Quick and Healthy Meal Ideas for Busy Nurses!

Nurses are known for being fully committed to their work. This usually translates to more time on the job and less time in the kitchen preparing healthy meals. In an effort to prevent nurses from falling into this pattern, we’ve come up with 5 easy to make, healthy meal ideas to help provide you with the nutrients and energy that you need to get through your demanding work day. Waking up just a little bit earlier or taking some time out of the night before to put together a healthy meal will improve your focus and mood – two benefits that make a huge difference in the day to day and long run.

Night-shift nurses: we haven’t forgotten about you! Although a typical breakfast time hasn’t been in your schedule for months now, these meal ideas are still perfect to help carry you through that challenging night shift.

Breakfast: You’ve heard the old saying plenty of times, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” Well, it couldn’t be any truer. According to WebMD, breakfast is linked to key health benefits, such as weight control, lower cholesterol levels, and improved performance in areas such as concentration and endurance.blub

  • Start your day off on the right foot by adding some fruit to your breakfast. Blueberries have been dubbed as a “super food” by many scientists as a result of their high nutritional benefits and links to improved brain health, reduced body fat, and anti-aging properties because of the abundance of free radicals. A cup of blueberries is the perfect serving size to start off your day.
  • This delicious fruit will pair nicely with ½ cup of oatmeal boiled in 1 cup of water. Hearty and filling, oatmeal provides you with the energy you need to carry you through the day until lunch.
  • Drink 1 cup of orange juice in the morning. This tasty drink is loaded with potassium, dietary fiber, and Vitamin C!

Lunch: Lunch is a very important meal that will help carry you through the rest of the workday. Since your metabolism is highest during afternoon hours, be sure to have a well-balanced, nutritious lunch that focuses on good carbohydrates and protein.peeta malark

      • For a satisfying and filling choice try a whole-wheat tortilla roll with sliced turkey, sliced low-fat mozzarella cheese, red pepper strips, and a chilled lettuce leaf. Add a fruit salad for some extra sweetness!
      • For all of the vegetarians out there, try a whole wheat pita stuffed with vegetarian refried beans, salsa, lettuce, and shredded cheddar cheese! Apple slices with peanut butter will give you an extra boost!

Snack: We’ve all done it: Your lunch didn’t really do the trick and now you’re starving at 3 PM with at least 2 more hours on the job. “That Snickers in the vending machine sure does sound good right now…” In spite of the blissful few minutes of flavor and happiness that you feel while eating the Snickers bar, you will inevitably regret this decision about 30 minutes later when the sugar crash hits you. Avoid the unnecessary, unhealthy calories with these snacks instead!cel

      • For all you peanut butter lovers out there, this snack suggestion is perfect for you! A medium stalk of celery with 2 tablespoons of smooth peanut butter contains 195 calories rich in protein and fiber. Filling and tasty, this easy-to-prepare snack will give you a perfect guilt-free, delicious experience!
      • Fiber One Bars are packed with 35% of your daily value of fiber! Treat yourself while staying healthy at the same time with Fiber One’s Oats and Chocolate Chewy Bar! It will satisfy your sweet tooth and prevent you from crashing during the day.
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Click on this infographic for more information on healthy eating from ChooseMyPlate.gov!

Check out this infographic by MyPlate.gov for a representation of what a balanced meal would look like!

We would love to know: What meals do you eat to stay healthy and energized while on the job?

What Not to Wear: Scrubs Edition

You’ve heard the classic, “First impressions are lasting impressions,” saying before. As much as this statement might inspire a “well duh!” reaction from some people, many often forget how much this rings true – especially in a medical office. Typically, most people go off of another’s appearance for their first impression before they have even had a chance to open their mouth. When your patients’ lives quite literally lie in your hands, it is crucial to exude confidence, competence, and professionalism to them so they will readily trust you. Start off your interactions on the right foot with our tips on how to create a professional, clean-cut look.

