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!



Encourage Employees to Manage Job Stress Before it “Manages” Them

We think everyone knows that healthcare employees work hard. Often they work long hours and under tense situations, sometimes facing critical care patients and concerns. It’s logical to understand that many healthcare employees would face job stress, something that many professionals deal with from time to time.


But as healthcare professionals, it is a delicate balance: it is crucial that they manage their job stress before it “manages” them because they care for patients. Many of the signs related to job stress can wind up affecting your on-the-job performance. As a hospital or medical facility, don’t think you can hope that job stress doesn’t happen in your facility or “wish” it all away. It is far better to be proactive and have a plan than to see top-notch employees become vulnerable to job stress and experience uncomfortable symptoms that put everyone at risk.


According to WebMD, the symptoms of job stress are:


Difficulty sleeping


Trouble concentrating




Losing your temper or “a short fuse”


Stomach aches


Low morale at work or job dissatisfaction


There are some common causes of job stress, some which an employer can help with.


One of them is more responsibility at work. This can come through a promotion – or simply adding more duties onto someone’s already hard working shoulders. This creates a stressful situation for any employee. As a hospital or medical facility if you realize you are in a circumstance where you will need to add additional duties for employees, look for ways you can relieve their stress. This is a valuable contribution you can make to the employees, patients and the entire facility.


Job satisfaction is another concern that often leads to job stress. Admittedly, this is not always under an employee’s control. If you have a healthcare employee who dreams of being an opera singer, you could have a top-notch medical facility and they would still long to be singing arias! But if you feel morale could be slipping in departments, look for ways to raise it. Giving employees feedback and praise about their performance is one of the top ways you can help to relieve job stress. Don’t forget to say “Thank you.”


A working environment with poor communication can often lead to great job stress for just about everyone. If morale is down and most employees seem frustrated and are verbalizing this, this is often a sign that communication skills need to be improved. Yes, this can be a lot of work but it is well worth the effort, to improve each department and the quality of care for your patients. Smoothing out what may be simple misunderstandings between coworkers and departments may increase your facility’s performance in ways you can’t begin to image.


Take the time to think now: what can I do to prevent job stress for my employees this quarter?


Source: http://www.webmd.com/balance/stress-management/tc/managing-job-stress-topic-overview

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/,

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!


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!