Archive | Nurses RSS feed for this section

Women of All Shapes and Sizes

27 Oct

I just came back from a much needed, and rarely had treat – a manicure and pedicure. Part of the fun in blocking out the world while someone else tackles my hands and feet is the chance to indulge in magazines I never have time to read. As I sunk into the massaging chair and dunked my feet in the swirling water, I started flipping through the pages of the November 2nd issue of People. The first thing that grabbed me was a short blurb on a model who is 5’10, 120 pounds and, according to People Magazine, was fired by Ralph Lauren because she was too large to fit into the sample clothes used in their ads. She is considered too heavy to be a model at a size 4. Too heavy to be a model at a size 4? Have we lost our minds?

As nurses we see women and men of all shapes and sizes and we know that the average woman isn’t a size 0 (how can you be no size at all?). In fact, Wonderquest says the average American woman is just shy of 5’4 and weighs 152 pounds – about a size 14. I’m not commenting about the obesity epidemic in the United States, just the idea that a woman who is 5’10 and 120 lbs could be considered too heavy to model.

So, why aren’t “real women” in our magazines? Next in my pile happened to be the November issue of Glamour where I discovered a “plus-size” model, Lizzie Miller, had been making headlines all over the news because of an almost nude picture in the September issue of Glamour where you see her not so flat belly. A real women’s belly! After getting all kinds of positive attention, Glamour did a photo shoot for their November issue with 7 “plus-size” models. To Glamour’s credit, apparently they had used 6 of these 7 women in the past (and plan to continue the trend). Almost all had stories of starving themselves to fit into the size 0 world of modeling.

After devouring this article, I read the editor’s column. On that page they showed models through the years that included Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor – true beauties and women who were on the cover of many magazines in the ‘40’s and ‘50’s. Today, Ms. Monroe and Ms. Taylor would be “plus-sized”…How wonderful it would be to transition the American mindset back to this sort of beauty.

What are your thoughts on how we persuade more magazines to follow Glamour’s lead?

Scrubs Fashion: What Looks Good on a Male Nurse?

27 Oct

man-selecting-jeans

I find the words “men’s fashion” in nursing rather intriguing. I’m a T-shirt-and-jeans kind of guy, so “fashion” isn’t something I generally pay much attention to. That said, as a so-called “male nurse,” I’ve found there hasn’t been much to choose from in the way of scrubs and shoes for men.

Over the last few years or so, men’s scrubs have come a long way. There now are many different solid colors and a few “masculine” prints available. But whenever I need new shoes for work, I go to the nurse uniform store hoping they’ll have more than one style of men’s shoes to choose from. It never happens. I’m beginning to believe that the “Big White Boat Shoe” is the only style of men’s nursing shoe in existence—and it makes you look like the Good Humor Man! The good thing for male nurses is that professional-looking, clean sneakers are now acceptable to wear.

Here are a few things that I think make male and female nurses look good as well as professional:

First, I feel solid colors are more acceptable for men. There are some really busy print scrub tops that I think can be distracting sometimes. However, on the peds floors, cute prints are totally acceptable because of their fun nature.

Many hospitals are trying to bring back the clean white scrubs look for their nurses. I believe this is an attempt to project that clean image that many laypeople identify nurses with. While I agree in principle with what this look says, as a nurse I feel it’s just not what I would call “street savvy.” All nurses who wear clean whites to work know that it’s just a matter of time before some type of body fluid gets on them. Yes, we all do our best “gowning up” to avoid this, but it inevitably happens. Then those clean whites aren’t projecting that “clean” image, if you know what I mean!

Another thing is: If you’re a guy, don’t mix and match your scrubs. If you’re wearing a blue top, wear the blue pants to match. Sports logo themed scrubs are good conversation pieces, and they offer men something different than just the solid scrubs.

men-scrubs-fashion1

Many nurses now have tattoos, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But if you do, try your best to cover them up while you’re at work. Also, big hanging necklaces or earrings are more appropriate outside the workplace. Again, a professional image is what we’re trying to project, and unfortunately, people make snap judgments on how you look. Sad but true.
Outside the hospital, dress however you want. When you go to work, dress appropriately and professionally so you can project that strong, confident appearance that nurses should be identified with.

The content provided above is copyrighted and owned by Scrubs Magazine and is used by Allheart.com with express permission by Scrubs Magazine. For all blogs by Jim Demaria, go to http://scrubsmag.com/author/jimdemaria/.

