Healthy Work Environment
The Theme for this month is Worksite Wellness. The ANA says this about a healthy work environment:
“A Healthy Work Environment is one that is safe, empowering, and satisfying. Parallel to the World Health Organization definition of health, it is not merely the absence of real and perceived threats to health, but a place of “physical, mental, and social well-being,” supporting optimal health and safety. A culture of safety is paramount, in which all leaders, managers, health care workers, and ancillary staff have a responsibility as part of the patient centered team to perform with a sense of professionalism, accountability, transparency, involvement, efficiency, and effectiveness. All must be mindful of the health and safety for both the patient and the health care worker in any setting providing health care, providing a sense of safety, respect, and empowerment to and for all persons.”
Nurses work in all types of environments, but regardless of where you are working, Worksite Wellness is imperative to the health and safety of all. According to the Code of Ethics for Nurses, Provision 6 – Contribution to Healthcare Environments states: The nurse participates in establishing, maintaining and improving healthcare environments and conditions of employment conducive to the provision of quality healthcare and consistent with the values of the profession through individual and collective action. It is our duty as nurses to promote Worksite Wellness.
Worksite Wellness contributes to a healthy mind, body, and spirit. The Occupational Safety and Health Association rules (https://www.osha.gov/) guide a safe work environment, however, OSHA rules are just the basics to maintaining Worksite Wellness. Here are a few simple ways to maintain Worksite Wellness:
- Take your breaks! Breaks are healthy as they allow you to rest yourself. Spend the time taking a mental break. Take the time to pray or meditate. Play a game on your phone or read a good book. Try your hardest to focus on YOU while you’re on your break.
- Eat a healthy meal and healthy snacks while you’re on your breaks. Keep healthy snacks available for yourself and to share with your coworkers.
- Drink water throughout the day! Staying hydrated helps to prevent “mental fog.”
- If you’re staying hydrated you will need to make sure you take your bathroom breaks as well.
- Be emotionally supportive to your coworkers and ask to be supported when you need help or encouragement.
- Remember to apply proper body mechanics when lifting or pulling patients or equipment. Remind your coworkers to do the same.
- If you’re on your feet throughout your shift, make sure you wear comfortable shoes and compression socks. Compression socks are a non-invasive way to promote circulation in the legs and prevent varicose veins. They come in many different styles and are very comfortable to wear.
- Advocate for yourself and your coworkers for a safe and healthy workplace, and participate in any healthy activities initiated by your workplace.
We wish you well on your Healthy Nurse journey and again, we look forward to connecting with all of you and building a stronger, healthier nursing community!
Jillian Bailey, RN, Tracey Jaworski-Lucas, BSN, RN and the Healthy Nurse Healthy New Jersey Team