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i dont know either because i work a second shift per- diem and they pay me the day shift rate. i think its totally unfair. i`m also in the union now and still per diem, so i dont know whats gonna change, have been working since august of 2007 in a nursing home in new rochelle, new york.
I have worked all 3 shifts and I will tell you my expirence.
1st shift: This is the hardest shift to work. You get the pts. up and get them bathed and dressed along with serving them 2 meals. It is busy all day long. Not to mention that all the supervisors and people in charge are there watching over your shoulder.
2nd shift (my favorite): This is a mix between 1st and 3rd shif. All of the managment is gone. You serve these people supper and get them ready for bed. I enjoy this because there is usually time that I can spend talking to the patients. They usually have visitors on 2nd shift and you get to know the patient more as a person than just another person you have to take care of.
3rd shift: On this shift "most" people sleep. This is not always true but overall they do sleep. Unless these patients are night owls you don't really get to talk to them very much. A lot of 3rd shift is taking people to the bathroom/cleaning them up if they have an accident.