Being Thankful in the Face of a Pandemic

Being Thankful in the Face of a Pandemic

Karen DiDonato ⋅ November 24, 2020

The year 2020 has been a challenge for most, that’s for sure. But here we are in November, rounding the corner to Thanksgiving Day. With this gastronomic holiday comes time to reflect on the past year: remembering people we have lost, conversations we have had, and giving thanks for who we are, what we have, events that happened, etc.

In our HCI family, we typically enjoy a bountiful Thanksgiving lunch in our office while laughing and telling stories. This year’s celebration will be different, just like most American’s.

Instead of celebrating while sitting shoulder to shoulder, this Thanksgiving we celebrate via video chats, discussions over the phone, email, and texts. But regardless of those changes, we’re still celebrating together, and for that we are so thankful.

The word thanksgiving with a turkey, acorns, leaves and a bird

Here’s what we’re thankful for this Thanksgiving:

 

I am thankful for my fiance and my family!
~ Jason Malone, Recruiter

 

There are so many things that I’m grateful for: God; health; family; friends; my job; and Tiffany, my late Shih Tzu, who I had in my life for 13 years. If I continue, my list will be very long!
~ Mercedes Nin, Administrative Assistant

 

I am thankful for many things. 1) All of us still having employment through COVID-19 where a lot of people are out of work. 2) My mom, who is in a nursing home where they have had numerous cases of COVID-19 yet she has remained negative. 3) My wife who has not contacted it despite working in the ICU.
~ Antwan Spivey, Recruiter

 

I am thankful for being able to work during the pandemic; that my family is safe and doing well; and I am very thankful I met my girlfriend two weeks before the pandemic started.
~ Antone Bouche, Social Media Coordinator

 

I am thankful for being able to be part of staffing laboratories during the pandemic. I feel I am contributing. I am grateful that profession is around for me to do that.
~ Donato Valera-Teano, Recruiter

I am very thankful to be alive.
~ Gene Marks, Senior Recruiter

 

I am thankful for my job during COVID.
~ Jolynn Augustine, Recruiter

 

I am so thankful that my family is healthy and we all have jobs–especially during this year.
~ Meida Ayala, Administrative Assistant

Happy thanksgiving written in front of watercolor leaves in fall colors

I am thankful for my family, which includes my work family as well as Lucci, my son’s long-haired chihuahua. I am also thankful for my job.
~ Kelly Bajusz, Account Executive

 

Thanksgiving is somewhat of a new holiday for me; I only started celebrating after arriving from Argentina 20 years ago. Even if I did not grow up with the history lesson, I feel a special connection to its meaning of being thankful. This year has been very difficult for a lot of people, so this year I am very thankful for having a job.
~ Paula Smith, Controller

 

This time last year we could never have imagined the crisis we find ourselves facing today. With so much sadness, loss and financial despair across the country, Thanksgiving seems unimportant. However, when I was asked what I am thankful for, I realized I still have much to be very thankful and grateful for, even during these times. Most important is the health of my loved ones. I had five close family members who had COVID–some more severe than others–but thank God all five are doing well now. I am also thankful the doors at HCI are still open and we have jobs that allow us the basics that we may once have taken for granted: paying bills and putting food on our tables. We are fortunate as so many people are struggling. I also have to say I am thankful for all the medical professionals and first responders who have gone above and beyond. I think we can all agree on that. Health is everything, as long as we have that we can all be thankful for something this season.
~ Catherine Schreck, President

 

There is not much to be thankful for specific to 2020, but a constant I am always eternally thankful and grateful for are: my beautiful wife of 30 years Debbie DeQuarto; my three adult children, Andres, Courtney, and Alexis; my five grandchildren, Andres Jr., Christian, Reef, Joey, and little Desi; my two dogs, Brutus and Bide; and two cats, Clancy and Sabastian. I am thankful we are all healthy. I am also thankful I have awesome bosses, Catherine Schreck and Donna Mainini, and that I still have my job. Lastly I am thankful every day to have God in my life.
~ Michael DeQuarto, Recruiter

Hand-drawn turkeys wear masks and pilgrim hats

Check out these stories remembered from Thanksgivings past:

I am constantly reminded of my first thanksgiving with my soon-to-be mother-in-law. We had just sat down to our Thanksgiving meal when I got up, grabbed a banana, peeled it and put it on my plate. Everyone was staring at me. What they didn’t yet know was that growing up in Cuba food was very limited, but bananas were abundant and cheap. My father would buy a whole cluster of bananas and hang them in my room for the whole family. Whenever I was hungry, which was often as a growing young boy, I would eat a banana or two. Despite moving away from food insecurity, I kept my banana habit. Now at every Thanksgiving my mother-in-law will remember that first holiday by asking, “Hey, you are forgetting your banana?”
~ Joel Trujillo, Communication & Marketing Administrator

 

My mom was never able to put out the entire dinner hot at the same time. My fondest memory was when she handed the Thanksgiving tradition to me. I cooked for the entire family (15 to 20 people), which allowed my mom to sit, relax, and enjoy her Thanksgiving. I felt so proud when I put the entire meal out piping hot.
~ Jeb Parichy, Recruiter

 

Whenever people came over my father would wash all the windows–inside and out. Thanksgiving was no different. Staying out of the way while the final preparations were made, my friend and I played upstairs until we heard a crash sound. Turns out, everyone but my friend’s younger sister realized Dad’s tradition. She attempted to run straight through the closed, spotless glass door. We found her stunned flat on the floor and my dad’s sliding glass door with a smudge of grease at forehead level.
~ Lindsay Adeimy, Recruiter/Account Executive

If you are looking for a new position in the field of clinical or anatomic pathology, we would be happy to help. Take a look through our open positions or give us a call. We are thankful for you!

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

Get new posts by email:
We will treat your data confidentially

10 Fun Facts about Thanksgiving

This Thanksgiving, use these fun facts to get the conversation going via Zoom, phone, or in person.

10 Fun Facts about Thanksgiving

Karen DiDonato ⋅ November 19, 2020

Thanksgiving may look quite different this year for many people. We’re having atypical conversations with family and friends about how to better social distance during the holiday, or even how we can share a virtual meal over Zoom. Some people are choosing to enjoy a small Thanksgiving with only the people who live in their households instead of traveling to larger gatherings. Regardless of how you plan to celebrate this year, Thanksgiving is right around the corner.

We’ve compiled a list of 10 facts that are sure to get the conversation going at your dinner table, whether virtual or in person.

  • Turkeys are named after the country. Linguists theorize that early Europeans were reminded of the African Guinea Fowl which had come to Europe through Turkey, and the similarity led to its name.
    Source: National Audubon Society
  • Wild turkeys are able to fly at just 13-17 days old.
    Source: Farm Sanctuary
Two plump turkeys strut with feathers out
  • Male turkeys are called “gobblers,” after the “gobble” call they make to announce themselves to females (which are called “hens”). How can you tell if it’s a hen or a gobbler? A turkey’s gender can be determined from its droppings; males produce spiral-shaped poop and females’ poop is shaped like the letter J.
    Source: Smithsonian Magazine
  • Snoopy has made the most appearances in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
    Source: House Beautiful
  • If Ben Franklin had his way, the turkey would be our national bird. An eagle, he wrote in a letter to his daughter, had “bad moral character.” A turkey, on the other hand, was a “much more respectable bird.”
    Source: CNN
a turkey faces toward the right on a pure white background
  • Thanksgiving hasn’t always taken place on the fourth Thursday in November. In 1939, Franklin D. Roosevelt moved the holiday up one week to help boost retail sales during the Depression. So many people complained that it was eventually moved back to the original date in 1941. The Thanksgivings between those years are referred to as “Franksgivings” still today.
    Source: Country Living
  • In 1953, the influential food corporation Swanson overestimated how much turkey would be consumed on Thanksgiving and had to get creative with the 260 tons of leftover meat. Using 5,000 aluminum trays and an assembly line of hand-packers, the corporation created a Thanksgiving-inspired meal with the aforementioned turkey, cornbread dressing and gravy, peas, and sweet potatoes, selling the whole thing for a grand total of 98 cents. In the first full year of production, they sold ten million of them, and birthed the prepackaged frozen meal industry.
    Source: Town and Country Magazine
  • While domesticated turkeys cannot fly, wild turkeys can, for short distances, and at up to 55 miles per hour, according to the National Turkey Federation.
    Source: Huffington Post
slices of turkey topped with cranberry sauce with mashed potatoes, green beans, and stuffing
  • The United States has several locations named after the holiday’s main dish and a very popular side dish:
    Turkey Creek, Louisiana
    Turkey Creek, Arizona
    Turkey, Texas
    Turkey, North Carolina
    Cranberry township, Butler County, Pennsylvania
    Cranberry township, Venango County, Pennsylvania
    Source: United States Census Bureau
Close up on a turkey's face

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

Get new posts by email:
We will treat your data confidentially

Meet Our Staff: Antone Bouche

In this recurring Q & A series, you will learn about that person with whom you've been speaking, emailing, and texting -- our staff members. They know a lot about you, but now it's your turn to learn about them. And you'll finally be able to see if the voice matches the person you imagined!

Name:

Antone Bouche, Social Media Coordinator

How long have you worked with HCI?

Although I have only worked for several months in anatomic and clinical pathology at HCI, I have worked in healthcare recruitment for over two years.

What other jobs have you held?

I previously worked as a recruiter doing travel recruitment for surgical technologists, registered nurses (RN’s), and licensed practical nurses (LPN’s). I have also worked in fitness and retail.

Describe what you do.

As social media coordinator I oversee the social media channels and co-lead the marketing aspects of HCI. I monitor, moderate and respond to audience comments, and I also create and post videos and images. I strategize and execute digital marketing campaigns then gather and analyze the results.

