How Nurses Can Get Out of "Survival Mode"

As productivity writer Benjamin Hardy puts it, survival mode is: “your life being filled to the brim with nonessential and trivial things. You don’t have time to make anything meaningful.

Do you often feel like this? Crazy shift hours, demanding patients, children to take care and worry about at home… It’s no wonder that nurses are falling sick because of their stress levels. Your busy life just gnaws at the corners of your mind. It’s difficult to sleep, hard to find time to eat, and care about yourself. As you fend off your exhaustion, you realize at the end of your day the worst thing about your predicament is that you have to face the same thing tomorrow.

And the next day.

And the next one.

So you go through life on autopilot.

There is a way to break this cycle, and return your sense of self. You will feel happier, healthier, and achieve your personal and professional goals with these simple daily practices.

Re-orient your life

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Take charge of your life. Most importantly, be conscious of your decision to take charge of your life. Decide on a better way of looking at how you live, and decide to act on it. Intention is very important; actions only come after that.

A good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow.

You have only one life; it would be a shame to live it miserably, because you won’t be getting any of your youth back.

Get Good Sleep

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So many things can be attributed to the irregularity of sleep or the lack of it. Your concentration slips out frequently. Your memory is fuzzled. Your body feels tired, and has no energy. These are all detrimental to the patients under your care. Most importantly, it poses a real danger to your health.

Those who sleep 7-9 hours a day are proven to be healthier, fitter, and less likely to be obese or suffer from any other health issues.

“But wait…” you say. “I can’t do that! I work shifts.”

Don’t worry. Remember that you can space out your sleeps into naps if a long period of rest is not available to you.

There are so many benefits to getting enough sleep. Some of them are:

And so on.

Prayer, or meditation

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Gratitude upon waking up, or when facing a difficult time, is one of the best habits you can form. This mindset of abundance primes you to cope better with challenging situations or periods of your life. Because you are always grateful for the things that you currently have, it negates the negative impact of focusing on the things you don’t have, or would like to be better.

Prayer and meditation helps you re-orient yourself to set your most important priorities. It also serves as a good “brain detox”.

Your life might be busy and hectic. By devoting some time to honing your spiritual center, you will learn to make sense and derive meaning in a chaotic world.

If you don’t know how to meditate, here’s the 5-minute meditation trick every nurse needs to know.

Exercise in moderation

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At MIMS Career we all know most of you nurses are very tired. However, exercise is something that still should not be neglected.

Take walks. Walking can also be a form of meditation. Just walk a few minutes, being mindful of your surroundings and focusing on your surroundings. Try and get into the habit of exercising, too. It has many benefits which I’m sure you’re aware of. If you want a healthy mind, it has to start with care of the body.

No gym membership? Try some no-equipment home exercises.

Eat Healthy

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Eat small, frequent meals as opposed to large meals in one sitting.

Those working shifts have a tendency to grab whatever food is available, and that is unhealthy. Try to prepare healthy snacks that you can bring to workplace, like cut fruits.

Pack food to work. Cooking packed lunches are a lot healthier because you are aware of what you put into your body. Experiment with simple 1-dish meals. They are light enough to bring in one container, and can simply be reheated in a microwave.

If going home to eat, experiment with freezing your prepared meals, or slow-marinading meat that you can throw in the oven right when you get back home. YouTube channels like Tasty can give you many ideas.

Consume Great Content

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Read, even if you can only do it for ten minutes a day. If done every day, you’ll eventually finish many books in a year.

Podcasts and audiobooks are good to listen to on your commute. Here’s a helpful article also written by me about getting started with podcasts.

The world’s most successful people all read at least one book a week. You don’t have to do that, but that goes to show how important the value of reading good content is.

By “good”, I don’t mean Facebook posts or tweets. I mean real, thought-provoking forms of prose that teach you something new.

Over time, just by doing 10 minutes a day, you’ll have more knowledge on different topics. It will make you a better writer, speaker, and you’ll develop a personality that future employers would absolutely love whenever you go for interviews. You will view the world in a different lens.

Here’s a great reading list for you to get started if you like.

