Ever wonder, what is with nurses and coffee? I mean, why do nurses love coffee? So many of us depend on that rich, hot java to jumpstart a shift. It doesn’t matter if you work day shift or night shift. If you’re a nurse, chances are you don’t leave home without it.
You know what I mean if you’re one of those nurses who cannot function until you’re fully coffee-caffeinated to a therapeutic level. In fact, maybe you’ve even thought about what would happen if you started a coffee IV (Don’t try it. You’ll die.).
Suppose there was a coffee bean shortage and all the hospital Starbucks stores closed (gasp!). Would the nursing shortage worsen and the coffee-loving healthcare system grind to a halt? Maybe. Ok, maybe not. But nurses need their coffee.
Here are three reasons nurses love coffee.
Coffee is good for you
Ok, this may be an overstatement. Yet, maybe not. Some studies suggest that coffee consumption has positive health benefits for nurses. Although most coffee-drinkers don’t drink the stuff for its health benefits, they are worth mentioning. Coffee is a complex brew made from hundreds of biologically active compounds which have potent effects on long-term health.
One study found that coffee drinkers have clearer arteries.
Another found that caffeine is a natural appetite suppressant and can be used to help reduce body weight. Coffee supports the metabolism, enhances fat burning, suppresses the appetite, and makes you feel fuller. These actions may promote a healthy body weight.
Other health benefits from coffee include:
- lower risk of diabetes
- decreased risk of depression
- reduced rates of obesity
- improved asthma control
- lower risk of liver disease
- decreased cancer risk
One notable 26-year study following nurses, found that increased coffee consumption was also associated with a lower risk of gout.
Nurses are all about promoting what’s good for you.
Coffee improves cognition
According to the Alcohol and Drug Foundation, the caffeine found in Coffea Arabica beans is a stimulant that speeds up messages traveling between your body and your brain. It temporarily increases alertness and wards off mental fatigue. In fact, caffeine is the world’s most popular psychoactive drug, with 9 in 10 Americans consuming it daily.
Coffee helps nurses think clearly through noisy monitors, machine beeps, and swirling voices in stressful situations. It helps them multi-task and keep their facts and patients straight. Coffee also boosts energy to help nurses avoid fatigue.
Studies also show that caffeine improves reaction time and numeric working memory. What was that blood pressure reading again? Maybe I need another cup of coffee.
Coffee is motivation
Nurses care for sick, grumpy, and sad patients (and family members) every day. How do they stay motivated? The answer may be swirling in their coffee cups.
Studies have shown that a low dose of caffeine (< 125–300 mg, which is about 2–3 cups of coffee) was associated with improved mood. Coffee is like a brain tonic that uplifts you and gives you a new (brighter) outlook. Those morning/afternoon pick-me-up cups of joe motivate nurses to perform, even under stressful and draining conditions.
During a hard shift, if you can steal a moment away for a fresh cup of good coffee, it’s like you’re transported to that old Folger’s commercial. You know the one. Where the actor slowly pops the lid off the coffee can, and inhales a breath of coffee beans as the morning sunlight streams through the window, filling the room with a golden glow of warmth. Yes. That’s what it’s like to drink coffee as a nurse.
So now you understand the love affair between nurses and coffee. Coffee and nurses just work so well together. If you needed an excuse for a coffee break, now you have it.