Tips To Stay Healthy In Nursing School
The key components to staying healthy during your nursing education and going forward are to minimize stress, a proper nutritional daily intake, and an active social life. In addition to other issues that tie into these three include a drive to serve others, an individualized exercise plan, adequate sleep, and enhanced safety at school and clinicals.
ADOPT HEALTHY NUTRITIONAL HABITS
One subject that students learn a little about in nursing school is nutrition and how to eat well-balanced meals. Only a small amount of time is spent teaching nutrition, such as the primary food group, a necessity for the essential intake of vitamins and minerals, weight control, and more.
A properly balanced diet helps to boost immunity. Boosting immunity helps to ward off illnesses and improves overall wellness. Those who eat poorly may not know how to eat well-balanced and healthy meals every day. Eating high sugar and empty calorie foods every day becomes a bad habit.
Consistently eating a diet lacking in essential food choices shows up on the scales. An inadequate diet goes hand in hand with mood swings, irritability, dull hair, skin, and nails, increased stress, and a lack of overall healthy luster.
How can you focus on your education and make good grades when feeling drained from a poor diet? How can you teach a patient about healthy choices in life when you yourself don’t practice healthy living?
It may take a few extra minutes out of your busy day to set up balanced meals, but you will discover that eating healthy is well worth the effort.
For years, the food pyramid served as a guide for many people wanting to eat correctly. My Plate replaced the food pyramid in 2005. My Plate provides five food groups, proteins, whole grains, fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, and dairy. Refer to My Plate for in-depth information about eating the correct amounts.
My Plate is an easy and understandable guide to eating well-balanced meals and snacks.
Following healthy eating habits dramatically increases personal wellness and school performance.
LEARN HOW TO HANDLE NURSING STRESS DO NOT LET IT HANDLE YOU
Nurses are always under stress. That makes it even more critical for you as a student to learn early on how to deal with stress.
Unfortunately, many people under stress may have no appetite and consistently skip meals. Others under the same pressure may feel they cannot get enough food and grab unhealthy food options such as sugary snacks, soda, candy bars, coffee, prepared sandwiches, fast foods, and quick fix frozen meals.
With many different stress factors in your life during school, such as balancing your family life, job, and the constant pressure of making it to the next semester, it is easy to adopt these poor habits.
Once a student earns their nursing degree, passes state boards, and finally earns their nursing license, it might be possible to take a deep breath because all the school stress is behind them. However, stress is the middle name of every nurse. As a nurse enters the nursing profession, more stress comes with a nurse’s daily job duties.
The difference is how you handle the pressure. New nurses quickly find out how very complicated and involved the nursing profession has become. The new nurse discovers that stress never goes away. You have to learn how to prioritize the essential things in life, such as physical and personal wellness, professional well being, and intellectual health.
If you can balance your life, it will be easier to handle stress factors.
Eating balanced meals, healthy snacks, and taking time out for brief periods of exercise, does a lot to decrease stress.
Eating healthy works well and goes hand in hand with a sensible exercise plan. Try to incorporate exercise into your day wherever you can. Driving to a college campus means parking further away and walking briskly to class. Take the stairs when possible.
When studying at home, get up and march in place while going through learned material in your head.
Working online and sitting long periods is not good either. Take a break and go for a ten-minute walk outside, weather permitting. Exercise is an excellent stress reliever.
If you cannot commit to a daily 30-minute workout, then try 10 minutes. Whatever amount of time fits in your schedule is better than no exercise at all.
PRIORITIZE YOUR SLEEP SCHEDULE
Many nursing students seem not to be able to get adequate restful sleep for various reasons. Other demands seem to interfere with sufficient rest. Most nursing students – especially when an exam is approaching, say that they are fortunate to get four to five hours of sound sleep per night. Many nights it is less than five hours.
Lack of sleep diminishes even further the more you get closer to the finish line in nursing school. Each semester becomes more intense and time-consuming. This might sometimes require you to stay up longer to finish a project or study longer.
This is the time when it is most important to reserve time to sleep and rest. You might think the longer you stay up and cram study material into your head, the more you will know for your test.
But as crucial as it is to know the material in nursing school, it is as essential to be able to perform and make good grades when you have to—every test counts in nursing school. You have to be ready for it and approach your exams and projects with a clear mind to get the most of your hard work and make it count.
STAY SAFE AND DON’T RUSH
This one might seem obvious, but frankly, you feel rushed in nursing school all the time.
Whether you take care of job-related activities, school homework, or keeping the household together, there seem not enough hours in the day to get it all done.
Try to make it a habit to plan your day the night before. When doing that, you know what’s ahead, and that feeling instantly relieves stress. It might not be perfect because it doesn’t make all your tasks go away, but it indeed prepares you better for the day.
Stress and feeling overwhelmed starts in your head and is your perception. You can make it a bit better by at least feeling prepared as best you can.
