5 Easy Ways to Avoid Burnout

5 Easy Ways to Avoid Burnout

Burnout – we’ve all been there. We working too many hours, juggling projects and then there’s stress, we all have too much stress. It can be overwhelming and brings us to the end our rope.

We’re tired, can’t concentrate and not getting things done. We’re burned out.


Try these tips on avoiding burnout or if it’s already here – how to deal with it.


Help others – volunteer and giving your time and skills to change the lives of others will make you feel good and will revitalize you.



Exercise – getting regular exercise is an important way to make a real difference and reduce burnout.




Meditate – 5-10 minutes daily help center you and keep you feeling better. There are apps to make it easy to remember. A few deep breathes, quiet, and you’re refreshed and ready.



Just stop – the phase stop and smell the rose has a point. Take a minute and stop. Take a walk, call a friend or pet your dog or cat.


Get away – a day off, a long weekend or a real vacation – taking time off to enjoy yourself. Unplug. Turn off your phone, shut down your computer and take care of yourself. Most of us are spending so much time working we have very little “me” time. Schedule some time for yourself away from all the noise and stress. Even 30 minutes can make a difference. Relax.



Figure what you love and do it – A hobby, a project, something that gives you joy to avoid burnout.



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Vacations Equal Better Health

Summer is fast approaching. Have you booked your vacation yet?


Taking time off has been linked to better health. It’s time to ignore that inner voice telling you that you have too much work to do and start planning that much needed vacation. Your health depends on it.


Research over the past few years has been quite clear – vacations help people be more productive and are good for your health!


The long hours, endless meetings and paperwork, constantly staring at your computer screen, eating lunch at your desk is overwhelming and can lead to burnout. It’s easy to overdo it. Everyone does. Consider taking a few days off to benefit from the stress reducing effects a vacation gives you. It helps you refuel – physically and mentally.



There have been studies showing that even taking a micro break can make a difference. Can you imagine what five full days out of the office would do for you? Recent surveys conducted by Forbes and Glassdoor showed that only 25% of Americans take all their vacation time and another survey showed over 40% don’t take vacations at all! And be honest when you do take time off, you bring work along to do or find yourself checking your email constantly. That is not a vacation.


Several studies including the Framingham Heart Study showed not taking vacations can actually be bad for your heart health. Not taking a vacation for one year might increase the risk of a heart attack or fatal heart condition.


A vacation can be what you need to recharge and get back on track. They are vital for continued success.


Being dedicated and giving your all is great, but when you work all the time – you suffer and so does your health. Put yourself first and take care of your physical and mental health. Vacations reduce stress, improve productivity, increase our happiness and improve how we deal with each other. Sounds like a win-win!


Imagine being at work feeling rested and happier. Days off replenish job performance and your brain responds quicker. You are better able to conquer any challenges.


With summer fast approaching, instead of thinking of reasons why you can’t go, remember why you need to go. Visit your favorite travel site, talk to your family or friends and find someplace fun to go.


Everyone needs a break. Go ahead and reap the benefits a vacation offers.




National Pet Day – April 11

It’s National Pet Day.









How To Avoid Red Flags On Your Resume


With all the posts on creating resumes, it’s important to make sure that your resume highlights you in the right way.


What are considered red flags and how to avoid them?


Gaps – employment gaps can be a big red flag as an employer is reviewing your resume. I knew one hiring manager who used a red marker and circle gaps and if there too many, the person was toast. Sometimes the gap can be explained, you took care of sick parent or went back to school, etc. Cover letters can be helpful to explain some gaps but be careful not to be too wordy. For an interview; it’s important to be prepared to explain gaps with a short detailed answer (no rambling please).


Sloppy resume – resumes with formatting errors, typos, spelling and grammar errors, different fonts show a lack of attention to detail and is a big red flag.  Not taking the time to prepare a good resume makes an employer wonder what else you might not prepare for.


Lack of focus – You career might have taken in you various directions with a variety of job titles. It’s important that you take the time focus your resume for the particular job you’re applying for.  Just a few extra details on your background and experience can make all the difference. Recruiters and hiring managers should not have to guess if you can do the job – take the time to target your resume and show them that you have the skills needed.


Words but no substance – I recently spoke to a candidate who had great experience but you’d never know it from his resume. The words he used were vague and said nothing. Hiring managers care about substance – What have you done? How have you impacted the company/practice? Numbers, specifics are what they are looking for. Saw patients vs. Saw 15 patients daily. Performed surgery vs. performed  ‘x’ number of ‘type’ of surgery. Flowery words are a red flag that might not have the experience they need, so be specific.


No achievements – it’s important to note your accomplishments. Potential employers like results, so show them. Be specific.


Next Step to rid your resume of red flags

Take a few minutes and review your resume, look for the red flags mentioned. Rewrite and revise. It’s worth the time to have a resume that stands out.





