3 Fitness apps for travel nurses

3 Fitness apps for travel nurses

Fortunately, we now all have smartphones with thousands of apps downloadable. Some of them are just great for fitness ; and really adapted to people who work a lot, far from home, and have few time to keep a healthy lifestyle with good food and exercises.

MyFitnessPal

It is a free app, that tracks the foods you eat with its calories counter. You just have to fill in the food you eat and its quantity, then its database of 5 million foods calculates the calories it makes. According to your weight, MyFitnessPal tells you if you need to adapt your portion of food in order to eat just what you need. Doing that everyday enables you to follow a good diet, without forcing you to eat the food you dislike.

Sworkit

This app enables to workout anywhere. The short personalized videos show you the exercices you can do, without material. Thus, as long as you have a room (and sometimes a fitness carpet when you have to lay down), you can workout ! Strength, Stretching, Cardio, Pilates, Yoga.. you have no excuses anymore not to do exercises while travelling with Sworkit Plus, if you get the premium version, you can talk directly with a trainer

Nike+ Run Club

This free app has a built-in GPS that tracks your run. Nike+ Run Club tells you where, how long and how fast you ran ! You can also get coaching programs to help you reach your personal objectives. You can compare your runs with your friends’ ones and share them with them by taking a picture. The apps adds your run details (length, speed, time) on the picture, that you can share on the social media.

5 signs your mom is a nurse

5 signs your mom is a nurse

« It’s nothing » : according to her, you are never sick

As long as you are not unconscious or totally bleeding out, she would say there is nothing to worry about. It is a bit frustrating when you really feel sick and don’t feel able to go to school or to work. But you are reassured because you know that if you need anything, she would know what to do – and not every kid has this chance.

She is rarely sick herself

She is treating sick people every single day of the year, shaking dozens of hands, gets coughed at… and is never sick ! How is that even possible ? However when you were a kid, you did not always want to approach her too close, fearing to get the virus she could have brought home.

She always has the medication you need with her

A walking drugstore ! Going out for the weekend or for vacation ; she always has everything she would need, « just in case ». And you have assisted at least once to a scene where someone got hurt and she was the only one having the necessary tools and medication to give him first aid. Making you so proud, and realizing eventually that she was right to bring all that stuff with her.

Literally everyone asks her for medical advice

People trust nurse, and not only for medical advice. However, they would ask her opinion whenever they could. Parents, siblings, friends and even your very own friends can not help asking her opinion about any health problem or interrogation.

You don’t always want to ask how was her day

Nurses are hard workers and they often come home late. Nonetheless you do not always want to hear her telling what she did during her day. Because no matter how bad your day was, she has seen worse for sure ! So much so that you wonder how she can do this job. But that is her vocation and there is nothing else she would want to do !

How to improve communication with a patient with Alzheimer ?

How to improve communication with a patient with Alzheimer ?

Naturally, frustrations arise for both the caregiver and the patient. Here is our advice to help you manage the breakdown in communication you are facing.

Most common symptoms of dementia

During the early stages, people with Alzheimer tend to speak less and can not find some words to express themselves. Then the situation may aggravate quickly ; the patient has more and more difficulties to express his thoughts and feelings, making the communication worse and worse.
It is hard, especially when you have to deal with family members losing their temper as they see their loved ones being in decline. However, as frustrating and annoying it can be, you should not give up. As very often in personal or professional life, good communication is the key to solve your problems.

Facing Alzheimer with effective communication techniques

  • Being patient : Don’t show any sign of annoyance or irritation, avoid correct their mistakes and never interrupt them. Be careful when you try to guess what they want to say.
  • Being supportive : Show them you are trying your best to understand and keep on encouraging them when they are speaking. Even though as a caregiver, you are empathetic by nature..
  • Reassure them : Tell them that things are ok ; even if they will not remember they just struggled to express something, it will affect their mood.
  • Focus on the emotion : don’t focus too much on the facts, you need to find the intended meaning behind their say.
  • Unspoken communication is a plus, but it doesn’t work with every patients.

Caregiving for patients of different cultures

Caregiving for patients of different cultures

The aim is to bind a trustworthy relationship, and in fine to reach the outcome you are looking for. As a caregiver, acknowledging the cultural differences of your patients may have with you is important, because it can impact their needs and expectations from your role and your care.

What to know about religious patients’ expectations

Here are some considerations you need to keep in mind :

  • They may feel uncomfortable to be treated by a caregiver from the opposite gender ;
  • They may not eat some food ;
  • They may not do some activities after sundown ;
  • They may need to pray at certain hours of the day ;
  • They may spend holy days you do not know about ;
  • They may refuse blood transfusion.

