While working as a travel nurse, it's important that you provide patients – especially those who are struggling with weight issues – with the necessary information for living healthy lives and improving their overall well-being. Not only can you lead by example, but you can use education to help those who are in need of some smart-living changes to their routines. So, while you're eating smart and exercising to stay energized, share these medical findings with those you treat.
Obesity: as dangerous as smoking
Professionals from Columbia University compared trends between the quality of life experienced by smokers and obese individuals. Specifically, the researchers aimed to find out how many years these two factors took off of the participants' lives. From 1993 to 2008, the number of years lost due to smoking and obesity in American adults was tracked. During this time period, the number of smokers decreased by 18.5 percent, while the amount of obese individuals in the U.S. increased by 85 percent. Over the course of this study, risk for death due to smoking was lower than obesity – which increased by 127 percent during these years. So, the investigators concluded that due to the rate at which obesity is occurring, this disease has become a greater contributor to death than smoking.
Healthcare professionals and obesity
As obesity is a growing epidemic in the U.S., it's important that medical professionals stand at the forefront of treatment. Based on a survey that was distributed by the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, there are a number of nurses who provide their patients with weight-related health information. However, the researchers believe that there could be some benefit from continued education and knowledge surrounding the risks that are associated with obesity. Most importantly, those on travel nursing jobs need to feel confident and comfortable approaching individuals about this issue. It was found through this survey that 76 percent of nurses do not pursue the topic on their own for a variety of reasons. So, through proper training on how to deal with the task, nurses may be able to play an important role in reducing occurrences of obesity.
Indiana State University found that healthcare professionals feel differently regarding obesity management based on their specialties. Although it was found that many cases of mild obesity go under-treated among doctors and nurses, these are cases that may have the best chances for improvement. As a travel nursing professional, you may be able to make a difference and improve the wellness of your patients through proper education and information.