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  • May/2014

10 Quick Tips to Make Your Voice Heard at the Office

by South University, Online Programs
May 29, 2014

Having the ability to state your opinions, wants and needs is a mark of true professionalism and a critical career skill. Nothing beats assertiveness for commanding respect, strengthening your influence and helping you perform your best in the workplace. Assertiveness is an art of sorts, involving open, direct and honest communication, and helping to ensure that your opinions and ideas are heard.

Make Your Voice Heard

Learning to be assertive isn't hard, but it does take some practice. Here are a few good tips that will help you in the workplace and can even translate to other areas of your life.

1. Understand that being assertive shows professionalism and is different from being pushy and arrogant.

2. Calmly state (and re-state, as needed) your opinions and don't give in to arguments.

3. Say “No” when it is warranted. On the other hand, say "Yes" when someone else has a great idea.

4. Don't blame. Ask instead, "How can we do this differently or in a way that might work better?"

5. Accept blame when something is your fault and look for ways to do better next time.

6. Do not expect to always get your way in work dealings, but always state your opinion and why you feel this way.

7. Be open to discussing work issues or problems and finding the best solution, even if it makes you uncomfortable.

8. When criticized, objectively consider the statement and decide if it warrants modifying something in your demeanor or habits.

9. Control your temper. Sure, telling your boss off for perceived wrongs can feel great, but it doesn’t do much for future career aspirations. Take time to calm down; excuse yourself and go to the bathroom, or take a short walk before continuing the discussion.

10. Understand that you are a vital part of your work team and that your ideas are important to your colleagues and your organization.

Being assertive in your occupation will help further your career and can make you happier and more self-assured. Additionally, people with exceptional assertiveness skills are often considered highly valued employees. An assertive and professional demeanor is key to advancing in your chosen path, and can help employers and your peers see your natural leadership abilities.

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3 Ways to Build Rapport with Patients

by South University, Online Programs
May 27, 2014

As a nurse or other caregiver, you likely spend a significant amount of time with your patients. While doctors might get a good chunk of the glory, you're the one who checks on them, keeps up on their medication and performs other essential tasks. Because of your career, you may already command respect and trust; for the past 12 years, Americans have ranked nursing as the top profession for honesty and ethics via an annual Gallup survey.

Nurse with PatientWith the level of contact you have with your patients, building a rapport with them can offer big benefits, including helping you increase their quality of care and making your job easier.

Building trust and familiarity with your patients can make them feel more comfortable and be more honest when talking you with about their health. In addition, once you understand a patient’s personality, you’ll be better positioned to note changes that may be indicative of health problems as well as know how to keep the patient cooperative and in good spirits.

1. Communicate Often and Well

Effective communication is the foundation on which you can establish trust with your patients. You go through a getting-to-know-you phase with the patient that works much better if you can quickly establish a snapshot of their life, such as learning about their hobbies, friends, family, and their day to day activities and working environment. A major part of being a good communicator as a nurse is clearly educating patients on the various health challenges they are facing. Being a good listener is just as important – you should fully hear out all concerns and ask follow-up questions of your patient before arriving at any conclusion

2. Express Empathy

You need to be able to empathize with your patient without being emotionally overwhelmed yourself. You may have a lot on your mind, and the patient may not be the most pleasant person to be around--perhaps due to stress, pain, confusion, and other issues—but it's important that be mentally present while also not allowing let their issues or attitude to affect you emotionally. Your goal should be to relate while still having some walls between you and what the patient is going through. This also helps you make objective decisions while advocating for the patient.

3. Project Calmness

As a nurse, you want to come across as calm, competent, and in control of the situation. Your confidence helps to reassure the patient that all is as it should be. If a situation occurs that is frightening for the patient, they can remain calm, assured that you have it handled on their behalf.

Learn more about our programs in the area of nursing today!

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Lynda.com now available from the online classroom

by South University, Online Programs
May 22, 2014

Did you know that, as a South University student, you can get on-demand tutoring in the online classroom whenever you need it? No matter the time or day, academic support is available when you click the tutoring link in the top navigation of your classroom or the HELP button on the assignment page.

Assignment screen

On May 19, 2014, we added another exciting feature to the online classroom—direct access to Lynda.com—so that you have the full support you need to learn software skills, creative techniques, business strategies and more.

Lynda.com offers on-demand video tutorials and training sessions, including over 2,400 courses taught by industry experts, with more added every week. Now, with just one click, you have unlimited access to an online library of high-quality instructional videos. Among the thousands of videos available, you can find engaging tutorials that allow you to review basic concepts, expand on course materials, or supplement your existing skills. With lynda.com, not only can you gain a better understanding of a diverse range of subjects, but you can also stay current with the latest technology trends and software.

Lynda.com is designed for all levels of learners and is available whenever you’re ready to learn. To access these tutoring services and others from any assignment page, click on the “Need Help” box on your assisgnment page. This will open a new window or tab (shown below) where you can access Lynda.com, live tutoring services, writing assistance and a variety of helpful software and computer tutorials. Select the lynda.com link from this page for instant access to their vast tutorial library.

If you have any questions about our tutoring or academic services, feel free to reach out to your Academic Counselor at any time! To learn more about South University, prospective students can request more information online or contact us at 1-888-444-3404.

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Finding Scholarships: 4 Places to Get Started

by South University, Online Programs
May 19, 2014

If you're thinking of furthering your education (or you’ve already started work on your degree), you've probably considered the financial investment required. Hopefully, you’ve thought about your options, including student loans and federal financial aid, which typically involve repayment and interest. The good news is that there is another option that doesn’t involve either—scholarships.

