• RnMindset

Staying Motivated During 12 Hour Shifts

Updated: Nov 19, 2018



There are many different area's of work for nurses, but many nursing roles require 12 hour shifts. While this may be news to some people, 12 hour shifts are common in the nursing world. Staying motivated to be a good nurse throughout the entire 12 hours can be hard for any nurse. Here a few tips on how a nurse can be productive and motivated throughout the entire shift.


1. Use your energy wisely. Try to find the times where you have energy, and note the times where you want to drown yourself in coffee. People naturally have energy during different parts of the day. For example, morning people vs night owls. When you have energy, use this energy for the tasks that you have trouble with finishing. If you struggle with getting your charting done on time, try to find times to chart during your peak energy times.


2. Make a plan to improve your performance. There are many ways that everyone can improve their performance on the job. Being complacent and not having a plan for improvement will create a relaxing environment. This relaxing atmosphere may be fine when you are at home binge watching Netflix, but at work you owe it to yourself to continually improve your performance. Having a mindset of improvement will help you find ways to keep yourself busy and productive.




3. Be prepared. This may seem redundant, but 12 hour shifts really do make long days. For some parents, by the time they leave the house in the morning their kids are still in bed, and by the time they come home from work their kids are winding down for bed. If you are not prepared for your long day or night at work, you will not be able to be focused, and you will be watching the clock to get back to what you left at home. Being prepared for a 12 hour shift is something that needs to happen the day before to completely get ready for your long day. If you have everything you need for work, and you are completely focused on your task at hand without any disruptions from unfinished business left at home, you should be able to go through your shift smoothly.


4. Talk with your patients. This is a habit that will help any nurse. Not only will talking with your patients help your job performance reviews, you will know your patient better. You will be able to have a better understanding of how to help your patient. If you have a patient that you are not able to talk with, talk with the patients family. Remember to always be professional, and to keep a professional boundary between you and your patients, but be yourself and be friendly. Nurses are being pulled away from patients in our American health care system, that hospitalized patients are seeing nurses less and less. You will stand out from other nurses when you take some time, and really get to know your patients. Your patients will also remember you better, and will have a personal connection with you before complaining to management about every box of kleenex you didn't bring them. Hopefully your patients will be able to tell management your name, and how great a nurse you are.


The 4 tips to get through the 12 hour shift.

1. Use energy wisely.

2. Make a plan to improve your performance.

3. Be prepared.

4. Talk with your patient's.

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