Battling COVID-19 Burnout Among Clinicians

Healthcare worker burnout is by no means a new topic. It has been widely discussed and an active topic among the healthcare community for years now. But the mounting concerns of the high stress situations of COVID-19 have brought the topic of burnout to the forefront, and addressing it is more important than ever.

What’s going to turn the tide is the ability of hospitals and healthcare organizations to be proactive in recognizing the issue and offering solutions to their healthcare workers. Many nurses and physicians feel that they’re voices are lost in the shuffle when trying to communicates the problem of burnout.

What Causes Burnout?

A variety of factors can attribute to healthcare worker burnout. One of which right now is staffing issues. Hospitals are once again overburdened by new patients infected by the Delta variant of COVID-19. Hospital beds are filling up, but the amount of staff isn’t changing, causing a much larger workload for nurses and doctors.

Luckily, hospitals and healthcare facilities do have the benefit of using staffing agencies, who can tap into a wider resource of healthcare workers across the country to bring in the much needed help. The benefit of a staffing agency to handle the sourcing, credentialing and onboarding is a huge relief for hospital administrators who can then concentrate on their current staff. The addition of travel nurses into a hospital will alleviate a lot of the burden staff nurses are currently handling.

Other factors contribute to burnout as well. These include but aren’t limited to, non-stop scheduling, stressful work environments and more. These issues were present before the pandemic but are only amplified by the spread of COVID-19.

Even before the pandemic began, healthcare workers were battling burnout. Several years ago, an estimated figure of nearly 40% of nurses reported having some level of stress, exhaustion, or emotional strain due to burnout. The pandemic has only lengthened and heightened those pain points for clinicians.

What Can Be Done?

Undiagnosed burnout can lead to both the detriment of the clinician, the patient and the organization as as whole, so it’s important to recognize it, report it, and take steps to encourage help. An overworked and burnt out healthcare worker will many times lead to a decreased level of care for patients according to experts.

So what can be done?

Firstly, employers, like hospitals or other healthcare facilities, can take steps to get ahead of the problem. A simple check-in with employees can go a long way.

How are you feeling? Is there anything stressing you out more than usual? What can we do to alleviate that stress?

Even a simple survey to gauge the temperature of an employee can mean so much! You’d be surprised the feedback you can get from a simple survey.

We have to remember, a lot of times, like any job, healthcare workers and employees want to know that their concerns are being heard and recognized.

When we know what could be causing burnout, we can react quickly to any issues. If a nurse is feeling bogged down by paperwork, it would be best to hire more support staff to handle the administrative tasks. If the actual stress of the day-to-day duties is wearing a healthcare worker down, then extended time off or some PTO could work wonders. Even more flexible schedules can benefit more healthcare workers.

The point is, having an open communication line from management to frontline workers is the first step in fighting burnout! Employers and healthcare facilities can utilize support programs, meaningful tracking, and staffing agencies like Ardor Health to help supplement their staff with fresh, ready, and determined healthcare professionals who are ready to deliver care and passions wherever they go.

PT Compact Privileges Expand to Colorado, Arizona & Nebraska

UPDATE: The number of PT Compact states continues to grow with the addition of Arizona and Nebraska on April 15th, 2019 and now Colorado on May 1st! The addition of these 3 states brings the total number of PT Compact issuing states to Thirteen The other issuing states are: Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, and Utah. 

An Alternative To Licensing

From PTCompact.Org

The Physical Therapy Compact allows eligible licensed physical therapists to practice and licensed physical therapist assistants to work in a Compact member state, other than their home state, without going through the usual process for licensure in the remote state. “

PTCompact.Org

How To Sign Up For PT Compact

PT COMPACT will give you the opportunity to obtain Compact Privilege in participating states that you would like to work in, using your Home State Compact License. Your Home Compact State License should be current and in good standing to be ready for the Compact Privilege. Contact your Home State Board to make sure you are compliant with all requirements to be ready for this great opportunity.

Don’t see your state here yet? That’s OK! The PT Compact says that it anticipates many more of its member states will join the PT Compact soon! If you’re ready to get started, simply head over to PTCompact.Org and begin the process to sign up. If you need any help, Ardor Health’s licensing coordinator, Lourdes would be happy to help! You can reach Lourdes, at 866-425-5768 EXT 229, for assistance.


5 Ways To Celebrate Occupational Therapy Month: 2019

Occupational Therapy Month is here! In April, we take the time to appreciate all the value Occupational Therapists add to our lives through their holistic and therapeutic approach. This is a great opportunity to celebrate all of the OTs out there and take the time to show them how much we appreciate their positive effect on our lives! We’ve compiled a list of 5 different ways to show your appreciation and celebrate this wonderful profession!

