Nursing is one of the most important jobs in the world and comes with many rewards. However, it can also be one of the most stressful and hazardous occupations. Nurses must show the utmost professionalism, precaution, and attention to detail in any medical situation. While nurses always consider the health and safety of their patients, they also need to consider their own.
If you’re a nurse, it’s essential to prioritize your health and safety in the workplace. You can do this by wearing prescription safety goggles, drinking plenty of water, and taking time to destress throughout the hectic day. While there are many ways to maximize your work day, we have compiled a list of six essential tips to stay safe and healthy.
Continue reading to learn more about how each tip can help you work to the best of your ability.
1. Follow All Safety Precautions and Procedures
Hospitals and clinics have rigorous safety procedures, and all employees and patients must follow them carefully. There’s a reason the rules and protocols are in place, so to avoid accidents, read your workplace guidelines thoroughly.
As you care significantly for the patients, following the steps for their visit as precisely as possible will ensure both your safety and theirs. If you aren’t sure about any of the procedures, ask another nurse or your supervisor!
2. Wash Your Hands Often
It may seem obvious, but washing your hands throughout your shift is vital. Even if you’re wearing gloves during each patient visit, washing your hands often and thoroughly will help prevent you from getting sick from bacteria and germs.
While it’s a simple tip to ensure your safety and health, you may feel rushed when you’re on the go and seeing patients back to back all day. However, don’t rush through hand washing, as it can significantly reduce your risks of getting sick. You can also use alcohol-based hand sanitizer throughout your day.
3. Wear Protective Gear
Another excellent tip for ICU nurses is to wear quality protective gear. Personal protective equipment, such as gloves, basic and prescription safety goggles, and face masks, can significantly protect against potential hazards.
As you’re often in high-risk situations with infectious patients, shielding yourself as much as possible is essential. The quality gear will minimize the possibility of infection and illness and help you feel safer during your tasks. Remember to read the instructions and wear everything as intended for the most effective use!
4. Stay Hydrated
As you’re busy working all day or night, it can be easy to forget to drink plenty of water. When our bodies don’t get enough fluids, we can suffer from dehydration, a poor mood, and increased fatigue. With so many benefits of drinking water, bringing a large water bottle around throughout your shift is a great idea. Get a personalized bottle to add flair to your daily look!
Staying hydrated will also keep your mind clear to perform your job to the best of your ability and help your body recover more quickly after a long and tiring workday. Stay hydrated to ensure you can enjoy your days both on and off the job!
5. Take Breaks
Taking breaks is another meaningful way to stay healthy and safe while nursing. If you’re scheduled for a long shift or your workplace faces a labor shortage, it’s important to remember to take your deserved breaks, no matter the circumstances. Nursing is a very tasking job, and it’s easy to fatigue while talking with patients and being on your feet all day.
By taking breaks, you can recharge your batteries and give yourself time to relax your brain. When you return to the job, you will likely be more energetic with the increased mental and physical capability to do your best work.
6. When in Doubt, Ask!
As with any profession, if you aren’t sure about something, it’s always best to ask! Whether you ask a colleague or your supervisor, there’s no harm in double-checking to ensure you understand all of the safety precautions and protocols.
It’s better to feel sure than to make a mistake that puts you, your colleagues, or your patients at risk. By asking for clarification, you will feel more confident about your safety and wellness and can work more efficiently and effectively.
Ready to Prioritize Your Health and Safety?
With six everyday tips to stay safe and healthy while working, you should be more than ready for a successful nursing shift. Be sure to remain cautious, ask questions, and do everything according to the established protocols. By prioritizing your health and safety, you can ensure the best patient experience and continue your important work for the community!