Mental Health Support Strategies for Healthcare Personnel

On the surface, nursing jobs meet so many of the criteria that lead to workplace satisfaction. They can elevate a person’s community standing. Most people recognize and appreciate the services of all healthcare workers, but perhaps none more than nurses.

They provide a person with meaningful work that they can be proud of. In a world where workplace satisfaction is almost non-existent, that is an enormous benefit that can’t be ignored. They even command salaries well above the national median.

So why are nurses leaving the healthcare profession in droves? At the time of writing this, around half of all nurses starting today will have quit within the next five years.

A key reason: Burnout. Nursing is a stressful job. What can be done to address the mental health needs of healthcare workers?

Understanding the Problem

Nurses report heightened rates of stress, depression, and anxiety. A wellness survey conducted by the American Nurses Foundation revealed that 40% of nurses say they experience feelings of depression. For context, rates of depression among the general population hover at around 14%.

That’s a MAJOR difference— one that could account for the high turnover rate in nursing almost on its own.

What about the job is so difficult for people to process from a mental health perspective? Nurses:

  • See life at its hardest. When your job is to take care of people during what may very well be the hardest thing they’ve ever gone through, you may naturally find that their pain influences the way you feel. The extent to which this is the case will depend on the job. School nurses, for example, do not experience nearly as much trauma as those working in the hospice setting. Still, it remains a fact that most people who come before a nurse are there because something went wrong in their life.
  • Nurses deal with death much more often than the general population. Imagine that you’ve been taking care of a patient for the last two weeks. You aren’t friends, of course. Though you see them in an incredibly intimate setting, your relationship is strictly professional. Still, you feel like you know them. You’ve met their kids. Witnessed their fears and their vulnerabilities. You’ve come to enjoy popping into their room, knowing they will have a kind word or even a joke. Think about what it would feel like to watch that person die. Nurses have that experience all the time. Afterward, they don’t sit down with a therapist or social worker. They may not have any time at all to process their feelings. They keep working and then go home to people who can’t possibly understand what it is like to deal with death every day.
  • The job is stressful. Nurses make decisions that could mean life or death for their patients. That’s an enormous burden— one that very naturally translates into heightened levels of stress and anxiety.

To make matters worse, the working conditions that most nurses experience don’t translate well into good mental health. They work twelve-hour shifts, sometimes at night or on weekends and holidays. They are always on their feet. Work-life balance can be tricky.

These factors accumulate into a work environment that doesn’t produce ideal mental health conditions. What can be done about it?

Modifying Working Conditions

One of the simplest fixes is to give nurses scheduling options that are more conducive to their mental health. Twelve-hour shifts are designed mostly for administrative purposes. It’s easier to plan for two-shift rotations than it would be for three or four.

Admittedly, some nurses like this arrangement. While your work days are crazy, it gives you more flexibility with the rest of your week. When you only work three out of every seven days, it’s easier to plan trips and enjoy more time with your family.

However, the cons may very well outweigh the pros. The human mind is only designed to sustain high levels of concentration for around four hours a day. That doesn’t mean you are a zombie the rest of the time. It does mean you have a limited window to produce your best work. Is it wise to have healthcare workers so far exceeding that window?

Hospitals that switch to shorter scheduling sequences may boost the quality of concerns while improving patient outcomes.

Providing Mental Health Resources

It can also help simply to connect nurses with more opportunities to address their mental health needs. For example, counselors who are available when the job gets hard. Supplementary services (health, fitness, mindfulness) designed to elevate overall quality of life.

Even communication channels among hospital staff make it easier for nurses to vent. Many nurses lack social outlets for their work-related stress. Providing that sense of community could boost retention and improve the way nurses feel about their work.

Mentorship Programs

Mentorship programs are particularly valuable for new hires but can be useful for any working nurse. They provide that valuable social outlet mentioned earlier, but they also connect new hires or struggling professionals with someone who can relate to their concerns and provide good advice.

