How to survive the shift to management

How to survive the shift to management

Working in night shifts is an integral and inevitable part of the nursing profession. It can be a bit challenging if not dealt properly. It requires a good balance of mental and physical efforts to carry on a night shift with ease.

Various nursing colleges and practical nurse school do teach their students as to how to handle a night shift but to implement it practically can be a bit taxing.

It is quite tough to manage a night shift in nursing if you are not habitual to it. Make use of the following tips and lead your job easily:-

Understand Your Sleep Pattern
The first and foremost thing is to understand your sleep pattern and sleep schedule. Some individuals require 7-8 hours of sleep while some require 9-10. Some might even need a little less too. Figure out how much sleep do you need in a day, stipulate a sleep-time schedule for yourself, and make sure to follow that. It might take some time but you will become habitual of the schedule soon.

Create A Comfortable Sleeping Area
If you work in a night shift, daytime will be the only time when you will be able to sleep. For attaining a peaceful sleep in the daylight, you must make sure to create a comfortable sleeping area for yourself with a soft bed, light-preventing curtains, and a soft eye mask. This will help your brain convince that its a night-time and it needs to rest. Since our mind and body determines the sleep time via light, this tip can help you tackle this phenomenon.

Hydrate Prominently
Many nurses tend to avoid this essential thing. Make sure to hydrate and drink sufficient water as much as possible. It will help you stay awake during the night time, will keep you fresh, and will provide you the necessary energy to survive the night-shifts.

Talk To Your Coworkers & Colleagues
For surviving the night shift, this is a great tip. Talk to your coworkers and begin to maintain a healthy workplace relationship with them. Conversing with your colleagues at work can help you stay awake, dodge sleep and will even assist you in focusing on your work. Plus, this will moreover help you build a peaceful environment at the workplace.

Ensure A Healthy Diet
Eating healthy and maintaining a balanced diet is advised to all. But for nurses working in night shifts, this is even more important. For enduring the night shift, and keeping up the energy levels high, having a stable diet can be of great help. So do eat well, this will help you survive the night-shift schedules efficiently.

Consume Caffeine Carefully
Generally, night-shift workers often consume high levels of caffeine for staying awake during night shifts. One must consume caffeine within a stipulated limit only and must avoid exceeding its consumption.

Adopt these tips while working in the night shifts and you will be able to deal with it with ease.

Also, if you want to Become A Licensed Practical Nurse and aim to enroll yourself in accredited LPN programs provided by top licensed practical nursing schools, you must consider joining Verve College.

Our LPN Programs can help you build and lead a successful career in nursing. Our Illinois Nclex Pass Rates throughout the numerous years has been remarkable, so do enroll with us for commencing a noble career.

How to survive the shift to management

Sameer Bhatia is an Entrepreneurs' Organization (EO) member in Los Angeles, and founder of ProProfs, which provides software tools that help organizations have smarter employees and happier customers through interactive training and quiz software that improves knowledge and collaboration. As an EO member, Sameer accessed EO's Virtual Speaker Tour featuring Mike Merchant, a consultant with expertise on leadership development and change management. The webinar series helps entrepreneurs find the strength, courage and tools necessary to persevere during the Covid-19 crisis. Sameer shared this summary of Merchant's message:

Want your business to make it through Covid-19? Use S.A.M.

That's the advice of Mike Merchant, senior consultant at the Arbinger Institute, a management-training firm founded in 1979 on the premise that the best executives have an "outward mindset" that helps them understand other people's needs and objectives, as opposed to an "inward mindset" that keeps them focused only on their own.

What is S.A.M.?

S.A.M. is a tool to help you develop an outward mindset. It works both at home and in business. Merchant, a graduate of Brigham Young University's Marriott School of Management, uses it with his seven "redheaded and musical children," and it works great, he says.

  • See others
  • Adjust efforts
  • Measure impact

The world must be full of raving narcissists if "seeing others" qualifies as management advice, right? Maybe so, but Merchant encounters a lot of well-meaning, driven corporate leaders who are blind to others' challenges and needs. They are so concerned with being productive that they lose sight of whether their product is what customers want.

That is a hallmark of the inward mindset. Another one is only seeing other people for their usefulness to oneself–seeing them only as vehicles or obstacles. Change starts with recognizing that other people have challenges and needs of their own, Merchant explained on a recent EO Virtual Speaker Tour webinar.

How to implement S.A.M.

