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Managing Emotional and Physical Strain: Self-Care Strategies for Medical-Surgical Certified Nursing Assistants

Serving as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) in a medical-surgical (med-surg) environment is both emotionally and physically challenging. Navigating the care of patients with a variety of medical needs, enduring long hours, and continuously offering empathy can significantly impact CNAs.

It is crucial for med-surg CNAs to focus on self-care to preserve their health and well-being. This article will delve into the difficulties faced by med-surg nursing assistants and offer actionable self-care advice to assist them in managing the emotional and physical pressures of their role.

What are the responsibilities of a medical-surgical CNA?

A Medical-Surgical Certified Nursing Assistant (Med Surg CNA) is essential in delivering hands-on care to patients within a medical-surgical environment. Their duties encompass helping with everyday activities, tracking vital signs, supporting medical procedures, and providing emotional comfort to both patients and their families. Med Surg CNAs collaborate intimately with medical teams, playing a pivotal role in the care of individuals with various health conditions, thereby enhancing the quality and empathy of healthcare services.

Grasping the emotional challenges

The responsibilities of a med surg CNA involve being at the forefront of patient care, addressing a broad spectrum of medical conditions, and frequently encountering critical situations. Witnessing patients’ distress, interacting with their families, and enduring continuous pressure can result in burnout if not effectively handled.

Furthermore, the physical demands of the job, such as assisting in lifting and relocating patients, can lead to fatigue and musculoskeletal problems.

Techniques for maintaining emotional wellness
  1. Place emphasis on emotional well-being
  • Self-reflection practices: Dedicate time to contemplate challenging situations. Sharing experiences with colleagues or a mentor can offer emotional relief and insights.
  • Set clear boundaries: Distinguish between work and personal life. Avoid bringing work stress home and find activities to unwind.
  1. Cultivate a support network
  • Foster connections with peers: Forge strong relationships with colleagues who comprehend the demands of the job, creating a supportive community.
  • Seek professional assistance: If the emotional burden becomes overwhelming, consider consulting with a mental health professional specializing in healthcare-related stress.
  1. Prioritize physical health
  • Practice proper body mechanics: Learn and apply correct body mechanics to prevent musculoskeletal injuries. Utilize lifting equipment when available to minimize strain.
  • Regular physical activity: Engage in consistent exercise to enhance strength and endurance, serving as a valuable stress reliever.
  1. Effective time management
  • Recognize the importance of breaks: Incorporate regular breaks during shifts to recharge. Even a brief respite can significantly enhance focus and energy levels.
  • Efficient scheduling: Organize your schedule efficiently and prioritize tasks to prevent feeling overwhelmed and ensure critical responsibilities are addressed promptly.
  1. Mindfulness and relaxation techniques
  • Deep breathing exercises: Integrate deep breathing exercises into breaks or stressful moments to encourage relaxation.
  • Mindfulness practices: Explore mindfulness techniques like meditation or yoga to center your mind and alleviate stress.
  1. Advocate for yourself and pursue education
  • Voice your needs: Communicate your physical and emotional requirements to supervisors, advocating for a supportive work environment promoting employee well-being.
  • Lifelong learning: Stay informed about new methods and technologies that can reduce physical strain in your role. 
  1. Make healthy lifestyle choices
  • Balanced nutrition: Maintain a well-rounded diet to ensure your body receives essential nutrients, minimizing reliance on caffeine or sugary snacks for energy.
  • Sufficient sleep: Prioritize adequate sleep to facilitate recovery for both your body and mind.
Self-care techniques to promote the physical well-being of Medical-Surgical CNAs

The physical aspect of well-being holds significant importance in overall health and can profoundly impact the duties and quality of life for Medical-Surgical CNAs. Incorporating self-care strategies aimed at physical well-being is crucial for sustaining vitality, preventing illness, and fostering longevity.

Below are effective self-care strategies tailored for physical well-being:

  1. Consistent Exercise: Participate in regular physical activities, encompassing both aerobic exercises like walking, running, or swimming, and strength training. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week, aligning with recommendations from health professionals.
  2. Balanced Nutrition: Maintain a well-rounded diet comprising a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Limit the consumption of processed foods, sugar, and excessive caffeine intake.
  3. Hydration: Ensure adequate hydration by consuming an ample amount of water throughout the day. Water is vital for the body as it assists in digestion, nutrient absorption, and temperature regulation.
  4. Adequate Sleep: Prioritize obtaining sufficient and quality sleep each night. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep to facilitate bodily rest, recovery, and overall well-being. Establishing a consistent sleep routine promotes better sleep hygiene.
  5. Stress Management: Employ stress-reduction techniques such as deep breathing exercises, meditation, or yoga. Chronic stress can adversely affect physical health, underscoring the importance of effective stress management strategies.
  6. Regular Health Check-ups: Schedule routine check-ups with healthcare providers for preventive care. Consistent screenings, vaccinations, and health assessments aid in early detection of potential issues, facilitating timely intervention.
Achieving a balance between work and personal life for Medical-Surgical CNAs

Attaining a balanced work-life harmony is crucial for overall well-being, entailing a harmonious blend between professional responsibilities and personal pursuits.

