Author Archives: MDSblogger

Getting Through the Graveyard Shift

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So you’re fresh out of nursing school and about to take on your very first job. You know what that means, don’t you? The dreaded graveyard shift! You’re not alone though; according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 3% of the country’s full time employees work this same shift. (I know, you were hoping to see a larger number. Misery loooooves company!) It’s not too bad though. Looking on the bright side, you get to wear comfy pajama-like scrubs, like the Dickies Everyday Scrubs 85755. Like this you won’t feel too out of touch with the rest of the world! Anyhow, by creating and maintaining a new kind of schedule, one which involves sleeping by day and staying awake by night, you’ll see that it is possible to properly function this way. Go ahead, implement these ‘survival tips’ and see for yourself!

Sleep, sleep, sleep:

Ever tried sleeping during the day while the rest of the world is awake? It’s hard, huh? To help the situation, make sure your room is cool and quiet. Also, be sure to block out all sunlight, either by using room darkeners or even a night mask. To help you get in the zone and put you in sleep mode you can read a book or listen to some relaxing music. Don’t, however, watch any TV because that will stimulate your mind and make falling asleep harder for you. And you don’t need me to tell you that twisting and turning when you know you need to sleep is no fun!

Be Disciplined:

The key to successfully resetting your biological clock is making sure to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day; EVEN when you have an off day! I know, I know, it’s hard. Really hard. Throwing off your schedule completely, though, will just make it a whole lot harder to jump back into the job when you go return. Just a friendly tip: Make sure your friends and family know about your new sleep schedule so that they know not to call or visit while you’re sleeping.

Eat and Drink:

It’s important to eat while working the night shift, but don’t sit down to a 3-course meal. Instead, try and eat a few small portions throughout the course of your shift. This helps your body maintain its normal sugar level. Also, try eating complex carbohydrates like bread, pasta, vegetables, etc., to keep your body energized, and avoid eating refined sugars which can be found in candy and the likes. Why, you ask? These sugars will induce a  ‘sugar high,’ which gives you instant energy but causes you to crash and burn later on. Another great idea: Have a cup-a-joe or a Coke right before your shift or as early on in your shift as possible. Caffeine gives you a boost of energy by stimulating your central nervous system.

Stay Active:

Keep yourself busy; move around to help keep your mind active and awake, and don’t sit around idly because no good can come of that. In fact, doing nothing will result in a decreased blood flow, causing you to become lethargic and sluggish. Part of staying active is chatting with your coworkers. Once again, it’ll keep you alert and on the ball. Besides, who knows, maybe they have some more advice for getting through the graveyard shift!

Brand Name Nursing Shoes: Yay or Nay?

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Nurses are on their feet all day, every day. Walking, running, standing, lifting, bending and more; you name it, they do it. The problem, you ask? Tired, sore, and terribly achy feet. While you can’t avoid the situation entirely, you can do yourself a favor and purchase the most comfortable and most appropriate nursing shoes for the situation you are in. And while it is true that your shoes need not have a specific label on the inside to be comfortable, there are advantages to buying brand name shoes. Companies like Cherokee and Skechers have created nursing shoes with the busy nurse in mind, so why not spend a few extra dollars if it means a few extra hours of comfort! Regardless of the shoes you decide to purchase there are certain guidelines you would be wise to take into consideration.

Fit Is Everything:

I know you’re a big girl and have been wearing the same shoe size since forever, but go get your feet measured because yes, your shoe size may change. And even if it’s just a slight change, it can mean all the difference between comfort and agonizing pain. Oh, and here’s a great tip: Measure your feet at the very end of the day, like this, any swelling which is likely to occur will be taken into account.