Write down and review your goals every day

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What are your goals? Write them down. Both short and long term.

Then do something that gets you closer to your long term goals every day.

Getting out of the rut that is your daily grind can be difficult, but very rewarding when done right. The location and working environment you’re in can make or break your learning curve towards attaining your career goals.

Which is why you should give MIMS Career a shot. Browse through our extensive directory of nursing jobs across Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, and more countries coming soon. Upload your resume and be notified of jobs you might be interested in.

Sign up for free, and discover the change of pace in life that you need to get out of autopilot today.

Other Articles

 Nephrology/Renal Nursing 

 Nephrology is a specialty of medicine and pediatrics that concerns itself with the kidneys:  the study of normal kidney function, kidney problems, kidney health, and the treatment of kidney problems.  It encompasses dietary and medication to replacement forms of treatments. Systemic conditions that affect the kidneys and systemic problems that occur as a result of kidney problems are also studied in nephrology. A physician who has undertaken additional training to become an expert in nephrology may call themselves a nephrologist or a renal physician. 

 A nephrology nurse (or renal nurse - those two terms are used interchangeably) is a nursing practitioner that focuses on kidney health. They treat and care for patients that are suffering from those suffering from kidney problems as well as those that are at risk of developing them. 

 As a renal nurse, one must be prepared to stay on top of current developments, as treatments in this field are accelerating their development at a very rapid pace. This is possible to be done by regular consumption of renal-related literary content such as medical journals. Attending seminars and conference is also a possible method. 


 Renal nursing concerns the  diagnosis and treatment of kidney diseases , including electrolyte disturbances and hypertension, and the care of those needing replacement therapy, including dialysis and transplant patients. 

 Many diseases affecting the kidney are systemic disorders not limited to the organ itself. Examples include acquired conditions such as systemic vasculitides and autoimmune diseases, as well as congenital or generic conditions such as polycystic kidney disease. 

 Methodology of nursing 

  History and physical examinations are central to the diagnostic workup in nephrology or renal nursing.   

 This may include inquires regarding family history, general medical history, diet, medication use, drug use and occupation. Examination typically includes an assessment of volume state, blood pressure, skin, joints, abdomen, and flank. 

 Urinary analysis (urinalysis) is an instrumental method in assessing possible kidney problems. Nurses in this specialization are trained to notice the appearance of blood in the urine, protein, pus cells or cancer cells in the urine, often with the help of a urologist or nephrology physician. 

 Basic blood tests can be used to check the concentration of hemoglobin, platelets, sodium, potassium, chloride, or phosphate in the blood. All of these may be affected by kidney problems, and renal nurses are supposed to be well-versed in this area. 

 Under certain circumstances, an invasive test is required for diagnosis. A biopsy of the kidney may be performed. This typically involves the insertion, under local anesthetic and ultrasound or CT guidance, of a core biopsy needle into the kidney to obtain a small sample of kidney tissue. Kidney biopsy is also used to monitor response to treatment and identify early relapse. 


 The process differs across countries, but the outcome is indefinitely similar. Nephrology is a subspecialty of general medicine. A nephrology/renal nurse will have to complete nursing school, a minimum of three years of practice as a general nurse, and a BSN (Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing) or post-basic course in renal subjects. Typically this training lasts 1-2 years. 

 Nurses in training for renal nursing often continue in the world of academia to obtain research degrees, putting a temporary halt to their clinical practice. Some also sub-specialize in dialysis, kidney transplantation, CKD, cancer-related kidney diseases, procedural nephrology or other non-nephrology areas. 

 However, only pediatric-trained nurses are allowed to train in pediatric nephrology, due to differences in physiology. 

 Work environment 

 A major task and responsibility for renal nurses are  administering treatments to patients.  Treatments can include medications, blood products, surgical interventions, renal replacement therapy and plasma exchange. Kidney problems can have a significant impact on quality and length of life, and so psychological support, health education and advanced care planning play key roles in nephrology. 

 Renal nurses often find themselves having a better work setting compared to their non-specialized counterparts. Schedules are less erratic, especially for nurses working in dialysis support roles. 

