Top Benefits of Compression Socks

Nurses and healthcare workers are on their feet for sometimes 12 hours at a time.  Sometimes even more. And for numerous days at a time.  Finding ways to keep your feet comfortable is imperative.  Great shoes play a huge part in this, however many nurses swear by compression socks.

What are compression socks and what are the true benefits of them?

According to Wikipedia “Compression stockings are elastic compression garments worn around the leg, compressing the limb. This reduces the diameter of distended veins and increases venous blood flow velocity and valve effectiveness. Compression therapy helps decrease venous pressure, prevents venous stasis and impairments of venous walls, and relieves heavy and aching legs.”

Healthline says that some benefits of compression socks are:

1. Boost circulation in your legs

Boosting the circulation in your legs helps to get the necessary nutrients and blood flow to the tissue in your legs, keeping them healthy.

2. Support veins

Compression socks help to support your veins and can help prevent varicose veins.

3. Prevent blood from pooling in your leg veins

Pooling in the leg veins can be very painful and if not treated can the swelling and pressure will increase.

4. Diminish leg swelling

Leg swelling can lead to other issues and can also be very painful.

5. Prevent the development of deep vein thrombosis in your legs

This is a huge plus for compression socks as deep vein thrombosis is very serious and can lead to more serious issues and sometimes death.

6. Help lessen the pain caused by varicose veins

Being on your feet for as many hours at a time that nurses are, already causes tired and painful legs.  Add varicose veins to it and it can be unbearable.

Other benefits can include:

  • Fewer leg pains
  • Better circulation
  • Less swelling in the legs and feet
  • They can help with joint pain

There are many benefits to wearing compression socks, we hope that you have found this article helpful.  Not all compression socks are the same, so you need to do your research.

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4 Relaxation Tips for Travel Nurses This Fall

Being a travel nurse can be stressful. Moving every 13 weeks and starting new jobs at the same time can be stressful. Leaving people, you have come to know and love at this pace as well.  Add in being away from family and friends and it can be hard to find ways to relax or de-stress. We have put together some relaxation tips for travel nurses to help you on your journey.

 

Autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR)

According to Oxford ASMR “is a feeling of well-being combined with a tingling sensation in the scalp and down the back of the neck, as experienced by some people in response to a specific gentle stimulus, often a particular sound.”  ASMR can be triggered by things like paper tearing, scalp massages, or whispering voices. These are not the only things that can trigger ASMR, however, these are common ones. If you would like to find an ASMR for yourself YouTube is a great place to search.

 

Breathing exercises are great ways to help you relax.

In order to really relax you need to activate your body’s natural relaxation response, a state of deep rest that:

  • Puts the brakes on stress
  • Slows your breathing and heart rate
  • Lowers your blood pressure
  • Brings your body and mind back into balance

Breathing techniques can be done in many forms such as breathing exercises, yoga, meditation, and tai chi just to name a few.

 

Hot Baths

Taking a hot bath may not be everyone’s “cup of tea”, however, it is a great way to relax and reduce stress. Bathing stimulates blood circulation and helps calm the nervous system. Another perk is it can relieve common aches and pains. Which can be common working such a strenuous job like nursing. Also, if you have trouble sleeping at night try taking a bath right before bed. You may find that washing in the shower first and then taking a bath after is more relaxing. As many do not feel as clean after a bath than with a shower.

 

Laugh

This may seem a little strange, however, laughter really does help to relieve stress, which in turn relaxes us. Laughter has many benefits.

Short-term benefits

A good laugh has great short-term effects. When you start to laugh, it does not just lighten your load mentally, it actually induces physical changes in your body. Laughter can:

  • Stimulate many organs. Laughter enhances your intake of oxygen-rich air, stimulates your heart, lungs, and muscles, and increases the endorphins that are released by your brain.
  • Activate and relieve your stress response. A rollicking laugh fires up and then cools down your stress response, and it can increase and then decrease your heart rate and blood pressure. The result? A good, relaxed feeling.
  • Soothe tension. Laughter can also stimulate circulation and aid muscle relaxation, both of which can help reduce some of the physical symptoms of stress.

