By Lalah Landers BSN, RN Clinical Nurse Manager
A slip, trip, or fall while you’re on the job can often cause or lead to serious injury. Aside from the obvious cost of personal physical pain, such disabling injuries can also be detrimental in terms of a healthcare employee’s ability to do his or her job. This can lead to:
- Missed hours and/or days on the job
- Lower productivity
- Expensive and/or diminished worker compensation claims
- Worsened patient care
According to the CDC, “Slips, trips, and falls are the second most common cause of lost workday injuries in hospitals.”
In 2009 the U.S. Bureau of labor Statistics reported that the frequency of of lost workday injuries resulting from slips, trips, and falls in hospitals was 38.2 per 10,000 employees. At that rate the occurrence is 90% higher than the average rate for all other private industries combined. That’s a major jump!
So, what can you do help prevent slip, trip, and fall injuries and all of their related negative consequences?
- Report and clean up spills immediately.
- Keep a clean, orderly, sanitary work area.
- Wear sturdy shoes with nonskid soles, especially in inclement weather like rain, and ice.
- Keep halls, patient rooms, and stairs free of clutter and obstructions.
- Watch for tripping hazards at nursing stations, in patient rooms, at computer, and in the OR. Watch for cords, tubing on the floor, multiple chairs, and cords stretched across pathways where you walk.
- Nursing station counter tops or medication cards should be free of sharp, square corners.
- Watch for indoor and outdoor irregular flooring surfaces. Watch for uneven sidewalk or floor tiles outside or in parking garages.
- Make sure steps outside are free of ice and snow, and use handrails for support.
Should you as a Traveler, have a slip, trip or fall, you MUST notify Medical Solutions within 24 hours of the incident.
You should also notify your hospital if you have a slip, trip or fall, and seek medical attention if necessary.
Plus, you’ll want to notify the nurse manager or supervisor if you notice any safety concerns that need to be addressed.
One of the many perks of being a Medical Solutions Traveler is our Go Rewards Program, which offers a ton of awesome discounts.
Here are some the great deals you can get in on when traveling with Medical Solutions:
Discounts for You
- FragranceNet.com offers brand name scents, candles, hair and skincare products, and more for as much as 70% off, plus free domestic shipping over $70.
- Verizon offers a variety of percentage-based discounts on certain phone features, minute plans, and accessories.
- Scrubadoo offers 10% off all online purchases.
Discounts for Your Pet
- VPI Pet Insurance offers a 5% discount on your VPI policy, and, if you have multiple pets you can receive additional discounts.
- ProperPet.com offers a 10% discount on all online purchases, as well as free delivery on most orders over $49.
- PetRelocation.com offers a 10% discount on safe travel arrangements for pets.
Discounts to Enjoy While On the Road
- Working Advantage offers up to 60% off a variety of fun tickets, shopping, and travel at spots like Omaha Steaks, FTD, Target.com, Overstock.com, SeaWorld, Busch Gardens, AMC Theaters, and Universal Studios, as well as many hotels, sporting events, Broadway shows and more.
- Enterprise offers 5-10% off one-way car rentals.
And who knows what discounts will soon be added! Click here to learn more about how you can treat yourself and save with Medical Solutions’ Go Rewards Program.
We are very happy to congratulate our January 2014 Traveler of the Month, Niccole H., and also our Rising Star winner, Blair C.!
Niccole is an RN currently working in the NICU in the Seattle, Washington area. She has been a nurse for 14 years and has been traveling for the past two years.
Her home base is Indianapolis, IN, but through Travel Nursing she has also worked contracts and lived in Dallas, Texas, and Fresno, California.
Niccole’s favorite adventure so far?
“So far, Seattle is my favorite,” she says. “I have traveled here twice.”
I love that she says “so far” — it means she knows there are so many more adventures to come! And adventure is definitely one of the reasons Niccole says she love to travel.
“I enjoy exploring new places, trying new things, and learning all the different ways there are to do the same thing in the different hospitals I have worked,” she says.
Blair has been an RN for three years and traveling for one. His first assignment was at a revered teaching hospital in California.
“My time there was wonderful,” he says. “The culture of the nurses that I worked with was one of support, humor, and camaraderie. Also, working in a teaching hospital was a super positive experience.”
Blair loves the freedom and adventure of Travel Nursing — but says he really loves every aspect of the job.
“I enjoyed every part of the experience, from patient interactions to peer collaboration with the utmost of professionalism,” he says. “One rewarding part of traveling is that when my contract is complete it is my choice as to what next … and right now that is a three-month vacation that started with a month of backcountry skiing in Utah and Colorado, followed by a month in India where I am now, and finishing up with three weeks of surfing in Bali!”
Wow, what an adventure. Hang 10, Blair! And thanks so much to both Niccole and Blair for being superstars and for providing awesome patient care while on assignment with Medical Solutions. We really appreciate everything you do!
With the open enrollment deadline under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) coming up on March 31, 2014, we wanted to send a reminder about the great, affordable medical insurance offered to Medical Solutions Travelers.
