I work in a facility that has LTC, short term, alzheimer's and an ortho station. I work in ortho PMs. To me there are many unique pros and cons to working each AM and PMs. I did my clinicals not too long ago in the AM.
AM Pros (my opinion):
You get to be apart of someone's morning and can ensure their day starts out right.
You avoid sundowning and full moons...
Employees are usually chipper.
You stay busy, so the shift seems to zip by!
Many patients (in my ortho station) have Dr. appointments during the AM which makes it so easy to change their bedding and clean their room while their gone.
AM Cons (in my opinion):
It's very busy and sometimes you don't get to spend very much one on one time to talk with patients or residents.
Lots of showers...
Lots of toileting...
2 meals! Eek!
Getting up cranky people...
Frankly, getting up, dressing and ADLs for 10 people (or how ever many you have) before breakfast... Crazy.
Family vists. We get lots of family in the AM... While it's a plus for the pt, it's a hastle for you to perform your tasks amongst a small room stuffed with people!
PM Pros (in my opinion):
People start to settle down usually...
Not as many showers.
It's so much easier to get people into bed than out of bed...
It's so much easier to take off make up than to put it on... (The pt's.)
You get to sleep in!
Laundry's usually done in the AM or ready by the PM, you don't have to hassle much with the pt's dirty personal laundry getting done.
Most beds have been changed.
Most showers have been done...
PM Cons (in my opnion):
Meds, meds, MEDS! People want so many meds before the day's over!
GERD. After dinner, and then going to bed a lot of my pt's complain of heartburn which has you running around.
FULL MOONS!!!!! Double EEEEK!
TONS of call lights! Remember, a lot of people stay up pretty late! Once put into bed, those call lights light up the hall way like a Christmas tree!
Back rub requests.
LOTS of requests... "I want ice cream." "I need another pillow." "I spilled my water, can you change my whole bed?"
So, it depends on you and what you're up for!
All my own opinions based on my own experiences!