The Complicated Role of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners

Formal nursing has played an important role in healthcare for over 150 years. Doctors diagnose and treat patients, but nurses handle patient care, including administering medication and checking vital signs.

Gradually, the role of nurses has expanded, with many registered nurses specializing in different patient populations or the type of care they offer. Some are even continuing their education to become specialized nurse practitioners, such as pediatric nurse practitioners.

Pediatric nurse practitioners are becoming more common and helping to ease the physician shortage we’re facing in the United States. But what does a pediatric nurse practitioner do, exactly, and why is their role in the healthcare system a little bit complicated? Here’s what you need to know.

What is a Nurse Practitioner?

Nurse practitioners (NPs) are recognized as a type of advanced practice registered nurse (APRN). They have advanced training in medicine and can provide a wide range of healthcare services for patients. Some nurse practitioners even have their own practices and provide many of the same services as doctors.

Rather than providing “bedside care,” which is usually carried out by registered nurses (RNs) and licensed practical nurses (LPNs), NPs and other APRNs generally create treatment plans and oversee patient care. They typically have much more autonomy than an RN would and can help patients with everything from preventative care to treatment for acute injuries and illnesses that come on suddenly.

Pediatric Nurse Practitioners

While many nurse practitioners specialize in general care and are known as family nurse practitioners (FNPs), pediatric nurse practitioners (PNPs) specialize in caring for children, also including infants, toddlers, and teens. Working with pediatric patients can be challenging for a number of different reasons, but nurse practitioners get into this field because they love children and want to help them stay healthy.

What is the Role of a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner?

A PNP has an in-depth understanding of child development and the specialized medical needs of children. They can help families with a variety of needs, including childhood wellness checkups, giving immunizations, answering health questions, and treating common childhood illnesses and disorders. PNPs also need to be able to spot signs of abuse and be prepared to report their suspicions if necessary.

In some situations, a nurse practitioner will be able to provide most or all of the services a child needs from their pediatrician. In other cases, a PNP will be part of a larger care team, helping a pediatrician deliver care to children. PNPs have to be extremely patient in order to work with children and their families, who are often scared or confused when they visit the doctor.

Limitations on Nurse Practitioners Can Complicate Care Plans

Depending on an individual state’s laws, nurse practitioners do not always have full practice authority. In some states, they are allowed to diagnose patients and prescribe medications. In others, they need a physician’s oversight or are otherwise limited in the care they can provide.

This means that depending on where you live, becoming a nurse practitioner might not give you the autonomy you’re looking for. If your state has strict limitations on what you can do as a nurse practitioner, it’s important to realize that your job and responsibilities will be different from an NP in a full-practice state.

A Focus on Coordinating Care

PNPs need to be prepared to coordinate care with other healthcare providers, particularly in states that do not allow full practice for APRNs. A PNP needs a wide variety of skills to properly work with pediatric patients and other providers to deliver excellent care. Some of these skills include:

      • Diagnosing patients who cannot express themselves verbally
      • Calming fearful children and parents
      • Collaborating verbally with other providers to create care plans
      • Taking thorough notes to share with other providers
      • Educating families on child development and health

Pediatric nurse practitioners must be compassionate, thorough, organized, and tactful. They need to be prepared to look at a child’s health from every angle and take a variety of factors into account when diagnosing and prescribing treatment or medications.

Becoming a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

The road to becoming a pediatric nurse practitioner begins with becoming a registered nurse. Then, a master’s degree in nursing is required before you can take the board examination to become a PNP. The full-time programs can be expensive, but there are scholarships available.

If you have an associate’s degree, the process of becoming a PNP takes 3-4 years if you attend your program full-time. Those with a bachelor’s degree can usually complete the education requirements in 2 years.

Becoming a pediatric nurse practitioner is no easy feat. However, the demand for skilled healthcare professionals is growing and there’s never been a better time to be an APRN. If you love kids and want more autonomy as a nurse, being a PNP could be the perfect role for you

With a Bachelor’s in Health Science along with an MBA, Sarah Daren has a wealth of knowledge within both the health and business sectors. Her expertise in scaling and identifying ways tech can improve the lives of others has led Sarah to be a consultant for a number of startup businesses, most prominently in the wellness industry, wearable technology and health education. She implements her health knowledge into every aspect of her life with a focus on making America a healthier and safer place for future generations to come.


Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.

 

Overcoming Imposter Syndrome in the Healthcare Industry

There are 20 million people employed in the healthcare industry. It’s one of the most fast-paced, competitive, highly-skilled industries out there. So, good for you if you’re a part of it. Many healthcare employees would agree that getting to where they are wasn’t easy.

This is especially true for those that struggled with imposter syndrome. Imposter syndrome is when people feel like they aren’t as skilled as other people think, and that’ll soon be exposed.

This is common among healthcare workers because it’s such a tough industry to break into and excel in. But if imposter syndrome wins, it will present challenges for your career. So, here’s how to ensure that it doesn’t.