Happy Easter

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Salary Negotiation Tips For Advanced Practice Providers


It doesn’t matter whether you’re starting a new Nurse Practitioner or Physician Assistant job or trying to get a raise, it’s important to negotiate so you get the best offer. It’s a bit scary but you can do it. Don’t risk feeling cheated and being unhappy.


Here are some tips to help you get the best salary:


The interview – it’s about building relationships, showing them your skills and knowledge and how that will add value to their company. You, making them see you as part of the team.


Know what is important to you – Think Full Compensation Package – salary, benefits, time off, tuition reimbursement, continuing education, retirement, etc. What are you willing to consider – for example would you be willing to take a lower base salary if there’s a bonus or for full health benefits for you and your family? Less for a day shift?   


Don’t assume you have to take their first offer – you may be leaving money or other benefits on the table. Most companies expect a counter offer so give them one. Your counter can include base salary, bonus, vacation time, CME money, etc.


Be confident – you know you can do the job, you’ve shown them your value however, be careful not to come across as arrogant.


Preparation – Research salaries in the city/region and know what the salary range is for your skills and job title. Use salary surveys, ask friends but it’s important to know what’s being paid in the area.


Keep your emotions in check – deep breath, don’t panic and don’t get angry if the first offer is low. This is a business transaction.


Practice – your goal is to present why you are worth (based on your research) the salary you are asking. Since most of us are uncomfortable asking for money; it really helps to practice it with friend you trust. Do a few runs with a friend.


Remember do not make demands – it will not get you what you want.  Always appear to be open to discuss it further – you are negotiating.


There’s no guarantee you’ll get everything you’ve asked for but not negotiating could cost you so don’t be afraid to go for it!




5 tips to be an Optimist

Optimists tend to do better in life. They are more positive and don’t get as depressed as a pessimist. In addition, optimists are healthier and cope better and a studies have found they may live longer too.


“Choose to be optimistic, it feels better.”– Dalai Lama XIV


So how can you become an optimist? Here are 5 tips to help you.


Find an optimist – make friends with them and learn how they do it. Optimists are upbeat and supportive. Their positive thought process guides their actions and their life. Being around them will help you learn to alter the way you think and do things. Watch and listen. See how they handle disappointment and problems. A positive outlook can make all the difference.


Stay away from the negative people and your own negative thoughts – We all have people who find something wrong with everything. It’s hard to be positive around someone who is always complaining. Limit your time with them.  The same goes for your negative thoughts. When you feel them coming on, stop yourself and instead focus on a more positive thought. It won’t happen overnight but regular practice can help you get in the habit of being more positive. It can make a real difference.


Tune into your feelings – what makes you feel good? If you’re feeling positive, what happened to make you feel that way? Get in the habit of starting each day with a positive thought or quote. It can be as simple as ‘Thank you’.


Glass Half Full –Seeing the world with an attitude that your glass is half full makes you happier. Expecting good things can lead you to take actions that actually make good things happen for you. If you only expect bad things, guess what? You don’t do anything and nothing good happens. Glass half full is the way to go!


Be satisfied with where you are now – it’s good to strive to be better. But focusing on what’s wrong won’t get you to a better place. Focus on what’s good about you, your job, your life and move forward from there.


“For myself I am an optimist – it does not seem to be much use to be anything else.”

– Winston Churchill



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Simple Resume Tips To Make You Stand Out

I read hundreds of resumes every month and too many of them are hard to read and make me groan in distress. If your resume doesn’t show off how you can help the employer, they will just go onto the next one.


Your resume is the first thing a potential employer judges you by and too many times people don’t take enough time to make it shine.


So what things can you do to make your resume stand out?

  • Simple is always best – no fancy fonts, no weird formatting and no flowery words. Well written text and information telling a future employer who you are. Make it easy to find out what you can do.
  • Create sections with bold print and bullet points of information. Long paragraphs are boring, hard to read and so people don’t and can miss what experience you have.


Resume Format – what your resume needs:

  1. Objective – I like these when they’re well written, hate them when they’re rambling and say nothing. If you’re going to use one make it short and tell what job are you looking for. No more, no less.
  2. Summary of qualifications – a great way to highlight your best skills and what employers care about  – 2-4 well written bullets about your background
  3. Education – if you’re a new graduate your education should be before your work experience, if you’re more experienced and have lots of work experience it can go at the end or the beginning; it’s up to you.
  4. Work History – or you can call it Experience. See below for format sample. List your most recent position first. Write in the first person – but leave off “I”. So instead of I see – See 15 patients daily……
  5. License and Certifications – list National certifications and State licenses that are active or in process.
  6. Other – you might want to include associations or volunteer work that relates to the job you’re searching for.

Here’s an easy to read format for your work history:


Name of Company, city/state                     Dates of employment

Your Title (Bold)

Bullet points of what your job entails and your accomplishments. The key is show value and not write general descriptions. Write good explanations of your day including type and number of patients you see, note any procedures – chest tubes, suturing, etc.

