Survival Tips for Working the Night Shift
Getting through the night (and the next night, and the next)
When you’re doing paperwork and monitoring a mother in early labour and trying to free up a bed on the ward, it’s really difficult to take a break. But the longer you work without taking a break, the more likely you are to make a mistake. And not having breaks makes you more vulnerable to burnout and exhaustion.
It’s easy to skip your break in an environment where there are too few nurses, poor break facilities, and pressure to always put the patient’s needs first. But for your own and your patient’s wellbeing, you need to take your breaks! Continuous work without any breaks is very tiring and stressful.
Find time to have a meal. Your meal break allows you to rest your feet, emotionally relax, and get some healthy food in you. Research shows that even a five-minute break increases worker output, and that a 10-minute break increases it even more.
If you want to be a better, healthier nurse - have a break!