3rd shift with family?

  1. Hey all! I am starting my job at the hosptial next week, but orientation only. I am getting really nervous about my job because it is 7pm - 7am. Although I am super excited and know I can do this, people keep putting in their comments like "WOW! How are you going do this?"..."What about sleep??"..."It is so bad for you"..."Becareful you are goingt to gain wait!!" Thanks for the support everyone...NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:angryfire

    So 3rd shifters, how do you keep your sanity? How do you juggle sleep, family, and food?? HELP!!! :heartbeat
  2. 4 Comments

  3. by   sonomala
    Most people love it but I did it for 2 months and had a nightmare of a time. At first it was easy to sleep in the day but as time went on it got harder and harder. I tried OTC stuff that was rec by other cnas but it only worked for about a week and then I gave up. I did the same shift I was tired all the time, I had to give up my first day off to a half day of sleep, and I never truly felt human until at last I went to 7am to 7pm. I know this isn't what you want to hear but its a hard shift, and you said family, I'm guessing you meant kids? If you have them start prepping them now for how long you will be away. Mine had a really hard time missing me so much and other cnas on the shift said their kids did the same and that was something we had to get used to. My answer was, NOT!
  4. by   care_baer
    I work nights and have a small child. I go to work, come home, take my son to daycare, and then sleep. His dad picks him up from daycare, and then we spend the rest of the evening together until I have to go to work again. The way I see it it's no different then if I worked during the day, because my son would still be in daycare for the same hours. I usually eat after getting up, then on my lunch break, and maybe a bowl of cereal when I get home. I've actually lost weight, because my smallest meal of the day is dinner, and the unit I work on keeps me running.
  5. by   Katie89
    In line with what Care_Baer said; I figure everybody has to work a shift and sleep a shift (or the time equivalent of one), so it doesn't really matter which one you sleep and which one you work. I just do the opposite of what most do.
    At very first (I've been doing third shift in a hospital for about a year now) it feels mostly weird, it's hard and you feel exhausted all the time...after a few months it got a lot harder for me as the constant schedule switching was wearing me down, I didn't have a routine, didn't know what kind of things helped me handle it personally.
    Now I have a feel for it and it's getting to feel a lot more natural. For example, I know about how many hours of sleep I need to feel human, I know when to drink (or not drink) caffeine, when to nap, etc. Taking a nap, even an hour or 1/2 hour in the evening, really helps.
    I sleep until 3:30 P.M. if I work that night. If I don't have work that night, I only sleep until noon or so, because I know I'll just be able to make up for it that night. And no, I don't keep the same hours when I don't work. When I have a night off, I sleep! Trust me, you'll want to.
    Some positive things: It's really nice driving home Monday morning, with everybody else just headed into work and knowing you're headed home to bed, especially if the weather is crappy. Also, you get the entire day off before work; so if you work a Saturday you still get to enjoy the entire day even though you technically work that day. Another positive thing is that there are no bosses there at night; it's so much more relaxed, the people are usually more laid-back (the whole attitude, actually), and there aren't tons of people swarming everywhere. It's quieter and generally a less stressful work environment. You'll have less demanding/upset patients to deal with because they'll be sleeping most of the time, and also you won't have to deal with family/visitors. The workload on nights is generally substantially lighter.
    I won't lie; at first it will probably be difficult. The very first night or couple of nights you may get nauseous in the middle of the night from being so tired, you'll be falling asleep, but it gets better. I would advise you to NOT wait to start drinking caffeine until you feel dead tired. Give it several months...like I said, I've been there a year or so and I have the feeling I'm still adjusting. Give it time to learn what works for you, for your body to adjust. There are plenty of good things too...I don't see myself doing this forever but honestly, though it sounds crazy to say this, the thought of going back to a busy, strict day shift is almost unappealing compared to nights. Who knows, you may love it! Let us know how things turn out and good luck! Sorry for writing a novel...

    P.S. I don't eat during the night. Just never got into the habit of it, so I think that helps keep the weight off. I haven't really gained any. I eat breakfast when I get home from work in the morning (cereal or something) and then go immediately to bed. I then eat when I wake up at noon or 3:30; a lunch-type item. I eat 'dinner' later at night, 7 PM or so, so my three meals of the day remain at roughly the same times as a day shift schedule.
  6. by   Dorali
    I didn't work third shift myself, but my husband did when I stayed at home with my baby daughter. We kept the same hours as he did so that we were able to spend time together as a family (she was small so it made no difference to her).

    Like Care Bear said, it really is the same as day shift but reversed. You are asleep while everyone is at work and vice versa. You still have the hours in the evening hours just like everyone else. It does take some getting used to but it's do-able. Your kids will adjust as well. Since your hours are 7-7, will you only be working 3 or so days a week? If so, that will give you the other 4 to spend with your family.

    People who have never worked the night shift don't usually have a very good idea of how you can work around your family's hours, etc., so don't worry about what they say. Everyone had a problem with me keeping the same hours as my husband because of my daughter. To be honest, it's nobody's business but your own. Try it out and see if you like it and adjust your sleeping schedule as you need to. Do what makes you happy.

    I hope everything works out for you. Hopefully they give a shift differential and the extra money can make it a little more tolerable!

    Good luck!