Here's how it works, using the example of Merchant and his family. He's on the road a lot, so when he's home, he makes a point to check in with each of the seven kids, asking point-blank how he's doing as a father. What can he do better? That is seeing others.

Once, one of them told him: "You could answer the phone more often when Mom calls." Clearly, the child was in the car with Merchant's wife, who became frustrated when she couldn't get him on the phone. So, he tried to take her calls whenever possible. That's adjusting effort. Then, he checked in with the child again to see how he was doing. That's measuring impact.

Business benefits of S.A.M.

Why is this so important now, during the pandemic? Because if you don't know what your customers are up against, you're going to have a hard time keeping them, Merchant says. That's true all the time, but it's especially true now when everything is in flux.

Having an outward mindset, and being intentional about it, engenders strategic flexibility, which is what we need most of all right now. Merchant says. Habits are changing; purchases are changing; business is changing. If you don't pick up on those changes, you'll be in trouble. An outward mindset makes you aware of those changes.

"When I have an outward mindset, I'm not just concerned about output," Merchant says. "I'm concerned with whether that output helps others. I get laser-focused on whether what I'm doing is useful to you."

Try a simple S.A.M. exercise

Another example: Merchant worked with the executive staff to leaders of a city. He learned that the staff spent most of their time catering to the mayor and council members, and less time dealing with other public needs. So, the staff put all of their regularly produced reports on tables in a conference room and asked the mayor and other officials to take a look at them.

What did they read? What didn't they read? The mayor and council members walked around and commented on all of the work. As a result, the staff learned what their clients–the mayor and council members–needed; and what they didn't need. Within a week, Merchant helped the staff eliminate the equivalent of 72 hours of work, freeing themselves up for other projects.

Until they conducted that exercise, the staff didn't truly know what their clients needed. A similar exercise, from an outward mindset frame of reference, will help you discover what your clients truly need, so you can prioritize efforts toward providing it.

The current business environment represents an ideal time to cultivate an outward mindset, Merchant says. An inward mindset may even be deadly for your company.

How to survive the shift to management

You’re about to work your first 12-hour nursing shift, and the thought of it is making you a bit nervous. Until now, you’ve always had shorter shifts, so you want to prepare yourself to shine for a longer period of time.

No doubt, there will be an adjustment period, but it will become second nature in no time at all. Here’s some advice to help you ease into working a longer shift.

How to Prepare for Your First 12-Hour Shift

Get Plenty of Sleep

You need to be awake and alert for your entire shift, so make sure you’re able to get fully rested beforehand. This could be tricky if your shift starts at night or in the middle of the day, but plan ahead and make it work. If you need to sleep during the day, consider investing in blackout curtains to create an environment conducive to sleep.

Bring Healthy Food

Fueling your body right will help keep your energy levels up. You can’t depend on the hospital cafeteria to have healthy fare readily available — especially if you’re working overnight — so bring your own. Prepare healthy meals in advance, so you can just pull them out of the freezer and bring them to work. You’ll also want to bring several healthy snacks to curb your hunger throughout your shift.

Stay Hydrated

When you’re busy at work, remembering to drink plenty of water can be a challenge, but it’s important. This will help keep your body healthy, so you can maintain peak performance throughout your shift. The amount of water you’re supposed to drink each day varies by experts, but eight 8-ounce glasses is typically considered the standard. If possible, bring a big water bottle to work, so you can easily monitor how much you’ve consumed.

Use Downtime to Help Others

Slow periods can make your 12-hour shift seem to drag on forever. If you find yourself without much to do at any point, volunteer to help a fellow nurse with their work. Staying busy will make the time pass faster, and helping a busier colleague out is a nice thing to do.

Take Breaks

You’ll likely be allotted many breaks throughout your 12-hour shift, so be sure to take them — even if you don’t feel like doing so is necessary. This will give you time to relax and recharge, because long shifts are a marathon, not a sprint.

If you’re ready to take the next step in your healthcare career, allow Management Registry, Inc. to guide your search. We’re committed to connecting top talent like you with outstanding employers, so contact us today to learn more!

Okay, you lost some talent. Now it’s time to execute the “damage control” plan for higher sustainability and better organization across the board.

Despite the logical predictions about how the Covid-19 pandemic would negatively impact the economy across 2020 and 2021, many industries managed to sustain the hit and even grow sustainably.

S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Averages set record highs in August. Most industries mark growth over the course of the year, excluding highly affected segments such as airlines, restaurants, leisure and auto parts.

It seems that the vaccine’s efficacy will mitigate the possibilities of future lockdowns, and hiring is on the rise.

