We are excited to share that Erin Webb has been promoted to Division Vice President of our MidAmerica Division!
Erin, who previously was in the role of Account Manager, excels at maintaining exceptional relationships with MidAmerica HCA Healthcare facilities. Erin goes above and beyond in meeting the contract labor needs of facilities and identifying the efficient way to enhance cost effective contract labor utilization. Due to the continuous value she adds to HealthTrust Workforce Solutions, Erin is a great fit for the Division Vice President role.
Erin, who has been with HealthTrust Workforce Solutions for nearly two years, is appreciative of the opportunity to work with incredible colleagues and facilities. She is thankful that her relationships with facilities has grown stronger, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In speaking with Erin, she shared that she is grateful for the assistance that team members provide to each other and for how every colleague desires to work effectively in order to provide exceptional service. She is proud to work for an organization where team members are deeply supportive of one another, which can be seen through HealthTrust Workforce Solution's GREAT program. Within the GREAT program, team members nominate one another and share how their team members are making a difference in the organization by demonstrating Growth, Recognition, Engagement, Appreciation and Teamwork (GREAT). Erin went on to say, "When you feel valued, it motivates you to work really hard."
The motivation to work diligently is a factor that Erin is most proud of when reflecting on her journey with HealthTrust Workforce Solutions so far. Now that Erin is moving into her new role as a Division Vice President, Erin noted some major takeaways that she wants to continue to be aware of and work toward:
Be respectful of everybody
Count on your co-workers
How can I bring value to HealthTrust Workforce Solutions with my new role?
We are thrilled to see how Erin will continue to build upon the value that she has created for HealthTrust Workforce Solutions!
If you are interested in working with HealthTrust Workforce Solutions, please click here.
The DAISY (Diseases Attacking the Immune System) Award is an international recognition program that honors and celebrates the skillful, compassionate care nurses provide every day. Presented by the DAISY Foundation, the DAISY Award celebrates and rewards nurses for the extraordinary clinical skill and compassionate care that they demonstrate daily.
Currently, the DAISY Foundation is running a public campaign where people are encouraged to share their appreciation for the diligent work of extraordinary nurses. Through your nominations for the DAISY Award, nurses who have made an exceptional impact in your life and in the lives of your families and friends can have the potential opportunity to be recognized and acknowledged.
The campaign, which kicked off with virtual signs in Manhattan's Times Square, will continue to be shared throughout the country. The DAISY Foundation's ultimate goal is to show the public's gratitude for the diligent work of nurses and to help reduce the burnout that many nurses continue to feel, especially during the fight against COVID-19.
We are standing alongside the DAISY Foundation and are asking for our community to make nominations, sharing how a nurse has made a meaningful impact on a patient or on a patient’s family. DAISY Award honorees receive a certificate of recognition, a DAISY Award pin, and a Healer’s Touch stone sculpture.
To learn more or to nominate an outstanding nurse, click here.
The U.S. economy lost 140,000 jobs in the final month of 2020, according to the December U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Hiring Situation. This represented the first month of loss since the pandemic began impacting our nation early in 2020. The decline in payroll employment reflects the recent increase in COVID-19 cases and continued efforts to control the pandemic.
Travel nurses spend a considerable amount of time taking care of patients, but they also need to take care of their health as well. Stress and fatigue often becomes a side effect of the incredible work that nurses do and those feelings can often times lead to incredible burnout.
As shared by Healthline, "Burnout is a state of mental and physical exhaustion that can zap the joy out of your career, friendships, and family interactions."
So if a travel nurse, how can you overcome the burnout that is caused by common stress and fatigue while on assignment? Find some tips below!
Take Time to Build Positive Relationships With Others While on Assignment
Whether you are adventuring with friends on the weekends or grabbing coffee on your time off, connecting with others and surrounding yourself with people who care is essential to maintaining your positive mental health. Having a strong support system is vital in maintaining stress and talking through emotions that you are feeling. Whether you reach out to family or spend time with others on assignment, taking the time to build a strong bond is valuable for making your assignment even more enjoyable.
Create and Maintain Healthy Boundaries
Take the time to identify, instill, and maintain critical boundaries for yourself in order to prevent gaining stress or becoming too tired during your daily life. Whether emotional, physical or mental, make sure that you are not taking on more than what you can handle. By maintaining healthy boundaries, you can focus on making sure that your needs are ultimately being fulfilled and that you give yourself time to rest.
Find Your Comfort Zone
As a travel nurse, it may seem desirable to engage in new and adventurous activities while on assignment. However, taking the time to do activities that are comfortable for you can be an essential way to reduce stress or fatigue. Whether it is watching your favorite movie or cooking a special meal, doing activities that are within your comfort zone can help reduce stress and fatigue.
