Put Your Oxygen Mask On First

Prior to take off, the airplane stewardess announces that in the event of and emergency and oxygen pressure change in the main cabin or if the oxygen pressure become unstable, passengers are to “put on their mask first”  before helping anyone else including your granny or your children.  Even when flying thousands of miles up in the air, your top priority is to take care of yourself first, then help others.

You know what this means right?  The pressure in the hospitals (main cabin) may be unstable way before you clocked in for your shift.  A lot of madness could have been brewing just in time to make the atmosphere seem unstable when you step foot on the unit. In this case, a good nurse could use a personalized care plan and implement it  before clocking into that joint. You’ve written one for so many others, so why not for yourself?

Here is a nursing plan I’ve made up for you just in case you did not have time to create one today.  Should you come up with a few other nursing diagnosis to add to this list, shoot them our way okay?

1. Nursing Diagnosis (NANDA approved) for Nurse X: Impaired  physical mobility r/t weight gain and self care deficit

2.  Expected Outcome:

  • Nurse will go back to baseline “prior to nursing school or getting a job in healthcare” weight (of course if you had a gain)
  • Nurse will breathe with less effort and agony when running to answer a client’s call light
  • Nurse will reduce her chance of having  a chronic disease and will perform her duties withing optimal health
  • Nurse will feel a boost in her self-image and self esteem
  • Nurse will learn to put and keep self-care as top priority

3.  Nursing Intervention:

Scrubs tend to hide the midsection girth

  • Make sure Nurse gets adequate time for breaks every shift
  • Allow Nurse adequate time for bathroom breaks when the urge hits every shift
  • Assess if nurse makes adequate time to engage in physical activity (45min-60 minutes and at least 4-6 days/week.  A nurse should consider running) on off days
  • Ensure a nurse gets adequate hours of sleep–7-9 hours a night (Lawd!).  Do not call a nurse back in to work because of shortage after she has pulled a 12 hour shift of hard work
  • Measure the level of unnecessary stress doctors, pharmacists, and lab personnel put a good nurse through on a daily basis which contributes quite a bit to weight gain.  Again, you know, stress=adrenaline flight or fight response=cortisol secretion increase= extra weight around the midsection or gut!  Delegate the administrators and  supervisor to help keep these elements at bay so a good nurse can do her work smoothly (Yeah right!)
  • Assess the Nurse weight on a regular basis or once a week

4.  Rationale

  • Working long hours without breaks and under much stress has a tendency to lead nurses to frequently snack on junk foods, caffeine, and high calorie sodas.
  • Nurses who do not get breaks or take breaks tend to be more stressed out which can lead to burnouts and a 2004 Medical Care (Med Care) study shows that 1 in every 5 nurse report wanting to leave their jobs withing a year because of stress and burnout.
  • If a nurse does not get her breaks or even get them in a timely manner, this could add to further stress level and a greater propensity of making medical errors.  WE KNOW THIS!
  • Engaging in physical activity is known to help people maintain optimal weight, and a host of other benefits.
  • Adequate hour of sleep helps the body renew, replenish, and rejuvenate so a good nurse could jump on the skates once again the next day.
  • Okay.  The job is a stressful profession to be in, and when you have folks are adding unnecessary stress to the list, well, it just isn’t very therapeutic for a good nurse.

5.  Evaluation of Interventions:

We will leave this part up to you.  Let us know in about a week, a month, or a year what results you’ve gotten from following this elaborately personalized self-care plan for managing impaired physical mobility r/t weight gain and self care deficit.

Get the family involved too.

OYE!  Here are a few tips to help you stay focused in following your care plan once you personalize one for yourself.

  • Get your family involved.  This may helping you stay on tract with implementing your care plan.  Devise a weekly care plan that you all may follow and let everyone evaluate each other’s progress. This puts some peer or family pressure which could help keep everyone in line.
  • If watching TV is a large part of your off days activities (2-4 hrs), try exercising on your stationary bike or treadmill in front of the tube while enjoying your favorite shows.  Experts may cringe at this.  It’s really best you engage in one thing at a time,  but I’m just saying, a good nurse got to do what a nurse has to do.
  • If working in the office or watching TV, you can take 5 minutes break intervals every 30 minutes or so to lift a few dumbbells or kettle-bells intervals, or take a 20 or 30 minute walk in the neighborhood.   A friend of mine once gave me a Cardioglyde workout machine when she was desperately to make space in order to “Zen-up” her home.  I really appreciated this machine and still use it when I take breaks away from my studies and writing at home.  You know, it helps get the blood circulating more quickly to refresh the brain.  So get that dusty machine out and make use of it.