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Being a nurse is not an easy job. You will have to deal with patients with different characteristics and illnesses. Moreover, the risk of acquiring an illness from your workplace is always possible, not to mention the stress due to working with rotating shifts while under pressure.
Some nurses also encounter a toxic workplace, which adds to the challenges they face every day. All of these factors combined are a perfect recipe for illnesses. It’s the reason why many nurses have experienced a lot of health conditions during their careers.
Below are some of the most common health issues nurses face.
Corns, Calluses, and other Foot Pain
As a nurse, you cannot afford to neglect your feet. Foot pain can turn a 12-hour shift into a torturous ordeal, so give your hard-working feet the support and daily care they deserve. Preventive care is a must: clean feet with properly trimmed nails – protected by compression socks and good shoes – and regular checkups with a good podiatrist can help you sidestep one of the commonest nursing woes.
Migraine is a common ailment that nurses often experience. If you constantly have a severe headache with throbbing pain and a pulsing sensation felt on only one side of your head, it might mean that you’re having a migraine.
Managing a migraine at work can be difficult, which is why you should always bring effective migraine medications to help you lessen or get rid of the pain you are experiencing. You should also limit your caffeine intake or avoid it entirely if you can.
Additionally, do not forget to hydrate, as water is your best ally when it comes to migraine. And because you cannot rest during your shift, you must ensure that you eat enough and take a rest after your working hours.
Another common condition that nurses go through is mental stress. Numerous factors will trigger mental stress at work, such as the shift schedule you are assigned to. Unfortunately, all nurses will experience being assigned on a night shift. This affects the body’s circadian rhythm, which can get disrupted on schedules such as these.
Additionally, a lack of preparation in managing the patient’s emotional needs in the workplace can also cause mental stress to nurses. It would be best to acquire social support as the lack of support from families, friends, and even your workmates can lead to stress.
Apart from stress, there is another mental condition nurses experience. Since you’re going to be exposed to various contagious diseases, you’ll become anxious all the time, especially with the pandemic around.
If you frequently experience anxiety attacks, don’t hesitate to seek medical help. It’s natural to experience this condition if you’re a healthcare worker, so there is nothing to be ashamed about.
Aside from receiving treatment, one way to combat anxiety is adequate rest. Hence, you must ensure that you get enough sleep. Moreover, don’t forget to relax no matter how demanding your work gets. And as much as possible, avoid eating unhealthy food. If you’re taking medication to manage your anxiety, don’t forget to take it on time.
Lastly, make sure to schedule a regular visit to your physician to know whether you are improving or not. Dealing with anxiety is not easy, even if you’re a nurse. If you want to conquer this condition, you must acknowledge that you have it and start looking for a way to manage it.
Do you still feel exhausted despite adequate sleep? And are you constantly feeling sleepy even after you wake up? If so, you might be experiencing fatigue.
Fatigue can affect anyone, especially nurses. As a nurse, you’ll have a hectic work schedule, and you will more likely push yourself to the limit.
And if you just freshly graduated from nursing school, you might feel pressured to do more, work for extra hours, and skip breaks. Additionally, you might find yourself working hard to please your employer and your colleagues. As a result, you will feel tired, and if this continues, it can result in dizziness and collapse.
Some nurses who feel tired resort to drinking more coffee, but it doesn’t help. The only thing that will help you is taking a break, getting enough rest, and developing good sleep hygiene. If you can, take a vacation for a few days and use this time to recover all your energy. This way, you can start being productive once again.
Back pain can be manageable, but it can be very uncomfortable. For nurses, this condition can result from a back injury due to improperly lifting patients. Hence, to manage back pain, it’s best that you set a schedule with a physiotherapist. Doing this helps you to prevent it from getting worse.
Minor back problems can be tolerable and can go unnoticed, but without proper medication and therapy, it can result in more severe damages that are irreversible. So remember that you are only a human with limitations. You cannot do everything on your own, so seek assistance from your coworkers if needed, especially when moving patients.
Always Take Care of Yourself
Nurses have the privilege to help people, and most choose this career for this exact reason. Hence, it would be best to take care of yourself first to ensure that you can properly take care of your patients. With proper self-care, you’ll be able to achieve your tasks as a nurse without experiencing any health issues that come with the job.