Archive for July, 2009

Which is better in the workplace: Recent college grads or 55+ folk?

BlogBreak contributer and vice president Chandra Fox tackles a touchy subject. Which generation works hardest on the job? She makes her position quite clear. Do you agree or disagree with her?

If you are hiring to fill a position with your company and need the best candidate, what makes your decision? Seasoned candidates are clearly coming back into the workforce after the atrocious financial meltdown. Other candidates are recently out of school and are in their twenties. You have two vastly different personalities to pick from. Will your decision be based on the overall focus of the candidate or does the old age discrimination come into play?

Your choices are one of two if you ask me. One choice is a group that are technically genius, resourceful, multi-tasking youngsters or the other choice tends to be an older worker. With a worker that has been in “the game of life” a little longer, you get people that will wait to determine the best solution, …

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Working Strategies: Books to help build career and life skills

For job seekers and career changers putting together reading lists, the choices are endless.
I’m devoting the next two columns to books that have come across my desk recently. This week I’ll focus on guides to building skills in your work life; next week we’ll look at books to help in your job search.

Working Strategies by Amy Lindgren

Working Strategies by Amy Lindgren

  • “Being Strategic: Plan for Success, Out-Think Your Competitors, Stay Ahead of Change,” by Erika Andersen, St. Martin’s Press, 2009, $24.95. She outlines a step-by-step approach to developing a strategic mindset for workplace issues.
  • Recommendation: A good book to pass around your workplace to get conversation started about problem-solving.

  • “Strategic Project Management Made Simple,” by Terry Schmidt, Wiley, 2009, $29.95. Here’s another look at strategy, within the framework of project management. Schmidt outlines painstakingly precise steps for breaking apart a problem, identifying desired outcomes and accounting for assumptions and …

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A real demand for virtual assistants

By Laura Raines, for the AJC

Twelve years ago, the field of virtual assisting hardly existed. “Today, the industry is growing by leaps and bounds, and in the next 10 years I think we’ll see a huge explosion in these services,” said Cindy Opong, owner of Creative Assistants in Colorado Springs, Colo., and president of the International Virtual Assistants Association.
The field is growing on both sides of the supply and demand equation.

Jonathan Bill

Jonathan Bill is the president of Sound Business Services, Inc. in Austell. Photo by Leita Cowart, for the AJC.

“More people are leveraging their administrative, creative, technology or financial skills to start their own virtual assistant businesses, and more large and small companies are in need of their services,” Opong said.

She’s seen her association’s membership and jobs board increase in the past several years.

Virtual assistants perform administrative duties and other tasks from home on a contractual basis for business clients. …

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PULSE: August 2009 edition

About Pulse, Atlanta’s monthly publication for health care professionals

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PULSE: Bottles of hope

By Laura Raines, Pulse editor

“People hear the term ‘brain tumor’ and automatically think it’s a terminal condition,” said Denise Bond, performance improvement coordinator at Emory Eastside Medical Center in Snellville. “It doesn’t have to be.”

Bond survived a brain tumor, surgery and chemotherapy three years ago. The discovery of her tumor was an accident. She had been undergoing treatment for a goiter for 18 months and had her thyroid gland removed in early 2006.

Bottles of Hope

Brain cancer survivor Denise Bond made these Bottles of Hope out of medicine bottles and clay. (Photo by Barry Williams, for the AJC)

The thyroid was cancerous and required followup surgery, but the night before the operation, Bond had a grand mal seizure. She was rushed to the hospital and a CT scan revealed a tumor the size of a golf ball in the frontal lobe of her brain.

Bond is grateful for the state-of-the-art imaging equipment and skilled neurosurgeons at Emory Eastside. She’s also glad …

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PULSE: Function and form

By Laura Raines, Pulse editor

Hospital renovations often start with drawings in an architect’s office. But the new rehab-ready stroke unit at Walton Rehabilitation Health System in Augusta also came from the hearts and minds of nurses and therapists who were trying improve care for stroke patients.

“The face of the rehab patient has changed,” said Karen Lasher, RN, BSN, MS, CRRN, patient care administrator.

