Encourage Employees to Be Active for Spring

Encourage Employees to Be Active for Spring

As we watch the snow melt away across the Tri-State area one thing is for certain: spring is just around the corner! Now is the perfect time to encourage your employees to increase their physical activity for good health. With warmer weather, most will be more than happy to spend a little time outside and being active has physical, mental and emotional benefits for everyone.

One of the most popular outdoor activities that employees can do on their lunch hour or break is to take a quick walk. To get the most benefits from a walk, you want to keep the pace fast enough as if you were trying to catch a bus or if you were running late for an appointment. If someone hasn’t exercised in awhile, they may want to check with their primary care physician before starting any exercise regimen.

Taking a short 20 to 30 minute walk everyday has many benefits which include:

• Weight loss/weight management

• Reduction or management of daily stress

• Sounder sleep

• Help with digestion and bowels

Try encouraging your hospital or medical facility employees to walk daily for a week, creating a walking challenge. You could offer prizes or incentives for those employees who do walk, such as entry in a raffle. Or there could be group walks at certain times that employees could join that would go to a certain destination such as a local park and back to the hospital.

More and more employers are understanding that a good work/life balance is critical for keeping employees happy. Hospitals and medical facilities are the first on the forefront to know that health is a priority for everyone, and to encourage your employees to be healthy is an excellent goal. With spring just around the corner – now is the perfect time!

 

3 Tips to Attract Top Notch Employees

3 Tips to Attract Top Notch Employees

 

In today’s economy every employer knows that many people are looking for a job. But you don’t want to find “just” anyone to fill that position at your hospital or medical facility – you want to get top notch employees. Here are 3 tips to attract top notch employees every time!

 

Reward Excellence. This sounds very simple, but create an environment where doing an excellent job is noticed and recognized. When employees see that they go the extra mile and it makes a difference to your facility – you are going to discover that more employees will push themselves to do more and more as the group dynamic changes to encourage excellence. A reward can be an “Employee of the Month” plaque, a Thank You from the President of the hospital or anything else you think employees would enjoy.

 

Encourage Continued Education. Yes, this is a benefit you would need to invest in – but employers who invest in continued education for their employees often discover they have a smarter & more effective workforce. You will also find that your employees are promotable and offer even more transferable skills to grow and advance with your hospital and facility. That is an environment that top notch employees want to work in.

 

Respect Work Life Balance. One of the biggest challenges many employees face on the job is trying to create a good work life balance – being available to their children for special moments like watching a school play or getting time off for a family vacation. Do what you can as a hospital or medical facility to encourage managers and top executives to create a work environment where work life balance is respected. Most healthcare professionals work 12 hour shifts and some work in very stressful circumstances. It is critical to give them time off to restore and renew themselves and to be with loved ones. They will come back to work more energized, ready to do more for your hospital or medical facility.

 

Doing these 3 tips will easily create an environment where top notch employees will put your hospital or medical facility at the top of their list when searching for a position!

Is Your Facility Covered for Upcoming School Vacations?

Is Your Facility Covered for Upcoming School Vacations?

 

Most of us in the Tri-State area have eagerly begun counting the days ‘till Spring arrives. We’re tired of shoveling snow and walking over icy sidewalks to get everywhere. Let Old Man Winter blow his chilly winds someplace else! But before you cross another day off your calendar, its time to ask yourself: is your facility or hospital ready to cover upcoming school vacations?

 

Both public & private schools from pre-K to grade 12 typically take one week off during the spring. There also may be a short break for the Passover and Easter holidays, depending on the calendar and the school’s preference for scheduling breaks. These spring breaks are peak times for families to plan that fun vacation to visit a theme park such as Disneyworld or to visit Grandma a few states away from home. So more than likely, your hospital or facility will have quite a few employees asking for time off during these school breaks.

 

Getting time off when an employee wants it is considered one of the top benefits. BusinessWeek.com reports that Gallup reported on how unhappy employees cost companies in the U.S.A. more than $300 billion a year. Keeping your employees happy is one of the best ways to contribute to their productivity levels. And giving them a day or week off when they’ve requested it is a very helpful way to do this.

 

Your hospital or medical facility needs to be prepared for the upcoming school holidays, such as spring break and the religious holidays. Now is also the ideal time to plan for summer vacation, as schools typically break for three to two and a half months, and many families take a one to two week vacation during this time. Getting coverage plans organized well in advance is the proactive and practical solution, so there is far less stress for everyone working on the unit or the floor.

