Nurse Self Care – The Importance of Exercise

Nurse Self Care – The Importance of Exercise

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Nursing is certainly one of the most stressful and demanding jobs you can ever hope to do. It’s also one of the most rewarding. Nurse self care is vital in this role, and one important factor in self care is exercise.

Of course, when you’ve been working a long hard shift, the last thing you may want to do is exercise. Yes, you know it’s good for you, but do you have the energy? Many nurses naturally have a level of exercise as part of their daily routine, particularly if they work in an area like A&E or have a district nursing job.

Unfortunately, at least one study has found that as many as 1 in 4 nurses are thought to be overweight. It’s led to calls for employers such as the NHS to do more to keep their staff in good health.

Nurse Self Care: The Benefits of Exercise

  • Even a small amount of exercise improves physical fitness and boosts energy levels
  • Regular exercise as part of a healthy eating routine is the best way to ensure that you maintain a good weight
  • Exercise actually makes you feel good, releasing endorphins that put you in a great mood
  • When you exercise regularly, you look good and that can give your self esteem a big boost
  • Exercise builds endurance, something that’s important in many aspects of healthcare work

It’s not just the physical side of things that exercise helps with. It has been shown to reduce stress and promote good sleep leading to a better sense of overall well-being.

Nurse Self Care: How to Bring Exercise Into Your Daily Routine

There are plenty of ways to incorporate exercise into your daily routine and it doesn’t have to be expensive or time consuming. For a start, a brisk walk once a day for just 15 minutes can get your blood flowing and improve energy levels. The trick is to find something that suits you and which can be easily incorporate into your life. If you love going to the gym, that’s great, but not everybody does. The good news is there are excellent ways to practise your nurse self care and exercise at home.

You could jump on an exercise bike or simply buy yourself a skipping rope, for example. Both are great for getting the heart rate up. You can even exercise while you’re at work. Doing a few squats, side stretches or jumping jacks when you have a spare moment help release all those endorphins as well as shake off the pressures of the day. Could you walk to work instead of driving or taking public transport?

Department of Health guidelines suggest that we should all be getting at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity a week. What does moderate mean? If you’re getting slightly out of breath while doing your exercise, then you’re probably doing it just right.

Here are a few exercise options you may want to consider:

  • Joining an exercise club: There are many that operate outside nowadays in parks and on promenades around the country and they’re great if you want to join in with other people (you may even make a few new friends locally!)
  • Take up yoga: It’s perfect for stretching those limbs and muscles but is low impact enough to not be too strenuous on the body
  • Try hill walking in the country: The countryside is beautiful, and its free. Just get yourself a pair of comfy walking shoes and you’re ready to go (this will also help you to unwind mentally)
  • Go for a swim at your local leisure centre: This is one of the best all-round exercises and also not too impactful on joints
  • See if high intensity training is right for you: HIIT involves quick bursts of exercise and has been show to improve fitness quickly. It’s also a great exercise option for those who are short of time

If you’re working in healthcare or you are in need of nurse self care, it’s never too early or too late to start creating your own special exercise regime. Start with a few simple changes and you’ll soon see a difference.

 

Go Nurse is The Stress Free Nursing Agency for London nurses. Our nurses accept shifts, update availability, see upcoming shifts and find shift locations simply via our easy to use mobile phone app! Is it time you made a change? Register online today for nursing shifts across London.

Nurse Self Care – Get Enough Sleep!

Nurse Self Care – Get Enough Sleep!

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If you can’t remember the last time you had a good night’s sleep, you’ve got something in common with about 68% of the population. In our over-stressed world, it seems we’re getting less than our allotted 8 hours a night and that can have a huge impact on overall health and well-being. Any nurse who has looked closely at their own nurse self care may well highlight lack of sleep as a problem. The issue with many jobs in healthcare is that they do not run 9 to 5. Nurses can find themselves working long shifts at different times of the day or night. This in itself can impact on the natural sleep cycle and make it difficult to get the required rest.

In the stressful environments that most nurses operate, it’s no surprise that many often suffer ongoing sleep deprivation. Many nurses also just accept this as the norm rather than trying to do something about it.

