3 Helpful Tips For Parents Working The Night Shift

3 Helpful Tips For Parents Working The Night Shift

*This post may contain affiliate links.  You can find our disclosure page here.  

Written by Adela Ellis, RN, BSN

Working the night shift is never easy.   Add a kid or two into the mix and it becomes even that much more difficult.

Life can be challenging for working parents, even in the best of circumstances and working night shifts is no exception.  Raising kids when you are sleep deprived is challenging at best, and it’s often challenging to find someone who can take care of your children while you’re on the clock.

There are perks, though. For example, nurses are usually paid more per hour when they work nights instead of days, and working nights means that you’ll have more time to spend with your family during the day.  There is even some evidence that working the night shift can benefit the parent-child relationship.

Plus, the lines at the grocery store tend to be really short first thing in the morning when night shift workers are heading home. 

If you are a parent and you are struggling with how to make working the night shift work, you’ve come to the right place.  Keep scrolling to discover three tips for parents working the night shift.

Night Shift Nurse Tip #1:  Prioritize Self-Care

Woman Running

Night shift nurse tip #1: prioritize self-care

As a parent, you probably put your kids’ needs ahead of your own pretty much all the time. But it’s important to remember that you need to take care of yourself too.  Self-care is important for everyone, and it is even more important for nurses who work the night shift.

Working the night shift can take a serious toll on your physical, mental, and emotional well-being.

As humans, we are naturally programmed to be awake during the day and asleep at night. Working the night shift means fighting against one of your body’s most basic instincts, and it’s not easy.

To minimize the negative effects of working nights, you need to make self-care a priority.  Make sure you get plenty of sleep each day, maintain a healthy diet, drink plenty of water, and pamper yourself once in a while.

Set boundaries with family members (including your children) to ensure that you are able to get the rest you need. Don’t feel guilty about saying “no” to afternoon playdates if you need to sleep. If you want to be the best version of yourself, both at home and at work, you need to make taking care of yourself a top priority.

Even choosing the right clothing to wear to work can be a part of your self-care. Invest in quality scrubs that you will feel great wearing. Keep in mind that you’re likely to get chilly during the night and make sure you have a few nice scrub jackets in your closet. Invest in high-quality nursing shoes that won’t leave you feeling fatigued just a few hours into your shift. When you feel your best in cute nurse scrubs and comfy footwear, it’s a lot easier to make it through your shift with a smile on your face.

Additional recommended reading:  

Night Shift Nurse Tip #2:  Find an Amazing Babysitter

babysitter taking care of kids for night shift working mom

Tip #2 for working the night shift with a family: find an amazing babysitter

If you and your partner work opposite shifts, having someone to watch the kids while you are at work might not be a problem. But don’t make the mistake of thinking that you won’t need someone to watch them during the day too. You may get home first thing in the morning and not need to return to work until later that night, but you need that time to get some rest. 

Plenty of parents think that they can work at night and take naps throughout the day when the kids are asleep, but that very rarely works out. You might not need a sitter if your kids are in school during the day, but, if you have little ones at home, a good sitter is a must.

Find someone that you can depend on to watch your kids on a consistent schedule. You need between seven and nine hours of sleep each day (roughly), so make sure you choose a sitter who is available for enough hours each day to enable you to get some much-needed sleep. Consider sending your kids to daycare or choosing a sitter who can watch them in their home. This will help minimize the noise in your home and allow you to rest without worrying about why your little one is crying or being woken up by random noises throughout the day.

Night Shift Nurse Tip #3:  Learn to Embrace the Night Shift

Nurse working the night shift and smiling

Working night shift with a family tip #3: embrace the night shift

For most parents, one of the hardest parts of working the night shift is knowing that you’ll have to miss out on things like family get-togethers and school events. A big part of your kids’ lives will happen when you are asleep, and that can be a really tough thing to accept. If you want to successfully navigate working the night shift as a parent, though, you are going to have to learn how to embrace it.

Instead of thinking about the negatives, consider the positives. You’ll make more money and be able to pay off debt faster or surprise your kids with special treats. You’ll get to provide better care for your patients and build stronger relationships with your coworkers.

In addition, you won’t have to deal with things like grocery shopping during the hours when most of the world is awake. Your nonstandard schedule may even enable you to spend more time with your kids.

The Bottom Line For Parents Working The Night Shift

As a parent, you want what’s best for your kids. Often, that means doing things that you don’t really want to do––like working the night shift––in order to provide a better life for them. Working nights isn’t always easy, but there are things that you can do to face the challenges head-on and be a great employee and parent. Use the tips listed above to make life as a night-shift working parent happier and healthier for you.

