Healthcare Workplace Spotlight: Managing Difficult People

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No matter where we work, we will surely have encounters with difficult people. However, healthcare workplaces can be home to high-pressure environments that do not always bring out the very best in the individuals that work in them. Factors such as stress, snap decisions, illness, and organizational hierarchies can all contribute to disillusionment that may lead to difficult behaviors from some people.

Some healthcare workers might have the terrible misfortune of working with a condescending boss, control-freak supervisor, micromanaging chief nurse officer, whiny coworker, mean-spirited patients or their verbally abusive family members and visitors. Regrettably, these folks are all relatable characters that are intertwined in the day to day theatrics of the modern healthcare workplace.

Medical-oriented workplaces such as healthcare facilities can be intensely stressful, so it is not particularly shocking that this type of environment does not always bring out the most noble qualities in people. In addition, those who do work in the healthcare sector have probably experienced more than one instance in which the difficult conduct of coworkers or managers has resulted in hard feelings long after the offending event.

Without further delay, if a healthcare worker happens to have a coworker or boss who is horribly difficult to manage in the workplace, here is a list of tips to help cope with the situation.

  • Make sure you are not becoming part of the problem. It is okay to complain as long as you come up with solutions to the issues you complain about. However, be careful to avoid falling into the trap of becoming a whiny complainer.
  • Tactfully confront the difficult coworker. During the confrontation, state the facts without becoming overly emotional. Communicate as assertively as possible. Take care to not become aggressive or passive in this confrontation.
  •  Focus more on the behavior and less on the difficult person. In reality, people usually are not the core problem. In fact, their behaviors are the problem.
  • Be future-oriented. Do not dwell on past occurrences. Do not continually revisit a difficult coworker’s past. After all, difficult people cannot change the past. Rather, they can only make alterations to their future behaviors.
  • Manage your expectations of others. Ask yourself if your expectations are truly realistic. If your expectations of proper healthcare workplace decorum and behaviors are too lofty, you might need to adjust them accordingly.

Good luck to every healthcare worker who is dealing with the hot-button subject of difficult coworkers. Please be aware that you are not alone in the fight to manage peoples’ difficult behaviors and habits.

REFERENCES

Employee Development Systems. (2007). Dealing With Difficult People: Participant Workbook. Retrieved April 9, 2019, from http://www.employeedevelopmentsystems.com/media/pdfs/DealingWithDifficultPeople.pdf

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Four Reasons Healthcare Workers are Crucial!

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Healthcare workers are of the utmost importance here in the United States as well as around the globe. Healthcare workers include every single person in the health system who delivers care either directly or on an indirect basis. Those who fall under the realm of healthcare workers would include physicians, nurses, physical therapists, patient care technicians, nursing assistants, physicians assistants, and other types of clinicians.

Why are healthcare workers so important? They are crucial for a number of compelling reasons. For one, they serve as patient advocates. Advocacy, defined as the earnest promotion of a cause, is an activity that healthcare workers routinely perform. Clinicians who render patient care regularly advocate for their patients to ensure that all of their needs regarding health are met in a timely manner. Effective advocacy requires a set of soft skills in addition to a degree of social finesse.

In addition, healthcare workers are crucial since they provide education to patients, families, communities and entire populations. Healthcare workers educate people on how to prevent health problems. They teach people how to properly manage disease processes, too. It is essential that patients receive education on proper disease management since dealing with chronic illness in the right manner can ward off deadly complications.

Moreover, healthcare workers are very significant because they deliver the ongoing care, assessment and observation that makes the ultimate difference in the outcomes of patients. In fact, competent healthcare workers are quite possibly the most vital elements in the recovery or stability of a patient’s health status (Stevens, 2009). In essence, healthcare workers provide patient care and keenly observe for changes in condition.

Finally, healthcare workers are important due to the therapeutic relationships they establish with patients. Healthcare workers do things to build relationships with clients that are cemented by trust, rapport, warmth, caring, compassion, human connection and honesty. These elements help patients feel confident and reassured regarding the care they are receiving. Patients will be more likely to care about their health statuses when they perceive that their health workers care.

