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KPG Healthcare’s Travel Series: Arizona, “The Grand Canyon State”

Welcome back to KPG Healthcare’s Travel Series! This week, we head to the Southwest to Arizona, “The Grand Canyon State.” Arizona is the sixth largest state and is best known for its weather and geography. Did you know you can stand in four states at once at the famous Four Corners? Four Corners is the point where the boundaries meet for Colorado, Utah, New Mexico and Arizona.

KPG Healthcare has many opportunities to work for Travel Nurses, Allied Professionals and Physicians in the state of Arizona. Arizona is also home to our newest office in Scottsdale! Let’s take a look at some of the cities we send our healthcare professionals!

Phoenix

As the state capital, Phoenix boasts an incredible array of things to do from hiking the desert, a night out on the town, a self-care day at the spa or eating your way through the city.

Let’s start with outdoor activities. Phoenix is home to the nation’s largest city park (South Mountain Park) with over 16,000 acres and 50 miles of trails making this park nearly 20 times larger than Central Park in New York City. There are plenty of other great hiking trails to choose from including, Camelback MountainMcDowell Mountain Regional Park and Piestewa Peak. If hiking in the desert isn’t your cup of tea then head over to the Desert Botanical Garden or the Japanese Friendship Garden for a relaxing stroll and a peaceful, plant-lovers dream of paradise. More into water sports? The Salt River runs through Phoenix providing Phoenicians the chance to paddleboardtube and raft through its waters.

After a day in nature, head to Downtown Phoenix – the epicenter of culture, college life, delicious food, cocktail culture and more – for some good old fashion fun. It’s here you can explore different areas or stumble across historic streets like Grand Avenue or Roosevelt Row. Grand Avenue was once known for being “the gateway to Los Angeles” before the interstate came. Now, it has transformed into being the city’s boho-chic street lined with galleries, cafes, yoga studios, nightlife spots and plenty of great food. Roosevelt Row is the impressive walkable arts district in Downtown Phoenix, home to award-winning galleries, beautiful murals, local restaurantsboutiques and more.

Phoenix is a city home to a variety of great experiences, activities and natural exploration, but the food scene is top-notch. The culinary scene in Phoenix varies from SouthwesternMexicanAmericanAsianBBQ and more with produce sourced from local farmers. Another great experience for any foodie is checking out farmer’s markets! Here are some of the great farmer’s markets to choose from Uptown Farmers MarketsDowntown Farmers MarketMesa Market and Flea and Schnepf Farms (upick garden). Our Travel Nursing Team in Scottsdale recommends checking out Ziggy’s (Ziggy’s Stardust is a speakeasy located inside), The GladlyDoughbirdLa Grande Orange and The Porch – to name a few.

With year-round sun and warm temperatures, it’s no wonder people are flocking to Phoenix…so why aren’t you?

Things to do in Phoenix: Thrillist’s COVID Things To DoTimeOut’s Best Things To DoUS News Best Things To Do

Tucson

If you’re looking for a true Southwestern experience, Tucson is the place to be. Being Arizona’s second-largest city, Tucson is surrounded by breathtaking mountains and desert beauty with a taste of the Old West and an opportunity to see the stars.

Like Phoenix, Tucson offers visitors plenty of outdoor adventures to choose from including, hikinghorseback ridingrock climbingcycling and stargazing – to name a few. With five mountain ranges and hundreds of miles of trails surrounding Tucson, it’s an outdoor enthusiasts’ playground. To the North you have the Santa Catalina Mountains, to the East you the Rincon Mountains, to the South you have Santa Rita Mountains and to the West you have the Tucson Mountains. Did you know Southern Arizona gets roughly 350 nights a year of clear viewing? Making Tucson one of the best destinations in the world for stargazing featuring some of the world’s most-respected observatories.

Tucson is known for its Southwestern experience, but it’s also known as “an oasis of tranquility” for being a top spa destination according to Orbitz Travel’s 19 Best Places to Travel in 2019. The article mentions visitors can “find calm hiking in Saguaro National Park” and marvel at the tens of thousands of cacti or enjoy the spiritual wellness at the Mission San Xavier del Bac. A perfect way to recharge the batteries and find a balance between mental and physical health.

