Access Now: AORN COVID-19 Clinical Support

Getting the Rest You Need

Publish Date: December 16, 2020


AORN turned to Dr. Phyllis Quinlan, a self-care and healing coach who specializes in the emotional well-being of nurses for suggestions on ways nurses can reduce their COVID fatigue and get some rest.

Here are her suggestions:

  • Only you have the power to know if you are working exhausted which, in a legal sense, is working in a compromised manner. Being exhausted is not a defense for making an error.
  • You must have the courage of your conviction that for you to work and additional shift (at this time) could compromise your patient, colleagues, and yourself. This is vital for everyone’s safety.
  • The secret to getting a good night’s rest begins with following a routine that gets you into the mindset of welcoming sleep. We can model this routine after the way we closed out the day with our children. Decide on a time that your day is over and stick to it. Take your bath or shower. Get into some really comfortable pajamas, read (paper material not white light materials from table or phone) or watch some mindless TV. Following a routine helps to signal to your brain that the day is over so that you can welcome sleep and let go of the notion of sleep-on-demand.

You’ll find more help on getting the rest you need and other ideas for maintaining well-being in the podcast series, A Nursing State of Mind, produced by AORN for the American Nurse Foundation’s Well-Being Initiative. Learn More