Why Now is a Better Time Than Ever to Career Pivot Within the Healthcare Industry

The healthcare industry is in a very interesting and unique time period right now. While healthcare will always be around, there are certain social and now industrial trends that are making a better time than ever to pivot careers within the healthcare industry.

Generational Changes

 

The number of senior citizens that will soon be needing regular care is making it a much more viable period for career move in the healthcare industry. With that influx of population numbers means that there will be a consistently high demand for many more positions within the healthcare industry as a whole.

The healthcare industry is projected to have the highest levels of industrial growth — an average of 14%, almost 7% more than other sectors.  As such all of the individual positions that make up the healthcare system as a whole will need to be staffed so the availability of new, and open positions all over the country will be easier to find.

Work-life Balance Changes

 

The pandemic did more than just disrupt human beings ability to connect face to face, the years of intense social isolation also created a unique gap in time where people began to rethink what was truly valuable in life. Many people ended up deciding that working a job they didn’t like, for little pay, and even less respect was a waste of time.

More people are vocal and looking for careers that will support a healthier work-lifestyle balance that allows for more freedom, flexibility, and even the removal of having to go into an office all together. While the healthcare industry will likely always maintain a heavy presence of traditional office spaces, there has also been a greater awareness and demand within healthcare workers for greater levels of respect, better pay, more vacation time, and a lower patient to worker ratio.

These things have always been of value to workers, but it was the intensity of the pandemic pushing people into shockingly high rates of burnout that really caused the industry standards to change.  Ever since then, the constant demands among workers for more acceptable standards has moved healthcare providers to write those policies into contracts. So for anyone looking to make a change in careers, either vertically or horizontally, they are likely to find much better benefits now than in years past.

Schooling is More Flexible

 

Changes in the healthcare industry mean that there is more training necessitated for certain positions. The education industry has also been going through a lot of changes, most of this is due to the need and demand created by business professionals and parents who need more flexibility in their schedules to go back to school. This demand has created a myriad of ways and means by which someone can go back to school for advanced degrees or to work on an additional certification such as with technology enhanced learning.

Hybrid programs that allow for on campus and online forums create more opportunities and availability to tailor programs into the type of knowledge base that one may need to look good on a resume. Additionally, the number of schools that are offering these adjustable programs and classes means that there are plenty of universities and institutions to choose from so almost any budget can be accommodated.

Increased Availability of Jobs


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, ten of the top twenty jobs that are projected to be the fastest-growing jobs in America over the next decade or so are all in the healthcare industry. The projections? An expected 8 million more jobs in that industry alone. Much of this can be traced back to the quickly aging population of Baby Boomers who will be considered senior citizens in the coming decades. That higher demand means that there will be plenty of open positions.

Here are just a few of the jobs that are expected to garner great demand: Physicians, geriatric nurses, hospice care providers, retirement home workers, therapists, research assistants, hospital administrators, and of course nurses of all kinds. The doors are open and HR personnel are already looking to try and staff for the years to come.

It may be much easier and less competitive to look for jobs now rather than in a few years when things start to fill out.


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.

3 Things To Keep in Mind When Looking for Remote Healthcare Jobs

Working from home can be a godsend if you value your work-life balance or have responsibilities outside of work. You can spend the time you would’ve spent commuting looking after kids, meeting up with friends, and pursuing your favorite hobbies.

However, finding fulfilling remote healthcare jobs can be a struggle. Everyone’s looking for telehealth openings today and the competition is fierce online.

You also need to keep your preferences in mind when searching for remote healthcare jobs. How will you transition to working from home and what support will you need to be successful? Answering these questions is key if you want to hit the ground running when you land your first remote position.

Skills You’ll Need

Historically, remote work in healthcare has been all but impossible. Patients needed to come into a physical healthcare facility to see doctors and nurses, and were best served by staff who were there with them. However, the recent rise of remote work has changed this paradigm. As such, 45% of all healthcare workers now have the opportunity to work remotely at least some of the time.

