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 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:

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:, then give us a call.


Skype Helps Seniors with Depression Better Than Medication

The Washington 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!



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!



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!


Be Aware of Seasonal Affective Disorder SAD This Winter

As a nurse and healthcare professional it is helpful to be aware of many conditions that could affect your patients. One of these that you’ll want to know about especially for the winter and cold weather months is Seasonal Affective Disorder, also called SAD.


People who experience Seasonal Affective Disorder become depressed during the winter, or even during the summer. They are typically affected as the seasons change. SAD was formally named and described in 1984 by Norman E. Rosenthal and other colleagues at the National Institute of Health.


Symptoms for those with SAD can include the following:


  • Trouble getting up in the morning



  • Chronic tendency to oversleep


  • Overeating, a craving for carbohydrates can be considered a sign of SAD


  • Weight gain (often related to overeating and lethargy)


  • Lack of energy


  • Trouble concentrating or finishing tasks


  • Withdrawing from others


  • Lack of sex drive


  • Depressive feelings including hopelessness and a lack of pleasure



A person with SAD may have some or a few of these symptoms or may have all of them. Some who are affected by Seasonal Affective Disorder also have Bipolar Disorder.


Treatments for Seasonal Affective Disorder that is winter-based can range from light therapy with sunlight or bright lights, taking antidepressants, therapy sessions, ionized-air administration and melatonin that is carefully timed when administered.


Winter months include days that get darker earlier and they are also colder. This logically may affect how often people get together and socialize, or how comfortable they feel going outdoors. Another tactic to take is to be sure that they are wearing a warm coat, gloves and taking proper precautions when they go outdoors so they are comfortable enough to still enjoy daily life during winter in your climate, whether it is mild, chilly or more severe. Doing this may help patients to become more social, but it is still critical to take a look at SAD symptoms and consider treatment.


If you as a healthcare professional think you are affected by SAD, seek professional help to combat this condition. Don’t go it alone or think it will just go away on its own. If you see patients exhibiting SAD symptoms, consider that Seasonal Affective Disorder may be affecting them and investigate further with a follow-up session or a referral to a mental health professional.




Nix the Vending Machines! 10 Healthy Snacks for Nurses

Many nurses work long days – 12 hour shifts can be typical. Don’t neglect your body while taking care of others. Taking that short break to enjoy a healthy snack can revive you and keep you going, long after you would otherwise feel frazzled and run down. Few nurses we know want to risk running out of energy.


There are several important factors to keep in mind when choosing a good, healthy snack for a nurse. It can’t just be something tasty and healthy. That snack also needs to be portable and one that fits into your budget nicely, as nurses are going to regularly buy snacks to bring to work. So you won’t find sushi rolls on our list, even though this is a healthy snack, it is one that will drain your wallet quickly and certainly doesn’t meet the portable requirement very easily (sushi is a bit fragile, only good for a day or so). Get ready to enjoy some delicious snacks!


String cheese – this is one of the simplest snacks you can choose that also offers a lot of flavor. Pack 2 low-fat string cheese for about 100 calories. Or pair one string cheese with a small piece of fruit for a nice combination of fiber and dairy. (It will need to be refrigerated)


Greek yogurt – now this snack is a bit more expensive than your typical, everyday yogurt but we decided to keep it on our list because Greek yogurt is packed with protein and the calorie count is low – about 150 calories for a 6 oz serving. You’ll find plain yogurt as well as plain with honey and yogurt with fruit for some nice variety. Many nurses enjoy Greek yogurt because it has a creamy, thick texture and it is like enjoying a real treat.


Chocolate milk – if you have a sweet tooth, chocolate milk is an excellent snack to grab. You’ll find small – about 4 to 6 oz sized servings or larger. That’s about 150 calories. Look for low fat chocolate milk and this is a great way to sneak a serving of dairy into your day. Especially during the holidays when everyone is digging into tempting treats, it is nice to enjoy something sweet – like chocolate milk! You can also find strawberry flavored milk too (just check the sugar content to be sure it isn’t too high)!


