As there are with most things, there are pros and cons to becoming a traveling healthcare professional. One of the major benefits is traveling around the country while doing what you love. On the other hand, a con could be having to work a couple of night shifts.
Night shifts aren’t all bad news though. There are advantages to doing night shifts, such as higher pay and quieter shifts. However, if you are not used to working during the night, it can be quite difficult to adjust.
There are a few simple changes you can make to make your night shift easier. Our healthcare travel agency team wants to share some tips for mastering the night shift as a travel healthcare professional.
Tips for night shifts as a travel healthcare professional
Create a sleeping schedule
The hardest thing about the night shift for some people is readjusting your sleeping schedule. You should make it your goal to get at least seven hours of sleep. Mayo Clinic reports that adults should get seven or more hours of sleep each night.
One of the best ways to get the hours you need is by creating a sleep schedule and sticking to it. Also, do all the things you normally do when you are about to sleep. For example, you should wash your face and brush your teeth or read a book if that’s what you usually do. Do not forget to buy some blackout curtains or shades, which will help create a darker environment that is better for sleep.
Try to stay alert
Night shifts can be relatively slow shifts depending on the day or your department. During long shifts, it can be difficult to keep your mind alert. You should try to do things that will keep your mind sharp and alert.
There are several ways you can stay alert, like completing tasks that will lend a helping hand to the day shift nurses. If you find yourself with even more extra time, you should try:
- Reading a book
- Doing puzzles and sudokus
- Reading medical and nursing journals
- Listening to podcasts
Do not drink too much caffeine
Caffeinated drinks are a must for all night shifts. Some popular caffeinated drinks that healthcare workers drink include coffee, energy drinks and soft drinks. However, you should be cautious about your caffeine intake.
Drinking too much caffeine may make falling asleep tough when you get home. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration considers 400 milligrams or four cups of brewed coffee as a safe amount of caffeine for healthy adults.
Aside from managing your mental health, you should also be managing your physical health. Exercising regularly can provide you advantages as a night shift healthcare worker. It helps increase alertness, fight fatigue and keep your weight under control.
Even if you do not have enough time to hit the gym every day, move around on the job. One way you can increase your physical activity is by taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Also, ask if your facility has wellness programs and worksite fitness centers for their employees.
Continue working for the best healthcare travel agency!
RTG Medical is the best healthcare travel agency. We would love to be your healthcare traveling partner. If you are interested in the traveling healthcare profession, do not hesitate to reach out to us today.