Author Archive for Sarah Wengert

Hi, I'm Sarah Wengert, a creative content writer for the amazing Medical Solutions based in Omaha, Nebraska. While I'm not a Travel Nurse, I love to travel and I truly appreciate the hard, important work that nurses do. I'm very happy to represent a company that cares so much about its people. Thanks for reading!

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Congrats to August 2019’s Traveler of the Month and Rising Star!

Janae C RS
Congrats to August 2019 Traveler of the Month, Susan D., and Rising Star, Janae C. (pictured)!

Many thanks and congrats to the August 2019 Traveler of the Month, Susan D., and also our Rising Star winner, Janae C.!

Traveler of the Month Susan is an OB Tech who’s currently on assignment in Flint, Michigan.

Since February 2019, Susan’s been working with Career Consultant Anna Howell, who had great things to say about her.

“I love Susan’s bubbly personality — she is always happy when I speak with her. She has a great work ethic, is a hard worker, and a team player,” says Anna.

Thank you for your great work, Susan, and congrats!

Rising Star Janae is a critical care ICU RN who’s currently assignment in Houston, Texas. She’s been in nursing for about six years, traveling for about six months, and she works with Career Consultant Billy Malcom.  

While her current assignment is her first outside of her home state, so she doesn’t have a favorite location yet, Janae says she is “enjoying a routine that is outside of my normality.”

One of Janae’s unique abilities is resilience, which she says has shaped her as person.

“My parents taught me to never give up and if I start something I have to see it through to the end,” she says. “This may not seem very unique, but because of this quality, I am who I am today and it’s what I attribute most of my blessings to.” 

Janae decided to try travel nursing to push herself and further develop her skill set.

“I find that the best thing about travel nursing is applying my skills that I’ve learned so far in new situations and proving myself competent,” she says. “I felt that I’d obtained fairly enough knowledge to be an efficient travel nurse and it was time to push and challenge myself!”

Janae shared some really great traveler tips — for new or aspiring traveling healthcare professionals.

“Be yourself! Don’t change how you nurse because you are somewhere new. If you’re a great nurse at one place, continue to be that same nurse someplace else. Your effort will speak for itself! Second, being able to adapt and being open to change is important. My desire for new challenges makes traveling exciting for me no matter the circumstances. Make sure you know exactly why you decided to travel and let that desire be your driving force to be the best travel nurse you can be.”

Thank you for your incredible dedication to patient care and awesome advice, Janae!

Congratulations again to the Medical Solutions August 2019 Traveler of the Month and Rising Star. Susan and Janae, we are so thankful to each of you for your incredible work!

Could you be the next Medical Solutions Traveler of the Month or Rising Star? Travelers who receive a perfect hospital evaluation are eligible to win these monthly awards — with Rising Star going to newer Medical Solutions Travelers. Click here to learn more and to see if you could be the next winner of a $100 Visa or Amazon gift card as recognition for a job well done!

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Clinical Corner: Working in Various Types of Long-term Care Nursing Facilities

Long-term care
It may take different levels of skills and experience to work in various types of long-term care nursing facilities — but it takes a big heart across the board to serve long-term care patients!

By Melissa Nguyen, Clinical Nurse Manager at Medical Solutions

While visiting my grandmother in a long-term care facility, I saw a handwritten sign on the employee lounge door that caught my attention. It read: “Our residents do not live in our workplace, we work in their home.”

This simple yet meaningful message really changed the way I looked at long-term care nursing — especially now that my grandmother was a resident. Most of her fellow residents were spending their final days, months, or years with healthcare professionals who were understaffed and underappreciated. Some residents never had visitors, some had family members regularly dissatisfied with their loved one’s care, and some wanted nothing more than for someone to just hold their hand. Each resident had a unique story and their nurses played an essential role in that story.   

Prior to working as a Clinical Nurse Manager at Medical Solutions, I did not realize there were differences in the types of long-term care facilities. Now I know there are skilled nursing facilities (SNF), long-term care (LTC), long-term acute care (LTAC), and assisted living facilities (ALF).

So, how are these various long-term care facilities different? And what type of experience should a travel nurse or allied health traveler have to successfully work in each specific type of long-term care facility? Read the following examples to learn more about the variety in long-term care facilities and what skills you’d need to succeed in each setting.