Businesses that implement robust mentorship programs typically experience much higher employee retention than those that do not. Why? The employees feel more comfortable with their work.

Conclusion

There isn’t much that can be done about the core mental health challenges that are baked into nursing. Nurses have constant difficult experiences. It’s just part of the job description. However, hospitals can do more to help them by providing a robust support network.

Do mentorship programs or group communication apps take the pain away when a patient dies? Of course not. Taken together, however, these considerations can produce a better overall work environment. The key is to give healthcare professionals the tools they need to feel better on and off the job.

Doing so will not only improve retention but also boost patient outcomes.


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


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

How Will Increased Remote Work in Healthcare Impact Both Employees and Patients?

Some jobs just can’t be done from home. Teachers do their best work in classrooms surrounded by students. Salespeople continue to value the personal face-to-face relationships that fuel their success. And try ordering a cappuccino from a barista who is working from home.

For a long time, it was assumed that healthcare workers fell into this same category of employment. They had to go into their workplace because that’s where all the patients are, right?

It turns out, there are a lot of tasks nurses and other healthcare professionals can do from home. In this article, we take a look at the rise of remote work in the world of healthcare.

Who Gets to Work From Home?

Hospitals have enormous administrative staffs. When you drive past a city hospital that is tall enough to poke at the moon, it’s natural to wonder just how many people are sick in this town. Is it safe to even be here?

Fear not! While much of this large hypothetical building is dedicated to patient care, an equally large portion of it may be serving an administrative function. Desk work that can just as readily be done from home.

Many are surprised to learn that nurses, doctors, and nurse practitioners are also getting the opportunity to work more from home. No, that doesn’t mean seeing patients in their dining rooms.

“Frontline healthcare workers,” as they are often called do not only see patients. That is an important part of their jobs, but they also do a lot on their computers, documenting details and performing other paperwork requirements.

A recent study found that nurses working twelve-hour shifts often only spend a quarter of that time in patient rooms. The rest of the time they are parked in front of the keyboard.

The implication of this figure is complicated. Just because nurses aren’t always in patient rooms does not necessarily mean they aren’t needed on their floors.

Healthcare workers know all too well that things on the job are peaceful— until they aren’t. When patients need help, they can’t wait.

Most hospitals don’t have the option to significantly reduce their staffing assignments to allow for more at-home work.

However, they do have the option to play around with “flex hours,” letting those who can complete some of their work at home under more flexible circumstances.

Below, we take a look at how this might impact healthcare.

Improved Productivity

The technology that allows people to work from home has existed for a long time. Working from home failed to catch on during the early stages of the Internet partially because many worried it would harm productivity.

After several years of almost standardized remote work, it’s safe to say that the productivity myth has been thoroughly debunked.

In many cases, people actually get more done at home than they did at the workplace. Offices—or hospitals as the case may be— are full of small but potent productivity killers. Desk conversations. Meetings that could have been emails. And we can’t forget the commute.

Most people spend thirty minutes each way just driving to their jobs.

Remote work can and often does cut the fat out of a person’s work routine. For healthcare workers, this means that they will have more time and energy to devote to the important aspects of their job— choices that directly influence patient outcomes.

Easier Recruitment

The potential to work from home is still a rare and enticing benefit in healthcare. Consider this development from the perspective of a rural hospital that has struggled to fully staff its floors. They simply can’t convince new nurses to move out into the country for a job when they could just as easily find work closer to home.

But if they could leverage a hybrid schedule in their recruitment efforts? This may be enough of an enticement to win over members of a generation who are more focused on work/life balance than any other employment consideration.

Improved Job Satisfaction

That’s the ultimate goal of hybrid work schedules. Today’s employers are constantly competing on quality of life grounds because that’s what modern employees want— and because it is often cheaper than leveraging higher salaries.

The remote work movement has been generally well-received in how it provides people with improved work/life balance.

