The Top 6 Health Issues Facing Nurses
Nursing is a respectable job with many duties. Helping patients assist in healthcare procedures requires serious management capabilities and tireless working hours. Nursing may become a high-pressure job if you, as a nurse, face problems at your workplace. These issues may get aggravated if you ignore your health affecting your productivity consequently. Here is some information to help you understand the massive health issues nurses confront. It may help you figure out the complications you may encounter and get a proper solution to them while working as a nurse.
Burnout is a prolonged state of stress due to mental and physical exhaustion. Almost every working human being faces issues in professional life. For nursing, burnout is one of the leading health issues a nurse faces of every age. Since nursing is an intrinsically stressful job, continuous tension at healthcare institutes may add to the harmful effects of the job. The senior nurses may have become accustomed to dealing with the emotional toll of working in hospitals. Still, the younger ones may not be ready to deal with unusual situations. Burnout is not affordable for the nurses as patients depend on them for their recovery and care. In case of emergency, a sturdy control of nerves is essential. So, burnout in nurses can be detrimental for the patients as well. Therefore, nurses should be better prepared to administer it.
Nurses frequently continue their education to advance their careers. Managing study and job simultaneously can be exhausting and lead to burnout. Nurses can use e-learning to enroll in any course to avoid this issue. Such as a BSN, MSN, ADN, or even an online master’s in nursing administration, without sacrificing their working hours.
Low Back Pain (LBP)
Hospital surveys have reported 40% to 97.9% back pain issues in healthcare workers, especially nurses. It is the second most common reason for workforce and productivity loss in nurses. If left untreated, it may lead to severe cognitive and emotional hurdles for the practicing nurses. If you are working as a professional nurse and feel back pain at any point, you may seek medical help at the earliest. Some primary causes for LBP can be lifting heavy medical equipment, moving the patients, and standing for long hours. Prevention of LBP is vital to work under healthy and safe conditions to avoid any mishap with you or your patients.
Yet habitual, but headache can turn you down. One of its intensified forms is migraine caused by unnoticed and trivial events occurring in nurses’ daily routine. It is known as one of the underdiagnosed and undertreated disorders worldwide. Being a nurse, you must be aware of its harms, but may not pay heed when it takes over your head. The best way to overcome it is by taking small breaks between your working hours to relax your mind and body. Rich nutritional meals can also reduce the chances of getting it. Plus, mild stretching can also help refresh your body from physical and psychic strain.
Bloodborne infectious diseases are most prevalent among healthcare workers. The three infections occurring most commonly include AIDS caused by Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), Hepatitis B caused by hepatitis B virus (HBV), and Hepatitis C caused by Hepatitis C virus (HCV). More than 20 other pathogenic microorganisms cause blood-based infections in nurses. The exposure to these pathogens is due to needlesticks and sharps-related injuries. The wounds make way for these germs to enter your bloodstream and multiply their number. You are more likely to encounter one of these diseases if you do not utilize personal protective equipment according to the standard protocol. The least you could do to avoid these diseases is handle sharp objects with care, especially the needles, syringes, and cannulas when applying to the patients.
Among the skin-related allergic reactions, Occupational Contact Dermatitis (OCD) accounts for almost 90% of all skin diseases in nurses. That is because the chances for nurses to be exposed to allergens and irritants are far higher than any other healthcare worker. You may also catch any of these allergic agents if you manage allergy patients. Your hands may get affected as they are most vulnerable to these allergic moieties. The other skin areas may include arms, face, neck, and feet. If you have pre-existing eczema, you must take all the precautionary measures to minimize the chances of co-allergic reactions. Also, latex gloves used by medical professionals may prove to be a potential source of allergies, so using an alternative may also help. In addition to it, being a healthcare professional, you must get your allergy tests done before joining work in the field.
Apart from all the antecedent health problems, nurses also confront nosocomial infections. They are hospital-acquired infections developed after 48 hours of subjection to a disease-causing agent. Though the cases of nosocomial infections in nurses are not very large in number, they do exist in healthcare facilities with poor hygiene maintenance. The research conducted in several developing countries has shown that 76% of nursing staff know about nosocomial infections, and only 4% are aware of fighting them. Already weak or immunocompromised nurses are at a greater risk of becoming ill with such afflictions. If you are a practicing nurse, you must make yourself aware of averting these diseases. Patient history and current information are crucial for turning away adversities. Along with personal understanding, you must inform your fellow nurses of the dangers and threats of nosocomial infections.
A wise man once said, “To do what nobody else will do, a way that nobody else can do, despite all we go through; that is to be a nurse.” The selection of your profession as a nurse encompasses worth like no other. It is much more than just a job. It is determination, passion, and the will to become nature’s helping hand to cure the distressed. This fact explains the honor this job holds. For dispensing comfort and peace to the diseased, you need to have an exquisite health status as a nurse. So, to ensure this, keep a check on your own mental and physical health, as your health is directly proportional to your patient’s health. For health is wealth, and this health will guarantee you boundless wealth in the form of inner peace and job satisfaction.