Again, why are healthcare workers so crucial? They are important because they engage in patient advocacy. They are important since they provide lifesaving patient education. They are important because they deliver care and simultaneously observe for changes in patients’ conditions. They are important because they develop therapeutic relationships with patients that demonstrate caring, warmth and the ultimate level of compassion.

Become a healthcare worker in just a couple of weeks at Legacy Healthcare Careers! People in the Dallas /Fort Worth area of Texas can call (682)626-5266 to get started and be on their way to an exciting healthcare career! Train to become a nursing assistant in two weeks at Legacy Healthcare Careers, a small vocational school located in the DFW area suburb of Richland Hills, Texas. Job placement assistance is available.

RESOURCES

Community Tool Box. (2018). Overview: Getting an Advocacy Campaign off the Ground. Retrieved April 8, 2019, from https://ctb.ku.edu/en/table-of-contents/advocacy/advocacy-principles/overview/main

Stevens, A. (2009, June). What Role Do Healthcare Workers Play in Determining Quality Care? Retrieved April 8, 2019, from http://blog.sunbeltstaffing.com/medical-ethics/what-role-do-healthcare-workers-play-in-determining-quality-care/

Healthcare Workplace Spotlight: It’s All About How People Feel Around You

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Here is a harsh reality of workplace politics that some people have not quite grasped: regardless of how well we are able to perform the technical and procedural aspects of our job duties, most employees will never get too far at work if people do not feel comfortable around them. Yes, the way people feel around us is very important. Some further elaboration on this phenomenon is needed, so here we go…

Many workers are amazing at the hands-on, technical aspects of their jobs. For instance, a nurse named Selma has approximately 10 years of experience in various areas. She is highly intelligent and has a masters degree in nursing. Selma has worked in a variety of higher acuity nursing specialties including interventional radiology, critical care, post anesthesia recovery, same day surgery, inpatient dialysis, and the emergency room.

Selma is proficient in a large number of technical and procedural hands-on skills that many other nurses have not fully mastered. For example, she is an expert at operating ventilators. She is also an expert at starting intravenous lines, accessing ports, running bedside hemodialysis machines, managing multiple IV drips, applying wound vac appliances, and performing comprehensive head-to-toe assessments of patients.

However, something is not quite right with Selma. She has had 19 jobs in her 10 year career as a nurse. Patients and families complain that she is not expressive or warm and that her bedside manner is cold. Coworkers would say she is very smart, but brutally honest and hard to be around for expended periods of time. Selma believes she does her work well, so she does not understand why she never manages to keep a job for long.

On the other hand, another nurse named Mamie also has 10 years of experience in a number of different areas. Mamie is an RN with an associate degree from a trade school and experience in lower acuity nursing specialties such as long term care, hospice, post acute rehabilitation, home health, private duty, doctors offices and seasonal flu shot clinics. Mamie has been at her current job at a nursing home for the past seven years.

Mamie does not have most of the hands-on technical skills that Selma possesses. Mamie does not know how to operate ventilators or access ports, and she is not terribly good at starting intravenous lines or managing IV pumps. While Mamie can complete patient assessments, she has never touched a dialysis machine. While Mamie knows how to apply wound vac appliances, she surely would not call herself an expert at this skill.

However, Mamie is beloved at work due to her cheerful personality and ability to make people feel good about themselves in her presence. She always offers assistance and has great interpersonal skills. After five years of dedicated work as a floor nurse and weekend supervisor at the nursing home where she is employed, she was promoted into the nursing administration department to serve as the facility director of nurses.

What is the difference between Selma and Mamie? Even though Mamie may be far less skilled in the hands-on aspects of nursing, her social skills are impressive. In other words, Mamie has mastered the art of causing people to feel comfortable around her. Mamie is aware that people do not care what a person knows until they know that the same person cares about them. Meanwhile, Selma has not yet figured this out.

