Archive for October, 2009

Why I Love My Job: Sally Vandenbos, RN, MPH, NCSN

By Laura Raines, Pulse editor

Job: Consulting nurse, Cobb County public schools

Sally Vandenbos is a consulting nurse with Cobb County public schools.  Barry Williams/AJC Special.

Sally Vandenbos is a consulting nurse with Cobb County public schools. Barry Williams/AJC Special.

What I do: “I oversee the licensed school nurses in 18 to 20 schools in Cobb County. A good part of my week is spent visiting schools and training new nurses, teachers and staff.

“Teachers have a lot on their plates, so when I schedule training about diabetes or asthma, the reaction is often, ‘Oh, not another training.’

“Later they say, ‘I didn’t know that.’ It gets them thinking about how to help their students in other ways.

“School nurses handle the day-to-day illnesses and emergencies. I’m here as another pair of eyes, a backup, and I put systems in place to help their jobs go smoother.”

What got me interested in this: “I was an ICU hospital nurse in New Jersey [and] found that a school nurse schedule worked better after I had children. I discovered I …

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PULSE: Fighting the flood

By Laura Raines
, Pulse editor

On a typical day, school nurse Sherry Farmer sees about 40 children in her clinic at Clarkdale Elementary School in Austell. She dispenses daily medications for chronic conditions, patches up scrapes, checks temperatures and doles out tender loving care to her young patients.

When torrential rains caused extensive flooding in more than 15 metro Atlanta counties in late September, normalcy was washed away. All 442 of her students were at risk and needed the calm presence and compassion of their school nurse, whose emergency-preparedness training kicked in.

Flood waters nearly reach the roof Clarkdale Elementary School in Austell. PHIL SKINNER, pskinner@ajc.com

Flood waters nearly reach the roof Clarkdale Elementary School in Austell. PHIL SKINNER, pskinner@ajc.com

“Monday [Sept. 21] started as a normal school day, only it was raining again,” said Farmer, RN, BSN.

When staff members noticed water under the trailers in back of the school, they brought the children, equipment and books into the main building where they thought it was safe.

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PULSE: Continuing Education

By Pulse staff

Nov. 20
Gwinnett Medical Center in Lawrenceville will host its annual stroke conference from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the GMC Resource Center. Doctors and nurses from around the country will discuss advances in stroke care. Topics will include the pros and cons of interventional devices used for acute stroke; neuroimaging as the future of patient selection in stroke treatment options; and the future of rehabilitation research. The cost is $75 and includes breakfast and lunch. To register, call 678-442-5000.

Jan. 29, 2010
“Critical Thinking at its Best 2010: Jack & Jill of all Trades,” a medical-surgical conference, will address clinical practice issues to promote excellence in patient care. The event will be at the Richard H. Rich Auditorium, which is on level M of the 77 building at Piedmont Hospital (1968 Peachtree Road in Atlanta). The cost for the conference is $60 before Jan. 15. The fee will include a light breakfast and a light lunch. Contact hours …

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PULSE News Briefs: Nurse scholar earns $350,000 grant

By Pulse staff

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has awarded Tami Thomas, Ph.D., CPNP, RNC, a three-year, $350,000 Nurse Faculty Scholar grant for her research. Thomas, an assistant professor at the Medical College of Georgia’s School of Nursing, is one of 15 nurse educators around the country to receive the award.

Thomas studies strategies to slow the spread of viral sexually transmitted infections in rural communities. Her research explores barriers preventing girls from being vaccinated for HPV (human papillomavirus), which can cause warts and cervical cancer. She hopes to develop culturally sensitive interventions to increase the vaccination rate for HPV in rural areas.

Best workplaces for mothers: Wellstar Health System and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta were named two of Working Mother magazine’s 100 Best Companies for 2009.

WellStar Health System was cited for expanding its family-friendly benefits — educational assistance, backup child care and …

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Working Strategies: Six steps to securing holiday employment

If you’d like a holiday job this year, you need to get hopping. For all the reasons you already know — bad economy, weak retailers, excess labor — there are fewer jobs available and more people seeking them.

Is it worth the effort? That depends.

Working Strategies by Amy Lindgren

Working Strategies by Amy Lindgren

There’s the potential benefit of making contacts or opening the door to a permanent job.

The trick is to nail down the holiday job quickly, to keep from diverting too much energy from the main employment effort. Here are some tips:

1. Pinpoint your likely targets and the skills you want to use. Are you strong and healthy? Maybe your target will involve transporting packages or stocking shelves. If your strength is customer service, retail or catalog sales might be the right fit.

