By Mary Charney, BWC Director of Nursing
Inspire, Innovate, Influence. That’s the theme for National Nurses Week, which runs from Sunday, May 6, to Saturday, May 12 (National Nurses Day celebrating Florence Nightingale’s birthday).
This year’s theme also reflects the important role nurses have in holistically caring for Ohio’s injured workers at work and home.
Better You, Better Ohio!,™ BWC’s health and wellness program for employers (including health care clinics, offices, practices and centers) of 50 or less employees, emphasizes the importance of employee and injured worker wellness for lifelong health.
BWC nurses lead the way
Our 58 nurses work in a variety of areas, from medical policy and employee health to rehabilitation, claims management and clinical advisement. They inspire, innovate and influence Ohio’s injured workers and our employees to manage their health and they promote the highest quality of life and well-being for all of us.
In honor of National Nurses Week, we thank our nursing professionals for what he or she does every day at work and within our communities. Nurses make a difference by inspiring, innovating and influencing all of us throughout our lives.
Largest, most trusted health-care profession
Nursing is the largest of all health-care professions, according to the American Nurses Association (ANA). For the 16th consecutive year, the American public ranks nurses as the professionals with the highest honesty and ethical standards, based on a Gallup poll. The ANA believes advocacy is a pillar of nursing. Accordingly, the ANA calls on nurses, as one of the most trusted professions, to be healthy role models.
In its Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation Grand Challenge,™ a nationwide movement, the ANA states, “If all four million nurses increased their personal wellness and then their families, coworkers and patients followed suit, what a healthier nation we would live in! That’s the goal of the grand challenge an initiative to connect and engage nurses, employers and organizations around improving health in five areas: physical activity, nutrition, rest, quality of life and safety.”
Health, safety and wellness risks for nurses
The Executive Summary of the ANA Health Risk Appraisal (HRA) findings reports,
“Nurses and nursing students face unique hazards in the workplace and multiple health, safety and wellness risks.” The findings suggest that “nurses are less healthy than the average American. Research shows they experience 2.8 times more stress, have a 30 percent less nutritious diet, five percent higher body mass index (BMI), and get 10 percent less sleep. The HRA results show there is room for improvement in nurses’ health, particularly with physical activity, nutrition, rest, safety and quality of life.
“As seen by the fact that 68 percent of the nurses reported putting the health, safety and wellness of their patients before their own, now is the time to educate nurses and employers on the importance of nurse self-care.”
To help lessen safety risks for nurses related to patient lifting, needle sticks and/or infection control, BWC’s Division of Safety & Hygiene, offers safety grants for health-care employers to improve patient and staff safety. If a nurse is injured, our transitional work grants program helps transition injured nurses back to work safely and quickly.
In summary, “nurses are critical to our nation’s (and our state’s) health. Healthy nurses are great role models for their patients, colleagues, families and neighbors.”
Promoting health and a balanced lifestyle is just one nursing role. Every day, BWC’s nurses strive to serve as the best resource and provide excellent service for Ohio’s injured workers and our employees.