The rise of remote work is encouraging if you’re looking to work from home. But, before you begin buying home office decor, you’ll need to re-skill for remote work.

Start by boosting your communication skills. This is particularly important if you plan on leading a team and need to keep everyone on the same page. You can facilitate better decision-making and improve your remote collaboration by learning to leverage synchronous and asynchronous participation. Visual activities, like virtual sticky notes, give everyone a chance to participate in remote meetings regardless of their communication style. This ensures you get the most out of your team members.

You’ll also need to improve your ability to request and review feedback. Gathering feedback is key when working remotely, as you can’t rely on cues like body language to decide if you’re doing a good job. Solicit feedback by giving everyone a chance to provide reviews and document the changes you plan to make based on the answers you receive.

Going remote can be emotionally taxing. You aren’t always able to connect with patients when working online and may be frustrated when telehealth technology doesn’t work correctly. To address these issues and reduce your stress, you should improve important soft skills for remote work like:

  • Emotional intelligence
  • Cultural literacy
  • Time management
  • Adaptability

These soft skills will serve you well when a server goes down or a patient can’t access their health portal. An adaptable, culturally informed approach will help you serve folks from all walks of life, regardless of their physical location.

Compliance

Going remote can restore your work-life balance and help you connect with people from around the country. This is particularly empowering if you want to serve folks who live in rural locations and rely heavily on telehealth services.

However, before you switch to a telehealth career, you’ll need to receive an appropriate license to operate remotely. This is particularly important if you plan to work across state lines. The American Medical Association explains that receiving a full license in a new state can take up to 60 days. This gives the Federation Credentials Verification Service time to check your credentials properly and protects the public from harm.

You’ll also need to stay up to date with changes to HIPAA guidance. This requires a significant effort on your end and emphasizes the importance of risk management in healthcare. A robust compliance and risk management policy can ensure HIPAA compliance, enhance your reputation as a healthcare worker, and eliminate privacy concerns that may arise when you go remote.

Remote Work Success

Work with your employer when making the transition to remote work. Most healthcare providers already have a robust telehealth and remote work policy in place and will be able to help you navigate the change. This is key if you work with sensitive data, as you may need an encrypted wireless router and a VPN if you want to remain HIPAA compliant when working from home.

Your employer may have funds set aside to help you turn a room in your home into an office. This is key if you have kids and need to focus while they’re playing nearby. You may even consider converting your garage into a home office. A garage makes for the perfect home office space, as it’s on your property yet gives you a buffer from home life’s trials and tribulations. When modifying your garage, focus on changes like:

  • Keypad locks for enhanced security
  • Insulation to maintain a stable temperature
  • Suitable furniture to support your posture when working
  • Power strips to charge your devices

Remember to add a personal touch once you’ve taken care of the basics. This can enhance your productivity and transform your dusty garage into a workspace that supports your career.

Conclusion

Going remote can improve your career trajectory and give you the work-life balance you’ve always wanted. However, before taking the plunge, you’ll need to re-skill to remain compliant. Re-skilling for remote work can improve your productivity and help you make the most of your new-found home office space.


 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.

Geographical Earnings: Comparing Nursing Salaries Across the USA

Over the last several decades, the nursing profession has risen in popularity among aspiring professionals. One key reason for this is the financial stability found in these roles along with opportunities for career advancement.

This being the case, many are curious about the differences in salaries that nurses can command in different geographical locations. Gaining a deeper understanding of how different locations compare in terms of nursing salaries can make it easier for one to pursue a role in the industry.

Here is a comparison of nursing salaries across the USA.

The States with the Highest Nursing Salaries

For aspiring nurses, it’s important to understand which states allow them to command the highest salaries. This knowledge allows these young professionals to command the best salaries for their work.

