Considering many nurses spend 40 hours per week (or more!) neck deep in healthcare, you’d think that, as a group, we’d be more careful with our own health. Sadly, we know that’s not often the case. For example, studies report that over half of nurses are overweight or obese. Though ironic, it’s not surprising that nurses should be in poor health. It is, however, a problem that can be fixed! Here are 5 reasons to make your health a top priority.
1. Travel nursing puts unusual stress on your body
I know full-time staff nurses who have had the same job and the same schedule in the same town for decades. Even if that doesn’t sound appealing to you, that type of stability allows you to build regular, healthy routines. Travel nurses get none of that. Sure, we trade it for variety, excitement, and the chance to meet new people in novel places, but an irregular routine does take its toll on our bodies. If you plan on keeping up the travel lifestyle, you’re in good company – but you’ll need to be willing to develop some good habits.
2. A healthy lifestyle makes you a better nurse
One of our primary roles is that of educator. Every day, we teach our patients how to take better care of themselves. These lessons tend to fall flat when our own actions don’t line up with our words. Educating your COPD patient about healthier living sounds a bit off when they can smell cigarette smoke on your scrubs. Did you just spend 15 minutes teaching a new diabetic about glycemic index? Maybe don’t let him see you chugging a Monster™ outside his room (yes, I might be guilty of that one). In contrast, healthy living gives you the energy, enthusiasm, and freedom to be a good example to your patients.
3. Making a good impression on your coworkers
Sadly, travel nurses fight an uphill battle against negative stereotypes passed on by their coworkers. Many full-time staff imagine us to be undertrained (please!) and overpaid (not even a little bit). No matter how unfair these attitudes may be, it’s even harder to defeat them when your performance or attendance suffers because of poor health.
4. Enjoying your assignment
What’s the point of traveling the country if you’re too worn out to experience your new homes? Travel nursing is an amazing opportunity, not one to be wasted. If you take care of yourself, however, you’ll be able to make the most of every second.
5. A healthier you is a happier you!
Do you really need any other reason? As stressful as our jobs can be, nurses are unusually well-equipped to make healthy decisions. Make the big one right now: decide to put your health first.
Are you ready to find out how to turn your health around? Check out these tips for staying healthy in a hospital or try these techniques for stress management. If you need guidance on any aspect of your travel nursing career, feel free to contact us. We’re eager to help you get on the right path.