Are You Taking Care of Yourself?
Oh, the irony! From the ER to the pediatric unit to the plastic surgery consultation, nurses everywhere know how to take care of their patients. But too often, nurses neglect to take care of their own health.
And it’s all too easy to ignore the indications, according to Kate Woeber, midwife specialty coordinator for Emory University’s Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing. “We’re used to focusing our attention on the health of other people instead of on our own,” she says. “Since nursing care is holistic, and especially when so many of our patients lack a strong community of support, this means that adequately addressing each person’s needs is going to take considerable time and energy.”
That tunnel vision has unfortunately resulted in nurses being natural candidates for poor health. According to a 2017 Ball State University study of 120 nurses in the Midwest, nurses tend to develop poor health habits in response to stress on the job. A whopping 92% of the nurses participating in the research reported moderate to high-stress levels. They also admitted to a slew of poor health habits, from binge drinking (22%) to…