Greetings and welcome to the Winter Edition of the Nurse & Midwife Support newsletter!
This edition is dedicated to supporting you to thrive while doing shift work. We’ve got useful tips to help you navigate the challenges that shift work can present. Registered Nurse Amy Benn, Registered Midwife Celeste Pinney and Registered Nurse/Midwife Helen Pentecost join us to share the self-care routines that have helped them take control of their lives as shift-workers.
Many nurses and midwives do shift work. Some do it for their entire careers. For some it is a natural fit for others it is a means to an end. My sister, also a nurse, chose to do night shift for many years as it supported her family life. Some struggle to find the right balance with career and life outside work commitments. Helen’s story provides useful tips for nurses and midwives with child care responsibilities.
Recently I’ve met lots of nursing and midwifery students and graduates who are struggling to get the shift work recipe right. They feel stressed about stepping into this unknown territory and aren’t sure what to throw into the mix. My advice is: ease into it. We aren’t born knowing how to manage shift work. It can be a complex set of ingredients that enable us to get the recipe right. Unlike making the perfect cake, the recipe may change over time.
Nurses and midwives contact us seeking information, resources and support to manage the complexities that go with shift work. The issues include getting enough sleep, meal planning, stress, work-life balance, fitting in exercise and staying socially connected.
I was a shift worker for many years and wished I had the manual for how to live a balanced life alongside my shifts. Much of what I learned about thriving while doing shift-work resulted from trial and error. I never felt as though I got enough sleep. I finally worked out my shift work routine when I landed a job with regular hours! I always felt like I should share my ‘manual’ with other nurses and midwives but realised what worked for me may not work for everyone — because we all have our own lives with our own complex needs and priorities!
This edition of the newsletter provides a toolbox of shift work strategies. We encourage you to choose those you think will work for you. Develop your own shift work self-care plan, write it down and check in with it now and then to make sure it continues to serve you.
If you want a hand to work through your shift work plan call Nurse & Midwife Support. Our nurses and midwives have all done shift work and are available 24/7 to talk. We don’t just want you to survive while working shift work we want you to thrive. And we believe you can.
Listen to our podcast with the inspirational Amy Benn, Registered Nurse and Director of Wholeheart Magazine, dedicated to supporting the well-being of nurses and midwives.
If you have developed the perfect recipe that supports you to thrive while doing shift work drop me a line: firstname.lastname@example.org
Whether warm, cold or cool enjoy the winter in whatever part of Australia you live. It is my favourite time of the year!
Mark Aitken RN
Stakeholder Engagement Manager
Nurse & Midwife Support