What are the fun aspects of your job?

I really enjoy the creative aspect: designing content. I also enjoy keeping up with the trends on social media as well as the interesting and everchanging world of healthcare.

How do you get creative outside of work?

I have multiple interests that use my creativity. I enjoy graphic design, interior design and I recently started dabbling in furniture building.

What are your hobbies?

I enjoy going to the gym and biking and running outdoors. My hobbies include coffee, gaming, and movies. Coffee really brings me joy. I enjoy tasting the undertones and different flavors. It’s fascinating how the process of making coffee can really change its flavor. It’s so satisfying and definitely needed to start my day. Gaming has been a great way to keep in touch with friends especially during the quarantine.

What’s your favorite part of working for HCI?

I truly enjoy talking with people all over the country and helping them find jobs. It really is satisfying.

Antone sits in front of 2 computers in an office cubicle
Antone, wearing flannel and a baseball cap, stands in front of a filled bookshelf

Check out Antone’s latest work on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter. He’d love to hear from you, so drop a comment or share our page with your followers. In fact, if you have a co-worker you would like to refer to us, we would love to reward you with a $500 referral bonus. Click here to learn more.

When your assignment is complete, or to find a new permanent one, check out our available jobs. Apply online or contact Antone via our social media outlets (and be sure to tell him what you imagined he looked like).

Get new posts by email:
We will treat your data confidentially

6 Easy Tips to Effective Resume Writing

Your resume is a representation of you and your work history. Use these six steps to get your resume to best represent you.

6 Easy Tips to Effective Resume Writing

Karen DiDonato ⋅ October 20, 2020

How long did it take you to create your resume? Hours? Days? Imagine if your hard work could be for naught in less than 7.4 seconds?

That’s entirely possible based on a 2018 study by TheLadders.com, an online job-matching service. Their eye-tracking software showed that hiring managers make up their minds about a job candidate in only 7.4 seconds. According to them, “Recruiters look at your current title and company on your resume then your previous one before moving to the right to see the dates of your jobs to make sure you have made a steady progression. Then they flip their eyes to the bottom to look at education requirements.” Then it’s either tossed or saved.

Every day at HCI we look through resumes. From medical laboratory technicians and histotechnicians to laboratory directors and pathologists, we have seen many varieties of resumes and CV’s. We have had resumes come in written in pink text, pasted with various images, and even a comic-strip looking one with text inside bubbles. We have seen resumes with misspellings, improper, yet comical abbreviations (“Ass Manager”, for example), and font size so small even a child’s eyes would struggle to read it. Years ago we received the perfect mailed-in paper resume with one problem: the person didn’t include their name or contact information!

Here is a list of six suggestions to easily make your resume look more attractive to hiring managers in those precious seconds before it’s either deleted or saved.

Black and white paper scroll drawing with briefcase in upper right

1) Clear and chronologically written work history.

Start with your most current job at the top. Include your current title, company name, start and end dates, and a short description of work. Underneath, add your previous title, company name, start and end dates, and short description. Add each subsequent position under so it reads in reverse chronological order.

Black and white paper with pinned sections

2) Add a resume summary or objective.

Resumes for people with years of work history should have summaries instead of objectives. A summary is simply a one- to two-sentence overview of your skills and work experience. According to Indeed, “A resume objective might be useful if you have limited work experience, like recent high school or college graduates.” They go on to say, “A resume summary is more appropriate if you have some work history and various skills and experiences worth highlighting.”

Black and white arrow pointing upward with the bottom of the arrow 3 circles

3) Tailor your resume to the job.

If the job title to which you are applying is for a core lab position, write a few sentences about your core lab experience. If the next job you plan to send your resume to is specifically a generalist position, change your summary or objective to your generalist experience. Your job descriptions and summary should focus on your experience as it relates to the job to which you are applying.

black and white drawing of target with an arrow in the center

4) Be specific.

Education: Not only does the employer want to know what level of education you have, they want to know what the field of study was. Include the degree and the major, as well as the university name and location. If you are a new graduate, you may want to add the date the degree was conferred to ensure the reader understands why you may lack years of experience.

In contrast, we have also received resumes from Ph.D educated job seekers who list their elementary education on their CVs. This is unnecessary. Stick to higher education, or the education required for the position if you do not have a degree.

Certification/Licenses: If you have national certification such as ASCP or AMT, write it on your resume! Having that front and center could put your resume on top of one that doesn’t have it. Never assume the reader will know what certifications or state licenses you have.

Black and white drawing of a viewer focus

5) Focus on your words.

Action verbs: According to the University of Miami’s Division of Continuing & International Education Department, use action words “because they are easy for the reader to understand, find, and summarize.” The example they provided was:

“Worked as a supervisor for a team of six”, which they surmised would be better written as “Supervised a team of six.” According to them, “By using the action verb ‘supervised,’ the sentence is more concise, to the point, and understandable. It is now focusing on the action verb: supervised.”

Incorporate keywords: Given that your resume may only be looked at for 7.4 seconds, incorporate keywords into your job description and/or summary such as LIS, instrumentation, and specific tests. These words will jump off the page to the reader because they are specifically looking for them.

Black and white drawing of 2 paper clipped papers

6) Length

Many resume writers try to fit their resume to the old fashioned one-page standard, but this isn’t true for everyone. CareerBuilder says, “Although there may be instances where a resume requires a longer length, such as an executive with over 20 years experience, you’ll likely want to keep your resume from extending beyond a single page.” If your resume is well written and avoids unnecessary work details, a one-page resume would be optimal since the second page would likely contain less relevant information anyway.

Taking your time to create a well written, well organized and clear resume will help your recruiter fully understand your work history to better match you to available positions. Prior to submitting your resume to any of our clients, we will go through it with you to make sure we fully understand your prior roles, education, and gaps in work history. We will represent you to the best of our ability in order to help you climb the job ladder, relocate to a new area, make a lateral move, or even begin traveling.

Take a look through our available positions. Feel free to apply or contact us for more information even if your resume may need a little help. We are here for you. We will help get your clear and concise resume in front of the hiring manager for whichever clinical or anatomic laboratory job you are best qualified for.

Get new posts by email:
We will treat your data confidentially

Meet your Recruiter: Antwan Spivey

In this recurring Q & A series, you will learn about that person with whom you've been speaking, emailing, and texting -- your recruiter. They know a lot about you, but now it's your turn to learn about them. And you'll finally be able to see if the voice matches the person you imagined!

Name:

Antwan Spivey

How long have you worked as a recruiter?

I have worked as a recruiter for eight years with just over two of those with HCI.

Why are you a recruiter?

It all started after randomly speaking with a recruiter. We chatted for a bit about my experience in collections. It turned out I was a perfect fit for recruiting because I had customer service savvy, was easy to talk to, and I really enjoyed helping people. Even as a young adult I wanted to get into social work because of the helping aspect. When I worked in collections I used to try to find a feasible way for the person to repay their debts. I’d work with them, empathize with them, and try to be as understanding as possible since I knew what it was like to have to pay large bills.

I find recruiting is a good way to help because it can be very difficult to find work.

What’s your favorite part of being a recruiter?

I live for the placement. When a candidate has had a hard time finding a perfect fit, there is nothing better than making the call to tell them they’ve been hired.

What other jobs have you held?

I’ve had a few, but the most fun prior job was at an airport Alamo Rent A Car in Ohio because I met so many celebrities. A few of the celebs I remember meeting include Hal Williams, who played Officer Smitty on Sanford and Son; NFL player Deion Sanders; R&B groups Boys II Men and Jagged Edge; and a few WWF wrestlers.

What do you do when you are not working?

I enjoy spending time at the beach, jet skiing, gaming on my PlayStation, and planting and caring for the tropical plants in my yard.

What is your favorite vacation spot(s)?

I moved in 2011 from cold Ohio to sunny south Florida, so I tend to prefer visiting warmer places. My wife and I went in January 2020 to Cancun and I loved it. We wanted to go back, but decided to put it on hold due to the coronavirus.

If you worked in the laboratory, where would you want to work and why?

I really respect people who work with human tissues, but that’s not for me. I could work with fluids, but I think I’d prefer to use my managerial skills instead.

How do you respond when a potential laboratory employee tells you they are unsure about using an agency for their job search?

I hear this from time to time, but there is really no downside to using HCI. It is risk free because our company’s services are free to the job seeker. You don’t pay a dime. Additionally, your resume won’t get buried under hundreds of other applicants; we’ll get your resume in front of the decision makers — they are our direct contacts.

If you worked in the laboratory, where would you want to work and why?

I think I’d prefer Microbiology. My uncle is a microbiologist. The study of a virus seems fascinating.

If you had to give just one tip for interviewing, what would it be?

My first thought was “One tip? That’s not enough”, so here are three that might seem obvious, but you’d be surprised:

      1. Don’t chew gum.
      2. Don’t use a lot of perfume or cologne.
      3. Don’t bring up money; let the interviewer bring it up.
Recruiter Antwan toasts with red wine while sitting in a darkened restaurant
Recruiter Antwan Spivey will toast to you when he helps your job search in clinical or anatomic pathology.
Recruiter Antwan holds a fish still on his reel
While out fishing with friends in Jupiter, FL, Antwan caught a red snapper.
Recruiter Antwan sits centered on an outdoor bench in Cancun with two metal framed skeletons
Antwan sits centered on an outdoor bench at Taco y Tequila in Cancun, Mexico between two well dressed metal skeletons.
Recruiter Antwan and his wife flank a colorful Cancun sign at the Panama Jack Resorts
Antwan and his wife Kim flank the colorful Cancun sign on the beach at the Panama Jack Resorts where they visited in January of 2020.
Recruiter Antwan sits with a statue in Cancun
Antwan sits with a "friend" while shopping in Cancun, Mexico.
Feeling strong before tackling the Thurmanator Burger Challenge at Thurman Cafe in Columbus, OH.
Recruiter Antwan Spivey feeling strong before tackling the Thurmanator Burger Challenge at Thurman Cafe in Columbus, OH.
Wearing a black shirt, white pants and white suspenders, Antwan sits reading Travel & Leisure while holding a cigar in his right hand
Antwan spends some time at his birthday dinner making some travel plans.