1. Share a Personal OT Story

Do you have a personal story where an Occupational Therapist has made an impact on your life? What about a family member? Share that story! April is a great month to take to social media or your local circle and spread the word about how an Occupational Therapist helped you recover from an injury you may have sustained in your life. Share those success stories and at the same time educate those who maybe aren’t familiar with the amazing benefits of Occupational Therapy.

2. Take Some Time to Celebrate

This one’s for all of the Occupational Therapists out there…treat yourselves! Throw a party at work, take an extended lunch break or take that glorious half-work day! (As long as their’s no clients that need to be seen obviously) You deserve it! And Occupational Therapy Month is the perfect time to celebrate.

3. Share the Love

What better way to share the love for your fellow Occupational Therapists than on social media! Start a post and share it with friends and family about the impacts OT Life has had on you. Are you a traveling Occupational Therapist? Share that too! People love seeing their colleagues out and about exploring their world and excelling in their career as well. Whether you’re climbing a nearby mountain or surfing a close to home beach, the Travel OT Life is not one that should be kept secret.

4. Growth

According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, Occupational Therapy is set to grow by 24% all the way through 2024. This means it’s more important than ever to educate those around you, especially the younger generation, about the importance of Occupational Therapy in our lives.

5. Continue Your Own Personal Growth

Continuing education is a great way to grow on a personal level. Occupational Therapy, like many healthcare industries, never stops growing and changing. One of the great things is you can always be growing on a personal and professional level because of this. Try to find a course or class that interests you the most and take it! Those new skills will translate directly to your workplace and your patients.

So there you have it! These are just a few ways to celebrate OT Month this April. Remember to use the hashtag #OTMonth to stand out! A big thank you from all of us Ardor Health to all of our OTs! So how have OTs affected your life?

And don’t forget, Traveling OT Jobs are some of the best ways to live the #OTLife to the fullest. View open opportunities here! 

Top 5 Travel Therapy And Nursing States This Spring

Are you considering a traveling nurse or therapy assignment this Spring? Of course you are! What better way to shake off the cold then to visit some of the country’s most desirable locations during the spring. We’ve narrowed down five of the best warm-weather destinations for travel nurses and therapists to keep in mind. This list is based on their excellent weather, access to cultural attractions, and availability of assignments in world-class healthcare facilities, these are the five destinations you should consider for your summer assignment.

Florida

This may seem like an obvious choice, but it’s definitely worth mentioning. Florida has year-round warm weather and some of the best beaches in the country. In addition, Florida also garnishes some of the top billing rates during Spring Break for Travel Therapists alike.

California

This may seem like another obvious choice, but California is a must see location basically anytime of the year, so why not start with Spring? If you dream of the southern California lifestyle, consider taking a travel assignment in San Diego, the city that has it all or venturing to San Francisco.

Texas

Texas has multiple cities filled with healthcare professionals and a vibrant lifestyle. Houston is the ideal travel nursing destination if you want to learn more about cutting-edge cancer care. The city’s MD Anderson Cancer Center is a research hub for this illness. You’ll also find plenty of nightlife, a thriving theater district, and easy access to some of the best beaches in the United States.

Oregon

Warm temperatures that never hit sweltering, a bike-friendly environment, and tons of quaint bookstores and coffee shops make Portland a hit with travel nurses and therapists who are craving adventure. You can easily take day trips to both the mountains and the ocean. Best of all, travel assignments at facilities such as the VA Medical Center are plentiful.

New York

As the snow begins to melt, now is the time to secure a position in New York. Whether you prefer the city or the country, New York has it all! From the bustling streets of NYC to the beautiful countryside, there’s something for any travel therapist or travel nurse.

Can’t make up your mind? We get it! Feel free to browse all of Ardor Health’s open positions right now and choose the Spring Break Travel Destination that’s right for you!

Let’s Celebrate Physical Therapy Month!

It’s finally here! October is one of the busiest times of the year. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, of course there’s Halloween, but October is also National Physical Therapy Month! This month, we take the time to celebrate the amazing achievements of all of the Physical Therapists and Physical Therapist Assistants out there.  The American Physical Therapy Association uses the month of October to reinforce the use of Physical Therapy as an alternative to the use of potentially dangerous medications to improve people’s lives.   

#ChoosePT

Whenever you use social media this month to talk about Physical Therapy, make sure you use the hashtag #ChoosePT

This hashtag is used to empower people around the globe to consider Physical Therapy instead of medications.

“Americans continue to be prescribed and to misuse opioids at alarming rates. This October, APTA will carry on raising awareness of physical therapy as a safe and effective alternative to opioids for treatment of chronic pain conditions via its award-winning #ChoosePT campaign.”

