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Surviving Spinning Plates: You Must Drink

It's 11:00am.  The shift started at 7:00am, maybe even 6:00am.  You've gotten through administering medications, assessing patients, are still working on helping people bathe, and maybe putting out a fire or two.  Breakfast involved a nutrition bar that you ate in three minutes because hey, eating that early in the morning doesn't always agree with you.  Physicians have finished rounds and you know a stream of orders is going to come your way sooner rather than later.

So, did you drink anything yet?  Anything besides your morning wake up beverage, whatever it might be?

If you haven't, it's time to start carrying a water bottle with you.  Yes, water is great for hydration, your skin looks great when you drink it regularly, but it has a more important function for a nurse.  It forces you to urinate.

Nurses are really good at ignoring when they have to go to the bathroom.  Dig back in your brain, however, to your pathophysiology course.  Ignoring the urge to urinate can lead to a urinary tract infection and bladder distension that weakens the bladder and might lead to incontinence.  Worse still, you might end up with a painful kidney infection that will keep you out of work.  And let's face it, a full bladder can be very distracting after awhile.  Am sure your patients would prefer you focused on their care and not distracted by the urge to pee.

Find a way to drink water while you work so you actually have an excuse for a 5 minute break.  It will be worth it in the long run, for both your physical and mental health.


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