published on
March 31, 2022

Ramadan for care workers: 5 ways to look after yourself and colleagues

Mariam Bhatti
posted on
COVID-19: Nurses & Carers

If you’re a nurse or carer observing Ramadan this year (Saturday 2nd April - Sunday 1st May), or are non-Muslim and want to know how to support your colleagues, we’re here to help. 

This is the third Ramadan happening during the pandemic and, while general restrictions have been lifted, as a care worker you’re very much in an environment where you need to look after your own and others’ health. 

Here’s our advice for taking care of yourself (and others) while working through Ramadan. 

Ramadan advice for healthcare workers

This year Ramadan happens during a time of longer daylight hours and warmer temperatures. That’s why if you’re fasting, it’s more important than ever to take necessary precautions. 

The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) has useful guidance on approaching Ramadan safely during Covid, which you can find here.

The British Islamic Medical Association (BIMA) also has a handy general safety guide for observing Ramandan through Covid-19.

You can be exempt from fasting

The MCB has advised that certain groups may choose to exempt themselves from fasting. 

This includes healthcare staff caring for COVID-19 patients, who may be at risk of dehydration and making clinical errors due to wearing PPE.

Nurses and carers wearing PPE for extended periods may be at increased risk of dehydration, which will make them more susceptible to COVID-19. 

If you belong to this group, consider the safety of your working environment before beginning your fast.

5 safety tips for care work during Ramadan

Chief Nurse Fiona Millington’s advice for working through Ramadan 

Here are our five essential tips for staying healthy during Ramadan. Follow these to look after yourself while working this month.

1. Stay hydrated 

During non-fasting hours, hydrate well for the long work days. Dehydration can result in tiredness, headaches and lack of concentration.

2. Plan meals 

Plan your meals in advance for the week and be sure to include high energy, slow-release food such as nuts, oats, chickpeas and medjool dates. Focus on filling meals and minimal snacking to prepare your body for a day of fasting. 

3. Get adequate sleep

Try to get as much sleep as possible around your schedule, as this will help energise you in the absence of regular meals and ahead of your working day. 

4. Take regular breaks

Take regular breaks to rest your body during your shift and reflect on your day. If you feel overwhelmed, tell your colleagues and ask for support. 

5. Share your experience 

Let your employer know that you’ll be fasting so they can assist you, and help make alternative arrangements during your shifts if necessary.

3 ways to support your colleagues observing Ramadan

If you’re not observing Ramadan, but working with those who are, here’s how you can support your colleagues this month…

1. Find out more

Read up on what Ramadan is and why fasting happens - and do ask colleagues reasonable questions if you’re curious to know more.

2. Be flexible

Sleep and prayer schedules vary during Ramadan - if you’re in charge of setting work hours, try to meet peoples’ needs where possible, for example scheduling earlier start times, a shorter lunch breaks or extra breaks for prayer.

3. Recognise

Wishing your colleagues a blessed Ramadan will be appreciated!

From all of us at Florence, we wish you a happy and peaceful Ramadan!

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