-APTA.org

2018 PT Day of Service

Consider celebrating NPTM by participating in the 2018 PT Day of Service that takes place on Saturday, October 13. APTA is a proud partner of PT Day of Service, a global event founded by physical therapists in 2015. Whether you are hosting an NPTM event, volunteering at a pro bono clinic, or serving the community by cleaning up a park, you’ll be joining with PTs, PTAs, and students of physical therapy across the world who are actively making a difference in their communities on or around that day.

Want to look into a travel PT job? We’ve got you covered! Head over to our traveler page to get started!

Understanding GSA Per Diem Rates for Healthcare Travelers

For a travel nurse, it’s important to consider what kinds of pay and the type of salary you will receive. Typically, per diems are offered as part of the stipend package for travel nurses. Although each staffing agency sets these rates, there are federal guidelines for per diems. If you qualify, this is a daily amount added to your pay intended to provide for housing, meals, and other living expenses during your travel assignment.

How Much is Per Diem Stipend?

To calculate the per diem qualification, the agency will typically have you complete a form based on a formula established by the federal General Services Administration (GSA). They have developed standard travel rates for government as well as non-government employees, including travel nurses.

The current continental U.S. (CONUS) rate is $91 per day for housing and $51 per day for other expenses, including food. An agency may change these rates depending on the living costs of the area where they send you. The GSA website has a chart for users to play with – you can enter the zip code of a city and see what the average rates are.

The GSA has also established and publicly posted daily maximums for each region.

Each year, the GSA per diem rates increase at the beginning of October. Increases depend on the daily cost of living averages.

Safety Tips for Choosing an Agency

While receiving a per diem is an integral part of your compensation for a given assignment, the daily maximum is established to prevent agencies from avoiding taxation by paying nurses a meager hourly rate and a very high per diem. Avoid agencies that use this practice; although the rates sound advantageous, this pay structure exposes you to tax and legal risk. You will have to report any per diem amount above the daily maximum as income tax. Otherwise, these stipends are tax-free.

Instead of offering a per diem, some agencies require you to save receipts and submit them for direct reimbursement of your expenses. If you exceed the daily per diem and your agency does not offer to reimburse you, you may be able to write off the difference on your income tax return. This is a typical situation when a nurse is working in a major metropolitan area where meals are more costly than average.

Before coming to any final decisions, weigh out your options and do your research. Make sure that any agency you work with will pay you enough to live in your desired destination. At Ardor Health Solutions, we make sure that all of our travel nurses are placed in the best healthcare services around the U.S. Contact us today to join our network of nurses throughout the country.

Top 5 Things to do in Atlanta

Atlanta’s southern and cosmopolitan atmosphere attracts many who are looking to relocate. It boasts both exciting nightlife and family-oriented activities, making it an ideal location for any travel nurse. When you’re not at work saving lives, try to find the time to visit some of these iconic and beautiful places and fall in love with Atlanta.

Piedmont Park

If you’re looking for a place to spend a lazy afternoon, Piedmont Park is your place. Boasting over 200 acres, Piedmont Park offers visitors many different activities. There are paths for walking or jogging, playgrounds, dog parks, a swimming pool, and tennis courts – all available to the public. It’s also home to many events throughout the year such as Atlanta Pride and the Atlanta Jazz Festival.

Atlanta History Center

The Atlanta History Center gives visitors and locals the opportunity to learn more about Atlanta’s rich past. The history center is spread across 33 acres and includes exhibits, historic homes, and beautiful gardens and paths. Visitors can easily spend two hours exploring the vast property and taking pictures of the beautiful homes and gardens located inside.

World of Coca-Cola

The World of Coca-Cola is an ode to one of the most well-known soft drinks in the world. The two-level facility holds exhibits on Coca-Cola’s history, the bottling process, and its influence on pop culture. There’s even an area where visitors can taste more than 100 varieties of Coke from places like Africa, Asia, and Europe. The samples are free, so get ready for a pretty intense sugar high!

Fox Theatre

Inspired by Egyptian and Spanish architecture, the Fox Theatre is one of Atlanta’s most iconic landmarks. Even if you can’t catch a performance, you can still get a tour of the inside and see the ornate decorations of 10 of the theater’s locations.

Georgia Aquarium

The Georgia Aquarium is the perfect place to enjoy an afternoon and get out of the Georgia heat. The aquarium has more than 100,000 animals from 700 different species, allowing visitors to learn about animals they never knew existed. If you’re lucky, you may also be able to catch the aquarium’s free dolphin show. The Georgia Aquarium is a sure-fire way to spend your day and make some memories along the way.

Atlanta is a cultural hub filled with many eclectic people and places. Doing any of these five things during your time off can help you de-stress and fall in love with your new city. Looking to work all over the U.S.? Contact us today to be placed in a healthcare facility perfectly suited for you.