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Feeling worn out all the time

Don't know if it is due to stress and fast pace on my unit or what, but I find on my days off I feel exhausted. People always say how lucky I am to work only 3 days a week, but I don't get much done on the days I am not at work. The first day seems to be a complete recovery day after working two 12 hour shifts in a row. Maybe it is because I work different days and every other weekend so I can't get into a routine. Does anyone else have this problem? Don't know if I need to go to a less stressful unit (if that exists) or go to a M-F nursing position.

emt2rn82 specializes in Critical Care; LTC.

That happened to me as well with the 12 hour shifts. Granted you get 4 days off a week, i found myself sleeping most of it away, and not having energy to do anything else. I changed to 8 hour shift with everyother weekend rotation and found it be much better, got into a "normal" sleep pattern and have energy again. Just my opinion.

Doc Lori, R.N. specializes in Dialysis,M/S,Home Care,LTC, Admin,Rehab.

I'd bet that it's a combination of physical and emotional exhaustion, giving, providing, caring and nurturing others...toxicity and burnout...

Hang in there and focus on what led you to the desire to heal others..sometimes that helps in order to regain focus. Best wishes!

classicdame specializes in Hospital Education Coordinator.

I recommend you get your blood sugar checked too, or general exam, just to be sure there is nothing else to blame fatigue on.

Jenn329 specializes in Cardiac Surgical ICU.

I feel the same way! It's so frustrating!!

I feel your pain. For every 12 hour shift that I work, I need a full day of rest before I can catch up with the rest of the world!

eriksoln specializes in M/S, Travel Nursing, Pulmonary.

I feel that way, but its due to working nights. I'm to the point where I'll move across the state to get off nights. Hate them, despise them. I'd do something to get into a normal sleeping pattern, but I have no "sleeping pattern" to go back to. I just..........sleep a lot when I can. Very bad, very depressing.

RNKITTY04 specializes in Rehab, Step-down,Tele,Hospice.

Wow, what great timing. I have been dragging myself to work for the last 6 months or so, on my days off it takes every thing I have just to go grocery shopping, my husband does'nt understand and calls me a slug, maybe he's right I feel like crap. I also work 7p-7a. Does anyone know where I might buy some energy?

DizzyLizzyNurse specializes in Peds Medical Floor.

I feel that way, but its due to working nights. I'm to the point where I'll move across the state to get off nights. Hate them, despise them. I'd do something to get into a normal sleeping pattern, but I have no "sleeping pattern" to go back to. I just..........sleep a lot when I can. Very bad, very depressing.

I also work midnights. I find that keeping a regular sleep schedule (I sleep when everyone else is at work, work when everyone else is asleep), using ear plugs and a sleep mask go a long way in not being tired all the time. If I rearrange my sleeping on my days off, I feel like crap.

Try exercising. I know it sounds counter intuitive since you are already tired but there is nothing a good exercise session can't solve. The more you sleep and eat cause you are "tired", the harder it is to break out of it.

I work 12hr night shifts and I realized quickly that the more sedentary I am during my days off, my perceived tiredness increases. I use to work 4-6 12hr shifts in a row, trust me I know what I am talking about. I get my butt off the couch/bed and go lift weights or run, problem solved. I feel great right after the workout and it can carry me through the day pretty well.

dianah specializes in Cath Lab/Radiology.

OP: When was your last checkup?

A good once-over can't hurt, if energy now is markedly different than, say, 3-4 mo. ago and nothing else has changed (I'm thinking thyroid issues, and --- well, a myriad of other possiblities with which your PCP can help).

Other suggestions (exercise, re-eval. your sleep and work schedule, etc) helpful.

Nice to have input from all these brains! :up:

I think 12 hour shifts are just wrong lol! I tried doing 6p-6a and it just made me feel awful...I just felt so unhealthy all the time. My sleeping and eating were so erratic. (And I am a total night owl). I quit after a few weeks and will never do 12 hr shifts again!!! Plus not getting to ever have breaks, pee, eat made it awful also!!

You should also consider being checked for hypothyroidism. But don't expect the pills for it to give you great energy cause unfortunately they really don't.

CaLLaCoDe specializes in Cardiology, Oncology, Medsurge.

Diet. Staying away from white flour and sugar.

Green salads, legumes, whole grains, yeah. Go healthy with the food is my advice. Stay away from the doughnuts. Funny how hospitals will reward our work with crappy food: Ie Pizza, doughnuts, candy, the works. Energy depleting crap!

I was feeling the same way working 5 8s as a CNA. Went to the doc, had a slew of tests, found out I had a Vitamin D deficiency. Took a supplement, felt much better within a couple of weeks.

It never hurts to check.

AgentBeast specializes in Cardiology and ER Nursing.

Healthy bodies generally adjust to the physical stresses placed upon them. After a generally short period of adjustment, being "exhausted" becomes more of a state of mind than anything physical, of course again if one is healthy.

Keep your wake up and sleep times as close to constant as possible. Try to spend a couple of minutes outside or at a window as close as possible to sunrise and sunset. It helps set your biological clock.

The first day seems to be a complete recovery day after working two 12 hour shifts in a row. Maybe it is because I work different days and every other weekend so I can't get into a routine. Does anyone else have this problem? .

My feet after 12 hours in the ICU.

Man-my-feet-are-exhausted--61941.jpg

I'm in the same boat. The stress and the long 12 hour shift just kills me, even as I cut back to only 2 shifts a week. Now,I take care of kids at home and also go to school, so I really NEVER get a break. It does lead to a continous exhaustion for me also.

I've tried a lot of things to boost my energy -- good vitamin supplementation, lots of B vitamins, regular sleep -- although I can't seem to make myself get to bed early enough on my off days, cutting down on caffeine, etc. But I'm still exhausted -- I think it's just the job and the constant stress -- it's inhumane.

Flying ICU RN,

I scroll along and see your name, and I slow down. I prepare myself... ;)

:up: Understood!

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