Preparing for a Nursing Shift

Preparing for a Nursing Shift

When you’re a nurse you know the long hours that are involved, and you know you may end up staying beyond your shift for a couple of reasons.  If you’re new to the profession it is a good idea to plan ahead for your shift.  Preparing for a nursing shift can help you combat the fatigue that comes with working long hours on your feet all day.  Here are some tips that can help.

Make Sure You Eat and Prepare Some Snacks

Always eat a meal before you head to the hospital, this will help you make it through your long shift.  Take note of how long your shift will be and when your break times are, this will allow you to plan ahead and bring enough snacks.  Being hungry can make you tired and dizzy so pack some protein snacks like nuts, they can help you sustain your energy throughout your shift. This will also help you stay away from vending machines and sugary snacks.  Here are some tips to help.

If for some reason you can’t bring snacks with you or you end up working longer than you have planned, try visiting the cafeteria.  Most hospital cafeterias have gotten better over the years with the food that they sell, it not only tastes much better but there are healthier options there as well.  It might be easier to grab food before your shift, you never know when you will have time to eat.

Naps Can be Your Friend

People who work long hours and night shifts like nurses do end up lacking in sleep.  Your body clock can be completely messed up and this can affect your judgement.  Try learning how to take power naps.  If you can sleep soundly for a few minutes you can help keep your energy up.  You can try power napping during your lunch break if you can find somewhere quiet.  You can wake up feeling refreshed and ready to finish the last half of your shift.

Plan Ahead

As a nurse you not only work long hours but your shifts can often change.  You can easily go from working days to nights to afternoons, all in the course of a week.  You need to plan ahead as to not just when you sleep but to make sure that you aren’t too tired to function through your shift.  Keep track of your hours and when breaks will happen.  It will help you fight fatigue and keep your shifts productive.