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Balancing nursing shifts with family life

By Gemma Raw

Hospital nursing jobs have always involved shift work and so achieving a balance between that and family life is something nurses are familiar with. Here are some simple things you can do to help your family adjust.

Share your schedule: You could create a visual timetable or calendar showing your work commitments and display it somewhere it can be easily accessed by everyone in the family.

Plan ahead: Working around your shifts, make sure you plan some regular weekly family activities that they can rely on. 

Take advantage of your work breaks: If possible, schedule your work breaks so that you can call the kids for a quick chat at key times, for example after school or before bedtime. 

Show them you care: Take opportunities to connect with them and reassure them that you're thinking about them, for example by putting a note in their lunch box or next to their bed for when they wake up. 

Talk about it: When you're tired and stressed out, it's easy to become introverted. Make the effort to discuss things openly, particularly how your kids feel about your work and how it affects them.

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