Nurses tend to work around the clock to ensure the safety and care of their patients. In fact, according to Nurse Theory, many nurse work the following shift intervals:
- 12-hour, OR
Even with long hours, many nurses can grow tired at some point. Thus, sleep deprivation starts to become an issue in the healthcare industry. This can only lead to health issues in nurses, such as loss of alertness, insufficient sleep habits, less productivity, and heightened risk of patient endangerment.
According to IntechOpen, sleep deprivation is responsible for causing impairment in:
- Cognition, AND
As a result, the following medical practices are impaired as well:
- Recollection, AND
While further research is needed to better understand the connection between nurses and sleep deprivation, in the meantime, nurses must change how they work, and how they sleep. “Therefore, here are 8 tips on how nurses (and other medical and healthcare professionals, for that matter) can improve their sleep quality, and counteract the pesky effects of fatigue” says Jolie Keyson, a healthcare blogger at Paper Fellows and State of writing.
- Implement Safe Practices
Nowadays, automation is relied on by many industries, including healthcare. Services like Olive has AI to help healthcare facilities in the following ways:
- Look into untapped value and efficiencies
- Refers to recorded data to find answers
- Tracks treatment delays
- Ensures that current tasks are done on schedule, etc.
Rather than aggravate one’s fatigue by having them handle multiple tasks at once, automation can handle certain tasks – thus, lessening the burden for healthcare providers and nurses.
- Get Plenty Of Sleep
Did you know that nurses aren’t getting as much sleep as before? In fact, the number of sleep hours has decreased from 9 hours in 1910 to about 6.9 (as of 2002). Your best bet is to get as much sleep as possible – even if you don’t feel like it. Don’t let the 6.9-hour limitation dictate how long you should sleep.
- Take Wholesome Breaks
Take breaks. PERIOD. Don’t let anything from your work interrupt your much-needed break. Take advantage of the break – take a walk, read a book … Make the best out of your break. You deserve it!
- Limit Caffeine Intake
You should also limit your caffeine intake. While you’re not necessarily cutting out caffeine entirely, you should still consider how much caffeine you’re consuming each day. Chances are, you’re doing more harm than good, when it comes to combatting fatigue.
- Eat And Exercise Healthy
Now is your chance to practice what you preach: Eat right and stay active. By eating the right foods (limiting sweets and carbs) and participating in aerobic exercise, you’ll reduce your chances of succumbing to excessive fatigue.
- Build A Support Network
Sometimes, your fellow nurses need help with getting good sleep and feeling more energized in their day lives. “If you see a coworker who needs to sleep, then why not offer to cover for them while they go to take a nap? Or, you can help them in their work, so that either one of you accidentally falls asleep on the job. By creating a support group, you’re allowing more alertness and productivity in your jobs” says Charles Oketo, a recruiter at Boomessays and Essayroo.
- Improve Work Conditions
It also helps if you talk with management and other coworkers on how work conditions can be improved. Even if it’s just taking a few steps in improving your work environment(s), then it’s totally worth it.
- Know The Causes Of Errors
Finally, it’s important to get to the root problem of what’s causing errors in your work. It’s also important to report any errors or near misses. In short, transparency not only makes you more trustworthy and honest towards management, but patients will trust you more when working with them. Not acknowledging errors are direct results from sleep deprivation; and that should be corrected as soon as possible.
As you can see, fatigue doesn’t just affect patients; it can also affect the nurses who strive to care for their patients – giving up their time and sleep hours to ensure that one is well. Therefore, managing fatigue is essential in the healthcare workforce, including nurses.
By keeping these tips in mind, not only will you perform better in your work, but you’ll also limit your chances of making unintentional errors to patients. Your patients trust you to care for them to the best of your ability. So, let’s strive for clinical and professional excellence by effectively balancing work with healthy sleep habits.
Elizabeth Hines is a writer and editor at Assignment writer and Essay writing service. She is also a contributing writer for online publications, such as Oxessays. As a content writer, she writes about the latest tech and marketing trends, innovations, and strategies.
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