 On average, renal nurses with post basic certification get  about 10% more pay.  

 Career opportunities 

	 Dialysis centers (out- and in-patient) 
	 Nephrology wards 
	 Transplant units 
	 Home care 
	 Medical device industry 
	 Pharmaceutical industry 
	 Government and nonprofit healthcare settings (eg:  NKF ) 
	 Community clinics 

 There is a severe shortage of nephrology nurses in Malaysia. 

 Search for high-paying job in renal nursing at  MIMS Career . MIMS Career is a premier, healthcare-focused job portal site for Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines and Indonesia. Our simple sign-up process allows you to easily apply for jobs you might be interested in with a single click. Job locations include hospitals, nursing homes, and private practices. It’s free, easy to use, and safe. 

 Can’t find what you’re looking for? Set up a job alert and we’ll notify you by email whenever positions that suit your preferences are available. All of our pages are mobile-responsive, so you can take your applications with you on the go. 

 Our Most Popular Articles 

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Career Highlight: Specialty in Nephrology/Renal

Nephrology/Renal Nursing Nephrology is a specialty of medicine and pediatrics that concerns itself with the kidneys: the study of normal kidney function, kidney problems, kidney health, and the treatment of kidney problems. It...

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 Want to work in the United States? Opportunities are aplenty; the American over-65 population is about to triple by the year 2030.  Most of them will suffer from chronic conditions, be obese, and suffer from arthtritis.  This leads to an overwhelming demand for nurses to assist healthcare institutions in providing care to these aging patients. 

 Living in the United States can be an interesting and rewarding period of time. You get great education, infrastructure, and one of the highest standards of living in the world. The  salary  is great too: the median salary for US registered nurses is $60,616, or about RM250,000 per annum. 

 Here’s what you need to do: 

 1. Ensure your academic requirements are met 

 You need to: 

 Graduate from a program with accredited Registered Nursing 
 Have a valid RN license 
 Practiced as an RN for not less than two years  
-Some states (like  Texas  or California, for example), require you to complete a Foreign Educated Nurses (FEN) course. It’s a refresher course consisting of 240 hours divided equally into classroom and clinical practice. You will do it under the supervision of a licensed RN. 

 2. Pass English proficiency test 

 You need to do this if: 

 You graduated from a school not in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, or Ireland 
 Your school’s spoken language is anything other than English 
 Your school’s textbooks were written in English 

 You can take: 

 TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) 
 TOEIC (Test of English for International Communication) 
 IELTS (International English Language Testing System) 

 Send the test results directly to the state board you’re applying to. 

 3. Sit and pass your NCLEX-RN (National Council Licensing Examination - Registered Nurse) 

 To take the exam, you have to register with Pearson VUE. The instructions are all on the website. 

 4. Find an employer, or a recruiting agency based in the US 

 A recruiter can also be your employer. They will help you get your immigrant visa. Not only that, but they will also assist you in finding a job at a hospital or institution that they are partnered with. 

 5. Get an RN immigrant visa/green card 

 You are going to need these documents for your visa: 

 Visa Screen Certificate (VSC) 
 Evidence of US-based employer who will petition for your visa. As mentioned, a recruiter can also be your petitioner. 

 6. Obtain visa and accept job offer 

 You might have to take a medical exam for this. 

 7. Get certified for Resuscitation courses 

 You’ll need to take (depending on the area that you will practice in): 

 Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) course 
 Paediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) course[10] 

 And there you have it! All you have to do next is to emigrate to the US. We’d like to wish you good luck with your endeavours! 

 Great nurses are always on the lookout for new, exciting, and better opportunities to grow their career. Find out your next employment with MIMS Career, a fast, secure, and convenient portal to connect you to top-class healthcare employers in MY, SG, ID, and PH.

How to Work as A Nurse in the USA

Want to work in the United States? Opportunities are aplenty; the American over-65 population is about to triple by the year 2030. Most of them will suffer from chronic conditions, be obese, and suffer from arthtritis. This leads to an...

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 Technological developments continue to improve well into the 21st century, bringing in advancements in surgical care. By extension, the responsibilities of the registered nurse that assists in patient care in the operating room/theater need to keep up with the times. 