States that typically rank highest for nursing salaries include:

California

In addition to employing the highest percentage of nurses, California also reports the highest nursing salaries. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, registered nurses in California made a mean annual wage of $133,340 in May of 2022.

When it comes to nurse practitioner salaries, the case is no different and California also ranks at the top. Experts estimate that the annual mean wage of nurse practitioners in California was $151,830 in 2021.

The high salaries offered to nurses in California make it an amazing choice for nurses entering the field and veteran nurses alike.

Massachusetts

Though it’s not a state that typically comes to mind when thinking of high-paying medical practices, Massachusetts is one of the states with the highest nursing salaries. The BLS reports that the mean annual wage for registered nurses in Massachusetts was $104,150 in May of 2022.

In terms of nurse practitioner wages, Massachusetts also ranks above most other American states. The annual mean wage of nurse practitioners in Massachusetts in 2021 was $129,540.

For nurses just entering the field and for those looking to step into advanced positions to increase their salaries, Massachusetts is an amazing place to work as a nurse.

The States with the Lowest Nursing Salaries

Just like it’s vital for nurses to be aware of the top-paying states, it’s also important for them to be aware of which states rank the lowest in terms of nursing salaries.

Here are the states with the lowest nursing salaries.

South Dakota

For aspiring nurses from South Dakota, the nursing salaries in the state are bleak. The BLS reports that the annual mean wage of registered nurses in South Dakota was $64,500 in May of 2022. This is less than half of the annual mean wage of registered nurses in California in the same year.

For nurse practitioners, salaries in South Dakota also fall under the national average. According to the job board website Ziprecruiter, the average salary of nurse practitioners in 2023 is $117,341. Though this may seem like a lucrative salary at first glance, it’s important to remember that this is an advanced nursing role and less-advanced registered nurses in other states are commanding higher salaries than this.

West Virginia

West Virginia is one of the lowest-rated states in terms of nursing salaries. The BLS reported that the annual mean wage of registered nurses in West Virginia was $72,230 in May of 2022. This is more than $15,000 less than the national annual mean salary of registered nurses which is $89,010.

According to Ziprecruiter, nurse practitioner salaries in West Virginia are also disheartening. This organization estimates that the annual average pay for these professionals in West Virginia is $94,428.

Why It’s Important to Understand Nursing Salaries Across the Country

Though many nurses don’t even think about looking at nursing salaries in various areas, understanding the breakdown of nursing wages can make a huge impact on one’s career.

In fact, changing the state that one works in as a nurse can even, in some cases, double one’s salary. However, it is also important to remember other factors when deciding where to practice nursing.

States with the highest nursing salaries often have the highest living costs as well. This can make amazing wages less significant after expenses. Even so, understanding the range of salaries nurses can command empowers current and aspiring nurses to get the most for their skills and hard work.

Nursing Salaries Can Vary Widely

Though people are aware that locations can make a difference in job salaries, few are aware of how significant these salary discrepancies can be for nurses in different states. To be capable of making more informed decisions, it’s essential that nurses and those interested in entering the field have a thorough understanding of which states have the best and worst nursing salaries.


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Exploring the Importance of Communication Skills in the Healthcare Industry

The world relies so much on the healthcare industry. It employs thousands of new workers every year. It’s where people go to get care and improve their holistic health. And we rely on healthcare professionals of various disciplines to develop new medicines, treatments, healthcare standards, policies, and so forth to drive health and wellness forward.

With so much riding on the healthcare industry, a lot can go wrong if any challenges aren’t adequately addressed. One of the most significant challenges is communication.

Let’s dive into why communication skills are so critical in the industry and how you can develop yours to work better with fellow healthcare professionals and deliver higher-quality care to patients.

Why Effective Communication is Critical in the Healthcare Industry

Effective communication is up there on the list of most important elements contributing to the healthcare industry’s success. However, without it, many of the healthcare industry’s problems persist, such as organizational silos and difficult patient relationships.

To avoid this, healthcare workers need to work together in several key ways to improve the patient experience.