Additional recommended reading: 

About the author:   Adela Ellis is a full-time nurse and part-time ambassador for Infinity Scrubs. Adela attended the University of Arizona and has been a travel nurse for the last 6 years. She enjoys working with different doctors, nurses, and patients from all over the country and blogging about her experiences. In her free time, she loves true-crime podcasts and cooking for friends and family. 

7 Helpful Tips For Compassion Fatigue In Nursing

7 Helpful Tips For Compassion Fatigue In Nursing

*This post about compassion fatigue in nursing may contain affiliate links.  You can find our disclosure page here.

I first realized that I was experiencing compassion fatigue as a nurse after only two years in the profession.

That’s correct.  After only TWO YEARS, I was already feeling over stressed, exhausted and negative about my career.

When my mind finally wrapped itself around this understanding, I thought I’ve barely graduated with my BSN and i’m ALREADY burned out? How am I going to continue in the nursing profession for an entire career?  

I was frustrated, confused, and to be honest, a little heartbroken.  I was passionate about helping others and I did enjoy the mental stimulation that I got as a nurse.  But I couldn’t figure out how there were nurses on our unit who had been doing the same thing for the last 5, 10, or even 20 years.  Didn’t they feel the same way?

Lately, I have spoken with a lot of nurses about their experiences with compassion fatigue. The truth of the matter is that most, if not all nurses feel spent and exhausted at some point over the course of their career.

What is compassion fatigue in nursing?

Simply put, compassion fatigue is the gradual lessening of compassion over time due to extreme caregiver stress and overwork.  Compassion fatigue in nursing is also almost always tied to the chronic stress that comes with working 12 hour shifts, which can be very physically, mentally and emotionally challenging even on a good day.

Unfortunately, compassion fatigue is very common in the nursing profession.  But with awareness and the willingness to make a change, it is possible to overcome this chronic, stressful state and learn to thrive within your nursing career again.

Here are 7 tips to help deal with compassion fatigue in nursing:

 1.  Find a better work-life balance

Are you rotating days and nights?   Constantly working overtime?   Or maybe just working too many hours per week?

That may work for a while but it is not a very good long term plan.  Everyone needs a break, especially nurses.

Consider taking a vacation (or stay-cation) and plan a few solid days of  “me” time.  A little TLC can go a long way.   You simply can’t continue to take good care of others before taking care of yourself first.

Becoming a per diem nurse helped me find a better work-life balance.  What can you do to help balance your life?

2.  Make your health the #1 priority

One of the best things a nurse can do to help prevent nurse burnout is to take good care of themselves.  Often this notion is counter intuitive to nurses because the nature of their job is to constantly put others needs in front of their own.  Ask yourself, what do I need to be healthy?  Here are a few suggestions:

  • Take a yoga class or join a gym.
  • Make sure you plan in advance for your 12 hour shifts so you have healthy snacks while you are at work.
  • Get at least 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep before a shift.
  • Try meditation or just sit alone with your eyes closed for 10 minutes during your lunch break.
  • Create a calming environment (at work or home) with a stress relieving essential oil such as Lavender.

3.  Find the “why” in your compassion fatigue

What is it that is really causing you to feel compassion fatigue ?  Try writing your thoughts down at the end of a few shifts to help figure out what is overwhelming you.

Is there a pattern?    Perhaps you need to plan your shifts differently.  Are there a few personalities in your workplace that you are not jiving with?

Or, maybe you just are not inspired by your chosen specialty.  Give yourself permission to be brutally honest.  If a change is what you need then make a change.

Additional recommended reading:

 

4.  Challenge yourself

Are you under-challenged at work?  There are so many ways to challenge yourself as a nurse:

  • Become a certified nurse in your specialty (or a completely new specialty!)
  • Take on a charge nurse role.
  • Be a preceptor to novice nurses on your unit.
  • Take on additional committee roles.
  • Attend a nurse conference.
  • Change your nursing specialty.
  • Consider advancing your nursing degree.

5. Surround yourself with positive support

Compassion fatigue and nurse burnout are so common among nurses.  Left unchecked, they can lead to mistakes, unhappiness or even depression.

Share your nursing compassion fatigue struggles with a close comrade from work who can empathize with your struggle.   If that doesn’t help, consider talking to a trusted mentor, a therapist, or find a career coach that can help you work your way out of nurse burnout.

Nurses are self-giving creatures by nature, but we must give to our own needs as well.  Crawl out of your shell and start talking it out.

6. Find an outlet

What do you do on your days off that may you happy?  If you don’t have a stress-reliving outlet, then its time to find one.

