Avoid Compassion Fatigue Before it Takes a Toll

September 7th, 2016

While an empathic nature is a vital trait for all nurses to possess, you need to tread carefully when it comes to caring for your patients and their families. Simply put, too much time spent handling the needs of others can lead to a condition known as compassion fatigue. This kind of stress adversely affects your productivity, job satisfaction, as well as your emotional and physical health.

Don’t let compassion fatigue result in a negative impact to your nursing career. Here are a few tips aimed at dealing with this important issue facing the nursing industry today.

Symptoms of Compassion Fatigue

The symptoms of compassion fatigue are similar to other work-related stress disorders. Emotional issues include mood swings, anxiety, and depression, which combine with physical ailments like fatigue, muscle tension, and chest discomfort. You may begin to take more sick days, in addition to feeling less empathic towards the patients in your care.

If these symptoms tend to be chronic, especially combined with a loss of empathy, talk to your supervisor about potentially undergoing an assessment for compassion fatigue. It is important to handle this issue before it adversely impacts patient care and your career.

Steps to Assess and Manage Compassion Fatigue

If a formal assessment reveals you are suffering from compassion fatigue, your employer will likely make available a variety of resources to address your problem. In many cases, talking about your problems with a trained counselor is a great first step in developing an action plan to manage the stress and fatigue. This plan generally includes classwork focused on managing daily stress and fostering a better work-life balance, which helps to mitigate the adversity caused by compassion fatigue.

Other steps to handle nursing stress include reducing the number of overtime hours you have to work, a change in assignments, and possibly even scheduling you on a different shift. Having a mentor at your medical establishment to turn to for advice or simply to listen to your problems also helps immensely in managing the adverse effects of compassion fatigue.

Smart medical organizations are able to prevent compassion fatigue from taking hold in the first place by providing many of these same resources — especially the classwork and mentorship.

If you need additional insights on a rewarding career in nursing, talk to the knowledgeable team at Pinnacle Workforce. As one of the country’s leading medical staffing agencies, we can help you in a myriad of ways. Contact our staffing experts as soon as possible!

How and Why you should stay Connected with an Old Boss

August 5th, 2016

Developing a professional network is vital for your career prospects. This rings true in nearly all industries, and the world of healthcare is no exception. Maintaining this list of professional contacts is one of the many reasons to stay connected with your old bosses and other managers.

You never know when it comes time to look for a new position, and being able to call on a robust professional network definitely helps during a job search. Here are some additional ideas for keeping in contact with a former manager.

Ways to keep Connected with a Former Superior

Thankfully, social networks like LinkedIn and Facebook make staying in contact with former bosses and coworkers a breeze. Try to focus your online professional networking efforts on LinkedIn, as it is the website’s main purpose. Remember, Facebook makes it too easy to share content better kept between personal friends instead of professional contacts.

Make it a point to stay up to date with your former bosses’ current online contact information — most importantly their email address. If you are announcing your availability for work, send personal emails to your contact list instead of a group email. Any extra effort spent in this fashion will probably result in more people willing to help you out.

If you keep home addresses for your old managers, consider sending Holiday and birthday cards for a nice personal touch. You can also send these cards to your former medical office or hospital provided they still work there. Once again, concentrate on the professional side of networking, but staying in touch outside of your work life can also help your future job prospects.

Getting a Great Reference might make all the Difference

In addition to finding out about a new job opening, former bosses are arguably the most important references you can use when applying for a medical position. They’ve worked with you closely and understand your strengths as well as the positive differences you can make for an employer. Be sure to contact the former boss in question before using them as a reference to ensure they are okay with it.

Whenever you need advice on any part of the job search process in the healthcare industry, talk to the experts at Pinnacle Workforce. As one of the top medical staffing agencies in the country, we can help take your career to the next level. Connect with us at your earliest convenience.

Building an All-Star Medical Unit — How to find (and hire) the Best Candidates

May 3rd, 2016

Any business is only as good as its employees, and this time-honored saying definitely holds true in the medical industry. Providing quality patient care and ultimately enjoying success becomes more difficult without a great team at your medical office. Your organization needs to find, hire, and retain the top talent to truly succeed.