If you’ve checked Medical Solutions Traveler insurance rates in the past and thought they were too high, it’s time to check them again! Rates are so low now that a basic, single policy costs just $10 per week. This is great news for Travelers who are needing to enroll in coverage by the ACA open enrollment deadline.
Here are some important things to know about the ACA 2014 open enrollment:
- With the rare exception of a qualifying life event, all Americans must be enrolled in coverage by March 31, 2014.
- If you have not enrolled by this date you may have to pay a penalty.
- If you are assessed a fine, you will have to pay it and it does not count as any sort of premium payment. You will still be responsible for 100% of your healthcare costs.
- Depending upon your income, the penalty for not enrolling in coverage in 2014 is 1% of your annual household income or $95 per person. The penalty will increase each year.
- You can visit healthcare.gov to learn more or to shop for coverage. BUT, if you’re thinking about signing on to a new contract with Medical Solutions click here or call your Career Consultant to learn more about our super low insurance rates — $10 per week for coverage is an amazing rate!
- If you’re only uninsured for part of the year, 1/12th of the annual penalty is assessed for each month you’re uninsured. And, there is a three-month grace period, so if you’re uninsured for less than three months you do not have to pay a penalty. This helpful to know for uninsured Travelers who may be unable to sign up for Medical Solutions’ insurance right away, or may have a lapse in coverage.
Medical Solutions made these huge changes to our insurance rates based upon resounding Traveler feedback. You asked for lower rates, and we listened. Check out this blog from 2013, when we majorly overhauled our Traveler insurance rates, to learn more about why we made this change.
There can be a little confusion among nurses regarding how there can be a nursing shortage but at the very same time some nurses are still unable to find a job.
Medical Solutions put together this handy, informative new infographic on jobs and the nursing shortage called, Nursing Shortage: Then Why Can’t I Find a Job? to help you understand the nursing shortage and navigate the industry to get a great-paying job that you love. Check it out below and click here to search Travel Nursing jobs available right now!
by Joe Bryowsky RN, CCRN Clinical Manager
Many hospitals are increasingly using COWs (computers on wheels) or WOWs (workstations on wheels) these days. (By the way, I’m told that use of the name COWs is considered politically incorrect these days, but we still call them that at the hospital I currently work at. Therefore I apologize in advance to any PCs out there on a wheeled work station that may take offense to this. J, but I digress … )
This is good for nurses in that we can spend less time (and energy) running back and forth to the nurses’ station to chart, and more time taking excellent care of our patients. There is a potential downside to this convenience, though. Having COWs or WOWs either in patient’s rooms or in the hallways also opens up a huge potential for theft of information as well as HIPAA violations. This can manifest in many different ways such as not logging off or “locking” the computer when leaving the area, people walking by, etc.
So how can we protect patient information as well as ourselves from this threat? Below are some very simple steps to follow:
- Create a strong password. (Check out our helpful hints for creating a strong password below.)
- Do not share your password with anyone and always be aware if anybody is around you when keying in your password.
- When using a COW or WOW, position yourself or the computer so the information is difficult to see, and minimize screens detailing a patient information system if someone walks up to you.
- ALWAYS log off or lock your computer whenever leaving the computer even if only for a short time.
Using these methods will reduce the risk of information theft as well as the potential for HIPAA violations.
Helpful hints for strong passwords
“Strong” passwords are hard to guess … either by human or machine. Creating a strong password requires doing the following:
- Do make them long, at least 8 characters, ideally longer
- Do use at least four different characters (don’t just repeat the same ones)
- Do include mixes of uppercase letters, lowercase letters, symbols like !@#&, and numbers.
- Do change your passwords regularly (some systems force the user to do this)
- Do use different passwords for different systems (ex. PYXIS vs COW password)
Creating strong passwords require NOT doing certain things too:
- Don’t use words associated with personal characteristics that others may know (family names, pet names, addresses, etc.)
- Don’t use consecutive letters or numbers (ex. 1234567 or abcdefg)
- Don’t use your name or nickname
- Don’t use adjacent characters on your keyboard. (ex. zxcvbnm)
As we welcome February, many of us are still paying off December’s Christmas gifts, January’s new gym memberships, and winter’s high heating bills (thanks, polar vortex!). So wouldn’t it be nice to have some extra money come your way?
Luckily, you can put a little extra padding in your wallet with Medical Solutions’ Loyalty and Referral Bonus Programs.
We are continuing our Loyalty Program in 2014, allowing all of our Travelers the chance to earn an extra $600 for every 600 hours worked with us. Another great thing about this program is that there is nothing for you to register for or keep track of. We automatically tally all eligible hours worked, and when you hit 600 hours you’ll be paid a $600 bonus. Then, the clock starts over and when you hit another 600 hours you get another $600! And so on … Click here for full details on the Loyalty Program.
Our Referral Program is another great opportunity to earn some extra cash and help get your friends working with a great Travel Nurse company. Plus, you can refer as many people as you like and you don’t even have to be a Medical Solutions employee to refer someone and claim the bonus! For every successful referral you send us — that’s a nurse who signs a contract with Medical Solutions and works at least 30 days — you’ll get $500, a laptop, or a $500 Apple gift card. Click here for full details on the Referral Program.
