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 September 2019’s Traveler of the Month and Rising Star!

Freeport Bahamas open Water diving with black tip reef sharks - Congrats to September 2019’s Traveler of the Month and Rising Star!
Congrats to September 2019 Traveler of the Month, Michelle R., pictured here with her husband, Tom, open water diving with blacktip reef sharks in Freeport, Bahamas!

Many thanks and congrats to the September 2019 Traveler of the Month, Michelle R., and also our Rising Star winner, Christopher M.!

Traveler of the Month Michelle is a critical access BSN/RN who loves to float between OB, MS, and ER. She’s been in nursing for 10 years and working in travel healthcare for nearly four years.

Michelle works with Career Consultant Ashley Klein and is currently on assignment in Libby, Montana.

“Libby has an amazing hospital with a wonderful staff,” she says. “They all work well together and welcome travelers with open arms. The bonus is the area is so beautiful.”

Fall 2019 contract in Libby MT 1024x768 - Congrats to September 2019’s Traveler of the Month and Rising Star!
Michelle on a Fall 2019 adventure during her contract in Libby, Montana.

Michelle is all about getting out and adventuring. (See the end of this post for more of her amazing photos!)

“I have a 2015 Harley Freewheeler Trike,” she says. “I open water dive with my husband, Tom, and our favorite place to dive is Freeport, Bahamas, but we’ve also dived in Roatan and Cancun.”

Michelle travels with her 3-year-old Miniature Schnauzer, Floki — yes, from the TV show “Vikings,” she says — and hubby Tom loves to come visit her on contract, especially if there’s fly fishing involved.  

“My husband has five years and then he will retire from law enforcement and start traveling with me full time,” says Michelle.  

Floki on the Clearwater River Idaho HOME 1024x768 - Congrats to September 2019’s Traveler of the Month and Rising Star!
Michelle’s canine travel companion, Floki, on the Clearwater River in Idaho.

When it comes to her favorite things about travel nursing, Michelle is all about variety and learning.

“I love the variety of places I can travel and learning new things at each travel assignment,” she says. “It has made me a better and more confident nurse.”

Michelle offered up some fabulous tips for new and aspiring travel healthcare professionals:

“Don’t start traveling too soon. Give yourself a chance to develop your skills. We don’t get orientation as a traveler so you must be confident in your skills. You worked too hard to get your RN, why risk it?

“Reach out to travelers who have been doing it a long time and ask many, many questions before you decide to start traveling. We are an ‘at will’ employee. Things change with a blink of an eye.” 

“Go to TravCon in Vegas. It’s in September and it is worth the money. They have re-certification courses, CEUs, and many, many wonderful lectures. You will learn a lot. You will also be able to talk to many companies and recruiters to see who fits you best as a traveler. All of our needs are different so one company doesn’t fit all.”  

Thank you for your awesome work, wise advice, and zest for life, Michelle!

Rising Star Christopher is a sterile processing tech who was most recently on assignment at Tufts Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts. He’s been working with Career Consultant Branden Thomas since July 2019, and Branden had really great things to say about Christopher’s talent, skill, and work ethic. 

“Christopher works extremely hard and has received positive feedback from the facility,” says Branden. “In fact, they brought him on perm because of his stellar performance.”

Thanks for being such a great traveler and we wish you the best in your new adventure, Christopher!

Congratulations again to the Medical Solutions September 2019 Traveler of the Month and Rising Star. Michelle and Christopher, thank you both so much 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!

Diablo Lake Washington Pass Washington while on contract in Brewster WA 1024x768 - Congrats to September 2019’s Traveler of the Month and Rising Star!
Michelle explored wonderful Washington Pass while on contract in Brewster, Washington.
My trike on a ride in Idaho 1024x768 - Congrats to September 2019’s Traveler of the Month and Rising Star!
Michelle’s Harley trike, out for a ride in Idaho.
Kootenai River Libby MT 768x1024 - Congrats to September 2019’s Traveler of the Month and Rising Star!
Michelle stops for a photo op alongside the Kootenai River near Libby, Montana.
Yellowstone Falls while on contract for a year in Rawlins Wyoming.  - Congrats to September 2019’s Traveler of the Month and Rising Star!
A picturesque image from Yellowstone Falls, which Michele explored while she was on contract for a year in Rawlins, Wyoming.
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State Spotlight: Connecticut

Connecticut - State Spotlight: Connecticut
Get connected with an amazing travel nursing or other healthcare travel job in charming Connecticut!

