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10 Tips for Nurses & Care Staff Working in Hot Weather

Employers have a responsibility to ensure patients are staff are safe and comfortable.




It is important we keep both healthcare staff and patients safe.

It doesn’t matter if you work in a hospital, GP surgery, clinic, theatre or in the community, the hot weather affects us all.

Patients and healthcare staff are at an increased risk of dehydration and heat stress.


If you feel your work environment is too hot you should speak to senior managers and estates department promptly. Employers have a responsibility to ensure both patients and staff are safe – you should ask them to implement your local ‘Heatwave Policy’ and contingency planning procedures.

According to The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Act there are no maximum temperatures but employers must take ‘every possible step’ to ensure their employees are safe and “comfortable”.

Keeping staff and patients safe.

Here are a few tips to keep both you, as a nurse or healthcare professional, and your patients safe;

  • Keep hydrated. Don’t wait until you are thirsty to drink. Have water on hand all day and drink little and often. You should verbally encourage other co-workers to do this as well. The appropriate use of IV Fluids should be implemented for patients who are not drinking.
  • Keep a bottle or jug of water nearby. You are more inclined to drink when fluid is readily available. Aim to refill any jugs or bottles every couple of hours.
  • Look at the colour of urine. Dark coloured urine can often signify dehydration as can hypotension. Be vigilant and act on signs of dehydration.
  • Feel fresh. Washing your face or using a cool spray can help you fresh.
  • Avoid caffeinated drinks. Caffeine can have a diuretic effect which increases water loss and contributes to dehydration try and stick to water or squash if you can.
  • Keep blinds and curtains drawn. Try to keep your working environment out of direct sunlight.
  • Stay out of the sun. Don’t go out between 11am and 3pm – the hottest part of the day.
  • Wear loose clothing. Wear thin and loose clothing for work if possible – ideally surgical scrubs. Ensure patients are dressed, but appropriately.
  • Work smarter – not harder. Where possible schedule harder work and physically demanding tasks for cooler parts of the day. When this is unavoidable, consider sharing the load / rotating with another co-worker.
  • Take breaks. You’ll need your breaks more than ever! Make effective use of your breaks. Sit, put your feet up and get some fresh air.
  • Open windows at night. The air will be cooler in the evenings or at night. Open windows at this time to bring in some fresh air.

Don’t suffer in silence. Discuss any concerns you have with senior colleagues and managers. Hospitals, care homes and local authorities should have contingency plans and equipment in place for heatwaves.


Former student nurses share their top money-saving tips

“A nursing degree is very different to most undergraduate courses.”



Student money saving tips

Direct from former student nurses, the Student Money Guide is packed with useful tips.

New nursing students should claim fuel reimbursements, car share, compare markets and supermarkets and seek second-hand textbooks to make their student funding, and part-time wages go as far as possible, updated advice from the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) says.

The College’s latest Student Money Guide for nursing is packed with useful information on childcare, travel expenses, charitable funding and tips for those moving into private rented accommodation.


The top money-saving tips.

Direct from former student nurses, the guide offers some top money-saving tips, which include;

  1. Develop a good relationship with your bank – meet and go through all the options and accounts which will save you most money and give you the best interest rates
  2. Use online materials, the RCN Library for example, instead of buying textbooks – If you do buy them, try advertising on university notice boards for second-hand copies, or, have a look at Use cashback websites, such as Quidco, when making purchases.
  3. Get a Young Persons Rail Card if you spend over £72 a year on rail travel – all full-time students are eligible, regardless of age.
  4. Claim fuel reimbursement if you drive further to placement than to university – it is offered, so you might as well.
  5. Be penny-wise, seek out free pickings – go to sites like Freecycle for free furniture, kitchenware and bicycles.
  6. Check out your local discount warehouses for basics, cleaning products, toilet rolls, washing powder and buy these as a household to split the cost of a bulk buy – it is well worth it.
  7. Share lifts to placement and do food shops with fellow students.
  8. Make sure your supermarket shop is cheapest – check online comparison sites like ahead of your shop.
  9. Use your local butchers and market.
  10. Take a packed lunch and flask to university – you will save a small fortune and probably eat better.

Nursing is different to other degree courses.

Claire Cannings, Senior Welfare Adviser commented: “A nursing degree is very different to most undergraduate courses. The placement element means there is less time for part-time work, and the long shifts mean childcare and travel is often more expensive.

“Fluency with finances, brilliance with budgeting and keeping clued-up on things complimentary can pay dividends. This can, in turn, impact positively on study and well-being through a student’s learning years and beyond. It’s amazing how many grants and funds students are entirely unaware of which is why we’ve collated all the information they need in one place.

“While the RCN will still be making the case to Government to invest in nursing education, we hope the guide will continue to be a valuable resource to our current and potential members.”

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Clinical Updates

Induction framework for General Practice Nurses launched

It also provides guidance for practices employing General Practice Nurses.



nurse working at desk in office

The document provides a framework for both new and experienced general practice nurses.

NHS England, in collaboration with The QNI, has launched a new Induction Template for General Practice Nursing.

The Induction Template is has been designed to enable employers to ensure that nurses in a first career destination role in General Practice are well supported when taking their first career step in primary care.


Not just useful for newly qualified nurses, the 51-page document provides an induction framework for all new general practice nurses, enabling them to develop key skills required for the role.

It also provides guidance for practices employing General Practice Nurses.

Nursing associates, health care assistants and student nurses preparing for a primary care placement may also find the template useful.

A great start to a long and exciting career’.

The author of the document, Queen’s Nurse and experienced nursing mentor and educator, Sharon Aldridge-Bent said; “Developing this template highlighted the urgent need for a comprehensive induction and orientation programme for all nurses new to general practice.

“This most certainly will assist with recruitment and retention of nurses in the primary care setting.”

Paul Vaughan, Head of Nursing Now England, responsible for the delivery of the GPN Ten Point Plan, said: “this new resource will enable employers to ensure they provide nurses new to general practice with a really good experience of working in the sector and ensure they have a great start to their long and exciting career working general practice.”

The resource underpinned by General Practice – developing confidence, capability and capacity – A ten-point action plan for General Practice Nursing (2017) contributes towards the overall strategic goals outlined in the General Practice Five Year Forward View.

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