Working 12-hour shifts can be really tough on your body, but it’s like the best kind of punishment. On one hand, we love getting an extra day off out of our week by working more hours while at work; a sorta sick form of revenge for all those people who take days off whenever they want and leave us to do their dirty work. But there are times where that third shift is just too much!
It makes you feel drained after having already worked two consecutive 12-hour shifts before this last long stretch, making most CNAs forget what time is it even was or how many minutes left until break time when they get close to finishing up with rounds or whatever else needs doing around here.
The shift work can be brutal, and the worst part is when you are so exhausted at home that all you want to do is collapse on your couch. It’s like “screw it” syndrome, where even though there might be a decent dinner waiting for us in our kitchen, all we really feel like doing after working 12 hours straight is just ordering take-out.
I’m sure you’re probably feeling a little overwhelmed with all the crazy 12 hours shifts going on. But, don’t worry – here are eight ways to survive them:
1. Get enough sleep
Sleep is the most important part of a healthy lifestyle. Without it, you’ll be sluggish and grouchy all day long! If you’re struggling to get your zzzs at night time, consider taking melatonin supplements before bedtime – they can help regulate sleep so that you fall asleep faster and stay asleep for longer periods of time without feeling groggy in the morning like some other products might do.
Along with figuring out what’s causing insomnia (stressful life events? Not enough exercise?) try eating more calcium-rich foods during dinner hours too as this may also promote restfulness when it comes to falling into slumber; hot milk being one example among many others including cheese or yogurt!
2. Prepare your outfit before the day
Get a head start on your outfit and have it ready to go the night before. Choose between smart casual or uniform so you can wear what would be more appropriate for that day depending if you’re in community, then lay out everything from shoes to vest and tie neatly so when morning comes all you’ll need is an extra minute grabbing the clothes closest to where they are laid out!
3. Get a good pair of shoes
It’s important to have the right shoes for your feet! If you wear them constantly, they will start hurting and blistering. You can go to an athletic shoe store where a professional who knows about walking could analyze your stride and help recommend footwear that suit you better than generic brands.
Shoes should be replaced every 6-9 months or when the tread wears down; this is very important so make sure before trying on anything else how long ago it was made because if not up to date then there might be some flaws in design which would affect quality of life as well as comfortability while wearing those sneakers all day!
4. Stay busy
Be proactive and take every opportunity available to you. This will be great for your learning and development, but is also a sure fire way to make the time fly! Take advantage of your supernumerary status and go talk to other healthcare professionals or offer help in other bays during shift changes. It’s tempting have a little sit down when you get a chance, but unless it’s necessary it really slows down momentum – especially at night shifts where there are less staff members on duty.”
5. Take advantage of your breaks
When you have a chance to take a break, really make the most of it. Don’t eat your food at the nurses station and get away from work for as long as possible by getting some fresh air or reading an interesting book. Give your phone to another CNA if you’re going on break because even answering one call can be enough distraction that when it’s time to go back into work mode after taking a short five-minute walk might seem tough!
Stop worrying about patients when not in front of them and enjoy yourself – put on some music while you read, stretch out with yoga videos- anything like this will help relieve stress and keep up energy levels until its time return back home again.
6. Have snack in your scrub pockets
Working a 12-hour shift can be tough, but you don’t have to let your energy plummet because of inconsistent break times. Instead, keep an emergency snack on hand so that when you need it most—you look energized and ready for anything! My favorite is the small fruit and nut granola bar – easy to eat whenever I get a moment free thanks to its size in my scrub pockets.
7. Take cat-naps
10-minute cat naps are a great way to reduce your stress levels and make it until the end of the day. Set up an alarm on your phone for 10 minutes, find a comfortable place that’s quiet with closed eyes where you can just rest them shut. This will help you get through today!
8. Stay hydrated
Drink up! You don’t want to get dehydrated. Some great options for fluid consumption are sports drinks, water, juice, milk and tea. Try not to drink too much caffeine if possible because it can cause dehydration as well – so stick with just one cup of joe in the morning or switch over from coffee to black iced tea.
So there you have it. Eight tips for surviving those long, crazy 12-hour shifts that are coming your way soon. I know they can be tough to handle at first, but don’t worry – with these tricks up your sleeve, we’re sure you’ll make it through in no time! Remember to comment below if this post helped or not and what other posts would help so the next person doesn’t feel as overwhelmed by their new schedule. Happy shifting!