Working as a nurse is an interesting yet demanding occupation. Therefore, it is important that you are intentional about maintaining sound health. However, staying healthy isn’t just about wearing gloves and masks to protect yourself from hospital germs. To stay healthy as a nurse implies being in wholesome health – in your body, your mind, and your emotions.
Here are some tips to help you stay healthy while working as a nurse:
Deal with stress as soon as it comes
It is important that you don’t let stress accumulate. Since you’d be encountering stressors every day, you should also have a working structure for countering stress. Ensure you have enough sleep to rejuvenate your brain, exercise to strengthen your muscles, take walks to clear your head, and participate in other activities like yoga and therapeutic massage.
Pay attention to your mental health
Working as a nurse can be draining both physically and emotionally. Almost every day, you are faced with the death of a patient for whom you may have had high hopes of survival, the relapse of a patient who had been discharged, or a hurting rebuke from a superior. Occurrences like this can take a toll on your mental health and can generally affect your productivity and behavior towards your profession and others.
To ensure you stay on top of your mental health, you should practice sharing those occurrences that get to you with people you trust such as family members, friends, or communities you belong to. It also helps to take breaks (not shifts) once in a while, practice mindfulness, write in a journal, and take enough rest.
Practice the same things you’d tell your patients
You already know the drill: “eat well,” “sleep more,” “remember to exercise,” and all similar advice. Those tips are not for your patients alone. They are for everyone who needs to stay healthy, and that list includes you, the nurse. Truthfully, it is possible to get so carried away with work that you forget to eat before crashing on your bed or having enough sleep after a night shift. The good thing is that you already know the risks associated with not paying attention to these things. So, you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do for the sake of your health!
Seek better positions as a nurse
Better working positions do not necessarily mean less work, but they do ensure you work in environments that are employee-friendly and fit your working goals. A good way to improve your working conditions as a nurse is to obtain higher degrees like a master’s degree in nursing or a Doctor of Nursing Profession (DNP) degree. A DNP degree can open many doors and prepare you for maximizing the future of the nursing profession. Thankfully, there are online DNP degree options, such as the one offered by Wilkes University, that grant you an accelerated learning experience from the comfort of your home.
As a nurse, a lot rides on you. At the same time, you are responsible for paying attention to your health. In fact, without sound health, you will not be so efficient at doing your job. So, cut yourself some slack and treat your body right!