Develop Strong Relationships With Coworkers and Leadership

The thing about imposter syndrome is it’s all in your head. In other words, imposter syndrome persists because of what you’re telling yourself. If you can surround yourself with supportive coworkers and managers, they can help you fight that negative self-talk and reinforce what’s true about your talent, belonging, and skillset.

You can develop genuine relationships with coworkers and leadership by:

      • Not gossiping
      • Participating in facility events
      • Sitting with different people at lunch
      • Volunteering with your team
      • Showing empathy and gratitude
      • Socializing and making time for your coworkers
      • Taking advantage of one-on-one time with your managers

Work on Your Relationship With Yourself

Working on your relationship with yourself is critical for overcoming imposter syndrome. The more you love, respect, and appreciate yourself, the less likely it is for imposter syndrome to set up a home in your head.

Focus on developing authentic self-esteem rather than false self-esteem. With false self-esteem, the beliefs that support that self-esteem aren’t real. On the other hand, authentic self-esteem is when you genuinely feel good about who you really are and your accomplishments.

You can bolster your authentic self-esteem by:

      • Facing fears
      • Practicing positive self-talk
      • Creating a self-care routine
      • Managing your holistic health
      • Developing healthy relationships
      • Not comparing yourself to others
      • Setting realistic expectations and goals
      • Working on personal and professional development

Dig Into Mental Health Care

It will be difficult to overcome imposter syndrome if your mental health isn’t stable. You cannot fend off intrusive imposter syndrome thoughts and behaviors if your mind isn’t clear and positive.

It’ll also be hard to manage the high-stress healthcare environment. Jobs in healthcare are the second most stressfulafter those in arts, entertainment, and recreation. You can navigate stress and imposter syndrome by prioritizing mental health care.

Do mental health check-ins regularly. Ask yourself how you’re doing emotionally and mentally, and be honest in your analysis. Once you know where you are, you can create a clear direction for moving forward, whether through therapy, counseling, time off, more socialization, or another form of care for your mental health.

Grow Your Skillset

You can quiet your imposter syndrome by growing your skillset. Learning new skills, applying them to your work, and seeing the results can boost your confidence. It’ll also further convince you that your talent is real and your healthcare career isn’t a fluke.

Take advantage of professional development opportunities at your facility. Learn from your coworkers and managers. In addition, consider traditional education to advance your skillset in the medical field.

Do What You Thought You Couldn’t

One of the best ways to prove to yourself that you are who you say you are is to do what you thought you couldn’t. In other words, face some fears and try some new things. There are a lot of opportunities to do this in your healthcare facility.

For example, you could speak up in team meetings. You could give your coworkers or managers a hand with something that isn’t in your usual work duties. Leading a volunteer project is a great idea. Or you could ask your manager for more responsibility to really see what you can do.

Learn the Back Stories of Those You Look Up to

Everyone has someone they admire, whether a celebrity, parent, manager, coworker, friend, or someone else. But, as wonderful as their lives look now and as talented as these people might be, it probably wasn’t smooth sailing getting there.

They, too, had internal struggles like imposter syndrome and external circumstances that made the journey to success difficult. Sound familiar? You may be going through what those you look up to went through.

Understanding the backstories of your mentors and others you look up to may give you some comfort in your fight against imposter syndrome. If they overcame it, then so can you.

Fight Negativity With Everything In You

Imposter syndrome is tough enough to deal with on its own. Don’t crowd yourself with other negative forces and make things even more challenging. Instead, fight negativity with everything in you.

For example, any time a negative thought pattern comes up, counter it with a positive mantra. If a coworker is constantly gossiping and causing drama with others in the workplace, distance yourself from them. When someone tries to project their fears onto you, don’t absorb them.

Surround yourself with positive coworkers, managers, friends, and loved ones. Feed yourself positive talk and experiences. Do everything you can to uplift yourself in every situation.

***

Working in the healthcare industry is no joke. But don’t let the fast pace, competition, and demand scare you into feeling like you don’t belong there. You do. Be sure imposter syndrome doesn’t win with the advice above.


Katie Brenneman is a passionate writer specializing in lifestyle, mental health, activism-related content. When she isn’t writing, you can find her with her nose buried in a book or hiking with her dog, Charlie. To connect with Katie, you can follow her on Twitter.   
Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.  

10 Most In-Demand Nurse Practitioner Specialties

Nurse practitioners are a driving force in healthcare that provide meaningful care to scores of individuals. These professionals practice nursing at a high level and their duties often overlap with that of physicians. If you’re curious about pursuing a career as a nurse practitioner, it can help to be aware of the many specialties within the profession.

Here the 10 most in-demand nurse practitioner specialties.

1 – Family Care Nurse Practitioner

 Family care nurse practitioners focus on providing care to individuals throughout their lives. This means that these professionals treat children, teens, adults, and older adults in their practice, oftentimes developing prolonged relationships with patients.

The broad nature of family care allows nurse practitioners in this specialty to practice a wide variety of services and requires an advanced knowledge of healthcare practices. Their duties can range from performing physical exams on patients to treating chronic illnesses over the span of years.

2 – Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

 Pediatric nurse practitioners specialize in providing care to children throughout their childhood. This means that these professionals can potentially treat the same patient over the course of several years through to young adulthood.

