Navigating the World of Community Mental Health Nursing

There is little doubt that those who choose to commit themselves to the nursing profession are doing so out of generosity, selflessness, and a level of care that leaves lives changed. All of that applies to nurses at every level, but those who chose to spend their time assisting as mental health nurses have a unique set of challenges that, while they overlap with other fields, tend to demand some unusual measures and means by which to serve such patients.

For those who may be thinking about, or indeed may already be doing so, choosing such a career path the following is a brief collection of observations and tips by which to better navigate the world of community mental health nursing.

Community Mental Health Care: A Definition

Community mental health care is made up of a collection of certain approaches to care. Some of those are as follows: the practice of associating to patients in a broader socio-economic context; the treatment of individuals as well as a collective population; service through a systematic approach that maintains open access services, both individually based and in team scenarios; taking into account a long-term approach that envisions more of a life-based care perspective.

All of these and more need to be accomplished very often in a financially sustainable and sensitive way being that both the niche of this healthcare system and sometimes its clientele lacks the resources needed to provide for themselves. There is a high level of attitudes which are of a social justice nature that tends to lean into the specified care in contexts which very often demonstrate themselves as being played out for minority groups, the homeless, immigrant populations, and those of lesser economic means.

Comprehensively, this needs to be done in locations that make the service of those populations easily reachable from both a proximal and financial position.

Fundamental Causes of Community Mental Health

As with any industry there are categories which, when individualized, can better clarify the overarching idea and mission of particular organizations and ideas. The same can be said for community mental health services as provided by nurses.

Community mental health care that is done well makes a point of attending not only to people’s challenges or their disabilities but seeks to acknowledge and draw out what existing health and strength of mind or will that is already present.

By doing so nurses in this field have greater leverage by which to affect recovery and change. This is accomplished by tapping into the basic strengths and individual qualities that make up a person. By identifying these traits, it can be shown that what mental health issues do exist are only a part of the overall person. The amount of hope and courage that can result from this approach helps in the management and overcoming of specific challenges.

Community mental health, being that it relates to multiple individuals and their towns or provinces, means that there are not only plenty of career opportunities in psychiatric mental health care, but that such care purposefully gives its attention to those techniques and services which best attend communities in an individual and collective sense. It does so not just by approaching mental health from a psychiatric standpoint, although this is important, but through the interaction with topics that stem from environmental issues.

By studying and attending to the various factors which relate and impose themselves on the mental health of communities, there grows a deeper understanding of how to best care for and reverse the environmental effects that can contribute to individual mental health concerns. This is best accomplished through a network of services that counteract the ills created by the various aspects of that community.

Another important factor in community mental health is that it is most effective when its approaches serve the public through a combination of evidence-based medical approaches as well as psychiatric and ethically based techniques. The use of heavy data socio-economic data enables a border understanding for what contributes to the community mental health issues and thus creates clarity for how to comprehensively approach treatment. Nurses that are trained in this way have a much higher likelihood of caring for and empowering those that they are treating.


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.

Prioritizing ‘Me Time’: Tips for Travel Nurses With Busy Schedules

A career in travel nursing presents unique benefits. You get to see the world, experience different cultures and customs, and take pride in knowing you’re making a difference where it’s needed most. While travel nursing assignments are typically only a few months at a time, it’s easy to get burnt out during those months, and it can be difficult to readjust to normalcy when you turn home.

To help mitigate the risk of burnout, time management is essential. You can integrate health and wellness practices into your daily routine that will help you get more out of your day. So, you can conquer the common challenges travel nurses face, and prioritize “me time” while on the move.

If it sounds easier said than done, you’re not alone. It’s not always easy for a nurse to practice self-care. But, it’s not selfish – it’s a necessity. Let’s cover a few time-saving health practices you can introduce into your life that will impact your overall well-being, and reduce the risk of burnout.

What Challenges Do Travel Nurses Face?

Some of the greatest benefits of being a travel nurse can also end up being some of the biggest drawbacks. You get to be in new, interesting locations for months at a time, but that means you’re away from friends and family. You might have to work in dangerous conditions. You’re always “on” when it comes to taking care of patients and might feel like you don’t have room in the day for an adequate break.

You might also not make the best dietary choices because you’re constantly moving. It’s easy to pick up an unhealthy snack from a vending machine, food cart, or fast food establishment. Unfortunately, as the old saying goes, you are what you eat. Poor dietary choices can negatively impact your energy levels, contribute to fatigue, and can even damage your teeth and gums.

Time management is, perhaps, the biggest challenge travel nurses face. It can be difficult to find a healthy work-life balance when you’re away from home. You might have to work longer shifts than you’re used to or work odd hours more often than not. Poor time management can lead to a lack of productivity, extra stress, fatigue, and burnout. When a nurse starts to experience burnout, it can impact their job in a variety of ways. You might start to lose motivation, and you could even start to take your frustrations out on your patients.

Tackling Time Management Skills

You might think you don’t have any room in your busy schedule for ‘me time,’ but there are plenty of skills you can use to manage your time and make room for a better work-life balance.

Start by making sure you’re with the right employer. Who manages your travel schedule and itinerary? Do they care about flexibility and promote their employees’ mental well-being? Don’t be afraid to talk to your employer about your needs, or consider making a switch if your current place of employment isn’t willing to work with your needs.

