Nurses Must Help Care For Their Patients Essay

Nurses Must Help Care For Their Patients Essay

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Each nurse has a different story of how they entered the profession, but a common thread that binds all nurses is the intrinsic desire to care for people when they are at their most vulnerable. It is not surprising that nurses routinely make personal sacrifices in order to care for their patients. Many will argue that a servant’s heart is an occupational requirement of those in the nursing profession. However, the noble sacrifices that nurses make in providing care for their patients may result in poor patient care long-term. When nurses put self-care low on their priority list, they are mentally and physically compromised. If a nurse habitually neglects his/her own health, always putting patient needs above his/her own needs, an eventual decline in physiologic and psychologic function will result. This decline in function has a domino effect, negatively impacting the nurse’s personal life as well as the quality of care he/she is able to provide to patients. The saying, “you can’t pour from an empty cup, take care of yourself first” briefly summarizes the importance of self-care.
A lack of self-care and health promotion behaviors among nurses is not just a personal problem; the effects extend beyond him/herself, and directly impact the quality of their patient care. Preliminary findings from the American Nurses Association’s Health Risk Appraisal, (2014) have revealed that 82% of nurses believe “they are at a significant level of risk for workplace stress,” and roughly 60% “reported working through their breaks and coming in early and/or staying late to accomplish their work” (American Nurses Association). Nurses and patients both suffer when nurses do not actively participate in behaviors shown to ...

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... method to determine if the self-reported health behaviors of nurses were worse, better, or equal to the health behaviors of the general population. Perry, L., Gallagher, R., & Duffield, C. (2015) revealed risky alcohol intake, inadequate fruit and vegetable intake, and current smoking are three areas that nurses ranked significantly higher than the general population in terms of risk behavior. In addition, only a few nurses did not report any symptoms of chronic illness with “more than 40% reporting at least one chronic disease” (CITE). However, when asked to rate their health status, the majority of nurses considered themselves to be in good to very good health (CITE). Perry, L., Gallagher, R., & Duffield, C. (2015) conclude that patient health is largely dependent on the quality of the nurse’s own health, making health promotion for nurses even more important.

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