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Nursing is Career … Not just a Job

You’re ready for a new job opportunity. Started job search and managed to book yourself an Interview , all is good and as planned, by this point, you need to do your home work to be ready to sell yourself and the best way in doing so is to have a close look at your potential employer’s website.This will help you grow your confidence level and show your future employer you care and want the Job more than the other candidates.

Did you know that you have a chance of asking HR questions before accepting a job offer as a nurse? The widespread shortage of nurses in many places gives you room to be a job seeker with a choice on who to work for. Don’t be timid. Ask questions about what you consider important to you and how you carry out your job. Worth considering the following questions before giving a definite answer :

  1. About salary and allowances

Ask about your starting salary and compare this with what is offered in your area for similar roles .  Inquire about allowances in relation to relocation, overtime and any other special nursing care related duties. Many healthcare agencies fail to guarantee secured working hours for their nurses. A great way to find out is to just ask and check your future employer’s reviews, testimonials and social media accounts.

  1. Job related benefits

What does the company offer for your personal healthcare? This relates to matters such as insurance, paid vacation/leave and maternity leave for women.

  1. Interpersonal relationships

Strive to know the relationship between the administration and the workers.  How easy can you have issues resolved between you and a fellow member of staff or between you and the administration? Does the company have a mentorship program?

  1. Education and Training opportunities

Does the company have a continuing education program that will improve your CV and Overall Career Development ? Opportunities to get certifications in certain areas can help in your professional progression. Many healthcare agencies do offer mandatory training , offer courses and development days to help nurses improve their practice and support their continuing professional development (CPD). It is a great chance to ask your future employer if training is included in your employment contract.

  1. Will your personal special circumstances be considered in your new job role?

This can relate to physical or social-family issues. A pregnant or nursing mother for example may find it challenging to work in certain areas. Such mothers may need a department with more flexibility where it may be possible to take a break or reduce working hours (part time ) when circumstances demand. In addition to talking to the HR officer, talk to nurses and other staff who are already working with the company. You will learn from them some things that HR may not be willing to tell you. All these will help you to decide whether take the job opportunity or not.

If you make it a priority to ask these important questions before you accept a nursing job offer, you’ll be much happier with your decision—whether you accept or decline it. It might seem like a good idea to at first take what you can get, but what you want at the end of the day is to love your job and the best way to achieve this is to do your homework beforehand.

Small things like that can be helpful conversation topics during an interview and, ultimately, they can make all the difference in securing the position. Secure Healthcare Solutions is a specialist in establishment healthcare staffing solutions across England. We are actively recruiting and supplying front line staff in Birmingham and the West Midlands,Northampton, Milton Keynes, London, Manchester and Bristol areas.

 

In addition to recruiting and supplying staff to other home based healthcare providers, Secure Healthcare Solutions provide direct homecare services.

Housekeeping and housing support

House cleaning and all types of cleaning and other home chores can all be covered by a staff from Secure Healthcare Solutions who may do the actual job or arrange for it to be done by the right people. Payment of bills is also part of this service. Those who are still able to pursue hobbies and a social life benefit from the company’s trained assistants.

Personal care

Here the type of care is determined by the disability the patient has. The aim is however, one – to make the patient comfortable and to maintain their dignity. It entails personal hygiene, continence and other elimination matters. It also means making sure that supplies such as catheters, colostomy bags and other things that the patient may need are in stock and of the right quality.

Companionship

People who live alone may not necessarily be incapacitated by their health issues. However, loneliness can be just as bad. A friendly and professional companion from Secure Healthcare Solutions is always available whenever one is needed.

High dependency care

Here the patient needs near intensive care services. The services offered in this category are complicated and specialised. These are patients who may need respiratory support, tube feeding and intravenous medications or fluids. These are patients who may be having spinal or brain injuries. Others may be terminally ill and in need of round the clock palliative care. A skilled nurse from Secure Healthcare Solutions makes sure that such patients receive the best care possible and that all the doctor’s treatment orders are followed. These nurses also know the right questions to ask when necessary.

Live-in care

A person offering care on a continuing basis in a home considers many things. Secure Healthcare Solutions considers interests, hobbies, age and the type of disability of the client so that, the most appropriate staff is released to care for that patient. Where pets are involved, the staff’s attitude towards them is also considered. This guarantees a cordial co-existence between the carer and the client.

Respite care

Care giving can be stressful and with time burnout can result. When the care giver needs to be away for holiday or for other reasons, Secure Healthcare Solutions is ready to step-in and maintain the same care the client is used to.