Because of changes in health care delivery, patients who survive debilitating strokes are discharged from acute care hospitals much sooner than in the past.

walton rehab room

Because tools like ambulation bars are available right in the room, families are able to practice exercises with their loved one on their own. Photo by DANIELLE SEWARD, Special for the AJC.

“We’re getting rehab patients four days after they’ve had a serious stroke,” Lasher said. “They have greater medical needs. Their blood pressure may still be fluctuating, for instance.

“These patients don’t …

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PULSE: A nurse’s story

By Laura Raines, Pulse editor

Writing a memoir of her life was a healing experience for Florence Brown. She hopes that “The Breezy Meadow: A Butterfly’s Story” will heal, inspire and encourage others, too.

“I wanted to write something to help people get through significant changes, including poor health and emotional struggles,” said Brown, BSN, senior staff nurse in health behavior and psychiatry at
MCGHealth in Augusta. “I wanted to share the lessons I’d learned from my parents … because not everyone had strong role models like I did.”

A psychiatric nurse for more than 20 years, Brown helps patients heal from depression, anxiety, grief and physical and emotional trauma.

Florence Brown

Florence Brown, a senior staff nurse at MCGHealth in Augusta, holds a copy of her book, “The Breezy Meadow: A Butterfly’s Story.” “I wanted to share the lessons I’d learned from my parents,” she said. Photo courtesy of MCGHealth.

“Patients will call me up after just …

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PULSE: Why I Love My Job: Barbara B. Phillips, RN, MSN, CNE

By Laura Raines, Pulse editor

Job: Program chair of the associate degree program in nursing at Athens Technical College

What I do: “I’m responsible for all administrative duties of the department — including accreditation, budget and teaching assignments — for nine full-time and five adjunct faculty members. I also counsel and advise students and, when I have time, I still do classroom instruction.”

What got me interested in this: “I graduated from the Georgia Baptist College of Nursing diploma program in 1974. Education was always my personal quest. I worked and went to school, finally earning my master’s degree in 1994.

“I found my first part-time teaching position in Pulse. I taught at Athens Tech, and worked in the ER at St. Mary’s Hospital until five years ago, when I became a full-time nurse educator.

“I love clinical nursing, but education is an integral part of the profession. As an ER nurse, I was always involved in patient teaching.”

 Barbara B. Phillips

Barbara …

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PULSE: Generation cooperation

By Laura Raines, Pulse editor

The uniforms may look alike, but the health care workers who wear them come from four distinct generations. For the first time in American history, four generations are laboring together in the work force like a huge extended family.

If you think that doesn’t raise challenges, recall the last time you were at a family reunion with Junior, Mom, Grandpa and great-Aunt Mabel and the subject of marriage, politics or tattoos came up.

group of nurses

Nurses (clockwise from left) Susie Bolton, Wanda Reese, Mimsie Caven and Racquel Holmes-Chang work at Northside Hospital in Atlanta. Photos by Barry Williams, for the AJC.

Generational gaps — and the conflict they can cause — aren’t just about age, says Al Vivian, president and CEO of Basic Diversity Inc., a Fayetteville-based diversity consulting firm. The gaps come from different values, attitudes and work ethics that are forged from common generational experiences.

Vivian’s thumbnail sketch of the four …

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PULSE: News briefs for Atlanta healthcare professionals

News briefs are compiled by the Pulse editor.

Nurse appointed
to board of directors

The DeKalb Regional Health System board of directors has appointed Susan Parry, MS, RN, to a three-year term on the board.

Parry, a long-time nurse and former vice president of patient care services, is the first nurse to hold a position on the board and one of the few nurses in the nation to hold such a leadership role.

“My focus will be to facilitate collaborative partnerships between nurses, administration and physicians that can be catalysts for health service excellence and innovation,” Parry said.

A member of DeKalb Medical’s Center for Nursing Practice, Parry has nearly 50 years of nursing experience and has served in managerial and executive positions at DeKalb Medical and has been an instructor at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta.

GET YOUR WINGS: Michele Gandy, a registered nurse and community volunteer, has received this year’s Wings of Mercy Award in recognition of …

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