Lastly, make sure to stay connected with your recruiter and be candid about how your current assignment is going. Also, feel free to ask your recruiter for assistance whenever it is needed. We are here for you.
For further resources on how to reduce burnout, click here or call (800)-480-1234 for Nurse Care, a confidential and free mental health service that is available 24/7.
When COVID-19 arrived in the United States earlier this year, it forever changed our lives. Healthcare workers on the front lines quickly proved themselves heroes and demonstrated their resilience time and again, even while coping with unprecedented scale and precarious personal circumstances. Nine months later, hope is finally here. HCA Healthcare colleagues began receiving the vaccine on Tuesday, signaling a turning point in the pandemic.
“Since the onset of COVID, our caregivers, whether at the very front lines or in supporting roles, have been selfless in answering the call to care for others,” said Dr. Jonathan Perlin, president of clinical operations and chief medical officer at HCA Healthcare. “The arrival of the COVID vaccine represents a pivotal moment in this pandemic. We know vaccines are the safest and most effective way to combat this virus, and we have implemented a comprehensive plan to distribute them – starting with our frontline colleagues.”
As states distributed the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to our facilities, our care teams on the front lines began receiving vaccinations. HCA Healthcare affiliate hospitals Alaska Regional Hospital, Presbyterian/St. Luke’s Medical Center, Sky Ridge Medical Center and HCA Virginia were the first to receive vaccine shipments on December 15. Dr. Vito Capotorto, chief of staff and hospitalist medical director for Henrico Doctors’ Hospital in Richmond, Virginia, was the first colleague to receive the COVID-19 vaccine among HCA Healthcare’s 185 hospitals. As of Jan. 6, 2021, all 16 HCA Healthcare divisions have received the COVID-19 vaccines with more than 130,000 colleagues now vaccinated.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) prioritized the vaccine for healthcare personnel who may have potential for direct or indirect exposure to patients or infectious materials. Given the critical role they play in caring for others, continued protection of caregivers at work, at home, and in the community remains a national priority.
When HCA Healthcare’s Grand Strand Medical Center in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina received its first shipment of the vaccine, Keerstyn Allen, a registered nurse in the hospital’s COVID intensive care unit, was one of the first colleagues to receive it. “I can’t begin to say how much December 16, 2020 means to me. I’ve never cried happy tears for a shot in the arm. Nine months of literal blood, sweat and tears – so many tears – has a light at the end of the tunnel,” said Keerstyn.
“I am forever grateful for the amazing, intelligent and hardworking people behind this vaccine,” Keerstyn continued. “Believe in science. Believe in this vaccine.”
Yesterday, frontline caregivers from seven Nashville-based HCA Healthcare hospitals from the TriStar Division received their vaccinations in Tennessee. Dr. Tama Van Decar, chief medical officer at the TriStar Division, noted the excitement around the vaccine and explained what it means for healthcare workers.
“What’s exciting for us is we’ve been planning for the vaccine’s arrival, and now that it’s at our doorstep, I think everyone here has a sense of renewed energy, a renewed purpose, and a sense of honest excitement about what this could mean for us in healthcare broadly and for caregivers directly,” said Dr. Van Decar.
She continued, “I believe in this vaccine. I believe in this science behind this vaccine. I believe in the intricate process scientists and oversight bodies went through to review it. The vaccine is safe. The vaccine is 95% effective, this is an incredible tribute to our science.”
Salomey Agyemang, a registered nurse for TriStar Health, echoed those sentiments saying, “I feel really good. I feel encouraged. I feel hopeful. It feels like the beginning of the end of this.”
Find answers to some of the most common questions people are asking about COVID-19 vaccine below…
Q: What types of vaccines are available?
A: Two manufacturers, Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna, have recently developed COVID-19 vaccines. Pfizer/BioNTech was granted an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on December 11. Moderna received an EUA on December 18 and is the second approved vaccine, which will be critical in our continued efforts to quickly vaccinate and protect our workforce.
Q: Is the vaccine safe to receive?
A: Both the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are a new type of vaccine, but the technology behind them has been studied for decades. These vaccine types teach our cells to make the “spike protein” and train our immune systems to protect us from infection when the real virus enters our bodies. This type of vaccine cannot give you COVID-19 and does not affect or interact with your DNA.
Q: How were these COVID-19 vaccines developed so quickly?
