Hospitals are institutions that cater to the ailing individuals of society. They are places where people go to in order for them to rest and recuperate. These Medical Centers are equipped with complex machines, state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment, medicines, clinics, a laboratory, and a lot more in order to properly cater to sick individuals. Many hospitals employ different personnel with degrees in the medical field that allows them to render services to the public properly.
Nurses are people who render services to the general public by way of providing care to clients. Many nurses are employed in different hospitals to ensure continuity of client care. Hospital Nurses are particularly exposed, during their duty days, to various different diseases of various people admitted to hospitals. As the saying goes, the nurse already has one foot placed on the grave, if you know what that means. Knowing these conditions, nurses must know the ways to protect their health. They must know different methods to try and preserve their health amidst the diseased environment. Here are some ways to protect your health and safeguard your well being:
1. Know the diagnosis of your clients
Nursing care is assigned based on the severity of the cases and the patient census. Once you are assigned with clients, review their charts quickly but accurately in order to know your clients’ diagnoses. Having a knowledge of these diagnoses will give you an idea on the type of precautions you are to take.
Never go to duty with an empty stomach. Food is vital for survival as it fuels energy for the body and strengthens the immune system. No matter what happens, eat before going on duty. While on duty, eat and do not skip lunch or dinner. Always keep in mind that you are to render care for clients and to be able to do this, you must have high amounts of energy reserves. Also, you need to protect yourself with a functioning immune system to ward of diseases. This will never be attained if you are lacking food.
3. Take Vitamins
Vitamins and Minerals are supplements that aim to boost our health and well being. Vitamin C, in particular, is an antioxidant that boosts the power and efficiency of the immune system. The body needs to be equipped with a generous supply of vitamins and minerals to be able to sustain proper functioning of the entire body system. Do not miss out on these.
4. Always wear personal protective equipment
Personal Protective Equipment are available in order to protect the nurse from potential harm that may cause a health aberration on his part. Always know the PPE that you are to use when you are to be in contact with clients. When in contact with clients with Pulmonary Tuberculosis especially, always wear N95 particulate masks as they are the only ones that protect against it. Regular face masks are there, but you will need to discern if they will provide you with the protection you need.
5. Do not recap syringes
Once a syringe is used, do not recap it. A single needle prick is all it takes to infect you with Hepatitis B, or C, or any other blood-borne pathogen. Be vigilant and never attempt to risk your health, ever.
6. Be Vaccinated
Vaccination causes antibody formation that equips our systems to form an effective defense against pathogens. Nurses work with different people afflicted by pathogens and it is very important that nurses are properly immunized to provide them with protection from these. Vaccination is not only for infants and children. A work-up of Vaccination is available for adults and various vaccines are ready for administration. Know which vaccines you need and get vaccinated.
If a nurse works on a 12 hour shift, he must make sure that he will sleep with a minimum of 7 hours prior to duty. He must devise a sleeping schedule that will allow him to get as much sleep as possible. Lack of sleep poses threats for our clients as the nurse may not be attentive enough and may commit errors such as administration of medicine to wrong clients. Lack of sleep also significantly weakens the immune system and predisposes the nurse to acquisition of pathogenic diseases from clients.
We, nurses, are at an everyday risk while we are on duty and it is very important that we protect our health. We safeguard our client’s health and we render care to them in order to help them recuperate. In line with this, however, we must not forget our own health as well. We are to render care, but we also need to take care of ourselves. We are advocates for health promotion and disease prevention and we must, at all times, practice this advocate for ourselves as well. As they say in Emergency Triage: Safety first.