You work 12 hour shifts where you’re constantly on your feet. You barely have time to sit down and eat a meal. Your shifts a re full of demanding patients and few, if any, expressions of gratitude. Healthcare workers including EMT’s, Paramedics, Nurses, and Doctors, display an inner resolve that is both amazing and admirable.
The Toll It Takes
As the wife of an Emergency Room Nurse, I see the toll the long hours can take on healthcare workers. Now, throw in a massive pandemic that’s shutting down the world as we know it, and we have healthcare workers’ stress levels at very high levels. I see my husband come home from a long shift completely drained or “wiped” as I like to call it. He, like all the incredible healthcare workers around the world, are giving their all at their jobs amidst growing pressure, the stress of a multitude of unknowns, lack of proper equipment, changing recommendations from the CDC, and the ongoing possibility that they are going to be exposed to the virus on any given day. Whatever your role may be in the healthcare field, here are 4 useful strategies to help you manage the long work days:
4 Ways Healthcare Workers Can Survive the Long Hours
- When you’re off, be off. Don’t do anything that relates to work. Do things that are fun; that bring a smile to your face. Try to watch or listen to things that make you laugh. Talk to people who make you laugh. Immerse yourself in the positive as much as you can. You are in a job where you’re in serious mode most of the time. You deserve and need to have a break when you’re not on the clock.
- Rest – my husband did a few back-to-back sessions when Covid-19 was just starting its spread through our city. He was so wiped the next couple of days. He didn’t feel like himself. I encouraged him to rest as much as he could. Don’t worry about what needs to be done around your place, and ignore your to-do list for now. None of it is as important as your sanity.
- Find a physical release – working in high stress situations means your body is going to need a way to release all of that stress. Whether it be running around in the yard with your kids, lifting weights, going for a walk/run, or doing yoga, having a way to release the stress is imperative.
- Enlist help. With social distancing there’s limits to what you can do. However, if you live with others, you can try to enlist them to help. It could be for them to be extra quiet while you nap or giving you time to do one of the physical release activities in number three. Perhaps, just giving you extra grace and understanding during this time in that you will likely be very tired and not completely “there”.
Which of these strategies would you benefit from the most? Let me know at [email protected] The world sees your passion for what you do. We see the risks you are having to take with possible exposure, not to mention how it affects your loved ones at home. The world sees the heroes emerging from the pandemic. I thank you yesterday, today, and always for all that you do.