Is your inner artist craving a creative outlet, such as painting, designing or even scrap booking? Does a day on the golf course  or an afternoon on the tennis court bring you joy?  Maybe you have been so busy that you have forgotten how wonderfully distracting in can be do become enveloped into an activity that you love do do.

Research has shown that finding a joyful outlet can enhance your mood, increase energy, lower stress levels, and even make your immune system stronger. Find out what makes you happy outside of the nursing profession.

7. Consider new options

Do don’t have to stay in the same place throuhgout your entire career.  If fact, one of the greatest benifits to becoming a nurse is that there are so many types of nursing careers out there.

Have an honest discussion with yourself about your career.   Are you a med/surg nurse who has always dreamed of working in the ICU?  Or maybe you are an ER nurse with an interest in becoming a flight nurse.  A change in specialty might be exactly what you need to tackle your compassion fatigue as a nurse.

On another note, nurses don’t have to work in a hospital.   Perhaps working in a dermatology office or as a home healthcare nurse would be a better fit . There are so many nursing careers to choose from.   The sky is the limit.  Go find your passion!

Additional recommended reading:

8 Jobs For Nurses Who Don’t Want To Be Nurses Anymore

8 Jobs For Nurses Who Don’t Want To Be Nurses Anymore

(This post may contain affiliate links.   Read our disclosure page for more information.)

Once a nurse, always a nurse.  But what if you have come to the conclusion that you don’t actually want to work as a nurse anymore?

Even though you don’t want to practice nursing at the bedside anymore, it doesn’t mean that you lose the RN title after your name.

After all, you struggled through nursing school.  You worked your tail off as a new grad to learn challenging nursing skills along-side your peers.

In fact, you may have already spent many years in the profession, working on several different units, while adding new specialties and certifications to your resume along the way.

Most importantly, you have helped humankind and even saved lives.

But now you are starting to feel it’s time to move on.  And it really shouldn’t be a surprise  – nurses are burning out at a rate unparalleled to any other profession.

coll career alternatives for nurses

For me, it started after having my own children and realizing that I wanted more flexibility in my life that a traditional nursing career can’t offer me at this time.  In fact, I speak with mothers all the time who are looking for alternative ways to practice nursing so that they can be more present for their children at home…  and finally stop working 12 hour shifts!

My point is that you will always be an RN.   And the best part of being a nurse: your skills are highly transferable.  There are many different ways to practice nursing…   What will your next nursing pathway be?

I don’t want to be a nurse anymore…   What else can I do?

There was one aspect of the nursing profession that really appealed to me when I was considering becoming a nurse as a second career: flexibility.  There are so many pathways that nurses can take outside of the hospital setting.  Now it’s time to take those critical thinking skills and apply them in a new direction!

After all, nurses are lifelong learners by nature.  Taking on a new job away from the bedside can be an exciting adventure.  Where will you end up next?  Have you ever considered looking for a way to use your nursing degree working for a corporation, or as a nurse entrepreneur?

If the answer is YES then you may be ready to embark upon a new nursing career journey.  It is time to open up you mind to new nursing jobs away from the bedside.

8 Awesome Nursing Jobs Away From The Bedside

#1.  Medical Device Sales Representative

Sales person shaking hands with doctor

Alternative nurse job #1: medical device salesperson

Medical device sales representatives are sales experts who sell medical equipment to hospitals, surgery centers or physician offices.  Their job is to detail unique features and benefits of their products and work as a liaison between the device company and the client.

Many medical device sales representatives spend time in hospital operating rooms teaching physicians and staff how to use their company’s products.  However, there are also many sales reps who sell products directly to hospital units as well.

If you have an outgoing personality, a bulldog attitude and enjoy meeting hospital and office staff around your city, this may be a great fit for you!  It’s a lot of hard work- but medical device reps often make a high salary to match the stress.

In addition, many medical device companies hire “clinical nurse specialists” to work as educators for specific products.  CNS’s travel to business accounts and do in-services.  That is a great way to get your foot in the door as a medical device sales representative when you have a great clinical background as a nurse.

How to get a job in medical device sales:

  • MedReps
  • Work with a medical device headhunter
  • Network on Linkedin
  • Polish up your resume and upload online to jobs boards

#2.  Pharmaceutical Sales Representative

Pharmaceutical Sales Professional

Alternative nurse job #2: pharmaceutical sales representative

Pharmaceutical sales is very similar to medical device sales, however, pharmaceutical reps sell drugs, not devices.  (Although their are some companies who have reps that sell both).  Pharma reps provide drug information and product samples to physicians. Also, pharmaceutical reps monitor prescribing patterns of physicians within a specific geographical territory.

Pharma reps go door-to-door and meet physicians who work in specialties that may be interested in prescribing their products.  For example, a drug rep who sells a medication for atrial fibrillation would focus on selling drugs to cardiologists.