Fresh fruit – Mother Nature offers you one of the best snacking options, with lots of colorful variety. Most servings of fruit are 100 to 150 calories or under. Filled with vitamins and fiber, this is the perfect portable snack that is easy to eat on-the-go. Try the budget-friendly banana that is also rich with potassium. Or the sunny naval orange filled with Vitamin C to keep colds at bay, this fruit is in season in winter. Or treat yourself to making a fruit salad in the start of the week and bring in a cup of fruit salad each day for your snack, don’t add sugar to sweeten, just use ½ a cup of orange juice!


Fresh vegetables – Another treat from Mother Nature and a terrific snacking option, especially when you are tempted to have something crunchy! Try baby carrots, snap peas, cutting up broccoli for a snack or even celery stalks.


Dried fruit – This can be a sweet and healthy snack filled with fiber. Remember that dried fruit can be higher in calories, so eat a smaller serving that you would have vs. a piece of fresh fruit. Otherwise enjoy! You’ll find many fruits are dried and available to eat.


Nuts – Experts agree that nuts in moderation are an excellent way to improve your diet. People who snack on a small number of nuts actually have fewer cravings than others who do not. Try raw or natural nuts and go for lightly salted or unsalted nuts if you can, they are the healthier option.


Great Holiday Gift Ideas for Nurses

The holiday season is here and many of us are caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holidays. It can be hard to know exactly what to get your co-workers. But if you are a fellow nurse, you know that those “nurse knick-knacks” are probably not on their list. Fortunately, we’ve got some great ideas that will even make the crankiest supervisor crack a smile when he/she unwraps your gift.


Manicure/Pedicure – Now it is easy to get this gift for someone who gets their nails done regularly, but why not get it for someone on your gift list who doesn’t usually get their nails polished and who could use a little pampering? If you’ve ever been to a nail salon, you know it is more than just picking out what color they choose to polish your nails. Giving this gift means someone gets a full hour to relax and they leave looking terrific. It’s the perfect gift to give that busy mom nurse or new nurse you know who is always on-the-go.


Coffee Mug w/Treats – Anyone can give a coffee mug, but what makes this gift special is giving your fellow nurse their favorite “with coffee” treat that they love to enjoy. It could be a cookie they indulge themselves in on a good day. Or a chocolate they’ll buy occasionally. Most nurses you know will be generous and share any treats they receive, so be sure you give them a big box or package of treats that can be passed around to the group and they’ll still be able to enjoy some themselves.


A Really Good Read – A very busy nurse I once know loved to read books every chance she got. Of course she was too busy during her shifts to read, but on her days off, she was known to read one or even two books in a day. You probably know a nurse or two like this, who simply can’t resist a really good read. Giving a bookstore gift card can sometimes be the best gift because then they can pick out a book they haven’t read. Or ask if they’ve got a book in mind they’ve been longing to read & go pick it up for them!


The Gift of Laughter – This is a great gift to give any nurse, as we know sometimes the days can be long and sometimes they can be stressful or tense. Any nurse could use a good laugh at the end of the day. Get tickets to your local comedy club and have a Nurses Night Out after the holidays. Or get them a DVD of their favorite TV series like Seinfeld, Friends or The Golden Girls so they can giggle and laugh while changing out of their scrubs.




5 Tips for Surviving the Holiday Season for Nurses

The holiday season is here and many facilities and units are having holiday parties and “Secret Santas” to exchange gifts. You may also want to buy a special gift for that co-worker who has always been there to lend an extra hand or kind ear, or something thoughtful for your supervisor to wish them a Happy Holiday Season. You may be preparing to attend the hospital ball or another holiday party during this time. It is important to understand how to handle all of these situations – as they are workplace situations and not just holiday ones.


Tip #1: Buying holiday gifts in the workplace can be tough. It isn’t like buying gifts for family and friends, where you likely know everything about their likes and dislikes. Certain gifts in the workplace may be frowned upon; some workplaces do not encourage co-workers to give alcohol during the holiday season (champagne or other spirits for New Year’s Eve for example). So it is far easier to stick with a “safe and workplace-friendly gift” than to choose something that may inspire a conversation with your supervisor or Human Resources.