When your assignment is complete, or to find a new one, check out our available contract jobs. Apply online or call your recruiter to discuss (and be sure to tell them what you imagined they looked like).

Get new posts by email:
We will treat your data confidentially

Burnout: An Occupational Phenomenon

Working in a helping profession can exasperate potential feelings of burnout. This blog will define and identify burnout, and suggest techniques to help.

Burnout: An Occupational Phenomenon

Karen DiDonato ⋅ May 12, 2020

Have you ever felt burned out at work? Does the idea of continuing to work on a project or returning the next day put you in a dark place? You are not alone.

Psychologist Herbert Freudenberger coined the term “burnout” in 1974 after analyzing his own psychological state in response to working 12-hour days in his practice, then working until 2 AM in his clinic. He also saw the effects in the clinic’s formerly idealistic volunteers finding themselves depleted and weary, resenting patients and the clinic.

Dr. Freudenberger said in 1981 on NPR’s All Things Considered: “Burnout really is a response to stress. It’s a response to frustration. It’s a response to a demand that an individual may make upon themself in terms of a requirement for perfectionism or drive.”

As of May 2019, burnout is now recognized as a legitimate medical disorder by much of mainstream medicine. It has even been given its own ICD-10 code (Z73.0 – Burn-out state of vital exhaustion) by the World Health Organization’s International Classification of Diseases, a diagnostic tool for medical providers.

Anyone can experience job burnout for a variety of reasons, but working in a helping profession—healthcare—already puts you at risk.

White haired man wearing labcoat behind laboratory equipment appearing burned out

Causes:

There are various causes for feeling burned out according to an article from the Mayo Clinic:

  • Lack of control. An inability to influence decisions that affect your job — such as your schedule, assignments or workload — could lead to job burnout. So could a lack of the resources you need to do your work.
  • Unclear job expectations. If you are unclear about the degree of authority you have or what your supervisor or others expect from you, you are not likely to feel comfortable at work.
  • Dysfunctional workplace dynamics. Perhaps you work with an office bully, or you feel undermined by colleagues or your boss micromanages your work. This can contribute to job stress.
  • Extremes of activity. When a job is monotonous or chaotic, you need constant energy to remain focused, which can lead to fatigue and job burnout.
  • Lack of social support. If you feel isolated at work and in your personal life, you might feel more stressed.
  • Work-life imbalance. If your work takes up so much of your time and effort that you don’t have the energy to spend time with your family and friends, you might burn out quickly.

But why should you address job burnout? It can have significant consequences, including: excessive stress, which can lead to vulnerability to illnesses; fatigue; insomnia; sadness, anger or irritability; alcohol or substance misuse; heart disease; high blood pressure; and/or type 2 diabetes.

Symptoms:

Noticing if you have burnout is the first step toward doing something about it. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), there are three main areas of symptoms considered to be signs of burnout:

Woman with fingers on both temples and eyes closed standing in front of black board with "stress" written multiple times
  1. Exhaustion: Do you feel drained and emotionally exhausted, unable to cope, tired and down, and do not have enough energy? Physical symptoms include things like pain and stomach or bowel problems. 
  2. Alienation from (work-related) activities: People who have burnout find their jobs increasingly stressful and frustrating. They may start being cynical about their working conditions and their colleagues. At the same time, they may increasingly distance themselves emotionally, and start feeling numb about their work. 
  3. Reduced performance: Burnout mainly affects everyday tasks at work, at home or when caring for family members. People with burnout are very negative about their tasks, find it hard to concentrate, are listless and lack creativity.

 

Addressing it:

If you feel burnout at your workplace, address it by employing these 10 steps:

  1. Changing your perspective: Go to work with positive energy and a positive belief in yourself.
  2. Establishing good self-care: Maintain healthy habits such as exercise, nutrition, interpersonal connections, and limit the use of quick fixes such as alcohol, nicotine or drug use.
  3. Setting healthy limits: Find a way to manage expectations in your workplace so that you do not become overextended.
  4. Keeping a healthy pace: Strive to get into the flow of your work, and take periodic breaks.
  5. Taking breaks from electronic devices: Do this at predetermined intervals so that you are not “always on.”
  6. Attaching your work efforts to something you value: Notice how your work makes something in the world, the culture, or in other people’s lives better.
  7. Being yourself: Do what you can to reduce the strain of having to project an image that is not authentic.
  8. Evaluating your options: Discuss specific concerns with your supervisor. Work together to change expectations or reach compromises or solutions. Set goals for what must get done and what can wait.
  9. Seeking support: Reach out to co-workers, friends or loved ones for support and collaboration to help you cope. If you have access to an employee assistance program, take advantage of relevant services.
  10. Practicing mindfulness: Mindfulness is the act of focusing on your breath and being intensely aware of what you are feeling at every moment, without interpretation or judgment. In a job setting, this practice involves facing situations with openness and patience, and without judgment.

If the work environment is the problem, contact your recruiter with any questions or concerns you may have. Trust in them to have a good rapport with the hiring managers. They can also step in on your behalf to help with concerns about unfair treatment, an unmanageable workload, a lack of clarity about your role, a lack of support, and many other issues.

Whatever you end up doing to help burnout, be kind to yourself. Keep an open mind as you consider your options. Don’t let a demanding or unrewarding job undermine your health.

If you are looking for a new job, we are also available to help. Scroll through our available jobs or give us a ring at (954) 346-3347.

Woman's hand holding a note that says "Take care of yourself"
Get new posts by email:
We will treat your data confidentially

Keeping Fit on Assignment

Keeping New Year’s resolutions can be difficult to turn into habits. Let HCI help you understand what a habit is, how to form one, and how to stick to the most common resolution--getting fit--even when you are on assignment or traveling for pleasure.

Keeping Fit on Assignment

Karen DiDonato ⋅ January 29, 2020

Now that we have almost completed one full month into the new year, it’s time to check in on how you’re doing with your New Year’s resolutions. Are you sticking to whatever you proposed? Was it one of these commonly broken New Year’s resolutions?

  • Lose weight and get fit
  • Quit smoking
  • Learn something new
  • Eat healthier and diet
  • Get out of debt and save money
  • Spend more time with family
  • Travel to new places
  • Be less stressed
  • Volunteer
  • Drink less
A white mug of coffee sits next to a pen and paper reading "2020 New Year's Resolutions" with eye glasses and a green plant nearby.

A public opinion survey of 2,011 Americans shows that 38% of Americans planned to make New Year’s resolutions for 2020. If you didn’t quite stick to your resolutions, you are not alone. According to Forbes, “Studies have shown that less than 25% of people actually stay committed to their resolutions after just 30 days, and only 8% accomplish them.”

For the purpose of this blog, I will focus solely on the first commonly broken resolution, getting fit, but you can apply these ideas to any other undertaking. After all, any of the above resolutions can be accomplished by creating the habits needed to accomplish the micro-tasks that step up to the actual goal.

An article posted to Forbes.com outlined what habits are and how to get them to stick. One interesting point was to reward yourself for whatever it is you want to continue. Behavioral psychology expert Charles Duhigg, mentioned in the article, surmises that addictive and destructive habits have an immediate reward system built in. It’s the same for positive and healthy habits. So if you want to work out, reward yourself afterward by eating a small bit of dark chocolate or drinking your favorite coffee. By permitting yourself a “guilty pleasure”, you will effectively stimulate the release of neurotransmitters and pleasure chemicals that will eventually come, in time, after you complete your workout.

A brown haired woman nibbles a square of dark chocolate

The article also mentions not attempting to do too much too soon thereby setting yourself up for failure.

As an example, if you are very out of shape because you haven’t worked out at all in 10 years and you decide you will run a marathon in three months, you will likely fail. Instead choose smaller goals, and celebrate them when you accomplish them! Keeping with the idea of a marathon, you would start slowly by taking walks, then work yourself up to speed walks, then interval training, etc. The key is to keep your training manageable. Just like the moral in Aesop’s The Hare and the Tortoise, “Slow and steady wins the race”–don’t rush it; you will be less likely to be injured.

A tortoise crosses a yellow line that says "Finish" with a brown rabbit not far behind

Most importantly is to understand you will not be perfect in your pursuit to better yourself. If you slip up one day, get back on track the next and don’t look back. You are already doing better than before you started your quest.

A person walks shoe-less along a road toward the background where green trees underline a blue sky.

So now that we better understand creating exercise habits with longevity, what if you go on vacation? What if you take a travel assignment and you can’t go to your gym or walk the hills by your home? There is no need to toss your exercise regime out the window because you can now take your routine with you!

Fitness apps are all the rage right now and they certainly are plentiful. Some are free while some require a subscription to use the service. But since you likely carry your phone everywhere you go, you can also carry your trainer and your gym as well.

There are no more excuses not to workout while you are away from your routine.

Listed below are some (but not all) apps for both Android and iOS. Take a peek to see what interests you (strength training, running, yoga, bootcamps) and get on it.

