It’s Laboratory Professionals Week, so break out the puns and celebrate these team members who remain so fluid, doing all the bloody work, making beautiful specimens of colleagues. Yeah, we love these people…even if they do have to tell us we need another sample because the first hemolyzed.

Here’s some cards for the week. Download, print front-and-back on some cardstock, and give, give, give away to those glorious team members.

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‘Tis the season for hiring graduate nurses. Staying connected to GNs prior to their start dates is vital for some work markets. Even if you’re not in a tight GN market, remaining connected with GNs after you extend an offer to them through the time they actually start, which could be months, really does start the relationship well. Let’s face it, everyone wants to be thought of, and GNs are stoked to be headed into work with newly-minted degrees and forthcoming licenses. Postcards are an easy and cost-effective way to ping GNs to increase anticipation in joining an organization, and you know how much I love postcards! So, here’s one for my GN series, for use by hiring organizations.

Simply download, print front-and-back on cardstock, label, and mail. Enjoy!

 

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Just because…here’s a cute little graphic you can print as mini cards to hand out or as a large poster to hang in a visible place on the unit.

People make all the difference!

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DIY Gratitude Station FTW

by Nursetopia on February 17, 2017

I’m a stationery gal…notepads, pens, markers, sticky notes, blank notecards and postcards of all kinds…they make me happy. Words of Affirmation is my work love language…big surprise there, huh? Interestingly, the majority of my team highly values words of affirmation, as well, so one day I thought I’d share my love for all things bright and stationery with my team so everyone could easily write words of thanks and encouragement any time the thought crossed their minds.

And the “Gratitude Station” outside my office was born.

It’s an inexpensive foyer table that brings pops of colors and plenty of pens, markers, stickers, and notecards into arms-reach for any passerby. For added enjoyment, I added an essential oil diffuser, which is non-irritating and doesn’t leave any residue; whether it’s lavender or peppermint – or a mixture of the two – the light scent fills the area (and lingers into my office). I love it, and I love that my team can access the station any time for any reason as much as they’d like.

Here’s the breakdown of the Gratitude Station:

 

And here’s a closer view from the top:

 

I’m thinking of doing a mini-station at home, with stamps, return address labels, and more. What do you think?

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When Work Becomes Family

by Nursetopia on February 16, 2017

“Family” by Laurel Harvey via Flickr.com

 

I’m enamored with “healthy work environments,” or HWEs…what makes them, how they form, how they disintegrate, how they change people, and how they impact the ultimate service or good and the financial bottom line. A key definition of HWEs is that they feel like a family.

Pop culture often jokes about “work family” or a “work husband” or a “work wife.” It’s true, though; we spend more time with our work families during the week than our biological families, so work should feel like a family…a functional, healthy family.

Part of being a family is living and working through the “mess” of family. Yes, there are great times, but family is rooted in sticking together through the hard times, the grieving times, the penny-pinching time, the frustrating times, the exasperating times, the tired times, the mundane times. It’s in the vulnerable moments of life  – whether inside our outside of the work environment – that we learn to ask for help, to share the load, to uplift those who feel defeated, to be the listening ear when a vent is needed, to pray together when no other words seem to be enough…to be a family. And just like a family, a work team multiplies joys and divides grief.

As a leader, it is easy to run away from these hard times, to silo “work” and “life.” As I’ve grown in my leadership skills, though, I have learned to press into these moments rather than try to find a way out of them. Because it is in these very moments when trust grows and the beauty of living life – and working alongside others – is realized…and a family is strengthened.

Have you ever worked in a place that felt like family? If so, what moments do you think contributed to that growth?

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I can’t miss a holiday made to love on people without creating and sharing some cards! I’ve added 12 more healthcare Valentine’s Day cards to the mix. Simply download, print (on cardstock is best), and paper your friends and colleagues with some holiday cheer.  There’s a bit of something for everyone – even administrators. And if you need a few more options (that love on lab and OR techs to name a few), you can always use the 2016 V-Day cards, the 2015 “we go together” cards, or maybe the 2013 “For the Love of Nursing” image.