One broadly unexpected phenomenon is the global exodus of talent across organizations small and large. The pandemic led to an unprecedented shift in rethinking work-life balance, providing new possibilities for freelancers working from home, along with an influx of remote jobs through new businesses making the leap.

And while the onus is on shaping the work dynamics around retaining talent, the majority of the businesses suffered the consequences of parting ways with long-time employees.

Rebuilding core departments and catching up on institutional knowledge takes time. Here is what to do to reduce the tension across the organization and externally and survive through the next few months.

Discuss “The Great Resignation” with your team

The current shift in employment will leave a lot of your staff questioning the longevity of the company. Without a consistent message, you risk an upcoming trend of “abandoning the ship” unless you communicate the situation proactively.

While examining internal retention trends and working closely with our portfolio of clients and partners I realized that resignations are not limited to location, industry or business size. Four million people quit their job in April alone the largest number over the past few decades.

Set up an internal meeting openly discussing the global phenomenon with your team. Assure them that the business is prepared and it’s a transitional period for the world.

Disclose your hiring plans and your future roadmap, firmly explaining the next steps. Make sure your vision stays clear and you get the buy-in from key stakeholders within the company. If needed, schedule one-on-ones with managers and individual contributors who need to be actively involved in the process.

Understand it’s a calibration process

Studying the crowd dynamics reveals a lot about social influence and tendencies to blindly follow the new movement.

Your talent is surrounded by people other than workplace colleagues family members, friends, peers in other firms. Some of them are likely to quit their jobs and boast about new job opportunities, better possibilities, even escaping large communities and living as nomads or getting into woodwork or farming.

While the sense of freedom sounds exhilarating, it represents an extreme seeking a breath of fresh air after a long year of lockdowns and panic, which affected social dynamics, disarmed parents with kids staying at home and led many to question employment safety across brick and mortars.

In the coming months, this process is bound to hit a plateau, with regular payroll taking precedence and team activities coming back to life.

Until then, take the time to understand the process and plan your strategy around it.

Communicate delays with clients and partners

If you are overwhelmed yet struggling to fill in key positions, the worst step you can take is forcing your team members to assimilate the responsibilities of former employees.

Instead, rethink your existing workflow and plan for possible delays, considering the available resources on deck.

While your recruitment team may be lining up a series of interviews or you are busy establishing strategic partnerships for outsourcing and offloading work, account for possible delays in deliveries. Worst-case scenario, consider some downsizing or putting some less critical contracts or projects on hold for a few months.

Once you run the numbers and estimate the workload capacity, communicate this with your accounts and partners. Set up calls with your blue-chip clients or send a newsletter indicating possible delays with orders. Assure them it’s a temporary restructuring during the summer season.

This may be a great opportunity to negotiate some long-term contracts, set innovative preorder deals or even negotiate better terms for next year. Consider the cost of acquiring new talent and budget this into contractual forecasts and estimations.

Update your Q4 roadmap considering your resources

While existing plans may have been put in motion already, it’s time to rethink the available resources and revamp your plans accordingly.

Run a simple SWOT analysis across your organization, rediscovering the business’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats at the time. Losing key talent may leave you vulnerable with your current roadmap in mind, but being flexible when it comes to future plans may reveal new possibilities or ventures you can bootstrap internally.

Stress your strong suits first and foremost and double down in areas you can still invest your full potential in.

Take a step back

Managing a fast-paced business or projecting a certain profit margin year over year can be stressful with key people leaving the organization. If nothing else works, consider adjusting the numbers and transitioning to maintenance mode until the year’s end.

Growing a business is a marathon. It takes time and perseverance. Sometimes, injuries are bound to happen, and you need some bench time for recovery before you get ready for the next run. The pandemic has disarmed tens of millions of businesses around the world, and there is nothing shameful in postponing your growth plans for next year.

While key hires may no longer be on board, it’s time to take a step back and rethink the strategy for the next few months. Companies juggle with challenges be it securing funding, closing strategic contracts, hiring top talent, promoting for management roles or innovating to stay ahead of their competition.

Make sure you understand the global trends and act accordingly. Risk management is integral for every entrepreneur out there and this is what differentiates resilient leaders from newcomers.

NEW YORK , Oct. 26, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — As COVID-19 continues to take a toll on the global economy, companies are faced with a variety of problems, among which the most severe challenges are strains on cash flow, disruption of supply chains, and pressure from the prolonged pandemic control. A considerable number of enterprises have adopted smart practices during the pandemic. In so doing, they have not only survived the crisis, but also promoted the smartization, or digital transformation, of entire industries.

