Hello and Happy Independence Day to everyone!
I hope some of you are taking a nice holiday break from working and have something fun planned. For those of you who will be working, holidays are always busy whether you are working in an ER, or a SNF unit, so I want to send you all a big thank you for your service. This month we have articles on the advances being made in attracting and retaining recruits to psychiatric nursing; ER nursing on the Fourth of July and some of the typical injuries, and lastly I have included some resume tips from a friend of mine who worked for several years as an HR Administrator at a large Continuum of Care Retirement Community. So, until next month, be safe, stay cool, and have fun!
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Editor, Nurse-Recruiter.com Newsletter
Advances in Mental Health Nursing
Mental health and psychiatric nursing have come along way since the days of large state run insane asylums and the ugly nurse Ratched stereotypes. Contemporary mental health nursing has been freed from the constraints of the intimidating grey stone edifices and is now happily practiced in several settings, such as home health, outpatient treatment centers, doctor offices, clinics, prisons, and yes, also in the remaining large psychiatric hospitals. Back in the 1970's, when the push for community inclusion and deinstitutionalization gained momentum, there was a definite and unsavory stigma attached to the psychiatric nurse. This outdated perception and the generalized fear of working with the developmentally disabled, mentally ill, or brain damaged are fading as a growing field of nursing practice is illuminated.
The change in society's perception stems from early classroom and community inclusion, the rise volunteerism, and education. Ignorance and fear are being transformed into understanding and acceptance by the general public. I see this most evidently in Generation Y, also known as the Millennials. They were the first generation of kids to be publicly medicated, educated on mental illness and disability, included in regular and advanced classrooms and pushed to volunteer in their communities. They are also the first generation of American to have experienced a country at war for the majority of their lifetimes. They have watched as parents, older siblings, and now peers head off to war and come home with traumatic brain injuries, post traumatic stress disorder and other disabilities.
Until fairly recently nursing programs have offered watered down courses in mental health and limited to no access to hands on training. According to an article on Nurse.com by Debra Anscombe Wood, RN, that focused on offerings in New Jersey, some nursing programs are beginning to offer psychiatric training programs for nursing students. The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey has developed a dual-degree program of Mental Health Nurse Practitioner and Doctor of Nursing Practice programs to offer psychiatric nurses advancement and leadership training opportunities. In an effort to increase interest in psychiatric nursing, facilities such as Bergen Regional in New Jersey now offer a paid externship program in the summer that allows nurses to choose two units for a clinical psychiatric rotation and attract nurses. To retain psychiatric nurses facilities like the Nassau University Medical Center have raised wages, offer “hazard pay”, provide a 2 month orientation, and hold crisis prevention training.
The article asserts there is a growing need for psychiatric registered nurses, clinical nurse specialists, and nurse practitioners, but until recently it has been difficult to woo nurses into the mental health field because of old stereotypes and the general lack of access to psychiatric facilities and limited educational preparedness. But thanks to efforts by educators, nurse leaders, and forward thinking hospital administrators this trend is changing for the better.
ER Nursing on the Fourth of July
The Fourth of July is no picnic for emergency room and trauma nurses. Each year trauma nurses experience a significant rise in the number of people coming into the ER for preventable situations stemming from legal and underage drinking, playing with fireworks, swimming accidents, sun and heat exposure, and boating accidents. One good piece of new is that July 4th is on a Wednesday this year. Maybe with the holiday falling in the middle of the week there will be a reduction in the number of injuries that require an emergency room visit.
While the best scenario is prevention of injury in the first place, ER staff will no doubt be busy this year treating Independence Day revelers, and alcohol consumption seems to be a common denominator, an instigator, the trouble maker that leads to a lot of the injuries and issues mentioned above. Alcohol related injuries will rise like a blip on an EKG this Fourth of July, but thankfully they will be in the care of some of the best trained emergency room and trauma nurses in the world.
