IT Skills all Nurses should Have

June 19th, 2015

There’s no denying the importance of technology within the healthcare industry. It is vital that nurses and other medical professionals stay up to speed with the latest IT innovations related to their job.

If you work in the nursing profession, honing your information technology skills are an important part of a successful career. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some IT skills all nurses need to possess in their tool box.

Experience with a Variety of Records Systems is a Must

As the medical industry continues in its migration towards 100 percent usage of electronic record keeping, it is important that nurses become well-versed in the variety of record systems used in the industry. This also includes the data analysis and reporting techniques helping to derive relevant and actionable information from stored patient data.

The Growing Importance of Nursing Informatics

The added emphasis on the development of information technology skills in nursing has led to a new career specialization called nursing informatics. As hinted at in its name, nursing informatics is a hybrid discipline, combining skills from both nursing and information technology. Although the American Nursing Association first defined the term in 1992, this area of nursing has seen rapid growth over the last 10 years.

The development of IT systems related to clinical documentation, electronic medical records (EMR), and electronic health records (EHR) is a major area of responsibility of informatics nurses. If you are an experienced nurse with an affinity for computers and IT, consider moving into a nursing informatics role in the future.

Integration of Medical Records Systems remains Vital

One of the ways IT-savvy nurses can make a valuable difference in today’s healthcare industry is by helping to understand the challenges involved with integrating data records between the variety of EMR and EHR systems currently in use. Understanding how data is organized is a great skill to help with this process.

If you are interested in supercharging your nursing career by emphasizing on information technology, talk to the industry experts at Pinnacle Workforce. As one of the top healthcare staffing agencies in the country, we understand how IT makes a difference in the field and can help ensure you have the right skills to succeed. Meet with us at your earliest convenience.

Healthcare Performance Boosters for HR and Management

April 25th, 2014

Working in the healthcare industry is a daily challenge for those in leadership positions, HR managers, and even for the employees. It is a high stress environment where teams are constantly on the move and regulations can change overnight so it is crucial for employees to feel support and value on a daily basis. Not only are employees pushed to their limits physically and emotionally in the course of one shift, they are sometimes forced to work overtime to compensate for facilities being short-staffed. Healthcare providers have to think clearly for hours on end and still have empathy, with every patient. Your team is responsible for the lives of their patients and that is a great deal of responsibility to put on them. It is important to keep your teams motivated and focused so they are able to perform at the high levels necessary. These boosters should become part of your routine so the valuable team members you have in place will have reason to stay and continue to create a top-notch facility.

What can you do for your Team?
Day in and day out, your team members arrive at work and give 100%. Yes, they are paid for their work but it’s no secret most healthcare workers will go above and beyond what is expected of them on a daily basis to meet the needs of their patients. This can mean staying a bit later to make sure a scared patient falls asleep or making sure a child is able to see their parents before bedtime. Each and every day, these are the people who do positive acts for the world and many times they are under high levels of stress both professionally and personally. Leadership and the HR departments of any healthcare facility can help alleviate some of the stress by creating a focus on several aspects that have proven valuable to medical staff.

  • Open communication. When employees feel as though they can talk to their superiors, other team members, and lateral departments, there is a lessened chance of miscommunication and issues that develop into major problems. Good communication is the key to any and all successful relationships and an open dialogue between employer and employees will benefit everyone.
  • Team building. You don’t need to force everyone to participate in an obstacle course or something extreme to build a cohesive team. Team building exercises can be something as simple as encouraging employees to eat lunch together or celebrate birthdays as a group. By making everyone on the team feel value, you are building a team.
  • Strong Leadership. An important aspect of healthcare performance is maintaining the hierarchy of seniority and those in leadership staying in charge of each shift. Clear leaders within the departments will keep the status quo and that is essential for success in this industry. When there is not a clear leader for each area, chaos will ensue and nothing will get done efficiently, which can lead to even more stress for your teams.

Working in the healthcare industry can be difficult yet extremely rewarding and for those who have made it their career, a boost from the management and HR departments can be just what they need to continue providing quality care to each and every patient.

