NH Reporter on PILL & Medical Improv

Paul Briand captured the best of my new business-PILL-Portsmouth Improv Learning Lab and the evolution of Medical Improv.

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“Experiential activities from the world of improv can be made to be safe, fun and transformative. When there is no pressure to perform, this process of divine play can also lead to new friendships and much joy,” said Boynton. Read more

Next entry level class starts July 10th-Discover PILL-The Improv Way to Have Fun, Meet Nice People, & Grow!-6 Monday eves of divine play! Maybe see you in class?

Posted in Assertiveness, Communication in Healthcare, Complexity in nursing, Diversity, Holistic Health, Listening, Medical Improv, Patient Advocacy, Patient Safety | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

4 Ways Nurses Can Take Control of Their Student Loan Debt

By Kat Tretina, Student Loan Hero

Working as a nurse can be rewarding, but getting the necessary education and licenses can be expensive. Depending on your area of study, the cost of a nursing degree can be as much as $118,000. With such a high price, it’s likely you took out federal or private student loans to afford school.

While you can make an excellent salary as a nurse, your student loan payments can eat up a lot of your monthly income. Luckily, there are different ways you can reduce your student loan burden. Here are four options that can help you manage your nursing school debt.

1. Check out the NURSE Corps Loan Repayment Program

Millions of Americans go without preventative medical care because there’s a lack of healthcare professionals. The U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration aims to address this problem and help nurses afford their degrees through the Nurse Corps Loan Repayment Program. If you qualify, this program could pay for up to 85 percent of your unpaid nursing debt over the course of three years.

To be eligible, you must be a licensed nurse, nurse practitioner, or nurse faculty member. Your nursing education must be from an accredited institution within the United States, and you must work in a designated Critical Shortage Facility.

2. Sign up for an income-driven repayment plan

If you’re struggling to afford your monthly payments and you have federal student loans, you may be eligible for an income-driven repayment (IDR) plan. Under an IDR plan, the government extends your repayment term and caps your monthly payment at a percentage of your discretionary income.

With this approach, your payment may be dramatically reduced. Signing up for an IDR plan can help you stay on top of your payments while freeing up money in your budget for other essentials, such as rent or utilities.

Depending on which plan you sign up for, you will make payments for 20 to 25 years. If your loan is not paid off at the end of your repayment term, the government will forgive the remaining balance.

IDR plans do come with possible drawbacks. By adding 10 or more years to your repayment, you will likely pay more in interest over the life of your loan. What’s more, you may be taxed on any debt that is forgiven. However, if you need help affording your payments, IDR plans can help you avoid defaulting on your loans.

3. Search for state repayment assistance programs

Many states, including California, Florida, and New York, offer student loan repayment assistance programs for nurses who live and work in the area. Depending on the state, you could have some or even all of your loans repaid after fulfilling the program’s requirements.

Use this searchable student loan repayment program database to find nursing assistance programs in your state.

4. Refinance your loans

If you have student loans, high-interest rates can cause your balance to grow over time. Even if you’re able to make your payments each month, a large percentage of it will go towards interest, so you make little progress paying down the principal.

One option to save money or reduce your monthly payment is to refinance your loans. By refinancing, you take out a new loan with a private lender. The loan will typically have different repayment terms, such as a new interest rate, monthly payment, and length of repayment.

If you can get a lower interest rate on your refinanced debt, more of your payments will go towards the principal, helping you get out of debt faster. In addition, a lower interest rate can save you hundreds or even thousands over the length of your loan.

While nursing education loans can be a burden, there are many options to help! Click To Tweet

Managing your loans

While your student loans can be a burden, there are plenty of options available to make repaying your debt more manageable. Make sure you research forgiveness and assistance programs and compare refinancing offers to save the most money on your loans and become debt-free faster.

Author Bio:

Kat Tretina is a writer for Student Loan Hero, a company that helps borrowers manage and eliminate over $3 billion dollars in student loan debt. Kat writes about student loan repayment, side hustles, and other personal finance topics. Her work has appeared in publications like the Huffington Post, Money Magazine, Business Insider, and more.

Posted in Communication in Healthcare, Complexity in nursing, Diversity, Healthy Workplaces, In the News, Nurse Leadership | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

LIFE IN THE FAST TRACK: A Cost-effective Alternative for Safe, Quality, Care!

 By Meg Helgert, FNP

Emergency departments are much needed in any community but getting primary care or urgent care in an expensive ER at such a high cost is not feasible anymore. Many Emergency Departments around the country are building their own versions of Urgent Care or Fast Tracks for just such events,  Costs to insurance companies are generally cut in half and bring in very decent revenue for the hospital as well.

When I started the Fast Track in our local major hospital it was almost an instant success. Click To Tweet

Our Fast Track took the burden off the ER physicians so they could attend to true emergencies such as heart attacks, motor vehicle accidents, and the many acute medical problems that deserve full ER support. I found that patients were triaged by the ER nurse correctly to our place and only a few needed to be moved over to the major ER for care.

Some of the struggle in getting the Fast Track up and running was needing to win over the Emergency Dept. Physicians and nurses who were not on board with the concept. As with anything new; public relations with the staff one must work with is profoundly necessary. One must prove oneself over and over to become an accepted member of the team that has been providing this part of the care for so long.

Admittedly, much of Fast Track is fun and people are taken care of in a timely way because we didn’t have the worries of what was wheeling in the door next. ER physicians missed this part of the care they provided so I needed to grasp the fact they may have these feelings as well.

Patients do not always know what is a true emergency and the Fast Track concept can quickly sort out what is needed. Many times, we would initially “fix” the problem such as a closed fracture, splint the fracture and refer to the appropriate orthopedic surgeon for follow up; or complicated lacerations can be initially closed, splinted and referred in 1-2 days. This has been an excellent addition to Emergency Departments and an approach I hope continues to grow.

I believe the concept is perfect for any busy ER and offers a different layer of care to patients who actually do not have a primary care physician.  I’m happy to share insights with practitioners considering a Fast Track!  Email me:  enigma462003h@gamil.com

Posted in Communication in Healthcare, Complexity in nursing, Healthy Workplaces, Nurse Leadership, Patient Advocacy, Patient Safety | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment