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Improving a Nurse's Well Being

Improving a Nurse's Well Being - El Paso Chiropractor
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Nurses are the largest group of healthcare providers in the United States, occupying many workplaces, from doctor’s offices to biotech firms, governmental agencies and private insurers. Trusted more than almost any other professional, nurses implement a broad influence on the way healthcare is conveyed and represented.

A nurse’s job can be very demanding, specifically in the hospital setting, where they must focus on applying intense intellectual and physical requirements over extended periods of time. Studies have shown that in a given year, approximately half of all nurses will have struggled with some form of back complication. In fact, a recent research published in two journals, The American Journal of Nursing and Clinical Nurse Specialist, declared that when nurses suffer, so do their patients.

The researchers of the study created a questionnaire for registered nurses working in hospital settings, which asked them about their personal health and the level to which their injuries or illnesses seemed to affect their work. After evaluating more than 1,000 answers, the researchers found that nearly 20 percent of the nurses questioned presented symptoms of depression, a prevalence twice as high as that of the general population. Additionally, approximately three-quarters of the nurses experienced some grade of physical pain due to a muscle sprain or strain while at work.

The researchers followed by analyzing the quality of the nurse’s work. A minor percentage of nurses admitted to making a recent medication error or reported that a patient had fallen while under their care. By modifying the analysis according to how the nurses were feeling, the researchers discovered that the chance of a patient falling or a medication mistake from the nurse increased considerably by about 20 percent, the more a nurse was in pain or depressed.

Nurses are surrounded with many environmental stressors in the hospital workplace. The rates of sick patients have increased over the years and nurse-to-patient staffing ratios are not always standardized. Occasionally, through the course of a 12-hour shift, many nurses can encounter situations where they must care for more patients than is comfortable. Also, if a nurse becomes ill, they can often feel more pressure to show up for work because their absence could mean even more work for their colleagues or further staff shortage when caring for patients.

Unfortunately, there are few work-based resources available for nurses who are ill or depressed. Also, only a few hospitals have preventive programs that authorize safe patient lifting practices or policies which support nurses who may be temporarily disables as a result of an injury or illness. Nurse managers frequently have little training on how to handle nurses with health problems and even many staff nurses may be unaware themselves on how to properly help a fellow nurse in need.
With a predicted nursing shortage, many of these issues will likely increase but there are several initiatives that could provide a better work force for many healthcare workers. These include measures such as standardizing the nurse staffing ratios, providing the option of working shifts shorter than 12 hours and creating more health screening programs. “The only way to ensure the best quality for our patients is to have an expert staff of qualified nurses who are healthy enough to offer that kind of care,” said Dr. Susan Letvak, the study’s lead author and a registered nurse who is an associate professor of nursing at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, “We can’t ignore nurses’ health anymore.”

Furthermore, nurses experiencing pain and discomfort should seek immediate medical attention themselves to diagnose a possible injury or underlying condition that could be causing their symptoms. Chiropractic care is an efficient, alternative form of treatment that offers many physical and emotional benefits for individuals who are experiencing debilitating symptoms. Healthcare workers frequently report some form of back pain. Through chiropractic care, a chiropractor may utilize spinal adjustments and manual manipulations to carefully and gently re-align the spine in order to correct any possible misalignments or subluxations that could be causing pain and/or nerve compression. With a series of appropriate stretches and exercises designed according to each individual’s needs, a chiropractor will also further help an individual and speed up the recovery process by relieving many painful symptoms associated with back injuries or conditions as well as improving the strength of the spine and its surrounding structures to restore the person’s natural mobility. For nurses, healthcare workers, and the general public alike, chiropractic treatment can greatly help improve an individual’s lifestyle.

By Dr. Alex Jimenez



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