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Exploring Philadelphia, PA

Allied Travel Destination Philadelphia, PA

Exploring Philadelphia, PA: An Ideal Destination for History Buffs, Art Lovers, Foodies & More

A travel job in Philadelphia brings the opportunity to enjoy one of America’s most exciting cities. Whether you’re into history, art, good food and drink, or perhaps all of the above, you’ll be glad that you scored a travel assignment in the birthplace of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Lucky you, because a three-month or longer assignment as a travel therapist, allied travel assignment or another healthcare traveling job, means that you’ll have plenty of time to savor the best the city offers.

A Walking Tour of the Old City

There are 35 square blocks that make up the Old City, which are lined with buildings from the 18th and 19th centuries, many of which have hosted historical events through the years. One of the best ways to explore this area is by taking a walking tour. There are multiple options, including self-guided tours where you’ll follow the footsteps of the Founding Fathers. You can download the Philadelphia Map and Walks app on the iTunes app store or at Google Play. Either will turn your smartphone into a personal tour guide, using GPS to take you from one stop to the next.

Must-Visits For History Buffs

While gazing at the historical buildings is a must for history buffs, there are multiple places where you’ll want to go in and do a little exploring too, like Independence Hall. This is the very spot where the Founding Fathers of America met to debate and eventually sign both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Even the most cynical can’t help but be moved when stepping inside. Available by guided tour only, take the After Hours tour, and you’ll get dinner at the 18th-century City Tavern too.

Be sure to pay homage to the famously cracked Liberty Bell, located at the Independence National Historical Park, and to really understand why our country’s past still matters today, visit the National Constitution Center, an interactive, multi-media museum. A few blocks from Christ Church is its burial grounds, where you’ll be able to view the graves Benjamin Franklin, his wife and a number of other signers of the Declaration of Independence.

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Tour the Street Murals and Browse Art Museums

If you’re into art, you’ll find it inside and out. Philadelphia’s Mural Arts Program has become one of the country’s largest public art projects, with buildings throughout the city used as a canvas for colorful works. Local artists have created over 3,600 murals that can be viewed by taking a tour.

Of course, the Philadelphia Museum of Art is a must, and for more than one reason. The steps of the museum were spotlighted in the “Rocky” films, and many come here just to re-enact the character’s famous training regimen. Whether or not you want to become one of the countless others who’ve accomplished that goat, be sure to go inside. The vast art collection is made up of works from all corners of the globe, and through the ages. It’s considered one of the nation’s most important art destinations, with everything from Renaissance, impressionist and Asian works to contemporary masterpieces.

The Barnes Foundation is another must-visit, holding one of the leading collections of French Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings in the world. You’ll discover nearly four dozen Picassos, and over 180 Renoirs, along with works by Monet, Van Gogh, Degas and many other greats.

Sampling Philadelphia’s Best Foods

It may take more than three months to sample the best Philadelphia has to offer when it comes to food. Start at the Reading Terminal Market, the historic market that began operating in 1892, America’s oldest farmers’ market, it’s a popular place for both locals and tourists to purchase fresh produce, seafood, meat and a variety of local foods, including the delectable fresh-baked items at the Amish-owned Beiler’s Bakery, as well as to enjoy lunch, with the artisanal grilled cheese sandwiches a particular favorite.

While you’re in the city, be sure to try Philly’s famous cheesesteak. While it’s up for debate, many say the best can be had at Pat’s King of Steaks, home of the original Philly cheesesteak, owned and operated by the Olivieri family for nearly 90 years. Its founder, Pat Olivieri, invented the sandwich in 1930. There are also numerous fine dining restaurants, farm-to-table eateries and food trucks like the popular Sweet Box Cupcake Truck with a menu of artisan delights like snickerdoodle and bacon maple pancake.

One things for sure, you won’t get bored or hungry while on a travel job in Philadelphia.