Improving job satisfaction for doctors and nurses can go a long way toward reducing unsustainable turnover numbers.

Potential Problems

Remote work hasn’t been perfect. Common issues include technical difficulties—if a person’s WIFI cuts out, that simple issue can kill an entire day’s worth of productivity— loneliness, and balancing the schedules of people who live in all different parts of the world.

Most of these major remote work issues don’t pertain to the hybrid work environment that most healthcare facilities are implementing.

That doesn’t mean that remote work in healthcare will be painless. It’s new and “new,” often means challenging.

However, the circumstances for a successful rollout are certainly present.

How Will Patients Be Impacted?

All of the benefits described above should trickle down to patients. Burnout is a very real problem and one that can have a MAJOR impact on job performance. When doctors and nurses feel less stress, they will almost always engage more effectively at work.

This can have a very big impact on future patient outcomes.

Why Now?

Healthcare shortages are still very real. The United States labor market has seen wages cool off as the economy finally rebounds completely from Covid. Hospitals that were offering sometimes fairly large salary increases to attract new employees have largely stepped back from that strategy.

They need to leverage incentives to attract employees and the potential to work from home is a (relatively) easy way to do that.

It’s also an effective one. Burnout is such a major cause of turnover and remote work can help alleviate it.

Wage stagnation certainly should not be the consequence of this move, but if hospitals want to find more ways to entice doctors and nurses to stick around, this is a good way to do it.

The benefits will undoubtedly be passed down to the patients as well.

Less burnout means less stress. Less stress typically means better patient outcomes. Right now, remote work seems like an effective way to address so many of the issues plaguing Western healthcare.


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.

Why Emergency Room Roles are in High Demand

Did you know? Healthcare is the fastest-growing field in the United States. This declaration comes to us straight from the horse’s mouth. The Bureau of Labor Statistics published findings in the summer of 2023 that indicated doctors and nurses would be in high demand for the next ten years.

This information isn’t radically surprising for anyone who has been paying attention to the news. During Covid-19 we couldn’t stop hearing about how hospitals didn’t have the staff to handle the enormous increase in patient loads.

Last year, an ER nurse made national news after calling emergency services to request backup help. There hadn’t been a bus crash that sent 90 people to the hospital all at once. They simply didn’t have enough staff to cover a normal Saturday evening.

What is contributing to these shortages, and how can the demand for doctors and nurses be seen as an opportunity?

What’s Going On?

While it’s tempting to lay the healthcare shortage at Covid’s feet— you couldn’t ask for a better villain when explaining a problem— the truth is a little more complicated than that. Healthcare shortages have been forecasted for more than a decade.

Analysts have been sounding the alarm as more and more nurses retire or leave the profession for different work, while not enough new nurses come up through the ranks to replace them.

Healthcare was already in a vulnerable state when the pandemic came along to shape things up. Today, we are still dealing with the ramifications of those combined factors.

To make matters worse, there still hasn’t been a solution to healthcare’s primary problem: high turnover.

Nursing jobs are very hard. Emotionally. Physically. Mentally. Most nurses work twelve-hour shifts, even though studies indicate that the average person only has enough mental gas in the tank to produce four hours of sustained concentration per day.

That, of course, does not mean that a person is useless after they hit their peak. It does mean their efforts will be a matter of diminishing returns.

Eight hours is quite a bit of diminishing returns.

Even after years of healthcare shortages, the industry has not come up with a comprehensive response to the problem.

What could help correct healthcare shortages?

Quality of Life Considerations

About half of all nurses leave the profession within three years of starting. That’s a disastrous ratio that very directly reflects on the experience most healthcare professionals encounter on the job. What about working as a nurse drives so many people away?

  • The shifts are long.
  • The hours cover holidays, evenings, and weekends.
  • The work is brutal.

Most nurses work cripplingly long hours. They see hard things on the job, and they often become isolated from their friends and family based on the hours they keep. It’s hard to connect with your loved ones when you are exhausted all the time and going to bed when they wake up.