Collaborate with colleagues in different departments

Organizational silos, as mentioned earlier, are an issue in the healthcare industry. It can typically occur when individual groups in an organization tend to stick to themselves. You typically see it with employees who work in the same department, role, or location.

Silos are dangerous because employees aren’t as forthcoming with information and documents with other departments, leading to a lack of communication across departments.

Excellent communication is the only way to facilitate interprofessional collaboration. You can’t collaborate effectively with other people in the absence of communication. You need to be able to reach out to anyone, disclose what you need, and devise a plan to get it done with that person or people efficiently. Patient and organizational outcomes depend on it.

Improve relationships and communication with patients

It’s no secret that many patients struggle with their relationships with their healthcare providers. For example, many haven’t developed a genuine enough relationship with their provider to be open and honest about sensitive information, impacting their ability to get the care they need.

Many patients struggle with the complex medical terminology doctors use and have difficulty understanding what to do. Or, there’s a lack of empathy shown by providers in emotionally-charged situations, which ultimately convinces a patient not to come back.

Fortunately, most of the challenges with patient relationships and conversations can be solved with effective communication.

Something as simple as sitting down with a patient for conversations rather than standing over them can make the patient feel more comfortable with you. Speaking in plain language and ensuring everything is confidential can help build trust and open up the lines of communication for better relationships as well.

Better working conditions at healthcare organizations

One of the reasons poor communication exists in the healthcare industry is because of unmanageable workloads. A 2021 Mercer study suggested that we’ll be just over 3 million healthcare workers short in critical healthcare occupations like nursing assistants come 2026.

This means more demanding work schedules for those who are employed in the industry., and, in turn, a rise in burnt-out healthcare employees who have no choice but to rush through appointments with patients to meet the demand.

This leads to poor communication because they can’t spend the time they need to with patients to ensure they fully understand what’s going on with their health and how to address it.

With effective communication skills, you can speak up about the work schedule you need to ensure quality patient interactions. You can advocate for better work schedules and encourage others to do the same.

In addition, when you effectively communicate with your managers and colleagues, you can determine how to best support each other’s needs.

Practical Tips for Developing Your Communication Skills

Effective communication is obviously a must-have in any healthcare organization. As important as it is for the entire industry to adopt good communication practices, you only have control over what you do.

It’s essential to lead by example and develop your communication skills first. That will hopefully inspire your colleagues, managers, and other staff around you to do the same. You can do that in the following steps:

  • Determine how your communication style can improve. Start with understanding where you fall short with communication and examining each interaction you have with patients and coworkers.
  • Make every patient and coworker interaction an opportunity to improve your communication skills. Set a communication-oriented goal for the day and do it in every conversation. For example, if your goal is to grow your listening skills, you could ask two follow-up questions in every patient or colleague interaction to work on active listening.
  • Learn all of the communication tools implemented by your organization. Unified communications on a single platform in the workplace make real-time communication across departments doable, thus enabling more accurate and efficient patient care. Set aside time each day to get to know the features and functions of your unified communications platform. Make a list of any other communication tools your organization uses and get familiar with those as well.

When going through each step, take your time. The more care you take in evaluating your communication style, the more you’ll understand how you can improve and how you can make the patient experience all the better.

Conclusion

The longer poor communication exists in the healthcare industry, the more time it will take to achieve high-quality patient care for everyone and seamless communication across departments and facilities.

Do your part in achieving effective communication within your organization by growing your personal communication skills with the tips 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.

Pros and Cons of Being an FNP in a Rural Community

Choosing to work in healthcare is a smart career choice. The demand for these services continues to grow as the population ages. Plus, the work can be extremely fulfilling!

Nurse practitioners in particular are becoming a bigger part of the healthcare field, filling in care gaps and helping to improve preventative care. As a nurse practitioner, you can offer a lot of versatility to group practices, hospitals, or communities as an independent practitioner (depending on your state’s laws).