Nursing students talk about nervous break downs rushing to clinical in heavy traffic and feeling nervous all of the time.
This is under no circumstances a way to live a healthy life- not even in nursing school.
If you find yourself stressed to the point where it impairs your daily life, you need to hit the breaks and come up with a plan to unwind. In this state of mind, you will not be able to make good grades or perform well during your clinical rotation. Take a day off and regroup.
Being stressed in clinicals can be dangerous as well. You don’t have your nursing license yet. However, you need to be focused on your tasks at hand because you deal with real human beings and their health.
Feeling stress will lower your immune system over time. Stay safe and keep up healthy practices such as washing your hands, hydrating, and sleep. Be reasonable and drive safely, even if you feel rushed.
Safety comes first.
BEWARE OF BURNOUT, WHILE HIGHLY DEVOTED AND DRIVEN TO SERVE
No one is arguing the point that entering nursing school at any age is not a challenge. You must have a fierce determination and be entirely devoted to earning a higher education in the thriving field of nursing.
You have to do all you can to stay healthy no matter what age when you decide to go to nursing school. Nurses are the most unhealthy humans because their goals of serving others come first, and they forget to take care of their personal health.
Nurses learn to serve, period. If nurses are not helping patients, they find that they continuously serve family and friends.
You might find yourself in that position a lot. Most nurses have the devotion and drive to help all people stamped into their very being. This drive makes no difference if you are in clinical, helping others or at home helping your loved ones. You continue to help and serve others non-stop.
Be aware and maintain a healthy distance mentally and emotionally from your patients and friends in general. Not to say to stay away from friends and family. But just because you are the “nurse” in the family doesn’t mean you are obligated to help everyone and have to be available at all times.
It is stressful to bear one’s problems and those of others. Many nursing students have a habit of not leaving their duties at the clinical site. Many bring situations and incidents home with them. They are not to talk about their patients; however, most tuck these things into their mind, and there it sits for you to dwell on when at home.
It is not to say that it is entirely avoidable, but try to separate nursing clinical from your private life. It’s a healthy habit that you should start early in your career.
STAY CONNECTED WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS
Family and friends can be therapeutic during times like these. Nursing school will be one of the hardest things you have ever done – academically. It is demanding and draining at times.
Spending quality time with friends and family can help get your mind off things and keep you motivated to stick with it.
Connecting with students in your class might be helpful. They go through the same hardships as you and can very much understand what you feel because they feel the same way.
Research shows that many nurses are overweight, live with increased stress, sleep poorly, have high blood pressure, and are pre-diabetic. These nurses have not discovered how to put themselves first to meet the demands of an exciting and demanding nursing career.
Don’t make the same mistakes. Start these healthy habits early in your nursing journey; it will be well worth it.
Content re-shared by RNlessons Website
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Going Back to School to be a RN
Want to change careers? See how becoming a registered nurse offers a relatively quick option for professionals to jumpstart a new, fulfilling career.
- In 2019, there were more than 3.8 million registered nurses working in the United States.
- Registered nurses work in various healthcare settings to offer competent and compassionate medical care.
- Registered nurses must hold an associate or bachelor’s degree in the field and meet state licensure requirements.
During the COVID-19 situation, no career has been as essential as the registered nurses that work in hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare settings. And while the stress of a worldwide health crisis has put immense pressure on RNs, many of these professionals continue to offer competent and compassionate care in what is a stable and growing career.
Throughout the following guide, we spotlight vital nursing career elements and why this healthcare career is often a solid option for people wanting to go back to school. Keep reading to review RN career prospects and to see how to become a registered nurse.
What Does a Registered Nurse Do?
The role of an RN varies depending on where they work and their specialty area. In general, RNs perform many of the same tasks, like administering medications, evaluating patients, and recording medical histories. They also perform diagnostic tests, monitor patients, and assist physicians with examinations and treatment plans. RNs may supervise licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and certified nursing assistants.
All RNs must follow a scope of practice as defined by their state’s nurse practice act. This scope of practice defines what RNs are legally allowed to do for patient care. Each state maintains its own set of laws governing the scope of practice.
How Do RNs Differ From Other Types of Nurses?
LPN vs. RN
While the differences between what RNs and LPNs — also known as licensed vocational nurses or LVNs — are allowed to do vary by state, their duties often overlap. RNs must meet more education and licensing requirements, and they have more responsibilities than LPNs. Many RNs supervise LPNs.
LPNs are primarily responsible for general patient care. They cannot make independent patient medical care decisions. They also do not typically work in a specialty area.
APRN vs. RN
Advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) have more education and patient responsibility than both RNs and LPNs. Unlike RNs, these health professionals must hold at least a master’s degree. They can provide primary care to patients, which often includes prescribing medications, assessing medical test results, and making diagnoses.