This month’s State Spotlight takes us to charming Connecticut! The Constitution State is known for its quaint seaside villages and rural areas, rich history, easy access to NYC and other east coast hotspots, overall New England charm, and so much more. There are also tons of great travel nurse, allied, and other travel healthcare jobs in this cool state. Read on to learn more about why you should get connected with a great travel healthcare gig in Connecticut!  

Travel Nursing in Connecticut

Connecticut Stamp - State Spotlight: Connecticut

Connecticut is a lovely place for a travel nursing or other travel healthcare assignment. In The Constitution State you’ll have plenty to do and see on your days off while you simultaneously build your skills and resume at work.

Connecticut is home to about 42 hospitals — according to U.S. News & World Report’s 2019/2020 Best Hospitals list. That includes their #1-ranked Connecticut hospital, Yale New Haven Hospital in New Haven, which is nationally ranked in 12 adult specialties and nine pediatric specialties, in addition to being ranked “High Performing” in one additional adult specialty and nine procedures/conditions. Rounding out the top three overall best hospitals in Connecticut are Hartford Hospital in Hartford and St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center in Hartford.   

U.S. News & World Report’s 2019 “Best States” ranked Connecticut #21 overall, as well as #3 for health care and #6 for natural environment. According to Livability.com, some of the best places to live in Connecticut include Stamford, Weston, Westport, Bridgeport, New Haven, and Greenwich.

As for licensing, Connecticut is not currently a walk-through state or a compact state, but it is a NURSYS state. Click here for more, up to date info on licensing in Connecticut.

Connecticut Fast Facts

State Nickname: The Constitution State (or sometimes, The Nutmeg State)

Capital: Hartford

Largest City: Bridgeport

National Parks: 2

State Parks: 54

National Historic and Natural Landmarks: 68

State Motto: “Qui Transtulit Sustinet,” which means “He Who Transplanted Still Sustains”

State Flower: Mountain Laurel

State Tree: The Charter Oak

State Animal: Sperm Whale

State Song: Yankee Doodle

State Cantata: Nutmeg

Nevada was the fifth state and one of the original 13 colonies.

Famed businessman and circus visionary P.T. Barnum is one of the state’s most famous residents. Today you can visit the Barnum Museum in Bridgeport to learn his story.     

Native Americans who lived in what is now Connecticut were largely of the Algonquian Indian family.

The global sandwich shop chain Subway started humbly as Pete’s Subway in Bridgeport in 1965.

The first telephone book — which featured a scant 50 listings — was created in New Haven in 1878.

Connecticut’s Hartford Courant launched in 1764 and is the country’s oldest continuously published newspaper. For perspective on this, George Washington once placed ads in the paper to rent out part of Mount Vernon and Thomas Jefferson once sued them for libel! (Jefferson lost that suit, by the way.)

Connecticut was one of two states (the other being Rhode Island) that never ratified the 18th Amendment which outlined Prohibition. Party on, CT!

In 1809, South Killingly, Connecticut’s Mary Kies was the first woman to receive a U.S. patent.  

The nation’s first automobile law was passed at the state level in Connecticut in 1901 — it set the speed limit at 12 miles per hour.

The frisbee, cotton gin, Colt .45, can opener, portable typewriter, submarine, vulcanized rubber, ESPN, hamburger, Polaroid cameras, helicopter, lollipops, vacuum cleaner, anesthesia, speed limit laws, and color television were all invented in Connecticut.

The World Wrestling Federation is headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut.

Connecticut was the first state to issue permanent license plates for cars in 1937. 

Famous folks from or who’ve lived in Connecticut include Katharine Hepburn, Christopher Lloyd, George W. Bush, Michael Bolton, Suzanne Collins, Justin Long, Annie Leibovitz, Meg Ryan, Glenn Close, John Mayer, Karen Carpenter, Ernest Borgnine, Ralph Nader, Paul Giamatti, Seth MacFarlane, P.T. Barnum, Mark McGrath, and Betsey Johnson.     

Noah Webster, author of the first American dictionary published in 1807, was born in West Hartford, Connecticut.

PEZ Candy is manufactured in Orange, Connecticut.

Yale University is ranked as one of the world’s greatest and wealthiest universities.

Cattle branding actually started in Connecticut when farmers were required by law to mark their pigs.

Famous traitor Benedict Arnold was born in Norwich, Connecticut.