Some hospitals are trying to correct this by providing mental health resources and revamping their scheduling practices to make the job more sustainable.
These steps are still very much a work in progress, but they are making things a little bit easier for nurses all over the country.

How This Benefits You

If you are considering getting a job as a nurse, now is a good time to do it. It’s true that the work is not easy. It’s also true that many of the issues described in the earlier paragraphs are far from resolved. Many hospitals have not made any significant headway on improving quality of life-considerations for their nursing staff.

Even those who have can’t do anything about the emotionally challenging aspects of the work. Nursing is a hard job and it is always going to take a special type of person to do it. If you can dedicate yourself to helping others, if you can accept the fact that you’ll constantly witness human tragedy at work only to be sent home to live an ordinary life (it’s hard to sit down to dinner with your family after watching someone die, but nurses do it every day) nursing might be the right job for you.

Here are a few reasons why now is a particularly good time.

  • It’s a seller’s market: Many hospitals are offering signing bonuses and other incentives to attract new nurses. While it’s not a job known for its perks, now is a good time to apply a little bit of leverage to the hiring process.
  • You won’t have any trouble finding work: There have been times when nurses have had a hard time finding jobs. It’s not that we have had a major nursing surplus in recent years. Rather, it’s always been a logistic problem. Regardless of the overall state of employment, every town only needs a set number of nurses. When they hit that number it could be years before the local hospital system needs to make a new hire. While that is still a problem in some parts of the country, the dynamic has shifted hard in the other direction. Now, most hospitals need help and a nurse seeking employment today should have no trouble getting their desired placement.
  • The culture is changing: Slowly but surely, the healthcare worker culture is shifting in a more sustainable direction. Some hospitals are implementing flex scheduling and other quality-of-life considerations that are helping nurses avoid burnout and stay on the job for longer.

If you are interested in becoming a nurse but don’t know what steps to take, there are plenty of resources available to help.

Choosing the Right Nursing School

Here is a quick cheat sheet that should help you find a good nursing school program for your needs.

  • Consider online classes: While nursing has a very obvious and inextricable hands-on component, you can complete much of your educational requirements from home. Remote learning provides a flexible learning environment— particularly for people who are already working or raising a family.
  • Consider accelerated curriculums: If you don’t want to wait four years to start working as a nurse, you can get your qualifications completed much quicker with an accelerated program. While they do require a lot of work, they allow you to meet your requirements within 18 months.
  • Understand your options: If you already have a degree you can skip your gen-ed requirements and get certified as a nurse much quicker. It’s another great way to accelerate your career.

Ready to get started? Begin looking into nursing programs today so that you can make a meaningful and much-needed contribution toward the future of healthcare.


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.

Managing Healthcare Shift Work Challenges: Strategies for Well-being and Professional Growth

Shift work is a crucial part of many healthcare jobs, especially in hospitals, emergency services, and various clinics. It can offer you the flexibility you need, along with a higher pay rate due to night shift differentials. However, it can also have a significant impact on your mental health, lifestyle, and overall well-being. To make an informed decision about whether a particular shift pattern is right for you, it’s important to consider all the pros and cons carefully. So, don’t rush into it blindly – take the time to weigh up the options, learn how to manage the challenges of shift work, and make the best choice for your health and happiness.

Understanding the Effects of Shift Work

Sleep & Circadian Rhythms

Working irregular shifts, especially those that involve night shifts, can play havoc with your body’s natural circadian rhythms. This can lead to sleep disorders that can have a profound effect on your mood, cognitive abilities, and overall health. Research has shown that disrupted sleep patterns can cause a lot of damage to your body, both physically and mentally. So, it’s always a good idea to maintain a healthy sleep routine to ensure your body gets the rest it deserves.

