Keeping the Happy and Healthy in Christmas

“The true Christmas spirit is putting others’ happiness before our own, and finding you’ve never known such happiness.”              Toni Sorenson

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year . . . ”

While that’s the goal and the intention, it’s often not the reality. Some folks admit, and lament, that the holiday season wins as the most stressful time of year. And what a shame that is. So, here are some tips toward achieving a holiday season that truly is the “Most wonderful time of the year.”

Let’s address the areas that can so quickly put a damper on the merriness and joy we desire.

Christmas shopping

For many, Christmas shopping has become a dreadful chore. But even if shopping is your thing, the crowds and packed parking lots, all that store-hopping to get the best price and the race to secure the hottest items can wear out even the hardiest shopper.

Make shopping excursions more productive by creating a thorough list of gift items to purchase. Make the experience more enjoyable by asking a friend to accompany you. And don’t forget to save time for a fun lunch or a stop at the coffee shop to celebrate surviving the experience.

Remember that online shopping can save not only time but aggravation as well. Perusing websites while snuggled under a warm throw in the recliner does have definite appeal. Consider grouping gift purchases to save on shipping costs and warn the family not to open any of the array of packages stacked on the porch.

Avoid the worry over missing a name on your gift list or of unexpected guests dropping in by stowing a few general gifts, such as chocolates, in the back of the linen closet.  

All that cooking!

As one young man remarked, “I can’t wait on the “awesome breakfasts” and “amazing dinners,” and oh yeah, “that one Christmas punch” that marks family festivities each Christmas.” He was quite partial to decorated sugar cookies as well, yet blissfully unaware of the time and effort that went into the delectable cuisine he looked forward to each year.

Create a plan to lighten the work of those treats and trimmings that would be sorely missed from your holiday menus. Assign folks to bring a dish or two to the big family dinner. Invite family and friends to an afternoon/evening of baking to knock out the traditional cookie and candy favorites. Rally the family to be kitchen assistants when preparing for that holiday party—fetching items from the fridge or pantry, emptying the trash, loading the dishwasher, setting the table.

Make a list of all the grocery items you can purchase in advance, as well as a perishables list for each week. Check it twice or even thrice, to avoid those frustratingly time-consuming, last-minute dashes to the store.

Relationship woes

If you dread the thought of an afternoon, a day, or a week with visiting relatives who tend to get under your skin, you’re not alone. Being family doesn’t guarantee against clashing perspectives, opposing political views, or brash opinions. Unfortunately, friction between family members when all should be “merry and bright” is a common occurrence.

Rather than skip the festivities, initiate some ground rules that touchy, potentially offensive subjects are off-limits. Lead the way toward a time of family-friendly getting along by bringing a stash of board games and a stack of classic Christmas movies along with a sincere smile and spirit that can’t help but be contagious.  

Keeping the “healthy” in Christmas

“Christmas is notoriously a time to indulge, but don’t let this be the green light to overindulge!” notes the Realbuzz Team. “You can still enjoy all the festivities of the season and get through the Christmas period without too much impact on your health and waistline.”

These practical tips will help—

Eat a snack or small nutritious meal before attending a holiday party.

Be extra vigilant at regular mealtimes, so that a bit of indulging at holiday gatherings won’t make a huge impact.

Drink lots of water and limit festive holiday beverages to one serving.

VicHealth’s CEO, Jerrill Rechter’s, advice makes sense. “Everything in moderation is a really good outlook to have. Pile your plate with veggies to have with your Christmas ham, then go for a walk around the block to warn off a food coma.”

And finally, a suggestion that fits nicely into both the “happy” and “healthy” department.

“We’re only as healthy as our community, so it’s important to remember those less fortunate than us as well,” reminds Rechter. “Helping others not only contributes to a healthier society but also makes us feel good, so it’s a win-win.”  

Look throughout the community for opportunities to donate time, money, and clothing, or household items. Volunteer at a soup kitchen or homeless shelter. Invite those with no family to celebrate with you in your home. Involve your children in giving-of-themselves opportunities. Share Christmas joy by hosting a night of caroling with the elderly residents of a care facility. The possibilities are virtually limitless if one genuinely looks for occasions to embody the spirit of Christmas.

