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As if nurses aren’t already superheroes because of what they do, they definitely are because of how long they do it for. Most adults only work 8 hours a day, but most nurses work 12. Preparing for 12 hour shifts as a registered nurse is easier when you plan ahead and make smart choices throughout the day. Here are some tips to help make your shift better!
Pack Your Food & Eat Right
When you’re struggling through a long day, you might want to reward yourself with a sugary snack from the vending machine or a greasy burger from the cafeteria. These momentary pleasures ultimately lower your energy level and spell disaster for your day. If you want to know how to survive a 12-hour shift, the first thing you should address is your diet.
You should pack healthy meals to eat during your shift so you’re not tempted to indulge in unhealthy options. Include several small snacks as well. Package these conveniently so you can grab a bag of nuts and an apple, or a banana and peanut butter even when you don’t have much time to spare. You should focus on high-energy snacks and whole foods that will keep you going instead of drag you down.
Get Ample Rest
It’s important to get a full night’s sleep before a long shift. You shouldn’t drink alcohol or caffeine at night before bed so that you can enjoy a restful evening. If you have a break of 20 minutes or more during work, consider taking a quick nap. Data from the Salk Institute for Biological Studies reveals that a 20-minute nap during a 10 hour shift can improve performance by 50 percent.
Use Your Breaks Wisely
A lengthy shift can put you under a lot of mental strain. You should make the most of all breaks allowed by employee scheduling. You can find a quiet spot to meditate and clear your mind, listen to a relaxing track of nature sounds on your phone or MP3 player, or read something you enjoy. You should avoid stressful activities, like watching crime drama snippets or reading intense thrillers, where you’ll have to stop in the middle of the action to return to work.
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!
Take Smart Supplements
The right supplements can make a big difference in how well you can handle a long shift. Low vitamin D levels can lead to fatigue. You can get vitamin D from salmon, tuna or fortified food products, but a supplement might be more effective if your levels are low. Vitamin B can decrease fatigue as well. Omega-3 fatty acids contribute to brain cell development and can help you stay on top of your game. A well-rounded multivitamin is always a smart choice. Speak to your doctor about the best supplements for your needs.
Surviving 12-hour shifts might be difficult, but you can make these long days easier on yourself by preparing for the challenge. Packing healthy foods, getting enough rest, partaking in relaxing entertainment for your breaks and taking a few smart supplements can make the shift go smoothly.
Occupational therapists help people of all ages to fully engage in their daily lives, from their work and recreation to activities of daily living like getting dressed, cooking, eating and driving. Not only is the position flexible, but it is also growing. Check out these reasons to consider becoming an occupational therapist.
Occupational therapists can work with any age demographic
Occupational therapy can apply to everyone at any stage of life! If you ever get bored with your position or the hours you’re working, you can always look into a different area or specialty of practice or care.
You can choose to focus on pediatrics, geriatrics, or encompass treating all ages.
Pediatric therapists will typically follow a teachers schedule and might have summers off; however, if you prefer to avoid younger patients, you can obtain a position that focuses solely on the older demographic.
All of the different types of treatment settings is another major benefit of this career choice!
Occupational therapy has a high job satisfaction
Working to restore functional independence to those that have had it taken away, is one of the most rewarding feelings in the world. Not only is it rewarding, but can be extremely influential as well, particularly to our patients receiving our care.
As an Occupational Therapist, you make a difference in people’s lives. You are serving the humanity and this feeling gives you inner peace and immense satisfaction.
There is a huge demand for occupational therapy
The first and foremost benefit of being an occupational therapist is the availability of tremendous job opportunities. Due to this, graduates in this field don’t face many difficulties in finding a job. As per the report of the Bureau of Labor and statistics, it is anticipated that from 2014 to 2024, there would be a growth of 27 percent in the career outlook for occupational therapists in the United States of America.
Occupational therapy is always evolving
Occupational therapy is an evolving profession that applies to everyone and all aspects of life.
With the evolution of 3D printing, there has been a new and emerging trend for 3D printed splints for hand therapy and burn treatment. 3D printing can also play a role in assisting with functional prosthesis training.
With modifications of inclusion classrooms, playgrounds, and sports, occupational therapists are the ones making it all possible. Occupational therapy has a deep root in emerging trends and is always taking an active role in innovation.
Nurses are always on the move. Whether you are a student running between classes or a professional running to patient rooms. Nurses are constantly running around. One way nurses are able to stay on top of their game is by using their smartphone. Whether you are studying for an exam or cross-referencing a specific drug, mobile apps have provided a variety of functions for nurses. Check out the apps we recommend for nurses below!
Diseases Dictionary. Diseases Dictionary is complete offline and FREE app. This app is a great reference for medical disorders and diseases. Learn all information about symptoms, treatments, and medical terminology. Over 27,000 people have used and reviewed this app.
Nursing Central. Nursing Central is the leader in providing disease, drug, and test information. This is the complete mobile resource that delivers answers to you anytime, anywhere. Whether you are a student or professional nurse, this app allows you to input symptoms and be served a list of possible conditions.
Symptomia. Similar to Nursing Central, Symptomia allows you to input symptoms and learn possible conditions based on those symptoms in 2 taps. Symptomia allows the user to look up more than 50 symptoms and is perfect at bridging the gap between patient and healthcare professional.
Nursing Essentials. This is a great app for students and graduate nurses. It is a helpful resource and easy to use. Nursing Essentials is a great resource whether you are studying for specific coursework or just need to brush up on general information. Nursing Essentials also offers bookmarks, notes sections, and a medical calculator.
Nurse’s Pocket Guide. Make accurate diagnoses and develop effective care plans with this comprehensive app. This mobile app includes 440 medical conditions with associated nursing diagnoses. Care plan guides and an index to search allows for quick navigation. Nurse’s Pocket Guide also features NIC and NOC labels for each diagnosis.