Aaptiv

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/aaptiv-1-audio-fitness-app/id869058995
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.aaptiv.android&hl=en_US

adidas Training by Runtastic

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/adidas-training-by-runtastic/id1035263816
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.runtastic.android.results.lite&hl=en_US

All / Out Studio

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/all-out-studio/id1464002763
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.apphearstus&hl=en_US

Asana Rebel

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/asana-rebel-yoga-and-fitness/id1067860796
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.asanayoga.asanarebel

Daily Yoga

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/daily-yoga-workout-fitness/id545849922
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.dailyyoga.inc&hl=en_US

Fitbit Coach

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/fitbit-coach/id535640259
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.fitstar.pt&hl=en_US

FitOn

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/fiton-fitness-workout-plans/id1442473191
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.fiton.android&hl=en_US

Freeletics

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/freeletics-workout-fitness/id654810212
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.freeletics.lite&hl=en_US

Glo – Yoga and Meditation

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/glo-yoga-and-meditation/id1023475268
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.glo.mobile&hl=en_US

Home Workouts — No Equipment

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/home-workout-no-equipments/id1313192037
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=homeworkout.homeworkouts.noequipment&hl=en_US

Jefit

https://apps.apple.com/app/apple-store/id449810000
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=je.fit&hl=en_US

NEOU

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/neo-u/id1436991935
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.neou.fitness

Nike Training Club

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/nike-training-club/id301521403
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.nike.ntc

PEAR

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/pear-personal-fitness-coach/id563723189
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.pearsports.android.samsung&hl=en_US

Peloton

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/peloton-guided-workouts/id792750948
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.onepeloton.callisto&hl=en_US

Sworkit

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/sworkit-workouts-plans/id527219710
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=sworkitapp.sworkit.com

If you haven’t yet started working on your resolutions, today is the best day to start being your best self. If one of your resolutions is to find a new job in the clinical or anatomic laboratory, HCI is your best source. Take a look at our open jobs at www.labcareer.com/jobs or call us at (954) 346-4475.

Get new posts by email:
We will treat your data confidentially

The Best of California

We currently have an abundance of contract and permanent positions in the state of California. Connect with us; we will be happy to help you find a nearby permanent position or a contract assignment in the clinical or anatomic laboratory.

The Best of California

Karen DiDonato ⋅ December 10, 2019

California has something for everyone: sun, surf, mountains, deserts, forests, farmland, and more! With 840 miles of coastline, the Golden State is known for its warm Mediterranean climate, but it varies quite a bit. From moist temperate rain forest in the north to dry desert in the interior, as well as snow packs in the mountains. California has both the highest elevation (Mount Whitney at 14,505 feet) as well as the lowest elevation in the contiguous United States (Badwater Basin at -279 feet).

We currently have multiple laboratory jobs in the Golden State. From travel opportunities to permanent positions and everything in between, let us help you find a laboratory job in California that suits you perfectly.

Here are a few locations to check out:

Big Sur

An unforgettable section of the central coast of California with a rugged and beautiful coastline. This popular destination boats stunning views, redwood forests, hiking, beaches, and other recreational opportunities.

Dark green and steep mountainous terrain flowing into the blue ocean

Catalina Island

This destination is just 22 miles offshore from Long Beach and about an hour by boat from Long Beach. Get there quicker with only 15 minutes via helicopter. The island is only 22 miles in length and 8 miles across and is stunning. Enjoy its subtropical climate year round with a water temperature as high as 70 degrees in August. Take a Hummer or Segway tour, go scuba diving or parasailing. Consider hiking, ziplining, or paddleboarding, or take it easy by shopping, visiting spas, or lounging on its beaches.

Boats dot the blue water with brown hill rising on the left

Hollywood

This neighborhood of Los Angeles is an iconic symbol of the entertainment business. Visit the Hollywood sign, the Walk of Fame, Madame Tussauds wax museum, Paramount Studios, and so much more.

White Hollywood sign with blue sky

Lake Tahoe

The largest freshwater lake in the Sierra Nevada. It is a major tourist attraction in both Nevada and California with winter sports, summer outdoor recreation, and gorgeous scenery.

Blue sky, blue water, snow capped mountains in the background

Los Angeles

With their rich cultural heritage, take some time to visit art galleries and theater productions and enjoy the nightlife and eateries from food trucks to five star Michelin-rated restaurants. Stay active on 75 miles of coastline and hundreds of miles of hiking and biking trails.

Sun shines through the hazy smog over skyscrapers of LA

Monterey & Carmel

This is an outdoor-lovers paradise. Rent bikes to ride along the coastline while gawking at homes worth in the millions of dollars, walk the many trails in Carmel Mission, or stroll the white sand beaches. Be sure to check out the world-renowned Monterey Bay Aquarium (a must see for families).

Multicolored buildings built over a wooden pier reflecting on blue water on a cloudy day

Pacific Grove

Known for its traditional Main Street, USA feel, Pacific Grove is also a great area for kayaking, surfing, and fishing. Check out Point Pinos, the oldest continuously-operating lighthouse on the West Coast. If you are visiting between October and February, you will be lucky enough to be in the most popular wintering-over spots for the Monarch butterfly.

A monarch butterfly feeds from a flower with orange petals

San Francisco

San Francisco is more than just its well-known year-round fog, iconic Golden Gate Bridge, cable cars, and colorful Victorian houses. It’s Fisherman’s Wharf with amazing views, sourdough bread, and sea lions abound; it’s the Marina District which includes the Palace of Fine Arts. For the best views, check out Crissy Field for prime Golden Gate Bridge views and Dolores Park for viewing downtown San Francisco. Day trip to Angel Island or Alcatraz.

The orange Golden Gate bridge in the foreground with sailboats dotting the blue waters of San Francisco Bay

San Diego

With 70 miles of coastline and warm temperatures, San Diego’s beaches are a top attraction. Go surfing, sport fishing, sailing, paddleboarding, scuba diving, or stay on land for hiking, rock climbing, golfing, mountain biking, and horseback riding. Prefer a higher view? Try paragliding, hang gliding, or skydiving. If beaches aren’t on your to-do list, check out one of 17 museums and performing arts venues. Or spend the day shopping and the evening at Gaslamp Quarter with 16 blocks packed with restaurants, bars, and nightclubs.

Yachts slumber in a calm marina with skyscrapers in the background

Santa Barbara

With over 300 days of sunshine, the climate will call you outdoors. Enjoy the beaches, Channel Islands Marine Preserve, whale watching, biking, kayaking, and so much more. Or check out the urban wine scene with tasting rooms and working wineries, or travel 45 minutes to see rolling vineyards as far as the eye can see.

A brown restaurant sits on Stearns Wharf

Santa Cruz

Go to a wine tasting, view redwoods, visit a beach boardwalk, or walk some of the 29 miles of coastline. Delight the child in you at the amusement park at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk that overlooks the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. While you are there, walk the half mile on the Santa Cruz Wharf, the longest timber pile pier in the world. You may see whales, sea lions, dolphins, or sea otters, or surfers ripping the famous surfing location, Steamer Lane.

A timber pile pier wharf juts into the ocean with waves crashing on the beach

Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks

Start your trek in the hot foothills and end in the cold alpine peaks, or anywhere in between. You’ll be amazed by the groves of giant sequoia trees.

A fenced-lined paved walking trail winds its way through huge brown sequoia trees

There is definitely something for everyone in California.

If you are looking for a permanent position, we’ve got it. Prefer a 13-week contract position? We’ve got that too. Check out our open California jobs using this link or give us a call at (954) 346-4475.

Get ready to pack your backs and start singing this tune on your way to the Golden State:

California Here I come

Get new posts by email:
We will treat your data confidentially

Autumn: A Season Ripe for Apple Picking

Make some memories this autumn at a pick-your-own apple orchard. HCI is happy to help you find a nearby permanent position or a contract assignment in the clinical or anatomic laboratory.

Autumn: A Season Ripe for Apple Picking

Karen DiDonato ⋅ October 1, 2019

The nights are getting cooler now that it’s autumn. And with cooler temperatures comes ripening apples.

As a child I remember stuffing my newly purchased 1 peck bag with the apples I picked myself off the trees heavy with fruit. I recall wearing a short-sleeved t-shirt topped with a warm flannel shirt that I often later discarded after getting too hot from running around the orchard. Once I had filled my bag and eaten my fill of just plucked apples, I’d almost always require a cup of freshly pressed cider (hot or cold; it never mattered to me) and, if I was lucky, a warm apple cider donut.

In North America, apples grow in all temperate zones, but grow best where there is a cold winter and moderate summer temperatures with a good amount of humidity. In Massachusetts, where I lived until adulthood, there were numerous pick-your-own apple orchards from the greater Boston area all the way to the Berkshires.

I always preferred smaller mom & pop orchards that always had cats walking around and invariably a huge one dimensional red apple cut from plywood in which I would stick my head for silly photo ops. There were also huge commercial orchards, some that cordon off sections as pick-your-own areas.

According to USApple, the national trade association for the U.S. apple industry, apples are grown commercially in 32 states. The top ten apple-producing states are Washington, New York, Michigan, Pennsylvania, California, Virginia, North Carolina, Oregon, Ohio, and Idaho.

Lucky for you, apple lover, HCI is happy to help get you to these states (and many more) to pick your own!

Let us know where you’d like to go and we’ll be happy to help you find a clinical or anatomic laboratory contract assignment nearby. Prefer a permanent position? We’ve got that too! Check out our open jobs here.

PS, now that it’s fall, it’s time for your flu shot.

Hand reaching for an apple on a tree
Plywood cutout of a red apple in front of a large white barn on a bluebird day in Maine
Get new posts by email:
We will treat your data confidentially

New Referral Program for Lab Travelers

When our clients and employees refer laboratory travelers to us, it's the best thank you we can ask for. To show our appreciation, we're offering two amazing gifts that won't last long!

Announcing a New Short Term Referral Program

Karen DiDonato ⋅ August 8, 2019

Frog using snails as earbuds

Don’t be like this guy! Upgrade your headphones to the latest Apple AirPods.