Scholarship piggy bank

To receive a scholarship, you must meet certain criteria set forth by an individual or organization. Doesn’t sound so hard, right? Yet, with so many scholarship opportunities out there, you may not know where to begin. Here are 4 places where you can get your search started right now.

1. The Educational Institution

Many institutions award merit-based scholarships to students who've shown achievement in areas like academics, personal conduct, or military or community service. Current South University students can speak with their Finance and Academic Counselors to find out if any scholarships might be available to them. If you’re interested in attending South University, you can always call us at 1-888-444-3404 to learn more about your financial options, including scholarships.

2. Employers or Professional Groups

In some cases, your employer (or even your spouse’s employer) may be willing to sponsor a portion or all of your education, so don’t forget to ask your supervisor or Human Resources department what resources are available to you. In addition, some professional organizations may provide scholarships to those pursuing specific career paths. Search for organizations that match your career interests and see if any of them help students like you in continuing your education.

3. Your Community

Local community organizations, including civic groups and churches, may provide scholarships to students who meet specific criteria. Some scholarships are only available to residents of specific cities or countries, which can drastically help your odds of receiving the scholarship. Don’t hesitate to call around and find out what’s available!

4. Online

You can locate a wide variety of student-specific scholarships online, which could require you meet criteria that involves family history, ethnicity, or other similar factors. It's easy to find these scholarships at websites such as

Scholarships.com
Fastweb.com
Collegescholarships.org

As a current South University student, you can also use our financial literacy resource iGrad, which includes a Scholarship Center. Remember, locating a scholarship, or information about one, should never cost you anything. If any website asks you to pay for information, click out of it and into one of the resources named above.

South University is not responsible for the content or accuracy of any web site linked to this site. The links are provided for your information and convenience only. South University does not endorse, support or sponsor the content of any linked Web sites. If you access or use any third party Web sites linked to South University Web site, you do so at your own risk. South University makes no representation or warranty that any other Web site is free from viruses, worms or other software that may have a destructive nature.
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Celebrating Famous Nursing Leaders

by South University, Online Programs
May 12, 2014

Throughout history, nurses have provided care and medical help for the sick and suffering. However, some of the great nurses of the past were not always given the respect and appreciation they deserved in their lifetime. Many pioneers in the nursing profession had to fight obstacles of social prejudice and inequality. National Nurses Week is the perfect time to honor these medical pioneers.

StephoscopeFlorence Nightingale

Known as the “Lady with the Lamp,” Florence Nightingale has often been called the founder of modern nursing. She was born in 1820 in Florence, Italy, to British parents. After moving back to England, she rebelled against social convention by training to become a nurse, rejecting several prominent suitors in pursuit of her dream.

In 1854, she traveled with a small staff of volunteer nurses to Crimea to care for British troops wounded during the Crimean War. Upon seeing the appalling conditions the wounded were in, she began campaigning for medical improvements. It was her habit of checking on the injured every night that earned her the famous nickname. Her campaign helped to bring about prefabricated mobile hospitals, which were later credited with reducing the fatality rate by some 40%.

Clara Barton

Clara Barton was born in Oxford, Massachusetts, in 1821. Her most notable contribution was during the Civil War, when she attended to wounded soldiers. During that time, she became known as the “angel of the battlefield” for her never-ending care of Union servicemen. Upon the war’s end in 1865, Clara continued working with the War Department, assisting soldiers and families reunited after years of separation. During this time, she became a much sought-after public speaker. In 1870, she traveled to Europe to work with the International Red Cross during the Franco-Prussian War. Seeing the benefits of the relief organization, she campaigned for a similar organization in the United States upon her return. She was instrumental in the foundation of the American Red Cross in 1881, serving as its first president.

Mary Mahoney

One of the least-celebrated pioneers in the nursing field is Mary Mahoney, not because her contribution is less worthy than others, but because of who she was and who she treated. Born in 1845, Mary was the first black woman admitted into the New England Hospital for Women and Children’s nursing program in 1879. The following year, she became the first black woman to complete nurses' training. Eventually, she moved to New York, where she served as supervisor for the Howard Orphan Asylum for Black Children. She was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 1993.

Anna Maxwell

Born in 1851, Anna Maxwell was an instrumental figure in the founding of the Army Nurse Corps in 1901. Anna studied nursing at the Boston City Hospital Training School for Nurses, completing the program in 1880. By 1889, she had risen to the position of superintendent of nursing at Presbyterian Hospital. She began working with the military in 1898, tending to soldiers serving in the Spanish-American War. Recognizing the importance of a full-time nursing component in the military, Anna vigorous sought to create the Army Nurse Corps and grant nurses full military awards earned in combat. Upon her death in 1929, she was interred in Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors.

The Future of Nursing

Nightingale, Barton, Mahoney, and Maxwell made great contributions to the field of nursing through hard work and dedication to their patients. Today, nurses continue these traditions to advance the practice and improve the lives of each patient they serve. According to the American Nurses Association, many are even creating and expanding new job roles – such as nurse navigators, care coordinator specialists, and nurse wellness coaches -- to help patients secure resources, obtain seamless comprehensive care, and develop healthy lifestyle practices.

If you wish to continue to develop your role within this constantly evolving and essential field, learn more about how South University can prepare you with the skills and knowledge you need.

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