Ok so, real talk. The Coronavirus is here with us, and as much as we would love to ignore it, we can’t.
As health care workers, we will be asked to work on the front-line with patients who have COVID 19 and need hospitalisation. What this means is that we are expected to give our utmost and to work around the clock.
Given the limited supply of Protective Equipment, many nurses and health care workers are not taking any bathroom breaks or lunch breaks during their shifts. Many of us are trying to avoid this image, but in reality, we all know that going for 6, 8 or more hours without drinking water and going to the bathroom is going to be hell.
Plus, we will be wearing so much protective gear that we will be hot and sweaty. After a few shifts, we are likely to be exhausted. And all these factors are going to come together nicely to create a burnt-out nurse.
There is not much to do to prevent this, because there are only so many healthcare workers. But if we prepare ourselves, we might make our lives that little bit easier. So here is a list of things that you might want to do, to keep your body healthy and maintain sanity!
Ps. Is your hospital asking you to move into allocating housing when caring for COVID-19 patients? Then check-out our list of essentials to make packing stress free!
1. Hydrate, hydrate hydrate!
Since bathroom and lunch breaks seem out of the question for several countries, we need to think ahead and prepare our bodies to keep fit through the long shift. Best way to stay hydrated and reduce pee is to drink electrolytes. Mix in those little electrolyte sachets with your drink before the shift, or drink sports drinks like Gatorade. After your shift, make sure to drink loads of water to make up for what you missed.
2. Allow your body to breathe as much as possible
The protective equipment will create a lot of heat, and if you are running around in them for 8 hours, your body will produce a lot of sweat. Having chafing or a yeast infection is the last thing you want to be dealing with while working under so much pressure. So our tips are:
Wear cotton bras, cotton underwear and cotton under vests
Sport socks prevent blisters and let your feet breathe
Roll-on deodorants will prevent chafing
Wear loose clothing after your shift. No one gives a damn how you look! So get into those comfy, breathable clothes and chill.
3. Take care of your skin
After your shift, if you are not dead tired, try to do a quick care routine for your skin. Wearing protective equipment all day is likely to clog pores, give you blisters, rashes or bruises.
So a quick and straightforward care routine can go a long way. We recommend:
Use exfoliate washes to open up your pores and removed bad skin cells
Moisturise after you shower
Apply Vaseline creams on your cracked hands
Use barrier creams if the Goggles or other equipment are cutting through your skin
Braid hair to keep it clean and reduce damage
4. For all the ladies: Period Problems
What is worse than having no time to pee? Not having time to change yourself when you are menstruating. Many women need to change every 3 hours, but you won’t have the luxury to do that.
So you have two options:
Use both tampons and pads together
Use a menstrual cup
5. Power Foods
Same as with the first point, you will need to eat something that will keep you full for a long time. Many nutritionists recommend slow burning foods to keep you energised throughout your shift. The easiest and quickest foods to get are:
Nuts and trail mix
6. Look after your mind, body and soul
This might be taken for granted in your daily life, but with the current circumstances, you are likely to be stressed, irritable, tired and overwhelmed. So after your shift take time to meditate and stretch your body. Listen to some of your favourite music, catch up with your loved ones and most importantly try to get some sleep. Most facilities are providing communal sleeping rooms, so earplugs and a sleep mask will help you sleep.
These tips might seem superficial but trust us. Anything that can make your life a little bit easier will help in these times. If you are already working in these areas, please tell us your tips, what to expect and how we can help! Best of luck with all the health care workers out there <3 You are heroes!
Don’t like to read, we have you covered! Checkout my YouTube Channel NurseMiriana
And make sure to follow me on my Instagram Account Nurse.Miriana for the latest updates!