The Nurse and Exercise

Daily Life, Patients, Way of Life

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Exercising is something that nurses do the entire shift. It is free from the ‘boss’ and it can be done on work time. Over time exercises become endurance tests, athletic carnivals and mental exercises, all of which are  dependent on how many hours nurses work per week. More hours, means more exercise. Bootcamp is nothing compared with a career in nursing!


Some common forms of exercises nurses do cover:


Patients come in all sizes and all kinds of weights. These patients can be seen as the nurses’ personal trainer or coach. They encourage the nurse to work hard by lifting, positioning in bed, getting in and out of bed/chair.

Each time the weight lifted is different. It could be anywhere from 5-40 kg to 70-210kg.


This is common amongst nurses and it is donemany times a day. Nurses run for an emergency (sometimes a false alarm), with reaction time being tested by fellow team members.

Nurses run to the lab or other departments to bring or retrieve.

Patients may vary in weights but they also make sure that our sprinting is pleasant and sometimes exhausting by the frequency in which they press the Call Button and the reaction and response time that ensues. Sometimes there are many calls at the same time too! Some ‘personal trainers’ are very challenging especially when it comes to the call button!Medical staff are also good in keeping nurses in shape. The nurse often accompanies the patient to tests (often after hours when there is no patient transport).

Often the nurse has a choice, with degree of difficulty – whether to use the bed or wheelchair for transport.

Obstacles are also encountered along the way and that makes it more of a challange. It’s always good when the finish line can be seen; the spot where the patient is to be placed.

Then there’s the verticle challenge. The stairs are often in use due to the elevators being in use by the many supporters of the ‘personal trainers’ (visitors of the trainers).

Like other sporting disciplines, nursing is not without risks. Nurses may not need mouthguards, but personal protective clothing is required, including eye goggles, aprons, gloves, masks and caps. Of particular note are the viruses of NORO, ROTA, MRSA, VRE.B

Be prepared. Nurses are responsible for their safety and need to ahere to each facility’s guidelines for safe operating practices.

If the situation escalates, then the ‘Riot Police’ can be called to securely close the playing field (the ward) to all ‘supporters’ or to keep the ‘supporters’ to a minimum. The battle against these virulent viruses is a serious task that requires strict enforcement of management guidelines. These ‘opponents’ must be disabled as soon as possible.

Mental Exercises

Checkers and chess are nothing compared to the mental exercises nurses constantly challege themselves with to prioritise and think strategically. Coordination and anticipation is a constant changing game. The strategic plan for our ‘personal trainer’ needs to be known in order to prioritise care for maximum effect.

Nurses gather information constantly throughout the day through observation, assessment and discussion. All information must be carefully evaluated and an action plan implemented.

The ‘game scoresheet’ and ‘match report’ must be documented perfectly. This is not done by just anyone – it is done by the one who knows – the nurse! It also must be done correctly, in sequence and given the time it deserves. If this is not done adequately, then mistakes can then happen. This leads to ‘penalty points’ and even ‘disqualification’. Once in a while bad tings happen and if this occurs, then it makes headline news. Therefore,being a nurse is a serious ‘sport’.

At the end of the days’ ‘exercise’, the baton is passed onto the next teammate in this ‘relay race’ that is called the profession of Nursing.

After or in between this ‘exercising’, there is also room to replenish energy, perhaps by eating cake from a celebrating colleague, or chocolate of a grateful patient or some candy from the big pot that won’t last the shift.

Superfood it is! Some doctors may notice that there’s some superfood on the ward also. Normally these doctors are not seen often, but when superfood is available, they appear! This superfood is way better than the lunch brought from home. Sometimes there is no time to eat this lunch and more often it becomes dinner.

Doctors often go from one ‘game’ (surgery hours) to the other ‘game’ without any rest in between, so coffee becomes another superfood.

‘Club management’ (hospital or other institution) often decides that more intensive training and with fewer teammates is needed. The Olympic Games should have a category for nursing!.

When a team member gets a ‘yellow’ or a ‘red card’ (sick leave or extended sick leave) and there are no ‘substitutes’ on the bench, then the ‘game’ is played with a team member down. Many personal records are then set. Even if an injury occurs, or the game is ‘forfeited’ the ‘club’ and ‘trainers’ keep standing. There will always be other jobs or sport sectors to join If searching for higher goals.

Keeping up to date with the rules of the game is required, as these can change over the course of time and other insights may develop and many trainings and/or courses are now mandatory.

Nurses exercise a minimum of 30 minutes a day in a situation where intensity of ‘training’ is much higher than average. That said, there is room for other exercises after the shift is over. These exercises add to a healthy lifestyle and gives an extra relaxing moment.

The title of ‘Nurse’ is a great achievement, but medals are not what winning is about. Success and achievement is met with honor and gratitude.


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