Handling 12-Hour Overnight Shifts - Pioneer Pacific College

Handling 12-Hour Overnight Shifts

8 October 2018 By Kate

You’ve probably heard that it’s tough to work night shifts. While this is true on some levels, the night shift also has its rewards and benefits in the medical field. Night shift medical jobs are currently in high demand. Medical facilities are offering perks such as flexible hours, higher pay, and other benefits to fill the positions.

If are you interested in finding out more about a rewarding career in the medical field, then contact Pioneer Pacific College. We can discuss educational opportunities, as well go over what you can expect in your chosen profession. To find out more about PPC, call us today at 866-772-4636.

Read below to learn how to navigate overnight 12-hour shifts successfully.

Get Plenty of Rest

The night shift is no different from working the day shift. You need seven to nine hours every 24-hour period to give your best performance during your shift. To get the most sleep possible, we recommend the following:


  • Avoid caffeine four hours before bedtime
  • Create a dark room during the daytime by using thick, dark curtains to block out the sun.
  • Use earplugs and a face-mask to dull your senses.
  • Shut off all electronic devices including your computer, TV, and radio.
  • Avoid taking any sleeping pills, prescription drugs with stimulants, or alcohol before sleep.


Without proper sleep, you will find that performing your job becomes more difficult as you lose energy during your shift.

Maintain a Consistent Schedule ‘Round the Clock

At first, working the night shift will mess up your body’s wake/sleep schedule. You can condition your body, however, to get used to the new schedule. The best way to achieve this is to establish a routine and stick with it.

Other than getting enough sleep, your schedule is entirely up to you and our body chemistry. Just make sure that your schedule does not affect your health or physical stamina. Avoid staying awake for 12 hours before going into work. Also, avoid staying up as long as you can to take advantage of your days off. You will be more productive during the night shift if you get to sleep on your days off.

Treat the Night Shift Like the Day Shift

Other than the hours you work, the night shift is no different from the day shift. You are performing the same duties in the same environment with the same type of coworkers. Therefore, how you treat the night shift and the day shift should be the same. What does this mean?

  • Perform all of your duties to the best ability.
  • Finish all work on time. Take on additional work if you complete your tasks.
  • Be prepared for the sudden emergencies or hectic schedules that can occur instantly.
  • Treat all co-workers and patients with dignity and respect.
  • Be ready for staffing issues, difficult patients, or ER traumas.
  • Know whom to contact during unexpected issues.
  • Take your breaks. Eat well, stay hydrated, and take a nap if possible.

Stay Physically Active on the Job

 It is essential to lead an active lifestyle whether you are at work or home. If you sit on the couch or sleep in bed on your days off, you will have less energy when you come back to work.

Constant movement will keep your energize, help you stay alert, and prevent you from gaining weight. Moving around will also help you maintain high endurance and keep you in a positive frame of mind. If you have access to a fitness center, try to establish a weekly workout.

Medical Classes Available Today!

If you want to launch your career in the medical field, Pacific Pioneer College provides exceptional career opportunities in a range of areas. We can prepare you to enter your job with the knowledge and skill necessary for your success.

To find out more about the classes we offer or how to sign up, call us at 866-772-4636, or you can message us on our contact page.


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