From our homes to yours, Medical Temporaries, Inc., sends the warmest of wishes for a joyous and healthy Christmas to each of our valued clients. It has been our pleasure to service the staffing needs of your company this past year, and we look forward to a continuing partnership with you in 2020.  

The WHY, WHEN, and HOW of Hand Washing

Each first full week of December, Henry the Hand promotes National Hand Washing Week. His mission? To bring awareness of how hand washing is the best way to prevent epidemics and pandemics. Henry reminds us that it’s the direct contamination of mucous membranes—our eyes, nose, or mouth—that allow infectious disease(s) to enter our body. Check out more tips from Henry at www.henrythehand.org

This holiday season, chock full of family gatherings, social engagements, and multiple trips to crowded shopping venues, is the perfect time to bring awareness to the why, when, and how of hand washing.

The WHY of hand washing

“The T Zone is the only portal of entry into the human body for ALL respiratory infections,” reminds Dr. Will Sawyer, Infection Prevention Specialist. The “T Zone” refers to the T-shaped portion of the face that includes the eyes, the nose, and the mouth.

Practicing the behaviors of the “4 Principles of Hand Awareness,” endorsed by the AMA and the AAFP, will significantly impact a person’s efforts to avoid the nasties, including influenza, adenovirus, RSV, common cold, conjunctivitis, pharyngitis, tonsillitis, bronchitis, bronchiolitis, pneumonia, Coxsackie virus, Streptococcus, Pneumococcus, TB and many other undesirable illnesses.

Those principals are—

  1. WASH your hands when they are dirty and BEFORE eating.
  2. DO NOT cough into your hands.
  3. DO NOT sneeze into your hands.
  4. Above all, DO NOT put your fingers into your eyes, nose, or mouth.

WHEN to wash

The CDC advises, “You can help yourself, and your loved ones stay healthy by washing your hands often, especially during these key times when you are likely to get and spread germs.”

  • Before, during, and after food preparation
  • Before eating food
  • Before and after caring for someone at home who is sick
  • Before and after treating a cut or wound
  • After using the bathroom
  • After changing diapers or assisting a child in the bathroom
  • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
  • After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste
  • After handling pet food or pet treats
  • After touching garbage

The HOW of hand washing

There’s a right way to wash hands! Experts recommend lathering up with soap and clean water for at least 20 seconds, approximately the time it takes to sing the traditional “happy birthday to you . . .” song twice. Remember to scrub the back of the hands, between the fingers, and under the nails, then dry using a clean towel.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calls “hand washing ‘a do-it-yourself vaccine’ and suggests remembering these five easy steps: wet, lather, scrub, rinse, dry.”

Medical Temporaries, Inc., has more than 20 years of experience staffing premier medical facilities. We have the relationships and resources to make connections in a timely, best-fit manner because we know that our success is your success. Contact our team today.

 

An Attitude of Gratitude

When the calendar flips to November, our collective thoughts transition toward the holiday that beckons us to count our blessings. Many annual Thanksgiving family gatherings include a time of sharing ‘round the dinner table an answer to the traditional question “What are you thankful for?”

But this “attitude of gratitude” often disappears by the time a new year rolls around, tucked away until the next November’s official season of thanksgiving begins. Yet, a daily, conscious decision to focus on gratitude can have a profound influence on our perspectives, impacting our lives throughout the year. Studies have found that making a regular and deliberate choice to affirm one’s blessings provides a range of positive outcomes relating to both mental health and overall well-being.

As stated by the folks at the National Day Calendar, “Everything in our lives has the ability to improve when we are grateful. Research has shown that gratitude can enhance our moods, decrease stress, and drastically improve our overall level of health and wellbeing. On average, grateful people tend to have fewer stress-related illnesses and experience less depression and lowered blood pressure; they are more physically fit, they are happier, have a higher income, more satisfying personal and professional relationships, and will be better liked. Grateful kids are even more likely to get A’s in school.”

