The night shift is more exhausting than the day shift. This is because the body is designed to rest at night. As for nurses, there is always a time when they have to work the night shift. Since patients need 24/7 monitoring to make sure that their vitals are taken. No matter how many times a nurse gets a night shift, her body can never rest properly by sleeping during the daytime. Whether it’s per diem nursing jobs or a full-time nursing career, the night shift affects the body differently compared with the day-time shift. Here are some survival tips for nurses working the night shift.
Tips for Night Shift Nurses
Get as Much Sleep as You Can
As a nurse, you have to adapt to your sleeping pattern, so you can get enough sleep needed in a day or more is better. There are things that can help you get that peaceful sleep during the daytime. Some of them are the following: sleep with an eye mask to block any light, an earplug to block sounds, and avoid drinking caffeinated drinks or even alcohol before bedtime. These techniques can help you sleep longer without interruption.
Use Caffeine Properly
Keeping your mind alert on the night shift is a struggle. Using caffeinated drinks can help you be alert during the shift. However, remember not to take in too much of it. Drinking a caffeinated beverage 25 to 30 minutes before your shaft will be best since this can increase the level of alertness. A clear and awake mind is needed on the night shift, so you can perform your duties 100%.
Opt for Healthier Snacks and Meals
Eating food that can make you functional even at night will be a good choice. You have to condition your body to eat healthier snacks and meals, so your body can be stronger to adapt to the changes in your sleeping pattern. Raw salads, nuts, vegetables, and fruits should always be included in your daily intake. High-protein food, low fats, and complex carbohydrates can be a good combination to make your body stronger and more alert at night. Try some dietary choices that you can follow to make your intake more nutritious and appropriate for your work schedule.
Keep Your Health Status Update
Keeping healthy is one of the nurse’s goals since you have to serve as a model to your patients. That’s why you should make sure to also have your regular check-up to monitor your body’s overall condition and check if there is anything bad occurring. So you can correct it immediately. Early intervention is better, as well as conditioning your body should be part of your regular routine, so you can stay physically and emotionally prepared for your job as a nurse.
Establish Good Relationship With Your Co-workers
Working with people you like can be a good factor in boosting them during your night shift. Night shift jobs are completely different from day-shift ones. Being in a good mood with nothing to worry about seeing your co-worker whom you are not on good terms with can add more to the exhaustion at work. If the working environment is relaxed, everything can go smoothly, and you might not even notice that your shift is over. Establish a good relationship with your co-workers to avoid more stress during your shift.
Keep Yourself Busy
During the night shift, patients are mostly asleep, but there are still tasks to be done. If you notice, the night shift seems to be longer than the day shift. In order to make the shift faster, keep yourself busy by going the extra mile by doing some tasks for the day shift nurses or focusing on patients who are awake at night.
How do you survive an overnight shift? Follow the survival tips for nurses working the night shift, and you can have a more alert and awake mind during your shift. It is important to get used to working at night, so you can perform your job well and keep your body healthy as well. Make the necessary adjustments and, for sure, you can have a more relaxing mood at work and won’t even notice that your shift is over.