Safeguarding Your Health and Safety on the Road

by Carmela Nazareno on September 18, 2014

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healthcare-traveler-safetyLiving away from home and working as a healthcare traveler may mean being away from your regular doctor, dentist and your normal routine. You also may not be familiar with the neighborhood or know you way around. All of the factors above can cause you to slack off when it comes to your well-being and safety. But there are plenty of things you can do in order to safeguard your health and safety on the road.

Before You Leave

Consider having a checkup before you leave. Have the appropriate medical tests for your age, and make sure your immunizations are up to date. But don’t forget to also see your dentist for a checkup before you leave. Getting a dental checkup before you head out on your next travel assignment may prevent problems later on down the road.

If you take any type of prescription medication, make sure you have what you will need while out of town. Although you can always use a local pharmacy to fill something if needed, it may be easier to take what you need in advance.

While on Assignment

Don’t ignore symptoms. If you are away from your regular doctor you may be tempted to ignore symptoms, if you are not feeling well. But regardless of where you are if you feel sick or have unusual symptoms, don’t hesitate seeing a doctor.

Stick with your fitness routine. You may be busy at work or out having fun on your days off, but developing and sticking with an exercise plan is still important. Working in healthcare can be stressful, and exercise is a great stress reducer. It can also help you sleep better.

Get enough sleep. Many healthcare travel jobs involve doing 12-hour shifts, which can be tiring. You may also be working overnight or rotating shifts. Getting enough sleep is essential to good health. Maintain good sleep habits, such as limiting caffeine, relaxing before bed, and going to bed at the same time each night.

Keep you back protected. Back injuries are one of the most common injuries healthcare workers suffer. Pay attention to your lifting technique: bending at the knees, not the waist. Use mechanical lifting devices whenever possible. Never take on more than you can handle. Don’t hesitate in getting additional help.

Use proper precautions. All healthcare workers should be diligent about using the proper precautions based on the patient’s condition. Masks, gloves, eye shields, gowns, and gloves are all there for a reason. Take advantage of it. Even if you use precautions, like wearing gloves, washing your hands frequently is one of the best things you can do, especially when working in the hospital.

In addition, use caution every time you are working with a needle to avoid sticking yourself or a coworker. Always use the safety devices on needles and depose of needles properly. Avoid rushing through procedures or cutting corners. If you do accidently receive a needle stick, make sure you follow the reporting procedures at your facility.

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