Helper, help yourself first!

If you attend Health Education course at a local junior college, you will learn in the very first lecture that today's understanding of "health is far more advanced than it was a hundred years ago. If before WWII having no diseased organs was considered healthy, today, according to World Health Organization, health is considered on multiple levels. We call these levels "the six dimensions of health. Besides Physical health of the body on the physiological level, we also consider Mental health, Emotional health, Social health, Spiritual health, and Environmental health. All combined, these six dimensions are overlapping and affecting each other, contributing to a more general term of "wellness.

In today's world with our hectic lifestyles, fast and stressful pace, it is easy to forget what health really means. And who is there to help us remember, but the healthcare professionals themselves. When attending a Licensed Vocational Nurse program, the LVN students must learn about these six dimensions of health in order to help their patients achieve health at all these levels. However, before a nurse can help others, a nurse should be able to help him or herself. Even on a plane, they teach you that before helping another person putting on an oxygen mask, you must put a mask on yourself first. A disabled helped can not be a helper any more.

Similarly, a healthcare professional, such as an LVN Nursing, must be able to take care of his or her own health on all the six levels. Physically, nurses have to maintain their bodies in good shape. Proper diet and exercise, and avoiding destructive behaviors is important in maintaining proper Physiological functioning and optimal condition. Recognizing and catching problems on the physical level early on is important for optimal health.

The same applies to emotional health: being in a good place when it comes to feelings is important, because the state of depression will affect not only one's physical health, but mental, spiritual, social, etc. One's relationship with others is one's social health: isolation or excessive socializing can not be good, as well as being involved in an abusive relationship. An LVN nurse must be able to recognize and remedy these problems early on in order to maintain own state of wellness, before the nurse can help patients to achieve health.

Spiritual health is considered to be important, as it affects emotional and social health first, then environmental and physical health dimensions. Spiritual health is about one's relationship with the universe, which primarily means, one's relationship with oneself. Can you accept yourself just the way you are? Are you at peace with yourself? A nurse, who is not at peace with self can not be at peace with others, and therefore, can not be helping other people effectively.

And finally, environmental health is about healthy interaction with one's environment. This applies not only one's relationship with surrounding nature, but the place of residence and work: taking care of one's surroundings. Logically, if there is a mess in your home, chances are, there is a mess in your life on many levels. We know, we can not function properly on all the six levels or six dimensions, if the place where we work or rest and recharge our batteries is cluttered or messy. Environmental health does affect mental and emotional wellbeing of everyone.

In conclusion, in today's world, it is vastly important for healthcare professionals, such as LVN nurses, to maintain their own health on physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, social, and environmental levels, in order to be fit enough to help their patients. Only in good health, one can have the strength and power to positively influence the world and the people around.

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