The CDC and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration report that alcohol related emergency room visits by males under the age of nineteen, doubles on the Fourth of July each year. ER nurses see everything from accidents brought on by risky behaviors while inebriated, to straight up alcohol poisoning. The same rise is not seen in underage females. Young men under nineteen also seem to get the brunt of the burns and injuries from fireworks. Nurses see everything from corneal burns to missing digits and most injuries that are firework related will happen to children. In a report from the CDC it was reported that in 2010 half of the injuries happened to kids nineteen years old and below, and a quarter of those injuries happened to kids nine years old or younger. M.A.D.D. proposes that a designated driver be assigned, and rightly so. However, designated drivers just cover the road and a lot of accidents that end with a trip to the ER occur in our own backyards.
Drowning is still the leading cause of injury or death in children aged one to four, and according to the May 24, 2012, press release from the US Consumer Products Safety Commission CDC 3 kids die each day due to drowning. Drowning happens quickly and quietly and is easily preventable. Swimmers should be supervised. The American Red Cross offers safety tips on their website.
Burns from the sun, BBQ grills, fire pits, campfires, beach fires not properly extinguished, fireworks and others will make painful appearances in ER's this holiday. Burn units see an increase of burns to the hands, face, eyes, arms and legs. In an article by Todd Harper in the The New Wishard, Dr. Rajiv Sood, is quoted as saying, “...30 to 40 % of burns are preventable through appropriate education...and injuries caused by fireworks are the most preventable kinds of burns.” (http://www.wishard.edu/Modules/News/6-20-12-news)
Hyperthermia is not uncommon to the ER on big summer holidays, especially with the record high temperatures we have seen across the country recently. Individuals celebrating the Fourth will be enjoying parades, ball games, volley ball, camping, and other outside activities. On warm days heat alone can become a life threatening emergency. Heat stroke is more commonly seen in the very young and in the elderly, but no one is immune. When outside in the sun it is important to take precautions, stay hydrated, do not over do physical activity, and have access to a place to cool off.
Another cause of emergency room visits on the Fourth of July are due to boating accidents. A large number of the boating accidents are alcohol related and easily preventable. Boating safety courses are available and encouraged by the US Coast Guard (http://www.uscgboating.org/safety/boating_safety_courses_.aspx). Some suggestions for safe boating include: don't drink alcohol to excess, or at all if you have any responsibilities on the boat; wear a life vest; and keep an eye out for swimmers in the water.
Most accidents that will require trips to the emergency room this holiday are preventable. Nurses working on the holiday might consider using this time as a prime preventative teaching opportunity. Nurses should prepare themselves for the uptick in ER visitors, and remember to take sanity breaks and stay hydrated.
A few BIG no no's on your resume from Angie Messerschmidt, former Healthcare HR Administrator.
Do not lie on your resume.
You will be found out, and it can cost you your job, even if the truth comes out months to years from date of hire.
Do not put your picture on it.
I saw this one a lot when I worked in Human Resources. It is unconventional, startling, and somewhat inappropriate to put your picture on a resume. Employers hire based on your educational and experiential fit to the position. They will see you at the interview.
Do not put your birthdate on it.
This is just asking for trouble. There is no reason ever to put your age, or your birthdate on an application or a resume.
Do not put your religion on it.
Employers do not need this information to make a hiring decision.
Do not put your familial status on it.
Once again, this is just asking for trouble. Do not volunteer information that has no bearing on the hiring decision. I am sure you are proud of your family, or lack thereof, but it has no place on the application. It is illegal for an employer to ask you this information, but if you volunteer it, is free game for discussion.
Do not put your physical description on it.
Yes, those hours in the gym were well spent, but they do not belong anywhere near your resume.
Do not put your social security number on it.
Never ever ever, put your social security number on a resume. Resumes get shuffled around and if you have a social security number on yours it could be stolen. So protect it and your self. You don't even need to provide a social security number until you are completing your new hire paperwork. When Human Resources needs it, they will contact you directly.
Do not put a photocopy of your: credentials, identification, or work documents.
I saw this one a lot as well. Human Resources will ask you for all the documents it needs from you once a hiring decision has been made. When you include a packet of documents with your resume you are not being helpful, or saving the hiring team time. You will still be asked for original documents at the time of hire so save the money on copies, and buy yourself a frappachino or something.
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