Long Hospital Shifts – Long shifts in the hospital environment are common and unavoidable. Medical staff should be prepared with these tips to combat handling long shifts.
1. Stay hydrated throughout the shift
Dehydration is the number one cause of hospital-related deaths; staying hydrated ensures your safety and health during a long shift. Also, check-in on your loved ones frequently so that their well-being is not overlooked and means more to you than just checking in on the hourly or waiting 30 minutes before initiating contact with them during a shift.
2. Avoid Late Night Shift Changes
It may be tempting to change your shift to get more hours, but that could lead you to work evening or night shifts which can be more difficult for several reasons. Try to work the same shift for as long as possible to maintain your natural circadian rhythm. If you follow a few simple tips, the experience can be more manageable.
3. Find ways to stay busy during downtime in the day
Spend your time doing something productive and engaging to avoid getting bored while waiting for patients. If possible, find interests that coincide with patients who will be coming in soon so that there is a greater chance of you finding them helpful when they arrive. You could also play video games to alleviate boredom.
4. Don’t Take Every Shift Fatiguing
While it is important to take rest during your shift, keep in mind that you might be able to get more done if you are not exhausted when it is time for a medical or surgical procedure. If you are too exhausted, your focus could drop in crucial moments, leading to medical mistakes.
5. Take a shower/bath during your shift
If you work in a hospital, you should regularly have access to running water to be used by medical professionals. Taking time to shower or bathe can make your shift more comfortable and decrease the risk of becoming ill. Showering between your shifts reduces fatigue and sharpens your focus during an operation or with a patient. You will also be able to smell good and appear more presentable, according to www.ardorhealth.com.
6. Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Other professionals in the healthcare industry can easily identify signs of fatigue and stress. If you make a mistake or take too long to do something, your colleagues may notice. Speak up if you are having trouble with a task or if you see that something seems amiss with your patient. Technicians, nurses, doctors, and other medical staff may be able to offer assistance and make your shift more comfortable and convenient.
7. Tailoring your clothes to the shift
When working in a hospital setting, you may have to wear scrubs for most days of the week or even during every shift in some instances. If you are working where you would not be comfortable wearing the same clothes all day, you should consider using the colors and patterns that fit more comfortably with your mood and personality. For example, wearing pink mens scrubs when feeling sad will make your positive attitude stand out.
Getting a good night’s sleep can make your shift more productive and enjoyable. Most people get at least 7 hours of sleep a night. Getting this amount of sleep can help you improve your concentration and memory and keep you happy and energized throughout the day.
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