The Stigma of Agency Nursing

The Stigma of Agency Nursing

With the advent of the NHS staffing crisis, and shortage of care home nurses,  agency nurses are often around to support. Nurses however are quite a “clicky”bunch. Nurses like the familiar faces of colleagues and people who they are comfortable working with. They like to work with people whose skill set they are confident in, and people they can trust. For this reason, agency nurses are stigmatised. Agency nurses come from differing backgrounds and may have little or no experience working in the environment that they are placed in as an agency nurse.

Agency Nursing: The Stigma

Regular nurses can get frustrated.  Instead of receiving support, they often end up carrying out the majority of the work on shift. They doubt the agency nurse’s capacity to competently care for patients with specific conditions. It is however unfair to view agency nurses as incompetent. Just because they do not have experience working in an area of specialist nursing does not mean they are incompetent. For example, a pulmonary nurse was given a shift on a kidney and liver transplant ward. She may not have the extensive knowledge and skills to effectively work on that unit. However, when one patient developed pulmonary oedema as a result of his illness, the pulmonary nurse was able to properly apply the care which was instructed by a doctor.

Breaking the Stigma of Agency Nursing

As an agency nurse, it becomes more and more important to prove yourself. This is not only to break the stigma, but because maybe you have also been at the receiving end of unsatisfactory work as a regular nurse. This stigma also stems from the fact that some agency nurses are given shifts even though they do not have the experience in a specific area. Agency nurses are no different to regular nurses and hold the same nursing qualifications. In fact, some agency nurses are actually more experienced than the regular nurses they are put on shift with.

Responsibility on Both Sides

For agency nurses, know the basics and gain as much experience as you can. Being able to identify your limitations in a setting which is totally new to you, is vital in ensuring safe and effective care. By being able to do this you are able to show your proficiency as a nurse. This will help you earn the trust and respect of the regular nurses you are working with. Be aware of your capabilities and do not accept shifts in specialisms where you know you have no experience.

As a regular nurse, do not to be unfairly judgemental of agency nurses. Ensure you are aware of the agency nurses experience and specialisms, and be more trusting.

 

Go Nurse is The Stress Free Nursing Agency for London nurses. Is it time you made a change? Register online today for nursing shifts across London.

Top 7 Nursing Essentials

Top 7 Nursing Essentials

Every job has its only unique requirements and there are certain things without which, you would not be able to carry out your role to the best of your ability. Nursing is no different – there are nursing essentials that make the job just that much easier, and make nurses more comfortable during a long, tenuous shift.

Something as mundane as your choice of shoes can affect your level of comfort and influence work outcomes.

Read on to the essential items that every nurse must have…

Nursing Essentials No 1 – Compression Stockings

Definitely a must have especially when nurses are standing and running around all day. Compression stockings help promote circulation and help to alleviate tired feet. These stockings also help prevent unsightly varicose veins from forming. Be sure to get the correct size for your feet though, because wearing compression stockings that are too tight or too loose defeats the purpose of wearing them.

Nursing Essentials No 2 – Comfortable Footwear

Orthopaedic shoes are usually the choice of nurses when it comes to footwear. They are great in preventing joint pain and poor posture resulting from an improper stance. Shoes should also be flexible (imagine being able to wriggle your toes in them) and yet firm so your feet are protected when working with and around heavy equipment and objects. Orthopaedic shoes are all supporting and comfortable and many of the soles will take the shape of your foot.

Nursing Essentials No 3 – Nursing Bag

A light weight bag that will hold and organise all your nursing essentials from your stethoscope to your scissors is usually best. Some nurses find that a bag with many different compartments assists with keeping their bag organised and ensures that they don’t forget anything. Furthermore, a light weight, ergonomic designed bag will help prevent shoulder and back pain if you do have many items to carry.

Nursing Essentials No 4 – Comfortable Uniform

NHS and many agency nurses are provided a uniform which they are required to wear. Make sure you are provided the correct size for your frame. Materials should be soft, elasticated, and non-binding to allow the nurse to move freely. Uniforms are not always figure flattering, however remember that comfort is key and a professional image is essential.

Nursing Essentials No 5 – Pens

Part of the role of being a nurse is having to complete clear and detailed documentation, patient charts, reports ……. and the list goes on! For this, you will at all times need to have more than one fully-functioning pen. Never forget to bring your own pens to a shift, and make sure they are leak-proof, as you do not want a huge ink stain on the front of your smart, clean uniform! Also, nothing will irritate your colleagues more than you having to constantly borrow their pen!

Nursing Essentials No 6 – A Second Pair of Shoes

It is always advisable to have a second pair of shoes so you can alternate and let your work footwear breathe. This not only helps prolong the life of your shoes by helping them retain their shape, but prevents them from becoming smelly.

