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Nurses get more up close and personal with sick patients than anyone else does. And yet it’s vital for them to stay healthy: They’ve got hard work to do and can’t be ill around patients with compromised immune systems. We’ve heard countless times that it’s essential to take care of ourselves before taking care of others—you know, the whole “secure your oxygen mask before assisting others” drill—but it’s hard to put into practice. Nurses actually do it.

1. Wash your hands

This one always amazes me. For my nurses, this means washing your hands obsessively outside of work, also. Don’t reserve the clean hands just for clocking in.

2. Dress appropriately

Just because your car is parked in a covered garage does NOT mean you don’t wear the appropriate outdoor clothing. I don’t know how many times I see coworkers walking “quickly” from their car with little to no outdoor gear.

3. Get some sleep

That wonderful immune system you’ve built up isn’t gonna do you any favours if you’re not properly rested. A sleep-deprived immune system is worth nothing to you.

4. Help your immune system

This is that sly reminder to make wise health decisions. I don’t think I need to explain to you what tobacco use and excessive alcohol consumption can do to that immune system? Oh, this also goes for eating properly cooked meat, etc., too.

5. It’s okay to be around those who are sick

In fact, it’s a requirement! How else is your immune system going to recognize, fight and develop an immunity to those nasty bugs out there if it’s not being exposed to them? Stop avoiding everyone who looks, sounds or claims to be ill.

6. Don’t go to work sick!

This is a tough one for my fellow nurses. There is absolutely no benefit to showing up for work sick. If anything, it will make you feel worse and GET worse. Stay home. Get that sleep I was talking about.

7. Call the doctor when it’s time

Antibiotic resistance is not a myth. Don’t call your PCP just because you have a runny nose. This holds true for the other end of the spectrum, too! Don’t wait 10 days into your cold when you don’t have enough energy to make the phone call, let alone talk.

8. Stop taking shortcuts – OTC Meds

The list is endless here. Vitamin C, B12, D, E (pick a letter from the alphabet), echinacea, ginkgo biloba, elderberry, zinc, etc. Stop looking for lightning in a bottle…it doesn’t exist.

9. Tie back your hair

Just because you can’t see the germs doesn’t mean they’re not there. Tie it back, ladies! And gents!

10. Don’t touch your face

Most communicable diseases are transferred by touching your eyes, mouth or nose with unclean hands and fingers. Not to sound like a broken record, but make sure to wash your hands as much as humanly possible!

So. Did I miss any major tips? Care to add one?

Nurses get more up close and personal with sick patients than anyone else does. And yet it’s vital for them to stay healthy: They’ve got hard work to do and can’t be ill around patients with compromised immune systems. We’ve heard countless times that it’s essential to take care of ourselves before taking care of others—you know, the whole “secure your oxygen mask before assisting others” drill—but it’s hard to put into practice. Nurses actually do it.

1. Wash your hands

This one always amazes me. For my nurses, this means washing your hands obsessively outside of work, also. Don’t reserve the clean hands just for clocking in.

2. Dress appropriately

Just because your car is parked in a covered garage does NOT mean you don’t wear the appropriate outdoor clothing. I don’t know how many times I see coworkers walking “quickly” from their car with little to no outdoor gear.

3. Get some sleep

That wonderful immune system you’ve built up isn’t gonna do you any favours if you’re not properly rested. A sleep-deprived immune system is worth nothing to you.

4. Help your immune system

This is that sly reminder to make wise health decisions. I don’t think I need to explain to you what tobacco use and excessive alcohol consumption can do to that immune system? Oh, this also goes for eating properly cooked meat, etc., too.

5. It’s okay to be around those who are sick

In fact, it’s a requirement! How else is your immune system going to recognize, fight and develop an immunity to those nasty bugs out there if it’s not being exposed to them? Stop avoiding everyone who looks, sounds or claims to be ill.

6. Don’t go to work sick!

This is a tough one for my fellow nurses. There is absolutely no benefit to showing up for work sick. If anything, it will make you feel worse and GET worse. Stay home. Get that sleep I was talking about.

7. Call the doctor when it’s time

Antibiotic resistance is not a myth. Don’t call your PCP just because you have a runny nose. This holds true for the other end of the spectrum, too! Don’t wait 10 days into your cold when you don’t have enough energy to make the phone call, let alone talk.

8. Stop taking shortcuts – OTC Meds

The list is endless here. Vitamin C, B12, D, E (pick a letter from the alphabet), echinacea, ginkgo biloba, elderberry, zinc, etc. Stop looking for lightning in a bottle…it doesn’t exist.

9. Tie back your hair

Just because you can’t see the germs doesn’t mean they’re not there. Tie it back, ladies! And gents!

10. Don’t touch your face

Most communicable diseases are transferred by touching your eyes, mouth or nose with unclean hands and fingers. Not to sound like a broken record, but make sure to wash your hands as much as humanly possible!

So. Did I miss any major tips? Care to add one?

Cavell Nurses’ Trust Trust is  always looking for enthusiastic volunteers to help spread the word about Cavell Nurses’ Trust or work on specific projects. Could you spare a few hours to help them out to support nurses in need?

Cavell Nurses’ Trust is Edith Cavell’s legacy, a charity set up in her name that, nowadays, supports nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants suffering hardship. They provide support for UK nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants, both working and retired, when they’re suffering personal or financial hardship – often because of illness, disability, domestic abuse and the effects of older age. “We’re a charity, and we help people at no cost to them. We give a listening ear and practical support to everyone who asks for help.”

 

Mya helped out at Cavell Nurses’ Trust offices

“I am currently studying for my A-levels and after that I would like to pursue my dream career of becoming a nurse; this is why I joined the Cavell Nurses’ Trust on my work experience week, in which I have gained office skills and independent research abilities.

“I have enjoyed my time at Cavell Nurses’ Trust, the people are extremely helpful, positive and friendly, and they have welcomed me into their charity, in which I am greatly thankful for.”

 

Sabrina took part in a bucket collection at Birmingham New Street

“Collecting at Birmingham New Street Station for Cavell Nurses’ Trust was such a brilliant experience it will stay with me forever. I was helping to support nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants in their time of need. This really touched me as I am a student nurse so I really wanted to raise as much money as I possibility could.

“I love volunteering and going the extra mile to raise awareness as I believe everyone can change someone else’s life for the better.

“I’m always being told I am a happy and smiley person but for members of the public to tell me to “keep up the hard work” and “carry on smiling” is really astonishing! I found it surprising that from just a few hours of volunteering my confidence grew so much and I went from an empty bucket to a heavy bucket of donations quite quickly.

“Volunteering is something I would definitely do again. It was such a great experience considering it’s my first time volunteering for Cavell Nurses’ Trust and I received great support and from the team which is amazing.”

Browse through the history of Cavell Nurses’ Trust, from the life of Edith Cavell herself right through to the latest milestones achieved by the charity.

If you are interested in  volunteering opportunities please email : fundraising@cavellnursestrust.org