Everything, including the work-a-day world, yet too often we reserve the “attitude of gratitude” mindset for the time spent away from the workplace. Instead, we focus on family and friends, home, and health. “While being thankful for family, friends and everyday comforts seems easy, mustering up gratitude for one’s work and colleagues feels more challenging,” notes Leah Eichler. “It’s easier to apply a negative filter to the many tasks that need to get done in a day – the endless e-mails, the paperwork and having to deal with disgruntled colleagues or customers.”

A John Templeton Foundation survey found that people with annual salaries of less than $150,000 noted “your current job” at the bottom of the grateful list when given categories spanning from friends to education to modern medicine.

When you consider the chunk of waking hours spent on the job, extending the “attitude of gratitude” mindset to the workplace more than makes sense. Imagine how choosing to view employment opportunities through a lens of positivity and thankfulness, as well as incorporating gratitude into our daily workplace interactions, would impact our lives.

Naz Beheshti admonishes, “We have to get over whatever is holding us back from giving thanks in the workplace. Gratitude should be a central feature of company culture.”

Gratitude goes high-tech with a multitude of apps that remind and encourage a daily recording of gratefulness. From free apps to those offered for purchase, the platforms vary from a simple diary-like recording of thankfulness items to a more structured approach that includes a daily challenge. Check out Jennifer Lance’s round-up of eight gratitude apps.

We at Medical Temporaries, Inc., encourage you to set your sights on a year-long journey of gratitude as we look forward to 2020. We appreciate the hard-working candidates who trust our expertise in meeting their healthcare-related career goals. Let us do the same for you. Give our team a call today.

National Family Caregivers Month

There are only four kinds of people in the world. Those who have been caregivers. Those who are currently caregivers. Those who will be caregivers and those who will need a caregiver.” ― Rosalyn Carter

The theme for this year’s National Family Caregivers Month gets to the heart of the matter: “Caregiving Around the Clock.” Increasing awareness of the role of the family caregiver and bringing to the forefront available support services is the goal of this annual campaign.

These unsung heroes take on a variety of roles, from taking parents to doctor’s appointments and managing their medications, to preparing meals and taking on household tasks, to assuming total care of a loved one.  

A snapshot of the family caregiver scenario looks like this—

Across the country, 42 million people, face the challenge of providing daily care to their older family members and friends.

Caregivers are primarily women between the ages of 40 – 60.

Almost half of family caregivers are adult children caring for their parents.

Approximately 1 in 5 are wives or husbands caring for their spouses.  

60% juggle a paid job in addition to caring for a family member or friend.

AARP’s Home alone revisited: Family Caregivers Providing Complex Care study sought a deeper understanding of what family caregivers experience. The results from the nationally representative, population-based, online survey of 2,089 family caregivers included these significant findings—

Today’s caregivers provide intense and complex care, performing medical/nursing tasks, and managing multiple health conditions that are often accompanied by pain.

Today’s caregivers are diverse, and so are their experiences.

Caregivers who are socially isolated or have no choice about caregiving are more at risk for experiencing difficulties with complicated care.

Caregivers performing more medical/nursing tasks experience both positive and negative impacts.

Many family caregivers are still on their own—health systems should do more to prepare these vital members of the team.

The Hazards of Caregiving

National Today sites several reasons caregiving is challenging.

Relationships may suffer

One out of every four caregivers reports diminished family relationships because of the caregiving required by a loved one.

Children do it too

Over a million American young people, aged eight to 18, care for an adult relative daily.

It’s challenging to do self-care. Nearly 70 percent of caregivers report they don’t see their doctor regularly because of their responsibilities.

National Today reminds us of the age-old wisdom, “If you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t take care of anyone else.”

“Health professionals lack of explicit attention to caregivers is a serious gap in health care in light of the more than two decades of research that documents the potential hazards of family caregiving. Caregivers are hidden patients themselves, with serious adverse physical and mental health consequences from their physically and emotionally demanding work as caregivers and reduced attention to their own health and health care,” note authors Susan C. Reinhard, Barbara Given, Nirvana Huhtala Petlic, and Ann Bemis, for NCBI’s Patient Safety and Quality: An Evidence-Based Handbook for Nurses.