A: Coordinated efforts by public and private partnerships helped accelerate vaccine development, but these accelerated efforts have not sacrificed scientific standards, integrity of the vaccine review process, or safety. Prior knowledge in vaccine development and advances in bioengineering were critical to the timeline, as well as government funding which decreased the monetary risk to companies, allowing them to develop and manufacture the vaccine concurrently with clinical studies.
Q: Who will receive the vaccine first?
A: Based on national guidance, a “tiering” system is being used to prioritize those at greatest risk of exposure, particularly healthcare workers and long-term care facility residents. On December 1, 2020, the CDC recommended that healthcare personnel with direct or indirect exposure to patients or infectious materials receive a COVID-19 vaccine first.
Q: When will the general public receive the vaccine?
A: Experts began working during the summer of 2020 on a strategy for distributing these limited vaccines in a fair, ethical and transparent way. Vaccines have been allocated to each state based on population. Each state is responsible for developing a distribution plan. Therefore, distribution plans and timelines will vary by state. For those receiving the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, two doses are required separated by 21 days. Check with your local health department for updates.
Q: Why is it important to get the vaccine?
A: Based on what we know about vaccines for other diseases, experts believe that getting a COVID-19 vaccine may help keep you from getting seriously ill, even if you do get COVID-19. Getting vaccinated yourself may also protect people around you, particularly people at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19. Stopping a pandemic requires using all the tools we have available. According to the CDC, the combination of getting vaccinated and following CDC’s recommendations to protect yourself and others will offer the best protection from COVID-19.
As the year comes to an end, HealthTrust Workforce Solutions would like to take a moment to thank you for your continued dedication to patient care. Throughout the uncertainty that 2020 has brought us, one thing is certain - our appreciation for our valued clinicians, clients and team members. While this year has presented us with unprecedented challenges and has tested each of us personally, we know we are stronger together because of it.
Congratulations to our 47 StaRNs who completed their first year of nursing through our nurse residency program. To close out the program, they worked in teams to develop Evidence-Based Change projects to improve patient care, improve workflow, and make Sunrise Hospital, an HCA Healthcare facility, an even better hospital.
HCA Healthcare, one of the nation’s leading healthcare providers, today announced that it collected 13,523 pounds of unused and expired prescription medications during its “Crush the Crisis” opioid take back day enterprise events, more than twice as much as it collected last year. The events, which took place at 95 HCA Healthcare facilities across 18 states on October 24, 2020, in alignment with the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, were aimed at educating communities on the dangers of opioid misuse and the importance of safe and proper disposal of expired and unused prescription medications.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the U.S. is seeing a significant increase in opioid usage, with 40 states reporting an increase in opioid-related mortality, according to the American Medical Association (AMA). “Crush the Crisis” called on communities across the country to address this timely issue. The events collectively disposed of an estimated 9.3 million doses of medication, eliminating the adverse possibility of potential misuse.
“Communities across the country came together in the midst of this global pandemic to properly dispose of expired and unused medications and make a difference in our battle against the opioid epidemic,” said Dr. Michael Schlosser, chief medical officer of HCA Healthcare’s national group and vice president of group operations, Clinical Operations Group. “Thank you to the DEA, local law enforcement agencies, hospital volunteers and all the many participants who showed up to help ‘Crush the Crisis.’”
The concept of “Crush the Crisis” was spearheaded by Sara Stedman, an orthopaedic nurse in HCA Healthcare’s TriStar Division, when she organized a single take back event at TriStar Centennial Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee in 2017. Last year, “Crush the Crisis” was rolled out nationally, spanning 100 locations across 16 states, with 5,887 pounds of medication collected.
“The idea for ‘Crush the Crisis’ came to me after I witnessed the devastating effects that opioid abuse can have on an individual and his or her family,” said Stedman. “Thanks to the backing of HCA Healthcare, it is truly remarkable to see how this simple idea has evolved into a national movement that’s helping to bring greater awareness to the dangers of opioid misuse and why it’s important to safely and properly dispose of these unused and expired medications before they fall into the hands of someone who may abuse them.”
A total of 95 facilities across 18 states around the country participated in “Crush the Crisis” events by partnering with local law enforcement agencies to collect unused and expired prescription medications. HCA Healthcare facility events with the greatest amount of medication collected include:
Ocala Health in Ocala, Florida collected 1,097 pounds
Chippenham Hospital and Johnston-Willis Hospital in Richmond, Virginia collected 847 pounds
Brandon Regional Hospital in Brandon, Florida collected 714 pounds
Lee's Summit Medical Center in Lee’s Summit, Missouri collected 700 pounds
Medical City Arlington in Arlington, Texas collected 527 pounds
Gulf Coast Regional Medical Center in Panama City, Florida collected 499 pounds
Please click here for more information on HCA Healthcare’s “Crush the Crisis.”