 These nurses who have more specialized duties in the OT/OR are called perioperative nurses. The word “peri-” is Greek for “about”, or “around”, “enclosing.” Just think of the word “perimeter. Hence, “perioperative nursing” means the care of a patient before, during, and after a surgical procedure. 


 Typically, perioperative nurses fall into two categories: 

  Scrub nurse  - These nurses select and pass surgical instruments to the surgeon during the operation. He/she might also assist in the procedure. 

  Circulating nurse  - This kind of nurse manages the operating room. She ensures the place is safe for the patient and operating staff. 

  Anaesthetic nurse  - Provides support to the anaesthetist during or before the procedure. Duties include preparing the equipment, and administering anaesthesia to the patient in a safe manner. 

  Holding bay nurse  - this term might be called differently in other countries. The holding bay nurse is responsible to bring the patient up to speed in the pre-perioperative environment. She is also responsible for all the information to be correct prior to procedure, such as fasting status, reports, and medication. 

  Post-surgery Recovery Nurse  - As the name indicates, this nurse cares for the patient immediately after surgery. Tasks such as ensuring patient’s airways are open, recording results, are the norm. 

  It is common for a single perioperative nurse to carry two or three of the aforementioned duties during a patient’s course of the surgery.  


 A post-basic certification is needed in order to qualify one to take up perioperative duties. The duration of the post-basic training might be within 1-2 years. Nurses undergoing training are exposed to surgical care, intensive care, and treatment of critically ill patients.  

 Most post-basic programs require 3-4 years of work experience as a registered nurse beforehand.  

 Workload and Working Conditions: 

 Surgical procedures can be very long. Moreover, complications can sometimes occur, further delaying the endpoint of the surgery. 

 Perioperative nurses are expected to be alert of the patients’ vitals during the post-surgical state to monitor any signs of abnormalities. 

 Working hours may differ across institutions. A small clinic specializing in aesthetic surgery might have more regular hours, compared to a teaching hospital that has multiple wards. 

 Work conditions and intensity also depend on the severity and complexity of the patient’s surgery. 

 Opportunities in Perioperative Nursing 

 Like most areas of nursing, job opportunities continue to grow. This specialization is expected to grow at a high rate as more institutions begin to provide surgical procedures. 

 The additional training provided to nurses with perioperative backgrounds can open many career doors. In the future, they will be able to function as OT directors, handle fiscal matters, and other managerial aspects of the operating theater. 

 With some more experience, nurses can proceed to becoming academicians or educators, as well as go into research. 

  Read more on advancing your nursing career into nursing education HERE.  

 Salary and income  
Nurses with specialization (such as perioperative nursing) stand to earn higher than the national average of nurses’ income. However, it is subject to location and healthcare institution facilities. 

 For those in the public sector, you have a high chance of being put in a higher grade. 

  Read more on how nurses can increase their income HERE.  


 Search for high-paying perioperative nursing jobs here at  MIMS Career . Sign up and apply today with our safe, secure, and free site. MIMS Career is an extensive job portal for healthcare practitioners such as nurses, doctors, and dentists throught Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines. 

 Browse through our vast directory of job vacancies by top healthcare employers. See any jobs you like? Apply with one click, or save it for later if you need some time to think about it.  

 Can’t find what you’re looking for? Set up an email alert, and we’ll notify you when a job vacancy that meets your desired criteria becomes available.

Career Highlight: Perioperative Nursing

Technological developments continue to improve well into the 21st century, bringing in advancements in surgical care. By extension, the responsibilities of the registered nurse that assists in patient care in the operating room/theater need...

Read More

 Palliative care is a multidisciplinary approach to specialized medical care for people with life-limiting illnesses. It focuses on providing people with relief from the symptoms, pain, physical and mental stresses of the terminal diagnosis. The goal of such therapy is to improve quality of life for both the person and their family. 

 Palliative care is provided by a team of physicians, nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and other health professionals who work together with the primary care doctors and referred specialists. It is appropriate at any age and at any stage in a serious illness and can be provided as the main goal of care of along with curative treatment. 

