The Importance of Taking Care of Yourself as a Nursing Student

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Table of Contents

  • Self-Care Knowledge amongst College Students
  • Empirical Studies
  • Research Methods

According to the World Health Organization, self-care is the amount of people, families, and groups to promote health, preventing disease and illness, cope with illness and re-establishing health. It includes factors such as sleep, exercise, use of social support emotion regulation strategies, and mindfulness practice (WHO, 2009). The scope of self-care incorporates physical, mental, emotional spiritual and professional wellness (WHO, 2009). Self-care practices increase the positive aspects of health and wellbeing. Those practices are essential during the college years because, at that time, young people are undergoing big developmental transitions and challenges (Arnett, 2000).

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Research among the undergraduate nursing students of Lahore School of Nursing shows that nursing students have positive self-care habits regarding stress and coping stress, food habits, sleep and rest (Javeed et al., 2019). The study of Korn (2013) results also shows that nursing students in Israel have good self-care habits regarding coping strategies, dietary and sleep habits. According to a study conducted by Ayala (2017), medical students also having positive health-promoting self-care habits. However, Ashcraft et al. (2015) and Haddad et al. (2004) reported that students had low-to-moderate self-care behaviors. Students slowly stop doing self-care practices during nursing school due to the increase in the course work and clinical responsibilities intensity.

In general, evidence suggests that students have good self-care practices in terms of nutrition, sleep, drinking water, and physical activity. Siappo et al. (2016) on their qualitative findings support this because the nursing students in their study realized the importance of balanced diet, active lifestyle, adequate sleep, and body hygiene in maintaining their self-care because self-care itself is also one of the materials that are included in the nursing curriculum.

Self-Care Knowledge amongst College Students

According to Siappo et al. (2016), nursing students realized the importance of a healthy diet, active lifestyle, enough sleep, and body hygiene to maintain their self-care. However, there are some poor habits of self-care among undergraduate nursing students because they don’t have enough information about a healthy lifestyle (Khan & Rasheed, 2016). About 44 students perceived stress about 18.60% of students experience stress are reducing their self-care practice due to educational demands resulting in decreasing work performance and having a mental illness such as depression (Fogle & Pettijohn, 2013). Crary (2013) reporting that nursing students realize the importance of self-care but are unable to balance busy schedules and their self-care practice. However, most students from various studies are shown to have a good knowledge and understanding regarding self-care and stress-relieving activity (Korn, 2013; Siappo, 2016; Ayala, 2017; Javeed, 2019).

Empirical Studies

The research about self-care habits on professional health providing students has been done by several researchers. Javed et. al. (2019) explained that nursing students with healthy lifestyle activities regarding sleep and rest have a good academic performance. It is shown that most of the nursing students have good self-care, including having enough sleep, healthy diets, and doing routine exercise. According to Aschraft et al. (2015), personal self-care behaviors alter as nursing students progress through the curriculum. It is shown that students stop practicing self-care behaviors slowly during nursing school as the amount of course work and clinical responsibilities intensified.

Research about self-care knowledge of professional health providing students also has been done. According to Ayala et al. (2019) on their study, ”What Do Medical Students Do for Self-Care? A Student-Centered Approach to Well-Being”, the students identified ten clusters of self-care practices: nourishment, hygiene, intellectual and creative health, physical activity, spiritual care, balance, time for loved ones, big picture goals, pleasure and outside activities, and hobbies. This shows that medical students are having good knowledge regarding self-care and being able to identify kinds of activities that are included in self-care.

Research Methods

This research used a quantitative approach to an understanding of the participant habits and knowledge of self-care. The participants for this study were 30 randomly picked of Dentistry students at Muhammadiyah University of Yogyakarta batch 2018 because this phase on semester’s curriculum is where batch 2018 students start to face the clinical practice simulation more often than before which causes them to have more stress.

Participants responded to all survey items using yes or no questions. The survey included some questions about participant knowledge and their self-care habits.

In order to recruit the participant, the writer will spread a google form link in social media: Line and WhatsApp with some questions for the participants. On the google form, the writer will give the participants instruction and then participants will send their responses and save it through the next step. After the survey is complete, the researcher will use the received data for analysis and data interpretation.

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