How Your Facility Can Assist Caregivers

Train your staff to be aware of, and attentive to caregiver stress

“Caregiver stress is due to the emotional and physical strain of caregiving. Caregivers report much higher levels of stress than people who are not caregivers. Many caregivers are providing help or are ‘on-call’ almost all day. Sometimes, this means there is little time for work or other family members or friends. Some caregivers may feel overwhelmed by the amount of care their aging, sick or disabled family member needs,” advises the Office of Women’s Health.

Detecting the signs of caregiver stress is the first step to ensuring both the patient and the caregiver receive the proper treatment. Establish a set of guidelines that gives high priority to cases of caregiver stress, complete with a set of steps staff members can follow to address each case.

Advise caregivers to nap, chill, take a break

Just as new moms are urged to nap when the baby does, family caregivers should be encouraged to nap or ‘just chill’ when their loved ones are resting. It sounds too simple, like something too obvious, that it doesn’t merit a mention. But that doesn’t make the advice any less valuable.

Writing for National Family Caregivers Month, MilitaryBenefits.com states, “One of the healthiest things you can do for yourself is to fit naps into your weekly schedule. Round-the- clock caregiving is never easy. But when your loved one takes a break, don’t do another task — you take a break too. It’s important not to wear yourself down, or who will take care of you?”

Compile a list of community resources

Overwhelmed caregivers juggling many responsibilities seldom have the time or energy to scope out the resources that can ease the stress of caring for a loved one. So, lighten their load by compiling a list of local organizations, support groups, respite care options, and regional or national programs that offer services to caregivers and their families. Even better, train someone on your staff in the finer points of applying for and receiving these services.

Follow up with caregivers and make referrals as needed

The determination to care for a family member at home can blind a caregiver to his/her own needs. For the health and safety of all involved, do not brush aside the signs of caregiver stress or illness that the dedicated caregiver cannot see for him/herself. Insist that caregivers seek medical, mental, and emotional treatment and counseling for their own needs, offering referrals when appropriate.

At Medical Temporaries, Inc., we pride ourselves on assisting the premier medical and dental facilities in the Greater Virginia Beach communities with qualified candidates to meet all of their staffing needs. Give our team a ring to see what Medical Temporaries can do for you.

Promote a Safe and Healthy Halloween

As workers in the healthcare field, it’s essential to take advantage of opportunities to advocate for the safety of your patients. This October take time to promote a safe and healthy Halloween by sharing these reminders with the parents and families you encounter. Quizzing young patients and families about their fright night plans will open doors to sharing tips for making October 31 activities safe and fun for all.

Costume safety

Choosing the perfect Halloween costume is front-and-center on the minds of kids in the weeks leading up to the big trick-or-treat day. Since these eager youngsters won’t factor safety concerns into their costume selection, moms, dads, and grandparents may need to inject a fair bit of sound reasoning. Check costumes for both:

Positives:

  • Bright colors that will be easily visible in the evening’s fading light, OR add strategically placed reflective tape
  • Flame resistant fabrics

And Negatives:

  • Longtails, baggy pants, over-sized costumes, etc. that pose a tripping hazard
  • Masks that obscure vision

Trick-or-Treat guidelines

In their enthusiasm, children will need multiple reminders about safe trick-or-treating practices.

  • Insist that a parent or responsible adult accompany young children.
  • Bring a flashlight containing fresh batteries.
  • Only go to homes with a porch light on.
  • Never enter a home or car for a treat.
  • Review these guidelines as well as a detailed route plan with older children and teenagers venturing out on their own.
  • Insist that ALL treats be taken home and undergo a thorough sorting process that checks for tampering, spoilage, and open
    wrappers before consuming.

Pedestrian reminders

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration discovered that children aged 4 to 8 face experience a tenfold increase in the risk of vehicular death while trick-or-treating on Halloween night, compared with similar evenings on either side of Oct. 31. Vigilance to these precautions can prevent a tragedy.