Nurse Self Care: The Importance of Sleep

  • Good sleep means that you wake up feeling refreshed and recharged
  • Those who experience poor sleep tend to eat more and are likelier to exhibit signs of obesity
  • A bad night’s sleep can impact on concentration and productivity in the workplace
  • There is some evidence that poor sleepers are more likely to suffer from heart problems
  • If you are at risk of diabetes 2, not getting enough sleep can affect your glucose metabolism
  • Lack of sleep can affect your immune system and is an integral part of a healthy lifestyle

Stress can also be a bit factor in sleep problems. Learning to cope with stress is vital if you want to improve your health and well being. Of course, if you’re always working odd shifts, the lack of continuity can also add to your problems.

Nurse Self Care: How to Get a Better Night’s Sleep

It is recommended that you get, on average, 8 hours sleep a night. This doesn’t count however, if you are tossing and turning all night and not actually resting. Chances are you’ll wake up feeling more tired than when you went to bed.

If you work shifts, the main thing you have to contend with is the changing time of day when you go to bed. We all have a natural sleep rhythm and this can really become unbalanced when working nights and then switching to days. A lot depends on whether you can settle into a routine and what your work schedule is like. It also depends on you as an individual.

  • You might, for instance, if you work regular shifts, experiment with the time you go to bed to see what works best for you
  • If you’ve been on nights for a while, coming home and having a short sleep and then getting up and going to bed early may help you get back into rhythm
  • If you are about to go on your first night shift, having a short sleep beforehand may ensure that you stay alert during the early hours

One major impact for nurses and those working in healthcare is that lack of sleep can lead to lack of concentration. That means mistakes may be made at critical times.

Take your nurse self care seriously and attempt to find solutions rather than continuing to live in a sleep deprived way. The are many great resources online that you can use and adapt to help yourself get a better nights sleep.

Here are just a few to get you started:

 

Go Nurse is The Stress Free Nursing Agency for London nurses. Our nurses accept shifts, update availability, see upcoming shifts and find shift locations simply via our easy to use mobile phone app! Is it time you made a change? Register online today for nursing shifts across London.

How to Respond to Nurse Bullying

How to Respond to Nurse Bullying

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There is widespread incidence of nurse bullying within the healthcare profession that still continues today. Some nurses may have encountered bullies before which made them question their own ability, skills and nursing credibility. Remember that the victims are not at fault for the abuse that they are subjected to. However we wanted to explore this and how to respond to nurse bullying.

 

How to Respond to Nurse Bullying

 

Do not feel bad about Yourself

“When people don’t like themselves very much, they have to make up for it. The classic bully was actually a victim first.” — Tom Hiddleston

Bullies are often insecure people and tend to victimise individuals who they feel threatened by. They inflict resentment on their targets to feel better about themselves. If you feel that you have been victimised by one of your colleagues, try not to let it get to you and do not take it personally.  Seek out other members of staff who can guide you and mentor you to become better in your profession if you do feel any insecurity in your role.

 

Educate Yourself

One of the best ways to combat bullying in the workplace is to be completely confident in your role and responsibilities. This will mean that you will be confident in your convictions and yourself should any colleague challenge you. Familiarise yourself with the policies and procedures of your company. You could even pursue further studies to continually enhance your nursing and healthcare knowledge. It is hard for bullies to question or confront you when they know you are well informed and confident.

 

Confront your Bully

Many people don’t like confrontation, bullies included. Sometimes individuals are not aware of the impact of their behaviour and do not perceive it as bullying.  Confronting your bully brings their behaviour to their attention. They are then aware of your feelings and that you deem their behaviour as unacceptable. You can also make it clear to them that if they do not stop, you will call the attention of higher authorities to address the matter. Sometimes this is all that is required to end nurse bullying.

 

Keep a Journal

Keep a journal and diary of your working day. Nurses will be familiar with this practice in the healthcare industry! This is especially important if you find you are becoming the victim of ongoing nurse bullying or abuse. This practice will help you document details of any incidents at work. You can then use this resource to make your charge manager or superior aware of the duration as well as the nature of bullying.

 

Inform your Manager and HR in Writing

If the nurse bullying persists,  you should approach up your HR and Nurse Manager to report what has been going on. You must also make the complaint official in writing and include as much detail as you can. They will support you and take appropriate action to deal with the issue further. It is their duty to ensure the workplace remains safe not only for you but the rest of the staff, and patients as well.

