Monday, 21 April 2014

Surviving The Nightshift - The Before

It was pointed out to me that there wasn't much work/mediciney stuff on the blog recently. So I'm going to make an effort to do a bit more.

So I'm embarking on my nightshift here in West Glasgow. As FY1s we do either runs of 3 nights, or 4 nights. I have the joys of being on 4 nights [then next week another lot, woohoo...]

So whilst I'm being a nightowl, I thought I'd schedule some work posts about nightshift, and how I get through them. It will be a 4 part: before, during part 1, during part 2, and after. Dealing with little bits I think are important when you have to work the hard day's night.

So before...

Sleep: It's all about trying to prep your body for the change. This is particularly hard if you've done days and go straight on to nights the next eve. It can really mess with you body clock. So what I like to do is stay up as late as possible the night before [in reality I struggle with this because I end up exhausted]. I still want to relax so I get cosy with my ipad and netflix [and headphones, Rob still has to work...] and I catch up on lots of TV. This is great because I often get sucked in and want to keep watching episode after episode. I aim to stay up until half 3. Then I get up as normal the next day. This is killer. 6.30/7am rise for the little one. I then go about my morning as normal. Then at 1 or 2 I go for the ultimate nap. I've just came off medicine and nights there started at 9 so I'd sleep til 6.30. On surgery we start at 8, so I sleep til 6. You still feel pretty grubby the first night but it helps you power through.

The rest: There is no denying that your whole body takes a toll on nightshift. You eat bad, sleep bad, and especially in hospital environments, you end up super dehydrated. So before a nightshift I like to have a good long shower. I put on a moisturising mask on both my face and hair during my pre-nightshift nap, and then take my time in the shower to make sure I'm fully relaxed and my face and hair is ready with its defences to fight the central heated land of hospital. I then take my time getting to work the first day, leaving just a little bit earlier than normal [because I'm chronically late...] so that I arrive fresh-faced and ready to go.

So tune in tomorrow for during part 1, and feel sorry for us little nightowls who miss putting their little ones to bed.