What are your duties/responsibilites on the night shift?

  1. I am a new CNA and I have an interview next Tuesday for a part-time night shift opening. Can you tell me what are your duties and responsibilities? What is your usual night routine and do you have a difficult time staying alert?
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    About Labmum2

    Joined: Mar '09; Posts: 15; Likes: 5


  3. by   caliotter3
    Assuming you are interviewing for a long term care facility. This is what we did. After clocking in, we would go into each room and see if the residents were ok and check the outside windows or doors to make sure they were closed and locked (a lady had been attacked by an intruder). After doing this the nurses would have received report. Then they would give us our assignments and give us the list of residents to obtain vital signs on. One CNA would get vital signs while the other would start the first round. You go from one resident to the next checking to make sure they are clean and dry. Change incontinent residents and tuck everyone in. After rounds have been done and the vitals have been given to the nurse, do any tasks the nurse asks of you or do other things like cleaning items, whatever is usually done on night shift in your facility. Watch for call lights and answer. Two hours later do rounds again. Do rounds every two hours until 5 am. There may be people to get up and ready for the day at five, or else you will pass out warm washcloths for the residents to wash their faces and hands before breakfast. Continue to answer call lights and get people toileted and/or dressed until time to leave at 7 am. That's about it.
  4. by   NM nurse to be
    I work 10p-6a. My routine is pretty similar to Caliotter3.

    When you first get in, get report from the aides going off shift, on how everyone's day was, who had BM's, who has diarhrea, who is combative or out of sorts, that kind of thing. Check tab alarms and briefs before taking over the floor. If there are issues, the off going staff must address them. If you take a messy hall, it's all on you to fix it. You will figure out which aides you like to follow quickly! Who leaves the hall neat, alarms set and residents dry, those aides you will adore.

    Then fill your O2 portables and wash wheelchairs according to assignment. Before the first round at midnight, I like to set out clothes for my get-ups and enough briefs for the night for everyone. That save a bunch of steps to and from closets all night.

    Midnight is first rounds. Clean and change anyone who needs it. Pick up water pitchers for the kitchen to wash. Leave a full cup on the table. You will figure out who your heavy wetters are pretty quick. Some folks can go most of the night without a change, others soak the bed every time. If you can get 2 bedpads on those, it helps.

    2a- second round. Repeat above. Also I often dress my get-ups and leave them in bed.

    4a- third round and gets ups. It seems hideously early to be getting up to me but since these folks have been down since right after dinner at 6, it really is a full night for them. Get-ups also get a snack of yogurt or something to hold them til breakfast. Once they figure out you will give them a treat, most will hop (well relatively speaking) right out of bed for you!

    6a- report to morning aides how the night went. Day aides that give me grief for not getting everyone up or only doing who is on the list are not my favorites. And I will be less likely to go out of my way to get up more in their section. Hint to day aides... be nice to your night crew, they can make your morning much easier if you appreciate them!

    It's really pretty easy to get a routine down. Once you know your residents, who tries to get up themselves, who can toilet and who although they say they can, haven't been on a toilet in years... that one got me a few times when I first started! There is often some down time in between rounds on the long term care floor. Lots of students use that for study time. On the skilled floor, you will NEVER sit!

    Good luck! I never have a hard time staying awake. The constant moving takes care of that, even when I have some slow periods.
  5. by   Labmum2
    Thank you both for all of your help......you have no idea how much I appreciate it.
  6. by   Girl Scout
    Wow, I thank you, too. I'm still a student and I've heard that graduates can sometimes end up with the overnight shift starting out. Not only because it's less stressful and gives them more time to learn the routines of the residents, but also because the day shift have seniority. Or at least that's my perception, based on what I've been told from a couple of people here.

    I've done overnights years and years ago, but I really had a hard time staying up, even though I'm a night owl. My brain and body will start to shut down for the night unless life carries on like it does during the day, with lots of physical and mental things to do, lots of lights and sounds and stimulation.
  7. by   NM nurse to be
    I thought when I started I would like day shift too. But I had NO skills at the beginning, beyond class. So I was hopelessly slow. Seniority does play a big part and really until you get comfortable doing things, night shift is a blessing.

    We keep the hall lights dimmed and it's quiet. Some folks blast their TV's all night but if they are asleep, I will turn them off. Some of the other night aides will go into a room and throw on the bright over bed lights. I don't like to do that several times over a night, it totally disrupts their sleep.

    I crack the bathroom door and find that gives me plenty of light to do changes. If I need more, I will turn on the over bed light but rarely find I need to do that. I also use my cell phone for a flashlight, if I need to read an O2 rate or something like that. I think it's pretty rude to blast on the lights and my happy residents tell me as much.

    It's also not very mentally stimulating at night. Change, clean BM, repeat. WHich is a challenge for me sometimes because I have some stressful things going on in my life and tend to ruminate on them too much at night. But you will get to know your coworkers and have time to chat.

    We make time for a potluck at least once a week and everyone brings something yummy. My nurse is awesome, a been around awhile, good teacher type. Not too long ago, everyone turned up with dessert for the potluck and when I came over to visit (had been on the skilled unit that night), they all were flying on sugar overload and racing around

    I like my nights way more than I thought. And for residents, many don't sleep soundly and will wake and talk with you. I hear some of the best stories at night or when doing get ups. They like to tell stories and the day staff don't always listen or have time to.
  8. by   Girl Scout
    My grandma is in a home close by and whenever I visit or call they always tell me how she's been up in the wee hours unable to sleep, so they have her down at the nurse's station and she's telling them all stories and making jokes. Or, sometimes she'll go help them on rounds. She just loves to help the staff care for the residents. They love her to bits and pieces but the night crew really loves her.
  9. by   Nuatlus
    "NM and Cali" Thanks for sharing. Your posts are very informing and is helping me to form a better vision of what can be expected when I am ready to enter the field of nursing (CNA). I am starting my class on Tuesday and I prefer nightime work because I have other interests that I want to pursue in the day. Thanks very much for your posts. Please keep them coming.
  10. by   Nenja
    Ah thank you, I was wondering too. I will be starting a third-shift soon at a Long-Term Acute Care Hospital and my interviewer said that it is mostly like an ICU...lots of vents and such.

    Anyone with night experience - any tips for sleep schedules? It sounds as if they are going to schedule me Fri & Sat nights so that I'm on that schedule when school starts back up but I can pick up other shifts as I can/want.
  11. by   paisley87
    Quote from Nenja
    Anyone with night experience - any tips for sleep schedules? It sounds as if they are going to schedule me Fri & Sat nights so that I'm on that schedule when school starts back up but I can pick up other shifts as I can/want.
    If I'm working Friday and Saturday nights, I get up early Friday morning, take a nap later in the day, and go in to work. Then I sleep Saturday during the day, and after work I stay up until about 5 p.m. Sunday, and then sleep until morning. The rest of the week, I sleep normally. I hope that helps.