I know, they are pricey, but I’m happy to announce our new short-term referral program where you can get a pair for FREE! Need a new cell phone? We’ve got you covered with an absolutely free iPhone XS!

This is a temporary program, so be sure to get in on it soon!

Refer a laboratory traveler to receive a new pair of FREE Apple AirPods!

Apple AirPods

HealthCare Connections, Inc. (HCI) will send you FREE Apple AirPods as a thank you gift for referring a laboratory traveler.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Refer a new traveler to us
  2. We place them on a travel contract
  3. When they complete a minimum of six weeks (240 hours) of their 13-week assignment, we will mail you the Apple AirPods absolutely free!

Need an iPhone XS to go with your AirPods?

Apple iPhone XS

Here’s how it’ll work:

  1. Refer 3 new travelers to us
  2. We place all 3 on travel contracts
  3. When all 3 travelers complete their 13-week assignments (minimum of 500 hours), we will mail you the Apple iPhone XS absolutely free!

But how do you send in your referrals? It’s super easy!

To qualify, referrals must not have had contact with HCI within one (1) year. All referred travelers must begin before September 16, 2019. AirPods will be mailed directly upon the completion of, at minimum, six weeks after commencing contract position; iPhones will be mailed upon the completion of the entire 13-week assignment. No purchase or payment is necessary to win.

Get new posts by email:
We will treat your data confidentially

Raise a Pint: International Beer Day 2019

In honor of International Beer Day on August 2, use this list of beer festivals throughout the country to visit for a day in August, or let us help you find a clinical or anatomic laboratory contract assignment nearby to attend after work.

Raise a Pint: International Beer Day 2019

Karen DiDonato ⋅ August 2, 2019

Beer Festivals August

A typical lazy summer day might including lounging by the pool, going to the beach, having barbecues, and sipping a few frothy brews. There’s nothing wrong with tipping back a few pints. In fact, according to Brewers Association of Australia, beer is actually good for you. They say it contains a high level of silicon which increases the calcium deposits and minerals for healthy bone tissue. They also report a Finnish study found that each bottle of beer you drink reduces the risk of developing kidney stones by 40%. They also say beer is full of several B vitamins (B1, B2, B6 and B12).

But… as with most everything, drink in moderation. Don’t follow the ways of the ancient Egyptians who built the pyramids while consuming about four liters a day. That’s a lot of beer!

The ancient Egyptians apparently were beer lovers. Lucky for all of us current-day beer lovers, August 2, 2019 is International Beer Day!

In celebration of this day, I’ve prepared a list of beer-related festivals throughout the country in the month of August. Depending on your love of hops, grain, and yeast, you may consider a weekend trip or finding a clinical or anatomic laboratory contract assignment near one of these events.

Beer Festivals in August in the United States:

National IPA Day with Three Floyds 
Where: Thiensville, Wisconsin
When: August 1

Whistle Belly Festival 2019
Where: Williamsburg, Virginia
When: August 3

Wyman Tavern Brew Fest
Where: Keene, New Hampshire
When: August 3

Spirit of Hudson Food & Brewfest
Where: Hudson, Massachusetts
When: August 10

Fresh Fest 2019
Where: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
When: August 10

Downtown Brew Fest 2019
Where: Wilmington, Delaware
When: August 10

7th Annual Cape Cod Food Truck & Craft Beer Festival
Where: East Falmouth, Massachusetts
When: August 10

LA Taco & Beer Festival ‘19
Where: Los Angeles, California
When: August 10

Kenai Peninsula Beer Festival
Where: Soldotna, Alaska
When: August 10

Great Taste of the Midwest
Where: Madison, Wisconsin
When: August 10

Burning Can
Where: Hendersonville, North Carolina
When: August 10

The Great Taste of the Midwest
Where: Madison, Wisconsin
When: August 10

Oklahoma Born & Brewed
Where: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
When: August 16

Bend Brewfest
Where: Bend, Oregon
When: August 15-17

11th Annual Summer Beer Dabbler
Where: St. Paul, Minnesota
When: August 17

Stone 23rd Anniversary Rare Beer Festival
Where: Escondido, California
When: August 17

Vermont NanoFest
Where: Tunbridge, Vermont
When: August 17

Stone 22nd Anniversary Celebration and Invitational Beer Festival
Where: San Marcos, California
When: August 18

Foolproof’s Brewing’s Augtoberfest 2019 
Where: Pawtucket, Rhode Island
When: August 18

Thousand Oaks BrewFest
Where: Thousand Oaks, California
When: August 22

Simi’s Endless Summer Beer Fest
Where: Simi Valley, California
When: August 24

BrewFest
Where: Lebanon, New Hampshire
When: August 24

Dauphin Street Beerfest
Where: Mobile, Alabama
When: August 24

Festival of Dankness
Where: San Diego, California
When: August 24

Choctaw Oktoberfest
Where: Choctaw, Oklahoma
When: August 30 – September 2

Skowhegan Craft Brew Festival
Where: Skowhegan, Maine
When: August 31

Hopefully this list will help you enjoy a cold one (or two…). Maybe you’ll find a new favorite commercially produced or craft brew or perhaps you’ll find you love a bitter IPA over a Hefeweizen. There are so many to choose from in the serious and profitable business of craft brewing. According to the Brewers Association  retail dollar sales of craft beer now accounts for more than 24% of the $114.2 billion U.S. beer market. Although ancient Babylonians took the seriousness of brewing to a whole new level. If a bad batch was made the brewer was drowned in it. Yikes.

Beer Festivals August

Let us know which festival you would enjoy attending and we’ll be happy to help you find a clinical or anatomic laboratory contract assignment nearby. Prefer a permanent position? We’ve got that too! Check out our open jobs here.

Get new posts by email:
We will treat your data confidentially

Mental Health While Traveling

Staying emotionally healthy can be challenging while traveling and during a contract assignment. We compiled eight tips to help you stay mentally fit.

Mental Health While Traveling

Karen DiDonato ⋅ July 5, 2019

We all know we should be active year round. Staying fit has numerous physical and mental health benefits. But what about when traveling and working on an assignment in a new location without friends and family nearby?

 

Leaving your usual routine and entering new territory can trigger challenges and could cause symptoms of a mental health condition to flare. What steps can you take to stay mentally healthy while on assignment and during your travels?

The National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) recommends these eight tips to stay mentally fit:

1. Be prepared and plan ahead

Stress and fear of the unknown can trigger mental health symptoms, so do your homework before you leave. Research your new location online. Keep a map (online or paper) marked with your hotel and work location as well as the places you may need to visit including the grocery store, gas stations, a pharmacy, the hospital, the library, etc. Make a list of the places you’d like to visit for fun. Be sure to have a copy of your traveler information sheet with your hotel and first day of work information, as well as information about your rental car (if applicable).

Mental Health on Assignment
2. Find time to relax

With hundreds of potential new experiences, you may feel overwhelmed. Allow yourself some downtime to rest and recuperate. If yoga is your thing, be sure to pack your mat and blocks. Tune into Netflix or watch your favorite shows. Pack a book (or an e-reader) or even your knitting or crocheting. Make the time to do whatever brings you peace.

Mental Health on Assignment
3. Keep your medication with you

Packing your medications in your carry on bag can avoid a potential problem if your luggage gets lost. Keeping your meds with you during a long day of traveling or sightseeing can help you to not forget to take your medication — especially if you are traveling to a different time zone. Set an alarm on your mobile phone or watch as a reminder.

Mental Health on Assignment
4. Bring your favorite tunes

Music can be particularly helpful in reducing anxiety while traveling. Pop in your earbuds or put on your headset to get lost in your favorite beats or pick something new that is soothing. How do you know which music to listen to? Try these on for size.

Mental Health on Assignment
5. Squeeze in a pre-travel workout

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America: “Scientists have found that regular participation in aerobic exercise has been shown to decrease overall levels of tension, elevate and stabilize mood, improve sleep, and improve self-esteem. Even five minutes of aerobic exercise can stimulate anti-anxiety effects.” If you are feeling apprehensive about your trip, exercise can help get rid of nervous energy and make you feel more at ease. Once at your destination, incorporate exercise into your daily routine.

Mental Health on Assignment
6. Stay hydrated

Even mild dehydration can affect mood, energy levels, and the ability to think clearly, so remember to pack a reusable water bottle. Not a fan of plain water? Infuse it! Add gently squeezed citrus, cubed melon, crushed berries or herbs into your filled water bottle and let it steep for a couple hours. Give it a try with these recipes. Infused water is very refreshing.

Mental Health on Assignment
7. Eat healthy foods

Try to maintain healthy eating habits while away from home. Just because you don’t have your kitchen in arm’s reach, you should still make good choices. According to the Mental Health Foundation, “A balanced mood and feelings of well being can be protected by ensuring that our diet provides adequate amounts of complex carbohydrates, essential fats, amino acids, vitamins and minerals and water.” The impact that food has on mood and other aspects of mental illness is still being researched. Learn more about nutritional psychiatry here.

Mental Health on Assignment
8. Practice mindfulness

Mindfulness, according to the American Psychological Association, is a moment-to-moment awareness of one’s experience without judgment. Yoga, tai chi, and qigong can cultivate mindfulness. Researchers theorize mindfulness reduces rumination, reduces stress, boosts memory, improves focus, and provides greater cognitive ability.

Mental Health on Assignment

Adopting these tips can help lower your stress and help you stay mentally healthy while traveling and during your contract assignments.

Click here to find your next travel assignment.

If you are in a suicidal crisis or emotional distress, confidential emotional support is available 24/7 by calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-8255 or by chatting online at https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/chat/.

