How to Stay Optimistic as a Nurse

It’s no secret that nursing can be a stressful, and sometimes even depressing, profession. When you’re encountering tragic situations every day, it’s even more important than usual that you make every effort to stay optimistic. After all, optimism is inextricably linked with motivation, and patients deserve motivated nurses.



While it may seem futile at times, there are plenty of tricks you can try as a nurse to maintain that positive mental attitude necessary for proper care. Learn how to stay optimistic as a nurse, and discover how you can make the most of nursing jobs even on days where everything seems to be going wrong.



Be Grateful

Being grateful as a nurse is about focusing on the positives in your life to remind yourself that there’s still plenty of good in it. Think about how thankful you are for your coworkers — even if it’s really just that one coworker who agrees with you about how horrible your boss is.


Keep a journal of all the positive things going on in your life, and remember that you’re in a unique position in which you literally save human lives every day. Nursing is often a thankless job, but focusing on the people who do thank you can do wonders for your mood. Be sure to hold onto any physical thank you letters you get, so you can read them when you’re down.



Surround Yourself With Optimism

One of the best ways to stay optimistic is to surround yourself with people who exhibit a positive outlook. Finding camaraderie in coworkers who are equally as disgruntled can feel liberating, but it doesn’t have the power to boost your mood the way surrounding yourself with genuine positivity does. When you do spend time talking with your disgruntled coworker, your shared negativity shouldn’t control the conversation. Make an effort to engage in positive topics.


In some cases, the best you can do is avoid pessimism when you’re trying to stay optimistic. If the employee lounge or break area is filled with negativity, use your break to go for a walk. If negativity surrounds your colleagues, your goal should be limiting the time spent with them. In fact, walking in particular is effective, since exercise itself has been repeatedly shown to improve one’s mood.




Focus on Your Own Needs

When your job is taking care of others, it’s easy to forget personal needs. As Maslow said, you first need to fulfill your own basic needs before you can effectively move on to other tasks like taking care of others. Remember, this isn’t selfish, it’s simply ensuring you have the fuel to function properly. If you’re feeling too tired or dehydrated, don’t feel guilty. Grab a nap if you can, or get a drink of water if that’s what you need.


Nurses often find themselves skipping meals to find time for high-demand patients on busy days. This may seem like a small sacrifice, but it can actually have a pretty significant impact on your performance. Even if it’s just a small snack, make sure you get something to eat when you feel hungry. Nurses already have enough to worry about, and a growling stomach isn’t going to do anything to help one maintain a positive attitude.


Nursing Jobs With TheraEx Staffing Services

Optimism can be hard for nurses to find at times, but nursing jobs are easier to find than ever, thanks to TheraEx Staffing Services. We work to match nursing professionals with facilities where they can shine, forwarding their own career in the process of ensuring the well-being of their patients. Contact us today to find the perfect facility that can keep you optimistic and successful.


Tips for Dealing With Difficult Patients

Despite your best intentions, you will sometimes find yourself dealing with difficult patients in your role as a nurse. Some people simply won’t cooperate the way you need them to when you are caring for them, and since they’re still the boss of their own body, you can’t force what’s best for them. Nurses even face abuse from some difficult patients, which can be absolutely devastating.


As trying as some patients may be, nurses still have to do their best to make sure they’re properly cared for. Arm yourself with these handy tips for dealing with the most fearful, defensive, agitated and demanding patients, and you can take your nursing performance to the next level.


Stay Calm

The first thing you always need to do when dealing with a difficult patient is remain calm. An agitated nurse only serves as fuel for a patient’s extreme emotion. Try to keep in mind that it’s nothing personal in most cases. Whatever they say or do is likely driven mainly by anxiety and fear. If you stay calm through the situation, you’ll be better equipped to assess the situation and communicate with the patient.



Practice Active Listening and Positivity

Patients will often act out if they feel like their needs aren’t being met — even if you’re providing excellent care. Let them know that you hear their concerns. When they tell you what’s wrong, repeat it back to them in your own words to show you understand. Remember to speak softly as well, even if the patient is going off on a loud tirade. Staying positive and polite can have a significant impact. Make sure you use the patient’s name, and ask for their input regarding solutions to their problems.



