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Can Facebook Prevent You From Landing a Nursing Job?

In my last post I explained how social networking sites can help connect nurses and nursing students to hospitals and clinics. Many places of employment are connected on Facebook and Twitter and post employment opportunities and events to connect with their communities. With this great resource for finding a job and researching potential places to work, there is also the flip side of the coin: they can also research you on the internet. This could be a good thing or a scary thing for 2-Stage ADN students.

Jennifer Larson, contributor for nursezone.com, lists a variety of do’s and don’ts when it comes to the world wide web. “Many health care leaders are calling for an increase in awareness about the appropriate use of social media by health care professionals. And many hospitals are beginning to issue guidelines—and in some cases, stringent policies—in an effort to shape or limit their employees’ use of social networking sites.

“In addition, certain professional organizations are beginning to issue guidelines for social media use to help health care professionals learn what’s appropriate to post online and what could leave room for a dismissal or even a lawsuit.”

One incident that comes to mind is when the Kansas nursing students posed with a placenta that they were observing in class. One student posted pictures of it on her Facebook account and the group was expelled. Another incident involves five nurses who were discussing a patient’s case online and they too were fired from their positions.

Here are a few guidelines that Larson mentions:
“DO make a distinction between your personal life and your professional life online.
“’You really need to have two separate (online) personas for yourself. I follow that rule myself,’ said Pamela Ressler, BSN, RN, who administers and moderates the Twitter and Facebook pages for the University of Massachusetts (Boston) College of Nursing and Health Sciences, noting that she even set up different Twitter accounts for her university position and for her own consulting company, Stress Resources.”

“DO use social media for educational and professional purposes.
“Amanda McGauley, RN, believes that social media outlets are a great tool for nurses who want to learn more and to share their knowledge with others.

“DO be mindful of HIPAA.
“Even if you’re posting professionally, be mindful of privacy regulations and keep the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) guidelines in mind.

“DO set your privacy settings as high as possible.
“Facebook, for example, lets users customize their privacy settings so that they can limit what others can view on their page. Twitter also allows users to block people from seeing their tweets unless they’ve been approved by the user.

“DON’T be lulled by false security.

“DON’T discuss your patients or your colleagues.”

If you’re a 2 -Stage ADN student in the San Francisco Bay Area, think before you type.

To read the full article mentioned in this post, please visit

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Pinching Pennies: How the Economy is Effecting LVNs and ADNs on the Job

Swabs, gauze and tongue depressors line the counters in doctors’ offices and fill supply closets in hospitals. I never much thought about it (except when I was a child I wanted to take all those jars full of goodies home and make a bunch of craft projects… okay, I still think that would be fun.) Anyway, many hospitals are pinching pennies and LVNs and ADNs on the frontlines have to cut back and be more frugal with their resources.

According to an article by Marylisa Kinsley on Nurse.com, “during the past few years, hospitals have begun to teach staff that every Band-Aid affects the bottom line. As hospitals close their doors because of financial failure, those that remain have focused on educating nursing staff about the business of healthcare.”

I’m not a business person. I don’t think I’ve ever held a Wall Street Journal in my hands and the thought of even balancing my checkbook makes me fall asleep. One thing I forget is that overall, health care is a business. I get side tracked with the politics of nurse benefits and patient to staff ratios, but numbers and dollars are always at the forefront.

Now why should nursing students care to think about this? Why does it matter if you use one or two Band Aids on a patient? Times are changing and students need to know what to expect in the upcoming health care industry. Nursing strikes, hospital politics and job benefits can hinder or help the skills that you learn in nursing school.

“Kimberly Glassman, RN, PhD, NEA-BC, senior vice president of patient care services and CNO at NYU Langone Medical Center in Manhattan, says the shift began more than 20 years ago. ‘In the mid-80s when Diagnosis Related Groups were established, hospitals moved from a per-diem payment system to a payment based on a limited number of days.’ This meant hospital reimbursement was based on the national average cost of caring for a patient admitted with a particular diagnosis, adjusted for regional differences, instead of a daily rate.

“About the same time, Glassman says, care pathways began to be developed to reflect best practices. She says that nurses always have looked toward navigating the best path through hospital services for patients. Conservation of resources is a natural byproduct of this type of planning.”

Basically, the less resources used and the better informed the patients are by LVNs and ADNs, the lower the cost and chance for relapse for the patient.

To read the complete article referenced in this post, you can visit

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Changing Technology Effects Health Care Industry

I got a new cell phone last month. Okay, so I’m a bit behind the times, but my husband insisted I turn in my old flip phone for one that accesses the internet, has an internal keyboard and has a million apps on it. I was hesitant to get a new one because my old phone just needed a new battery and with a new phone comes an instruction manual as thick as the Bible that sits on my nightstand. Now that I’ve had my new phone I must admit that I do like some of the more convenient features, but I still miss the simpler days where all I wanted it for was to dial home.
So what does this all have to do with being a Medical Assisting , pharmacy technician or nurse? Well, technology is everywhere and it influences every aspect of our life. A few nights ago I watched an episode of Family Ties and Elise and Steven Keaton were playing baseball on an old 1980’s tan computer with an attached keyboard. Compare that to the Wii and it’s a pretty amazing jump how far technology has advanced just in the not-so-simple world of gaming.
Several months ago my husband, who is an Vocational Nursing , had excessive training on a new drug dispensing machine at his place of work. (I can’t help but think of the glass and red painted metal candy machines that are at the front of grocery stores in which you drop in your quarter, turn the knob and candy spills out like a slot machine.) Instead of bugging the pharmacist, he just plugs in his ID number and the patient’s name and the pre-packaged drug can be found in the appropriate slot (or so he says). This machine has made work somewhat easier for him (except for the training and the weeks that followed as bugs were being worked out in the system), and as time progresses, I can’t help but wonder what other technology is on the horizon. When I had my baby a year and a half ago, I was surprised that my medical bracelet had a barcode and that the nurse had to scan it every time I popped a pill.
With new medicines, procedures and technology, it is important to stay on top of your game. If you are considering going back to school to become a nurse, a pharmacy technician or a Medical Assisting , consider Unitek College. Located in the San Francisco Bay Area, Santa Clara and Sacramento, Unitek will give you the skills you need to thrive in this ever changing and fast paced profession.

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