Doctors Night Shift Hours- What are you expected to do?

Doctors Night Shift Hours

Doctors are considered lifesavers as they do their best to help patients maintain their health status and prevent untimely death where necessary. You would agree that not only can you fall sick or have a health challenge in the day, but the possibility of facing health challenges at night is also very possible. With that being said, doctors work round the clock in shifts to have enough qualified hands to help with the hospital’s patients’ health whenever such needs are expected. You would agree that doctors who take up the night duty are mostly the resident/house doctors stationed in the hospital environment. In this piece, you will understand what the doctor’s shift is like and how they perform their duties at night. So, this article is all about the Doctors Night Shift Hours.

If something goes wrong in the hospital at night, there might be a potential danger; this is why doctors are assigned to work in the hospital at night. Night shift duties are mainly assigned to resident doctors and some other physicians. At the same time, the majority of the concentration is directed to the intensive care unit, the labor wards, emergency department, and other sensitive parts of the hospital that need qualified hands of doctors. Resident doctors can work up to 16 hours while working up to 24 hours a shift in the second year. The typical night shift hours sometimes run from 10 pm until 6 am or 7 am. For junior doctors most often work long hours at night and sometimes a short while during the day. Although it could be a great way to learn the new medical practices, it could also toll their bodies. 

What are you supposed to do as a doctor before the night shift?

Numerous activities are expected to be carried out by doctors on night shift sessions at any hospital. The night shift can be somehow tasking and challenging; however, if you approach this complex part of your daily duty with some tips that would be listed here, you can quickly scale through.

Stay organized: the last thing you would want to have on your mind during night duty is to be distracted from your primary assignment. Therefore, you must sort out all personal issues that might cause you some worries. Before starting a week of night duty, ensure you have all your bills sorted and have a prepared mind to approach your shift with a positive sense. 

Stay healthy: of course, you cannot perform as a doctor or treat patients if you are a patient yourself. If you are not healthy, you won’t function effectively at the night duty shift. Any active day lifestyle that might impair your performance should be avoided at all costs. 

Be prepared: Several clinical issues occur during the night that might include emergencies, short breath in patients, chest pains, childbirth labor, and many more. Therefore, you should ensure that you are adequately prepared for the job.

Get enough sleep before work time: as you would be required to stay awake all night during the night shift, you should have enough sleep during the day, which would help you gain enough energy to perform your duty. If you do not have enough sleep during the day, it amounts to sleep deprivation.

Avoid your bedroom during the night shift: yes, the tendency to sleep would come up if you are alone or you are closer to your bedroom; however, during the night shift, it is best you are active and attend to patients or get engaged with other activities.

What are you supposed to do during the night shift?

During the night shift, you might be somewhat busy depending on the volume of the patients to be attended to. However, the following tips would help you stay active during the night shift. 

Have enough to eat and drink: being on the night shift does not mean you would not need enough energy to perform your duties. However, you should eat something familiar with your system and eat your main meal before starting your shift. 

Double-check: Your performance level might not be as far as what it used to be during the day, so you should check again for calculation of drugs dispensed and recommended for the patients.

Support the other staff: Other staff, such as nurses, are always outnumbered; you should support them as more patients to attend to during the night shift.

Take short naps: you can easily get refreshed by taking short naps in between your shift and setting up an alarm for you to wake up. You can have a nap of about 30 to 40 minutes, and it could be great if you take a small dose of caffeine before your nap time.

What are you expected to do after the night shift?

Now the night shift is over, and you are free to use your day for any other activities. First, however, it is best to observe the following tips to help you restore lost energy during the night shift. 

Limit the effect of night duty: it takes the body sometimes to readjust to the sensitivity of the activities that just took place. The hypothalamus needs to adjust back to the normal body setting, which is meant for the day. To ensure you get enough sleep after work, it is advised that you wear a sunshade on your way home, use earplugs and blacking out your curtains, and possibly turning off your mobile phone to avoid distractions. 

Sleeping pills are no: it is advised that you should avoid taking sleeping pills because it could cause you to have symptoms like hangovers and could have an additive effect on your body. 


Night duty for doctors can be tedious and draining; however, proper sleep after the duty and limiting the circadian rhythms that regulate the body performance would help you have a better day after the night shift. 


What are typical night shift hours?

The night shift hours for doctors are mostly expected to be between 10 pm to 8 am the following morning. However, this could vary based on the hospital rules or the contract signed by the doctor.

How many hours is a doctor’s shift?

Doctors are not supposed to work more than 30 hours maximum straight shift, and they are expected to have at least 10 hours off in between shifts.

Doctors Night Shift Hours- What are you expected to do?

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