Don’t Argue

A lot of difficult patients try to goad nurses into arguments, perhaps because they’re afraid and want to feel some kind of control, but engaging in an argument never actually helps, of course. Your opinion still matters, but don’t treat it like it’s something up for debate. You don’t have to defend yourself or the facility. Simply apologize that they’re not satisfied and emphasize that you’re working to find a solution.


Establish Limits

Your job is to help patients. Your job is not to cater to their every demand. Make it clear that you’re not their servant there to answer their every beck and call. Just make sure you convey this information in a polite way. One effective strategy is to give them time intervals. Telling someone you’ll check on them again in half an hour is always better than telling them not to bother you for half an hour.


Show Empathy

Empathy is essential when it comes to any kind of care, especially nursing. Try to view the situation from the patient’s perspective. When they’re being difficult, it’s usually to hide their fear or anxiety. Being in the hospital is a stressful experience for most people. Don’t meet their hostility with defensiveness. While they should know better than to be difficult with a nurse, try to understand that their situation has likely placed them in a desperate position in which they’re not exactly thinking straight.



Don’t Let It Get to You

It’s easy to dwell on something cruel that a disgruntled patient said. It can dig at you for hours and ruin your day. While it’s okay to feel angry or hurt by something an angry patient said, you can’t let it get to you. Your feelings are valid, but they don’t have to control you. Go for a walk or take some deep breaths to let those words go. You’re a nurse, after all. You know you’re strong. You know you save people for a living. Brushing off hostile interactions will always have you feeling better than dwelling on something a frightened patient said.


Find Your Place

Knowing how to deal with difficult patients is essential to excelling in your nursing career, but you also need to work in the right facility. At TheraEx Staffing Services, we specialize in matching nurses with facilities that will make the most of their talents. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you find a place you’ll be satisfied with and that lets your nursing skills shine.



Nurses, Healthcare and Workplace Violence

No matter what your occupation is, you should never have to worry about workplace violence. Even dangerous jobs like policing have regulations in place to prevent workers from becoming the victims of violence, but nurses shouldn’t even have to worry about violence to begin with. Unfortunately, that’s not the reality we live in.


Workplace violence is something people in a variety of occupations have faced, but nurses are especially susceptible due to the nature of working in a hospital. Just because it may seem commonplace, however, doesn’t mean you should merely accept it. The more you learn about violence against nurses, the more you can work to make sure you and other nurses don’t have to become victims of it.


Preventing Violence in the Healthcare Industry

For an industry that’s based on helping people, the healthcare field experiences a lot of violence. In fact, the healthcare industry is more prone to nonfatal workplace violence than all other industries. The nature of the industry is prone to violence from many directions. An unstable patient can become combative, or the parent of a sick child could become violently demanding when they perceive nurses as not acting fast enough. Even worse, a grieving spouse could come in with a gun after a hospital fails to save their loved one.


Whether you’re dealing with an outside threat or one of your coworkers is bullying or otherwise abusing you, you have to make sure you respond properly. Begin by ensuring that there is an adequate reporting system in place. Remember to always report instances of violence,  and make sure these reports are documented in writing.


Practicing deescalation techniques can also help prepare you to prevent a potentially violent incident from spiraling out of control. Staying within the lines of sight of other workers and having panic buttons or phones nearby at all times can also help everyone stay safe and quickly request help when needed.




Emergency Room Incidents

Considering the fact that most of these incidents are caused by people in high-stress environments, it’s only natural that they’re more common in the emergency room. Whether you’re dealing with a violent patient or a distraught friend or family member, nurses can easily become the victims of assault and verbal abuse, especially when tensions are high and time is of the essence.


Emergency room incidents have become so common that many acts of violence go unreported. There’s a variety of reasons for this. Some nurses believe that these incidents are simply part of the job, while others may empathize with their victimizer and see no benefit from reporting the incident. Others may worry that an angry patient or person acting out against them is an indication of poor job performance that could be used against them. None of these rationalizations excuse violence. No matter what the situation, violence against nurses is never warranted. Should violence occur, remember to deescalate and seek help immediately, and never hesitate to report it.