Mrs. Smith’s Case

Mrs. Smith is a 76-year-old recently diagnosed with early-stage Alzheimer’s. Until recently, she’s been able to bathe and dress, make herself meals, and take all her prescribed medications as directed. Over the past few weeks, her daughter noticed Mrs. Smith forgetting to take her blood pressure medication and frequently skipping meals. 

Assisted living facility (ALF)

Mrs. Smith qualifies for assisted living because she is unable to safely live alone but does not require heavy nursing needs (such as wound care or IV medications). Assisted living will help Mrs. Smith stay on track with her medications and provide meal services every day.

Travelers — whether RNs or allied health professionals — interested in working in an assisted living facility would need basic knowledge of medication administration, the ability to obtain vital signs, and the ability to obtain labs. 

Skilled nursing facility (SNF)/long-term care (LTC)

Several months after moving to an assisted living facility, Mrs. Smith falls and breaks her leg. She goes to the hospital where she has surgery, however, she now needs assistance with dressing changes for her post-surgical site as well as rehabilitative services. She is discharged to a skilled nursing facility (SNF), where nursing staff will administer her medication and complete her dressing changes. She will also receive physical therapy and occupational therapy services. After several weeks, Mrs. Smith’s surgical wound has healed and she has completed her physical and occupational therapy, but she still requires assistance with mobility and taking medications. She is now transferred to the long-term care (LTC) side of the facility where nurses will help bathe and dress her, administer medications, and transfer her safely in and out of bed.

Travel nurses interested in working in SNF/LTC must have experience working in SNF/LTC with higher ratios than what is normally seen in acute care. It is not uncommon for an SNF/LTC RN to have a 1:20 ratio or higher. Nurses who have only worked acute care are generally not successful as they may struggle with higher ratios than what they are used to. 

Mr. Jones’ Case

Mr. Jones is a 50-year-old man who was admitted to the hospital after a 1,000-pound tree fell and crushed him. He suffered multiple broken bones, a collapsed lung, and a bruised heart. After several days, he stabilized, but required a tracheostomy and remained on the ventilator. 

Long-term acute care (LTAC) ICU

Mr. Jones’s injuries were healing, however, he needed to be weaned off the ventilator. He still needed intensive therapy to build strength and to learn how to breathe, talk, and walk again. He is transferred to a long-term acute care ICU where he begins the process of weaning off the ventilator.

Travel nurses interested in working in LTAC ICU must have experience working specifically in LTAC ICUs. Nurses who have only worked in an acute care hospital ICU are generally not successful as they struggle with the ratios in LTAC ICU (which often carry high acuity patient ratios of four or more). Nurses who have worked stepdown in an acute care facility may be considered if they have ventilator experience. Nurses who have only worked LTC would not be considered good candidates for this position as they do not have experience with acuity levels of LTAC patients. 

Long-term acute care (LTAC) med-surg

Mr. Jones has been successfully weaned off the ventilator and moved to the LTAC med-surg floor. He still requires IV antibiotics and frequent dressing changes for his wounds. In addition, he will continue intensive therapy learning how to walk, talk, and eat on his own. Travel nurses interested in working LTAC med-surg must have either worked in an LTAC med-surg unit in the past or have worked stepdown/tele, med-surg or float pool in an acute care facility and have experience taking ratios of at least 1:5. Nurses who have only worked LTC would not be considered good candidates for this position as they do not have experience with acuity levels of LTAC patients.

As the United States population ages, there will be a higher demand for long-term care and long-term acute care nurses. It is a specialty that comes with its set of challenges, but that equally has its rewards. For many residents, it is their final journey in life and as nurses, we can make a lasting impact on how their final chapter ends. As Maya Angelou famously said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

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Save the Date for Open Enrollment 2019!

Open Enrollment
Save the Date for Medical Solutions open enrollment, October 27-November 9!

The fall season means that many beloved favorites come back around: boots and sweaters, pumpkin spice lattes, football, TV premieres, and everybody’s favorite — open enrollment for benefits!

In that spirit, please save the date for Medical Solutions open enrollment, which will run October 27-November 9, 2019.

During this open enrollment, you can make any changes you’d like to your elections for the 2020 plan year.

You do not need to take any action right now — this is just a heads up that open enrollment is coming soon. Current Medical Travelers will receive email communications with more information about next steps closer to the beginning of open enrollment.

It really is a great time of year to empower yourself to make any necessary changes to your benefits elections. In the meantime, click here to explore Medical Solutions’ benefits, or, feel free to ask your Career Consultant any questions!