Long-term effects

Laughter is not just a quick pick-me-up, though. It is also good for you over the long term. Laughter may:

  • Improve your immune system. Negative thoughts manifest into chemical reactions that can affect your body by bringing more stress into your system and decreasing your immunity. By contrast, positive thoughts can release neuropeptides that help fight stress and potentially more-serious illnesses.
  • Relieve pain. Laughter may ease pain by causing the body to produce its own natural painkillers.
  • Increase personal satisfaction. Laughter can also make it easier to cope with difficult situations. It also helps you connect with other people.
  • Improve your mood. Many people experience depression, sometimes due to chronic illnesses. Laughter can help lessen your depression and anxiety and may make you feel happier.

The way you choose to laugh is totally up to you and what you find funny. You can search for funny videos on YouTube, Facebook, or even Instagram, watch your favorite comedic movie or show. There are so many ways to find laughter.

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Places to Consider for Your Fall Travel Nursing Assignment

Fall.The time of year that reminds us how beautiful change is as winter draws near. From colorful trees to slow freezing streams, here are some locations you should consider when planning your next travel assignment.

Places to visit while traveling this fall

Minnesota

Minnesota– A family-friendly state known for its outdoor activities makes Minnesota a top spot to take in fall-time views. The are many opportunities for you to go camping, kayaking, and fishing to immerse yourself in the season and state.

 

Tennessee

Tennessee– The Great Smoky Mountains and nearby farms will make for a memorable stay in Tennessee. You can take in the views by horse-back and hiking the many trails in the surrounding area. Already rich in history, visiting Tennessee in fall will only add to the experience.

 

Washington

Washington– Rolling hills, waterfalls, and national forests will keep you busy as you venture throughout Washington. You’ll want to be sure to carve out time so you can stop by vineyards to indulge in not only the scenery but the flavors of fall as well.

 

New Jersey

New Jersey– Known for the monarch butterfly migration in the fall, you can also stop to see stunning sunsets on beaches across the state. Catching rays of sunlight between clouds, you’ll see the colors of fall casting their hues across New Jersey’s bodies of water.

 

Vermont

Vermont– Foliage, as you drive Route 9, will leave you breathless; trees with shades of red, yellow, orange, and green fill vast areas of land across the state. In addition to the dramatic drive, there is a good chance you could see various types of wildlife, bears, deer, and moose to name a few.

 

We hope this list of great places to visit while traveling this fall helps you along your travel nurse adventure!

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Travel Nurse Housing: Agency Provided Housing

There are 3 travel nurse housing options to consider.
  • Agency Provided Travel Nurse Housing – Discussed Below
  • Securing your own travel nurse housing with a ‘stipend’
  • Travel in an RV

Travel Nurse Housing Tax Implications

It’s important to understand that no matter which housing option you opt for, you must have a valid tax-home in order to be able to obtain ‘free’ housing. If you do not have a tax-home, your housing costs should be taxed as income. Many agencies will not tell you this.

Agency Provided Travel Nurse Housing

With agency provided housing, the agency takes care of everything for you.  From deposits (excluding any pet deposits), utilities, and furnishing.  All you should have to do is show up. Your travel nurse housing should be ‘move-in ready’.  Sometimes the internet or cable TV is not included. You may have to arrange this on your own if you need/want it.  Ask the agency if this is included. Many Agencies provide housing in hotels, motels, and extended stay type properties. These can vary greatly.  It’s important to ask what type of housing, and where and do your research.

Additionally,  if you are taking company provided housing, it’s important to know what is actually included in the companies description of ‘furnished’. ‘Furnished’ can mean a wide variety of different things to different people. I discussed the importance of clarifying what is ‘furnished’ in a previous post so I won’t rehash it here.

Questions to Ask about your Travel Nurse Housing

In addition to knowing what is furnished in your company provided housing, here is a list of other questions about travel nurse housing that you might find helpful.

  • What type of property do you provide? Apartment. Hotel. Etc.
  • What amenities does the apartment/housing offer? Ie fitness center, pool, business center (fax, copy, print).
  • Is parking provided? Is there a fee? Will the company cover?
  • The time frame for move-in and move-out.  Most companies will give you a day or two on both ends of the contract.
  • Contact information for housing.
  • Microwave, TV, Vacuum, provided? (don’t assume that your housing will include these items)
  • Address of the housing?

