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5 Top Tips for Surviving the Nursing Night Shift

Have you got a last minute agency night shift? Don't worry! We've put together five our our top tips to help you through it. Completing your hours while patients and others are asleep can be challenging, so it's crucial to stay awake and alert to ensure productivity. As a top nursing recruitment agency in Ireland, we understand how difficult surviving the nursing night shift can be. 

Keep reading to learn the best ways to maintain your best mental and physical health during those late hours.

1. Keep Busy

Productivity is key to staying awake during the night shift. When your energy wanes, fatigue can set in, making it harder to stay alert. To combat this, create a mental to-do list or jot down your tasks to help you stay on track. Your list will serve as a helpful tool to stay organised and productive throughout your shift.

Two tired nurses sitting on the ground

Looking after your mental and physical health is essential

2. Take Breaks

Make sure you are utilising your mandatory breaks. Take this time to rest and eat some healthy snacks. Drink plenty of water as staying hydrated is essential for agency nurses on the night shift. This will help you stay awake and prevent headaches. If you find it hard to remember to drink water, try setting an alarm to go off at set times throughout your night shift.

3. Be Mindful of Your Caffeine Intake

While it's tempting to load up on caffeinated drinks to stay awake, it's essential to be strategic about when you consume them. Avoid consuming caffeine early in the morning or toward the end of your night shift, as it can interfere with your ability to fall asleep once you get home. Instead, kickstart your shift with a coffee and gradually transition to water as the night progresses.

4. Befriend Your Coworkers

Working your shift alone, while your patients sleep, can lead to feelings of sleepiness or loneliness. The best way to combat this is to engage in conversations with your fellow nurses and doctors!

Socialising with your colleagues not only keeps you alert but also allows you to build positive relationships, making your night shift more enjoyable.

Two nurses talking on the stairs

Befriending your coworkers will make work easier

5. Plan Your Way Home

Before you set off on your night shift, it's imperative to have your transportation home organised. After a long night, you might find yourself tired or drowsy. If you're driving home, ensure you are fit to do so.

Consider opening your car windows and turning up the radio to help you stay awake. If you believe you aren't in a condition to drive, opt for a bus, a taxi, or ask a friend or family member to pick you up.

Start Working Agency Nursing Shifts Today

If you're a night owl who's interested in working those untraditional hours where rates can sometimes be on the higher end of the scale, why not consider working as an agency nurse with Clarity Locums? We've written the ultimate guide to help you learn everything there is to know about agency work, plus how to get started with Clarity. Read it now at the link below, or if you're ready to get going, register today!

Register Today  Read the Ultimate Guide to Agency Nursing

Posted on 24 October 2023
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