Oh hi! It’s been like….. forever since I had enough energy to write out a decent post. If you saw our drafts section, you’d realize just how much I tried to write a post at least once a week. Anyway, exciting news. I’m finally off night shift! (I still have the same job, I just work PRN right now so I get to work whenever
*yay*) With the start of intermediate nursing classes, I just could not juggle the night shift and trying to study. Bless those of you who can! I wish I knew how you did it because I almost did not survive it. While I am 100% sure I will work a night shift again in the future, for now I can enjoy the sunshine & normal sleep.
I wanted to share some night shift essentials that helped me get through these past 8 months. To be quite honest, I actually fell in love with working night shift! For those weeks I didn’t have school, working night shift was easy to adjust to and I was able to get the proper amount of sleep the next day so all was well! If you have the right stuff, night shift is definitely manageable for anyone!
- snacks, snacks, snacks! The easiest way to stay awake is to fuel your body with food. Remember to choose healthy snacks or you will see the pounds (very) quickly. Check out my post about eating while on night shift.
- WATER! It is vital that you keep yourself hydrated throughout the night. My favorite go-to water bottle is a Nalgene style because it’s the only one that fits under our water machine…. but also it holds so much water that you don’t have to run back & forth filling it up.
- Stay warm! Always bring a jacket. When that clock hits 3am, it’s as if the AC is on full blast and you’ll find yourself freezing to death. For me, I prefer a lighter athletic style jacket just because they are easy to wash after every shift and they breatheeeee. Nothing is worse being stuck in a patient’s room which is normally always stuffy & getting super hot because you forgot to take your jacket off before you entered the room.
- Shoes! The right shoes are extremely important. I will write a more thorough post on the types of shoes to wear for 12 hour shifts, but in short, find comfortable shoes that won’t make you feel like your feet will fall off. Nothing is worse than coming home & having swollen, throbbing feet. My go-to shoes are Asics gel running shoes. Asics are particularly amazing because different styles are for different types of pronation which basically means more comfort, less injury, etc.
- Eye drops! My contacts never get dry during the day, but if I’m working a night shift, I feel as if my eyeballs are shriveling up and about to fall out onto the floor. Purchasing lubricating eye drops for contacts was the most saved my life. Remember, there are different types so if you have contacts, be sure to find the ones specifically for contacts!
- Lip balm! Just like my eyes, I found my lips getting super dry during night shift. I always had some form of lip balm in my pocket. Some of my favorites are Burt Bee’s, Nivea, and Vaseline.
- Perfume stick! Depending on where you work, you may or may not be allowed to wear perfume. No one ever said anything to me, so I always wear some form of light perfume to work. I discovered TonyMoly’s perfume bar which is super cute, but also smells amazing. I have the green tea one (not shown on their website, I got mine at Urban Outfitters) and not only does it make me smell good, but whenever I have a stinky room (and with sick babies, there are always stinky diapers which means stinky rooms) I am able to dab a little under my nose and inhale.
Other Very Important Stuff:
- Kindle! or rather any tablet that allows you to read. Sometimes I use my phone if I happen to leave my Kindle at home. For those super slow nights, it is great to have a book on hand to read. Tablets are great because you can store so many things & the size is perfect to tuck away if you do get busy.
- PENS. PENS. PENS!!!!!! For some reason, the hospital is the black hole of pens. No matter how many pens you have in your pocket, you always walk out at the end of the shift with no pens. Go ahead and buy yourself a 20 pack of black clickable pens (no caps…. that’s just unsanitary) and leave
them in your bag. You will lose them all, but at least if you happen to lose one, you’ll have some more in your bag. Be sure to restock if the number in your bag begin to dwindle.
- Sunglasses! Nothing is more painful than walking out in the morning and having your eyes burn out of their sockets because of the sun. Always carry a pair of sunglasses and be sure to put them on before you step outside. Trust me. I’m telling you this from experience(s).
There are so many other things I shove into my bag before work that I’m sure I forgot some important ones, but these few are the absolute must haves! If you work night shift, share some of your essentials in the comments below!