How will I survive my first run of nights?
Worried you can't stay awake?
Night duty is a part of many nurses jobs, for new nurse this can be particularly daunting. Follow these simple tips to help make your transition to nights easier.
1. Rest... Try to have a nap the day you begin nights, if you're not a day sleeper, even a rest can help. Trust me, your body will thank you for it later!
2. Plan... Get all of your jobs done before you begin your stretch. For me, I like to prepare by changing my bed sheets and having all of my food stocked. Sometimes I am even organised enough to have some prepared frozen meals in the freezer. Ensure all of your uniforms are washed and ready to go... Get coffee supplies!
3. Exercise... Exercise and getting outside can help your body adjust to nights. Even a light walk scheduled in can help to make you feel a bit more refreshed the next day.
4. Create an environment that promotes sleep... Ear plugs and eye masks can help people who wake to such things. Remember to tell your family and friends that you are on nights. This will stop them from waking you up... Personally, it's Australia Post that usually wakes me up with a knock to the door. Keep your phone out of your room.
5. Find your own night duty rituals... We are all different and what might work for one nurse may not work for you. Think about this things that you found hard and ways that can help you get better at managing them next time... Rest assure you will stay awake... If not, thats ok. Many of us are highly skilled at politely ignoring that colleague who lets out an accidental sore and then quickly pretends they never dosed off.
Whats your night duty ritual?
Please share in the comment below.