Achieving a work-life balance

Nurse Work Life Balance

By Julie Boertje, MS, RN, LMFT, QMRP, and Liz Ferron, MSW, LICSW

Almost everyone agrees that achieving a work-life balance is a good thing. Without it, we risk long-term negative effects on our physical and mental health, our relationships, and our work performance. But many clinicians have a hard time achieving this balance due to job demands, erratic work schedules, or the inability to say no when someone asks for help.

The challenges of stress and burnout

Stress and job burnout can cause, contribute to, or result from a poor work-life balance. They disrupt our normal patterns, behaviors, and feelings.

Of course, no one can escape stress altogether. Sometimes stress is a good thing, but we need to be able to identify when it’s a problem. For many clinicians, stress springs from the desire to provide good service and care in all parts of their lives. This desire can create stress, especially when barriers exist to achieving it. (more…)

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Becoming a wound care diplomat

By Bill Richlen, PT, WCC, CWS, DWC, and Denise Stetter, PT, WCC, DCCT

The Rolling Stones may have said it best when they sang, “You can’t always get what you want,” a sentiment that also applies to wound care. A common frustration among certified wound care clinicians is working with other clinicians who have limited current wound care education and knowledge. This situation worsens when these clinicians are making treatment recommendations or writing treatment orders not based on current wound-healing principles or standards of care. (more…)

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Mastering the art of meetings

By Toni Ann Loftus, MBA, RN, MHA

Meetings are a powerful communication tool. They bring together people who can look at an issue from their own unique perspective and contribute to a solution acceptable to many disciplines. Generally, meetings are held to:

• discuss common issues
• brainstorm ideas for solving specific concerns
• make collaborative decisions about a shared concern or problem. (more…)

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Avoid surprises when connecting between care settings

By Jeri Lundgren, BSN, RN, PHN, CWS, CWCN

As wound care clinicians, we know that an interdisciplinary, holistic approach to prevention and management of a wound is crucial to positive outcomes, no matter where the patient is being seen. Yet too often when a patient transfers from one care setting to another, the only wound information that’s communicated is the current topical treatment. Most transfer forms only include generic spaces for “any skin concerns” and “treatments,” with no prompts for obtaining additional information. In fact, clinicians in many care settings frequently report they had no idea the patient had a wound until he or she was admitted.

Here’s how you can get the information you need to best care for the patient being transferred. (more…)

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Have you made your New Year’s resolutions?

Aresolution is a serious decision or determination to do, or not to do, something. Traditionally, most New Year’s resolutions focus on self-improvement: losing weight, giving up a bad habit, exercising more, being a better person. Because most of us spend about half of our waking lives at work, perhaps our work lives should be the subject

of some of our resolutions. Here are a few work-related resolutions I’ve come up with: (more…)

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Making professional connections

Making professional connections

By Kathleen D. Pagana, PhD, RN

Are you making connections that benefit your career? Are you comfortable starting a conversation at a networking session? Do you know how to exit a conversation gracefully when it’s time to move on?

These are questions and concerns many clinicians share. Career success takes more than clinical expertise, management savvy, and leadership skills. Networking can be the critical link to success. This article helps you improve your networking skills by focusing on what to do before, during, and after a networking opportunity. (more…)

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How do you prove a wound was unavoidable?

unavoidable pressure ulcers

By Jeri Lundgren, BSN, RN, PHN, CWS, CWCN

A pressure ulcer that a patient acquires in your facility or a patient’s existing pressure ulcer that worsens puts your organization at risk for regulatory citations as well as litigation. Unless you can prove the pressure ulcer was unavoidable, you could find yourself burdened with citations or fines, or could even end up in court. (more…)

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Protecting yourself from a job layoff

by Donna Sardina, RN, MHA, WCC, CWCMS, DWC, OMS

With uncertainty over how the Affordable Care Act (ACA) ultimately will affect operations, hospitals and other healthcare facilities are tightening up. In many areas, they’re laying off staff. In May, the healthcare industry lost 9,000 jobs—the worst month for the industry in a decade—and another 4,000 jobs were lost in July.

Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance companies are reducing reimbursements to care providers, meaning less money is coming in and healthcare facilities have less money to pay out. In my experience, when job cuts are needed, the specialty and subspecialty positions go first. Wound and ostomy care is a subspecialty, so we need to be prepared to protect our jobs—not only for ourselves but for our patients. (more…)

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Dealing with difficult people

By Rose O. Sherman, EdD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN

Unfortunately, most clinicians can’t avoid having to work with difficult people. However we can learn how to be more effective in these situations, keeping in mind that learning to work with difficult people is both an art and a science.

How difficult people differ from the rest of us

We can all be difficult at times, but some people are difficult more often. They demonstrate such behaviors as arguing a point over and over, choosing their own self-interest over what’s best for the team, talking rather than listening, and showing disrespect. These behaviors can become habits. In most cases, difficult people have received feedback about their behavior at some time, but they haven’t made a consistent change. (See Is she a bully or a difficult person? by clicking the PDf icon above) (more…)

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How to fit in fast at your new job

By Gregory S. Kopp, RN, MN, MHA

A new job can be stimulating, but it can also be stressful. Not only will you have new responsibilities, but you’ll also have a new setting, new leaders, and new colleagues. And the quicker you can figure out who’s who and what’s what—without stepping on anyone’s toes—the better off you’ll be.

But establishing positive relationships while performing your new job well can be tricky. And early missteps can have a lasting effect on your working relationships and your effectiveness. That’s why I recommend using the four tactics below, starting on day one. (more…)

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How to set up an effective wound care formulary and guideline

wound care formulary and guideline

By Jeri Lundgren, BSN, RN, PHN, CWS, CWCN

Navigating through the thousands of wound care products can be overwhelming and confusing. I suspect that if you checked your supply rooms and treatment carts today, you would find stacks of unused products. You also would probably find that many products were past their expiration dates and that you have duplicate products in the same category, but with different brand names. Many clinicians order a product by brand name, not realizing that plenty of the product is already in stock under a different brand name. (more…)

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