We’re nearly halfway through ANA’s Year of the Healthy Nurse - a year set aside to focus on our own health, so that we can in turn, improve the health of our families, patients, communities, and our nation.
So what does this actually entail?
- For one thing, discovering, learning, and reviewing the best evidence regarding various health behaviors (Sorry. Three things).
- Applying that evidence to our own lives in ways to become healthier. That can mean anything - from exchanging former behaviors for new healthier ones, or selecting additional ways to practice self care, or – this one’s the tough one – making our health behavior choices a priority among all the other demands placed upon us by career, family, school, and community.
- Believing that our own health is imperative for providing the best care for others.
ANA and ONA have helped us with the first point. ANA’s Healthy Nurse website contains much information on many current health behavior topics.
ONA has collaborated with Montana Nurses Association (MNA) to provide half hour webinars on various health issues, which align with ANA’s focus topics each month:
Live presentations are held first Wednesday of every month in 2017, 1-1:30 EST, with subsequent recorded versions available through December, 2017. For more information, simply go to the ONA website, and click on the icon that looks like the one below, which you will find on the lower right of the welcome page.
Nurses may receive 0.5 contact hours for participation in either the live or recorded versions. Cost is $10, but free for ONA and MNA members.
- Criteria for successful completion: Complete registration and payment, attend the webinar, complete the evaluation
- Conflict of interest: None for any planners or presenter
- Accreditation: The Ohio Nurses Association is accredited as provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation. (OBN-001-91)
- Joint Providership: ONA and MNA
- Expiration date for recorded webinar: 12/31/17
July’s topic – Healthy Sleep – comprises health behaviors which affect many nurses, yet can be those most difficult to apply to our own lives (points 2 and 3 above). With nursing a 24/7/365 profession, there is hardly a nurse who does not have a story about a friend or colleague who suffered injury – or even death – due to an accident while driving home after a night shift, or after working extended hours. The same can be said for medication errors, or events which led to patient harm, occurring towards the end of very long, tiring shifts.
Yet it is so easy to dismiss our own sleep. Family needs, school or work assignments, attractive events, social media, movies, TV shows and books, or the notion that ‘I don’t need that much sleep,’ all keep us from receiving the adequate, restorative sleep that we actually do require.
Findings reported in both the scientific and lay literature indicate that during sleep we:
- Repair body tissues
- Fight pathogens
- Build/regulate our immune system
- Regulate metabolism
- Balance hormone levels
- ‘Wash’ our brain cells
- Solidify memories, and assign proper emotional responses to them
Lack of sleep can lead to delayed healing, increased inflammation, increased insulin resistance, and greater mental distress.
Admittedly, all ANA Healthy Nurse topics are important, but for many, this one might be especially so. Please consider registering for the ONA/MNA webinar on healthy sleep, presented by Melanie M. Morris, MBA, BSN, RN-BC, CCRN-K, a professional development specialist from Cleveland Clinic Akron General (info above).
And when you have some extra time (but don’t let it interfere with your sleep!) ‘click around’ some of ANA’s sleep resources. This could be the healthy nurse behavior you adopt in 2017 that most impacts your health, and the care you provide others!