Well-Meaning Social Media Gaffes can Cause Big Problems for Nurses

Social Media

While many hospitals and healthcare systems have a social media policy in place, mistakes have been made by well-meaning nurses and the consequences can occasionally be severe. In some cases, gaffes made on social media resulted in the employee being reprimanded and even fired. As a support to our allied health and travel nursing professionals, we’ve put together a few tips to keep in mind in your social media interactions.

In a survey of 1,000 of its readers, the Nursing Times reported that only 46% of healthcare employers had a social media policy. It also found that only 35% had a policy for the use of mobile phones in clinical settings and a further 36% were not aware of any policy. According to the survey:

  • 56% believe social media as a positive impact on the nursing profession
  • 40% report that a colleague has discussed patients or co-workers on social media
  • 75% discussed co-worker behavior
  • 32% discussed patients
  • 10% reported that colleagues took pictures of patients

Travel nurses and allied health professionals are especially vulnerable to posting inappropriate material on social media because they are constantly being searched by hospital executives who are thinking of hiring them. It is critical that your social media interactions are professional at all times, even when it’s a personal activity. The following are a few examples from the National Council of State Boards of Nursing to think about before posting:

Even well-meaning advice can be troublesome. A nurse had been working in hospice care for six years. A patient communicated her cancer progress to friends and family on a hospital sponsored social media page. After one day posting about her depression, the nurse replied with a supporting post that the new medication she was receiving will hopefully relieve the depression. The nurse was shopping the following day and was approached by a friend asking about the patient’s condition and commented on the post and about the new medication. This one supporting statement breached nurse-to-patient confidentiality and in addition to potential disciplinary action, she exposed her healthcare employer to a $50,000 HIPAA fine!

Take photos for medical reasons only. A 20-year licensed practical nurse used his personal cell phone to take a picture of a patient with the consent of her brother because she was incapacitated. He showed the photo to a former co-worker he ran into and discussed the patient’s condition. Upon learning of the interaction, the group home administrator fired him for breach of confidentiality.

Do not discuss patients online, ever. A young junior nursing student asked a three-year-old leukemia patient if she could take his picture and he agreed. She posted the photo on her Facebook page declaring, “This is my 3-year-old leukemia patient who is bravely receiving chemotherapy! He is the reason I am so proud to be a nurse!” Unfortunately, the room number was visible in the photograph and a co-worker saw it, reported it to hospital executives, who then contacted the employee’s nursing program administrators.

Many travel nurses use social media to keep in touch with family and friends while on assignment. It’s important, however, to keep your content professional at all times. While it’s great to post pictures and descriptions of your travel adventures and sightseeing, you must exercise discretion and avoid posting anything associated with your place of employment, or in off-shift activities that involve drinking or activities that may be questionable to future employers. It’s becoming quite common for hiring managers perform an online search of nursing candidates before every hire.


3 Reasons RNs Should Feel Good About Advancements in Breast Cancer Research

Breast Cancer ribbon

In October, 2014 as registered nurses promote awareness and encourage donations during National Breast Cancer month, they can feel good about targeted therapies, developed in the last two years that are being used to block the growth and spread of breast cancer in patients. These therapies are proving to be less harmful and more effective than chemotherapy alone, and entail treatments with names that RNs will recognize, like Herceptin, KADCYLA and medications administered as part of immunotherapy.

Here are 3 reasons why RNs and other healthcare professionals in all 50 U.S. States should continue raising awareness about breast cancer and using that momentum to eventually stop the disease.