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Congrats to July 2019’s Traveler of the Month and Rising Star!

Traveler of the Month LaShawnda
Congrats to July 2019’s Traveler of the Month, LaShawnda B. (pictured) and Rising Star winner, Heidi N.!

Many thanks and congrats to the July 2019 Traveler of the Month, LaShawnda B., and also our Rising Star winner, Heidi N.!

Traveler of the Month LaShawnda is an RN specializing in Long-term Care Management who’s currently on assignment in Kernersville, North Carolina. She’s been in nursing for 14 years and has been traveling for four years. LaShawnda works with Career Consultant Sheila Groff.

Traveler of the Month Angel
LaShawnda travels with her adorable Maltese-Pomeranian mix, Angel.

“Picking my favorite location is not even possible, so I will say, my most rewarding assignment was in St. Louis, Missouri,” says LaShawnda. “The facility was very challenging and the staff was completely burned out. I wanted to run, but I had a talk with myself. I regrouped and realized this was not just a work ‘assignment.’ I vowed to come into that facility happy, non-judgmental, and pledged to go to brink to do my best. Long story short, I met some awesome people — residents and employees. I would like to think, my dedication and commitment renewed theirs. Facility morale was at an all-time high. The staff that was reportedly ‘not teachable’ were finally understanding what continuity of care meant. I extended too many times to remember. The hardest part, like every assignment, was saying, goodbye.”

Wow, that just goes to show how powerful positivity can be!

LaShawnda travels with Angel, her nine-year-old Maltese/Pomeranian mix pup. Uniquely, she says she hates days off, especially during the week, because unless she’s on vacation they give her anxiety!  

“The best things about Travel Nursing are the constant changing and meeting new people, conquering new challenges, and showing the world your gift,” says LaShawnda.

She shared some powerful advice for new or aspiring Travelers:

1. “Always keep an open mind.”

2. “There is no such thing as ‘that’s not my job’ when it comes to residents.”

3. “Never plan to leave on time.” 

4. “Always focus on making a difference.”

Thanks so much for your great advice and for making such a positive difference in the world, LaShawnda!

Rising Star Heidi is a PCU/Tele RN who most recently finished an assignment in Michigan.  

For about a year, Heidi’s been working with Career Consultant Stephanie Balkovec, who had only amazing things to say about her.

“Heidi is a wonderful, positive, resilient young woman who knocked it out of the park on her first assignment, despite it being a tough start. The facility raved about her flexibility and clinical assets,” says Stephanie.

Thank you for your incredible work ethic, Heidi!

Congratulations again to the Medical Solutions July 2019 Traveler of the Month and Rising Star. LaShawnda and Heidi, we are so thankful to you both for your incredible work!

Could you be the next Medical Solutions Traveler of the Month or Rising Star? Travelers who receive a perfect hospital evaluation are eligible to win these monthly awards — with Rising Star going to newer Medical Solutions Travelers. Click here to learn more and to see if you could be the next winner of a $100 Visa or Amazon gift card as recognition for a job well done!

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Six Fabulous Fall Locations for Travel Nurses!

Fall Lady Leaves - Six Fabulous Fall Locations for Travel Nurses!
Get ready for a fantastic season in one of the six fabulous fall locations for Travel Nurses!

That fantastic fall feeling is setting across the country. This magical season comes with cozy cardigans, colorful leaves crunching underfoot, caramel apples, hot beverages, jack-o’-lanterns on the porch, soup on the stove, football and fall premieres on the TV, and more pumpkin-flavored delights than you can shake a cinnamon stick at!

So, where would you like to spend this gorgeous, transformative season? Travel RNs, Allied Health Professionals, and Long-term Acute Care Nurses have all kinds of opportunities through Medical Solutions to connect with the perfect gig for autumn. In that spirit, please consider these six spectacular fall locations for travel nursing jobs!

Massachusetts

Autumn in the Berkshires region of Massachusetts
Fall foliage in the beautiful Berkshires region of Massachusetts!

