Top 5 Skills Nursing Employers Want

Working as a nurse is an exciting opportunity to connect with people and improve the lives of those in your care. Nursing can be an attractive career to those who like to help and nurture others; yet a nursing job can be very demanding. Not just anyone can do it! A good nurse can mean the difference between life and death for a patient under her watch. It takes a tough, resilient, and caring personality to succeed.

People of all ages and backgrounds may consider nursing as a career that is indefinitely in demand, yet not everyone is fit for the job. Nursing employers are particularly drawn to candidates who exemplify the following vital traits.

Compassion & Empathy

Compassion and empathy go hand in hand, and if you are striving to become a nurse, these must be in your arsenal of personality traits. A nurse plays a crucial role in a patient’s recovery, and should never consider patients to be a burden! Patients rely on nurses for the best chance at a successful recovery.

When interacting with patients, nurses should be attentive to their needs and understand that they do not want to be in the hospital. Oftentimes, patients are worried, scared, nervous, and uneasy. A good nurse understands what patients are going through by demonstrating empathy and compassion toward each patient under her supervision.

Mindfulness & Attention to Detail

The best nurses have a keen attention to detail and a strong habit of taking notes. As a nurse, you need to remember details about each patient in your care. From remembering their names to what medications they need at what times, you are caring for several patients with diverse needs throughout a drudging shift. It’s important to keep all information organized and readily accessible.

Active Listening & Communication

A good listener practices active listening, which means that the listener is fully engaged in hearing and interpreting what the other person has to say. An active listener concentrates fully on what is being said to him, and he makes the effort to fully digest the information given. In nursing, you interact with dozens of patients, many of whom want to make conversation with you. While your caring side bonds with patients around these conversations, your mindful and detail-oriented sides should be listening closely for any clues about what could make the patient’s experience more positive.

Active listening skills are just part of overall communication skills, which are crucial to succeeding as a nurse. On a daily basis, you interact with doctors, fellow nurses, and patients and their families. You must be able to demonstrate strong communication skills on the job and in your nursing interview.

Flexibility

It is no secret that nursing is a physically demanding career and the rewards are well-earned. Nurses undergo a lot of stress working long hours; sometimes, shifts are 12 hours or more in length! Nurses must be physically energetic and emotionally strong to provide the best of care. They must also be flexible in their ability to be scheduled. Travel nurses in particular should have open availability to meet employment demands. The more flexible you are, the better your chances of landing a top nursing job anywhere in the country.

Positivity

A positive attitude goes especially far when you’re a registered nurse. As mentioned above, nursing is a physically demanding and mentally strenuous job that can take a toll on your body and mind. While it can be challenging, nurses must put extra effort into remaining positive and upbeat, especially around patients. As a nurse, you have a duty to create a comfortable and warm environment for your patients while they receive treatment. You should also be considerate of your fellow nurses and doctors, who are likely experiencing the same difficulties.

While positivity is difficult to show on a resume, your demeanor and personality are closely scrutinized when interviewing for a nursing job. Be sure to always end on a positive note when answering interview questions, especially if you are asked about not-so-positive experiences.

Are you ready to pursue a job as a traveling nurse? At Ardor Health Solutions, we have several RN positions throughout the country. Get started by viewing our job listings or calling 855-GO-ARDOR!

How to Improve Communication with Coworkers

One of the most difficult parts of working as a traveling health practitioner is switching between coworkers so often. Add this to the fact that some hospitals have employees who have less than favorable opinions about traveling nurses or therapists, and you can find it difficult communicating with your coworkers. Not all hope is lost, you can get in touch and connect with the people you work with even if you’re going to be flying away soon. Better communication means a more efficient workplace environment, happier clients, and a happier you. 