  • Reason #1: To Continue Building on Our Understanding of the Biology of Breast Cancer: In its article “50 Years in Breast Cancer: Dramatic Progress in Treatment Based On an Improved Understanding of Biology”, The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) acknowledges that **the last 10 years of breast cancer research have been dramatic and groundbreaking. Patients are benefiting from new approaches that improve clinical outcomes for non-metastatic cases. Risk assessment and prevention are able to identify BRCA12 and BRCA23 genes; these commercially available tests have decreased breast cancer risk by **approximately 50 percent and the risk of ovarian cancer by approximately 80% percent! The MRI has also emerged as a more effective screening tool than mammography or ultrasound for high-risk groups.
  • Reason #2: To Be a Part of New and Promising Targeted Therapies: For patients with metastatic breast cancer, or cancer that returns within six months of treatment, Trastuzumab emtansine was created, run through successful clinical trials, and approved by the FDA for marketing in February 2013. Healthcare professionals can find out more about KADCYLA, its side effects, and how to administer the drug by visiting the site, replete with instant message support from an RN!  This promising medication is not the only one to pass its clinical trials. Immunotherapies in Phases I, II and III trials are enrolling patients every day; if you are an oncology nurse and think you have a patient who is interested and qualifies, check the immunotherapy clinical trial finder available at the Cancer Research Organization.
  • Reason #3: To Find Foundations that Help You, Help Breast Cancer Patients:For some under-insured patients the financial burden of battling breast cancer can be as overwhelming as the disease itself. RNs can refer patients to The Genentech® Access to Care Foundation (GATCF). They manufacture medicines for serious health problems and believe everyone who needs them should have access.  GATCF has donated over $3 billion in free medicines and can help qualified patients receive financial assistance for treatment. The Patient Advocate Foundation – National Under-insured Resource Directory may also be able to help.

Healthcare Professionals Unite During Breast Cancer Awareness Month!

As the Susan Komen Foundation holds its annual Race for the Cure campaigns across the United States, let us join together in solidarity. Let us also remember that it is the advances in our understanding of breast cancer that continue to drive therapeutic progress! If you choose to donate directly to the Cancer Research Institute, 86% goes to helping scientists develop immunotherapies that fight breast cancer.  You can also find invaluable links and resources in this archive of Breast Cancer Awareness Month blogs.

**Facts cited in this article came from the following online sites and publications: Recent Advances in Breast Cancer Treatment, the Cancer Research Organization and ASCO’s article on the last 50 years in breast cancer research.

What RNs Should Know About Helping Patients Cope with Depression

girl with depressionRegistered Nurses know that statistics for depressed people and attempted suicides in the U.S. is too high: suicide was named as the fourth highest cause of disability and death worldwide in **1990, and is expected to move into second place by 2020. Because many RNs work in the ICU, where it’s estimated that **1 in 3 patients will become depressed, it’s important that all healthcare professionals recognize depressive symptoms, be able to help and direct these patients to useful resources. 

RNs may want to broach their concerns directly to the patient if they notice certain behaviors. Nurses should be prepared to open up a dialogue with the patient that gets to the root of what is troubling them, and then work together with hospital staff and the patient’s physician, to make the patient more comfortable. 

This list of depressed symptoms was derived from **the Mayo Clinic.

  • The patient seems distracted and tired
  • The patient’s appetite has changed, and he or she is eating less/more; as an RN documenting the patient’s weight, you notice a significant rise or fall on the scale.
  • The patient seems to be craving or avoiding certain foods
  • The patient is sleeping too much/not getting enough sleep.
  • The patient is complaining about a physical discomfort that seems unrelated to what he or she is being hospitalized for.
  • The patient seems nervous and uneasy.
  • The patient is behaving more aggressively toward hospital staff, or, on the flip side presentation of depressed behavior, is behaving in a listless and apathetic manner.

IF Q&A with Your patient doesn’t seem to be enough, RNs can try a depression screening. For older patients, there is the Geriatric Depression Scale; for RNs treating patients in labor and delivery, the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale, and the more generalized Patient Health Questionnaire (PDH-Q) that healthcare professionals can use to assess depression in stroke victims, or use a modified version for adolescents.    

