Hi everyone! HAPPY 2020! ⚡️ Can you believe we are in a new decade?! I hope everyone had an amazing holiday being with family and loved ones!
It has been a HOT MINUTE since my last blog post. I’ve promised so many of you that this was coming soon but LIFE just happens so sending my deepest apologies for the delay. So many of you always ask me a bunch of nurse survival questions so I thought I would put together a quick FAQs post to give you the low down! Hope this helps!
QUICK UPDATE: I have been at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in center city since the Hahnemann layoffs. I have been transitioning well and just flat out happy to have a job (seriously makes you appreciate the little things once you go through something so traumatic!). I am very grateful to be on 7W now known as the Innovation Unit where we trial new technology before it goes hospital wide. The patient population is filled with mainly GYN ONC & General Medicine patients. I’ve always had a love for women’s health so I absolutely love the GYN ONC population and hope to one day fulfill my dreams of becoming a Labor & Delivery nurse. I lucked out with my unit because I have such amazing co-workers who have seriously welcomed me with open arms and made me immediately feel apart of the Jefferson family. 💙
*I will start by saying a healthy lifestyle takes a lot of planning and commitment. Everyone is different and any start IS a start. We all have room for improvement and growth when it comes to this! I am still working each day to live a balanced, healthy lifestyle!
*Disclaimers before preceding… these are things that I have found help ME! I just want to share because I always get so many questions. If what you are doing works, KEEP doing it! & share the wealth, I’m all ears! Ok .. now on with the fun stuff..
HEALTHY EATING 🥬🍌🥒🍎🍋🥦🥕
+ I work the “rotating shifts” which means sometimes I work days and sometimes I work nights. Therefore, I like to keep my body on a “normal eating” schedule EVEN when I work nights.
Ex: ☀️ DAY SHIFT is pretty self-explanatory… I eat breakfast usually before the shift or quickly before I hand out 9AM meds. Eat lunch around noon (we are very lucky to always have lunch coverage) before we round with the team and eat dinner when I come home from work. (Also very lucky and will come home to dinner already made by Aidan! He cooks 3 nights a week when I’m at work!) However, this isn’t the case for everyone so here are some suggestions to staying healthy on nights you aren’t getting home until 8-9pm.
- Meal Prep Dinner in advance so its ready to heat up
- Snap Kitchen offers healthy, delicious meals that just require heating up! (Use code JASMINE for a FREE $15 credit, no minimum required!)
- Trader Joe’s has a TON of GREAT, YUMMY, HEALTH friendly frozen options!
- Chicken Fried Rice/Vegetable Fried Rice (ready in 10 mins)
- Turkey Burgers
- Any of their Asian/Indian meals (tastes homemade)
- Turkey Meatballs (just add sauce!)
- Mushroom Risotto
- Spelt Risotto with Chickpeas/Veggies
- Asparagus Risotto
- Cauliflower Gnocci (don’t add water! Becomes mush! A little olive oil is perfect)
Ex: 🌙 NIGHT SHIFT. I like to pack my night shifts together for some consistency.
NIGHT 1: wake up in AM eat breakfast like a normal human, eat lunch, NAP, then eat dinner BEFORE night shift. (Pack snacks for shift vs meal)
NIGHT 2: come off of night shift sometimes eat breakfast usually something little like a yogurt, smoothie, or granola bar (but sometimes I come home from a night shift and just shower & PTFO because I’m so tired). SLEEP. Wake up in afternoon. Eat lunch. Nap again then eat dinner BEFORE night shift. (Pack snacks for shift)
I ALWAYS pack my lunch. It’s the BEST way to control how much/what you’re eating & helps you save money. I’ve never bought from the cafeteria and don’t plan on doing so. If I forget my lunch I’m fortunate where the hospital I work at is in the heart of center city so there are a lot of options for “healthy take out”. I’ll usually order from honey grow or sweet green but that is super rare since I have gotten into a good packing routine (always pack the night before, otherwise it’s not going to happen the morning of my shift!) but sometimes ~ life happens.
*TREAT YOURSELF. Some shifts you just NEED some comfort. For me, that consists of Wawa (it’s hard to resist, hence why I pack). Chicken Tender/Mashed Potato Bowl or Chicken Noodle Soup is usually my choice. Not the healthiest but hey! Sometimes you need it! (See proof down below)
MY GO-TO’S FOR DAY SHIFT LUNCH:
+Salad loaded with lots of toppings (keeps it exciting) & some type of protein
+Quinoa bowl loaded with tons of veggies & some type of protein
+Pesto Chicken Wrap (super easy & yummy!)
+Mexican Bowl (think Chipotle inspo)
+Any meal from snap kitchen (Use code JASMINE for a free $15 credit, no minimum required!)
HEALTHY EATING ON NIGHT SHIFT🌛
So, many of you have asked “how do you still eat healthy on night shift?” I totally get why this may seem tough. When the sun goes down that’s when all of your unhealthy cravings come to LIFE. Trust me- I am almost always dreaming of Wawa’s mashed potato & chicken tender bowl around 3am lol. However, like I said earlier, even when I work nights I like to keep my body on a normal eating schedule as if I were working day shift. Now, this might not work for everyone because I have an odd sleeping schedule when I work nights (THAT works for me, will highlight this in the sleep section) but just being completely blunt with how I make it work! So instead of packing a “lunch” I pack snacks, snacks that are loaded with protein to keep me full & energized throughout the night. The reason this works for me is because I eat my “dinner” right before I leave for work. This way I am entering the shift fueled and ready to go. The beginning of the shift is usually the most hectic (shift report, assessment, meds, getting people settled for bed).