To be successful in pharmaceutical sales (much like medical device sales), you need to have a go-get-em’ attitude and an outgoing personality.  There is a lot of talking involved in pharmaceutical sales for things such as educational events, in services, and in-servicing to clients.

How to get a job in pharmaceutical sales:

  • MedReps
  • Work with a pharmaceutical headhunter
  • Network on Linkedin
  • Polish up your resume and upload online

#3.  Nurse Freelance Writer

freelance writer typing on laptop at home

Alternative nurse jobs #3: nurse freelance writer

Do you enjoy writing?  Nurse freelance writers write about healthcare topics and work on a self-employed basis.  Most nurse freelance writers are independent business owners who manage their work right out of their own homes.

As a freelancer, your clients hire you to write articles and you are generally paid per writing assignment or per a group of writing assignments.  Nurse freelance writers often have clients with recurring projects that they pay for on a per diem basis.

There are many different types of nurse freelance writing, depending on what you want to do, such as:

  • Ghost writer-  write under a client’s name (not your name) for blog posts, eBooks, or webpages.
  • Freelance blogger-  write blog posts for other healthcare bloggers
  • Content writer-  write for various websites and online magazines

How to be a nurse freelance writer:

  • The Savvy Scribe Podcast:  One way to get started as a beginner nurse freelance writer is to learn from other nurses who have made the transition.  Listening in to the Savvy Scribe podcast with Janine Kelback and Carol Bush is a great way to start learning how to be a nurse freelance writer when you already have a busy schedule.

#4.  Nurse Blogger

Jobs for nurses who don't want to be nurses anymore: Nurse blogger

Alternative nurse job #4: nurse blogger

Nurse bloggers generally create and manage a website where they have a specific nursing niche they write about.  For example, I am a nurse mom blogger who writes about working mom & nurse lifestyle topics – things I have directly dealt with myself as a working mother.  Over time you can grow and audience that is interested in the topics you like to write about.

Advertising, affiliate links and creating & selling a products are a few of the ways that bloggers make money.  In general, bloggers have to start their work as a side hustle for many months or years before they start making an income.  It’s more of a long game – you can start it as a side hustle, or work as a per-diem nurse until you get things moving along.

How to be a nurse blogger:

Health Media Academy:  Health Media Academy is a company managed by two very experienced nurse influencers:  Brittany Wilson and Kati Kleber.  They help nurse harness the power of social media, blogging, and other methods of online influence to create an audience of your own as a nurse blogger.

In addition to influencing positive change on the healthcare blogging front, Health Media Academy aims to promote wealth-building strategies and business-focus for healthcare influencers all while maintaining the dignity and integrity of their profession.  Check out their Nurse Blogger 101 course!

#5.  Legal Nurse Consultant

legal nurse consultant at work

Alternative nurse job #5: legal nurse consultant

Legal nurse consulting is a great job for nurses who don’t want to be nurses anymore – but still want to utilize the knowledge they have learned while working in patient care.

Legal nurse consultants analyse and evaluate the facts and testimony in legal cases as it relates to the delivery of nursing and other healthcare services.  Often times, LNC’s  analyse cases involving injuries and other medical legal situations.  These nurse experts must have strong experience and education in the healthcare setting, an act as expert witnesses in legal cases.

LNC’s clinically analyse and evaluate facts and testimony related to the delivery of nursing and other healthcare services and outcomes.  They also analyse and review the nature and cause of injuries in legal cases.

Many LNC’s are entrepreneurs and start their own legal nurse consulting businesses.  Which means you should have a self-starter attitude and be willing to hustle to get your business up and running.

Legal nurse consultants’ responsibilities vary depending on the employer and often include:

  • Attending medical reviews by independent medical exams
  • Testifying in court as an expert witness
  • Reviewing cases to identify strengths and weaknesses
  • Preparing chronologies or timelines for medical records
  • Working with lawyers to plan healthcare litigation
  • Drafting legal documents in medical cases under the guidance of an attorney
  • Educating attorneys and paralegals about healthcare issues, and nurses as it relates to legal situations

And although certification isn’t necessarily a requirement for working as a legal nurse consultant, many employers prefer to work with nurses who hold a certification from the American Legal Nurse Consultant Certification Board (ALNCC).

#6.  Lactation Consultant

Mother with newborn baby

Alternative nurse job #6: lactation consultant

If you believe that breastfeeding is an important start to babies life and want to help develop the bond between mothers and babies, then becoming a lactation consultant might be a wonderful next career step for you!  Especially if you have had your own experiences with breastfeeding and want to share both your clinical knowledge and personal experience as a breastfeeding mother.  Breastfeeding can be a highly personal and emotional experience – helping a new baby get a positive start in life could be a very fulfilling and exciting career.