For all patient groups, it’s important that the RN feel comfortable educating their patients about more than just managing their illness. RNs are especially invaluable to patients, when they can connect them with resources that help. For example, COPE is geared for teens and funded by the National Institutes of Health; the organization may prove to be an excellent resource for that troubled teen you’re working with at the hospital. COPE helps teens learn how to make healthier lifestyle choices, and exhibit fewer depressive symptoms. If you are an RN involved in the care of pregnant and postpartum women, an invaluable resource can be found on the website: Post Partum Support International.

Raise Awareness During September, Suicide Prevention Month and Year Round!

September is National Suicide Month, and motivates all health professionals to raise awareness about helping someone with depression before it’s too late. The good news is, you don’t have to be an RN to make a difference; you can simply let the patient know, as John Draper, Director of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline put it in a **recent article, “I’m here when you need me; I care enough about you to remove things that could threaten your safety, and I care enough about you to stay with you, check on you from time to time, and let you know that I am thinking about you”.  

** Facts about depression, suicide and resources and tool that can help the RN were taken from the Huffington Post’s article by John Draper, as well as these sources: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA); The MacArthur Foundation; depression screening tools; The Mayo Clinic;Advisory Board Company

Pros and Cons of RNs Wearing Color Coded Scrubs

RNs wearing color coded scrubs at hospital

Scrubs are the official “uniform” of nurses and other hospital staff—and if everyone is wearing something different, it can be difficult for the patients to identify the steady stream of hospital staff entering their room each day. Patient satisfaction surveys in healthcare systems throughout the U.S. have determined that color coding scrubs according to title, helps alleviate the confusion. Some RNs report more convenience with healthcare issued scrubs; others dislike the policy and prefer the freedom to wear whatever they want to work.

What about your healthcare employer?  Have you, as an RN, witnessed patients mixing up staff roles and reporting the wrong information—thinking, for example, that the staff member who brings the food is an RN or vice-verse? Would you prefer to wear scrubs of your choosing to the hospital, or are you in favor of color coding? Share your opinion by leaving a comment on 50 States Staffing Facebook or Twitter pages, where hot jobs in healthcare are advertised daily!

7 Questions That Pertain to Lovin’ Your Scrubs!

  1. What is your color of choice?
  2. Do you find it’s less expensive to wear color coded scrubs?
  3. Does your healthcare employer supply and launder your scrubs as part of its color coding uniform system?
  4. What do you do to personalize your scrubs?
  5. Do you accessorize with an undershirt to show a contrast in color, above the V-neck of your scrubs?
  6. Do you wear fashionable shoes, i.e. clogs?
  7. Do you think color coded scrubs help patients identify the roles of their caregivers?

So, What Are the Pros of Color Coding…?

The pros of color coding scrubs are:

  • It can be helpful to stand out. Patients can easily discern the PCAs from the RNs—and it doesn’t hurt that nurses don’t have to worry over what to wear.
  • It can take the guesswork out of dressing for your nursing job! However some RNs feel color coding is pointless unless patients have charts in their rooms, illustrating the differences between uniforms. With this in mind, more hospitals are developing these charts, with the intent of including them in the admission packets placed in patients’ rooms.

**The Cleveland Clinic implemented color coding in 2005, and has since issued more than 2,600 healthcare workers color-coded uniforms. RNs at the Cleveland Clinic, one of America’s best hospitals, are issued six uniform pieces; these range from scrub pants and tops to button-up polo shirts, jackets and A-line dresses. The hospital pays the full cost of the wardrobe, and has seen patient satisfaction levels rise because of it.

At 50 States Staffing, We’re here to Help You Dress for Success!

Well, not literally—but you get the idea! RNs and therapists on our travel nurse team are building their clinical skill set in diverse healthcare settings across the USA. Best of all, our recruiting team eliminates any guesswork by working closely with every job candidate. Here, there is no such thing as a silly question! Our recruiters are standing by 24/7 to align your talents with high paying RN jobs and free private housing in some of the most coveted tourist destinations spots on the map! Call 1-800-996-2206 or apply online today to connect with a recruiter and start your dream job today!