Weights Will Weigh You Down:

Would you tie a bunch of heavy weights around your ankles and then try to go about your day? I think not! But guess what, that’s exactly what some of you nurses do by wearing certain shoes. Where nursing shoes are involved, lighter is ALWAYS better. Obviously it should provide ample support, particularly at the arch, but if you feel like you’re dragging your feet because your shoes are too heavy, know that something is quite wrong! Take the Skechers Step In sneaker; it’s super light, incredibly comfortable, and gives you maximum support. So go ahead and give it a try.

Practicality Is Key:

If you’re in the nursing industry then you already know how messy things can get, and I mean like realllly messy! Which is why it is so important to have shoes with easy to clean surfaces. Fabrics which will stain will look unprofessional, and last only half as long. You’re making the investment now, so why not go all the way? Another preference many nurses have is Velcro closures  as opposed to laces. Laces tend to untie and get dirty, whereas Velcro is neater, easier to put on, and won’t get nearly as dirty. Or just go with a good old fashioned slip on, like the Dickies Prestige Step In. Plus, it’s made of leather which means one swipe of a wipe and dirt, be gone! The options are endless, you just have to find what’s right for you.

You’re a nurse. You probably take more steps in one day then most regular people. And if my humble opinion counts for anything, then go all out and get yourself some brand name kicks; it’ll be well worth the price!

Dry Skin? Nurses (Unfortunately) Win!

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“Feel how smooth my hands are,” said no nurse EVER! That’s because the constant, (and I mean constant!) washing and rewashing of your hands, which is just a part of the nurse’s life, has probably worn out your skin to the point that it’s rough, chapped, and in some really bad cases, bleeding.  All is not lost though; there IS hope. All you need to do is give your hard working hands a little TLC, and voila; watch as your hands slowly but surely regenerate its beautiful skin- the same skin you thought would forever remain but an echo of your childhood. So let’s get cracking (no pun intended!) and get you through this great list of tips for restoring your skin to its ultimate smoothness!

Stay Covered:

I know we may all be in denial, but winter is still here, and that means bundling up. Exposing your hands to the elements, particularly the cold wind, is not doing your already rough hands any favors. On the contrary, you’ll just be making it worse.  So invest in a great pair of gloves, and if you already have, then wear them; even if you’re running out for just a minute! It’s your first line of defense. It goes a step farther as well. Wear your gloves indoors! No not your winter gloves, silly; but the thin cotton gloves which can be found at your local drug store and slipped under the irritant inducing latex gloves.

Pamper Yourself:

You’ve got to moisturize, moisturize, moisturize! The moisturizing product you use should have a super thick consistency because those lightweight moisturizers are a joke for you nurses. How thick, you ask? Thick enough that you when you put a dollop on your hand and turn it over, it will not budge! Yup, that thick! And it’s not enough to do this once a day or even twice. For optimal results, you have to aim to moisturize after every single washing. Therefore, I’d suggest purchasing a travel size, and keeping it in your pocket. The Perfect Stretch 1946 v-neck scrub top by Cherokee is stylish, and features great patch pockets which will inconspicuously store your much needed moisturizer.

Learn the Rules:

When you wash your hands, use warm or cold water, and NEVER hot water. Make sure to avoid hand soaps which contain alcohol, because alcohol can sting your already chapped skin, not to mention, further dry out your hands. And when drying your hands, never ever rub them, just gently blot with a cotton towel as opposed to a paper towel. It’s the little things that matter!

Call it ‘Project Skin Restoration’ or any other name you’d like. But whatever you call it, stick to the above regimen! It’ll be well worth it when you can flaunt those great looking hands, and even get a manicure. Yup, a manicure will become a reality!

So You’re Spending Your Valentine’s Day In Scrubs

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red heartI know you all have February the 14th circled in bright red pen on your calendars. For most of you, it’s because you’ve been counting down the days till you get to spend a whole 24 hours with your loved one in romantic bliss. However, for those of you covering the Valentine’s Day shift, it’s probably because you’ve been frantically trying to figure out how to make this day meaningful from the confines of sterile halls, and that not so small circle is a reminder that time is running out! Not to fear, though! I’ve got a couple of great tips to help you pull off the perfect Valentine’s Day; even if it’s from the hospital, clad in your nursing scrubs.  So here it is: Roses are red, violets are blue. Here are some great ideas, to say ‘I love you!’

