Tips to survive the night shift if you are a nurse

Tips to survive the night shift if you are a nurse

Do you work a night shift often? You are not alone! Night shifts work best for many nurses and offer a unique experience both on and off the floor. It is always positive to create links with other nurses who are on the same wavelength. Check these tips to stay healthy and adapt to work when working on the night shift.

Make sleep your number one priority 

Sleep, sleep and sleep.

In spite of being at night shift, you have to continue sleeping for six to eight hours. On the first day, always take a nap before going to work. Tiredness and sleep disorders can affect your mood and even make you experience anxiety or depression.

Have you ever felt a lack of sleepiness at the end of a night shift and do not explain why? It is because of the adrenaline. This is why it is difficult to sleep as soon as you get home from your turn. Take a shower, do a series of stretches and go to sleep. Do not forget to use an eye mask if your room is not sufficiently isolated from the light.

Stay hydrated

It is very important to maintain good hydration to be more alert. Experts recommend six to eight glasses during the shift. You can drink water, juices, green tea, and even coffee. Remember not to drink any caffeinated beverage after six in the morning if not, you will not be able to fall asleep when you get home.

Eat light

It is difficult to eat healthy when we are on a night shift. We wake up tired after work and it is much easier and faster for us to eat a prepared dish or junk food. My advice is to plan the meal in advance. A few days before starting this shift, start cooking and freeze your favorite dishes.

Apart from taking your home prepared food, put in your work bag healthy and light snacks such as apples, almonds, celery, carrots with smoke, etc.

Stay active

Like eating healthy, it is also very difficult to exercise when we work night shifts but you have to reserve at least 20 minutes a day to exercise.

Working many night shifts not only affects our mood but can increase diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome or cause back pain. The more active you keep your body the easier it will be to avoid these ailments

Try to stay active during the shift, especially from 2 am to 4 am, which is when we are most tired. I take the opportunity to clean and collect the patient’s room of infusion pumps and cables that are no longer used since during the day shift they do not have so much time to do this. I also check the nursing car and make a list of the missing materials to replace them in the last five minutes of my break.

So the day shift when starting work does not have to waste your time preparing it. I also take the opportunity to read the story from end to end, learn more about my patient or research by Google if my patient has a syndrome that I still do not know.

Take advantage of sunlight hours

It is easy to fall into the temptation to stay in bed all day but, even if that same day you have to work again, you have to go outside if only to take a walk of a few minutes. Lack of sunlight can cause osteomalacia, memory loss, anxiety, depression, etc., among many others.

If where you work there are not many sunny days, you should supplement the lack of sunlight with vitamin D that you can easily buy at any pharmacy.

 Prepare for the unexpected

When you work regularly on the day shift you know that you can have constant traffic of patients or at least the typical comings and goings of a hospital or clinic during the day. At night it is usually more difficult to maintain a routine, mainly because long periods in which nothing happens can be abruptly interrupted by an unexpected emergency. If you are always prepared for any unexpected situation, you will avoid being caught by an emergency at 3:30 in the morning.

Wear bright colors

When you don’t have sunlight to stay lively and alert, and you only see uniforms of muted colors around you, you can have the feeling of living in an environment without a spark, which can be depressing. Wearing bright and cheerful colored uniforms, you will not only improve your mood, but also that of your patients who, in addition to having a medical problem, have to be awake at odd hours.

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About the author

Sam Attal

Sam has been working in the healthcare industry for 5 years, she lives in Georgia with her husband and 2 dogs. She freelances as a content writer and loves to read about medical trends and share the knowledge around.

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