Once you’ve become a family nurse practitioner, you have to consider your options. Would it be better to get a job in an urban environment, where you’ll be one of many NPs working to keep the community healthy? Or would you thrive in a rural community, providing local care to a smaller population?

Here are some of the pros and cons of choosing to work as an FNP in a rural community.

The Demand for Healthcare Providers is Strong in Rural Areas

Many rural communities do not have good local healthcare options. This means that residents have to travel long distances to get the care they need. Ultimately, the lack of local services can lead to poorer health outcomes since people are likely to put off getting the care they need or do not have the resources to travel for their care. When community health services become available, everyone benefits.

It can be hard to attract qualified healthcare providers to rural communities. Why? Because most people prefer to live closer to urban centers and all the amenities they offer. This means that there are more opportunities and demand in rural areas, despite the smaller population numbers.

NPs Have More Autonomy and Scope of Practice

As long as you’re practicing in a state that allows FNPs to have lots of autonomy, you’ll be able to utilize that autonomy more fully in a rural healthcare job. With fewer healthcare providers available, everyone needs to provide a wide range of services with little supervision. FNPs who enjoy a large scope of practice and working independently are likely to thrive in a rural practice.

It’s Easy to Make a Difference and Build Relationships

In a rural community, you’ll really get to know your patients. You’ll have the opportunity to build relationships with them and get to know them. It’s also easier to see the difference you make in people’s lives. As a healthcare provider, you’ll get the chance to help reduce the health disparities that affect rural residents.

Being part of a rural community and providing care can be an incredible experience. Instead of working with thousands of patients and getting to know very few of them, you’ll be working directly within your community and providing care to your neighbors.

Resources and Collaborations Will Be Limited in Rural Practice

One of the downsides of rural practice is the lack of resources. A small hospital or practice won’t have the budget for the latest technology or the patient volume to support certain types of equipment. This can be a challenge and creates barriers to providing top-notch care.

Supplies and technology aside, you won’t have access to the same collaborative environment as a rural FNP as you would in an urban or suburban area. It will be more challenging to work through tricky diagnoses or collaborate on complex treatment plans without a network of specialists nearby.

In some cases, rural FNPs have to refer their patients to specialists that practice in far-off cities. This can be difficult emotionally, especially if you know that someone does not have the means to travel so far and see an expensive specialist.

Rural Living Can Be Isolating

Many people who take a job in rural healthcare settings struggle with the transition. It can be very isolating to live in sparsely populated areas. FNPs who decide to work in a rural community need to be proactive with self-care and making friends to fight off the potential for loneliness and isolation.

The Challenge of Maintaining Professional Boundaries

Rural communities are small and often have to rely on one another in many different ways. While that can be a huge positive for community-minded people, there are some downsides when it comes to privacy.

In a small town or rural community, everyone is likely to know your business. It can be difficult to maintain your privacy and professional boundaries when it’s normal in your community to gossip about your neighbors.

Embracing the Rewards and Challenges of FNP Work in Rural America

If you want to make a difference as a healthcare provider and work more independently, then becoming an FNP in a rural community could be a great fit. Embracing the rewards and challenges of healthcare in these settings can be a great way to grow as a healthcare provider while embracing a simpler life.

However, it’s important to consider your preferences and personality in making the decision. Weigh the pros and cons and be honest with yourself about whether life in the country or the wilderness is right for you before you decide.


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.

The Future of Healthcare: Why Nurse Practitioners are Poised to Play a Major Role

Healthcare in the United States has been in a rough spot for— well…quite some time. Covid certainly didn’t invent the struggles of Western healthcare but it did intensify them. Hospitals all across the country are suffering from dangerous personnel shortages that have made it challenging to deliver even basic levels of care to certain communities.

It’s a bad situation. But while the number of nurses shrinks, nurse practitioners have been growing enormously in prominence.