Here are key considerations for sustaining a work-life balance as a Medical-Surgical Nursing Assistant:

  • Establish clear boundaries between professional and personal time.
  • Prioritize self-care by dedicating time for relaxation and recreational activities.
  • Learn to delegate tasks and seek assistance when necessary.
  • Set achievable goals and avoid overcommitment.
  • Utilize technology judiciously to prevent work from intruding into personal time.
  • Take regular breaks during the workday to rejuvenate and alleviate stress.
  • Maintain open communication with colleagues and supervisors regarding workload and expectations.
  • Efficiently plan and organize tasks to enhance productivity.
  • Cultivate positive relationships in the workplace and nurture personal connections beyond work.
  • Regularly reassess and adapt priorities to sustain a manageable work-life balance.
The salary of Medical-Surgical CNAs in the United States

As of January 2024, the average annual salary for Medical-Surgical CNAs in the United States stands at $60,909. Yet, this number may fluctuate considerably due to multiple factors:

  • Location: Washington, Maryland, and New York are among the highest-paying states for Med Surg CNAs, whereas Mississippi, Louisiana, and South Dakota are among the lowest-paying states.
  • Experience: Typically, CNAs with more experience command higher salaries compared to those with less experience.
  • Education: Some CNAs hold a two-year associate’s degree in nursing, while others possess a one-year certificate. Generally, CNAs with higher levels of education tend to earn higher salaries.
  • Employer: Compensation can vary based on the type of employer, with hospitals often offering higher salaries compared to nursing homes and other healthcare facilities.


In the challenging realm of medical-surgical care, self-care stands as a vital priority for Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs). Navigating the emotional and physical strains necessitates the establishment of boundaries, cultivating a supportive network, and placing emphasis on personal well-being.

Incorporating mindfulness, consistent exercise, and efficient time management practices fosters a comprehensive approach to self-care.

Achieving a harmonious work-life balance, making healthy lifestyle decisions, and pursuing ongoing education are crucial components for a rewarding career and securing an effective salary as a med surg CNA.

HCP Uncategorized

Overcoming Language Challenges for Travel Nurses: Solutions and Strategies

Embarking on a career as a travel nurse can bring excitement and fulfillment. It opens doors to new locations, diverse clinical opportunities, and the chance to enhance patient care positively. Yet, amidst these advantages, travel nurses frequently encounter a common obstacle: navigating language barriers in unfamiliar healthcare environments.

This article delves into the language challenges that travel nurses may confront and offers essential tips to aid in overcoming them.

Communication challenges in nursing

Language obstacles in nursing pose a significant threat to the provision of high-quality patient care. Effective communication serves as a cornerstone in healthcare environments, and when nurses and patients encounter linguistic disparities or related challenges, it can result in misunderstandings, misinterpretations of medical details, and jeopardized patient safety.

This issue becomes particularly critical when conveying intricate medical instructions, discussing treatment alternatives, or obtaining essential patient histories. Overcoming language barriers in nursing demands proactive measures such as language education, access to translation services, and the cultivation of a culturally competent healthcare environment to ensure effective communication and ultimately elevate the overall standard of patient care.

Listed below are the language hurdles in nursing that they confront daily while traveling to various countries for their work:

  1. Varied Patient Demographics

Travel nurses frequently encounter healthcare environments with a diverse patient demographic. Effectively communicating with patients who speak different languages or possess varying levels of English proficiency presents a notable challenge.

  1. Medical Terminology

Each healthcare institution often employs its own set of medical jargon and terminology. Travel nurses must swiftly acclimate to the local lexicon to ensure precise communication with colleagues, provide quality patient care, and assist in overcoming language barriers.

  1. Documentation and Record-Keeping

Distinct electronic health record (EHR) systems and documentation practices are utilized across different healthcare facilities. Proficiency in comprehending and navigating these systems is essential for maintaining accurate patient records and facilitating seamless communication within the healthcare team.

Strategies for overcoming language barriers

Tip 1: Cultural Competence Training

Invest in cultural competence training to deepen your comprehension of diverse patient backgrounds. This may involve familiarizing yourself with cultural norms, values, and communication styles to foster connections with patients from various cultural contexts.

Tip 2: Language Acquisition Resources

Explore language courses or utilize language-learning tools to enhance your communication abilities. Learning basic phrases in the predominant languages spoken in your work area can significantly improve patient interactions.

Tip 3: Utilize Translation Services

Embrace technology and leverage translation services, such as translation apps or on-site interpreters, to facilitate effective communication. This ensures accurate conveyance of critical information to patients and their families, minimizing the likelihood of misunderstandings.

Tip 4: Seek Clarification

Do not hesitate to ask questions or seek clarification when encountering unfamiliar medical terminology or documentation practices. Colleagues are typically receptive to providing guidance, and early assistance can prevent errors and misunderstandings.

Tip 5: Establish Supportive Networks

Forge connections with local colleagues, including nurses, physicians, and support staff. Establishing a supportive network can bolster your confidence in seeking assistance when confronted with language barriers and serve as a valuable resource for navigating the intricacies of the healthcare setting.


As travel nurses embark on their thrilling journeys to unfamiliar locales, addressing language barriers becomes crucial for providing quality patient care. These challenges stem from patients speaking diverse languages, employing varying medical terminologies, and utilizing distinct documentation methods.

To overcome these hurdles, travel nurses can engage in cultural education, enroll in language courses, and utilize translation aids. Additionally, actively seeking clarification, soliciting assistance, and fostering relationships with local colleagues are essential strategies for navigating language disparities effectively.

Frequently asked question
  1. How can nurses contribute to overcoming language barriers?

Nurses can aid in overcoming language barriers through cultural competence training, language courses, utilizing translation services, and establishing supportive networks with local colleagues. Proactively asking questions and seeking clarification on unfamiliar terms are also effective measures.

