Being a nurse or a nurse aide is not an easy job, especially when you have to do night shifts and have to work for long work hours. Things might become worse if your coworker calls off sick and you have to work back to back for 12 hours. This may disrupt your personal life as you hardly get to spend time with your family or have time to relax. Here are a few tips that you might find useful:
Exercise every day: Make exercising a part of your routine. Your work can be quite physically demanding and in order to keep up the much needed stamina you must exercise.
• Learn to relax: Your job may be one in which you can get stressed. However, make sure that you do not carry this ‘load’ on your head home or when you go to bed at night. You can learn a few simple breathing exercises and meditation that can help you to relax. Most of them have to be done for not more than five to ten minutes a day.
• Practice infection control: Do not at any time during work become lax in practicing infection control as you have to deal with body fluids, blood and sick patients throughout the day. Make sure that your coworkers and nurse aides do the same. In fact, it would be an added advantage when you have to take care of spills, dispose off waste etc. Check if there are adequate amenities for the same.
• Have ample amount of sleep: If you are sleep deprived, you will not feel fresh the next day. In fact, you would not be able to concentrate on your work and you might end up feeling irritable. So make sure to get enough sleep.
• Plan your grocery shopping: When you go make your grocery list, make sure you include a healthy list of things to cook and eat. You can buy lots of fruits and veggies and can carry them for snack breaks. Check the label for the nutrition provided by a food product before you dash to buy it. This will ensure that you eat something healthy and nutritious during your duty hours.
• Quit smoking: We all know its disadvantages but still do it. Adopting a healthy lifestyle will benefit you in the long run.
• Have a healthy diet: Avoid eating foods that are have a high fat content. Have whole grains, plenty of fruits and vegetables and lean proteins. A healthy diet also goes a long way in boosting your immune system, especially if yo have to work with sick people. Try not to have one large meal. Instead eat several small meals throughout the day to keep yourself energized.
• Keep a healthy snack: This will help to reduce your visits to the vending machines where you get fast foods. Healthy snacks need not take a lot of time to cook. Carry some salad (without dressing) or fruits in case you feel hungry and feel the need to munch something.
You might have to start thinking about your health seriously before it is is too late. Take care of your body just as you take care of your patients. Check if you are at risk of a disease because of your genes and take preventive measures. Get yourself checked up regularly and never ignore any warning signs. Try to pursue a hobby so get to do things you enjoy; this can also act as a stress buster. Pay attention to your health today to have a healthy tomorrow.
– Aalia Jennison is a professional trainer who conducts sessions of physical fitness for corporates. She recently conducted a conference for nurse aides and found that most of them did not find time to keep themselves fit. Although many of them were willing to study further and do a professional course in nursing along with their profession, they did not give importance to their health. So I though I would give them a few tips to make them a little health conscious.