Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States. Every year, 1 in 4 deaths are caused by heart disease. These facts become widespread during American Heart Month every February due to increased awareness brought on by this event. Because you’re a nurse, your friends, family and patients often look to you for advice and information about their own heart health this time of year.
Whether or not you’re a dedicated CVOR or CVICU nurse, all nurses touch cardiovascular health in some way, and you can use your position as a travelling healthcare professional to create opportunities to educate people about the importance of heart health, and making healthy choices.
Spread the word about strategies for preventing heart disease and encourage people to live heart healthy lives.
Diet, exercise and regular check-ups with a general practitioner – this is the go-to advice for anyone questioning how to better their heart health. The problem? There aren’t many openings in regular conversation to work this in (without it being awkward). However, American Heart Month is when everyone is talking about heart health, so it’s the perfect time to use your voice as a medical professional, even if it’s just to those you’re closest to.
Raise awareness about heart disease and how people can prevent it.
So many people who are affected by heart disease are unaware until The Big Event that causes them to seek medical care, hopefully before it’s too late. Nurses can use their authority as a medical resource to educate others that heart disease is preventable.
Encourage families to make small diet changes, like lowering sodium intake.
There are plenty of diets floating around, as well as “heart healthy” recipes. But what do all of these have in common? Many people would like to eat well without looking up a special recipe for every meal, but they don’t know where to start. Nurses can educate about how simply lowering sodium intake can make a huge difference in heart health, no fancy recipe needed!
Motivate teachers and administrators to make physical activity a part of the school.
Have children? As a nurse, you have the unique position of getting your child’s school administration to really listen to you as you advocate for increased physical activity. This will make a difference in your own child’s life, but also in the community at large. Good habits start early!
Ask other nurses to be leaders in their communities by speaking out about ways to prevent heart disease.
Nurses are everywhere. That means every community has voices to educate them about healthy living. If you’re a travel nurse, you are making a nationwide impact – think about that! Few occupations allow the kind of authority and reach that nurses have, and you can use your position for the betterment of heart health. Next time you’re asked about American Heart Month, don’t hesitate to be a resource!
Are you interested in spreading the word about heart health all over the country? Join us as a travel nurse! Here is a full listing of our open jobs, or you can contact one of our nurse recruiters to ask what travel nursing is all about. Happy travels!