 

Those school holidays will be here sooner than you think. Contact Meridian Nurse Recruiters today at 718-255-5830and let us know how we can help with your spring and summer vacation coverage!

 

Source:http://www.businessweek.com/debateroom/archives/2012/02/employee_happiness_matters_more_than_you_think.html

What Are You Doing to Avoid “the Revolving Door” of Employee Turnaround?

What Are You Doing to Avoid “the Revolving Door” of Employee Turnaround?

 

Everyone knows that hiring and finding a job in the medical field is far simpler than in many other industries. But HR Managers and top executives at hospitals and medical facilities “in the know” understand the great value in doing what they can to avoid the “revolving door” of employee turnaround.

 

While you may not always be able to control an employee’s decision to exit – a spouse can get a job across the country or several states away, an employee can decide they want to be a stay-at-home parent or they could choose to go back to school full-time. But every medical facility should do what they can to prevent losing employees to their competitor’s great offer of a fantastic job that a current employee can’t say “No” to. Fortunately there are some steps you can take right now to help close that revolving door – firmly shut!

 

Improve Communication at Your Hospital or Medical Facility. A lack of or poor communication is one of the top reasons cited for low employee morale. Employees who don’t feel valued and motivated are going to be tempted by an offer from a competitor. It may take time & effort to improve communication in each department or you may need to implement a few simple practical steps to make things run smoother for everyone – but the most important thing to do is to ask staff “what needs to be better?”

 

Offer Continuing Education for All Staff. This is a benefit many employees appreciate – and it is actually one that benefits you immensely. A highly trained work force at work in your hospital or medical facility shows that you attract top-notch employees and retain them – it also shows that you care about medical innovations to keep everyone up-to-date. A hospital or medical facility that offers continuing education is one where employees will get excited about what they are doing and also be eager to make both short and long term plans to work with them.

 

Create a System of Awards and Rewards for Employees. Everyone likes to be appreciated for hard work. Work with each department and create a system of both awards and reward, to show your appreciate for employees on each level. Whether employees receive a plaque, thanks from the hospital’s President or attend a special luncheon or breakfast in their honor, all of these are well worth it to help retain employees.

 

Finally: Be Open to Feedback. Your employees care about patients and may see things that can be changed to help improve the quality of care for patients – and even the “bottom line” in some circumstances. Maintain an open door policy as much as you can and welcome both positive and negative feedback, with the understanding that there is value in each from employees who care deeply about what they are doing.

 

Your facility doesn’t have to have a “revolving door” for turnaround, not when you work to retain employees! 

The Snow is Melting. Are You Prepared for Spring Break and Holiday Coverage?

Its hard to believe as another 2 snowstorms are headed towards the Tri-State area, but the snow is melting, and spring is about 30 days away. That gives HR professionals and managers approximately one month to plan for spring break and holiday coverage.

 

Most schools take a week off in the spring, coinciding with the Easter holiday. Many schools also take off time in late February for President’s Day, whether it is a long weekend or a full week. Moms and Dads will be eager to take this week off from work to be with their children, whether they go visit family, go to a fun theme park or simply enjoy a staycation at home together. But is your hospital prepared to cover these shifts?

 

It is important to let employees have time off if they are due this time whenever it is possible. Taking a vacation or time off is often needed for stress release and is especially good for staff morale. One thing that concerns many employees is having a healthy work/life balance – being unable to take a vacation when they would like to have one may cause some employees to question if this is an environment they want to remain in. Though most employees do understand at times it is simply impractical or impossible for an employer to let everyone or too many employees have the exact same shifts off, hospitals can be proactive and work to arrange coverage to allow for some to have this time off.

 

Now is the time to put a plan in place to prepare for President’s Day weekend/week, Spring Break and all of the spring holidays. Contact Meridian Nurse Recruiters at 718-255-5830 to talk about your spring vacation and holiday needs, we’ll create a successful plan to cover EVERY shift without hassle or stress! http://www.meridiannurse.com/

 

Hospitals Know Patients Come First Even When Balancing the Budget

According to The New York Times, the for-profit hospital chain health Management Associates set aggressive goals to admit patients based on increasing their bottom line and not on patient care. Physicians were actually coded – like stop lights – at green, yellow and red to show not their quality of care or even their efficiency – but their successful rate of admission – where it did not matter whether the patient was sick or healthy – they were just all admitted for care.

