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5 Tips For Staying Awake on The Night Shift

It’s that time of the month again – the night shift has come around and you’re faced with the daunting task of having to work through the night for an entire five days (or maybe more). Yes, you have done this more times than once but as the days quickly creep in, you start to wonder how on earth you’re going to survive those night shifts once again.

There are a few tips and tricks you can use to keep you up all night – although depending what ward you’re in, the patients can sometimes act as the strongest caffeine! But if you’re assigned to a quieter ward, staying up all night without feeling terribly drowsy is a tough feat. And buckets of coffee every hour just won’t cut it – nor will it be beneficial to your health.

We’ve compiled a few tips that may come in useful!

  1. Stay Hydrated!

Drinking water will keep the brain hydrated and help us feel alert too. Our brain is made up of 75% water and dehydration means that the brain loses fluids – this can lead to feeling tired and drained of energy. Added to that staying hydrated with regular glasses of water will make you need to urinate, that is sure to keep you awake!


  1. Stay Moving

It’s inevitable that you’ll start to feel drowsy during your night shift but these periods of drowsiness will generally be when you’re least active during the night. Keep yourself moving throughout your shift, whether that’s reorganising supplies or doing some light exercise throughout the night – no better time to get your squat on!


  1. Sleep, sleep, sleep (the night before)

It’s difficult to get your body clock to reset itself to abnormal waking hours but trying to rest up as much as possible on the day before your night shift will be of huge benefit to you. Your body will thank you for it later!


  1. Eat small portions of food throughout the night

You know that feeling when you eat a big, wholesome and slightly indulgent meal? The buttons on the pants come unbuttoned, your eyes get heavy and all you want to do is dose into a food-induced coma. Well that’s not the feeling you want when you’re on the night shift. Try eat small, regular snacks throughout the night instead to keep your energy up and to avoid that dreaded dozy feeling.


  1. Chat to your co-workers

Keeping your mind alert is so important on your night shift and a good way to do this is to chat to your co-workers – they also might be good for some more tips on staying awake for the night!


Good luck!


Want to learn more about our amazing career opportunities here in the Mater Private, click here to fill in the form and our Mater Private representative will get in touch with you



Top 5 Questions Asked In A Nursing Interview

There’s nothing quite like the nerves that hit you before an interview. Sweaty palms and racing hearts. Blank minds and wobbly knees. You may be adverse to stomach turns with years of nursing or placements under your belt, but that doesn’t stop the butterflies on the day of an interview for a new role.

One thing that stops (OK maybe not stops, but definitely alleviates a tad bit) the butterflies is being fully prepared. You know what they say; fail to prepare, prepare to fail. Particularly when you’re applying for a role you’re well and truly after, the nerves can sink in even further so one thing we suggest here at the Mater Private hospital is ensuring you have as much prepared as possible.

That includes the following; having a good night’s rest, a well-thought out and professionally-appropriate outfit laid out and a strong idea of what questions might come up and how you want to answer them. Once you have those boxes ticked, you’ll feel a whole lot better about the big interview

Top 5 typical Interview Questions

  • “Why are you looking for a new job?”

This question is used to test both your personality and your ambitions and goals. If you’re leaving your current position, be wary about being negative about your previous employers – even if it is for a negative reason that you’re leaving! Spin the negative into a positive and talk about how you’re looking for new challenges, a change of scrutineer and you think this new position will bring new challenges, which excites you.


  • “What do you know about us and what attracted you to apply here”
  • One thing that many interviewees forget to consider, as obvious as it sounds, is the where they are applying to. You may be forgiven for thinking that the interview is all about you. But your potential future employer wants to understand why you chose to apply to them particularly and that you didn’t just multi-print 100 copies of your CV and apply for any and all positions you came across. Show some interest and knowledge into where you are applying and you’re on to a winner.
  • “Tell us what you know about XXXX nursing”

Ensure you know everything you can about the specialty you’re applying for. If you’ve worked in that specialty before, you’re at a great advantage but that’s not to say you can’t pick up a few snippets of knowledge if this is you’re first time applying for a particular role. Talk to nursing friends and family, read up about the specialty online and ensure you can impress your interviewee with your knowledge.