Nursing Essentials No 7 – Fob Watch

Nurses require a watch to carry out patient observations, as well as keep an eye on their shift time. A normal watch may scratch or hurt patients as worn on the wrist, will get in the way of hand washing, and is also not very hygienic in a medical environment. A fob watch not only is a historical nurse symbol, it is also conveniently attached to your uniform and is much more hygienic.

 

Go Nurse is The Stress Free Nursing Agency for London nurses. Is it time you made a change? Register online today for nursing shifts across London.

Be Assertive when Building Your Nursing Career

Be Assertive when Building Your Nursing Career

No person is the same. Each and every one of us is distinct – different personality, a different identity.

Our characteristics define who we are and it is a roadmap of where we were and where we will be. In the workplace, there are times when individuality helps with the tasks on hand while there are times when it becomes a hindrance in achieving goals. Individuality helps with identifying with clients and relating to them while conformity helps with maintaining a workplace. Take note however that our identities are many, multifaceted and dynamic therefore we can show our identities in the different aspects of our work. Identity is a complex and changing representation of self and it is created in relationships with others, we are not just our job, we have an identity as a child, a sibling, a friend, a lover and so on.

Building your Nursing Career

As a nurse, you will be tasked with caring for other people. You would usually follow what your superiors tell you. There are times when your routine and the commands of your superiors drown out your individuality. You forget your identity and you become a slave to your work. You will sometimes feel like you are just a cog in someone else’s spinning wheel. This gives you dissatisfaction with your work (dissonance) and you will easily burn yourself out.

For you to assert your individuality in your nursing career, you will need to identify in which facets of your work you can show your individuality. There are aspects where individuality will not be suitable for your work while there are aspects where individuality is appreciated. Some aspects of your work will require precision which will sometimes demand conformity from you. Emergency situations where life is at risk will require you to follow what others are telling you, therefore, your individuality will not be appropriate in that situation. On the other hand, in the treatment of your patients, you can show your individuality by giving your patients individualized care based on their own personality and identity. This gives your patient a lasting impression of who you are and how you helped nurse them back to health.

You should also strive to learn more. Further education will distinguish you from your colleagues and it will help you treat your patients properly and more genuinely. Further education also improves your chances of getting that much-awaited promotion at work.

Don’t be complacent and always strive to be better so you can provide excellence at work.

Go Nurse is The Stress Free Nursing Agency for London nurses. If you want to focus on building your nursing career, get in touch and register online today for nursing shifts across London.

Techniques to Manage Nursing Stress

Techniques to Manage Nursing Stress

Although it can be one of the most rewarding professions, nursing can also be the most stressful. Understaffing, limited breaks, ultra-long shifts and a lack of training are among the reasons that nurses are leaving the NHS in their droves. In order to be able to look after your patients, it’s vital that you look after yourself. Take steps to manage your nursing stress and prevent yourself from becoming overwhelmed.

Stress can be extremely damaging to your health and cause short-term symptoms such as high blood pressure, headaches and insomnia. High levels of stress over time can cause severe depression and even leave you with an increased risk of a heart attack. (We’re sure we don’t need to tell you, you’re the nurse!)

By incorporating some of our following tips to manage your nursing stress, you can keep yourself healthy – both mentally and physically:

Exercise to Manage Nursing Stress

Exercise is nature’s greatest stress-reliever. When you exercise your body will pump feel-good chemicals called endorphins through your system, causing you to instantly feel better and less anxious. It’s for this reason that many people get ‘runner’s high’ for a few hours after exercising. Adopting a regular exercise regime will better your mood and decrease stress levels. It’s obviously also great to keep yourself in shape too!

Take Your Breaks

We can’t stress (excuse the pun!) this one enough – take your breaks! It’s impossible for you to work constantly for an 8, 10 or 12-hour shift without giving yourself regular breaks to recharge your batteries. Make sure you take time for yourself at work regardless of how busy you are!

Get Enough Sleep

One of the biggest factors that can contribute towards stress is not getting enough sleep. Adults need between at least 7 and 8 hours of sleep to function at their best. If you’re not getting a good night’s rest you’ll be much more prone to slower reactions, poor memory and decreased mood the next day. Not getting a good night’s sleep can also affect your immune system and cause you to become unwell, which isn’t good for you or your patients.

Eat healthily

Eating a balanced diet is essential if you want to manage your nursing stress effectively. Healthy foods which give you a slow release of energy throughout the day are vital if you’re working a long shift. Foods rich in B vitamins, such as avocados, are proven stress-relievers due to their ability to nourish your brain and nerve cells. Plan your meals wisely!

 

Go Nurse is The Stress Free Nursing Agency for London nurses. Is it time you made a change? Register online today for nursing shifts across London.

 

Improve your Nursing Bedside Manners

Improve your Nursing Bedside Manners

It isn’t unusual to discover that some nurses lack nursing bedside manners, but can this set of skills be taught or learned?

Nursing bedside manners are an essential trait to have, for a nurse. Your manner will help you to establish rapport with your patient and also help you deliver empathetic care. By developing your nursing bedside manner you can transform and improve your nurse-patient relationships.