As far as food goes, Tucson is another fantastic city with a diverse arrangement of cuisines with a “rich agricultural heritage, thriving food traditions and culinary distinctiveness.” In 2015, the city of Tucson became one of six Creative Cities in the United States and the only one selected for Gastronomy by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) Creative Cities program. Don’t be afraid to dive into new food experiences here in Tucson.

Tucson is another amazing city on the long list of destinations KPG Healthcare sends healthcare professionals. The only thing the city is missing is you.

Things to do in Tucson: US News 14 Best Things to do30 Unusual Things to doTucson Foodie’s 30 Can’t-Miss

Sedona

South of Flagstaff, Sedona is a beautiful and serene desert town known for its red rock formations, canyon walls and being a haven for spiritual wellness. This small yet charming town is sacred land by Native Americans due to its mysterious cosmic forces that radiate from the red rock formations.

Spiritual health and wellbeing is the name of the game in Sedona being home to vortexes thought to be “swirling centers of energy that are conducive to healing, meditation and self-exploration” according to Sedona’s Tourism website. There are five sites (give or take) to find the Sedona Vortexes – Airport MesaCathedral RockBell RockSpaceship Rock and Boynton Canyon – each with their own set of energy properties. If you’re looking for more guided spiritual experiences, Sedona’s community includes psychics, massage therapists, spiritual counselors, reiki masters, life coaches and shamans to help. There’s also plenty of spiritual shops to take a peek into or buy some charged healing crystals for friends and family.

A trip to Sedona is another outdoor enthusiasts’ playground being surrounded by the 1.8 million acres of national forest, beautiful red rock formations and lush canyons. From biking to climbingfishing to golfing, there is an outdoor activity for everyone of all ages with activities ranging from novice to the more experienced.

Sedona is a small-town with powerful energies and beautiful natural wonders that it makes sense for people to travel from all parts of the world to visit. Let KPG Healthcare get you a travel assignment so you can experience Sedona for yourself!

Things to do in Sedona: Sedona Secret 7100 Things to doUS News 14 Best ThingsTrip Tuner

Flagstaff

A city surrounded by mountains, deserts and pine forests; Flagstaff is rich with Native American history and the destination to experience all seasons and marvel in the natural beauty of Arizona.

Outdoor enthusiasts travel to Flagstaff year-round to partake in their favorite activities including hiking, mountain biking, disk golfcamping and rock climbing. In the winter, skiers and snowboarders from all parts of Arizona come to enjoy the fresh powder 7,000 feet above sea-level. The Grand Canyon, which is about 75 miles North (1.5-hour drive), is just one example of many great outdoor experience’s visitors can enjoy while visiting Flagstaff. With countless other national forests and monuments in Flagstaff’s backyard, finding something to do will come easy for those searching to unplug and recharge their batteries in nature. The city also has its own Seven Wonders all within 10 – 80 miles that include the Wupatki National MonumentSunset Crater VolcanoSan Francisco Peaks and more.

When you’re tired of being in nature, grab a friend and tackle the Flagstaff Brewery Trail featuring nine breweries each with their individual selection of ales to IPAs. Make sure to grab a passport for the trail to get a special-edition commemorative pint glass! The city also hosts a variety of festivals and fairs (before COVID-19), which includes a Mead & Cider Fest, the Coconino County FairBarks & BrewsHeritage Fest and countless others. When in doubt, there is always food and Flagstaff has plenty of good food to offer with over 200 restaurants to choose from.

The only thing left to ask is when can KPG Healthcare get you an assignment in Flagstaff?

Things to do in Flagstaff: US News Best Things to do19 Unusual AttractionsFree Things to do

Scottsdale

Being home to our newest office expansion, Scottsdale is consistently rated among the nation’s most desirable communities to live in, visit and do business in.

Located roughly 13-miles east of Phoenix, Scottsdale is better known for its spa resorts and golf courses (most golf courses per square mile in the US), but the city also offers visitors a variety of other great experiencesdelicious food and incredible outdoor excursions for all ages. If you’re looking for a good hike, our Travel Team in Scottsdale recommends checking out McDowell Mountain Regional ParkPinnacle Peak Summit TrailTom’s Thumb (can be challenging), and Wave Cave Trail (located near Gold Canyon). If you’re up for a different outdoor experience, there is a new trend for those who enjoy mountain biking: night rides/hikes. A different perspective of the desert and depending on the season you can experience more or less wildlife wild venturing on the moonlit paths.