Happy Valentine’s Day, You Amazing Healthcare Professionals. Way to love on the world each and every day!

 

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Propelling Forward: 2017’s One Word

by Nursetopia on January 1, 2017

The one word I’ve chosen for 2017 is intentional. 

I want to be intentional with my time and energy and relationships and money. I want to strongly pursue my passions and have courage to say no to those things that are not my calling or purpose. I want to be a wise steward of the time I have with the people I love the most. I want to think through my hours, days, weeks, year before they simply happen and pass me by.

Are you using one word for 2017? If so, what is it?

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In Retrospect: Nursetopia’s 2016 One Word

by Nursetopia on December 31, 2016

Rather than resolutions, I pick one word each year to guide my thoughts and actions. I’ve done this for the better part of a decade, and I have chronicled each of these one words on Nursetopia since the blog began. You can find past one word summations for 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015, and I’ll post my one word for 2017 tomorrow, but today I’ll review my one word for 2016 – “stretch.”

Boy, howdy! (That’s “southern” for holy cow or O.M.Gosh!) Stretch was an appropriate word as I kept it at the forefront of my mind on many occasions. I used it frequently to encourage myself to “lean in” rather than “push away” from uncomfortable or unplanned moments throughout the year or to rise to presented opportunities.

For example, I directed a second, different healthcare service line – cardiovascular services – which expanded my background and experience. An oncology nurse running the CV services? Yeah, it actually worked, and it helped me realize that my nursing specialty isn’t only oncology but, rather, nursing leadership; it was great experience to see that healthcare really does look and work very similarly behind the curtains of every service area. With that, though, I worked more this year than I ever have in years passed (even when I opened a new cancer center), and I almost pulled a heart-string in the process, feeling pummeled in every way and like a failure both at work and at home. For a self-proclaimed overachiever, it felt hopeless at times – like I didn’t have enough time or energy to cover everything that needed to happen to realize our service line strategies. I felt like I was doing a disservice to my team members, my organization, and my family.

What I didn’t anticipate is that my stretching throughout 2016 included actually saying I needed a change in my work and giving that work to another leader so I could have happiness in both my personal and professional lives. It was hard to say so, but I did it. It stretched me greatly, and it was humbling.

My stretching continued by working diligently to maintain margin in my life – margin for the priorities that matter most to me.

Earlier in the year I applied for a large role; I didn’t get it. That was stretching, for sure, and while I didn’t say so at the time of writing, I shared about it and how those similar moments have shaped – and stretched – me.

I submitted the largest writing piece of work I have done to-date in my career, editing a healthcare book for the general public. That was quite the stretch: working with the publisher, developing the table of contents, finding all the authors, and then editing the entire work. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I am excited to see it publish around May 2017.

Personally speaking, I picked-up a forgotten hobby – theater – for my self-care, and I am so glad I stretched in that way; it fed my soul in so many ways.

In addition in 2016, my family and I decided to begin our long-dreamed-of foster-to-adoption process. What stretching moments that has encompassed!

How was your 2016? Did you have a one word or resolutions that guided you?

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Nurses: 15 Years as the #1 Most-Trusted Professionals

by Nursetopia on December 22, 2016

Gallup released their 2016 Honesty and Ethics survey December 21st, and Americans, once again, ranked nurses as the most trusted professionals. This is the 15th year nurses have claimed the top spot, and the margin of trust continues to grow.

 

Congratulations, Colleagues. Thank you for all the ways you build and maintain trust each and every day!

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You know I love any chance to celebrate the people around me. Halloween is just one more day to have a bit of fun and brighten the environment. Here are a few cards to help you love on the healthcare professionals around you – whether they’re clinical, administrative, or supportive. Simply print on card stock, add a hand-written note to the back, and give, give, give away!

Happy Halloween! 

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Download “You Are FaBOOlous” here.

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Download “Nightmare Walk Into A Hospital” here.

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Download “Healthcare Professionals Handle the Scary Stuff” here.

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Download “You’re Scary Amazing” here.

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Download “Scary Hand” here.

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Download “Haldol Spell” here.

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Download “Full Moon” here.

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