In the late 80’s, a TV commercial starring the elderly woman who cried, “Help, I’ve fallen and I can’t get up! generated wide-spread awareness that senior citizens are prone to nasty spills. We were relieved it was just an actress and that the pendant she wore, “Lifecall”, dispatched 911. Unfortunately, in real life, falls among the elderly are the leading cause of both fatal and non-fatal injuries. It is estimated that 30% of people over age 65 will fall each year. New studies show that high blood pressure—a condition more likely to appear in older people—can alter the flow of blood in the brain and lead to falls. Fortunately, physical therapy is foremost among prescribed methods of treatment and rehabilitation for seniors. Because the elderly represent some of the most vulnerable patients, many of them receive help when physical therapists call on them at home in home health nursing jobs. Ironically, “home sweet home” can be a dangerous place for the elderly, as over half the falls treated in ERs report they occurred inside the victim’s house. Physical therapists can decrease these grim numbers by counseling their patients, and helping them fall-proof their homes. Here, we offer room-by-room tips on fall-proofing. In order to [+]
Single and in her fifties, RN Gerri loves travel nursing ... Gerri just dropped us a line from Baltimore and is having the time of her life. Traveling with American Traveler going on three years now, the Telemetry / ICU expert is enjoying a brief, eight-week assignment in the ‘Monument City’ where trips to “Little Italy” and the city’s Inner Harbor have made for incredible first time experiences. Lady Luck in Atlantic City has tempted the Southern Belle more than once and the Big Apple is on her list of things to do before her assignment is over. Originally from Milledgeville, Georgia, this 54-year-old nursing dynamo loves to travel and has her heart set on assignments in California and sightseeing along Route 66. At first she thought she was too old to travel, but her American Traveler Consultant, Janet Burrell, quickly dispelled that myth. “I hooked up with Janet and it’s been great. We have an excellent rapport and, because of her thoroughness, traveling has been uncomplicated and wonderful,” she said. The 30-year practitioner said American Traveler's free private housing is always above standard and she likes the way everyone at Corporate knows who she is, even [+]
Question I am a Senior Nursing student in a BSN program and graduate next week. I am just curious if you currently have any travel nurse jobs available in Alaska? I want to travel nurse to Alaska within the next year. I'm just curious what the next step is in the process? Thanks, Tyler. Tyler thank you for your question and congratulations on your upcoming graduation! In order to start your career in Travel Nursing you will need to have completed one full year working as an RN; see our graduate nurse information page. It's preferred that the majority of your experience be in an acute care setting, as that is where you will find the most availability for your specialty. The first step to getting started is to apply online at www.americantraveler.com . Once your application is received you will be contacted by a consultant to discuss your plans and travel nurse career goals. Although you might not be looking at starting till next year, it's never to early to fill out the application and begin the process. The application skills check list is a great tool to use to see what [+]
Nurses, this one’s for you! National Nurses Week 2010 gets underway on May 6, providing an opportunity to acknowledge the hard work and selfless care of RNs throughout the country. This year’s nurse week theme, Caring Today for a Healthier Tomorrow, “exemplifies nurses’ caring and professionalism -- be it at the bedside or in the halls of Congress,” said ANA President Rebecca Patton in her National Nurses Week message. The theme seems particularly fitting in this era of sea change and unprecedented growth in the health care industry. And perhaps no one has experienced these changes more than the travel nurse, who is on the front lines of providing health care everywhere -- from hospitals to schools, clinics to home settings. “Nurses give so much to this society, and our travel nurses really step up to provide a crucial service,” notes Deborah Bacurin, RN, clinical resource manager at American Traveler. “Nurses Week reminds us all to stop, and take some time to show our hard-working nurses their due appreciation.” These little celebrations are part of a movement that has been almost 50 years in the making. National Nurse Week was first observed in October 1954, but did not [+]
Other states are watching California closely as mandated nurse-patient minimums in the state begin to redefine the standard for quality patient care in America. Surveys completed by 80,000 RNs over a two-year period aimed at gauging the effectiveness of California’s minimum nurse law showed that that an increase in RN hours per patient day could lessen patient mortality by as much as 14%, reduce the number of hospital falls and result in fewer hospital-acquired pressure ulcers, report University of Pennsylvania researchers. In addition to a spike in positive patient outcomes, said Clinical Coordinator Deborah Bacurin of travel nursing agency American Traveler, RN staffing has increased substantially in the state, alongside the average RN wage for California nursing jobs. “Nurse-patient minimums are good for patients and nurses,” said Bacurin. “They work to reduce the number of deaths following common surgeries, eliminate heavy workloads and improve job satisfaction. They also boost the reputation of preferred travel nurse hospitals.” In response to a decades old nursing shortage, Congress in 1993 called on the Institute of Medicine to investigate the impact nurse-patient ratios had on patient care. At the time, findings turned up insufficient evidence to support nurse minimums. Since, [+]