Nurses looking professional

  • Make sure that your undergarments are not showing through your scrubs. Even if you have the body of a Victoria’s Secret Angel or Fabio himself, nobody wants to see what your situation is underneath your scrubs. In an environment where cleanliness and a well-polished look is valued, be sure to: 1) Buy scrubs that flatter your body (not too tight or not to baggy!). 2) Wear light colored underwear (shades of nude) when you are sporting lighter-colored scrubs. 3) Ensure that your pants fit properly so the infamous “whale tail” won’t pop out of the top of your pants. Pick out the best, most flattering scrubs for your body type with the help of our “How to Dress for Your Body Type” infographic!
  • Iron your scrubs or hang them up after washing/drying them. Unless you want to go for the hobo-chic look, it’s best if you make sure that your scrubs don’t have sloppy creases and folds after you’re done washing them. Even if your scrubs fit well and are very clean, the wrinkly look definitely does not create a good impression. Show your scrubs some love and hang them up! Or if you really love your scrubs, treat them right with a session on the ironing board.
  • Don’t stain your reputation! Life as a medical practitioner is not exactly on the clean side…Who knows what bodily fluids/parts could wind up on your trendy scrubs on any given work day? Unfortunately, stains are not like battle scars, and will not give you a reputation as a hardcore veteran in the work place. To put it nicely, it will just gross everyone out. So make sure to treat your scrubs the second you get home! There are cleaners out there that will rid you of the most horrific stains. Check out our stain removal infographic to show you how to get out pesky, commonplace stains with simple steps!

Stain Removal Tips for Medical Scrubs

  • Keep your nails nice and trimmed! Your patients are already getting poked and prodded with needles…enough is enough! Keep a pair of clippers on deck to maintain a short, well-manicured nail length. Your patients and your un-broken nails will thank you!
  • Tuck back your luscious locks. You may have the hair of the models featured on Pantene Pro-V commercials, but as a medical professional, it’s best if you keep your hair out of your face and out of the faces of your patients – as well as other questionable things your hair may wind up in.Nurses should pin up their hair when working

What are some things you find important when dressing up for the job? We’d love to hear your experiences about what you have seen at your workplace!

 

lady liberty

Firework Safety 101

It’s that time of year again. Just when you think that summer is coming to a quiet lull of relaxation, the 4th of July is here to wake you up with some good ole American patriotism.  What blowing stuff up has to do with our country’s independence is yet to be determined, but if that’s “American tradition” then who are we to argue?? So put on your blue jeans (that still fit, fingers crossed) and your tackiest American flag shirt to ensure you are brightest star this country has to offer.4th of of July fireworks around the Statue of Liberty

Though we are a young country, we are a great one. This holiday commemorates July 4th, 1776: the day a collection of our brave, founding fathers signed The Declaration of Independence, thereby severing the colonies from English control. Perfectly embodying the free American spirit, the Declaration of Independence has set the tone for the rest of our country’s history and development.

With all this holiday-hullabaloo, most people lose sight of one of the truest American virtues: safety.

Just do the exact opposite of these following tips and we guarantee that you will have your most show-stopping 4th of July yet!

  1. Hold the fireworks close to your face as you light them so you can get an inside look at how they work!
  2. Make sure to light fireworks close to your small dog so they know where the noise is coming from and won’t be scared!
  3. Want an authentic 4th of July? Have a large crowd stand nearby the firework launch site so they can get the true patriotic feel that our founding fathers experienced under gunfire in the Revolutionary War.
  4. Want to be the star of the show? Wear the most flammable clothing possible to really sparkle!
  5. Consume heavy mayonnaise-based potato salad and at least 10 hotdogs to feel full and satisfied for the long journey of standing and lighting fireworks that awaits you. Who cares if your full belly renders you completely useless in the event that you must run away from a stray firework?
  6. Show your kids how much you trust them by letting them light the fireworks; they’ve going to have to grow up some time!
  7. Tired of spending big bucks on fireworks but still want the pizazz of a big show? Try DIY fireworks! This new trend will put your craftiness to the test!
  8. Be sure to douse your fireworks in quality gasoline to avoid any disappointment from possible duds.

American Flag

All jokes aside, we wish that you have a happy and safe 4th of July. Though fireworks definitely contribute to the holiday spirit, please be sure to exercise caution if you are lighting them or are nearby someone else who is.

120 Summer Days to Take Advantage of!

120 Summer Days Tips for Medical Professionals to Take Advantage OfSummer is officially here! Now that the polar vortex is long gone, get ready to lather up some sunscreen and get outside! With significantly longer days during the summer months, soak up the sun and take full advantage of your days off! Whether you choose to go on a walk around the local park or have a beach-day getaway, the possibilities for summer fun are endless. Here are some tips from the Uniform Advantage Family on how they plan on spending their summer vacation.

Take a beach vacation: For some, fortunately a beach is just a reasonable drive away! Grab your friends or family, and bring some delicious snacks and set up your umbrellas at a nearby beach. Whether you choose to get some R&R and read a book or take a walk on the wild side with a banana boat tour, your quick summer escape will leave you feeling light-hearted and at ease.

Treat yourself to a vacation! “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” – St. Augustine. Medical professionals, we know that you work extremely hard. Reward yourself for your dedication to your job with a vacation or stay-cation! Visit your favorite vacation destination or step outside of your comfort zone and experience new places with delicious cuisine, landmarks, and fun activities. Expanding your horizons and world-view is only a plane ticket or road trip away.

