Those who work in healthcare often go into the profession to help others. However, in order to provide the highest quality patient care, it is important for healthcare workers to also take care of themselves.
Whether you are a healthcare worker who sits at a desk all day or you are on your feet moving from one activity to the next, there are several steps you can take to stay limber on the job. Here are 5 practices you can start your next shift to keep you at your best.
Stretch it Out
Whether you are sitting or standing at a desk all day or on your feet in the operating room, take a few minutes regularly to stretch. This doesn’t have to be an extensive stretch break. For example, maybe when you catch a minute to use the restroom, you stretch your arms over your head, side to side, and then jump up and down a couple of times.
Getting your blood moving and stretching is a great, quick pick-me-up. And as Harvard Health Publishing notes, stretching carries several health benefits, such as maintaining muscle health and joint range of motion.
Note Your Posture
Healthcare workers often work long shifts. It is perfectly normal to start feeling tired by the end of the day! However, take note of your posture.
Are your shoulders slumped or up? Do you find yourself slouching over your desk? Good posture is important for several reasons. For example, Harvard Health Publishing explains that good posture contributes to good balance and fewer overall injuries. Focusing on good posture can also contribute to improved sports performance if you exercise or play a sport outside of work.
Wear Comfortable Shoes with Good Support
Good shoes are important both for overall work comfort and safety. OSF Healthcare lists reasons why good shoes are key. They explain poorly fitting shoes can contribute to foot-related health conditions such as bunions, ingrown toenails, and corns.
If you work in healthcare, there’s a good chance you’re on your feet all day. So good, supportive shoes are essential for you to do your job comfortably.
Remember to Eat and Drink Throughout the Day
It can be so tempting to keep putting off your lunch break or avoid drinking water because you don’t want to take the time to go to the bathroom later. We get it. Working in healthcare can be busy and intense, and that break may feel like just one more task to knock off your to-do list.
But remember, you are a human being, not a robot. Chances are fairly good that if you haven’t eaten or had anything to drink all day and you take just a few minutes to do these things—even if it’s not a full lunch break—you’ll have more energy to complete your tasks more efficiently.
It’s important to care for yourself and keep your body fueled and hydrated. Doing so will help you minimize stress and perform at your best so you can provide high-quality patient care.
Lift Patients and Items Safely
Back pain in healthcare workers is a known issue. One 2021 study that reviewed back pain in healthcare workers found a prevalence of nearly 55%.
There are several reasons healthcare workers may be more prone to back pain. For example, they may try to move a patient quickly instead of getting someone to help, they may lift heavy equipment improperly, or maybe try to do a care task with a patient without moving the bed up to the appropriate height.
Regardless of how busy you are at work or the staffing ratios, it’s important to work safely. And this means considering how tasks or lifting may impact your back in the future since the pain and issues may not be immediate.
If you are looking to work for a company that cares whether or not you get a chance to eat during the day and is genuinely concerned about your well-being at work, consider a contract staffing role with 365 Healthcare Staffing Services.
As a nationwide healthcare staffing company, 365 Healthcare Staffing Services offers several different roles and positions. Check out their open positions and reach out with any questions. Their recruiters are here to help!