5 Travel Nurse Tips to Prepare For Night Shifts
November 16, 2018
The job of a travel nurse is not a simple feat, especially if you are doing it in the evening. Here are some tips so that you can prepare for it.
Taking on a night shift is indeed a challenge, especially for those who haven’t experienced such kind of stint. Otherwise, it will overwhelm you.
Typically, travel nurses are among the individuals who are expected to do graveyard shift. If you are planning to engage in this line of job, you have to prepare for this kind of predicament. After all, it will become inevitable.
Of course, I am not saying that a night shift is terrible. Many professionals prefer this kind of schedule. During the night, it easier for them to work because they have few people and stresses to deal with.
However, it wouldn’t be wrong if you are to prepare for it. In this way, you can overcome the regimen without succumbing from its effects. Here are 5 travel nurse tips for the night shift that you should consider.
Get An Overview Of Your Daily Routine
Before the start of your evening schedule, you should always be wary about your daily routine. It would be best if you had an idea about the number of hours you spend on sleeping. You should also be aware of your eating pattern and frequency. These things will help you make the necessary adjustments in your working time. You have to rearrange your regular habits because you are dealing with a new schedule already. However, among all these things, you should always prioritize your sleeping time.
Enrolling on a night shift will somehow break your social life. Because most of our friends are working during on the day and sleeping on the night, catching up with them is difficult. If you are a typical outgoer, you might have to change it very soon.
Don’t worry. It is for your own good.
Prioritize Your Sleep
Just because you are a night shifter already doesn’t mean that you have to avoid sleeping. That’s not the case. Now, more than ever is the time that you have to secure your rest. Some travel nurses think that sleeping for around four to five hours is already fine and enough. However, that’s not correct. The shift in your schedule requires you to have an ample resting time.
Your body has to recuperate from the drastic change in environment and workload. Because of this, it is quite common for first-timers to get tired quickly. If you can’t address this problem through sleeping, your performance in your work will deteriorate as well. It is not a surprise anymore for night shift travel nurses to feel headaches and other symptoms of a migraine. These things can make sleeping more difficult for you. Fortunately, there are ergonomic pillows for a migraine that you can use to relieve the aching sensations while you are sleeping.
Orient Your Turf
At first, you will think that it is only you who is going to adjust on the new schedule. After all, you are the one who is working and not your family or roommates. However, amusingly, that’s just shallow thinking. If you are living with your family, it is entirely natural for them to show their concerns to you. They might even offer to stay up late just for you. Although it is a sweet thought, a travel nurse will never let his constituent suffer with him.
You have to talk to your members regarding the new change in your working schedule. If you have kids, you have to tell them that they shouldn’t wait for you. If you have a spouse, it would be a great thing if you can let him/ her cook something that you can eat when you arrive home. You can also open the possibility of sharing a meal before or after your working hours. It could be a dinner or breakfast. Either of these two can make you motivated and stuffed at the same thing! Being together with your loved ones is still a great thing, after all.
Learn How To Eat Well
Because you will be doing a nightly occupation, your body will require proper nourishment. Working in the night is more struggling compared during the day. Our mind and system are wired to be active in the morning after all. When evening comes, your circadian rhythm will tell you that you have to sleep. Of course, since you are a travel nurse, you can’t fall to temptations. To overcome the fatigue and weariness in night shift, a person should eat healthily.
Food that is high in energy is great for night shifters. They will need all the power that they can get so that they can overcome sleepiness and weariness. You might want to consider bringing small meals but eating them at short intervals.
Such kind of eating routine will regularly pump energy of your body. You will never feel any downtime that can help you continue your work.
Avoid Too Much Caffeine
Coffee is our friend during moments where we need to have our systems active at all cost. Naturally, a travel nurse would think that drinking coffee from time to time is one way of solving his problem. Sadly, there’s a massive caveat over that.
Too much caffeine in your body will make the situation inconvenient on your part. It can make you jittery, which somehow disrupts your concentration. In some cases, it can cause uneasiness and uncontrolled palpitations.
As a travel nurse, it is really okay if you drink a glass of coffee during or before your schedule. However, it would be best if you drink it ahead of time so that the effects of caffeine will fully manifest in your body.
Just do not take it uncontrolled levels. Once you can get over it, you will never have to be dependent on caffeine just to stay awake. Pretty cool, right?
Wrapping It Up
These are some of the useful tips that travel nurses must follow, should they engage to a night shift. These techniques are cost-free but extremely efficient in making you survive the long and dreary nights.
Try to do them before your first evening routine comes already. It is better to prepare than to adjust in a middle way. It will make your journey a lot difficult.
That’s it for now. If you have questions or suggestions, feel free to drop them in the box below.
About the Author
My name is Layla Parker, the founder and chief editor of ASleepyWolf.com. I decided to start taking my blog about sleep seriously to help people find what they need to experience better sleep and maintain their health. Check out my website to learn more about how to improve it now!