What Should You Do after a Tough Nursing Shift?


Nursing is practically a contact sport. But add to the physical challenges the emotional impact of healthcare, and it isn’t surprising that some shifts leave you feeling both mentally and physically drained. What should you do after one of these difficult shifts? There are a few ways to relax and recharge between touch shifts, and knowing your own physical and emotional needs is a top propriety. Self-care is important, so let’s take a closer look at what you can do when the going gets tough.

Know your body and relaxation needs.

The most important thing to start with is knowing your body and what you need to relax and recharge. Some people will want to work out after a long shift to get positive endorphins flowing. Others will want to relax at home with a book or a movie. There is no one right way to relax, it all depends on your specific needs.

Attend to your physical soreness.

Nursing is a physically demanding job. And you may have sore muscles when you get home. It is important that you tend to these to prevent muscle strain or further injuries. Soak in a hot bath, stretch, exercise, or books a massage for particularly difficult shift days.

Talk to your support system.

Your emotional health shouldn’t be ignored either. And the best way to attend to your mental health needs is to make sure you have a great support system around you. Have friends and family you can talk with to tell about your day, vent about problems, and get emotional support. They can be there for deep discussion or just to take your mind off things.

Remember, tomorrow is another day.

Of course, as Scarlett O’Hara famously said in Gone With the Wind, “After all, tomorrow is another day.” You know bad days can’t last forever and it is quite possible that your next shift won’t be nearly as tough as this one. However, if you find yourself having repeatedly bad days, it may be time to start looking for a new job in a healthier environment.

Work With a Top Healthcare Staffing Agency in Washington DC

Do you need more information on finding a nursing environment that is better suited to your physical and emotional health? Contact NRI, now hiring for healthcare jobs in DC, to learn more.

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