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Top 10 Travel Apps That Will Make Life Easier on a Travel Job

Top 10 Travel Apps for Healthcare Travelers

Top 10 Travel Apps That Will Make Life Easier on a Travel Job

Just like there is for just about everything, there’s an app out there for that! Whether you’re a travel therapist, an allied traveler or on any other type of healthcare traveler, you can take advantage of some great travel apps that can help you before and after you arrive to your new travel job.

Packing Pro

There are so many things to think about before heading off to your new destination, it can get overwhelming, especially when it comes to packing. Download Packing Pro and it will help you create a packing list as well as allow you to organize your belongings and sort them into various categories. You can use a sample list that’s include, or the expert list-making tool. It will customize what you’ll need based on the number of days you plan to be there, the average temperature, the particular travel destination, and more. It has a massive built-in catalog with more than 800 different items. You’ll never forget a single thing again.

BringFido

If you’re traveling with your four-legged best friend across country, or a significant amount of miles from home, you’ll probably need to stop at hotels along the way, which means you’ll need to find something that’s pet-friendly. That’s where BringFido comes in – it’s an app that will locate which accommodations will welcome Fido, your furry feline, your goldfish or other pet.

Pet First Aid

What happens if your pet becomes ill or gets injured, on the road or after you reach your new destination? It’s too soon to have found a vet, but this app includes a vet locator so you can get help quick, and it also offers lifesaving information too.

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HireAHelper

Need help making a move across the country, or just getting some assistance unloading your stuff into a new place so you can get started on your travel job? HireAHelper is an easy way to get assistance, often for a very affordable price with everything listed upfront so you won’t have to worry about unexpected surprises.

GasBuddy

As a healthcare traveler, odds are you’re going to be doing a lot of driving, from getting to your assignment, to traveling to and from the facility each day. That means you’re going to be going through a lot of gas too. Knowing where the cheapest spots to buy it are can make a big difference in your budget. GasBuddy allows you to type in a zip code or view a map to find the cheapest pumps in the area.

Waze

Waze is a must for just about anyone who has a commute or ever gets out on the road. Not only will it help you get to where you want to go, it can help you to find the quickest route and beat traffic congestion by using crowdsourcing information from a vast community of drivers. It also has a sharing feature you can use to notify others of your estimated time of arrival. It can help you find your new place, and make sure you get to your shift on time too. This app can really be a lifesaver.

Localeur

Want to know more about your new location? Localeur is an app that will allow you to get recommendations direct from the very best source: the locals. You can discover that perfect restaurant for Sunday brunch, an ideal new coffee hangout, where to enjoy a cocktail and much more. It’s really a must-have app for anyone on a travel job.

Where to next? Click here to get information on allied travel jobs

Livetrekker

Not only are you likely to be traveling between assignments, you’re probably going to be enjoying some shorter trips to explore your new area during your assignment too. When you’re a healthcare traveler, you don’t have a lot of time to document those travel experiences, but Livetrekker can help. It will create a digital journal that you look at your adventures on an interactive map. It will track and mark your route as you go, so that you can share it live with your friends and family. You can add photos, audio, video and text too.

Airbnb

Just about everyone has at least heard of Airbnb at this point, it’s become one of the trendiest sites for finding that perfect place to stay in just about every part of the world. Whether you’re looking for something short-term while on the road or on vacation; a place to live in-between assignments, or even if you’re searching for your own temporary housing while on the job, this site can help. It offers everything from private rooms to apartments and homes, available per night, or in some cases, weekly or even monthly.

Time Out – Discover Your City

This app offers another great way to discover your new city. Find the best entertainment, art, food and drink, through curated lists. It will even inform you about special events and things to do over the weekend.

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Tips For Making New Friends on a Travel Assignment

Tips For Making New Friends on a Travel Assignment

Tips For Making New Friends on a Travel Assignment

It can be incredibly exciting to a start a new travel job. You get to experience a whole new place, you may have the opportunity to advance your career and you’re likely to make a few new friends along the way as well. Of course, the thought of having to make new friends can also bring a bit of anxiety too. Even if you’re naturally an extrovert, with a busy, and sometimes swing or night shift work schedule that comes with allied travel jobs and the like, it can make things a little harder.  Fortunately, with a little extra effort, whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert, your next travel assignment could bring the reward of some wonderful, long-lasting friendships.

