Any seasoned healthcare worker will tell you there are some tricks to staying comfortable while working a long shift. For new nurses and other healthcare workers, it may come as a surprise to realize that one of the biggest challenges is being on your feet for a 10-hour shift. The healthcare field stretches people in all kinds of ways, including physically, because the work can be like a marathon. If you come prepared for a sprint, the shift you’re working will be unnecessarily difficult. Here are five of our best tips for staying comfortable while on the job.
- Have shoes, will travel.
There is a reason you’ll find nursing shoes on the shelves of the best shoe stores. Every nurse knows how important their feet are, and if they don’t when they start their career, it’s a lesson they will soon learn. You’d be surprised at how much your bedside manner can be affected when your feet or back hurt, so finding a good pair of shoes is an important tip for making the job easier.
- Consider the uniform.
Experiment with the right set of scrubs for your shift; it will make a difference in your comfort level. Don’t scrimp on cheaper scrubs, which can feel scratchy and stiff. Go for the breathable, soft and more mobile scrubs that will not chafe after the first eight hours on the job. As you’re shopping, pay attention to online reviews to determine which brands provide the most comfort.
- Set your alarm for the stretch.
Whether you are walking around a unit or sitting at the nurses’ station, it’s important to stretch your tired muscles. When a break comes, try doing a few light stretches to stay limber, instead of dropping onto a couch in the break room.
- Stay hydrated.
While nurses are seldom the best patients, listen to your own advice and drink more fluids. More and more we see nurses bring their own water bottles and keep them at the nursing station. These reusable bottles are easy to refill at the drinking fountain. Try to set a reminder to drink during your shift and a goal for refilling the bottle several times.
- Bring snacks, but not the wrong kind.
Nursing can burn a ton of calories, which can make you feel low energy at mid-shift. Having a healthy on-the-go snack is imperative to keep moving with the same level of verve. Avoid sugar, because the crash you experience will simply not be worth it. But almonds, bananas, apples or a healthy protein bar between breakfast and lunch and then again two or three hours before the end of your shift will help sharpen your focus and keep your energy level going strong.
These are some of the best tips we’ve learned from experienced nurses. They’re great advice for the new nurse or doctor just figuring out what their job is really like, but they’re also general tips for any healthcare worker.
MAS Medical is devoted to helping you in your career path. That’s exactly why we publish frequent tips to help you improve skills and handle the rigors of the healthcare profession. We are standing by to talk with you about new roles in the field. Contact us.