  • Remain on well-lit streets and always use the sidewalk.
  • If no sidewalk is available, walk at the far edge of the roadway facing traffic.
  • Never cut across yards or use alleys.
  • Cross only at established crosswalks.
  • Don’t assume the right of way, as drivers may have trouble seeing trick-or-treaters.
  • Be alert at all times and err on the side of caution.

Health considerations

Some strategies for dealing with all that candy!

    • A good meal before parties and trick-or-treating will discourage youngsters from filling up on Halloween sweets
    • After the sorting process, allow children to pick one or two favorites to enjoy, then store the remainder for later
    • Limit candy intake over the days and weeks following Halloween, pairing the candy rations with healthy snacks like fruit,
      yogurt, or milk.

The team at Medical Temporaries, Inc., takes seriously the opportunity to build bridges between qualified healthcare workers and the premier medical facilities in the greater Virginia Beach and Cedar Rapids communities. With more than 20 years of experience staffing for the medical community, we have the relationships and resources to make timely, perfect-fit connections. Let us help you get your foot in the door!

Be a Champion for Mental Health

Each October 10, World Mental Health Day strives to raise awareness of mental health issues and mobilize efforts in support of “healthier” mental health. Organized by the World Federation for Mental Health and supported by WHO, the International Association for Suicide Prevention, and United for Global Mental Health, this day provides a forum to discuss what needs to happen to make mental health care a reality for people worldwide.

The Numbers Please

For several reasons, it’s critical to measure and understand how common mental illness is. One of those reasons being to grasp the physical, social, and financial impact mental health issues have on the collective society. But even more, pressing than that is the need to show that no one is alone.

  • 19.1% of U.S. adults experienced mental illness in 2018 (47.6 million people), representing 1 in 5 adults.
  • 4.6% of U.S. adults experienced serious mental illness in 2018 (11.4 million people), representing 1 in 25 adults.
  • 16.5% of U.S. youth aged 6-17 experienced a mental health disorder in 2016 (7.7 million people)
  • Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among people aged 10-34

These eye-opening numbers can be powerful tools for raising public awareness, advocating for better care, and eradicating the stigma associated with mental health conditions.

The most common conditions by annual prevalence among U.S. adults:

  • Anxiety Disorders: 1%(estimated 48 million people)
  • Major Depressive Episode: 2%(17.7 million people)
  • Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: 6%(an estimated 9 million people)

“Probably 20% of people in the country have some form of mental health issue at some point in their lives, with less than 5% having severe problems with mental health issues,” states Moe Gelbart, a psychologist and founder of the Thelma McMillen Center for Alcohol and Drug Treatment. “Mental health problems are on a continuum from very little to very severe.”

While stats point to some 20% experiencing a mental health issue, Gelbart explains, “That impact is multiplied by three or four when you’re thinking about the impact on society. For example, if dad is depressed, he might not be going to work. His wife is feeling the effects of that. And so on.”

That’s even more reason to encourage open discussions about these issues, to educate folks on the various conditions, and show them how and where to access help.

Know the Signs

Employers should be attentive to changes in behavior that could signal an employee is suffering from depression or anxiety. Possible signs may include—

  • taking longer to complete routine tasks
  • difficulty communicating with coworkers
  • an increase in comments about not feeling well
  • calling in sick more often frequently
  • withdrawing from co-workers
  • increased frustration, nervousness, or irritability

Creating a supportive environment

Employers can set the tone for a supportive environment by providing easy access to educational materials and organizational resources. From posters and literature in the break room and inserts included with payroll to features from national organizations like the American Psychiatric Association, the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, Mental Health America, and the National Alliance on Mental Illness in the company newsletter. Don’t forget to scope out local and regional support groups and post their information as well.

 Other employer-led stigma-busting steps to promote mental health  

The CDC recommends these additional steps:

  • Offer free or subsidized clinical screenings for depression from a qualified mental health professional, followed by directed feedback and clinical referral when appropriate.
  • Offer health insurance with no or low out-of-pocket costs for depression medications and mental health counseling.
  • Provide free or subsidized lifestyle coaching, counseling, or self-management programs.
  • Host seminars or workshops that address depression and stress management techniques, like mindfulness, breathing exercises, and meditation, to help employees reduce anxiety and stress and improve focus and motivation.
  • Create and maintain dedicated, quiet spaces for relaxation activities.
  • Provide managers with training to help them recognize the signs and symptoms of stress and depression in team members and encourage them to seek help from qualified mental health professionals.
  • Give employees opportunities to participate in decisions about issues that affect job stress.

