Neonatal Nurse Salary

Typically the normal neonatal nurse salary in an entry-level position is around $ 30,000 a year, although more experienced neonatal nurses get paid on average roughly $ 48,000 a year. Incomes will often fluctuate quite a lot based on skill levels as well as geographic location. Work experience is also a key component in nurse income ranges.

The total number of hours previously worked can also help determine the necessity of earnings. In almost all public hospitals, most of these neonatal nurseries are required to work very long hours simply because there is a large number of patients. For the most part they work night shifts and day shifts. The number of hours that they work is calculated in order to determine their overall regular pay. Those who work the night shifts are usually paid somewhat higher salads than those that work the day shifts.

The actual income you will get as a neonatal nurse will depend on living costs in your specific location. For example, nurses who live in the Midwest with no neonatal experience may start out with an annual salary in the high 30s to maybe the mid 40s. If you live on the East or West coast, then you can expect for the salies to be quite a lot higher. For those living in the Southern states, entry level nurse saloons may start out at around $ 30,000 a year. Currently the upper income level for a such a nurse with out any experience is roughly $ 48,000. At present, a neonatal nurse salary can run from around $ 50,000 to over $ 83,000 per year, based on the area where you are working.

An average income will be around $ 74,000 per year. This nursing career field is predicted to grow over the next decade and there will continue to be huge need for these types of dedicated nurses.

If you would like to see a significant boost in your salary then you need to begin working on a neonatal nurse practitioner (NNP) degree. As reported by, the average NNP annual income is right around $ 90,000, and that is just about 30% higher than the annual earnings of a neonatal nurse.

This is due to the fact that the NNP is at a much higher level in the nurse career field. It also calls for more education and learning, proficiencies along with practical experiences and dedication. As for salary range specifics, at the low-end, you can expect to make somewhere around $ 50,000 in your very first year, however a more experienced nurse with 20 years or more of practical experience may have a salary of over $ 150,000 per year.

NNPs who have something less experience, can expect to earn around $ 80,000 a year. For much more qualified nurses, the annual salary will probably range from around $ 91,000 to well over $ 100,000.

As documented by, NNP starts started at around $ 50,000 and went up to roughly $ 115,000 in 2010. All of these amounts are based on the years of practical experience doing work in the field. Earnings also can vary depending on the state where you work. For example if you live in Florida, Texas or Massachusetts, your annual average salary can range from $ 60,000 to over $ 80,000 a year.

As a result of the higher education standards, as well as the great demand for these dedicated workers, neonatal nurse practitioners are compensated really well and also are usually given higher salaries when compared to other nurse salies.

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Make Space for Fun – Especially When You Don’t Feel Like It!

I overheard someone talking about Seattle this weekend.

It sparked a memory of the last time I was in there, about 2 years ago. It was a day I'd almost forgotten about which included a lesson I needed to revisit.

I had presented a seminar in Seattle to a great unit there who impressed me with their preparation for change, their openness and knowledge.

Then a super-kind cab driver showed up right when I needed him to help me catch Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor's speaking event in downtown Seattle that evening. (Thrilling presentation!) Then I headed to the airport, to take the 11pm 'redeye' flight home.

You could say it was a full day!

I arrived at the airport excited from the day and growing a bit weary from the time change and travel. I was in my 'adult brain', thinking about what the next day held as far as meetings, work and family.

As I waited for the train to take me to my terminal, I noticed a little 2-ish year old boy sitting in a stroller next to me. His mother looked weary too – that kind of weary that only mothers of 2 year olds understand.

I thought his eyes and we smiled big smiles at each other. And then the game of peak-a-boo ensued.

When we raised the train he saw me sit down and then told his mom he wanted to sit too. NOT in the stroller of course. On the REAL seat. So up he climbed into the seat. She told him to hang on because the train was about to start.

His whole body was geared up and ready – he could not contain his anticipation and started overflowing with laughter. He said, “1, 2, 3, ready, set, GO!” and the train took off.

His big eyes looked over at me and we both laughed. His mom laughed too. He was contagious.

This was one of those little moments. Many times I would not have noticed it. I would've been too distracted to attend to him or the situation.

What he taught me is this:

Who cares if it's 10pm Pacific Time and we're all up a little past our bedtime? Who cares if we have to take a train all the way to our terminal? And truly, in the moment, what can I do to change any of those things?


It's FUN!

The to-do lists and the thoughts about tomorrow are going to be there whenever we want to pick them back up.