Typically, pediatric care nurse practitioners will treat many different illnesses that are specific to children. These include ailments such as Kawasaki disease and certain infections common to children.

3 – Adult Gerontology Nurse Practitioner

 Adult gerontology nurse practitioners specialize in providing care to older adults. These professionals specialize in treating age-related ailments that their older patients are afflicted by.

In addition to treating certain illnesses, adult gerontology nurse practitioners will also provide patients with strategies and tips to maintain and promote good health as they age. This highlights the two-fold nature of the role, focusing on not only treating certain illnesses but also preventing the decline of health in various ways.

4 – Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

 Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioners (PMHNP) specialize in treating and assessing patients’ mental health states. They have the authority to both assess mental health ailments and prescribe medications as they see fit.

In addition, PMHNPs may also refer their patients to other professionals, such as psychotherapists, depending on their mental health needs. However, it must be noted that different states have different rules regarding the level of authority and autonomy that nurse practitioners may have, and PMHNP practices differ depending on the location in which they work.

5 – Oncology Nurse Practitioner

 Oncology nurse practitioners specialize in assessing and treating patients with cancer or those at high-risk of developing cancer. These professionals work closely with other medical professionals, such as physicians and registered nurses, and play a significant role in the treatment of cancer patients.

Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in the United States, making professionals with the skills to diagnose and treat this illness in high demand. As such, oncology nurse practitioners and the specialized skills they bring with them are in high-demand in today’s world.

6 – Acute Care Nurse Practitioner

 Acute care nurse practitioners specialize in treating patients who are in critical condition and need immediate care. Examples of ailments acute care nurse practitioners typically treat include heart attacks and trauma as the result of an accident.

In addition to providing immediate treatment, these nurse practitioners also work with patients to provide long term strategies for recovery and the promotion of good health. Given the unique skillset of these professionals, acute care nurse practitioners often work in institutions such as trauma units, urgent care units, and emergency rooms.

7 – Aesthetic Nurse Practitioner

 Aesthetic nurse practitioners specialize in providing patients or clients with a number of treatments clinical procedures that revolve around cosmetic changes to someone’s appearance. Some typical treatments performed by these professionals include botox injections and laser treatments.

The majority of aesthetic nurse practitioners work in private clinics, treatment centers, or spas. As opposed to many other nurse practitioners and medical specialties, aesthetic nurse practitioners typically work within normal business hours, potentially allowing for a more significant amount of work/life balance.

8 – Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner

 Women’s health nurse practitioners specialize in providing women with care at various stages of their lives. Like midwives, these professionals may provide pregnancy-related pre-natal and post-natal care.

Other areas that women’s health nurse practitioners may work in include gynecological and menopausal care, both diagnosing patients and providing them with strategies to manage their ailments. These professionals are trained to be sensitive to the needs of the women that they treat and have an advanced social perspective.

9 – Neonatal Nurse Practitioner

 Neonatal nurse practitioners specialize in providing care to infants who are suffering from a range of ailments, diseases, and infections. Some common ailments these professionals treat include heart abnormalities and infections in infants.

In addition to providing care to infants, neonatal nurse practitioners will also help educate parents on how to best care for their infants depending on their various needs. Typically, neonatal nurse practitioners work in specific neonatal-oriented care units or emergency rooms.

10 – Infectious Disease

 Infectious disease nurse practitioners specialize in treating and helping patients manage infectious diseases. In some cases, their work may revolve around helping prevent certain infectious diseases that certain patients may be more vulnerable to.

Some common illnesses that infectious disease nurse practitioners specialize in treating include Lyme disease and HIV. While many work in healthcare environments and provide healthcare to patients, some of these professionals work to inform healthcare policy by providing their expert opinion.

With a Bachelor’s in Health Science along with an MBA, Sarah Daren has a wealth of knowledge within both the health and business sectors. Her expertise in scaling and identifying ways tech can improve the lives of others has led Sarah to be a consultant for a number of startup businesses, most prominently in the wellness industry, wearable technology and health education. She implements her health knowledge into every aspect of her life with a focus on making America a healthier and safer place for future generations to come.


Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.

 

How Technology Helps Protect Patients’ Data More Effectively

Technological advances have made a positive mark on a variety of industries over the years. But, healthcare might be the sector that has benefitted the most. Improved tech within the industry has allowed for faster communications, life-saving procedures, and research that couldn’t be done years ago. However, there are some drawbacks in the world of tech.

Healthcare is one of the most targeted industries for cyber attacks. Hackers are constantly working to get patient information, important data, and even financial information they can use to further their personal agendas. That’s why it’s essential for those working in healthcare to protect their patients’ data.

Thankfully, technology comes to the rescue once again, making it easier than ever to keep patient data safe. If your team isn’t up-to-date with the technology being used to protect patients’ data more efficiently, it’s time to dig a little deeper into what will work best for your practice or facility.

Using the Latest Security in Healthcare Information Systems

Nowadays, there are multiple healthcare information systems used by medical staff and patients each day. Some of the most common include:

        • Patient portals
        • Telemedicine
        • Administrative systems
        • Electronic medical records

While these systems are convenient, they all allow patients and professionals alike to enter and share electronic data. Every time that information is put online, it becomes a target for cybercriminals.

