Tips on How to Stay Energized During Long Shifts

There are many reasons why doctors may have to work long shifts. The hospital may be short-staffed, or perhaps you are a new doctor and have to work extra hours to gain experience.

Whatever the reason, it is important to know how to stay energized during long shifts. Here are some tips to help you with that.

Plan Ahead

Consider what you’ll need to get through a long and busy shift, and prepare accordingly. Bring snacks or order them in advance so you have something healthy to munch on when your energy starts fading.

This is not specifically relevant to staying energized during long shifts as a doctor. However, doing that has a number of benefits that will help you start your day off right.

Exercise Often

Exercise is a great way to keep your energy up during a shift. It also helps you manage stress and improve your mood, making it easier to deal with difficult situations.

When you exercise, your body releases hormones that work to keep you active throughout the day, which is the main goal here.

Eat Healthy Snacks

You need energy throughout your shift, especially if you go without lunch because of long hours or being busy in the ER or other hospital areas.

For instance, eating an apple with some peanut butter can give you sugar and protein in one tasty snack so you may opt for that instead of a bag of fries.

Drink Water

When you’re running around from room to room, taking patient histories, and answering questions from family members, the last thing you want to do is slump over a table with your head down and snore away.

Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout your shift. Bring a bottle with you and refill it regularly. Sip on it throughout the day so you’re never caught off guard when someone asks you a question or when an emergency patient comes through the ER doors.

Take Breaks

Another way to stay alert is by keeping active throughout the day. Get up from your chair every hour, walk around the hospital, or go outside for fresh air and sunlight.

Taking breaks like this can help you fight fatigue because it helps keep your blood flowing and oxygen flowing through your body.

Drink Coffee

Caffeine, in moderation, can be part of a strategy for many health practitioners to stay alert during long shifts.

Caffeine can temporarily improve focus and alertness, which is beneficial for managing energy during long shifts. It also increases alertness so you can work more efficiently and for longer periods of time without feeling tired.

As such, a cup or two throughout the day won’t hurt.

Chew Sugarless Gum

Chewing gum keeps your mouth busy and prevents you from focusing on your tiredness or getting bored with uninteresting tasks like charting or data entry.

Chewing sugarless gum can help keep you alert by promoting slight physical activity, but it is not specifically known to significantly increase blood flow to the brain.

Get Enough Sleep

This statement is a general fact about sleep but doesn’t directly offer a solution for doctors to manage sleep during long shifts.

The effects of chronic sleep deprivation are widespread, but perhaps one of the most detrimental elements is how it can affect your ability to perform as a medical professional.

Turn Up the Music

Yes, this sounds outlandish but listening to music can help distract you from the fact that you’re tired. This statement is inappropriate and incorrect. Instead, consider using personal earphones to listen to music without disturbing others.

Better still, you can invest in a pair of quality earphones.


Many people feel drained after a long day at the office, but nothing is worse than dealing with sick patients or fulfilling patient requests and your energy is running low.

With the tips discussed here, you will have an easier time staying alert and attending to your patients.

See Also

Health Die for Doctors on Long Shifts

How to Deal With Rude Patients

What Do Patients Want from Their Doctors

What is a Resident Doctor?

Highest Paid Doctors

Best Books for Physicians

Mental Health Support for Doctors

How to Deal With Needle Phobic Patients

Current Version
January 31, 2022
Written By
Shubham Grover

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