Smartization leverages new technologies to create value, new processes, innovative ideas, and to acquire competencies to quickly adapt to changing situations. While it is mainly used in a business context, it also impacts other organizations such as governments and public agencies which are involved in tackling societal challenges such as climate change, aging populations, and even a global pandemic by leveraging emerging technologies.

The development of these new competencies revolves around the ability to be more agile, people-focused, innovative, customer-centric, and streamlined, along with the ability to create opportunities to change the status quo and tap into big data, with IoT as a leading enabler.

Smartization Transforms Industrial Scenarios

In order to cope with the negative impacts brought by the pandemic, industrial enterprises in various countries have accelerated their own smartization strategy. One focus area includes smart industrial upgrading — applying smart technology to improve internal processes and business applications. It is more important than ever to establish IoT-based smart management systems covering all scenarios. Such systems go beyond basic needs of the day-to-day operation to provide more targeted services from human resources to innovative business models.

One such enterprise using smartization to overcome the challenges posed by the pandemic is Zhejiang Zhongqi Industry Co., Ltd. (“Zhongqi Industry”), established in 2015, and a wholly owned subsidiary of China Communications Construction Company, Ltd. In order to advance the company strategy, Zhongqi Industry extends the industrial chain and pursues strategic integration of their lighting products by focusing on four major business sectors: life and health, future parks, smart technology, and new retail.

During the construction of industrial parks, it found that with the increase in the number of industrial clusters and occupants, the infrastructure and services in the parks were under increasing strain. Therefore, it began to question if the traditional industrial park management approach should be followed, or if there was a way to improve conditions by leveraging IoT devices.

After extensive research and evaluation, it concluded that it would need a comprehensive smart digital service platform to improve tenant communications and industrial park quality while also providing targeted value-added services. This new IoT smart system would restore and maintain balance in the industrial park operations.

Empowered by a self-service IoT development platform, Zhongqi Industry has smart-upgraded the hardware equipment and software systems of its industrial parks. It has also built an all-scenario smart management system to improve the efficiency of park management while reducing energy consumption and property management costs. The system will continuously extend the scope of value-added services according to the needs of the parks, and provide precise and efficient services in talent, finance, business incubation, and government affairs.

This example shows that smartization is not just about disruption or technology. It’s about value, people, optimization, and the capability to rapidly adapt when change is needed through the intelligent use of new technology and information.

Gartner, a world-renowned research and advisory company, along with Tuya Smart , an IoT development platform, and media platforms, Global Intelligent Business and IoT Business Vantage (IBV) have collaborated to produce the white paper, The 60 Smartest Companies Thriving Post-Pandemic, published October 21 . This white paper explores several fascinating cases of how companies such as Zhongqi Industry, Goodyear, SATCO, Philips, and more use new technology in response to the drastic changes brought by the pandemic to achieve their smart transformation goals.

How to survive the shift to management

Although the duties and responsibilities are no different for a nurse that works after the sun is down, the night shift (or shift work) does present unique challenges. The workplace atmosphere and schedule related to the night shift requires a nurse to make significant adjustments to his or her daily routine and personal life. With the majority of patients asleep during the late shift, nurses must also find ways to manage what is considered a less busy (or less stressful) workload in between the continuous monitoring of patients throughout the night.

While shifts vary according to a healthcare facility or hospital, the typical night shift is between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. Some nurses may start a shift as early as 8:00 p.m. At the end of a night shift, nurses return home where they usually rest and rejuvenate in the early hours of the day. Unfortunately, sleeping throughout the day is sometimes difficult to achieve. Once awake, a night nurse often tends to their personal life, and then remains up until it’s time for their next shift.

“One factor to take into consideration when working the night shift is it might take some time for your body to adjust to a night shift schedule,” Joy Becker, a nurse from the D.C.-based overnight infant care agency Let Mommy Sleep said.

Learning how to adapt to a different sleep schedule is one of the hardest obstacles that a night shift nurse must overcome – especially since their sleeping pattern is one that is in reverse to the majority of the population, including their family and friends.

Below you will find 10 survival tips for nurses that work the night shift:

1. Get an Adequate Amount of Sleep

“Working at night interrupts your natural sleep pattern,” says Fran Laukaitis, RN, MHA, and Chief Nursing Officer at Methodist Charlton Medical Center in Dallas, TX. “You have to schedule your sleep.” She suggests nurses take measures to create an environment conducive for sleep by using curtains that darken the room; and disconnecting things that will disrupt sleep, such as the doorbell, phones, and electronics.

