To break the sedentary lifestyle that has come with quarantine, many people are seeking ways they can exercise and keep active at home. Many have the time to invest in exercising, but high costs can make exercising far less viable, as COVID places a financial burden on many households. Luckily, there are ways you can work out at home on the cheap to keep yourself active without breaking the bank.
Set up a Home Gym
Not only does a home gym give you a convenient place to exercise, building a home gym is an investment that allows you to tailor your gym to your needs. It will save you a lot of money in the long run. You no longer need to pay for memberships, you save gas from eliminating the commute to a gym, and proper maintenance will keep your equipment in good shape for years.
When considering what equipment to place within your home gym, focus on multi-purpose equipment to ease costs. This includes options such as an exercise ball, which you can use to work out your abs or support yourself during weight-lifting and cardio activities. You can even use it as a chair to watch TV when you finish your workout.
Cardio equipment such as treadmills are popular and common. They are a perfect way you can work out at home on the cheap. Cardio equipment is readily available in a range of models, which makes finding the right equipment within your budget easy. This wide variety allows for a compromise between the features you want on your equipment and the price tag.
Inexpensive Fitness Gear
Exercise accessories like rubber resistance bands or dumbbells are great supplements for your workout routine. They are cheap and versatile. You can curl dumbbells or use them with body exercises to push yourself just a bit farther. Resistance bands can be used to work out nearly every muscle on the body, and they are easy to store. Pedometers are cheap and simple to use if you need a good way to track your progress and stay motivated.
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If you’re on this site, you’re either a nurse or have a strong interest in nursing. And I’m sure that if the former group had the chance to sit down with the latter, they would have a lot to say. We all remember those exciting, terrifying early days of nursing school and wanting to make the world a better place; there’s plenty we’d want to say to our younger selves. We can’t go back in time and talk to ourselves, but we can share with you what you should know before going into nursing.
What You Should Know Before Going Into Nursing
There is a lot of career diversity
When you first set your mind to becoming a nurse, what did you imagine? Scrubs, a stethoscope, and patients in a hospital or general practice? What many new nursing students don’t realize is there are a variety of careers under the umbrella of “nurse.” A few you can choose without any additional degrees are:
- Surgical nurse
- Geriatric nurse
- Cardiac nurse
- Nursing Midwife
- Nursing Administrator
Knowing this before going into nursing will give you more time to consider what areas of medicine you’re most interested in so you can make the career choice best suited for you.
Additional recommended reading: Is Nursing A Good Career For Moms?
You will make a positive difference in the lives of thousands
Unfortunately, there’s a long-standing stereotype of nurses being something of a sidekick who takes orders from a doctor. In reality, nurses are often the ones with their feet on the ground, taking care of their patients’ immediate needs. If you’re in settings such as the ICU or the ER, you could be the one to make the vital choices that’ll keep a patient in stable condition or save their life. You’ll need knowledge and confidence to make those calls.
This idea may sit like a weight on you at times, and that may even become overwhelming. We can take the classes, we can learn how to change IV tubing or take vitals, but learning how to walk around with the weight of patients’ lives on our shoulders without buckling is another thing entirely. But even if some days are harder than others, let me tell you a secret: you can do it!
It will be your responsibility to find balance
As important as understanding the weight of your position is, it’s also important to know when to lay that weight down. Putting too much pressure on yourself can lead to burnout and compassion fatigue. Try to set up healthy emotional boundaries even as you seek to be empathetic to patients.
It’s also important to find ways to leave the pressures of work at work and find people and activities that build you back up after long, exhausting shifts. Keep in mind, as much as it’s valuable for you to build confidence in decision making, you’ll always have a team on your side when you need help.
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While we continue to navigate through the COVID-19 global pandemic, the importance of wearing a mask is a matter to be taken very seriously. Wearing a face mask when it is impossible to socially distance is essential to keep yourself and those around you safe.
Despite the wide array of information available about mask-wearing, misunderstandings remain a common occurrence due to a variety of online misinformation. Here are a few important facts about disposable masks to help distinguish fact from fiction.
Disposable masks aren’t biodegradable
One of the most important facts to know about disposable masks involves the future of our planet. A complex and tricky situation has been made known by this pandemic beyond its heavy health and financial impacts. Disposable masks are not traditionally produced for sustainability.
As these masks are typically made out of polypropylene, they are not recyclable and will join stacks of trash in the landfills for as long as the pandemic lasts. Wear a mask for sure, but think twice before you choose to wear a disposable one versus a reusable fabric mask. Disposable options are not the most protective for public use and should be left to those essential employees who work in healthcare during this difficult time.
Disposable masks shouldn’t be reused
With the above matter in mind, disposable masks should still not be reused for any purpose, even for the environment’s sake. Unlike the early days of the pandemic when face masks were scarce to find, plenty of cloth face masks are now available for purchase in America. Most personal protective equipment (PPE) has a label for one-time use. Disposable masks are a part of the classifiable PPE you should never reuse, as there exists to be no clear need or excuse for it at this time.
Consider investing in reusable cloth masks
If you have disposable masks on hand at the moment, keep in mind that these masks do not last forever. No one can guarantee that wearing a mask means you will not contract the virus or transmit it to someone else as well, but it creates the best-case scenario. Either way, it’s vital to continue to practice coronavirus prevention measures. Right now, and for as long as this pandemic endures, effectively wearing a face mask is the best way we can protect each other.
