Nursing Side Gigs: Boxing Coach

Nursing Side Gigs: Boxing Coach

This is part of a monthly series about side gigs—nurses with interesting side jobs or hobbies. This month, we spotlight a boxing coach.

By day, Cindy Bohmont, RN, SEN, Med, CCRN, CSD, works as a staff nurse in the Cardiovascular Surgical Intensive Care Unit at Mercy Hospital in Springfield, Missouri. She’s worked at Mercy for 48 years, and during that time, she’s worked PRN in Coronary ICU, Pediatric ICU, Medical ICU, Neurotrauma ICU, and Mercy Home Health Care. For five years, she even taught at St. John’s School of Nursing.

In her free time, though, Bohmont does something that you might never expect from a nurse: she officiates amateur boxing matches and is moving into the professional field to work as an official for professional fights.

Boxing coach Cindy Bohmont

About 25 years ago, Bohmont developed her interest in boxing after two of her sons got into a fight on their ranch. When he was in the Marines, her husband boxed, and he suggested that they find a gym for the boys to learn boxing.

“We found a boxing program at the Boys and Girls Club in Springfield, Missouri,” says Bohmont. “And I was hooked!”

Bohmont says that all five of her sons as well as her youngest daughter became involved in boxing, although none of them ever went pro.

While Bohmont began as a supportive mom, attending her kids’ matches, she soon learned enough to become an amateur official and began judging boxing tournaments all across the state. She also began coaching at the club. “I discovered that the sport of boxing is not just a legal fight. It’s a very complicated sport—[boxers are] trying to land scoring punches while at the same time protecting themselves,” explains Bohmont. “The most important things I taught were integrity, fair play, good nutrition, good sleeping habits, believing in yourself, generally taking care of your body and mind, and no drugs, smoking, or alcohol.”

Because, Bohmont says, boxing is an individual sport, whatever athletes put into it—in terms of training and the like—that’s what they get out of it.

Although some may think that it’s counteractive for a nurse to coach a sport where athletes get injured, Bohmont says that “If you listen to the news, you will rarely hear of a boxing injury. Everyone knows someone with a tennis-elbow, football knee, etc. Most boxers are in tremendous shape and are very skilled at defensive maneuvers.”

Boxing Coach Cindy Bohmont

Over the years, Bohmont has won a number of awards, including the Outstanding Official of the National Junior Golden Gloves Tournament in Mesquite, Nevada as well as the Greater Kansas City Golden Gloves Coach of the Year. “Those are major accomplishments when you consider this is generally a male domain that I’ve jumped into,” Bohmont says.

Considering that coaching boxing can be tough on the coach’s joints (Bohmont would hold practice pads and mitts for up to 30 kids to hit each night for four nights a week over 20 years), she has decided to focus on moving into the professional field of boxing and aspires to be an official for pro fights.

That’s just one reason why Bohmont has begun working one week a month in the ICU at St. Rose Hospital in Las Vegas, Nevada, as the area holds tons of professional boxing matches.

“It has been difficult stepping back a little from coaching. Then I get an email or see a Facebook posting from one of my former boxers with a new aspect of their lives that I had a hand in guiding them toward,” says Bohmont. “It’s so good for my soul to be able to work with healthy, thriving young men and women after caring for the sickest of the sick in the intensive care unit. It keeps me emotionally healthy and balanced.”

What’s the Difference Between Employer Provided Malpractice Insurance and Individual Professional Liability Insurance?

What’s the Difference Between Employer Provided Malpractice Insurance and Individual Professional Liability Insurance?

While working on the job, have you ever been concerned that a mistake or an accident could cause you to be sued? Even if that happened, you would be covered by your employer’s malpractice insurance, right?

Well, maybe and maybe not.

We interviewed David Griffiths, Senior Vice President for the Healthcare division of Aon Affinity. Griffiths has overall responsibility for the malpractice insurance program for the Nurses Service Organization. We asked him to explain how and when nurses are covered. (Note: because individual experiences are different, always seek professional advice regarding your own situation.)