The moral of the story is this: our time, interactions, encounters and experiences at the workplace will be made more pleasant and easier if people feel a sense of positivity and optimism in our presence. The initial step to induce comfort in people and put them at ease is to behave in a gracious and kindly manner toward everyone, regardless of who they are. After all, the way people feel around us is very important. Remember that.

Nursing Care Spotlight: Preventing Skin Tears

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First of all, a skin tear is defined as a wound or laceration caused by trauma, friction and/or shearing forces. Skin tears rip through the upper layer of the sufferer’s skin, but not the lower layer that contains the various glands and nerve endings. Skin tears happen to be the most frequently occurring type of wound in older persons due to a number of reasons related to the aging process.

The likelihood of getting a skin tear increases dramatically as the elder’s skin becomes more weakened, drier, thinner and with less elasticity due to reduced subcutaneous fat, collagen, lessened elastin fiber deposition and sebacious (oil) gland production that occurs with advanced age (Aitken, 2018). In other words, skin tears are much more common as people age due to the fact that elderly skin undergoes predictable changes.

There are two distinct types of skin tears. A partial thickness wound happens when the epidermis, also known as the top layer of skin, becomes separated from the dermis (bottom skin layer). Meanwhile, a full thickness wound is a skin tear in which both the epidermis and the dermis layers become separated from the underlying skin (Ratliff and Fletcher, 2007).

Prevention of skin tears must be a priority for a number of compelling reasons. Firstly, the majority of people who seek care from the healthcare system are 65 years of age or older, so these patients are at increased risk of developing skin tears. Secondly, skin tears do have the potential to become infected. Third, skin tears can result in pain and suffering for the afflicted person. Finally, skin tears cost money to treat and heal.

The following is a list that merely scratches the surface regarding the various ways to prevent skin tears. Keep in mind that it is far more optimal to prevent a skin tear from happening in the first place since treating and healing this type of wound can turn into a time-consuming, somewhat expensive process.

  • Utilize draw sheets when moving immobile patients in bed to reduce the chances of developing skin tears from shearing and friction forces.
  • Apply barrier creams and lotions to patients’ extremities (arms, legs, hands and feet). Dry skin is a risk factor for skin tear development, so direct care members of staff should keep the skin moisturized often.
  • Educate nurses, nursing assistants, patient care technicians, transporters, and other healthcare personnel who regularly come into contact with patients about proper transfer methods, shearing, friction, risk factors, and preventive measures.
  • If possible, remove equipment with sharp edges that might cause injury to patients’ skin. If the removal of equipment is not possible, sharp edges should be covered with padding to minimize the chances of skin tears to peoples’ skin.
  • Implement a plan to identify all inpatient populations in hospitals, extended care facilities, personal care group homes, and other healthcare centers who are at increased risk of skin tear development.

REFERENCES

Aitken, C. (2018). Skin Tears in the Elderly. Western Alliance. Retrieved March 17, 2019, from https://www.westernalliance.org.au/2018/08/skin-tears-in-the-elderly

Ratliff, C., and Fletcher, K. (2007). Skin tears: a review of the evidence to support prevention and treatment. Ostomy Wound Management, 53(3), pp. 33-42.

Brain Awareness Week: March 11 Through March 17, 2019

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This year (2019), Brain Awareness Week is to be observed for the entire week that begins on March 11th and ends on March 17th. For those that might not have been previously aware, Brain Awareness Week is a worldwide celebration of the brain. Since the brain has such a profound impact on peoples’ physical, mental, social and emotional health, Brain Awareness Week deserves to be the sole subject of an informational post.

Brain Awareness Week is a week-long celebration of the brain that was established back in 1996. Every single year, during one whole week in the month of March, Brain Awareness Week brings together the diligent work of organizations, research firms, partners and interested stakeholders on a global scale to celebrate the marvelous organ otherwise known as the brain.

In other words, Brain Awareness Week is a worldwide campaign with the intent of boosting peoples’ awareness regarding the uniqueness and importance of the brain, as well as getting the public to see the merits and beneficial aspects of clinical research involving the brain. This week is loaded with multiple opportunities to discuss the progress that revolves around brain research.