Host a Party

You’ve just moved into a brand new place, at least new to you, so why not show it off to your co-workers and perhaps even a few neighbors by hosting a party? Make it a fun casual event by offering light bites, or asking your guests to bring one of their favorite dishes for a potluck. It’s a great way to get to know people and figure out who you’d like to spend more time with.

Check out Nextdoor.com

If you don’t know your neighbors, or only know a few, head to Nextdoor.com – it’s kind of like Facebook, but for neighbors. You can connect with others who live nearby online, and get advice for things to do, where to eat, where to shop and so on, and maybe even end up making a friend or two in the process.

Where to next? Click here to get information on allied travel jobs

Join a Group

No matter what your hobby or interest, there is probably a group for you. MeetUp.com is one of the best sites for finding like-minded people with similar interests, from walking, hiking, running and biking to quilting, dining, reading and just about everything in between.

Leverage Your Online Social Networks

There are countless allied, therapy and other healthcare forums, Facebook groups and other sites that allow you to connect with others on travel assignments. Odds are, someone out there works in the same area you do, or knows someone who does. Keep a close eye out, and see if you can connect with one of them – you never know, you could end up going on fun local outings together, or if you really hit it off, you might even be able to travel together on your next assignment. Your own travel staffing company likely has a social media site too, another good place to connect with fellow travel therapists, allied professionals, and all types of healthcare travelers.

Take the Initiative and Ask a Colleague to Lunch

While it can be a little intimidating at first, don’t be afraid to take the initiative and ask a colleague to lunch, out for coffee, or even a movie. Permanent staff are often curious about healthcare travelers and the different places they’ve been, where they’ve worked and what it’s like to be one, while fellow travelers are likely to want to connect for the same reason you do. All you need to do is take the first step. If you’re friendly, smile and show that you’re interested in getting to know your co-workers, you might just find that you get a number of invitations too.

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American Diabetes Month

American Diabetes Month

American Diabetes

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 healthcare professionals 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.

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.

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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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How To Avoid Housing Horrors on a Travel Job

How to avoid housing horrors on a travel job

How To Avoid Housing Horrors on a Travel Job

Most of the time, a traveling healthcare professional will have a smooth transition when it comes to travel assignment housing, moving into a clean, safe place to stay in a good location without a hitch. Of course, as with anything else, occasional bumps in the road can happen, but there are ways to make that less likely.

There are generally two different scenarios for travel assignment housing. Either you’ll receive a stipend and make your own housing arrangements, or the travel staffing agency will arrange it for you, giving you one less thing to worry about. Generally, it’s best for a first time healthcare traveler to secure housing through the agency, if possible as it can make the transition much less stressful and time consuming. Once you’ve become a seasoned traveler, you’ll have a better idea of what works best for you.

Agency Placed Housing

There are many benefits to agency placed housing. You won’t have to worry about getting the utilities turned on, paying deposits and so on. Your agency is also likely to have more connections, which can make it easier in places where it’s harder to find housing. Oftentimes, the agency will get a better rate too, especially if there are other traveling healthcare professionals at the same property.

If you’ve chosen this option, to avoid issues, be sure to ask your recruiter before you leave for your assignment what your accommodations will be like. In some cases, there may be a dedicated housing team to speak to. Either way, be sure that you know who to contact if any problems arise. If you have a pet and plan to take your furry friend with you, inform your recruiter right from the start so that pet-friendly housing can be secured. It’s also important to make sure your expectations are aligned with the reality. Where you’re going can make all the difference. Say, you’d love to live in a high tech, high-rise apartment building, but you’re going to be working at a facility in a small town in Nebraska – do your research before accepting an assignment if that’s what your heart is set on, to learn what the most common type of traveler housing is in the area.