Why should nurses considering having individual liability insurance?

Employer insurance is designed to protect the hospital or health care facility first and foremost. A hospital or health care facility’s coverage may extend to health care staff; however, there are key differences in how the coverage activates, and there could be gaps that would be detrimental to a nurse. Getting your own professional liability policy is a key way to make sure you are in control of the protection of your own career at all times. 

What is the overall difference between the two types of policies?

  • Employer Provided Malpractice Insurance: 

A hospital or health care facility’s attorneys are required to place the best interests of those organizations first. However, this may or may not be in your best interests depending on the situation. Your career is far too important to place in the hands of your employer, its attorneys, and your employer’s insurance company. An individual professional liability insurance policy ensures you have a team in your corner that has your best interests in mind.

  • Individual Professional Liability Insurance:

There are two key things an individual professional liability insurance policy does that an employer’s policy may not:

  1. An individual professional liability insurance policy like those NSO provides covers you as a nurse 24/7–an employer’s policy only covers you when you’re on the clock.
  2. In addition to professional liability insurance, your individual policy provides license protection — most employer provided coverage does not offer defense of license to the board because it may be the employer who submits the complaint. Your license is your means of practicing as a nurse, and if it is threatened or taken away your livelihood is at stake.   

Should only nurses in certain fields look into it? Why or why not?

All nurses should consider an individual professional liability insurance plan. There may be differences in coverage for nurses in certain fields, but overall this type of insurance is an effective source of protection for all nurses.

Are there any kind of specific experiences in nurses’ careers that should make them obtain professional liability insurance?

A board complaint can be made against your license for any reason by anyone.

An analysis of license complaints from NSO insureds show the location of most incidents are actually in the hospital.

The complaint could arise from a patient, family member, the hospital, or even a colleague.

Most employer provided coverage does not offer defense of license to the board because it may be the employer who submits the complaint.

Your license is your ability to practice as a nurse, it represents a huge investment of your life, it defines who you are (as well as helps pay the bills).  

What other factors should be considered when to purchase this kind of insurance?

Nurses help individuals when they are most at risk. Today, nurses are more at risk for legal action than ever before. An individual professional liability insurance policy helps them manage that risk and protect their careers and livelihoods. Many nurses may think an individual policy is complicated and expensive to get, and that’s simply not the case. In most cases, coverage can begin as soon as a completed application is approved and payment is received — online in a few minutes. Every nurse can afford malpractice insurance — the premium is in most cases about $100 a year, and the alternative is potential liability for upwards of millions of dollars on legal fees and payouts.  

Is there anything else about the differences between employer provided insurance versus individual professional liability insurance that is important for readers to know?

Depending on the scenario, a lawsuit could be brought forth years after the incident occurred. Many times, the nurse may have left the facility. Depending on the type of insurance the employer carries, coverage may end on the last day of employment. Nurses need to be aware of this very real scenario. One of the values of having individual coverage is that it goes with you.

Addressing Language Barriers with Patients

Addressing Language Barriers with Patients

A fundamental tenet of culturally competent care for patients is providing clinically and personally pertinent information to patients in a language that they understand. As the diversity of non-English language speakers increases in the United States, nurses may find a new area of priority in advocating for their patients to overcome language barriers.  

Fortunately, the Office for Civil Rights within the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS), serves to protect non-English speaking or limited English-speaking patients. Nurses, however, can do this on a smaller scale in their daily work.

In accordance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the guidelines for developing a language access plan by HHS, health care institutions that receive federal funding must provide language assistance services suitable to the communities that they serve. This is assessed and implemented based on a stepwise approach appropriate for the patient population, qualified language service personnel, and interpretation devices and technology. Furthermore, health care personnel will be trained sufficiently and regularly to maintain an understanding of both the logistics and necessity of utilizing these services. This is especially true for nurses, who often have initial and ongoing close contact with patients.

