Being a nurse requires giving a lot of one’s self, being on for 12 hours at a time and being extremely patient with your patients. This is why there is such a high nurse burnout rate among Registered Nurses – the state of emotional exhaustion in which the individual feels overwhelmed by work to the point of feeling fatigued, unable to face the demands of the job, and unable to engage with others- and the incidence of burnout in RNs has been shown to be as high as 70%. (Bakhamis, L, 2019). This is where self-care, diet and exercise are of monumental importance when working such a demanding and stressful job, both physically and mentally.
Javier Moreno is a Registered Nurse working in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Mattel Children’s Hospital at UCLA and has been a member of the National Association of Hispanic Nurses since 2015 and on the Board of Directors for the Orange County Chapter of NAHN since 2017. Being a newer nurse, there was an added rigor to kicking off his career on the right foot with completing a new grad residency program but still highly valuing self-care. “Some days after working 12 or 13 hours, I wanted nothing more than hearty food and sleep,” states Moreno, “But this needed to change. I quickly saw the impacts of this vicious cycle, in addition to being pre-disposed to diabetes and high cholesterol, I acted.”
Javier had always wanted to participate in the annual AIDS/Lifecycle charity ride, where individuals ride their bike from San Francisco to Los Angeles over the course of a week, with 2500 other cyclist and an additional 1,000 volunteers. Each cyclist sets a fundraising goal which then goes back to support the efforts to end HIV/AIDS via the services provided by the Los Angeles LGBT Center and the San Francisco AIDS Foundation. This past November 2018, Javier signed up to train for the 2019 AIDS/Lifecycle and this in itself has allowed Javier to maintain physical activity, eat healthier and also gain a great group of friends from joining one of the teams.
Javier has been ardently training with his teammates in and around the Los Angeles area, and with recent rains in cycling studios like CycleBar in Culver City. “My butt is on a bike seat, indoor or outdoor, for an average of 10-12 hours each week just training and getting stronger to be able to complete the 545 miles from SF to LA”, says Javier.
Physical activity is critical in the balance of self-care for nurses. Javier is not only cycling but also bringing awareness of HIV/AIDS, an issue that most certainly affects the Latino community.
Javier is aiming to raise $10,000 to help END HIV/AIDS.
To Donate to Javier’s AIDS/Lifecycle ride, please visit: http://www.tofighthiv.org/goto/javiermoreno
To learn more about AIDS/Lifecycle and the organizations that the funds raised go towards, visit: https://www.aidslifecycle.org/why-we-ride/the-beneficiaries/