Night shift - page 2
I started a new job, and this was my first week on nights. Last night was my Friday (YAY!). I'm just orienting and trying to make my way through night shifts...I really am a night person, so I... Read More
0Mar 16, '13 by Racer15I love my night shifts! My white noise machine is my BFF, it cancels out all the noise my sister makes during the mornings, and anything going on outside. I also don't try to swap my sleep schedule around on my days off. I go to bed as soon as I get home and shut my alarm off on my days off. I find that my first day off after 3-4 in a row, I sleep a lot, but that is fine by me.
0Mar 16, '13 by yooper13Thanks all! I know there are lots of posts on the topic (I've read them all, I think!), but most are about sleeping during the day. I have absolutely NO problem sleeping...dark room, white noise, phone off, check, check, check! I konk out for a good 8-9 hours! My problem is at work, come 0100/0200 or so, even WITH a good amount of sleep, I just feel like I'm going to fall over! I don't understand it...just waiting to get used to it, I guess. Thanks for the replies!
0Mar 18, '13 by St_ClaireI do it just a little different. When I get home from work I stay up for at least a couple of hours. My reasoning for this is if my body gets used to going to bed as soon as I get home then my last few hours at work make me feel droopy and tired and it tends to hit me at about 2 or 3 in the morning.
When I worked days I would wake up 1.5 hours before I had to be to work so I try to hold this schedule for night shifts as well.
1Mar 18, '13 by sandyfeetQuote from yooper13Is this right after your lunch break? Is this a point in your shift when all of your tasks are done and you have a little downtime? The reason I ask is because for me on night shift, I try to always keep moving. If my patients are all dialed in, I'm checking with my co-workers to see what I can help out with. If they don't need anything, I'm restocking. You get the picture. I find that my nights where I sit around is when I feel the most exhausted and struggle to stay awake on the drive home.My problem is at work, come 0100/0200 or so, even WITH a good amount of sleep, I just feel like I'm going to fall over!
0Mar 18, '13 by girlmeetsworldQuote from yooper13I sleep during the day even on my days off. i cant switch back to a normal schedule even when I try. I usually get about 8 hrs of sleep before work. I get tired around that time too, but I try and keep busy. I use that time to get my baths done or stock the rooms for the next day. Just walking around and staying busy usually helps me get past that hump. It does take a few months to really adjust to night shift. Good luck!My problem is at work, come 0100/0200 or so, even WITH a good amount of sleep, I just feel like I'm going to fall over! I don't understand it...just waiting to get used to it, I guess. Thanks for the replies!
0Mar 18, '13 by kChoRNBest advice I can give you is try to get all your 3-days (if you work twelve hour shifts) in a row so that you can be a nocturnal peep for 3/7 of the week and then reset if you wish. I try and work 4 shifts a week as I'm prepping for NP school, so I take whatever I can get, but i will tell you that the weeks I have them in a row, I do everything better, I'm less exhausted, and things work well.
I agree w/ the blackout shades and such, try and trick your body to thinking it is night when you go to bed -- my friend Hilary used to sleep in the darkest room of her house to mimic the night time atmosphere. My boss always has one cup of coffee a night, but no more, and she eats very healthy. Keep those synapses filled with healthy food and drinks, exercise if you can when you get off shift in the AM, then hit the sack.
Helps me a lot, works out well and it gets easier over time! You'll get the hang of it! Congrats at the new job and best of luck.
0Mar 18, '13 by kChoRNQuote from sandyfeetThis happens on my floor at about 0130-0230. That is when i start feeling the "nurse creep" syndrome. That is the specific time I usually drink one cup of coffee, eat a quick snack or a full lunch if time permits, then I go off searching for things to be done. This is how I became proficient at a few things like IVs.Is this right after your lunch break? Is this a point in your shift when all of your tasks are done and you have a little downtime? The reason I ask is because for me on night shift, I try to always keep moving. If my patients are all dialed in, I'm checking with my co-workers to see what I can help out with. If they don't need anything, I'm restocking. You get the picture. I find that my nights where I sit around is when I feel the most exhausted and struggle to stay awake on the drive home.
Here's a suggestion list of things I like to do at this time as long as 100% of my charting and patient care is done and all I have left is morning meds, vitals, and I/Os for 0400 to put in:
1) Who needs an IV started? Any of them about to expire (we have a 4-day limit on ours).
2) Any bedside procedures that need to be taken care of like NGT or Foley insertion?
3) Who has any wounds that need doing? I'll do them all.
4) Does any PCA need help with a bed bath that has a patient who also needs wound care?
5) Does anyone have a pt going down for a procedure in the AM and need a Pre-Op checklist filled out?
6) Can anyone use help with an Admission History/Assessment?
Honestly, there's always one or two peers that are dying under a heavy load and when you have time to spare, I always donate the time. The first three things, however, also are wins for you. I have gotten so much experience starting IVs over the last few weeks since I started doing this. Last two-shifts I got ten out of ten. You can gather experience, confidence, and improve your skills if you can donate your time to doing this around the floor on the down time.
Not only is this good experience for you, it also shows your friends that you're not afraid to lend a hand and do some dirty work when you've got down time. When you're new to a floor, this also helps to instill a sense of teamwork and it'll let you know they'll be there to help you when you're drowning .
Just my two-cents, hope it helps!
A Fellow Nightshift Nurse
0Mar 19, '13 by yooper13Thanks everyone! I think it is the down-time that is getting to me...and I don't have a problem doing things like stocking and such to keep busy, but I'm so new I don't even know what should be stocked/where to get supplies! I go back tonight, I will ask. As far as the 3 nights in a row, that would be ideal, but for now I have to work the same shifts as my preceptor, which is all over the place (3 on, 2 off, 2 on, 3 off, 2 on etc...). I failed miserably at staying up last night, lol! I'm going to try to nap this afternoon before going in, then do my best to find things to keep myself busy in the downtime.