Doing my first night shift EVER tonight!

  1. I'm a brand new nurse and I've been working at a hospital for about 3 weeks now. I was hired for nights but they mostly orient new nurses on days. I have only oriented on days so far but I had a major conflict with one of my preceptors. Yeah, that's a whole other story! Our supervisors told us to be sure to let them know if we had ANY problems so I took that opportunity to let them know it wasn't working out with Super Weird at all so waalaa! New schedule.

    On short notice, though, there weren't many preceptors available on days so I agreed to work tonight and tomorrow night. I'm nervous but I'm also excited because I was hired for nights and I wanted to work nights in the hopes that it will be a calmer environment and also for the PAY PREMIUM!

    I have never worked a night shift in my life.

    I slept all night last night and then TRIED to sleep today. I took 2 Benadryl and tried to sleep for about 6 hours but I don't think I really got a whole lot of sleep in that time so please, WISH ME LUCK!
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    About CrazierThanYou

    Joined: Jan '10; Posts: 1,961; Likes: 1,205
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  3. by   manda0931
    I think you'll be good! I usually never get really tired at work overnight even if I wasn't able to get a nap in that day. Plus you'll have your nerves and adrenaline to keep you awake. Goodluck! I'm a new nurse orienting on nights and I love it!
  4. by   CrazierThanYou
    I survived! It actually went pretty good. There were a couple of times I thought I was going to get super sleepy but it passed. I yawned a million times but not too shabby!

    Looking in the mirror, I noticed I looked really tired but hey, it's all good. I precepted with a guy who is a great nurse but is super anal. I was getting a little annoyed when it was 30 minutes after we were finished giving report and he was still droning on and on and on.

    Well, I'm off to sleep!
  5. by   CrunchRN
    That 0400 to 0530 is the hardest part.
  6. by   echoRNC711
    Sounds like your preceptor is very willing to give of his own time after a long shift, (probably without pay ). For about 10yrs I precepted nurses and now do so for students. My approach,I will happily teach you anything.I also am very blunt ."I know this information already. If you can teach me something newer please do because II value learning. If however you are not interested then please do not waste my time "

    Be aware a preceptor gets a nominal amount for teaching you. ( probably less than $20). Be wise,show interest,say thank you. As a preceptor I love watching a nurses growth but please know it is also exhausting. Very honestly on a med/ surg floor it would be easier physically to take another 4-5 pts load than teach even the best of orientees.

    I was called "The General ". Yes,I did drill new nurses not because I was power hungry but I tried to prepare them for everything that lay ahead. I also went out of my way to acknowledge what they did right. Years later those same nurses came back and said thank you and that they were far better prepared as a result of my higher expectations of them.
    Being organized and yes anal is not only the key to surviving your first yr but may prevent emergencies during the night. Example...The pt with swollen ankles should get his lungs listened to.If not you have a potential CHF exacerbation on your hand or respiratory arrest. This may seem anal if your not recognizing the "why " but are you really ready to handle a respiratory arrest at night where there is no staff and the Dr. isn't answering his page. I am not with you or your preceptor but be open that he may be preparing you for emergencies that you may not have experienced enough to recognize.
    I am glad your night went well. I get it. It is scarey being a new nurse but be open and
    also be conscious of how much a preceptor is going out of their way to help you with little in return.
    I say this to empower not frighten you that you are being evaluated by your preceptor if they think that you are not interested that information can be shared.

    All the best. Try to be patient .....after all isn't that what your asking of your preceptor? Lastly if something is wrong you should speak up.However ...think about it... Who would you hire? the nurse who seems interested and gets on with it or the nurse who switches off the moment her shift ends?