5 Tips for Surviving a Chaotic Nursing Shift!!

Author: James Reynolds, CEO BeneFIT Medical Apparel


You’re 11 hours into a shift. Understaffed because (insert unreliable co-worker’s name here) called in “sick”. You’re hungry, tired, your feet hurt, have zero patience left for anything, and to top it off you begin to develop a minor headache from all the chaos.

Sound all too familiar to anyone? If not, consider yourself lucky! If so, we are here to help you manage and deal with some of these trials and tribulations you may encounter during a CHAOTIC NURSING SHIFT!!

Some of you reading this may be thinking, “Man, this is pretty dramatic, my nursing job is easy!” while others are thinking, “This article is describing my shift every day!”. Easy or chaotic, these tips can be applied to any shift to give you a better overall experience and outlook on the important job that you perform.

So let’s jump right into then!

1.For Starters, Get your mind Right!: The importance of this cannot be stressed enough because it will dictate the success of everything else. If you wake up not wanting to go to work or with a bad attitude then you’re already setting yourself up for failure. Negativity is also contagious, meaning if you are on shift complaining to others it will pollute the entire work environment while also giving you the reputation of “that nurse no one wants to work with”. You know who I’m talking about don’t you? And if you don’t, you may already be that nurse!

Complaining never solves any problems or produces results…but an optimistic mindset can change the entire course of your shift, and well your life.

2.Plan Ahead: This tactic can easily save your life, and prevent your “Hangry” attitude. Before going into a shift, plan like you’re getting ready for the zombie apocalypse when it comes to food and supplies and you’ll be ready for anything. Whether it’s meal prepping, bringing a change of our athletic fit scrubs, bringing a gallon of Starbucks or any other necessitates you’ll need during your shift.  This can easily be accomplished the night before you’re scheduled, allowing you proper time for preparation rather than franticly throwing everything into a bag the morning-of because you decided to hit snooze on your phone 6 times too many!

3.Stay Positive: No matter how well you plan, there always be days where all hell breaks loose and crap hits the fan, or maybe onto your scrubs for that matter. When this happens it is IMPERITIVE for you to stay positive until the storm dies down. Some things are always going to be out of your control… so what’s the point of wasting precious time and energy worrying about them? So just go with the flow, keep a positive outlook on the situation and you will make it through your shift with a smile on your face and a not a belly full of your Patient’s Anti-Depression Meds. (Never take your Patient’s Meds…ever)

4.Know that you’re making a Difference: This is huge! You work in the Healthcare Industry. You’re a Healthcare Pro. You take care of others needs on a daily basis. You’re literally a real life Superhero. Most of the time you’re the only person patients come in contact with that day. They could be going through terrible circumstances but you have the power to positively impact their life not only physically but mentally as well. No matter what ANYONE tells you, NEVER forget how important your job is and the difference you make on a daily basis. Most jobs can’t make that claim, but you can, and you’ve earned that right.

5. Embrace the Suck: This is kind of self-explanatory, but when the shift sucks and there’s nothing you can do about it…just simply embrace it. The sooner you accept that a portion of your day is not going to be enjoyable, the sooner you can move on and successfully do your job to the fullest. Sure not every day will be like this but they will still happen just like they do in any other job. The struggle is real and there is no way around it. Welcome to life in general!


Take these tips and try and apply them to your nursing career or whatever healthcare field you may be in and see if they make a difference. Chances are if you truly commit to them consistently they will turn a shift from hell into an awesome opportunity to make a difference in other people’s lives…while providing fulfillment in your own.

As an Athletic Medical Apparel company it is our goal to provide uniforms that not only look and feel great but also provide maximum comfort and confidence in the workplace so you can perform at your highest level. We are firm believers in the importance of happy and healthy Medical Professionals which is why we strive to offer a product that can truly make a difference in the entire industry as a whole.

How do YOU BeneFIT?!