Most people know that good hydration contributes to healthfulness. This is particularly true for nurses and healthcare workers who have studied human physiology. However, many still fail to stay properly hydrated, and the fast-paced environment of working in a medical facility can make the problem worse.
Here are 5 important reminders of why staying hydrated at work is critical to overall wellness and performance:
- Physical Activity – Healthcare work environments are often very physical. Tasks may involve brisk walking, heavy lifting and staying on one’s feet for long periods of time. Although hydration is important for all employees, including those who sit in desks, physical activity contributes more to dehydration.
- High Temperatures – People need to consume more water when conditions are hot. Summer weather often leads to dehydration, but work environments can have taxing temperatures even during other seasons. Hospitals are particularly variable, given their multiple levels and basement facilities. Healthcare workers stationed below ground may find their conditions are rather hot year round.
- Stress & Headaches – Many factors contribute to headaches, but stress and dehydration are both major culprits. Healthcare workers and nurses often find themselves in a “perfect storm.” The work can be very stressful, while access to water may be limited. While some stress is inevitable, efforts can be taken to increase water consumption.
- Coffee, Tea & Sodas – Most of us enjoy a good coffee, tea or soda. And, there’s nothing wrong with the occasional indulgence. However, caffeine is mildly diuretic, which means caffeinated beverages don’t hydrate as well as pure water. Caffeine is also known to cause headaches for some people. All things considered, water intake is even more important for those of us who like to drink caffeinated beverages.
- Dizziness, Weakness & Safety – Healthcare professionals and nurses work in active and potentially-dangerous environments. They’re exposed to safety hazards ranging from sharp objects to slippery surfaces. Poor hydration is proven to lead to dizziness, confusion and general weakness. All of these symptoms are potential hazards for healthcare workers.
Although it sounds a bit cliché’ to stress the importance of good hydration, the topic is still worth discussing. It’s one thing to know that water intake matters and quite another thing to actively work to achieve it. For those of us who do want to make hydration a priority, there are plenty of good options. One is to carry a bottle of water in a purse or bag and fill it periodically during breaks. And, if you’re looking for even more motivation, consider calorie-free mixes that add flavor while still maintaining the health benefits!
If you’re a nurse or healthcare professional looking for new opportunities, be sure to contact San Diego’s best staffing agency.