Watch Body Language

Your body language often says more than words can. Even if you say everything with the right tone and language, people can pick up on signals that don’t match with what you have to say. This can lead to a loss of credibility. Pay attention to impulses that may lead you to slouch, avoiding eye contact, or sighing in the middle of speaking. In a hospital this is especially important, as you often have to make a difficult decision and make a case for your choice on the spot.

Avoid Hearing, Start Listening

While it can be easy to get in the habit of smiling and nodding whenever someone starts talking, other people will soon notice that you’re not really listening to them. Don’t feel too bad, most people usually don’t know they need to put in the time to develop active listening skills. Those who do though greatly benefit. When you make conscious, vocal answers or rephrase what a coworker is saying, you show that you are not only listening but making an honest attempt to see from their point of view. This helps you get on better terms with your coworkers as they notice that you care about what they have to say.

Balance Your Formalities

When people share the same space for a long time, it’s natural that you start feeling more comfortable around each other. Office gossip, talk about weekend plans, and throwing in a lame joke or two are common in the workplace. This does not mean you should completely gain confidence. If you have a dedicated office email or phone number, remember to stick with your practiced professional language. If you are in a meeting with your superiors, don’t test your luck by pushing formal boundaries. Going too far can make your coworkers view you as unprofessional.

Watch your Tone

In a face-to-face conversation, your tone should remain conversational. If you feel as if you are too overwhelmed by emotion or stress due to a difficult day at the clinic, there’s no harm in excusing yourself so you can unwind. When communicating with your coworkers through writing, be particularly careful about how your words may be interpreted. What can come off as a joke to one person may seem rude or angry to another. Adopt the “better safe than sorry” rule; write to your coworkers with language that makes your statement clear and carries a neutral tone.

While some people may find traveling health work to be depressing as they don’t usually stick around long enough to develop close relationships with their coworkers, traveling provides an opportunity to meet many kinds of people. Getting along with your coworkers means you learn new perspectives and techniques on how to carry out your work, and they can give you some great local tips on where to spend your time during rest days! If you’re looking for a new place to work in your traveling health career, check out our list of openings or call 855-GO-ARDOR.

The Benefits of Working as a School Nurse

It is no secret that you need to come to your school nursing job prepared. You will face a set of challenges that won’t be found in a typical hospital or home clinical setting. That said, being a nurse still comes with its own perks as well! While these may not be the primary reasons why a nurse would choose to work at a school, they work as great pick-me-ups and motivators for the difficult days in the office. Continue reading “The Benefits of Working as a School Nurse”

Top 5 Apps Every Traveling Therapist Should Use

Traveling therapists have the opportunity to explore the country while making money and doing what they love. Still, the experience is not always easy, and having a couple of helpful apps on hand can help reduce a lot of stress from time management, budgeting, and finding the best travel methods. We gathered some of our favorite apps that we believe every traveling therapist should include in their arsenal.

Continue reading “Top 5 Apps Every Traveling Therapist Should Use”

Pros and Cons of a Traveling Career

Although one significant purpose of our company is helping traveling health practitioners find new places to work, we understand that a traveling career may not be the perfect fit for everyone. But not to worry, because Ardor Health has an office specifically dedicated to finding you a permanent placement job as well!

If you are nearing the end of your graduate studies or are trying to figure out whether a travel job would be a good change of pace, keep these pros and cons in mind when making your decision! Continue reading “Pros and Cons of a Traveling Career”

Top Traits to Develop as a Speech Pathologist

Speech pathologists learn something new with every patient, but when we look at their combined experiences, certain constants transcend them all. Whether you are preparing for a new year as a speech pathologist at a school, or work for a private practice, there is always room to step back and consider what traits you can pick up to boost your therapy style.

Open-Mindedness

Speech pathology is one of the most flexible fields in the medical industry. One year you can find yourself working at a hospital, and then the next you may work within a home setting or at a research center. Remaining versatile and available to new ideas provides you the experience to work with many kinds of patients you can work with and learn from. Much like speech itself, you can expect your career to flex and mold into something unique.

