5 Tips for Surviving a Long Shift in Healthcare

Healthcare professionals are often so busy caring for others that they fail to care for their own needs. As a result, they could struggle with a grumbling stomach, aching feet, and an exhausted body towards the end of their shift.

If you feel tired and achy after a day at work, you must find ways to care for your physical and emotional needs. Read the following five tips for surviving a long shift in healthcare.

1. Prepare your mind and body

Focus and high energy levels are essential in healthcare. To ensure you are mentally and physically prepared for a long shift, you must prep your mind and body in advance. For example, you must get at least eight hours of sleep before a shift. You also might need to change the time you go to bed and wake up at least three days before a working day, which can help you to feel fighting fit during a day or night shift.

2. Wear compression socks

Healthcare workers will often need to walk to different corners of the hospital during a 12-hour shift. Yet, this constant physical activity can take its toll on a person’s feet. While comfortable shoes will be kind to your feet for a while, they might not be enough to protect you from aches and pains once the working day is over.

To prevent throbbing feet both during and after a shift, you should wear compression socks, which will improve circulation and decrease soreness. There are also different compression ankle socks for women and men in healthcare.

3. Drink plenty of water

As you might be on your feet for most of your shift, you must drink plenty of water to boost your energy levels and focus. This will prevent your body from feeling exhausted and it will ensure you don’t make a big or small mistake when caring for a patient.

4. Prep your meals and take healthy snacks

Meal prepping could prevent you from turning to the vending machine for an energy boost. If you’re working for 12 hours or more, you must use your break to enjoy a delicious yet nutritious meal, which could recharge your batteries.

For example, you could enjoy:

  • Chicken, potatoes, and vegetables
  • Chilli
  • Soup

It’s also wise to pack some healthy snacks that you can eat on-the-go and they could prevent you from indulging in calorie-laden junk food.

For example, you could fuel your body with:

5. Relax during your break

A break should provide a little time to relax during a busy shift. It is, therefore, important to embrace activities that will lift your mood and increase your motivation.

For example, you could make the most of your break by:

  • Listening to your favorite music
  • Reading a book
  • Meditating in a private room
  • Enjoying some fresh air

If you follow the above tips, you could feel happier, healthier, and energetic at the end of the working day.