Night SHift Experience?

  1. Hello everyone,
    I've already talked to the hospital that I'm going to apply at and was assured that they hire new grads into ICU. The only thing is at the current moment they only have night shifts avail. Would you take this position (Level 1 trama) even though it's at night and eventually try to change to dayshift or look for a day position at a smaller hospital's ICU?s
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  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   MASKEDMAN
    I assume this is a teaching facility. If so you should have plenty of resources available to you. Also look at the experience of the unit nurses. i.e. whats the ratio of new grads to seasoned RNs. You are usually not as busy on night shift(traveling to CT, MRI, etc.) giving you time to focus on assessment skills, meds, and the overall feeling of how things should happen and when. Once you have fine tuned these skills and a day position becomes avaiable you should have a smooth transition. Most universities offer a wealth of learning opportunities.
  4. by   sweetdreams
    My ICU experience was nightshift and I loved it. Like Maskedman says you're able to stay in the unit with your patient most of the time. While you may not get to know the docs as well, I always felt more patients crashed at night and without MDs around we had more opportunity to manage the crisis.
    We've all heard that nurses can tend to eat their young, but I found that new grads who enter the workforce realizing that they still have alot to learn for the mostpart get along OK. When you start try to help out the other nurses in the unit anyway you can, even if it means bed baths or code brown detail because you will NEED them when you're patients crash.

    Hope this doesn't sound preachy, just a little advise from an old and grey RN
  5. by   TraumaNurse
    There is always great experience to be found in a good teaching hospital and level 1 center. I have worked in a couple of trauma centers that are busier on nights because of all the trauma admissions and all CT's and MRIs for inpatients were done on nights. There were just fewer white-coats around! I think day-shift will get you a lot of experience too, but I would take nights a a level 1 trauma center instead of days at some small hospital that does not take care of the sickest patients. Hope this helps. Good luck.
  6. by   TraumaNurse
    There is always great experience to be found in a good teaching hospital and level 1 center. I have worked in a couple of trauma centers that are busier on nights because of all the trauma admissions and all CT's and MRIs for inpatients were done on nights. There were just fewer white-coats around! I think day-shift will get you a lot of experience too, but I would take nights a a level 1 trauma center instead of days at some small hospital that does not take care of the sickest patients. Hope this helps. Good luck.
  7. by   shirleyTX
    Thanxs to all that replied. From what I have read from your comments I feel like I will make a better decision when the time comes, thanks again.
  8. by   javajunkie
    I have worked the night shift in ICU in a level I trauma center/teaching facility and I love it. The dynamics in every hospital vary, but my experience has been excellent. I agree with sweetdreams about the opportunity for nurses to manage crises a little more independently on nights. This can be scary at first, but what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, right?
    Also, there tends to be slightly more downtime on nights. Somehow, things made a lot more sense for me when I had time to read up on my patient's patho/meds/labs/etc during the shift. Any day shift I have worked, I haven't had a lot of time to read up.
    My advice, start sleeping until noon now, call all your friends and let them know they can start calling you at 3AM on your day off (because you will be up), and bid goodbye to the sun. Good luck in whichever path you decide to take.
  9. by   Liddle Noodnik
    Originally posted by MASKEDMAN
    Once you have fine tuned these skills and a day position becomes avaiable you should have a smooth transition.
    I agree, and she MIGHT just find out she LIKES it!

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