**Information about Cleveland Clinics color coding policy was taken from Scrubs Magazine.

More Hospitals Demanding a BSN Degree for Travel Nurses

Studies prove it, and hospital executives are beginning to take notice. In the largest, most graduate nurse with BSN degreedetailed study of its kind, it was once again concluded that advanced nurse degrees result in better patient health outcomes. The study, published in The Lancet, examined data from 422,730 patients in 300 hospitals across nine European countries.

“Our study is the first to examine nursing workforce data across multiple European nations and analyze them in relation to objective clinical outcomes, rather than patient or nurse reports. Our findings complement studies in the U.S. linking improved hospital nurse staffing and higher education levels with decreased mortality” said study author, Professor Linda H. Aiken PhD – University of Pennsylvania.

The Impact of Education on Nursing Practice

The studies to which Dr. Aiken is referring is a rapidly growing body of evidence that suggests that patient health outcomes improve when treated by RNs with advanced education, specifically a baccalaureate or master’s degree. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) summarizes a number of these studies titled “The Impact of Education on Nursing Practice” and is available in PDF.

President Jane Kirschling of the AACN said, “These findings significantly augment the growing body of research, which shows that quality patient care hinges on having a well-educated nursing workforce.

What this Means for “The Future of Nursing”

In a landmark study, the Institute of Medicine and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation recommended that 80 percent of U.S. nurses have a bachelor’s degree by 2020. The report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health, recommended advanced education for nurses to prepare for “the demands of an evolving health care system and meet the changing needs of patients.”

Hospitals have responded to this recommendation and the compelling study results by hiring only bachelor’s degree-trained nurses.

50 States Staffing VP of Recruitment Mary Kay Hull agrees, “It is very much on track with what we are seeing. More and more hospitals will only consider RNs with BSN or higher for travel nurse positions.

Hospital executives are starting to pay attention to the growing body of evidence that nurses with advanced degrees facilitate better patient outcomes. The competition for patients and employees in the healthcare industry can be intense especially in major cities. While there is a moral case for advanced nursing education in saving and improving lives, there is also a solid business case for management to reform their hiring process.

Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago is one of those hospitals that have reformed their hiring practices. They are only hiring nurses with a BSN or higher to reach their goal of having 100 percent of their nursing workforce with advanced degrees.

Paid Education as a Travel Nurse

At Fifty States Staffing, we know that juggling a nursing career and family leaves little time and money for continuing education. For that reason we include education reimbursement as part of a generous benefits package along with free private housing and higher than average wages. We have several high-paying listings for nurses with their BSN and offer continuing education credits to those looking to advance their education.



Registered Nurses May See Google Glass Become Common Place in Hospitals

For those who don’t already know, Google glass is a lightweight, wearable technology that is being tried out by clinicians in hospitals around the world. Many are discovering that Google glassesGoogle Glass improves quality, safety, and efficiency in ways a keyboard can’t. When used in a healthcare setting, this assistive technology can display video, document meetings with patients, and keep data flowing with alerts, reminders and filtered information that help RNs and doctors make evidenced based decisions.

One of the scenarios Google Glass makes possible for RNs is using the temple-touch interface to show the patient, list his or her medications and interactions, and then suggest a proper dosage along with pictures of what the medicine looks like; this method could replace unit dose barcodes that have been on medications for years.

In this video from Ohio State’s Wexner’s Medical Center, clinicians are using Google glass as a teaching tool by broadcasting a routine surgery.

This amazing technology lets surgeons collaborate with other specialists across the country in real-time, as well as call up scans, EKGs, MRIs, blood work—obviously, this serves as more than a teaching tool; Google Glass can also be used to improve clinical outcomes for patients undergoing surgery.

Google Glass Benefits Go beyond the Territory of Med Surge Nurses and into the ED

RNs working in emergency departments and other healthcare settings wherein the team treats cardiac arrests, will have ACLS codes at their immediate disposal. Rather than memorizing clinical knowledge that helps the patient, Google Glass can retrieve the most relevant information, and help the ED nurse deliver superior emergency care.