Numerous diseases affect the human brain in ways that are devastating to individuals, families, and entire populations. Brain Awareness Week provides opportunities to let people know about the progress that is being done to diagnose, treat and prevent brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, strokes, schizophrenia and depression (Federation of European Neuroscience Societies, 2019).

Brain Awareness Week is celebrated with a myriad of activities and events. According to National Day Calendar (2019), activities are limited only by the organizers’ imaginations and include open days at neuroscience labs; exhibitions about the brain; lectures on topics that pertain to the brain; social media posting campaigns; displays at libraries and community centers; classroom workshops; and so much more.

To observe Brain Awareness Week, individuals can take a look at the the BAW calendar of events to find activities that will be taking place in the region where they live. People can also post on social media outlets using the hashtags #BrainAwarenessWeek and #BrainWeek. Also, the neuroscience departments at many colleges and universities will be organizing exhibits and educational activities that are often open to the public.

REFERENCES

Federation of European Neuroscience Societies. (2019). Brain Awareness Week. Retrieved March 13, 2019 from https://www.fens.org/Outreach/FENS-Brain-Awareness-Week/

National Day Calendar. (2019). Brain Awareness Week. Retrieved March 13, 2019 from https://nationaldaycalendar.com/brain-awareness-week-changes-annually/

 

 

Healthcare Career Spotlight: the Nursing Facility Social Worker

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Firstly, social workers are educated professionals who assist people to meet unmet needs, address problems, and deal with various issues in their lives. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (2018), social workers work in a myriad of workplaces such as clinics, schools, social service agencies, hospitals, group homes, homeless shelters, settlement houses, community organizations, and private practices.

The main purpose of this posting is to bring light to the multifaceted role of the nursing facility social worker. The point of having a social worker in the nursing home setting is to ensure that the ongoing needs of the facility’s multiple residents are being met in a timely manner. In essence, nursing facility social workers contribute to residents’ socio-emotional well-being by working closely with them and their family members.

All nursing homes are required to have a comprehensive social service program to assure that each resident’s social and emotional needs get fulfilled. It is the social worker’s responsibility to assist in the oversight, operation, and staffing of the social services department at the nursing facility. In fact, some larger nursing homes utilize at least two social workers to manage all of the residents on their caseloads.

Social workers in nursing homes are responsible for doing admission assessments on newly admitted residents to determine their needs and make the transition to facility living easier. As soon as newly admitted nursing home residents adjust to life in the facility, the social worker involves them in the care planning process and participates in the plan of care for each resident as a member of the multidisciplinary team.

Nursing facility social workers might also complete tasks such as pre-admission screenings, provision of information on advance directives, do not resuscitate (DNR) forms, social histories, questionnaires, reviews of residents’ rights, appointment scheduling with external healthcare providers, quarterly assessments, progress notes, assistance with monetary matters, and referrals to outside professionals.

In addition to the admissions process, social workers are absolutely integral to residents’ discharge planning in nursing homes. In this sense, the discharge process may simply entail a transfer from one department (e.g., the skilled sub-acute rehabilitation wing of the nursing home) to another area, such as the long term care section of the same facility.

In the majority of other instances, a resident’s discharge involves a transfer to home, the hospital, a homeless shelter or another facility. In these types of discharges, the social worker would carefully assess the needs of the discharging resident and make arrangements to ensure that (s)he or the family is able to obtain certain goods and services that are needed once the discharge takes place.

Once the actual discharge is happening, the nursing facility social worker would assist the resident to acquire goods such as shower chairs, glucose meters, and other types of durable medical equipment (DME). The social worker would also set up important services, such as home health care, pharmacy delivery, outpatient physical therapy, community resources, and/or transportation. Social workers function as advocates.

In general, most nursing facility social workers work a full time schedule that consists of daylight hours. Furthermore, they must occasionally work evenings, weekends and holidays to catch up on their workloads. The vast majority of nursing home social workers work at a desk and have an office, although they must often visit residents and meet with families during care plan meetings.

