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‘I don’t have the energy to get through a shift’

  • 4 Comments

Can you advise this student nurse?

“I’m six months into my training and finding it really hard to get through a full shift on placement. I just get so exhausted. I come in full of energy but as soon as I’ve taken a break I just start to feel drained.

“How can I keep my energy levels up? More sleep isn’t really an option!”

- Sarah

Please use the comments section below to share your advice

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  • 4 Comments

Readers' comments (4)

  • Porridge, easy to make and it just goes and goes and goes

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  • You'll probably have done all this but it might be worth getting routine bloods done...Vitamin D, low ferritin (even if not low enough to have resulted in anaemia), low sodium, etc - can all cause fatigue and low energy. Are you drinking enough water? - dehydration is so common in nurses and HCP's and causes fatigue as the day progresses.. But long nursing shifts can still be tough to get through even if no other concrete factors are found - my own experience is the same so far and I'm hoping it will get more manageable. I've lost weight which hasn't helped, with being active physically and mentally - and too exhausted to eat well when I get home. Yeah - so I don't have any answers really - but at least there are some things to try and exclude. Addressing my Vit D deficiency/low ferritin have definitely helped. As does porridge! : ) Take care.

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  • Speak to your GP and occupational health at uni , they will have some suggestions to help

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  • Get used to it! Sounds harsh but you will, eventually. It's a shock to the system to begin with but you will get used to operating at new levels of tired. You'll adjust. Well times caffeine and decent, well spaced meals. I have a banana before my shift, porridge during a short morning break (if I can give you only one tip it's this, fills you up until late in the day so if you don't get your lunch break until late, no problem), and a decent lunch with good quality protein and some low GI carbs. I try to fuel my body like an athlete, after all, what we put it through during long shifts is pretty gruelling so it needs high performance fuel! And caffeine- never underestimate the power! I like matcha green tea as well as coffee, leave those energy drinks well alone!

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