Get Creative

Just handing over a bouquet of red roses and some chocolate hearts is way too cliché! You have to think outside of the ‘chocolate’ box. (Sorry, I had to!) By avoiding the traditional route and getting your loved one something they will actually value, you’re showing that you really appreciate their presence in your life. If they are a collector, buy them an item of interest, or perhaps you’d like to create a handmade gift certificate that says something along the lines of, ‘Redeemable for 2 hiking trips with the guys, no questions asked!’ Don’t tell them this, but you can then just turn it into a girls night out; so it’s win-win for everyone!

The Perfect Lunch

Wake up just a few minutes earlier and pack the perfect lunch for your partner. Include all his or her favorite foods and some heart shaped sugar cookies for dessert. Oh, and maybe include a recent photo of the two of you, with a personalized note on the back.  It’s a simple yet great way to remind your love that even though you have to work today, you are still thinking of them!

Make a Video

Nothing says ‘I love you’ like…actually saying ‘I love you!’ So give over a short Valentine’s Day message through video! Your partner will really appreciate such a gesture because it’s personal, they get to see your face, and it’ll be a surprise. Who doesn’t love a good surprise? Upload the video onto your computer and email it to your loved one. Like this, the first thing he/she will see when they open their email is YOU!

Take a Rain Check:

Who said February 14th has to be Valentine’s Day? Make a little switcheroo in your calendar, and turn, let’s say, February 18th, into Valentine’s Day; or whichever later date works for you! Then go and do whatever you would normally do on Valentine’s Day. Have a romantic dinner at your favorite restaurant, rent a movie to watch etc. Regardless of what you decide to do, go all out as if it were actually Valentine’s Day, because guess what? For you and your partner it is!

Valentine’s Day away from the one you love can be hard, but you’ll get through it! And to keep your spirits up, make sure to be wearing a set of medical scrubs from the brand new HeartSoul collection. They’re young, on-trend,  and fun to wear. Not to mention, you’ll be cheering up your patients stuck in the hospital over Valentine’s Day as well!

Success Through Social Media Is Totally A Thing

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For many of you nurses out there the world is vastly different from when you first entered your noble profession. Back then, Twitter, Facebook, and the likes did not exist, and people had real friends and liked real pictures. Alas, times have changed, and the virtual world has practically taken over our lives. But who says it’s got to be a bad thing? In fact, if I may say so myself, social media can be a wonderful thing. And here’s a little secret: If you use it correctly it can in fact contribute to career success. So here goes a list of ways you can use social media to advance your nursing career. #GOODLUCK

Build A Community

Support is crucial in any career, particularly so when it comes to nursing. Rough days are aplenty and the fact that you can build a community of nurse friends who understand what you’re going through and can provide the appropriate support, is vital to your well being. Plus, you can ask for advice, befriend nurses in specialties you are interested in, and if you just want to chill out you can sit back and laugh at funny nurse memes and jokes. Best of all, social media breaks down geographic barriers, and allows otherwise unlikely friendships to blossom.

Never Stop Learning

No one said you have to go back to school to learn new things. And no one said learning means hard-core, textbook studying. Learning just means staying on top of your game and keeping up to date with advances in your career. In this instance, social media is the perfect way to access relevant articles about nursing and medicine. Another aspect of learning is just picking up useful tips and tricks; for example, how to best care for your medical scrubs. In fact, I can give you a tip right now. Want the best in wrinkle free and stain resistant scrubs? Check out this bold Cherokee Luxe v-neck top.  See you just ‘learned’ something new by reading this blog!