Before you go, you may also want to Google directions from your housing to the facility where you’ll be working to get an idea of your commute, as well as check out places like restaurants, grocery stores, shops and attractions in the area. This will help you be much better prepared for what awaits when you arrive. When you do arrive, if there are any issues with your housing, missing amenities, problems getting something to work, safety concerns, or something else, reach out to your agency contact right away so that he or she can make arrangements to get it corrected. While it goes without saying, if they aren’t aware, they won’t be able to fix it.

Where to next? Click here to get information on allied travel jobs

Housing Stipend

For an experienced travel therapist, travel pharmacist or any other traveling healthcare professional, a housing stipend can be a good way to go, especially if they have an RV they travel in, or plan to live with friends or family in the area. Some travelers simply just want to choose their own housing, and enjoy the flexibility of arriving earlier, getting more time to settle in. There are a number of downsides, however, the primary being it can be difficult to find a place to rent for just three months at a time, especially one that is furnished – and, if you have a pet, that can make things even more challenging. Short term leases often come at a higher cost, and you’ll probably have to pay an application fee and a deposit. In some cases, utilities require that too.

If you’ve decided to take the housing stipend, location is arguably the most important thing to consider for avoiding housing horrors. Keep in mind that in areas with lots of traffic, a commute that seems short, perhaps 10 miles, could take 45 minutes because of traffic. On the other hand, housing that’s very close to the facility may be in a neighborhood that isn’t all that safe, so perhaps venturing out just a few miles can be the sweet spot. Do a Google search and check out crime statistics, or, even better, get onto a site like Nextdoor.com – on this neighborhood social network you can ask questions of those who live there already. It’s also a great way to connect with others once you arrive.

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Alzheimer’s Awareness Month

Alzheimer's Awareness Month

November is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month

In 1983, President Ronald Reagan designated November as National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month. Later, in 1994 he would be diagnosed with the disease himself. At that time around 2 million Americans suffered from the disease. The numbers today are much higher, with approximately 5.4 million Americans living with the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s. It is the sixth leading cause of death in our country – approximately 500,000 per year.

Information for allied healthcare travelers about Alzheimer’s disease.

Slight alterations within a gene can lead to abnormal proteins being created. Over time, these proteins build up and lead to Alzheimer’s. Early onset Alzheimer’s has a strong genetic component, while later onset has a less clear family history. People can’t control their genetics; however there are modifiable risk factors that include hypertension, diabetes, and diet and exercise. Diet and exercise can directly and indirectly affect the risk for Alzheimer’s disease. Many contributing factors can be improved and even prevented through a healthy diet and regular exercise. Additionally, researchers believe a diet rich in antioxidants could not only slow the decline of brain disease, but possibly improve function after the onset. Studies are underway to determine if exercise can improve learning and memory. Yet another reason for Diabetic patients to keep their blood sugar under control is that insulin resistance has a strong link to how the body and the brain age. Insulin resistance leads directly to cardiovascular disease, hypertension, small vessel strokes, and diabetes. All of these, as previously mentioned, contribute to the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Now, coming full circle, the best safeguard against insulin resistance is exercise and a healthy diet.

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Current treatment involves medications used to help memory temporarily. These do nothing to treat the root cause of the disease. However, research is ongoing and new drugs in development will aim to modify the actual disease process, attempting to slow or even stop the progression. Further, researchers are currently conducting testing on a possible nasal vaccine for Alzheimer’s disease. This involves successfully removing beta – amyloid proteins (thought to be one of the causes of the disease) in the brains of mice. Like other vaccines, this could feasibly use the body’s own immune system to eliminate the proteins that cause Alzheimer’s, preventing the progression of the disease.