The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (2018) asserts that the employment of healthcare social workers is projected to increase by approximately 20 percent through the year 2026, which is notably faster than the average for all occupations. Nursing home social workers remain in steady demand because of the assistance they provide to aging residents and their families while they adapt to the institutional facility lifestyle.

REFERENCES

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. (2018). Social Workers. Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/social-workers.htm#tab-1

February is Turner Syndrome Awareness Month

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February is Turner Syndrome Awareness month and, since this website definitely has an orientation toward the medical field and various issues that pertain to healthcare, this month-long observance deserves an honorable mention and a posting of its own. After all, the point is to raise some much-needed awareness regarding the rare disease process known as Turner Syndrome.

Turner Syndrome is a rather uncommon health problem that afflicts about one in every 2,500 females. This syndrome, which is not inheritable and affects only females, arises due to a chromosomal abnormality. It happens whenever all or part of of a girl’s second X chromosome is either completely or partially absent.

Turner Syndrome develops at the time of conception; in addition, approximately 99 percent of all Turner Syndrome pregnancies do not ever survive. In other words, a female infant who is born with Turner Syndrome has beaten the odds since the vast majority of women who are pregnant with Turner Syndrome babies do not carry them to full term due to fetal demise.

The visual, physical outcome of Turner Syndrome is a notable constellation of telltale signs and symptoms that can vary in severity from mild to profound. Girls with Turner Syndrome tend to present with the following characteristics: an unusually short stature, slower bone growth than usual, horseshoe-shaped kidneys, heart abnormalities, issues with hearing, enlarged hands and feet, and broadened chests and shoulders.

Other physical traits attributable to Turner Syndrome include webbed necks, deformed elbows, narrow palates, thin teeth and puffy extremities. In addition, girls with Turner Syndrome usually have absence of menstruation and suffer from infertility. A large number of females with Turner Syndrome have high blood pressure (hypertension), which is thought to arise due to kidney abnormalities and/or aortic constriction.

Due to the fact that February is Turner Syndrome Awareness Month, the overriding goal of this posting is to spread awareness about this disease process to as many members of the general public as humanly possible while also offering wholehearted support to the many parents of little girls afflicted with this disorder. Approximately 80,000 females have been diagnosed with Turner Syndrome in the United States to date.

Even though there is no known cure for Turner Syndrome at the time of this writing (2019), it is very much manageable when the female patient is placed under the care of a competent healthcare provider who is knowledgeable regarding its ongoing medical management.

REFERENCES

Martell, J. (2018). Raise Awareness of Turner Syndrome During the Month of February! Retrieved from https://patientworthy.com/2018/02/23/raise-awareness-turner-syndrome-month-february/

Healthcare Career Spotlight: the Restorative Nursing Assistant

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First of all, a restorative nursing program is an organized series of measures that promote the nursing home resident’s restoration of maximum potential and fosters the ability to live as safely as possible while maintaining independence through specific nursing interventions.  Restorative nursing programs revolve around the attainment and maintenance of maximal physical and psychosocial functioning.

A restorative nursing program aims to to maximize the independence of nursing facility residents by way of preservation of functional abilities, enhancement of self confidence, improvement in function, promotion of safety and the reduction of physical debility.  All goals, objectives and nursing interventions that are incorporated into any restorative nursing program need to be measurable and achievable.

A restorative nursing assistant, also known as a restorative nurse’s aide, is a multi-skilled allied healthcare worker who is trained in rehabilitative techniques and modalities that promote the capability of nursing facility residents to live as independently as possible while emphasizing the highest level of functional ability. Restorative nursing assistants adhere to the nursing home resident’s specific care plan to deliver restorative care.

The main function of the restorative nursing assistant is the provision of rehabilitative and restorative nursing care tasks to patients under the supervision of a licensed nurse. A restorative nursing assistant renders restorative interventions and a wide variety of therapy tasks to patients as delegated to them by the nurse who supervises the restorative nursing program.

