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9 Valentine’s Day Cards to Love on Your Healthcare Colleagues

I love a good healthcare pun. Okay, I love any pun.

And what better day to have some laughs and love on some colleagues than Valentine’s Day?!

Simply download, print (on card stock would be best, but whatevs), and share with those around you. They’re sure to bring some smiles to the busy work day.

P.S. If you need more, you can find past Valentine’s Day card series here (2017), here (2016), and here (2015).

 

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It’s A Great Day to Save Lives [Free, Printable Card]

Who doesn’t need a little Sunday (or Monday, Tuesday, whatever day) inspiration? You have an incredible role in this world; celebrate it! You can download and print this free card; there are two cards on each page because double-giving is twice as fun.

By the way, the very next sentence of this fictitious character’s famous quote is…Let’s have fun. 

So, shall we? Rock the day…whatever day it is.

 

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The Organized Life [Part 1]: Reading all the Books You Want to Read with Your Crazy Schedule

In the spirit of transparency, let me first say I have areas of my life that I would never show you. I do not organize people’s lives or homes or workplaces for my living; there are many incredible people (and books) who do that with astounding productivity results (yes, really). This blog series is not about closets or drawers or garages (although I will show you my two types of home medication storage systems in a later post). This series of posts, however, is about the tricks I use to stay on top of my goals and the “little” things that used to drive me crazy that now…well, don’t.

I get asked all the time, “How do you do everything you do?” Well, I have an incredible support system. I’ve also organized several areas of my life. I’ve found systems that work for me, and I use the Seven Habits of Highly Successful People every day. The one I think about the most that I think has helped multiply my efforts in care, work, and life is begin with the end in mind. You can apply it to just about anything to improve the results.

Begin with the end in mind makes you think – really think – about your end results – what you want and how you know you’ll be successful with that one piece. Once you have the ending in mind, you can work backwards to break up the goal into manageable pieces and tasks.

Reading is important to me. And while I’ve been a book lover for a while (more about that in a future post), I have a leader in my life that encourages others often with Charlie “Tremendous” Jones’s quote,

“You will be the same person in five years as you are today except for the people you meet and the books you read.”

 

And, boy, is that true for leaders at all levels. Nurses, I am looking at you, too. The books you read change you. I want to grow each year.

Keep a List

Since we’re responsible for our own personal and professional growth, it is up to us to make it happen, so I keep a running list of books I want to read, and then I either delete them or mark them off my list as I finish them. It sounds easy enough, but I am surprised at how few people actually do this. Ask for recommendations from others and write. them. down.

I previously kept my list electronically – on my phone, but I’ve recently discovered bullet journaling, so I have incorporated pieces of that into my paper calendar. Yes, I am still a paper calendar gal in life (and electronic at work…again, more on that later).

Here’s my 2018 reading list. As I finish a book in this format, I color it in.

 

Yes, it is January 7th, and I’ve already read two books from my list. How?…

Keep A Book Near You

Whether it is hardcopy, electronic, or audio, keep a book near you. It’s amazing how much “down time” you have in your day if you’re mindful of it. Meeting not starting on time? Open your e-book. Commuting to work? Read your hardcopy book on the subway, or listen to your audio book in your car or on the bus. I enjoy running, and I recently learned my audio book app will work simultaneously with my running app! Oh, the joy it brought me to run for 45 minutes while “reading.”

Get a Library Card or Use a Book Subscription Service

Libraries are not antiquated. The possibilities are endless now as most libraries not only have books on-hand but can do interlibrary loans to get books from other libraries. My library also has an e-book and an audio book app. It. Is. Awesome. I don’t have to spend a fortune on books, and I always have reading material on-hand.

There are plenty of book subscription services and apps, as well. Audible, Amazon Kindle Unlimited, and MyBookBox are just a few.

Try Reading Two Books at a Time

If you can keep books straight in your head, have a reading method where you read two books “simultaneously.” Read one as an e-book or audio book in the morning/during the day and another as a hard-copy or e-book in the evenings.

Start as Soon as You Finish 

Because you’ll always have reading content around you, you can pick up a new book as soon as you finish one book. Even if you only read a page or two, go ahead and start the new book.

Don’t Be Afraid to Stop A Book 

Don’t just read to read; read to enjoy and to learn. If a book is not keeping your attention, stop it and start a new book. For those who need a sense of completion, this is easier said than done, so get comfortable with the idea…it’s your reading list, and you can do what you want with it. Don’t waste your time on “bad” books.

 

So, what are you reading that I need to add to my list? (I’m a non-fiction fan.) How do you prioritize reading in your life?

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All Hail the Sky Holders!

Do you ever have those days where everyone around you swears the sky is falling? Maybe it’s you. I’m sure we all know similar people…Every. Thing. Is. A. Major. Issue. And the panic spreads.

There are these amazing people in the world – I have them in my life and I hope they’re in yours, too – that hold up the sky. They may not say it verbally, but they’re likely thinking…No, not today; the sky is not falling today.

They ease the tension. They calm the never-storm. They reset the pace and tone for everyone. It’s beautiful leadership in action. It happens everyday and gets little attention. Next time you see it, honor that sky holder! And yes, Chicken Littles of the world, you can learn this skill.

Who’s your favorite sky holder you want to thank?

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Just Because You Can, Doesn’t Mean You Should

It’s easy to get wrapped up in thinking, Oh, we can do that! 

Can is a strong word, but it frequently gets interchanged with could, and that’s an alarm. If you hear the word can, think about how the word is intended.

If it’s meaning determination and will, then you’re probably good-to-go…if you’ve thought through the next piece…

If the meaning remains unchanged when you replace can with could, then you need to train yourself to see red flags and hear blaring alarms because that means the strategy of the work hasn’t formed. And, if there is no strategy, then your work or intervention is aimless.

Great leaders and strong teams can do a lot of things because they are experts and efficient. They can waste their valuable assets – time, people, money – because of that, too, though. Before you figure out the what and the how, determine the why. It will confirm or refute if you should actually do the something.

Just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should.

 

 

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[Free, Printable Postcards] Happy Laboratory Professionals Week

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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[Free, Printable Card] So Glad We Found You, Graduate Nurse

‘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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[Free Printable] Dispensing the Right Stuff – Amazing People

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

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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[Free, Printable Cards] 12 More Healthcare Valentine’s Day Cards to Spread Cheer

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!