Let Medical Temporaries, Inc., build a bridge from your premier medical facility to the experienced medical and dental staff your facility needs. With more than 20 years of experience, we have the relationships and resources to make timely, right-fit connections, leaving you more time to create a healthy work culture that will support your staff. Give our team a ring today!

Professional Do’s and Don’ts for the Healthcare Workplace

Maintaining a high standard of professionalism has long been a key concern for healthcare facilities. Meeting, and where possible, exceeding the consumers’ expectations remain uppermost in the minds of forward-thinking organizations – and for good reason. To discount the importance of professionalism can impact a facility’s success as well as the future careers of the staff employed there.

Consider the positive impact these professional qualities will have on the patient experience, and how, in turn, they will benefit the healthcare worker’s career.

  • Make Patients A Priority

Maintaining eye contact. Smiling with sincerity. Demonstrating not-too-busy-for-you listening skills. Explaining tests, procedures, results, future appointments without rushing. Allowing the patient to ask questions. Answering those questions fully. Ending your time together with, “Is there anything else I can do for you?”

Each of these behaviors conveys that the patient is important. Group these actions, and patients will believe that they are indeed a priority.

  • Be A Team Player

Whatever your position—medical assistant, nursing assistant, x-ray or lab technician, registered nurse, or physician—your tasks play an essential role in patient care. If one person slacks off, more work falls on the shoulders of the rest of the team, causing patient care to suffer. The best possible customer experience results from a coordinated effort, with each team member doing his/her best to meet the patients’ needs.

  • Practice Effective Communication Skills

Whether sharing information with colleagues or patients and their families, ineffective communication can cause significant issues. In a fast-paced setting, it may be tempting to rush through treatment orders or test results. But the critical nature of the information being communicated demands giving adequate time and attention to every scenario. Avoid the pitfalls of poor communication with a conscientious effort to make every exchange of information, whether written or verbal, as accurate and detailed as possible.

  • Don’t Be A Grump

From time to time, everyone has a bad day, gets a poor night’s sleep, or experiences a crummy-mood-for-no-good-reason. But professionalism requires that the negatives get packed away for the work shift. Co-workers and patients expect and deserve professional behavior.

  • Don’t Gossip

“But doesn’t everyone do it?” While it may seem that way, that’s no excuse to participate in such conduct. It’s particularly damaging when the hurtful talk and meaningless conversations take place within hearing range of patients. Rise above this troublesome workplace habit by making a point to walk away.

  • Don’t Deny Mistakes

Everyone flubs up, it happens. Don’t exacerbate the issue by denying the error or blaming someone else. Own your mistakes, do your best to correct them, and strive to learn from rather than repeat the error. Set an example of being responsible rather than a “blamer.”

At Medical Temporaries, Inc., we’re always in need of skilled healthcare workers who understand the importance of professionalism and hold themselves to a high standard. Our team would love to partner with you to make your career dreams a reality. Contact us today.

 

4 Reasons to Pursue a Career in Healthcare Management

With healthcare remaining one of the fastest-growing sectors in the nation, the field of healthcare management offers a career path with a lengthy list of perks.

A review of the stats confirms the wisdom in pursuing a career path in this burgeoning field.

  • An 18% growth in all healthcare occupations from 2016 to 2026, predicted to create 2.4 million new jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • For medical and health services managers, the job growth predictions through 2026 come in at an even higher rate of 20%.

The responsibilities tasked to healthcare management personnel cover a wide array of functions from budgeting to scheduling, from strategizing and coordinating service between facilities, to overseeing the myriad of behind-the-scenes details that directly impact patient care.

