As you have probably noticed, we’re currently experiencing a bit of a heatwave at the moment! This may mean ice cream and sunbathing for some, but for us student nurses it isn’t much fun! From stuffy uniforms and buses hotter than hell, to rushing around ensuring patients are hydrated whilst being dehydrated yourself.
So what the the top tips for staying cool in a heatwave?
- Sun cream!! Especially if you’re on community or commute via walking/cycling.
- Keep hydrated***. It’s obvious, and we all harp on about it, but the day will drag more and the heat will hit you harder if you don’t keep drinking cold water or juice. Make sure you have a bottle or jug nearby to remind you, or drink with your patients so you both get the benefit!
- Don’t over-exert yourself. You are the most important person to take care of in your life! Make sure you take regular little breaks for drinks + a sit down. I know it can be hard, but you’re no use to your patients if you aren’t on top form!
- Change into your uniform when you get to placement. It prevents you starting your shift in a sweaty mess, and allows your body to cool down on your way home.
- Avoid too much caffeine. I know this sounds barbaric (I can’t survive a shift without coffee) but caffeine is a diuretic. That means you’re going to the toilet more, which leads to more water loss. Try not to overdo the coffee intake!
- Try and get some sleep! Nothing is going to make a hot day longer + harder than lack of sleep. If you need a fan, get one! I know I couldn’t cope without mine.
- ***Know the signs. Dehydration can be bad news, whether its staff or patients. Make sure you know the signs (headache, dry mouth, not urinating a lot) and keep an eye out. Let someone know if you or a patient is suffering.
Have you been coping with the heat? Send us any tips/tricks via email, Facebook or Twitter !