Fun happens when we make space for it. When we're open to it. When we put away our Google calendars, our email and our to-do lists and look right into the eyes of someone who lives in that space every chance he gets.

Thanks buddy.

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9 Ways to Keep Hospital Germs Out of Your Home and Car

“Oh, I never let my kids hug me until after I have shaved and changed out of my uniform.” You've all heard that, right? You know you are in a potentially hazardous line of work. Nobody wants MRSA, VRE, C-Diff, or other germs in their homes!

Patients are sicker these days. Germs are more virulent. So I've put together 9 easy steps to keep hospital germs out of your car and home.

Its pretty easy, so let's get started!

First – To avoid ever letting dirty nursing shoes touch the inside of your car or home, get a pair of slip-on shoes, like Crocks Slip-On Fashion Sneakers from Amazon. Always wear your slip-on's to drive to and from work.

Second – While at home, place your clean nursing shoes inside of a clean plastic bag. And do not put them on until reaching your parking spot at work. So your nursing shoes will always travel in a bag – whether clean on the way to work, or dirty on the way home.

Third – At the end of your shift, and once you have clocked out, go find an empty bathroom. Take two gallon-sized plastic bags, your antiseptic wipes, plus your bag of street clothes in there with you.

Fourth – Place your badge, stethoscope, and everything from your pockets onto a pile of paper towels. Consider it all contaminated. Wash your hands. Then clean each item carefully with antiseptic wipies and place it all into a clean plastic bag.

Fifth – You show up for work clean. But after a 12-hour shift – none of us wants to consider what is on that uniform. Do not wear it home! Instead, just strip it off, and stuff it into the plastic ziplock bag.

Sixth – Next wash your hands, arms, face, and neck – and put on some clean street clothes from your clean bag. I highly recommend recommend bags with ziplock tops for good closure, speed, and ease of use. Save that plastic bag in your pocket for when you get to your car and change shoes.

Seventh – How are you going to safely clean your cell phone? You know you've been touching it while at work. Some have been known to put it into a fresh ziplock sandwich bag before every shift – and throw away the dirty plastic bag at day's end.

BUT, it might be more socially acceptable to consider getting one of the water-resistant phone protectors on the market. Since they are waterproof, they are washable. Here is an example: DandyCase Neon Colors Waterproof Case for all phone types from Amazon. You could wash it down with antiseptic wipies when you are cleaning your other pocket items.

Eighth – Your work bag and ziplock bags, with their contents, could go into something like a washable plastic Rubbermaid Mini Basket from Amazon and placed in the trunk of your car.

Ninth – Once at home, clean your uniform in hot, soapy water, sanitize your shoes, and get your shower. Its always best to kill all germs as soon as you possibly can.

So are you ready? By spending only a few extra minutes, you will have better protected yourself and those you love from potentially dangerous pathogens! What a great way to safeguard your home, your car, your family, and yourself!


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Home Care Services For Assistance And Rehabilitation

Home care services are a blessing for people with disabilities and senior citizens recovering from surgery or suffering from a medical condition. The care provided by professional healthcare workers is naturally more than what family members can give especially where physical therapy and medical care are required.

For a fee, anyone in need of professional care can approach any one of the numerous home care providers. However, it's important to make sure that the service is qualified to administrator such care. Not all states require services to be licensed though it's a good indication of their expertise. If your state mandates that a license be obtained, ask to check the license.

Accreditation with a government agency is another indicator of reputation and expertise. Approach an independent group that evaluates home care services for a list of top providers. This list will typically feature only those providers which screen employees, with a success rate, how many recommendations it has etc.

What at-home services are there?

For at-home care requirements, there's a long list of what kind of service can be availed. Clients unable to get out of the house for treatment can have a doctor visit, make a diagnosis, issue treatment, and provide aftercare. Both the treatment and aftercare are usually undertaken by a nurse who may be required to be on call 24/7. The nurse may also be responsible for managing pain control, administering medication, monitoring health and other requirements.

Therapy in the like of physical, speech and occupational therapy are a different type of service. They're usually bought if you've recently been ill or have suffered an injury and need help with recovery. Although the support of family members is very important, they are not qualified with aspects of therapy so if you need help with rehabilitation at home, this is the service to avail.

Not every client requires medical help. Some may just need companionship. In this case, it's possible to approach a home care provider with a request for a companion to have conservations with, go out with and just spend time with. Companions may also perform certain household duties if you can not manage them.

