The Future of Staffing: Four Key Takeaways from the SIA Healthcare Staffing Summit

How evolving the culture and fixing the superhuman mindset can improve the lives of nurses and their patients.

Nursing is consistently voted the nation’s most trusted profession – and yet, it can be one of the nation’s most ‘at-risk’ professions as well. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nursing has the highest rate of nonfatal occupational injuries. Dr. Danielle Ofri, the author of a recent op-ed in the New York Times, blames the culture of self-sacrifice encouraged by the healthcare industry. She writes that despite the detrimental experiences thrown a healthcare provider’s way, “an overwhelming majority do the right thing for their patients, even at a high personal cost.” Ofri explains that the code of ethics healthcare workers keep drives them to out-stretch themselves, rather than to complain, or better yet, ask for help. Chris Caulfield, our co-founder, and Chief Nursing Officer, weighed in on his time working bedside. “Unsafe environments tend to be the norm – they happen on every shift. It should be unacceptable – but that’s the culture nurses come to accept.” In honor of National Safety Month, we’d like to shine a light on the dangers nursing professionals grapple with every shift – in the hopes that at most, the culture of self-sacrifice changes, and at the very least, nurses can be more mindful of their health as their care for the health of others.

Injury on the Job

Nurses who assist in lifting or re-positioning patients often endure repetitive back pain injuries. Caulfield noted that even when facilities have no-lift policies in place, nurses will be asked to forego policy in the interest of time. “As a male nurse, especially, I was asked to lift patients and heavy objects, even when it was unsafe to do so.” Needle sticks also are a regular threat to nurses – according to the CDC, an average of 385,000 sharps-related injuries occurs among healthcare workers. This puts nurses at-risk of several diseases, namely Hepatitis B, C, and HIV. Accidents do happen, but Chris posits that some of these injuries can be avoided. “In the past, I worked at facilities that had no-lift policies, and others that used safer, retractable needles. The only barrier for each of those is price. The price of time saved by rushing and lifting a patient, and the higher price of better, more-advanced needles.” In cases where the administration doesn’t spring for safer policies and safer equipment, nurses pay the price.

Violence against nurses

While healthcare workers make up only 9% of the workforce, studies indicate that there are nearly as many violent injuries in the healthcare industry as there are in all other industries combined. And the number of violent injuries will only continue to skyrocket as time has gone on; over the past decade, there has been a 110% spike in the rate of violent incidents reported against healthcare workers. Incidents are incredibly common for nurses who care for patients with dementia. 76% of nurses surveyed in one study noted that they had experienced physical or verbal abuse in the last 12 months. But it’s not something always reported, dealt with, or taken seriously. Some measures are being taken by individual facilities; hospitals will host self-defense classes or training exercises that walk nurses through specific violent scenarios, which is a start, but until there are nationwide safety standards, violence against nurses will be an inevitable reality.

Burnout

Ask any nurse, and they will tell you that stress is par for the course, caused by a stressful work environment in general, and exacerbated by inadequate staffing levels. In a 2016 study, 92% of nurses surveyed reported moderate to very high levels of stress. And that stress carries over into the rest of their lives. The same study also found that 78% of nurses reported sleeping less than 8 hours a night, 69% did not exercise regularly, and 22% of nurses’ relationship with alcohol would be characterized as binge drinking. This chronic stress and lack of self-care all contribute to nurse burnout – an occupational phenomenon the World Health Organization characterizes as “feelings of energy depletion,” “increased mental distance from one’s job,” and “reduced professional efficacy.” When nurses sacrifice their own well-being, it not only impacts their own health but their ability to provide the best care to the very patients they are aiming to protect. It can also be the catalyst for nurses leaving the field – which will only exacerbate the severe nurse staffing shortage. So – what’s the solution to an environment where injury, abuse, and burnout are the norm? For our part, IntelyCare is trying to improve the nursing experience. We allow nurses to choose their own schedule and take control of their lives. We offer a care team ready to advocate on their behalf, and we are a company co-founded by a nurse who understands what it’s like to be on the front lines of patient care. While we hope that our ability to fill the gaps in care will reduce stress on facility floors, we know that our efforts won’t even remotely come close to solving a pervasive, industry-wide issue. Associate professor Linsey Steege, who studies the health and safety of nursing professionals, sums up the “supernurse” phenomenon perfectly: “That need and culture to be super creates a stigma around asking for help. It creates a stigma around showing signs of weakness and it creates, in some ways, some internal cultures within nursing that you’re not a real nurse if you haven’t worked 12 hours without peeing or taking a break, or if you haven’t worked five shifts in a row.” Something has got to give – namely eradicating the mindset of self-sacrifice. This mindset that makes nurses so admirable is also the one that is their downfall. If nurses can start recognizing dangerous situations and abuse and advocate for themselves, that’s a great place to start. But ultimately, we also need a shift in the nursing culture. As healthcare continues to evolve as a result of technological innovation and government policy, let’s hope that these shifts are made not only in the interest of saving money, simplifying and expediting administrative processes, or winning awards, but also a shift in culture in the interest of the people on the front lines taking care of us and the ones we love.   IntelyCare was created by nurses, for nurses. We’re here to take care of those who take care of everyone else; our staffing solution gives nurses the opportunity for a better, more flexible schedule to help reduce nurse stress. At IntelyCare, we’re driven to offer nurses and CNAs healthcare’s best working experience. Apply today.
Five Tips to Nail Your Nursing Interview