Remember, both the Loyalty Program and Referral Program allow you to earn multiple bonuses. There is no limit on how many times you can earn either of them!
So, what will you spend your Loyalty or Referral Bonus on? Share your ideas in the comments.
Time Magazine may have its Person of the Year, but at Medical Solutions we like to celebrate our Traveler of the Year. This person was chosen from a very talented pool of Travelers who won Traveler of the Month during 2013.
Without further ado, we’d like to announce and congratulate our 2013 Traveler of the Year … Roseanna C.! She won the Traveler of the Month title for October 2013 and was awarded a $100 Visa gift card for that accomplishment, as all Traveler of the Month winners are. Now, for her Traveler of Year title she won a new iPad and even bigger bragging rights.
Roseanna has been in nursing for 30 years (wow!) and has traveled on and off, all across the United States, since 2000.
She says that she was in “total shock” when she got the call saying she was chosen as Traveler of the Year.
“I have met so many wonderful nurses. I never expected to be given such an honor,” she says humbly.
Roseanna is currently working Labor and Delivery at what she says is her all-time favorite assignment at a hospital in the greater Bay area in California.
“I absolutely love the staff, who have become dear friends to me,” she says. “I am happy to say that after 30 years in nursing, I still love my job … There was a time that I began to feel a little stagnant at work. But I decided to travel and everything became new and fresh and exciting again.”
Roseanna wants to thank her hospital along with “Medical Solutions, Kris Cannon, and Kelly Baker … for helping celebrate a wonderful year! It’s all because of you!”
And Roseanna, we want to thank YOU! Words don’t express the importance of your dedication to nursing and patient care. We are very proud to call you a Medical Solutions Traveler.
We’d like to introduce you to Medical Solutions Traveler, Kyle L., who has been posting some helpful videos on his YouTube channel Travel Nursing. Kyle’s Career Consultant Mark B. let us know about his video posts and we were humbled that he is such a Medical Solutions fan.
We also think what he’s doing is downright cool — providing a video resource for all Travel Nurses. Kyle says when he first started researching Travel Nursing he found mainly written resources. While blogs and other written resources are super helpful for aspiring Travelers, Kyle thought it would be neat to do his own video journal that would document the life of a Travel Nurse and help answer questions about salary, finding jobs, housing, travel and recreation tips for certain locations.
Check out Kyle’s introduction video below, and then we’d like to invite you to get in on the fun too!
Do you have a video to share? Some piece of sage wisdom to share with your fellow Travel Nurses? An excellent adventure worth showing everyone?
Shoot a quick video about anything related to Travel Nursing — from contracts to kayaking, salary to sunbathing — then upload your video to YouTube or Vimeo and email us the link. We look forward to hearing from you and sharing your knowledge with fellow and aspiring Travelers. Places everybody …. annnnd … ACTION!
Many thanks and congratulations to Medical Solutions’ December 2013 Traveler of the Month, Austin H., and also our Rising Star winner, Chris A.
Austin H. is an RN currently working Cardiac Cath Lab in Fort Worth, Texas. He has been in nursing for more than four years and has been traveling about two. His fiancé Crystal travels with him.
“It was a joint decision to begin traveling, and we have not looked back since,” he says.
His favorite location so far is Montana, which he loves for the breathtaking scenery.
“We were a 90 minute drive from Yellowstone National Park,” he says. “There were times I was basically face to face with a buffalo.”
What an adventure! But Austin says the best part of traveling is the confidence he has gained in his abilities as a nurse.
“I am able to walk into new surroundings, evaluate the situation, and be up and running within a shift, maybe two,” says Austin. “I enjoy the ability to see how nursing practice varies in different parts of the country, and I have been lucky enough to work with some amazing nurses that have taught me skills that I have adapted into my daily routines.”
Chris A., an RN with 13 years nursing experience, was honored to be chosen as Rising Star for working her first travel assignment in Washington State.
“The hospital, staff and patients were such a pleasure to be with. I truly loved my assignment and learned a lot from my co-workers,” she says.
Chris also loved the west coast and exploring the diversity of the area. She was excited to be able to hit the beach and the slopes in one day.
“I’m an outdoor girl and love to hike up a mountain or two,” she says. “The west side of Washington was perfect! So many mountains, so little time.”
Chris is accompanied on the road by her two “rambunctious” cats, DeVa and Babs, who she says have adjusted just great to their adventures. Chris’ husband stayed home to hold down the fort, with the couple’s other cat, two dogs, and a horse. She says they have “accumulated quite a four legged family in rescues.”
Winning Rising Star for her hard work in Washington is an honor, but Chris is already looking ahead to her next big adventure.
“I am equally excited for my next assignment in Virginia, which will give me the opportunity to be close to my son at West Point military academy,” she says. “I love to see the country and the though I am just there to help, I learn a lot from the people I work with.”
Austin and Chris, congrats again and thank you both so much for providing excellent patient care while working on assignment with Medical Solutions. We really appreciate all of your hard work!