The Effective Nurse Knows How To Stay Awake.

The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) in the United States indicated that studies made show a decreasing rate in people’s length of sleep over the years. In 1910 for example, most people slept for nine (9) hours, while in 2002 it was only 6.9 hours (during days of work). The digital age could be a culprit too as the internet poses as an added activity before sleep that keeps people unnecessarily awake longer, only to feel deprived of sleep the next day (or night) and struggling to know how to stay awake at work.

The vital role of a nurse cannot be overemphasized as lives can be at stake. Their generic role is to provide healthcare to all kinds of people. But within that framework, is a whole lot more involving decision-making, health management, effective communication, education, advocacy, caregiving, and others. Perhaps more than other careers, the above tasks are better perfomed under reasonably ideal circumstances – that is with the nurse in good health and having had appropriate rest. This is because sleep deprivation and fatigue as experienced while on the job caring for others can be fatal for the patients. The solution that needs to be found is how to stay awake in the course of executing these duties.

Although lack of sleep and tiredness are different from one another, they still are used together because they have the same effect on people experiencing them. Irritability, mood alterations, lack of coordination with psychomotor functions, memory gaps, slow reaction time, and a whole lot more are dangerous behavioral traits that an individual who lacks sleep and/or is tired has. Imagine how these affects patients and nurses! How to stay awake is becoming an urgent problem, indeed.

On a warm summer Tuesday night in Freemont, San Francisco, Rosie trudged along Sundale Drive towards Freemont Hospital. She had downed some alchohol from her bestfriend’s party which she couldn’t pass up. She was already thinking of how to stay awake throughout her night shift as she was already feeling just a bit drowsy. Her co-worker and cousin Maya had earlier in the day driven on Fremont Blvd. from Stevenson Blvd. for the day shift, but they were excited to exchange notes about their boyfriends at breaktimes as all four (4) had gone out on double dates and were quite close. After all, Maya would be working double shifts.

You might think Rosie’s demeanor is worse on account of the alchohol intake, but did you know that two (2) to three (3) alchohol drinks amount to only 0.1% alchohil in the blood? And it just about has the same effect as that of someone who has had no sleep for twenty-four (24) hours! Rotating shifts is a thing that’s becoming a problem because it’s usually done by working two (2) shifts, at least at the onset. If it is a situation that can’t be helped, then at least look for valid ways on how to stay awake (and alert) on the job.