What a lactation consultant does:

  • Helps mom and baby develop a healthy bond
  • Shows mom what a good latch looks like
  • Helps position the baby correctly for feeding
  • Performs weigh checks with the baby to assess sufficient intake
  • Offers emotional support to breastfeeding mothers

Lactation consultants work can work in hospitals, for private businesses, and even for themselves.  They do both  private appointments and classes for larger groups.

#7.  Nurse Health Coach

women working out

Alternative nurse job #7: nurse health coach

Nurse health coaches have the ability to actualize their patient’s healthcare goals outside of the hospital setting by helping them develop the healthiest version of themselves.  By teaching patients how to take optimal care of themselves and holding them accountable, the nurse health coach can inspire clients to achieve even greater results.

Nurse health coaches works with patients to provide guidance and resources to assist their patient in living a more healthy and balanced lifestyle.  In terms of nursing experience, nurse health coaches generally have many years of direct patient care in the hospital setting, and have the desire to have a more direct and positive health impact on their patient’s lives.

Many nurse health coaches are entrepreneurs who work in private practice, although some hospitals and doctors offices hire nurse health coaches as well.  According to some surveys, nurse coaches can earn similar or even more income than they do working in hospitals.

Nurse health coaches help their patients by working with them in the following ways:
  • Understanding their patients’s unique healthcare dynamics
  • Holding patients accountable for their pre-established goals
  • Assessing patients’s readiness for change
  • Identifying client opportunities and issues for improved health
  • Identifying and setting goals to achieve optimal health
  • Empowering patients to reach their goals

In addition, nurse health coaches can decrease healthcare spending by:

  • Helping insurance companies reduce the cost of disease management, and
  • Assisting patients to improve their overall health and well-being by decreasing the incidence of chronic illness and the healthcare costs associated with them

Resources to become a nurse health coach:

#8.  Nurse Recruiter

Nurse on the phone

Alternative nurse jobs #8: nurse recruiter

You don’t need to be a nurse to become a nurse recruiter, however, most employers prefer working with candidates with a nursing background.  In fact, experienced nurses may have more career opportunities in this field than those without prior nursing experience. This is because nurses already understand the qualities needed to be a successful nurse.

Some of the roles of nurse recruiters include: 

  • Marketing- It is the nurse recruiter’s job to find great nurse candidates to hire for the company.  This may include attending professional conferences, designing and implementing media advertising campaigns, attending job fairs, and developing relationships with student work advisers.
  • Interviewing – Screening candidates, setting up interviews and performing telephone interviews
  • Collaborating with departments to fill job vacancies quickly

How to be a nurse recruiter:

  • Apply for entry-level nurse recruiter positions. Employers list job openings through their websites and on Internet job boards. Increase your chances of getting an interview by applying for as many nurse recruiter positions as you can find.

Conclusion

There are other career opportunities out there for nurses who don’t want to be bedside nurses anymore.   The great news is that you have learned valuable career skills both in nursing school and while working as a nurse in patient care.

So, take these critical thinking and time management skills and abundant clinical knowledge that you have gained as a bedside nurse and apply it to a new endeavor.

Good luck!

Additional recommended reading: 

 

alternative nurse careers

The 2 Best Diet Plans For Nurses With A Hectic Schedule

The 2 Best Diet Plans For Nurses With A Hectic Schedule

*This post may contain affiliate links.  For more information please read our disclosure page.

Written by Adela Ellis, RN, BSN

In theory, dieting is an easy concept.  After all, it’s simply a process of eating less and exercising more to achieve a calorie deficit that allows us to reduce body fat, right?

Anyone who has dieted, however, will tell you just how challenging it is to stick to that seemingly simple plan and, for nurses, adhering to a diet on a hectic schedule can seem nearly impossible.

For nurses, finding the time for regular meals on alternating night and day shifts can be a hassle.

With 12-hour shifts, you get busy, end up exhausted, and eat whatever is available whenever there is a chance. This can be a reality that is seemingly impossible to overcome.

But it doesn’t have to be! When many of us think of dieting, we think of harsh, impossible to follow restrictions that are doomed to fail, leading to yo-yo dieting and repeated unsuccessful attempts.

So how do nurses lose weight and get proper nutrition to fuel even the most hectic schedule?

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to make radical changes to begin losing weight: You simply need to stick to a series of small ones. A healthy diet plan can teach you to reconsider how you eat, not only what you eat. The following diet plans can help nurses develop a new lifestyle while boosting metabolism, energy, and weight loss for overall well-being and a longer, happier, and healthier life.

