'); Nurse Health: 8 Tips You Should Know

Nurse Health: 8 Tips You Should Know

Standing toe to toe with doctors, nurses are no less than superheroes who work tirelessly to take care of patients. Sometimes, this exhausting job can lead to burnout. According to the Bureau of Labour Statistics, in 2019, registered nurses generally experienced more workplace injuries than builders and construction workers. Stress and other workplace-related injuries affect their capability to assist healthcare professionals and provide patients with good care. Therefore, it is increasingly important for nurses to take extra care of their health while working in hospitals and clinics.

Val Saintsbury, a renowned nurse, once said, “Nurses dispense comfort, compassion, and caring without even a prescription.” But sometimes, it comes at the cost of nurses’ health. The stress they go through can impact their on-duty performance, and some patients may even question the credibility of burned-out nurses. But wait, all’s not lost. If you’re a nurse struggling to maintain good health, we’ve compiled a list of tips to help you through. So keep reading.

1- Get 8 hours of sleep

We can’t stress more on the importance of good-quality sleep in a nurse’s life. Getting at least 8 hours of sleep is vital, not only for your health but for patients’ safety too. It’s not easy to get quality sleep, especially when you’re on night duty, but you can sleep during the day. Like eating and drinking is a basic need for the body, sleep is essential for maintaining good health.

2- Create a healthy work-life balance

Sometimes a tiring routine can impact your work. However, you can acquire higher education to step into more diverse job roles to create a better work-life balance for yourself. Online degrees offer multiple perks such as self-paced learning, lower costs, and flexible timings. These perks empower you to create your schedule around your working hours and squeeze in some time for personal endeavors. By pursuing a post masters DNP online, you can use newly-gained knowledge to provide better patient care, build health care policies, and even train the next batch of nurses. Not only does it give an extra edge to your career, but it helps in managing workload with the help of the latest nursing tech. A study conducted by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing in April 2021 stated advanced nursing degrees will attract more students in the future.

3- Talk to people close to you

Sometimes hospital work can take a toll on your mental health. In such a case, you need lively people around you to resonate with their energy. Having one or two good listeners can reduce stress levels and help you cope with your everyday struggles. Find a friend working in the same shift who can listen to your rants, cover your hours when you need to run personal errands, and understand your problems. Talking to someone who you can trust relieves some of the mental exhaustion.

4- Eat healthy food

Amid all the hustle-bustle of working in healthcare, nurses often resort to eating junk food from the cafeteria or the local deli nearby. Over time, this can become overweight and put them at a higher risk of disease. Eating healthy food should be paramount for everyone, let alone nurses. Therefore, practice what you preach. You must add fresh greeny veggies, eggs, and whole grains to your diet. You could even prepare your meals for the week in advance. Doing so will help you save time, and you won’t need to use the vending machine too often. You could also keep snacks like granola bars, peanuts, and crackers to satiate the appetite during shifts. Also, you should be aware of unhealthy eating habits, such as overeating sugar, chugging food, and exercising after eating. These bad habits can have adverse consequences on your overall health. 

5- Restrict your caffeine intake

Nurses who work night shifts are more prone to consuming high amounts of caffeine through coffee or tea. Drinking caffeinated drinks is considered a brain-booster since they help you feel alert. But speaking factually, it can cause sleeping problems, high blood pressure, and anxiety when consumed in excess. Why not substitute caffeine with water? Water keeps you hydrated, improves your digestive system, and reduces depression. If plain water tastes boring to you, add citrus fruits or cucumber to add some natural flavor to your drink. Or you could try some vegetable juice! It can’t get healthier than that! 

6- Meditate and relax

People who have a tiresome career can benefit from meditation in profound ways. Yoga, Pilates, deep breathing, and prayer sessions can alleviate mental exhaustion and help you achieve a state of restfulness. Even a 20-minute meditation session in a day, without any distractions, can revitalize you with new energy. Meditation activities can reduce stress and keep long-term illnesses at bay. They’ll help to keep your sanity intact and ensure your shift feels enjoyable and lively.

7- Ensure personal hygiene

As a nurse, it becomes more important for you to ensure a personal hygiene routine to stay healthy and germ-free and keep patients safe from illnesses. Good personal hygiene habits can save you from getting infected with germs. Simple personal hygiene rituals can stop infections from spreading from patients to you and vice versa. Follow your hospital’s hygiene policy to the T. Ensure to wash your hands before and after preparing meals, going to the bathroom, handling medical equipment, and touching patients. Shower daily when you can. You can set reminders on your phone to help you stick to a hygiene routine. 

8- Use your breaks to explore your hobbies

Do you love writing songs or drawing? Do you like to watch chick-flicks? Just like love, hobbies come in various forms. Whenever you get time off, use it to explore your hobbies. You deserve it! Make sure to keep yourself alive and cheerful by doing what you love. Go out on a stroll, listen to upbeat music, or play a game on your phone if you like. It will help your mind declutter from unnecessary stress and let you escape from the frenzy of your job into a world you feel comfortable in. After all, caring for yourself is imperative for professional and personal growth.

Conclusion

As a nurse, it gets hard to juggle professional and personal life. Nurses sometimes have to work on the weekends or night shifts. You need to know that before you can put energy into taking care of others, you need to learn how to take care of yourself. Hopefully, the tips listed above can help you maintain a healthy lifestyle while working as a healthcare professional. Every job can be mentally and physically overwhelming. You just need to know how to hack it!

Christie Battons

Christie is not only a nutritionist who believes in the healing power of food and herbs but is also a fitness trainer who has been featured several times on BBC. Making people’s lives better is at the heart of her agenda and she’s successfully doing this in her blogging community.

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