Massachusetts is especially known for its spectacular fall colors. From beautiful, historic Boston to the famous autumn colors of the Berkshires, fall assignments in Massachusetts are a perfect way to experience a magical New England fall! Explore colorful cranberry bogs throughout the Cape Ann region and see the gorgeous peaks of the Berkshire Mountains decorated in its fall best with colorful Sugar Maples and all kinds of other magnificent fall foliage. Moderate fall temperatures are perfect for exploring Boston’s famous Freedom Trail, plus the city’s iconic harbor, historic architecture, and many amazing restaurants. In the mood for a fun day trip? October is a great time to hop up to Salem and explore the spooky city responsible for the Salem Witch Trials. Learn more about The Bay State here in our Massachusetts State Spotlight.

Click here to check out jobs in Massachusetts!

Kentucky

Fall Kentucky - Six Fabulous Fall Locations for Travel Nurses!
A gorgeous stretch of road between horse farms in rural Kentucky.

The beautiful Bluegrass State is about 47 percent forested with some 175 different tree species, making it one of the nation’s most gorgeous locations to explore fall colors! The Daniel Boone National Forest, Red River Gorge, Wilderness Road Heritage Highway, and the Woodlands Trace National Scenic Byway are each wonderful routes for leaf-peeping drives. If you don’t feel like driving, hop on Kentucky’s South Fork Scenic Railway, sit back, relax, and enjoy the scenery. Even cities like Louisville, Lexington, Bowling Green, and others are fabulous for fall, with their classic, tree-lined streets and plenty more to do, see, and enjoy!

Click here to explore opportunities in Kentucky!

Washington

TRavel Nurse Fall Jobs in Washington
Washington produces the most apples of any state!

Washington — with its timeless penchant for flannel — really knows how to do a fantastic fall! Seattle is dubbed the Emerald City because of its year-round penchant for green, and it stays pretty mild temperature-wise there during autumn. Visit the original Starbucks for your caffeine fix, explore the famous Pike Place Market, and take a ferry ride to beautiful Bainbridge Island — all with that iconic view of magnificent Mount Rainier in the background. In Washington, you’re never too far from a fun day trip like a pumpkin patch excursion, an apple orchard visit, or for a fun fall hike. Gorgeous fall colors abound on drives like the North Cascades Highway, Mount Rainier Loop, and Mount Baker Highway. Learn more about The Evergreen State here in our Washington State Spotlight

Click here to find a great job in Washington!

Colorado

Hiker looking over view of fall colored aspens
Golden aspens delight in colorful Colorado!

Colorado falls are famous for their gorgeous, golden aspens. Aspen, Estes Park, and Crested Butte are a few popular places to peep those colorful leaves and many other hues. Estes Park is also a must-do to experience otherworldly elk bugling as mating season begins in Rocky Mountain National Park. Plus, there is truly no better time than spooky September and ominous October to visit the famously haunted historic Stanley Hotel, which inspired the setting of Stephen King’s The Shining. Colorado’s many scenic byways dazzle with fall colors across the state, so you really can’t go wrong here — and, skiers and winter-lovers might want to start an assignment in the Centennial State in fall and extend through winter! Learn more about colorful Colorado here in our Colorado State Spotlight.

Click here for cool Colorado jobs!

New York

Fall Travel Nurse Jobs in NEw York
Ah, to experience autumn in New York!

The Empire State is a fantastic jumping-off point for exploring famous New England fall foliage. The Big Apple is famous for its fall beauty, with gorgeous colors popping off throughout Central Park, and tons of history, theater, arts, dining, shopping, and sports to experience in mild fall weather. Upstate, places like Lake George, Lake Otsego, Glimmerglass State Park, and The Adirondacks are known for great traditional fall activities, like scenic hikes and drives, orchards, pumpkin patches, hayrack rides, and tons more. Pay tribute to the waning days of the 2019 baseball season with a trip to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. Learn more about The Empire State here in our New York State Spotlight.

Click here to check out travel jobs in New York!

Missouri

9 Fine Fall Locations for Travel Nurses Massachusetts
The Ozarks are even prettier (and less crowded!) in the fall.

The Midwest is a wonderful place to be in the fall and Missouri is proof positive of that fact! The Show-Me State has many adventures in store for Travelers, plus a lots of great job opportunities. Enjoy some jazz and BBQ in KC. Admire the Arch, catch feelings for blues music, and sip on regional craft beer in St. Louis. Both of Missouri’s largest city centers also have great pro sports teams, delectable dining, exciting art, and great shopping. Don’t forget the sprawling Ozarks and lovably kitschy Branson! In fact, many people say the Ozark Hills around the Lake of the Ozarks are at their prettiest when sparkling with gold and maroon leaves. Hike or horseback ride through the beautiful hills, camp out, or enjoy the colors from a boat! Learn more here in our Missouri State Spotlight.