Medical tests such as x-ray, blood pressure, blood and urine tests can be done at home using portable medical equipment. However, intensive tests are generally taken at hospitals where medical equipment is not portable. Still, having small tests done at home is not only more convenient but may be the only way to get them if you can not get out of the house.

Home care providers offer other non-medical services like transportation and home-delivered meals (Meals on Wheels) for clients who need them. With transportation, the service is available for clients who need to go for physical examinations or treatments to hospitals but can not drive themselves. As for clients unable to cook for themselves, home-delivered meals can be availed. Providers will also take into account diet considerations.

The importance of care providers for senior citizens and people with disabilities can not be ignored. Those of us fortunate to have a family member as a healthcare worker know just how valuable being taken care of is as we attempt to rehabilitate ourselves. For people who do not have this luxury, professional care providers act as rescuers with the varied services they offer at a reduced cost, all administrated by trained healthcare experts.

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Important Tips for Dementia Home Care

Dementia is a medical condition that affects your brain and will eventually cause you to lose your ability to live independently. If you would prefer to be cared for in the comfort of your own home in the event that you get diagnosed with the condition, there are important things your caregiver (whether family or professional) will have to take into consideration. The journey certainly will not be easy, but it can be made as comfortable as possible when these important things are carefully considered.

Dementia Home Care Tips

One of the first things you should bear in mind when caring for someone with this condition is that frequent routine changes are likely to have adverse effects on the patient. Even a change in the person providing care can seem life-changing for the sufferer. For this reason, you need to set up schedules and daily routines. Although these routines may be adjusted whenever the situation calls for it, it will at least give the patient a comforting sense of consistency and balance. If you do need to make some changes (like changing the caregiver), be sure to make them as gradually as possible and tell the patient in advance so he or she will have time to get used to the idea.

You should also expect the patient to be combative at times. Avoid arguing with him or her in this case. Rather, you should stay calm and try to find an activity you can use as a distraction. Whenever the patient becomes irritable as a result of failing to remember something, talk to him or her as softly and slowly as you can. Remember that shouting or raising your voice will only agitate the patient even more. Dementia home care requires a good deal of patience and understanding, especially if you're caring for a family member.

Being flexible in caring for a loved one with this condition also means that whenever he or she is in a foul mood, you should just let him / her be as long as he / she is not hurting anyone, including himself / herself. You'll also need to learn what triggers negative behavior in the patient so you can take measure to avoid it. For example, if the patient throws tantrums every time he hires your mobile phone ring, changing your ring tone or keeping the phone on silent mode may help you keep the peace at home. You'll have to do as much as you can to keep the patient calm and your home environment safe and quiet.

Many families provide support to each other and form self-help groups when a loved one gets diagnosed with a condition such as dementia. You may want to do the same if the same thing happens in your family. After all, nothing can be more important than your entire family's support during such trying times. Providing dementia home care can be very frustrating, even with assistance from a professional. When you're surrounded by a supportive family, however, the experience will become a lot more bearable.

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Tips for Nurses Who Work Really Long Hours

In the nursing profession, it is inevitable for a necessity to work longer than his or her usual work hours and this may be because of several reasons. In this light, it would be helpful for a nurse, especially for new nurses, to bring about some plan that will help them work out really long hours of duty in their favor. Here are some tips that all nurses can use when they are working on extended shifts.

  • Before heading out for the long day ahead of you, work on a time management and fatigue-combatting plan.

It is always wise to plan ahead before diving into battle, which in your case is your long work shift. You can start by jotting down how many hours you will use up for a particular work shift. You can also mark the time when you will be having breaks or extra free hours so you can fit in activities that will help you fight fatigue and make your shift productive.

  • Full meals are your trusty weapons for long work shifts.

Always eat a full meal before leaving for work. This will help give you the strength to battle the long work shift ahead of you. If you can still manage it, you can also prepare a packed meal that you can eat at work. You can also bring in some snacks like crackers, biscuits, and even sandwiches that you can eat if ever you feel a little hungry and break is still hours away. This will help avoid accidents when your energy might go depleted.

However, there are times when you can no longer prepare any meal or carry extra snack for work. What you can do in these instances would be to visit the cafeteria and check on some meals and snacks that you can buy in advance so you can be assured that you will be able to eat full meals and some snacks whenever necessary. In a health care facility, you will never know when food might run out especially for those who are working on the night shift.

Work on your power naps.