To-Do Before You Move Into your Agency Provided Travel Nurse Housing

The following is a “To Do” list to help you ease into your agency provided travel nurse housing smoothly:

  • Obtain the address and contact information of the housing and call them yourself to confirm your arrival date and time.
  • Research the area prior to your move. Use the internet. There are a ton of internet resources to check on crime rates, locations, police blotters, etc. Use these resources and if you find any information that might be concerning to you, notify your recruiter and request a different housing assignment if appropriate.
  • On arrival at the location, drive around the neighborhood and assess the safety. Does it appear to be a safe neighborhood?
  • Obtain a copy of the lease.
  • Obtain the after-hours maintenance/emergency contact information. (Sometimes this is included in your lease)
  • If you travel with a pet; request a copy of the pet rules. (You may have to sign a pet waiver).
  • Make sure to do a pre-inspection of the apartment as soon as you arrive. I would suggest that you also take photos of any damages and make sure that the manager is made aware and it is noted on your lease.
  • Check that all windows and doors latch and lock securely.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Agency Provided Travel Nurse Housing

Advantages

  • You don’t have to spend countless hours trying to find adequate and affordable travel nurse housing.
  • Many times you are actually treated better by the apartment staff when going through a large company. (They want you happy so they can get long-term business).
  • You are not responsible for monthly payments.
  • If housing is limited in the area, you might actually get better housing by using the agency’s resources.

Disadvantages

  • You have little to no control over the location and type of travel nurse housing provided.

Please keep an eye out for the next part of this series on travel nurse housing.

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Happy Travel Nurses Day 2018!

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Travel Nurses Day is Friday, October 12th, 2018! Are you ready to celebrate?

Falling leaves and temperatures aren’t the only harbingers of fall. For travel nurses, another sure sign of the season is Travel Nurses Day!

Medical Solutions created the annual holiday in 2013 to recognize and appreciate hard-working travel nurses everywhere. As a travel nurse, we invite you to join in the fun on Friday, October 12th!

Over at Medical Solutions, the sixth annual Travel Nurses Day celebration is already in full swing. Starting today, you can play quizzes, enter contests, listen to music, and win PRIZES all week long!

Here’s what’s on tap for Travel Nurses Day 2018:

  • #PostcardsFromTheRoad Instagram Contest
  • What’s Your Adventure Style? Quiz
  • Where Should You Travel Next? Quiz
  • Car Concert Spotify playlist

This year’s quizzes can be taken as a means to enter to win one of 10 $50 Amazon gift cards. The #PostcardsFromTheRoad Photo Contest asks travelers to share images from their journeys for the chance to win one of five $300 Amazon gift cards.

You can visit TravelNursesDay.com anytime starting now until midnight, central standard time on October 14, 2018. Prize winners will be announced the following week.

Happy Travel Nurses Day to all you amazing travelers out there!

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2018’s Top 10 Best and Worst States for Healthcare

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Where does your state stack up on the Top 10 lists for healthcare?

U.S. News and World Report recently announced its annual Best States list. The publication evaluated all 50 states across 77 different metrics. When it came to examining the best and worst in healthcare, the states were ranked based on three board measures: access to healthcare, healthcare quality, and public health.

Hawaii earned top honors this year, giving travel nurses everywhere one more reason to love the Aloha State. Meanwhile, Mississippi received the lowest grade in healthcare. If you’re looking for your next travel nursing assignment, it’s not a bad idea to check out where your state falls on the list.

So, without further ado, below are the Top 10 Best and Worst States for Healthcare:

 The 10 best states are:

  1. Hawaii
  2. Washington
  3. Iowa
  4. Connecticut
  5. Massachusetts
  6. Vermont
  7. Minnesota
  8. Rhode Island
  9. Colorado
  10. Utah

The 10 worst states are:

  1. Mississippi
  2. Arkansas
  3. Oklahoma
  4. Louisiana
  5. Alabama
  6. Kentucky
  7. West Virginia
  8. Tennessee
  9. Georgia
  10. South Carolina

Click here to read the full report and methodology.