Click here to explore jobs in Missouri!

Wherever you land, we wish a fabulous fall and hope we can help make it even better by connecting you with a great gig. If you’ve got your heart set on another location for fall, click here to search all Travel Nurse, Allied Health Professional, and Long-term Care jobs now!

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Clinical Corner: Nurse Burnout All Too Common

Burnout e1568308070525 - Clinical Corner: Nurse Burnout All Too Common
If you’re experiencing nurse burnout, you are not alone!

By Laura Friend, Clinical Nurse Manager at Medical Solutions

I had just turned 23 years old when I graduated nursing school and was offered my dream job in the emergency department where I’d worked as a tech during the few years prior. I was working overnights, as most new grads do. It was my third week off orientation, around 3:30 a.m., when the EMS radio started to crackle: “Medic 46 is in route to your facility with a 16-year-old female, unrestrained driver. Rollover accident. Code 99 at this time. ETA 6 minutes.”

As some of you know, “code 99” means the paramedics are doing CPR in the ambulance on their way to the hospital. I remember thinking, “This isn’t going to be good. I’ve never seen a code 99 from the field make it. Sixteen years old, that’s not that much younger than me. I wonder why she was out so late; she should’ve been at home, safe.” Right then, the sirens started blaring right outside our door. The paramedics wheeled the young patient in, chest compressions in progress. The code lasted less than five minutes in the ER. Cause of death: blunt force trauma to the head. Half of her face was gone.

I couldn’t sleep that day when I went home. Every time I closed my eyes, I saw what was left of her face — the only part of her body that even had a scratch on it. I heard her mother’s cries as I tossed and turned. I could still smell the metallic odor of blood, even though I’d already showered and washed my scrubs. I went to work that night on little sleep and saw that my coworkers from the night before hadn’t slept much either. None of us talked about it. We quietly went about our jobs and went home again. I made it about five years total in the ER before I left the specialty I loved and worked hard to be a part of because I realized I had grown hard, cynical, and jaded.

Nurse burnout is a hot topic in the healthcare field. According to a recent survey, almost 57 percent of nurses report feelings of burnout or feeling unengaged. Feelings associated with burnout include constant fatigue, a lack of enthusiasm about one’s job, compassion fatigue, or feeling unappreciated or unmotivated. Of the 57 percent of nurses who report having those feelings, 50 percent have no plans to leave their organization (Brusie, 2019). I wasn’t alone. Knowing that over half of all nurses feel some sort of burnout regarding their jobs, what can we do?

Research shows there are a few key items that would help nurse morale and engagement. These include giving nurses an opportunity to participate in decision-making that is directly related to their work, as well as giving nurses more autonomy when it comes to their skillset and expertise. It is also recommended to not only make employees feel like their hard work is meaningful, but to also give them goals in which to strive and recognize their accomplishments (Mudallal, Othman, & Hassan, 2017).

While those steps may take time, simpler and quicker ways to help decrease the effects of nurse burnout include talking about “the hard stuff” with coworkers, debriefing after events, and helping coworkers to take breaks at work. Individually, nurses must also take care of themselves, so they are able to best care for others; get enough sleep, exercise, and participate in enjoyable activities outside of work. Travel nursing also helps prevent burnout by securing better nurse to patient ratios at facilities in need. For those who choose to travel, the variety of travel nursing assignments available can also help them prevent their own burnout with frequent changes in scenery.

To our Medical Solutions nurses, we appreciate you! Thank you for all your hard work, day and night, to take such great care of your patients. Please remember to take care of yourselves as well as you care for your patients — and that our internal clinical team is always here to support you!  

Sources:

Brusie, C. (2019, April 7). Study Reveals Alarming Statistics on Nurse Burnout.

Mudallal, R. H., Othman, W. A. M., & Hassan, N. F. A. (2017). Nurses’ Burnout: The Influence of Leader Empowering Behaviors, Work Conditions, and Demographic Traits. INQUIRY: The Journal of Health Care Organization, Provision, and Financing, 54. doi: 10.1177/0046958017724944

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SeriousFun 2019: Moe’s Story

rsz 1rrr monique - SeriousFun 2019: Moe’s Story
Moe, who worked this summer at SeriousFun camp The Painted Turtle, is all smiles from the “pure joy” of camp! Here she is after her campers showered her in paint.

