Ask A Travel Nurse Practitioner – Keeping The Kids healthy?

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By Vance Hobbes

kidsAs a travel nurse practitioner with kids, you’ve got a couple options available when deciding what to do with your children. You can pack up your kids and take them with you, or if the assignment isn’t too long you can leave them at home under the discretion of your caretaker or spouse. If you choose to leave them at home for a while, keeping them healthy can be a challenge. You won’t be there to take them to the doctor’s office when they get sick, won’t be able to properly take care of cuts, or notice other irregularities in each child’s health. The simple answer is to let the responsibility fall on the shoulders of the caretaker or spouse. But this isn’t being a good parent. There are steps you can take to minimize unnecessary medical visits and to keep your child healthy while away. Let’s discuss a few of those steps now.

• Multivitamins

I can’t overstate the importance of a multivitamin for your kids. Not only do they prevent against diseases, but also make up for nutrient deficiencies and supply a consistent amount of nutrient consumption for your child. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association,

Most people do not consume an optimal amount of all vitamins by diet alone. Pending strong evidence of effectiveness from randomized trials, it appears prudent for all adults to take vitamin supplements.

Iron, calcium, potassium, fluoride (I’m not a fluoride conspiracy theorist, it helps build strong teeth), vitamin D, and Zinc are the main vitamins and minerals you should target when purchasing multivitamin supplements for your kids.

girljumpingroperounded• Exercise/Fresh air

Keeping your child active while away on a travel nurse practitioner job is tricky considering you’ll be unable to force your child to get off the computer or quit watching TV to go outside and play. A great way to combat this is to purchase a toy every week or so that can only be played with outside. This may be a Slip ‘N Slide during the summer, sled during the winter, or basketball and hoop during any season.

Childhood obesity in the United States is no laughing matter. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, obesity affects 17% of the children in the United States. Michelle Obama has been a major advocate for reforming what foods are provided at the school cafeteria, but a parent can make a major difference as well by advocating an active lifestyle with their children.

• Healthy Food

As was touched on a bit in the previous article, childhood obesity is a problem. While away on your travel nurse practitioner job, it can be difficult to limit the amount of sweets and junk food your kid(s) consume. This will be difficult to control, but holding your spouse/caretaker accountable for which foods are purchased and available for your child to eat will make a major difference. Advise the saladplatepurchase of fruits and vegetables, but limit fruit juices. When your kid is thirsty from playing outside in the summer heat, you don’t want them to come inside and see a big bottle of sugary fruit juice sitting on the counter. There are many tasty alternatives – my personal favorite is sparkling flavored water. Still tastes great but also doesn’t contain the unnecessary calories and sugar of fruit juices.

French fries are not vegetables. Neither are fried pickles. I’m talking carrots, green beans, lettuce, tomatoes… Those kinds of vegetables. Again this largely depends on what you advise the leader of the house to purchase while away on your assignment.


It comes down to providing three basics to your children while away on your travel nurse assignment: multivitamins, exercise, and healthy food. Of course there are some other characteristics you can always add to the list, this is simply the core for keeping your kids healthy while away. This not only works for a travel nurse, but any other parent who will spend time apart from their kids as well.

– Vance Hobbes is a freelance writer and former medical researcher. Hobbes writes about many facets of the medical field, and works with CompHealth. When he’s not writing the day away, he spends his free time tending to his prizewinning garden and attending any basketball game he can find.

Top 10 Tips For Keeping Lean

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bigpantsFrom Your Health Journal…..”A great article by Rob Williams in a publication called The Province with 10 tips for keeping lean. With obesity rates soaring all over the world, and many people suffering from risk factors for heart disease, articles like this are important, as if they can help just one person, then it is a success. Small steps like having smaller portions, healthier snacks, getting plenty of sleep, fueling up properly, and watching your carbs can help reduce the risk factors for heart disease and lead someone to a healthier path. The article points out many people should forget about magic (diet) pills, and rely on consistent healthy lifestyle – as over time, this will have positive dividends. Success does not happen overnight, and small, baby steps make a huge difference. Please visit The Province web site (link provided below) to read the complete article. It is well written, and very informative.”

From the article…..

Forget magic pills, consistency is key to good health

Clients and friends often ask me about diets, exercise plans and super foods that they’ve heard will help them lose fat and stay lean.

