As you may already know or have heard, travel nursing is one of the most exciting nursing career options you can choose. This nursing career path offers great benefits to the nurse, including the chance to grow a nursing career.
Whether you are planning your first nursing trip or are a seasoned traveling nurse, it becomes tempting to blow off some basic personal health activities while on the road. This can be due to a busy schedule and not being around a familiar environment over a prolonged period. However, your health should be a priority, especially when you are a travel nurse. You need to be in your best health to be of service to people in need.
Here are the best health care tips you can follow as a travel nurse.
Health Care Tips Every Travel Nurse Should Follow
Taking time to ensure you eat healthily is an easy tip to live by as a travel nurse. If your schedule does not leave you with enough time to prepare healthy meals every day, you should consider meal prepping on your day off. This will ensure you avoid the fast-food joint on the corner as often as possible. Once you get to your assignment location, learn where the markets are to ensure you have what you need to make healthy meals at home.
There are numerous healthy food apps and recipes online that can make your healthy feeding journey easier to manage. Having a healthy meal will ensure you give your body what it needs to withstand the long shift hours without the possibility of underfeeding or getting malnourished.
Exercising Is One of the Most Important Aspects
Taking up exercise should be an important part of your nursing schedule. Apart from helping you to remain physically healthy, it also gives you an outlet to let off steam and stress, ensuring your mental health remains in check too.
Once you get to your new assignment, you need to check out available gyms in your locality and sign up. If this is not something you are up to, consider investing in portable gym equipment and recreate a small gym in your accommodation space. This way, you can ensure you get some exercise in your free time.
Depending on where you are posted, you can consider outdoor exercise activities like running, jogging, swimming, or even hiking. The idea is to ensure you have physical activity outside your work to promote fitness and health.
Holding long shifts is normal for nurses, which can make it difficult to get enough sleep. As an adult, you rewire 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night for your body to recharge and recover. Whenever possible, try to keep a consistent sleep schedule to keep your body clock balanced. : The quality of sleep is an extremely important factor in our day-to-day lives. We spend about one-third of our lives asleep so it’s vital that we take care of this time by improving the quality of sleep.
One way to ensure you get enough sleep is to create a bedtime routine for your body. This helps your body and mind to wind down, which facilitates better sleep. This can include avoiding the use of electronics an hour before bed and reading a book instead. You can also use white noise to help with falling asleep, especially if you find it hard to sleep in new places.
Don’t Use Too Much Caffeine on the Road
As a travel nurse, you are constantly on the road moving from one assignment to the next. Taking coffee sometimes seems like the best way to remain alert while on the road. However, too much caffeine can affect your ability to sleep and rest once you get to your new location, which ultimately affects your performance. Therefore, ensure you moderate your coffee intake to ensure it does not tamper with your downtime and work performance. Too much caffeine intake will also affect teeth health, causing dry mouth or stress-related dental disorders, which cannot be treated as quickly as it takes while being on the road.
Remember to Have Fun
An easy way to ease work-related stress as a travel nurse is taking time to have fun and explore your new environment. The best way to make the most of your time there is to make new friends and explore as much of the town or city as possible. You can sample the nightlife, dine at different restaurants and visit some of the attractions to make memories of the place.
How Can Travel Nurses Sustain a Good Work-Life Balance
As a nurse, you deal with serious work-related emergencies and long working hours, which can place a lot of strain on your life. Having a work-life balance makes it easier for you to integrate your personal and professional life in a healthy way.
You can attain work-life balance by:
- Investing in self-care, e.g., getting enough sleep, exercising, and eating well.
- Setting priorities, e.g., making time for your family and friends, to study or travel.
- Asking for help when you find your responsibilities overwhelming.
- Developing healthy relationships in and out of your workplace.
- Having a manageable schedule
How to Get Fitter at a Workplace
Staying fit while on assignment can sometimes seem impossible for travel nurses. To ensure you do not fall off the health and fitness wagon, you should consider:
- Limiting take out and instead cook at home
- Limit your use of alcohol to avoid piling up on the calories.
- Getting enough sleep whenever you are off work to allow your body to recover.
- Creating a workout schedule that favors your working schedule to ensure you have time to exercise.
Tips to Reduce Stress Level
Stress is a natural occurrence in the nursing career. However, it is important to ensure you keep it in check to avoid falling into depression or chronic stress patterns. Some ideal ways to handle stress as a travel nurse include:
- Disconnecting from your electronics to enjoy uninterrupted downtime.
- Listening to music
- Meditation and breathing exercises can help to reduce tension and relieve stress.
- Boost your potassium intake to regulate blood pressure and improve your energy levels
Following the health care tips highlighted in this article can help you feel your best and perform at your best in every travel nurse assignment. Taking time to take care of yourself will ensure you are always at your best to take care of your patients.
We hope you found these health care tips for travel nurses helpful. Are you a travel nurse with tips for your fellow travel nurses? Comment them below.