Listening Skills

Some health practitioners make the mistake of over-explaining what they or the patient need to do without giving the client a chance to express himself. Knowing when to stay quiet and listen to your patient’s needs and their caretaker helps give both sides a better perspective on how to work together. You’ll be able to communicate more within a shorter time, and having yourself or the patient repeat himself less makes for smoother sessions.

Learning to Fail

With your new experiences come new challenges that you may fail to overcome. No career is safe from failure, but with a task as personal as speech pathology, it is important you understand that we are all human and make mistakes. Instead of trying to avoid tasks where these errors are likely, in many cases, it is more important to accept the possibility of failure and learn from your mistakes.

Compassion

Signing up for a speech language pathologist can be a trying time for many families. For parents who take their children to sessions, some are anxious about their child’s future. For adults who need courses themselves, some may feel that going is pointless or that no one understands their troubles. On your part, having empathy can be the most important factor of improvement for some of your clients. Knowing that there is someone who can listen to them can do a lot to help improve someone’s speaking skills.

Stay Motivated

Like any medical health field, speech pathology can be a challenging and exhausting task. Remember why you started the path towards this career in the first place. Take care of yourself so that you can care for your clients and motivate peers to do the same. If you are looking for a new position as a speech language pathologist, Ardor Health provides traveling health experts listings of available job placements.

Tips for Working as a School Nurse

Whether you are a nurse fresh out of grad school or already have experience from working in a hospital, a school brings a unique set of challenges. Because every school is different, there are few rules set in stone. However, those who worked as school nurses in the past (or are still working in the classroom environment today) have picked up some general tips that anyone can use.

Always Plan Ahead

While working in a school clinic may not be as demanding as the ER, you’ll still have your hands full. You might be the only medical expert in the building. You will need to manage your time as efficiently as possible so that every child gets the attention he needs. This means planning for your days in advance. Know when you will have your brief lunch break (many kids get themselves hurt or sick during mid-day recess), look out for any planned field trips where children are more active than usual and return with bruises, and keep a backup plan in mind for emergencies.

Get to Know Parents

Not all parents will want to chat with you, but you never know unless you reach out and ask. When you suspect that a child may need treatment outside of school, or you’re not sure if a child is looking for an excuse to stay out of class, contacting their parents to get an idea of their habits and behaviors can help save you some frustration. How receptive parents are tends to depend on what type of school you work at. A mother of an elementary school student usually wants to know everything about how her child is doing, but one for a high school student may feel confident enough in her son that she won’t ask much.

Maintain Your Independence, But Make Sure to Reach Out

As mentioned before, you will most likely be the only medical expert nearby. There will be many times where you have to make a decision about how to best help a student without getting a second opinion. Embracing your autonomy means making firm recommendations. Recognize when there are kids who come in, not because they need treatment, but because it’s the only way someone pays attention to them. You can prepare for your time as a student nurse by getting in touch with other people who work within the county and see what local advice they can provide. School nursing is challenging, but many in the field find it rewarding to work with kids, providing the nurses a fresh perspective on life.

If you’re looking for a school nursing job, check out our list of available positions!

Top Job Prospects for Physical Therapists in 2017

As 2017 picks up speed, potential physical therapists may be curious to know what their future job prospects are. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for physical therapists is expected to increase by 34 percent by 2024, much faster than the majority of other occupations. How is it that physical therapy is growing so quickly?

Aging Baby Boomers

Older baby boomers are more active in their later years compared to the generations before them. While this trend is great for their overall health, injury risk tends to increase as people get older. Sometimes the injury may be as simple as a pulled muscle from working too hard, but it can be as severe as a heart attack, stroke, or spinal issues that may require rehabilitation from a physical therapist.