  1. What solutions exist for addressing language barriers?

Solutions encompass cultural competence training, language courses, utilizing translation services, and fostering networks. Embracing technological advancements, maintaining receptiveness to learning new languages, and actively seeking clarification all contribute to overcoming language barriers effectively.

  1. Why is language essential in nursing care?

Language serves as a cornerstone for effective communication in nursing, ensuring accurate transmission of medical information, comprehension of patient needs, and provision of appropriate treatments. Clear communication helps prevent misunderstandings and mitigates potential risks to patient safety.

  1. How does language impact nursing practice?

Language profoundly influences nursing practice by shaping communication effectiveness. Language barriers can lead to misunderstandings, jeopardizing the quality of care and patient safety. Overcoming language challenges is imperative for nurses to navigate diverse healthcare environments and deliver optimal care to patients from varied backgrounds.

HCP Uncategorized

The Future Prospects for Physical Therapy Professionals

Physical therapy professionals have played a vital role in healthcare for a considerable time, assisting individuals in injury recovery, chronic condition management, and overall health improvement. As we move forward, the role of physical therapists (PTs) in the United States is expected to undergo substantial evolution, influenced by demographic changes, technological advancements, and shifts in healthcare policies.

This article delves into the future prospects of physical therapy professionals in the USA, examining significant trends and advancements that will impact their careers in the forthcoming years.

Future prospects for physical therapy professionals

Increasing need for physical therapy services

The aging population in the United States is projected to drive a notable increase in the demand for physical therapy services. 

As the baby boomer generation progresses into their senior years, there is expected to be a heightened prevalence of musculoskeletal and mobility challenges, thereby necessitating more rehabilitation and therapeutic treatments. 

This demographic transition is foreseen to generate job openings for physical therapists across diverse healthcare environments.

Technological Advancements

Technological advancements will undoubtedly shape the trajectory of physical therapy. Virtual reality (VR), telehealth, wearable devices, and artificial intelligence (AI) have already begun to permeate the field.

These technologies have the potential to bolster patient engagement, offer tailored rehabilitation regimens, and facilitate remote monitoring, thereby enabling physical therapists to expand their impact and efficacy.

Remote health services and distance rehabilitation

The COVID-19 pandemic expedited the integration of telehealth services into the healthcare sector, including within physical therapy.

Looking ahead, telehealth is anticipated to establish itself as a permanent and essential component of physical therapy practice. Physical therapists will have the chance to conduct virtual assessments, offer remote guidance, and monitor patients’ progress, thereby enhancing flexibility in service provision.

Specialization and diversification

Physical therapists are expected to increasingly adopt specialization to meet the unique needs of their patients. Sub-specialties like pediatric physical therapy, geriatric physical therapy, and sports rehabilitation are projected to become more prominent.

Moreover, physical therapist roles may expand their expertise by incorporating complementary therapies such as acupuncture, massage, or holistic approaches into their practice.

Collaboration across disciplines

Integrated and collaborative healthcare models are gaining prominence. Physical therapists will engage in closer collaboration with various healthcare professionals, including physicians, nurses, occupational therapists, and nutritionists, to deliver comprehensive and holistic patient care.

This interdisciplinary approach seeks to enhance overall patient outcomes and optimize the effectiveness of healthcare delivery.

Educational prerequisites and career advancement

The evolving landscape of healthcare is expected to prompt modifications in the educational prerequisites for physical therapist positions. Continuous professional growth and staying updated on emerging trends, research, and technologies will be essential for physical therapists to uphold effectiveness and competitiveness.

Healthcare policy and reimbursement changes

Continuing shifts in healthcare policies and reimbursement frameworks could affect how physical therapy is practiced. Physical therapists must adjust to changing regulations, advocate for their profession, and navigate intricate reimbursement systems to maintain the viability of their practices.

Salary of physical therapist professional

Physical therapists are integral to healthcare, aiding patients in reclaiming mobility and coping with pain following injuries, surgeries, and chronic ailments. Their commitment and proficiency are mirrored in their gratifying salaries, rendering it an appealing career path.

In the USA, the average annual salary for physical therapist positions hovers around $97,720, typically spanning between $80,700 and $107,430. However, this figure offers merely a glimpse, as various factors can impact a physical therapist’s earnings:

Here’s a summary of the salary range for physical therapists based on experience:

These figures are merely approximations, and your actual salary may vary depending on the particular factors outlined above. Nonetheless, the overall outlook for physical therapist salaries appears promising, with anticipated job growth and rising demand for qualified professionals.

Therefore, if you are passionate about aiding individuals in restoring mobility and enhancing their quality of life, pursuing a career as a physical therapist not only promises personal fulfillment but also offers a bright financial future.

Forecast for physical therapist salaries in 2030

Estimating the precise salary for physical therapists in 2030 is challenging due to the influence of numerous factors. Nevertheless, we can analyze various aspects to approximate a reasonable range and comprehend potential trends:

Positive factors

  • Strong job growth: The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) forecasts a 27% increase in physical therapist positions from 2020 to 2030, surpassing the average growth rate for all occupations. This heightened demand is likely to exert upward pressure on wages.
  • Aging population: The aging baby boomer generation is leading increasingly active lives, heightening the necessity for physical therapy to address conditions such as heart disease, stroke, and mobility issues. This surge in demand is expected to further propel the need for physical therapist services.
  • Advancements in healthcare: Continued technological innovations and the emergence of new treatment modalities may enhance the efficacy of physical therapy, augmenting its appeal and potentially elevating salaries.
  • Healthcare workforce shortage: The ongoing scarcity of healthcare professionals, including those in physical therapist roles, could also contribute to wage increases.