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A successful nursing career requires more than just skills and certifications; you also need patience, kindness, and compassion. These traits help you develop meaningful and effective relationships with every patient in your care. Compassion allows you to comfort and communicate with your patients more effectively. It also makes the medical care you provide much easier for all involved. When your patients trust you to treat them kindly and fairly, they also trust you to deliver the level of care they need throughout their visit. Improve your patient relationships and your overall work-life by practicing these key components of compassionate patient care.
Communication is a central part of any professional relation, but it’s essential in the healthcare field. Patients often have a lot of questions, concerns, and uncertainty regarding their condition and upcoming treatment. Some patients might not even know how to start asking their questions. Effective communication skills promote an open, honest environment for your patients to voice these worries. By being open to questions and providing thorough but understandable answers, you ease your patients’ concerns and equip them with the knowledge they need to feel comfortable in your care.
Additional recommended reading: How Becoming A Per Diem Nurse Gave Me A Work-Life Balance
Empathy takes compassion a step further. In addition to being kind, you should also strive to be understanding. Put yourself in your patients’ shoes. Try to see where they’re coming from and how that informs their current thoughts and feelings. Empathy should be a part of every patient interaction, no matter how stressed or busy you are. Take the time to actively listen to a patient’s worries and fears. Learn how to deliver bad news with empathy. Most importantly, express your understanding. This will help your patient know that you are listening and genuinely care about their well-being.
You can’t take care of your patients if you don’t first take care of yourself. One of the key components of compassionate patient care is giving yourself the space you need to preserve your own well-being. Don’t let your professional life overrun your personal life. Take the necessary time off to care for your family, recuperate, and avoid burnout in your career. Look out for your own physical and emotional needs, and treat yourself with the same compassion you offer your patients. The healthier you are, the more energy and skill you can bring to your practice every day.
Additional recommended reading: Nurse Life: How To Achieve A Work-Life Balance
CRNA stands for “certified registered nurse anesthetist.” Though every medical professional serves an essential function, CRNAs are critical to the success of many procedures. “What are the responsibilities of a CRNA?” you may ask. Here are a few of the most important ones.
Certified registered nurse anesthetists are with their patients every step of their surgical journey, including the very beginning. CRNAs often conduct the initial patient assessments and discuss the surgery and recovery with them before the procedure. They must do this to ensure the physical and mental preparedness of each patient before they undergo surgery. These diagnostics also prove helpful in post-operation assessments so that they can compare with pre-operation conditions.
As the name implies, certified registered nurse anesthetists work with anesthesia. They are typically the medical personnel responsible for administering anesthetics during surgeries and monitoring a patient’s status throughout the entire procedure. In fact, they do not leave the patient’s side at any point during an operation. Since every person has a slightly different reaction to anesthetics, they must maintain careful control over the patient’s state so that the surgery can be a success.
Overseeing patient recovery
CRNAs not only prepare patients and administer sedatives during operations, but they also see to post-operation care and recovery. Since they administer the anesthetics that put a patient under, they must also ensure that the patient adequately recovers from it. Though CRNAs perform these duties hundreds of times, it is always important to see every person become fully coherent again. Without their oversight, any anesthetic issues could continue without anyone realizing it.
Thinking beyond “what are the responsibilities of a CRNA” to actually working as one takes time and commitment. If you are looking to work in this field, you’ll need to pursue the necessary degrees and look for a place to practice. Also, be sure to find a support system and learn how CRNA malpractice insurance works. If you have a passion for medicine, all these moving pieces could coalesce into a great career for you!
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There isn’t much time to relax when you work as a nurse, especially during the middle of a pandemic. Too much time standing takes a bigger toll on our bodies than we may believe, even if we’re not lifting heavy objects or doing vigorous exercise. The physical pain of your regular workday builds up and can affect your mood if you don’t take care of yourself regularly.
Before you hurt yourself or break down, take time to practice these self-care tips for nurses who stand all day at work.
Practice relaxation right after work
Once you leave work, you are absolutely done working. This statement might seem redundant—but I promise that it makes sense if you’re the type who can’t look away from work even when you’re at home. There are some times, especially now, when you need to have your work phone at the ready in case you get called in, but on days when you aren’t on call, it’s time to set the phone down and breathe. You deserve a break from both standing and working. Whether you decide to relax by taking a bubble bath or lounging on the sofa with your family’s favorite TV show is up to you.
Additional recommended reading: 9 Tips To Relieve Foot Pain From Standing All Day
Schedule chiropractor appointments
Sometimes, the tension we acquire from standing at work all day is more than a little at-home self-care can handle. A chiropractor is perfect for relieving back pain caused by standing and even preventing injuries related to tense muscles. If you’re a new mother or a soon-to-be-mother, chiropractors are capable of relieving back and pelvic pains related to your pregnancy as well. Trusting a chiropractor to take care of you can be difficult, but if you look for a chiropractor with trustworthy qualities and certifications, it will be worth every penny.
Purchase specialized clothing
Even though we have strict dress codes as nurses, that doesn’t mean we have to settle for shoes that fail our feet and lack support for our backs. A good pair of shoes is worth the investment and will save your back while you work. If you need extra support on the floor, consider purchasing a knee brace or compression socks or stockings.
As a nurse and a mother, it can be easy to forget that, in addition to taking care of others at work and home, we need to take care of ourselves, too. With these self-care tips for nurses who stand all day at work, you can re-energize yourself after a long shift at work and prepare yourself for the next day.
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