 

Avoid your Bully

Once you have filed a complaint against your bully, try to avoid him or her. You could request not to be assigned in the same team or shifts. If this is not possible, try to avoid them where possible. Continue to do your job to the best of your ability.

For more information and guidance regarding nurse bullying and the things you can do to stop it, visit the RCN and NHS websites.

 

Go Nurse is The Stress Free Nursing Agency for London nurses. Our nurses accept shifts, update availability, see upcoming shifts and find shift locations simply via our easy to use mobile phone app! Is it time you made a change? Register online today for nursing shifts across London.

Choose the Best Nursing Shifts

Choose the Best Nursing Shifts

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Being able to do agency work and take on extra nursing shifts is great. Earning extra money to add to your savings or put towards your next holiday is always a bonus.

With the recent nursing shortages across the country, agency nurses are high in demand. However, as an agency nurse you aren’t always able to accept every nursing shift offered to you, and you shouldn’t. You need to choose the right nursing shifts for you dependent on specific criteria.

Here are some of the main points to consider when offered your nursing shifts:

Location

As an agency nurse there is a potential that you may be given a nursing shift outside of your area. Maybe decline nursing shifts in areas that you think are too far for you to travel, unless you are helping the agency or client out of a difficult situation. Firstly consider the cost of your travel, this needs to be worthwhile for you to accept the shift. You may also struggle to get to the shift on time if you have a long way to travel. You should provide your agency a list of areas or locations that you are happy to accept shifts in, so they are aware beforehand whether they should approach you with certain shifts or contracts.

Nursing Shifts Rate of Pay

Establish which rates of pay you are willing to accept in order to take on a nursing shift. You must be fairly paid for the work you do, although many end clients now stipulate the pay rates for nurses, leaving no room for negotiation. Make sure the nursing agency confirm the rates of pay, as rates vary according to the shift and area you are working in.

Rates are usually higher when your shift falls on a weekend, a night and a holiday. Moreover, the rate will also be higher if you are assigned to specialised units or in Central London for example.

Shift Schedule

Some nurses are more comfortable or only available to work a specific shift, such as day shifts within the week, or only nights. Let your agency know what your preferred shift or work availability is so they offer you shifts which fit in with your schedule. Likewise, update your agency if your schedule changes – maybe you are going on holiday, or if you have more availability and would like to pick up additional shifts.

Unit or Area

Just as with shifts, some nurses only want to work within a certain unit or area of nursing. Your agency will be aware of  your field of expertise, however if you only want to work as an agency nurse in a certain area or environment, like nursing homes, let the agency know your preference.

Length of Shift or Assignment

Some nurses are available only for single shifts at a time, however some nurses prefer assignments or contracts which cover longer periods of time. This allows these nurses an opportunity to organise their schedules as well as receive a steadier stream of income for a defined period of time. If you are available for longer term contracts or assignments, let your agency know so they are aware to offer you these contracts first.

Go Nurse is The Stress Free Nursing Agency for London nurses. Our nurses accept shifts, update availability, see upcoming shifts and find shift locations simply via our easy to use mobile phone app! Is it time you made a change? Register online today for nursing shifts across London.

Nursing Time Management – Top Tips

Nursing Time Management – Top Tips

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Being a nurse is a rewarding job, however it often comes with a frantic schedule. More experienced nurses will have become better at managing their time more efficiently. For new nurses, nursing time management is a skill that needs to be worked at. Here are a few tips to help you manage your time more effectively:

Nursing Time Management

Always Arrive Early

It’s expected that you arrive on time for a shift, but it is even better to arrive 10 or 15 minutes earlier. This will allow ultimate nursing time management. Giving you the time to read through notes and organise yourself before your shift starts. Remember that there is also the handover process to allow time for which may not be scheduled in.

Make Notes and Prioritise Tasks

As with accident and emergency cases, “triage” your tasks. What is more urgent? What can be left till later on in the shift? Always make notes because what gets written down, gets done. Having written notes will also ensure that you don’t forget any tasks and it is easier to organise a written list. Plus it avoids that midnight panic mode when you remember a forgotten task!

