Travel Nursing Is a Matter of the Heart
Like most pursuits, a career in nursing begins with a healthy passion. Men and women enter this field to make positive contributions to the world, expand their scientific studies, or simply to have opportunities to make small differences, one person at a time. Travel nursing has its own basket of challenges and rewards, of course, and committing to this kind of work requires taking special care to maintain the health of one organ in particular: the heart. It's particularly beneficial for travel nurses to take inventory of their self-care activities to ensure their health is on track.
High risk, high reward
A study from BMC Nursing suggests that nurses in particular are at risk for heart-related illnesses like cardiac arrest and heart disease. The evidence points to workplace stress as the major contributor to these health issues.. The evidence points to workplace stress as the major contributor to these health issues.
According to a Harvard Health Publications article, it's no surprise that levels of stress contribute to heart health. Nurses have a number of pressures preying on their minds throughout the day: concern for the health of their patients, time limits in emergency situations, strenuous co-worker relationships, and, very often, poor treatment from the very patients they're trying to help. These competing priorities can build quickly and have a measured effect on heart function.
Add the additional challenges that come with travel nursing — consistently changing environments, new procedures and processes to learn, and relationships that are often short-lived — and self-care becomes even more vital. Those driven and adventurous enough to enter this field have to make an extra special effort to engage in activities that are good for the body and soul.
Heart health basics
The Harvard Health article includes strategies you can start employing to keep yourself on track and launch yourself further into the career you love:
- Sleep at least eight hours each night.
- Exercise at least three times per week for half an hour per session.
- Learn and employ relaxation techniques like yoga, meditation, or tai chi.
- Hone your time-management skills.
- Practice managing confrontation. Don't allow issues to fester.
- Get a weekly or monthly massage.
- Be present. Live in the moment as often as possible by appreciating the little things.
We at Health Providers Choice are dedicated to ensuring our employees have all the resources necessary to engage in these important activities. HPC provides concierge services, financial calculators, checklists for those new to the industry, continuing education, clinical care, and more. Visit the Resources page on our website for details.
Most important, remember this: In order to care for others, you must first care for yourself. Use the strategies above to bring yourself back to balance and obtain the most enjoyment out of your career.