Be Mindful

Patients who speak limited or no English may be unwilling to admit that they do not understand the nature of their health care visit or its intended outcome. This is a detriment to both the provider and patient as the provider may proceed with a treatment plan with the belief that the patient is cooperating. It is easy to see how this can create increased stress and fear for the patient when actions are taken on behalf of their health that they did not corroborate and may not agree with. Regardless of the reasons for the patient’s decision to withhold their lack of understanding, health care professionals can take responsibility for establishing mutual understanding and help prevent these occurrences.

Utilize Available Technology

Fortunately, technology provides many resources today that allow for effective interpretation between providers and patients. Most hospitals have a team of on-site personnel that are credentialed interpreters in languages appropriate for the patient population of that site. For those languages that are less common, there are many devices, including phones and tablets, that provide immediate 24-hour access to remote medical translators in virtually every language. Many of the written documents that patients are exposed to are now offered in languages other than English as well.

Find a (Qualified) Translator

With a full understanding of the services offered, patients may decide that they prefer a family member to translate. Although it is not ideal because family members may lack health literacy, it is the patient’s prerogative to make that choice. If the patient requests that a bilingual nurse translate, he or she can only do so if the nurse has been credentialed in accordance with their facility’s policies related to medical interpreting. This is especially true regarding important documentation such as informed consent and does not include casual conversations or explanations.

It’s not a lack of resources, but a lack of understanding, that prevents non- or limited English speakers from getting what they need in health care today. Despite all of the services offered, providers may still try to take shortcuts for the sake of efficiency. As patient advocates, nurses can be mindful of patients and ensure that understanding is complete by utilizing interpreter services and reminding providers of the services available.

Working as a Nurse Psychotherapist

Working as a Nurse Psychotherapist

Pursuing jobs in the field of psychotherapy isn’t just for doctors; nurses can do it too. Benjamin Evans, DD, DNP, RN, APN, past president of the New Jersey State Nurses Association, has his own practice as a nurse psychotherapist in addition to consulting. He made the change in the 1980’s after he had completed his nurse practitioner training. Based on his work with people living with chronic and catastrophic illnesses, he decided to earn a master’s degree in counseling because it would be a good fit.

Evans talked with us about what a nurse psychotherapist does and what nurses who are thinking of entering this area of the field should keep in mind.

What exactly does a nurse psychotherapist do?

A nurse psychotherapist does the same work as any other educated psychotherapist — using psychological and counseling methods to assist in behavior and mental health changes. Usually the state board of nursing incorporates some form of health counseling within the definition of nursing practice. Psychotherapy can be done with individuals, families, and groups.

What should nurses keep in mind if they are thinking of becoming a nurse psychotherapist?

Nurses need to understand their reasons for wanting to become psychotherapists. Psychotherapy is not about “fixing” others who have similar issues to the therapist.

It is not solely health counseling for issues like nutrition, stress, or weight control.  It is not nurse coaching. Psychotherapy is undergirded with theoretical frameworks that are used by the psychotherapist to help in the change.

Nurses who wish to become psychotherapists will be integrating nursing theories with theoretical frameworks from psychology, psychiatry, social work, and other disciplines.

Psychotherapy education is usually done at the graduate level. For this reason, the nurse wishing to do psychotherapy needs to determine if she or he will pursue psychotherapy education through a graduate nursing program like a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner/clinical nurse specialist role or through another discipline like psychology, educational counseling, or social work.

What kind of certification or other education would they need?

Certification can be obtained by credentialing organizations like the American Nurses Credentialing Center or through various certifying bodies outside of nursing. Some types of psychotherapy have non-degree supplemental experiential training and then “certify” the practitioner in a particular modality — for example, training in cognitive behavioral therapy.

What else should they do?

A nurse wishing to become a psychotherapist should meet with and shadow a nurse psychotherapist to really learn all that the specialty initials. She or he should become familiar with modalities of psychotherapy and vet programs for training. 

What are the greatest challenges to being a nurse psychotherapist?

