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Survive the Night Shift in Healthcare

Survive the Night Shift in Healthcare

Megan Malugani / Monster Contributing Writer

Healthcare isn’t a 9-to-5 job. It’s an around-the-clock profession, and working evening or night hours is a way of life for many health professionals. Such shifts can take a physical and emotional toll on workers, experts say, but there are ways to prevent the damage. Here are suggestions for surviving – and even thriving – despite a draining schedule.




Understand You’re Not Alone

About 26 percent of the US workforce regularly works a shift where the majority of their hours are between 4 p.m. and 8 a.m., says Janie O’Connor, MEd, president of Shiftworker.com in St. Paul. “Shiftworkers need to relate to that demographic,” she says. “They need to accept their lifestyle as it is and refrain from acting like a day worker when they’re not.”

Protect Your Sleep

Shiftworkers must protect their daytime sleep at all costs, O’Connor says. “Do not respond to any other calls on your time, like the telephone, the doorbell or a relative who asks you to do something because she thinks you’re just napping.” Sleep deprivation leads to chronic fatigue, she says. Shiftworkers must constantly remind family and friends that sleep is a priority during the day.


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  • Photo_user_blank_big

    mk2013

    3 months ago

    372 comments

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  • Photo_user_blank_big

    bbrph

    almost 4 years ago

    2 comments

    Yes, shift work is hard on the worker and dangerous for the patient. Most people don't know that retail pharmacists often (more than not) are working 12 hours/day without lunch breaks or rest breaks. I have worked in both hospital and retail settings for 30 years. I can tell you the demand on pharmacists for "more with less" is the worst I've ever seen. Rite Aid is the worst for this kind of abuse. Choose your pharmacy carefully. If possible always choose an independent pharmacy over a "chain".

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    barbwaco

    over 4 years ago

    2 comments

    yes, I'll agree night workers are different . We seem to see things different then day people. I have worked nights for years. reallt unable to cope with days. Right now its hard to find a job because you have to be awake to apply to new ones. Day people don"t understand night people HOPE everyone a Great Shift be Safe God Bless

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    telmagazio

    almost 5 years ago

    46 comments

    I would love to get a full time position on the swing shift 3pm to 11pm, I'm working know just as a part time 5 to 9pm and the first time that I did a 14hours shift 7am to 9pm was something to remember for a long time and I don't think I will do it again, at least not for now.

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    KottenKandi

    almost 5 years ago

    8 comments

    This article is just in time for me. I recently graduated and I will begin working a 12 hour midnight shift. I will try to remember these tips as well learn new techniques that will work for my family and myself.

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    RBEERS

    almost 5 years ago

    8 comments

    I LOVE WORKING THE SWING SHIFT, LESS POLITICS. IT'S EASIER TO JUST DO YOUR JOB. NIGHT WORKERS SEEM TO BE DIFFERENT IN PERSONALITY.

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