Are you drinking enough water?
These are some of the common symptoms of being dehydrated:
- Does your skin feel dry?
- Headache or dizzy?
- Feel lethargic or irritable?
- Are your lips dry?
- Lack of urine or darker coloured urine (see the colour chart produced by the RCN as part of their Rest, Rehydrate and Refuel programme)
If you experience any of these symptoms, then drink some water as soon as you can and try to drink regularly throughout the day.
Did you know that:
- dehydration is a primary reason for daytime fatigue and can slow metabolism by 3%
- just a 1 – 2 % drop in body water can impair your mental focus, concentration and physical performance
- to stay properly hydrated you should drink between 8 and 10 glasses of water a day
Setting up a hydration station
Wards and departments are encouraged to set up their own hydration stations to help keep staff hydrated throughout the day. In the majority of circumstances, having individual labelled water bottles with lids or disposable cups for staff to use will pose no risk to staff or patients.
See the guidance below for setting up a hydration station.
There may be restrictions during an outbreak however each situation will be assessed by the Infection Prevention and Control Team.
Feedback from staff working in some of the areas where hydration stations have already been set up has been very positive.
“Although I initially had reservations about the rehydration station / tray, I quickly came round and agreed with the concept. My main concerns were over potential infection control issues. However, it has proven not to be the case. It actually keeps the ward tidier and reduces the risk of bottles lying for any length of time. The labelling of the bottles with the name and date ensures the bottles are cleaned and fresh water or juice added daily. It also reduces the use of plastic cups. All staff felt the benefit and this was particularly noticeable during the hot weather last summer.”
— Margaret McLay, Senior Charge Nurse, Day Surgery