12 Survival Tips for Night Shift Nurses
Nurses have to be flexible and work both day and night shifts when required. Since it’s possible to choose a regular shift in the nursing profession, some people choose either the day or night shift to accommodate other activities in their lives. For example, a nurse attending additional courses during the day might find it easier to work nights.
Working in the night shift has several advantages and disadvantages. The advantages are differential pay, slower pace of work, simpler bureaucracy, more close knit relationships with other nurses, and a chance to learn more and be more self-reliant. Night nurses also have the advantage of not battling with daily traffic! The disadvantages are many as well, such as being invisible to daytime administrators and missing out on promotions. There’s also the disadvantage of continuously fighting off sleep, which condition improves the longer you’re on night shifts.
If you are a nighttime nurse, you will find the following tips useful:
1. Always eat a full meal before your meal. During the daytime, the health care facility’s cafeteria might be well stocked but there’s no telling if you’ll find anything worth eating during the night. Carry a few snacks as well, to keep hunger at bay.
2. Get at least 8 hours sleep during the day. Granted the pace of work may be slower at night, but that doesn’t mean you can sleep on the job. Your patients need the same diligent care during the night as they do during the day.