It is a fact that people who work on extended shift or really long hours would lack some sleep since their body clock would be disturbed and other factors will come into play. Lack of sleep is never good for nurses since their presence of mind is highly required in caring for patients. To solve this, you can try practicing or working on your power naps. Power naps will allow you to sleep soundly for a few minutes yet still provide you enough energy as if you have a slept for 8 hours. You can try inserting some power naps on your planned schedule so you can make sure that you are still able to give enough energy for the remaining hours at work.

These three basic tips should help any nurse in forming routines that can help them battle out really long hours of work. Remember to always plan ahead, eat full meals, and do power naps. Depending on how your schedule can allow it, you can also insert other activities like working on a hobby, reading a book and the likes if you have more free time yet you need to stay at work to finish your extended shift. This will not only help you pass time productively, but it will also hone your skills and talents even while working.

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Buying the Correct Nursing Shoes

One of the most nerve-racking and challenging careers is being registered nurse.

Normally the working hours of a registered nurse are anywhere between eight- to 12-hour shifts. Nurses commit most of their day time standing or walking on the hard surface; this creates a catastrophe of health issues on their own feet, along with their back, hips and knees.

A number of the common health conditions experienced by nurses are heel pain, lower back pain, plantar fasciitis, hip pain, knee pain, and several other aches all over the body. The correct shoes are among the ideal way to present alignment to the body and feet, while also meeting the strict uniform dress code dictated for health professionals. Having a clean and professional look is not the only requirement for nurse shoes.

There are several important factors that have to be considered as when deciding on the best shoes for nurses. Therefore, this endeavor is not an easy matter.

Listed here are the elements one has to check for when buying nursing shoes:

Dress Code Requirements When considering about uniform and the dress code, the medical profession is basically strict regarding it. Each wearing factor, should it be scrub pants, scrub tops or shoes, should be worn strictly based on the dress code. The specifications set by the relevant medical authorities should be met when it comes to right shoes.

Foot coverage, colors and type of soles are among the specs that are dictated.

In lots of places, open-back clogs are permitted while most dress codes dictate shoes with closed toes. With regards to the color of the shoe, the dress code will design a selection of ideal colors that may be chosen from.

Further more, some medical establishments may demand that the soles of the shoe be very quiet and non-clanking.

Security and safety
If your shoe does not stay fit approbably, then it's not better than walking with bare feet. In their work routine, a nurse is exposed to bio-hazards, chemicals, acids and heavy equipment. That's the reason the nursing career is an extremely hard-working career. Furthermore, nurses generally operate in environments which are slippery; hence their shoes needs to be non-slippery.

Additionally, the sneakers needs to be easy to maintain and clean.

Shoe Fit
A good fit is the next important aspect to take into account while choosing shoes. Women are known to be fashionable in their choice of shoes, but they rarely pick ones that fit them perfectly. Nonetheless, selecting an appropriate fit shoe in the career in nursing is similar to work suicide, and many pain along with it. Weaving shoes which are larger than needed can cause blisters, while wearing shoes which are small can cause calluses, corns, hammer toes and unbearable pain. With regards to quality footwear, the width of the shoe is as significant as the size of shoes.

The real difference between enjoying the work and having an unhappy and torturous encounter is proportional to a completely fitting, relaxing and supportive pair of nursing shoes.

There's an array of different choices that suit the nurses needs perfectly when it comes to finding the right shoes. While leather shoes are still the first desired option, rubber shoes are also being purchased more these days. The most crucial areas of a nurse's attire is the nursing shoes.

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Professional Organizations – Where to Network As a Dialysis Technician

Professional Organizations for Dialysis Technicians

Professional organizations exist for most every job in the medical field. In fact, professional organizations exist for most all career fields. As a dialysis technician this is no different and there are several organizations that are geared towards the dialysis tech. Before we discuss the various organizations, first let's answer the question of why you should join professional organizations in the first place.

There are several good reasons to join a professional organization. Below are the main reasons to do so:

  • You can meet other like-minded people
  • You can gain access to speakers and other experts in your specific field
  • Adding membership to a professional organization to your resume is always a good thing
  • You can get discounts on publications and other information that will help keep you current in your field
  • It is a good place to gather professional references
  • It is a good way to network with others when you are in search of work
  • Most professional organizations will offer free training in the form of actual workshops or webinars
  • It is an excellent way to show off your talents and background to prospective employers that are doing random searches for applicants

Now that you know the benefits of being part of a professional organization, we can now look at the organizations that you as a dialysis technician can become involved with!

