It is not a secret in the care profession that nurses often don’t have the best lifestyle choices and practices. It’s difficult to be a healthy nurse! Our job demands dedication and makes it hard for us to drink when we’re thirsty, eat regularly and even go to the toilet when we need to. The erratic schedules and shifts from day to night adjusts our body clocks. We develop different coping mechanisms to deal with the psychological and physical stress. These mechanisms often include relying on energy drinks or coffee, smoking or in extreme circumstances, even drug use.
Things often get so hectic at work that we neglect ourselves, not realising that our actions can affect how our patients see us. As healthcare professionals, we should exemplify every facet of our work especially when it comes to our health teachings.
So what are some of the best ways to be a healthy nurse?
Healthy Nurse – Workout
Physical activity is not just important for weight management and overall fitness. Being agile and fit in our line of work is essential due to our dynamic working environment. Anything can happen and not only should you be mentally ready to troubleshoot an issue, you also need to be speedy and strong to address the physical demands of the job – from running to the blood bank because of an emergency transfusion to simply having the endurance to withstand a 12 to 13-hour shift.
From a patient’s viewpoint, a fit and healthy nurse is a much more effective care teacher when it comes to diet, nutrition, and weight loss.
Think gym, fitness classes such as pilates and even yoga as a great way to stay in shape and be a healthy nurse.
Maintain a Healthy Diet
A healthy diet will allow you to lose or maintaining your weight and your cardiovascular health. However, since nurses are always on the go we often eat what is convenient – something we can grab quickly like crisps, candies or chocolates. The result – poor health, lack of energy and potentially illness.
Nurses must promote proper diet and nutrition to their patients, but this can’t be done convincingly if your patients see you frail, overweight or ill. Maybe bring a healthy, pre-prepared lunch to work and always opt for healthy snacks. But food thought and preparation ahead of your shift, especially for night shifts, is the key to being a healthy nurse.
Invest in Your Health
Due to our busy lifestyles, nurses tend to forgo or delay health checks. It is crucial that we invest in ourselves because we cannot do our job properly if we are not healthy and fit. Sharing your health check experiences with your patients is a good way of showing them the importance of regularly going for checks, and that early detection and prevention is always best.
Always Look Your Best
Never arrive at work looking untidy or unclean. It is unhygienic and very unprofessional. It creates the impression that you don’t take your job seriously enough to look the part or be proud of your profession. Besides, how are you to teach your patients about hygiene if you are not able to practice what you preach.
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