Nursing is a contact sport, and it can get physical out there. Unfortunately, sometimes that physicality can show up on the body of the nurse.
If you look closely a nurse, you may be able to see the various ways nursing has changed them physically. For better or worse, these changes are part of what results from years of shifts.
Dark circles under eyes
Nurses are pretty much always tired. Even those who work day shift are tired at the end of the day, and this can lead to the dreaded dark eye circles.
Some nurses do wear makeup to work, but beware the raccoon look if you take this avenue. The dark circles are hard to hide, and they will be there… until you get a nice, long stretch of unbroken sleep.
Whenever that may be.
If you stand on your feet all day, your legs are going to stage a revolt. Varicose veins tend to occur in those who are older, but standing all day is definitely a risk factor for impeding blood flow.
Not only are these swirls of blue-black veins ugly, but they can be painful, as well. Many nurses have them, and the only way to prevent them is to sit down from time to time. Please laugh accordingly.
Long fingernails are not only an infectious disease issue, they are also impossible to keep as a nurse. Whether it is typing at breakneck speed or prying open a suction canister, long fingernails would be history within the first hour.
Still, it is important to see to your fingernails. You don’t want broken nails, hang nails, or any other broken skin that could potentially allow for bacteria to enter into your bloodstream.
Nurses wash their hands a lot, and that is exactly as it should be. With the advent of hand sanitizer, the use of soap and water has declined, but sometimes the chemicals in the sanitizer can be just as bad.
It is important to moisturize to prevent dry and cracked skin, but many nurses don’t because they are simply too busy running to the next patient. Fortunately, some hand sanitizers now have moisturizers built in, so perhaps this physical sign will be a thing of the past.
Just about every nurse has at least one joint that cracks – usually the knees, ankles, or lower back. It is just a function of the job that these joints will take a pounding, and arthritis will set in sooner.
If you are concerned about your cracking joints, you need to see an orthopedic doctor to get an idea of the amount of arthritis in your joints. Leaving the joint too long without examination could mean that you don’t catch a severe problem until it is too late.