American Society for Artificial Internal Organ (also known as ASAIO):

This organization brings people of many fields together to discuss various topics in their fields. It not only includes dialysis technicians but scientists, doctors in all fields, engineers, etc. that are dedicated to keeping the study of artificial organs evolving. There are about 800 members currently and they come from 30 different countries. The benefits of relating to this organization include a free online peer reviewed journal, invitations to their annual conference, and open access to all information on the ASAIO website that is meant only for registered members.

National Kidney Foundation:

The mission of the NKF is to devote themselves to the prevention of kidney disease and how to help patients and their families' mange health issues in their lives. They are also advocates for kidney donations. They have a special membership for nurses and technicians in the medical field. When you become a member you gain access to new and updated facts, tools and much more. You will be provided with the latest information from the Council of Nephrology Nurses and Technicians, in addition to access to four medical professional journals. You can also nominate and be nominated for awards and grants for professional research.

National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse:

The NKUDIC's mission is to give information about the diseases of the kidneys as well as those of the urologic system as a whole to help those who have these diseases and to those caring for those with these conditions. This organization distributes publications to patients and their families and provides them with education and support. The benefits of membership to this organization include workshops, publications and continuing education in their field.

National Association for Nephrology Technicians / Technologists:

NANT is an organization for the advancement of education. It gives its members the opportunity to learn as much as possible about their field including new developments. The benefits of memberships four newsletters each year, discounts of certain publications for each area of ​​practice, discounted fees for attending conferences and webinars, a subscription to the top nephrology magazines, membership card, and more.


This is a non-profit organization that works independently with its research to improve upon the quality, safety and cost effectiveness of care needed by all patients. Their evidence is unbiased and educates people in the medical field on drugs, medical devices and procedures. ECRI is made up of over 5,000 medical professional organizations from a variety of different fields.

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases:

The NIDDK supports and conducts both clinical and basic research on diseases that affect a large portion of society. In addition to their research they put together conferences and share trial information with other collections. Being part of this organization allows you access to possible grants, research funding and outreach to other professionals who are doing the same type of work you are.

International Society for Nephrology Technicians and Technologists:

The ISNTT is a professional association that embryos educators, biomedical technologists, suppliers, patient care technicians and more to raise the standards of treatment and education for those who give treatment to those who are experiencing renal failure. These things are accomplished though as series of set initiatives. The benefits of membership include discount fees on continuing education programs, study guides, professional news briefs, networking abilities and more.

American Nephrology Nurses' Association:

ANNA is one of the leading organizations bringing nursing and nephrology together for a common cause. Their mission is to promote appreciation and excellence in the field of nephrology nursing in order to make a real difference for those suffering with kidney disease. It was founded in 1969 and now boasts over 10,000 members. Membership benefits include a subscription to the Nephrology Nursing Journal, career building educational programs, access to grants, rewards and scholarships, networking opportunities and much more.

These are just a few professional organizations that are open to dialysis technicians. For a full listing you can visit where you will find a plethora of other information that is geared towards dialysis techs and others in the medical field. Consider joining at least one of these professional organizations as it can only help your future and career.

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Eight Reasons Why You Can Call Yourself a Nurse Detective

Like a good mystery? Love to see a detective put together clues to solve a crime? You may not realize it, but being a nurse is like being a detective. I compared what you need to be a detective with what you need to be a nurse and found these eight ways the two careers are similar:

1. Both must be knowledgeable

Detectives know their territory. They figure out how to get around, what type of soil is found where and when it rained. They can look at a person's shoes or car tires and know where he has been.

Nurses' territory is their patient. They must find out: Why is he here? What signs and symptoms do I need to watch for to prevent complications from his illness? What goals must he and I meet for him to get better?

2. Both need to cultivate an eye for detail

Detectives observe their surroundings carefully, even when they think there is nothing special to observe, because they never know what might end up being important to solve their case. Nurses observe even the littlest thing about a patient because they know every bit of information may make a difference in that patient's care or recovery.

3. Both must learn to read people's faces.

Detectives and Nurses watch body language and notice wherever it looks natural and agreements with their words. Criminals might be crying to avoid incrimination. Patients may be hiding the truth because of embarrassment, lack of understanding or cultural beliefs. A patient may say he's not in pain, but have facial grimacing.

4. Both get good at searching for information.

Detectives and nurses must know what they do not know and know where to find it. Detectives go to the public record. Nurses go to the patient's chart.