Several healthcare professionals trying this technology (through the Google Glass Explorer program) have remarked that **they can see this becoming a commonplace technology in hospitals—that it can overcome the misgivings some may have over HIPPA and privacy and become something every patient comes to expect from their RN. And why not? Vital signs, triage details, and nursing documentation are offered by Google Glass; lab and radiology results—an entire ED dashboard is at the wearer’s disposal. Interested RNS can click the Google Glass Explorers link and shop around; the glasses are advertised at $1500.

50 States Staffing is Buzzing on Trending Healthcare Topics, Hot Jobs and More!

If you have witnessed this technology at work in your hospital, please leave us a comment on where you see this technology down the road. Could you see Google Glass integrated into the call-light system, so that you no longer need to remove your gloves in the hospital, reaching for your phone? Technologies like this seen in healthcare aren’t just changing hospitals. They’re changing the world! Call 1-800-996-2206 or apply online today to join a healthcare workforce forging new paths in patient care! An experienced healthcare staffing agency finds you high paying nursing and therapy jobs in all 50 U.S. states!

**Information from this hospital was taken from the article 5 Ways Google Glass Can Be Used in a Hospital and The Nerdy Nurse: Google Glass for Nurses.

What Registered Nurses Need to Know About MERS

MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) is a respiratory illness caused by a type of coronavirus. It starts off mimicking the common cold, progresses into symptoms similar to nurse with possible MERS symptonsthe flu, and can result in shortness of breath, pneumonia and death. **Infectious disease experts have tracked the origin of MERS to Saudi Arabia; the first case presented in 2012.

MERS has been found in camels and bats in the Middle East; however, **The World Health Organization (WHO) and the CDC are uncertain of these animals’ role in transmission of the virus to humans. Worldwide, 500 cases have been reported with a 30% mortality rate. Of the 18 countries with known cases, the United States has seen two, one in Indiana and one in Florida; the two patients affected are doctors from the Middle East, who made transcontinental flights and fell ill at airports that included stops in London, Boston, Atlanta and Orlando.

6 Important Facts about this New Respiratory Illness 

Hospital based Registered nurses should be on the lookout for patients who present in the ED with MERS symptoms. Emergency Room RNs are advised to question patients with flu-like symptoms about where they have traveled in the last few weeks. All health professionals can benefit from this shortlist of important facts about MERS.

  • #1: MERS spreads when a person comes in close contact with someone who has the virus.
  • #2: Twenty healthcare workers in Orlando, Florida may have been exposed to the virus while treating the hospitalized MERS patient. So far, two of the healthcare workers who fell ill have tested negative for the virus.
  • #3: The **CDC reports potential for MERS-CoV to spread further and cause more cases globally and in the US.
  • #4: The **CDC is monitoring MERS globally, and will continue to work with health departments and hospital employers nationwide to prepare for any new cases.
  • #5: The **WHO reports that MERS has not yet met the criteria to be considered a global health emergency.
  • #6: The TSA will post advisories at 22 major international airports across the US to warn travelers about the virus’ spread; but CDC does not recommend that travelers change their plans because the overall risk for infection is low.

Good News for RNs in Florida and all 50 U.S. States

Florida’s Department of Health confirmed that all health care workers exposed to the virus (here in the U.S.) have tested negative, adding that there is no broad risk of MERS infection for the general public; however, since the second MERS case shows hospitals are ground zero for the virus, health professionals should be on high alert about what to look for and how to protect themselves from infection. Nursing career resources assist in this, as they touch on trending healthcare topics that raise awareness for those working in RN and therapy jobs across the USA. Check in with 50 States Staffing for high paying nursing jobs in all fifty U.S. states!