  • “What are your biggest strengths and weaknesses?”

An oldie but a goodie – this question is bound to come up in some shape or form in any interview you ever do. Utilise this question to display your strengths in terms of nursing and what you can bring to the ward. As for weaknesses? No one is without flaws but try to spin your weakness into a positive


  • “What motivated you to become a nurse?”

This is where you can let your personality and your desire for nursing truly shine. Your interviewer wants to know you’re motivated by more than just monetary rewards. Is it helping people that motivates you? Making a difference in someone’s life? Or is it something else? Let them know!

Finally, an interview generally wraps up with the simple question; “Do you have any questions for us?”. This is one of the most important questions in the interview. Make sure you research the role, the hospital and the ward you’ll be working on and devise a few questions beforehand based off your research. This will show enthusiasm for the role and end the interview on a positive note.

Ireland’s leading private hospital, The Mater Private are currently hiring across a number of specialties and we’d love to hear from you. Click here to find out more

8 Things You Learn As A General Nurse

So, you’ve made it through four years in university, you’ve completed many a week of night shifts (the first one of which will forever be etched in your memory)  and you’ve seen more excretion than you ever thought humanly possible. You’ve successfully completed the exams, graduated with flying colors and received a job offer in the Hospital of your choice, congratulations! Now what?

Well now it’s time to begin your career in general nursing and although you may think you’ve ticked all the nursing boxes possible during placement, you’re about to discover that there’s always something new to learn when you’re practicing nursing. No one ever said it was easy, but it definitely teaches you a thing or two about life!

Check out 8 (of the five hundred million things) you learn as a general nurse below –

  1. There’s Always Time For Questions

During your first year as a qualified nurse, everything seems a little bit scary. Hospitals are one of the busiest places on earth and the last thing you want is to slow someone down when you know they have a million and one things to do. But if you don’t ask, you’ll never learn. Never be afraid to ask questions – no matter how busy your supervisor looks.


2. Compression Socks Are Your Best Friend

Remember when you were younger and you always wondered what on earth granny was wearing on her feet? Well, those are compression socks and after a 12 hour shift on your feet non-stop, these babies will save the day. Not only do they have a comforting factor and reduce swelling of the legs, they also decrease the risk of blood clots and improve venous blood flow – all the while, reducing the painful symptoms of varicose veins.


3. Your Stomach Is Stronger Than You Ever Thought Possible

When working in a hospital or clinic, you see things that very few of your friends and loved ones ever have to see and as tough as that can be, it makes you, and more specifically your stomach, harder than nails. Between severe cases of scabies and incomprehensible bed sores to unholy amounts of body fluids, nurses quickly learn to brush these things off. And to stomach a lunch, no matter what they’ve seen that morning.


4. Avoid Complaining

When possible, of course. Everyone needs a bit of a rant every now and again to get things off their chest, but keep it to a minimum. Nursing is tough on the body – both mentally and physically and everyone there with you is in the same boat. To keep spirits high in your ward (one of the most important things for getting through the day), keep the whinging to a minimum.


5. Leave Work In Work

It’s hard to switch off after a 12-hour work day. But it’s particularly hard if you’ve had a bad one where emotions were running particularly high or a patient you thought would recover, passes. It’s important to try leave your work in work and try switch your mind off from thinking about the events of the day. We strongly recommend exercises like yoga, incorporating meditation into your ‘switching off’ routine or chatting to a family or friend after a hard day. It’s the little things that make all the difference


6. Staying Calm Is So Important

For many people outside the industry, hospitals immediately mean panic and stress. But as a nurse, you quickly realise that staying calm under pressure and being able to prioritise the work is a skill that will stand to you throughout your career.


7. If You Don’t Chart It, It Didn’t Happen

Ensure that everything you do is made a note of so the next nurse or doctor on duty knows exactly what went on, what medication the patient took and what instructions they should be following. Also, if ever there is a case brought to the hospital, it will be important that all your actions have been noted and dated.


8. Knowing The Equipment on Your Ward is Vital

Every ward will have a number of similarities between them but each have their own specialties, their own personalities and most importantly, their own equipment. As a nurse starting out, it’s your job to figure out what equipment is most often used on your ward and get an understanding of how everything works