Nursing is an incredibly rewarding and meaningful career with many, many great aspects. However, with the long and demanding shift schedules and poor rest ratio it can be easy for Nurses (and other Healthcare professionals) to experience and suffer from fatigue. Inadequate sleep and the resulting fatigue can have major implications on the health and safety of both Nurses and the patients in their care. So let us fill you in on everything you need to know all the way from what fatigue is to how you can prevent it.
Fatigue is not just occasionally feeling tired or sleepy like most people think. Fatigue is where you are permanently exhausted with no energy or drive to do anything. Inadequate rest and a stressful work environment can result in fatigue levels rising and being apparent.
Fatigue can lead to a number of medical issues. It causes poor focus or inability to concentrate which puts the patient’s safety (and Nurses) in jeopardy. Another important note is job satisfaction! Don’t ever push yourself beyond your limits, physically and emotionally in your job role as this can result in you resenting it and therefore not putting your 100% attention and care into it.
Fighting the fatigue battle is a lot easier said than done but there are steps you can take to overcome it. Firstly, keep an eye on your health. Having a duty of care for others can make it easy to take a back seat with your own health (physical and mental).
Eating well can help you to increase energy levels. You should consider including fruit and vegetables into meals and snacks. Here are some high energy snack ideas…
Thirdly, find your boundaries and learn what triggers your fatigue coming on. If you can get to know this then you can avoid them in the future. You could keep a diary of everything you do, eat or drink that makes you feel run down which will then help you to know what you should avoid in the future!
Hopefully, this has helped you to understand fatigue and its dangers a little bit more. Fatigue can affect anybody but there are steps to follow to avoid it.