What can healthcare professionals do? First let’s discuss caring for the patient. A hospital setting can be unsettling for anyone, but especially when dementia is involved. Increased confusion and anxiety are common in Alzheimer’s patients. In a best case scenario, a family member or friend would be by the patient’s bedside throughout their hospital stay. Obviously, this isn’t always possible. The National Institutes of Health have published a great list of tips when communicating and caring for a patient with Alzheimer’s. These include not using the intercom to communicate since it may make the patient fearful, and using short sentences, with concrete language. Also, we should allow plenty of time for the patient to answer our questions. NIH says at least 20 seconds. They suggest “hiding” tubes such as IVs (place a gauze wrap over the IV site), NG tubes (tape to the side of the face and run tube behind the ear), and Foley catheters (have the patient wear undergarments to decrease access to the catheter.)

Communities all over the nation are participating in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s. Find a walk near you at the Alzheimer’s Association website and join the effort to fund research, care and ultimately end this devastating disease. If you are interested in learning more, much of the information in this article regarding research came from an HBO documentary called The Alzheimer’s Project.

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Tips for Avoiding Burnout While Working as a Healthcare Traveler

Tips for avoiding burnout as a healthcare traveler

Tips For Avoiding Burnout While Working as a Healthcare Traveler

A constantly changing environment, emotionally demanding patients, a significant workload, administration demands and shift work can all take a toll on a healthcare professional in a travel job, and even lead to burnout. Burnout is incredibly common in healthcare positions, and may even be something you’ve already experienced at one time or another in your career.

While it is common, the good news is that there are ways to avoid burnout as a healthcare traveler, whether you’re on a travel allied job, a travel therapy assignment or any other type of healthcare travel job.

Follow a Nutritious Diet

The food you consume plays a significant role, not only physically, but mentally as well. Unhealthy foods like junk food from a vending machine, fast food and so on, can make you feel moody, something you don’t need when you’re facing plenty of challenges on your travel job already. Nutritious whole foods, on the other hand, like fresh fruit and veggies, nuts and seeds – anything that comes directly from the earth, can help improve your energy level and boost your mood, enabling you to better handle anything that’s thrown at you.

Exercise Regularly

Regular physical activity, ideally 30 minutes each day of moderate exercise like walking, jogging, swimming or biking, is a great way to relieve stress, improve your mood and help you sleep better too. While there are probably going to be days when all you want to do is fall into bed, remember that working out when you’re tired will actually give you more energy. But if you still find that it’s too tough after a shift, consider squeezing in some exercise before you go to work. Check out these tips for staying fit while on assignment.

Aim to Get 7 to 8 Hours of Sleep Regularly

Whether you work days, evenings or nights, it’s important to get quality rest every day, generally 7 to 8 hours each time. When you don’t get enough sleep, it effects everything you do. It can lead to grumpiness, difficulty focusing, make it easier to blow little things out of proportion, and even lead to weight gain.

Journaling

Venting is a great way to relieve stress, but sometimes, it’s just not an option, and, your co-workers probably already have their own stresses their dealing with. Instead, consider journaling after your shift, or before you go to bed. Write about your day, dumping all of your thoughts onto those blank pages. Oftentimes, once you’ve done that you can let it go.

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Deep Breathing

Another good practice before bedtime is deep breathing. It’s a great way to relax and to relieve stress. Simply take a slow, deep breath for five counts, hold it for five and then exhale for five. Do this for several minutes and you’ll immediately feel stress melt away. You can use this at work too – just find a quiet area to head to during a break or between rounds.

Make Time For Yourself

Don’t put yourself last on your list of priorities. Be sure to make some time for yourself to do something enjoyable, whether it’s creating art, getting a massage, reading a good book, going to a movie – whatever you truly enjoy.

Nurture Social Connections

It can be difficult to connect with others while you’re on a travel job, but aim to make time to eat a meal with a co-worker occasionally. You can also join a group through sites like Meetup.com to find friends with common interests, as well as speaking with friends and family back home through video chats and phone calls.

Remember What You Love About Your Job

There’s a reason you decided to work in the profession that you do. Take time to think about the positive things, remain open and avoid becoming jaded.

