Night Shift Burn Nursing

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    Hi fellow nurses!
    I'll very soon begin working as a burn nurse during night shift, and I was just wondering if any of you could please share your experiences or advice. What are some of the major challenges for burn nurses working nights? Is there a large advantage or disadvantage to working nights on a burn unit?
    Thanks so much for your advice!
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  3. 6 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    Totally depends on how your unit is set up.

    Will you be handling ICU + tele/floor, or one or the other?

    Does your unit do BID dressings? (Usually silver-based.)

    Does your unit still endorse daily tankings?

    Does your unit utilize wound care techs for dressings or RNs or both?

    Does your unit also take off-service?

    etc. etc.
  5. 0
    dirtyhippiegirl, the unit is combined stepdown + ICU, I'm not sure if the dressings are BID, no daily tankings, and there are both wound care RNs and techs.
  6. 0
    Sounds vaguely familiar to my unit, then. BID dressings can be a huge deal breaker 'tho; esp. since you'll be less staffed with both RNs and wound care techs.

    The best part of working burn nights is that you don't have to deal with PT/OT/Speech flitting in and out of your patient's room. This also tends to make pain management easier.

    If you do daily dressings, honestly, your biggest challenge will be doing debridement and dressings and becoming competent. When I oriented, I did the majority of my orientation on days and also did about two weeks of strictly wound care. I've been on burn nights for over two years now and still struggle -- and am glad that we usually have an experienced wound care tech on nights.
  7. 0
    I would say the biggest challenge of being a burn nurse on nights is that we are generally less experienced, and have less resources available to us (i.e., the experienced burn nurses, more staff). I took a burn admission with brand new techs and can honestly say I winged the whole thing, mildly unsafe if you'd ask me though. It's one of the reasons that I am thinking about not staying in burn on nights for much longer.

    Our dressings are usually once daily, day shift does that, but the dressings often come off when they are hard to secure so we obviously dress those PRN.

    One of the big advantages I would say is *not* having the 1-3 hour dressing change that you have to fit in your shift, making you unavailable to your other patients.
  8. 0
    Thank you both so much for your responses!
    What would be good ways to prepare for burn nursing night shift?
  9. 0
    Quote from rockstar11
    I would say the biggest challenge of being a burn nurse on nights is that we are generally less experienced, and have less resources available to us (i.e., the experienced burn nurses, more staff). I took a burn admission with brand new techs and can honestly say I winged the whole thing, mildly unsafe if you'd ask me though. It's one of the reasons that I am thinking about not staying in burn on nights for much longer.

    Our dressings are usually once daily, day shift does that, but the dressings often come off when they are hard to secure so we obviously dress those PRN.

    One of the big advantages I would say is *not* having the 1-3 hour dressing change that you have to fit in your shift, making you unavailable to your other patients.
    It's actually been thrown around on my unit that night shift RNs should be required to do one shift per paycheck (2 per month) as the wound care RN on days. Sounds great in theory and probably is better for patient care -- but I did not sign up to do rotating shifts and, having done them before in PDN, I know my body can't handle it.


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