Five Tips to Nail Your Nursing Interview

By Melanie Mathews, Director of Market Development

 

Whether you are a seasoned nurse, or you have just completed your nurse aide training, preparing for a job interview can be nerve-wracking and intimidating for anyone. Here are five tips to help you boost your interviewing confidence and nail your nursing interview!

Tip #1: Be on Time

Whether your first interview is a phone screen or an on-site interview, make sure you are on time. For phone interviews, make sure you are waiting by the phone so you can answer promptly, and for on-site interviews, plan to the facility early to leave breathing room for traffic and other unknown variables. Reliability is essential in the healthcare industry, so it is critical that you set the right impression.

Tip #2: Do Your Research

Whether or not you applied through a job board or you were referred by a friend, you want to ensure that you have done some research about the employer’s background and be able to identify why you have chosen to interview at the organization. Understanding the mission and being aware of recent awards and recognitions can provide you with some easy talking points throughout the interview.

While every nursing role is different, most nursing interviews have some questions in common. Researching some common nursing interview questions and preparing answers is a great way to practice.

Tip #3: Be Honest

Your interviewer will likely ask you some challenging questions during your nursing interview that you should be prepared to answer honestly. Not knowing an answer to a question is completely acceptable and your potential employer will value your honesty.

You should also be ready to answer questions as it relates to your education, employment background, clinical nursing experience, and your future goals. There’s no one who knows you better than you, so this part should be easy!

Tip #4: Tell Your Story

Why did you get into nursing? We bet you have heard this before! Be prepared to answer this during any interview. Highlight your strengths and pull from any previous personal experiences that have molded you into the nursing professional that you are today. Everyone loves stories – so if you can tell a story about your journey to become a nursing professional, even better.

Tip #5: Ask Questions

We can’t stress this enough! Take time before your nursing interview to prepare some thoughtful questions. Without fail, interviewers will ask you if you have questions at the end of the interview – this is to gauge your level of interest in the role and your preparedness for the interview, so make sure to have a few questions ready.

This is potentially your new job – so show your interviewer that you want to know as much about the role as possible.

Bonus Tip: Breathe.

We know – you want to land this nursing job, and interviews can be nerve-wracking. At the end of the day, your experience and credentials matter, but so does your preparation, poise, and personality. Putting in the work to research and prepare for your nursing interview will boost your confidence and showcase to your interviewer that you are invested in this job. So, take a deep breath, follow these tips, and knock that interview out of the park!

Are you looking for a job in nursing? As the fastest growing nurse staffing agency in the country, we’re always looking for passionate nursing professionals to join our team! Plus, our staffing solution gives nurses the opportunity for a better, more flexible schedule, so you can achieve the work-life balance you deserve.

Want to learn more? Apply today.

IntelyCare Raises $10.8M to Cure Nationwide Nursing Shortage with Intelligent Workforce Management

Smart Matching of Nurses and Local Post-Acute Facilities Reduces Burnout, Streamlines Administration and Improves Care

Quincy, Mass. – November 1, 2018IntelyCare today announced a $10.8 million investment to expand development and adoption of its intelligent workforce management solution for post-acute healthcare facilities. The Series A round was led by Leerink Revelation Partners with participation from Longmeadow Capital, previous investor LRVHealth and Bill Mantzoukas, an entrepreneur who has owned and operated a series of skilled nursing facilities. This investment brings IntelyCare’s total funding to $14 million.

Through unparalleled matching technology powered by artificial intelligence (AI), IntelyCare removes the tedious and manual process of scheduling shifts at post-acute healthcare facilities. This is a challenge that facilities nationwide struggle with amid a growing shortage of nursing professionals and increasing demand for care driven by aging Baby Boomers. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts there will be nearly 1.2 million registered nurse vacancies by 2022, with nurses in home care, long-term care, outpatient and rehabilitation work settings needed most.