Thanks to the nature of travel nursing, you’ve probably had experiences as a healthcare professional in several, if not all, of these states. So, as a travel nurse, did the U.S. News and World Report’s list for best and worst states in healthcare surprise you? Let us know in the comments below!

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Celebrate Travel Nurses Day 2017!

Calling all travel nurses: it's Travel Nurses Day this Friday, October 13th!

Calling all travel nurses: Travel Nurses Day is Friday, October 13th!

Everywhere you look, there are pumpkin spice lattes, leather boots, and a colorful pageant of vibrant leaves. It must be fall.

For travel nurses, the fall season also means a special holiday, Travel Nurses Day, is near. Created by Medical Solutions, Travel Nurses Day celebrates the hardworking spirit of travel nurses everywhere. This Friday, October 13th is your chance to treat yourself and celebrate your travel nursing career.

Over at Medical Solutions, they’ve started the festivities early. Starting today, you can play games, enter contests, listen to music, and win PRIZES all week long!

Here’s the delightful lineup for Travel Nurses’ Day 2017:

Contests and Games

  • A #NurseLaughLove Photo Contest on Instagram
  • Quizzes such as, “Where Should I Travel Next?” and “What’s Your Ultimate Source of Bliss?”
  • Two sets of fantastically fun Photofinds
  • Two sets of terrifically tremendous Travel Libs
  • A Find Your Bliss Playlist to keep you rocking through your special day

Prizes:

You can visit TravelNursesDay.com anytime starting now until midnight, central standard time on Oct. 15, 2017. Prize winners will be announced the following week.

Happy Travel Nurses Day to all you amazing travelers out there!

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Happy Nurses Week 2017!

Nurses Week is May 6-12th! Celebrate your nurse profession and take advantage of these discounts, games, and contests!

Don’t miss out on all the discounts, games, and freebies for nurses! Nurses Week is May 6th – 12th!

Nurses Week is almost here! To help travel nurses everywhere celebrate in style, Travel Nursing Central’s has the following rundown of 2017 Nurses Week prizes, freebies, and discounts:

Medical Solutions is throwing a party for all nurses at WeLoveOurNurses.com. You can join in the festivities by checking out C. Young’s “So Much Love in the Scrubs” music video tribute, take the “What Kind of Party Are You?” quiz for a chance to win fun prizes, and share free Nurses Week eCards with your fellow nurses. Medical Solutions is also giving away some amazing party favors, like 30 $50 Amazon gift cards, Five Amazon Tap Bluetooth Speakers, three Apple iPad Mini 2s, and more! Nursing students are also encouraged to enter the 6th Annual Nurses of Tomorrow Scholarship Contest, which awards three $2,000 scholarships to future nurses.

This year, rejuvenate your passion for nursing with The American Nurses Association’s free webinar on wellness and burnout prevention. The online class is on May 10th.

Fusion Medical is celebrating Nurses Week with daily giveaways on its Facebook page, and a #scrubselfie contest on Instagram and Twiiter. Contest participants have the chance to win a $500 Visa gift card.

At DiscoverNursing.com, Johnson & Johnson continues to offer free nurse themed magnets, coloring books, a “Nurses Heal” pin, and many other complimentary resources including brochures, posters, videos, and software.

Cinnabon is showing their appreciation for nurses with a delicious and well-deserved free treat. During Nurses Week, simply present your medical ID badge at a participating Cinnabon, and you’ll receive your choice of a free Classic Roll, a MiniBon or a four-count of BonBites.

Lippincott’s will once again offer a variety of daily deals, giveaways, and discounts during Nurses Week as well.

Did we miss any Nurses Week activities or events out there? Let us know in the comments below. In the meantime, Happy Nurses Week to all you hardworking nurses!

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Top 5 Fitness Apps for the Travel Nurse

Fitness apps for the travel nurse

Jump-start your fitness goals for 2017 with these apps for the travel nurse!

