Back injuries are very common in nursing and second only to construction workers. I remember one time in my ten-year career I was going to pick up a patient who fell on the floor and as I was lifting this patient my lower back gave me a quick reminder this is not such a good idea. At the time, I was powerlifting, so I was over confident in my back’s ability to lift whatever it needed to. Luckily, I never hurt my back at work and only had that one incident in ten years where I was close to hurting it.
Have you ever started a new job and felt no one liked you, or maybe, one person, in particular, had it out for you? I have been there myself and want to tell you how I have been able to solve this problem almost every time in my nursing career. This practice can work in many other professions as well, especially other healthcare professions. Some of these techniques will take time, patience, and persistence if you want to be successful.
This is a question mentioned by many who are on the run whether it is on their days off or at work. As a nurse, I am very familiar with eating on the run and not having time to sit down for lunch, let alone have a complete lunch. I have days at work where my only choice is to eat while I chart. Luckily they allow me to do that. I could stop, but it would be almost impossible to relax with so many deadlines that need to be met and constant phone calls. I am not advocating this, but it is necessary sometimes and especially when working day shift as a nurse.
Recently, my pregnant wife came to me and said, “I need to have you at home at night to help me take care of the baby when he, or she, is born.” When my wife said this, it definitely caught my attention. At that point I knew I needed to find a way to work day shift again. Honestly, I had already been thinking about it and knew it was the best thing for me. Especially, being the health guru I am. My wife’s request, however, was the straw that broke the camel’s back and is what finally made me take action.
Finding a way to get to sleep at a normal time after working night-shift is often challenging for most nurses and other professionals. To fall asleep and stay asleep the night after finishing your last shift, you need to be intentional about getting back on track if this is your plan. Personally, I want to get back on track, because my wife usually wants to go to bed around 10 pm. Currently, I work four night shifts in a row during the week and leave work by 800 am. It takes me about 35 to 45 minutes to get home in the morning. A longer drive than most nurses. With the advice in this article, I can fall asleep by 10 pm on Friday night and wake up Saturday at 630 am and feel rested. Also, I sleep normally throughout the weekend until I start my first night shift on Monday night.
As a nurse, who has worked a fair share of night shifts in his ten-year career, I must say night shift has presented some challenges for me including staying awake while driving after pulling an all-nighter. Currently, my commute home in the morning is about thirty-five minutes, and I find the real challenge comes after about ten or fifteen minutes of driving. Personally, I have had limited success with common techniques such as: playing loud music; rolling down the windows; shaking my head; taking stimulants or coffee; or freezing myself with the AC. All of which are very uncomfortable and make for a miserable, unrelaxing drive home.
I have learned a lot from nursing over the past decade. Today, I want to share with you the lessons I have learned along the way on this journey over the last ten years. If you have been nursing for a couple of years, then you will probably have experienced a few of these yourself. I hope there will be one or two you can take away today to help make you the best nurse possible.