Self-care while serving others
Contributed by staff writer Amanda Fraraccio
We ended 2018 by giving our readers some ways to take care of themselves during the busy holiday season. As we get back to regular work routines and start off a new year let’s look at how to take care of ourselves at work. Sonographers and technical assistants in clinic can encounter long busy days. We know our team members are intent on providing quality care and a good patient experience, often this includes sacrificing their own needs.
When you have patients back-to-back it can be a challenge to eat nutritiously, or even to eat at all. Eating in cafeterias or on-site restaurants or grabbing empty calorie snacks from a vending machine are not always the healthiest options.
Here are a few tips for healthy eating:
Prepare ahead, buy healthy items at the beginning of the week and take a few moments at home to chop and prep fruits and vegetables. Portion healthy snacks into single serving containers that you can pack into a cooler daily to bring to work.
Stay hydrated, bring a large water bottle and keep it next to you to drink throughout the day.
Relax when eating, even if it’s just a quick snack take a few slow deep breaths before you take your first bits, this helps reduce stress and assist your body in proper digestion (Meyer, 2009).
Eat something at least every 6 hours (preferable every 4 hours). On days when you are unable to sit down for a break try to find at least a few minutes to eat a high-fiber protein bar (one with at least 5 g of fiber and 7 g of protein to increase satiety), or to consume a meal-replacement drink (Meyer, 2009).
Limit vending-machine snacks. If the vending machine is your only option at any given time, choose a more nutritious snack (a granola bar, wheat chips, or peanut butter and crackers, for instance) instead of candy (Meyer, 2009).
Examples of quick healthy foods to snack on include those high in soluble fiber and antioxidants such as:
An apple with raw almonds.
Hummus with raw veggies like bell peppers, carrots, and jicama.
Greek yogurt with a tablespoon of chia seeds and berries.
Many other nuts and seeds like pistachios and sunflower seeds (Reed, 2014).
Making a few changes in your eating habits can have a huge impact on your energy level, job performance, and overall health. It can be tempting to forego your own needs to care for patients, however in the long run both provider and client suffer when our team members are not taking care of themselves.
So, buy a cute lunch bag (amazon has some great budget friendly options) and let’s start taking better care of ourselves this year.
For more resources on easy healthful snacks visit these websites:
Meyer, K. (2009, September/October). Nutrition tips for nurses who work shifts. Retrieved from American Nurse today: https://www.americannursetoday.com/nutrition-tips-for-nurses-who-work-shifts/
Reed, D. (2014, September 30). Eating healthy for nurses: Nutrition basics to promote healthy for nurses and patients. Retrieved from The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing: http://ojin.nursingworld.org/MainMenuCategories/ANAMarketplace/ANAPeriodicals/OJIN/TableofContents/Vol-19-2014/No3-Sept-2014/Healthy-Eating-for-Healthy-Nurses.html