10 Most Influential Female Nurses of All Time

27 Oct

Nurses impact lives every day. But once in a while, a nurse comes along who touches the lives of the world, and not just her patients. These women went above and beyond for the field of nursing. They served in wars, broke down racial barriers, and campaigned for women’s rights. They have become role models for women everywhere, not just nurses. However, nurses can be especially proud to share a title with these ten ladies.

1. Florence Nightingale

Florence_Nightingale_max200w

“The Lady with the Lamp” is the quintessential nurse figure. She cared for the poor and distressed, and became an advocate for improving medical conditions for everyone. In her early life, Nightingale mentored other nurses, known as Nightingale Probationers, who then went to on also work to create safer, healthier hospitals.
In 1894, Nightingale trained 38 volunteer nurses who served in the Crimean War. These nurses tended to the wounded soldiers and sent reports back regarding the status of the troops. Nightingale and her nurses reformed the hospital so that clean equipment was always available and reorganized patient care. Nightingale soon realized that many of the soldiers were dying because of unsanitary living conditions, and, after the war, she worked to improve living conditions.
While she was at war, the Florence Nightingale Fund for the Training of Nurses was established in her honor. After the war, Nightingale wrote Notes on Nursing and opened the Women’s Medical College with Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell.
International Nurses Day is celebrated on Nightingale’s birthday, May 12, each year.

2. Margaret Sanger

margaret-sanger_max200w

Best known as an activist for birth control and family planning, Margaret Sanger pioneered the women’s health movement. She distributed pamphlets with information on birth control and wrote on topics such as menstruation and sexuality. Her controversial opinions and disregard for the law often get Sanger in trouble. At one point she left to England under an alias in order to avoid jail.
In 1921, Sanger founded the American Birth Control League which eventually became Planned Parenthood. She began the Clinical Research Bureau in 1923 – the first legal birth control clinic in the US.

3. Clara Barton

clara-barton_max200w

Clara Barton grew up wanted to take care of people. When her father fell ill, Clara helped to care for him until his death. This inspired her to take an interest in nursing, although she first went to school to become a teacher.
During the Civil War, Barton organized medical supplies to be brought to the battlefields. Soon enough, she was allowed to go to the battles herself in order to care for wounded soldiers. Her father taught her to be a true patriot, and these ideals shown through during Barton’s years serving during the Civil War. In 1864, Barton became the “Lady in Charge” of Union hospitals, and the following year President Lincoln charged Barton with finding missing Union soldiers.
During a trip to Europe, Barton encountered the International Committee of the Red Cross, and was motivated to create a branch back in America. In 1873, Barton began the American Red Cross, dedicated to helping disaster victims. She served as the organizations first president.

4. Mary Eliza Mahoney

mary_eliza_mahoney_max200w

Mary Eliza Mahoney was the first African-American woman to become a nurse in the United States. Mahoney worked at the New England Hospital for Women and Children for 15 years before she was admitted into the adjacent nursing school. Mahoney dedicated her life to nursing, heading up the Howard Orphan Asylum for African-American children in New York. She was also one of the first members of the Nurses Associated Alumnae of the United States and Canada which later became the American Nurses Association.
In 1908, Mahoney co-founded the National Association of Colored Graduate Nurses which eventually became part of the ANA. Each year, the ANA honors Ms. Mahoney with an award that represents her dedication to nursing and ending racial segregation. She has been inducted into both the ANA and National Women’s Hall of Fame.

5. Anna Caroline Maxwell

anna_maxwell_max200w

Anna Caroline Maxwell was known as the “American Florence Nightengale.” During the Spanish-American War, Maxwell headed up the army nurses, thereby establishing the Army Nurse Corps. During WWI, Maxwell was given the Medal of Honor for Public Health.
Maxwell was an essential element to the progression of practical nursing. She began working at a hospital before she was formally trained, and after graduating the Boston City Training College for Nurses, Maxwell began the nurse training program at Montreal General Hospital. She also served as the superintendent of nurses at a number of east coast hospitals including Massachusetts General Hospital and St. Luke’s Hosptial. Maxwell was the first director of the New York Presbyterian Hospital which would become the Columbia School of Nursing.

6. Dorothea Lynde Dix

DorotheaDix_max200w

Dorothea Dix is best known for creating the first mental health system in the United States. Inspired by a trip to England, Dix returned to America curious how the US government treated the mentally unstable. Dix spent many year petitioning Congress, drafting legislation, and documenting her visits to various states.
Dix first succeeded with the construction of the North Carolina State Medical Society in 1849, dedicated to the care of the mentally ill. Dix also assisted with legislation that called for 12,225 acres of land to be used for the “insane,” with proceeds of its sale going to build mental asylums.
During the Civil War, Dix served as Superintendent of the Union Army Nurses, although she was eventually relieved of her duties after butting heads with Army doctors. She was a staunch believer in caring for everyone, though, and her nurses were some of the only caretakers of Confederate soldiers.

