Spring cleaning your Workstation — Are you remembering to disinfect Key Tools?

March 28th, 2016

Doing a Spring cleaning at your residence is one thing, but what about performing the same ritual on the workspace at your medical office. Some healthcare companies have specialized departments to handle this responsibility, but many small offices can’t afford this extra janitorial luxury. Given the importance of patient safety, you need to take the steps to ensure your office remains clean, virus-free, and protected from germs and other airborne bacteria.

Here are some tips for keeping your medical office clean. Remember, if you have a department or an employee responsible for cleaning, let the professionals handle some of these duties. Still, it is important to keep your personal space germ free to prevent the spread of sickness.

Your Workspace is a High Germ Zone

Any office cubicle offers a welcoming environment for germs of all types. This problem becomes exacerbated when considering the typical visitor to a medical office, no matter what ailments they are carrying. A study by the UK sanitary services company, the Cleaning Services Group, revealed that 80 percent of illnesses are transmitted by contact with an infected surface — not from sneezing or coughing. Office telephones are a notorious high germ zone.

Workers at a medical office need to go the extra mile to ensure their workplace stays spic and span. While some patients will bring their germs into the office, you also need to ensure your staff doesn’t add to the problem by spreading their own contagions. Patient safety remains paramount, plus you don’t want your office’s efficiency to suffer due to extra sick days.

Tips for a Clean Medical Office

Since a work desk is 100 times less hygienic than a typical kitchen table, don’t let your staff eat at their desk. Make it a point to keep your office kitchen extra clean and inviting so your employees enjoy using it for their lunches. Give the area a thorough cleaning each night to ensure the bacteria count is kept to a minimum.

Spend a little extra out of the office budget for sanitary wipes to be placed at each employee’s desk. Encourage their use on a daily basis. Frankly, the concept of Spring cleaning should be foreign to any medical office, as the entire office — desks, cubicles, greeting area, examination rooms, and kitchen — needs to be fully cleaned and sanitized each and every day.

If your organization needs insight on building a top notch medical staff, talk to the experts at Pinnacle Workforce. As one of the top staffing agencies in the healthcare industry, we offer the vetted candidates to make a difference for your firm. Talk with us as soon as possible!

Three Ways to reward and applaud your Best Employees

March 21st, 2016

The medical industry can be very competitive when it comes to hiring and retaining the top talent. Remember the world of healthcare tends to be more immune to economic downturns than other business sectors, so the best employees are always in demand. You need to ensure your top workers feel appreciated, lest they start wondering if the grass is greener somewhere else.

Taking the steps to reward your best employees is a must if you want a successful medical practice. In the hopes of retaining the stars on your staff, here are three strategies for showing how you appreciate their efforts.

Be Generous with Comp Time

Giving your staff enough time to recharge their batteries is a must in the stressful world of healthcare. In addition to their normal PTO allotment, consider awarding a day or two of comp time to your best performers on a quarterly basis. If your top talent worked extra hours over the last few weeks, some extra time off each month would definitely be appreciated.

This offers two benefits. Your best workers are able to refresh themselves, while offering the understanding you are thankful for their work and also care about their well-being.

Develop an Award System

Create an award system at your medical office to inspire all your employees to step up their efforts. A simple “Employee of the Month” award with the added benefit of a gift card at a local restaurant, special parking privileges, or even a day of PTO does wonders for team morale. Host a special award lunch each month, to allow your entire staff some time to decompress and celebrate their coworker’s efforts.

Don’t forget about Financial Benefits

Most of the time, it comes down to a generous salary or other financial considerations to truly gain the loyalty of the most talented members on your team. Develop a bonus structure that recognizes and rewards your best performers over the previous year. This helps to both reward the top workers and incent the rest of your staff to strive for their best.

Additionally, a robust benefits package with tuition reimbursement helps to encourage your team to improve their medical education and practical skills. Having a policy requiring an employee to stay with your firm for a period after receiving tuition reimbursement also helps you retain your best.

