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

MotherEarth

Earth Day Tips: Packing a Healthier, Zero Waste Lunch

This is a guest blog by WildMintShop.com

Tuesday, April 22 this year is “Earth Day,” a day when people around the globe get together to bring awareness to environmental issues and promote greater appreciation of the planet. There are thousands of steps, big or small, one can take to help protect our planet, and today we wanted to focus on a topic we know everyone can relate to—food! As busy health professionals, we know it’s probably hard to find time to pack lunch, yet, ordering takeout, eating in the cafeteria, or constantly going out for lunch aren’t necessarily the most cost-effective or healthiest options. That’s why we’re here to help you change up your lunch routine while going green! At Wild Mint, we are dedicated to helping families live healthier, safer, and more earth-friendly lifestyles, so we’ve put together some of our favorite tips to help you pack a healthier, zero waste lunch for work.

There are two main areas you can focus on to help pack a healthier lunch: the food you pack and the containers you use to pack your food.  First, trying to pack whole, fresh foods such as fruits and vegetables, lean meats, nuts, legumes, and grains are of course better for your health than eating processed foods and those high in saturated fats.  But another thing to remember is that research shows organic foods are higher in nutrients (vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals) and free from many of the toxic pesticides used in regular foods.  To help you shop for organic foods on a budget, check out the Environmental Working Group’s Shoppers Guide to see the best foods to try to buy organic.

Now that you’re packing healthier foods, it’s time to consider your food containers. Did you know that chemicals in some items including lunch bags, plastic containers, utensils, plastic baggies, and water bottles can actually leach into your food and drink? These toxic chemicals (including Bisphenol-A or BPA, phthalates and PVC’s, and lead) can have a short or long term effect on people’s health including diabetes, obesity, heart disease, worsening allergy and asthma symptoms, impaired intellect, and some cancers. To help you avoid any potential health consequences from using products made with toxic chemicals, switch to non toxic, reusable lunch-packing gear made from glass, stainless steel, organic cotton, and bamboo.

Packing your lunch in reusable products is also a great way to reduce waste in the environment. According to RecycleWorks.org, a person who uses a disposable lunch creates between 4-8 ounces of garbage everyday, which can add up to as much as 100 pounds per year! That’s a lot of garbage by just one person that is polluting the air and oceans. Additionally, plastics, which are used to make so many disposable lunch gear items, take centuries to decompose and if incinerated in the process, release toxic byproducts into the atmosphere.

PCSOW028                  Below are 4 ways to help you pack the perfect zero-waste lunch:MSWB8056

1)      Pack a Reusable Lunch Bag: Look for a reusable lunch bag free from toxic chemicals like lead, PVCs, phth alates, and BPA. If you’re looking for the most eco friendly option, opt for a bag made completely from 100% organic cotton, which is grown without the use of pesticides and has lower environmental impacts than conventional cotton.

2)      Store Healthy Food in Reusable Containers: As discussed, glass, stainless steel, and organic cotton are all toxin-free alternatives to plastic that also promote healthier eating by conscious food preparation. Pack healthy sandwiches, meals, veggie sticks, yogurt, fruit, and more nutritious options in safer glass food storage containers and stainless steel food containers. Replace plastic baggies with reusable sandwich bags and reusable snack bags which will save money in the long run and help reduce waste!

3)      Sustainable Utensils & Napkins: Reusable bamboo utensils are an Eco-friendly alternative to plastics, much lighter then packing silverware, and super cute! With napkins, opt for reusable 100% organic cotton instead of paper napkins that add unnecessary waste to landfills.

4)      Reusable Beverage Bottles: Plastic water bottles, juice boxes, soda cans, and other disposable drinks can contain unhealthy ingredients, toxic chemicals, and of course contribute to waste. Instead, use reusable glass water bottles or stainless steel water bottles filled with water and other healthy beverages. We love Lifefactory water bottles for glass and Klean Kanteen bottles for stainless steel.

We hope these tips have been helpful and informative in learning about toxin-free, earth friendly lunch packing. For some ideas on healthy lunch and snack options visit our Recipe Section and to learn more about healthy, safer living visit our Learn Section.

 

 

 

How to choose the right colors for your Scrubs

Colors revive the mind, body and soul and it also saps your energies. Have you ever worn one of your favorite colored nursing uniforms and it lifts the mood of your coworkers and patients as they see you? You get a lot of compliments and you feel happy and they feel happy. Everyone’s happy!

There is truth to the energies that colors emit and there is no escaping them as they are all around you. Guys traditionally wear dark colors and women wear all colors and prints depending on their personality and mood. These two things influence your choices in choosing your scrubs and sometimes they conflict with each other.

Colors are a powerful communication tool and it is therapeutic as well as expressive. It is Spring time and a lot of yellows, pinks, oranges, bright shades of greens and blues will be worn as well as purple which is a trendy color this season for nursing scrubs. So what does each color mean? Check out Uniform Advantage’s Color Psychology guide to help you choose your nursing uniforms.

 

Red is stimulating, energetic and represents survival.

Royal Blue is calm, trusting and reflective.

Green represents harmony and peace and refreshment and restoration.

Pink is all about love, nurture and warmth.

Brown is naturalistic, reliable and supportive.

Orange is also a warm color and represents passion and abundance.

White is hygienic and simple.

Purple is meditative, spiritually aware and truthful.

Black shows security, represents sophistication and efficiency.