Lets discuss what is often promoted by the NMC and RCN as ‘person centred care’ and ‘what makes a good nurse‘.

 

Nursing Bedside Manners

 

Be Observant and Always Ensure your Patient’s Privacy

Much has been said about communication and privacy within healthcare. As nurses we should be careful of the nuances of our patient’s language. Not all present themselves through words. Moreover, not everyone is happy to discuss their health within earshot of others. Watch out for the patient’s body language making sure that we appropriately match what our patients are telling us. We also need to be sensitive about patient privacy so we not only protect his or her dignity. Also that of the other patients in the surrounding area. Often a patient may seem very conscious and shy discussing his or her health problems. Then it may be best to close the patients cubicle curtain or take them to a private area to continue the conversation.

Be Focused and Attentive

Nurses and doctors are often under pressure and in a hurry to attend to and treat patients. However, in our desire to be there for everyone we sacrifice the kind of care we are able to give. It is important to note that mediocre care progressively decreases patient outcomes. Therefore, it is vital whenever attending to a patient that our main focus at that time should only be on him or her. That means avoiding multitasking and actively listening to what they are saying. Refrain from making assumptions that may dismiss an underlying problem hidden in a lengthy narrative of the patient’s symptoms.

Be Clear

As nurses, it is our duty to be able to present information to our patients clearly. Although we are not the only ones responsible for discussing their diagnosis, treatment options or prognosis, they do rely on us for clarification. As nurses we must know how to clarify things with patients in a language that they understand, enabling them to grasp everything that will and may happen. In addition, coherence not only within the healthcare team, but with the patient is one of the best ways to ensure the success of any treatment.

Be Sensitive and Reassuring

Most, if not all patients who come to hospital are very anxious. It is essential that we are able to empathise with them. Being able to understand where patients are coming from and being able to address their concerns will greatly ease the tension and facilitate the treatment process. This should never mean patronising or downplaying the patients concerns.  It is vital that you know which words to say and when to cut a discussion without sounding rude or offensive.

Is it time to brush up on your nursing bedside manners?

Go Nurse is The Stress Free Nursing Agency for London nurses. Is it time you made a change? Register online today for nursing shifts across London.

Promote a Healthy Lifestyle: Be a Healthy Nurse

Promote a Healthy Lifestyle: Be a Healthy Nurse

It is not a secret in the care profession that nurses often don’t have the best lifestyle choices and practices. It’s difficult to be a healthy nurse! Our job demands dedication and makes it hard for us to drink when we’re thirsty, eat regularly and even go to the toilet when we need to. The erratic schedules and shifts from day to night adjusts our body clocks. We develop different coping mechanisms to deal with the psychological and physical stress. These mechanisms often include relying on energy drinks or coffee, smoking or in extreme circumstances, even drug use.

Things often get so hectic at work that we neglect ourselves, not realising that our actions can affect how our patients see us. As healthcare professionals, we should exemplify every facet of our work especially when it comes to our health teachings.

So what are some of the best ways to be a healthy nurse?

Healthy Nurse – Workout

Physical activity is not just important for weight management and overall fitness. Being agile and fit in our line of work is essential due to our dynamic working environment. Anything can happen and not only should you be mentally ready to troubleshoot an issue, you also need to be speedy and strong to address the physical demands of the job – from running to the blood bank because of an emergency transfusion to simply having the endurance to withstand a 12 to 13-hour shift.

From a patient’s viewpoint, a fit and healthy nurse is a much more effective care teacher when it comes to diet, nutrition, and weight loss.

Think gym, fitness classes such as pilates and even yoga as a great way to stay in shape and be a healthy nurse.

Maintain a Healthy Diet

A healthy diet will allow you to lose or maintaining your weight and your cardiovascular health. However, since nurses are always on the go we often eat what is convenient – something we can grab quickly like crisps, candies or chocolates. The result – poor health, lack of energy and potentially illness.

Nurses must promote proper diet and nutrition to their patients, but this can’t be done convincingly if your patients see you frail, overweight or ill. Maybe bring a healthy, pre-prepared lunch to work and always opt for healthy snacks. But food thought and preparation ahead of your shift, especially for night shifts, is the key to being a healthy nurse.

Invest in Your Health

Due to our busy lifestyles, nurses tend to forgo or delay health checks. It is crucial that we invest in ourselves because we cannot do our job properly if we are not healthy and fit. Sharing your health check experiences with your patients is a good way of showing them the importance of regularly going for checks, and that early detection and prevention is always best.

Always Look Your Best

Never arrive at work looking untidy or unclean. It is unhygienic and very unprofessional. It creates the impression that you don’t take your job seriously enough to look the part or be proud of your profession. Besides, how are you to teach your patients about hygiene if you are not able to practice what you preach.

 

Go Nurse is The Stress Free Nursing Agency for London nurses. Is it time you made a change? Register online today for nursing shifts across London.