“The staffing shortage is a real challenge, and better allocation of nursing professionals – which can be done by giving them more freedom and flexibility to work where and when they want – needs to be part of the solution,” said David Coppins, co-founder and CEO of IntelyCare. “As a company that brings nursing professionals and healthcare facilities together to align their mutual interests, IntelyCare is a true partner for both sides that can ease administrative burdens, create a better work-life balance and, ultimately, improve patient care.”

With mandated staffing levels and a lack of nurses needed for required shifts, filling a schedule is a daily struggle for healthcare facilities. Administrators and schedulers constantly plead with employees to take extra hours and fill empty shifts, and then enlist multiple staffing agencies to fill the remaining gaps in coverage.

“Already overworked nurses are asked to cover multiple weekends per month or pull double-shifts, even at a moment’s notice, and that takes a toll,” said Chris Caulfield, RN, IntelyCare’s co-founder and Chief Nursing Officer. “I’ve seen industry-standard practices constantly lead to burnout and high turnover, especially in post-acute settings, and knew there was better way.”

Freedom and Flexibility, On Demand

IntelyCare enables a healthcare facility to optimize its existing nursing staff and augment it when needed. The company’s deep understanding of nurse and facility needs at a local level – driven by its intelligent matching and pricing engine – provides a seamless solution to staffing challenges with minimal manual involvement. Shifts can be filled in as little as 6 hours in advance, and predictive analytics help forecast potential openings weeks in advance, making it easier to immediately fill shifts once they’re officially posted.

Healthcare facilities pay a flat rate to help them simplify planning and budgeting, and the wages that nurses earn are dynamically priced based on the ease or difficulty of filling a shift – a key component to IntelyCare’s industry-leading fill rates. IntelyCare considers dozens of data elements and more than 600,000 observations – such as past behavior, time or day of shift, medical specialties and certifications, geography, pay rates and familiarity with a facility – to present nurses with the shifts they’re most likely to accept.

IntelyCare gives nursing professionals freedom and flexibility to pick up extra shifts and augment their income when it’s convenient for them, without the prerequisites that staffing firms mandate, such as the number of days or weekends worked per month. They can quickly view a list of open shifts – tailored to their needs, preferences and abilities – on an easy-to-use mobile app. On average, nurses who use IntelyCare open the app on their phone five times per day.

Additional features and benefits that IntelyCare provides include:

  • Automated billing. Nurses check in and out of their shifts on the IntelyCare app, which uses geofencing technology to validate hours worked, and are paid directly from IntelyCare.
  • Worry free audits. Healthcare facilities are regularly required to provide governing bodies with full profiles and credentials of every nursing professional that has worked at their location. IntelyCare’s online dashboard, with real-time workforce insights and downloadable profiles, makes this task quick and accurate.
  • Higher quality nurses. IntelyCare learns about each nurse and facility’s preferences through every interaction and proactively seeks feedback through a rating system, enabling it to improve matching over time. Nurses get to work where they want and facilities get the nurses they value most.

“The temporary staffing market in healthcare is a $17 billion business according to Staffing Industry Analyst, and the biggest problem is that it’s just a temporary solution that puts a Band-Aid on a bigger issue. Instead of filling shifts on a transactional basis, IntelyCare presents a permanent solution and one that will be integral to the administration of healthcare facilities in the future,” said Scott Halsted, managing partner at Leerink Revelation Partners. “IntelyCare’s intelligent matching engine can scale where traditional staffing agencies cannot, and by bringing the nursing profession into the gig economy, will play a critical role in curing the staffing shortage on the horizon.”

As part of this funding round, Halsted has joined IntelyCare’s board of directors. He now sits alongside current board members including David Coppins, IntelyCare’s CEO and co-founder who previously served as president of Virgin Pulse and was co-founder and president of Upromise; Ike Nnah, IntelyCare’s CTO and co-founder who has a decade of experience driving healthcare IT; and Keith Figlioli, general partner at LRVHealth who has nearly two decades of experience investing in and operating digital health companies.

About IntelyCare

IntelyCare is the intelligent workforce management solution for post-acute healthcare facilities. Its unparalleled matching technology understands the needs of healthcare facilities and nursing professionals at a hyper-local level to improve care by automatically optimizing and augmenting staff. The company is headquartered outside of Boston, Mass. and backed by strategic investors including LRVHealth, Leerink Revelation Partners, Longmeadow Capital and healthcare entrepreneur Bill Mantzoukas. For more information, visit www.IntelyCare.com or follow IntelyCare on Twitter at https://twitter.com/intelycare.

Contact
fama PR for IntelyCare
Mike Reilly, 617-986-5008
IntelyCare@famapr.com