Ditch Tasks That Are Not on Your List

Sure, a patient’s condition may change within your shift and you have to adjust and adapt accordingly. But if something is not on your list then it can probably be left. Avoid getting involved in debates with your colleagues, and don’t take on tasks from them until you have finished your own crucial tasks. Learn to say no or else you’ll be doing the job of other people and getting in trouble for not having completed your own.

Be Patient and Flexible

The healthcare environment is pretty dynamic. It is important that you are receptive to constant change and requirements. Nothing is set in stone, even when we have planned our day. Accepting that things can change at a drop of a hat and being prepared for change, will help you remain calm and level-headed.

Nursing Time Management – Take A Break

Nurses are born workaholics. Nevertheless, by not taking a break we run ourselves ragged and can eventually burn ourselves out. Taking your scheduled breaks are the ultimate nursing time management skill. They also support mental clarity and help you in being more productive and organised.

 

Go Nurse is The Stress Free Nursing Agency for London nurses. Is it time you made a change? Register online today for nursing shifts across London.

Top 6 Nursing Home Handover Tips for London Nurses

Top 6 Nursing Home Handover Tips for London Nurses

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Starting a shift at a new nursing home can be quite daunting for London nurses, regardless of you nursing experience levels. There is always a transition period that comes with changing to a different nursing home, during which you’ll need to quickly find your feet and get used to new routines and protocols. We are here to help and make your first shift at a new nursing home as ‘stress free’ as possible, so we’ve put together some great tips to make the process easier!

Establish Yourself

It’s important to prove yourself immediately as a valuable nurse and member of the team. So many agency nurses slide in like a shadow and no one knows they are even there…..until they see a gap on the MAR chart and then it’s very easy to blame the unseen one!

No one can expect you to know the ins and outs of how your nursing home works, but things like arriving on time, introducing yourself to staff, residents and relatives is just basic practice. Also be enthusiastic and show that you are competent and confident.

Be Effective

Don’t be a know it all – be a learn it all. Showing that you’re ready to learn will make it easier for the other nurses to trust in your abilities. It will also give you an opportunity to talk to more members of the care team and gel with them. It’s important that you listen to everything and try to take it all on board.

Ask the right questions about the residents, the immediate priorities (who is ill / on antibiotics / critically timed medicines for Parkinson’s or controlled drugs – pain relief). Also establish at handover who will give you more info, if you need it.

Take Charge

Just because it’s your first time at the nursing home, this doesn’t mean you can’t show confidence and ask important questions. Remember that you are an essential part of the team and that your input is important.

  • Get to work quickly by taking charge of the team.
  • Ask them who is doing what as soon as the handover is finished and who is on 1st / 2nd
  • If this hasn’t been set up already ask for suggestions or allocate staff to each ‘side’ or room numbers.
  • Tell the team to report any changes to you immediately.

Be Professional

Don’t criticise the home or compare it to another, as a London agency nurse you will see many homes, all operating in very different ways. “They didn’t do it this way at ….” or “What do you mean we can’t use the residents coffee machine…”
And look the part. Hair up before you go on duty, of course a clean and ironed uniform, agency name badge etc.

Find Your Bearings

Make sure that you have all of the information you need regarding your new workplace and its location. It can help to write down the address and telephone number of the nursing home, this is essential if you have to call in an emergency to 999 or call an out of hours GP.

Keep Records

Caring for other people is a big responsibility and a large part of that is being able to identify issues or problems. Record all resident notes on line or on paper as the company policy requires, fully detailing the interventions and care you delivered for each.

  • If there was any sort of incident, record it and hand it over.
  • Get witness statements for all untoward incidents like bruises, falls, choking or aggressive behaviour.
  • Call the GP and report ANY change in resident. He can decide if he attends or not.
  • Record that and tell the Next of Kin of any changes, plus record that too.
  • At the end of your shifts sign off the entries of all your carers, including daily notes, turns, fluid charts etc.
  • Then if possible, get a peer review of your MAR charts for the shift and you can in turn offer to check theirs to ensure there are no gaps.

Stay Positive

Lastly, always keep a smile on your face. Like any job, nursing can come with its challenges and it may tire you out on some days. Staying positive can help a lot. Not only will it keep you happy and motivated but it will inspire your fellow nurses to feel the same and help create a more enjoyable working environment.

Go Nurse is The Stress Free Nursing Agency for London nurses. Is it time you made a change? Register online today for nursing shifts across London.