How Do Nurses Stay Refreshed During a Long Shift?


Nurses work long hours. Working those long hours can be enough to leave any nurse feeling depleted and in need of some downtime. Unfortunately for most nurses, these breaks don’t come too often. In fact, many nurses will work several long shifts on a regular basis without much of a break. Nurses have learned some secrets to stay refreshed during long shifts. The next time you’re faced with a string of long shifts, consider trying some of these tricks:

Change your scenery.

Step outside for 5-10 minutes if you can. Walk to a different area of the facility, the atrium, garden area, or even a breakroom on another floor. A small change like this can wake you up, give your eyes something new to take in and even the chance to run into some new people.

Engage with those around you.

Even if you’re not feeling particularly social, asking and answering questions with someone new can wake up your brain, giving you that refreshed feeling. You might learn something new or even have a good laugh. Patients and colleagues can be a great source of entertainment when you engage in conversations with them.

Daily exercise and a healthy diet for long term stamina.

The better you take care of your body, the better it will perform. Healthy food, plenty of water and exercise will keep you strong and in a good position for those longer shifts.

Avoid temporary energy boosts.

Things like energy drinks and pills will only leave you crashing later. Coffee and some drinks will provide a boost with caffeine but be sure to follow them up with a lot of water. Otherwise, your energy will drop low and it will be difficult to reboot without another energy drink. Natural sources of slow-releasing energy are your best bet.

Get your blood pumping.

It might be tempting to sit still and “rest” but when you still have hours on the clock, it can sabotage your energy. Go for a walk. Do some jumping jacks. Stretch. Practice a yoga pose that you enjoy. Something as simple as standing up and touching your toes several times can get your blood moving and give you a boost of energy.

Your job can be difficult and long shifts make it even harder. Getting through the long shifts with the help of these tips and support from your fellow nurses will help you not only get through them but also provide excellent customer care.

Get the help and support from other nurses, download the Nurse Backpack app that helps you stay organized while tracking all your professional credentials and personal information. If you’re looking for a way to streamline your career, give the app a try today.

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Nurse Backpack is a free mobile application that enables professional credential management for end-users themselves. Alerts, reminders, resume package building and sending is possible for free from the mobile app. Built for nurses originally, school nurses, nursing students, lifeguards and many other professionals also use the app for their license and credential management.