To Do & See in Connecticut

The Constitution State may be small in size, but it offers travel nurses and other travel healthcare professionals a bounty of great places to live, work, and play! Connecticut offers seaside splendor, cool city centers, and beautiful countryside spaces, as well as historical attractions, outdoorsy opportunities, great cuisine, and cool culture — making it a lovely place to for your next travel healthcare adventure. 

For city lovers, The Constitution State’s largest cities include Bridgeport, New Haven, Hartford, and Stamford. But even as the state’s largest city, Bridgeport’s population hovers just under 150k, so it’s a great state for those who prefer small towns and humbly sized cities. (But don’t worry city mice — when you’re in Connecticut you’re never too far from a grand metropolis like NYC and Boston.)

Bridgeport is a historic seaport city where you can explore Seaside Park, Beardsley Zoo, The Barnum Museum, The Discovery Museum and Planetarium, and tons more. New Haven is another fun coastal city to explore and it’s famously the home of Ivy League Yale University. Yale, which was founded in 1701, is a really cool, historic campus to explore, and you’ll also want to check out the Yale University Art Gallery and Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History.

Speaking of history, as the fifth state and one of the original 13 colonies, Connecticut has a ton of interesting historical sites to explore. There’s the Goodspeed Opera House, Mark Twain House and Museum, Gillette Castle State Park, Fort Trumbull State Park, Weir Farm National Historic Site, Olde Mistick Village, Harriet Beecher Stowe Center, Stonington Lighthouse Center, Castle Craig, and tons more throughout Connecticut’s urban and rural areas.

Connecticut was also heavily featured in two very seminal cultural artifacts: the movie Mystic Pizza and the TV show “Gilmore Girls.” Mystic Pizza, starring Julia Roberts, Lili Taylor, Matt Damon, Annabeth Gish, and Vincent D’Onofrio, was shot largely in Mystic, Stonington, and Groton Connecticut. While the movie came out in 1988, tourists continue to flock to Mystic, Connecticut and the real-life Mystic Pizza restaurant that inspired the movie for their very own “slice of heaven.” And for “Gilmore Girls” fans, while the idyllic Stars Hollow is sadly a fictional town, it was also heavily inspired by real-life Connecticut charm. Showrunner Amy Sherman-Palladino was staying at the Mayflower Grace Inn in Washington, Connecticut when she was inspired to create Stars Hollow in its image. Of course, Lorelai and Rory could also often be found downing coffee and chatting feverishly in Hartford and New Haven.         

Hungry from all this history and pop culture? Connecticut’s cuisine will have you licking your chops. From tiny cafes and diners to fine dining foodie hotspots, Connecticut offers a little bit of everything. With its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, Connecticut is definitely known for its seafood, including its iconic white clam pizza.While on assignment in Connecticut you can enjoy other iconic faves like steamed cheeseburgers, homemade ice cream and donuts, hot dogs, apple cider, hot lobster rolls, New Haven-style pizza, grinders and sub sandwiches, shad (the state fish) and shad bake, kettle chips, steamer clams, cod and clambakes, historic Yankee fare, and more.Wash it all down with a Foxon Park Soda and you’ll be living like a true Connecticuter!

Ready for your adventure to charming Connecticut?! Search jobs now to find your dream Travel Nurse job in Connecticut! Or, search all jobs here.

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Clinical Corner: Protect Yourself from HIPAA Violations

HIPAA - Clinical Corner: Protect Yourself from HIPAA Violations
Protect yourself — and your patients — from HIPAA violations!

By Laura Friend, Clinical Nurse Manager at Medical Solutions 

I remember a nurse practitioner coming up to me one evening while I was working and saying, “Hey, don’t discharge room 11 yet, I have to print the prescription for her antibiotic.” I replied that I had already sent her home with it. The NP corrected me, saying it was room 10 that I had already sent home. As it turns out, she put the discharge papers and prescription for the patient in room 10 outside of room 11, and the two patients had similar diagnoses both warranting antibiotics. In a hurry, I didn’t double-check the papers with the patient’s name; the discharge teaching and prescription made sense. My heart sunk: This was a HIPPA violation.