A must-do in while visiting Scottsdale is checking Old Town. During the day, you can find yourself window shopping in Scottsdale Fashion Square or run into our Travel Team on their lunch break. When the sun sets, that’s when the party starts. Old Town is lined with more than 100 of the city’s restaurantscocktail barslounges and nightclubs making this the place to be for happy hour. Here are some personal recommendations for restaurants and bars from our Travel Team: AZ/88Diego PopsOlive & IvyMaple & AshPostino’sBevvy and Handcut.

If you’re into trying new experiences, Scottsdale has its very own Wine TrailOld Town Chocolate ToursArtWalkDesert Jeep ToursAfter Dark Desert Tour, plenty of museums to choose from and countless other activities. Some of these experiences are free and some require purchasing tickets/reserving spaces so please double check each website.

Scottsdale is a relaxation paradise with pockets of joy for those who enjoy a night in the town, a variety of food options and plenty of outdoor activities. So, let’s get you traveling with KPG Healthcare…Scottsdale is waiting.

Things to do in Scottsdale: TimeOut’s 12 Best Things to doFree ThingsMost Instagram-Worthy Places

 

Arizona offers all visitors a unique Southwestern experience with each city echoing a different personality through its diverse communities and experiences that attracts people from all parts of the planet. We opened an office in Scottsdale this year and we can’t wait for all the great memories to come.

Arizona is only missing you!

 

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How to Prepare for Flu Season During COVID-19

Health professionals across the nation are urging Americans to get vaccinated against the influenza virus this year to avoid the possibility of the flu colliding with the coronavirus pandemic. 

Here are some recommendations from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention to help prepare for the flu season and mitigate the strain hospitals may experience from the crossover.

When does flu season typically start and end?

Flu season starts as early as October and can last until January or February.

What’s the difference between the Flu and COVID-19?

“The similarities of the flu and COVID-19 are both contagious respiratory illnesses but are caused by different viruses,” according to the CDC. Both the flu and COVID-19 can have varying degrees of symptoms, but the common symptoms include:

  • Fever or feverish chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle pain or body aches
  • Headache
  • Vomiting and/or diarrhea (more common in children than adults)

The difference in the viruses include:

  • Mild to severe illnesses of the symptoms above (Flu)
  • Loss of taste or smell (COVID-19)

Developing symptoms also vary between the flu and COVID-19. Typically, a person can develop flu symptoms anywhere between 1 – 4 days after infections. For COVID-19, a person can develop symptoms and appear as early as 2 days after infection or as late as 14 days after infection. It varies by person.

When should I get vaccinated for the flu?

According to the CDC, the best time to get vaccinated will be in September or October. The CDC also recommends avoiding a vaccination in July or August as it can reduce the likelihood of protection against the flu infection later during the Fall and Winter months.

Can I have the flu and COVID-19 at the same time?

It is very possible for someone to have both the flu and COVID-19, as well as other respiratory illnesses. Although research is still being done about COVID-19, it is not impossible to have both at the same time.

The best way to see determine if you have the flu or COVID-19 is to take a test.

Is there a test for both the flu and COVID-19?

Yes. The CDC has developed a test that will check for A and B type seasonal flu viruses and SARS CoV-2, or COVID-19.

Initial test kits were sent out in early August, contact your healthcare provider for more information, or head to the CDC website.

Will the flu shot protect me from COVID-19?

No. The flu shot only provides immunization against influenza viruses. However, if you receive a flu shot and start developing COVID-19 symptoms, a flu shot will help your physician determine a correct diagnosis.

What should I do after getting a flu shot?

Continue practicing safe precautions put forth by the CDC, which includes wearing a face mask in public settings, keeping 6 feet distance between you and other people, frequently washing your hands for at least 20 seconds and practice good hygiene. It is also wise to have some medicine stocked in your cabinet in the event you do develop any symptoms – fever-reducing pills (Tylenol), ibuprofen for muscle aches, cough syrup and thermometer.

