Many thanks and congrats to our February Traveler of the Month, Lee Ann S., and also the February Rising Star winner, Barbara P.!
February Traveler of the Month, Lee Ann, is a PACU RN who has been in nursing for nearly 30 years and has been traveling almost 7 years.
Her favorite assignment/location was her first time in Fairbanks, Alaska — where she says the scenery was “breathtaking.”
“The adventures and scenery [there] were awesome,” she says. “I had such cool and exciting experiences up there!”
While Lee Ann is super dedicated to nursing and providing great patient care, she’s also definitely in Travel Nursing for the adventure.
“The best part of traveling is all the new and exciting places I get to see,” says Lee Ann. “It’s like a working vacation for me and I love it.”
“Thanks to Medical Solutions and, of course, my awesome recruiter Sarah K.!”
The February Rising Star, Barbara, is an RN who has been in nursing almost 34 years. She began traveling in December 2013, when her first assignment took her to Connecticut.
“My first assignment was very fun and exciting,” she says. “It was a short train ride from New York City and I spent New Year’s Eve in Times Square.”
Barbara is currently on her second assignment, in Arizona, while also taking online classes to earn her Bachelor’s degree. And, she has a new pal along for the ride this time around.
“I didn’t travel with my dog, Gunner, [the first] time because I was unsure how he would acclimate,” she says.
But, Barbara was able to bring Gunner on her current Arizona assignment and he turned out to be quite the Traveler, just like her!
“I am so happy he is with me on this trip. Turns out he is a great travel companion and it’s dog heaven here,” she says.
Barbara loves the variety and adventure of traveling.
“The best thing about Travel Nursing is the freedom to choose what and where you would like to work,” says Barbara. “I have lived and visited places I never would have been able to afford without Medical Solutions. The diverse group of people I have met is incredible.”
And even though she’s off adventuring, Barbara still gets to enjoy time with her loved ones on a regular basis.
“I was blessed with four children and two grandchildren in the Midwest, and I travel back between assignments to spoil them. However, my family has been very supportive and also travel to see me often,” she says.
As a Christmas gift, Barbara’s children even gave her a large wall map to place pins in to document her locations as she travels!
Thanks so much again to Lee Ann and Barbara for providing an excellent example when it comes to being pros at both nursing and adventuring! We truly appreciate all of your hard work and dedication to patient care.
As a Traveler, the relationship you have with your recruiter is a huge factor in successfully building your career. That’s actually why we call our recruiters “Career Consultants” — because these folks are serious about helping launch and develop your career as a traveling healthcare professional.
But, with this being such a super important relationship, how do you find the one?
At many agencies you are randomly assigned to the next recruiter in line. But now at Medical Solutions you can take control of your recruiter search with our Career Consultant profiles. If you are a new Traveler with us and have yet to work with one of our Career Consultants, now you can choose your own adventure and your own recruiter!
Already been paired up with your Medical Solutions recruiter match? Now you can check out his or her profile to get to know your first mate on the Good Ship Travel Nursing even better! At Medical Solutions we promise you a Career Consultant who will remain your single point of contact throughout your adventures and assignments. We understand how important is for you to build that relationship, and never want you to feel bounced around between recruiters.
These pages are chock full of great information on each of our Career Consultants and will let you in on who we are and why we do what we do, with features including:
- A unique message from each of our Career Consultants, including information on their experience in the industry
- A brief video introduction from them
- Testimonials from their Travelers
- A one-click option to email or call them directly
- Pictures of them, their families, pets, personal travel adventures, and the like
- A list of their interests and hobbies
When it comes to finding a travel nurse recruiter, you definitely want to find someone with great reviews who works hard for their Travelers. But how fun is it to also find a Career Consultant who you can trust to help build your career and who shares your love of cooking, or shopping, or camping, or The Cubs?! Or, how awesome is it to add a new level of appreciation to your existing relationship upon discovering that your Career Consultant, whom you already love, is also obsessed with pugs, or Napa Valley, or biking?!
Whether you’re new and want stats, testimonials, and a little personal flair when making your decision, or you’re a vet and just want to fall in love all over again with your Medical Solutions Career Consultant, these pages are a great resource for you.
Click here to get to know our amazing team and/or find your recruiter soul mate. The only hard part for new Travelers will be choosing between so many friendly faces, all with such amazing industry experience!
Major thanks and congratulations to our 2014 Idea Box winners, Alicia R. and Alecia H., for their suggestion that Medical Solutions offer Travelers a better, more user-friendly way to view pay stub information.
Apparently, great minds really DO think alike — and have eerily similar names!
We used their inspiring idea to add a simple, easily accessible pay summary feature at My.MedicalSolutions.com in March 2014. The site functions as a super handy employee portal and one-stop shop where Medical Solutions Travelers are able to access and manage all of their Travel-related paperwork and documents. Now, with the addition of the pay summary feature, Travelers are easily able to review their pay information on a weekly basis without having to log in to an additional, separate website.
If you have any questions about the handy new pay summary or My.MedicalSolutions.com, please feel to ask your Career Consultant.
Thanks again to Alicia and Alecia for once again proving that Medical Solutions Travelers are the best and the brightest! For their inspired idea, they each won a $100 Amazon gift card.
If you think you have the next bright idea for the Medical Solutions Idea Box, click here to submit it. While we can’t adopt every single submission we truly appreciate ALL of the feedback from our Travelers.
Once again Medical Solutions has been named one of Omaha’s “Best Places to Work” for 2014! This is the sixth time in seven years that we’ve earned this honor and we couldn’t be more proud. The event’s sponsors are the Greater Omaha Chamber and Baird Holm LLP, and the rankings are based upon a survey of internal employees.
Just as Medical Solutions distinguishes itself from other travel nurse agencies by truly valuing and serving our Travelers and making things fun for them, our internal workplace culture is one of fun, employee engagement, hard work, and positive collaboration.
“Winning ‘Best Places to Work’ for the sixth time is the highest praise we can receive, because it means that our employees have once again indicated that what we’re doing is working,” said Craig Meier, Medical Solutions President. “Our success as a business starts and ends with the happiness of our employees and customers.”
We’re having lots of fun working to get you staffed and help build your career as a healthcare professional and Traveler — and we hope you are having fun working with us!
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)