When you’re traveling, you can better manage your time by:

  • Prioritizing your daily tasks
  • Utilizing a planner or digital scheduling app
  • Taking breaks

It’s also important to seek support when you’re in a new location or at home. You can’t do everything on your own, and while there are some tasks that can only be done by you, it’s okay to lean on your support system for other things. In the field, do what you can to delegate tasks, or ask for help when it’s needed. At home, the same rules apply. Ask family members and friends for help if you’re feeling overwhelmed. Maybe they can assist with getting your kids from school or making a grocery run for you. The people who love you want to see you happy and healthy, so lean on your support system.

Making Room for Self-Care

Finally, remind yourself that self-care isn’t selfish. It’s been misrepresented in recent years, but it’s not something that needs to be lavish or even take a lot of time. By implementing a few healthy practices into your daily routine, you can take advantage of the wellness benefits of self-care. Some of the easiest ways to start incorporating it into your life include:

  • Practicing mindfulness and meditation
  • Staying physically active
  • Eating a healthy diet
  • Prioritizing sleep
  • Socializing

Self-care can look different depending on your stage of life and what you need and want. But, no matter your age, it’s important to be able to manage stress. Things like meditation, journaling, or even working with a therapist remotely are all great ways to reduce your stress, no matter how busy your schedule is.

Taking care of yourself with a bit of healthy pampering can also promote relaxation. For example, do you have a skincare routine? If not, it could be time to establish one. Skincare is important for everyone but is especially crucial for travel nurses who are exposed to a variety of different environments. Taking care of your skin through hydration and the right products can boost your physical well-being, and when you turn it into a routine, you can feel like you’re giving yourself a spa treatment every day.

You’re used to taking care of everyone else but don’t allow yourself to become an “empty cup” as a travel nurse. Keep these ideas in mind to prioritize your time and well-being, no matter your schedule.


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.

Navigating Freelance Work in Healthcare

The freelance healthcare industry presents a unique opportunity for medical professionals seeking independence and variety in their work. It requires a combination of medical expertise, business acumen, and a proactive approach to adapt to evolving healthcare needs. Embarking on this path allows for greater control over one’s career trajectory, offering a rewarding blend of professional autonomy and personal fulfillment.

Benefits of Freelancing in Healthcare

Flexibility and Autonomy

One of the most appealing aspects of freelancing in healthcare is the freedom to create your own schedule. This flexibility allows professionals to achieve a better work-life balance, tailor their workload to their personal needs, and take control of their career trajectory. Whether it’s setting their own hours, choosing their projects, or working from different locations, freelancers have the autonomy to design a work life that suits their individual preferences.

Diverse Opportunities

Freelancers in the healthcare industry have the advantage of exploring diverse opportunities across different sectors. They can choose to work in hospitals, clinics, research institutions, or even provide telemedicine services. This variety allows individuals to gain valuable experience in multiple areas, enhancing their skill set and marketability.

Downsides of Freelancing in Healthcare

No Employer-Provided Healthcare Benefits

Unlike traditional employment, freelancers are responsible for obtaining their own healthcare coverage. This can be a significant financial burden, and it requires careful planning to ensure adequate coverage for medical needs. Navigating the complex landscape of healthcare insurance and benefits becomes the responsibility of the freelancer, adding an additional layer of complexity to their professional lives.

Professional Isolation

Freelancers often work independently, leading to a sense of professional isolation. Without the camaraderie of colleagues, it can be challenging to stay motivated and engaged. Building a support network and finding ways to connect with peers is crucial for combating this isolation. Additionally, finding opportunities for collaboration and networking is essential to combat the potential loneliness that can accompany the freelance lifestyle.

Tips for Success as a Freelancer in Healthcare

Boost Your Credentials and Earning Potential by Earning an Online Degree

In the competitive healthcare industry, continuous learning is critical. Pursuing an online degree or certification, like the opportunity to earn a respected MSN degree, can enhance your expertise and open doors to higher-paying opportunities. Many reputable institutions offer online programs that allow healthcare professionals to expand their knowledge and skills while maintaining their flexibility as freelancers.

Develop Strong Communication Skills

Effective communication is vital for freelancers, especially in healthcare. Clear and concise communication with clients, patients, and colleagues is invaluable for delivering quality care and building professional relationships. Investing time in honing communication skills, both written and verbal, can set freelancers apart in their ability to connect with others in a meaningful and effective manner.

Build a Strong Network

Networking is key to success in freelancing. Connecting with other healthcare professionals, attending industry events, and joining relevant online communities can provide valuable support, mentorship, and potential collaboration opportunities. Building a network of like-minded individuals not only fosters professional growth but also provides a sense of community and support.

Position Yourself in a Location Recognized for Innovation

Choosing a location known for its advanced healthcare facilities and innovative practices can enhance your professional profile. For example, cities like Atlanta are recognized for their cutting-edge medical research and technology, offering abundant opportunities for healthcare freelancers to engage with the latest advancements in the field. Best of all, it’s easy to find affordable housing options that fit your specific needs.

Invest in Quality Equipment and Technology

As a freelancer in healthcare, having access to reliable and advanced equipment is crucial. Investing in high-quality technology and tools can improve the quality of your work and enhance your professional image. Whether it’s telemedicine equipment, medical software, or communication tools, having the right technology at your disposal can elevate your service delivery and efficiency.