Tip #2: Follow any gift giving guidelines set by your unit, department or facility. Some workplaces have guidelines in place about gift giving. They may say that participation in the “Secret Santa” is voluntary and this is the only gift giving that will be done. Or your department may decide to set a dollar amount on a gift exchange. Or you may even decide to forego gifts and donate to charity or focus on buying gifts for your children for the holidays. Be sure to follow the guidelines that are set by your department as this can avoid any hurt feelings or disappointment.


Tip #3: Showing a little Holiday Spirit is good for workplace morale – too much is a cause for concern. If your hospital has a winter or holiday ball or your department or unit has a holiday party, it is quite helpful that you make the effort to go unless you are scheduled to work. Attending a holiday party can feel like “forced” entertainment and admittedly, this is how a lot of people feel about this type of gathering because it is not like socializing with close friends or family. But if you go, you have an opportunity to connect with people who work in other departments, those who are in positions much higher than you and to wish everyone a Happy Holiday Season. This is the perfect time to make a favorable impression on the people you work with – not the time to perfect your “electric slide.”


Tip #4: Sometimes the holidays aren’t easy, but it is critical that you care for yourself. Nurses work in a caring profession, taking care of others. You probably will come into contact with patients who are having a tough time with the holidays. If you are having a tough time with the holidays, this may not make the holidays feel any easier for you. During the holidays do what you can to give yourself a little extra “TLC.” Take a few hours, just for yourself and see a movie you’ve wanted to see or do something fun. Try to laugh everyday. Get proper nutrition, exercise and sleep. Seek out professional help and your caring friends if you need more.


Tip #5: The holiday season is the perfect time to think of those who need your help the most. Many try to do charity work or donate to charity during the holidays. As a nurse, time may be precious to you but there are still things you can do. Consider donating your old winter coat to a coat drive so someone will stay warm this winter. Donate food to a food drive. Donate a children’s toy to Toys for Tots or your children’s unit of the hospital. Sometimes doing something for others during the holiday season can be the very best thing to do during the holidays!


Healthy New Year’s Resolutions for 2014

According to, many of the New Year’s resolutions people make each year are related to their health. Whether you as a nurse or nursing student decide it is time to adopt a healthy habit, or you would like to encourage your patients to improve their health, it is helpful to be aware of some of the most popular New Year’s resolutions people like to make. As a nurse you will be able to encourage that patient to make healthy choice while they are “revved up” and feel excited about making a positive change. lists the most popular New Year’s resolutions and also provides resources people can turn to. This website is an excellent one to encourage patients to visit if they are thinking about making a healthy change for the better. New Year’s resolutions can be viewed here:


Healthy New Year’s resolutions according to include:


Drink less alcohol


Eat healthy food


Get fit


Lose weight


Manage stress


Quit smoking recommends their website when you have the New Year’s resolution to Eat healthy food. The website can be viewed here:  You’ll find helpful tips for weight management, exercise, calorie counting, a food tracker, information for pregnant & breastfeeding women, information for college students and children.


As a nurse you may want to recommend additional resources when a patient approaches you with the desire to Eat healthy food. You may refer them to a nutritionist or a registered dietician so a food plan can be customized for them. You may refer them to their physician for a physical or a consultation, especially if there is a concern the patient is not eating healthy foods or does not eat enough or in excess.


They say that a new habit – good or bad – takes approximately 21 days to become part of our regular routine and daily life. It can be so easy to be excited to make a New Year’s resolution and then to watch it fizzle out after a week or so. Try to encourage your patients to “push” past and reach at least the 1 month mark of 30 days. They may be surprised to discover that their healthy habit sticks with them in a pleasing way!




New Rules

Are you up-to-date on the new rules? All RNs have a decade to get their B.S. in Nursing if they don’t have one yet. Many are going back to school now!