In healthcare today, the adage of taking an apple a day to remain healthy and distance yourself from physicians does not hold; a healthy life for many people will require more than fruits and special diets. People can benefit from ongoing care, including receiving the latest information about stress relief, exercise, and diet. Besides the treatment for complex conditions, providing holistic care to patients is among the many responsibilities of a Family Nurse Practitioner.
Who is a Family Nurse Practitioner?
FNPs work on healthcare frontlines to offer quality and compassionate care to all people; they work with families to provide preventative care and implement healthcare plans. To be an FNP, you need to have a background as a registered nurse and hold a master’s degree in nursing – you will also need to be certified and licensed. A family nurse practitioner’s responsibility is to care for patients of all ages in clinics, hospitals, and other care facilities. As an FNP, you can focus your practice on specific healthcare subfields, such as diabetes or oncology.
If you’re a registered nurse and want to pursue the role of a family nurse practitioner, you will need advanced education and specialized training to get prepared for specific areas of practice, such as pediatric, family, and mental health. Fortunately, you don’t have to attend classes on campus to achieve this goal; you can opt for online family nurse practitioner programs to help you qualify for more rewarding and demanding roles in the nursing profession.
While registered nurses form the frontline professionals who provide healthcare services to patients across the U.S, advanced practice registered nurses such as FNPs are the elites in this field. With the credentials and knowledge they possess, they can administer complex treatments. The less experienced practice nurses could be overwhelmed since reaching this expertise level requires advanced learning.
Role of Family Nurse Practitioners
As the population ages and more healthcare professionals retire, nurse practitioners are more than ever before embracing more responsibilities in health care. The family nurse practitioner’s role is vital since they provide care to patients of all ages. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, many family nurse practitioners manage their practices or work in physicians’ offices, hospitals, or other outpatient care facilities.
Here are some of the responsibilities of family nurse practitioners:
- Managing patient records and documents
- Creating patient care plans
- Conducting examinations
- Assisting physicians with minor surgeries
- Prescribing medication
- Ordering and reviewing lab tests
- Counseling patients and their families
- Diagnosing and treating patients of all age groups
Mental and physical fitness for family nurse practitioners
Being a nurse can be stressful. It is, therefore, important that you take care of your health when working in this field. According to the CDC, chronic lifestyle-related diseases such as cardiovascular disease, in particular, account for most deaths today in the U.S. Obviously, a sedentary lifestyle is likely to contribute to the development of cardiovascular-related problems. Being physically active and consuming foods that help burn calories will improve your health and save you from additional healthcare expenditures.
Why should family nurse practitioners improve their fitness?
As an FNP, you are bound to encounter many patients with lifestyle-related disorders. As such, you should have a basic understanding of the role played by physical fitness in rehabilitation and prevention. Additionally, as a family nurse practitioner, you must offer an established standard of care; this means you must have a minimum level of overall physical fitness. This will dramatically improve your ability to perform physical tasks every day. Such tasks may include:
- Transporting equipment
- Transferring and assisting patients
- Walking to patients assigned to you throughout a shift.
Another reason to improve your fitness as a nurse is to be a good role model. You can impact a more positive influence on your patients if you work on the lifestyle choices you recommend to them. Exercises expose the body safely to an overload stimulus. When executed with appropriate rest and recovery, the body gradually improves in endurance, efficiency, and strength in the exercise activity that caused the stimulus. As fitness improves, exercise intensity can be increased to improve cardiorespiratory function further.
With that information in mind, here are some tips that can help family nurse practitioners to stay physically and mentally healthy:
- Get into intensive exercise gradually
Exercise levels should progress gradually. As fitness improves, you should increase the intensity of exercise to adequately increase your heart rate to a target range. This is because, as your body adapts to exercise training, cardiorespiratory fitness continuously improves — and this is the goal; it will be more pronounced in those who begin training at lower fitness levels.
To enhance continuous improvement, be sure to update your exercise program by increasing your exercise duration and intensity gently. After you achieve your optimum fitness level, you can switch to a maintenance program.
You can maintain the enjoyment and freshness of your exercise program by adding variety and including some music as you work out. Additionally, you can include some weight training at least two days each week to maintain resting metabolic rate and lean body mass. Weight training also promotes the density of bone minerals, which is essential to your overall health.
- Work on interval training
If you would like to increase aerobic training intensity after exercising regularly for at least four months, interval training can be beneficial. It combines lower-intensity active rest/recovery segments with higher-intensity work segments. For instance, 1:2 ratio interval training may involve 30 seconds of slow-pace exercise followed by one minute of a more intense workout.
You can develop an interval training program that suits your needs; this allows you to be as creative as possible with the program. A higher-intensity segment will increase metabolic demands, meaning you’ll be expending more energy during and after a training session.
Don’t rush to perform too much activity too soon; to improve physical fitness, gradually increase your exercise duration, intensity, or both. You can also implement interval training using aerobic activities, such as stair-stepping, rope jumping, cycling, or swimming.
- Always aim for overload
This ascertains the objective of cardiorespiratory training; based on the principle of overload, body systems become stronger when demands that the systems are not used to are made on the body. All that is required here is appropriate nutrition and recovery time.