Archive for July, 2009

PULSE: Respiratory therapists help maintain breath of life

By Laura Raines, Pulse editor

When a “code” (emergency situation) is called in a hospital, sometimes it’s a matter of life and breath. That’s when respiratory therapists — who possess the skills and tools to help patients breathe — step in.

With that in mind, Gwinnett Technical College in Lawrenceville offers a two-year associate degree in respiratory care. It’s a challenging program, but it has to be, said Bob DeLorme, program director for respiratory care.

“Our students spend a lot of time in the lab learning critical competency skills. If they fail one competency, they aren’t allowed to continue with the program,” DeLorme said. “Our students have to know everything, because on any given day they may be called to any area of the hospital, and they never know what they’ll need to do.”

DeLorme, who has taught in the field for 25 years, first learned about respiratory therapy through his involvement with Explorer Scouting, a branch of the Boy Scouts of America.

“Our …

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PULSE: Editor’s Notes: Grads, jobs bring generations together

By Laura Raines, Pulse Editor

We recently attended my youngest daughter’s college graduation. By we, I mean my father (a veteran of World War II); my husband and I (baby boomers); my oldest daughter and her husband (Generation X); and their new baby (Generation ?).

We came by car and plane to support the accomplishment of our 22-year-old (Generation Y).
laura raines

After a weekend of parties, receptions, packing and a baccalaureate service — none of us was ready to leap tall buildings when we arrived at 7:30 a.m. for the 9 a.m. commencement. Grandpa needed to sit down after the long walk to the venue. My husband and I longed for coffee and a newspaper to pass the time until the ceremony. The new parents worried about the cold weather and where to nurse the baby.

Seeing our daughter walk across the stage four hours later was, of course, priceless. Afterward, our beaming graduate hugged us all while texting her friends about meeting for photos and farewell parties.

Graduations are one …

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PULSE: Continuing Education Calendar

Atlanta healthcare professionals can find continuing education courses in this calendar, compiled by the Pulse editor and published monthly.

Aug. 5-8
The American Association of Diabetes Educators will host its 36th annual meeting and exhibition at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta. Attendees can earn up to 22 continuing education credits; students are not eligible to earn credits. The cost to attend the event is $580 (members), $705 (new members), $730 (nonmembers) and $199 (students). For information, call 877-303-0723, send e-mail to or go to Diabetes Educator.

Sept. 8-9
A medical-surgical nursing review for practice enhancement and a certification course will be offered at Piedmont Hospital in Atlanta. The course is for nurses preparing to take certification exams as well as those who want to improve their knowledge. The event will be in classroom 7 on the sixth floor of the 77 building. The cost is $225 and includes course materials, …

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Unemployment, foreclosures and increasing costs: How can people survive?

Chandra Fox, BlogBreak contributor and vice president of wants to know how those of you who own businesses are weathering the current economic storm:

Remember when everyone had huge houses, new cars, little debt and all kinds of money to pay for all of it? Now what do you think would be the perspective of today from someone that had a life span ending in the 1990’s?

Not to say we are all in a more difficult spot, but every friend I have that owns a business says business is off by about 30%. Many restaurants are shutting down or have owners complaining about the super-high food costs. Not to mention paying sky-high rent on what was once a hot location that’s now not even close to what they should be paying for rent, considering the real estate market crash. What about the people that had Personal Guarantees on their businesses? What is happening to these people after sales slow down drastically and they can’t make their note? Others that have hit hard times are …

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How do you feel about the minimum wage increase?

minimum wage

Cox Newspapers

This Friday, the federal minimum wage will increase to $7.25, a 10.7 percent increase. Currently, 75,000 Georgia workers earn at or below the minimum wage rate, and this increase will amount to approximately $112 in additional monthly earnings for these workers.

Some feel the increase is long overdue and not enough considering the current economic climate, while small business owners, especially those in the restaurant industry, fear the mandatory increase could force them to lay off workers, and not hire additional staff.

Let us know how you feel about the minimum wage increase by taking the poll and leaving your comments below. Will the increase ultimately help or hurt Georgia workers?

How do you feel about the minimum wage increasing to $7.25?

  • Good, I’m satisfied with the increase.
  • It’s moving in the right direction, but should be higher.
  • It’s going to hurt small businesses, lead to layoffs and hiring freezes.
  • None of the above. (Please …

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Working Strategies: A pre-layoff checklist

What should you do when you suspect a layoff is imminent? A lot of advice focuses on working harder to keep your job. While that is not a bad idea, I have a feeling it may be too little, too late.