The Use of Music as Therapy in Elderly Patients

March 18th, 2014

As patients age, their health problems can increase from brittle bones to memory loss, and while there are few options to drastically improve their mental state, new research is providing hope for an improved quality of life for their daily life. Music therapy can be the medium used to bring the elderly out of their depression and provide them with an outlet for strength and happiness. The ideology behind the therapy is simple: music can recreate memories and cause the elderly to interact with something positive and happy, music.  When the brain is stimulated, it tends to stay in that state so the elderly can have hours of productive brain thought after the initial music therapy session.

Creating a Higher Quality of Life for the Elderly
Plagued with health problems, medications that make them groggy and even a loss of special memories can make the elderly depressed and they will sometimes retreat from the world. When this occurs, their health begins to deteriorate at a rapid pace without daily walks, mental stimulus, and the social interaction that humans need on some level. Music has always been regarded as a mood-lifter and a positive influence in lives. It can reduce anxiety and confusion with dementia patients, causing them to interact with others and when the brain is stimulated, it can lead to increased functionality throughout the day. The elderly are more apt to vocalize a problem and even remember things on their own. Even for the elderly without dementia, the music will create a calm environment and happier exchanges with others in the community as well as the caregivers.

Easy to Understand Why it Works
When the elderly are placed in a retirement setting or even with a caregiver at their home, it can be a scary time. Not only is it is a new situation to face but many times, they may wake up, forgetting where they are and why they are there. Music therapy can work as a calming agent to decrease the agitation felt by these patients who will struggle to put into words their own feelings of helplessness and confusion. Every one of all ages will respond more positively to a happy mood and something familiar, especially the elderly when they hear music from their past that can conjure up good memories for them. It will encourage them to sing along and it may be surprising to see how much they do remember from the “good old days” of their past and the conversations that follow can create stronger relationships and enjoyment. Elderly care facilities around the country are implementing music therapy for patients in all stages of care and seeing dramatic results when the patients are given the chance to choose their favorites on a music device. 

Pinnacle Workforce
Pinnacle Workforce strives to meet the needs of the dynamic healthcare industry. We promise to provide qualified professionals to the companies and organizations where they are needed most. Want to learn more about our team and how we can benefit your hiring needs? Contact our team of experienced San Antonio medical recruiters today!

Key Facts of The Affordable Care Act

December 27th, 2013

Due to the nature of this politically charged government bill, it can be hard to determine what the truth is and what is propaganda put out there with an ulterior motive. In order to fully understand this new healthcare law and how it affects you, it is important to realize the facts of this new health care plan. You can then form an educated opinion about Obamacare and its impact on your life.

The Foundation
The Affordable Care Act, ACA, or Obamacare are all the same thing and it is part of the reform signed into action by President Obama in 2010 designed to provide quality, affordable healthcare for all Americans and reduce the growth in health care spending. The ACA has a goal to expand the private and public sectors of health insurance so more people can afford it without having to sacrifice on the quality of the program. Here are some quick facts about this new healthcare reform meant to educate and inform:

  • Obamacare does not replace private insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid
  • It regulates health insurance, not the care you will receive.
  • All insurers are required to cover those with pre-existing conditions.
  • Insurance companies can no longer drop you when you get sick or make an honest mistake on your applications.
  • The insurance companies can no longer hike up your rates and they must do away with life-time and annual limits.
  • There are ten essential health benefits that must be included on all non-grandfathered plans with no annual or lifetime dollar limits: outpatient care, emergency room care, hospitalization, maternity and newborn care, mental health and addiction treatment, prescription drugs, rehab services and devices, laboratory services, preventative and chronic disease treatment, pediatric services.
  • Immunizations, yearly checkups, counseling, and screenings are all included in the free preventative care that must be included on all non-grandfathered plans.
  • Most Americans will have to obtain healthcare coverage, get an exemption or pay a monthly fee/penalty if they do not have the appropriate insurance.
  • The ACA reduces the growth in healthcare spending that is currently the standard.

If you still have questions about this new healthcare law, you should search the internet or talk to a health care insurance professional to learn the facts. When you have the facts and knowledge about how the mandates will affect you, you can make educated decisions about your own healthcare or that of your company. From large corporations to the small corner business, the ACA has different requirements and unless you know what they are, you may feel overwhelmed and panicked. The staff at Pinnacle Workforce is here to help you with your concerns about the ACA and how it will affect your employment, your team, or even your ability to hire new team members.

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