“As the dynamic healthcare landscape continues to evolve through changes in government regulation and oversight, mergers and acquisitions of providers and healthcare systems, and the innovations of healthcare tech, the need for strong healthcare leadership with sharp business acumen and strategic managerial skills will continue to rise,” suggests Michigan State University.

Consider these top four reasons for pursuing a healthcare management career.

  1. The Timing Couldn’t Be Better

Now is the perfect time to catch the waves of change rapidly impacting this industry, as digitization and other technologies sweep the healthcare arena. The experience, skills, and knowledge afforded by opportunities in this dynamic field will pave the way for future advancement.

  1. You’ll Never Be Out of a Job

Job security for years to come can be expected from a career path in the world of healthcare management.

  1. Almost Endless Variety Awaits

Levels of management from the executive to the administrator to the manager exist across various departments of many organizations, depending on their size and specific needs. For just a glimpse of the possibilities and diversity, consider these management opportunities: dealing directly with patient services, overseeing office operations in private medical practice, facilitating the admissions process at a long-term care facility, or providing leadership for the financial services and billing department of a hospital.

  1. Provide a Desperately Needed Service

From ensuring an adequate number of clinical personnel to overseeing compliance with federal, state, and local laws, the management team is as vital as any position within the facility. Providing exceptional healthcare services to an aging population coupled with the lightning-fast speed of medical advances and technology will demand an influx of competent management professionals. We cannot overstate the essentialness of maintaining smooth operation of day-to-day services.

At Medical Temporaries, Inc., we build a bridge between your career goals and the leading medical and dental facilities in the greater Virginia Beach area and throughout the Midwest. We have the relationships and resources to get your foot in the door promptly. Join our Talent Network today.

6 Strategies Toward Conflict Resolution in the Workplace

“If we manage conflict constructively, we harness its energy for creativity and development.”                                                                                       – Kenneth Kaye

Conflict in the workplace is inevitable. Personalities will clash. Disagreements will erupt. Stress will escalate minor irritations into mountains of maddening frustration. Cue lashing out and arguments that impede teamwork, productivity, and, ultimately, may hamper customer relations.

The response of management to these inevitabilities will be vital to maintaining a high level of morale and deterring valuable employees from quitting or disrupting productivity and patient services.

As much as management teams try to convince themselves otherwise, they need their conflict resolution skills – because leadership positions and conflict management go hand in hand. That’s why a plan for handling those certain-to-pop-up clashes should be considered a routine component of maintaining a healthy work environment.

In the healthcare setting, the potential for conflict increases due to the emotional nature and intensity of the job. The fatigue and stress of long shifts coupled with coping with life-and-death scenarios, patients in pain, and distraught family members create the perfect storm for stretched-to-the-limit nerves to snap.

“While disputes between employees fall into the common and expected category, that doesn’t make them simple to defuse. Knowing when to step in is the key consideration,” says Joseph F. Byrnes, professor of management at Bentley College’s Graduate School. “Give the warring parties a chance to resolve it on their own. The time to take action is when things get out of hand, and the problems are affecting their work or disrupting other people’s work.”

Implementing these strategies for handling workplace conflict will make for a more enjoyable, more productive day-to-day work experience for all involved.

1. Ignoring conflict is not a strategy

While turning a blind eye and a deaf ear to grapevine murmurings or the subtle-to-not-so-subtle evidence of brewing conflict may be incredibly tempting, it is also incredibly unwise. The cross-your-fingers-head-in-the-sand-hope-for-the-best approach rarely works.

“Avoiding conflict ultimately results in chaos,” says Kristin Burnham. “Human beings are emotional creatures with trigger points and biases that have developed through various experiences. Allowing these filtering mechanisms to dominate when conflicts arise is a recipe for disaster.”

Keep in mind, that often by the time management is aware of a situation, it has been percolating for some time. Teamwork and morale can quickly take a nosedive, requiring an emergency dose of intervention. A more proactive approach can de-escalate a situation before it needs a fire hose.

  1. Provide guidance rather than solutions

As you contemplate the need to intervene, consider that your role should be one of guidance. That of a mediator rather than a fixer. Giver of advice? Of course. Conversation redirector? Most certainly. Guardian of remaining on task and topic? Yes.

