Hello everyone, I need some advice on how to stay healthy!!!
I graduated from nursing school in May of 2001, and after completing the critical care internship on day shift I began nights and evenings in December. Since I've gone to nights I am SO SICK, all the time!!! In December/January I fought bronchitis for a month, on Valentines day got a helluva cold (thought it was the flu), and now I have an upper respiratory infection--on antibiotics again! It seems like I feel completely good for less than a week before I am hit with a new illness.
I have two small children at home, I know they bring bugs home, but it was never like this before. Some have told me that it is because I work nights and my body isn't used to staying up--that makes sense to me, but how long is this going to go on??? I am missing work left and right (all with Dr.'s orders, of course)--and being a new grad in the ICU is hard enough without getting a reputation as a frequent call-in person. I eat a good diet, go to the gym regularly, and I try my best to get adequate rest (but for a mother that is pretty near impossible). I also use standard precautions at work, always wear my gloves and wash my hands, yada yada.
I was just wondering if those of you who work nights had the same problem when you started, and if there is anything in particular you do to ward off the germs. I worked in a hospital prior to being a nurse, so the environment is not new, and I didnt' have this problem on days. My doctor suggested increasing my vitamin C intake. I will try it. Does anyone else have any suggestions--other than going back to day shift. I can't afford to lose the shift diff, and even if I could there are no day positions available--that's how it is when you are a newbie.
Thanks for any suggestions!!