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Managing Shift Work in the Nursing Profession

| January 28, 2019 | 0 Comments

Managing Shift WorkChoosing to have a career as a nurse will have many rewards and nice compensation; however, it can also produce some challenges. Many nurses work long shifts, sometimes at night and often many days in a row before a day off.

While not all nursing careers have such a challenging schedule, and many only work days, those who work long night shifts may only get sleep during the day during non-working hours. This is not an impossible feat, as long as the Nurse can juggle the job stresses and daytime sleep schedule so that it is not interfering with their health.

How to Manage Shift Work In The Nursing Profession

Nurses that work long night time shift work with a lot of overtime should do everything they can to sleep at least 7-8 hours during the day. This means that childcare should be arranged for children and window coverings should be on windows to prevent bright light from coming in.

It is also important to make sure that phones are set to vibrate or low ringtones. Family and friends should be aware of how important sleeping hours are to someone who works as a nurse, so they aren’t disturbed during these hours.

Achieving adequate rest will prevent fatigue and help reduce stress. A Nursing career can be very high demand and have mentally and physically stressful tasks that must be performed on a daily basis.

Nurses who have fatigue from not enough adequate rest will be much more prone to slipping and falling at work, making mistakes in patient files, and even putting patients at risk for not receiving the type of healthcare they should.

A well rested nurse will be able to manage stress much better and can fight fatigue that may otherwise run them down and make them susceptible to the many illnesses they are exposed to during their working hours. Nurses should also try to take at least a 30 minute break after every 6 hours during shift work.

When driving home after night shift work, extra care should be practiced to avoid falling asleep at the wheel. Listening to the radio on the ride home or having a small cup of coffee an hour or so before getting off the shift might help. Collaborating with the nurse in charge, to mange workload and amount of time spent on one shift is also necessary and will prevent fatigue.

Not all careers for a nurse involve long night time shifts and a lot of overtime. There are many nurses who take on administrative roles. A Charge Nurse at a hospitals, medical facilities and nursing homes would do administrative tasks, oversee the responsibilities of other nurses to ensure patient safety, and even make executive decisions such as scheduling shifts.

They may also handle complex issues and decision-making that for other nurses during their shift. Some Nursing jobs are available with large Insurance Companies. Nurses working for Insurance companies may actually have no hands-on contact with patients.

These jobs usually require review of patient files and collaborating with Insurance company doctors and representatives who ultimately do the decision making with regard to what may or may not be covered by their health insurance.

A Nursing career may also include jobs working in a school to provide help to children who may become injured or ill while at school. A job as a school nurse may also be more administrative than hands-on, as they are usually checking temperatures, typing notes in student files and administering medications to children who need them while at school.

They would also place calls to parents if the child is sick enough to go home. School nurses and administrative nurses who work for Insurance companies would most likely work regular business hours or school hours that do not require night shifts or much overtime.


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Category: Nursing

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