 

Freelancing in healthcare offers a unique blend of flexibility and personal growth. By staying adaptable and informed, professionals can thrive in this dynamic field, shaping a fulfilling and rewarding career path.


By : Stephanie Haywood of MyLifeBoost.com


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.

Stress, Stamina, and Service: Exploring Healthcare’s Most Demanding Jobs

Healthcare workers are some of the most commendable and hard-working professionals in modern-day society. From dealing with high-pressure situations on a daily basis to picking up the slack caused by professional shortages in the industry, these professionals put their own health, safety, and well-being on the line to perform admirable tasks.

However, not all healthcare worker roles are created equal. Unfortunately, some specific healthcare professionals have to endure some of the most difficult experiences in their roles.

Gaining a clearer perspective on which healthcare positions are the most difficult and demanding can provide one with a deeper appreciation of these commendable professionals.

Here is an exploration of healthcare’s most demanding jobs.

Nursing Roles

While many are aware that nurses have a difficult job, far fewer realize just how strenuous and stressful these jobs can be.

In nursing, there are a variety of roles that these professionals can step into. These include roles such as advanced practice nursing roles and registered nursing roles. When it comes to these specific nursing roles, each one comes with its own unique challenges and obstacles that professionals must overcome on a consistent basis.

Here are some of the most demanding nursing roles in the current healthcare landscape.

Registered Nurses

Registered nurses can be seen as the backbone of the modern American healthcare system. From assessing patients to administering medication to educating those they treat; these healthcare professionals are kept busy from the moment they clock into work.

The wide variety of technical tasks and the high-pressure situations that nurses find themselves in on a consistent basis are some of the reasons that this is such a demanding role.

Sadly, in today’s evolving world, this isn’t the only reason that these professionals have such difficult jobs.

Today, there is currently a massive nursing shortage that is affecting scores of medical facilities across the nation. As a result of this shortage, nurses now have to pick up the slack and perform more tasks than they really should need to.

The combination of already difficult tasks with understaffed working environments makes the roles of these professionals exceedingly difficult. For this reason, many would-be nurses are foregoing obtaining their nursing licenses because of the increasingly demanding nature of registered nurse roles.

Travel Nurses

Travel nurses are one specific subset of nurses that can have a particularly grueling professional life. In essence, these are highly skilled nurses who travel to various locations across the country to help different medical institutions address their nursing shortages.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, travel nurses played a key role in ensuring that patients across the country received the care they needed. Unfortunately, despite the importance of these healthcare professionals to the healthcare ecosystem, they work in incredibly difficult professional environments.

Given the nature of their role, travel nurses are constantly working in understaffed facilities. Typically, these hospitals are incredibly busy and hectic, increasing travel nurses’ risk of developing symptoms of stress, anxiety, and burnout.

If this wasn’t enough, travel nurses must also constantly travel to different locations across the country. This can make it difficult to maintain a healthy relationship with one’s family and friends, often resulting in feelings of isolation.

For these reasons, travel nurses have some of the most grueling and demanding careers in healthcare. However, it must be noted that because of the unique and difficult nature of the travel nurse career path, these professionals typically command higher salaries than their registered nurse counterparts.

Clinical Psychologists

Clinical psychologists have incredibly demanding jobs that can often take a toll on their personal lives and sense of well-being. However, they are incredibly helpful to countless people, and they play an important and invaluable role in the modern healthcare landscape.

Essentially, clinical psychologists help treat mental health ailments in the patients they serve. While they may enjoy aspects of their jobs, there are many ways in which the role can be incredibly draining and stressful.

When it comes to treating patients, balancing the needs of patients can be extremely difficult. This is especially true for those with more severe mental health ailments. On top of this, having to work with patients through harrowing experiences on a regular basis can also take a huge toll.

Given the draining nature of the clinical psychologist role, this job definitely should be recognized as one of the most demanding careers in healthcare.

Healthcare Professionals Should Be Commended

Nearly every healthcare professional role comes with its fair share of challenges. However, some specific roles are particularly grueling and require professionals to deal with a significant range of obstacles on a regular basis.

Fortunately, there are countless brave and committed professionals out there who step into these roles and strive to help patients. As a society, it is our duty to recognize the sacrifices of these individuals and shower them with the praise and commendation they deserve.


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.

Comparing Urban and Rural Nursing: Key Differences and Similarities

City nurses and rural nurses have the same job, but the healthcare cities in their respective communities typically have many significant differences. Urban hospitals are overflowing with patients. They experience higher instances of violent crime. During times of viral illness, their infection rates are considerably higher.

Rural hospitals aren’t a walk in the park either. They are understaffed, underresourced, and at the center of many serious health problems as well. Rural America has extremely high rates of opiate addiction, even in minors.

It’s never a walk in the park working at a hospital. If you are a nurse considering which path is right for you, read on as we compare and contrast urban and rural nursing.

A Common Ground

First of all, it is important to understand that rural and urban nurses share the same basic background. Regardless of their location, both began their journey by entering into some sort of program that certified them as an RN.

There isn’t a unique credential for working in the country versus the city. It sounds almost obvious to say but it is a meaningful distinction to bear in mind.

Many people on both sides of the cornfield border assume a degree of separation between city and rural people that doesn’t exist in real life. There are, of course, important cultural differences between the two settings.

