Outside temperatures could hit a record-breaking 43°C in the coming days.
Nursing staff should be able to keep hydrated by drinking fluids at the nurse’s station, England’s chief nurse has reiterated.
Chief nurse Ruth May tweeted her view just moments ago, believed to have been prompted by a NursingNotes poll that found a massive 38% of nursing staff were still banned from drinking in clinical areas.
One nurse even said her water bottle had been thrown away by a senior colleague due to a ban on drinking in clinical areas. In stark contrast, others explained how employers had been setting up “hydration stations” in clinical areas for staff to use during the current heatwave.
It comes after the Met Office reported that outside temperatures could hit a record-breaking 43°C in the coming days, but hospitals and care homes are likely to be much hotter.
Drink water and stay hydrated.
On Twitter earlier today, Ms May explained, “I’ve heard reports that some #teamCNO colleagues are being told not to drink water at nurses’ stations. It’s crucial that all nursing, midwifery and care staff are able to drink water and stay hydrated during a shift at nursing stations or other convenient locations.”
“This is especially important during the hot weather and as temperatures are set to rise. Equally, we need to ensure patients stay hydrated too.”
Despite “infection control policies” often quoted as the reason for the ban, there is little evidence to suggest allowing resealable bottles poses any risk.
The Royal College of Nursing has previously tried to dispel the myth. In previous guidance, they explained, “In the majority of circumstances, having individual labelled water bottles with lids or drinking cones/ disposable cups for staff to use will pose no risk to staff or patients”.