Health care students quickly forget, as they transition into the role of an RN, that varying work schedules, long hours, and split shifts start to create an unhealthy balance for the working nurse. Eating schedules are off and daily exercise is forgotten. Mental health is at risk for being compromised from an increased level of stress, anxiety and concern about patients’ conditions, which does not include the extra mental clutter from their personal lives. Quickly, the RN loses focus on a healthy balance coupled with the everyday workload. Have you ever heard of people talking about nurses falling apart? This is a prime example of how a nurse starts to unravel. At some point in a nurse’s career, the disintegration of one or more of the three main life style components, diet, exercise, or mental impacts his or her health.
The American Nurses Association (ANA) defines a healthy nurse as one who “actively focuses on creating and maintaining a balance and synergy of physical, intellectual, emotional, spiritual, personal and professional wellbeing. A healthy nurse lives life to the fullest capacity, across the wellness/illness continuum, as they become stronger role models, advocates, and educators, personally, for their families, their communities and work environments, and ultimately for their patients” (S. Letvak). The way you currently perceive a nurse and their lifestyle may soon change your perspective after looking into how they actually work, live, and maintain their resolve throughout their career.
Maintaining a healthy and balanced diet can present a particular challenge for a registered nurse. Nurses often work long, hectic, and varied shifts, during which they frequently either will not hav...
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...onally, the demands of life and work often leave RN 's without the time to provide and receive positive emotional support from their friends and significant others. This can both add to, and prevent the relief of mental fatigue and emotional stress many nurses experience and often endure. Shift work can have a negative impact on the employee and could lead to increased drug use, job related stress, poor job performance, insomnia, and disrupted social and family life. (L.P. Phiri, C.E Draper, E.V. Lambert, T.L. Kolbe-Alexander)
Inconsistent work schedules, insufficient sleep cycles, scarcely finding the time or energy to exercise, and an inadequate diet are contributing factors to the declining health of your daily lifestyle of an RN.
The physical and emotional demands of the profession are great and without proactive measures health will suffer. (Letvak, 2013)
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