Increased Rates of Obesity

Unfortunately, rates of diabetes and obesity continue to increase. As reported by the Center of Disease Control and Prevention, over 29 million people have been diagnosed with diabetes in 2014, making up almost 10 percent of the population. That’s 4 million more than those diagnosed back in 2010, and the trend is expected to continue moving upward. Physical therapists provide a valuable service for anyone who wants to manage their chronic conditions and mobility. Technological advancements in medicine have made it easier to determine when to prescribe an accurate diagnosis for such diseases, meaning that patients receive a therapy plan more suitable to their needs.

Improved Treatments and More Healthcare

Continued advances in tech mean that more patients are coming out of surgical procedures with higher success rates, leading to more rehabilitative appointments to ensure that the results of the surgeries stick. With recent reform in healthcare, more people are expected to own health insurance, leading to more access to physical therapists as well as other medical services.

Regardless of what type of physical therapy you do, the job prospects look good for all specialties. The single caveat is that the majority of therapists work in urban or suburban environments, while rural areas have few practicing physical therapists. Considering many people who live in the countryside work in high-risk blue-collar careers, the demand will most likely continue to grow. If you’re looking for somewhere to best practice your skills, take a look at our list of physical therapy jobs and contact us for placement information.

Best Places to Travel and Work in Winter

Although traveling for contract healthcare work comes with its unique set of challenges, you still have the benefit of discovering great new places. This means that you don’t have to stick around frigid cities like Chicago or Minneapolis during subzero temperatures. You have the option to relocate somewhere warm and sunny for your new term! We’ve gathered some of the best places to travel and work in during winter, both for those craving 90 degree weather or who would prefer to wear a light sweater over a winter coat.

Phoenix, Arizona

If you are a low-key kind of person who prefers to relax while enjoying the outdoors, Phoenix may be your spot. Though the city isn’t known for its nightlife, it provides enough relaxing activities and surrounding parks to pass the time. Camelback Mountain has plenty of trails and camping spots to take during weekend breaks. Near the center of the city, Papago Park provides extended hiking spots along with the Phoenix Zoo and Desert Botanical Garden.

If you’re looking to explore outside the city, South Mountain Park boasts 16,000 acres of wildlife and scenic lookout points to satisfy your inner naturalist. The summers are blistering enough that most residents won’t bother going outside, but during the winters, Phoenix’s cool breeze keeps you energized.

Austin, Texas

When you want to have fun after work, Austin, Texas provides ample opportunities for activity. The city is known for hosting a variety of creative art and music events while maintaining a cost of living reasonable enough for the traveling practitioner. It’s no wonder that Austin is the second fastest growing city in the United States, with winter weather ranging from the low 40s to high 60s.

You can bike through the Austin Music Tour and visit over 200 of its live music venues, or meet with locals and visit the smaller neighborhoods focused on the arts. If you still want to connect with nature during your winter stay, you can go kayaking at Lady Bird Lake, bike through the bridges that connect many of Austin’s parks, or fish at the McKinney Falls State Park!

Charleston, South Carolina

If you want to live near the beach, you may want to avoid the typical holiday hangouts like Miami or Honolulu. While these are certainly nice vacation spots, the cost of living can be unbearable the closer you get to the shore. Believe it or not, Charleston can provide the beach life you’re looking for, with mild weather averaging around the mid-60s. The downtown area provides a mixture of unique local shops, fresh food at low prices, and a nightlife active enough to fill out your weekend plans.

Charleston is also a good choice for those who want to experience an older America, with many museums, preserved households, and other structures open to visit. For example, Sullivan’s Island, The Nathaniel Russell House Museum, and Fort Sumter National Monuments are hotspots for visiting history buffs. Don’t forget to watch the sunrise at The Battery during your healthcare contract work. Many photographers consider this stretch of harbor as one of the most beautiful views of the ocean available on the east coast.

Traveling assignments are your opportunity to help others while discovering many of our country’s liveliest, most iconic cities. If you’re interested in a new healthcare job for any time of the year, view our list of medical jobs today and get connected!