One of the most common misconceptions today is that nurses are “doctors’ assistants.” Yet, you are far more valuable than that. With all the pressure that comes with a nursing career. While still having to complete eight hours of work per day. It highlights your responsibilities and places you as a vital part of the healthcare industry. It also refutes the argument that you are in a lower position.
With this in mind, a study from the American Nurses Foundation stated that over 34% of nurses identified themselves as unstable. While 42% of the population responded “yes” when asked if they had experienced extreme stress or trauma. Especially amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. There are times when nurses themselves need the most care.
This article aims to provide a guide that focuses on self-care for nurses.
How significant it is, and what you can do to incorporate it into your daily lifestyle. Even during the most challenging nursing assignments.
What is Self-Care in Nursing?
According to the World Health Organization, self-care is promoting and maintaining one’s health through capabilities and knowledge. It includes physical, social, mental, spiritual, and emotional health.
Self-care in nursing emphasizes stress management and developing nurses’ ability to improve service and quality of care for patients. Simply put, healthy nurses first take care of themselves before taking care of their patients.
Why is Self-Care Important for Nurses?
During the pandemic, nurses played an instrumental role. The group led the social response to COVID-19. In a study presented by Nursing Standard, 80% of nurses reported suffering from mental health effects -specifically anxiety and depression. 60% stated that their physical health also faced negative consequences.
Because these alarming statistics continue to affect nurses across the globe, the following points can act as your reasons for practicing and promoting self-care.
1. Self-care reduces and manages stress.
Taking care of yourself will allow you to reduce and manage your stress. It will decrease your risk of mental illnesses, as stress is an active contributor to poor mental health. With self-care, you can develop stress management skills. If you do this, you can avoid burnout or, in the worst-case scenario, mental illness.
2. Self-care serves as a reminder of empathy and compassion.
You are still human, and being human entails your need for physiological care to cope with the stress caused by the heavy workload at the workplace. When global nurses are happy and stress-free, it will fuel their passion and increase their investment in their healthcare duties. And when you give that care to yourself, you can be sure that you have much more to give to others.
3. Self-care promotes a higher quality of care.
At times, being a nurse can feel physically and mentally exhausting. There may be circumstances when you tend to neglect your needs to focus on patients’ status. It can inevitably lead to burnout.
If you are knowledgeable about self-care practices, you may be able to avoid burnout. As a result, you will be motivated to improve your job performance.
How to Practice Self-Care While Being a Traveling Nurse
Similar to how you care for your patients, it is an absolute must for you to take care of yourself, too! Especially for aspiring or current global nurses who are required to travel and carry out healthcare processes in areas that highly need healthcare assistance.
The list below shows a detailed overview of ways to practice self-care while traveling as a nurse.
1. Be physically healthy.
The first step towards self-care involves physical activities. Being physically healthy contributes to the overall well-being of a person. It is especially true for nurses like you, as you are subject to heavy workloads and long shifts that will tire and drain you out.
Physical activities have several benefits for both the mind and body. These include:
- Improving mood and cognitive thinking
- Weight management
- Developing cardiorespiratory endurance
- Managing the risks of chronic health conditions
- Increasing life span
You should engage in physical activities like walking or running. It is not for your health. It ensures that your body gets enough exercise for physical endurance duties.
It would be best if you also started eating nutritious meals and getting at least eight hours of sleep for the best performance at work.
2. Find avenues to de-stress while prioritizing personal happiness.
Implementing self-care in nursing can also involve pursuing hobbies that you might enjoy, from picking up your old guitar to acquiring new skills. You should find a way to enjoy your personal life in the most convenient way possible. It does not need to be extravagant. All you need to do is find happiness in the smallest things.
As a travel nurse experiencing the effects of the pandemic, adapting to a changing environment with every assignment can take a toll on your mental health. Thus, engaging in activities that entertain you and help you relax can fuel your passion.
3. Connect with people.
Social interaction plays a very significant role in everyone’s lives. You can practice self-care by interacting with your loved ones as a nurse. Surround yourself with people that provide adequate mental and emotional support.
Talking with supportive and optimistic people is also essential, as it will give you a brighter perspective on your lifestyle and career. A reliable support network can serve as your foundation. It is a source of motivation even when you face difficulties in the field.
Travel nurses must choose an agency that prioritizes the welfare of their candidates. Check whether your agency understands your needs and if they can help you reach your career goals by offering guidance and support.
You Can Give the Best Care When You Take Care of Yourself
As the saying goes, you cannot pour from an empty cup. Before you can carry out your responsibilities in the healthcare sector. It would help if you first took care of yourself.
Self-care for nurses is mandated by the American Nurses Association’s Code of Ethics. The fifth clause of the provision states the importance of self-care as part of nurses’ duty. They must take enough time to take care of themselves. Failing to do so may lead to inequitable responsibilities that may affect society and the healthcare sector.
When you have the ability and passion for caring for yourself, you can prove that you deserve the opportunity to care for others. The best quality of a global nurse is being capable of the highest quality of patient care. And this is only possible by being able to prioritize self-care.
At PRS Global, We Care for Nurses
In the healthcare sector, nurses are kind souls anyone can reach out to, especially in times of great need. But as a nurse, where will you turn when you need help?
If you are looking for an organization that cares for you and sheds light on the bright side of your career, PRS Global is your direct staffing partner!
Our priority at PRS Global is to be a symbol of hope, help, and healing. We can connect you with the most reputable American healthcare providers. We bring your career goals one step closer. Our mission is to nurture your skills and find the most suitable institution for your next home away from home.
Join us today and find the best global healthcare staffing agency that matches your potential!