Violence Against Home Care Nurses

Being a home care nurse removes the hospital from the equation, but it does not remove the threat of violence. You still need to be on alert to make sure you’re not a victim of abuse. A patient’s home and their neighborhood is still a workplace, so you have a reasonable expectation not to be bullied or hurt while on the job. The first thing you should always do is trust your intuition and get out if a situation feels unsafe, but there are more concrete actions you can take as well.




Consider how well-lit the area is at night, and think about how far you have to walk alone from where you park to the patient’s home. You should also consider whether or not the neighborhood is prone to criminal activity. Become familiar with signs of drug use and threatening body language. Some home care nurses even have an emergency alert button on their ID badge they can press when they need help.


Finding a Safe Career in Nursing

If you’re a nurse, you shouldn’t have to worry about workplace violence. Unfortunately, it’s an undeniable reality of the job, despite the fact that numerous pieces of legislation either have been or are in the process of being passed that make violence against nurses a felony offense.


Whether you’re looking to find a new, safer place to work or are trying to find your first nursing job, TheraEx Staffing Services is happy to help. Contact us today to learn more.

5 Time Management Tips For Nurses

Nursing shifts can carry on for a long time, especially compared to many traditional jobs, but you can still find yourself without adequate time to accomplish important tasks. While nursing is certainly rewarding, it can also be stressful. Being short on time can compound that stress and have you heading home at the end of your shift disappointed in your performance.
To remedy that, there are quite a few time management techniques that allow you to accomplish everything you need to without losing enthusiasm, or worse, your job altogether. Short staffing and long hours are problems that likely aren’t going away anytime soon, but these time management tips for nurses can help you take advantage of every second you’re on shift.


Show Up Early

When you’re facing a 12-hour shift, showing up early may seem like the last thing you want to do, but it can help more than you might think. With all the tasks and patients you have to deal with, getting a 20-minute head start can lead to you actually leaving on time for once rather than an hour after you were supposed to. When you arrive early, you can plan your entire shift by organizing your tasks before you officially have to start.



Prioritize Your Tasks

Even if you don’t show up early, you should still take time to prioritize your tasks at the very start of your shift. Although it can be a challenging skill to acquire, effective prioritization will have you working like a nursing machine. While determining which tasks come first can be difficult, a good way to decide is to examine the consequences should you fail to complete a task. Those with more dire consequences should take priority.


Don’t Be Afraid to Say No

When it comes to your patients, you are their primary caregiver. They’ll turn to you for whatever they need, but that doesn’t mean you’re always obligated to fulfill those needs. In terms of healthcare, it’s your job, obviously, but if the request isn’t urgent, don’t be afraid to say no or to delegate if possible. The same is true if one of your colleagues asks for help. Fortunately, other nurses are more likely to be understanding, as they experience similar work stress as you do.


Take Breaks

Working constantly for 12 hours is a tall order for anyone, so make sure you remember to take breaks. It doesn’t have to be a long half-hour break either. Simply taking a few minutes to just sit down and collect your thoughts can make your job significantly easier once you get back to it. Taking time for a break will enable you to be more efficient than you would be if you work constantly and get burnt out, frustrated, overwhelmed or lose focus.





Write Things Down

As a nurse, you’ll have a lot of things to deal with at once. To keep your tasks organized, it’s helpful to write them down. You can take mental notes all you want, but nothing’s more reliable than a good hand-written note. You can even organize your tasks by patient and check them all off as you complete them. The same is true if you’re trying to remember important information given to you by doctors. Studies have shown that writing notes by hand enables you to better remember the information.



Finding the Right Place to Work

You can have all the time management skills in the world, but that won’t help you if you don’t have a good place to work. With help from TheraEx Staffing Services, you can find your dream job and be the nurse you always wanted to be. Contact us today to learn more about everything we can do to help you the right position for you.