5. Both skillfully ask questions.

Detectives and Nurses get to the heart of a matter without putting someone on their guard or making them unnecessarily uncomfortable.

6. Both document well

Detectives keep careful notes of what they find. Nurses know if they did not document what they did, as far as the world is concerned, they did not do it.

7. Both became techno-savvy

Detectives and Nurses know how to use a computer and find information via the internet.

8. Both value their team

Detectives and Nurses have trustworthy teams to back them up and help get the job done. Colleagues are important to solve the crime and give high quality care to patients. Neither profession can do it alone!

Both Nurses and Detectives must possess good observational and critical thinking skills to gather evidence, sort through facts and examine details to come to conclusions. Detectives solve crimes to get criminals off the streets. Nurses solve problems to prevent illness and to assist people recover from illness. So if you are a LPN or RN, feel free to start calling yourself a Nurse Detective.

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Nurses, What to Do If Your Staff Is Not Reading or Following the Nursing Care Plan

When you get ready to do a med pass, you do not go to the med cart and say “I know what treatments to give and when so I will not look at the Medication Administrative Record (MAR).” You know following the exact medication order is important to the patients' treatment and safety. Yet, your staff may enter the patient's room without having read your nursing orders in the nursing care plan. Are not the nursing interventions you plan for your patients just as important as the medication orders? Here are some reasons why nursing staff may not follow nursing care plans and some ideas about what to do about it.

1. Writing diagnoses for the state survey, not for others on the nursing team to follow.

Will your CNA know what “Ineffective breathing pattern due to exacerbation of CHF manifested by orthopnea.” means? Simplify the word so everyone on the team knows what you are talking about and what to do. “Shortness of breath when lying flat” would be more easily understood. With this nursing diagnosis, your intervention of keeping the head of the bed elevated would make sense to everyone caring for that patient.

2. Writing interventions without input from the rest of the nursing staff.

Whatever your process for writing nursing approaches, make sure you get input from the staff taking care of the patient at the bedside. Not only do you get the most accurate and up to date information, but the staff who contribute to the plan are more likely to follow it. They might even encourage their peers to follow it as well.

3. Not making reading and knowing care plans a priority.

It is not unusual to rely only on verbal oraped reports for information about patients. This could be a dangerous practice. You are depending on the shift or two shifts before you to tell you what are the most important issues for the patient during your shift. You may miss something. Reading the nursing care plan could have alerted you to look for problems that could have been prevented or detected early.

Recently, a LPN came up to me to ask me to update her on a new patient. I told her a few basics that were not written down and then referred her to the patient's care plan for the most important information she would need. It would take her about the same time to read the plan as it would for me to tell her the information. Also, by referring her to the plan, I stressed its importance.

Do not let your staff tell you they do not have time to read the care plans. Let them know it is vital to their jobs to follow the care plans so they can give their patients the best care. Failure to do this can lose them their jobs. Talk frequently about the patients' nursing diagnoses and interventions. Make the care plans as accessible as possible. Give staff a few minutes a day to familiarize themselves with the plans of the patients they care for. If they do not have the time to read all of them at once, suggest they read one or two a day.

By writing your nursing care plans using understandable terminology, seeking input from your staff and expecting all staff taking care of the patient to know and follow the care plan, you might see some amazing results. Your staff may get excited about contributing to the care plan and being part of a high functioning team. Is not that what quality care is all about?

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Residential Care Homes – Ensuring Best Love and Care for the Seniors

Today, as I am in my 20's, I can clearly go back to the days when I was a mere kid. From making mud huts to playing in the garden, my life was full of activities – mostly funny and useless. I still remember the day when I broke an expensive flower vase in the drawing-room. My mother screamed from the kitchen and as she was about to slap me, my sweet grandmother came to my rescue. Since then, she was always beside me; from handling teenage breakups to hitting the recent shopping mall, she was my constant companion.

Sadly, as time passed by, I grew youger while she started growing old. She was always enthusiastic about family get-together or any other social event. However, last year, I noticed that she gradually lost her eagerness and preferred staying at home – something unusual and worth noticing. It was then that I talked to my parents about the necessary care needed by her. Since my parents are working and I'm usually busy with all my job hunting schedules, we could not think of an option better than residential care homes. Initially, my grand mom was not very keen on it, but we made her realize the need of extra care and help.