In this article, we talk about what nurse practitioners do, and how they are poised to shape the future of healthcare.

Nurse Practitioners Declutter the Healthcare System

One of the healthcare system’s greatest problems in the United States—

That’s a long list, friend.

Fair enough, one of the many problems is that hospitals have more patients than they do people who are qualified to see them. Nurse practitioners can help to relieve some of that burden by providing much of the same care that doctors have traditionally offered.

There are limitations to the extent that this is allowable. Many of these regulations are regional. For example, some states require nurse practitioners to get a doctor to sign off on all of their determinations, which can nullify the time-saving benefits.

However, in states with more permissive laws, this can be an enormous boon. Keep in mind that it takes a lot less time for someone to become a nurse practitioner than it does for someone to become an MD. This means that it is much easier for hospitals to staff up on nurse practitioners.

NPs can work on a wide range of different floors, from neonatal to maternal, allowing hospitals to declutter, and patients to get better quicker care. Fewer patient bottlenecks is better for everyone.

NPs in Private Practice

One of the big appeals of becoming a nurse practitioner is that it can allow you to effectively open up your own practice. Like so many things concerning the life of an NP, this will depend on where you live. However, in many states, nurse practitioners can make diagnoses and prescribe medication just like a general practitioner.

Sometimes, an NP’s ability to do this will be contingent on how long they have been practicing. Other times, it’s simply a matter of getting licensed and setting up a practice.

This is great for patients because it gives them more opportunities to receive care. Many people, particularly those living in areas with limited access to healthcare professionals, are finding that they have to wait more than a year to get a wellness visit.

This is a frustrating, sometimes even dangerous dynamic that more nurse practitioners could help solve.

If you are interested in becoming a nurse practitioner in the hopes of setting up your own practice, do some research about your local laws before you get too far in the process.

It is a Good Option for Burnt-out Nurses

You can’t seem to turn on the news without hearing more about the ongoing healthcare crisis that is taking place in the United States. Since Covid-19 hit it seems that hospitals everywhere have been dangerously understaffed.

This was brought to renewed attention a few months ago when a nurse working in Washington made national headlines for dialing 911 after her hospital reached a breaking point and had too few employees to treat their current patient load.

While that episode was dramatic, it was far from unique. Hospitals everywhere have been overwhelmed by the recent nursing shortage. While it is tempting to lay this crisis at Covid’s feet, the truth is that it has been a long time coming.

For years, experts have been warning about this. The problem? Many people have been leaving nursing, and not enough are coming up to replace them.

The culprit is burnout. Nursing is hard, so people look for different jobs. The healthcare industry, and all the people that it serves suffer as a result.

To become a nurse practitioner is to pivot into a similar, but perhaps more comfortable gig. NPs make more money, work friendlier hours, and get to work with patients on an entirely different scale.

In an industry that is in desperate need of personnel retention, more NPs would be an enormous boon with truly transformative potential.

Where are We At Now?

It sounds like more nurse practitioners would be a great thing for this country. And that’s all well and good, but it doesn’t really matter if we don’t have them, does it? Where are we at now?

That’s a good question. While it wouldn’t be right to say that the United States healthcare system’s need for nurse practitioners is being met, it is fair to say that the profession’s growth rate is in promising shape.

Between 2012-2022 the number of nurse practitioners nationwide grew by a whopping 30%—more than three times the national average for professional growth.

That’s an impressive figure by any metric, and all the more notable when compared to the numbers for regular nurses. RNs are expected to grow by only 6% in the next ten years.

It’s hard to contextualize exactly what this means for the American healthcare system. On the one hand, more nurse practitioners are great. This is definitely a “the more the merrier,” type of situation.

That said, we do still need bedside nurses, and that job market is still in questionable condition. It seems that no matter what happens, the US healthcare system will look different ten years from now than it does today.

A healthy stock of nurse practitioners won’t be able to solve all of our problems, but they certainly will help the transition into a brighter future.


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.