The main types of APRNs are nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, and nurse anesthetists.
[Read more of this article on BestColleges.com]
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Nurses Do Make A Difference
If you’ve ever had the misfortune of spending some time in the hospital, you may know first hand how important nurses can be. When you’re feeling anxious, scared and sick, the care and compassion of a good nurse can soothe and help you feel calm and collected. In short, nurses can help make devastating and stressful times somewhat easier for patients and their families, all while providing valuable assistance to doctors.
Here are five additional ways nurses can make a difference:
Nurses Teach the Community
Unlike nurses who work in a hospital setting and care for a handful of patients on a daily basis, public health nurses can care for entire communities. In this capacity, they are able to educate large groups of people about health issues while improving the community’s health and safety and increasing access to quality care.
Public health nurses have many important duties such as advocating with local, state and federal authorities to improve access to services for those who are generally under-served in the community. They are also responsible for monitoring health trends and identifying risks that are unique to the local population, as well as designing and implementing educational campaigns and prevention events like immunizations and screenings.
Nurses Improve Quality Care
In recent years, America’s hospitals have begun numerous initiatives aimed at improving the quality of patient care, and nurses play an integral and pivotal role in these efforts. Nurses are at the front lines of improving patient outcomes by decreasing the lengths-of-stay, hospital-acquired pneumonia, pressure ulcers, deep vein thrombosis and mortality rates.
Nurses Act as Patient Advocates
Besides sharing and acting on their vast amount of medical knowledge, nurses also act as their patient’s advocate. In fact, there are three core values that help construct the basis of nursing advocacy:
Preserving Human Dignity
Every human being has the right to be treated with respect, and it is nurses that help ensure their patients receive the respect they deserve. Nurses make sure patients’ concerns are being addressed and cultural and ethnic beliefs are being respected, and remain considerate of patient privacy issues.
Good nurses are a bit like saints in that they have the unique ability to provide the same level of professionalism and compassion for all patients, without allowing personal biases to influence their behavior or practice.
Freedom from Suffering
The desire to help other human beings is often the driving force for those who become nurses. By helping to prevent and manage suffering, whether that suffering is physical, mental or emotional, nurses can make the greatest difference in the lives of the patients they treat.
Nurses Provide Emotional Support
When patients are admitted into a hospital setting, they often need emotional support as they struggle with fears and anxieties. A nurse’s compassion, humor and willingness to listen can help provide patients with a level of comfort and security and may help make them feel they have more control over their challenging circumstances. This emotional support can be invaluable to a patient’s overall well-being.
Nurses Change Lives
Nurses can make an incredible difference in the quality of care given to patients all across the country. By educating communities, advocating for patients’ rights and offering emotional support in the most troubling of times, nurses don’t just help improve patient outcomes, they can literally help change lives.
Nurses Making A Difference and Touching Lives
Article shared from Daily Nurse The Pulse of Nursing
Nurses are givers, and most will agree that they didn’t join the profession for the high salaries, fancy clothes, sexy shoes, or awesome accessories. Instead, nurses are more likely to say they chose nursing because they wanted to help people. Some will tell stories of caring for a beloved family member and how that inspired them to a life of service as a healthcare professional. Touching lives is generally what it’s all about, and in doing so, nurses make an enormous difference in the world around them.
In patient care in the acute setting, nurses are the ones with whom patients interact the most. While attending physicians, hospitalists, or specialists will stop in to examine the patient, write orders, and talk with colleagues, their visits are short in the scheme of things. Yet, the reality is that nurses are the ones who carry those orders forward and act as the eyes and ears of the physicians. After all, assertive and thoughtful nurses push back when an order feels wrong, or they disagree with the medical plan of care. In this way, the nurse is the patient’s strongest ally and advocate.
It’s not simply in the hospital where nurses touch lives — after all, only approximately 55 percent of nurses work in acute care. Nurses touch lives in schools, summer camps, occupational health, research, home health, hospice, public health, dialysis, urgent care, ambulatory surgery, case management, etc.
The nine-year-old child with a trach and g-tube could not properly receive their education if a nurse couldn’t provide the expert skilled care needed to keep that child safe and healthy. The family caregivers of a patient dying of pancreatic cancer would not be able to have their loved one in the home without the attention of a hospice nurse. A post-op nurse is central to a safe post-surgical discharge in the day surgery suite. The public health nurse involved in the pandemic is an indispensable asset. And a Legionnaire’s outbreak on a cruise ship can be expertly handled by the onboard nurse trained to respond to such urgent situations while at sea.
Many nurses can tell numerous stories about caring for their family members and neighbors and being called on whenever a friend needs medical advice. Nurses are frequently asked to examine sick children in their neighborhood and give their opinion on the urgent veterinary needs of the pets belonging to family members, acquaintances, and friends. And since nurses are the largest segment of the healthcare workforce in the U.S., they can frequently be first on the scene when a car accident occurs, an older woman suffers a stroke in a local diner, or someone falls and hits their head and breaks their arm at the mall.
