A state of physical well-being is not just the absence of disease. It includes lifestyle behavior choices to ensure health, avoid preventable diseases and conditions, and to live in a balanced state of body, mind, and spirit.
You'll find articles on this topic in the Wellness Milestones index. The links in the below list address a number of aspects of caring for your bodily health.
We are a proud partner of the American Nurses Association Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation™ movement. Join for tips, strategies, and inspiration to help get healthy by prioritizing physical activity, rest, nutrition, quality of live, and safety.
Eating Nutritious Foods
Below are various links to information on nutrition and fuel for your body. You'll also find helpful articles on this topic in the Wellness Milestones index.
- Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
- American Diabetes Association
- Dietary Guidelines for Americans
- Digestive Health Basics
- Environmental Nutrition Newsletter
- National Institute of Health - Creating Healthy Habits
- National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases - About Food Portions
- Nutrition Action Health Letter
- USDA ChooseMyPlate
- Vegetarian Nutrition
Getting Enough Sleep/Fatigue
AANA Fatigue Resources
Fatigue can affect every aspect of a well individual - both personally and professionally. Lack of adequate rest is an element of fitness-for-duty.
- For AANA's Practice Considerations document: Patient Safety Fatigue Sleep and Work Schedule Effects, 2015
- AANA Standards for Nurse Anesthesia Practice, Standard 13 emphasizes needing to be able to perform the physical and mental duties of this role and to be vigilant enough to identify issues with a holistic approach.
- AANA Journal articles:
- Biddle C and Aker J. 2011: The National Study of Sleep-Related Behaviors of Nurse Anesthetists: Personal and Professional Implications
- Domen R, Connelly CD and Spence D. 2015. Call-Shift Fatigue and Use of Countermeasures and Avoidance Strategies by Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists: A National Survey
- AANA Wellness Milestones Articles:
- Rest to Be Your Best: Improve Sleep Hygiene - July 2018
- Sleep: The Indispensable Weapon - July 2009
- Working on the Night Shift: An Emerging Health Risk? - June 2007
- A Professional Study and Resource Guide for the CRNA 2nd Edition, Chapter 20 addresses Promoting Professional Wellness, Physiological Fatigue
- For more information, see Mental and Emotional Well-Being
Other Fatigue/Sleep Resources and Articles
- American Nurses Association (ANA)
- American Academy of Nursing (AAN) Position Statement: Reducing fatigue associated with sleep deficiency and work hours in nurses, 2018
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- HCPro Hospital Safety Insider: Lack of Sleep for Nurses Can Lead to Health Risks, Medical Errors, 2018
- HealthLeaders Media: Promote Proper Sleep Among Nurses, 2018
- Harvard Medical School
- Foundations Recovery Network: Nurse Fatigue: You Don't Have to Be a Nurse to Experience It
- Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (JOEM): A National Study Links Nurses' Physical and Mental Health to Medical Errors and Perceived Worksite Wellness, 2017
- National Center of Sleep Disorders Research (NCSDR)
- The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
- Additional Resource for Purchase
Aging is inevitable—but aging in a healthy way is your choice, and it's never too early too start!
Below are links to tips for yourself or the older individuals in your life. Also, Retirement: Riding the Next Wave is a helpful article from the Wellness Milestones index.
Healthy Aging Resources
- AARP Health
- American Senior Fitness Association
- Be Fit Over Fifty
- Caregiver Stress
- Exercise and Fitness over 50
- Fit and Fabulous as you mature
- Get Fit: Active Seniors Enjoy Life More
- Go4Life from NIH
- International Council on Active Aging
- Maintain Your Brain
- Nutrition for Seniors
- NIH: Depression and Older Adults
- Seniors' Health
- Men: Staying Healthy at 50+
- Women: Staying Healthy at 50+
- UCSF Memory and Aging Center
- Young at Heart
Younger Next Year
You can instill healthy habits today to take charge of healthy aging.
According to Chris Crowley, 70 percent of aging is optional! Crowley was the 2012 Jan Stewart Speaker who provided motivation and practical advice for the CRNA and student audience in San Francisco. We recommend his books:
- Younger Next Year
- Younger Next Year for Women
- Thinner This Year
For more resources about retirement, visit "Transitioning to Retirement" on AANA THRIVE.
Keeping Cool and Safe in Summer
Keeping cool is not just a matter of comfort: Hydrate, keep well, and keep yourself, loves ones, and pets safe in the summer. This short CDC video shares tips to "prevent heat-related illnesses and deaths by staying cool, hydrated and informed."