In almost every case, the product or program’s claims are too good to be true, and there’s someone at the top of the pyramid making a lot of money by selling empty promises.

I believe that most people could stand to lose five, 10 or even 15 pounds of excess body fat.

I realize that it seems appealing to be able to follow a miracle workout, or take a magic pill to lose the weight, but it’s just not realistic. Maybe the idea of following the tried and true formula, which includes discipline and hard work, is just too daunting. Or maybe you just don’t have the right motivation yet.

For starters, know that your body really doesn’t need to carry around a lot of fat, and it will be better off without it. The benefits of losing five per cent of your body weight in fat are extensive, including:

* Lowering cholesterol

* Improving mobility

* Improving blood sugar control

* Reducing joint stress, aches and pains

* Improving your breathing

* Increasing self-confidence

The problem is, despite the incredible amount of information available today, I’m not sure most people know how to develop a successful strategy for losing weight.

With many of my clients, we’ve followed a time-tested approach and seen serious results. This involves hard work and determination, with a little direction and training help from me. This column is intended to summarize the weight-loss strategies that I’ve seen work for so many people. Hopefully, by following this approach, you can share this kind of success.

Start with sleep

Adequate sleep is critical when you’re trying to lose weight. Sleep helps keep your metabolism elevated and gives your body time to repair and recover from your workouts. This helps your body to maintain its muscle mass and be ready for high-energy days and great workouts.

Monitor your fuel levels

Your body is a lot like a gas engine. It requires fuel to keep running. With too little fuel, it’ll slow down and eventually stop on you. Too much fuel and you’re going to have to store it somewhere until it’s needed. This is what happens with extra calories: they get stored as fat all over your body. Figure out how many calories your body needs in a day, and then stick to it.

To read the full article…..Click here

Keeping Your Family Fit Indoors During The Winter

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From Your Health Journal…..”Getting the family outdoors in the colder months is a tough task for many of us. Trying to keep fit and healthy as a family is sometimes another challenge. Many children and their parents do become very sedentary over the Winter months. But, with a little creativity, you can motivate your family to get moving. This article gives some excellent ideas to follow. Some ideas I like are taking the family to the local indoor mall for a long walk browsing the store windows, commercial-cizing (exercise during commercial breaks), indoor fitness scavenger hunts, and indoor obstacle courses. I recommend this article to everyone, as it gives some excellent ideas to experiment that may help keep your family healthy this Winter.”

From the article…..

Does the cold weather outside have you wanting to curl up on your couch and take a long winter’s nap?

According to Beverly Anderson, Executive Director of Ebenezer Child Care Centers with locations in Milwaukee, Mequon, Greenfield, Oak Creek, and Wauwatosa, “Just because it may be getting chilly outside doesn’t mean that you should make staying active any less of a priority for your family. Children from toddler age on up need to have at least 30 minutes of structured physical activity every day to help foster healthy development and to keep sedentary habits from taking hold.”

So how can you keeping everyone moving during the winter months? Here are some useful tips.

Dance the Night Away
A very easy way to get the family moving together is to simply turn on the radio or your child’s favorite CD and start dancing. Dancing can quickly get your heart rate up while you have lots of fun together. While you’re at it, you can also teach your child to hop, skip, spin, do jumping jacks, and march by playing a fun game of follow the leader to dance music!

Head to the Basement
If your basement is unfinished, it can be the perfect place for active indoor activities such as roller skating, riding scooters, throwing and rolling light-weight balls, jumping rope, and setting up obstacle courses. Use the open space to your advantage, and encourage your children to get active!

Play Games
It may seem like an oxymoron, but there are actually some video games out there that can help get your older children moving. The Wii Fit exercise board and Dance Party Revolution video games are both excellent examples of fun activities that encourage older kids to get up off of the couch. There are also other non-video games out there such as Twister, musical chairs, and tag that older children often enjoy participating in.

Utilize Community Resources
Take advantage of the Milwaukee County Parks system, and go sledding or ice skating outside. Or, if you want to stay indoors, consider skating at the Pettit Ice Center. This facility also has an indoor track you can walk or run on. Another fun indoor physical activity is hitting one of the many bowling alleys in Milwaukee for a game of bowling.

To read the full article…..Click here