In healthcare professions, you want to stay healthy for yourself and your patients
When you work in the field of healthcare, you will be exposed to more germs than the average person. Every day you see patients with a variety of infections and viruses. Without precautions, you may find yourself catching or spreading your patients’ sicknesses. To boost up your immune system and protect yourself, here are some tips to follow:
Proper handwashing at work
The #1 way to prevent the spread of infections is to follow strict hand hygiene rules. Along with standard universal precautions, you will learn proper hand washing procedures in your medical career training program. Your employer may also have certain protocols that you must follow. For a refresher on hand washing techniques, try 5 Tips for Good Hand Hygiene.
Proper handwashing at home
Follow good handwashing rules at home too. Make sure to wash your hands thoroughly and frequently. Some key times to wash your hands:
- When you come in the house from outside
- After being in public buildings where you are touching doors and railings
- After shaking hands with someone
- After using the restroom
- Before preparing food
- After taking out the trash
- After cleaning and housework
- After feeding or petting your pets
- After interacting with a sick child
Keep your hands away from your face
Are you someone who touches your face a lot? Do you rub your eyes or itch your nose or lick your finger to turn a page? Do you bite your nails? The more you touch your face, the more likely you are to introduce a germ to your eyes, mouth, or nasal passages—the common spots for germs to infect you. To avoid this, try to train yourself not to touch your face throughout the day.
Get a flu shot
As a healthcare worker, you will most definitely need to get a flu shot. This helps protects not only yourself, but also others from this serious disease.
Get good sleep
In the life of a healthcare professional—especially if you work different shifts—it can be hard to get a good 8-hour sleep. But sleep is essential to your health, and the more you can plan your life around a good night’s sleep, the better you will function and the better you will feel. If you’re feeling sleep deprived, try these sleep tips to help you get back on the road to a good night’s rest.
Get good nutrition
Eating right can help your body get the nutrients it needs to keep your immune system strong. A healthy, balanced diet of fresh fruits and vegetables, healthy whole grains, lean proteins, and regular hydration can help you fight off colds and other infections.
Keep stress to a minimum
Do you find that you always catch a cold right after a stressful period in your life? Stress may be invisible, but it takes a toll on your body. Monitor your level of stress, and if it’s getting the better of you, take steps to reduce your stress, such as yoga, meditation, mindfulness, or other stress-reduction strategies.
Getting regular exercise is a great way to blow off steam, reduce stress, and stay fit. You strengthen not only your body but also your body’s defenses against the germs that may make you sick.
Follow good sneezing and tissue etiquette
Even if you don’t have a cold, it’s a good idea to act like you do. Whenever you sneeze or blow your nose, dispose of the tissue right away so that you don’t potentially expose someone else to germs. If you don’t have a tissue to sneeze into, sneeze into the crook of your elbow, so that your clothing catches your germs rather than spraying them into the air.
Be mindful of handbags and purses
Do you put your handbag on the floor of your car, and then put it on your kitchen counter? This could transfer unwanted germs to your food preparation areas. Try to always hang your handbag rather than storing it on the floor or the counter.
With these tips, we hope you can avoid those germs and have a healthy, happy fall and winter season.
The Harris Casel Institute in Melbourne, Florida, provides career-focused training for people wishing to become home health aides, nursing assistants, practical nurses, and more. Contact us online to see if Harris Casel is the place for you!