Enjoy some fun ideas, like chilling your mattress and eating spicy foods, as well as practical ideas such as checking tire pressure and storing food properly. Here's an assortment of info to help keep you cool in the summer heat, along with some valuable summer safety information:
- 11 Tips for Surviving a Heat Wave Without Air-Conditioning - MedicineNet.com
- Beat the Heat! Tricks to Stay Cool in the Summer - Reader's Digest
- Heat Illnesses Can be Fatal: Would You Know What to Do? - National Safety Council Heat Safety Resources - National Weather Service
- Lessons from Exercising in the Heat - NY Times
- Protect Seniors from Dangerous Summer Heat - AgingCare.com
- Summer Driving Tips - Car Talk
- Warning Signs and Symptoms of Heat-Related Illness - CDC
- Other summer hazards:
- Sun Safety: 8 Ways to Keep Your Skin Safe in the Sun - Dr. Fuhrman
Looking for help to stop smoking?
- CDC: Smoking Cessation: A Report of the Surgeon General, 2020
- Be Tobacco Free
- Great American Smokeout
- Take Down Tobacco: National Day of Action
- Houghton CS, Marcukaitis AW, Shirk Marienau ME, et al. Tobacco Intervention attitudes and practices among certified registered nurse anesthetists. Nurs Res. 2006;57(2):123-9.
- Smoking Cessation
- Tobacco Free Nurses
See more info - AANA For Patients, Stop Smoking!
Another option might be to look into support from your workplace or Employee Assistance Program (EAP); EAPs generally provide helpful resources, and often financial incentives, to quit.
Managing Chronic Pain
Moving in Healthy Ways
Wherever you are - workplace, state association meeting, nurse anesthesia educational program, local community - join the action (or organize for you and your colleagues). Open the list item What You Can Do about Workplace Wellness on the Wellness in the Workplace page.
Just 30 minutes a day!
You've probably seen lots in the news about the health risks related to a sedentary lifestyle, along with the benefits found from walking just 30 minutes day. Learn more about fitting this into your daily routine at Every Body Walk!
10 Simple Stretches:
Include some simple stretches in your workday to improve or maintain your flexibility and prevent workplace injuries. (See below)
Supporting Physical Fitness Resources
- AANA Wellness Milestones Articles
- ACSM Health and Fitness Brochures
- Be Active
- Benefits of Massage Therapy
- Better Health and You
- Everyday Guide to Balanced Living
- Exercise and Physical Activity: Your Everyday Guide
- How Much Physical Activity Do You Need?
- Let's Move!
- Mayo Clinic Fitness Program
- Physical Activities Guidelines
- PROCRNA - wellness tips
- Tips to Help You Get Active
- Yoga Basics
10 Simple Stretches
Following are the ten simple stretches for flexibility and injury prevention, which can easily be exercised in a CRNA workplace. These WebMD
exercises were featured in the January 2014 Wellness Milestones article, Maximizing Your Work Time to Prevent Injury by CRNAs Tiffany Uranga and Eddy Steele. Enjoy!
- Stand up and sit down – You might be surprised that this can be a little challenging without using your hands.
- Shoulder Shrug – Lift your shoulders up to your ears. Hold for three seconds and release. Repeat this exercise three times. Also, try slowly moving your head ‘yes and no.’ By over exaggerating the moves, you get a good neck stretch.
- Air Circles – With your hands extended in front, or to your sides if there is enough room, clench your fists and make circles in the air with your fists. Do each direction 10 times and vary the size of your air circles.
- Wrist Stretch – With your left hand stretched out in front of you, palm facing down, bend your wrist and point your fingers toward the floor. Use your right hand to gently pull the fingers of your left hand to increase the stretch. Repeat with the right hand. Now, with the left hand stretched out in front of you, palm facing up, bend the wrist and point your fingers up. Use your right hand to gently pull your hand closer to yourself to increase this stretch. Repeat with the right hand.
- Torso Twist – Inhale and as you exhale twist to the right grabbing your chair to help increase the twist. Hold the twist and see how far behind your right shoulder you can see with your eyes. Repeat this stretch to the left.
- Leg Extensions – Grab the seat of your chair and extend your right leg straight so that it is parallel to the floor. Point your toes forward and then flex them back toward yourself five times. Release your foot back to the floor. Repeat on the left side.
- Big Hug – Ensure you are sitting or standing erect, give yourself a hug. Hold this position as you breath slowly. Try to increase the area between your shoulder blades upon each exhale.