Should you start developing any symptoms for COVID-19 after receiving a flu shot, you may also consider self-quarantining for two weeks – if able to.

To find where you can get a flu shot, check with your healthcare provider, Walgreens, CVS, Rite-Aid, Wal-Mart.  

If you would like more information on how to navigate through flu season during the COVID-19 pandemic, visit these websites: FAQ Flu Season 2020-2021 (CDC), Washington Post COVID-19 Article

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A Mental Health Advocate with a Drive to Help Others
Luciano Spotlight

We have finally made it at the halfway point of the year, but unfortunately, coronavirus doesn’t seem to have an end in sight. However, positivity is always in supply here at KPG Healthcare and our next employee spotlight is just that – positive. This month we are highlighting someone from our Allied Professionals division who his originally from Italy and has been with us for a year and a half. Allow us to introduce, Luciano!

Ciao Luciano!

Luciano was born in a small town named Arielli, Italy, which is close to the Adriatic Sea. During his early childhood, he would go back and forth between the United States and Italy until his family decided to settle down in Cherry Hill, New Jersey in 2000. Luciano then graduated with a degree in Psychology from Stockton University where he also participated in intramural sports and joined a fraternity.

During college, Luciano set the goal of attending medical school as this was a career his parents wanted for him, but “quickly dissolved in a year or two of school,” said Luciano. Once he realized medical school wasn’t his goal, he turned his attention to the mental health field where he found helping others to be rewarding, but “when I graduated I needed to find something I enjoyed doing and recruiting seemed like a perfect fit.”

After graduating from Stockton University, Luciano recruited individuals in the IT field for a few years before wanting to transition into the healthcare field. He found KPG Healthcare on Indeed where he was eventually hired as a recruiter for the Allied Professionals team. “Working for KPG is fantastic,” Luciano said, “besides having a close team to bounce ideas off of and work together with, our director team is always there when you need something.”

As a recruiter, Luciano finds helping people achieve their goals by traveling to new places or visiting new hospitals that aren’t typically the most known to be some of the most rewarding aspects of his job. Being a recruiter, you have to be just as prepared for the unexpected as you are to welcome the positive change a recruiter can create. Timing, like scheduling calls, with new candidates, is one of the biggest challenges Luciano faces as a recruiter.

“Challenges you can face as a recruiter could be something as simple as timing when you work with newer individuals,” Luciano explained, “sometimes their schedule doesn’t match up with yours.” However, Luciano finds constant communication with candidates is the key to overcome any challenge he may face, whether that communication is small talk or assignment searching. Luciano is also a mental health advocate and utilizes his knowledge of mental health by understanding what is most important to his candidates by uncovering their assignment expectations and goals to establish a healthy working relationship.

One of the great things Luciano has done during the COVID-19 pandemic finds providing weekly updates to his candidates is the key to success. “I find myself talking to my clients more and more lately, even if it’s a quick conversation asking how they are feeling,” Luciano explained. Luciano even takes the extra step in care for his candidates by calling facilities to ask how they were providing clinicians the proper protection against the virus.

As Luciano continues in his role as an Allied Professional Recruiter, he hopes to continue working with the great candidates he’s been working with for the past few months to support them and help them accomplish their goals. Above all else, he wishes for his candidates to find happiness in their environments. He also mentioned helping his fellow team members with some tips and tricks on what worked for him.

Outside of recruiters, you’ll most likely find Luciano participating in outdoor activities like hiking, outdoor sports, skiing, or his current “oasis,” golf. Golf has been his go-to sport every weekend since he was 18-years-old. Other than outdoor activities, he also dabbles in piano and guitar during his free time.

Luciano, from all of us here at KPG HQ, keep up all the great work you’re doing in New Jersey. We appreciate all the hard work and dedication you put toward your role here with us. Mental health is important and we are happy that you consider that when communicating with candidates.

Luciano’s Dream Travel Destination: Italy! “I would love to go back and utilize my time to visit all other European countries I never visited prior.”

Top 3 Things to do in New Jersey:

  1. Golf – 18 holes
  2. Enjoy the beaches/boardwalk
  3. Hiking
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