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Aimee has been selected as June’s Nurse Spotlight of the Month and we couldn’t be any happier to have someone like her be part of the KPG Family!
Aimee proudly calls Louisville, Kentucky home but she’s currently enjoying her new California lifestyle while on assignment in beautiful Northridge! She’s a “jack-of-all-trades” since she specializes in a handful of nursing specialties, such as MedSearch, Step Down, Intensive Care Unit, and more! Although, she didn’t start as a nurse at the beginning of her healthcare career – spanning more than a decade – but began as an aide. Through the years of being an aide in healthcare, she realized there were more opportunities for her in nursing through the abundance of specialties she could learn and grow from. Plus, having to work three days of the week was also a bonus when deciding on shifting her career, can you blame her?
Like all workplaces, there are challenges that Aimee faces, but overcomes. The biggest challenge for her is being able to handle the many different opinions, attitudes and perspectives of fellow coworkers, patients and the patient’s families. “You have to be assertive,” Aimee said, “You have to be able to stand your ground and be nonchalant when going through the motions of being a nurse.” Another challenge she faces is time management because that can have an effect on patient care – to be able to provide the same level of care for each patient.
With all the hard work Aimee does as a nurse, she devotes time to unwind during her days off or after a shift. From drinking a nice glass of red wine to hanging out at the beach, eating a well-balanced breakfast to taking a hot bath, Aimee finds time to take care of herself, always. #SelfCare. One of the reasons she has fallen in love with California has hugely been because of her recruiter here at KPG Healthcare, Tiko! Tiko has been a huge help to her transition here when she arrived back in 2017. In fact, she has enjoyed her time in California so much she has extended the same contract that brought her here! 24 weeks and counting!
Her one and only assignment with KPG Healthcare has been a dream and it’s been her favorite assignment, so far. Although, if given the chance, she would LOVE to take an assignment either in Dubai or Bali (me too girl), but “California is already a dream!” Aimee said.
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.