“Going back to sleep once you’re up is next to impossible,” Laukaitis said.

It’s important for nurses to make sleep a priority at home. Night shift nurses must teach their bodies how to properly fall asleep (and remain asleep) for long periods of time without any interruptions.

According to the National Sleep Foundation (NSF), night shift nurses should keep the same bedtime and wake time schedule (even on weekends); use eye masks and ear plugs to eliminate noise and lights from a sleep environment; as well as avoid consuming alcohol and caffeinated beverages/foods close to bedtime.

2. Use Caffeinated Products Wisely

“Coffee was a must for me, or something caffeinated,” Becker said.

The NSF suggests drinking a caffeinated beverage, such as coffee, tea or cola, to help maintain alertness during a night shift. Taking about 20 to 35 minutes to improve an individual’s level of alertness, caffeine is an effective method for offsetting fatigue. However, it is important not to overdo caffeinated products, as drinking too much coffee can have its own issues.

3. Make Healthier Meal and Snack Choices

The meals and snacks a nurse selects before and during the night shift can have a significant effect on energy, stamina, and performance levels. It is important to choose the items that provide energy but do not cause sleepiness or a ‘crash-and-burn’ effect later on in the shift.

Adopting a ‘grazing’ approach towards eating while working the night shift is also suggested, meaning a nurse consumes smaller, more frequent light meals with raw salads, nuts, fruit, and vegetables. Opt for well-balanced meals that include high-protein, complex carbohydrate, and low-fat foods.

Additional tips for making beneficial dietary choices while on the night shift include:

Most adults work 8-hour days, but because nurses are superhuman we work 12-hour shifts. Working this long can seem daunting, but with a few tricks, you’ll be able power through your shift and be ready for another one the next day. Here are some suggestions to help you survive the long hours.

1. Put a snack in your pocket.

You may not always be able to take a break when you want to during your 12-hour shift. Emergencies or high patient censuses can cause you to have inconsistent break times. Instead of letting your energy plummet because you haven’t eaten in hours, try putting a snack in your pocket to munch on when you need to refuel. A small fruit and nut granola bar is the perfect size for your scrub pockets and easy to eat when you have a moment to spare.

2. Protect your body.

Being a nurse is extremely physically taxing. Protect your body, especially your back, when turning or getting a patient out of bed. Use good body mechanics or a mechanical lift if needed. Try taking some time before every shift to stretch and loosen any tight muscles to prepare your body for the long day ahead. If you do hurt yourself while at work, be sure to report it and get the help you need before the injury gets even worse.

3. Wear compression socks.

That’s right, compression socks aren’t just for your post-operative patients. Being on your feet for long periods of time puts you at a high risk for varicose veins, and wearing compression socks can help reduce that risk. Compression socks can also help reduce fatigue by improving blood flow and reducing lactic acid build up. If you find that your calves are sore and your ankles are swollen after working, you may want to try slipping on a pair of compression socks before your next shift. Your legs will thank you later!

4. Get off the unit during your breaks.

When you have a chance to take a break, really take advantage of it. Don’t eat your food at the nurses station. Getting away from your unit will help you relax more fully and enjoy your break. Give your work phone to another nurse. If you are answering phone calls and helping patients on your break, you will not be refreshed and ready to go when your break is over. Take your mind off of your patients by doing something during your break that you find relaxing, like reading a book or listening to music.

5. Invest in shoes that are right for your feet.

Some days you will be so busy that you could be on your feet for 12 hours straight. If you are wearing shoes that don’t fit properly, by the end of your shift your feet will ache and you could even have blisters. Go to an athletic shoe store to have your feet and stride analyzed by a professional who can advise on the best shoes for your feet. Don’t forget to replace your shoes every 6-9 months or when the tread wears down.

Replace outdated employee scheduling processes and time tracking solutions and manage the entire team’s schedule in one app backed by the systems you already use.

Shift management made easy

Give managers and frontline workers a staff scheduling sidekick and easily adjust schedules to their team's needs.

Manage shift schedules seamlessly

Gain real-time visibility into schedules built on worker availability, preference, skill*, and labor laws*.

Enable employees with the self-service tools

Cut the chaos out of scheduling—enable self-service tools for staff to own their schedules and focus on doing their best work.

Enrich schedules with the right data

Whether through employee inputted availability or data captured from workforce management systems, create optimized schedules for the business.