So, what can you do to prevent that sensitive data from being hacked across all systems?

Start by using the right administrative safeguards, including choosing the right security system (and working with qualified IT professionals) to prevent data loss. Second, put physical safeguards in place, including tech tools and equipment specifically designed to keep people from accessing important data. Always use HIPAA-compliant software when storing data, and if you’re sending information to other systems or even across a cloud-based service, consider using encryption to protect it while it “travels”.

Storing Documents Securely

As long as patient documents are stored in your systems, it’s your responsibility to take as many measures as possible to protect them. Working with a qualified IT team is a fantastic place to start. However, there are also steps your staff can take with each document to ensure it’s as secure as possible.

Sensitive data should always be password protected. Documents that feature personal information shouldn’t be able to be accessed by everyone — even certain members of your own staff.

Thankfully, technology has made it easy to password-protect most PDFs and other files. That’s important for both storage and sharing. It ensures that even if a certain file gets in the wrong hands, those individuals won’t be able to access the information it contains.

It’s also a good idea to invest in a secure cloud-based service that allows for password protection and allows you to create encrypted “vaults” for your documents, so the information can’t be read by anyone without the right credentials or security clearance. Thankfully, those services are becoming more common and popular within the healthcare industry thanks to the growing need for high-tech security.

If you’re storing your documents on a hard drive or internal system, make sure you’re always backing them up. While it’s essential to protect patient data from cybercriminals, it’s just as important to protect it from potential loss. Technology isn’t perfect, and accidents happen. Data loss can be devastating for any industry, and it can end up creating distrust and hesitancy in your patients when they find out their information has vanished from your system.

Don’t Rely Solely on Technology

Technology can help to streamline many different processes. Things like artificial intelligence and automation have seen huge leaps in popularity and effectiveness over the last few years. However, there’s really nothing that can replace an extra set of eyes.

If you’re transferring patient data or using templates to fill out sensitive information, don’t solely rely on information systems to get the job done. Many of today’s products use proprietary code, making it difficult to accurately transfer information from one program to another. Not only does that compromise the security of your patients’ data, but it could lead to errors in their care if the wrong information is portrayed in their files.

If you truly want to create a cybersecurity strategy that holds up against would-be hackers, it should include a combination of high-tech resources as well as human effort. Work with your facility’s IT team or consider outsourcing an IT professional to ensure your establishment is up-to-date with the latest in cybersecurity technology. Doing so will provide an extra layer of protection that will offer both you and your patients peace of mind.

Remember, patients aren’t just numbers and codes, and their information needs to be treated with respect by programs and people alike. Adopting that mindset will keep members of your team from potentially sharing sensitive data, and will create a stronger foundation against cybercriminals trying to compromise patient information.


Katie Brenneman is a passionate writer specializing in lifestyle, mental health, activism-related content. When she isn’t writing, you can find her with her nose buried in a book or hiking with her dog, Charlie. To connect with Katie, you can follow her on Twitter. 



Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.

Harnessing the Potential of Medicare Advantage Software

It’s no secret that the healthcare industry is in a period of transition. With the influx of new technology and changing regulations, providers are scrambling to keep up. Medicare Advantage software is one area that has the potential to make a big impact on provider organizations. When used correctly, it can help streamline workflow, improve communication, and provide better care for patients. In this blog post, we’ll explore how Medicare Advantage software can be used to improve your organization’s performance.

Defining “Medicare Advantage Software”

Medicare Advantage Software is a helpful technology that can provide innovative insights into our healthcare systems. This type of software collects and organizes data from different insurance carriers, such as Medicare Part A and Part B premiums. It allows providers to easily compare and predict costs when making decisions about patient care so they can provide the best possible service at an affordable price.

Additionally, it helps streamline the administrative processes associated with Medicare, taking much of the burden of the providers’ shoulders. By automating tasks such as claims submission and provider access, users can be sure their transactions are completed accurately and in a timely manner. With all these capabilities, Medicare Advantage Software is quickly becoming one of the most valuable tools for healthcare facilities today.

Potential Benefits

Medicare Advantage providers face numerous challenges when trying to stay up-to-date with their patient records and billing procedures. Fortunately, there is software available that can help them streamline the process. Through its use, providers can decrease manual effort in managing mundane and time-consuming tasks like claim submissions and payment updates, freeing up resources to focus on better patient care.

By having a detailed view of all their patients’ records in one secure location, providers can also save money on administrative costs and reduce discrepancies between care plans for improved outcomes. Moreover, adopting such software lends itself to future bespoke solutions tailored to rapid health industry changes. In short, investing in advanced Medicare advantage software offers a range of benefits that providers should seriously consider when maximizing patient care efficiency.

