Tips on How to Stay Healthy as a Patient Care Technician
Mar 15, 2015 | 8:00 am
A patient care technician knows what it means to wear many hats. From checking vital signs and tending to patients’ basic needs to the role of phlebotomy technician, EKG technician and respiratory aid, a patient care technician is a cross-trained healthcare worker who possesses the ultimate “care giver” personality.
So, when you’re constantly giving to others, how do you take care of yourself? If you’re feeling tired most of the time, losing interest in your favorite hobbies and starting to sleep too much or too little, you may need to refocus on your own personal healthcare. Here are some tips for how patient care technicians can stay healthy inside and out:
•Physical Hygiene Is a Must
It goes without saying that patient care technicians must wash their hands and use gloves constantly, but it truly is one of the best ways to protect your physical health. When you come home, take time to enjoy a warm shower or soak in the tub as a regular pre-dinner routine. Wash away the worries of the day as well as whatever germs you may have picked up on your clothes, hair and arms.
•Do What You Do Best
Use your skills to the best of your ability, and shrug off feelings of guilt (or comments from patients) that you should do more. In a post from the Mayo Clinic on managing caregiver stress, they advise focusing on what you can provide without feeling guilty. Regardless of your best work, some patients will still find ways to point blame. Teammates may get irritable. You may feel overwhelmed. It’s important to do your best and feel good about your work.
•Get Rest When You’re Not Working
This may sound impossible to full-time working parents or those who have other responsibilities that demand their attention at home, but getting rest doesn’t always mean sitting around doing nothing for hours. It’s important to make time to enjoy certain relaxing routines. Maybe it’s setting aside time for a walk after dinner to clear your head or planning one night a week to enjoy time with friends at dinner. These little routines will help recharge your batteries and give you something to look forward to each week.
•Exercise in Interesting Places
Getting exercise is important, but it’s not always easy to fit it in our schedules. When you care for patients all day—from getting them dressed and bathed to transporting them to other departments in a wheelchair and so much more—you don’t always feel like hitting the gym after work. Find creative ways to take on a consistent exercise routine, whether it means parking farther from the entrance, taking the steps to and from work or getting that gym membership to swim a few laps on the weekend.
Whatever you choose to do to stay healthy as a patient care technician, start right away! It may take time to incorporate more rest and exercise into your schedule, but if you settle into one new routine at a time, you’ll eventually find you’re taking better care of yourself… and in turn, feeling more satisfied caring for others.