DIY Décor Ideas to Brighten Up Your Facility

Your patients spend a majority of their time living in your facility. Certain aspects of living conditions contribute to depression and a lack of motivation in residents. Changing just a small part of your facility’s décor can have huge payoff in patient satisfaction. Here’s a few DIY décor ideas that will brighten your facility, and your patients’ days:

DIY Décor Ideas to Brighten Up Your Facility
DIY Décor Ideas to Brighten Up Your Facility

1.) Reuse Old Flowers

Flowers are commonly given on special occasions such as birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, etc. However, most of the time they are thrown away after a few days! Make the most of these beautiful plants and use them to decorate your facility.

Collect some flowers and decorate them as a bedside bouquet! In addition, you could preserve the flower petals in a scrap book for patients.

2.) Let Your Testimonials Shine

A great way to bring some color to your facility is to decorate a bulletin board. Bulletin boards are a great way to show off all of your awesome testimonials! Gather quotes and thank you cards from patients and their families. Put these together into a eye catching collage.

3.) Include Your Residents

Your activities director facility probably puts together tons of activities for your residents. These activities are a great way to include your residents in the decorating process.

Ask your patients what kind of crafts they would like to do, and let them display the final products around your facility. Even if your activities don’t involve crafting, take pictures at the events and create a collage showcasing your residents.

4.) Add Décor that Reminds Residents of Home

Your facility is their home, so make it feel like their home! Adding just a few homey decorations can rid of the cold, dark feeling of a medical facility. Try making your own quilts to put on each bed, or try putting decorative drapes and art in each room.

5.) Let in Some Light

It’s proven that light can bring happiness and heal! Get drapes that can open up and let in the maximum amount of light possible. This can help residents with motivation and seasonal depression. In addition, consider making Himalayan salt lamps, which have healing and relaxing properties.

Give your facility’s décor some extra thought. DIY décor is an easy and quick way to bring brightness to your facility, and your efforts will not go unnoticed.

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Five Applications That Every Per Diem Nurse Needs

In the age of technology, you can find an application for just about anything. Application stores on your smartphone contain everything from games, to shopping websites, to social media. Some applications are created specifically for nurses. After conducting some research, we found five of the most helpful applications for per diem nurses.   

Five Free Mobile Apps That Every Per Diem Nurse Needs


Any mapping software can be helpful when you are unsure of where you are going. Waze, however, works to create a driving route that avoids traffic, road work, and car accidents to ensure that you get to your destination as quickly as possible. With step-by-step directions that are available in a variety of languages, Waze will help you get to where you are going. As a per diem nurse, driving to a new location can be stressful. Take some of that stress away by letting a GPS service map your route for you. This will help you to get to your destination in no time at all. And by using the shortest possible route, you may even be saving on gas!   

Gas Guru

Speaking of travelling, filling up your gas tank will be inevitable. Gas Guru is an application that scopes out the cheapest gas prices in the area, and then supplies you with a map to show you their exact location. As a per diem nurse, travelling is going to be a big part of your career. Help yourself save a few bucks by locating the most affordable gas, even in areas that you are not totally familiar with.  

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest

These are the “core four” social media applications that every nurse needs. Each of these apps has their own specific use, but in general, they help nurses to stay connected with the world around them.  Many hospitals, nursing homes, and assisted living facilities are active on social media. By liking their pages, you will be able to stay up-to-date with their company news. Additionally, you can connect with other nurses on social media to create your own little nursing “community.” As a per diem nurse, it may be difficult to form lasting relationships with other nurses because you are moving in and out of hospitals so frequently. However, by staying connected on social media, you will be able to network with the nurses that you have met in all of your work locations! 


Many staffing companies have switched over to “digital” timesheets. At Northeast Med Staff, we use the CamScanner application for this purpose. With this application, nurses are able to take a picture of their completed timesheets. The app converts the picture into a file that is ready to email. Our nurses are then able to email the converted picture directly from the CamScanner application. This is not only more efficient than dropping off your timesheet to the office, but it is also better for the environment.  

Nursing Dictionary

This is a reference application that is made specifically for nurses. It offers medical definitions, information on prescription drugs, and a drug guide for over the counter medications. If you are a new nurse, this application can help you sort through terms that you may not yet be familiar with. If you are an experienced nurse, this application will be a great refresher for you.  

In recent years, smartphones have proven to be the wave of the future. With the ability to access the entire world at your fingertips, looking for applications can feel overwhelming. With the help of some of the applications listed above, it is our hope that we can help you make working a per diem shift as easy as possible.  

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Working in Geriatrics: Tips That School Didn’t Teach

As patients get older, caring for them can become more difficult. Their hearing may be going, their sight may not be as sharp, and they may not be as mobile as they once were. That is why it is important for nurses to understand not just how to take care of patients in geriatrics, but to provide them with genuine, selfless care.

Working in Geriatrics: Tips That School Didn't Teach
Working in Geriatrics: Tips That School Didn’t Teach

The following are some tips on how to provide top quality care to patients as they age:

Be Clear and Concise

As patients age, sensory impairments may become worse and worse. In order to counter this, it is important to sit directly across from the patient when speaking. Try to maintain eye contact with them. Hold their attention and let them know that they have yours. This helps the patient focus, while also allowing them to feel that they are being focused on. Use body language, facial expression, and even hand gestures to help communicate with the patient. It is important not to over-exaggerate these motions, though, as that could make the patient feel that you are mocking them or not taking them seriously.


Sometimes, it may take several tries before the message that you are trying to convey can get across. You may have to talk louder than your normal speaking voice or repeat some your message several times before the patient can hear what you are saying. They may even be confused by the message you are trying to send. It is important that you do not become upset with the patient. While it may be frustrating, it is not their fault. These conditions may become worse in patients with dementia. It is important to be understanding; they are trying their best to work with you. You just may have to try a little harder with them.

Keep Them Comfortable

This goes beyond flipping the patients so they do not get bed sores, or administering the proper medication; for many patients, nursing homes are a final resting place. Keeping them comfortable is just as important as any other nursing duty. If you see they are cold, (as many older people tend to be) provide them with a warm blanket. Play music that is familiar to them. When patients with memory issues are having a bad day, this music can help soothe them. Try talking to them about more than just their condition. Create a bond with them by asking about their childhood. Try to stay away from topics about their spouses or children, though. Remember not to treat them like they are sick. It is important that they remain as engaged in everyday life as possible.

Working in geriatrics can be difficult, but very rewarding. People from all walks of life come in to be cared for. They have lived through so many experiences, and now you are helping them to remain peaceful and comfortable during these new experiences. Watching a withdrawn patient become more engaged, seeing a patient’s face light up when their family comes to visit, or even watching a patient with memory issues have a good day makes everything worth it. Similar to pediatrics, takes a special kind of nurse to work in geriatrics. Our nurses are some of the best in the business.

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