02.04 Working night shift

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Included In This Lesson



  1. Working night shift
    1. Night shifts
    2. Challenges
    3. Tips

Nursing Points


  1. Night shift
    1. 8 hour shift
    2. 12 hour shift
  2. Challenges
    1. Family life
    2. Social life
    3. Fatigue
  3. Tips
    1. Plan ahead
      1. Planner or calendar
      2. Spread out tasks
      3. Group shifts together
    2. Get creative with sleep
      1. Nap before first shift on
      2. Nap after last shift on
    3. Ask for help
    4. Sleep aids
      1. Blackout curtains
      2. Medication
      3. Quiet
    5. Eat healthy
    6. Exercise

Nursing Concepts

  1. Prioritization
    1. Prioritizing your health in scheduling decisions
  2. Health promotion
    1. Planning ahead to keep your body and mind healthy while working night shift


Hey guys! Welcome to the lesson about working night shift. You may work eight hour shifts or even twelve hour shifts at night in nursing. Let’s begin by discussing the challenges that come with it. 

Working night shift can be hard. You’re awake when most people are asleep, and your trying to sleep while most people are going about their days. This can make family life and social life difficult. Without managing sleep properly, you may feel fatigued from the lack of sleep and changing schedule. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to help battle these challenges. I’m going to provide you with tips to help, starting with planning ahead. 

It’s really important to plan ahead. Use a planner or calendar to write downshifts and any events that you have coming up. Spread out tasks like housework to avoid overwhelming days full of cleaning. Group your shifts together if possible so that you may enjoy your days off with loved ones. 

When working on night shift, you have to get creative with your sleep. It helps to nap before your first shift back at work so you aren’t exhausted that night. After your last shift before you have a few days off, go home and take a nap for a few hours so that you can wake up and enjoy the rest of your day. This will allow you to go to sleep that night to get on schedule with your family and friends. 

It’s important that you consider asking for help when you need it, especially with your pets and children. Involve your significant other and family with your schedule planning and get them on board with a plan to help out. 

Working on night shift, you will appreciate sleep aids. Blackout curtains are a must to help block out the light from your bedroom when you have to sleep during the day. Sleeping medications can help you to fall asleep and stay asleep. Ensuring a quiet environment can be tricky, but will help with uninterrupted sleep. Sound machines can also help to block out interrupting sounds. 

Other helpful tips include eating healthy and exercising. I know, I know, you might feel too tired to spend time exercising. Here’s an idea, when you have downtime on your night shift, walk laps around the unit. This is a great way to sneak in some exercise AND keep you awake and alert during your shift. I also know how easy it is to eat junk food all night, but when you’re at the grocery store, pick up some healthy snacks to bring to work. 

Okay, let’s review the key points about working night shift. Working at night can be challenging as it affects your sleep, and time with your family and friends. Planning ahead for your sleep and events can help significantly, even with using a planner or calendar. You can get creative with your sleep to help with transitioning to your days off by napping before your first shift and after your last shift. Sleep aids like blackout curtains and medications can help you sleep during the day. 

Alright, guys, now go out and be your best self today, and as always, happy nursing!