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Keeping Motivated During those Long Nursing Shifts

Keeping Motivated During those Long Nursing Shifts


If you are one of those people who wake up bright and early ready for a 6am shift then you will understand how hard it can be to last the whole day without having at least 10 cups of coffee. You may also find it difficult to get through the day without losing motivation, and this can really take its toll on your job outlook and even your career in general.

The main problem that a lot of people experience is tiredness after lunch. You may find yourself glancing at the clock from time to time waiting for your shift to end. You may even daydream about getting out of work early or even hoping that you might be able to catch happy hour just in time. You’re just sitting around in your scrubs as your motivation dwindles away with every tick of the clock.

Make Friends

The first thing that you’ll want to do is make good friends. You’ll need them during your long shift and they can even help you to pass time faster as well. You may think that you have work colleagues at the moment, but are they actually your friends? Can you joke, laugh and spend time with them without talking about work? This will really help your day to pass faster and it can also help you to deal with some of the work related stress you’re experiencing as well. Having friends at work can also help you to enjoy your job.  Nurses who love what they do are much more likely to be productive as the day goes on!

Eat Right

The next thing that you will want to do is fuel your body with the right food. 12-hour shifts can be gruelling but it is a good idea for you to focus on foods that will actually keep you feeling energised throughout the day. Unhealthy snacks are everywhere in most hospital breakrooms and this can include doughnuts, snacks and crisps. Unhealthy foods tend to provide you with an energy spike and then a crash, which can leave you feeling incredibly sluggish. Think about dehydrated fruit, nuts and more. You can eat these while you are on the go and it helps to have a selection of these available in the car as well.

Take a Break

If your workday is dragging on then it is probably time for you to take a 15-minute break. There have been studies done and these all show that the mental health of an employee is drastically improved when they are given the chance to relax and focus on something that is not work-related. Take the time to do a quick word search or sit down and look through your social media feed. You deserve to put your feet up from time to time and during long shifts, this is especially the case.

Know Why You Started Working in this Profession

One of the main ways that you can find motivation when at work is to think of the reason why you wanted to get into that job to begin with. If you haven’t found the reason yet then think of what you are actually doing. On a daily basis, you are helping people, saving lives and generally helping others. You are also working so that you can give both you and your family a good life, so make sure that you keep that in mind when that long shift is dragging on. By having a purpose, you can push yourself through even the longest and hardest of days. When you find a reason for doing what you do, you can easily start to see the light at the end of the tunnel and this is a fantastic way for you to stay upbeat as time goes on.


This may sound strange, but when you are walking through the corridors, sing a song. It doesn’t have to be a chart topper, just a song that you like. You can even sing it in your head or hum along to it if you don’t feel like singing quietly to yourself. Music is a great mood-lifter and even though you may not be able to walk around with headphones in, it is a great way for you to lift the negativity from your day. Try and get a song stuck in your head, or make a mental list of all of the songs that you love.

Have Hobbies

One reason why people get so unmotivated when they go to work is that they don’t have anything to look forward to when they get home from work. They find that they don’t have enough time to do anything after a 12-hour shift. The truth is that this isn’t the case at all. It’s very important that you utilise your time outside of work so that you can stay motivated when you are working. This could be opening up a bottle of nice wine or it could be something as simple as a takeaway. Of course, you could also go and visit a friend, or cook a meal with a loved one. Even if you just go to the bar for a cold drink, you have to have that one thing that you are looking forward to doing. If you don’t then work becomes an endless cycle and the lines between your work and your life become blurred.

Staying motivated at work can seem like a challenging task and this is especially the case when you feel as though everything is going against you. It’s important to know that there are things that you can do to push through it, while also having a great time doing so. You can try and meet new friends, chat with patients and generally try and walk around with a smile on your face. When you make the effort to be happier, or more approachable, people will do the same and this can really make a difference to your day. On top of this, it will make other people happier as well! It’s a huge circle and by focusing more on the positives, you can be sure to change your outlook on your job and this really will open up new doors for you.


Womens Business Daily Providing a daily digital source for motivation and inspiration for the perfect work/life balance.


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