However, at the end of the day, we’re talking about people. From a health perspective, as well as a social one, people are pretty much the same wherever you go.

Nice speech Ms. America. Doesn’t that sort of undermind the concept of your article?

Ahem. Yes. Well, while the human element of healthcare does remain consistent between settings, there are experiential differences that are worth exploring. Below, we compare and contrast rural/urban healthcare.

Patient Demographics

One of the most obvious differences between rural and city nursing is the patient demographics. Urban nurses will come across people from all parts of the world. The bigger the city, the more diversity there will most likely be.

In rural settings, there certainly can be some diversity, but the overall demographic tends to be more monolithic.

Why does this matter? Interacting with people from different backgrounds can require more social awareness and sensitivity than is usually required when working with people you share a background with.

As a city nurse, you will need to be willing to understand other people’s cultures and treat them with respect accordingly.

The Urban Advantage

Talk to any nurse working in an urban setting, and “advantage,” probably won’t be the first word they reach for when describing their place of work. Still, compared to rural hospitals, city systems do have significantly better access to resources.

Some of these resources are staffing-related. It’s hard for rural hospitals to find people for the simple reason that they have a much smaller candidate pool to choose from.

It goes deeper than that, though. City hospitals have more access to specialists and advanced treatment technologies. In fact, when rural people are diagnosed with a particularly challenging or sensitive illness, they will often be referred to urban hospitals.

Scope

Piggybacking off that last idea, urban healthcare workers have more of an opportunity to specialize than their rural counterparts. Because they typically have access to more people, it becomes possible to designate specialty groups.

A nurse working on the cardiac floor in an urban hospital may not need to abruptly change lanes into respiratory.

Rural hospitals are the opposite. They have fewer people to work with, so everyone needs to be versatile in their skills.

From a purely third-party perspective, it is difficult to say which arrangement is better. On the one hand, skill diversity is definitely a good thing. On the other hand, it can also be nice to be on the receiving end of highly specialized care.

Community Bonds

One thing rural hospitals typically do better than their urban counterparts? Community building. It’s hard to establish bonds when you are offering care to tens, or even hundreds of thousands of people. In rural hospitals, the patient pool is considerably smaller.

What’s more, there are also fewer hospitals to go around. One rural county might be served by a single hospital. That means everyone in the community is going to the same place when they require healthcare.

Common Cause

We talked a lot about what rural hospitals have versus what urban ones have. The truth is that neither setting has enough. Hospitals all over the country, all over the world, in fact, are struggling to meet basic needs.

Part of this problem is staffing-related. Just last spring an ER nurse in Washington had to call 911 and ask for backup support. The hospital wasn’t trying to process the victims of a large accident. They just didn’t have enough people to deal with a typical shift.

That’s a big problem, but not an uncommon one. It’s also an issue that has been going on for a long time. More nurses are leaving than coming in.

The new arrivals are entering a challenging time in the history of healthcare. Costs are rising. Technology is changing the experience in ways that no one can quite predict. And community distrust of healthcare has reached a high point as many people all over the country struggle to embrace vaccines and other forms of preventative care.

In other words, nursing isn’t easy, regardless of where you find yourself in the world.


Image by Yaroslav Danylchenko on Freepik


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.

Empowering Patients and Families: The Role of Nurse Practitioners in Palliative Care

The role of a nurse practitioner (NP) offers various types of opportunities and experiences. While many NPs work from doctor’s offices or hospital floors, others focus on more specialized areas. One of these is caring for terminally ill and end-of-life patients as they navigate their palliative journey.

As with so many careers in medicine, being a palliative care NP comes with a range of challenges, demands, and responsibilities. Nevertheless, it can also be a valuable experience in empowering patients and families as they face an emotionally, spiritually, and psychologically significant part of their lives.

Let’s take a closer look at the role of nurse practitioners in palliative care.

Care Planning and Symptom Management

One of the most impactful ways NPs can empower patients and their families is by helping them develop care plans. The last thing many people navigating palliative care want is to have arrangements that affect their lives just dictated to them. Rather, NPs, with their empathetic skill sets and in-depth medical knowledge, can act as expert guides. They provide patients and families with practical advice that both serves medical and emotional needs.

Care planning, by its nature, has to be a meticulous process. After all, terminal illness treatment can be quite complex. NPs can start by making a thorough assessment of the patient’s current health condition. This considers how severe the symptoms of specific illnesses are, but also elements that affect their quality of life, such as range of motion, mobility, and general comfort. NPs can also then discuss what the patient’s palliative journey goals and concerns are.

This is where an NP’s professional and compassionate abilities can be particularly effective. They’ll need to find ways for the medical and personal needs of the patients — and in some instances, the families involved — to meet. If there are problems, such as the side effects of some medications clashing with patients’ quality of life requirements, they discuss the options with the patient. Being transparent about the consequences, challenges, and benefits of different care paths is essential for patients to make informed decisions.

From here, NPs can create a formal document of care and symptom management that is shared with other relevant care staff and specialist medical providers. Importantly, NPs can revisit the plan periodically with patients as their symptoms and preferences develop during their care. This ensures that there’s always a medically robust yet patient-centric approach to delivering services.