Let Me Introduce You…

Perhaps the hardest part of any job is moving forward and finding a special niche. In nursing in particular, there are so many fascinating fields, and so many areas you can get involved in. But who’s going to help you figure out what exactly you want to focus on, and even if you do have that part figured out, who’s going to help you get your foot in the door? That’s right, social media will! Get yourself a LinkedIn account and work it! Find people who specialize in the areas you’re interested in and connect with them. Most of them will be willing to talk and will even give you useful suggestions. You can even connect with recruiters who can help you revamp your resume, find you job openings, and get you interviews.

See, social media is a modern marvel. So get yourself involved, even if it’s just for fun!

Happy Backwards Day!

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Has the week been kind of boring? Have you been wishing for the perfect excuse to shake things up a bit? Well here it is! Today is Backwards Day! Go on, find the inner child in you and if only to humor yourself, do everything- and I mean everything- backwards! Write backwards, read backwards, talk backwards, walk backwards- just avoid the walls please- and basically whatever has to be done, do it in the reverse order. And if you’re a pediatric nurse you can have extra special fun with this, as kids for some reason get a kick out of doing things the wrong way. Here’s to Backwards Day!

Dress Backwards:

Show up to your shift with the back of your scrubs in the front. The adults may stare at you and wonder if perhaps you’ve lost it, but the kids will find you hilarious. In fact, the Skechers mock wrap top may look kind of good backwards, considering it’s got an all around elastic! And if you really want to get your young patients giggling, wear your shoes on the wrong feet, and your earrings on the wrong side of your ear. Don’t worry, it’s a good kind of crazy!

Dessert First:

Your young charges will love you for this. At meal time, tell them that in honor of Backwards Day they MUST eat their dessert first! Their parents might be horrified, but these children stuck in the hospital deserve something special once in a while. Besides, a little dessert never hurt anybody!

Mix It Up:

If your checkup routine has been the same since forever, now’s your chance to finally mix it up; providing of course that it won’t compromise the health of your patients. Take your patient’s temperature before his/her blood pressure, or ask them how they’re feeling all the way at the end of the checkup instead of right when you walk in. Kids are very perceptive and they’ll pick up on these minor changes instantly! And guess what, they’ll even ask you about it and then you can launch into your Backwards Day speech.

It all may be a bit silly, but it’s fun! So don’t let anyone stop you from exploring your wild side. Oh, and don’t forget to walk out backwards when you leave the room. Have a great Backwards Day! Or should I say, yad sdrawkcab taerg a evah!!

It’s National Handwriting Day!

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Yes, you read that correctly: It’s National Handwriting Day! Way back when in 1977, the Writing Instrument Manufacturers Association actually established January 23rd as a day to re-discover the simplicity of your very own handwriting. And no, they did not just pick that date out of a hat. January 23rd is the birthday of the one responsible for what is probably the most famous signature of all time- John Hancock. So get ready to reacquaint yourself with the good old fashioned pen or pencil. It’ll be a nice change from all the typing and texting we’ve gotten used to over time. Oh, and not to make you feel too bad about using such an archaic communication tool, here are some fun facts about handwriting!

1. Just like you don’t share the same set of fingerprints with anyone else in the world, you also don’t share your unique handwriting with anyone else in the world.

2. Research has proven that you remember information better by actually writing it out than typing it. That should be reason enough to keep your pen handy!

3. Our brains control our individual handwriting, which basically means that if you’d learn to write with your toes- yup, some people actually can!- you’d have more or less the same exact handwriting as when you write with your hand.

4. It’s been reported that 85% of students complete their SATs in manuscript, while just 15% write in cursive. Here’s the kicker though: On average, those that write in cursive score higher!

5. Last but not least, perfect penmanship is indicative of a communicative person, while an indecipherable scrawl is the hallmark of a secretive individual who likes to keep his thoughts to himself. Hmmm, I wonder what that means for those guys in medical scrubs who are in charge of the well-being of our nation. If you haven’t realized it yet, I’m talking about doctors and their totally illegible handwriting!

