Patients who end up at the doctor’s office or the hospital in the care of angelic nurses will wonder if they could have done anything differently. Though some injuries and sicknesses are truly life-threatening, there are a number of instances where people are their own worst enemies. Each year, nurses provide treatment for men and women who have not yet learned how to take care of themselves in their day-to-day lives. Here are the five most common health mistakes that nurses wish people would avoid as they wend their way through life.
1) Failing to Clean Superficial Wounds and Cuts
Most people deal with minor cuts and abrasions from time to time. Though nearly all thinking individuals will recognize that such lacerations provide an entrance point for bacteria, many men and women are lax when it comes to cleaning the wound. Instead of just slapping a bandage on the cut, nurses always recommend that people use an anti-bacterial ointment or spray to kill all of the bacteria in the immediate vicinity. A significant portion of patients who end up in the emergency room with infections can trace their problems back to improper wound-cleaning.
2) Taking Too Many Pain Pills at Once
A second way in which people often harm themselves is by taking too many pain pills at the same time. Manufacturers will surely recommend, for example, that only one or two ibuprofen be taken at once. When people take a large amount of pills in an attempt to kill a splitting headache, they will only be overwhelming the body. Long-term pill use can even cause harm to the liver and kidneys. Many men and women who are admitted to the hospital with overdoses are unaware of how they became ill. Most professional nurses undoubtedly wish that pill takers could count out their dosages much better.
3) Avoiding a Flu Shot
As the winter descends upon the country once again, the flu virus finds it mighty easy to migrate between hapless victims. Most people consider themselves bulwarks of strength, but the flu can penetrate anything that gets in its way. Nurses always stress the importance of getting a flu shot. In addition to keeping themselves safe from harm, people will be protecting others who are more vulnerable. If most of the country would simply submit to the shot, severe flu seasons would become a thing of the past.
4) Not Visiting a Doctor When Chest Pain Occurs
This particular item is more serious than the others, but the frequency with which it is found in the greater population warrants its mention. When men and women experience mild to moderate chest pain, they often believe that they are suffering from simple indigestion. Sharp pain should always be reported to a physician as quickly as possible. When it comes to heart disease, early intervention can save quite a few lives. Nurses are on the front lines when it comes to urging people to see a trusted cardiologist.
5) Failing to Eat a Well-Rounded Diet Rich in Fruits and Vegetables
Our final health tip is closely intertwined with diet and nutrition. People who fail to eat healthy foods will likely find themselves fatigued, depressed, and overweight. There are simply ways to fix this. With the addition of plenty of fruits and vegetables to the diet, individuals will begin to lose some of the extra weight. They will also improve their cardiovascular systems. Improper nutritional habits drive nurses nuts.
In the end, experienced nurses have seen every kind of health issue. Some are not preventable. Others, however, can be completely avoided with some lifestyle changes. In this way, men and women will find themselves spending much less time in the hospital going forward.
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Julia Swanson is a nurse practitioner and guest author at Best RN to BSN, where she has reviewed some of the best RN to BSN online degree programs.