 Although it is an important part of end-of-life care, it is not limited to that stage. Palliative care can be provided across multiple settings including in hospitals, in the patient’s home, as part of the community palliative care programs, and in nursing facilities. Spiritual support is often provided in more interdisciplinary teams. 

 When a medicine or treatment relieves symptoms, but has no curative properties, it is said to be palliative. The word noncurative is sometimes paired with palliative for clarification purposes. 


 Palliative care is for patients with any serious illness and who have a physical or mental distress as a result of the treatment they are undergoing. Palliative care increases comfort by reducing pain, alleviating symptoms, and lessening stress for the patient and family. It is mutually beneficial for both patient and caregiver. 

 Emergency care nurses and doctors have a critical role to begin discussions with patients and their families regarding palliative care as they see them go through difficult times in life. 

 Paediatric palliative care is a rapidly growing subset of this field, and services directed specifically for children with serious illness are in dire need of this. 


  Assessment of symptoms

 A method fr the assessment of symptoms in patients admitted to palliative care is the Edmonton Symptoms Assessment Scare, in which there are eight visual analog scales of 0 to 10, indicating the levels of pain, activity, nausea, depression, anxiety, drowsiness, appetite and sensation of well-being. On the scale, 0 means absent, and 10 means the worst imaginable possible. Medications are often managed at home by family or nursing support. 

   Further actions 

 Effective methods to ensuring successful palliative care is to provide a safe way for the individual to address their physical and psychological distress, that is to say their total suffering. 

 Dealing with total suffering involves addressing a wide range of concerns, starting with treating physical symptoms such as pain, nausea, and breathlessness. The palliative care teams have become very skillful in prescribing drugs for physical symptoms, and have been instrumental in showing how drugs such as morphine can be used safely while maintaining a patient’s full functions. 

  Importance of counselling

 Usually, a palliative care patient’s concerns are pain, fears of the future, uncertainties, and worries of their family and feeling like a burden. There are counselling, visual methods, cognitive therapy, and relaxation therapy to deal with it. 

 Pallliative care sees an increasingly wide range of conditions in patients at varying stage of their illness it follows that palliative care teams offer a range of care. This may range form managing the physical symptoms in patients receiving treatment for cancer, to treating depression in patients with advanced disease, to the care of patients in their last days and hours. 


 In most countries hospice and palliative care is provided by an interdisciplinary team consisting of physicians, pharmacists, registered nurses, nursing assistant, social workers, and others. The focus on the team is to optimize the patient’s comfort. 

 Nurses in palliative care are given extensive training in counselling, medication dispensing, and support. The aim is about relieving distressing symptoms for the patient. Nurses are also part of the management of the imminently dying patient, more so than the physicians or doctors themselves. 

 Work Opportunities 

 The work opportunities that we get is aplenty. Palliative care is often used interchageably as a term with hospice care, albeit some slight differences. They share some similar goals of providing symptom relief and pain management. Palliative care services can be offered to any patient without restriction to disease or prognosis, and can be appropriate for anyone with a serious, complex illness, whether they are expected to recover fully or not. 

 Hospice is a type of care involving palliation without curative intent. usually it is used for people with no further options for curing their disease or in people who have decided to not pursue treatment that is hard on them. 

 Typically hospice and palliative care nurses work in non-hospital settings.

Career Highlight: Palliative Care

Palliative care is a multidisciplinary approach to specialized medical care for people with life-limiting illnesses. It focuses on providing people with relief from the symptoms, pain, physical and mental stresses of the terminal diagnosis. The...

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 Intensive care nursing 

 Intensive care nursing or critical care nursing is a branch of medicine concerned with the diagnosis and management of life-threatening conditions requiring sophisticated organ support and invasive monitoring. 


 Patients requiring intensive care may require support for instability, airway or respiratory compromise, acute renal failure, potentially lethal cardiac arrhythmias, or the cumulative effects of multiple organ failure. It is also commonly known now as multiple organ dysfunction syndrome. They may also be admitted for intensive or invasive monitoring, such as the crucial hours after major surgery when deemed too unstable to transfer to a less intenseively monitored unit. 