Many hospitals and medical facilities are carefully watching the bottom line, especially with concerns over the changing regulations for health insurance and how this will affect reimbursement. But 99.9% would never consider schemes and scams like the one that Health Management Associates actually put into play for their unsuspecting patients. Hospitals know they care for patients and want them to leave healthier and better, not with emptier wallets.Hospitals and facilities are looking at other ways to lower their costs and improve their bottom line – all while keeping patient care their #1 concern. Sadly, when potential patients hear of hospitals and hospital groups such as Hospital Management Associates and their wrong doings, it can be easy to wonder if their hospitals nearby are efficient and would ever take aggressive measures to cut costs.

How have you shown patients that patient care is your top priority – all while keeping the bottom line in mind? Many hospitals and facilities do face cutbacks but still are dedicated to their patients.

Quite likely the biggest cutbacks your patients will notice are changes in staff. If you decrease your staff, doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals there may be cause for concern. Patients will worry there will not be someone to care for them when they are ill, or for their loved one when they need that critical care.

If the time comes when you need to consider your bottom line, remember that other cuts affect patient care less. It may be easier to cut back on landscaping for the hospital grounds than to consider decreasing nurses in the E.R. or the maternity ward.

Source:http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/24/business/hospital-chain-said-to-scheme-to-inflate-bills.html

New York State Government Site Helps Families. Know What to Look for in a Nursing Home

If you manage a nursing home, you’ll want to be aware of the New York Government site nursinghomes.nyhealth.gov. At this site, families can find great information to help them find a nursing home for their senior family members.

There is a map, showing the NY state and a search feature people can use to find nursing homes and facilities by specific types of care that they offer in their area. They also can specify the distance from a zip code that they would like to find this facility.

One of the features we recommend nursing homes review is Questions to Ask when Choosing a Nursing Home. It is ideal to have answers prepared for each of these questions, so that families can receive the information that they are seeking. Reading this section may help some nursing homes discover exactly the specific areas that concern families when they choose a nursing home, and which questions they are being guided to ask when reviewing facilities.

There are many sections for question topics, including Health Care Decisions, Residents’ Rights, Safety, Cleanliness, Food, Medical/Nursing Care and Dementia Units/Alzheimer Units to name several. Questions can be found here: http://www.health.ny.gov/facilities/nursing/select_nh/

Take for example, their questions about Staffing:

  • How many staff work on the unit my loved one will live in, on each shift?
  • How do you ensure that staff really know the resident they are assigned to?

These are all excellent questions to ask about how staffing is managed at your facility. If you have any staffing needs, let Meridian Nurse Recruiters be a helpful resource to you. We offer nurse and healthcare recruiting for Temporary & Permanent Staffing, Short & Long Term Coverage, Direct Hire Services, Temp to Perm Staffing and 24/7 Staffing. Meridian can act as your HR department – without the burden of maintaining one. Visit our site to learn more: http://www.meridiannurse.com/, then give us a call.

Sources: http://nursinghomes.nyhealth.gov/,

Skype Helps Seniors with Depression Better Than Medication

The Washington Informer.com reports that Skype is more helpful to seniors who have depression than psychiatric medication.

 

Currently there are nearly 3 million people in the state of Texas between the ages of 65 and 85. This number is only expected to grow and grow, to nearly double by 2040. Not only Texas – but the entire U.S.A. – has a strong need for geriatric mental health care professionals. Experts today are looking for ways to help seniors with depression; one such method is by using technology: Skype.

 

When one thinks of Skype, you may first think of connecting with an old friend from college or your husband/wife/partner while on business trips. Skype is best known for offering both voice and video chat via the computer at a very inexpensive price. It is fun to see the person you are speaking with – in “real time.” Skype is simple to use, with a headset you are ready to communicate with friends and family around the globe.

 

Using Skype with seniors is an ideal choice because they can connect with loved ones at a far distance. Not only can they have a phone chat, but they can visually see them as if they are having an in person visit. Now visiting with their grandchildren, children and other loved ones can be even more fun and engaging. It is as if they are “really right there” with them. This is especially ideal if loved ones are only able to visit occasionally due to being a long distance away.

 

Professor Namkee Choi is a teacher at the University of Texas, School of Social Work. Choi is working on a project to help low-income adults who have depression, to offer them problem-solving therapy. Choi states that seniors have not found anti-depressant medications to be as effective because they (medications) do not treat psychosocial stressors. The seniors she has studied are homebound.