Tips for Finding Your First PT Job

Finding PT jobs does not need to be scary, depressing, frustrating or even that difficult. Seeking out your first job in healthcare can feel intimidating, but you can rely on some tried-and-true strategies to help make the search not only easier, but result in a fulfilling position.



Set Priorities for Yourself

The first thing you should do when job hunting is define the type of position you think you need to make you happy. Taking a job in healthcare is a commitment, one that should last at least 1-2 years under normal circumstances.

If you put yourself in the position of “I just need to find a job, any job,” you are setting yourself up to become frustrated by offers that cannot possibly meet your personal needs. Worse, if you accept jobs you do not truly want, both you and your patients will suffer.

So start your job search out by saying “no” to positions that cannot meet your needs for:

  • • Location
  • • Pay
  • • Responsibilities and duties
  • • Continuing education offerings
  • • Potential for career advancement
  • • Working environment


By writing these criteria out, you will be less likely to compromise and better-equipped to evaluate positions that truly do meet your needs.

Pad Out Experience With Volunteer Work

If you are fresh out of a PT program and have little work experience to show for it, then you may have difficulty demonstrating that you have the work-ready skills to excel in a position.

You can reduce the chances that people will be wary to hire you for your “first real job” by picking up volunteer shifts in your community. Nursing homes, VA groups, rehabilitation centers, schools, community clinics and more all need help from trained staff to provide services for those with limited means.

You can also take on positions as an assistant to other PTs, but never let a stepping-stone job hold you back from advancing your career. Always keep looking and applying!


Be Your True Self in Interviews

We all psyche ourselves out before interviews by wondering how we can tell the interviewer the perfect thing they need to hear to hire us. In truth, we should tell them exactly what we would want to hear come out of our own mouths to feel proud of our interview performance. So, focus more on honest answers that indicate your personal values, priorities and approach to your work.


Remember that you may be able to convince the interviewer (and yourself) that something you said was accurate, but your true feelings will always come out eventually if you do happen to get the position.


Remember PT Jobs Are Growing — Don’t Sweat It Too Much!

Healthcare jobs are competitive, but the demand is growing, which incentivizes more and more providers to act quickly and fill positions. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of available physical therapy positions will increase by 34 percent from 2014 to 2024, “much faster than average,” according to their data.

Take comfort in knowing people need your skills! Also, as advised above, remember you do not have to compromise your standards to find a position for you.


Finding PT Jobs Can Be Easy With a Physical Therapy Staffing Company

The easiest way to find PT jobs? Let someone else help you with the legwork.


By submitting your resume to a physical therapy staffing service, you can be matched with positions all over the country that perfectly meet your expectations and skillset.


Get started today by looking at available PT jobs and career opportunities in your field of work and then submitting your resume today!

How To Avoid Burnout As A Nurse

Feeling completely exhausted in your nursing job isn’t uncommon. In fact, most nurses expect at some point to feel physical, mental or emotional exhaustion. You’re never alone if you’re feeling burnt out, but that doesn’t mean you have to sit back and accept it. We all have our limits as humans, but nurse burnout is a serious problem that can put your career and patients at risk.


Fortunately, there are several good ways you can avoid burnout as a nurse. Keeping up with these tips will help you stay positive at work and can also help hospitals at large reduce their turnover and keep morale higher which, in turn, reduces the chances for patient harm. Learn how to avoid burnout as a nurse.



Check Yourself

As a nurse, you’ll often spend long, 12-hour shifts checking on patients, but you need to remember to also take time to check on yourself. Your mental well-being is important not only for your own health but for the health of your patients. One of the best ways to do this is with mindfullness-based stress reduction techniques. These techniques include things like meditation, introspection and yoga, all of which help you become more aware of your current mental state. Recognizing the issues you’re having is the first step to remedying them, after all.


After you’ve recognized that you’re starting to feel overwhelmed or dissatisfied, it helps to think about what made you pursue nursing in the first place. If that’s not a particularly inspiring story, focus on what you enjoy about nursing. Think about the positivity and satisfaction of a patient thanking you for what you do. Even if the patients don’t verbalize it, take every bit of care you provide as a victory. You have made a positive change in that person’s life — even if they don’t give you recognition for it.