** Facts cited in this blog were taken from What You Need to Know About the Deadly MERS VIRUS; the CDC’s page entitled: “MERS Reported in the US”, as well as the World Health Organization’s “Coronavirus Infections” page.  

This National Nurses Week, May 6-12th, Be the Change You Want to See in the World!

“Nurses Leading the Way” is the perfect theme for 2014’s National Nurses Week. Successful healthcare reform in the United States and changes to Medicare mean that RNs are poised to take on an even bigger role in medicine. Changing demographics confirmed by the Institute of Medicine’s report on registered nurses’ future give RNs every reason to remain the determined, confident, innovative thinkers that the healthcare industry has come to rely on—a precedent set when Florence Nightingale modernized nursing jobs for today’s empowered RN.

The American Nurses Association (ANA) pays tribute to Nightingale by beginning Nurses Week on May th and ending it on her birthday, May 12. To ensure things go off with a bang, ANA offers a free webinar, and National Nurses Week toolkit, available for all RNs online. The week features highlights for RNs on just about every nursing career trajectory, from National Student Nurses Day on May 8th to a world celebration of international nurses on May 12th.

Pay-It-Forward Ideas that Celebrate You and Your Fellow RNs!

While this week of important events will feature lots of T-shirts, pins, flowers and cards, it’s important to take nursing awareness to the next level by paying it forward in your hospital or clinic. These are just a few thoughtful ideas to keep Florence Nightingale’s legacy strong:

  • Buy or lend a copy of your favorite nursing book for a new graduate on your unit.
  • Bring the unit secretary a token of your appreciation for helping nurses shine—like a hot cup of coffee or fresh flowers.
  • Surprise your fellow nurses with homemade cookies, attaching a card that explains how much you enjoy working with them. Healthy Careers has brilliant, easy dessert recipes you can whip up in a flash!
  • Organize a special brunch, just for you and your RN buddies.
  • Volunteer to help out a colleague if he or she has a difficult patient or project
  • Answer a call light for another nurse.
  • Make a donation to a worthy nursing organization in a coworker’s name.
  • Host a “movie night”, with this fascinating 1 hour Nightingale biopic as the main event!

Have You Done a Good Deed During Nurses Week?

So, what about you? How will you celebrate this important event? Will the efforts you make, the smiles you give and receive, and the excellent healthcare you provide throughout the year speak to the whole point of National Nurses Week—to transform healthcare through leadership? Please leave us a comment and let us know. In the meantime, 50 States Staffing wishes its nursing team, with RNs in all fifty U.S. states, success in remaining as they are: active contributors to healthcare. May they continue to be, as the great Gandhi said, “the change they want to see in the world.”


More Medical Surgical Nurses are Learning about 3D Bio Printing, Soon to Be Commonplace in Regenerative Medicine

RNs regularly treat patients who are waiting for organ transplants—unfortunately, the waiting game proves fatal for **an estimated 18 patients a day. This is why regenerative medicine is critical and researchers at the Methuselah Foundation are actively funding projects like the world’s first 3D printed liver. Methuselah, located near Virginia travel nursing jobs, is offering a new organ prize of $1 million to the medical scientist(s) who can design the first viable human liver—a more challenging task for bio printing, since organs with their own vascular system are harder to create than, say, a human **bionic ear—already created by bio printers. The first bio printed liver is anticipated sometime this year!

As high tech as they sound, 3D printers are nothing new; the first working prototype was invented in 1984, and they have only been getting better since. 3D printers can generate working copies of everything from military supplies to auto parts, and what they are doing now for healthcare is even more amazing, as they make strides toward a world without an organ donor shortage; or, better yet, a world where donors are not necessary at all.  The company “Organovo” explains these strides in this fascinating company profile video:

Watch an Organ Being Printed!

Imprint Your Indelible Mark on the Healthcare Landscape by Applying at 50 States Staffing Today!