 

Choi conducted a study, giving seniors psychotherapy through a computer using video conferencing such as Skype. While some did not like the experience, 94% did enjoy the study. Some said that the experience was “life-changing” and they hoped to continue therapy.

 

While not every senior needs therapy, using technology such as Skype in a nursing home can help seniors to stay more social. They can communicate with grandchildren, children and other loved ones. Now those who are clear across the globe suddenly aren’t so far away. It’s something to think about when you consider introducing technology to your nursing home to benefit residents!

 

Source:http://washingtoninformer.com/news/2014/jan/15/eldercare-experts-skype-better-depression-meds/

Improve Your Healthy Lifestyle and Be a Role Model in 2014

Scrubs Magazine reports that The American Nurses Association has created a new HealthyNurse program. The HealthyNurse program is available for every registered nurse and its goal is to encourage RNs to be healthy role models. RNs can model healthy life choices physically, emotionally, spiritually and socially.

 

This new program is exciting, innovative and an excellent way to model good behavior for your patients. We all know it is one thing to instruct your patients to do – or not to do something – but then for you to do something else entirely. With this program you are not just talking, but “walking the walk.”

 

Best of all, by being a healthy role model you may be able to offer better advice and instructions than simply saying “eat healthy” or to quit smoking. If you have improved your eating habits or given up smoking, you know how challenging making these new, better habits stick is. And by being a healthy role model, your patients will feel even more encouraged and motivated to make changes as they see someone they admire who has improved their life and is modeling good health for them.

 

There are many things you as a nurse can do. Look at the list below and see a few ways you can start to be a healthy role model!

 

Choose a healthy snack vs. something from the vending machine

 

Add exercise to your daily routine

 

Encourage your coworkers to exercise with you

 

Quit smoking

 

Recognize if you are vulnerable to excess stress and take steps to manage it, by getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, exercising and talking to a professional if you need additional help

 

Get regular check ups, immunizations, medical tests and take needed medications as instructed by your medical professionals

 

Wear sunscreen daily

 

Wear a bicycle helmet when bicycling or doing other sports where protective headgear is required

 

Meridian Nurse Recruiters encourages you to make 2014 your healthiest, very best year yet. Take steps to become a healthy role model to improve your life and the lives of those around you. You can make a difference!

 

Sources: http://scrubsmag.com/are-you-a-healthy-lifestyle-role-model-at-work/,http://www.nursingworld.org/MainMenuCategories/WorkplaceSafety/Healthy-Nurse

5 New Year’s Resolutions for Every Nurse We Know

“This year I’ll go back to school to learn something new.” – This is an excellent New Year’s Resolution to make for 2014. There are many courses you can take as a nurse, whether towards an advanced degree, certificate or as a continuing education student. Pick out something you’d like to learn and set the goal that you’ll take a course by the end of March.

 

“This year I’ll give something back.” – Many nurses do so much in their daily lives at work, but some feel called to do volunteer work as nurses. If this is something you would like to do, there are many organizations that would love to hear from you. There are local, regional and international efforts that need nurses desperately. A recent effort was the relief efforts following the devastating Typhoon in thePhilippines.

 

“This year I’ll really get to know my coworkers.” – This is a great New Year’s Resolution to choose. Often you can know a small group of coworkers that you work with quite well, but you may not know others who work for the same facility or even the same department. Now is the time to make the effort, and get to know others that you work with. There may be the opportunity to collaborate with them in the future or simply learning from them or even a great work friend around the corner.

 

“This year I’ll get rid of a bad habit.” – This is a very popular New Year’s Resolution, and as nurses we often feel we have to model healthy habits for our patients. Take proactive steps to help ensure that your 2014 resolution has every chance of success. If your goal is to exercise more, pack your gym bag before leaving for work and put it in the car so you’re ready to stop on the way home. If your goal is to eat healthy snacks instead of out of the vending machine, leave the quarters at home and pack string cheese, apples and yogurt, all very portable, healthy snacks.

 

“This year I’ll put myself on the path for promotion.” – This is an achievable New Year’s resolution for many. Take stock of your skills and the needs at your facility. What do you need to improve to put yourself in the best position for a promotion this year? Now is the time to create an action plan, step by step, to achieve your goal of a promotion.

 

Wishing you a Happy, Healthy & Safe New Year from your friends at Meridian Nurse Recruiters!

 

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