When I Get Ready for Work...

I’m a fan of homeostasis…including in my blogiverse. Since I covered my routine for when I arrive home after a shift, I wanted to bring balance by letting you have a peel at my step-by-step routine for preparing for a 12-hour shift. For me, this occurs between the hours of 5pm and 7pm which is when I clock in.

It took me a long time to design my perfect get-ready-routine, but I’ve learned through trial and error what makes me feel good and what doesn’t. I encourage all of you newbies, or any healthcare worker, to pull and keep any steps I’ve laid out that may smooth out those pre-work hours. As your shifts roll on, pay attention to what things have the most lasting positive effect on your work and dump anything that doesn’t.

On with the written GRWM routine... I’m not glam enough to film this. XD

1. ALARMED.
Before I go to sleep, I set 3 alarms on my iPhone. I try to be up by the second alarm, but the third is for those days it’s extra hard to get up. The first alarm is soft, to gently pull me from my sleep. Second one is a little louder, urging me not to doze back off. The third and final is invariably loud and intended to blast me out of bed. Knowing the third one will be obnoxious is usually all the motivation it takes to get me up by the second alarm.

I would be lying if I said there weren’t many days I snoozed all three many times apiece, regardless of the level of alarm. I don’t turn any alarms off entirely til my feet are on the floor.

2. INTAKE.
I usually have my mug of tea or water by the bed and it’s always the first thing I reach for. Between shifts, I’m usually dehydrated so I am pretty focused on re-hydrating as soon as I’m up.

3. OUTPUT
As a re-hydrating nurse, I then usually pee what always seems like 2 liters regardless of how long I sleep. I get in a quick face wash and tooth brushing - both which I do a better job of during my shower. But not yet...

4. ROLL IT OUT.
Once my bladder is empty, my breath is tamed and I’ve got some water in me, the next order of business is to stretch and roll out on my yoga wheel - if you’re wondering what that is - google it. I do some back bends over it and then I start to feel alive again.

5. EASE IN.
If you know me or have ever seen my apartment, you know that mood lighting is king. I shower by soft ambient light, usually a shade of green, with my favorite YouTube lo-fi hip hop channel playing on my Bluetooth speaker.

6. BACKGROUND NOISE.
Post-shower, when I’m officially awake and ready to face daytime-level stimulus, I usually put on some old sitcom episodes on my iPad to watch while I get ready.  I can kind of ignore it, but i still have something to make me laugh as I beat my face and dry my hair.

7. MULTI-TASKING SELF-CARE.
While I sit and get ready, I use my awesome foot roller, and stretch out my neck as I finish up with light makeup, blow-dry, and, of course, my ride-or-die Dove dry shampoo. Then I don scrubs (but not shoes - til later).

8. MED UP.
I take my prescriptions, supplements, any necessary analgesics (i.e. headache meds) and down the rest of my water/tea before I head into the kitchen to refill.

9. GRAB THE TECH.
My work bag is usually packed before I go to sleep except for my chargeable devices like my iPad, iPhone, earbuds, etc. I toss those in my bag as I’m getting my scrubs on, and usually one earbud goes in my ear with something relaxing playing - like a thunderstorm, summer night sounds, or a tropical beach - depends on my mood.

10. TOOL BELT.
Before I leave my dressing room and head to the kitchen, I add my supplies from my catch-all basket back to their designated pockets - pens, scissors, badge, alcohol pads, chap stick, my mini poo-pourri spray, etc. I take my packed work bag and my tea mug, turn out all the bedroom lights and head into kitchen, dumping my work bag by the front door along the way.

11. ANSWER THE GROWL.
I eat a predetermined meal, usually light but enough to keep me going for several hours. While I eat I grab my work food out of the fridge and toss them in my lunch bag. That, too, goes by the front door so I don’t forget it. I refill my tea mug, which I will consume another 32 ounces before I start my shift.

12. MINDSET MINUTES.
I spend any spare minutes hanging out with bae and the pup in the living room. It takes me about 10 minutes to get from my front door to the unit.  I try to not think about work til I’m in the building. This is made easier by whatever is playing in my ear - I can envision myself on a beach or in bed during a thunderstorm instead of going in to work. For me, this is a massive anxiety deterrent.

13. I HAVE ARRIVED.
Finally, I chuck my lunch bag in the fridge in the break room, refill my water mug, clock in, print my med sheets and grab my stethoscope before heading into overall report.

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308 East Burlington Street #175

Iowa City, IA 52240