Walk your talk: Become a Healthy Nurse
Nurse Rizzi stares at her reflection in the mirror, is it just her or she really lost some weight over the past few weeks? She has been so stressed lately. She was always assigned on night duty and most of them are toxic ones. She seldom finds time to eat, and once she does, she losses appetite.
Not only that, her body clock is so messed up that she has so much trouble trying to go to sleep every time she goes off from work. She even misses her workout sessions at the gym. She walks slowly toward the door realizing how easily she gets tired nowadays.
“Aaahhh! I feel so stressed! My head hurts and I think a fever is coming, aaah! I need a break,” she says, frustrated of what she is feeling. She stares at her reflection one last time, climbs in bed, closes her eyes and wills herself to get some sleep. This time, she doesn’t feel like a nurse, instead, she feels like a patient, weak and sick lying on her bed.
Walk your talk
Nurses have been known to advocate in the promotion of health and prevention of illness for years. In wards, you would find one trying to educate a patient on the importance of living healthy such as quitting bad habits and eating a balanced meal. However, sometimes, because of our busy schedule, we forget to apply those that we are teaching our patients to ourselves. We have been too caught up with caring for others that we forget to care for our own selves. How can we help others when we, ourselves, can’t help our own? How would we convince our patients to live healthily when we, ourselves, look frail and weak?
It has been defined by the American Nurses Association (ANA) that a healthy nurse is someone who actively focuses on creating and maintaining a balance and synergy of physical, intellectual, emotional, social, spiritual, personal and professional well being. He/she lives his/her life to the fullest capacity, across the wellness/illness continuum, as they become stronger role models, advocates, and educators, personally, for their families, their communities and work environments, and ultimately for their patients.
A well balanced meal
Remember that time when we were teaching our patients to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables? It’s our turn to do that this time. Since we are working in an environment surrounded by germs and diseases, it is important for us nurses to build a strong immune system and be protected. With the right amount of veggies and of course fruits, our body will be given the nutrition it needs to function properly.
Yes, we already feel like “working out” on toxic duty shifts, but what do you say to getting things on a whole new level? Go on afternoon jogs, or even brisk walks. Hit the gym, do some cardio, lift weights. Build strength and endurance. Strengthen your bones and muscles. Train your body hard so you won’t have to feel tired at all times when going on duty.
Yes, for us nurses, sleep is a luxury. Take as much sleep as you can get. After a toxic day at the hospital, your body needs to recover and re-energize for the next day, and this can be done by surrendering into the sweet arms of slumber.
Prevention through immunizations and vaccinations
In the battlefield called the clinical area where our enemies are usually viruses and bacteria, we should come in protected. Let a complete set of immunizations and vaccinations be our protective armor against diseases awaiting to invade us.
No to bad habits
Stop smoking and as much as possible, avoid drinking alcohol. Not only are they factors that may predispose a condition someday (which you really would regret), they also make you weak and affect your overall health. Instead of drinking your life away, find something more productive to do to pass time and/or to release stress.
As nurses, we must be models of what we teach. For our patients to trust us, we must give them something to believe in and that is by walking our talk. By doing so, we are not only helping ourselves, but others as well.