A healthcare career is one of the most rewarding professions in the world. But the personal satisfaction and work benefits come with a hectic routine that can drain you rather quickly. Stress among nurses and doctors is one of the leading causes of fatigue and sleep loss. Working long shifts and running around to help patients takes a toll on their mental and physical well-being.
While fatigue is inevitable, it can be hazardous in a clinical situation as it can affect the work of a healthcare professional. In this article, we’ll discuss ways of reducing fatigue while improving sleep quality for healthcare professionals.
1. Set your boundaries
There is a shortage of healthcare professionals in the industry due to the ongoing pandemic. But that doesn’t mean that you have to work yourself to the brink to fill the void. Most nurses and doctors are already working long shifts to compensate for filling in the gap. But taking extra shifts or covering for someone else when you are tired is out of limits.
As a healthcare professional, you must learn how to set your boundaries and priorities straight to avoid any medical malpractice possible due to fatigue. Medical malpractice causes severe problems for the patients, resulting in the cancellation of your medical license. For this reason, you must recognize your body and mind’s limits and stop working once you reach your maximum capacity. Only work as many shifts as you can.
2. Set your priorities straight
A huge problem for healthcare professionals is that they get little time for their personal life and anything else apart from work. Some healthcare professionals are studying for higher education and find it challenging to prioritize their studies along with their work schedules.
While education is crucial if you want to climb up the ladder of success, you need to set time apart for concentrating on earning a higher degree.
Fortunately, educational institutions are making it easier for candidates to earn a degree online. This is a safe, proven way of achieving a higher degree without attending a physical university and avoiding social interactions.
Being a nurse, earning a master of science in nursing online will help you learn new skills about your profession, making you a standout compared to other candidates. Online programs give you more flexibility for study timings which is beneficial in maintaining your routine without getting tired. Saving time, hence, will keep you from experiencing fatigue and sleep loss.
Work fatigue in healthcare professionals can affect their performance in the hospital. This makes it essential to realize that your mind and body need some rest to recover from the fatigue. Most hardworking professionals consider self-care to be a luxury. But in reality, self-care is like maintenance for your body and mind which makes it an essential part of your daily routine.
However, self-care does not mean getting a massage every day and a spa treatment every week. You can care for your mind and body by resting and eating properly. For example, if you are working night shifts, use dark curtains in your room when you go to bed in the day, opt for a regular shift of either day or night and try to sleep and wake up at the same time every day. Remember that weekends are not your free pass to sleep in, and they will only mess up your routine even more.
Eating a balanced diet is just as important as your sleep. Skipping meals because of work and even bathroom breaks can harm your body in more ways than one. Instead, make time for quick meals and snacks and take a small time-out for yourself to freshen up and relax.
4. Monitor health signs for fatigue
Working around patients all day can distract you from your body’s condition. But once you settle down, it will all come crashing down, and, likely, you won’t be able to concentrate on your job for the next few days.
For this reason, it is essential to monitor health signs for fatigue. Monitor your concentration levels, heartbeat rate, etc., to monitor your fatigue.
If you see any signs of fatigue, take a break in a quiet place. You can take short power naps that last 10-15 minutes and do wonders in reducing fatigue. If necessary, try to do some exercises and stretches to relax your body and drink some water. You can also try adjusting the lights and temperatures of the area if possible.
5. Have an accountability partner
It is easy to forget about caring for yourself when you are so busy caring for your patients. In this case, it is best to have an accountability partner who can remind you to consider your health and prevent fatigue. You can take the help of another colleague for this purpose.
Fatigue and lack of adequate sleep is a common problem among healthcare professionals. To deal with these problems, you must take care of your body and your mind. Remind yourself that you cannot help other people if you are not in your best condition. For this reason, following the tips in this article can help you deal with workplace fatigue and get proper sleep.