Take Care of Yourself In Order to Take Care of Others

May 1, 2012 in Nursing TIps

health and nursing

A nurse is a great caretaker, taking care of their patients with the utmost attention.  Now when it comes to a nurse’s own health care, how careful or attentive are they?  When you take care of your own health, you can better take care of others.  As a nurse, leading a healthy lifestyle you set an example for your patients to follow.  It is important that nurses take care of themselves by eating nutritiously, exercising regularly, managing stress, living smoke-free and drug-free and even getting immunized.

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to a nurse taking care of themselves.  A nurse’s work can be highly stressful and an overall challenge especially when they work long hours.  Their work environment can also cause difficulty for them when they may be exposed to hazardous chemicals, violence, needle sticks, infectious disease and injuries from manually moving patients.  Nurses encounter many so many challenges that it is important for them to keep up healthy habits and make healthy lifestyle choices.

It is not always possible to keep up 100 percent with the “right” choices such as snacking on sugary snacks or working long hours, but there are things to do to help.  Here are a few suggestions.

Fatigue:  Again, long hours are almost synonymous with nursing.  Most of the time long hours just cannot be avoided.  There are things you can do in order for that fatigue not to advance to serious health problems.  Talk to your supervisor and try taking additional break periods to alleviate some of the tiredness when working past normal work periods.  Also, make sure you pack a good meal with things you will be able to snack on (fruit, vegetables or a derivative of sorts).  If you know there will be tasks that require heavy physical labor or intense concentration, perform them at the beginning of the shift whenever possible.

Influenza:  That darn flu bug is ever present.  Make sure to get your vaccination to help keep it to a minimum.  Nurses that are “sick” will not be able to be of any help to their patients.

Needle Sticks:  This goes without saying, take extra precautions when handling needles.  There are many communicable diseases some which can be fatal.

Physical Activity:  To help one’s overall health and fitness, regular physical activity is highly recommended.  This will help reduce one’s risk in many chronic diseases.  There are many ways to fit in a little exercise within your daily schedule, it is a matter of being creative and wanting the extra health benefits that physical activity assures.

Healthy Eating:  This does not mean becoming a vegetarian or vegan, just monitor what you eat.  Try to avoid fast foods or at least minimize your intake.  CNursing Healthut down on foods or snacks with a lot of sugar and salt.  It is not rocket science and as nurses many are familiar with the “food pyramid” to be able to follow.  Think about what you eat.

As nurses this is nothing new, but sometimes it take a little reminder to remember that we need to take care of ourselves.  Nurses are to be commended and thanked daily.  You make a difference!

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