Why is it important so ask about your patients’ beliefs ?

If it is not easy to bring up the subject of the religious background of your patients, it is nonetheless fundamental for a caregiver to know about it. They need to feel comfortable with you. Plus, you have to pay attention not to change your attitude and communication only based on assumptions.

Indeed, it is not because someone comes from a certain culture that he follows the rule you may expect. Everyone is unique and lives its faith according to its own choices.

Stressed out nurses : our tips to relax

Stressed out nurses : our tips to relax

Most of the nurses have experienced indeed intense periods of stress, which have consequences on their patients and their personal life. They tend to complain a lot more about your job and even their patients to your colleagues, friends and family ; which has a negative impact on their productivity and health – as we saw in our article about nurses’ fatigue.

Nonetheless, there is no fatality to it. To all the nurses – or future nurses – who read us today, here our the tips we gathered from nurses to relax when you do one of the most stressful jobs in the world.

Pinpoint what irritates you

First thing to do when you deal with any problem is to acknowledge it. It is not always easy to be able to find what really grinds your gears. In most of the cases, it has to do with your job ; for nurses it is even more frequent. Is it what you have to do ? Is it who you are dealing with ? Patients, colleagues, doctors or the administration of the hospital ?
Once you know what irritates you the most in your job, you can start to find a solution to improve things in your job.

Take a deep breath. Close you eyes for a minute in a quiet place. And think about what you need.

Talk to people…

who may be part of the problem. Many people can not actually act like adults. If you have a quarrel with someone, go tell him/her and fix it. Do not forget the earlier you do that, the easier it will be.

Impose short breaks to yourself

You may happen not to feel when it is time for you to make a break. You need to learn it, and above all to learn how to relax – in the good way. Avoid coffees or sodas but prefer green tea, water or why not homemade juices ? Stop drinking Coke or eat potato chips. Having a good diet is primordial when you work that much, and avoiding sugar and fat will help you going in. When you get home, turn off your TV, and read a book – or go to the cinema ! Go outside, alone or with friends, in a parc or in a bar. Having a social life is essential indeed.

Plan something fun to do every month

Breaking out from your routine once in a while is important. Those are the things you actually remember you need at the end of the year. A breath of fresh air that will do you good for sure. Never forget that you work to enjoy the rest of your time, and not the contrary ! Keeping your nose to the grindstone is a bad habit you ought to fight.

If you are not able to do this at all, or if you think it would not change anything, maybe it is time for you to start thinking about changing your job or working less than you are doing now.

How do I deal with many doctors at the same time ?

How do I deal with many doctors at the same time ?

However those doctors often tell you a lot of important things that you ought to never forget – for your health. The patient gets lost with all these many, complicated information ; and the health care team does not communicate enough with each other. Worst-case scenario, you can disagree with one of them.

With all those people involved in your treatment, we are about to see why it is important to advocate for yourself.

  1. Always carry a booklet on you to note every medical problem you have through the weeks, your medication and the name of your providers with their phone numbers.
  2. If the specialist does not give you an after-visit paper with every test he made and and every recommendation he made. They may be useful to you if you forget anything or if a doctor tells you something, mainly about your medication, and another one says another. You may suggest your care team to communicate better.
  3. If you disagree with any of the doctors, on how your cure should go on for example, ask him why he thinks this is the best plan. Write it down, read your notebook again, think about it at home with a fresh mind, and maybe ask one of your providers his opinion. If you follow this procedure, it will help you to take your decision.

This is your health, your life we are talking about here ; none cares more about your health than you do.

Nurses : how to avoid burnout

Nurses : how to avoid burnout

burn out

First, being able to accomplish all those tasks requires a few skills : being well organized, being good at what you are doing (we all know cheaters who are terrible at what they are doing, but nurses can’t afford that), even with a great amount of stress and under intense pressure.

Not everyone has to deal almost everyday with matters of life or death. And that may be the hardest part of the job. Empathy is a requirement to do this job, but you need to keep a certain distance between the patient and yourself, which is particularly difficult for nurses in the neonatal departments.

Nurses see themselves as invincibles

They care for people, not the contrary. So they tend not to care enough about themselves ; and they even often don’t even think about it, having your head to the grindstone !

But that is actually what brings nurses to burnout. The pressure, the lack of sleep, the illness, intense joy followed by sad news. Nowadays every caregiver knows fatigue, because we ask them more and more and they can’t say « no » because there will always be patients and they will always need them.

