Survival Tip 1. Get a good level of sleep
We all know the feeling of being tired at work, when you get home or even 2 hours into your shift (so this survival tip might seem obvious). However, for Night shift nurses, being constantly tired is not only dangerous but also very easy to do. So how do you make sure that you get enough sleep?
It is vital for Nurses to make sleep the main aspect of being at home, it must be a priority. Night shift Nurses must train their bodies on how to properly fall asleep (and remain there) for as long as possible without any interruptions. This might take a bit of getting used to but after a while your body will acclimatise itself and you will get there.
According to the (NSF), National Sleep Foundation, night shift nurses should keep the same sleep routines (even on days off; use eye masks and ear plugs to help remain asleep; as well as avoid consuming alcohol and caffein near bed time.
Survival Tip 2. Use caffeinated products wisely.
One cup, two cups… 12 cups, Ooops. It seems like the logical thing to do when you are tired and at work. But the NSF suggests that even though drinking caffeinated beverage can help stay awake and alert it can also be your downfall. It is important not to overdo caffeinated products, as drinking too much can have its own issues.
Survival Tip 3. Make healthier meal and snack choices
The food a nurse selects before and during a night shift can have serious effects on stamina, energy and performance levels. It is important to choose items that will provide you with energy and that don’t cause sleepiness or a ‘crash-and-burn’ effect later on.
It is suggested that Nurses adopt a ‘grazing’ approach towards eating while working the night shift. Smaller more frequent meals should be consumed such as raw salads, nuts, fruit and vegetables. Opting for well-balanced meals that include complex carbohydrates, low-fat foods and high protein.
Survival Tip 4. Monitor your health
Working night shifts can lead to negative affects, both physically and mentally. With the NSF reporting that shift workers face a higher risk of insomnia, daytime sleepiness, high blood pressure, diabetes plus many more negative issues. Therefore it is important to exercise, rest and diet properly outside of work.
Survival Tip 5. Bond with your Co-Workers
Having a close relationship with people at work can not only boost your mood but also help make sure that the night shift runs smoothly. Having close relationship with co-workers will increase the chances of them helping you out when you need to and vice versa. Nurses that get on well with other nurses, doctors and other members of staff feel that their time during the night shift goes a lot quicker and it becomes a far more enjoyable experience.
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