Take a Break Between Assignments

One of the perks of being a healthcare traveler is that you’re in control of your schedule. In between assignments, be sure to take time off, whether it’s to go on a vacation, or take a trip back home to spend time with family and old friends.

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Allied Health Professions Week

Allied health professionals week

November 4 – 10 is Allied Health Professions Week

Today, over 7 million people work in over 80 allied health professions, delivering superb expertise and service to physicians and various healthcare specialists. This goes for those who serve faithfully at the local healthcare level, as well as the allied traveler who is passionate about allied travel jobs.

To honor and celebrate their compassionate care for patients, “National Allied Health Professions Week” is set for November 4th – 10th, 2017, so allied healthcare workers across the nation can be recognized.

What are allied health professionals?

Those that work in the allied health professional field are the ones that help with identifying, diagnosing, and treating acute and chronic diseases. They also help with nutrition, dietary, and rehabilitation services. A large percent of the health care workforce is comprised of allied health professionals – around 60 percent. These include:

  • Physician Assistants
  • Lab Scientists
  • Physical, Occupational, and Respiratory therapists
  • Paramedics and EMTs
  • Imaging Specialists
  • Speech-Language Pathologists
  • Dental personnel
  • Exercise science professionals
  • Counselors
  • Pharmacy professionals
  • Cancer specialists
  • Nursing assistants, orderlies
  • Home care assistants/aides
  • Massage Therapists
  • Other medical staff

As you can see, allied health professionals play a crucial role in the healthcare system, serving millions of patients in very important ways. In fact, 18 percent of the US economy is comprised of the allied healthcare force, indicating the huge demand for healthcare workers. Furthermore, studies reveal that the healthcare industry will grow almost twice as fast as the national economy in upcoming years. This means that those who are interested in allied professional jobs, including travel allied jobs, will have plenty of jobs to choose from.

Click here to learn more about allied healthcare travel assignments 

Offer thanks for allied healthcare professionals

As we celebrate each professional for exceptional patient care and healthcare services, be mindful to extend gratitude for those healthcare professionals in your life. The next time you see your healthcare professional, let them know how grateful you are for him or her. Assure them that their expertise, compassion, and skill matters. Or, take the time to send them a thoughtful card or small token of appreciation. They will be delighted to be recognized for their important contribution to the healthcare industry. For those who are passionate about allied travel assignments, let them know you appreciate their willingness to leave family and friends to compassionately serve others.  May we celebrate the healthcare profession in meaningful ways this year during Allied Health Professions Week, as well as anytime throughout the year.

If you’d like to learn more about the Association of Schools of Allied Health Professionals, click here. To learn  more about becoming an allied healthcare traveler, click here.

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National Radiologic Technology Week

Rad Tech Week

Chances are you or a loved one has had an x-ray at least one time in your life, or perhaps another radiologic test like a CT scan. Going in for any type of imaging test can be quite scary, especially when there is concern about a serious disease.

Most of the time, upon entering the radiology room, the Radiologic Tech (RT) offers a smile and reassurance that you’re in the best hands. Most are trained to be empathetic to the person receiving the tests, and that helps a lot! They understand that the patient may be dealing with fearful and worrisome thoughts, and simply want to feel as if they are in the best RT hands at the time.

While there may be a tendency to overlook the importance of his or her job, the role of the Rad Tech is quite valuable to the healthcare industry.

National Radiologic Technology Week

Each day, millions of highly technical images are taken by a Rad Tech or Travel Rad Tech, and these images are very important for millions of patients. In an effort to not diminish the importance, National Radiologic Technology Week is an annual event that celebrates Radiation Therapy and Medical Imaging Professionals and the role that they play in patient care and healthcare safety.

This year, the celebration is November 5th through the 11th. This is a great time to celebrate the profession of radiology for Rad Techs, Interventional Rad Tech travelers, and those that move from one Rad Tech travel job to another. It’s a great time to raise public awareness about those who dedicate their time and skills to acquiring accurate images to help physicians make very important decisions regarding patients.

