Nurses are undoubtedly an influential force among patients, probably because of their close and frequent contact with patients and wide awareness of population-specific health issues. BSN nurses can encourage patients’ adoption of healthy lifestyles by helping them make positive lifestyle changes and providing ongoing support. Online second degree accelerated BSN programs can help nurses learn important skills that benefit their patients. Below are a few ways nurses can promote their patients’ healthy lifestyles:
1. Provide Nutritional Advice
Providing nutritional advice is crucial in battling obesity, which has become an issue for most women. Currently, obesity rates have surpassed 20% in all U.S states. Recent national figures show that 30% or more of the adult population in 30 states are obese. Registered nurses provide health education surrounding nutrition to patients struggling with obesity.
This majorly revolves around maintaining a healthy diet, exercising, and setting realistic goals. BSN nurses are educators who bridge patients’ knowledge gap on obesity. They begin by informing patients about the health risks of obesity. Obesity increases the risk of developing heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and some forms of cancer.
Nurses should then help patients formulate a plan for healthy eating. Generally, dietary plans for obese individuals should focus on increasing the consumption of complex carbohydrates, reducing fats, and avoiding sugar-rich drinks and alcoholic beverages.
While diet changes coupled with portion control can facilitate weight loss, physical activity is also beneficial. Regular activity is important for patients to achieve their weight loss goals. However, finding suitable physical activities is a major challenge for most obese patients. Nurses can help patients identify simple yet effective activities that promote weight loss.
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How Nurses Can Promote Healthy Lifestyles for Their Patients
Nurses are undoubtedly an influential force among patients, probably because of their close and frequent contact with patients and wide awareness of population-specific health issues.
2. Promoting Stress Relief
Most women, especially those approaching menopause, struggle with high blood pressure. While various issues can cause high blood pressure, high-stress level is a major contributor. BSN nurses should explain to patients the causes and risks of high blood pressure.
Nurses should offer clinical advice and educate women on various ways of managing high blood pressure. Beneficial education topics include the benefits of taking prescribed medication, maintaining healthy activity, and healthy eating habits. BSN nurses should also encourage patients to quit smoking and alcoholism.
However, these measures control blood pressure but don’t alleviate the main cause, stress. For stress relief, nurses should encourage patients to explore various options, which include meditation, journaling to pinpoint the source of stress, sharing their feelings openly, and finding a relaxing hobby.
3. Encouraging them to Maintain a Healthy Sleep Schedule
Maintaining a sleep schedule is another common yet underdiagnosed problem facing women. Sleep is important for general physical and mental well-being. Unfortunately, age, stress, and lifestyle can negatively affect sleep patterns. According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults should sleep at least seven hours daily. Nurses should advise patients struggling with sleep deprivation on the various measures of developing a healthy sleep pattern. This includes darkening their bedrooms and avoiding using electronics before bed.
Nurses play an important role in improving patients' general health and well-being. While registered nurses provide and coordinate patient care, they also heavily focus on patient education. Advancing their studies helps nurses ace their role as nursing educators.