Hang on, before you log on to your email account and get ready to forward these interesting bits of information to your friends and family (don’t pretend you were going to mail them a letter- you weren’t!), maybe take the message of National Handwriting Day to your patients and write out, in your own unique handwriting, a meaningful get well card!

I Need The Whole Truth and Nothing But The Truth!

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Yes, it’s true, people lie. In fact some of the biggest liars out there are, surprise, surprise…our wonderful patients. If you’re a nurse reading this I have no doubt you’re rolling your eyes, sighing, muttering under your breath, and wishing me to give you a solution. Sorry, but unfortunately  I do not have the answer to your prayers. However, if you’re the newbie on the floor here’s a quick list of some of the top things patients will lie about, no matter what! And give it a few days, before you know it you’ll be just like all the seasoned pros, sniffing out those fibs before the patient finishes getting it out.  So here it is; your patient by all means will not tell you…

…How Much It Hurts

There you are, all professional looking in your spanking new nursing scrubs, and instead of the loving care you planned on dispensing, you’re standing open mouthed as your patient puts on the performance of his life trying to convince you that his pain is waaaay past the 10 you told him was the highest number on the scale. Never fall for it. All he wants is that extra dose of Vicodin. You know how it goes though, no pain no gain!

…How They Got Sick or Injured

You’d think that once they landed themselves in the hospital or doctor’s office, they’d give you all the petty details leading up to the visit. Think again! Despite the fact that logic dictates telling the truth so that they can get the proper treatment, you’d be surprised to see how creative patients can get when describing just how exactly they got that nasty gash. And get this; some patients will even fake their symptoms so that the doctor will squeeze them in to their already tight schedule. Then of course, they’ve got to run with that story.

….About Bad Habits

For some reason, patients are always on the defense when it comes to their bad habits. Drinking, exercise, diet, smoking etc.; these are all vices the patient would rather hide then admit to, even though it can make all the difference in helping them get better. Everyone wants to seem healthier than they actually are, even if it’ll harm them in the long run. And it’s your job as the nurse to convince them otherwise.

The list goes on. They won’t tell you their entire medical history, and they won’t tell you if they’ve been taking their meds or even which meds they are taking. Whatever it may be, you’ll find yourself catching these patients in the act before you even manage to whip out your shiny new stethoscope, and hopefully you’ll be able to set them straight. Here’s to the truth!

What New Year’s Resolution?

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It’s been one week since we ushered in the New Year, and one week since we oh so confidently declared that this year we would stick to our New Year’s resolutions. Can I tell you a secret? It’s been a mere 7 days and statistically, already 25% of the population has not kept to theirs. And guess what the number one resolution for 2014 was: Drumrollllll please…LOSING WEIGHT. No wonder so many people have fallen off the wagon. Losing weight is super hard, even if you already have those adorable, slim fitting, figure hugging nursing scrubs hanging in your closet, waiting longingly for you to take them out to play. No matter; if you have moved up in life and are this year a member of the 75% who are still going strong, here are a couple of tips for sticking to your New Year’s resolutions, whatever they may be. Oh, and not to be a buzz-kill or anything, but next week the number drops to 71%.


Make sure you haven’t set yourself an unattainable goal. It’s got to be SMART; specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time specific. Let’s take our dear nurse friend who already has those super cute scrubs hanging in her closet. If she wants to fit into those ASAP, she needs to be SMART about it. She can’t simply say, “I’m going to lose weight!” She’d be setting herself up for failure. Instead, she needs to specify how much weight she plans on losing, in what period of time, and of course her ideal weight has to be realistic.

Track Your Progress

Back to our friend; I think we ought to name her. We’ll call her Nancy. She needs to monitor her eating habits to see what her triggers are, and then work on avoiding them. She also needs to weigh herself at set intervals; but only at those set times, otherwise she may get discouraged. If Nancy is really feeling great about her progress, she can even try on those scrubs in her closet from time to time to see how slowly but surely she’s actually fitting into them. Use your calendar app on your phone to mark each milestone.

