Nights in the ER?? - page 2

by scrubsandasmile

5,928 Views | 26 Comments

Hi all! I am a new member to the site, but have puttered around here without being a member for a while now.. I am due to graduate from a BSN-RN program in December of this year and will start in the ER in mid-January with 4 to... Read More


  1. 0
    This was SO helpful, Sweetcorn! Thank you!
  2. 0
    You're welcome!
  3. 1
    Three things have helped me GREATLY (I used to work 7p-7a and then they changed it to 6p-6a). I have only been an RN for 2 years, and all of my experience has been nights in the ED. I am now 50, just for background comparisons.

    1) Blackout curtains in the bedroom.

    2) Trazadone. One pill puts me out for about 6 Very good hours of sleep. I usually sleep beyond that for up to two more hours, but normal daytime noises might wake me sometimes. Yet, those 6 hours, because they are so good are plenty. The n ice thing is that, after the pill wears off 6 hours or so later, I am not groggy at all like some sleeping pills can make one. One caveat though! It tends to make people's dreams very vivid. So if you regularly have nightmares, this is not the way to go. But if your dreams tend to be nice, neutral, or even just weird, this isn't a problem.

    3) You may be highly tempted, especially at your age, to switch your sleep schedule back and forth from days to nights, considering you will likely only work 3 days / week. Don't do it! For example, I typically get up at 3-330pm to lazily get ready to be at work at six. On my days off, if I am extra tired, I may sleep in till 4-5pm. If I have something I want to do during the day, I will get up a couple of hours earlier, like 1-2pm. But short of vacation when I have more than a week off, I don't switch. Trying to switch throws me way off. But then, I'm old now, lol.

    Good luck, welcome to nights, and to the shift differential ;P
    scrubsandasmile likes this.
  4. 0
    Quote from DC Collins
    2) Trazadone. One pill puts me out for about 6 Very good hours of sleep. I usually sleep beyond that for up to two more hours, but normal daytime noises might wake me sometimes. Yet, those 6 hours, because they are so good are plenty. The n ice thing is that, after the pill wears off 6 hours or so later, I am not groggy at all like some sleeping pills can make one. One caveat though! It tends to make people's dreams very vivid. So if you regularly have nightmares, this is not the way to go. But if your dreams tend to be nice, neutral, or even just weird, this isn't a problem.
    Did an MD prescribe you trazadone as a sleeping aid or was it prescribed for something else and then you noticed it also helped with sleep?
  5. 1
    Quote from scrubsandasmile

    Did an MD prescribe you trazadone as a sleeping aid or was it prescribed for something else and then you noticed it also helped with sleep?
    It's commonly prescribed for sleep and/or depression.
    Esme12 likes this.
  6. 0
    Quote from hiddencatRN
    It's commonly prescribed for sleep and/or depression.
    I did know the depression part, thats why I was wondering if it was prescribed for sleep or for depression and DC Collins noticed it also worked well for sleep.
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    I've found that many staff kind of 'lose the plot' ... By about 2am they've hit the wall it's rather entertaining actually. When I landed in the ED as a patient, one night the shift co ord was stan lee ( anyone a comic book buff) so occasionally you would hear over the pa 'the king to area A...thank you very much' I lost it. Another time they played hockey with a bin and pack of 4x4's
  8. 0
    I like when I'm rotating to night shift. They're more fun than dayshift that's for sure. Dayshift is way too uptight.
  9. 1
    At least I think there's less politics at nights though they place new nursing grads that are inexperienced at nights...tough for those experienced ones who get the worst and sickest patients....
    NurseOnAMotorcycle likes this.
  10. 1
    I have worked nights for 2 1/2 years. I sleep right away when I get home until 3p when I have to get my kids. I switch back to "normal sleeping" on my days off. When I need to go back on nights I take a nap before I go in. I try to group my work days together to make things easier.

    As far as weight gain, drink water or unsweetened tea. Don't snack at your desk. Pack a lunch and don't go to the vending machine or cafeteria. On my days off, I don't eat breakfast because my body naturally wants food late at night too. If I eat breakfast it's just additional calories.

    I love nights. Good luck.
    scrubsandasmile likes this.


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