of nurse burnout. Of course, it can also be you can’t sleep! I have also been through this. It seems to be a cycle of no sleep, then excessive sleep. It is important that you get the rest you need, but if you feel like you just can’t get enough, then it is worth thinking about nurse burnout as the cause.

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3) Anxiety, panic attacks, and depression oh MY! This is a sign for sure something is not going right in your life. It could be nurse burnout. If you haven’t experienced a panic attack consider yourself lucky! They are horrible. Mine started this year, mostly in relation to things happening outside of work, but it didn’t help with my nurse burnout. It is important for you to slow down and really find out why the anxiety, panic attacks, and depression is happening. Especially if this is a huge change for you. Sometimes there can be no specific triggers, but you need to take care of yourself regardless. It just might mean taking a break, talking to a counselor, or medication. Whatever it takes to take care of you!

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4) Sickness, sickness everywhere! Are you getting sick more than usual? This is a big sign from your body telling you something is wrong. Stress over time can run down the immune system which will leave you getting sick all the time. I noticed I would get colds all the time. One would end and another would begin. It was miserable! If you start noticing you’re getting sick a lot see your doctor of course, but you might want to reassess the stress in your life also.

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5) Has your family used terms like mean and irritable to describe you? Maybe some other colorful language! Well, personality changes can be a direct result from nurse burnout. Sometimes your family and friends are the first ones to pick up there is something not quite right. I remember my son asking me if I had a good day or bad day at work, every-time I got home. I asked him why he does this, and he said he could tell my mood was changing, and if I had a bad day he didn’t even bother to ask me something. That was a wake-up call! Especially, when I started having more bad days than good!

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6) You absolutely dread going to work. We all have days where we don’t want to go to work. I am talking so much dread you can’t sleep, or you fantasize about running away. On my way to work one time I drove by an airport. I thought to myself, I could totally buy a one-way ticket to just about anywhere, and get out of work. Of course, I went to work, but it made me realize, wow! I need a change!

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7) Feeling under appreciated is also a common sign. Some of this is normal, but when it gets to a point were your feeling more underappreciated than happy, it could be nurse burn out. Nursing is a thankless job. When we do get a thank you it’s awesome. Or if someone tells you your a great nurse, wow! Maybe, even those compliments are going in one ear and out the other. Because you’re burned out, you focus more on the negative and the positive you miss! This could also be a red flag that you are in or heading for nurse burnout. Of course, it does take some examining, because it could just be the work environment your in. Either way, some assessing, and change could need to take place.

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I hope some information was learned about nurse burnout and how to recognize the symptoms. Nurse burnout should not be ignored because the symptoms and warning signs will just increase. It is my hope for you, that you catch it early and take care of yourself. We need good caregivers and in order to keep them, we need good caregivers taking care of themselves. That was a long hard lesson for me to learn!