Get new posts by email:
We will treat your data confidentially

Music Festivals in California

Consider a contract assignment in California, a state that has something for everyone -- including a higher pay rate.

Music Festivals in California

Karen DiDonato • June 14, 2019

Have you considered taking a travel assignment in California?

 

Sure, it’s one of the most expensive states in the country in which to live, but think of it this way: the pay is also higher. And the more experience you have, the higher your pay rate and per diems could be. Plus, as a traveler, you don’t have to worry about paying housing (thank goodness because the mean home value in California is $509,400 and rent is about $900 above the national median).

 

The Golden State has something for everyone. From miles of free beaches to the highest peaks for hiking, climbing, and skiing. From Napa Valley vineyards to nearly 850 craft breweries. The climate alone makes California the perfect fit for outdoorsy types: high mountains, redwood forests, foggy temperate areas and desert climates.

 

The music scene is also outstanding. After all, San Francisco set the stage for the psychedelic 1960’s and they have some of the best music schools and conservatories in the country.

 

Perhaps you’d like to consider one of several music festivals when choosing your California contract assignment.

Times have changed and the basic urinalysis is getting even easier.

Here are several music festivals happening this summer in California:

July:

Once Upon a Time in the LBC
Queen Mary Events Park, Long Beach, CA

The two festival days are sold out this year, so grab your tickets early for 2020.

This year’s headliners include: Snoop Dogg, YG, The Game, DMX, Bone Thugs N-Harmony, Warren G, Keith Sweat, Too Short, Blueface, and many more.

July:

Northern Nights
Cook’s Valley Campground, Piercy, CA

This almost sold out, three-day festival is more than just music. It’s camping, food, art, fashion, and yoga.

Headliners include: Zhu, Big Wild, Desert Hearts, Berner, Fuego, Alix Perz, CharlesTheFirst, Con Brio, Crooked Colours, Noodles, Odie, PLS&TY, Sacha Robotti, Shades, The Funk Hunters, Xiuhtezcatl, and more.

August:

HARD Summer
The Auto Club Speedway, Fontana, CA

This national two-day festival features alternative and electronic acts and emerging talents.

Expect to see Kid Cudi, Kill the Noise, Claude Vonstroke, Justin Martin, A-Trak, Anna Lunoe, DJ Diesel (Shaquille O’Neal), Whethan, Kayzo, Ghastly, Major Lazer, Dillon Francis, Flosstradamus, Loco Dice, Excision B2B Nghtmre, Alison Wonderland, and many more.

August:

Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival
Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CA

This is a three-day eclectic mashup of music, comedy, art, food, and wine.

The line up includes Paul Simon, Childish Gambino, Twenty One Pilots, The Lumineers, Flume, blink-182, Kygo, Anderson.Paak & the Free Nationals, Leon Bridges, Kacey Musgraves, Lil Wayne, Counting Crows, and more.

August:

Real Street Festival
Honda Center Grounds, Anaheim, CA

Attend this two-day immersive hip-hop event presented by a local radio station to watch and listen to acts such as Future, 2 Chainz, Meek Mill, Cardi B, A$AP Rocky, Migos, Big Sean, Miguel, Rae Sremmurd, and many more.

September:

KAABOO Del Mar
Del Mar Racetrack & Fairgrounds, Del Mar (San Diego), CA

This event includes music, comedy, art, and gourmet cuisine.

The impressive line up includes Kings of Leon, Dave Matthews Band, Black Eyed Peas, OneRepublic, Sheryl Crow, Snoop Dog, REO Speedwagon, The Bangles, Mumford & Sons, Duran Duran, Bryan Adams, Wu-Tang Clan, The Revivalists, among others.

Like the Beach Boys said, California is calling.

 

Our needs change frequently, but at this moment we have jobs in California for clinical laboratory scientists, histotechnicians, histotechnologists, and pathologists’ assistants. While we’re at it, we also have many permanent opportunities for bench techs up to directors.

 

Check out our California jobs here (maybe while letting the Beach Boys lull you into a California dream state).

Get new posts by email:
We will treat your data confidentially

Urinalysis via Smartphone

An at-home smartphone-enabled urinalysis test is the latest example of a trend toward home diagnostics driving a surging medical technology market.

Urinalysis via Smartphone

Karen DiDonato • May 14, 2019

The last time I was asked to provide a urine sample, the CNA at my doctor’s office handed me a sealed cup, some wipes, and pointed me in the direction of the bathroom. This particular bathroom had a small metal door, maybe 12 inches square, with a sign that said “specimen here”. After I exited the bathroom, someone on the other side slid open the metallic door, and took the sealed specimen. I thought how handy and less embarrassing it was to be able to leave the filled cup in the bathroom instead of having to walk it through the office and hand it to the nurse.

Times have changed and the basic urinalysis is getting even easier.

An Israeli digital health startup, Healthy.io, created an FDA-cleared at-home smartphone-enabled urinalysis test that lets patients conduct clinical grade urine tests in the privacy of their own home.

Dip.io uses a disposable strip that patients dip into a cup of self-collected urine. After waiting for the strip to develop, they take a picture of it against a card using the company’s app. The image is anonymized and the results are reviewed by a healthcare professional.

It is currently only available in Israel and the U.K. at a pharmacy chain called Boots. In the US, a clinical trial began in April 2018 in conjunction with the National Kidney Foundation and Giesinger, an innovative health service organization serving more than 1.5 million patients in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

The trial evaluated if home testing strategies (Dip.io) would be useful in improving proteinuria screening adherence since screening rates among hypertensive patients are low.

Proteinuria screening is recommended for patients with hypertension to screen for kidney disease and identify those at elevated risk for cardiovascular disease.

They found a high percentage of the participants were happy with the process and preferred it to getting tested in a medical setting. Of the participants that received an at-home kit, 71 percent adhered to testing, 98 percent succeeded with their test, and 89 percent reported they prefer in-home testing over testing at the doctor’s office. The majority said they would recommend home urine testing to a friend or colleague.

Dip.io integrated Siemens Healthineers urinalysis reagents into the product. According to the Dip.io website, “The dipstick measures 10 parameters, indicating a range of infections, chronic illnesses and pregnancy-related complications.”

While the mobile at-home testing technology is certainly new, the home-based medical test market is not. The first at-home pregnancy test appeared in the late 1970s.

Digital urinalysis is the latest example of a trend toward home diagnostics in the growing medical technology market.

Dip.io Test Kit from Healthy.io
Image copyright: Science and Enterprise
Get new posts by email:
We will treat your data confidentially

Specimen Delivery by Unmanned Drone

UPS recently announced a partnership with Matternet to transport medical samples via drone across a hospital system in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Specimen Delivery by Unmanned Drone

Karen DiDonato • April 24, 2019

Medical samples are now being transported by an unmanned drone across WakeMed‘s flagship hospital and campus. The 941-bed hospital system includes three full-service hospitals and other facilities in North Carolina’s Triangle area.

The program uses a quadcopter powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery made by Matternet, a leader in autonomous drone technology. The drone can carry up to about five pounds over distances of up to 12.5 miles.

A WakeMed medical professional loads the drone with medical samples, such as blood samples, and sends them along a predetermined flight path to a fixed landing pad at WakeMed’s main hospital and central pathology lab.

WakeMed previously relied on courier cars, which were subject to road delays.

UPS said in a statement, “The addition of drone transport provides an option for on-demand and same-day delivery, the ability to avoid roadway delays, increase medical delivery efficiency, lower costs and improve the patient experience with potentially life-saving benefits.

UPS announced the new specimen delivery service as a collaboration with Matternet with oversight by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and North Carolina’s Department of Transportation.

The drone deliveries are part of a pilot program the FAA launched last August to test practical applications of drones and analyze how they could be used safely to speed deliveries and reduce costs.

“Together with UPS, we aim to shift the status quo for on-demand logistics for healthcare systems in the U.S. through drone delivery networks,” Matternet CEO Andreas Raptopoulos said in a statement. “Our technology allows hospital systems to transport medical items at an unprecedented level of speed and predictability, resulting in improved patient care and operational savings.”

This new specimen delivery service is part of a longer-term plan to incorporate drones into its delivery of supplies and samples to medical facilities. Data from those flights will help the companies work on similar drone logistics projects at other hospitals in the future.

Drone in healthcare
The Matternet M2.
Matternet M2
A view of the top of the Matternet M2.
A view of the side of the Matternet M2.
Get new posts by email:
We will treat your data confidentially

Candida auris: Emerging fungus, serious global health threat

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is alerting U.S. healthcare facilities about a superbug on the rise nationwide that presents a serious global health threat.

Candida auris:
Emerging Fungus, Serious Global Health Threat

Karen DiDonato • April 12, 2019

What is it?

Candida auris (also known as C. auris) is a type of drug-resistant yeast causing severe illness in hospitalized patients in several countries including the United States. It can cause invasive infections, including bloodstream and wound infections.

What is its history?

C. auris was first detected in 2009 in Japan and has been reported in over 20 countries including the United States. Most C. auris cases in the U.S. have been detected in the New York City area, New Jersey, and the Chicago area. There have been 587 confirmed cases in the States (as of April 11, 2019).

The CDC is calling it a global health threat because multiple cases of C. auris have been reported from Australia, Canada, China, Colombia, France, Germany, India, Israel, Japan, Kenya, Kuwait, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

The earliest known strain of C. auris dates to 1996 in South Korea.

Why is it dangerous?

CDC is concerned about C. auris as a global health threat for the following three reasons:

  • It is often multi-drug resistant, which means it can’t be treated with multiple antifungal drugs typically used to treat Candida infections.
  • It is difficult to identify without specific laboratory technology, and misidentification could cause a patient to be treated incorrectly.
  • Because it has caused outbreaks in healthcare settings, quick identification is a must so healthcare facilities can take special precautions to stop its spread.

