Tips for the Health Care Shift Worker
If you work in the medical field, you probably know about the pros of being an evening and overnight shift worker. Perhaps you enjoy the monetary benefits, the flexibility, or the freedom to run errands during the day. Regrettably, erratic sleep schedules and burnout are also part of the lifestyle. Regardless of your reason in choosing shift work, combat the negative effects with these simple tips.
Stock up on multivitamins and vitamin C to help strengthen your immune system and to help ward off colds.
Get a Physical
Don’t put off your yearly physical. If you’re under a health care plan, you may be covered for a free physical every year. Seeing your doctor regularly can help you get ahead of various ailments so there are no surprises down the road.
Get your exercise in! If you get a break, take the stairs instead of the elevators. Take a quick walk around your building to get your heart pumping, or find a co-worker to take regular walks with when time permits.
Manage stress by praying, using breathing techniques, and venting your struggles to friends. Find ways to take time for yourself, like getting a massage or reading a good book.
Set limits with your family. Communicate with family members on what you can and will not do. If there needs to be chores done, devise a list and assign members certain duties. This way you won’t become overwhelmed by unruly laundry and other tasks at the end of your work week.
Get some sleep. Let others know not to call you after a shift so you won’t be disturbed. Keep your sleep area dark, and shutoff your cell phone. Run a fan or a humidifier to drown out outside noises.
You take care of others for a living, now you need to take care of yourself. Find people you can bounce ideas off of to improve your lifestyle as a shift worker. Look for online communities of health care professionals where you can gain further insight and learn how others balance their personal life and professional life.