Why You Should Stay Healthy As A Nurse

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Whether you’re a student nurse or a seasoned nurse with decades of experience, your own health is extremely important. 

In fact, nurses have many risk factors for various conditions, such as diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease. However, these risks can be minimized by staying active and eating healthy foods. 

The benefits of a healthy lifestyle do not just include health preservation; they also include greater job performance and fewer chances of getting injured at work or falling ill in between shifts. 

What Is The Role Of Nutrition In Nursing?

Nurses, like other healthcare providers, are responsible for giving a good standard of care to their patients. In order to do this, they must be in good health and follow a healthy lifestyle. 

This is particularly important for nurses since the nursing career is stressful; nurses have to deal with the various challenges that come with patient care, and to do so, they must be in peak physical and mental condition. 

Understanding Nutrition Basics as a Student Nurse

You must familiarize yourself with the basics of nutrition as a student nurse – it is how you will be able to take proper care of yourself and your patients. 

Aside from learning the basics, it is also highly important that you continue studying the subject of nutrition and exercise in depth. Doing so is beneficial even after you graduate since nutrition, exercise, and lifestyle research are always revealing new developments and techniques. You have to stay on top of this topic as a professional nurse – both in terms of taking care of yourself as well as your patients.

Tips to Keep Yourself Healthy As A Nurse

Nurses generally spend a lot of time looking after other people, and this can mean that they neglect their own health. It’s up to individual nurses themselves, as well as nurses in positions of leadership, to make sure adequate focus is given to the health of caregivers.

With this in mind, here are a few tips that can help you improve your health as an on-shift nurse:

Eat Properly On Shift

Nurses have many responsibilities in their job, so they do often not have time to prepare and eat proper meals. Fortunately, there are several nutritious convenience foods that can be bought from stores and supermarkets instead of unhealthy processed ones. These foods can be stored for future use, so you can eat them even without proper refrigeration. 

For example, packaged pasta is easy to carry around in containers, most of which can hold any leftover food or liquids like soups as well. These are perfect for nurses on shift because they are nutritious, quick to heat up, and can be easily prepared at work.

Pay Attention To Your Footwear

Wear comfortable shoes for your shifts. This is important because you’ll need to walk around a lot to look after your patients, so you’ll want comfortable shoes that will not cause corns or blisters on your feet. 

Other good shoes to look for are slip-resistant nurse shoes. These help keep you from slipping and falling, especially on wet floors in a hospital. They may cost more than ordinary shoes, but they are worth the price since they provide maximum comfort and safety for a highly stressful, fast-paced job as a nurse.

Exercise Regularly

Exercising is one of the best ways to keep you in good health. It also helps you control your weight and serves as a way of relieving stress. One simple way to exercise is jogging or taking a walk after your shift or on your lunch break. You can also use the hospital grills if they are available, though not all medical settings have these facilities.

Schedule Some Downtime

As a student nurse, you must plan for downtime. The best way to do this is by planning vacation days, especially for those on extended shifts. It would help if you also planned special events, like birthdays and Thanksgiving holidays, with your family to help relieve stress.

Scheduling time off is a way of ensuring that you don’t suffer from burnout, which is an issue that many overworked nurses face.

Meet With A Therapist Regularly

Unfortunately, many nurses today suffer from depression, stress, and anxiety. These are becoming exceedingly common; therefore, you must seek the help of a therapist if you are feeling stressed out or depressed. Most states will provide low-cost or free therapy services to public sector workers, so it’s worth exploring this route if you cannot afford therapy or your insurance does not cover it. 

It is also recommended that you seek help if you are struggling as a student nurse. The nurses of the future are more stressed than those of the past, so it is more important now than ever before to take care of your physical and mental well-being.

Take Time Off When You Need It

Nurses today are generally at a higher risk of chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes, as well as psychiatric conditions like as depression and anxiety disorders.

However, taking a vacation will help you recharge your system and will also be beneficial in helping you maintain a healthy lifestyle. Try to take as much off-time as you need, and bear in mind that it’s wise to plan this before getting started since it might be harder to pencil in time off once you are too busy working. 

Follow Up With Your Doctor Regularly

There are many things that the nurses of today do for their patients, but there are also things that nurses need to do to help themselves – and one of them is keeping their health in check with their own doctors.

It’s widely known that nurses and doctors usually make very bad patients themselves. Still, it’s crucial to ensure you regularly visit your own family medicine provider in order to stay healthy. After all, how can you help your patients if you yourself are sick or injured due to neglecting your health?

Get A Blood Test Done Regularly For Your Diet And Exercise Plan

Many hospitals offer free blood tests once every two years to their employees. These tests will help you forge and follow through with your diet and exercise plans so you don’t get into bad health habits. 

In addition to this, blood tests will also provide you with information on your iron levels, cholesterol, and various other vital signs that could cause you health troubles if left in a poor state and unchecked. 

You should ensure that this blood test is part of your routine because it is easy to ignore physical problems and not follow through with your healthcare provider’s advice – especially if those problems are invisible and don’t necessarily cause symptoms.

Embrace The Social Side Of Nursing

Nurses have a great deal of stress that they have to handle while working on shift every day, but it’s important that they don’t let it get on top of them because high stress over an extended period can lead to serious health complications.

This is why you should try your best to get out of the hospital and socialize with your colleagues and friends, allowing yourself a break and time for fun regularly. Plus, it’s important that you make friends with people that have similar interests as well, as this will help your social life flourish.

Take Regular Breaks During Shifts

Breaks during shifts will help you improve your health as well as the health of your patients. A lot of nurses today don’t take regular breaks because they believe it will hinder them from getting their work done, but this is not true. 

Taking breaks will help you keep up with the high demands of patient care and will also help you avoid burnout, which can be very dangerous. It’s crucial to remember the importance of a regular break, which most nursing stations are aware of and actively promote. 

If there are no stations to take a break, try and make time to go outside for a walk or sit down for a moment to relax your mind. Your health is important, and you need it to be the best nurse you can be.

Get Enough Sleep

Nurses are considered an irreplaceable part of healthcare, and that’s why they need to get enough sleep. If you don’t sleep enough, you’ll be too exhausted to work well during the day, and your patients will most likely notice this. 

Patients and their families will notice if you are tired and struggling to keep up and pay attention, which could be detrimental to their health as well as your own. Therefore, stay healthy and energized by getting at least eight hours of sleep every night. It’s vital for your health and safety as well as your patients’.

Conclusion

While you’re in school, you’ll learn that health is important for a nurse, yet it often gets neglected. It can be difficult to balance work and school on top of taking care of your own health, which is why so many nurses fail to take good care of themselves.

Nurses of the modern era work harder than ever before, and this has caused many to suffer from anxiety disorders, depression, extreme fatigue, and other illnesses. These can lead to further complications, such as burnout or worse. Sadly, burnout in nurses is a very real and common problem, and it can be very dangerous in the long run.

Many nurses also get so busy that they let their diet and exercise plans become non-existent, but it’s crucial they do their best to maintain them. Eating healthy, nutritious meals, taking proper lunch breaks, and getting in a little exercise every day goes a long way in ensuring nurses stay in top shape. Plus, taking breaks, vacations, and the time to pursue hobbies and a social life is just as important in maintaining mental health.

Overall, in order to be able to complete your schooling, fulfill the role of a nurse in a medical setting, and work with a healthy lifestyle, you ideally need to invest in a health center or plan for time away from school. But for now, approach the tips in this article to get started, and you could be well on your way to being the best nurse you can possibly be – and a healthy one at that.

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