2. Go beyond the big-name places. If you follow Tip 4 on this list and avoid online applications, you won’t have much luck in these places anyway, as they generally require electronic apps. Also, they are …

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Negotiate carefully in today’s market

By Laura Raines, for the AJC

“There’s no harm in asking,” Mom always said.

But in today’s economic climate, employees and job candidates are thinking twice about negotiating for more money, benefits and perks.

“In tough times, many companies tighten their belts. Managers aren’t going to offer workers more out of hand. If you don’t ask, they aren’t going give it to you,” said Erin Wolf, managing partner of Suite-Track, an Atlanta leadership development firm for female professionals.

Erin Wolf is owner and managing partner of SuiteTrack, LLC, a company that “focuses on leadership development for women.” Photo by Leita Cowart, for the AJC.

Erin Wolf is owner and managing partner of SuiteTrack, LLC, a company that “focuses on leadership development for women.” Photo by Leita Cowart, for the AJC.

“The first step is to assess the timing. If jobs are being eliminated and no one is getting raises in your company, this isn’t the time to ask, but if others are being compensated better for similar work or getting the best projects, you should go for it.”

In the booming ’90s, employees held the upper …

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Are you celebrating National Bosses Day?

boss

It’s been a rough year for America’s workforce. How has your relationship with your boss fared during this difficult time? If you have a good relationship with your boss, today is the day to honor him/her. It’s National Bosses Day.

So did you get a gift or card for your boss today? Do you sincerely like your boss or were you just trying to earn brownie points?

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Businesses hiring again – in a new way

By Laura Raines, for the AJC

Hiring — that’s the practice of employing a person for a wage or fee, in case you haven’t heard the term lately — is making a comeback.

“Clients who have been on hiatus for more than a year have started calling us in the last month,” said Randy Hain, managing partner of Bell Oaks Executive Search, a 40-year-old Atlanta search firm. “The most common thing we hear is, ‘We cut way too many people, and now we need some back.’ ”

Randy Hains – managing partner of Bell Oaks Executive Search, an Atlanta search firm – said companies are adding more consultants to the payroll. Photo by Leita Cowart, for the AJC.

Randy Hains – managing partner of Bell Oaks Executive Search, an Atlanta search firm – said companies are adding more consultants to the payroll. Photo by Leita Cowart, for the AJC.

Sustainable manufacturing, wireless, software and innovative technology are a few industries that are adding workers. Many companies are upgrading new sales teams.

As you might suspect, post-economic-disaster hiring is not business as usual. There are new trends in the marketplace. Savvy job seekers will take note and …

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Contrasting worlds 
of high-tech, low-tech

At the recent Minnesota Interactive Marketing Association’s conference, my presentation topic — job search strategies — was by far the most low-tech offering for more than 1,000 Web developers, Twitter gurus and e-mail marketers attending.

Working Strategies by Amy Lindgren

Working Strategies by Amy Lindgren

I suspected that would be the case, and wore my typewriter brooch as a humorous touch. One woman saw it and exclaimed, “Oh, a typewriter. I learned to type on one of those. I’m a digital immigrant!”

Digital immigrant? I hadn’t been in the conference five minutes and I had learned a new term. That was a fitting harbinger for a day of contrasts between the old and the new, high-tech and low-tech.

Here are some of the other things I observed in my day at the conference.

● It was a high-tech crowd with low-tech gear. A few people were using laptops, but the majority were jotting notes on paper, just as we’ve done for a century.

● A tweeter in every session. As a presenter, I’m …

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of high-tech, low-tech »

Coaching helps job seekers look within

Laura Raines, for the AJC

“Know Thyself.” was an inscription found at the site of the Delphic Oracle in ancient Greece. It’s still great advice for job seekers, said Paul D. Tieger, founder of My Personal Job Coach.com and author of the best-selling career guide “Do What You Are.” He believes that understanding your personality is critical to finding career satisfaction and success.

Robbie Brawner Ouzts, senior career specialist, Georgia Tech

Robbie Brawner Ouzts, a senior career specialist at Georgia Tech, is a member of the national network of coaches contributing to My Personal Job Coach.com. Photo by Leita Cowart, for the AJC.

“In the past, people were advised to find jobs based on their values, interests and skills. All of those things are fluid and change over time,” Tieger said. “Your personality type is consistent. Behaviors may change, but your personality is inborn.”

Personality affects how people make decisions and live their lives. Tieger has used personality type as the basis for career and professional …

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