Run a 5k! Although running for fun is a foreign concept to most people, doing a 5k is a great way to get outdoors and enjoy summer’s beautiful days while setting a goal that will improve your health. Enroll in a 5k run with a friend to make training and the big day packed with fun! Many of these runs support nonprofit organizations and help fundraise to raise awareness so you are doing yourself and others a service by being active.120 Summer Days Tips for Medical Professionals to Take Advantage Of

Revamp your wardrobe! Updating your wardrobe gives you a cleansing, “new you” feeling that is perfect for the start of summer. Complement nature’s vibrant summer shades with a bright wardrobe of your own. Stay cool and look stylish with a simple, floral-patterned sundress. Or mix it up with a bold color-blocked wardrobe featuring bright shades, such as yellow and navy. Keep your eyes protected with a trendy pair of sunglasses. Popular sunglass styles this summer include cat-eye, mirrored, round, and retro looks! Tie your look together with a statement bag that tells everyone that you’re ready to hit the runway! To add some color into your professional wear, check out Uniform Advantage’s Hot Summer Sale! From prints boasting a wide array of colors to solid tops showcasing summer’s hottest colors, our selection is sure to wow you! So show off your true colors this summer and bring fashionable trends to your workplace!

As always, thanks for shopping at UA! We hope this first weekend of summer is a memorable one for you.

What are your favorite summer colors for scrub tops? Leave a comment below!

Unifrom Advantage Summer Print Scrubs

Happy Nursing Assistants Week from Uniform Advantage!

As a Nursing Assistant, you are often expected to do whatever comes your way in a timely and effective fashion. From cleaning up after your patients to making them feel at ease, your wide range of skills helps carry you through a job that demands the utmost in people and medical skills. In times where you are the first person to offer help to a patient in need, your improvisation skills quickly remedy any situation that comes your way. Whether a resident or nurse asks for your help, you know the value of preparedness and tackling your day with clear objectives. With this in mind, here are some tips to make your day run smoothly:

Nursing Assistants Week 2014

1) Have a game plan. Although it seems like a burden with your excessively long weeks that often mean working overtime, arriving 15 minutes early to work to plan your day helps you take charge of your responsibilities. These minutes of alone time will provide you the opportunity you need to get ahead and be informed of your duties.

2) Keep a basic work kit handy. If you have pockets or a waist pouch handy, be sure to keep the essentials (such as a pen, permanent marker, tape measure, and extra gloves) on hand in case you need to act quickly.

3) Let the RN know of your progress and if anything out of the ordinary arises. Your superior will appreciate your initiative and genuine care for your patients and profession, making you stand out from your peers.

4) Be cautious when lifting heavy objects and patients. The physical component of your job can be just as demanding as keeping track of your patients’ progress. Remember to use proper body mechanics and lift using your legs, not your back!

5) Smile! Keeping a smile on your face even in moments of pressure and distress is shown to reduce stress and boost your mood into a more positive one – seriously! Psychological research backs this phenomenon up. Your smile will help carry you through the day and uplift your patients in the process!Nursing Assistants Week 2014 v2

Happy Nursing Assistants Week….We appreciate you!

Treat yourself to your favorite brands with our Hot Summer Sale  at prices up to 50% off!

8 Inexpensive Ideas for Nurses on their Days Off…

8 Inexpensive Ideas for Nurses on their Days Off written by Uniform Advantage's Guest Blogger, Katy Katz

 Written by Guest Blogger, Katy Katz

New nurses may find themselves a bit shocked once they hit the professional world. After spending as many as four years studying every waking minute, you finally have some time to yourself again! Even more experienced nurses can get caught up in their routine and forget to take some time to enjoy the small things. It’s normal to feel the need to fill up your extra time and even feel a bit guilty if you don’t.

But it’s important to remember that you deserve a break! You are working hard each day to care for others and earning those days off. Furthermore, it’s a documented fact that taking some time to unwind improves productivity. So sit back, relax and take a look at these suggestions for how to spend your days out of the scrubs.

 

Build your resume

We’re going to wean you off the busy-nurse mindset slowly by starting you off with some ideas that will pass the time but still give you opportunities to gain some valuable experience. These ideas are fun and will look good in future job searches.

1. Volunteer for a charitable organization

Charitable work is a great way to fill a morning off. There are a ton of options from serving food in a soup kitchen, walking dogs at an animal shelter or even committing to long-term program like Big Brothers & Big Sisters. Find something that matches your interests and you will look forward to your days off.