The fungus can cause various infections including bloodstream infection, wound infections, and ear infections (“auris” is the Latin word for ear).

What are the symptoms?

The most common symptoms are fever and chills that don’t improve after antibiotic treatment for a suspected bacterial infection. In some cases symptoms may not be noticeable because patients are often already sick with other medical conditions.

Who is at risk?

At the highest risk are patients who have been hospitalized for a long time; have a central venous catheter, or other lines or tubes entering their body; or have previously received antibiotics or antifungal medications.

How does C. auris spread?

C. auris is spread through contact with affected patients or contaminated environmental surfaces or equipment. To help prevent the spread of the infection, the CDC suggests following proper hand hygiene and infection control measures.

Are C. auris infections treatable?

Most C. auris infections are treatable with antifungal drugs called echinocandins; however, some C. auris infections have been resistant to all three main classes of antifungal medications.

More than one-third of patients with serious cases of the blood infection died.

Information for Laboratorians

C. auris can be misidentified unless specialized laboratory technology is used. Misidentification could lead to a patient getting the wrong treatment, which could expose more patients to the fungus. It is important to know how to identify this organism.

How to identify C. auris (taken from https://www.cdc.gov/fungal/candida-auris/recommendations.html)

“Diagnostic devices based on matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) can differentiate C. auris from other Candida species, but not all the reference databases included in MALDI-TOF devices allow for detection. Currently, accurate identification of C. auris can be performed using the Bruker Biotyper brand MALDI-TOF using the updated Bruker FDA-approved MALDI Biotyper CA System library (Version Claim 4) or their “research use only” libraries (Versions 2014 [5627] and more recent) and VITEK (MALDI-TOF) MS RUO (with Saramis Ver 4.14 database and Saccharomycetaceae update). VITEK 2 with software version 8.01 should also be able to accurately detect C. auris, though misidentifications of strains from certain clades have been reported and all Candida duobushaemulonii should be forwarded for further identification (see the identification algorithm Cdc-pdf[PDF – 9 pages]).

Supplemental MALDI-TOF databases that include additional C. auris strains from all four of the phylogenetic clades may enable users to overcome identification challenges by providing consistently higher MALDI identification scores. MicrobeNet is one example of a free online MALDI database of rare and unusual pathogens that is curated by CDC experts. MicrobeNet users will have access to CDC C. auris MALDI spectral libraries as well as Bruker’s most up-to-date database (all free with your MicrobeNet login).

Molecular methods based on sequencing the D1-D2 region of the 28s rDNA or the Internal Transcribed Region (ITS) of rDNA also can identify C. auris.”

If you or your coworkers identify C. auris, the CDC would like you to notify your state or local public health authorities and CDC at candidaauris@cdc.gov.

For more information about this global health threat, including information specific to laboratorians, visit the CDC’s website on C.auris by clicking here.

Get new posts by email:
We will treat your data confidentially

Debunking Staffing Agency Myths

Because you are reading this blog, you are likely considering working with HCI. Like many people who are unfamiliar with our services or who have never used a staffing firm, you probably have questions. Let’s discuss some misconceptions about using an agency in order to debunk three staffing agency myths.

According to the September/October 2018 issue of the American Staffing Association’s Staffing Success magazine, the three most common misperceptions about working with staffing companies are:

  • Staffing and recruiting companies have selfish motives.
  • Staffing and recruiting companies are all the same.
  • Staffing and recruiting companies are primarily for people who cannot find a position on their own.

Let’s go through each one separately in the words of our recruiters and account executives.

Selfish motives?

Jeb Parichy, Recruiter:

“I take that misconception personally because any business has to be money motivated to be successful, but for me it’s more than that. In all of my 27 years of experience, I have done it the same way: I spend countless hours getting to know each candidate personally in order to find a job that fits who they are as people and professionals. I get personal with them by discussing their pets, children, hobbies, spouses, etc. I get to know them to better match their needs to the right job in the right location. Together we spend countless hours preparing. I love doing this because I get to help people support their families, get out of debt, or help them reach their career goals. I know I impact each person I help place. They often send me pictures and notes thanking me for changing their lives. I recently got someone a $50,000 increase from their previous job! One person sent me a picture of her on the Eiffel Tower on her 23rd wedding anniversary. (I have that one hanging on my office wall.) So for me, recruiting has nothing to do with being selfish. Heck, I am here by 5:15 a.m. and I give my cell number to each candidate I work with so they can call me 24/7 (including weekends).”

Kelly Bajusz, Account Executive:

“I work for hours on end matching the exact skill set the client is looking for with the candidate. I take it a step further by ensuring the candidate’s personality will fit in well with the client’s established staff. It’s very time consuming work, but in the end, the match is what drives me to continue. I spend the time getting to know my client’s needs until I find the perfect fit — like a key in a lock. The greatest reward, and what keeps me coming back, is hearing a laboratory manager, for example, thank me for staffing her lab for the best possible patient care. That’s what empowers me to continue. After all, it’s patient care that we’re affecting in the end.”

All the same?

Jason Malone, Recruiter:

“The biggest difference between us and other firms is that HCI is exclusive to the laboratory industry. We are the industry leader in clinical and anatomic pathology recruitment. That’s all we do. Nobody else has the established laboratory connections we have. We’ve partnered with more than 1,450 clients and serviced over 12,000 lab staffing projects. Our database includes over 100,000 laboratory professionals. We know the industry and the key players in it.”

Antwan Spivey, Recruiter:

“Because of our long history with most of our clients, we have a strong understanding of their needs. We spend the time searching, making phone calls, and setting up interviews for our clients.”

Can't find jobs on their own?

Michael DeQuarto, Senior Recruiter:

“We work directly with lab directors and managers. When we submit a resume it goes directly to them. If a job seeker goes online and applies to a position on their own, it often goes to the black hole that is Human Resources.”

Gene Marks, Consulting Recruiter:

“In my 30 years of experience, I have found that staffing agencies allow people to realize and/or surpass their dreams and ambitions by increasing their marketability as candidates. We help them get superior titles, more money with greater benefits, or better locations in which to work. Joining forces with an agency often results in something better and is often more than the candidate was initially looking for.”

Donato Valera-Teano, Senior Recruiter:

“Agencies are efficient time savers. On your own you can search for jobs and apply to each one individually often without knowing the pay, the culture, as well as many other factors. Working with me at this agency, I can submit you to multiple jobs at once and I’ll already know the salary structure and the other factors not publicized in advertisements. Because HCI only staffs clinical and anatomic pathology, I know the industry, hiring managers, and facilities. I’m able to speak with you and know if it’ll be a good fit, wasting very little time. Plus, I will get your resume in front of a hiring manager instead of in Human Resources’ inbox.”

You should use us!

In summary, I’ll close with what Recruiter Sadie Samuel says are her top four reasons to use HCI for your next job search:

“Free: It does not cost anything to use us.

Feedback: When applying on your own, candidates typically don’t hear any feedback for why they were not selected. I always get feedback and I will share that feedback with you so we can use it to your benefit.

Pay: I believe most people do not know how to negotiate pay. Some people are reluctant about asking for what they are worth. I know how much you are worth and I can get you the pay you are looking for.

Record Keeping: Some candidates don’t recall where they submitted their resumes. This is a negative because some facilities frown upon double submittals. I will ask you where you would like your resume to be sent, suggest other locations, and keep all the records for you.”

Now that you’ve heard from us, give us a call at (954) 346-4475 to discuss any other questions you may have about our services. We will be happy to get to know you so we can find your perfect career fit.

Get new posts by email:
We will treat your data confidentially

Meet your Recruiter: Sadie Samuel

In this recurring Q & A series, you will learn about that person with whom you've been speaking, emailing, and texting -- your recruiter. They know a lot about you, but now it's your turn to learn about them. And you'll finally be able to see if the voice matches the person you imagined!

Name:

Sadie Samuel

How long have you worked as a recruiter?

I have been with HealthCare Connections for four years. I’ve been in the recruiter role since June of 2018 and prior to that I was a clinical solutions associate.

Why are you a recruiter?

I work as a recruiter for the clinical and anatomic pathology laboratory because I enjoy helping people and I’m working in my field. I graduated college with a Bachelors Degree in Healthcare Management and prior to that (since high school) I worked in health administration/human resources. It is so rewarding to help people find jobs in their career field. When they fill their goals by finding their dream jobs or going to areas they never thought of going, I am fulfilled.

What’s your favorite part of being a recruiter?

Hiring someone is definitely the best. I love to call the candidate to congratulate them. It is so rewarding to finalize the process after going through the paperwork, preparing for and sending the candidate to interviews, then negotiating the offers. Hearing the person’s smile over the phone is amazing.

What other jobs have you held?

Most of my jobs since high school were in health care, except when I was a college intern for Wells Fargo. I have worked as a hospital administrator, human resources representative, and a staffing coordinator in a nursing home/rehabilitation center.

What do you do when you are not working?

I was born in the US Virgin Islands and have lived in Florida since I was a child. The beach and my culture are very important to me. Celebrating the beach, in my free time I design women’s swimwear. I plan to eventually sell them in an online store called iLLest Kollections, but right now I design and send them to my manufacturer to create. The other thing I really enjoy doing is taking part in Miami Carnival, an annual festival celebrating Caribbean-American communities. I dress up in costumes, paint my face, dance, listen to traditional music, and eat delicious culturally-typical food.

What is your favorite vacation spot(s)?

I love to travel and plan to do more of it. The Caribbean Islands are my favorites because I enjoy beach activities including jet skiing, boating, and riding inflatable Banana Boats. In 2017 I visited Colorado and finally saw snow. It was so pretty, but too cold!

