There are many types of home health aide positions out on the market today, such as scheduled daily shifts, night shifts, and 24-hour shifts. Of course, a 24-hour shift-type nurse has to have the availability and flexibility to do these shifts. They can be scheduled at a moment’s notice, and as a nurse, you need to be ready and able to work
It can be challenging for most and fulfilling; helping and taking care of a patient for 24 hours can be rough. As a nurse, these shifts are widespread and usually happen often, but how do you perform these shifts efficiently and safely?
How to Prepare for a 24 Hour Shift
Most people don’t know how home health nurses survive a 24-hour shift; well, let’s say it is not easy. There is a way to prepare and survive. There could be a lot that goes wrong, such as falling asleep. Here are a few tips to prepare yourself for a 24-hour shift.
- Snacks are your best friend. Be sure to bring snacks with you. Sometimes you won’t cook, so be sure to bring sacks to prepare for gaps in meals.
- Stay hydrated. Bring a jug of water; this will be your best friend, especially when you are frequently moving.
- Before the shift, be sure to get 8-hour rest during the day, so your body can adjust to working at night. Be sure the room is dark for a better result.
- Wear a watch; this will help when you are not near a clock and need to record when medications are given out or when meals are given.
- Allow your body to adjust to working at night. Be sure not to make the leap working at night when you are used to working 8-hour day shifts. It is not suitable for the body; you need to give yourself time to adjust.
- Personal business should only be taken care of when you are at your most alert and awake self.
- On your days off, please do not rely on sleeping pills; they are not suitable for you when adjusting to a new schedule.
- Don’t overdrink caffeine; of course, caffeine is usually a nurse’s best friend, but it can do more harm than good. Crashing during a shift is not good.
What is the Difference Between a Live-in Nurse and a 24 Hour Nurse?
This may confuse many people; isn’t a 24 hour home health aide0 just a live-in nurse? Well, not really. They both have their differences. One of the differences is how many nurses are on the case. As a live-in nurse, you are the only one on the job; a 24-hour nurse usually has a minimum of two nurses to allow days off for each nurse doing these long shifts. Also, there is a pay difference. As a live-in nurse, you are paid 24 hours; as a 24-hour nurse, each caregiver is paid between 8 to12 hours. Lastly, the sleeping schedule is different. Live-in nurses get 8 hours of sleep, and for 24-hour nurses, it is optional; it all depends on the nurse.
With all the differences, as a nurse looking to work with patients at home, there is a lot to consider. Here are a few pros and cons about both:
Pros of Live-in Nurses
It provides consistency for the elder; this is needed for patients who suffer from memory loss illnesses. When the patient sees the same person every day, they start to feel comfortable with that person.
Con for Live-in Nurses
There is a 4-hour break that needs to be given to each nurse during the day; it is optional to cover that time, but the elder can be independent if it is not covered.
Pros for 24 Hour Nurses
With two caregivers on a case means that a patient won’t be left alone. There will always be an overlap of coverage for that elder.
Cons for 24 Hour Nurses
24-hour nurses are billed at a higher rate than live-in nurses. Also, there is less consistency for the elder; usually, a few nurses are assigned to these cases to be difficult.
24-hour nurses can be difficult for nurses; there may not be many options hours-wise because there are multiple nurses on a case. Sometimes, if you are lucky enough, there will be only one other person assigned to the case so that you can receive more hours. If you are interested in these types of cases, check out TLC Home Care; they service the Vermont area and provide work for talented nurses looking to grow. Check them out!