How to survive 16h shifts... - page 3

by lydzMtl 4,860 Views | 31 Comments

Hey all of you super human nurses... Any tricks on how to get by those long 16h shifts? I'm a new graduate working on a cardio floor in a big teaching hospital and I've got some nasty 16h shifts comming up ( quite many ) ...... Read More


  1. 0
    I know it feels like THEY are trying to kill you, but you absolutely have to learn to say NO without guilt. You are the only one who knows how much you can take emotionally and physically and if YOU don't take care of YOU, you will be of no use to anyone!!! Staffing will pressure you to take shifts until you are near dead (and beyond) but you really call the shots on how much overtime you are willing to pick up. Staffing's desperation is really not your problem. Sounds heartless but it is the only way to survive long term. At first it was near impossible for me to say no (the guilt was overwhelming), but eventually it was do or die and I learned to take care of me and it has paid off big time.
  2. 0
    Quote from Laboratorian
    Oh, one more thing.
    I keep hearing about how nurses don't even have time to pee.
    You HAVE to pee. You won't be able to concentrate with a full bladder.
    You must make time to pee.
    I know. We are told to keep hydrated but yet we do not have to pee...LOL....well, my bladder is weak, so if I do not go, I will do it on myself...LOL...so I must, I must, go the loo.
  3. 0
    I work 16 hour shifts at least once a week, but it's by choice. I make sure that I get plenty of sleep the night before. I work in a nursing home so it is a little easier for me to get off the floor. Usually around the 12 hour mark, I go to the chapel in our facility and just close my eyes for 20-30 minutes. I don't go to sleep, just to relax and deep breathe. After that I usually feel a lot more refreshed and ready for the morning rush!
  4. 0
    - I must begin the shift with Starbucks.
    - Good supportive socks/stocking are a must.
    - Make sure to eat healthy. You'll start to drag and the vending machines are your worst enemy.
    - A good crew of coworkers. Work can be fun.

    I work 7a to 11p. The second day, everyone is dragging. Doesn't matter how much sleep you get or how long you've been doing it.
    I usually have to mentally prepare myself for my shifts. The day before I'll save up all my sleepiness and hit the hay...early.
  5. 0
    Quote from MedChica
    - Good supportive socks/stocking are a must.
    I second this!
    You can go very far with support hoes and comfy shoes + Dr. Sholls insoles.

    Make sure your toenails are cut! Overgrown toenails can add to the discomfort in shoes.
  6. 0
    Bring an extra pair of comfortable shoes.
    Sleep at least 5 hrs before work.
    Bring coffee.... I like the Starbucks frapp in the glass bottle.
    Some people say Mountain Dew is really good.... if you drink soda.
  7. 0
    I thought it was not legal to work more than 16 hours at a time? I know I am questionalbly safe at 14 hours, I can't imagine 20!!!!! no way, no how, no amount of money, would I do 20!!!
  8. 0
    Just came back from one hecktic evening shift and a calm nighg shift... 16 hours but it wasnt as bad... I used a few of your tricks... Find time to pee... Stay hydrated and eat aroubd 3h30... All that helpes and i also planned all my stuff in advance so this morning i was organized ans didnt bate tu use my brain to get organized i could focus only on treating my patients thanks all and if you ot more great advice keep em commin i work another double in 4 days
  9. 0
    Quote from lydzMtl
    Just came back from one hecktic evening shift and a calm nighg shift... 16 hours but it wasnt as bad... I used a few of your tricks... Find time to pee... Stay hydrated and eat aroubd 3h30... All that helpes and i also planned all my stuff in advance so this morning i was organized ans didnt bate tu use my brain to get organized i could focus only on treating my patients thanks all and if you ot more great advice keep em commin i work another double in 4 days
    If you do get a break try exercising or lying down and taking a nap or at least closing your eyes. Yoga. Meditating. Go for a walk.
  10. 0
    Like others have said, stay hydrated, fed and rest when you can. Sometimes I take a break and take my shoes off and rub my feet for a few minutes. If I have to, I do it in the bathroom. Seems like that's the only time I'm not interrupted. I'm a CNA and I spend 90% of my time on my feet.

    Like others have said, you must pee. Seriously, holding your urine all day is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. I know I don't have the responsibilities of a nurse yet, but If I get a UTI im really not gonna feel good. Plus, I will pee my darn pants if I wait long enough :-| hehe.

    Another thing I do is bring some muscle milks with me to supplement in between meals. I usually only eat once for 12 hours and it seems to help.

    Good luck to ya!!


Top