Medication management

An aged patient, a mentally challenged person or a child can have difficulties in following prescribed drugs instructions. A qualified nurse is there to ascertain compliance and to prevent accidental over or under dosages. The nurse also makes sure that the medicines are kept safely and they are still potent and their expiry date is still far.

Home from hospital

Discharge from hospital can create new challenges for both patient and relatives. A Secure Healthcare Solution nurse makes sure that this transition is as smooth as possible. The nurse will arrange transport home after making all necessary clearance with the hospital. She will also make sure that all necessary equipment is available and will install what is needed by the patient at home. The homecare assistance will be tailored to meet the specific patient’s needs.

As family structure continues to evolve and homecare solutions continue to advance in various ways, people in need of specialised homecare will need more than old fashion type of assistance. The training offered by Secure Healthcare Solutions and the specific and direct homecare services it offers will become even more relevant. This is in view of the important role the company plays in the homebased healthcare industry that no individual carer can consistently match.

 

 As a nurse, you’ll need to go through appraisals, reflective discussions, and confirmation not just to satisfy licensing requirements but to also improve your performance as a health professional. Read on to learn more about these essential processes.

What are appraisals?

Appraisals are an important part of your work life as a nurse. Whether you like it or not, you’ll need to go through these processes to measure your development in the past year, identify the areas where you need improvement, and create personal development for the next 12 months. With the introduction of revalidation in April 2016, appraisals have become even more important since they help nurses prepare for their revalidation and registration renewal.

If you’re an agency nurse, you’re not required to get an appraisal every year. But, just like any other nurse, you do need to undergo reflective discussion and confirmation a few months or weeks before your revalidation date. With this in mind, it makes sense to schedule these processes during your annual appraisal to hit several birds with one stone. Take note, though: your reflective discussion and confirmation should be done within 12 months before your revalidation date. Any sooner than that may raise questions about the relevancy of your revalidation requirements.

What are reflective discussions?

You need to complete at least five reflective pieces as a part of the revalidation process. These pieces should be written within the three years that lead up to your revalidation date.

Your written accounts can be based on your general practice, feedback from your patients or colleagues, and the courses you take for your CPD. You can also relate them to articles that you have read or events that you have attended — as long as these articles or events are relevant to your practice and reflect the four themes of the Code. By writing these accounts, you’ll find it easier to adopt reflective practices and identify the improvements that you can make to your practice.

Once you have completed at least five written accounts, you can undergo the process of reflective discussion. This should be a face-to-face conversation with another healthcare professional who is registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). During this process, you will discuss your written reflections in detail.

When choosing a partner for reflective discussion, you’re not required to select someone who has the same specialism as you and who works with you on a daily basis. However, you are required to fill out the reflective discussion form and obtain your partner’s signature. Doing this will serve as evidence that you’re not professionally isolated and that you interact with others in the healthcare field.

What is the confirmation process?

Before you submit your revalidation application, you’ll need to have a confirmation meeting, which allows you to review the evidence that you have gathered over the past three years. Your confirmation meeting should be with your line manager who may or may not be registered with the NMC. If this isn’t possible, you can have the meeting with a doctor, pharmacist, or any other UK-registered healthcare professional whom you work with.

During your confirmation meeting, make sure to proactively interact with your Confirmer and discuss all the details of your CPD, reflective accounts, and other items in your portfolio. You need to show that you’re dedicated to your practice and have taken accountability for your growth and improvement. You also must demonstrate that you can adapt to changes in the clinical setting.

Of course, don’t forget to complete the NCM appraisal/confirmation form and get the signature of your line manager/Confirmer once your meeting is done. Getting two copies of the form is recommended so you can keep one copy for yourself and include the other in your revalidation application.

Revalidation is a new process that nurses and midwives have to go through before they can renew their registration with the Nurses and Midwives Council (NMC). It’s designed to improve public protection by ensuring that healthcare professionals are fit to practice and that they’re knowledgeable about the latest methods and techniques in the healthcare sector.

Nurses and midwives understandably feel nervous about revalidation. However, the pressure is even greater for agency staff, many of whom usually don’t get as much training and support as permanent employees. Fortunately, if you’re an agency nurse, take note that there are some things that you can do to make revalidation easier and less stressful. Here are a few tips you can use:

1. Create a free online account at the NMC’s website. Having an account is greatly helpful since it lets you check your exact revalidation date and get a list of the requirements that you’ll need to prepare. The NMC will also send you a notification 60 days before your revalidation is due, ensuring that you won’t forget it.

2. Prepare for your revalidation at least 6 months in advance. As mentioned above, the NMC will remind you about your revalidation two months before the due date, but two months usually aren’t enough. Remember: you won’t only have to gather the required paperwork but you’ll also need to do mental and emotional preparation and make yourself ready to write your reflective pieces.