How to Get the Most Out of Medicare Advantage Software

Leveraging the right Medicare Advantage software can drive efficiencies, save money and help you get the most out of your Medicare Advantage plan. With endless amounts of data poured into software systems, it is critical for providers to properly utilize Medicare Advantage software solutions in order to maximize long-term patient health outcomes. Modern healthcare organizations have fully embraced the idea that a successful care delivery model comes down to the proper utilization of a comprehensive software system. It can be daunting for providers to choose which solutions will best meet their needs, but following a few core steps can ensure success.

It is important to evaluate workflow and processes within the organization and assess whether those tasks could be better completed with technology; if so, what options exist? Do demos, ask top questions such as “What’s included in implementation and training services?” and explore references supplemented by customer reviews before settling on a final choice. Knowing how to take full advantage of modern healthcare technologies, such as that from Back Office Healthcare Operations Software, will continue to give any organization an edge in our rapidly changing medical landscape.

In conclusion, Medicare Advantage software offers a range of benefits that providers should seriously consider when maximizing patient care efficiency. By leveraging the right technology and properly utilizing it within their organization, healthcare organizations can save money on administrative costs while also providing better outcomes for patients. Be sure to compare programs and ask any questions you have to ensure you’re picking the right software for your practice.


Rachelle Wilber
Bio: Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn’t on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook: @RachelleWilber; https://www.facebook.com/people/Rachelle-Wilber/100009221637700/

 


Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.

What Nursing Practices Result in Ideal Patient Care?

In nursing school, you learn how to deal with various ailments and situations. But there is a human element to the job that is difficult to learn in a classroom. How do you treat not just the condition, but also the person suffering from it?

Recognizing the humanity of a patient sounds fundamental and obvious, but it can easily be forgotten during the thrum of a busy week. In this article, we take a look at some practices that can result in ideal patient care.

 Mentorship

Nursing mentorship relationships, formal or otherwise can have an enormously positive impact both on the patients and the employees. A newly minted nurse comes out of school with tons of book knowledge, but a relatively limited amount of experience.

Sure, you log your time working in hospitals, but it’s a different game when you’re doing things at the professional level. The pressure is higher. The threshold for bad outcomes increases, if only for the fact that you’re now the one in the driver’s seat. A good nursing mentor can help work through the pressure, ensuring that patients enjoy a higher level of care in the process.

Mentorship relationships can also help when it comes time to consider nurses for leadership positions. Older nurses who coach the new recruits can help management make decisions about who to spotlight and promote.

Hospitals wishing to encourage mentorship programs should consider instituting a formal mentorship program. Otherwise, young nurses can benefit from the experience of others by asking questions, and forming friendships.

 Patient Empowerment

Patients are in an incredibly vulnerable position. At the very least, they find themselves in a situation where they don’t possess the knowledge they need to take care of themselves. Everyone in the room knows more about their health than they do. Depending on the situation, they may not even be able to handle toiletries with the same autonomy they used to.

Nurses can restore some of their autonomy by striving for as much patient empowerment as possible. Let them make choices wherever possible. Patiently explain everything that is going on clearly without sugarcoating the facts. Your job as a nurse isn’t to give them good news. It’s to help the patient see what is real, and respond to the situation in the way that is most comfortable for them.

 Advocate for Them

Patient empowerment gives the patient a voice. Advocacy amplifies it. Nurses can advocate for their patients by following several steps:

    • Listen: Find out what the patient wants, and look for ways to implement these preferences in every possible way. Sometimes these preferences will be care related. Other times, they might be cultural or religious. It won’t be possible to grant every request, but it’s important to be on the lookout for ways to make your patient’s desires realized.
    • Articulate: If you’ve formed a close relationship with a patient, they may tell you things that they don’t share with other caregivers. Make sure everyone in the hospital is on the same page when it comes to meeting the patient’s requests. Fill doctors, other nurses, and even visitors in on what the patient wants.

Sometimes patient advocacy can get uncomfortable. It might mean butting heads with your coworkers. It could even mean turning family members away. Remember: your responsibilities as a nurse are to the patient. Be respectful of others, but don’t lose sight of your overall responsibility.

 Put Yourself in Their Shoes

Sometimes the patient won’t communicate exactly what they want or need. When that happens, empathy can help inform your caregiving decisions. What would you want if you were in their shoes? Keep in mind that for many patients, being in the hospital is an entirely new experience. They won’t necessarily have the context to make informed decisions about what they want or prefer.

Nurses, on the other hand, spend most of their lives in the hospital (or so it feels, at any rate). They know more about the rhythms and intricacies of care and are therefore better equipped to make well-informed suggestions and recommendations.

Just remember that patient needs will evolve over time. Continuously get their feedback. By constantly thinking about ways to personalize and improve care, you ensure that the patient is always being seen as a human with unique wants and needs. That alone can have a big impact on their morale, and their overall health outcome.


With a Bachelor’s in Health Science along with an MBA, Sarah Daren has a wealth of knowledge within both the health and business sectors. Her expertise in scaling and identifying ways tech can improve the lives of others has led Sarah to be a consultant for a number of startup businesses, most prominently in the wellness industry, wearable technology and health education. She implements her health knowledge into every aspect of her life with a focus on making America a healthier and safer place for future generations to come.


Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.