Maintaining Mental Wellness

Palliative care is an emotionally and psychologically challenging experience. It’s also important to recognize that there is a growing national mental health crisis. A combination of factors contributes to difficulties here, from the escalating price of psychological health care to the sense of stigma surrounding mental wellness. This may further exacerbate the intense mental and physical impact of the palliative journey. As a result, NPs’ attention and skills are not just directed toward managing patients’ physical symptoms, but also tending to their mental wellness needs.

This can begin with something as simple as regularly checking in with patients about their emotions, thoughts, and concerns. The empathy and compassion NPs bring to their roles can be vital in establishing meaningful connections and trust bonds that encourage patients to share their feelings. In some cases, NPs might act as a bridge between patients and the most relevant resources, such as therapists specializing in terminal illness care. However, with additional training, NPs can also offer therapeutic activities such as guided meditation.

That said, it’s equally important to recognize that NPs’ own mental states can impact their patients. There’s no denying that providing palliative care can be emotionally and psychologically turbulent at times, particularly given the empathetic bonds they forge with patients. If NPs’ mental wellness begins to suffer, this is not only detrimental to their own quality of life but may also impact the quality of the care they provide. It is, therefore, a key part of an NP’s responsibility to take steps to safeguard their wellness. This could include adopting self-care routines and perhaps regularly speaking to therapists about their experiences and feelings.

Streamlining Care Processes

Being able to provide patients with the most thorough and compassionate attention is an important part of being an NP in palliative care. Unfortunately, this can be quite difficult when there are various other tasks to attend to. As a result, one of the ways NPs are most effective is in establishing the most efficient approaches to the tasks that surround the palliative journey.

This may involve regular assessments of medical and administrative practices. Continuously evaluating and improving processes has a variety of benefits. It helps to highlight where there may be unnecessarily repetitive or menial actions that result in inefficiencies. It can also reveal where new technology and automated software tools might offer opportunities to streamline workflows. Not to mention that this type of frequent evaluation is a great way to ensure that NPs are both continuing to meet patients’ needs while maintaining regulatory compliance.

It’s not just NPs themselves that are key to streamlining care processes. Care collaborators, patients, and families can provide useful insights here. Each of these parties has different perspectives on the services provided and what may be influencing bottlenecks or disruptions. NPs lead the charge of carefully gathering and assessing data from these individuals and reviewing what they can adjust accordingly. In essence, this is another way in which NPs facilitate care collaborations that positively impact patients’ quality of life during the palliative journey.

Conclusion

The role of NPs in palliative care involves various medical and administrative duties. However, each of these components, alongside intense empathy and compassion, is geared toward ensuring the most patient-centric approach to care. Throughout each step of making care plans, streamlining processes, and supporting mental wellness, there’s a common thread of striving to offer guidance, comfort, and expertise for this difficult part of life. It’s not an easy career path, but with careful consideration and a strong sense of emotional intelligence, it can certainly be a rewarding one.


Image by Freepik


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.

Navigating the Nursing Specialization Spectrum: A 2023 Skills Primer

Many people are under the misconception that Covid caused the nursing shortage that has been plaguing hospitals all over the country for the last several years. Which makes sense. It’s the big bad boogyman that can be blamed for everything from the state of the housing market to the increasingly fraught political scene playing out all across the country.

And while the coronavirus did certainly accelerate resignations in the healthcare industry, reducing the staffing shortages we see today to a casualty of the pandemic ignores the true source of the problem.

Nursing is hard.

So hard, that for decades, more people have been leaving the profession than entering it. And when most nurses quit, they don’t pivot into a different aspect of healthcare. They leave for different waters entirely.

It doesn’t have to be that way. There are many different types of specialties in nursing, each with a unique set of requirements and rewards. In this article, we provide a sweeping primer on the different types of nursing specializations.

Specialty Skills

Despite a fairly quick education for nurses, there a certain set of skills that are required to specialize in a specific nursing field? There are certainly a wide range of concepts that may be unique to each field. However, the skills required to be an effective nurse are largely consistent among the various fields.

  • Empathy: Nurses need to be able to understand and sympathize with their patients’ situations. This quality empowers them to be effective advocates for people who are going through the most vulnerable moments of their lives.
  • Patience: Most people agree that the healthcare industry is frustrating. Just imagine how frustrating it is for people who are completely entrenched in it. Nurses need to have the patience to deal with the stresses of the job and the complications of the industry if they are going to be effective.
  • Adaptability: Nursing requires a significant amount of flexibility every day. As a nurse, you may have long periods of tedium followed by extremely intense and abrupt situations that require your full attention. You will also be expected to adapt to new regulations, expectations, and ways of doing things. School is never completely out for nurses so be prepared for a life of learning.

These skills will help you prepare for a life in nursing, regardless of what specialization you choose. Below, we take a look at how to specialize, and what jobs will be waiting for you when you do.

How to Specialize

All specialized nurses start by going through a four-year degree program, or an accelerated equivalent that is licensed in their state. During that time, they are able to choose specialties that qualify them to work in a unique setting.

However, some specializations may require additional schooling, or training programs. Highly competitive jobs may even only accept applicants who have years of clinical or bedside experience.

Each job is a little bit different in its requirements, but all of them favor professionals who are willing to work hard and put in the time to learn the ropes.

Below we feature five prominent examples of nursing specializations. However, it’s important to keep in mind that there are literally dozens of potential jobs.