3. Speak to friends and colleagues who have already gone through revalidation. Ask questions about their experience and take note of their tips so you’ll have a clear idea of what you need to do. Of course, when the time comes to help someone else in the future, don’t hesitate to share what you’ve learned.

4. Make the NMC code the center of your life. Whenever you write your reflections and have discussions, always link your experiences as well as the lessons you’ve learned to the code. Appraisers and Confirmers will look at how you have internalized the code and made it a part of your life as a healthcare professional.

5. Whenever you undergo training, write your insights about the things that you have learned on the back of the certificate that you’ll receive. This way, you can express your thoughts while they’re still fresh in your mind, and you can use these later on when you’re preparing reflections for your revalidation portfolio. Make sure to keep your training certificates in a safe place!

6. Read nursing and medical articles in magazines a few months before your revalidation is due. This way, you’ll have enough time to digest their content and think of how you can apply them to your work. You can even make it a habit to write notes as you read so you can have more details to add to your reflections portfolio.

7. Before asking a patient for their feedback, make sure that you have built a good rapport with them first. Doing this is important so they won’t feel like you’re intruding into their privacy. Don’t forget to obtain their consent and explain that you need the feedback for your revalidation.

8. Search for forums, support groups, and interactive sessions that are organized by senior nurses or revalidation experts. This way, you can speak with people who have gone through the process and/or know it inside out and can give you helpful tips.

9. Look for free or discounted courses that will help you complete the required number of hours of continuing professional development without paying too much. The NMC doesn’t have a list of prescribed activities, so it’s up to you to choose those that are relevant to your professional development

10. Enjoy the process! Think of your revalidation as a way of doing your part to improve the nursing community and the healthcare sector as a whole.

These are just some tips that agency nurses can use when undergoing revalidation. Do you have any advice to add to this list? Share them with us!

7% difference in death rates have been linked to staffing alone. In a five-year investigation into the number of deaths in NHS hospitals, research suggests that:

  • Health care facilities with the highest staffing levels have the lowest death rates
  • The lack of nurses in a healthcare facility is considered one of the leading causes of hundreds of patients’ death after an emergency surgery.
  • The chance of surviving within 30 days of being admitted for an emergency operation is low in hospitals with fewer nurses, doctors and surgeons.

This only shows that nurses play a vital role in the health care industry, and the lack of them may account for a lot of patient’s death.

Based on the same research, the reason that many die after emergency surgery is because there is not enough nurses to care for them. An insufficient number of staff to spot and manage complications is also a key factor in determining whether a patient lives or dies in a particular facility.

Unfortunately, shortage of nursing is prevalent that NHS have to recruit from different parts of the world to fill gaps on rotas. These include nurses from India, Portugal, Philippines and Spain.

The problem is also foreseen to worsen with plans to scrap bursaries for future nurses and midwives. Taking out the bursaries of up to £20,000 could make the profession less enticing for a lot of people.

Still, there are ways to overcome nursing shortage.

1. Partner with providers of staffing solutions

Secure Healthcare Solutions is a specialist in health care staffing, supplying organisations with temporary and permanent solutions in the sector. They are hiring plenty of nurses that could become part of a clinic or hospital’s team, provided that you register with them. The agency also runs a referral program that are sure to encourage nurses to bring their peers into the organisation, and help eradicate shortage.

2. Create the right atmosphere

Secure Healthcare Solutions would take care of recruitment, but it is your responsibility to retain nurses within your employment. The best way to do this is to create an atmosphere that appreciates anything and everything a nurse does.

  • Keep work schedules flexible

Being overworked and stressed do not make happy nurses. Although nursing jobs are hardly easy and stress-free, it doesn’t have to be the cause of quick turnovers. You can offer relief by allowing nurses to juggle between work, home life and educational opportunities. Flexible scheduling would help create a working atmosphere that is productive and positive. 

  • Offer opportunities for career development

There is a call for 80% of nurses to have a bachelor’s degree come 2020. If anyone in your nursing staff doesn’t have a degree, help them achieve the highest level education possible. Doing so will make nursing staff feel more satisfied with their job. When this happens, expect them to stay within the organisation and to work with excellence, and not out of gratitude for the opportunity given.

  • Listen to their needs

No one knows better how to improve workflow than those in the field. In the case of healthcare facilities, input and insights from nurses should be considered vital information, as they are the ones directly interacting with patients. So make sure they are given ample face time. It is also important to implement their suggestions to show that their opinions and input did not go to waste.