Another recent study on CVD (Cardiovascular Disease) has reiterated what many experts have already been saying; the more stressful your job, the more likely you are to have CVD. In their study, the researchers reviewed the empirical evidence linking work, psychosocial stressors and CVD. These work stressors can produce chronic biologic responses and promote unhealthy behaviors, which increases CVD risk. While you may be used to treating patients with CVD, it’s time to look out for your own health, and recognize the impact stress in the workplace can have on your body.
What exactly is CVD?
CVD is really a “catch all” term for any type of heart disease. The most common type of CVD is Atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is a condition that develops when a substance called plaque builds up in the walls of the arteries. This buildup narrows the arteries, making it harder for blood to flow through. These narrow arteries can increase your risk of stroke and/or heart attack and could become a fatal issue. The issue can be usually treated with medication but in more severe cases, surgery may be required. According to The Heart Foundation, heart disease is the number one killer in the U.S. so it’s important to reduce your risk as best you can.
The Nursing Stress
It’s no secret that the healthcare profession is one of the most stressful career choices out there. You’re constantly managing patients, family members, other nurses, and doctors while still trying to maintain a personal life. The long shifts and odd hours also do not make it easy on your health. A survey of 10,000 staff by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) found that 62% nurses thought about leaving over the last year because they are under so much stress in their job. Those who do remain in the nursing field must find a away to reduce their stress to further prevent the risk of CVD.
We know it’s tough to maintain healthy habits while you’re constantly on-the-go at work, but remember that these helpful tips will help you in the long run.
Healthy Eating – We know it’s easy to opt for the burger from the cafeteria for a quick mid-shift meal, but fatty foods can greatly increase your risk of CVD. Unhealthy eating can increase blood pressure, plaque in your arteries, and generally makes your heart work harder.
Get Some Sleep – Even if it’s snagging a quick nap between shifts, sleep plays a big role in your risk of heart disease. If you have trouble winding down after work, try drinking hot tea or listening to some relaxing music, and make sure your sleep schedule remains constant. Some much needed shut-eye will go a long way in helping to decrease your chances of CVD. It might even be worth taking off for a few days for a staycation.
Exercise – Even if it’s taking the time to walk to work, exercise can also prevent CVD, so taking a few minutes out of the day to get some exercise in can benefit you tremendously. Exercise can reduce cholesterol, blood pressure, and your risk of other heart-related issues.