#1.  Plant-Based Diet

There are many plant-based diets to choose from, and all emphasize consuming foods that are known for their heart-health benefits, including veggies, whole grains, fruits, legumes, nuts, and oils. Based on the consumption of foods that are found in Italy and Greece, such as fish and seafood, extra virgin olive oil and olives, vegetables, fruits, seeds, and nuts, the Mediterranean Diet is renowned as heart-healthy and waistline-friendly lifestyle, and is another healthy choice, though not entirely plant-based. It is one of several types of flexitarian diets you could try.

Plant-based diets are rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber and help to lower blood pressure and cholesterol.

They are also known for their ability to reduce the risk of diabetes and help an individual maintain a healthy weight. Diets that are based on consuming nutrient-rich plant-based foods are particularly suited to the hectic lifestyle of nurses because they are based on a relatively simple concept of eating that encourages lifelong healthy eating habits.

plant based diet - vegetables and tofu in a bowl

An example of a plant based diet meal.  Adopting a plant based diet offers a high nutritional benefit for nurses with a hectic schedule.

To follow a plant-based diet, adopt more plants, fruits, veggies, and healthy fats into your diet and lower your consumption or eliminate completely any animal foods, including red meat, cold cuts and processed meats, poultry, fish and seafood, and animal-based milks and cheeses. Look for plant-based milks and cheeses in your supermarket or health-food store.

When composing a plant-based meal, half of your plate should be covered in colorful fruits and a variety of veggies. The other half should be divided between healthy proteins, such as nuts and seeds  and beans and whole grains, including brown rice and whole grain bread. There are many plant-based protein products available in most supermarkets, and more on the way, so be on the lookout for them. Remember, the types of plant foods you choose matter. 

Plant-based diet tips:

Limit Avoid Choose instead
Butter Trans Fats Olive oil, canola oil, plant-milk-based butters
Animal-produced milk, Juice Soda Water, tea, plant-based milks like soy, oat, or almond
White rice, white bread Sugary bread Whole-wheat bread, whole-wheat pasta
All meats, animal milk cheese Bacon, cold cuts, processed meats Beans, nuts, seeds, nut cheeses, vegetable-based protein products

 

Meal Prep Tip: For an easy plant-based diet meal, try your hand at Vietnamese spring rolls with tofu. Traditional spring rolls are made of rice roll skins and filled with mint leaves, lettuce, prawns, rice noodles, strips of carrot and cucumber and accompanied with a peanut dipping sauce, but the above recipe substitutes crispy tofu for the prawns.

However, you can try any variation of veggies, lean vegetable-based proteins, whole grain rice, spices, and herbs for an easy make-ahead meal that is healthy, refreshing, and delicious and will have your favorite pair of scrubs fitting a little more comfortably.

Additional recommended reading: 

#2.  Carb Cycling

Carbohydrate cycling diet plans have been used in the bodybuilding world for years as an easy way to monitor carbohydrate intake to build muscle while shedding fat. The basic principle behind carb cycling involves altering your carbohydrate intake according to your needs that week, month, or year. This revolves around the concept that, when your body consumes a limited number of carbs, it uses the body’s stored fat as its fuel source, which can boost fat loss and revamp the metabolism.

carb cycling meal paln for nurses with a hectic schedule

Carb cycling can help nurses meet their nutritional goals and help with weight loss on a busy schedule

By strategically eating carbs according to when you need them, you can more efficiently use them rather than storing them on your body as fat.

Carb cycling is an excellent choice for nurses because, just like a professional weight trainer, your schedule and energy needs vary throughout the week. For “on days,” your body requires more carbs for energy and for “off days,” it requires less.

The beauty of carb cycling for nurses is that it is entirely customizable according to your schedule. For example, say you work three night shifts per week. Your meals for those three days should be high in healthy carbohydrates while your calories on the four remaining days should come from plant and other protein sources.

On high carb days, try to ensure you are getting about 60% of your calories from complex carbs. With carb cycling, it is important to remember that quality matters: high-carb does not equate to pizza and French fries. In fact, on low-carb days, it is particularly important to choose fiber-packed carbohydrate sources, as achieving adequate fiber consumption every day is still essential.

Carb Cycling:  High Carb Days

Avoid Choose instead
French fries Sweet potatoes
Sugary cereals Oatmeal
White rice, white bread Whole-wheat bread, whole-wheat pasta, quinoa
Soda drinks, sports drinks Fruits

 

Carb Cycling:  Low Carb Days

Avoid Choose instead
Fruits Lean proteins
Starchy vegetables, such as potatoes and corn Leafy greens, eggplant, tomatoes, broccoli, peppers, avocadoes
Trans fats Olive oil, nuts, seeds, fatty fishes

 

Meal Prep Tip: For an easy, high-carb breakfast in the morning, prepare some overnight oats in a mason jar containing oats, almond milk, cinnamon, flax seeds, honey, and apples.