Diabetes Nursing

Diabetes is hard to manage. Even healthcare workers with diabetes struggle to get the right balance of glucose-related needs, and often experience sleepless nights as they try to regulate their blood sugar and stay safe.

Imagine how it feels to be on the outside of the healthcare system and find out very abruptly that diabetes has just changed your life forever.

Diabetes nurses are there to help make the transition more manageable. They meet regularly with newly diagnosed diabetics, answering their questions and helping them understand what to expect. Typically, they will work in hospitals, doctors’ offices, clinics, and diabetes management centers.

In certain situations, they may even help people develop a strategy for transitioning out of diabetes (as is sometimes possible with Type 2 diabetes).

It’s important work that literally helps save lives. However, it also tends to have more relaxed hours than traditional bedside nursing. Most diabetes nurses don’t have to work holidays or night shifts, making this an ideal position for people that enjoy being a nurse but are interested in getting a better work-life balance.

Pediatric Nursing

If you like the little kiddos, pediatric nursing might be for you. Pediatric nurses work with infants all the way up to eighteen-year-olds, assisting with a broad range of early health needs. Pediatric nurses can be found in a wide range of settings, including hospitals, clinics, schools, and doctors’ offices.

While they certainly are there to help with the physical needs of their patients, they also receive training to deal with the complex and ever-evolving emotional needs of young patients, making them an important aspect of their patient’s lives.

Critical Care Nursing

Critical care nursing isn’t for the faint of heart. These nurses work with patients in some of their most desperate moments, usually in the ICU, or other high-acuity settings in which the outcome of a procedure could quite literally mean life or death for the patient.

These nurses are specifically trained to work with people who have experienced life-threatening injuries or other deadly health events. Responsibilities can range from assisting in surgery to administering important medications and monitoring vital signs.

As is surely clear, this isn’t a good fit for people who are looking for lower-stakes nursing. However, if you appreciate a fast-paced work environment and you thrive under pressure, this may be right for you.

Obstetric and Gynecological Nursing

Gynecological and obstetric nursing specializes in providing care to women during and after pregnancy. It’s very much a women’s health position, focusing particularly on the reproductive stage of life. It can be an exciting job, helping families grow, but there are also many pressures to be aware of.

Gynecological nurses working in the hospital setting will assist with childbirth, which in and of itself is a daunting process. There are also many very significant complications associated with pregnancy and childbirth, adding a degree of pressure to this job.

Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing

Psychiatric nursing sees the nurse working directly with patients who are suffering from mental and emotional disorders. These responsibilities play out in psychiatric hospitals, clinics, and even community health centers.

The role of a nurse may be to help manage medications or even administer therapeutic interventions that help the patient cope with mental and emotional distress.

It’s challenging work, certainly not for the faint of heart, but it can make a significant difference in the lives of the patients who are impacted.


Image by Freepik


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.

Understanding the Current Demand for a Variety of Healthcare Workers

Over the last several years, demand for healthcare workers across the United States has continued to grow at an alarming rate. From nurses to x-ray technicians, countless medical facilities are currently understaffed and in need of more skilled medical workers.

These shortages are causing a massive strain on many medical organizations in both rural and urban areas across the country. Taking a deeper look at the implications of these shortages and how they’re affecting different facilities can give one a more accurate understanding of the healthcare field in our modern world.

Here is an understanding of the current demand for a variety of healthcare workers.

The Current State of American Healthcare Facilities

 American healthcare facilities are currently in dire need of a variety of skilled healthcare workers. As a result, these organizations are now facing a myriad of challenges that are harming their operations and negatively impacting the standard of care that they can offer the patients they serve.

One of the most keenly felt effects of this high demand for healthcare workers is high rates of burnout among healthcare workers —- particularly among nurses. While this makes a nursing career or other healthcare career path a more secure role to pursue, it is having a massively negative impact on medical facilities and the patients they serve.

Specifically, when healthcare workers are in the midst of experiencing burnout, they are less efficient and focused in their work. This means that healthcare workers such as nurses will be less capable of providing patients with the high-quality care that they need to reach optimal health outcomes.

While this may not seem like a substantial problem at first glance, understanding the wide-reaching implications of this phenomenon will show that this is a significant problem that the American healthcare field needs to overcome.

Without addressing the problem of healthcare worker shortages, healthcare facilities across the country will be less effective in their duties and patients will likely suffer worse health outcomes as a result.

Healthcare Roles That Are Currently in High Demand

 As a result of the healthcare worker shortage, there are a wide variety of healthcare roles that are currently in high demand across the country. Those interested in entering the healthcare field can benefit from an understanding of which roles are the most in-demand in today’s evolving healthcare landscape.

These in-demand healthcare roles include:

 

  • Nursing: Nurses play a vital role in the current healthcare landscape. Without these professionals, medical facilities such as hospitals wouldn’t be able to operate effectively. As a result, aspiring professionals looking for secure career opportunities to pursue can find what they’re looking for in a nursing career. In addition, there are currently a variety of flexible and accelerated nursing programs that can help one achieve their healthcare career goals.

 

  • Pharmacy technician: Though there was already a brewing shortage of pharmacy technicians, the COVID-19 pandemic has made the situation even more dire. This has to do with the fact that much of the country depended on the specialized skillset of pharmacy technicians to administer vaccinations during the pandemic. This need for more of these professionals has not yet been met and pharmacy technicians are one of the most in-demand healthcare professionals in today’s world.