Challenges include training (time and cost), building a practice, obtaining referrals, and ongoing maintenance of competency. 

Additionally, reimbursement issues play into the challenges of practice as many insurers do not cover nurses for psychotherapy.

What are the greatest rewards?

There are many rewards to being a nurse psychotherapist, including watching as behavior changes and mental health improvements are accomplished by the patients. 

Is there anything else important for our nurse readers to know?

The practice of psychotherapy as a nurse is quite rewarding. The nurse who chooses to go into psychotherapy practice must want to help others to make behavioral or mental health changes. The nurse must have clear boundaries — being able to be empathic and not take on the issues of the client. Nurse psychotherapists must be mindful of self-care and to develop a sound network for referrals when the issues presented are outside of the psychotherapist’s area of expertise.

Nurses are Taking the Temperature of the Gig Economy

Nurses are Taking the Temperature of the Gig Economy

The nursing Gig Economy is no longer about agencies. Now, you can gain a more flexible work-life balance by booking your nursing services a la Uber or Lyft! To learn more about the ways nurses can enter the gig economy, DailyNurse interviewed IntelyCare’s co-founder, RN Chris Caulfield.

What is the “gig economy” and how can it benefit nurses who are seeking a better work-life balance?

The gig economy is a labor market of short, temporary jobs, or “gigs.” The unstructured nature of gigs allows nursing professionals the independence and flexibility to build a schedule that balances work and family commitments.

A 2013 report stated that half a million nurses left their profession, and a third of those nurses cited emotional exhaustion as a result. With burnout being such a prevalent concern in the nursing field, it is crucial to provide nurses with work-life-balance – for the good of their health, and the longevity of the profession. The gig economy enables nurses to earn an income while maintaining a better balance in their life, which will hopefully keep them in the profession they love.

What particular challenges are faced by nurses who are parents and spouses?

It is a challenge for any working professional to balance both the responsibilities of work and being a parent or spouse, but there are a few factors that make it even more difficult for nurses.

For nurses, shift start times are rigid, shift end times are unpredictable, and working from home is not an option. As a result, nurses cannot come in a little late if their child misses the bus, nor can they be certain their shift will end on time to do school pick-up. Additionally, if their child is sick, they cannot work from home to take care of them.

Oftentimes, nurses are asked to stay late to cover care gaps. For a parent, this catches them between a rock and a hard place: what do you choose? Abandoning your patients or abandoning your child in the after school pick-up line?

How can nurses make their work lives more flexible in the gig economy?

Nurses can seek out facilities that utilize tech-enabled staffing solutions to build their in-house schedules. These solutions let staff pick up shifts straight from their app, making it incredibly easy to manage their schedule. However, while these solutions are common in hospitals, they are almost nonexistent in most nursing homes.

Another great option is per diem work found via tech-enabled apps which allow nurses to browse and pick up shifts directly from the app, giving them flexibility to choose to work when and where they want. If a nurse can only work weekdays because they want to spend weekends with their family or friends, the gig economy coupled with tech-driven staffing tools combine to support that prerogative.

What apps can nurses use to book nursing “gigs?”

NurseGrid is a real-time shift management tool that allows in-house nursing professionals to manage their schedules and easily pick up and swap shifts with co-workers. NurseGrid also syncs with nurses’ personal calendars and is easily shareable with family and friends, so nurses can better organize their lives.

There are also mobile-based tech applications that give nurses the autonomy to work in multiple facilities. Like our very own IntelyCare, Texas-based Sadiant Health lets nursing professionals browse and choose from a variety of shift locations and times via their app, so that they can build a schedule that works for them. All nursing professionals need is a smartphone and the proper credentials to get started!

Chris Caulfield, RN, NP-C, is the Co-Founder and Chief Nursing Officer of IntelyCare

7 Ways to be an Amazing Preceptor to a New Grad Nurse

7 Ways to be an Amazing Preceptor to a New Grad Nurse

The key to being an amazing preceptor to a new graduate nurse is to always remember what it’s like to be a brand new nurse. The idea that “nurses eat their young,” if true, is neither helpful to the new nurse nor to the patients that they care for. Starting a new job is stressful enough, so facing untoward behavior from a preceptor or new colleagues only further discourages the new nurse, and potentially hinders their skills development and patient care. Here are seven ways to be an amazing preceptor and support new nurses and their patients.