Take Breaks

Nursing shifts are notoriously long. If you’re working hard throughout all those hours, you’re going to get burnt out almost inevitably. That’s why it’s absolutely essential that you take breaks. Even short breaks can go a long way to make you more productive overall. You just have to remember to enjoy your break. Don’t spend it worrying about a difficult patient. Spend that time on yourself. Enjoy your coffee, your snack or simply being able to sit for a few minutes.


If you find that short breaks aren’t enough to keep you from suffering burnout, it might be time to take a vacation. Staying away from the hospital for a few days is a great way to recharge and put some distance between you and your work. Your vacation days are there for a reason, after all.





Practice Engaging Activities

Burnout is something you have to deal with even in your off hours. Many nurses are still thinking about the job even when they’re at home, so it’s important to find something to focus on that can take your mind off work for a while. This is most effectively accomplished by engaging in activities that your focus in order to enjoy.


Quite a few activities require focus, and many are easily accessible. Among the most common is reading, since it requires you to virtually drop everything to absorb the words. Sewing can also be a good activity to try. Even some athletic activities go a long way to help you focus on other things. Yoga, for example, allows you to focus on something other than work while simultaneously improving your overall physical and mental well-being.


Finding the Right Nursing Work

Once you understand how to avoid burnout as a nurse, it’s time to find the right nursing job. With the help of TheraEx Staffing Services, you can find work that fits your needs and allows you to shine and excel in your career. Get in touch with us today, and learn more about all the services we’re happy to offer you.

Why Physical Therapists Need Constant Training

Physical therapy is an incredibly complicated practice that involves years of training and practice before those skills can actually be put to use on people in need. After all that education is completed, however, a good physical therapist must always be ready to adapt their methods in accordance to newly discovered information. Like many healthcare practices, physical therapy is constantly changing.

To keep up with that change, physical therapists will have to keep learning and training, acquiring new methods to treat their patients. This can be an involved process, but if you want to excel in the field, you’ll have to keep learning no matter how experienced you are. Learn more about why physical therapists need constant training.




Moving Past Hands-On Treatment

Hands-on treatment has been a staple of physical therapy for as long as this therapy has been around. Manual manipulation is an effective way to get people’s bodies back in working order, but it’s just one way. Patients also have to perform some exercises on their own, with physical therapists only providing descriptions or demonstrations of those exercises and then leaving the responsibility to the patient.


Most of a patient’s time, of course, isn’t spent with their therapist, and there haven’t been many effective ways for therapists to properly evaluate how the patient’s home exercises are affecting their health. With the advent of new technology, however, there are ways that physical therapists can gather quantifiable data based on patients’ actions at home that can give valuable insight into their treatment process. Learning how to use and implement this technology can give your physical therapy treatments an edge.


Technological Treatments

While advanced technology can be used to monitor patients in a more efficient way, technology can also be implemented directly into the treatments themselves, offering new opportunities for patients to better themselves. Among the more popular pieces of tech for physical therapy are video games. When the average person thinks of video games, they probably imagine someone sitting on a couch, but immersive motion control games can actually do wonders for physical therapy patients.


When exercises are turned into fun games, patients tend to have a more positive outlook on their treatment. Motion sensitive controllers like those of the Nintendo Wii are great for utilizing games that involve mimicking movements similar to the ones required for traditional treatment. Virtual reality takes this a step further by immersing the patient in a computer-generated world that turns that dreary walk down a clinic hallway into a thrilling race to the finish line.





Robots and artificial intelligence aren’t restricted to the realm of science fiction anymore. These technological advancements are being implemented in physical therapy clinics all over the place, and learning how to use this technology to your advantage could give your workplace an edge. The good news is that you don’t even have to worry about the robot overlords taking your job. Physical therapy still requires a human touch for any kind of effective treatment.


