Nurses are more prone to illnesses and injuries in the healthcare unit than other workforce members due to their frequent interaction with the patients. They may also come across violent behavior from patients or their families, lack of support from peers, or severe pressure from the management. That further deteriorates their mental well-being and consequently their physical health too. The hospital environment itself is a dangerous place to be at. Nurses are constantly surrounded by sharp objects, radiation, pathogens, chemicals, medicines, etc. Keeping your head through such scenarios every day can feel like a lot of work.
There’s no denying that nursing is one of the most rewarding professions to exist. However, it is also one that will test every ounce of your patience and your will to live. Nurses need to look after their health and well-being because being sick impacts their personal lives, the treatment, and the progress of their serving patients. Some patients confessed they weren’t satisfied with the care offered by nurses who weren’t content with their jobs. Therefore, prioritizing your health before looking after someone else’s health is the number one job of nurses.
Besides self-care, there are several other requisites to be content with your job. For starters, you need the right kind of skillset and knowledge to become a registered nurse in the first place. Thankfully, it is more convenient than ever to become a nurse due to the advent of online education. If you’re also looking for a head start in nursing, enroll yourself in an Online Program for Registered Nurse to BSN. This degree builds a concrete foundation to help you excel in your nursing career. That being said, continue reading to find effective ways to avoid injuries and health problems in your nursing career.
1. Never Move Or Lift Patients Alone
Use lifts or friction-reducing devices to lift or move patients. A single wrong move can have dire consequences for you and the patient. It’s understandable that sometimes dragging the heavy lifting equipment to the patients can be a lot of work. It is also quite time-consuming. However, it is almost necessary if you want to take maximum precaution. Suppose you do, for some reason, lift or move the patients without the equipment, ask for assistance. Never do it alone.
2. Adhere To Safety Precaution And Procedures
Doing the same thing over and over again can make you feel like you’ve mastered your work, which there’s no denying you have. It may put you under the impression that it’s okay to skip several unnecessary protocols. Don’t do that. Be careful around used needles. Properly dispose of them in their respectful containers. Carefully read the labels on all sorts of drugs and equipment. Don’t let your environment be in clutter. Organize the resources that come under your supervision. If something is unnecessarily lying on the floor, pick it up and save yourself and others from tripping on it.
3. Wash Your Hands Frequently
Hand hygiene is considered the topmost significant factor in avoiding or mitigating the risks of infection. Since nurses and doctors are always at the forefront of disease and illnesses, keeping your hands clean can save them from half the diseases in the hospital. It barely takes a minute to wash hands. You may feel very lazy to find a sink nearby and use hand sanitizer instead. Hate to break it to you, but excessive sanitizer use can encourage germs and pathogens to house on your hands. Therefore, skip the sanitizer and find a sink.
4. Maintain A Healthier And Fuller Diet
Nurses are constantly on the go and barely get any time to eat. Skipping meals can only make you weaker thus more susceptible to falling sick. Even if you have free time on your hands, you could prefer a sugary snack to a full-fledged healthy meal. Yeah, don’t do that. Avoid using the vending machine and limit your caffeine intake no matter how sleepy you feel. Consume more greens and protein instead. Never skip a meal and drink lots of water throughout your day.
5. Exercise Regularly
Exercise is directly correlated to your physical and mental health. Exercise makes you release endorphins, feel-good chemicals in the body. They improve your overall mood, let go of stress, and make you feel good about yourself. Plus, when you go home tired after exercising, you sleep better and fuller at night. Therefore, exercise is probably the only weapon that works against burnout. If your workplace already doesn’t have an on-site gym facility, submit a request for one. Make sure to highlight all the benefits of it.
6. Practice Self-awareness
Self-awareness allows you to understand yourself and your mental state consciously. That may include taking your emotions into account, recognizing your potential, and truly understanding what you’re feeling and why you’re feeling it. That may seem unnecessary, but it helps you respond to your needs better if you recognize them first. Self-awareness also allows you to manage stress cycles. Most people would never realize that they’re under the influence of stress. The mere realization can help you do something about it. For example, if you know you’re stressed, go for a walk, hit the gym, or call someone to talk about it.
7. Practice Yoga And Meditation
Yoga and medicine are two free-of-cost ways to deal with your stress and improve overall mental and physical health. It helps manage or lower stress levels and promotes feelings of relaxation. Yoga and meditation also help balance the circadian rhythm, so you wake up fresh and pumped up to work if you sleep better. If your sleep cycle is disturbed, your job life can become very annoying and difficult. Getting a full 8 hours of sleep is also something nurses struggle with a lot.
The Bottom Line
As rewarding as nursing is as a profession, it’s also packed with its own set of difficulties and challenges. For starters, maintaining your physical and mental health can be severely complex when you’re a nurse. However, you can employ simple tips to avoid illnesses and injuries during your professional hours. Never lift a patient or heavy equipment alone. Follow all kinds of safety precautions, and don’t let your workspace be occupied by clutter. Maintain a healthy diet, don’t skip meals. Exercise regularly and add yoga and meditation to your routine. Lastly, practice self-awareness to always keep your feelings and emotions in check.