Nurses spend day in and day out caring for their patient’s mental and physical needs. They ensure that their treatment is as comfortable as possible. This can be an incredibly challenging job and can take a toll on a nurse’s health. Especially over the past two years, we’ve seen nurses go above and beyond for their patients. Covid-19 has been very tough for nurses to deal with mentally and physically, and they need to take steps to ensure their own health. Without doing so, not only can healthcare workers be impacted, but the entire system can suffer. Burnout can impair performance immensely and can impact patient care significantly. If you’re interested in learning how to protect your health and well-being as a nurse practitioner, keep reading below.
- Address any Concerns
Working as a nurse can be a gratifying job, but it’s also the one where you get to see the worst of the healthcare system. Nurses work with patients of all ages suffering from a host of illnesses. In many cases, nurses have to see all their hard work go down the drain and need to fight a losing battle. Many patients don’t make it, which can be incredibly hard on the nurses who work closely with each patient. The emotional stress can thus be immense, and it is natural to start feeling hopeless and demotivated.
If you’re feeling depressed and hopeless, talking to someone and addressing your concerns can be the best way forward. It can be hard to find someone who can relate to the unique conditions in the hospital. However, nurse leaders, in particular, can be exceptionally useful at speaking to everyone individually. Nurse leaders play an essential role in any health facility, and they make vital decisions that can shape the health facility for the better.
Moreover, nurses willing to take a leadership role can opt for terminal-level education to prepare them for this next step in their career. Therefore, by choosing DNP programs online, they can have specialized knowledge to get the leadership positions in their facility and promote mental well-being in the staff. This degree is simple to complete online, along with their regular duties.
- Get Proper Sleep
Working as a nurse is one of the most tiring professions. Nurses often work long, exhausting hours, with little breaks in between. Sometimes, nurses may be working day and night shifts and running on power naps between shifts. However, even when the nurses work in regular shifts, their job is not easy. It can be emotionally and physically challenging, and it can be hard to get a good night’s sleep afterward.
However, skipping at least 7-8 hours of sleep can immensely impact your performance and mental and physical well-being. If you’re exhausted, you will lack focus, precision and your decision-making skills will be grossly impaired. Sleep deprivation can thus impact your performance and the quality of care. Additionally, the sleep deprivation comes with a host of physical health drawbacks, such as diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and various gastrointestinal disorders.
- Hit the Gym
Regular exercise is an instrumental part of staying fit, healthy, and happy. If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed, getting some exercise can be the perfect way to blow off some steam and work on improving yourself. Exercise is easily one of the most effective ways to de-stress and trigger various hormonal and neurological responses. With time, exercise can help boost mood, release endorphins and improve sleep.
Furthermore, exercise can be extra beneficial for nurses. Nurses work long hours, where they have little time for resting. This can include being on your feet for hours, attending to one patient, and then the other. Nurses who work out and maintain physical fitness can fare much better than those who don’t. Exercise can increase your stamina, strength, and endurance and give you the energy to get through even the longest shifts.
- Eat Clean
Long, hard shifts often mean that most nursing staff ends up ordering out instead of eating clean. This is perfectly fine once in a while, but making it a habit can impact your health immensely. Regularly consuming sugary, carb-rich, high processed foods can bring a host of health-related and emotional drawbacks. However, the risk is two-fold for nurses. The stress on the job, coupled with the long hours, challenging environment, and emotional demands, can put them at high risk for developing a range of diseases.
It’s even more important for nurses to take care of their health and make sure they always eat clean and healthy food. If you find it hard to get budget-friendly healthy food delivered every day, you can switch to home-cooked meals. If you find it hard to make lunch daily, you can prepare fresh salads, rice bowls, and other healthy, nutritious, and clean meals. Maintaining a clean diet can bring huge changes to your life, and you can see better focus, improved mood, and increased stamina.
Every once in a while, you might need to take some time for yourself and look inwards. Meditation is an excellent technique to help you re-align your priorities, calm your nerves, and improve focus. Joining a mediation class can be a perfect way to improve your mind-body connection and improve mood. Meditation can be beneficial if you feel like you are exhausted and you cannot focus on work.
Looking inwards can allow you to identify what’s causing you dissatisfaction and help you improve it. In the long run, regular meditation is instrumental in enhancing your performance at work, boosting wellness, and aiding focus. Additionally, meditative forms such as Tai Chi are good for your body and mind and thus give a two-fold reward.
There’s no doubt that nurse practitioners have their work cut out for them. However, these tips can help nurses maintain their physical and mental well-being, even as they work in the most challenging conditions. Recognizing when you’re facing work-related issues and stress is the first step on the road to recovery, and following these tips can help you ensure you always perform your best.