Conversely, for low-carb breakfasts, make muffin pan egg omelettes that can be reheated in the morning containing eggs, peppers, shredded chicken, avocadoes, and a sprinkling of cheese.

Final thoughts

Don’t be afraid to change things up if your diet is not working for you. Part of finding a healthy and sustainable diet is finding the right mix of both habits and foods that contribute to your overall health and well-being, and that process is sure to involve trial and error. Developing a healthy lifestyle as a nurse may seem challenging, but it can be done. In a few months, your new diet will be so routine that you’ll only wonder why you didn’t start sooner.

Additional recommended reading:  

About the author:   Adela Ellis is a full-time nurse and part-time ambassador for Infinity Scrubs. Adela attended the University of Arizona and has been a travel nurse for the last 6 years. She enjoys working with different doctors, nurses, and patients from all over the country and blogging about her experiences. In her free time, she loves true-crime podcasts and cooking for friends and family. 

The 2 best diet plans for nurses with a busy schedule

10 Fun Holiday Nurse Mom Gifts

10 Fun Holiday Nurse Mom Gifts

*This post about gifts for nurse moms contains affiliate links.  You can find our disclosure page here.

Nurse moms are pretty incredible humans.

Being a nurse or a mom is hard work in and of itself.  Add the two together and you have one incredibly hard-working, compassionate, multitasking superhero with skills that can save lives.

This holiday season why not give gifts that recognize both talents?  The one that is raising children to be strong, capable adults and the one selflessly helping total strangers.  After all, there is a fair chance that many nurse moms are not being appreciated or recognized for the dedication and hard work they put in, day after day.

The motherhood/nurse combination is a challenging balance.    Next time you run into a nurse mom who looks a little tired, know there is a good chance she hasn’t slept in a week.  And give her a high-five.

We hope you enjoy you holiday season and spend lots of quality time with your loved ones!

10 Fun Holiday Gifts For Nurse Moms

The Ultimate List Of Fun Holiday Nurse Mom Gifts

1.  I’m a Mom and a Nurse Nothing Scares Me Pink Mug

2.  Keep Calm My Mom Is A Nurse Onesie 

3.  Keep Calm I’m A Nurse And A Mom Mug

4.  I’m A Nurse, What’s Your Superpower? 12 oz Wine Tumbler

Additional recommend reading:

5.  I’m A Mom And Nurse Nothing Scares Me

6.  My Mom Is A Nurse Dog T-Shirt

7.  Nurse Mom Boss Mug

8.  Wife Mom Nurse 16 oz Tumbler

9.  Wife, Mom, Nurse Retractable Badge Reel

10.  Nurse Mates Ultimate Nursing Bag For Women

Additional recommended reading:

 

9 Tips To Relieve Foot Pain For Nurses

9 Tips To Relieve Foot Pain For Nurses

(This post about nurse foot pain remedies may contain affiliate links.  You can find our disclosure page here.)

Written by Deborah Swanson from allheart.com

My feet hurt after work.  What should I do?

If I had a dollar for every time I hear a nurse say they have sore feet I would be rich!

Nurses need to be taking care of themselves now more than ever especially when it comes to foot care.  After all, as nurses working long 12+ hour days we often spend it standing and/or walking the entire time.

Unfortunately foot pain for nurses can become a chronic issue, and as much as we want to ignore it, it won’t go away on its own.  In fact, as a nurse who writes a lot about nurse self-care, nurse foot pain and sore foot remedies are on the top of the list!

Did you know that feet are made up of 28 bones and 30 joints (not to mention more than 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments)?

Our feet are very complex structures, yet they carry our entire body weight around.  It is no wonder foot pain is a common complaint among doctors, nurses and other medical professionals who spend long shifts on their feet!

If you’re a healthcare professional suffering from debilitating foot pain, there are steps you can take to help prevent or relieve the hurt.  Read on for nine top tips to treat foot pain for nurses.

#1.  Choose the right shoe size

measuring foot size and foot

Preventing foot pain as a nurse starts with wearing the correct size nursing shoe.

If you’re having foot pain as a nurse or other healthcare professional, the first step is to make sure that you’re not wearing the wrong size shoes.

To measure your feet, put on socks and stand on a flat ruler.  Measure the length of both feet and then compare it to the brand’s measurement chart.

It’s important to do this for each individual shoe brand you’re shopping for since sizes can differ. If you’re checking the size of your existing shoe, compare it to the measurement you made.

