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American Heart Health Month

We’ve officially rounded the corner on February and National Heart Health month! But this month isn’t just about loving others- it’s about loving yourself too! Treat your heart with as much care as you would your loved ones’ by getting educated about heart health. Challenge yourself and commit to just a few lifestyle adjustments this month that can make a real difference in your lifelong heart health!

The number one cause of death in the United States is heart disease.

This means that it is the number one killer in America. Heart disease develops early in life and is a very serious condition that can affect anyone. Heart disease is a deadly condition, and the possible costs of living with it involve heart attacks, strokes, pain in the chest and limbs… the list goes on. The good news is that we don’t have to accept it as an inescapable fate! Now is the perfect time to start a self-care journey to prevent heart disease!

Small changes to live a heart healthy lifestyle:

Exercise 

For those of us with busy lives, taking time out of our day to exercise can often feel like a burden or a waste. But 30-60 minutes a day of exercise a day is not only beneficial for your mind and body, but necessary for preventing heart problems. Exercise significantly reduces your risk of developing heart disease not only by fighting other conditions that lead to it (such as high cholesterol and blood pressure), but also by controlling your weight. Whether this means taking a short jog at the sunset, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or even just walking to grab lunch on your break, there are simple ways to incorporate physical activity in our daily routines.

Diet

The healthiest meals for your heart are non-processed whole foods. To put it simply, these include fruits, vegetables and whole grains. The more of those good foods you consume, the better you are fueling your heart. But it’s also important to avoid foods with high sodium content, since they are known to cause high cholesterol. This can clog your arteries and decrease blood flow. A good trick for eating healthy is always being aware of exactly what you’re putting into your body. While picking items at grocery stores, take time to look at the list of ingredients. If the list seems a little too long or some ingredients sound more like names of compounds a scientist might say at a lab, odds are you should skip the over-processed junk and search for food that better serves your heart.

Getting enough sleep

Sleep deprivation doesn’t just affect your energy and mood. In addition to increasing your chances of developing depression, not getting enough sleep increases your risk of facing major heart complications, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, heart attack and failure, stroke, and diabetes. It sounds like a lot, but listening to your body’s needs can help you avoid some of these conditions.  Pay attention to how many hours you sleep as well as your body’s response when it’s time to wake up. If you notice that you’re having a hard time starting your day as opposed to feeling well rested and energized, try adding a few more hours of rest. Setting a sleep schedule is a great way to stay on track of your progress!  

Healthy ways of coping with stress

Stress is another significant danger to your heart that can cause similar problems as an unhealthy diet and sleep deprivation can. Yet for those who attempt to lead balanced lifestyles or find themselves often preoccupied with responsibilities, stress is widely overlooked. This month, try to step back and allot some time in your schedule to check in with your personal wellness. Are you feeling overwhelmed and exhausted at the end of each day? Taking time to get lost in a good book, meditating, listening to music or walking along the beach are all excellent ways to relieve some stress and put you in a more relaxed state.

Make an appointment with your doctor

It’s important to frequently check in with a professional who can properly examine your body and inform you about your specific health needs. Even if you’re not sick or experiencing an urgent situation, going to doctor’s appointments is often a great preventative step that likely ensures you won’t be surprised by major problems down the road.

Our hearts are the engines that keep our bodies running and are tasked with the incredibly big job of vigilant and constant support. Let’s do our part this month and spread awareness about how we can support our hearts in return! So when your heart beats a little faster this Valentine’s Day, remind yourself just how far little adjustments can go for your heart. Working to actively take steps everyday for a healthy heart may be work, but it’s a labor of love.

Your dream job is waiting for you! If you’re on the job hunt and looking into travel nursing, per diem, allied, locum tenens or permanent placement, KPG Healthcare would love to help you find excellent career opportunities. Contact us today!

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Large vs. Small Hospitals – Which is the best fit for you?

One of the hardest decisions for anyone pursuing a career in the healthcare sector is to decide which specific concentration to work in.  After that, the hardest decision becomes whether to work for a small or large corporation. There are pros and cons to both that are extremely important to take into consideration. Obviously, these don’t apply to all small or large hospitals across the board, but they do ring true for many! When KPG Healthcare places professionals, we want to make sure we find the best fit for you! It’s so important to consider all options when starting the job of your dreams – check out a few pros and cons of the size of your workplace below!

Small Hospitals

Working in a small hospital allows for a more intimate relationship with fellow nurses, doctors, and professionals. It’s likely that since the staff is smaller, everyone will be familiar with one another and there is more of a bond between everyone that works in the hospital. Smaller hospitals also tend to have a there is a better nurse to patient ratio. This also allows the nurse the ability to be more focused with their patients, which in turn, also allows nurses to see how much they are truly helping their patients. At a small hospital, a nurse will have many duties they would normally delegate, such as drawing blood and mixing their own IVs. This can be tedious to some, but it can be an advantage in helping hone basic skills.

Large Hospitals

Large hospitals can be great for their own reasons. Big corporations in general tend to provide greater benefits and better pay, and this is true of bigger hospitals as well. Large hospitals also serve more areas since they tend to have the most specialized units. This may seem like an odd benefit, but this allows nurses to expand their skill set in terms of learning to treat and provide care for patients with variety of illnesses/injuries that they might not see in a smaller, more local hospital. Larger, “name brand” hospitals, like any other well-known company, can also be a resume booster.

With all the different experiences, opportunities and environments small and large hospitals offer, it’s also important to consider your own career goals. Are you someone who in the medical field for financial security? Or are you someone who is passionate about providing compassionate healthcare?  It is essential that you be 100% honest with yourself about your goals and what motivates you in the workplace, otherwise you may find yourself stuck in a job environment that you find miserable.