Mental Health

Shift workers, especially those who work at night, might be at a higher risk of experiencing mental health issues such as stress, depression, and anxiety. Studies highlighted by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) have revealed that the irregular hours and isolation that often come with non-traditional work schedules can make these feelings even worse. It’s important to take care of your mental health, regardless of what type of work you do.

Lifestyle and Social Impact

Working non-standard hours can negatively impact your personal life and relationships with family and friends. You may find it difficult to coordinate your free time with those who work or study during regular business hours, which could cause you to feel lonely or left out of important events and milestones.

Physical Health

Irregular working hours and the need for quick, less healthy meal options can have a negative impact on physical health. The World Health Organization has identified shift work that disrupts circadian rhythms as a potential cause of cancer. Furthermore, the lack of regular physical activity due to fatigue or time constraints can contribute to long-term health issues.

It’s Not All Bad: Benefits of Shift Work

Don’t worry, we’re not going to just up and leave you with that list of not-so-fantastic side effects of working irregular hours. Believe it or not, there are unique benefits as well, both professionally and personally.

Flexibility and Work/Life Balance

For those who willingly enter into shift work (or even those dragged in by their shirt collars), flexibility is the most cited benefit. If you can find ways to navigate irregular sleep patterns, night shifts can accommodate various personal commitments: family responsibilities, continuing education, or even hobbies that require daylight. Work-life balance means something different to everyone, and for some, this is the way to find it.

Higher Compensation

As mentioned above, night and weekend shifts often come with higher pay rates that can make a notable difference in your overall earnings. These financial incentives can be a significant motivator not offered by traditional day shift work.

Professional Development Opportunities

As most night shift workers will tell you, it’s a whole different animal from the day shift in more ways than you can imagine. Working different shifts can expose you to a wider range of experiences and challenges that bring professional growth. With fewer resources and staff available, night and weekend shifts often bring more opportunities for hands-on learning and autonomy, fast-tracking the development of critical thinking and decision-making skills.

Quieter Work Environment

While the eventful times may require more of you, many shift workers appreciate that there are many more opportunities for quiet lulls at night and on the weekend. Fewer visitors and administrative activities provide a less hectic atmosphere and more time to focus on patient care. This can lead to a more fulfilling work experience and stronger patient-provider connections.

Community and Team Bonding

There’s a unique camaraderie that develops among shift workers, born out of shared experiences and the challenges of working non-traditional hours. These deep, supportive relationships can enhance job satisfaction and emotional well-being.

Improved Patient Care

We all know healthcare never sleeps, which is why shift work is so crucial in ensuring that healthcare facilities are always well-staffed with the best professionals. This means that patients can receive the care they need no matter what time it is, and healthcare providers can take pride in knowing that their work is making a positive difference in the lives of their patients.
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Strategies for Overcoming Shift Work Challenges

If shift work is part of your life, whether by choice or necessity, you need to find ways to make the best of it and overcome some of the negatives we discussed above. Luckily, all hope is not lost. Here are some tips to overcome the challenges.

Health and Wellness

Prioritize good sleep hygiene practices, such as creating dark and quiet sleeping environments and avoiding caffeine before bedtime. Consider using mindfulness or relaxation techniques to manage stress and protect your mental health.

Nutrition and Exercise

When you’re not able to eat with others, it can be tough to prioritize healthy eating. Planning and prepping healthy meals ahead of time can help you avoid the temptation of fast food. And don’t forget to sneak in some physical activity too, even if it’s just a quick, brisk walk during a work break. Your body will thank you!

Social Connectivity

Maintaining social connections is crucial for our mental and emotional well-being. Make an effort to connect with friends and family regularly. Plan activities during your days off and communicate openly about your schedule and its challenges. By being honest and transparent with your loved ones, you can work together to find a mutually convenient time to get together.

Professional Support

Don’t hesitate to seek support from your employer. Some healthcare facilities offer resources for shift workers, including counseling services, wellness programs, and flexible scheduling options to accommodate personal needs.