Neutral factors

  • Cost of living considerations: Salary projections must be adjusted to accommodate variations in the cost of living across different regions.
  • Education and expertise: Salaries typically rise with increased experience and specialized qualifications such as certifications or advanced degrees.


  • Shifts in healthcare reimbursement: Alterations in how insurance companies reimburse physical therapist salaries could influence overall compensation.
  • Automation and technological advancements: While technology may enhance efficiency, it could also result in certain tasks being automated, potentially affecting employment opportunities and the structure of physical therapist salaries.

Based on these factors, here’s what we can expect

  • Average salary projection: The national median salary for physical therapists was $97,720 in May 2022. With a projected 27% growth over the next 8 years, we anticipate the average salary to reach approximately $124,000 by 2030.
  • Salary variability: Depending on factors such as location, experience, specialization, and employer type, the salary range for physical therapist positions in 2030 could span from $90,000 to $160,000 or even higher.

The future appears promising for physical therapy professionals, with robust job growth and the potential for higher salaries in 2030. Nevertheless, it’s essential to note that individual earnings will fluctuate based on factors like location, experience, and other pertinent considerations.


The future outlook for professionals in physical therapy in the USA is dynamic and full of promise. With an aging population, advancements in technology, and changes in healthcare delivery, physical therapists are poised to take on an ever more crucial role in fostering health and well-being.

Adapting to these shifts, embracing technology, and prioritizing ongoing professional development will be vital for physical therapists to excel in the evolving healthcare landscape. As they deliver top-notch care and contribute to enhanced patient outcomes, the demand for their expertise will likely remain strong in the years ahead.


What It’s Like to be a Licensed Nursing Assistant

Licensed Nursing Assistants (LNAs) fulfill a vital function within the healthcare system by offering indispensable aid to patients and nursing personnel. Their commitment and empathy are pivotal in enhancing the welfare of those entrusted to their care.

This article delves into a typical day experienced by Licensed Nursing Assistants, touching upon their varied responsibilities and the salary they earn, while also highlighting their significant influence on the healthcare sector

What It’s Like to be a Licensed Nursing Assistant

Morning routine

Licensed Nursing Assistants typically commence their day early, arriving at the healthcare establishment, whether it’s a hospital, nursing home, or assisted living facility. Upon arrival, they prepare for their shift by liaising with the nursing team. This may involve receiving a briefing from the preceding shift, which outlines patient statuses, modifications to treatment protocols, and any pertinent directives for the day.

Care for patients

A key duty of Licensed Nursing Assistants (LNAs) is to deliver hands-on care to patients. This includes aiding individuals with activities essential for daily living (ADLs), such as bathing, dressing, and grooming.

LNAs collaborate closely with patients who have restricted mobility or need aid because of illness or injury. Their compassionate and empathetic demeanor fosters a reassuring and supportive atmosphere for those they attend to.

Monitoring vital signs

Throughout their shift, LNAs regularly assess and document vital signs, including blood pressure, pulse, temperature, and respiratory rate.

This monitoring is essential for evaluating a patient’s general well-being and detecting any indications of deterioration or progress.

LNAs collaborate with the nursing staff to guarantee that patients receive the necessary standard of care.

Supporting mobility

Preserving mobility is crucial for a patient’s holistic health. LNAs aid in repositioning and turning bedridden individuals to prevent bedsores and enhance circulation. Additionally, they support patients in performing physical therapy exercises as prescribed by healthcare providers, thereby facilitating the rehabilitation journey.

Meal assistance

Licensed Nursing Assistants fulfill a crucial role in guaranteeing patients’ nutritional needs are met. They support with meal preparation, feeding, and overseeing dietary intake. 

This facet of their responsibilities encompasses more than just physical sustenance; it also offers a chance for social engagement and emotional encouragement.

Communication and cooperative efforts

In the healthcare environment, effective communication is of utmost importance. LNAs consistently engage in communication with patients, their families, and the nursing team to ensure a holistic approach to care.

They promptly report any alterations in a patient’s condition and collaborate with other healthcare professionals to attend to evolving requirements.

End-of-shift responsibilities

As the day nears its end, LNAs might aid in facilitating the evening regimen, ensuring patients’ comfort and readiness for the night ahead.

They may also document their observations and tasks, fostering continuity of care. Prior to departing, LNAs typically pass on duties to the succeeding shift, furnishing a comprehensive update on the status of each patient.

Salary of licensed nursing assistants in the USA

The average annual salary for a licensed nursing assistant job in the USA is approximately $35,740, equating to around $17.18 per hour. However, this figure can vary significantly based on various factors, including:

  • Location: Salaries tend to be higher in metropolitan areas and states with a higher cost of living, while they are lower in rural areas and states with a lower cost of living. For instance, California boasts the highest average salary for LNAs at $44,936, whereas Mississippi has the lowest at $29,540.
  • Experience: Generally, LNAs with more experience earn higher salaries compared to those with less experience.
  • Education and certifications: Some LNAs hold additional certifications or degrees, which can elevate their earning potential.
  • Employer type: LNAs employed in hospitals typically earn more than those working in nursing homes or home care settings.