It’s the stuff of science fiction to witness the creation of functional, 3-dimensional tissues that can be implanted or delivered into the human body to repair or replace what is damaged; better still, patients receiving printed organs will have little chance of rejecting that new heart, kidney or lung—because it will come from cells in their own bodies!  One day, med/surg nurses will assist in harnessing nature’s ability to form organs and build our own, cell by cell with the “bio ink” regenerative medicine is based on.  It turns out that cells survive the printing process so well, that 3D bio printing is likened to the ink jet printers RNs use in their nursing careers today.

In 50 years, RNs in cardiac nursing jobs will be trained to imprint sheets of cardiac tissue that attach to a patient’s damaged heart.  Will healthcare teams be able to replace a liver that succumbed to alcoholism, lungs that failed because of too much smoking? Scientists studying regenerative medicine say that one day, yes, they will; but of course the best advice of all is to prescribe to a life of health and wellness, and strive to study these feats rather than rely on them.  For more information on nursing careers in a blossoming, intellectually stimulating and forever evolving healthcare landscape, call or apply online at 50 States Staffing today!

**Information for this article was gleaned from Forbes Magazine article:  The First 3D Printer Organ, a Liver, Is Expected in 2014

The Nurse’s Guide to Safe Plastics: 5 Ways to Avoid BPA and Other Harmful Chemicals

Labor and delivery registered nurses know this better than anyone: if new Moms need to use a bottle, the best choice is to avoid plastics and opt for glass bottles or containers that are free of BPA, marketed as “BPA-free”. Bisphenol-A (BPA) imitates the sex hormone estrogen and is found in more than just baby bottles and sippy cups. Many plastic food BPA-free bottlesstorage containers, even the lining of soda cans contain trace amounts.

The health concerns surrounding BPA include early onset of puberty, cardiovascular problems, hyperactivity and other illnesses that make us think twice about what we’re drinking and eating from. While some exposure to BPA is inevitable, it can be greatly reduced by taking precautions. See the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) fact sheet to learn everything there is to know about BPA.

50 States Staffing offers 5 tips for reducing exposure that our health professionals can also share with their patients:

  • Tip 1: Be aware of more than just BPA. Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC or vinyl), Polystyrene (PS), Polycarbonate (or “other” resins) should also be avoided. These chemicals are found in cling wrap as well as plastic containers. Limit use of cling wrap, and DO NOT use it in the microwave. Foods packaged in cling-wrap (i.e. cheeses and meats) should, ideally, be trimmed of their outermost layers before eating.
  • Tip 2: Look at the recycling #s on the bottoms of your plastic containers. Those marked with label No. 7 may contain BPA. In their “Smart Plastics Guide”, the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy recommends using food and drink containers that bare the recycling numbers of 4, 5, 1 and 2.
  • Tip 3: Don’t drink hot beverages from plastic cups! Microwaving plastic containers or pouring hot liquids into them increases the amount of BPA 55 times faster than when used cold. Swap out that plastic coffee mug and replace it with a glass or ceramic one; the same goes for all your plastic dishes and cups—it’s best to replace them with glass varieties.
  • Tip 4: If you own plastic cutlery, cups and dishes, skip the dishwasher and harsh detergents. Opt for hand washing your dishes in warm water, with non-toxic cleaning products such as “Seventh Generation”.
  • Tip 5: Go BPA-free at the grocery store: This means limiting canned foods and drinks, as the lining may contain BPA. Cut back on bottled water and filter your own using a reverse osmosis filter, like the Brita Pitcher. This handy link on Where to find BPA-free products can help the next time you shop.

Has Your Healthcare Employer Joined the Conversation on Safe Plastics?  

Plenty of renowned hospitals have conducted studies on BPA safety levels, and have joined a fray of medical experts that believe these should be reviewed after a number of recent studies on the subject were published. Share your knowledge on this subject by leaving a comment, or joining the conversation on 50 States Staffing’s Facebook and Twitter pages.

Footnote: Health professionals with an interest in going BPA-free can click here for a Safe Plastics Numbers Guide

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