Also remember that some shoes stretch out over time, so if you’ve had your shoes for a while, they might be larger than their original size indicates.

#2.  Invest in comfortable shoes

Nurses rack up hundreds of miles in their shoes, which is why it’s essential to buy comfortable shoes that give your feet the support they need.  In fact, investing in a high quality, sturdy nursing shoe might be the best remedy for sore foot pain due to being a nurse who is on their feet for up to 12 hours a shift.

While it may be tempting to go for the softest, spongiest sole, you actually need a shoe with a bit of firmness and arch support to encourage the proper form. The sole should be thick and flexible enough that it will provide shock absorption as you accumulate steps.

#3.  Buy shoes made for walking and standing

Running shoes may be very comfortable for running, but they won’t give you the support you need during a 12-hour day of walking and standing. Your feet (and therefore your shoes) strike the ground very differently while running vs. walking and standing, so the two types of shoes are constructed completely differently.

That’s why we recommend nursing shoes, which are specifically designed for maximum standing and walking support. If you absolutely must wear athletic shoes, look for walking or hiking shoes rather than running ones.

#4.  Consider orthotic inserts

shoe inserts next to bare feet

Relieving foot pain as a nurse might require orthotic inserts.

Shoe inserts promote proper walking and standing posture and help accommodate various foot problems, including corns and bunions. Inserts can also be used to provide additional arch support or shock absorption if the factory-made sole isn’t up to par.

Basic insoles can be purchased over-the-counter at pharmacies and online retailers, but you can also get custom inserts (called orthotics) molded to your feet if you have specific issues that you need to correct.

Tip:  If you think that you might need orthotics, make sure that whatever shoe you buy has removable inserts so you can replace them.

#5.  Wear compression socks

Gravity is your friend in many ways, but foot pain is not one of them.

Gravity pulls on blood, lymph and other fluids, slowing down their normal flow and encouraging them to pool in your lower body, which leads to swelling. This sluggish blood flow also means that your legs aren’t being replenished with nutrients as fast, which makes them feel tired and achy.

Compression socks provide just the right amount of pressure to keep your blood and lymph flowing to help prevent swelling and fend off lower body achiness.

#6.  Elevate your feet after a shift

You can also take steps to reduce swelling after a shift.

Lie flat on a bed or couch, raise your legs above the level of your heart and rest there for 15-20 minutes at the end of your day. This position will harness the power of gravity to drain the blood and lymph from your legs, encouraging it to flow back to your core instead.

If you struggle with a lot of foot swelling and pain, compression stockings–combined with leg elevation–could really make a significant difference for you.

#7.  Pamper your feet

women pampering her feet in water

A great nurse foot pain remedy after a 12 hour shift is to pamper your feet with a massage and soak them in warm water.

If you were looking for an excuse to spoil yourself, this is it.

A cold bath will help reduce swelling in your feet and calves, while a warm soak will loosen up stiff joints and help you move easier. Add some Epsom salts or essential oils to the water for added benefits and a nice smell.

After you soak, gently massage your feet with moisturizer while you check them for signs of calluses, bunions, injuries and anything else that could lead to foot pain.

#8.  Stretch and exercise your legs

Exercising on your days off can strengthen your feet and lower legs and help prevent pain on the days that you work.

Try calf raises, ankle rolls, toe presses and other similar exercises. Both cardiovascular and strength training activities will build your stamina more generally and make all of your body stronger, including your lower legs.

If your feet are stiff at the end of a shift, it can help to take a few minutes to stretch when you get home. This will lengthen the muscles after 12 hours of work and help keep them from cramping.

#9.  Replace your shoes often

Depending on how hard you are on your shoes and how far you walk each shift, you’ll need to replace your nursing shoes every three to six months. This may sound like a lot, but trust us, it’s worth it.

Wearing worn-out shoes increases your chance of developing both temporary and chronic foot problems. It’s much better to be proactive, buy a new pair of shoes and prevent the problems before they even start.

You only have one pair of feet, so take care of them!

In conclusion

I hope you enjoyed this post about relieving foot pain as a nurse or other healthcare professional who spends a lot of time standing and walking during the day.   Managing foot pain as a nurse or other medical professional is so important.

After all, debilitating foot pain could potentially compromise your ability to do your job and give the best quality patient care that you can.

Follow these nine steps to prevent and manage foot pain so you can take the next step forward in your career!

About The Author

Debbie Swanson, Real Caregivers Program at allheart.com

Deborah Swanson is a Coordinator for the Real Caregivers Program at allheart.com – a site dedicated to celebrating medical professionals and their journeys.  She keeps busy by interviewing caregivers and writing about them and loves gardening.