Licensed Nursing Assistants (LNAs) hold an irreplaceable position within the healthcare system, devoting their time to delivering crucial care and assistance to patients. From morning assessments to concluding duties at the end of their shifts, LNAs play a pivotal role in patient well-being, offering support with daily activities, monitoring vital signs, encouraging mobility, and ensuring proper nutrition.

The average annual salary for licensed nursing assistants varies depending on several factors, including location, experience, education, certifications, and employer type, with roles in hospitals typically commanding higher salaries. Their unwavering dedication and empathy establish them as indispensable members of the healthcare team, highlighting their profound impact on patient care and the broader healthcare landscape.

  1. What is the typical salary range for licensed nursing assistant positions in the United States?
  • The average annual salary for licensed nursing assistants (LNAs) in the USA stands at approximately $35,740, although this figure can vary depending on factors such as location, experience, education, certifications, and the type of employer.
  1. How does the salary of LNAs differ across states?
  • The salary of LNAs varies across states, with California boasting the highest average salary at $44,936, while Mississippi reports the lowest at $29,540.
  1. Which factors impact the salary of LNAs?
  • Several factors influence the salary of LNAs, including geographical location (reflecting cost of living), level of experience, educational background, possession of certifications, and the nature of the employing institution, with LNAs in hospitals typically earning higher wages.
  1. What are the primary duties of LNAs during a typical workday?
  • LNAs help with daily tasks, check vital signs, support moving around, make sure patients eat right, and keep good communication with patients and healthcare workers.
  1. How do LNAs contribute to the well-being of patients beyond physical care?
  • In addition to providing physical care, LNAs contribute to patient well-being by offering emotional support, facilitating social interaction during meal assistance, and fostering a comfortable and supportive environment.
  1. Why is effective communication essential in the role of LNAs?
  • Effective communication is crucial for LNAs to collaborate effectively with patients, their families, and the healthcare team. It ensures a comprehensive approach to care and enables prompt reporting of any changes in a patient’s condition.

Should You Worry About the New Covid Variants?

The appearance of new COVID variants has led to a spike in cases and hospitalizations. Learn everything you need to know about these variants and what you can do to prevent risking exposure.

Which Variant Caused This Current Spike?

Of the current COVID variants, the most prominent is the “Pirola” strain, otherwise known as the BA.2.86 variant. Per Al Jazeera, this highly mutated version of Omicron has been the major culprit behind the aforementioned surges. The Pirola variant possesses 30 different mutations, which is considerably higher than the strains that came before it. For reference, the Omicron and Eris variants had one to two mutations.

First appearing in Denmark on July 24 of this year, it recently spread throughout North America. The good news is that the risk of catastrophe is considerably lower. Scientists predict that the built-up immunities from vaccination and prior COVID-19 exposure will suffice in most cases. In addition, prior methods for detection and treatment seem to be compatible with the new variant.

Are There Other Variants to Watch Out For?

EG.5 is another notable Omicron variant. Most interestingly, it has been able to bypass prior COVID antibodies. At the moment, the World Health Organization has marked it as a low priority, but it is monitoring its progress closely.

What Can Be Done to Mitigate Risk?

Right now, the situation with these COVID variants is fluid. It is still unknown how transmittable they are, whether or not they respond to boosters, and what the long-term outlook is. Both mentioned strands are currently low risk, but the situation could develop at any second. For now, the best way to mitigate risk is the same as it has always been. Wearing masks wherever you go, staying updated with vaccinations, and limiting needless outside exposure are the best ways to avoid the COVID strains, if you cannot afford an infection.


How Foreign Nurses Can Start Working in the US

On paper, America provides tantalizing opportunities for registered nurses (RNs) abroad. With the US nurse shortage in full swing, there should be no lack of work openings for foreign-born HCPs.

The reality is more complicated than that, however. Thanks to current immigration policies, foreign nurses have to jump through numerous hoops before they can even practice.

To make life easier for aspiring overseas nurses, we have made this guide. Provided that you fulfill every requirement and go through the right channels, your dreams of working in America as a foreign nurse will eventually come true.

Meet the Basic Requirements

As mentioned earlier, there are numerous education requirements for nurses, before they can take US Nurse Jobs.

At the most basic level, all nurses have to meet the following professional and educational standards:

● Graduation from an accredited nursing program in your country of origin (Associate’s Degree in Nursing or Bachelor of Science in Nursing)
● An RN license
● At least two years of RN experience

In most states, you will also be required to take A Foreign-Educated Nurses (course) that is split between 120 hours of clinical rotations and 120 hours of lessons. Taking this at one of the US’s best nursing schools will give you an edge, with regards to preparation.

Take an English Proficiency Test

Most foreign-born nurses also have to take an English proficiency exam. Depending on your country of origin, you may have to take one of the following:

● International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
● Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
● Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC)

The only exceptions to the rule are nurses who come from primarily English-speaking countries, such as:

● United Kingdom
● New Zealand
● Ireland
● Canada, sans Quebec
● Australia

Fulfill Nclex Requirements and Pass the Exam

To become a US nurse, you need to pass the NCLEX-RN, which is the certification test for registered nurses. To take this, foreign nurses must fulfil a number of different requirements. This includes the aforementioned education requirements for a nurse. You have to submit an application to take the test to a State Board of Nursing, along with the required documents and related fees. Afterwards, you have to verify your foreign nursing license and educational history and you have to fulfill a criminal background check.