Building a winning team in the medical industry takes a plan and some effort. Let’s take a closer look at some ideas to get you started.

Make your Medical Company the Place Everyone wants to Work

Developing a positive and nurturing company culture plays a big role when trying to attract superior talent in the medical industry. Ensure your employees maintain a work/life balance by offering generous time-off and other perks. Reward them with good salaries, tuition reimbursement, and quality insurance.

Publicize your great company culture both online and in print publications. Offer a bonus to your current employees for referrals of great candidates. Sponsor local charity events and encourage your staff to take part. These all play a role in making your company the place to be for medical professionals.

Visit Local Nursing Schools

Finding great talent as their careers are just beginning also is a factor in building a top-notch medical team. Maintain a presence at the nursing schools in your area. You benefit from publicizing your company at the school, while you also gain access to the brightest minds early in their medical career.

The Latest Technology and Interesting Work

Don’t skimp when it comes to giving your staff access to state of the art technology. This helps to ensure you retain your best talent. A good supply of interesting project work focused on improving patient care also contributes to a high rate of retention.

A Partnership with Medical Staffing Agency

Partnering with a top notch local staffing agency in the healthcare industry is another important part of building the best possible team at your office. The best employment agencies maintain a robust supply of quality candidates, so your firm doesn’t get bogged down in a time-consuming hiring process. You are able to focus on providing superior patient care while knowing your employment needs are being handled by industry experts who understand your company’s vision.

When searching for a staffing agency partner, look no further than Pinnacle Workforce. As one of the nation’s leading medical employment agencies, we can help build an all-star medical unit at your office. Meet with us at your earliest convenience and contact our staffing experts today.

Differentiating Yourself Among Other Healthcare Professionals

April 30th, 2014

In any industry, landing the job means standing out from the other applicants and doing what you can to make a positive, lasting impression throughout the process. The healthcare world has always been highly competitive and in an economy where one job will sometimes have hundreds of applicants, standing out is not just a goal but a necessity. How are you different from the others in your field? Are there things you can do stand out from other healthcare professionals?

Skip the Song and Dance
In some industries, the more charismatic and fun you appear in the job interview, the stronger your chances are of landing the job. Professionals in the healthcare industry have a bit more of a challenge as it is their skill set and qualifications that are under scrutiny. Questions like:

  • Where did you go to school?
  • What are your medical specialties?
  • Where was your internship?
  • What was your GPA?
  • What are your specific certifications?

The ability to stand out from the others vying for this particular position will depend on these answers and more. Your personal choices will hold a great deal of value to your healthcare career such as if you volunteered to help others whether in a medical capacity such as reading to children in the cancer wing of the hospital or playing games with the elderly on Tuesday nights. Your job in healthcare is based on your qualifications first and foremost as you can’t fake your way through the tasks at hand like inserting an IV tube or prepping someone for surgery, but you will stand out when you can regale the interviewer with examples of how you served others throughout your life.

The Whole Package
While the employers want to see your skills and certifications, they also want to know about your personal reasons for choosing this particular field. It is not an industry that is suitable for everyone so chances are you had an experience or desire from an early age to study medicine. Here are some of the top areas employers will look at on your application:

  1. GPA and test scores. This provides a basis for your intelligence and ability to handle the tasks that will be thrown at you on a daily basis. Clinical experience. Do you have any added specialties? What made your clinical experience unique to you or your desired job title?
  2. Personal statement. Why do you want this job, in this field, in this facility? You will have to personalize each application but it will be worth your time to land the job you really wanted.
  3. Research authority. Were any of your papers or ideas published in a medical journal or other medical publication? Now is the time to bring that up in your interview.

A future employer wants to know that you are a well-rounded individual with the brain to know how to care for patients but also the heart and sensibility to know the best course of action for the welfare of each patient.