Also consider:

  • Margins – the 1” inch margins are not always the best, feel free to change them and allow more on each page.
  • Number of pages of a good resumes – 1-3 pages works best – not too long but long enough to show them your experience. 5+ pages and you need to do some editing.


What to leave off your resume:

  1. Personal information like – Date of birth, Social Security #, etc.
  2. Photographs
  3. Jobs from 12+ years ago
  4. Information on your children and spouse
  5. References names & contact information – you will send them when requested by the employer
  6. References Available Upon Request – everyone knows this so no need to waste space saying it


Final tips – read the job description of the position and review your resume for the skills required. If necessary tailor your resume for the position. Also, you might need more than one resume to focus on specialty or job title.




Credentialing tips for Nurse Practitioner and Physician Assistants

The interviews are over and you signed your offer letter. You have a new job! Not so fast – you still have to go through – Credentialing.


What is Credentialing?

It is a systematic, paperwork intensive procedure to ensure quality professionals are added to the staff.  Essentially, it’s a long rigorous process of verifying your history, education and work experience so you can work at the hospital/practice.


Every time you move forward in your career, you have to get credentialed again. It feels like it takes forever and there always seems to be just one more bit of information needed. In general credentialing can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, though sometimes it can take longer. Requirements vary by facility but the goal is the same.


How to be organized during credentialing?


It’s important that you are organized and have the required documents ready so it doesn’t take longer than necessary.


First, get a file to keep all the required documents for credentialing so that you can access them easily.  It would also be beneficial to keep digital copies of everything as well. This would allow for quick and easy submission.


It’s a good idea, that when you start interviewing to review all your documents so you’re not scrambling once you’re hired and the credentialing process gets underway.


Once you receive the packet for credentialing – Don’t put it off! Set up time and get it all done. It’s important that all forms and documents are completed fully and that they are thorough. Mistakes or missing information slows down the process.

What’s included in a credentialing packet:

Application – you will be required to complete an application (online or paper). Make sure that it’s completed thoroughly. It’s a good idea to keep copies of applications to use as a reference in the future. Having past applications will keep your information up to date as your career progresses.


Education – have copies of your diplomas and transcripts available for undergraduate, masters, doctorate and any residency/fellowships. This will save time so that the credentialing team does not have to contact your schools.


State Licenses and Board Certifications – you’ll need all your current PA, RN, NP state licenses. In addition, you’ll need whatever national certifications you have ready to send when requested. Make sure they are all up to date.


References – a list of professional references will be required. You will need managers/directors or doctors who have supervised your work and speak to its quality. Having another provider as a reference can be good as well. Be sure you have their phone (office and cell), email address and physical address. Check them prior to submitting for accuracy.


Other items you’ll probably need:

  • National Practitioner Identifier (NPI) Number
  • DEA / Controlled Substance Registration
  • CPR / BLS / ACLS or others as needed
  • Continuing Medical Education Certificates
  • Certificates of Professional Liability Insurance if required
  • Copy of Driver’s License and Social Security Card
  • Copy of your CV/Resume
  • Immunization Records


Finally, it’s important to stay in regular contact with the Credentialing Department to check on the process and make sure they don’t need any additional paperwork. Also if they call you, call them back as quickly as possible to avoid delays.


Good luck on your new job.


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8 ways to be more focused at work

We all have trouble staying focused. A co-worker interruption, phone calls, texts, emails and the next minute you know you’ve lost focus and not getting your work done. Learning to focus takes effort and a plan.


Try these 8 tips to stay focused:

  1. Get started –  the act of getting started and beginning a task is the first step to focus.
  2. Create a “To Do” list – list the 4-5 most important things you need to accomplish for the day – add any action that needs to get done. Note: Pick your number one task and do it first.
  3. Time blocks – time blocks can be as short as 5 minutes to as much as an hour. But the idea of blocked time to focus on a selected task or project can do wonders. Another choice is scheduling. Use your calendar to schedule specific 30 or 60 minutes time slots to complete tasks.
  4. Turn off distractions – stop notifications for email and social media apps. Your phone can be a distraction, for optimal focus time, consider muting it or putting in your drawer or somewhere out of sight. I know scary but the results will be worth it.
  5. Limit email time – check email every 2-3 hours instead of every few minutes. This small act will save you time and making focusing on your work easier.
  6. Stop multitasking – trying to do two or three things at the same time is the opposite of focus. Complete one task, project or assignment and then move onto the next one.
  7. Deadlines – they suck but they force you to focus on getting the task done and stopping you from procrastinating.
  8. Take a break – you are more effective if you take breaks in between tasks. So let’s say you’re doing a 45 minute block, take a 15 minute break. Walk around, stretch, chat over a cup of tea or coffee whatever and then get back to it. The break will help you recharge.


Being more focused helps you get more done. But it takes practice. Create a system that works for you and get started being more productive.


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