The lives touched by nurses are legion, and the benefits bestowed by nurses on society are innumerable. Changing the world around them comes naturally to nurses, and touching lives with care and expertise is crucial to nurses’ power.
Making a Difference
Nurses make a difference through their knowledge, training, and compassion, whether at a school, on a street corner, in the ICU or ED, or at a summer camp for children living with cancer.
Nurses have been called the lifeblood, the mitochondria, and the connective tissue of healthcare. Without nurses, the healthcare system would grind to a halt. Considering vocational/practical nurses, RNs, advanced practice nurses, and those with terminal degrees, the societal impact of nurses is incalculable. Yet, even without the annual Gallup poll telling us so, we know that the public trusts nurses, and for a good reason. This special group of citizens who join this praiseworthy profession are intrinsic to the health of individuals, entire communities, and nations. It’s a simple summation and indisputable fact: nurses make a difference, touch lives, and change the world.
Daily Nurse is thrilled to feature Keith Carlson, “Nurse Keith,” a well-known nurse career coach and podcaster of The Nurse Keith Show as a guest columnist. Check back every other Thursday for Keith’s column.
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VA Nurses Go Above And Beyond
VA nurses often go above and beyond the call of duty when it comes to helping not only Veterans and their families, but also the communities we serve. Their rich commitment, bolstered by their training, shows us all how we can make the world a better place.
Read on to see how our nurses have gone the extra mile to effect positive change on the lives of those around them.
A simple conversation
Richard Hall of John Dingell VA in Detroit enjoys talking to fellow Veterans and engaging with them during visits to the emergency department, but taking some additional time with Veteran Larry Washington was unequivocally life-saving.
Hall, an emergency department nurse, former firefighter and Navy Veteran, struck up a conversation with Washington after noticing the Veteran had been to the emergency department multiple times over the preceding days. He also noticed that Washington’s wife was also not feeling well.
Through conversation with the Washingtons, Hall learned that their apartment recently had a new furnace installed. He suggested that they have carbon monoxide levels checked, which confirmed CO levels were dangerously high. The suggestion saved the Washingtons’ lives and potentially many others in the apartment complex.
“To know I had that effect on someone is the greatest feeling in the world,” said Hall. “My dad’s a Veteran. I’m a Gulf War Veteran. To give back to my brethren and care for the community in which we reside is why us nurses do what we do.”
A family reunited
Three nurses from the Birmingham VA Health Care System went above and beyond the call of duty when they encountered a young woman outside their building who needed help.
Meme Barron, Stephanie Christian and Elonda Hendley, nurses in the community care department, were informed there was a young adult female sitting in a flowerpot outside the building. The nurses asked if they could do anything to help her and, without making any eye contact, the girl asked them if they could call her dad and tell him that she is okay.
The young woman’s father, an Army and Air Force Veteran who receives care at Birmingham VA, came to pick her up about half an hour later. At the time, though, the young woman had been missing for several months. The father said that, if the nurses hadn’t assisted his daughter, they might never have been reunited.
“Sometimes all it takes is just seeing about someone and taking the time to show that you care,” Barron said.
A life saved
Linda Longshaw and her daughter Heather Longshaw, both nurses from the LTC Charles S. Kettles VA Medical Center, were on their way to dinner when they were flagged down by a group of frantic people in the street.
The mother-daughter duo found a person on the ground, unresponsive, not breathing and with no pulse. The Longshaws quickly began working as a team to get the person breathing and restore a pulse.
Responding police arrived and provided an automatic external defibrillator, which helped the nurses aid their impromptu patient as they continued CPR. They managed to get the person breathing again as the local fire department and EMS team arrived on the scene to take over care.
Their assistance helped save the person’s life.
“We know that we would want somebody to help our family,” Linda said. “That’s what we thought when we pulled over and parked the car.”
Work at VA
VA nurses make a difference in the lives of those around them. Their training, talent and dedication make them irreplaceable members of our team. Join them, and us.
- READ more about our nurses.
- EXPLORE VA nursing careers.
- LEARN about the benefits of a VA career.
- SEARCH for your nursing career at www.VAcareers.va.gov.
Content shared from U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs News
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The Role Of Phlebotomy In Medicine
Phlebotomy, or taking blood specimens, has been a part of medical care for centuries. Because drawing and handling blood samples are very crucial and strictly requires accuracy all the time, having the skills and experience are really vital in this kind of profession. At Sumner College we always make sure that we provide the best training possible for every aspiring Phlebotomy technician in our program as we understand the vital role that phlebotomists play in the healthcare system.
Enroll in our Phlebotomy Technician program – Classes start every month. Contact admissions at email@example.com
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