Restorative nursing assistants are entrusted with carefully following each patient’s plan of care to assist them in performing active range of motion (AROM) exercises and passive range of motion (PROM) exercises to prevent contracture. The training and knowledge base of most experienced restorative aides enables them to function in their roles competently in a maintenance capacity if the therapist ever happens to be absent.

All restorative nursing services are delivered by restorative nursing assistants in strict accordance with the patient’s uniquely tailored plan of care. In addition to range of motion exercises, restorative nursing assistants also perform bowel and bladder training to aid in restoring urinary and bowel continence, help residents with ambulation (walking), and assist with self-help skills training.

Since restorative nursing programs also promote optimization of mental well-being, restorative nursing assistants might be delegated the tasks of reality orientation, remotivation and reminiscence therapy. Reality orientation therapy gets confused elderly residents to focus on immediate surroundings, whereas reminiscent therapy helps elders by stimulating past thoughts and memories.

Most restorative nursing assistants can be found working in places of employment such as long term care nursing facilities, acute care hospitals, outpatient rehabilitative clinics and specialty rehabilitation hospitals. Restorative nursing assistants work side by side with nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, physical therapy aides, occupational therapy assistants and speech language pathologists.

In general, the ideal restorative nursing assistant needs to have a warm personality and plenty of patience to deal with the elderly nursing facility residents to whom they provide care. Also, a restorative nursing assistant should be well versed in proper body mechanics and possess some physical strength as a result of the bending, heavy lifting, occasional twisting, and long periods of standing they do in a usual shift at work.

Safety is of the essence in the role of a restorative nursing assistant. They must manage and handle patients cautiously to prevent injuries to themselves or the residents under their care. In addition, restorative nursing assistants need to adhere to standard precautions and other basic infection control principles. Furthermore, restorative aides must document the care they provide and any interventions they carry out.

The role of restorative nursing assisting necessitates continual contact with people. Therefore, restorative nursing assistants must be exceedingly comfortable mingling with a wide variety of individuals such as patients, nursing facility residents, nurses, doctors, physical and occupational therapists, speech language pathologists, family members, nurse managers, coworkers, visitors and many others.

To become a restorative nursing assistant, an individual must complete a state-approved nurse aide training program and pass a state examination to obtain professional certification as a certified nursing assistant (CNA). After attaining CNA certification, an individual should amass at least six months of experience in the nursing specialties of acute rehabilitation or long term care.

All restorative nursing assistants are CNAs with specialized training in restorative care. The specialized restorative training can be obtained on the job at a place of employment that is willing to train the right candidate. In addition, CNAs with an interest in becoming restorative aides have the option of completing a formal seminar course to acquire the theoretical knowledge and skills to deliver restorative nursing care to patients.

Demand for restorative aides is projected to remain strong well into the foreseeable near future. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, which places restorative nursing assistants into the Nursing Assistants and Orderlies employment category, the projected job growth rate for this healthcare position is an estimated 11 percent through the year 2026. This projected growth rate exceeds the average for all other jobs.

The vast majority of growth in restorative nursing assistant job openings is the direct result of tens of millions of members of the Baby Boomer generation who are becoming elderly. Aging members of the Baby Boomer cohort have been entering the healthcare system at a steady rate and need restorative nursing care to maintain their levels of functional status. In essence, restorative nursing assistants are very much in demand.

Individuals in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex area of Texas should feel free to call Legacy Healthcare Careers at (682)626-5266 to jump-start an amazing career in the healthcare field. Legacy Healthcare Careers provides high quality, personable, affordable healthcare job training in addition to an array of job placement assistance services. Call Legacy Healthcare Careers today...

Healthcare Career Spotlight: the Patient Transporter

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A patient transporter, also referred to in some hospital systems as an orderly, is a multi-skilled allied healthcare worker whose primary workplace responsibility involves the safe transport of patients and clients from one destination to another within hospitals and other types of healthcare facilities. A competent patient transporter uses his or her skills to make things easier for patients and medical staff at healthcare facilities.