The Importance of a Thorough Background Check When Employing Medical Staff

April 10th, 2014

It is not uncommon for potential new hires to undergo a thorough background check and drug screening for any number of jobs from an entry level position to the director of a nationwide company. This ensures the person who is hired is of the highest character and their resume matches their actual qualifications. A thorough background check can cost the company money but in the long run, it will save money and even a possible tarnished reputation, which can be impossible to recover. All of this can be mitigated with the proper vetting of a candidate and should be part of the hiring process for every staff member at your medical facility.

Are Background Checks really Necessary?
In a world where it’s easy to find information on just about anyone for free, is it really necessary to go through the hassle and cost of a formal background check? After all, you had a good feeling about them in the interviews and probably even did a little snooping online and found no major issues. The answer is yes; it is absolutely necessary to perform a formal background check on medical staff. This information can be put in their personnel file and reviewed if necessary. If you hire someone for your team and they are not as proficient as they claim, your facility has just opened itself up to a malpractice suit in the event of a mistake. While mistakes can be made by even the most seasoned medical professionals, it is less likely to have a lasting negative impact if the “mistake-maker” has the proper training and actual credentials, which would make it a human error.

What does a Background Check Accomplish?
In a down economy, candidates may be tempted to exaggerate their abilities in hopes of landing a job and sadly this happens in all job fields. When it happens in the medical world, lives are put at risk. You employ medical staff that you trust have the skills and qualifications they claim to have to complete the team. These team members must be able to pull their weight and perform the tasks they are hired to do so your patients can receive the quality care they deserve. If there is a member of your staff who cannot do the job, it’s not just your facility that is put at risk but also the lives of your patients.  What happens when your team is short-staffed and the new hires are required to work alone or pick up extra shifts and they cannot do the job? By completing a background check, you can know that your team is competent and you can continue to provide top-notch services to your patients. 

Looking to hire in 2014?
Contact the expert healthcare recruiters at Pinnacle Workforce. Let our team of experienced employment specialists assist you in your hiring needs!

The Importance of Health and Wellness Programs for Employees

November 29th, 2013

It’s the time of year when people begin to think about getting into better shape and improving their overall health. Maybe it’s been a long year of illness and injury, or you’re just tired of feeling tired and lacking confidence. If your employees are expressing a desire to improve their health, as their employer, what can you do to help? This time of the year can be a great season to evaluate your employee health and wellness program to ensure it is meeting the needs of your staff. If you have a wellness plan, consider what you can do to improve it and even ask those who take advantage of it what they would like to see in the program. You may be promoting a feature that no one in your organization needs or wants; save your money and resources by utilizing only certain health and wellness features.

Is it Time to Start a Health and Wellness Program?

Regardless of any desire expressed by your employees, helping them achieve a healthy lifestyle is a gift you can give to them. If you don’t know where to start, begin by thinking as an employee and implement the ideas. Here are some to get you started:

  1. Keep a well-stocked break room. Healthy snacks don’t have to be expensive. Buying the items in bulk can save money as well as provide wellness. Things like bottled water, baked chips and pretzels, mixed nuts, and even fruit can be bought for a reasonable price. Employees will perform better when they are happy and healthy. Physical issues like dehydration, hunger, and sugar spikes can wreak havoc on your productivity in its own way.
  2. Allow employees to work standing up at their desks or create breaks for the various teams. You can’t have the entire team on a break but encouraging each member to stand up, walk around, even get some fresh air will go far for their mental clarity and overall health.
  3. Promote exercise or at least breaks throughout the day. From a Ping-Pong table to darts, this is one area that can be fun and inexpensive. Simple games lend the ability for team growth in a short amount of time. Think about how encouraging it would be for a team to play a quick game while brainstorming or they can talk a walk while coming up with the next big thing.

As the person in charge of the company, you are responsible for what happens on the inside. It is up to you to help promote health and wellness. In other words, if you want healthy, happy employees, you can make it happen with a positive attitude and allowance for things that help improve your employees. That will, in turn, increase productivity and your business will thrive.

If you want more information about how to implement a wellness program or to work in a facility with a top-notch program, contact the professionals at Pinnacle Workforce. Not only can you be healthier, you can achieve your personal and career goals.

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