In 2019, Medical Solutions not only partnered once again with Roundup River Ranch, a SeriousFun camp in Gypsum, Colorado, but we also expanded our recruitment program to include three locations!

As we announced in January 2019, “SeriousFun Children’s Network (SeriousFun) is a non-profit organization which provides life-changing camp experiences to children living with serious illnesses and their families. The expanded program will provide recruitment services, including a scholarship program and financial donation to cover medical needs, to Roundup River Ranch located in Gypsum, Colorado, Camp Boggy Creek in Eustis, Florida (north of Orlando), and The Painted Turtle in Lake Hughes, California (north of Los Angeles).”   

This partnership has been a natural fit — good for the camps and those they serve while also providing incredible, unique job opportunities to members of Medical Solutions’ talented pool of traveling healthcare professionals. We are so honored to help connect the campers at three SeriousFun locations with incredible caregivers!

Each year we like to share stories from Travelers who have had the amazing opportunity to take an assignment at camp. This year — as summer 2019 draws to a close — we continue that tradition with Moe’s story!

What is your name and what’s your title?

Monique ‘Moe’ Augustine RN, BSN

Tell us about your previous nursing experience.

“I have been a pediatric nurse for over a decade. My career has opened tons of doors to wonderful opportunities for me. I thank God every day, because I get to touch other people’s lives and reciprocate that same joy.”

Tell us about your experience this summer working at The Painted Turtle, part of the SeriousFun Children’s Network.

“Thanks to Medical Solutions and The Painted Turtle I have added another great memory to my career. I have worked hard, learned more, cried a ton, and witnessed summer magic! The idea that ‘Camp never leaves you,’ is a real thing. I grew up camping, and for me and the majority of my family camping was the thing that made the rest of life doable. 

For any child that has to live the majority of their life in clinics, doctor’s offices, and hospitals, camp is a dream come true. The campers that experience a camp week at The Painted Turtle, don’t have to sit idly by and hear other kids talk about how great camp is. These campers get to join in the conversation with huge smiles on their faces and that warm, fuzzy feeling in their hearts that only camp can bring! This summer I got to be on the inside watching those dreams come true and it was pure joy!”

Thanks so much to our partners at SeriousFun and also to Moe and all of the other incredible healthcare pros who provided care at these three locations this summer!  

If you’re interested in working an assignment at a SeriousFun camp next year, please keep an eye out for recruitment communications from Medical Solutions in the early months of 2020. You can also tell your Career Consultant now, just so he or she can help remind you when recruitment is live. In the meantime, we’ll just to have to enjoy fall while we can and count down the days until Summer 2020!

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New LTC Job Opportunities at Medical Solutions!

Opportunity
Medical Solutions and 360 Healthcare Staffing have merged, which means more job opportunities in the LTC and leadership space for Travelers, plus more great workforce solutions for facilities!

As you’ve likely heard, this year Medical Solutions officially joined forces with 360 Healthcare Staffing. 360, which is now fully integrated and operates as part of Medical Solutions, has been known for its savvy staffing of interim leadership positions and post-acute care jobs — also known as LTC/LTAC/long-term care.

We are elated by this union here at Medical Solutions, mainly because it offers our Travelers new long-term care and leadership opportunities while also better satisfying our client hospitals’ workforce needs! But, really, our CEO Craig Meier said it best:

“Bringing the expertise of 360 Healthcare Staffing under the Medical Solutions brand integrates our shared commitment to delivering an exceptional experience for our employees and clients. We understand the need for not only contingent labor, but the rising need for overall workforce solutions in healthcare. We’re committed to diversifying our services to better serve up customized solutions for our clients, provide care to more patients across the country, as well as provide more jobs and increased resources for our Travelers.” 

Our goal is always to increase opportunity and improve customer experience for all the people and facilities we serve, and we are confident that this is one big step in achieving that goal! As a result, you will notice a few new tabs (or at the very least increased activity in these tabs) within our job search tool:

Jobs in Long-Term Acute Care

If you’re looking for long-term acute care job opportunities, click here to explore your options.

Jobs in Long-Term Care Management

If you’re looking for long-term care management job opportunities, click here to explore a host of new options.

Jobs in Long-Term Care/Skilled Nursing Facilities

If you’re looking for job opportunities in long-term care/skilled nursing facilities, click here to check out your options.