Keep in mind some states have specific requirements you also have to fulfill. On a related note, how much your nurse salary is will also depend on which state you work in. While waiting for your application, take the opportunity to study for the test. At least two months will give you ample time to study and prepare. Luckily, there are many reviewers available online. Once the State Board of Nursing approves your application, you can register for the NCLEX-RN at Pearson Vue and schedule your exam at an approved testing centre. After you take the test, you will receive your results in 48 hours.

If you pass the test, then congratulations! You can now work with the top US nurse corporations in the country.

Link Up with a Reputable Us Nurse Agency

If you cannot be directly recruited by a hospital, you want to refer to a reputable nursing agency. Good agencies can sponsor your VISA application and help you find work. Refer to reviews or input from your nurse friends, to find the best agency for you.

Acquire Your Visa

Even after you secure your certification and employment, you still need a VISA. Green card holders enjoy full citizenship rights, which include the ability to live and work in America permanently.

With the right endorsement from an employer or your agency, and a VisaScreen certificate, naturalization can be sped up.

The application process ends with an interview with the US embassy. After a few days or weeks, you will find out if you passed. If you did: congratulations! You can now practice as a US Nurse. For further support and assistance, you can refer to the International Nurse Council website here.


Curbing Workplace Violence in Healthcare

Whether it is from their patients or visitors, workplace violence in healthcare has long been a massive problem. The World Health Organization claims that “8 to 38% of all nurses have suffered from healthcare violence, at some point in their careers.” It is impossible for HCPs to provide the best possible care, while they are suffering from harassment from the patients they are supposed to serve. Because of this, healthcare facilities have a responsibility to protect their staff from workplace violence. With the right strategies and systems in place, facilities across the country can do right by their healthcare workers.

What Is Workplace Violence?

Moving forward, workplace violence refers to physical, sexual, or verbal abuse committed by patients or visitors, towards HCPs. As was mentioned earlier, this happens far more often than it should. In fact, workplace abuse rates in healthcare are larger than in most sectors of the workforce.

Why Is Workplace Violence So Common in Healthcare Settings?

A number of factors have combined to make workplace violence so prevalent. Thanks to staffing shortages (among other things), HCPs are under increased pressure and stress. This lowers the quality of care, which increases frustration among patients and visitors. Staffing shortages not only exacerbate these problems, they also lower the capacity for patients across different hospitals. This means HCPs are more likely to come into conflict with patients who want to be admitted but cannot be.

Some of this is also the nature of the job. When you work with thousands of patients every day, you will eventually run into patients or visitors with violent dispositions and short temperaments. What is inexcusable is the lack of preventative measures and systems, on the part of certain healthcare facilities. Without assistance from the facilities themselves, HCPs will be exposed to patient violence no matter what.

What Are the Consequences of Workplace Violence?

Workplace violence is an extra source of stress, in an already stressful line of work. Regularly experiencing targeted violence can cause several mental problems related to stress, or exacerbate them. This includes but is not limited to, depression, anxiety, and burnout. All this eventually causes mass resignations and larger turnover, which makes the HCP shortage far worse than it already is.

In addition, healthcare workers can get injured by particularly violent and physical outbursts from a patient or visitor. They can get incapacitated by these injuries and/or traumatized by the whole ordeal.

What Can Be Done?

Facilities have both a material and moral imperative to address workplace violence. If left unchecked, staff will resign en masse and leave the facility shorthanded and crippled. More importantly, they need to ensure the health and safety of everyone who works under them. Not doing so would be a complete and utter failure for the nurse leaders and administrators in charge.

While there is no “one size fits all” solution, there are a number of measures that facilities can institute, to better protect their HCPs. Bringing in temporary HCPs is a good solution, as understaffing is one of the major causes of patient violence. When a facility’s patient-to-staff ratios are skewed, HCPs become more stressed and the quality of care diminishes, which results in increased patient violence. Bringing in temporary HCPs allows the facility to weather the storm until patient counts return to normal.

Instituting a proper reporting system is also paramount. HCPs should be able to notify administrators and leaders on workplace violence, as soon as possible. The facility has a responsibility to educate the staff on the existence of such a system, the policies regarding what does and doesn’t count as workplace violence, and how they would go about reporting. Not only that, but the facility should be responsive. If a reporting system is in place, but nothing is ever done about repeated abuse cases, then staff will know that it is completely useless.

Facilities must also look into investing in proper training programs. HCPs must be instructed and educated on what to do when they are confronted with violence, and how they can protect themselves in precarious situations. They need to know how to de-escalate confrontations, how to recognize hostile behaviors, and when they should retreat from the premises and ask for assistance.

This may go without saying, but investing in security should also be a top priority. In the event that a situation escalates beyond control, there needs to be emergency alarms on hand. A proper security system, trained guards, and a developed emergency response protocol would prevent catastrophic outcomes.


What Is Acute Care?

Acute care covers patients who develop sudden, life-threatening illnesses or diseases that require immediate attention. This can cover broken legs sustained from high drops, car crash victims, individuals injured by natural disasters and more. Since time is of the essence in these situations, these patients cannot just be placed on a waiting list. This is why acute care HCPs provide immediate, short-term treatment to get their condition stable enough for a swift recovery, or more long-term care.

Where Do Acute Care HCPs Work?

Acute care HCPs work in a variety of different departments and locations. This includes, but is not limited to:

● Intensive Care Unit
● Urgent Care Center
● Inpatient and Outpatient Medical/Surgical
● Neonatal Intensive Care
● Accident and Emergency Department
● And more.