1. Assume they don’t know.

One of the most problematic instances between preceptors and new nurses is the preceptor’s assumption that the new nurse knows something they don’t. This could involve speaking in jargon specific to a specialty, teaching complex skills without a basic understanding, or delegating tasks to a preceptee that they are not capable of carrying out. Keep in mind that no matter how many hours the new nurse spent in clinical, learning to be a nurse and being a nurse are two very different things. Use language that a layperson could understand and explain terminology in a non-patronizing way before using it.

2. Answer questions objectively.

Even if a new nurse asks a question that seems too elementary, never express judgment or criticism toward them for asking. The last thing a patient needs is a nurse who is too frightened to ask questions for fear of being ridiculed. It is essential to every nurse’s growth that they learn and practice in an environment that supports their learning and development.

3.Address the social atmosphere.

While the main role of the preceptor is to teach, observe, and assess a new nurse’s aptitude for working independently, it is also worthwhile to discuss the culture of the organization they work in and how to thrive in it. For example, if a boss is very lenient about swapping assignments but strict about tardiness, this is worth divulging to the new nurse. Some hospitals have policies about taking breaks that are interpreted very differently in each unit. Sharing this information with a preceptee could save them the potential embarrassment of breaking an unwritten rule. This would also further reinforce the idea that they are supported by their predecessors. Nurses who like the place they work and who trust their colleagues are generally better nurses.

4. Encourage work/life balance.

While it is not necessary to exchange personal details, it is worthwhile to encourage the new nurse to take care of themselves appropriately in their work. Many new nurses are so frightened when they start working, they may not want to ask where the restrooms are, where they can get a glass of water, or when lunch is for fear of seeming uninterested in the content of their training.  One of the first activities any amazing preceptor should do with their new trainee is take them on a tour of the unit and show them the facilities available to them. Encourage the new nurse to speak up if they need to use them. Nurses who go without do not make better nurses. 

5. “See one, do one, teach one.”

Having a simple outline for training a preceptee such as “see one, do one, teach one,” allows the trainee to fortify and demonstrate their understanding. Many new nurses find that their preceptors allow them to do too much, or not enough. Neither are optimal for allowing the nurse to practice new skills with the fundamental understanding to back it up. Showing the new nurse a skill, then having them perform it, and then having them teach it gives them understanding, skill practice, and a test of their complete understanding. Many hospitals now require nurses to complete documentation for each skill. “See one, do one, teach one,” is an effective way to work through training and skill assessment.

6. Don’t be afraid to pass on precepting.

Just as not every preceptor is made equal, so too with every new nurse. If a preceptor finds that they cannot establish a positive rapport with a new nurse or vice versa, they are empowered to request a switch. If interactions between the preceptor and new nurse are not founded on mutual understanding, the training will likely not be optimal. Similarly, if a nurse has been inundated with precepting and needs to take time between training nurses, they should honor that. A new nurse would likely benefit more from a preceptor who can be enthusiastic about training.

7. Be open to new nurses’ observations and feedback.

Many nurses who have been in a job for a long time take for granted the state of things without question. If a new nurse points out a policy or system that seems ineffective or inefficient, it is worth considering that it is coming from a fresh pair of eyes. Even if the temptation is there to criticize the nurse for being presumptuous or idealistic, consider the value of a new nurse who is so enthusiastic about their work that they are willing to critically think about ways to improve.

No experienced nurse got to where they are without a beginning. Ask the best nurses how they got to where they are and they will likely credit a preceptor who believed in them and pushed them to be their best. Any nurse can be an amazing preceptor, as long as they have an attitude of both compassion and tact in which a new nurse can thrive.

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