If you worked in the laboratory, where would you want to work and why?

I really respect people who work with human tissues, but that’s not for me. I could work with fluids, but I think I’d prefer to use my managerial skills instead.

How do you respond when a potential laboratory employee tells you they are unsure about using an agency for their job search?

There are so many reasons to use an agency, but HCI is specifically set apart from the rest because we are very unique. We have a market niche that other companies do not. We specialize solely in the clinical and anatomic laboratory, which separates us from others.

Here are my top four reasons to use HCI for your job search:

      • Free: It does not cost anything to use us.
      • Feedback: When applying on your own, candidates typically don’t hear any feedback for why they were not selected. I always get feedback and I will share that feedback with you so we can use it to your benefit.
      • Pay: I believe most people do not know how to negotiate pay. Some people are reluctant about asking for what they are worth. I know how much you are worth and I can get you the pay you are looking for.
      • Record Keeping: Some candidates don’t recall where they submitted their resumes. This is a negative because some facilities frown upon double submittals. I will ask you where you would like your resume to be sent, suggest other locations, and keep all the records for you.

Using an agency is like having someone there with you the whole time to help. I will get you from point A to point Z.

If you had to give just one tip for interviewing, what would it be?

Never talk poorly about your previous employer. No matter what you went through, just say you are looking for a better opportunity. An employer doesn’t want to hire someone who is very negative. Even if it was really bad, it just shouldn’t be said. Don’t be negative. Try to find at least one positive quality.

Sadie Samuel, Recruiter
Sadie Samuel, Recruiter
Sadie in Puerto Rico
Sadie is an adventure seeker. Here she is in Puerto Rico four wheeling with some friends.
Sadie loves the beach/ocean
Sadie surrounds herself with beaches, oceans, sun, and fun. Here she is fishing for the first time in Key West, FL. It took an enormous amount of patience, but in the end she got the perfect catch.
Brr. Skiing in Colorado
Skiing looks so much easier than it is. Brrrr. She's definitely more of a sun worshiper, but admitted that skiing was fun.
Miami Carnival
Miami Carnival is one of Sadie's favorite annual activities. Because she was born in St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands, she attends the event every year to represent her culture and heritage.
Chinatown, Los Angeles, CA
Sadie loves to travel. Here she is in LA's Chinatown where the movie "Rush Hour" was shot.
Sadie at a LA zoo
In Los Angeles, Sadie visited an abandoned zoo. She loved LA. The weather was beautiful and the scenery was gorgeous.
Miami Carnival
Sadie takes pride in her cultural customs and is happy to celebrate them every year at Miami Carnival.

When your assignment is complete, or to find a new one, check out our available contract jobs. Apply online or call your recruiter to discuss (and be sure to tell them what you imagined they looked like).

Get new posts by email:
We will treat your data confidentially

Voice Technology in Health Care

Virtual assistants, like Amazon's Alexa, are being installed in patient rooms in a variety of patient health settings

A medical center in Los Angeles is piloting a program that allows patients to use Amazon’s virtual assistant Alexa to communicate with nurses and staff members.

Cedars-Sinai provided more than 100 patient rooms with the Alexa-powered platform known as Aiva on Amazon Echos. Aiva, the world’s first patient-centered voice assistant platform for hospitals, permits patients to interact hands-free to control their environment and connect with staff.

Cedars-Sinai provided more than 100 patient rooms with the Alexa-powered platform known as Aiva on Amazon Echos. Aiva, the world’s first patient-centered voice assistant platform for hospitals, permits patients to interact hands-free to control their environment and connect with staff.

How does it work?

A press release from Cedars-Sinai explained how the technology works.

“The patient’s request is routed to the mobile phone of the appropriate caregiver, whether a nurse, clinical partner, manager or administrator. A pain medicine request would be routed to a registered nurse, for example, while a bathroom request would be routed to a clinical partner. If the request is not answered in a timely manner, the Aiva platform sends it up the chain of command.”

Why?

Amazon Echo Dot

Sumeet Bhatia, founder and CEO of Aiva, said, “Cedars-Sinai and Aiva are giving patients more entertainment options, more control over their environment and closer communication with their care team.”

Patient-Centered Artificial Intelligence

To control their environment, patients can easily control their TVs by saying, “Alexa, change the channel to ESPN.” An example of being in closer communication with their care team, a patient might say, “Alexa, tell my nurse I need to get up to use the restroom.”

Being alone in a hospital room can take a toll on a patient. The Echos also include standard Alexa features allowing patients to feel more connected to the outside world thereby helping the patient’s mental health.

The most common request is for the device to play music, followed by content like weather, sports and games.

The nearly three-year-old Los Angeles-based health care startup, funded primarily by venture capital, received separate funding from two rival tech giants in just one week: the Google Assistant Investment Program and Amazon’s Alexa Fund. Amazon and Google are investing in startups using these funds to build up their rival voice assistant ecosystems.

The companies didn’t disclose financial terms of the deals.

Aiva’s other investors include Act One Ventures, Mucker Capital, and Techstars.

Where else will it be used?

An Aiva representative said they are also targeting physician offices, skilled nursing facilities, senior communities, a well as elderly home users.

According to AARP, “Studies show that isolation and loneliness are as bad for health as obesity or smoking.”

Voice assistants can help alleviate social isolation and feelings of loneliness by connecting seniors with friends, family and neighbors using the hands-free phone and video calls. They will also remind seniors about appointments, outings, or other activities, encouraging them to be more social.

AI for Elderly Living Facilities

HIPAA issues

One of the major limitations to using voice technology in health care is that it is not yet compliant with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which protects patients’ health information. While some skills can be built into voice technology, patient data cannot be used within it to permit a more personalized experience.

Rumors

Amazon, Google and Microsoft all have voice-activated smart speakers and they are chomping at the bit to get integrated into the health care realm. If the technology rumors are true, Amazon may soon announce a HIPAA compliant Echo.

Future

The future of medical care is likely full of virtual assistants in any number of health care settings from the doctor’s office to laboratories to the most complex surgical suites. It may not be long before voice-activated technology is in main stream health care.

Get new posts by email:
We will treat your data confidentially

Fly Smart: 5 Tips to Travel Healthy

Whether you are a seasoned contractor with a resume full of experience in various cities or you fly only to get to your vacation destinations, these five tips are for you. Learn to travel healthy while on the plane to ensure you’ll be healthy at your destination.

Tips to Travel Healthy
1. Keep Moving

There is an actual medical condition that can be brought about during long flights. Also known as “economy-class syndrome”, deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a condition that can develop the longer you are immobile. Blood clots form in the deep veins of your legs and can cause swelling and pain. According to Mayo Clinic, DVT can be very serious. Blood clots in your veins can break loose, travel through your bloodstream and lodge in your lungs, blocking blood flow (known as a pulmonary embolism).

How can you prevent DVT? The Centers for Disease Control suggests the following tips when traveling:

Move on Plane
  • Get up and walk around every 2 to 3 hours.
  • Exercise your legs while you’re sitting by: Raising and lowering your heels while keeping your toes on the floor; raising and lowering your toes while keeping your heels on the floor; and tightening and releasing your leg muscles
  • Wear loose-fitting clothes.
  • Also suggested is to maintain a healthy weight, avoiding a sedentary lifestyle, and asking your doctor about wearing maintaining a healthy weight, and avoiding a sedentary lifestyle.
Stay Hydrated
2 Stay Hydrated

Flying is a dehydrating experience. Did you know that when flying at 30,000 feet, for example, the humidity level in the plane could be as low as 10 to 20 percent? That’s desert-level dry. Dehydration can weaken your immune system and even disrupt your sleep cycle. Dr. Oz, a TV personality and director of Integrative Medicine Center at Columbia, suggests drinking eight ounces of water or herbal tea for every hour flying. Sure, that’ll make you have to visit the bathroom a lot, but it will force you to move around the airplane potentially preventing DVT. Plus, the herbal tea can calm the body, which is always good when stuck in a confined space with many other people. Be sure to avoid alcohol, since that dehydrates the body on a cellular level.

3 Clean Your Hands

Airplanes are notoriously germ-laden places. With the lack of humidity drying out your nasal passages, you’d be surprised how often you touch your nose. The CDC says people touch their eyes, mouth, and nose approximately 25 times per hour without being aware of it. Mucous membranes are the perfect moist and warm environments to host a variety of potential illnesses. Keep your hands away from your face and use hand sanitizer with 60 percent alcohol after touching any surface on an aircraft, as well as before you eat or drink and after using the bathroom.

Clean your hands
Disinfect your area
4 Disinfect Your Immediate Area

According to research, disease-causing bacteria can linger for up to a week on surfaces like seat pockets, rubber armrests, as well as nonporous surfaces like the tray table. One study presented by the American Society for Microbiology in 2014 found that methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) lasted on material from the seat-back pocket for 168 hours while E. coli O157:H7 survived 96 hours on the armrest. Yuck! To protect yourself, use antibacterial wipes to disinfect your seating area, which includes the tray table, remote controls, monitors, arm rests, window shades, or anything else you may touch.

5 Fly Well Rested

Be sure to get enough sleep prior to your flight to keep up your body’s natural immunity. Your body needs sleep to fight infectious diseases. Studies show that people who don’t get quality sleep or enough sleep are more likely to get sick after being exposed to a virus, such as the common cold. Lack of sleep can also affect how fast you recover if you do get sick.

Travel Well Rested

So be sure to pack some wipes, hand sanitizer, and grab a bottle or two of water after getting through security. Using these tips should help you stay healthy for your trip and the days following.

Are you ready to travel? Let us know where you want to go and we’ll match you to an open position in the clinical or anatomic pathology laboratory.

Contact us today.

Get new posts by email:
We will treat your data confidentially