Nobody ever desires to move out of the comfort of their residence and go to a place that looks like a hospital. Thanks to residential care homes, the patients enjoy a homely ambiance, while availing all types of support and luxury. Particularly, if any elderly person is suffering from memory loss or dementia, he / she receives the best treatment in senior care homes. They offer a feeling of respect and comfort and ease their feeling of shift from their own domicile to a care home.

The biggest benefit of these nursing homes is that they have a refreshing and stimulating ambiance to offer complete peace of mind. The inmates have the liberty to spend time as they want. Whereas some people love spending time in the garden, others love cooking or stitching clothes. No matter what they do, they avail the opportunity to interact with others and spend time in a fruitful way. This keeps them happy and engaged – something very important for the people living in these care homes.

As people grow old, they need a lot of things – care, love, laughter, strong self-esteem and constant engagement in activities. While we grow up and rush in the race of life, we often forget that our elders need some extra care, love and support. Thanks to residential care homes, the elderly members of our family live a healthier and longer life.

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Can Nursing Schedules Affect Patient Quality Care?

A recent study revealed that long nursing schedules may significantly contribute to poor patient care. Alertness and attentiveness are important traits, nurses need to have. Nurses are able to report to duty and stay alert and attentive for long hours, only if they are able to get good quality rest and sleep. However, not even a well rested nurse can maintain alertness and attentiveness, after long hours of work. Long working hours can make a nurse impossible to provide poor quality care and at the worst commit deadly errors.

Lack of Sleep and Quality Time Off

It is common for hospitals to use the 12-hour nursing schedules instead of eight-hour shift. This trend started in the 1980s when the shortage of nurses begun to be more clear. Although most nurses were in favor of this shift schedule, the long work hours became the main cause of sleep deprivation, which led to fatigue. Lack of quality time off was also a great contributor to the fatigue of nurses. Studies have already been conducted on the negative effect on patients of the long work schedules of nurses. The excessive working hours of the nurseries have been known to increase the mortality rate of patients in hospitals.

Consequences of Nursing Schedules With Long Hours

Nursing schedules have been proven to have significantly affected the quality of the work of nurses. Many nursers who have maintained 12-hour work shifts have been noticed to have these conditions while on-duty:

  • Poor decision-making. A tired body and mind results in poor decision-making. A nurse's decision is often a life and death decision. Poor decision-making, caused by stress, anxiety and fatigue can affect the quality of patient care and can be life threatening.
  • Lack of concentration . A nurse has to be alert and have full concentration. A tired nurse can be inattentive to a patient's need. There can be times when a necessity's lack of concentration, can be fatal to a patient.
  • Apathy or lack of interest . A tired body and mind can cause a necessity to lose interest in what she is doing. She will tend to act like a robot without compassion. Compassion is a nurse's trait that positively impacts a patient's recovery.
  • Decreased motivation . An unmotivated nurse caused by inadequately planned nursing schedules can be life threatening to a patient. A nurse is always expected to give the right care to patients. A nurse who is unmotivated will cause her to have all the above listed attitudes towards her work.

Absenteeism is Associated with Long Hours

Other than having a negative attitude towards work, a nurse lacking in rest and sleep can be stressed out. Being stressed can lead to constant absenteeism. An understaffed shift due to absenteeism can prevent the remaining staff from efficiently doing their job. Frequent overtime work can also lead to absenteeism. The creation of good nursing schedules that are humane can enable a necessity to give good quality care to patients.

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How to Perform Last Offices

Although emotionally taxing a task, performing last offices on a patient is a very critical part of nursing. Not only do I view it as a sacred task, it is the last act of kindness a nurse can ever do for their patient!

It could be that you have nursed the patient for a long time and have watched them deteriorate until they breathed their last. Or they may have died suddenly. It does not matter how the patient dies but as a nurse there is a high likelihood that at some point during your career you will be faced with a situation where you will have to perform last appointments on a patient. This task may not be for everyone as it can be emotionally taxing. However, should you find yourself with a dead body on your ward or unit the following are some tips on how to perform last appointments on your patient:

1) First confirm with the doctors that they are indeed dead. (well, strange things do happen!)

2) Remove all attached monitoring equipment.

3) If they have loved ones close by that they have left behind ask if they would like to spend some time with them before you start working on the body. They can still spend some more time later but it shows that you respect their feelings at this difficult time.

4) They say that the sense of hearing is the last to go, therefore, when a patient dies, be mindful of what you say around them, especially soon after their passing. There's a lot to be said for respecting the dead!

