We often refer to our healthcare workers as ‘healthcare heroes’, so it shouldn’t really surprise us the superhuman strength that they often seem to possess during a standard shift. Whether it’s lifting patients or lifting spirits; I think we can all agree that this job takes an incredible amount of strength.
When we think about nursing as a career, physical fitness isn’t the first thing that generally comes to mind. But there is actually a lot of physicality in the job that you may not be aware of.
First and foremost – standing on your feet all day. This might seem like not too hard of a task, but if you’ve ever been on your feet for 8-10 hours straight with few breaks, you’ll know that this is no easy feat.
Then there is also a lot of physical strength around lifting patients. If you’re working as a nurse in aged care, or where patients aren’t strong enough to care for themselves, you may be faced with tasks such as showering them, rolling them over in bed, or moving them from beds to wheelchairs. Nurses working in hospitals also may need to assist with these things, as well as lifting patients who are classified as a “dead weight”. This is where the patient has had an epidural (mainly used in maternity patients), is unconscious, asleep, or making their body intentionally limp, which in turn makes the patient a lot heavier to lift than what a ‘normal’ person would.
Apart from being strong in order to undertake these tasks, being physically fit also gives nurses patients (the ones who are able) inspiration to become physically fitter and healthier themselves, by acting as a role model.
Ok so this one doesn’t require you to be able to bench press 60kg in the gym but is equally – if not more – important than physical strength (which is something you can train for).
Apart from lifting patients, nurses also play a crucial role in lifting spirits around the hospital.
Making sure their patients are comfortable and happy has to come from a strength within – and one that is hard to learn. They deal with sometimes the sickest patients and have to make them feel safe and as at ease as they can, while making sure they keep up morale in their own team as well.
Being a nurse is undoubtedly difficult, but whether it be the physical or emotional strength, we know our nurses are tough!