Acute care HCPs can also work in nursing homes, long-term care centres, and other kinds of facilities.

What Do Acute Care HCPs Do?

The duties of an acute care HCP will depend on their role, unit, and specialization. That being said, HCPs in acute care often carry out the following tasks:

● Monitoring vital signs and symptoms to identify their status
● Defibrillation/Cardioversion
● Running diagnostic tests
● Providing medications
● Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support
● Providing urgent treatment under strict time constraints
● And more

Is There a Material Difference Between Acute HCPs and Regular HCPs?

Compared to regular RNs or LPNs, working in acute care requires more training, and sometimes specialized certifications. Most facilities want at least two years of relevant experience in an acute care setting. It only makes sense, considering they want experienced and proven HCPs who can thrive under pressure, and solve problems with critical thinking, and on severe time constraints.

While additional qualifications are not necessary in most instances, it may provide the extra edge you need. Some facilities may prioritize applicants with Certified Critical Care Nurse (CCRN) qualifications. The advantage may be marginal, but it points to a commitment towards continuous improvement and self-study.

Should I Become an Acute Care HCP?

Acute care is not for everyone. HCPs are constantly working fast, and it is the most stressful part of an already demanding line of work. If the pace of work is not for you, or you are worried about burning out or overexerting yourself, then you want to reconsider this role. If you thrive under pressure, however, then acute care is the perfect role for you. It will push you to think critically and efficiently in as short a time as possible. Because of the demands of labor, acute care HCPs are also compensated more than their counterparts. If all this appeals to you, then becoming an acute care HCP is highly recommended.


5 Back-To-School Tips for Healthcare Students

The school has returned for nursing students of all levels. Whether you are working towards your associate’s degree or a master’s degree, every student has to deal with an adjustment period. It can take a while to get back into the rhythm of things, after months of rest and relaxation. To make things easier for you, we have gathered a list of back-to-school tips and tricks to help you start the school year right.

Set a Consistent Routine

Setting a daily schedule or routine offers a host of benefits for HCP students. It provides structure to your school week, as you are never going to be at a loss for what you need to do next. When you have a consistent checklist, you reduce the risk of forgetting to do something (whether it is an assignment or an important task) and cramming later as a result. In the long term, you will experience less stress and will become a more productive individual over time. With less of a mental burden, you experience better mental and physical health over time.

You can establish when you eat breakfast, leave the house for your classes, study, do your homework and more. It does not have to be rigid. You can adjust your schedule based on your needs and priorities, at a given time. If there is a big test or assignment coming up, then you allocate more time towards that. As long as you are following the basic structure, you will reap all the benefits of a daily routine.

Find a Good Place to Study

Healthcare students have a lot on their plate. They need to memorize and internalize countless complicated concepts and apply them practically in the medical field. To do this effectively, you want a dedicated space for studying, in your home. It has to be organized, quiet, and removed from any potential distractions. This is why you want to study far away from your entertainment devices, like your computer or your gaming console.

If your house is noisy for reasons beyond your control, then you have alternatives. You can study at a nearby library or coffee shop, provided they have Wi-Fi. If you have a friend, try asking if you could study at their place for the night. Failing all this, you can put on your headphones and play soothing music in an attempt to block out any and all distractions. Find whichever works best for you, at that time.

Do Not Cram

Cramming is a zero sum game. Attempting to catch up to days or weeks of studying will leave you tired and stressed out, and can potentially burn you out over time. In addition, people who cram may end up passing, but the knowledge does not internalize and they generally perform worse in comparison to their contemporaries.

Instead of cramming, you want to stay on top of your studies to the best of your capacity. Read the material of your lesson the day before your classes cover them, and complete all your assignments on time.If you feel especially industrious, you can even study material well in advance. You may make mistakes with this self-guided study, but this can all be cleared up during classes.

Reach Out to Your Classmates

No student is an island, and that includes nursing school. Healthcare is a very team-driven industry, and you will not make it very far if you cannot work well with others. In addition, friendships are a valuable part of the school experience and spending time with them can help you unwind, after a particularly tough week of school. Do not be afraid to reach out, and make an attempt to connect with your peers.

You will not be close friends with everyone, but that is OK. A close inner circle of friends will naturally develop, and you can maintain a good acquaintanceship with everyone else. Organizing study groups with friends can allow you to bounce ideas off of each other, and assist one another with material that you are collectively struggling with. Making friends is also a good way to establish connections and networks in the healthcare industry. The list of personal and professional benefits is endless.

Take a Breather

You cannot study effectively in an empty tank. Do not hesitate to provide yourself with a break in between study sessions. Scheduling naps, a lunch out with friends, or even indulging in your hobbies once in a while is totally fine. When you get back to work, your mind will be well-rested and refreshed. Provided it is in moderation and not at the expense of your productivity, then a good break may be just what you need for some mental clarity.

When you accomplish something with your studies or professionally, do not hesitate to reward yourself either. As with breaks, you do not need to go all out all the time, but some indulgence once in a while will do you good.


How the Staffing Industry Has Changed Post-Pandemic

Although the pandemic is over, its effects on the healthcare industry can still be felt to this day. For one thing, it changed how facilities approached staffing. Thanks to the nursing shortage, facilities were pushed towards forward-thinking, short-term solutions. Suddenly, they had to meet safe staffing levels without overspending on labor. To understand where the future of the industry may lie, we must look at how healthcare staffing changed, why alternative staffing solutions have gained so much traction, and what the future may hold for hospitals, long-term care centres, and other healthcare facilities.