7. Ellen Dougherty

Ellen-Dougherty

Ellen Dougherty, of New Zealand, was the first Registered Nurse in the world. New Zealand was the first country to initiate the Nurse Registration Act that allowed for legal registration of nurses prior to completion of training. Dougherty trained at the Wellington Hospital and was the matron at Palmerston North Hospital.

8. Mabel Keaton Staupers

staupers_mabel_max200w

Mabel Keaton Staupers was an advocate for racial equality in the field of nursing. Staupers served as the secretary of the National Associated of Graduate Colored Nurses. She advocated for the introduction of African-American nurses into the Army and Navy during WWII.
In 1945, she won the fight and all nurses, regardless of race, were to be included in the military. In 1950, Staupers dissolved the NAGCN as it re-aligned with the American Nursing Association.

9. Linda Richards

richards_max200w

After receiving little training during her first attempt to become a nurse, Linda Richards enrolled as the first student in the first American Nurse’s training school. After graduating, she began work at Bellevue Hospital in New York. Recognizing the disorganization of keeping records, Richards developed a system to track individual records of each patient. The US and UK both readily adopted Richard’s system.
In 1874, Richards became the superintendent of the Boston Training School for Nurses and virtually turned the fledgling school around. Richards also traveled to England and was taught by Florence Nightingale. In her later years, Richards established the American Society of Superintendents of Training Schools and led the Philadelphia Visiting Nurses Society. In 1994, she was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame.

10. Claire Bertschinger

claire_b_max200w

Claire Bertschinger worked for the International Red Cross during the highly-publicized 1984 famine in Ethiopia. She regularly was seen on television, and helped to inspire Bob Geldof to create the Band-Aid charily single. While in Ethiopia, she ran a number of children’s feeding centers, although she was never able to feed everyone.
Along with Ethiopia, she also worked in Panama, Lebanon and Papua New Guinea. Her experiences motivated her to write a book on her work, entitled Moving Mountains. Bertschinger has received the Florence Nightengale Medal, the Woman of the Year Award and the Human Rights in Nursing Award.

The content provided above is copyrighted and owned by Scrubs Magazine and is used by Allheart.com with express permission by Scrubs Magazine. For all blogs by nursinglink, go to http://scrubsmag.com/author/nursinglink/.

How to deal with teachers and patients you don’t like

21 Aug

It happens. Chemistry? Condescension? Conflicting astrological signs? No respect? Someone getting on your case? Any one of these could lead to a situation where you just do not like a key person in your life. There are teachers you love, teachers you hate, and teachers you love to hate. Patients are the same way—some are respectful and some treat you like a personal servant.

It’s obvious the latter don’t know that the reason medical professionals wear the types of uniforms they wear is to separate the pros from the servants. That’s a topic we’ve discussed in an earlier blog topic; the history of scrubs and uniforms as a way to distinguish the work service that we perform.” Dealing with the disliked is smoother when you know you’re looking like a pro in your AllHeart stylish and well-fitting uniforms and scrubs. Maintaining a degree of separation is the beginning of a separation between those you dislike- and you.

Experts offer a number of different tips and methods for dealing with people you don’t like. A common thread runs through all the advice: Practice your CRAFT (Confidence, Respect, Assessment, Focus, and Task).

Confidence: Avoid becoming defensive

Always remember that wearing your uniform or scrubs is a badge of professionalism. When dealing with teacher or patient, maintaining a neutral posture is important while believing in your actions. You can maintain confidence, when you’re right and even when you’re wrong. Combine your confidence with a smile and avoid being defensive. Asking, “how can I do this to your satisfaction?” puts the person with whom you’re dealing in a position of defining expectations. Your professional persona assists in neutrally crafting expectations that allow you to perform without consideration of the person.

Respect: You catch more bees with honey than you do with vinegar

Being polite helps lessen the aggravation of interaction. If you maintain polite standards of communications centered on the task or results rather than the person, the interaction is on a higher. Being respectful and polite about the end result helps avoid patronizing or condescending tones, both of which antagonize people. Diluting the conversation with additional people involved also lessens the interaction impact. Looking and feeling confident in the interaction keeps you as the leader in the interaction.