What Shifts can do for you

Whether monitoring requests on-the-go or editing the team’s schedule in the back office, staff scheduling software helps managers control who’s doing what, where, and when.

  • Create team schedules with ease
  • Save time with a mobile staffing tool
  • Empower workers to own their schedules with self-service tools
  • Fill every shift without the scheduling issues
  • Track time and attendance
  • Customize and extend with your established partners

Create team schedules with ease

Easily organize frontline workforce shift schedules. Plan from scratch, import existing schedules from Excel, or adjust schedules to accommodate fluctuating business needs – all backed by workforce management systems.

Save time with a mobile staffing tool

Conserve supervisors’ time with anywhere, anytime management and visibility into the team schedule and requests for swaps and time off.

Empower workers to own their schedules with self-service tools

Provide visibility for the frontline to see their entire upcoming schedule and freedom to request time off, swap or offer shifts, and set availability in one app.

Fill every shift without the scheduling issues

Enable open shifts so managers can cover their entire shift schedule and employees can find and request shifts that work for their schedule.

Track time and attendance

Easily enable frontline workers to clock in or out, no matter their device. Teams includes location detection and digital tracking sheets to make sure everything is accounted for in one employee scheduling app.

Customize and extend with your established partners

Sync with the workforce management systems and partners you already know and use.

Create team schedules with ease

Easily organize frontline workforce shift schedules. Plan from scratch, import existing schedules from Excel, or adjust schedules to accommodate fluctuating business needs – all backed by workforce management systems.

Save time with a mobile staffing tool

Conserve supervisors’ time with anywhere, anytime management and visibility into the team schedule and requests for swaps and time off.

Empower workers to own their schedules with self-service tools

Provide visibility for the frontline to see their entire upcoming schedule and freedom to request time off, swap or offer shifts, and set availability in one app.

Fill every shift without the scheduling issues

Enable open shifts so managers can cover their entire shift schedule and employees can find and request shifts that work for their schedule.

Track time and attendance

Easily enable frontline workers to clock in or out, no matter their device. Teams includes location detection and digital tracking sheets to make sure everything is accounted for in one employee scheduling app.

Customize and extend with your established partners

Sync with the workforce management systems and partners you already know and use.

Read more about staff scheduling and shift management in Teams

6 tips for handling scheduling conflicts

5 tips for making employee scheduling easy

6 ways staff scheduling solutions can help

4 simple tips for employee time tracking

Want to see our shift scheduling and workforce management solutions in action? Check it out!

Not convinced yet? Check out all the benefits of our tools today

Frequently asked questions

An employee scheduling app helps you create, update, and manage schedules for your employees and teams. It also gives your frontline workforce self-service tools to manage their shifts and schedules.

Shift management or staff scheduling software help you manage shift schedules seamlessly, align schedules to fluctuating needs, and save your workers time and energy. In addition, it supports workforce management tools you already know and use.

They’re all just different names for the same type of solution or tool that helps you manage shifts and schedules and provides a better experience to your workforce.

Healthcare is an in-demand field, and nursing is particularly robust—with a plethora of night shift nursing positions open and available for those qualified. However, night shift nurses face unique challenges in their roles that they might not encounter during a daytime shift.

In this article, we will explain what night shift nurses do and offer 15 survival tips for working overnight.

What is a night shift nurse?

Night shift nurses are nurses—ranging from certified nursing assistants to advanced practice registered nurses—who work overnight.

Schedule

Full-time nurses tend to work one of three schedules:

  • Eight-hour shifts five days a week
  • 10-hour shifts four days a week
  • 12-hour shifts three days a week

All of these shifts are considered full time. Night shifts are often 10 or 12 hours long, although some facilities do offer eight hour overnight shifts.

Workplace

Night shift nurses are needed in any care facility that houses patients overnight. The most common workplaces for night shift nurses are hospitals, long-term care facilities and nursing homes.

Duties

Night shift nurses have the same responsibilities as day shift nurses, including routine patient care, administering medication and addressing patient concerns. Often, night shift work is slower and more manageable than day shift work as many patients are asleep. However, the overnight hours can be a challenge for those new to working the night shift.

