Category Archives: Nursing Topics

UV Safety Month

Posted on: July 7, 2015,  Posted in: UV Safety Month

Summer is here and it’s the time to enjoy the outdoors to the fullest.

July is UV Safety Month and the  Federal Occupational Health Agency reminds us of the importance of protecting our skin from harmful ultraviolet rays. The skin is the body’s largest organ. It protects against heat, sunlight, injury, and infection. Yet, some of us don’t consider the necessity of protecting our skin.


Protect your Skin


It’s just smart to take good care of your skin

The need to protect your skin from the sun has become very clear over the years, supported by several studies linking overexposure to the sun with skin cancer. The harmful ultraviolet rays from both the sun and indoor tanning “sunlamps” can cause many other complications besides skin cancer – such as eye problems, a weakened immune system, age spots, wrinkles, and leathery skin.


How to protect your skin

There are simple, everyday steps you can take to safeguard your skin from the harmful effects of UV radiation from the sun.

– Avoid the burn Sunburns significantly increase one’s lifetime risk of developing skin cancer. It is especially important that children be kept from sunburns as well.

-Go for the shade Stay out of the sun, if possible, between the peak burning hours, which, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO), are between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. You can head for the shade, or make your own shade with protective clothing – including a broad-brimmed hat, for example.

-Use extra caution when near reflective surfaces, like water, snow, and sand Water, snow, sand, even the windows of a building can reflect the damaging rays of the sun. That can increase your chance of sunburn, even if you’re in what you consider a shady spot.

-Use extra caution when at higher altitudes You can experience more UV exposure at higher altitudes, because there is less atmosphere to absorb UV radiation.

-Apply broad-spectrum sunscreen Generously apply broad-spectrum sunscreen to cover all exposed skin. The “broad spectrum” variety protects against overexposure to ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays. The FDA recommends using sunscreens that are not only broad spectrum, but that also have a sun protection factor (SPF) value of at least 15 for protection against sun-induced skin problems.

-Re-apply broad-spectrum sunscreen throughout the day Even if a sunscreen is labeled as “water-resistant,” it must be reapplied throughout the day, especially after sweating or swimming. To be safe, apply sunscreen at a rate of one ounce every two hours. Depending on how much of the body needs coverage, a full-day (six-hour) outing could require one whole tube of sunscreen.


July is UV Safety Month


When to protect your skin

UV rays are their strongest from 10 am to 4 pm Seek shade during those times to ensure the least amount of harmful UV radiation exposure. When applying sunscreen be sure to reapply to all exposed skin at least 20 minutes before going outside. Reapply sunscreen every two hours, even on cloudy days, and after swimming or sweating.


Protecting your eyes

UV rays can also penetrate the structures of your eyes and cause cell damage. According to the CDC, some of the more common sun-related vision problems include cataracts, macular degeneration, and pterygium (non-cancerous growth of the conjunctiva that can obstruct vision).

-Wear a wide-brimmed hat To protect your vision, wear a wide-brimmed hat that keeps your face and eyes shaded from the sun at most angles.

-Wear wrap-around style sunglass with 99 or higher UV block Effective sunglasses should block glare, block 99 to 100% of UV rays, and have a wraparound shape to protect eyes from most angles.

-Using the UV index

When planning your outdoor activities, you can decide how much sun protection you need by checking the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) UV index. This index measures the daily intensity of UV rays from the sun on a scale of 1 to 11. A low UV index requires minimal protection, whereas a high UV index requires maximum protection.


 Find out if you’re safety savvy

Visit Summer Safety page on the FOH website to learn more. And, take our interactive quiz to find out how much you know about protecting your eyes.


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National Safety Month

Posted on: June 23, 2015,  Posted in: National Safety Month

The National Safety Council has designated the month of June as National Safety Month. The mission of NSC is to promote safety at work, at home and on the road.  Below are safety tips for travel nurses provided by The National Safety Council.


National Safety Council

Safety Check: Slips, Trips and Falls

No matter the workplace environment, tripping hazards are everywhere. Use these tips to help you maintain a clutter-free and safe workplace.  Secure electrical and phone cords away from traffic areas, such as hallways.  Use non-skid rugs and be sure to tape them down to prevent rolling.  Keep drawers and cabinets closed at all times. Be sure to wear the proper footwear for the job, paying special attention to outdoor conditions. Clean up any spills immediately and include warning signage. Refrain from walking distracted – stay focused on your surroundings. Ensure there is adequate lighting in workspaces . Don’t carry too much – you need your arms to maintain balance and stability

Fast Stat: Falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries, including concussions. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


Safety Check: Ergonomics

Lift safely!  Improper lifting technique can lead to strains, dislocations and even muscle tears, with most injuries occurring in the back. Whether you’re organizing your inventory or decorating your home, make sure you’re practicing these safe-lifting guidelines. Stretch beforehand so your body gets warmed up. Keep your back straight and bend your knees – remember to never twist or bend your back. Make sure you’re on solid ground with your feet shoulder-width apart. Keep the box or object close to your body. Lift with your legs, not your back.  Limit the amount of weight you carry – it’s better to separate boxes or make two trips than to carry too much at once. Ask for help to carry heavy, bulky or large loads. Keep pathways clear of tripping hazards