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) November 2020 Hiring Situation indicated that job growth is stalling, with only 245,000 new jobs gained last month. Payroll employment is still 9.8 million short of pre-crisis levels—at November’s pace, it would take until 2024 to return to pre-crisis employment levels. The unemployment rate edged down to 6.7%.
Twindemic refers to the dual threat of a severe flu outbreak on top of the COVID-19 pandemic in the fall and winter of 2020
While the flu vaccine is an important preventative measure every year, it is arguably more important than ever in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. By getting a flu vaccine, you are helping to protect yourself and others from the flu. Since COVID-19 is also a threat this winter, it is important to do what we can to lower our risk of getting ill.
“While we wait for COVID vaccines to be broadly available, the flu remains the number one cause of vaccine-preventable death in the United States,” explains Dr. Jonathan Perlin, president of clinical operations and chief medical officer at HCA Healthcare. “By getting your flu shot and following the CDC’s advice to prevent the spread of COVID-19, you will be in the best position to protect yourself, your family and your community from illness this winter.”
In the Northern Hemisphere, we typically take cues from our Southern Hemisphere counterparts to predict when seasonal influenza will rise and peak. In years past, the Southern Hemisphere generally has its flu season from April to September. In the Northern Hemisphere, cases rise during the fall months and peak between December and January.
However, this is not the time to let our guards down.
“If both influenza and COVID-19 surge at the same time, it could be very devastating. A ‘twindemic’ is something that we can avoid,” said Dr. Kenneth Sands, HCA Healthcare’s chief epidemiologist. “While what we’re seeing in the Southern Hemisphere is positive, we need everyone to come together and continue to do their part. We’re advising everyone over 6 months to get a flu shot, just as we do each year. By getting the flu vaccine, masking and distancing we can make it through flu season.”
How can you tell the difference between COVID-19 and seasonal flu?
COVID-19 and influenza are both contagious respiratory illnesses, caused by different viruses. COVID-19 is caused by infection with a new coronavirus (called SARS-CoV-2) and flu is caused by infection with influenza viruses: Types A and B. The symptoms can appear similar, however there are key differences that you need to be aware of.
Both COVID-19 and flu can spread from person-to-person, between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet). Both are spread mainly by droplets made when people with the illness (COVID-19 or flu) cough, sneeze, or talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
It may be possible that a person can get infected by physical human contact like shaking hands or by touching a surface or object that has virus on it and then touching your mouth, nose, or possibly your eyes. Both flu virus and the virus that causes COVID-19 may be spread to others by people before they begin showing symptoms, with very mild symptoms or who never developed symptoms (asymptomatic).
Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults
COVID-19 seems to spread more easily than flu and causes more serious illnesses in some people. It can also take longer before people show symptoms and people can be contagious for longer.
Another important difference is there is a vaccine to protect against flu. There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus.
Flu viruses can cause mild to severe illness, while COVID-19 can be more serious. A key difference in the two is that COVID-19 may cause a change in or loss of taste and smell, while that is not experienced with the flu.
Available flu vaccines this season
Those who are interested in getting a flu shot have multiple options. Trivalent (three-component) and quadrivalent (four-component) flu vaccines are approved for the 2020-2021 flu season.
Standard-dose quadrivalent influenza shots that are manufactured using virus grown in eggs. These include Afluria Quadrivalent, Fluarix Quadrivalent, FluLaval Quadrivalent, and Fluzone Quadrivalent. Different influenza shots are licensed for different age groups. Some are licensed for children as young as 6 months of age. Most influenza shots are given in an arm muscle with a needle. One quadrivalent influenza shot (Afluria Quadrivalent) can be given either with a needle (for people aged 6 months and older) or with a jet injector (for people aged 18 through 64 years only).
A quadrivalent cell-based influenza shot (Flucelvax Quadrivalent) containing virus grown in cell culture, which is licensed for people 4 years and older. This season, all four of the vaccine viruses used in Flucelvax have been grown in cells, making the vaccine totally egg-free.
In addition to a flu shot, individuals can also help prevent getting the flu and help stop the spread of COVID-19 by taking these simple steps:
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. If you don’t have a tissue available, it is best to cough into your elbow.
Cover your mouth and nose with a mask when you are around others outside of your household and maintain a distance of at least 6 feet.
Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs daily.
Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
If you are sick with flu-like symptoms, the CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone, except to get medical care or other necessities. (Your fever should be gone for 24 hours without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.)
Consider getting the annual flu vaccine to protect yourself and those around you. Call your healthcare provider today to schedule your flu shot.