How Did Covid Affect the Healthcare Industry?

During the pandemic, facilities ended up contending with volatile spikes in demand and patient counts. COVID-19 admissions steadily rose throughout this time, reaching an all-time peak in 2022 with the spread of the Omicron variant. In January 2022, hospitals were dealing with 145,982 COVID patient admissions. These residents accounted for 30% of all Intensive Care Unit beds.

This led to crowded facilities and overextended HCPs. Suddenly, they were dealing with unsafe patient-to-HCP staffing ratios and unsustainable workloads. These conditions made them susceptible to stress and overwork, which could eventually lead to burnout. Quality of care directly suffered, as tired HCPs were more susceptible to costly medical errors. Inevitably, turnover rates increased as a result. Studies have even shown that HCPs who worked for three months during the COVID-19 pandemic were more likely to consider leaving the industry altogether.

Meanwhile, non-COVID patients were left in waiting rooms for a long time. While waiting, their conditions only worsened. Both staff and residents were suffering greatly, during the peak of the Coronavirus.

How Did Healthcare Facilities Respond?

Facilities obviously needed to return to safer staffing levels. They needed to bring in more HCPs to account for the higher patient counts. Unfortunately, simply bringing in more full-time healthcare workers was not an option, in most cases. Eventually, the COVID patient spikes would settle over time. There would still be COVID-related admissions, but the average daily patient counts would come down to where they used to be. In these situations, facilities would find themselves severely overstaffed. Their spending on compensation, training, and benefits would increase, yet they would find no material gain. Over a long enough period of time, this overstaffing would lead to financial issues and even potential bankruptcy. For those reasons, bringing in full-time staff all the time would be impractical.

For this reason, facilities ended up turning to flexible staffing solutions. This lets them bring additional HCPs as needed (or per diem), through temporary contracts. They could work with a facility for a set amount of time. It could be weeks or months, or it may only last the span of a single shift. Hospitals could account for sudden spikes inpatient admissions, estimate how long this rise in demand would last, and bring in temporary HCPs to work within that time. While they would have to orient HCPs to the systems and operations of a facility, they did not have to invest seriously in their training either. Temporary HCPs typically come with significant experience and are prepared to contribute to their facility almost instantly. Whether you need more registered nurses, doctors, physicians, or nurse aides, there are a host of temporary staffing services available to you.

What Staffing Options Are Available to Facilities?

Right now, there are two main flexible staffing solutions that facilities can make use of staffing agencies and staffing apps. The former is an established temporary staffing platform that was successful, even before the rise of COVID-19. Staffing agencies partner with HCPs, and work in conjunction with partnered facilities to find the most compatible fit. They usually secure months or weeks-long contracts for HCPs with facilities that need to fill in these short-term vacancies. Overall, this matching process can take weeks, with staffing agencies facilitating negotiations, settling documentation and so much more. To this day, they remain a reasonable outlet for facilities looking for trustworthy, and qualified HCPs who can contribute in the short term.

By comparison, staffing apps are a much newer development, but they are no less useful or reliable. Staffing apps allow HCPs to take up single shifts with their facilities of choice. They process all the documentation and credentialing in a much quicker manner, as a result. Apps like VitaWerks have risen in prominence, thanks to their convenience and ease of use. Compared to staffing agencies, facilities can find RNs, LVNs, CNAs, and more on short notice, and can match with them in a matter of minutes. If you need HCP contributions as soon as humanly possible, then staffing apps are a perfectly viable option.

How Has the Healthcare Staffing Industry Grown Over the Years?

The rise of COVID-19 brought alternative healthcare staffing solutions to prominence. Although the pandemic is finished, staffing continues to expand and grow in influence and profitability, over time. A 2022 market analysis report concluded that the staffing industry was valued at over $36.9 billion USD in that year. From 2023 to 2030, staffing is expected to see a compound annual growth rate of 6.93 percent. The industry saw an increased demand for healthcare staffing that has not abated, ever since the start of the pandemic. Developments in technology and the various benefits of per diem employment have also been cited as major driving factors behind the industry’s growth.

How Do Hcps Benefit from Temporary Staffing?

Facilities are not the only entity that can benefit from a temporary staffing setup. Per diem HCPs get to enjoy unprecedented professional freedom, while they work with staffing agencies or through staffing apps. They can choose where they work, and when they work, without any input from their bosses or managers. As long as they complete their shifts and contracts, then they have full control over their careers. This allows them to discover what they want out of their HCP lives, by experimenting with different roles and experiments.

This also gives them invaluable work experience in a variety of different settings and environments, which always looks good in their resumes. Finally, there is even a monetary incentive. Because short-term staffing solutions are in high demand, this is reflected in per diem rates. This means that HCPs can earn as much, if not more than their full-time counterparts. Just keep in mind that because they are independent contractors, they need to do their own taxes as a result. This can be a major headache, and it is highly recommended that you seek the help of an accountant if you can.

A Bright Future

The staffing industry will only continue to grow. As the shortages continue, and different COVID variants develop, facilities will need short-term solutions now, more than ever. Staffing agencies and apps give them this flexibility while providing HCPs a sense of professional freedom they have never experienced. Instead of supplanting full-time HCPs, they assist them by lightening the load and keeping staffing ratios at safe, recommended levels. As time passes and technology evolves, the staffing industry will continue to innovate. In that time, companies like VitaWerks will keep finding new ways to make life better for facilities and HCPs alike.