 Intensive care is usually only offered to those whose condition is potentially reversible and who have a good chance of surviving with intensive care support. A prime requisite for admission to an intensive care unit is that the underlying condition can be overcome. Patients with a non-overcomeable condition are not admitted into intensive care units (ICU). 

 ICUs are the most expensive area of nursing or medical care. It is also the most technologically advanced, requiring nurses with a higher level of qualifications and education than most. Telemetry, data-analysis, and surgical procedures are all part and parcel of the ICU nurse’s daily responsibilities. 

 Work Location 

ICU or Critical Care nurses are provisioned in a specialized unit of a hospital called the intensive care unit (ICU) or critical care unit (CCU). Many hospitals have also designated intensive care areas for certain specialties of medicine, such as: 

	 the coronary intensive unit for heart disease 
	 medical intensive care unit 
	 surgical intensive care unit 
	 pediatric intensive care unit 
	 neuroscience critical care unit 
	 overnight intensive recovery unit 
	 shock/trauma intensive care unit 
	 and more 

 The terminologies and nomenclature of these units may vary from hospital to hospital. They are also subject to funding, research capability, and availability of trained medical staff. 

 Equipment and systems in unit 

 In the ICU/CCU nurses are required to fundamentally understand and able to operate certain equipment and systems that are critical to the survival of the patient admitted. Common equipment in the unit includes mechanical ventilation to assist breathing through an endotracheal tube or a tracheotomy; hemofiltration equipment for acute renal failure; monitoring equipment; intravenous lines for drug insusions or total parenteral nutrition. 

 A wide array of drugs are also kept in the ICU/CCU, such as inotropes, sedatives, broad spectrum antibiotics and analgesics. 

 Work staff 

 Intensive care/critical care medicine is a relatively new but increasingly important medical specialty. The ICU/CCU is staffed by multidisciplinary and multiprofessional teams including nurses, respiratory therapists, physicians and critical care pharmacists. Doctors with training in intensive care are called intensivists; ICU/CCU nurses are a major form of support for this group. 


 ICU nurses will have completed a minimum of three years as a registered nurse following their nursing diploma or degree. Depending on the hospital, ICU nurses may have opted to do a BSN or MSN in order to develop the critical thinking skills required of medical staff in a such a high dependency ward. 

 A post-basic certification in ICU care is commonly around the duration of 12-24 months, where nurses in training will cover internal medicine, pediatrics, anesthesiology, surgery, and emergency medicine. 

 Nurses may also pursue additional education and training in critical care medicine leading to certification by bodies such as the American Association of Critical Care Nurses. This certification carries a lot of weight in terms of qualification for those seeking career advancement. 

 ICU/CCU nurses choose to specialize in one or more of the nine key systems, which are: 

	 Cardiovascular system 
	 Central nervous system 
	 endocrine system 
	 respiratory system 

 Work Conditions 

 Common tasks and responsibilities 

  Hypoxemic Respiratory Failure 
The primary aim in treatment of this kind of failure is maintenance of adequate oxygenation, while limiting ventilator-induced lung injury and oxygen toxicity. 

  Assist Patients to Wean Off Mechanical Ventilation 
Weaning is the process of gradual withdrawal of mechanical ventilation. The process is uneventful in most patients, but may take up half the time on a ventilator in problematic patients. Nurses are to assess the readiness of patient to wean using clinical and objective measures, and moderate weaning failure on difficult-to-wean patients. 

  Inotropic and Vasopressor Support for Hypotensive Patients 
This treatment aims to maintain a perfusion pressure necessary for tissue oxygenation in patients with hypotension and inadequate tissue perfusion. Tasks are to correct hypovolemia, titrate doses of inotropes and vasopressors to targeted levels, monitoring of blood pressure via the arterial line, and prevent septic shock. 

  Feeding via Enteral or Parenteral Methods 
In ICU care, nutritional therapy is plays an important part. The goal is to provide adequate calories and protein to keep up with ongoing losses, prevent or correct nutrient deficiencies and promote wound healing and immune function. 