Workforce Solutions for Facilities

Does your facility need a partner to help you staff LTAC, LTC management, or LTC/SNF professionals? Click here to learn more about how Medical Solutions can help!

In addition to the many new LTC job opportunities at Medical Solutions, we are consistently adding more job opportunities in various other specialties and settings. So, be sure to check out our job search tool where you can explore travel healthcare opportunities and search by title, specialty, and/or location!   

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Clinical Corner: The Criminalization of Human Error and How to Protect Yourself

Mistake - Clinical Corner: The Criminalization of Human Error and How to Protect Yourself
Everyone makes mistakes, but as nurses, we must work diligently to avoid those that may put our patients’ lives in peril.

By Melissa Nguyen, Clinical Nurse Manager at Medical Solutions

I’ve been a nurse for 19 years and I remember my first medication error like it was yesterday. I was a new grad working in dialysis and I administered 5,000u heparin instead of 1,000u heparin. I recognized my error when my patient’s fistula wouldn’t stop bleeding when the needles were removed. I remember walking to the med counter and realizing the heparin label wasn’t the same color it usually was — the label looked exactly like the 1,000u heparin but the color of the label was a light blue instead of the usual light green. 

I still remember that feeling in the pit of my stomach that I was responsible for my patient’s excessive bleeding. How did I not notice the bottles were different? I contacted the nephrologist, notified my administrator, filled out an incident report, and sat with my patient for more than an hour and a half until the bleeding stopped. Aside from having to stay longer than normal until her bleeding stopped, I was lucky my patient didn’t have any further complications. 

Fast forward to February 1, 2019: That was the day that nurse RaDonda Vaught was indicted in Tennessee for reckless homicide in the death of her patient, Charlene Murphey due to a medication error at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. I couldn’t help but think of my own medication error and how drastically different Vaught’s error ended. 

In December 2017, Vaught was taking care of Murphey who was hospitalized for a subdural hematoma. Versed had been ordered by a physician prior to a full body scan to help ease her anxiety from claustrophobia. According to court records, Vaught was unable to find IV Versed in the patients ordered profile, so she enabled the ‘override’ function in the medication dispensing system and typed ‘VE’ into the search field. This break in protocol led to a series of mistakes that ultimately led to the death of her patient. 

According to prosecutors, Vaught ignored multiple warnings that the medication she was about to mistakenly remove was Vecuronium and not Versed. Vaught removed the Vecuronium, which unlike Versed, was a powder that had to be mixed before it could be given to a patient. She then mixed the medication and admitted to being “distracted” which caused her to miss the bright orange warning on the bottle stating “WARNING — PARALYZING AGENT.” Vaught then administered a lethal dose of Vecuronium, which ultimately paralyzed Murphey’s respirations leading to her untimely death. 

Co-workers described RaDonda Vaught as a respected, well-liked, competent nurse with a spotless track record. She admitted that she made a mistake by using the override feature and by not recognizing the warnings on the vial. Vaught’s supporters believe that criminalizing mistakes will lead to underreporting of errors and the inability to identify other factors that led to mistakes being made.

So, what can you learn from this case and how can you protect yourself?

Know the five basic rights of medication administration and use them every single time.

Right 1: Right patient

Right 2: Right medication

Right 3: Right dose 

Right 4: Right time

Right 5: Right route

Monitor your patients to watch for adverse effects.

In Vaught’s case, she did not record the administration of medication and left the room immediately without monitoring the patient. Murphey was found unresponsive and pulseless 30 minutes after the Vecuronium was given. Had Murphey been monitored, she would have shown signs of respiratory failure within minutes of receiving the medication. Be mindful of the medications you administer and the possible side effects that could occur.

Follow policy and procedures.

While overrides may need to be used under emergent situations, they are not to be used under routine circumstances. Safeguards are put in place for a reason. Should you find yourself in a similar situation where a medication is not showing up on a patient profile, do not override safeguards without contacting pharmacy, a charge nurse, or another fellow nurse to help troubleshoot. 

The blame should not be entirely placed on Vaught, as there were also failures identified within the hospital system. In the end, this is truly a tragic incident that led to the death of a patient and a nurse with pending criminal charges. No matter how you look at the situation, it is devastating for everyone involved. None of us are immune from making mistakes, however, it is our responsibility stay vigilant in adhering to basic fundamentals set in place that ensure patient safety!

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Congrats to June 2019’s Traveler of the Month and Rising Star!

