Monday, June 29, 2009

10 Ways for Nurses to Unwind and Veg Out

Nurses are everyone’s caregiver, from seniors to expectant moms to patients in the ER to sick kids to surgery patients. But who’s there to take care of you when you shed your scrubs and head home after a long day – or night—of work? Whether or not you have someone to come home to, here are 10 ways for nurses to unwind and veg out after spending hours patching other people up.

1. Treat yourself to a manicure. Have someone else buff, paint and trim your nails. Having someone else look after your physical needs is a real treat, even if you know the manicure won’t last long at your regular job.
2. Head to the movies. It’s one of the few places that’s dark, quiet and you don’t have access to your pager.
3. Watch nurse and hospital shows on TV. No matter how bad you’ve got it, you most likely didn’t have to deal with a burning school bus, a helicopter crash, a tornado, and a murdering nurse’s assistant on the same day.
4. Burn your scrubs. If you’re planning on throwing out a pair of scrubs anyway, go ahead and burn them. It just feels better.
5. Challenge yourself to avoid using any kind of medical lingo in everyday conversation. It’ll be hard at first, but you’ll feel more like a regular human.
6. When someone calls and asks for help, just say no. On your day off, it’s okay to stop being the hero every time someone needs one.
7. Go out with friends who aren’t nurses. You’ll finally get a chance to talk about things other than your job and free yourself of the everyday stresses that plague you.
8. Go out with your nurse friends. Every once in a while, have a party or go to happy hour with your nurse friends to rant and vent about the little things no one else will get.
9. Sit by the window. If you’re locked up in a hospital all day, you may not get a chance to monitor the weather or even tell if it’s day or night. Spend as much time outside or at least by a window on your days off.
10. Go shopping. Go shopping for clothes you can’t wear to work, and then plan out the trips and activities you’ll wear them to.
This post was contributed by Kathleen Baker, who writes about the ultrasound tech school. She welcomes your feedback at KathleenBaker3212 at