Getting your patients walking early and often is extremely important and can have a major impact on their recovery and success once they leave the hospital. Once your patients are able to walk (no matter how slowly), it’s time to get moving!
Need some inspiration? Five years ago, nurses at the University of Wisconsin Hospital took part in a study that aimed to motivate nurses get patients walking and give them the tools to do it. It was a success! Here’s a link to a quick article about the study:
One of the quotes from the article that caught our attention was: “And we made a simple system for recording patient movement, and put whiteboards in each room for tracking a goal — three times a day — so that the nurses and patients would see it often,” Steege says. “Eventually, they had patients watching their boards and asking their nurses, ‘It’s getting kind of late, should we get that last walk in?’ ”
Can you imagine your patients asking you that? Talk with your colleagues and think about ways (like using white boards to track walking goals) that you can incorporate consistent walking routines on your unit.
And…walking isn’t just for patients. As you deal with the ongoing stress of COVID-19, remember to take time to walk yourself. Not just down the hospital hall, but outside in nature, if only for a few minutes! This recent article, “Don’t Underestimate the Power of a Walk,” by Deborah Grayson Riegal from Harvard Business Review talks about the many benefits walking offers for mental and emotional wellbeing, including perspective, connection, learning, gratitude and productivity. Read the full article—it’s a quick read and well worth 5 minutes: https://hbr.org/2021/02/dont-underestimate-the-power-of-a-walk?utm_source=pocket-newtab