 

  • Healthcare administrator: Healthcare administrators play a key role in helping medical facilities function smoothly and effectively. Without the help of these professionals, medical facilities run the risk of running into a slew of administration-related problems that can result in patients receiving poor care and treatment. This being the case, becoming a healthcare administrator can provide one with a path to stepping into a high-demand job role in the current healthcare sector.

 

  • Respiratory therapist: During the COVID-19 pandemic, respiratory therapists proved to be incredibly valuable and useful healthcare professionals. Unfortunately, there is a growing shortage of these professionals in the majority of American medical facilities today. Consequently, those intent on pursuing an in-demand healthcare career role can find exactly what they’re looking for as a respiratory therapist.

 

Ultimately, the number of in-demand healthcare professional roles is growing with each passing day. While this is currently a huge problem for the healthcare sector, those looking for fulfilling and secure career paths now have an unprecedented opportunity to enter the healthcare field and find what they’re seeking.

The Healthcare Sector is in Dire Need of Skilled Workers

 American healthcare facilities are currently struggling in the midst of significant shortages of professional healthcare workers. As of right now, there doesn’t seem to be a clear end in sight for facilities battling these challenges. Many are hopeful that the next decade will see an influx of skilled medical workers that can help address these shortages and benefit the American healthcare system.


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.

Achieving Personal Growth Through Travel Nursing

Nursing is rarely short of opportunities for personal growth. Whether it’s through your interactions with patients, the daily challenges you have to overcome, or navigating choppy emotional waters, this is a career that contributes to your overall enrichment.

However, certain career paths may provide these personal growth benefits more than others. Travel nursing, for example, tests your nursing skills in a foreign environment — whether it’s in a different community, state, or country. With this challenge, you can learn about yourself as a person and a nurse, truly understand your capabilities, and grow from there.

Let’s take a look at how travel nursing can help you achieve personal growth and a few things you should consider to improve your potential outcomes.

Making Informed Choices

Even though travel nursing in general has the potential to help you grow as a person, it’s up to you to decide where and how you’d like to integrate this career choice in your life.

Base your decision on whether you’re ready to relocate, in general.  If you have a family, it’s certainly vital to examine how traveling might affect their needs, particularly when you have young children who require a sense of stability. Don’t forget to look into whether your intended destination will have the services — recreational, medical, and others — that you need to thrive.

Be honest with yourself about how a shift into travel nursing could impact your career goals. After all, your continued path as a medical professional is key to your personal growth as well as your professional development. Registered nurse jobs are everywhere, but if you’re in a specialized field, is there enough demand to keep you reliably employed? Consider where you’d like to be not just in the next year, but also in the next five years. Would your move into travel nursing disrupt or enhance this? You may find it helpful to look at industry growth statistics in different parts of the world to assess the likelihood of continued enriching opportunities.

Finding the Right Location

You could consider prioritizing locations that are in particular need of your skills. For example, certain regions around the world, especially, rural areas are in desperate need of medical professionals with specialty knowledge such as obstetrics or emergency care. If you’re looking to stay within the U.S., there is certainly no shortage of medically underserved areas/populations (MUA/Ps). You could target destinations that experience a general county-wide lack of primary care services, or those with key populations in need, such as those experiencing homelessness or migrant farm workers.

If you’d like to go further afield, you could join an organization such as Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) or the American Red Cross. Here, you could serve developing nations, populations that are in conflict zones, or people that are in the middle of public health or natural emergencies. These opportunities provide chances for personal growth, exposing you to various cultures and perspectives.

It’s also worth bearing in mind that some destinations have a reputation for personal growth opportunities. You can prioritize your locations based on what traits, skills, or values you’d like to focus on. For instance, Alaska could expose you to both natural wonders and extreme outdoor adventure possibilities. Travel nursing in Italy or Thailand can give you opportunities to be closer to religious centers that support your spiritual growth intentions.

Getting the Most From the Experience

You can get the most personal growth from your travel nursing if you’re more intentional about how you approach it. As you know, simply drifting through any experience is unlikely to result in the most meaningful results. Take the time to put yourself out there and make choices that’ll expose you to new experiences — whether abroad or in the U.S.

First and foremost, be open to exploring new cultures and communities. Remember that some of the greatest moments of growth come from sharing the values and perspectives that are outside of your usual comfort zone. Seek out local events and celebrations. Ask locals to talk to you about the significance of certain activities and traditions. Learn a little of the local language, wherever possible.

Even if you’re just moving to another state, there’s likely to be local cultural nuances to engage with. When you make genuine efforts here, you can better understand what’s important to the people you’re interacting with and the challenges they face. This develops a greater sense of empathy and human connection, which is important both as a nurse and a rounded human being.

Another purely practical way to get the most out of the experience is to save money. This can both reduce the stress you experience when you’re away and give you more funds to put toward activities for personal growth. Utilize methods to cut the costs of travel, including travel reservation apps that provide you with a wider range of options that could suit your budget. See if you can negotiate rates with airlines or accommodation providers, particularly if your travel nursing is to serve communities in need. If you’re running your own nursing business, you may also find your travel is tax deductible, so don’t forget to claim it.

Conclusion

Travel nursing can combine the personal growth opportunities that naturally arise from traveling to new places and from building your career as a nurse.