 Work Opportunities 

  Search for high-paying ICU/CCU nursing jobs  on  MIMS Career . Browse, save, and apply for nursing jobs, all in one-click. Take the opportunity for higher pay and better work locations. Our pages are all mobile-responsive, allowing you to take that leap for a better job whenever, wherever you are. All our job postings are  heavily screened to prevent scams and mistrustful behavior.  

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Career Highlight: Intensive/Critical Care Nursing

Intensive care nursing Intensive care nursing or critical care nursing is a branch of medicine concerned with the diagnosis and management of life-threatening conditions requiring sophisticated organ support and invasive monitoring....

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 Recently there’s been talk about the Malaysian Nursing Board phasing out the Diploma in Nursing programme. As a result, soon all future nursing students that want to practice the profession in the country has to complete a four-year degree (Bachelor of Science in Nursing). 

 Many parties have been very vocal about this, citing that many nurses cannot afford the extra costs it takes to study for four years instead of the usual two for a diploma. Some students get into nursing for that reason; it offers a quick pathway to work in a respectable profession, without the added burden of a pre-university programme after completion of secondary school. 

 While I understand that some nurses have to support their families ASAP, I’m here to argue that there is a hidden benefit to all nurses being required to do their degree in order to be registered practitioners. 

 That benefit is the extra 2-4 years of age that nurses have upon graduation. 

 Older… Wiser? 

 A few days ago there was news of a 19-year old girl who will become the  youngest medical doctor in Malaysia  this year. The prodigy completed her secondary education at the age of 14, enrolling straight into an Australian pre-U programme, followed by medical school. 

 While I applaud her achievements (it is nothing to make light of), for the rest of us entering the healthcare workforce at 19 is not the best of ideas. 

 A doctor fresh out of medical school at the age of 25 is six years older than 19, and will have six years of extra life experiences that will make him or her relate better to patients. 

 The healthcare line, as we all know, is riddled with a lot of challenges and difficulties that are difficult to teach in training colleges. There are unexpected obstacles from patients, their relatives, and colleagues that are difficult to circumnavigate without emotional maturity. When these are not handled well they lead to burnouts and depression. 

 Forcing the degree programme for nurses rather than diploma grants student nurses extra time to prepare themselves. Most of the time, maturity comes with age. Being a nurse (or a doctor for that matter) is an arduous endeavor in itself. There will be times when you have to react to difficult situations requiring you to make a choice. Maturity grants the wisdom to make the right ones. 

 The healthcare line, as we all know, is riddled with a lot of challenges and difficulties that are difficult to teach in training colleges. 

 Being sure about oneself 

 As a patient, you would want nurses or doctors who are sure of themselves for your treatment. You want those who believe in what they do and believe in the importance of their work. Not the reluctant ones. 

 It is common for healthcare practitioners to leave the profession within the first 5 years of working. An extra few years of study provides the extra time to contemplate on whether this career path is really for them or not. This creates better rounded nurses and doctors. 

 Better clinicians 

 Better rounded nurses and doctors, who can find the balance between their personal growth and career, make for better clinicians. They are more likely to innovate and push medicine forward. This is why countries like the US and Sweden require prospective medical school students to have a Bachelor’s degree beforehand. These countries have the most number of medical innovations in history. 

 Removal of bad habits 

 Better rounded nurses and doctors make for better clinicians. 

 For nurses, making BSN degrees mandatory in order to be registered means an addition 4-5 years of study; 1-2 years for a pre-university course (like STPM) and another 4 years for the degree. Contrast this with immediately hopping on the diploma programme for two years after school. 

 The work involved to obtain a degree is very hard. It can only be done by being mentally sound, organized, and effective. These habits are not necessarily attained in school. 

 An older nursing graduate has more time to become a better, organized person; to know her strong points, faults, breaking points, things she cannot do, and learn how to deal with them knowing that a harder road lies ahead.

Making The Case For Longer Studies

Recently there’s been talk about the Malaysian Nursing Board phasing out the Diploma in Nursing programme. As a result, soon all future nursing students that want to practice the profession in the country has to complete a four-year...

Read More