As nurses know, HIPAA is short for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, a privacy law that protects patients’ medical records and health information. A HIPAA violation occurs when standards are not met and policy is not followed, and it can happen in many ways. It can result in fines, prison time, and/or loss of a health care provider’s license. Facilities offer their employees training opportunities regarding HIPAA in many different forms, multiple times per year. Health care professionals should know the basics of HIPAA — locking computer screens, not discussing health care information with others, and properly disposing of medical records. There are additional ways to protect yourself that may not be as widely known, such as:

  • Do not look up patient records unless you are directly involved in their care. It is a violation to look up a celebrity, VIP, or “unusual case” that may be at your facility. It doesn’t matter if you are curious, spiteful, or even trying to be helpful to a friend or family member — unless you are directly caring for that patient, stay out of their medical record. 
  • No social media posting! You may think that it’s okay to post a picture of an injury or wound if you don’t post the patient’s name. However, people may be able to identify the patient by tattoos or other markings. It’s also possible to violate HIPAA just by posting a vague status about someone for whom you cared. Maybe someone knows you work in trauma and later reads about a shooting that went to your facility. It wouldn’t be too hard to put two and two together. Finally, it is a HIPAA violation to post a selfie with patient, even if you are friends, have built a great rapport, or they give you permission. A good rule of thumb is to keep anything related to patient care off your social media accounts.
  • Be careful discussing medical information with a patient when they have visitors unless they give you permission. You should always ask the patient if they are comfortable discussing their health with others in the room. If they say no, politely escort the guests out before disclosing anything regarding their care.
  • Lastly, be careful when gossiping. We all know nursing is stressful and, at times, even humorous. But please remember that hospitals are busy places — there are always patients, family members, or other employees around. Be mindful of who may be within earshot when you’re talking about patients, no matter what you are saying.

It is crucial to keep patient information private and secure. Complete and stay up do date on annual training. Pay attention to who is around when you’re discussing a patient and do not post about patient care on social media. If you have any questions or concerns regarding HIPAA, please reach out to the Clinical Team at Medical Solutions and know that we are always here to help!

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Exhausted Nurse in Viral Picture is Celebrated

Caty Nixon 688x1024 - Exhausted Nurse in Viral Picture is Celebrated

Last July, labor and delivery nurse Caty Nixon had an emotional moment after working more than 50 hours in four days — during which she delivered a stillborn baby. She was eating dinner at her twin sister Laura McIntyre’s house when the weight and exhaustion of it all hit her like a ton of bricks.

On October 10, McIntyre posted a photo of that emotional July moment to Facebook with a tribute to her sister’s hard work and selfless nature. The post quickly went viral and to date has been shared more than 133,000 times. In her post McIntyre wrote:

“she’s gonna kill me for this pic, but can we just give it up for nurses for a minute?

caty just wrapped up her fourth shift in a row. that’s around 53+ hours in four days. that’s not including the 1.5 hours she’s in the car each day. she usually doesn’t get a chance to eat lunch or even drink much water. (& she has to dress like a blueberry.. i mean, come on). she is so good at what she does that she often forgets how to take care of herself while she’s taking care of her patients.

this pic is from a night back in july where she came to my house after a particularly hard day. she delivered a stillborn. have you guys ever really thought about what a labor & delivery nurse sees? they see great joy in smooth deliveries & healthy moms & babies. they see panic & anxiety when a new mom is scared. they see fear when a stat c-section is called. they see peace when the mom has support from her family – bc not all new moms do. they see teenagers giving birth. they see an addicted mom give birth to a baby who is withdrawing. they see cps come. they see funeral homes come. did you know that they have to make arrangements for the funeral home to come pick up the baby? i didn’t either.

caty (& all other nurses) – you are SPECIAL. you bless your patients & their families more than you will ever know. thank you for all that you do.” 

Wow, does that speak to the magic and importance of what nurses everywhere do! A lot of nurses saw themselves in this and so did many families whose lives have been deeply impacted by nurse service and excellence.    

“Any kind of fetal loss is hard, especially for the family, but also for the staff,” Nixon told TIME magazine in October 2019. “I think it’s the worst thing that a family could go through.”

However, Nixon was also quick to note that her job is usually quite happy despite the long hours, but that the moment her sister captured was just “after a long, heartbreaking day.”

Nixon and McIntyre were both surprised by the viral reaction that provoked such an outpouring of love and support from fellow nurses and other healthcare professionals, former patients, and even complete strangers. Nixon was even celebrated this week on “Good Morning America” — check out this video where her sister and husband help surprise her:

I feel like this honor is symbolically for every single RN, allied health professional, and long-term care health professional — because all of you work tirelessly with rare bathroom and hydration breaks, among other stresses, to provide incredible patient care.  

In fact, Nixon told TIME that’s she touched by the reaction and hopes her viral moment helps people realize that she’s not alone in her dedication.   

“There are caregivers everywhere. Not just nurses, but firefighters and first responders and parents,” Nixon told TIME. “There are people everywhere that give love.”

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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