it’s easy, during a busy working day in the practice, to forget to take any breaks. For our nursing staff, it’s even easier to forgo their breaks in between patients – and by doing so, they may be putting themselves at risk of dehydration. Indeed, when working in a busy environment, we often forget to drink, and dehydration in the workplace can have a direct impact on our important work. A study undertaken by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) says that dehydration can affect a nurse’s ability to make safety critical decisions, making staying hydrated throughout a busy day even more important.
Indeed, we do not want to put our patients at risk if we are not at the top of our game. So it is crucial that we take our breaks whenever we get the chance and, during that time, have a glass of water to keep ourselves and our teams healthy and alert. As dentists and leaders, we have a responsibility to encourage our teams to do this – and we should emphasise the importance of drinking plenty of water from an oral health perspective too. After all, by drinking water throughout the day, we can wash away any plaque-causing bacteria and food debris from our mouths, helping improve our own dental health.
We should also make sure our teams are not missing their breaks or even their lunches because of workplace pressures and the expectation that they should always be working. This behaviour is not healthy and will ultimately lead to more disruption when our staff become ill – or, worse, when mistakes are made in the surgery.