Assessment: The cause of the dislike

There is always the old adage, “walk a mile in her shoes.” Putting yourself in the other person’s place is to understand why you don’t like them. What is the person doing that rubs you wrong? Of course, you won’t like everyone who teaches your classes or is under your care, but empathy can ensure better interaction throughout your education and career.

Focus: The results

Your interaction with someone whom you dislike has an end purpose. Know your objective, and strive to accomplish the result to reduce personal interaction. Remaining focused helps offset the underlying personalities. With an eye on what you want to accomplish makes the people in the process more amorphous.

Task: The objective on hand

Concentrate on your tasks at hand. Keeping your attention on what has to be accomplished rather than who is involved in the process keeps your feelings under the surface. The task is less threatening and channeled to deliver or receive the information you need, again reducing the interaction. Asking questions or interacting pertinent to the task needing to be accomplished, unless you can just as easily get the necessary information some other way. Knowing the balance between seeing information to complete the task properly is important when weighed against avoiding contact.
In conclusion, we recognize that many of your days are stress-filled working with patients, colleagues, and even teachers that might be difficult. We hope as you practice these coping mechanisms, you will think of allheart.com as your online resource for the uniform of duty, protection, and at times, separation.

Resources:

Dealing With People You Dislike
20 Tips for Dealing with Difficult People
How To Become Adept at Dealing with Difficult People and Avoiding Conflict

Brand Spotlight: Dickies Medical Scrubs

29 Jul

Dickies Medical Scrubs

While the history of uniforms and scrubs will be a story in its own right, one of the largest manufacturers of medical apparel deserves independent recognition. It’s been a long road trip from the 1922 introduction of Dickies® bib overalls to the American farmer and worker. The Williamson-Dickie Mfg Co makes clothes that look good and wear well, just as it has for almost 90 years.

The Dickies® bib overall is an American icon. The overalls are seen on the farmer in the famous 1930 painting “American Gothic,” and almost any photograph of the hard scrabble American laborer. From its inception Dickies® brand apparel has been and continues to be associated with tough jobs requiring quality, long-wearing clothing. In the 1950s, the Company expanded its clothing line to appeal to a broader base of American workers. The 21st century saw a further expansion and medical apparel was added to the clothes’ line through a licensee arrangement.

Everyone in the medical profession recalls when medical uniforms, scrubs, and apparel were any color desired…. as long as they were white. To meet the evolving demand of the medical profession, Dickies® introduced more fashion-forward colors. The initial blues and whites were joined with orange, tan, olive, and other solid colors. These evolved into medical apparel with contemporary style, comfortable fit, and panache—the Dickies® medical apparel line that we know and love today.

Other changes in the Dickies® brand apparel line include different styles of tops and pants with comfort, fit, and style in mind. Medical apparel is designed to be easily and thoroughly cleaned, resist staining, and long-wearing. Dickies® offers a wide variety of styles and colors that you’ll see at AllHeart.com. Dressing both women and men, the styles offered by AllHeart include new fashions, perfect fits, and a delightful variety of colors, many new for 2009.

It’s been a long road trip from when C. N. Williamson and his cousin “Col.” Dickie started the U. S. Overall company to Williamson-Dickie Mfg. Co. becoming one of the largest work clothing textile companies in the world. The complete line of medical apparel is part of the AllHeart family. There are hundreds of Dickie® products offered by AllHeart. In addition to the medical apparel, AllHeart carries other Dickies® casual clothes bringing the same durability home from the office for leisure wear. Now that you’ve learned the story behind that famous horseshoe for Dickies® medical apparel, click on over to the Dickies® pages to check out AllHeart.com for the fantastic assortment of Dickie® scrub tops, scrub pants, lab coats, and even closeouts in many, many styles and colors.

Shop now!