  1. Let people tell their story

Step number one: determine whether to meet with the disputing persons together or separately initially. Then put on your listening ears.

Often folks need to be heard, to tell their story. Can “getting it all out” fan the flames of conflict?  Quite possibly, yes. But that’s okay. Don’t try to squash the resulting heat or passion, as the resolution cannot happen without slogging through the waters of conflict.

4. Listen with an open mind

“Listen with equal amounts of empathy and attention to what both sides of the conflict have to say. Ask each individual what their particular pain point is, what (rather than who) is causing it,” suggests Mike Walsh, Director of Product Marketing for Lever.

Recognize any preconceived biases and set them aside. Do not take sides. Banish from your thoughts any previous experiences that would try to interfere with the current situation.

  1. Take a break if needed

Even a ten-minute break to visit the restroom and get a coffee refill can allow passions to cool, minds to refresh, and tensions to ease. Rather than let the heat continue to rise, a brief break can steer the situation away from a shouting match or insults.

  1. Seek resolution

Once all involved have had the opportunity to share, ask each party to offer ideas for resolution. How can this situation be resolved? What will allow each party to move forward? Share your own thoughts on getting past the conflict. Again, do not take sides and resist “fixer” mode. Encourage a discussion that strives to conclude at a mutual resolution.

At Medical Temporaries, Inc., we pride ourselves on over 25 years of providing clinical and clerical healthcare workers to many leading medical facilities. We’re much more than a “temp agency.” Our various programs will meet your unique staffing needs for short-term or long-term candidates. Contact our team today to see how partnering with us can make all the difference.

Back-to-School Tips for the Family

Across the country, store shelves are depleted of school supplies as the clang of the school bell signals the start of another year of learning. The days of carefree fun in the sun will slowly transform into the structured pattern we tucked away for the summer

Help the entire family ease back into the school-year routine with these strategies aimed at paving the way for a healthy and productive year for everyone—mom and dad included.

Wrangle bedtimes back into shape

It can be tough to answer those early morning wake-up calls, so the sooner summer’s lack-of-a- bedtime-routine gets tamed, the better. Often parents allow themselves to slip into unhealthy sleep habits during the inviting summer months as well. Insist on a bedtime strategy that will set the stage for the quality and quantity of sleep each family member needs to function at his/her best. Pediatricians recommend 9 to 12 hours of sleep for 6 to 12-year-olds and 8 to 10 hours a night for teenagers. The National Sleep Foundation suggests adults strive for 7 to 9 hours of sleep.

“Good sleep hygiene means all devices should be turned off an hour before bedtime,” says Andrea Hoopes, MD, a Kaiser Permanente Washington pediatrician. “This gives their brains time to unplug from the stimulation and the light from phones and computers.” Again, mom and dad would do well to follow the same guidelines.

Drawing the curtains or adding darkening shades can keep the light from distracting young and old alike. Limiting caffeinated beverages later in the day will also aid in getting adequate sleep.

Consider backpack safety

These backpack tips apply again, to the parents, and well as their child

  1. Choose a backpack with wide, padded shoulder straps and a padded back. Remind all backpack users to utilize both shoulder straps to avoid strained muscles from the all-too-common one-shouldered sling.
  2. Pack light, keeping the weight of the backpack at no more than 20% of the child’s body weight.
  3. If a parent’s or student’s load is unusually heavy, consider a rolling backpack.

Beware of an “overcommitted” schedule

Sure, afterschool activities like gymnastics and soccer offer many perks in the form of exercise and team-building skills. But it’s possible to have too much of a good thing.

The same goes for moms and dads. The book club or bowling league or drama troupe may appeal as a relaxing/unwinding type of activity. However, be careful not to stack the family’s master schedule with too many activities, as the accompanying stress can easily void the benefits.

Medical Temporaries, Inc., offers a variety of employment options to suit the scheduling needs of parents and caregivers. Perhaps short-term, temporary, or PRN work best suits your current career goals. Give our team a call to see how a partnership with Medical Temporaries can “work” for you!