So those two little words seem simple enough, don’t they? But from my experience and from my observations of many nurses this is something that we just aren’t doing. Or if people do have some shift recovery behaviours then they aren’t done properly or with intention.
I found some research on shift recovery by accident a few years ago. I had set myself a challenge to read 25 articles on nursing burnout/compassion fatigue for 6 months. I wanted to immerse myself in what I was going through and as an evidence-based loving nurse, I turned to the research. When I read this article, I felt something click in my brain. It felt like it was a concept I had been waiting to find and I knew I had a new very fine feather in my cap. However the research is old and sporadic but it is tried and tested by me. Experience and evidence- the perfect combination.
In a nutshell shift recovery is the actions you take to recover from one shift before starting another. It includes how work-related fatigue and mental loads are managed to prevent maladaptive behaviours on mental and physical health outcomes.
Do you do anything specific to get yourself mentally ready for a shift? Do you have any intentional post-shift activities to help ‘cleanse’ you of some of the potential burdens from work?
The keyword here is ‘intentional’. To me, the behaviour needs to be planned and specific to create that mental switch off to allow true recharge to occur.
In the coming weeks, we will look at what pre-shift recovery is, what post-shift recovery is and also how to implement these into your life.
So I hear you asking; why was it that no attention was paid to how we coped with nursing when we were not nursing?
This is the question of my nursing career, my friends. I have discovered that many skills (like shift recovery) just aren’t taught in our education so The Phoenix Protocol works to bridge that gap for nurses.
The Phoenix Protocol is a membership for nurses seeking guidance with life skills to cope on shift and off shift. The membership involves monthly masterclass videos, worksheets and much more.
Click here to join our mailing list for when the doors are opened again.