Benefits of Doing Night Shifts as a Nurse and 5 Ways to Deal with it
Nursing is not a 9 to 5 job. People need medical care 24/7 and the work hours for the healthcare professionals vary. At some point most of the nurses experience the 24-hour care system by taking on a night shift.
To begin with, being a nurse in general is not easy. What to say about being a nurse and working night shifts? Working after the sun is down could be challenging. Being a night shift nurse requires a well-planned schedule so that your body can adjust. It could be tough to manage your night shift sleep schedule. However, it is not impossible!
Myth – Night Shifts are bad and intolerable. Mentioning “night shift” can cause a person to get chills.
Truth – Working on the night shifts could be enjoyable and some nurses actually prefer it. If your daily schedule is planned correctly, working night shifts provides benefits.
We know that sometimes things appear way worse in your heads than in reality. Here as well. Changing your mindset can help with your overall perception of night shifts. To help you with this we have gathered some of the benefits of working night shifts as a nurse.
Benefits of Working on the Night Shifts as a Nurse
Not saying that night shifts are the best, no. At the end of the day, it’s working during your sleep hours. But with good adaptation and adjustment of your Circadian Clock the night shift lifestyle is not bad at all! Many healthcare professionals choose it because of the following benefits:
Better Pay Rates
First things first.. Is there even a better motivation to work night shifts? It is no secret that night shifts are getting paid more. When you compare pay rates for the same position for day and night shifts, you will notice the difference. You will probably get around £4-5/hr more for working during night time (varies). And sometimes more. So this is a leading factor with most of the nurses.
Less Interaction with Patients and Their Families
Okay, we don’t want to sound rude here at all! Nurses love their jobs and helping out patients. But let’s be honest.. At some point it can get just too much to handle.
With the majority of patients asleep during the late shift, nurses can be more focused on their paper works and other duties. Add the absence of constant moaning by their families and there you go – heaven.
More Freedom and Less Management
While during the day shifts you can barely find time to breath, night shifts come with significantly more freedom. You can snack at your desk and respond to messages on your phone without having to worry about who’s watching you. Amazing, isn’t it? You can taste the sense of liberty!
5 Ways of Dealing with Night Shifts
There are ways of making the night shift hours more tolerable. Let’s check out some of the tips here:
Limit your coffee and energy drinks
Apart from giving you additional anxiety, caffeine is not going to keep you awake during the night. Even though you might consider energy drinks as a source of instant energy, they often have side effects such as mood swings. And let us not forget about the after effect, when your whole energy crashes down later on. Instead, drink more water and rely on nutritional food intake.
Eat quality food on small portions
Another really important factor is the quality of food you eat. A good way of coping with the night shift nursing is by eating healthy food for energy income, rather than relying on energy drinks. It could be tricky to find time to cook homemade food every day. That’s why meal preps come to save the day! Check out the 5 meal prep ideas and tips for busy hospital shifts and get prepared. Small portions more frequently is better than overeating at once.
Bond with a fellow nurse and stay busy
Have you tried bonding with a fellow nurse while on duty? Discussing the weather, a TV series you both watch or even complain about your common pain of working night time, you can always make your night shift more tolerable while chatting with a colleague. Who knows, it might even lead to a good friendship someday.
The famous quick nap – 20/30 minutes
Well, it’s needless to say that good sleep is the most crucial factor for coping with night shifts. Learn how to adjust your Circadian Clock and have a good sleep during the day. However, the amount of sleep can sometimes be insufficient. That’s why even though you sleep when you reach home, it’s always a good idea to take a nap before next shift as well. The good old quick nap of 20/30 mins. Short periods of rest will help keep your energy high. But don’t risk it and sleep more time as you might feel groggy after that.
As we mentioned, caffeinated drinks are not the best solutions. Drinking water, on the other hand, could be quite beneficial for your overall health and productivity. It regulates the flow of oxygen that reaches the brain and makes you more alert, focused and less tired.
To sum up, there are certain ways to make your night shifts as a nurse more tolerable. Sticking to a certain routine, eating healthy and being hydrated are big factors to maintain a good lifestyle. It can be tough to reprogram your brain and body but it’s definitely not impossible! And who knows you might even end up enjoying it more..
Mylocum provides wide ranges of opportunities in different locations where you can find your desirable night shift. Check out the vacancies here and pick the one that suits you. Mylocum is also my CV Library