3 Tips For Working The Nightshift

Once you've made the decision to pursue a career in travel healthcare, it's easy to start picturing how exciting your life will be. From grabbing a cup of freshly brewed coffee at a local shop before every shift to going on daily hikes when you have the day off. No matter how you picture your life as a travel healthcare professional, it's important to keep in mind that you may end up having an opportunity you absolutely love, but requires you to work the night shift. Whether you’ve worked the night shift before or this is your first experience, it’s important you have a positive mindset about working the night shift. Being away from home while adjusting your sleep schedule and being on an opposite schedule from your friends can be both mentally and physically draining. Check out our advice for learning to love the night shift:   

1. Reframe Your Thoughts on Nightshift

Instead of thinking of the negatives of working nightshift, reframe your thinking to focus on the positives! For one, night shift contracts typically pay more than day shift since it’s an undesirable shift to work. Another positive of working nights as a traveler is that visitors are often limited, and many procedures or therapies are not scheduled at night, so you can usually expect a slower and quieter work environment, allowing you to better focus on the patients you do have. And just because you’re clocking out when the sun is rising doesn’t mean you have to go straight home to bed (unless that’s your preferred sleep schedule), you can grab breakfast with friends or stop by the local farmers market before heading home for sleep. If you’re traveling with a partner and kids, you can spend time with them during the day, as long as you’re getting enough sleep!

2. Adjust Your Sleep Schedule

It's going to take some time for your body to adapt to your new sleeping patterns, which may mean you're feeling drowsier and more lethargic while working. It might seem silly, but your body may need assistance when it comes to learning how to fall asleep during the day as opposed to night. To get back into a normal pattern, it's vital to create a sleep schedule that revolves around your work and free time. To create a daytime sleeping environment that sets you up for success, the National Sleep Foundation recommended eliminating noise and light from the room with a sound machine, darkening curtains and an eye mask. Don’t forget to watch your caffeine intake while at work too. Although coffee or an energy drink is helpful at the moment, having too much caffeine during your shift can affect your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep. 

3. Make The Most of Your Days

Like we mentioned above, being on night shift doesn’t mean you have to give up your entire day! Having days free makes it much easier for you to schedule a doctor's appointment or haircut during times people are typically at work. You can make the most of your new home and explore it by hiking or visiting local tourist attractions during the day. Many nightshift healthcare workers report that the teamwork and camaraderie on nightshift is much higher compared to daytime shifts, so make a tradition with your night shift coworkers to grab breakfast after work and find the best pancakes in town!  

Read More Articles Like This