 

What to Know Before Switching to a Telehealth Career

Telehealth has seen consistent growth in popularity over the last few years. But, the biggest “boom” came during the COVID-19 pandemic. At first, it was out of necessity as medical professionals worked to keep patients safe and protected. However, even as we enter a post-pandemic world, telehealth trends continue to go up.

Telehealth benefits both patients and physicians. It offers flexibility, greater inclusivity, and can encourage more people to practice preventative healthcare when they know they can chat with their doctor from the comfort of home.

If you’re considering a career in telehealth, now is a great time to get on board. However, it’s important to know what to expect, and how you can prepare yourself before you decide if it’s the right career move for you.

Consider What You Want

A career in telehealth can be rewarding. Depending on your position, you might interact directly with patients, offering medical advice and preventative care options that can improve their well-being or help them manage the symptoms of an illness. If you have a passion for helping people and want to do something truly meaningful, it’s a fantastic way to find fulfillment.

However, there are some potential drawbacks to consider. It’s not always the same having to help someone virtually, rather than face-to-face. You’ll also have to deal with people from all walks of life, and not every patient will be pleasant. Some will have conditions that are difficult to handle. Others might be frustrated by the very technology they’re using to talk to you. So, while a career in telehealth can be convenient, really consider what you want before you take the plunge. Think about things like:

      • Your comfort level in working with people virtually
      • How much time you can devote to this career
      • How well you handle stressful situations

Once you’ve decided that you think this career choice would be a good fit for you, it’s time to determine what you need to actually make it happen. If you’re currently in the healthcare field, it might be easy to transfer your education

Do You Meet the Qualifications?

Maybe you’re totally new to the telehealth field but you have the desire to help people. You don’t need to be a doctor or specialist to work in telehealth. However, depending on your position, you might need to meet certain qualifications. That includes certifications and licenses, in some cases.

For example, if you’re a nurse, you’ll have to receive appropriate licensing through the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC). Because telehealth services are in such high demand, you shouldn’t have a problem getting your licensure quickly so you can start helping people as soon as possible.

If you’re a doctor, or specialist, or work for a clinic that provides telehealth services, make sure your certifications are up-to-date, and familiarize yourself with the latest in telemedicine software. There are multiple platforms and options available, so educating yourself on how to utilize technology safely and effectively is essential for any type of telehealth career.

Some practices and clinics might eventually switch to mostly telehealth services, so you might be able to get your foot in the door as an administrator and help people make virtual appointments or assist with billing. Having experience as an administrator can make that transition easier for you. You’ll also need to brush up on skills like:

      • Patience
      • Empathy
      • Time management
      • Organization
      • Flexibility

If you truly want to determine what’s needed to start your career with the right qualifications, check the requirements in your state. They vary by location, and you could be closer to getting started than you might think!

The Ins and Outs of a Virtual Career

One of the most important things to consider if you want to switch to a telehealth career is whether virtual/remote work is a good fit for you. There are advantages and disadvantages to think about. While virtual work can offer more flexibility, it can also take a toll on your mental health if you’re not getting the social interaction you need.

Humans are social creatures. We need face-to-face interaction. If your work solely relies on a virtual environment, you might struggle with isolation and loneliness. You might even feel uninspired, unmotivated, and burnt out.

While mental health stigmas in the healthcare field are starting to crumble, be sure you’re comfortable prioritizing your own mental well-being, and even talking to a professional if you’re worried that you might struggle with this type of career. Practice self-care each day by exercising, eating healthy meals, and getting as much in-person interaction with people as possible.

Telehealth is the future. While it can’t completely replace all types of medical care, it will certainly change the face of medicine and how people approach preventative care for years to come. If you’re interested in making a career change to enjoy the benefits of telemedicine, use the information here to consider whether it’s the right move, and whether you’ll find happiness and fulfillment. If so, don’t hesitate to start moving forward with your new career right away. The need for workers is extremely high, and you could end up landing the job of your dreams quickly.


Katie Brenneman is a passionate writer specializing in lifestyle, mental health, activism-related content. When she isn’t writing, you can find her with her nose buried in a book or hiking with her dog, Charlie. To connect with Katie, you can follow her on Twitter. 

Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.

How Can We Improve Healthcare in Underserved Communities?

Today’s healthcare landscape is vast and complex. Within it exists nearly infinite sub-environments and social contexts, all of which present unique strengths, weaknesses, and difficulties. However, one sweeping reality that affects countless people within the system is a common tendency towards inequitable care provision for certain communities and demographics over others.

The disproportionalities in healthcare provision experienced by specific subpopulations and underserved communities is a story that repeats itself over and over across the country (and around the world). This is a matter of deep concern for equity advocates in healthcare, and there are a number of voices within the healthcare landscape working towards changing this reality.

Current Disparities in Healthcare Access

One helpful lens for understanding healthcare disparities at scale is a set of statistics that reveal the average difference in care delivery and outcomes by demographic. These include social differentiators like income level, race, legal status, gender identity, disability, and religion.

Across a range of metrics, certain communities, like those that earn middle-class incomes or are white/Caucasian, receive (on average) better levels of care and enjoy easier access to healthcare providers than individuals within the same communities and geographic locations that fall into other demographic categories.

