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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 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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    A Ukrainian journalist detained Tuesday by pro-Russian rebels while working as a freelance producer for CNN has been freed. Anton Skiba called CNN on Saturday to confirm his release. CNN also received visual confirmation that Skiba is free from sources on the ground in Donetsk.On Tuesday evening, armed fighters led by a senior official from the self-declared Donetsk People's Republic were waiting outside the Donbass Palace Hotel, in the rebel-controlled city of Donetsk, as CNN television crew returned from a day's work at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. Skiba had worked for one day with the CNN crew when he was detained.Skiba's work as a journalist for CNN also encompassed translating and providing local knowledge. An official with the Donetsk People's Republic initially accused Skiba of "terrorism" and of posting offers, on his Facebook page, of cash rewards for the killing of rebel fighters. The official later dropped the accusation about the Facebook posts and said Skiba was being questioned for having multiple forms of identification with different surnames. On July 11, Alexandr Kalyussky -- the senior official who detained Skiba -- was added to the growing list of rebel officials to face sanctions from the European Union. Skiba had previously also worked as a freelancer for the BBC for two days in the wake of the MH17 crash. A journalist at the Moscow-based weekly magazine Russian Reporter told CNN that Skiba also worked for several months in 2013 as a photographer for the publication.

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    over 4 years ago


    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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    over 5 years ago


    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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    over 5 years ago


    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.

  • 226_max50


    over 5 years ago


    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.

  • Photo_1_max50


    over 5 years ago



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