 

What is your #favorite color and why? Leave us a comment. We would love to hear from you!

The meaning of colors when choosing your nursing uniforms

 

How to Rise Above it All: Nursing from Within…

Elizabeth ScalaWritten by Guest Blogger and Spiritual Practical Nurse, Elizabeth Scala

Healthcare has gone, and will continue to go through, major shifts.

Political policy, economic environments, and the rise of technology could paint us this picture of healthcare as a big, money making business. The motivation to increase profits can potentially take out the love and genuine nature of what nursing represents.

Yikes!

On one hand, this landscape appears bleak. On another, we might see it as an opportunity.

In my line of work, I see so much stress coming at us nurses from every angle; I was thinking I’d opt for option two. We are at a crossroads and the path I choose to take is one in which we as nurses can rise above the stress when you may have lost hope, even worse, when you want to give up. Who’s with me?

What I’d like to offer in this article is a fresh, new perspective. This requires some out-of-the box thinking, but in the words of my teachers, Lissa Rankin and Rachel Naomi Remen- “Life is what happens outside of the box”.

The challenges touched on above are often beyond the individual nurse’s control. And this feeling of ‘lack of control’ is one of the reasons beneath the reasons for stress.

I was actually in a meeting a couple of weeks ago with some of the major leadership players on well-being at my workplace. A question was posed, as we tried to wrap up the conversation and nail down the key take-away points, “What is the one thing we could focus on to help our nurses? The one thing they struggle with?

Stress. At first, that was the unanimous response.

I, with dozens of years less experience than any and the youngest in the room, timidly spoke up. And am glad that I did. My viewpoint: yes, stress is a major challenge. And there are things that are happening even beneath the stress. The underlying issues, so to speak.

So as I said above, the lack of control is one. Feeling as though we don’t have a voice can be another. Being unable to work up to our degrees and actually provide quality nursing care might still be an example.

In fact, I could go on and on.

This awareness that there are issues beneath the issues is what has sparked me to embark on my journey of bringing out the nurse within.

In today’s post, I’d like to share with you two techniques you might try to reconnect with your nurse within:

  • Focus the Energy: It may be hard to do at first, especially with all of the challenges we’ve discussed above, but the best thing you can do in any and all situations is to focus on the positive. Sure you may have a lot of computerized work to do, but it’s so much more legible than those old handwritten notes we used to receive. OK so maybe the staffing isn’t great for the day, but you’re helping people heal. As Carl Jung put it: “What we resist, persists.” Where you place your energy, effort and attention will only grow in strength. Focus on all of the good you do at work, the joy you bring to others and the love you have of your role- this will bring you more good to be grateful for.
  • Mindfulness Matters: Take up a mindfulness practice outside of work or class. A daily routine of going inward while you’re not engrossed with study or job will help you when the chaos of a nursing day lands on your shoulders. It’s hard to focus on being present in the moment when you’re just that busy. So a way to be better at concentrated attention is to take up a daily mindfulness practice like meditation, body scanning, Tai Chi, Reiki or Yoga.

There are many more ways to invite the nurse within. I encourage you to simply open up to the possibility and practice. The negativity, the stress, everything we encounter- it can become overwhelmingly exhausting. If we let it.

Focus on what you can control. Connect with the relationships that lift you up. Notice where you feel pride, gratitude and joy. Nursing truly is a beautiful blend of art and science; now allow the practice to flow from inside of you.

About the Author: Spiritual Practice Nurse Elizabeth Scala is on a mission to transform the profession of nursing from the inside out. Individuals typically enter nursing with a desire to provide compassionate, heart-based care. Challenged by regulations, financial pressures and technological advancements, today’s nurse struggles to balance the art with the science of nursing. As a speaker, trainer, facilitator and author, Elizabeth inspires nursing teams to reconnect with the passionate and fulfilling joy that once called them to their career. To find out more about Elizabeth Scala, please go to http://www.elizabethscala.com. You can follow Elizabeth on Twitter @ElizabethScala, Google +, Pinterest, LinkedIn and You Tube and check out her latest book,  Back to the Basics: A Nurse’s Pocket Guide to Self-Care.

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.

Art-of-Nursing Event

 

How to choose your Nursing Uniforms using Uniform Advantage’s Body Shape Guide

When you shop for yourself, what is the first thing you think about? Size? Color? Fit? Style? Trendy or Passé? Do you do the same when selecting your nursing uniforms or do you have to switch your brain because it is work related? In anything related to clothing, there are two important things you must consider: Your body’s measurements and your body type.

Hubert Givenchy said it well, “The dress must follow the body of a woman, not the body following the shape of the dress.”

Even though you are looking for medical scrubs for work, you still want to look great and present a confident image. Nurses wear their scrubs a lot more than their personal clothing so in getting to know their body well, they will start becoming more aware of their curves and angles and lines. When choosing the right nursing uniform, there is a wide variety for you to choose from: scrub tops, scrub pants and skirts down to nursing shoes and accessories. You can outfit yourself with mock wrap tops if you are an Hourglass shape, V-neck, side stretch panel tops if you are a Pear shape, boot cut or flared scrub pants if you are an Apple shape, wide leg pants or flared skirts if you are an Inverted Triangle shape and lastly, ruffles or ruching if you are a Rectangle shape. Accentuate your features with the right fit and your choices will naturally complement your personality and style. Happy Shopping!

 

 knowing your body type