There is no science involved in understanding that if nurses are not healthy and fit, they cannot care for the patients. However, there are so many stressors in nurses’ jobs that can distract them from caring for their health and well-being, and this important issue gets pushed aside.
The workload in healthcare is increasing, and patient care demands are transforming. Against this backdrop, the impending nurse shortage makes the current nurses an even more important asset. It is high time that nurses cut this vicious cycle of ignoring their health and wellness. Otherwise, more nurses will leave this profession due to issues like burnout.
In the recent survey, approximately 32% of nurses already showed the intent to leave the profession at the end of 2022 due to burnout—overworking, long shifts, fatigue, and low self-esteem.
According to another study, about 90% of participating nurses reported thinking of quitting the profession. Should these stats ring a bell of alarm? They sure should.
Healthcare cannot afford to lose its frontline brigade, present in every combat. The best way is to ensure health and wellness in nurses and make them happier about their work.
Here are some essential tips for nurses to maintain their health and wellness.
1. Enhance skills and qualification
Nurses with higher skills and education are better prepared to care for their patients. Better education upskill their capabilities, and they can more frequently rely on evidence-based practices for patient care.
Higher skills and better education have psychological benefits too. Highly educated nurses, such as those with BSN and MSN degrees, have positive self-perception.
Those who are not sure about MSN meaning should know that it is one of the graduate-level advanced degrees that prepare the nurses for advanced roles in healthcare. In contrast, BSN is undergraduate-level nursing education.
Nurses with a better self-perception are confident about their skills and capabilities. Their work reflects this confidence, characterized by fewer medical errors and more attention to detail. Moreover, they can escape their mundane routine by continuing to learn more skills resulting in mental freshness leading to wellness and a positive health outlook.
2. Ensure a healthy diet intake
Eating a healthy diet is a cardinal rule for ensuring health and wellness. It is very convenient for nurses to ignore their food due to excessive workload. Therefore, their subsistence often comprises munching sugary snacks, binging on fast food, or ignoring their food altogether. All these habits are detrimental to their health. It can cause nutritional deficiency and attract many uncalled for diseases.
Maintaining healthy means adding ample veggies and fruits to your diet and staying away from fast food. The latter tends to entangle you in the vicious cycle of stress eating due to the release of an adrenal hormone called cortisol. This is also called the adrenal rush, which causes you to eat more fatty and salty food.
Instead of wolfing down pizza and burgers, make your homemade lunch, including veggies, fruits, and healthy snacks. Also, avoid sugary bars, cakes, and pastries. Sugar makes you overweight, making you less productive at your work.
3. Take ample sleep
Nurses don’t always have the luxury of getting full-time sleep. They are often made to do overtime and fill for others, so sleep is the first thing that gets neglected. But, this situation does not help nurses perform their job more efficiently.
Sleep is directly linked with keeping you alert, improving your cognition and decision, and making you more productive. Therefore, don’t compromise your sleep for anything.
A sleep-deprived mind and body tend to make more mistakes, commit avoidable costly errors, and become lazy and disinterested all day. If you work during the daytime, take a full night’s sleep. However, if you have night shifts, a nap during the day can work too.
4. Don’t ignore your mental health
Mental health is becoming the most cited reason for many nurses leaving this profession or seeking a job in other healthcare domains. It is probably because nurses witness more trauma and pain than an average human. They feel stressed out, tired, and depressed. Ignoring their mental health should be the last thing that they should do.
As a nurse, you should take scheduled breaks between your work and include stress-relieving exercises in your regime, including but not limited to yoga, meditation, and other breathing exercises. So, ensure to take some time out to replenish your mental strength.
Nurses are essential for keeping people healthy and safe and providing them on-time and effective care. Therefore, they must take all the measures to protect their mental and physical health if they want to excel in their job and continue to be part of the altruistic nursing profession.
To escape their mundane routine, increase their wellness, and maintain health, they can upgrade their skills. In addition, they should opt for a healthy diet and ample amount of sleep to ensure they are fit both mentally and physically.
Hope you enjoyed the article.