Fast Stat: About 80% of the American population will experience a back problem at some point. These injuries are not only  preventable, they’re also costly – Americans spend at least $50 billion each year on back pain. (American Chiropractic Association)


Safety Check: Get There Safe and Sound

Car crashes remain a leading cause of unintentional death in the U.S., with nearly 100 people killed on our roadways every day. Fortunately, these crashes can be prevented if we all take steps to ensure one another’s safety. On the road, off the phone Cell phone use – texting or talking on a handheld or hands-free device – is involved in an estimated 26 percent of all crashes each year. Hands-free is not risk-free, either. Even if your hands are on the wheel and your eyes are on the road, your brain is distracted by the cell phone conversation. Before you set out, make sure:  Your cell phone is turned off and put in a purse, trunk or glove compartment, to designate a passenger to answer the phone for you if you’re expecting a call,  and  to schedule breaks to check voicemail, texts and emails.

Get plenty of sleep An estimated 1,550 people are killed each year in crashes involving drowsy drivers. You should never get behind the wheel if you are tired or have been taking certain medications. To make sure you don’t get tired during the drive: Take a pre-drive nap, and pull over for a “power nap” if you get tired. Drive with a partner, and switch drivers every two hours. Schedule frequent breaks to get out and stretch your legs.

Fast Stat: More than 35,000 people are killed each year in traffic crashes, with alcohol, speeding and distraction being leading crash factors. (Injury Facts ®)

Tip: Drive the way you want your fellow motorists to drive. Turn off your cell phone, get plenty of sleep, never drive after drinking and spend time teaching your teen how to drive.

Visit The National Safety Council for more safety tips.


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About Compact Nursing States

Posted on: April 21, 2015,  Posted in: About Compact Nursing States

The Nurse Licensure Compact provides nurses with a multistate license which allows them to practice in any participating or compact state. Nursing licensure is broken down into two categories, single state licensing and multistate licensing. Compact (multistate) licensing states are those states that participate in the program. Nurses who reside and are licensed in one of these states are eligible to acquire a multistate license. The compact license provides nurses with the ability to practice in any other compact state without completing any additional licensure applications or paying additional fees. Their home state license is accepted in all of the compact states. If the primary state of residence is not a compact state, they must apply for a single state license and pay any required fees.


As a travel nurse with a compact license, you may choose to accept an assignment in a non-compact state. To obtain a license in a non-compact state, you will need to apply for licensure by endorsement to the board of nursing in the non-compact state where you’d like to be licensed.


View a list of states participating in the Nurse Licensure compact and see which states are planning to implement nursing licensure compact.


Check out this video from the National Council of State Boards of Nursing for additional information:



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American Diabetes

Posted on: January 28, 2015,  Posted in: American Diabetes

American Diabetes

By: Rebecca Bailey, RN

The mission of the American Diabetes Association is “To prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes.” The month of November has been set aside as American Diabetes Month. The purpose being to raise awareness for the disease that affects over 30 million Americans with even more (about 86 million) being considered prediabetic and at high risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes. Why raise awareness? Complications of Diabetes, particularly when blood sugar is poorly controlled are far reaching to every body system. It’s the leading cause of kidney failure. Diabetic patients account for 60% of non traumatic lower limb amputations. It is the leading cause of new cases of blindness, and diabetics are at an increased risk of heart disease and stroke. It’s no wonder we need to be vigilant to educate our patients on how to control their sugar, and let our patients who are at risk know what they can do to prevent and or minimize their chances of developing Type 2 Diabetes. Check out Diabetes Pro for education topics for our diabetic patients and standards of care.


Information for travel nurses about American Diabetes.

My Health Advisor has a great tool to determine risk, and even show how changing just one risk factor can alter one’s risk. I put my numbers in from my recent physical and thankfully, my risk for developing Type 2 Diabetes is low; less than 3 %. However, my HDL (good) cholesterol is a bit low which is a high risk factor and I knew I need to increase my cardiovascular exercise to increase that number. I did not know, however that it was a risk factor for diabetes. Other risk factors include weight (mine puts me at moderate risk), blood pressure, and triglycerides along with the obvious fasting blood sugar. Go look at your risk at My Health Advisor, and use the resource with patients who might be concerned.

So far, I’ve only talked about Type 2 Diabetes. Largely because it is so linked to lifestyle and I see its repercussions almost every day I work on my surgical floor. However, let’s not forget about
Type 1 Diabetes. Usually diagnosed in childhood, this form of diabetes only accounts for 5 percent of all cases. The pancreas simply does not make insulin. The risk for uncontrolled blood sugar is the same as for a Type 2 Diabetic. Like type 2 Diabetes, regular blood glucose checks are necessary. Treatment is balancing food with insulin injections to achieve ideal blood glucose levels. Having a child with Type 1 Diabetes is a challenge for the whole family, but with proper management it can be controlled and the child can live a healthy life.

Here are some ways to get involved in this year’s American Diabetes Month. First look over the American Diabetes Association website. Here you will find places to donate, you can sign up to do surveys and send 50 cents to the American Diabetes Association with each completed survey. Each one takes only a few minutes, so it’s a great use of a few minutes of down time. Or you can donate when you check out at any Walgreen’s location for the entire month of November. Do you shop Amazon? Instead, go to Amazon Smile and select the American Diabetes Association as your charity. Same Amazon, and same prices, but your charity will receive 0.5% of your purchase amount.


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