Working as a traveling nurse can be a rather enticing experience for most people. However, working in such conditions can sometimes have drawbacks and lead to unwelcoming consequences if proper precautions are not taken.
tay Healthy as a Travel Nurse
This aspect is even more crucial for a job like nursing, where you are responsible for the well-being and lives of your patients.
The recent pandemic took a huge toll on the entire world. It highlighted some areas that the industry paid little attention to. But due to the pandemic, clear emphasis was given to the well-being of healthcare workers. Healthcare service providers were given instructions to be protective of their health and vigilant regarding their well-being.
Nurses have to face many challenges in their working environment and personal lives. But these challenges double-fold when the nurse in question is a traveling nurse. In such cases, it is the nurse’s duty as a professional to take care of their health and well-being so they can continue providing their best services to those in need. For this reason, let us discuss some tips that can help a travel nurse stay healthy.
1. Master time management
Time management is the key to a healthy lifestyle. As a traveling nurse, you may already be on a tight schedule on top of all the traveling and inconveniences of a new geographical area. However, you can maintain a healthy work-life balance with a little bit of time management.
Time management is even more crucial if you are pursuing higher education such as an MSN to DNP degree while continuing your work. In this case, shifting from MSN to DNP online program can help you manage your time as you get to enjoy study time flexibility.
Apart from that, once you learn to manage your time and stick to a schedule, you will find you have a lot more free time than originally anticipated. You can utilize that free time to focus on self-care or just take some time to rest.
2. Stay active
As a traveling nurse, your schedule might be tightly packed already, with little to no time left that you can dedicate towards fitness. However, exercise is most crucial for your health, and shirking on physical health can lead to many consequences. Therefore, try to find a gym nearby that offers monthly membership options. This way, you won’t have to worry about wasting a year’s worth of gym membership money when you will not attend it for more than a few months.
If the gym isn’t up to your speed, there are several alternative activities you can participate in to stay active and fit. You can take up regular jogging or swim at the community pool. If there are mountains nearby, tighten your hiking boots’ laces and explore new heights. But if the shifts tire you out too much, a 30-minute home workout would also suffice. The point is to incorporate some level and form of exercise in your daily routine, and your body will thank you for it in the long run.
3. Eat healthily
As a traveling nurse, it may seem awfullywqe34 nm convenient to grab some fast food or packaged food from the convenience store and get done with the meal. However, the additives, preservatives, and other harmful chemicals, fats, sugar, and carbs can affect your health in the long run. Therefore, try to make healthier choices by opting for a vegetable and chicken sandwich or salad for your lunch and preparing your own food.
Preparing your own food will not only save you money, but it will also save you on extra calories as you will be in control of what you put in your body. So when you travel for work to a new place, try to find a local convenience store near your accommodation and get shopping. If you think you don’t have time to work and cook elaborate meals, you can look up some easy and quick healthy recipes and even meal prep for a few days. That way, you will always have some food ready to go, and you’ll be making much healthier choices. Hence, eating healthy will make you feel energized and fresh all day long.
4. Get enough sleep
As a travel nurse, you may have to work long shifts that leave you with few hours of sleep. However, your body still needs 7-9 hours of sleep each night to rejuvenate and re-energize itself. Therefore, even when traveling, try to stick to the same sleeping schedule, so your body’s internal clock doesn’t get disturbed. Moreover, make a bedtime ritual of self-care activities to help unwind your mind and body. You should also prepare an adequate environment to get proper sleep. For example, maintain the right temperature, and draw on blackout blinds in front of the windows if you do night shifts. If you experience trouble falling asleep in a new place, consider buying a humidifier, essential oil diffuser, or a white noise machine. Hence, getting proper sleep will make you feel fresh and energized each day.
5. Make your mental health a priority
One of the leading reasons nurses experience dissatisfaction in their work is burnout. Being a traveling nurse, you are more susceptible to burnout as compared to other nurses. You will have to travel long distances and stay in unfamiliar and even uncomfortable places. Protecting your mental health should be your number one priority in such conditions.
For this reason, you can incorporate some activities such as yoga, meditation, and journaling, or you can create your own techniques to combat stress. But whatever method you select to destress yourself, you need to commit to your me-time and take charge of your surroundings. Because if you start putting yourself first before everyone else, only then you will be able to maintain your mental well-being.
Following these tips will leave you feeling more energized, fresh, and healthy even in unfamiliar places. As a traveling nurse, you already have a lot of responsibility on your plate. But you must remember that you won’t be able to help anyone if you yourself are not feeling well.
For this reason, prioritize your physical and mental well-being and try to come up with several coping mechanisms to release the stress and tension you accumulate every day. After all, you can only perform your job well and provide quality healthcare service to patients if you are feeling focused, energized, and healthy.