If you’re a nurse thinking about considering a switch to a night shift position, it’s important that you are prepared not only from a clinical perspective but also a personal one. We’ll leave the clinical advice up to you but we do have some tips on how to make the transition a little easier.
1. Feed Your Body Well
I’m sure you already know working in healthcare that it is so very important to keep yourself well fed and hydrated with water and quality foods. Sometimes, especially during a busy shift, it is difficult to find the motivation to care for yourself when you’re giving so much to other people – assuming you have time to even take a break! Do your best to stay away from junk/snack foods – the energy you get from those are short lived bursts that will leave you starving for more very quickly. We would prefer you eat a well prepared meal but when that’s not possible, keep healthy snacks that will sustain you throughout your shift such as fruits, nuts, and other snacks beneficial to energy.
2. Get Enough Sleep
No one likes working when they haven’t slept enough and you can’t give 100% if you’re not feeling 100%. Many of us are not naturally nocturnal people who can easily fall asleep when the sun comes up. If you are having trouble getting to sleep, make sure you’re shutting off your tech devices (computer/tablet, television, phone, etc.) at least an hour before your bedtime. Use a lavender or similar pillow spray to help induce a relaxing feeling and try blackout curtains to reduce the sunlight intruding through your windows of your bedroom. Finally, try to keep a schedule so that the tasks you need to get done aren’t eating into your sleep time. You and your health are so very important – treat yourself well!
3. Keep Physically Active
Another great way to keep yourself feeling great working nights is by staying physically active. Working nights can be a difficult adjustment for our bodies to handle so make sure you aren’t adding on additional stress by sitting still when you get off your shift. Even if it’s something like taking a quick 30 minute walk, use this as your “me” time to transition from a long shift to a relaxing “evening” even if it is technically morning. Added bonus? Exercise is great for your heart!
I hope these tips have helped or at least given you some ideas on how to best prepare yourself, from a personal perspective, for transitioning to a night shift career. As recruiters, we want you to be happy in your job and that is directly tied with how you treat yourself. You play an incredibly important role in patient care and you should always remember that it’s OK to take care of yourself as well.
If you’re interested in considering a night shift position, whether contract or permanent, I’d be happy to help. Let me know what you’re looking for and I’ll see what we have available!
(386) 264-6864 (Direct Line)