But nurses need to recognize when it’s time for them to say enough. Nurses should give themselves the same care that they give to their patient, because work shouldn’t have such an impact on your health and mind. Plus, in the majority of cases, when burnout is recognized it is right after an incident. And all different type of nurses more than any other person can not make mistakes, as they can be irreversible and fatal.

So for everyone’s sake, nurses ought to think about their needs to know when they should slow down.

9 different types of nurses

9 different types of nurses

Discover different types of nurses

The emergency nurse

It is this kind of nurse that you see in all those series, where they need to deal with dozens of patients everyday, sort them out to send them to the good doctors. As on TV, the Emergency Room is pretty intense and always on rush. They sometimes need to provide immediate care to patients in critical situations.

The anesthetist nurse

This nurse is the one we all like, because he or she can provide pain killers or even morphine to relieve us or prevent us from feeling pain.

The ambulatory nurse

Ambulatory care nurses are here for temporary patients only, who stay only for a few hours or for 2-3 days max. They usually treat with patients who are not used to going to the hospital, so their role is also to reassure and appease people.

The neonatal nurse

The neonatal nurse is soon-to-be moms’ savior ! She is often here from the moment the new parents get in the maternity, till they leave it. Between that time, she gives the last advice to the mother, help her during labour and cares for newborns immediately after birth to make all the first health checks.

The pediatric nurse

She treats almost anything that a child has contracted. They practice pretty much everywhere, from hospitals to schools, and even at home.

The geriatric nurse

The nurses care of the elderly, mainly in nursing homes and hospitals but even sometimes at the patients’ homes, if they are still independent. They are often here to help the patients with basic needs, such as getting up, washing and feeding.

The psychiatric nurse

This is one of the most difficult job there is, as patients who are treated for a mental illness can be unpredictable and violent, especially in mental institutions. In this sad environment, the nurses team is often very close and quickly become friends.

The holistic nurse

Those nurses work with patients who need both mind and body care. Using therapeutic methods, they provide care for the entirety of the patients.

The practitioner nurse

Nurse practitioners have a Master’s degree and are qualified to make diagnoses and prescribe drugs without the assistance of a doctor.

10 new nurse survival advice

10 new nurse survival advice
  1. Ask Questions. Be interested, ask for further instructions, and check actions to make you more at ease in your work, but also gives a boost to those nursing around you. These qualities also let you give safe patient care and is the most effective way to learn. Do not hesitate to ask questions.
  2. Don’t act like you know more than you do. You are a beginner. You’re observant. You are clear. I was also there at some point. I always get asked the question, “How long have you been a nurse for?”. Let them know you are rather new to the profession but that your love for quality healthcare and the access to resources are many. It is not required to know everything, but make sure to not fake it. “Fake it ‘till you make it” cannot be a standard when dealing with people’s lives. Now moving on to the next section…
  3. Do not be afraid to tell a patient “I don’t know.” It is not a big deal to admit to not knowing something, and be sure to follow-up with the answer for the patient. No one knows everything…
  4. Be ready and know your resources. There are so many resources at your disposal, ranging from hospital policies, to drug guides, to charge nurses. Support is available provided you know how to look for it.
  5. Pay attention to your learning curves. You have never before hung an inotrope and your patient’s pressure is dropping? Bring this to the attention of your charge nurse and partners as quickly as possible while the situation is unraveling in order to get the needed support. Next, thing about the situation and decide what needs to be reviewed from your training to handle the situation better the next time.
  6. Go easy on yourself! Mistakes will be made, keep in mind that everyone has been there at some point. I am sure that they will remember that too.
  7. Be a useful team player as like with any other profession, you are acquainting yourself the first year. Do not be the person who does nothing while everyone is running, or does nothing when your co-worker is in need of help. Teamwork is the only way to make the unit be successful. You will also need a team member’s help at some time in the future when dealing with your patients.
  8. 8. Partake in learning opportunities. There will be an ongoing learning curve until you decide to retire, at least that is what I hear. Managers and educators are always sending emails for conferences and training fairs – capitalize on the free resources to improve your unit. You have a long road ahead of you.
  9. Find a role model in the nursing area. The more role models the better! Get a senior nurse who you admire due to the level of care and learn from them to help you improve. Also, it’s a great idea to have support from team members for when days get tough.
  10. Drinking coffee is highly recommended. No kidding!

