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Introducing Emma - Nurse and Guest Blogger

Posted 16 days ago

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​Hello! I’m Emma!

A passionate (but right now pretty weary) registered nurse from Melbourne. I’m an avid St Kilda supporter, licorice lover, and also blogger exploring all things within the shift working world. I’ve been a regular contributor throughout this site and if you like what I’ve shared over the years, I wanted to introduce myself so you understand where my shift working and nursing perspective originates.

I’ve been a registered nurse for over 10 years, predominantly within the Emergency Department (ED) inside one of Victoria's major trauma centers. It’s fast, confronting, and exhilarating whilst also being incredibly humbling. I’ve held multiple roles within the ED such as Assisted Nurse Unit Manager (ANUM), Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS), and currently hold the role of Clinical Nurse Educator (CNE). These positions have provided the chance to nurse, mentor, and educate from different perspectives and I am so grateful for the opportunity.

Whilst working in ED, I also pick up regular agency nursing shifts. Though I could probably (and simply) pick up ED shifts instead, I enjoy the challenge of being thrown into a totally different health facility and needing to swim. You are forced to communicate effectively and think on your feet in order to provide the best patient care possible. It’s hard work and I make plenty of mistakes but I think my nursing is better for it.

Though I’ve worked in nursing homes as the registered nurse in charge, doctors clinics, and also the wards, ED really captured my attention. Yes, the trauma and adrenaline- pumping situations are exciting and thrilling to be part of, but what I really enjoy about this environment is being able to advocate for somebody who is going through their own “crisis” - however big or small. I am forced to quickly problem solve and commence care, often without a doctor present, whilst remaining open and non judgemental regardless of the situation. Being an advocate for those who are too afraid to speak or have lost their voice is something I take great pride in.

As I and my nursing pals progressed through our careers (aka became less able to quickly bounce back to work on limited sleep), I started to see changes within my friends and colleagues. And not good changes. Signs of burnout, weight fluctuations, frustration at seemingly little things, lack of exercise, and poor sleep were becoming evident. I started to think why? Why were these brave, hard-working nurses struggling to adapt to shift work? Was it their own inabilities to cope with the odd hours or was there a bigger problem at play? After many google searches, late nights, and attempting to access helpful resources for myself and for others in my role as CNE, I came up empty handed. That’s when The Other Shift was established.

The Other Shift is a website community my husband Daniel and I created which aims to support shift workers and night shift workers live a happier, healthy life. We are passionate about providing support and education to those like us living and working a “non-traditional” lifestyle outside the normal 9-5.

Daniel, my very tolerant and supportive husband, has also played the shift work game. Over the last decade, he has worked 12 hour night shifts and now works as the global sales manager for a technology company requiring him to be awake and ready for action whenever clients need him. Through his experience, we feel confident to give advice to the wider shift work community and not simply to those working in the healthcare industry.

Whilst Dan and I are not special unicorns who have morphed into shift working mythical creatures, we are confident and excited to offer advice to shift workers to make life easier. Whether that be meal prep suggestions, tips to sleeping throughout the day, and working out how and when to exercise around your shifts - we’ve got you covered. We have not only thoroughly researched but we have listened and observed shift workers across many industries to find out where the struggles are and what we can offer. Our community is close- knit and we welcome you to come on board.

For the nurses among us, I have also published a New Nurse Survival Guide to help support newly graduated nurses or those working their way through nursing school. It’s an easily downloadable PDF document packed with tips I wish somebody had told me when I first started my career. Feel free to check it out here.

If you’re a shift worker and want to live with more control, come and say hi at theothershift.com. We love questions too so feel free to contact us at info@theothershift.com.

If you're considering agency work in Melbourne, check out the jobs we currently have available here.