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 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

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Top Tips to Help You in Your Job Search

This is a guest post by UA Brands.

Does the thought of dragging out your old resume and spending hours hunting the job boards seems like a daunting task? If you’re like most nurses, the answer is probably “yes”. Who wouldn’t be tired after spending all day on your feet dealing with patients, emergencies, and trying to find time to eat something in-between?

Here at UA Brands, we are passionate about helping top talented job seekers find the job that fits them perfectly! We know how much better it feels to be working in a job that’s a great fit and in a company that you feel at home.
With that in mind here are some of our top tips that will help you prepare for your job search and help you along the way!

• Make sure that your resume is proofread by a friend or family member who has excellent grammar and spelling skills. Your resume is all about putting the best of you on paper and you want your skills and experience to shine through, not a spelling or grammar mistake!

• Tailor your resume and cover letter to the job you are applying for. Although it can be easy to make a generic resume and apply to hundreds of jobs, take those few minutes and tailor your resume and cover letter to touch on points that were mentioned in the job description. It makes a big difference when we see a candidate has put in the extra effort.

• Do your research beforehand! If you get called in for an interview or a phone interview, do your research on the company! If you really want to wow the interviewer and set yourself apart, do some research on the interviewer. Nowadays, with the internet and LinkedIn, it’s so easy to find information about companies and their employees.

• Speaking of LinkedIn…create a profile! LinkedIn is a key social media site that recruiters often use to find top talent. In 2012 – 92% of US companies stated that they have used social media networks to find potential employees and 73% of US companies have successfully hired a candidate through social media.*

• Prepare your own interview questions about the job, the company and culture, and even about the interviewer themselves. It shows interest and excitement over this position and can give you an edge over other candidates.

• Always say “thanks”! Sending a short note via email to your interviewer and anyone you met, is a great way to keep your name in their minds! Try to send it 2-3 days after the interview. If you don’t hear back after your thank you note, it is appropriate to send a follow-up email after a week.

For more tips and tricks on job searching, interviewing, resume and cover letter help, and all things job search related, please follow us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/UABrands we post tips and tricks every week as well as motivational quotes on Mondays, Hump Day Humor on Wednesdays and Friday’s Heroes on Fridays. To find out more about UA Brands and our current open positions, please visit us at http://www.uabrands.com.

We wish you luck on your next job hunt!

*Jobvite’s 2012 Social Recruitment Survey Results. http://recruiting.jobvite.com/resources/social-recruiting-reports-and-trends/
Kara Loomis is the Recruiting and Retention Coordinator at UA Brands. She has been with UA Brands for over a year and is passionate about all things related to job searching and hiring. To find out more about UA Brands please go to http://www.uabrands.com. You can follow Kara on Twitter and Instagram at @uabrands.

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5 Ways to Indulge in SPRING Trends!

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Something Floral – Whether it’s a flower in your hair or a floral print top…anything floral is the number one must have trend for this Spring season. The easiest way to incorporate this trend in your day is with the Electric Floral mock wrap scrub top from HeartSoul! The top also has bursts of bright colors like Citrus Blast and Orange Pop! Shop floral scrubs at Uniform Advantage: http://www.uniformadvantage.com/pages/dpt/floral-print-scrubs.asp?navbar=4

2118Spring Eats – Whole Foods Market often features recipes they come up with themselves, and their Fresh Pineapple Salsa will surely get you in the mood for Spring. The colors evoke a sense of happiness and the flavors will have you running for never-ending spoonfuls! Check out the recipe: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipe/fresh-pineapple-salsa?crlt.pid=camp.bTfloUyQeKpj

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Pretty Pastels – Who said pastels are boring? Not this Spring! Pastels can help you transform your nails to fun and bright. Play around with different designs or just find a classic subdued pink to add a change to your basic nail. Want to be a bit more edgy? Add a bit of bling with a glitter topcoat!

