Quote from joey1967
I am going to be doing 8 hour night shifts. I haven't done them before. I am not sure how my body will respond. Any ideas on how to prepare and get through them? What should I do and not be doing. Advice, suggestions, comments???
New Grad Nurse
If you can, or need, take a 2 hr nap before going in. Don't succumb to the nightshift junk food habit. It just isn't healthy. Will you be rotating, or doing all nights? That makes a difference as well, as you need to balance your schedule.
Hopefully, you will be on a busy floor. That is when being busy is a blessing! Nightshift tends to be the "cleanup" shift, for obvious reasons. Learn to accept it. If you are in a hospital, you will probably be doing 24 hr chart checks, when you find "oops!" things not done, or orders not taken off correctly, etc. You may be the only one who has the time to read a chart. I always make notes of tests results, etc. to pass on in report. Chances are, if you have med carts, you will be doing the restocking. Til you make rounds, give the 12 o'clock meds, do your charting, and the chart checks, etc, you may be at least halfway through the night...or more! The toughest time is usually between 3 and 4, maybe even til 4:30. That is the best time to take a break. I would personally take that time to walk, perhaps do some steps, something that will stimulate your CV system. Usually, that is the "hump" time. After that, you will be getting the 5 and 6 a.m. meds ready, and you will be moving until it is time for report.
If you are tired when getting home, eat something lite. I usually set my alarm to get up early enough to still have some daylight to get out in. You do need that!
Best of luck!