Fatigue and floor nursing

  1. I have been a nurse for 8 months, work on a very busy post surgical med/surg unit. I just turned 49, am in pretty good health, not overweight really, maybe 10 pounds or so. I am working 4 8hr shifts/week. Many times I am there longer than 8 hours. I rarely take a break, our relief nurse leaves at 7:30 PM, and on the evening shift, it is pretty busy when coming on. My question is, are any of you exhausted, really bone tired, and if so, have you found anything that helps? When I work, the next day I am so darn tired I don't get anything done. Even if I got enough sleep, it's not enough. After one day off, the next I am okay. But when I have 2 days off, one is spent just doing bare minimum, then the next I can get some things around the house done. I have regular MD appts, recent blood work, etc. I am obligated to work 32 hours/week for two years, part of orientation agreement. I am hoping after the 1 year mark I can talk them into 3 days/week. I sure am pooped. As I get more experienced, will the fatigue lessen as the stress on myself lessens?
    •  
  2. 6 Comments

  3. by   Tweety
    More than likely it's stress that is zapping your energy.

    For me exercise helps. No matter how dead dog tired I am I force myself to go to the gym a few times a week after work. I recently started yoga classes (again, I stopped a year ago). I find I have much more energy when I eat lightly and primarily vegetarian (that's just me, I'm not trying to preach or convert).

    Taking care of your physical and mental self during off hours helps to cope with the fatigue in my opinion.

    Good luck.
  4. by   leslie :-D
    i agree, that exercise will rejuvenate you.
    i'm a rag doll when i get home, but get a 2nd wind in 2-3 hrs.
    eating lightly-sm, frequent, healthy snacks, has sustained the energy.
    i'm not sure if your fatigue is r/t being new.
    i know of many nurses who feel wiped out at the end of the day.
    but taking care of yourself, is a must.

    i used to make this health drink yrs ago.
    dang, it gave me so much pep.
    i know it had yeast and lecithin in it...can't remember the recipe.
    but i felt great, my skin glowed and my pee was bright yellow.
    if i can remember it, i'll be glad to share it.

    leslie
  5. by   EmmaG
    Quote from Tweety
    More than likely it's stress that is zapping your energy.

    For me exercise helps. No matter how dead dog tired I am I force myself to go to the gym a few times a week after work. I recently started yoga classes (again, I stopped a year ago). I find I have much more energy when I eat lightly and primarily vegetarian (that's just me, I'm not trying to preach or convert).

    Taking care of your physical and mental self during off hours helps to cope with the fatigue in my opinion.

    Good luck.
    So true. I joined a gym that I had to pass on my way home in the mornings. I'd force myself to stop there every morning, no matter how dog-tired I was. I even scared the staff a few times as I rode the stationary bike while dozing

    But it made such a difference. I slept so much better, and the stress level diminished too. I had much more energy on my days working and off.

    but i felt great, my skin glowed and my pee was bright yellow.

    Must have had alot of 'B' vits in it.

    If you remember, please share
  6. by   UM Review RN
    Yeah, Les, lotsa B vitamins give you energy!

    I have the same problem as OP --in fact, I've done healthcare work for many years and always feel sore and exhausted on my first day off -- so I'll just sit back and take the advice.

    I think I'd feel lazy if I wasn't wiped at the end of the week. If I'm not wiped out, I get all suspicious and guilty and work overtime.

    That's probably the biggest sacrifice my family has to make for this career. My DH says it's better than having me bouncing off the walls when I'm home for more than two days, though.
  7. by   MedicalLPN
    I can really relate, I work night shift weekends, friday saturday and sunday 7pm-7am by the time Monday roles around I am completely toasted! I was supposed to work last night, slept all day as usual, charge nurse phoned to tell me I was on call at around 5pm, I went back to bed and slept until 5am!!! It just seems as if my body just craves sleep all the time, I need to find a gym to join...
  8. by   Sassybottom
    regular vitamins, trying to insure adequate H20 intake during your shift, as much sleep as you can, and somehow finding some time to workout in between.

    I practice yoga and it really does feel good. Yoga encourages us to leave things that have happened in the past behind. I have a hard time letting go of my mistakes and will dwell on them but yoga helps me let go. The hard physical nature of ashtanga yoga also provides release and a good workout.

    My back feels great after a good yoga practice.

close