Working as a paramedic is extremely rewarding, but it is also demanding. Paramedics work long, unpredictable hours, and the role is fast-paced and intense. Dealing with high-pressure situations can take a toll on your mental and physical wellbeing, and you must protect your health. Here are some tips to stay healthy while working in this exciting and rewarding field:
Plan healthy meals and snacks
Paramedics work in shifts and often find themselves relying on quick, convenient meals and junk food. Poor eating habits can lead to numerous issues, including weight gain, type two diabetes, and heart disease. Make your health a priority by maintaining good nutrition.
If you struggle to find the time to cook healthy food, then plan your meals and snacks and prepare food in bulk to save time. Take healthy snacks into work with you to get a much-needed energy boost during your shift. Some of the best high-energy snacks are bananas, nuts, dried fruit, natural energy bars, and dates. Have these healthy snacks readily available to stop you from reaching for junk food when you get hungry or tired mid-shift.
Achieve a work-life balance
Responding to medical emergencies can be extremely challenging, and many paramedics find it difficult to switch off from their work responsibilities. According to recent surveys, it is not uncommon for paramedics to suffer from work-related stress and paramedics lose 50,000 working days to stress every year in the UK.
Paramedics must maintain a healthy work-life balance. The simplest way to achieve this is by creating clear boundaries between your work and personal life. Avoid taking work home with you and spend time socialising with loved ones or enjoying hobbies in your free time.
Keep stress to a minimum
Emergency services is a demanding field, and most paramedics will experience stress while working in the role. Some stress is to be expected, but you must try to keep stress to a minimum and prevent it from becoming a chronic issue. One of the easiest ways to remain calm is by being prepared and organised. When you are called to an emergency, make sure that your ambulance vehicle is equipped with all essential medical equipment and emergency items such as led light bars and traffic cones.
Get enough sleep
Getting into a consistent sleep pattern can be a challenge when you work irregular hours, and many paramedics struggle to unwind and sleep at the end of their shifts. However, you can improve your sleep quality by creating a relaxing bedroom environment, doing calming rituals before bed, and avoiding drinking caffeine late in the day. Aim for roughly eight hours of sleep each night and try to schedule naps if you are getting less than this amount.
Staying healthy can be difficult when you work in a fast-paced and demanding field like emergency services. Paramedics often find their work satisfying, but the role can take a toll on their physical and mental health. If you’re working as a paramedic or training to become one, then follow these tips to help you stay fit, healthy, and happy while working.