Considering environment and opportunity is important as well. Do you know what your tasks and expectations are and will you enjoy them? Is there an opportunity for your advancement within the hospital? Do you feel comfortable with the culture? Did you feel respected and welcomed by everyone? These are essential components to consider! During an interview with any hospital, remember that you are not only selling yourself to them, but these hospitals are also selling themselves to you. So don’t settle for something that is ultimately not the right pick for you.

The decision of whether to pick a small or large hospital is a critical and possibly life-changing decision that can alter the trajectory of your nursing career. While both large and small hospitals have their pros and cons, it is necessary that you are honest with yourself, with what want from your career as a nurse and what drives you. which will make it easier to decide whether to work at a small a large hospital. Taking the time to seriously consider all of these things as well as your experience visiting the hospital will only benefit you and will help you kickstart a great career at a hospital that is the perfect fit for you.

KPG Healthcare is proud to staff some of the best hospitals in the Nation! Looking for your next career move and interested in contributing to one of California’s most renowned hospitals in the nursing division? Whether you’re interested in travel nursing, per diem, allied, locum tenens or permanent placement, KPG Healthcare is your trusted partner for high quality, rewarding career opportunities. Contact us today!

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The Best De-Stress Locations Outside of Los Angeles!

Slow down for a minute, take a break and breathe! Do you ever step back for a moment to just focus on yourself? In the midst of everyday life and hectic work days, it is important to find ways to that boost your energy level and strengthen your mind. Don’t worry- we know exactly what you need to do. You need a short getaway from your fabulous life on assignment with KPG Healthcare!

San Diego

Do I hear the beach calling? When was the last time you took a trip down to one of California’s best surf towns? There’s no better time than now! San Diego is the ultimate location to unplug and reset. If you’re feeling adventurous, why not rent a surfboard or kayak and paddle to the waves? Even just relaxing on the warm beach will do good for your soul. If you aren’t a beach person, there are plenty of other activities waiting for you in San Diego. Take a walk around beautiful La Jolla Cove, sip on a fresh smoothie and settle in the Ellen Browning Scripps Park with your favorite book. If you enjoy the cultural scene, Old Town is a must do! Here you’ll find the best Mexican restaurants in town (including impressive margaritas!) and unique boutiques.

(One of our recruiters, Tiko, at Big Bear this year!)

Big Bear

Tired of big cities, car smoke and people running around? I hear you! What better getaway than to beautiful Big Bear?! Just a couple of hours away, the thick forests, peaceful lake and mountains of Big Bear are just the things to bring calmness into your life. Put on your skiis and start adventuring down the slopes! After flying down the different slopes, the perfect hot chocolate is waiting for you in the ski lodge. Once you’ve had enough of skiing for the day, drive down to Big Bear Lake and enjoy a walk in the wild, followed by a stroll in downtown. But this is not the typical downtown area- the quaint nature of the fun gift shops and unique restaurants remind you that you are far from the city. End the day with a glass of red wine and get cozy by the fire.

Santa Barbara

The most adorable town in Southern California! It’s not a wonder why people seem so happy here- from the deep blue beach in the front, protected by the magical mountains in the back, Santa Barbara has it all. Just a twenty minute drive from downtown, you have access to to waterfall hikes, Tangerine Falls and Seven Falls. Tangerine Falls is a great reminder of the importance of spending time in nature. It is a truly remarkable hike where all stress simply disappears. On the other hand, Seven Falls is a hike for someone who likes a little challenge- including having to do some jumping around on the rocks. But the challenge is worth every step once you reach the incredible view! Another fun fact Santa Barbara is a mini Napa, filled with a handful of vineyards just a 30 minute drive away in Santa Ynez! But if you want to stay close, definitely take a stop at Func Zone, where many of the tasting rooms are gathered together with cool art & vintage shops. Finally, you can’t forget to visit Butterfly Beach in Montecito, accompanied by dinner at one of the many seafood restaurants located on the Santa Barbara Pierre.

Ojai

Have you ever reflected over your way of breathing or how it can affect your emotions? Often, we take breathing for granted, and don’t explore out of our comfort zones. Ojai is the perfect place to connect body and mind. Check in to one of Ojai’s yoga & meditation retreats where the real magic happens. Another must do is to take a guided tour and tasting at the Ojai Olive Oil Company farm. After you find the right oil for you, pop on over and take a  tour of the Ojai Farmers Market or the Museum of History and Art! There’s no lack of amazing culinary options here, either. Experience a food heaven at the Ojai Deer Lodge and order one of their famous handcrafted cocktails. There are no better ways to de-stress than combining the best pieces of yoga, farms, art, and food into one melting pot. Namaste!

Malibu

Love, beach, and HORSES! Horses are known for their restorative powers in bringing pure joy and happiness. There are several great ranches around Malibu, and you also have the choice to ride along the gorgeous beach, or other scenic trails near fields, rivers and mountains. Continue the day and keep in tune with the ranch theme by stopping at The Old Place, a restaurant with a truly authentic western vibe. Here you’ll enjoy food prepared the old school way-  over the fire! Malibu is another California beach paradise, so you definitely can’t leave without a complete visit to the beach. Bring your favorite sunglasses, stop by an ice cream shop and unplug for a couple of hours  near the shore. Catch the sunset on the famous Malibu pier with relaxing view over the Pacific Ocean.

KPG Healthcare is proud to staff some of the best hospitals in the Nation. Looking for your next career move and interested in contributing to one of California’s most renowned hospitals in the nursing division? Whether you’re interested in travel nursing, per diem, allied, locum tenens or permanent placement, KPG Healthcare is your trusted partner for high quality, rewarding career opportunities. Contact us today!

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