There are a number of ways these disparities play out in various settings or instances. A few trends in particular represent a large percentage of healthcare inequity cases across the country. These include the following:

Difficulties in Securing Health Insurance for Noncitizens

Because the American healthcare system is so tightly tied to the insurance industry, it is vastly difficult to obtain any kind of healthcare without some form of health insurance. Unfortunately, insurance is very difficult to secure for a number of demographics, including those with complicated legal statuses or those that don’t work or have permanent addresses.

Racist Policies, Sentiments, and Biases Within the Healthcare System

This is a hugely complex topic and involves deeply systemic and cultural influences. The result, however, is a serially prejudiced system that, on average, is more likely to provide subpar care and treatment to people of color than it is to white people.

Healthcare Professionals, Especially in Places of Leadership, Remain Disproportionately white, Cisgendered, and Male

Though this has long been an area of focus and attempted awareness within the professional healthcare community, it still remains disproportionately monotone. Numbers of ethnic minorities (and other minority groups) working in healthcare fields remain stubbornly low.

This perpetuates difficulties that many patients experience when receiving care from someone who does not look like them and does not fully understand their culture, experience, community, or context.

Current Initiatives that are Working to Equalize Access to Good Healthcare

Above are just some of the ways that the healthcare system is still operating to disproportionately help certain members of society more than others. But though the system is still fraught with these widespread inequalities and problems, strides are being taken towards balancing the healthcare system at large and changing some of these realities so that more people have adequate access to the healthcare they need.

Changing Legislation to Correct Implicitly Biased or Prejudiced Policies

Systemic manifestations of discrimination and racism are often baked into legislative policy. The process of assessing current legislation and reshaping it to be more equal and equitable is a long, painstaking process. However, it can be a source of deep and significant institutional change.

Design Initiatives to Encourage More Members of Minority Groups to Study Medicine

These might look like demographic-specific scholarships, programs, or job fairs; or curriculums implemented in high-minority primary and secondary education spaces. Encouraging minority groups to consider healthcare a viable career option can have ripple effects on not only current but future generations and create precedent for more individuals to choose to enter the healthcare workforce as well.

Prioritizing Public Health Campaigns that Equip and Empower Minority Demographics to Partake in Healthy Living

Statistics reveal strong disparities in health IQ and healthy living habits between, for example, white/caucasian populations and ethnic minority populations. The work of providing diverse cultural contexts and backgrounds with health information made pertinent and relevant to them is slowly gaining traction and needs to be increased.

Ways to Contribute Personally Towards Stronger Equity in Healthcare

If you are a healthcare professional and want to make a difference in bringing about better, more equitable healthcare provision for all communities, here are a few ways you can get involved in this process.

Educate Yourself on the Nuances of Providing Healthcare to Those of Different Cultures, Identities, and Ethnicities

Whether you yourself belong to a minority identity or not, everyone has room to learn and grow when it comes to becoming more culturally knowledgeable and equipped. Terms like “transcultural nursing” and “cultural sensitivity” help shape this concept into actionable knowledge areas.

Seeking out conferences, talks, reading materials, and training on these topics can help you better understand, identify with, empathize with, and respect people with different cultural or ethnic backgrounds than your own.

Advocate for Equitable Policies, Awareness, and Conduct Within Your Own Healthcare Facility

Whether you work for an independent local hospital, a large nationwide healthcare provider, or a small outpatient clinic, your healthcare environment may or may not have an adequate understanding of equitable practices and policies.

Speaking up for underserved communities and supporting implementation of better equity practices can help change the nature of your healthcare facility as well as educate your colleagues and fellow professionals about the importance of healthcare equity.

Find Opportunities to Volunteer Your Healthcare Expertise to Support Underserved Communities in Your Area

Especially in locations where disparities are large and certain demographics or populations have poor access to healthcare, find opportunities to volunteer with nonprofit organizations or other initiatives to meet the healthcare needs of communities that have the most difficulty accessing treatment. This can be a significant and often life-altering way of lessening healthcare inequality.


With a Bachelor’s in Health Science along with an MBA, Sarah Daren has a wealth of knowledge within both the health and business sectors. Her expertise in scaling and identifying ways tech can improve the lives of others has led Sarah to be a consultant for a number of startup businesses, most prominently in the wellness industry, wearable technology and health education. She implements her health knowledge into every aspect of her life with a focus on making America a healthier and safer place for future generations to come.


Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.

Top Medical Certifications to Have As a Nurse

You have worked hard in college to obtain your degree. You’ve spent the last few years gaining invaluable on-the-job experience. Now, you have reached a point in your nursing career where you want to set the stage to move up the ladder.  However, many nurses often are not aware of the many different certifications they may obtain. If you want to further your nursing career, here are the top medical certifications you should strive to obtain.

Critical Care Certification

One of the most popular certifications for registered nurses, the Critical Care Registered Nurse Certification is often required by healthcare employers and covers a multitude of critical care and acute specialties. In the nursing world, you will often hear the CCRN certification referred to as the must-have of all nursing certifications.