Scott B TotM 6.19 1024x768 - Congrats to June 2019’s Traveler of the Month and Rising Star!

Congrats to June 2019 Traveler of the Month, Scott B., pictured here with his canine pal, Samson.

Many thanks and congrats to the June 2019 Traveler of the Month, Scott B., and also our Rising Star winner, Lori C.!

Traveler of the Month Scott is an RN specializing in Interventional Radiology who just finished an assignment in Oakland, California. He’s been in nursing for six years (two in ICU and four in IR) and traveling for three years. Scott works with Career Consultant Melissa Barks.

Scott’s favorite location so far is Denver, Colorado.  

“I loved Denver — hiking, snowboarding, camping, and a very lively city had everything someone could want,” he said.

Scott travels solo but he has a dog, Samson, and a fiancé who hold down the fort when he’s on assignment. He used Travel Nursing as a way to save money to buy his family a house to move into after their November 2019 wedding

“With this last contract I’ve finally reached my goal and we can be a family together,” says Scott. “Sadly, this means the end of my Travel Nurse career for the time being, but I’m excited to reach this new phase of my life.” 

While he’s moving on for now, Scott still loves the connections he’s built through Travel Nursing.

“I love the network I’ve been able to form. I now have friends and job opportunities all throughout the country. Anywhere I want to go to visit or work, I now feel like I have contacts there to help me navigate,” he says.  

Scott shared some wonderful advice for new or aspiring Travelers:

1. “Never say ‘At my last facility we did it this way.’ Constructive criticism is great, and being a Traveler we get to see how many units are run so we are in a unique position to help a unit grow, but just because something works at one facility doesn’t mean it will work everywhere.”

2. “Be flexible! Some of my best travel contracts came from being passed over for a position I really wanted. A job or facility may not have been your first choice but with a positive attitude you may find you have a great facility.”

3. “Explore the area while on assignment. Many people use traveling to save money, so I hear of people hermiting themselves in an apartment during a contract scared to spend anything. There are tons of free events in every city if you take the effort to meet new people and find them. And don’t forget to sometimes treat yourself — don’t go overboard, but from time to time its OK to go to that expensive restaurant for an amazing meal or buy that new piece of clothing.” 

4. “Have a purpose to travel. I was doing it to save money for a house. Some people are nomads and want to see the world. Some want to settle down but don’t know where, so they want to try a few cities/states out. Whatever your reason for traveling, define it in your mind or life can become searching for the next job/contract and not enjoying yourself.” 

Thanks so much for your great advice, Scott. We wish you all the best for a happy wedding and new adventures to come!

Lori C Travel Nurse
June 2019 Rising Star, Lori C., has seen some pretty incredible sights as a Traveler. Congrats and thank you for all you do, Lori!

Rising Star Lori is a Labor & Delivery RN. She’s been in nursing for 14 years and is now on her second assignment as a Travel Nurse. Lori is currently on assignment in Gainesville, Florida, and works with Career Consultant Michelle White.

Lori travels solo but her husband and kids have come to visit during her assignments and she also flew back home often. Having come from Florida originally, she says she really enjoyed her first assignment in Arizona.  

“Coming from Florida I really enjoyed Arizona — no humidity or mosquitoes — plus, I was a short drive from Sedona, Phoenix, Las Vegas, and California.” 

Lori loves everything she gets to learn and see via Travel Nursing.  

“I love all the places you can go, experiencing different hospitals, and seeing how they do things, exploring new areas, and meeting new people,” she says. 

In fact, Lori’s husband says she’s a constant learner — the type who’d be a life-long student if she could get paid for it. Here are some great tips based on what she’s learned so far as a Travel Nurse:

“Most importantly, go in with an open mind,” she says. “Don’t be afraid to ask for help and don’t compare places — every place has something good to offer and is an opportunity to learn no matter how long you’ve been a nurse.”

Thank you for sharing your story and these helpful tips, Lori!

Congratulations again to the Medical Solutions June 2019 Traveler of the Month and Rising Star. Scott and Lori, we are so thankful to you both for your incredible work!

Could you be the next Medical Solutions Traveler of the Month or Rising Star? Travelers who receive a perfect hospital evaluation are eligible to win these monthly awards — with Rising Star going to newer Medical Solutions Travelers. Click here to learn more and to see if you could be the next winner of a $100 Visa or Amazon gift card as recognition for a job well done!