Working Strategies by Amy Lindgren

Working Strategies by Amy Lindgren

Take stock

  • Survey work arrangement and identify what access you would lose. If your workplace uses key cards, you will not be able to enter the building. Your passwords will likely be disabled and you will not be able to use your computer or voice mail at the office. That means no access to your e-mail address book and contact information.
  • Itemize your company-issued equipment. What would you need to return?
  • Review your company-sponsored benefits. Health insurance is the big item; other things to look at include disability and life insurance, professional subscriptions and memberships, and health club memberships.

Reallocate resources

  • Stop using your work computer to store personal documents. Print or e-mail to your personal account the …

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Times are tough for recruiters, too

By Laura Raines, for the ajcjobs

With high unemployment and low job growth, it’s no secret that job applicants are having a tough time in this market. Contrary to public opinion, it’s no picnic for recruiters either.

“I’ve been a recruiter for 15 years, and everyone thinks that my job should be really easy right now, but it’s not. This is a very challenging market,” said Michelle Robinovitz, internal recruiter with AGH LLC, a 35-year-old Atlanta accounting firm.

Photo by Leita Cowart, for the AJC

Michelle Robinovitz, Director of Recruiting at AGH, talks with Paul Paris, Managing Principal at AGH, a CPA firm in Buckhead. Photo by Leita Cowart, for the AJC

Although many have lost jobs, not all have been because of the economy.

“It’s sometimes difficult to decipher what is really going on,” Robinovitz said. “You think someone is fantastic and you dig a little deeper and find out that he isn’t as qualified as you thought.”

She has been trying to fill a job that requires two years of accounting experience …

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Is your boss a TOT: Terrible Office Tyrant?


On the job, we have to deal with all sorts of personalities, and frankly, some people are more difficult to get along with than others. But what if your boss is a TOT (Terrible Office Tyrant)? How do you handle childish boss behavior and still thrive in your position?

TOT’s can exhibit a wide variety of childlike behaviors, according to Lynn Taylor, a nationally recognized workplace expert. Common TOT traits include tantrums, bullying, stubbornness, neediness, mood swings and short attention spans. While many employees simply endure the bad behavior of their bosses for fear of losing their jobs, Taylor says the key to handling these types of difficult personalities is “looking past the professional facade to the underlying childlike motives and instincts.”

So how does one “TOT-proof their office? Below are a few tips that Taylor addresses in her new book, Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant:

  • Set limits and boundaries to bad behavior
  • Be a role model: a positive, …

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How character is a key to success

By Laura Raines, for ajcjobs

A sour economy, high unemployment, dwindling investments, restructuring corporations and shifting industries — we’re living in a period of great transition.

The upside to transition is that it is a great accelerator of everyone’s development, say Bob and Lyn Turknett, principals of Turknett Leadership Group, a character and leadership development consulting firm in Atlanta.

“A lot of character growth comes in bad times, and character is the foundation of leadership,” said Bob Turknett, CEO. “People can either be defeated by challenges and adversity, or they can be revitalized into new initiatives and drive.”

He sees this “shaken-up” workplace as an opportunity for individuals and a spawning ground for new leaders.

Lyn and Bob Turknett

Lyn and Bob Turknett are co-founders of the Turknett Leadership Group, a leadership and organization development company since 1980 located in Tucker. Leita Cowart, for the AJC

“So many workers and jobseekers are looking for a …

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Working Strategies: How to give work away

I talked with a job seeker recently who has an advanced degree, marketable expertise and years of experience in his profession. He’s smart, articulate and writes a good letter. But still, he struck out.

At job search? No, at landing a volunteer gig. “I can’t even give my services away,” he commented.

Non-response from nonprofits has become a common theme in conversations I’ve had with potential volunteers.

Working Strategies by Amy Lindgren

Working Strategies by Amy Lindgren

What’s a volunteer to do? The first step is psychological: Remember that those who need your help the most will likely have the worst hiring processes. The other steps are strategic. Nonprofits, like every other employer, have criteria for their workers. You’ll need to tackle the problem as you would a job search:

  • Do your research to understand the agency’s mission and services.
  • Decide why you want to volunteer: To get or use specific skills? To support a specific cause? To be part of a work community?
  • Prepare a résumé or letter that …

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