With machine learning technology, using robotic assistance is a great way to evaluate your patient’s capabilities with quantitative data. These machines can put your patient through a series of movements and measure any resistance or response. Over time, they can use this data to show trends of improvement as well. With knowledge of this technology, you can alter the machine to gradually reduce its assistance as the patient becomes better at moving on their own.


Becoming a Physical Therapist of the Future

If you’re looking to continue your physical therapist training with some of the latest technology, you’re going to need a place to do it. TheraEx Staffing Services is happy to help you find a workplace that allows you to excel in your career like never before. Give us a call today to learn more about our rehab staffing services and start your journey to finding the right job for you.




Traveling as an Occupational Therapist

Travelling occupational therapists help people all over the country adapt to their own abilities in order to help them live the fulfilling lifestyle they seek. These individuals can not only command a higher salary on average, but they can know they are being assigned to positions where they will do the most good. By providing relief to understaffed providers and tending to patients that would not otherwise see an OT, travelling OT’s truly make a difference in countless communities.

You can learn more about the benefits of travelling occupational therapy positions for providers, patients and the OTs themselves by reading on.


No Additional Training Needed

Travelling occupational therapists generally have no additional skill or experience requirements compared to OTs in permanent positions. This lack of special qualifications means that anyone can alter their career to be travel-based if they want to.


Explore New Locales and Enjoy Perks

Naturally, travelling OTs get reimbursed for their flights and other travel expenses, but they also get additional allowances and gratuities on top of this. Paid housing, mileage reimbursement, per diems, non-taxable living stipends and assignment completion bonuses can all shower travelling OTs with perks that make their career even more fulfilling.


Job Flexibility

Starting a new position in healthcare typically means a one to two year commitment, at minimum. If you want to leave earlier than that, you face breach-of-contract or an inability to get a quality referral for your next venture.


Travelling OT positions mean that you have the flexibility to take on new assignments all the time. If you work for yourself, you have complete autonomy over the jobs you choose, while working for a travelling OT placement service means you still have the ability to influence what assignments you are given. Also, once a contract has been fulfilled, you get to move on to the next one!


Skill Building

Becoming a travelling OT means encountering new provider settings, new types of patient cases and new scenarios every single day. You get to learn about how people live throughout all of the country and what different challenges they face. These experiences can prepare you to handle a variety of situations while increasing the speed at which you learn how to tackle new problems.


Also, since travelling OTs have the chance to work for institutions all across the country, they are able to fill their resume with prestigious organizations that can help them secure high-quality positions in the future.


Realistic Responsibility

When a provider requests a travelling OT, they must be specific with the job requirements and the responsibilities the therapist will face. They must also be realistic; no one wants to be asked to put the moon on a stick when they come out of town to make a difference.


For this reason, most travelling OTs avoid the responsibility creep and unrealistic expectations that can plague many permanent positions. They also have more leverage to correct problems with their working situation given that they are not beholden to one single employer.


Finding Travelling Occupational Therapist

You can enter a new career or expand your existing one to broaden your horizons by searching for travelling OT job listings today.


Occupational Therapy With Younger Patients

The mind develops at an incredible speed during the first three years of our life, so children who encounter developmental delays in this period are unfortunately set-up for extrapolate;d delays into adulthood. Parents should consider early interventions with an occupational therapist in order to minimize the impact of these delays or help a child overcome them outright.


Early interventions are a critical service occupational therapists offer their community, but too many people instead struggle on their own to help their child live a normal life. By having an occupational therapist engage with parents and determine appropriate times and actions for helpful interventions, children can grow up having a more fulfilling and enriched childhood while deepening their bonds with family.


You can learn more about why occupational therapy early interventions are such a critical area of the healthcare field by reading on.


Developmental Disabilities Don’t Have to Mean Serious Developmental Delays

Children with mental or developmental disabilities are not inherently confined to a life of severe or long-lasting developmental delays. Just like other children, they have an opportunity to learn about their world and how to interact with it in healthy, rewarding ways.


Occupational therapists help parents and family members recognize these learning opportunities and offer actions that can help reinforce learning or improve their ability to process their sensory inputs. These daily interactions can allow a child with delays to adjust and minimize the potential impact into the future.