15 survival tips for night shift nurses

Here are 15 survival tips for night shift nurses to do their best work and make the most of their days:

  1. Set a schedule
  2. Allow time to adjust
  3. Eat healthy food
  4. Create a sleeping area
  5. Monitor your health
  6. Wear bright colors
  7. Watch your caffeine intake
  8. Make friends with your coworkers
  9. Maintain relationships
  10. Drink water
  11. Adjust medications
  12. Stay busy
  13. Exercise regularly
  14. Take breaks
  15. Drive home safely

1. Set a schedule

Maintain a consistent schedule for work and sleep. It can be a challenge at first to sleep during the day when you are used to being awake, but getting adequate sleep is vital to your job performance and general well-being. Set a clear schedule for when you will sleep after your shift and stick to it. Some nurses prefer to maintain their daytime sleep schedule on off days to keep their bodies and minds ready for work, while others prefer to adjust their schedule to match that of their families. Determine what works best for you and your family.

2. Allow time to adjust

Most likely, you have been awake during the day and sleeping at night for most of your life. It will take time for your body and mind to adjust to working overnight and sleeping during the day. Give yourself time to adjust to the new schedule.

3. Eat healthy food

Healthy eating is important for everyone, but even more so for overnight workers. Eat a healthy diet to maintain your wellbeing. Avoid unhealthy snacks at work when you are tired and eat a healthy snack instead. It will give you more energy and keep you feeling good.

4. Create a sleeping area

When your shift has ended and it's time to go to bed, make sure your sleep space is conducive to rest. Our bodies and minds use light to determine whether we should be awake or asleep. Invest in blackout curtains, an eye mask and earplugs to convince your mind it's dark and time for sleep. The light seeping in through thin curtains or the sound of people moving around elsewhere in the house might wake you up, and it is very hard to go back to sleep after waking midday.

5. Monitor your health

Night shift workers are at a higher risk for health problems like insomnia, high blood pressure and weight gain than their daytime counterparts. Maintain a healthy lifestyle and monitor your health regularly.

6. Wear bright colors

Bright colors signal to your brain that it is time to be active and awake. Select brightly colored scrubs with fun patterns to help your brain stay active during your shift. Your coworkers will also benefit from your choice of outfit.

7. Watch your caffeine intake

Adjust your caffeine intake to support your work and sleep schedule. Avoid early morning coffee or soda as your shift comes to an end as this may make falling asleep when you arrive home a challenge. Instead, drink a cup of coffee at the start of your shift and transition to healthy, hydrating beverages as your shift continues.

8. Make friends with your coworkers

Isolation can cause you to feel sleepy and depressed during your shift. Talk with your coworkers and build positive relationships at work. This will help keep you awake and focused during your shift. Additionally, work relationships tend to boost overall morale and keep employees from leaving their jobs.

9. Maintain relationships

Personal relationships must be given special attention when you are working the night shift. Make time to talk with your partner and kids about your work and theirs. Send text messages or leave notes in the house for your family to find while you are at work. Schedule outings after you have slept for the day.

10. Drink water

Hydration is vital, especially for night shift nurses who are often on their feet or moving patients. Drink lots of water on your shift. This has the added benefit of keeping you awake and active by sending you to the restroom regularly.

11. Adjust medications

Carefully review the side effects of any medications you might be taking before your first night shift. If you previously took medication in the evening because it can cause drowsiness, take that medication before you go to sleep in the morning instead.

12. Stay busy

Nursing night shifts are often slower-paced than day shifts. Most patients are asleep and auxiliary staff has gone home for the day. There can be periods of downtime between routine duties. Stay busy by walking the halls, conversing with coworkers or catching up on paperwork.

13. Exercise regularly

Regular exercise helps keep you healthy and fit. Make exercise a consistent part of your routine. Exercise can help alleviate difficulty falling asleep, which is vital for night shift nurses.

14. Take breaks

Use your mandated breaks. Make sure you are eating healthy foods and resting during your breaks. Some facilities allow night shift nurses to nap during breaks and provide safe, designated locations to do so. Make sure this is something your workplace allows, and if it is, take advantage of it. You will be better prepared to work if you are well-rested.

15. Drive home safely

At the end of your shift, you may be exhausted and drowsy. Make sure you take precautions to get home safely. Open your car windows and turn the radio up to keep yourself awake. If you do not feel you can safely drive, call someone to pick you up or enlist a car service to take you home.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help, either for your business, your staff or yourself.

Covid has been the ultimate disrupter to the global economy. Fortune 500 companies and small start-ups alike have felt the blow, but it’s the small businesses that have suffered the most.

Small businesses are the backbone of the U.S. economy. According to the World Economic Forum, small businesses are responsible for employing nearly half of the private sector workforce. However, during these volatile times where social distancing measures have been put in place and mandatory shut-downs have happened, many small businesses have not been able to survive.