There’s certainly no shortage of demand for talented nurses across the world today. You should consider this an empowering thought that gives you the space to make the choices that are right for you and where you want your nursing skills to take you.


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.

Stress Relief Tips for Healthcare Workers

Up to 70% of healthcare workers feel stressed according to a newly released 2023 study. While having high amounts of stress isn’t good for anyone, it can result in unique consequences for healthcare workers, says Dr. Jenna Sage. This makes it especially important for individuals in healthcare roles to find ways to lower their stress levels.

Dr. Sage is Director of Organizational Wellness and Wellbeing at Ultimate Medical Academy, a nonprofit healthcare educational institution that offers a variety of diploma and degree programs both online and at its Clearwater, Florida campus. In addition to helping employees tend to their mental health, she also has a passion for helping healthcare workers reduce their stress—especially post-pandemic.

Why Stress Relief is Critical for Healthcare Workers

“A lot of healthcare workers are naturally nurturing and empathetic,” says Dr. Sage, “so they can struggle to regulate their own stress and wellness.” Put another way, you are so intent on helping your patients that you forget to help yourself. Dr. Sage compares this to the airlines’ instructions to put your mask on before putting a mask on someone else if the plane experiences issues. You can’t help anyone else if you don’t look after yourself first.

Plus, being in a healthcare role, you’re also exposed to the stress being experienced by your patients and their families. This can impact your stress levels further. Not to mention, patients can feel if you’re stressed and the last thing most healthcare workers want is to pass their stress onto others.

Not all stress is bad for you. The problem exists when stress exists consistently over several weeks or months at a time. This is referred to as chronic stress, which research indicates puts individuals at a greater risk of developing a variety of physical and mental health disorders. Chronic stress can even change brain structure, negatively affecting cognitive function and memory.

“Stress should be a temporary thing,” explains Dr. Sage. “The consequence of not relieving stress or having those resilience mechanisms is we lose that sense of balance. Stress is like a warning light to us. It’s really our body’s reminder to regulate ourselves and to find balance. When you start to see signs of stress in your physical body, you’re not sleeping as much, or you’re more agitated, it’s your body telling you that you need to regulate your stress.”

Effective Ways to Relieve Stress Quickly

If you feel like your warning light is going off and your body is out of balance, Dr. Sage shares that there are several things you can do to reduce your feelings of stress quickly, yet effectively. “These are going to sound hokey at first,” she admits, “but they really are the strategies that work.”

The first strategy that Dr. Sage recommends is breathing. “Take intentional deep breaths,” suggests Dr. Sage, which involves taking a series of deep inhales and exhales. Other relaxing breathing techniques include inhaling and exhaling to a count of four and box breathing. Box breathing is when you inhale, hold the breath, exhale, then hold before inhaling again.

Another way to relieve stress quickly is with kinesthetic activities, also referred to as hands-on activities. This includes doing things such as singing, moving your body, shaking it out, and walking outside. “The movement processes the chemicals involved with stress out of the body,” says Dr. Sage.

Stress also has a way of depleting your energy. What’s the solution when you’re feeling low on energy due to increased stress? “We have to find the things that put the juice in our batteries,” says Dr. Sage, adding that it’s important to recognize that what works for one person won’t necessarily work for someone else.

For example, while you might find that time with friends helps increase your energy levels while reducing your stress, others may experience the same effect by spending less time with friends. Another example is music. Some people play loud music as a way to de-stress while, for others, it’s soft music that provides this effect. Consider what makes you feel less stressed, then do it when you feel your stress levels start to rise.

It can also help to keep a positive mindset. We simply feel better when we’re positive, but positive thinking might have health advantages as well. One is that it may protect against inflammatory damage caused by stress, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. Other benefits include contributing to better decision-making and a greater focus on long-term goals.

Being positive is beneficial to patients too. “When you have a positive mindset, you pass that on to the people around you,” says Dr. Sage. So, you can help your patients experience less stress and more positivity by keeping your own mindset in a positive space.

Professional Help Available to Healthcare Workers

If you try to relieve your stress but nothing seems to work, it may be time to seek professional help. Dr. Sage recommends starting within your own healthcare system by accessing your Employee Assistance Program (EAP) if one is available. Several EAPs include mental health benefits. Ask if yours is one.

“There are also a lot of on-demand apps that are available at a low cost or discounted rate for healthcare workers,” she adds. Download one and you have access to a mental health professional anytime—and from anywhere—that you need them.

Don’t forget to ask your friends for recommendations. One of them might be seeing a therapist that they’re happy with and would be glad to give you their name.

You may even find support in a social media group. “I belong to social support groups on Facebook, and it’s been life-changing,” says Dr. Sage. Before joining a group, consider whether you have to answer questions to gain entry. If so, this is a sign that it may be moderated, which can lead to more respectful responses. Also, think about whether the comments on the page align with your beliefs. If they don’t, look for another group instead.

“There are a lot of times when we experience higher levels of stress because we care, because we want to do good, because we want people to be well,” says Dr. Sage. But there is one thing she wants you to remember: “You deserve just as much compassion as you give to your patients and their families. You’re supposed to care about yourself first.” Finding ways to relieve your stress can be a good first step in this process.


Christina M. DeBusk is a freelance writer who uses her passion for health and wellness to help healthcare businesses and professionals better reach their target audience.


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.