+Siggi’s yogurt loaded with fruit & granola (currently loving the brand Safe & Fair)
+hard boiled eggs with Trader Joe’s EBTB seasoning
+raw veggies & dip (tzatiki, hummus, guac)
+CHOMPS free range turkey sticks
+mixed fruit bowl 🍓🍌🥝🍍
+YOMI protein bites (faves: apple cinnamon & lemon poppy) CODE: JAS15
+NOMS Energy Bites (hazelnut is SO good)
+brown rice cake w/ RX nut butter (the vanilla kind is OMG delish)
+ TJ’s mixed trail mixes (I love the one with almonds, cashews, & chocolate!)
+La Colombe Coffee
POST NIGHT SHIFT SLEEP 😴
Working back-to-back night shifts can be one of the most depressing things ever. You feel like you are missing out on everything since you are on the complete opposite schedule as the rest of the world. If you’re like me, I suffer from SEVERE fomo. I make it a point to do at least one “fun” thing in between night shifts for my own sake. Whether that is a sweat sesh, nail appt, or lunch with a friend, it gives me something to look forward too! I will usually sleep for a couple hours after work; do something “fun” for 1-2 hrs then nap again before going to work! (this also allows me to have a consistent eating schedule even when I’m on nights!)
Ex: Work (7p-7a), sleep (8a-12p), lunch w/ friend (12-2p), nap before work (2-5p), work (7p-7a)
I usually have no problem falling asleep after a 12-hour shift but if I ever have trouble I really love Nature’s Bounty Sleep Gummies! They have 3mg of melatonin and 200mg of L-Theanine. I know 3mg of melatonin doesn’t sound like a lot but the mixture with L-Theanine really does the trick for me! Melatonin works with your natural sleep cycle to support good sleep while L-Theanine helps get you in a calm/relaxed mood. I don’t know what it is about the combo but I swear it works wonders! You can find it at your local CVS or AMAZON!
THE OCCASIONAL POST NIGHT SHIFT SWEAT💦
Some people think I’m insane for this but let me talk you through my logic. I am someone that comes home from work and immediately strips down from head to toe and throw my scrubs directly into the washer! Instead of hopping right into the shower I make it a point to immediately throw on workout clothes and head to a quick 45 min sweat sesh! Half the battle is getting dressed/to the gym so I make it a point to just get myself there because once I’m there, I’m there and checking it off my list for the day. This way I am not taking shower after shower—(work, shower, sleep, workout, shower VS. work, sweat, shower, sleep). Plus, it’s one of the best post “nightmare of a shift” stress reliever!
+TULA Rose Glow & Get It Cooling & Eye Brightening Balm: what we hate – tired eyes! How we gonna fix it?? A little cool tingle under the eyes to help sooth & brighten. (This has been my latest obsession & just about half of the nursing staff on my floor!)
USE CODE JAS15 for a discount!
+TULA Face Filter Primer: when you want that make-up no make-up look!
+TULA 24/7 Hydrating Day & Night Cream: what we hate? A dry face! How we fix it?? This hydrating AF face cream. Especially for night shift. I’ve never met a face cream that doubles for the day and night time. Great texture. Great hydration. Need I say more??
USE CODE JAS15 to see why I can’t shut up about this face cream.
+Weleda Skin Food Lotion: what we hate—cracked hands from constant hand washing—how we fix it?? Barrier cream for your hands!
+ Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask: what we hate – chapped lips from dry hospital air—how we fix it?? This lip sleeping mask ~ your lips will thank you!
+ Summer Friday’s Jet Lag Mask: what we hate—a dehydrated face—how we fix it??—this mask that I don’t even wash off because it’s so good! No, really, you don’t have to wash it off! Let that mask soak in!
+Further Food Collagen Peptides: the best way to keep your gut, bones, joints, hair, skin, & nails in check. Throw that stuff in your coffee! Fully dissolves & you won’t even taste that it’s in there! Use code JAS10 for a discount!
+BINTO personalized supplements: Nurse Suzie is the genius behind this! Take a quiz & get individual packs of personalized supplements that are customized to what YOU need. We are all different. Not clones. What I need might not be what you need. Get you’re vitamin on!
+ H20 bottle: drink up fishes! 🐠
GiZMOS & GADGETS
+Littmann Cardiology IV Stethoscope: have never recommended a stethoscope so much—think HD for your heart & lung sounds! I have the black on black, very sleek looking!
+Etsy Stethoscope ID Name Badge: this is just flat out cute.
+CLOVE Sneakers: 👟 this is that NEW NEW for 2020. If you haven’t heard- Clove is a new sneaker here to support EVERY health care professional. They are not only trendy but they can be cleaned with one wipe (fluid proof for all those funky fluids), slipped right on (get your precious hands off your gross nursing shoes), smell proof (FINALLY!), & let’s just say you’ll never catch me in Danskos! (fashion no-no)
+The BEST under shirt for scrubs: Cheap, great heat tech material for winter, thin but strong material. From Uniqlo. I have one in grey, white, & black!
& that’s all folks! S/O to all you nurses out there. It is by means NOT a glamorous job but the value we bring to patients is priceless. Keep killing it and being the best nurses out there (even on your toughest days)! If any of you have any other questions or want to know more, always feel free to reach out! Until next time!✨