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Tips to Survive the Night Shift

Tips to Survive the Night Shift

Sean Dent | Scrubs Magazine

“May I Please Have Your Attention. The Hospital Will Be Closing Shortly.”

Ahh… If only this were true. (Insert dream sequence…)

The hospital doesn’t function like the local town store with posted ‘Store Hours’. The hospital never closes. It operates in some capacity 365 days a year, 24 hours a day (and yes 366 days a year on leap year). It doesn’t have ‘Holiday Hours’. The doors are always open. Some departments may not be operating during certain times, but as a whole, the hospital is always ‘open’.

This hits ‘home’ for the nursing staff. Nurses who work for the hospital are required to work at all hours of the day, working odd shifts and functioning at times of the day when the normal human being is sleeping.

Yes, I’m talking about the dreaded ‘Night Shift’ or the ‘NOC’ as some like to call it. It’s the shift that can start anywhere after 6pm and last till 8am the next day. While you are sleeping, some of us have to ‘work’.

Now this is not unique to the field of nursing, or even to health care. There are many occupations out there that work and operate on a 24 hour schedule. I’m simply referring to my lil’ circle of life.

The night shift is hard. Well, at least hard for me. There are some out there that do this on a full-time basis. The ‘live’ their lives when the sun goes down. I tip my hat to all of them, because without them-we as a society would not, and could not function.

I myself loathe the night shift simply because my body and my mind seem to … uhh… shut-down during those hours. No matter how hard I try to prepare I always seem to end up ‘half-empty’.

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