On the Go: Self-Care Tips for Nurses With Respiratory Concerns

Travel nurses and allied health professionals are constantly seeking adventure and, simultaneously, offering their profession in dedication to serve others. Travel nurses move from place to place, filling positions needed in hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare centers worldwide.

Unfortunately, these individuals are prone to respiratory infections and exposure to toxic substances. They may be in harm’s way as they do their duties.

As a traveling nurse, how do you ensure you do not get sick while working? What are the top self-care tips for travel nurses?

There are hazards that nurses can be exposed to, especially those who travel to different regions of the world.

This article will discuss what travel nurses should know to avoid getting sick as they go to different places to perform their nursing duties. The write-up will also list self-care tips for travel nurses.

Self-Care Tips for Traveling Nurses

         Nurses are part of the medical workforce and crucial to a country’s health care system. However, this line of work is physically, mentally, and emotionally taxing, which leads to the question of how nurses can maintain functionality despite being in a high-pressure environment.

Nurses travel to different locations and respiratory concerns are one of the significant issues they face, especially during the height of the pandemic.

Here are some self-care tips to ensure you’re helping others and yourself as a nurse.

1.  Respiratory Self-Care

         You can do deepbreathing exercises to strengthen your lungs. You can take slow breaths for a few minutes to exercise the lungs and enhance relaxation.

Aside from this, avoiding vices like smoking is best to ensure the lungs are healthy. Respiratory care is essential for nurses, especially in an environment prone to infections.

Also, here’s some advice to ensure respiratory health for people:

  • Don’t smoke
  • Avoid indoor pollutants
  • Minimize exposure to outdoor pollutants
  • Prevent infection by observing health protocols
  • Get regular check-ups

2.  Mental Self-Care

         One of the crucial things for a nurse is maintaining composure, alert cognitive abilities, and functionality amid pressure through solid mental focus.

3.  Care for Yourself

As a nurse, you always care for others, looking after your patients to ensure that they’re safe and their needs are met. But you should not neglect yourself.

         Here are some ways to care for your mental health as a nurse:

  • Read journals and favorite books
  • Enroll and complete a continuing education unit or CEU course
  • Establish social connections with colleagues, friends, and family
  • Play a game or have a hobby
  • Exercise
  • Visit interesting places
  • Listen to audiobooks or podcasts

4.  Emotional Self-Care

         Don’t be too hard on yourself. Always have space to forgive yourself, allow yourself to adjust, and carry on.

         During the pandemic outbreak, nurses bore the brunt of the initial wave of people infected by COVID-19. The intense situation and the threat of getting infected caused nurses to experience post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD.

         Nurses need a community or group where they can raise their voices. They need an avenue where they’re empowered to share their struggles openly and receive the care and attention they deserve.

How Can You Neglect to Care for Yourself?

          Postponing or neglecting self-care is dangerous. Nurses in stressful situations can quickly experience self-neglect without them even noticing. Here are some signs that you’re neglecting yourself.

  • Doing things on autopilot
  • Always prioritizing others
  • Slowly feeling burned out
  • Always catching up on responsibilities

         Self-neglect hinges on the idea that self-prioritization is being selfish. Understand that your well-being means the health of those that depend on you. So, continuously improve your health physically, mentally, and emotionally, and you’ll be of service to others.

         You can reduce self-neglect by spending time with yourself. Reward yourself from time to time, and make it memorable. You should also rest when needed, and don’t avoid getting professional help before your condition gets worse.

Understanding the Threat of Asbestos Exposure

          Travel nurses are brave people willing to move from one location to another to help others. The goal of travel nurses is to fulfill the staffing needs of hospitals, clinics, and various areas where their services are required.

         Because of this, there are instances where nurses might get exposed accidentally to toxic substances like asbestos. To avoid this, you can check the following areas where asbestos might exist:

  • Any establishment or house that has been built before 2000
  • Insulation
  • Roofing and ceiling tiles
  • AIB (asbestos insulating board) partitions and panels
  • Textiles like fire blankets
  • Pipe coverings
  • Asbestos cement

         It’s best to reach out to your department head or hospital or clinic management when you suspect the presence of asbestos in your area. Don’t try to clean it if you’re not qualified to handle toxic materials.


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