In September, Yelp released its latest Economic Impact Report revealing business closures across the U.S. are increasing as a result of Covid. According to Yelp data, permanent closures have reached 97,966, representing 60 percent of closed businesses that won’t be reopening.

“Overall, Yelp’s data shows that business closures have continued to rise with a 34 percent increase in permanent closures since our last report in mid-July,” Justin Norman, Vice President of Data Science at Yelp, told CNBC.

These reports can give everyone a feeling of doom and gloom, but here are five ways to help your small business survive the pandemic.

1. Become truly social on social media

As someone who works in business development, I highly rely on meet-ups to help foster my relationships with clients. But when Covid caused the U.S. to shut down back in March, I found myself feeling isolated from my business relationships. That’s when I realized that I needed to become truly social on social media.

According to Smart Insights, more than half the world uses social media. Social media users are now spending an average of 2 hours and 24 minutes per day multi-networking across an average of eight social networks and messaging apps.

With this high usage, social media has become a lifeline between businesses and their customers. When businesses use their social media to bring free value to their potential customers, that’s how they will continue to build and maintain their relationships.

Also, businesses must go beyond just posting creative content on their social media platforms. They must also interact with their followers. Following back your potential customers on social media can do wonders for building online relationships. Liking posts and responding to comments will further build the relationship. Validating your followers by doing these simple steps can turn them into potential customers or clients.

Although these items are easy to do, it’s surprising how many small businesses and brands only post content on social media, but don’t actually socialize with followers in return. Building relationships with customers through social media is a give and take. As in any relationship, it can not be one-sided.

2. Learn how to pivot

With the volatile economic climate and the ever-changing rules of re-opening the economy, business owners need to learn how to pivot. Pivoting means that you shift to a new strategy to address something that may not be working well within your company. Pivoting can be something as simple as a company changing its platform from software to an app. Or it can be something as complex as changing their entire business model.

Starbucks did a major pivot when they went from selling coffee beans and espresso makers in their store in 1971 to a full-blown coffeehouse that brewed and sold their own coffee in the mid-1980s.

Flexibility in a company’s strategy and knowing when it should pivot can be crucial in both surviving and thriving in the marketplace.

3. Optimize business spending

There is no better time than now to reevaluate how money is being spent in your business. Reducing costs is the most impactful way to continue pursuing business goals during these uncertain times.

A specific example of how business owners may better optimize their business maybe switching from print ads to digital ones. Investing in digital marketing can give businesses an opportunity to dramatically reduce the cost of their monthly marketing expenses, while also providing more targeted and precise reach to their ideal buyers.

Another example of optimizing business spending is shopping vendors. When businesses let their vendors know that they are shopping around for better prices, this gives the vendor an opportunity to give the business a better deal. Or it gives the business the opportunity to find a better deal elsewhere. Either way, it can prove to be a great way to save money for the company.

There are several ways to optimize business spending. Do a close evaluation of where all of the monthly expenses are going and then see where and how the company can make cost-effective changes.

4. Get help from your local government

It’s important for business owners to know that they are not alone during these critical times. Reaching out to legislators is a good way to find out what resources are available to help.

According to the National League of Cities, “Cities are creating simple, user-friendly websites that act as a one-stop-shop for resources, tools, and information for small businesses. The best sites are updated daily with relevant news from City Hall and state and federal agencies.”

Another excellent way to get support is to join a local task force that focuses on small businesses and the issues at hand. Getting involved is the best way to be an advocate for your business and your local community.

The only way to find out what your local government has to offer is by reaching out. Business owners should not hesitate to do so.

5. Get mental health support for yourself and for your staff

The pandemic has not only put people’s physical health at risk but also their mental health. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, KFF Tracking Poll conducted in mid-July, “53 percent of adults in the United States reported that their mental health has been negatively impacted due to worry and stress over the coronavirus. Many adults are also reporting specific negative impacts on their mental health and wellbeing, such as difficulty sleeping (36 percent) or eating (32 percent), increases in alcohol consumption or substance use (12 percent), and worsening chronic conditions (12 percent), due to worry and stress over the coronavirus.”

A business owner can not tackle the well-being of their company without first tackling the well-being of themselves and their staff. By giving social support to one another during uncertain times, it will help to build a closer community within the organization. It’s important to continue open communication, company updates, as well as offer resources for mental healthcare for yourself and your staff to help alleviate vulnerabilities.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers several resources to help cope with stress during the pandemic.