How do you combat fatigue while on a long shift?

Check out Thom Dick's tips on how to survive a 24-hour shift with little sleep.

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As I have gotten older I cannot do the things I used to. Just 10 years ago I could get up, drive an hour to work, run non-stop just about for 24 hours, leave the next morning, drive 45 minutes to the part time job, finish out a 12 hour shift, then go home. Now I cannot. I still do extra shifts, but I also changed jobs to a slower agency. However, on occasion, I can still do the 36 hour shift, just not as often.

To fight off the Z-monster, during the day I avoid sitting for too long- I'll try and stay up and about. Those are the days that the Bolance gets a detail job. I also have teaching projects. I find if I keep myself busy I fight the fatigue. I avoid caffeine and high sugar products, and stay away from energy drinks altogether.

My regular shift is 24hrs, in the venue where we cover, it can be slow, so after taking care of the routine shift chores, we are allowed to take frequent naps. Our leadership encourages it, and as a supervisor also, I encourage my crews to take advantage of the downtine. Diet also plays a key factor in this also. I stay away from the junk/processed foods. I still pick up extra shifts, but limit those to the front 12 hrs.

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