 

If you learned anything from this, remember there will be plenty of learning in the first five years. You were hired to serve a purpose and your hard earned degree means a lot more than just a qualification. You worked very hard to get this position, and the satisfaction of being in the healthcare profession will outweigh the downsides. Stay positive for when things become tough, a glass of wine is not a terrible idea.

How to shop for an Electronic Stethoscope ?

How to shop for an Electronic Stethoscope ?

These tools have greatly evolved. The common stethoscopes have for a long time been viewed as a sign of prestige by healthcare professionals, the stethoscope has not evolved much in terms of design and usefulness. There have been, however, some improvement in its look, significant advancements in technology have helped the stethoscopes to improve by a large margin. Their electronic counterparts have resulted from a series of models and design improvements that have taken place recently. Electronic stethoscopes can be the best solution for doing auscultation in a room filled with white noise with fans, computers, and electronic instruments.

Nurses recommend by a Littmann Electronic Stethoscope, other nurses are not so sure what to choose. It is difficult to pin point what the best stethoscope for nurses actually is. In recent years there have been a number of impressive electronic stethoscopes introduced to the market. With an understanding of benefits gained by the market leaders, you can better compare and contrast the stethoscope to make a better decision.

Here are a few things to take into account when shopping for an electronic stethoscope, and check out the best electronic stethoscopes available.

What features to take into account when shopping for an Electronic Stethoscope ?

Amplification

Common stethoscopes such as the Littmann 3200 use intricate transducers to allow physicians to amplify heart movements and lung sounds for example. This apparatus helps to change acoustic sound waves to digital electronic signals, which later can be amplified, further processed, and changed to achieve a better listening experience.

How to handle ambient noise and reduction

Even though amplification, alone, is a great feature, it also is attributed to a minor disadvantage: the chances of amplification of sharp, loud, noises such as the spin of a fan, in some occasions, can greatly damage the ears. In order to decrease the likelihood of this happening, electronic stethoscope manufacturers have come up with digital stethoscopes that can block off sounds that are not conducive in auscultatory steps thanks to their background noise blocking off and mitigating mechanism that uses special filters to make neutral all the encompassing noise.

Communication protocol and Software

Being able to record on board, transfer auscultated noises by using wireless connectivity to software, to be able to save files while connected to a computer, and sharing audio sounds with specialists far away in real time is the area where electronic stethoscopes differentiate. These additional software packages allow to record and send sounds in real time to get others’ opinions, listen to tracks at any playback speed, be able to see heart sounds during a spectrogram or phonocardiogram, and attach these files to patient’s medical records for example.

Battery

The earlier models of electronic stethoscopes were highly susceptible to fail in the event of battery failure, which may inconvenience the physician or even make the device useless. All market leaders promise longer battery life even when used more than 25 times a day, 5 days a week with a single AAA battery.

Ease of use

An easy to use electronic stethoscope should feature intuitive controls and buttons for the purpose of adjusting volume up or down, power on or off and change mode between bell and diaphragm on the head.

Thinklabs ONE is the brand of an electronic stethoscope that features great quality in sound. It has 100X amplification and volume controls that let you set the perfect augmentation for each patient and can give all the strength needed to get past any inconveniences such as tiny murmurs, faint sounds, noisy backgrounds, and patients that are obese. Additionally, one can choose to use his/her own headphones in tandem since the design does not have any large stethoscope tubing.

This electronic stethoscope is different from others in the market due to its comfort, ease of use, and lightweight. The Littmann 3100 features 24x amplification and an amazing sound experience equal to the very best cardiology stethoscopes. Even though it does not brag of having great recording features, its one of a kind noise reduction technology blocks off all encompassing noise that can get in the way of the auscultation. Due to to its advanced sensor design and remarkable filter performance, it reduces any rattles and allows to concentrate on what needs to be heard.

The EKO Core Digital Stethoscope is different because it is the only stethoscope with both digital/analog features. While connected to an analog stethoscope, the ECO core attachment lends its digitizing abilities and pairs to the free Eko mobile app for a wide range of possibilities that include recording, transfer, visualization of sounds. Take notice that sounds is not recorded on the attachment but it just passes audio signals through to the phone application. These sounds can be recoreded and stored in a patient’s medical record, which is great for a cardiology office.

Electronic Stethoscopes Are Great

The new features combine with technological improvements recently in additional to some design changes make getting electronic stethoscopes a smart option. Even though the price points make it difficult to afford, an electronic stethoscope is perhaps the best investment any physician can make when it comes to advanced auscultation.

Do you have an electronic stethoscope? Which is your favorite?

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