2. Mentor a new nurse or nursing student

Mentees aren’t the only ones who benefit from mentorships. Being a mentor gives a person the opportunity to grow their own leadership skills, network with other nurses and foster talent in an organization.

3. Join a nursing organization

There are several national organizations like the American Nurses Association, as well as regional groups broken down by discipline. Nursing organizations are valuable to join because they coordinate regular networking opportunities as well as options for continuing education.

Get organized

Sometimes it seems that the more hours you spend at work, the more chaotic things can get at home. Take some time to get a plan for your household so that it’s easier to stay organized.

4. Plan meals for the whole month

Take an afternoon to plan out your meals and grocery lists for the month. This will not only help you free up more time for the fun stuff later on, but it will help you stick to healthy choices.

5. Triage your laundry

Put together a laundry organization system so that you can complete that tedious chore with ease. Use your nursing triage skills to create bins that make sense for you: delicate & regular, or whites, lights and dark colors.

Leave your cares behind, you deserve it!

You can’t spend every single day being productive, however, or you’re going to get burned out. For ideas that offer a little bit more distance from “work-like” activities, look no further.

6. Read a book

It can be tempting to turn on the latest reality TV show if you are spending a day at home, but try something different and head over to the library instead. You know you will get into the book as soon as you start reading it and studies show books are much more effective at improving your mood and relieving stress.

7. Visit a new place in your city

You don’t have to take a 4-day trip to the Bahamas to feel like you’re escaping reality a little (although that is always nice too). Try visiting a local park for a picnic or taking a stroll around a lake. Maybe there is a festival a few hours away that you have never been to. Today is the day to try it.

8. Splurge a little at the spa

Nurses spend a lot of time on their feet. If you can’t afford a full-blown day at the spa, make an appointment for a pedicure at a local salon. Even pedicures include a small foot massage and your feet will thank you for taking 30 minutes to show that you still love them when you’re working the next 12 hour shift.

About the Author: Katy Katz is a content creator for Collegis Education. She enjoys writing education and career focused articles to help individuals find their place in the work force. She also regularly contributes to a nursing career blog at Rasmussen College. Connect with Katy on Twitter and Google+.

 

The views and opinions expressed on this blog post are solely those of the original author. Their views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of Uniform Advantage’s staff, and/or any contributors to this site.

How to remove scrubs stains with Uniform Advantage’s handy removal guide

Life is messy as you know it and in the healthcare field, messes and stains run rampant. In a nurses’ day to day, they get so many stains from blood, urine, other bodily fluids, coke, coffee and tea and because they are on the go so much, there is also sweat stains just to name a few. Their nursing scrubs are in need of some good old tender loving care and Uniform Advantage has created a handy do-it-yourself guide to help you in your times of need. You can even print this and post it up by your bathroom, laundry room or any place that it is easy for reference. Here are some quick and easy and affordable tips to keep your nursing scrubs new as the day you bought them….

Blood: Fresh blood stains can be removed by soaking and rubbing the stain in cold water before washing. Never use hot water because it cooks the protein making the stain hard to remove.

Chocolate: Remove chocolate stains by soaking the fabric in club soda before washing it.

Coca-Cola: Put clear shampoo and salt on the stain and let it sit before washing.

Coffee or Tea: Lift the stain out by pouring a bit of beer right on top. Rub the beer lightly into the material, and the stain should disappear. Baby wipes can also effectively remove spills and drips on your scrubs.

Iodine: Pour Coca Cola on it, let it soak for 3-5 minutes. Run through washer when possible.

Ointment: Use a knife to scrape excess ointment from the fabric. Sprinkle cornstarch or talcum powder on the stain and rub it in into the stain with your fingertips, covering it completely. Leave the powder on the stain until it absorbs the grease (wait 15-20 minutes depending on stain size.) Then brush the powder off with a soft brush or clean, dry washcloth. Launder it in cold water.

Pen Ink: Just soak the affected garment in milk overnight and launder as usual the next day. Don’t have milk in the house? Try alcohol-based hairspray directly on the ink for 30 seconds and then wipe the ink away with a damp cloth.

Sweat: Pour vinegar over the sweat stain. Then rub coarse salt into the stain (table salt will work if it’s all you have.) Place the garment out in the sun to dry. Then, wash with shampoo (the chemistry of shampoo is designed to remove body oils.)

Vomit/Baby Spit-up: Sprinkle baking soda on the site and rub it in to help remove the smell when washed.

Urine: Pour ¼ baking soda in with detergent, and fill up the fabric softener cup with vinegar.

Do you have any other tips and tricks for taking out stains? We would love to learn from you.

 

Scrubs Stain Removal Guide