Here’s a heads-up to NEURO and ER nurses everywhere: Did you know that, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are more than 1 million emergency-room visits per year for traumatic brain injury (TBI) or concussion? Worse: “Each year, U.S. emergency departments treat an estimated 135,000 sports- and recreation-related TBIs, including concussions, among children ages 5 to 18.” As an ER nurse, you probably do know that many of these brain injuries go ignored far too long, resulting in complications, hospitalizations and even death. To help get the word out about the seriousness of concussions and TBIs, the CDC has launched a Concussion in Sports Web page. This Web page is loaded with useful information and statistics for consumers -- coaches, parents and others -- including the basics of how to recognize a possible brain injury or concussion or what to do if a concussion occurs. But the site is also an invaluable tool for the ER nurses and other healthcare professionals, too. Let’s say you just took an American Traveler assignment for a pedriatric ICU job in Cincinatti, or for a critical care job in Hudson, FL (these jobs are actually available right now!) -- and a suspected brain-injury [+]
Nursing students who are tired of hauling around heavy -- and expensive -- medical textbooks will be glad to learn that electronic textbooks are taking a big step closer to reality. Software developer ScrollMotion has signed a deal with major textbook publishers, including McGraw-Hill, Random House, Wiley and Kaplan, to adapt their books for the soon-to-be-released Apple iPad. But don’t get too excited just yet. The e-textbook has a ways to go before it becomes widely available to students in nursing programs and elsewhere. Of course, publishers love the idea of creating electronic versions of their medical textbooks -- because of the savings in printing, production and storage costs, as well as the ability to update the books virtually. And e-books have features that are particularly useful for the student, such as instant access to specific references; and brighter, more realistic graphics. Yet, electronic health textbooks have been slower coming to market than other educational materials such as medical journals, manuals and study guides. This is in part due to e-books’ limited technical capabilities and interactivity, which has held down demand among nursing students and others. That is about to change. As McGraw-Hill executive Rik [+]
Last week, we talked to Patrice Ballard, MSN; a travel nurse working as a Clinical Educator and part-time ER nurse for 8 months in Globe, Arizona. Part I of our nurse interview clued us travel nurses—eager to blend our medical talents with the spirit of adventure—into Patrice’s exciting months working and traveling the Southwest over. We loved reading about the circumstances behind Patrice’s first travel nurse job and tidbits on her unique housing; this week’s segment dishes on what it takes to succeed as a traveling nurse and why husbands might just fall in love with the travel nursing life, too. Q: Is your current work as a Clinical Educator as rewarding in and of itself, as the compensation and excitement of travel? A: Absolutely! There’s nothing better than preparing my students for nursing careers that will be as rewarding for them, as my career has been for me. Q: What has been the most rewarding aspect of this assignment? A: This travel nursing job has reinforced the way I’ve always felt about life: that every person is given the unique opportunity to see the good in things or the bad. I’ve always chosen to see the good, [+]
Clinical Educator and ER nurse, Partrice Ballard, combines a love of travel with preparing nursing students for bright futures American Traveler caught up with Patrice Ballard, MSN for a chat about her experiences working as a Nurse Educator in Arizona. Part I of this two part nurse interview introduces RNs and physical therapists keen on combining work and travel, to a fellow professional who currently enjoys the best of both worlds. Patrice is a wife, mother and full-time Clinical Educator, with the admirable ability to work, also, in the ER once a week. Here, she shares commentary and tips for making the most of an 8 month long travel nursing assignment. Q: What prompted you to pursue a travel nursing career? A: You know, it’s a little ironic—albeit in a wonderful way—that I began a travel nurse career after 15 years in the ER. Friends and family used to describe me as a “hover mother” – couldn’t picture me on an out-of-state assignment, but when the opportunity to work 34 weeks in Globe, Arizona came, I jumped on it. Q: You secured a unique position. How did that come about?[+]
This post was written by Travel Nursing Career Blogger
There’s a lot of talk about the growing shortage of doctors and registered nurses, which is likely to be exacerbated by any health-care-reform package that adds millions of patients to insurance rolls. According to a recent story in the New York Times, “the American Academy of Family Physicians projects a shortfall of 40,000 physician generalists -- family practitioners, pediatricians, general internists and geriatricians -- by 2020, even without significant changes to the current health care system.” This shortfall, experts predict, will increase the importance of the nurse practitioner -- because nurse practitioners will be needed to do even more of the tasks now performed by physicians. The nurse practitioner is a registered nurse who has received specialized education (usually, a master’s degree) in a selected field. These positions offer the chance for work in health education, counseling and customized care. Nurse practitioners’ duties vary by state depending on regulation; but generally, they include diagnosing and treating illnesses, ordering tests, prescribing drugs and making referrals to specialists. Nurse practitioners typically work in primary care, whereas physician assistants generally work for specialists. But either way, these specialized areas of the nursing profession are going to be [+]
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