- Cross your Arms – With your left arm stretched across your torso, grab your left forearm with your right hand. Keeping the left arm straight gently pull it across your chest with the right hand. Repeat with the right arm.
- Leg Hug – Sit on the edge of your chair. If it has wheels, make sure it is wedged against a wall or anesthesia machine so it does not roll. With your feet flat on the floor lean over and bring your chest to your knees. Give your legs a hug and feel the stretch in your back and shoulders.
- Look Up – Sitting up tall in your chair, stretch your arms overhead and interlock your fingers. Turn your palms up toward the ceiling. Tilt your head back lifting your chin in the air as you look up toward the ceiling. Inhale and exhale a few times and then release.
Brigham Young University Nursing Students happily demonstrate workplace wellness stretches
Cross Your Arms
Do you have any favorite stretches not listed here? Share them with us or send feedback (see below) on these ten, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information and resources, CRNA Workplace Ergonomics (Mayo Clinic stretching videos), Workplace Wellness, and the collection of published Wellness Milestones.
Email from a Maryland CRNA:
I really enjoyed seeing the 10 flexibility stretches in the January NewsBulletin; what a great way to reduce stress and stay focused.
I have tight hips, thus one stretch I do is: sitting erect in a chair or on a stool with my left foot firmly planted on the floor, I take my right ankle and place it above my left knee. If I am not too tight I will bend forward with a straight back, inhaling and exhaling a few times in this position. I release my right foot back to the floor and repeat with the left foot.
Thanks for sharing these great stretches!
Jessica Switzman, CRNA, MSN
Workplace Ergonomics for Anesthesia Professionals
The anesthesia work environment offers unique challenges due to ergonomic wellness because of some equipment is fixed in its location, creating difficulties when mobility would be advantageous. The ergonomics of anesthesia must take into account the mental as well as physical stressors associated with the job. Unfortunately, ergonomics is an area of anesthesia that has received little attention and should be addressed through more education and training for workplace wellness.
- American Nurses Association: Safe Patient Handling and Mobility (SPHM) programs and advocacy
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Safe Patient Handling
- Cognitive Ergonomics and Informatory Load in Anesthesia
- Ergonomics and Anaesthesia
- Mayo Clinic Workplace Stretches:
- Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA): Hospital eTool Ergonomics
- The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH): Ergonomics and Musculoskeletal Disorders
- Study shows brief stretching during surgery improves surgeon performance, pain (other OR personnel too)
Tips from CRNAs
- For maximum neck comfort, adjust the vertical position of the screen. To find the ideal, sit comfortably in your chair, close both eyes and relax, then slowly reopen. Position screen where your gaze initially focuses. Martha Kral, CRNA
- Freezing cold in the OR? Buy a chargeable warming vest that stays warm for up to 8 hours! Order a waist cooling wrap for warm blooded colleagues. Debbie Barber, CRNA
Stopping Domestic Violence
If you are in danger call 911. Or reach the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or TTY 1-800-787-3224. Additional resources:
"Domestic violence is an epidemic affecting individuals in every community, regardless of age, economic status, sexual orientation, gender, race, religion, or nationality," according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV).
- NCADV links: Dynamics of Abuse. How to Get Help, and resources to #TakeAStand and Take Action
- National Resource Center on Domestic Violence (NRCDV)
- Stay Connected - the pledge to help stop sexual assault
- NCADV list of other DV organizations
- AANA Peer Assistance is available for CRNAs and SRNAs struggling with drugs or alcohol, see Getting Help.
Taking Care of Your Eyes
Working with a Disability
- Scope of Nurse Anesthesia Practice
- Code of Ethics requires the CRNA to be “responsible and accountable for his or her actions, including self-awareness and assessment of fitness for duty.”
- Association of Medical Professionals with Hearing Loss (AMPHL)
- Exceptional Nurse
- National Organizational of Nurses with Disabilities (NOND)
- United States Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division American with Disabilities Act (ADA)
- United States Census Bureau Disability Reports and Briefs
- United States Department of Labor (DOL) Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) FAQs United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
Non-Clinical Work Opportunities when Faced with Challenges as you Transition Career Paths
- AANA Expert Witness for Nurse Anesthesia Practice Position Statement
- American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants (AALNC): resources how to get started in the legal field of nurse consulting.
- Nurse Consultant Certification Board: list of upcoming online exam schedule.
- February 2003: Do We Support Nurse Colleagues Who Have Disabilities?
Are You In Recovery from Alcohol or Drug Problems?
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Substance Abuse Treatment: Know Your Rights