Healthcare staff and practitioners worldwide are at a higher risk of contracting infectious diseases than regular people. From work stress and burnout to working with a variety of health risks, medical professionals are more prone to such dangers than any other profession. That is why healthcare practitioners must be mindful of their health, both physical and mental, along with taking every possible precaution against workplace hazards. Healthcare practitioners need to practice self-assessment more often, identify the wellness elements, and start working on them. Fortunately, with the following self-care tips, health practitioners can improve their health and safety.
Take Precautions Against Infectious Diseases
Did you know that infections at the workplace are highest amongst healthcare practitioners? Therefore, it is of utmost importance that every healthcare professional should take all possible precautions against both bloodborne and airborne diseases. For instance, if you don’t wear protective gear such as gloves and gowns, you are at the highest risk of infectious diseases transmitted through body fluids, blood, and air.
Take the recent coronavirus, for example. It can not only stay on different surfaces for days but is also airborne. Therefore, it is essential to take necessary safeguards such as using reusable isolation gowns for healthcare practitioners as they are the minimum barrier against fluid penetration. Along with that, you should also wear latex gloves, masks, face shields, and goggles to avoid contamination and practice proper hand hygiene.
Maintain Healthy Habits And Exercise
While working out and daily exercise may seem outrageous to many healthcare professionals, given the fact that their schedule is hectic but avoiding working out won’t fix the problem. Instead, you’ll burn out even faster if you don’t keep yourself physically active. Daily exercise not only keeps your body healthy but also helps with your mood. If you have a tight schedule, don’t worry because all you need is 5 to 15 minutes every day with the proper routine that suits your body.
Any type of movement for your body regularly is important regardless of it being a workout or not. You can choose to do physical activities that you particularly enjoy, like a quick walk, yoga, dancing, or even stretching to keep your energy levels high.
Get Enough Sleep And Meditate
Many ambitious professionals take sleep and breaks for granted, not knowing that the lack of it can exhaust you in the long run. Getting enough sleep and rest is one of the top things a healthcare practitioner can do for self-care. You must develop a healthy sleeping pattern along with small breaks between long shifts. Restful sleep is crucial because it is related to your mental and physical health along with your decision-making capabilities.
A sleep-deprived medical practitioner is bound to have an unclear head, emotional imbalance, and anxiety. Try taking a good night’s sleep rather than just short naps throughout the day. Also, avoid screen time before going to bed and try practicing meditation or mindfulness before hitting the pillow.
Manage Stress Levels
Most of the time, it is almost impossible for medical practitioners to run away from stress. Learning to live with the stress in a healthy way is how you manage your professional and personal tasks without breaking down. The key is to be in control when you encounter a stress trigger and immediately kick in your coping mechanism. There are many easy techniques that you can do to reduce stress and calm yourself. You can start by doing breathing techniques that are the best way for immediate damage control.
To manage stress, try doing activities that energize you, like listening to music, eating, working out, watching TV, or even meditation. You need to understand that you won’t always be in control and that there always be something that can increase your stress levels. That is why you need to have the right mindset and micromanage your stress through calming techniques.
Be Mindful Of Sharp Injuries
When talking about self-care and safety tips for healthcare practitioners, the importance of protecting yourself against physical injuries should not be undermined. You must know that sharp objects such as needles and scalpels used in hospitals are usually contaminated and infectious. You have to be mindful of sharp injuries and follow proper protocol to reduce the risk of hurting yourself and contracting contagious diseases.
You should wear high-quality gloves and reusable gowns at all times when dealing with needles and syringes. You and your peers must follow the appropriate disposal system.
Due to being at a higher risk of workplace hazards, healthcare professionals must indulge intensely in self-care and safety techniques. Healthcare practitioners should be cautious of catching infectious diseases by taking appropriate precautions and safety measures. They should use personal protective gear whenever necessary, along with focusing on their mental and physical health as well. As a medical professional, you must prioritize your health, get enough sleep, exercise, or meditate, establish healthy habits, and talk about mental health.