If you need additional advice for building a winning team at your medical office, talk to the experts at Pinnacle Workforce. One of the top staffing agencies in the healthcare industry, we offer the vetted candidates able to make a positive difference for your patients. Talk with us today!

How to Still be an Awesome Spouse When Working Different Hours

March 14th, 2016

These days, many families need to go the extra mile at their jobs to earn a comfortable living. Sometimes this includes working overtime, evenings, or even the dreaded third shift. When you end up employed at a different time than your significant other, your relationship can undergo a measure of strain and difficulty.

It doesn’t always have to be this way. You need to simply be conscious of the issue and carve out some time in your busy schedule for just the two of you. Let’s take a closer look.

Prepare a Special Meal at anytime of the Day

Working a different shift from your partner means you rarely get the time to eat a special dinner together. If they work a nighttime schedule, surprise them when they get home with a hearty breakfast. Go the extra mile and make their favorite morning food — maybe a special home fries recipe does the trick?

The important thing is showing that you care and actually spending some meaningful time together. Even consider making this shared breakfast time (or lunch, if that works better for your schedule) a regular part of your relationship.

Vacation Time spent Together becomes Important

A different work schedule than your partner makes taking vacation together a priority. Make sure not to waste any PTO offered by your employer. Schedule any vacation together, while making sure your request is submitted early, to lessen the risk of it not being approved.

Taking some time to recharge your batteries is important, especially in the stressful healthcare industry. You don’t even have to travel to an exotic location. A staycation spent together at home works wonders as well.

Do a Little Extra Work around the House

Make the effort to straighten up around your house — maybe even doing a certain chore your partner hates, like yard work or cleaning the bathroom? It will be worth it when they get home after a 12-hour shift to a clean house and a glass of wine or a cold beer. These simple things go a long way in keeping your relationship strong if you are unable to spend a lot of quality time together.

When you need additional insight in making your healthcare career as success — both at work and in your personal life — talk to the experts at Pinnacle Workforce. As one of the nation’s leading medical staffing agencies, we can help you in more ways than one. Be sure to schedule some time with us soon!

Coping with Student Loan Debt in the Medical Industry

March 7th, 2016

Given the importance of a college degree in the healthcare industry, getting a student loan to pay for your tuition expenses is a necessary part of starting a professional life. Too much debt at the beginning of your medical industry career puts a damper on your ability to both spend in the present and save for the future. Paying down your student loans as quickly as possible is the way to go.

With becoming debt free as your goal, here are some ideas for dealing with student loans in the medical industry. Let’s get your principal down to zero!

Choose the Right Repayment Plan

Most student loans offer a variety of repayment plans tailored to the individual needs of the new graduate. If your first job in the healthcare industry is low-paying, consider a graduated payment plan, which starts you off with a lower monthly payment amount that rises every two years. Those of you expecting a higher salary down the road can probably handle those higher payments at the end of the loan term.

You’ll end up paying more interest over the long haul, but with the advantage of more spending money early in your career.

Other student loan payment options include an income-contingent plan that ties your monthly amount directly to your current salary. Additionally, the extended repayment plan allows up to 25 years for repaying a student loan. Ultimately, make a decision based on your earning potential and tolerance for additional interest over the life of a loan.

Consolidation makes it easier to manage your Student Loans

If you have multiple student loans from different lenders, the difficulty in managing them simultaneously means you can easily forget a payment. Take the opportunity to consolidate your loans with one lender. You’ll save on interest in the long run without the extra risk of skipped payments and their adverse impact on your credit rating.

Consider a Deferment if your Financial Situation becomes Dire

A loan deferment needs to be considered if you ever become laid-off in your medical industry career. Your loan actually doesn’t accrue interest when it is deferred, which will save you in the long run. Meet with your loan servicer to discuss what deferment period works best for your situation.

When you need additional insight related to your healthcare career, talk to the experts at Pinnacle Workforce. As one of the top medical staffing agencies in the country, our recruiters can help you at any time. Make it a point to meet with us at your earliest convenience.

