As a medical professional, you’re surrounded by sneezing and coughing all day long. You’re constantly treating patients with airborne and communicable diseases. So how can you stay germ free while working in an environment that’s full of germs? Here are a few tips for remaining healthy in a health environment.
Tie your hair back.
Cafeteria employees aren’t the only ones who should be concerned about keeping their hair out of their face. Tie it back! Just like a cook’s hair shouldn’t end up in the food, yours shouldn’t end up in a sterile field or a foley catheter. It’s common practice that nurses tie their hair back when dealing with patients that have lice, but it should be a standard practice to avoid other germs as well.
Don’t touch your face.
It’s no secret that most communicable diseases are transferred by touching your eyes, mouth, or nose with germy hands. Yet, think about all of the people you see rubbing their eyes or touching their lips. In fact, you may be one of them and not even realize it. Keep your hands away from your face except for immediately after sanitization if you want to avoid getting sick.
Wash your hands frequently.
You constantly preach to your patients how important it is that they wash their hands, especially during flu season. Make sure you too are practicing what you preach. Do you wash your hands every time you go in and out of a patient’s room? How about after each contact with their chart? Washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water is a great way to minimize germs.
Wipe down your workspace and your equipment.
This goes hand-in-hand with hand washing. Think about how often you let people use your pen. Do you have multiple pens or do all of your patients use the same one? How often do you wash that pen? Do you clean you stethoscope after each use? Do you ever let another nurse or a doctor borrow your stethoscope? Did they wash their hands? Make sure you’re frequently not only wiping down your workspace, but also all of the tools you use to do your job.
Get some rest.
Research has proven that not getting adequate sleep lowers your immune system. A strong immune system is a nurse’s best defense against germs. Make sure you’re getting at least 7 to 8 hours asleep at night (or during the day if you’re working night shifts).
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