Certified Emergency Nurse

In hospitals across the nation, there is often a shortage of nurses who are properly certified to work in high-volume emergency departments. If you are a nurse who enjoys the challenge of helping people with different types of injuries, many of which may be life-threatening, consider obtaining the Certified Emergency Nurse certification. Though similar to the CCRN certification, the CEN is more in-depth regarding emergency room nursing.

Certified Nurse Educator

When you obtain this certification, you will be qualified to teach other nurses about various illnesses and procedures. Once obtained, you can teach in a nursing school or be an in-house educator within a hospital or other healthcare facility. This will also be a good opportunity for you if you already possess a stroke education certification, since you can use your knowledge of stroke patients to help nurses provide better care.

Family Nurse Practitioner

To gain this highly-coveted nursing certification, you will need to graduate from a Master’s degree program and pass an exam. Yet once you do, having a Family Nurse Practitioner certification can open the door to many career opportunities. First and foremost, having the FNP certification means you will be able to act as a primary care provider, giving you the authority to prescribe medications and do many duties performed by physicians. If you want career stability and the chance to work almost anywhere you wish, consider that demand for nurse practitioners is expected to grow by more than 50 percent throughout this decade.

No matter which of these certifications you ultimately obtain, there is no doubt that you will be using your set of specialized skills and knowledge to help patients who are struggling with many different conditions and illnesses


Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and walks in the park with her husky, Snowball.

Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.

What Kind of Relationship Does a Nurse Practitioner Have with Patients?

It’s hard for outsiders to understand exactly what nurse practitioners do. You can come across them almost anywhere. Doctors’ offices, hospitals, and in each setting, they have different responsibilities. So what kind of relationship does a nurse practitioner have with patients?

In this article, we set out to answer that question, and explain how the job works. Read on to learn more about the responsibilities of a nurse practitioner.

 It’s Complicated

The responsibilities of a nurse practitioner will depend mostly on where they find themselves in the country. Every state has its own laws about what a nurse practitioner can do. Some allow them to prescribe medications or make diagnoses. Others will allow them to do this only after they’ve consulted with a doctor first.

It’s a good idea to do plenty of research on your local laws before you begin your journey toward becoming a nurse practitioner. The more liberal the laws, the more options you will have for the professional trajectory of your career.

In areas where the laws are liberal enough, a nurse practitioner ostensibly performs the same duties as a primary practitioner. This means that they will see patients for basic wellness appointments, and when the patient is ill. They will fill out prescriptions as needed, and even offer diagnoses.

This level of freedom allows some nurse practitioners to start up their own practices. However, there are many other roles that nurse practitioners can perform.

 Working in a Doctor’s Office

Nurse practitioners can very easily fit into any doctor’s office setting. Even in states where laws don’t allow them full autonomy, they will be able to see patients and consult with their MD peers to provide further care.

Doctors’ offices really appreciate having a nurse practitioner on staff as it can free up a considerable amount of time. Where once the doctor took on every sick visit and wellness check, now the nurse practitioner is there to ease off much of the burden.

Consequently, everyone is able to spend a little more time with each patient, and the level of care increases.

Working on a hospital floor

Nurse practitioners can also work on a hospital floor, performing a combination of duties similar to those of both nurses and doctors. Where they end up depends on how they specialize. For example, the previous example describes a Family Nurse Practitioner.

There are also nurse practitioners that specialize in prenatal care, pediatric care, acute care, and so on. The responsibilities of each position vary pretty radically depending on the specifics of the specialty. This gives nurse practitioners an enormous amount of flexibility in how they shape their careers.

 How to Become a Nurse Practitioner

It’s a long road to becoming a nurse practitioner. To start, you need to get a bachelor’s degree in nursing. This usually takes four years, though there are accelerated programs that can cut that time in half. Accelerated programs carry their own challenges, but may be a particularly good option for disciplined people who want to start working as a nurse practitioners as quickly as possible.

Through the accelerated program, you can complete your undergraduate and graduate studies in approximately the same amount of time most people spend just getting their undergraduate degree.

Once you’ve got your undergraduate degree, you will need to choose a graduate program specifically focused on NPing. This is when you will choose your specialty. These programs usually take between two and three years to complete but you can speed up the process a little bit by taking heavy courseloads.

Once you’ve completed all of the educational requirements, you will need to fulfill the testing and registration guidelines set out by your state. This will usually involve fees. In fact, heavy expenses are typically incurred at every step of the journey. Financing and scholarship opportunities can take some of the sting out, but in most cases, it will be a considerable cost no matter what.

That’s alright though because if you’ve followed these steps, you’re there. You’ve arrived at the lucrative and emotionally rewarding career path of a nurse practitioner.


With a Bachelor’s in Health Science along with an MBA, Sarah Daren has a wealth of knowledge within both the health and business sectors. Her expertise in scaling and identifying ways tech can improve the lives of others has led Sarah to be a consultant for a number of startup businesses, most prominently in the wellness industry, wearable technology and health education. She implements her health knowledge into every aspect of her life with a focus on making America a healthier and safer place for future generations to come.


Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.