nurses4wellness blog.

Successful Behavior Change January 2011

Dear Fellow Nurse,

Did you know that losing weight, exercising, and quitting smoking are among the most popular New Year’s resolutions? Even though many people don’t end up sticking to their plan, research shows that making resolutions is helpful. People who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely than those who don’t set resolutions to attain their goals.

As nurses, we frequently work with people who want to (or need to) make health-related behavior changes. And it can be quite a challenge! I hope the resources in this newsletter will strengthen your appreciation for the positive impact you can have on patient behavior and provide you with resources to help others live a healthier life.

Most importantly, remember to take time for you too. If your resolution fell to the wayside, or you never set any at all, I hope you will take some time to re-evaluate your health goals. Remember that reaching a goal is a journey, and a few slips along the way are okay. All the best to you in 2011!

Be well,

Janet Fontana, RN, MA

Help Patients Succeed

“I want to lose 20 pounds.” We have all heard this countless times from patients and loved ones. But an outcome oriented goal like this is tough to reach without specific action steps. Small attainable changes lead to lasting healthy behaviors.

Guide patients to success by helping them set SMART goals:

•Specific – bring fruit, vegetables and/or nuts to work each day

•Measurable – a healthy snack each day

•Action- oriented – pack a healthy snack

•Realistic – check confidence level**

•Time-sensitive – set follow-up

**If their confidence level is less than an 8 on a scale of 1 – 10 then readjust the plan to increase chance of success.

You Can Make a Difference

Nurses can increase a patient’s odds of quitting smoking in as little as 1 – 3 minutes. It all starts with asking the question, “Do you smoke?”

Research shows that smokers are more likely to successfully quit when nurses use the “5 A” approach recommended by the US Public Health Service compared to smokers without a nurse intervention.

• ASK about tobacco at every visit

• ADVISE all tobacco users to quit

• ASSESS willingness to quit

• ASSIST the patient in quitting

• ARRANGE follow-up contact

Next month’s nursing CE webinar release, “Smoking Cessation”

Helping You Succeed

Creating goal accountability is one of the best ways to increase your likelihood of success. Spectrum LifeWorks is offering goal accountability and support on our Nurses4Wellness Facebook page.

The Goal Accountability discussion board has tips and inspiration for sticking to goals. Each week, post your progress from last week and goals for next week. We’ll check in with you to help you stay on track, plus you’ll get support from fellow nurses!

Wishing you good heath and much happiness! The Wellness Team

New Nursing CE Program

Do you or your clients have a difficult time fitting exercise into a busy schedule? Are you looking for ways to motivate yourself or others to stay physically active? In her nursing CE webinar, “Getting Started and Staying Motivated to be Physically Active,” Dr. Sarah Reiff-Hekking, clinical psychologist and life coach, will teach you how to help people reach their physical activity goals.

Teaching Tool

Portion sizes are way out of control in this country. Portion control is key to reaching or maintaining an ideal body weight. These stylish pre-portioned utensils by Jokari are a great way to eliminate portion distortion and teach people correct serving sizes.

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