Are you a clinician that’s adjusting to the night shift? It takes time to adapt to night shift work, but we’ve created a list of strategies for surviving and thriving while most of the world is asleep.
See below for tips on staying focused, energetic, healthy, and happy on the night shift!
This might seem like an obvious tip, but sleep is the most important tool you can arm yourself with to prepare for the night shift. Uninterrupted sleep can be difficult to achieve before or after a night shift, especially if you have other people in your household, but it is important to get as much of it as you can. This means shutting off or putting away phones, televisions, tablets, laptops, and anything else that could be stimulating your mind before you settle into sleep.
If you’re sleeping during the day, it can help prep your room with things that will make it easier and more comfortable to rest. Blackout curtains, noise machines, earplugs, and sleeping masks can make sleeping much more bearable during the day. Trying to stick to a consistent sleep schedule during the hours before or after your night shift will also help train your body so you rest more effectively.
Try to avoid over-caffeinating as well. This can wire you or make it harder for you to fall and stay asleep. Caffeinate moderately during your shift so that when you’re finished you can allow it to wear off a bit before you sleep.
A good diet and exercise routine can be hard to keep up with while you’re working long hours and trying to schedule the rest of your time around your personal life. Meal prepping or planning can help cut down on some of the stress around eating balanced healthy meals and will keep you full while you’re on the go. Keep healthy snacks around to avoid unhealthy temptations, boost your energy, and help you stay focused.
Staying active during your shift can also help. A quick walk or taking the stairs instead of the elevator to get from one place to the next will help keep your brain alert.
Surviving the night shift isn’t up to just you. Your co-workers can help make the whole thing more bearable. Having others to relate to, chat with, and keep active with in your downtime can make the hours fly by. Create healthy rapport with your fellow clinicians and ensure that someone else has your back when you need it.
Even though most of the world works during the daytime, it’s still important to spend time with friends and family.
Feeling connected to the ones you love is closely tied to your physical and mental health. You can avoid feelings of isolation or loneliness by making time for social interaction.
Maintaining your emotional well-being will help you provide better care for your patients during the night shift and improve your chances of having a long, successful career.
Therapia Staffing Wants To Help You Succeed on the Night Shift
Don’t let the night shift get the best of you. With some careful planning and adjustments, you’ll find your stride in no time. It may take a few tries to get yourself comfortable with a new work schedule, but that’s okay.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help from those who have experience with night shift work. Other night shift clinicians have developed their own strategies for success, and you may benefit from following their lead.
The most important thing to remember is to be kind to yourself and your body. Your work and your patients are important, but you can’t be your best for them if you’re not taking care of yourself.
Now that you know how to stay on top of your night shift game, put it into practice!