5) As ridiculous as it sounds, you can talk to your patient during this act of love and kindness. You're not crazy and it does not matter whether they can still hear you or not. You do it because you're a respectful and caring nurse!

6) If you're not comfortable in performing this task or if you're not sure how it is performed it is advisable to seek the help of a college. The same rule of not going beyond your level of expertise still applies even on a dead body!

7) Clean the body, sealing orifices such as the nose, anus and so on with cotton wool or whatever is appropriate to use.

8) When it has all been cleaned, the body should be placed in a body bag and labeled according to your hospital's guidelines before it is taken away to the mortuary.

9) Treat the dead body as you'd like to be treated- with respect! Remember this is someone's mother, father, uncle or God forbid child.

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The Night Shift for a Registered Nurse

The registered nurse (RN) is responsible for taking care of persons who are admitted in the hospital or in a nursing home because of a disease or surgery. Registered nurses assist these patients as they slowly recover. RNs are working together with doctors and other hospital staff with one goal that is to give the patients professional medical care.

One of the most important responsibilities of a registered nurse is giving medicines under the super vision of doctors and monitoring the health conditions of patients. They then record the data and keep the records updated and safe. Nurses work in different shifts since the hospitals are running a 24 hour operation. It is very important for nurses to stay awake and alert all the time especially during night shifts.

Tips on working night shifts

Eat well – before you start your shift make sure you eat a full meal. During the day, you may find the hospital cafeteria with a lot of food available but during the night, it could be empty and if you have not taken your meal before your shift then you will be starving during your entire shift and this may lead you to work poorly and weak.

Sleep well – the patients need caring during the night as well as they do during the day so you have to get enough sleep before you go to work since you will be responsible for taking care of your patients during the night. When you get home from work do not sleep right away. Relax for a while and you can watch TV or do household chores for a while. Your body will tell you when to sleep and when it does; your sleep will be more.

Avoid sleeping pills – there are times when you are really having a hard time sleeping. Avoid taking sleeping pills and other sleeping medications. If you can not sleep during the day, it would be effective for you to wear a sleep mask and ear plugs. Covering your windows with dark curtains to simulate a night time may be effective as well.

Exercise – exercise is also very important. Regular exercise will make your body strong and be immune to diseases. With regular exercise, your body will develop positive hormones that would make you feel good and relaxed. With regular exercise you will also be able to help you sleep naturally and deeply. It also gives you inner peace. Being a registered nurse was never an easy job.

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The Neuroscience of Getting Things DONE

The scientist Harold Pashler showed that when people do two cognitive tasks at once, their cognitive capacity can drop from that of a Harvard MBA to that of an eight-year-old. “~ Excerpt from Your Brain at Work by David Rock.

This is the kind of quote that makes my inner neuro geek reach for a highlighter.

This one did as well (same reference):

When trying to perform two cognitive tasks at once … “The lesson is clear: if accuracy is important, do not divide your attention.” It's possible to do two mental tasks “but they” will take twice as long “and there will be a” significant drop in performance “.

This made me think of all the cognitive tasks we do in the NICU. And how this may affect accuracy, safety and mental exhaustion. David Rock further explains that “conscious mental activities chew up metabolic resources and may exhaust you after an hour.” An hour? What about 8 hours, 12 hours?

Granted, many of the tasks we perform in the NICU are repetitive and may not use up our resources so quickly. And we can often layer higher level mental tasks on top of them without sacrificing accuracy.

But we're also asked weekly, if not daily, to incorporate new information into our already overloaded brains.

Is it possible for you and your NICU to organize the day so that you use your brain to the best of its ability under the best of circumstances?

The safety of fragile infections is at stake here. The energy you have left for your family after a day at work is at stake here.

The great thing is: you can improve skills like decision-making and recall by understanding how your brain works at work.

It turns out there really is a reason you can not answer email for 6 hours in a row without being exhausted. Or why you're fatigued at a conference if there are not adequate breaks provided. And because sometimes your best ideas come to you while you're out for a run or in the shower.

I'm giving you a sliver of this info here – cliff notes of a 288 page book. (I'm dating myself here- SparkNotes, right?)

This is part of what we're going to cover next week on Wednesday the 24th. I'm thrilled to integrate this information for you into what I already know about creating efficient systems and organizing your time.

If you've ever pulled your hair out because you have too much to do, check out the video below and sign up to learn more on the 24th!

Your brain, the babies you care for, your family and friends will thank you.

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