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Favorite Travel Assignment: None, yet! However, Palm Springs was good to her and up there on the list.
Dream location: Somewhere near or around the Dallas Cowboys!
Le Kea hails from Trussville, Alabama but is currently en route to her new assignment in Stockton, California! She has been with KPG Healthcare since January and has been living the California dream during that time. Le Kea has been a nurse for over 20 years now but only started traveling back in 2005/6. Her inspiration for becoming a nurse are rooted deeply with her past experiences with close family and friends who have gone through a medical complication or procedure. After observing the nurses handle the various situations, the treatment of patients, the treatment of family, and how personal they could be to help ease the mind, Le Kea felt inspired to pursue nursing as a career. It also doesn’t hurt that her mother was a CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant), who had a profound influence on why she became interested in this field.
As a nurse, Le Kea faces many challenges that echo the intense need for nurses in California. From demanding schedules to time away from friends and family; the number of supplies per patient to the patients and their demands. For example, a patient can come into the hospital with one illness and all of a sudden they can have a multitude of complications, which can get out of hand. Life as a nurse has its challenges, but like all challenges, they can be overcome! With great determination and a reasonable consciousness, Le Kea has proven to come out on top and provide the best service she can possibly give to her patient and their family. Another challenge she mentioned was the difference between travel nursing now than what it was when she first started. In previous years, the hospitals/companies you would contract with would arrange everything for you – from flights to transportation, housing to greeting you at the airport – she reminisces’ on a time where travel nursing was simple and easy.
During her time at KPG Healthcare, Le Kea has been paired with one of our recruiters named Omar, who has been going above and beyond for her in ways she can’t even thank him enough for. It wasn’t just Omar who she praised, but everyone who has been in contact with her. Whenever she had a question, KPG would be there with the quickness to help resolve any issues or clarification that may be needed. Le Kea staying with KPG Healthcare goes beyond the staff but to all the positive energy and attitudes that really make KPG Healthcare a great company to work with.
Le Kea’s Advice for New Travel Nurses:
1. Take time to study your craft. Learn and know what you’re doing. Having enough tools in your tool belt will help you be the best nurse you can be and provide the best service you can provide.
2. Have a great support system. Someone who can take care of your needs at home and someone who you can call when you’re lonely or not your usual self – a ride or die.
3. Make sure you have cash or card at your disposal. Important when traveling somewhere new! Notify your bank!
4. Have a strong sense of who you are. You will be thrown into different situations that will test your morals and values, having that sense of self will help guide you through those decisions and in your career.
As if nurses aren’t already superheroes because of what they do, they definitely are because of how long they do it for. Most adults only work 8 hours a day, but most nurses work 12. Preparing for 12 hour shifts as a registered nurse is easier when you plan ahead and make smart choices throughout the day. Here are some tips to help make your shift better!
Pack Your Food & Eat Right
When you’re struggling through a long day, you might want to reward yourself with a sugary snack from the vending machine or a greasy burger from the cafeteria. These momentary pleasures ultimately lower your energy level and spell disaster for your day. If you want to know how to survive a 12-hour shift, the first thing you should address is your diet.
You should pack healthy meals to eat during your shift so you’re not tempted to indulge in unhealthy options. Include several small snacks as well. Package these conveniently so you can grab a bag of nuts and an apple, or a banana and peanut butter even when you don’t have much time to spare. You should focus on high-energy snacks and whole foods that will keep you going instead of drag you down.
Get Ample Rest
It’s important to get a full night’s sleep before a long shift. You shouldn’t drink alcohol or caffeine at night before bed so that you can enjoy a restful evening. If you have a break of 20 minutes or more during work, consider taking a quick nap. Data from the Salk Institute for Biological Studies reveals that a 20-minute nap during a 10 hour shift can improve performance by 50 percent.
Use Your Breaks Wisely
A lengthy shift can put you under a lot of mental strain. You should make the most of all breaks allowed by employee scheduling. You can find a quiet spot to meditate and clear your mind, listen to a relaxing track of nature sounds on your phone or MP3 player, or read something you enjoy. You should avoid stressful activities, like watching crime drama snippets or reading intense thrillers, where you’ll have to stop in the middle of the action to return to work.
Wear compression socks
That’s right, compression socks aren’t just for your post-operative patients. Being on your feet for long periods of time puts you at a high risk for varicose veins, and wearing compression socks can help reduce that risk. Compression socks can also help reduce fatigue by improving blood flow and reducing lactic acid build up. If you find that your calves are sore and your ankles are swollen after working, you may want to try slipping on a pair of compression socks before your next shift. Your legs will thank you later!
Take Smart Supplements
The right supplements can make a big difference in how well you can handle a long shift. Low vitamin D levels can lead to fatigue. You can get vitamin D from salmon, tuna or fortified food products, but a supplement might be more effective if your levels are low. Vitamin B can decrease fatigue as well. Omega-3 fatty acids contribute to brain cell development and can help you stay on top of your game. A well-rounded multivitamin is always a smart choice. Speak to your doctor about the best supplements for your needs.
Surviving 12-hour shifts might be difficult, but you can make these long days easier on yourself by preparing for the challenge. Packing healthy foods, getting enough rest, partaking in relaxing entertainment for your breaks and taking a few smart supplements can make the shift go smoothly.
Nurses are always on the move. Whether you are a student running between classes or a professional running to patient rooms. Nurses are constantly running around. One way nurses are able to stay on top of their game is by using their smartphone. Whether you are studying for an exam or cross-referencing a specific drug, mobile apps have provided a variety of functions for nurses. Check out the apps we recommend for nurses below!
Diseases Dictionary. Diseases Dictionary is complete offline and FREE app. This app is a great reference for medical disorders and diseases. Learn all information about symptoms, treatments, and medical terminology. Over 27,000 people have used and reviewed this app.
Nursing Central. Nursing Central is the leader in providing disease, drug, and test information. This is the complete mobile resource that delivers answers to you anytime, anywhere. Whether you are a student or professional nurse, this app allows you to input symptoms and be served a list of possible conditions.
Symptomia. Similar to Nursing Central, Symptomia allows you to input symptoms and learn possible conditions based on those symptoms in 2 taps. Symptomia allows the user to look up more than 50 symptoms and is perfect at bridging the gap between patient and healthcare professional.
Nursing Essentials. This is a great app for students and graduate nurses. It is a helpful resource and easy to use. Nursing Essentials is a great resource whether you are studying for specific coursework or just need to brush up on general information. Nursing Essentials also offers bookmarks, notes sections, and a medical calculator.
Nurse’s Pocket Guide. Make accurate diagnoses and develop effective care plans with this comprehensive app. This mobile app includes 440 medical conditions with associated nursing diagnoses. Care plan guides and an index to search allows for quick navigation. Nurse’s Pocket Guide also features NIC and NOC labels for each diagnosis.