Making Informed Choices

When considering a job that involves working in shifts, it is important to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages in the context of your personal health, lifestyle preferences, and career goals. While some healthcare professionals may enjoy the flexibility and change of pace that comes with shift work, others may find it difficult to adjust to this kind of schedule.

Before accepting a position, it is important to ask about the possibility of rotating shifts versus fixed shift patterns, chances for schedule changes over time, and the support systems in place for shift workers. Remember that your well-being is crucial in helping you provide the best possible care to your patients and achieve a fulfilling career in healthcare.

 

Interested in learning more about shift work and self-care in healthcare? Check out these blogs:

Tips for Surviving the Night Shift

Day Shift vs. Night Shift: A Consistent Nursing Dilemma

5 Self-Care Tips for Healthcare Professionals

 

Transitioning to Public Health: A Refreshing Career Pivot for Burnt-Out Nurses and Social Workers

The world had to learn the hard way just how important emotional regulation, self-care, and stress regulation habits are during the world-wide pandemic. The extent to which certain industries and those workers were affected are still having an impact on not just attrition rates, but the level of quality of service and care that can be given to the people that they serve. Much of the news around people changing jobs was a very general discussion of the rapid numbers of people either changing careers or just seeing the chaos as a perfect excuse to retire. However, the health care and social workers sectors appear to have had the most lasting damage to reputation.

Ironically, despite millions of healthcare and social workers retiring or changing careers altogether in the wake of the pandemic, there is also, simultaneously, a steady and growing demand for those types of positions to be filled in the coming years.

Jobs in the healthcare industry alone are projected to rise around 13% between 2021 and 2031 according to the Bureau of Labor statistics. While not as significant, the employment demand for social workers as well is also expected to rise. An increase of 7% between 2022 and 2032.

It is surprisingly common how often patient care providers, whether clinicians, nurses,  social workers or the like, have just had enough of their industries. Long hours, emotional strain, lapses of funding, or just a lack of acknowledgement and hard work, there are a lot of reasons why employees in these industries leave. Though some may feel a sense of shame or guilt in leaving, it would be good to hear that there are still ways in which people’s lives and health can be changed without having to stay in that original role or industry.

Welcome to the idea of public health. The following is a summary of what public health is and how this career path might serve as a refreshing career pivot for burned-out nurses and social workers.

What is Public Health?

Public health workers are professionals that are tasked with the oversight and gradual improvement of the wellbeing of communities and organizations through the administration of a variety of health services. This can be expressed in smaller organizations or communities all the way up to affecting health on a global scale.

The difference between traditional medical roles and public health positions is that where traditional medicine tends to focus on patients one by one, public health takes a broader consideration and systematic approach to healthcare.

An example of public healthcare workers can be seen addressing issues like contagious diseases, outbreaks, and the research done to figure out where and how those illnesses developed. Additionally, public health workers can hold more of an educational role through promotional positions that enable communities to better understand basic health practices, like hygiene, exercise, nutrition, and mental health initiatives.

What was once done through singular offices, clinics, or hospitals can be expanded through partnerships with governments, private agencies, and non-profit organizations to reconsider and positively change health policies.

Transitioning to Public Health Roles

There are several steps that are recommended to smoothly transition from nursing or social work positions into public health.

Research is a great place to start and begin by considering whether the experience gained will meet some of the requirements for public health positions. Depending on the prerequisites needed for various positions will determine if more education is necessary. The good news is that there are a considerable list of leadership skills, like public speaking, empathy, and communication, that check off many boxes.

Another great idea is reaching out to a career counselor or placement service. Alot of time can be saved from having to dig through countless job postings, cold contacting companies and hoping for a reply.

Finally, networking is always a sound tactic, but to take that one step further would be to reach out to organizations that may be of interest and actually volunteer time in various roles. This will provide sound insight into which aspect of public health would be most fitting. Humanitarian groups like the American Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders, World Vision, and GreenPeace are just a few of the many respectable, established organizations.


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.