Ten interesting historical facts about scrubs

6 Jun

historyofscrubs

  1. Scrubs (and nurses’ uniforms in general) evolved from nuns’ habits. Nuns were the original caretakers of the sick.
  2. Florence Nightengale pioneered the idea that nurses should dress distinctly and differently from other medical aid workers.
  3. Despite lacking gloves or masks, nurses in the 1800s were sold “fever-proof” uniforms that supposedly blocked disease.
  4. In the early 20th century, nurses dressed in straight, sharply-tailored, ankle-length dresses. It was more important to be seen as respectable – and separate from the servants — than to be comfortable.
  5. World War I changed everything. Skirts were shortened so that nurses could move around, or, if necessary, run.
  6. Well into the 20th century, surgeons wore street clothes with butchers’ aprons. The practice dropped sharply after the 1940s, as it was dangerous to both doctor and patient, not to mention distasteful.
  7. Hats were once a major part of nursing uniforms. They fell out of favor because male nurses didn’t like wearing them.
  8. Riding a wave of enhanced hygiene, scrubs became popular in the 1970s because they were easier to clean than uniforms. They were considered more hygienic and less likely to transmit Staph and other hospital-borne pathogens.
  9. In the early days, scrubs were almost always green or light blue, but some hospitals switched to pink (or enormous stenciled logos) to discourage theft. University hospitals frequently match their scrubs to their institution’s colors.
  10. Scrubs have gained popularity outside the hospital and have been adopted by backpackers because of their light weight and comfortable feel.

What do you know about scrubs that we need to know at The Pulse? What is the word at the nurses station in terms of the hottest brands or the best fitting bottoms? Is there some special way that you wash your scrubs that keeps the colors more vibrant and helps them last  longer? What color scrubs look great together? What scrubs do you wear as every day clothing or wear together with your street clothes?

Is travel nursing a vocation or vacation?

15 May

With summer in full swing, are you thinking about travel? What about combining your vocation with a vacation!

Travel nurses live in places where others only dream of vacationing – and with great pay, excellent benefits and free housing. Global demand for travel nurses means that you can spend a month or even a year exploring your favorite cities, communing with nature in the peaceful countryside, or even going abroad.

To become a travel nurse, you will need an RN license and at least a year in your specialty field. You will also want to find a good travel nursing company to act as your recruiter and handle the paperwork – state licensing requirements if you work in the United States, immigration documents if you travel abroad.

Here are five amazing destinations for a once-in-a-lifetime experience:

1. The Caribbean. Whether you stay on an island or work on a cruise ship, the demand for nurses in the Caribbean is booming. Do your homework, though: some islands require nurses to speak Spanish or French.
• Pros: Turquoise water, sandy beaches and plenty of sunshine. Many islands are affiliated with American hospitals and have top-notch facilities and equipment.
• Cons: Some islands offer comparatively low wages and a high cost of living, but if tropical vacations are the highlight of your year, it may be worth it.

2. Australia. Far enough from the U.S. to be exotic, similar enough to not make you feel like a stranger in a strange land. Spend your time off on your own walkabout exploring pristine coral reefs, sprawling natural wonders and cosmopolitan cities. Aussies are friendly, outgoing and welcoming to visitors.
• Pros: If you’ve ever wanted to live in Australia, this is your best opportunity – nursing visas are given high priority in a country that is otherwise cool to foreign workers.
• Cons: You still need to jump through a few hoops. You’ll need an Australian nursing license (allow 6 – 9 months) and a medical exam. It’s more difficult to get a visa if you are older or married.

3. The American Sunbelt. The Southwestern U.S. and Florida are still catching their breath as millions of people migrate to new jobs and lives – as well as spectacular weather. All of this spells a desperate demand for nurses.
• Pros: High wages! Some travel nurses make up to $90,000 living in the Southwest US. More development means lots of new hospitals and cutting-edge equipment. You can work winters – during peak tourist demand — and go home in the summers.
• Cons: Sunbelt cities are fairly automobile-dependent and can be hostile to those who enjoy high-density development and walking.

4. Dubai. Sunny, modern, and booming with expatriates, Dubai is full of perks, perks, perks for registered nurses. Chief among them is an absence of an income tax. Facilities are some of the finest in the world.
a. Pros: A wide variety of career opportunities, ranging from corporations to schools to private care. Generous paid time off. Paid airfare from your country of origin.
b. Cons: A more conservative culture with stricter laws. The construction boom has created a challenging traffic situation.

5. Spain. Not as large a demand for nurses as other places, since the public health system has produced a glut of licensed nurses; however, there is a large expatriate community of retirees along the coastal cities and a need for English-speaking private nurses there.
• Pros: Unforgettable cities and friendly people. Spain has some of the best beaches and weather in Europe and is close to many top destinations by rail.
• Cons: Expect a culture shock. Visitation is allowed 24 hours a day in hospitals and families are responsible for the patient’s hygiene and aftercare.

We want to hear about your travel nursing experiences! Is it something that you would recommend? Was it the trip of a lifetime or an experience that you want to forget?

The Pulse wants to be your destination for the best travel nurse advice from the people who know best…..YOU!

Please submit your travel nursing stories, advice, and pictures!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.