Reward Yourself

A great way to help keep your eye on the prize is by rewarding yourself every now and then for what you have accomplished so far. Back to Nancy; if she loses 8 of those 20 pounds she’s itching to shed, she might want to buy herself a little treat. Perhaps that great pair of earrings she’s been eyeing. By giving yourself an incentive to keep going, you keep the resolution fresh and exciting.

You Are Human

It may not seem like it, but keeping in mind that you are only human and that slip-ups are inevitable is a great tip. Instead of getting disheartened and throwing away everything you’ve accomplished up until now, you will tell yourself that it was a one-time thing, and resolve to keep on going. For 70% of goal setters, that first failure actually strengthens their resolution, making it an even better journey. Hear that, Nancy?

It may seem like a long haul but the efforts are worthwhile. And if Nancy keeps at it, she’ll be able to purchase many more fun scrubs. In fact, I bet she’d rock the Cherokee Flexibles mock wrap top 2915C. Keep at it everybody!

Bright Eyes and Bold Scrubs

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Hospital coding is every nurse’s second language. You’re on the run as soon as there’s a code white, and spring into action for a code blue. But there’s another code. Not quite the medical emergency, but still warranting immediate attention, it’s code ‘under-eye circles.’ Nothing shouts, “I’M TIRED,” quite like those dark, heavy bags marring your otherwise beautiful face. And while you may think it’s absolutely unavoidable given the lack of sleep that comes along with the job, there are quite a few tricks to keep you looking bright eyed and fabulous throughout the day. You know what they say, “If you can’t make it, fake it!”

Work Those Lashes: 

You may be functioning on a mere 4 hours of sleep, but that is no excuse to look half dead. Cue the lashes. While not everyone is naturally blessed with lashes ala Kim Kardashian, you can do your fair share to try and achieve those long, curled, and oh so thick eye lashes. Simply use these tips and even the prettiest of your colleagues will beg to know how it was done. All you need is a great wand of mascara and an even better eyelash curler.

Lashes which are uncurled are like curtains blocking your eyes, and so you’ll first want to curl them away from your eye. Like this you create the illusion of bigger eyes and you will in fact be opening up your eyes to the world; or in this case your colleagues and patients. Next, run some very black, lengthening mascara through your lashes; and your eyes, no matter what their color, will pop and shine. Wear a bold, solid colored scrub top to give yourself an added dose of ‘wow’. It’s foolproof and takes no time at all.

Hide Those Bags:

No woman ever wants to look like she just woke up, and a good tube of concealer can help the situation. The trick is to gently dab it under your eyes as opposed to rubbing it in, so that it blends in nice and smooth. Remember, you don’t want the world knowing it’s been a long week. Also, go for a concealer with yellow or peachy under tones that it is one or two shades lighter than your skin. This will help your eyes look brighter and more awake.

Wear White:

You may not have a white eye pencil in your makeup bag, but if you’re a tired nurse, now’s the time to add it to your collection. One of the dark areas women often miss are the inner eye corners. For an instant makeover, apply white eyeliner to the aforementioned corners, focusing on the area around your tear ducts, and then smudge a little with your finger for a more subtle effect.  If you’re feeling really puffy eyed today, opt for a pearly eye shadow as well, and apply just under the brow bone. You’re brain may be screaming in exhaustion, but your face will be red carpet ready.


This last tip is a cop-out but works just as well. If you want to draw attention away from the tired eye, go for a bold lip. Wear a ruby red, a popping pink, or a deep plum, and all anyone will notice is the wow factor that is your lips. If you go this route though, make sure to be wearing a great set of printed scrubs as well. You might as well be taking the distraction to the next level, right?

Now run along and try out these tips; you know you can use them already today!