Hospitalists are professionals who specialize in providing medical care for patients who have been admitted to the hospital for various clinical issues. Working on night shifts can be challenging and require long hours of tedious work. However, there are some strategies that you can use to make it a bit easier for yourself.
Remember to Take Breaks
It is easy for hospitalists to forget about routine daily activities such as eating and sleeping when working night shifts. Instead, remember to get up from your computer, eat a light snack, and drink water regularly. You may also want to find someone you connect well with at the hospital and socialize with them during breaks.
Taking breaks allows the body to relax and recover from the stresses of working a night shift. Also, the body regains energy, which helps you stay alert at night. It also ensures that hospitalists take care of their physical health as well.
When hospitalists feel stressed, they tend to make medical errors which increase the risk of patient injuries or even death. You can avoid stress by taking time off during night shifts to rest and recover.
Get Enough Sleep During Off Days
Sleep is very important for the body as it helps your mind and body recuperate from a long day of work. For those working full-time hospitalist jobs in California or in any other state, it is recommended that they get at least eight hours of sleep each day to stay alert and productive.
Allow yourself to adjust to different sleeping patterns because your body will need about an hour to adjust to sleeping at night instead of during the day. Also, please make the most of the nighttime when it comes. You can communicate with patients and their families in many ways and perform your clinical duties effectively during this time of day.
Work with Your Team
Teamwork is essential for hospitalists who work in shifts. Working as a team will allow you to share resources, knowledge, and ideas that can help hospitalists on their shifts. This can improve patient care and increase the team’s efficiency. Also, the more you work together, the better you understand each other’s workload.
Also, hospitalists who work with other health professionals with different day-to-day jobs, such as radiologists, nurse practitioners, or physician assistants, can save time by working together on a single shift for patients admitted for diseases requiring multiple treatments.
Stay Busy During the Shift
One of the best ways to make the night shift more tolerable and enjoyable is by staying busy and productive throughout the entire shift. Hospitalists can do this by constantly asking themselves what they can do to improve their performance. They should also consider treating each patient with the utmost care and compassion.
Also, hospitalists should talk to others about how long shifts have been for them to find solutions for common problems such as sleep deprivation and mental fatigue, which can affect performance. For example, hospitalists can discuss the different ways in which they have found to manage their time during night shifts. This can help hospitalists working a long night shift know what to expect.
Have a Schedule
Ensure you have a clear strategy for yourself. Before going to work, please plan and make sure you have snacks and drinks ready for yourself to make it through the night shift. Also, make a to-do list to keep yourself focused and on task. If you tend to get distracted easily, try listening to the same playlist or audiobook while working on your computer.
Find Time to Exercise
Hospitalists should make it a point to include physical activity in their daily health routine. This will help improve their mood and keep them fit. If you cannot find a gym during the night shift, you can position yourself at a place where you can run around a small track while listening to music on your smartphone or tablet.
Hospitalists who engage in exercise feel more energized and less stressed when working the night shift. They also make better decisions and increase their efficiency. In addition, the benefits of physical activity are long-lasting and can last up to two weeks after a person is done exercising.
Shifts in hospital work are challenging, but by knowing these strategies, you can successfully work through them and stay alert throughout the night. Remember that you can use these tips while working night shifts and whenever you feel tired or overburdened with your duties.