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How to Successfully Navigate the Night Shift as a Nurse - PNG Solutions

How to Successfully Navigate the Night Shift as a Nurse

No matter how busy or awkward your work schedule might look, you’re still the master of your life. This might not sound true but you will agree that when you choose to do a certain job, you also think of how you will juggle your day. 

One of those many jobs that need employees to plan their day if they want to live life normally is Nursing. With its day and evening shifts, nurses are expected to make real adjustments when it comes to their daily routine and their personal life.

Though the responsibilities carried out during the day and night shifts are the same, it’s a little more demanding to navigate the night shift. So, how then can nurses survive the chronicles of the night shift?

Eat healthily

A good way to approach the night shift is to watch what you eat. The meals you eat a few hours prior to sleep can have an effect on your energy, stamina, and performance level. Being in the healthcare industry, you understand the role food plays in your daily routine. When going through the night shift, your meals should be light and easy to digest. 

Go in for nuts, fruits, raw salads, and vegetables. While your job requires you to eat food that provides energy, make sure it doesn’t steal away your bedtime. The absence of a healthy diet will cause dehydration and fatigue, so make sure your food contains protein, complex carbohydrates, and low-fat foods. Do not also neglect the intake of the right quantity of water.

Don’t neglect your sleep

Sleep is a natural human activity that you can’t do without. Sadly, as a nurse, you have to face the fact that working a night shift affects your natural sleep pattern. However, knowing the importance of sleep to one’s health, you have to create a conducive environment that will permit you to sleep for 7 to 8 hours. No matter how many hours you’re able to sleep in a day, it’s vital to keep your sleeping time consistent according to the National Sleep Foundation.

Nurses can use curtains to darken the room and disconnect from anything that will interrupt your sleep like your electronics. It’s also possible to plan your sleep. You should be able to teach your body how to sleep with distractions.

Build a bond with your colleagues

Just as friends need each other in both good and bad times, so do colleagues who need each other to overcome work stress. As a nurse, building bonds with your co-workers creates a harmonious and healthy environment for you to work in. The night shift atmosphere is totally different from the day shift. You’re more resourceful as you have fewer patients to keep company while the others are sleeping. 

With a less busy schedule, having your co-workers around you can turn your night shift into an enjoyable one with less stress and boredom. During the night shift, you have fewer administrative staff around which gives you more bonding time with your colleagues to share your experiences.

Make exercising a routine

The role exercise plays in the life of an individual is underrated. Its impact on your physical and mental health can’t be ignored. Who best understands this if not you working in the healthcare industry? Your work as a nurse requires you to engage in strenuous tasks such as lifting and moving patients without risk of injuries.  

The several hours standing to make sure that the needs of patients are met also puts your health at risk. These tasks and activities expose you to diseases such as heart attacks and diabetes. Thus, it’s important that you set out time to exercise to help you maintain physical stamina to handle some of those rigorous tasks. The healthier you are, the better you stand to take care of your patients.

Become the Star of the Night Shift

As a healthcare practitioner, there’s no escaping the night shift. Because it comes with its own hurdles, you must be in the right state to do your job well. It’s important that both your physical and mental health is at a premium. 

The demands and challenges of your job can be overwhelming which prevents you from living a life like others. However, understanding this and taking the necessary steps to live a less stressful life will be to your advantage. 

Whether you prefer the night shift or don’t mind working during the day, you can always count on PNG Solutions’ nurse staffing service to help you find the right place to work. Matching nurses with the right healthcare facilities is our specialty. Contact us today to learn more.

Featured Image Credits: Houston Baptist University

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