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Funky Kicks – Fun and crazy shoes are in…but that doesn’t mean you have to be in pain. Combine fashion and comfort with Alegria shoes in Flower Power! With the long shifts you do on your feet, you need something that will be there for you! These shoes are slip resistant, encourage proper posture, and are designed with a footbed to form to the natural shape of your feet. Whoa…sounds like a winner! Check out all Alegria shoes at Uniform Advantage: http://www.uniformadvantage.com/pages/dpt/shoes-alegria.asp?navbar=7

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Braid Fever – Do away with the perfect sleeked ponytail, and give in to Braid Fever! Celebrities are also sporting all types of braids from a tight fishtail to a Dutchreverse. This way your hair will be out of your face, yet look like you put some effort into it.

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UA Fights Back…with Baked Goods!

This year, Uniform Advantage, as well as other UA Brands, including Wild Mint Shop, Neighborhoodies, & Chef Uniforms, will be participating in the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life Event. The event will take place on April 11 @6:30PM to April 12 @9AM!

Relay For Life is an organized, overnight community fundraising walk for ACS, where teams of people camp out at a local school or park and take turns walking around a track or path. Because, cancer never sleeps, each team is asked to have a representative on the track at all times during the event. At the event we raise funds, celebrate survivors, remember loved ones lost, and learn more about how to fight back against cancer.

Over the course of several weeks, not only will employees at the corporate office sign up to walk during the Relay 4 Life event, we will also host multiple fundraising events to raise money and awareness as we fight back against cancer.

Our first event sure was sweet! It left everyone in the office energized, chatty, and full! You guessed it…a BAKE SALE! Thanks to all the bakers who brought in delightful treats such as almond pound cake, oatmeal cookies, banana nut muffins…etc! We were full throughout the day with plenty of leftovers. So not to forget those that donated, we thank everyone else for helping us get closer to our fundraising goal by indulging in a little or a lot of sweetness!

If you would like to donate on behalf of our UA team and fight back against cancer, please visit our site to learn more. http://main.acsevents.org/goto/UAscrubs

Uniform Advantage secures Exclusivity for Koi’s and Med Couture’s 2 Newest Spring Colors

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Uniform Advantage secures early exclusives for Koi’s and Med Couture’s 2 newest colors in their spring collection. For additional information about Koi and Med Couture Scrubs and the different styles and colors offered, please visit www.UniformAdvantage.com.

Koi and Med Couture have been part of Uniform Advantage’s (UA) family for 5 and 6 years respectively and have given UA exclusivity for their 2 newest colors this spring. Koi will be featuring Plum and Grape colors and Med Couture will be launching Blush and Marine Blue colors. UA has them exclusively until August 2014 and these are currently displayed in Uniform Advantage’s Spring 2014 catalog.

Koi’s Inspiration

Koi is known for their trendy and fashionable designs and their two newest colors, Plum and Grape, reflect just that. The colors were chosen for their beautiful characteristics and glamorous appeal. Grape is a deep, rich, elegant color. Plum is a bright color with a hint of fuchsia that was inspired by Koi’s President, Kathy Peterson’s trip to India. Both colors are flattering for all complexions. Their Katelyn and Naomi tops and Lindsey pants will be available at UA in these exclusive colors. Also new to UA, is their Kathryn Wild Thing print top. It’s one of their favorites of the season. It incorporates two of the designer’s favorite things: animal prints and shades of purple.

Med Couture’s Inspiration

Med Couture’s fabrics are stretchy and very comfortable and provide a great fit for our medical professionals for their long work days.  The colors for Spring consist of a combination of vibrant shades of Pink and Turquoise. Blush is a medium bright tone of Pink and contrasts nicely with Marine Blue, a colorful shade of Turquoise. These are very trendy and wearable colors for the season and these shades were created as similar ones have done very well in the past for both Med Couture and UA. The coordinating prints are equally tasteful and appealing to all nurses, young and mature.

What new colors would you like to see come to UA? Are there some colors that you just can’t live without!?