Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    7
    ReputationRep:
    Hello

    I am currently struggling with maintaining personal goals while working a shift pattern. I 'm a full time nursing student and find that each time I go on placement my personal goals of going to the gym and running are much more difficult to maintain compared to when I am at uni. I end up going off track and don't have the energy to go and exercise. I have tried but never feel the energy to give it 100% and the quality of my workouts is not as good. Trying to maintain an adequate and healthy diet is also challenging.
    Even though I sometimes have 4 days off per week it feels like I spend that time recovering from those shifts, with night shifts thrown in to the mix it makes it all the more difficult as these leave me feeling even more tired. Are there healthcare professionals out there or others who work 12.5 hour day & night shifts who succeed in having a decent gym/exercise routine as well? I'd love to get some advice from you!

    Prior to placement I exercised 5 days per week but I no longer achieve this.
    Offline

    5
    ReputationRep:
    Sleep is essential. If you're not getting enough sleep, it will be exceedingly hard to have a 'decent gym/exercise routine'.
    Sounds like you are a little bit burnt out from the shifts you're doing. Switching from nights and days and back again thrown in the mix will not help either.
    Are you aware of how much exercise you are doing just by working?
    I know that most of my 12.5 hour shifts I clock up at least 15,000 steps.
    Try to learn your energy output and caloric intake and make sure things are balanced.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    7
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by MarkAdHoc)
    Sleep is essential. If you're not getting enough sleep, it will be exceedingly hard to have a 'decent gym/exercise routine'.
    Sounds like you are a little bit burnt out from the shifts you're doing. Switching from nights and days and back again thrown in the mix will not help either.
    Are you aware of how much exercise you are doing just by working?
    I know that most of my 12.5 hour shifts I clock up at least 15,000 steps.
    Try to learn your energy output and caloric intake and make sure things are balanced.

    Yes, I am aware of the amount of exercise I do while at work but this is not the same as going to the gym or for a run. These are hobbies I enjoy but am currently failing to maintain alongside placement. I wouldn't consider going to the gym before/after a 12.5hr shift but in general it is a challenge. As for eating well, 2 breaks in 12.5hr shift is another challenge but I guess it is possible. Thanks.
    Offline

    5
    ReputationRep:
    If you've not got the time to eat well whilst on shift, try to make sure to drink a lot of water.
    You can still eat well before and after your shift.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    Hi, I'm a male student nurse just starting this year and this is something I am worrying about too before I start placement as i'm aware you have to study a lot on top of working full time. I'm very much into health and fitness and get anxious if I can't do my workout routines regularly or feel unhealthy.

    However, in my last job i regularly worked 12-15 hour shifts (in a pub) with only a break of 20 minutes and found ways to manage this. What really helped for me was simply planning and preparation, by that I mean I would literally write in a diary what days I was going to workout, for how long and aim to do this AT LEAST and i mean bare minimum 2 times a week. Even just 2 hours a week of intense gym strength training would keep me satisfied that I was staying in shape. The harder part was the food preparation, on my days off I would make healthy meals in plastic tubs with high protein (chicken beef salmon) and veg (broccoli kale leek spinach etc), healthy carbs (wholegrain pasta, new potatoes, brown rice) and take these to work with me. I aimed to eat one of these meals on my break and if I was lucky pick at another one throughout the day. Its definitely harder to maintain your diet when working but anything with high protein you can eat quickly will come in handy. I always drink protein shakes when I workout too, not so much at work but you could do this as some actually taste pretty good.

    The number one challenge above all this was rejecting the drinking culture/social life that came with working at my local pub and now comes with uni life too. It was so easy for me to go out with friends and drink after shifts which massively ruined my gym routine and makes me feel weak and unhealthy very quickly. Obviously this is much more avoidable because nurses dont go out and get pissed after every shift! (At least i think so). But my advice is to just go straight home after your shift and sleep early and get up early, keep busy and active, dont waste time watching tv and get a diary! The more you fit in routined and strict time to exercise also,the less tired you will feel after long shifts because you will be fitter. I got so used to working ridiculous hours that it actually gave me a weird sort of buzz to push myself further. They are horrendous at first but you get used to it eventually. You can have nights out and get drunk but again I think its best to plan these because then youll look forward to them and enjoy them more. This is all easier said than done but planning and preparation really are key and once you stick to it you can really begin to appreciate the benefits that come with it.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    7
    ReputationRep:
    Hi dougyb95

    Thanks for your reply. Nice to know someone else out there is on the same page as I am. You are right about being organised and it is definitely key to being successful with this. In a previous life I was much more organised and managed things a hell of a lot easier. It just completely fell apart when I started placement and I can see a lot of nurses who put themselves through bad lifestyle choices all because of the nature of the job. We as nurses need to take better care of ourselves. Good luck with your first placement, I'd be interested to know how you find it and how your food & gym routine work out.
    • Offline

      20
      is this reality for future student nurses
      • Thread Starter
      Offline

      7
      ReputationRep:
      (Original post by Blackstarr)
      is this reality for future student nurses
      Hi Blackstarr

      Are you a prospective student applying to study nursing? If so then your future may potentially sound a little like what I described. But this is just my view and not everybody may feel like this.I would describe myself as very health conscious and really enjoy keeping fit and eating frequently and healthily, for me it is a priority and so I find the nursing lifestyle disrupts this. Nursing and many other healthcare professions are very challenging roles. Nursing is not a 9-5 job (well it can be if you choose outpatients for example) but by and large nursing care is 24/7 and this means working both day and night shifts, 12.5/13 hours long. Of course this has implications on your life outside of work, some people like this type of shift patter, others not as much. Nursing can be a very fulfilling career, my only advice wold be to get as much experience as a HCA to give you a better understanding of what it may be like and work those long days and nights and see if it is something you enjoy or not. You may love it but you won't know until you try. Better to try now as a HCA before forking out 9k/year for your nurse training.
      • Offline

        20
        (Original post by rescueme)
        Hi Blackstarr

        Are you a prospective student applying to study nursing? If so then your future may potentially sound a little like what I described. But this is just my view and not everybody may feel like this.I would describe myself as very health conscious and really enjoy keeping fit and eating frequently and healthily, for me it is a priority and so I find the nursing lifestyle disrupts this. Nursing and many other healthcare professions are very challenging roles. Nursing is not a 9-5 job (well it can be if you choose outpatients for example) but by and large nursing care is 24/7 and this means working both day and night shifts, 12.5/13 hours long. Of course this has implications on your life outside of work, some people like this type of shift patter, others not as much. Nursing can be a very fulfilling career, my only advice wold be to get as much experience as a HCA to give you a better understanding of what it may be like and work those long days and nights and see if it is something you enjoy or not. You may love it but you won't know until you try. Better to try now as a HCA before forking out 9k/year for your nurse training.
        I am actually a domiciliary care assistant and yeah, i sort of have an understanding because sometimes there are not enough staff so i have to cover, other times i have to get to a clients house at 7:30 am and get back home late.

        The one thing that bothers me about nursing which you mentioned is the hours. The fact that you have to be up and about 24/7 for 12 hours including night shits and weekends etc. I feel like the above is my only turn off.
       
       
       
      Reply
      Submit reply
      TSR Support Team

      We have a brilliant team of more than 60 Support Team members looking after discussions on The Student Room, helping to make it a fun, safe and useful place to hang out.

      Updated: November 10, 2017
    • See more of what you like on The Student Room

      You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

    • Poll
      Did TEF Bronze Award affect your UCAS choices?
    • See more of what you like on The Student Room

      You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

    • The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

      Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

      Quick reply
      Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.