For example, children who seem to have delays in their ability to pick up and manipulate objects could later suffer in terms of their motor skills and physical fitness. OTs can observe these children in their natural setting to identify moments where muscle coordination and grip can be practiced. By giving children soft, lightweight objects and placing them in a baby walker, for instance, the child can practice gestures needed to lift and move without having to support their core. Parents can also practice exercises where they and their child move objects together, stacking and toppling them.


In this way, OTs give families tools to improve the young child’s learning experiences. What happens between OT sessions will be the most important factor in the family’s success rate. OTs therefore must work as closely with families as they do the child in order to adapt their approach to meet the family’s individual tendencies, values, and culture. Everyone is invited in on helping the child adjust through small yet critical teaching moments, including siblings and extended family.


Funding for Occupational Therapy
Early Intervention

Early interventions are funded through programs structured in accordance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Exact funding programs will vary by state, although all are granted through an evaluation and referral process. OT practitioners and clinics can speak with social service departments in their individual state to see if they are eligible for referrals and to accept patients referred by “single point of entry” screening programs.


Providing early interventions can quite literally change lives, helping young children grow, thrive and be happy. If you are interested in exploring career opportunities in OT early intervention jobs, you can see listings and post your resume to find the perfect position where you can make a lasting difference.


How Social Media Can Hurt Your Healthcare Job

Using social media puts your private life into the public eye, and many times there is no avoiding the negative consequences.


Countless people have been fired from healthcare jobs for unprofessional postings on social media or extreme personal beliefs that reflect poorly on their employer. And, despite common interpretation of the law, the First Amendment only protects from government action, not decisions made by private sector employers unless you can prove you were unfairly discriminated against.


In other words, what you say on social media can easily affect your job. If what you post reveals personal information about a patient without their express consent, you could also be found to have violated HIPAA, which can end your healthcare career and saddle you with hefty fines.


So, please, be careful about what you post on social media and heed the following advice.


Don’t Vent About Work

The most obvious professional advice for using social media is to not complain about work.


Once upon a time, we knew that only our closest friends and family would see something we post, but these days everyone is linked on platforms like Facebook. Complaining about a boss or co-worker essentially guarantees that someone who knows the person you are complaining about will see it and take offense.


As much of a relief as it is to vent, save it for person-to-person communications like text messages, phone calls or face-to-face conversations. Be wary of even emailing something nasty since it could somehow fall into the wrong hands.



Never Ever Post Identifying Details About Patients

HIPAA laws are quite serious and readily enforced. Something as simple as taking a “selfie” with a patient can land you and your employer in hot water. Even if the patient gives you permission, the patient can later allege that they were not aware of who would see the post or what they were giving permission for unless they signed something in writing.


As an egregious example, consider the doctor at Northwestern Memorial Hospital who took a photo of a patient with borderline alcohol poisoning and posted it on social media. She later sued the hospital, jeopardizing the provider’s ability to focus on patient care as they scrambled to do damage control.


Even kind-hearted words can lead to trouble, such as the ER staff offering condolences to the family of an officer who had passed before the family was even notified.


Beware of Politically Charged Opinions

Regardless of your stance on the political spectrum or how you interpret “political correctness,” realize that anything you post reflects upon your employer and could come back to haunt you. Something as simple as “liking” a page or posting a comment on a “meme” can bring you and your employer unwanted attention if the action is interpreted as supporting a controversial opinion.


Realize that employers can fire you if they can justify that your expression of your beliefs could negatively affect their ability to fulfill work duties. Unless you can prove that the action was the result of outright discrimination, there is usually no way to fight back.



Find Healthcare Jobs That Make You Happy to Make Your Social Media Habits More Positive

One of the biggest reasons we say angry things on social media is because we are frustrated by things we cannot control, like our jobs. If you think your job is making you unhappy, don’t post about it, do something about it!


You can start finding more fulfilling healthcare jobs in your respective field by looking for healthcare job listings and submitting your resume today.