Creating a 30 Day Plan for New Hires

February 25th, 2016

Onboarding new hires remains an important process for businesses in all industries, but it is especially relevant in the world of healthcare. Since patient care is your most important directive, getting new medical employees productive and contributing quickly is a must. Don’t expect to be able to accomplish this task without developing and executing a plan to get fresh workers up to speed.

With a successful onboarding process in mind, here are some ideas for creating a 30-day plan for new hires. Remember, this is something that goes beyond filling out insurance and payroll forms on their first day.

Speaking of Paperwork — Automate the Process

The more time spent dealing with new employee paperwork is less time spent meeting their new coworkers and learning your medical office’s processes and procedures. Consider sending out any insurance and payroll forms with your formal offer letter and ask the employee to fill them out before their first day. With the right technology, you are able to automate this process and handle things electronically.

The employee handbook and other portions of your company’s culture are also able to be delivered electronically, either through email or by providing the new hire access to the company Intranet. The same logic applies to any medical software manuals or other important information they’ll need to perform their job roles. Once again, accomplishing this before their start date leaves more time for hands-on training.

On the New Employee’s First Day

Inform everyone in your office about the new hire through email before their start date. On their first day, make it a point to have their supervisor introduce them to everyone, while ensuring their employment card and computer workstation — if relevant — is ready to go. They should also understand the chain of command at the office and who is available for answering questions.

Set 30-Day Goals and Follow-Up on their Progress

Create a set of 30-day goals for the new hire; 60 and 90-day goals are also a good idea depending on the level of planning at your office. This gives the new employee a sense of your expectations, which helps them feel comfortable and get up to speed more quickly. Encourage them to exceed those goals as they grow in confidence.

In addition to the ideas presented here, ensure your HR team and managers all have input to any orientation plan for new hires. Document the process while keeping the door open for improvements as things mature.

If your company needs help in building a winning team in the healthcare industry, talk to the experts at Pinnacle Workforce. As one of the country’s top medical staffing agencies, we offer great insight — and great candidates. Meet with us at your earliest convenience.

Tips on Treating a Patient Who Has a Nurse Family Member

February 11th, 2016

Providing quality patient care while showing empathy is the prime directive for anyone in the nursing industry. Things become more interesting when the patient is a family member of yours or someone else on your team. Is it possible to still offer the same level of care without becoming distracted or conflicted in some other way?

Here are a few tips on staying focused when treating a family member as a patient. Let’s check them out.

Staying Objective is Vital

It is vital you or your coworkers remain completely objective when treating a family member as a patient. Loss of objectivity is a main reason why some experts don’t recommend providing medical care to a family member. While it is difficult to temper one’s emotions, always staying in a clinical frame of mind is important.

Keep Any Assessments or Treatments to a Medical Office Setting

In some cases, it is acceptable to offer informal medical advice or opinions to a sick family member no matter the current location, any real assessments or treatments should take place in a hospital or medical office. This is a case where family members deserve the same level of care as the public, and a home setting just isn’t the same thing. Encourage the sick family member to make an appointment with their primary care physician if necessary.

Don’t forget about HIPPA Regulations!

Sometimes in the relatively informal setting of treating a family member, it becomes easy to forget about patient privacy issues. Make it a point to never forget about HIPPA regulations whether you are seeing someone from your family or a complete stranger. Any patient retains the right to private medical care — no matter their relationship to the provider.

Encourage the Patient to seek a Second Opinion when Necessary

When looking at the situation from the patient’s point of view, they might not feel right rejecting medical advice or refusing treatment from a family member. Encourage them to get a second opinion if desired. This is another example showing the importance of empathy for the medical professional. Make them feel comfortable whatever their final decision.

About Pinnacle Workforce 

Pinnacle Workforce is tailored specifically to the needs of a dynamic healthcare industry—providing qualified professionals to the companies and organizations where they are needed most. If you need any additional insight on developing your healthcare workforce, talk to the experts at Pinnacle Workforce.

As one of the nation’s top medical staffing agencies, we can help you grow your professional life. Talk with us as soon as possible.

© Year Pinnacle Workforce. All Rights Reserved. Site Credits.