January is all about New Years’ resolutions. If you’re like most of us, somewhere on your list of resolutions for 2017 is getting back into shape.  Heck, maybe you’re one of the lucky few who actually kept this resolution last year, and now you want to maintain your fitness level.

Wherever you fall on the spectrum, it can be hard to keep your workout schedule when you’re a travel nurse. To help you reach your fitness goals while you’re racking up those travel miles, TNC has the top 5 fitness apps for the travel nurse below:

MapMyRun: You’re new in town — again — and you have no idea where the best jogging routes are. With MapMyRun, you’ll never be at a loss. From hiking trails to city streets, this cool app can help you find where all the cool kids are running these days. When you find a route you love, you can save it or share it with an online community of more than 40 million members. Plus, MapMyRun will send you tips on how to improve your workout so you can reach your running aspirations.

7-Minute Workout Challenge: This popular high-intensity circuit workout app can really benefit the busy travel nurse. You can do the challenge anywhere. All you need is a wall, a chair, and hypothetically 7 minutes of your time. You can repeat the workout to maximize your results, so 7 minutes could turn into 21 minutes if you’re going for the gold.

The workout includes a series of 12 bodyweight training exercises like squats or push-ups. Each move should be performed for roughly 30 seconds with a 10 second rest in between. Get ready to sweat, because the “high-intensity” part of this routine is no joke.

Dailyburn: If you like the idea of a personal trainer in the comfort of your own home, then DailyBurn could be your new fitness obsession. Dailyburn is an online streaming video program that allows you to pick from a variety of exercise routines led by several fitness experts. Fans of Dailyburn like the diversity of workout options. However, unlike some others on this list, Dailyburn is subscription based.

Sworkit: This fitness app has been likened to Spotify, but instead of song playlists, you can create a playlist of workout routines. The app allows you to choose from a variety of fitness programs or build your own. Plus, you can tell the app how long you want to work out for, so you can time it to your favorite TV show or podcast.

MyFitnessPal: This free app tracks your food intake and workouts to help you make better lifestyle choices. It’s a digital diet and exercise diary meets calorie counter. The best part? The app has a database of more than 5 million different food items, so it’s easy to track your intake no matter what you eat.

These top 5 fitness apps for the travel nurse make keeping your New Years’ resolutions easier than ever before!

What are some of your favorite workout routines when you’re on the road? Tell us in the comments section below!

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5 Holiday Decorating Tips for the Travel Nurse

With the holidays almost here, it’s time to deck those halls! As travel nurses everywhere know, decorating in a temporary home can sometimes mean wishing for a Christmas miracle. Never fear! With these 5 holiday decorating tips for the travel nurse, you’ll be able to make your home feel merry and bright without the help of Santa’s elves.

  1. Christmas wreath

    You can make a big statement in a small space with these holiday decor ideas!

    Invest in temporary wall hooks: These little gems make holiday decorating a breeze, especially for the travel nurse on the go! Hang these hooks anywhere — they’re easy to install and they won’t mess up your walls come January 1st.  Plus, they are perfect for Christmas stockings or wreathes! Which brings us to our next point…

  1. Purchase an evergreen wreath: Don’t have the space for a tree? No problem! Use a real pine wreath for instant holiday style. They’ll make your apartment smell like a Christmas tree without the mess. What’s not to love about that??
  1. Add sparkle with twinkle lights: Create a winter wonderland in just minutes. White or colored lights hung from your ceiling or draped gracefully over doorways can add a touch of glamour to tiny spaces.
  1. Hang ornaments from bookshelves: Who needs a tree to decorate when you have a bookshelf? Dress up your ordinary furniture with ribbons and glittering glass balls for full effect. Those wall hooks we mentioned earlier might come in handy here. Extra tip: you can hide the hooks if you stick them on the top of your furniture.
  1. Add a holiday throw pillow: If DYI really isn’t your thing, you can simply spruce up for your living room couch with fun, holiday throw pillows. No fuss, no muss. We told you it was easy! Need a few ideas? Click here!

Thanks to these 5 holiday decorating tips for the travel nurse, you’ll be ready for the season in no time!

Any decorating tips that we missed? Let us know how you adorn your apartment for the holidays in the comments below!

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