For more information about a Rad Tech travel job or Rad Tech travel assignment, click here.

Accurate imaging matters

Registered Radiologic Technologists are responsible for making sure that the images taken give doctors a clear picture so that they can accurately diagnose a patient. Their expertise is vital to physicians and to patients. Rad Techs must be sure that the images are accurate and clear, as an unclear image can result in a scary diagnosis that can cause a lot of fear unnecessarily. On the flip side, a poorly positioned image might obscure something that the doctor really needs to see.

Therefore, as we celebrate National Radiologic Technology Week, send positive thoughts to your Radiology Techs and departments dedicated to their education. If you feel led, send a thank you card to your local Radiology department expressing your gratitude for their wonderful service. In addition, the next time you see your RT, be sure to offer gratitude for his or her expertise, skills, and caring heart. If you happen to know an RT personally, this is the perfect opportunity to give a small token of your appreciation.

If you’d like to learn more about the holiday, and learn how you can help spread awareness, click here. Or, see the American Society of Radiologic Technologists for further information about Rad Techs.

 

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Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is National Breast Cancer awareness month and it’s a topic that’s near and dear to my heart. I’ve lost friends way too soon and I know it’s something that hits close to home for all of us as women, as nurses, and as human beings. As healthcare professionals we are often so focused on caring for others that we forget to tend to our own preventative care needs.

First things first, early detection is key. When detected early before spreading, the 5 year survival rate is 98% (National Cancer Institute.)  We all know we should be doing breast self exams.  Are we?  I know I’m not as consistent as I should be. One way to remember is to perform the self exam on the date of your birthday monthly. For example, my birthday is January 5 so I can do mine on the 5th of each month.  Or if you like your phone bossing you around (I do! I live by my reminders) you can download an app called Early Detection Plan and set it up to remind you monthly. You can also set it up to prompt you to make that mammogram appointment.

Speaking of mammograms, the American Cancer Society recommends women age 40 and over who have average risk and are in good health to have a mammogram every year.  Breast self exam is so important, but mammograms can detect cancer sooner than you can feel a lump. If you have a family history or find anything abnormal it is possible you may need to begin yearly screenings earlier than age 40. For me, I felt a lump that ended up being dense tissue (8 out of 10 lumps are non cancerous but always warrant a visit to the doctor!) They did spot another area they wanted to watch.  I just made my appointment today to get my follow up mammogram next week.  As far as family history goes, having a first degree relative (mom or sister) with breast cancer approximately doubles your risk.

The Susan G. Komen website has a list of changes to watch for in your breast self exam.  These include a lump, or hardness or thickening of the skin of the breast or underarm. Also, any swelling or warmth in these areas is cause for concern.   Inverted nipples and sudden discharge are also a cause for concern. Call your doctor for new pain in one spot that doesn’t go away. The key is to know your body and get any changes checked out.

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Types of Breast Cancer

When it comes to caring for the patient with breast cancer compassion is so important. The patient is going to have body image issues as well as fear and anxiety from the cancer diagnosis, so it is especially important to support the patient and manage psychosocial as well as physical issues. Some things we can do are to provide education on chemotherapy and breast reconstruction. Inform her of support groups in the area.   Post surgically, she will need education on her drainage device and wound care.  Pain management will be an issue, and she may need education on how to work with you to manage the pain (for example, not letting her pain become too severe before asking for medication.) The American Cancer Society has provided a list of education resources regarding cancer treatment for medical professionals to provide patients.  Therapeutic communication is crucial, especially in regards to listening in order to determine the patient’s physical and emotional needs.

Here are some ways to get involved.  Find a fundraiser event wherever your travel assignment takes you.  You can also kick off your own fundraiser here whether you want to host a bake sale, or a run, or benefit dinner.  You can even set up a fundraiser page at the same website.  Whether you want to donate time, or money to the cause we can all join in to aid in the fight against breast cancer.

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