Most nurses and other healthcare workers would readily agree about the extreme usefulness of patient transporters. Furthermore, patient transporters are really important assets to the healthcare team at many hospitals because without their assortment of skills, many medical care settings would have extreme difficulty dealing with the most routine operations.

After all, facilities that do not use patient transporters usually force members of nursing staff to complete all transporting. For instance, a nurse who must transport a patient from the cardiac floor of a hospital to the interventional radiology suite must leave his other patients unattended for up to 30 minutes while he accompanies the lone patient. Imagine how inconvenient this would be for that nurse and his other patients!

Generally, the patient transporter needs to have a kind disposition, a lot of patience and an empathetic outlook toward the ill patients and clients that require transporting from one location to another. In addition, good body mechanics and some physical strength would be immensely useful due to the fact that patient transporters must bend, lift heavy loads, twist, and do a great deal of standing during a typical work shift.

The role of patient transporting has grown in recent years, so patient transporters have had to rise to the occasion to keep up with the demands and complexities of the present day health system in the United States.  Patient transporters transfer patients from beds to wheelchairs or stretchers to transport them to various locations, push occupied and unoccupied wheelchairs, and assist people to get into vehicles such as cars and vans.

Safety is essential when working as a patient transporter. They must transfer patients with extreme care and caution to avoid injuring themselves or the people they have been entrusted to transport. Confidentiality is imperative for patient transporters since they verify clients’ identities prior to transport and are privy to protected health information and other private matters. They must also adhere to infection control principles.

Patient transporters may have additional duties such as wheeling or pushing patients to the correct location within hospitals, taking patients to medical appointments, assisting patients onto examination tables, and transporting patients to the curbside or parking lot of the hospital in order to board ambulances and/or non-emergency medical transportation vans. Patient transporters also document their tasks upon completion.

In addition to transporting clients, patient transporters often transport and hand-deliver items such as heavy equipment, specimens and lab/diagnostic results to various locations within the hospital. At some facilities, patient transporters routinely transport bodies of deceased patients to the hospital morgue. Depending on the type of facility, some patient transporters serve as van drivers who drive clients to and from appointments.

Since the role of patient transporting requires constant contact with people, patient transporters should feel comfortable interacting with a wide variety of persons including patients, nurses, physicians, family members, coworkers, managers, visitors, vendors and others. Moreover, patient transporters must have a knack for swiftly gaining the trust and cooperation of the many patients who require transport each day.

Patient transporters can be found working in places of employment such as acute care hospitals, large skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, personal care group homes and non-emergency transportation companies. Individuals who have an interest in entering this healthcare career pathway must usually have a high school diploma or G.E.D. before training for this specific position on the job.

Prior work experience in the allied healthcare field and/or professional certification as an emergency medical technician (EMT) or certified nursing assistant (CNA) can be helpful to prepare for the daily functions of a patient transporter. Also, professional certification can provide a potential advantage that might result in an applicant standing out in a sea of other job seekers who apply for patient transporter positions.

The demand for patient transporters in the job market is projected to remain steady well into the near future. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, which classifies patient transporters under the Orderlies employment category, the projected growth rate for this specific position is 11 percent through the year 2024. This projected growth rate exceeds the average for all other jobs.

Much of this growth in patient transporter job openings can be attributed to the large wave of the Baby Boomer generation that is expected to have a profound impact on healthcare facilities. Aging members of the Baby Boomer cohort are already entering the healthcare system and requiring transport from one location to another. Therefore, patient transporters are very much needed in the employment market.

People who live and/or work in the Dallas/Fort Worth area of Texas should call Legacy Healthcare Careers at (682)626-5266 to jump-start a life-transforming career in the healthcare industry. Legacy Healthcare Careers offers affordable career training as well as job placement assistance. Call today...

How Does the Opioid Epidemic Affect the Healthcare Field in the United States?

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The opioid epidemic, also known as the opioid crisis, first gained serious traction in the United States during the 1990s decade due to a number of momentous factors such as a marked increase in the number of pain killer prescriptions along with the fiercely addictive qualities of these medications. Also, big name pharmaceutical companies started to aggressively market and advertise opioid prescription drugs in the 1990s.

Unfortunately, the opioid epidemic has been having an awful impact on numerous individuals, their families, American society, and the healthcare field as a whole over the course of the previous two decades. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2018), the number of overdose deaths involving prescription opioid drugs has been on a noticeable rise since 1999 with no slowdown in sight.

So, in what ways does the opioid epidemic affect the healthcare field in the U.S.? Well, people from all walks of life are addicted to opioids, so this epidemic has most certainly impacted many of the patients, coworkers and visitors who are participants in the healthcare system. The following list consists of the various ways in which the current opioid crisis has affected the healthcare field.

  • Impaired healthcare workers and providers: Many physicians, nurses, technicians and other allied healthcare workers have battled fierce addictions to opioids. Some healthcare professionals have even had their professional licenses and/or certifications revoked due to impaired practice or an inability to conquer their addictions. Other healthcare workers have entered drug rehab or chemical dependency programs.
  • Treatment of overdose: There has been a sharp increase in the number of addicted patients who are entering the healthcare system by way of rolling into hospital emergency departments on stretchers after having suffered opioid overdoses. In some regions, overburdened emergency medical service providers regularly deal with shortages of Narcan, the injectable medication that reverses the effects of opioid overdose.
  • Drug rehabilitative services: Some people enter the healthcare system by opting to receive inpatient drug rehab or participate in chemical dependency programs to battle their addictions to opioids. The number of health insurance plans that cover some or all of the costs associated with drug rehab or chemical dependency treatment has grown larger. Thus, many addicted persons are fighting their addictions by using these avenues.
  • Treatment of chronic disease processes: Still, some patients end up in the healthcare system for treatment of chronic hepatitis C, HIV and other bloodborne illnesses after contracting these viruses by using unclean hypodermic needles to inject opioid drugs. Many people who inject heroin were once users of prescription opioid pain pills. However, an alarming number of these folks switched to heroin since it is cheaper and delivers the same type of high.
  • Pain management clinics: Physicians who work in the specialty of pain medicine can earn very lucrative incomes due in part to the opioid epidemic. A pain doctor is a medical physician (M.D.) or doctor of osteopathy (D.O.) who specializes in pain medicine. Pain management clinics, referred to as ‘pain clinics’ for short, are doing brisk business as a result of the number of drug-seeking patients who visit them to request prescriptions and refills for opioid medications.
  • Impaired family members and visitors: Nurses, nursing assistants, patient care technicians and other healthcare workers who deliver direct patient care at the bedside must occasionally deal with visitors who are obviously impaired. Almost any experienced healthcare worker can describe the so-called ‘opioid nod’ with stunning accuracy because they have seen so many family members nodding off while visiting with hospitalized patients.
  • Infants born to addicted mothers: Newborns who are exposed to opioids during the prenatal period begin to experience severe withdrawal symptoms within 48 to 72 hours after birth. This heartbreaking phenomenon is referred to as neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS). Moreover, the number of infants being born with neonatal abstinence syndrome has been increasing steadily due to the large number of pregnant women who abuse opioid drugs.
  • Lost productivity: The opioid crisis is putting a burdensome strain on employers and corporations, including many healthcare companies. The steepest monetary costs linked with the opioid epidemic arise mainly due to lost productivity and earnings losses for corporations. Untimely overdose deaths and opioid addiction disorders also affect municipal, county, state and federal governments in a detrimental manner by way of losses in tax revenue.
  • Staggeringly high healthcare costs: Healthcare costs connected with the opioid epidemic have exceeded $200 billion since 2001. These expenses are primarily due to pre-hospital emergency medical services (a.k.a. ambulance care), visits to local emergency departments, and the widespread use of Narcan, a medication that rapidly reverses the effects of opioid overdose. Also, opioid addicts cost their employers approximately twice as much in healthcare expenses when compared to their non-addicted workmates.