7p-7a nurses: do you spend enough time w/ your family? - page 2

a friend and i were having a discussion. i am graduating in 4 months as a RN. i know that i will have to start on nights, as most advertised jobs on the hospital website are night jobs, the 7p-7a... Read More

  1. by   LilPeanut
    I'm a chronic insomniac and one thing I'm really looking forward to with nursing (I'm starting this fall) is that I will be able to work nights I want to work at night while the kids are asleep, sleep while they're in school and then have breakfast and dinner with the family. Not too many jobs will allow you that sort of schedule!
  2. by   mattsmom81
    Everyone's family situation and work availability is different. I found it easiest to work PRN nights when my kids were small. I did my fulltime committment for a year, then went PRN. But I did not need benes. I could schedule myself around the family and use childcare only when I needed it. You have to do what's best for your unique family situation and job availability in your area.
  3. by   ProfRN4
    Quote from fiona59
    just one question, where do new grads get these ideas about working the hours they want? we had one that only wanted to work dayshifts, m-f with no stats and all school vacations, (she started as a casual). she wasn't very happy when she had it explained to her that part-timers got first pick at extra shifts, when the regular day person went on vacation or extended sick leave, her position was filled by someone with experience and seniority usuallly one of the mums who worked evenings. i think she worked a total of six shifts in three months.
    really, *****?? she picked the wrong profession.

    unlike your friend, it is great that you have a realistic expectation of your future career. i can not relate to this, because i basically work around hubby's schedule. call me crazy, but it's a sacrifice for my child. with your husband being home, half of your problem is solved. my hubby works 'weird' hours as well, so we may all be home together, on a swing at 2pm on a tuesday. on the other hand, i have not seen him since fri eve, and will see him tonight when i get home from work (48 hrs later). it all balances out. in my opinion, it beats daycare.

    i work both shifts, depending on my needs (i am per-diem). on days, you miss everything!! you leave before they are awake, and maybe you'll put them to bed. it's a long day. you get to sleep in your bed at night, but it's a long day. to me, night shift seems to go quicker (that' just my perception). your kids are asleep. they may not comprehend that you are awake all night when you leave to go to work, but they'll get it evetually.

    make sure hubby has a lot of activites planned. library, park, playdates, etc. hopefully your home is big enough that the kids 'forget' that mommy is home sleeping. that took a little while for my daughter to understand (hubby too :chuckle ).

    if you can handle a little sleep deprivation, then you'll be okay. i worked fri nite, came home and slept 4 yrs, got up, picked up my daughter from my mother, saw her for 6 hrs, brought her to my in laws, went to sleep last night, and came to work this morning.

    you do what you have to do. i know people that have been on nights forever, by choice. and your friend, well, she may need some luck finding that dream job. let me guess, she wants weekends and holidays off too?
    Last edit by ProfRN4 on Jan 16, '05
  4. by   SpecFuz
    For those that work nights, I am curious if u do self-scheduling, what have u found works best for you?

    One job I interviewed for said I had to work 13 (12-hr shifts) in 28 days and I could schedule it anyway I wanted as long as it included 2 weekends.

    Another said I work 3 x 12 per week but 2 of the days had to be Monday and Friday! How should I handle that???

    Thanks for the "night" tips. BTW, how late do u eat when ur working nights?
  5. by   PJMommy
    Quote from SpecFuz
    For those that work nights, I am curious if u do self-scheduling, what have u found works best for you?

    One job I interviewed for said I had to work 13 (12-hr shifts) in 28 days and I could schedule it anyway I wanted as long as it included 2 weekends.

    Another said I work 3 x 12 per week but 2 of the days had to be Monday and Friday! How should I handle that???

    Thanks for the "night" tips. BTW, how late do u eat when ur working nights?
    We self-schedule and, for the most part, it works out pretty well. There are always going to be problems getting the schedule balanced out but it's a team effort in order to preserve our self-scheduling privileges.

    We work 3-12s in a week (Sun thru Sat) and the schedule covers 4 weeks. Our only requirement is to work 3 weekend shifts (Fri or Sat nights) and a Sunday over that 4 weeks.

    I personally think self-scheduling works better for night-shifters because we can control our sleep schedules a little bit better. I always dread the rare 1 on, 1 off, 1 on, 2 off, 1 on week.

    Funny on the Mon & Fri requirement? Are they chronically short those days or something? Doesn't that make them short other days of the week? I'd probably go with a Fri, Sun, Mon schedule and plan to stay up all night on Saturday night. (Hint: Super WalMart is often open 24 hrs/day -- it's a great time to shop.)
  6. by   ProfRN4
    Quote from PJMommy
    Funny on the Mon & Fri requirement? Are they chronically short those days or something? Doesn't that make them short other days of the week? I'd probably go with a Fri, Sun, Mon schedule and plan to stay up all night on Saturday night. (Hint: Super WalMart is often open 24 hrs/day -- it's a great time to shop.)
    I would think the monday/friday thing is to avoid everyone taking extended weekends, which has probably happened. I would just bite the bulllet and add it on to your weekend, if you can handle the 3 in a row (you'll get a nice stretch off then!!)

    The best thing about 3 in a row-- you'll (hopefully) get your same pts. back. By the 3rd nite, piece o' cake!!
  7. by   ProfRN4
    Quote from specfuz
    one job i interviewed for said i had to work 13 (12-hr shifts) in 28 days and i could schedule it anyway i wanted as long as it included 2 weekends.

    another said i work 3 x 12 per week but 2 of the days had to be monday and friday! how should i handle that???

    thanks for the "night" tips. btw, how late do u eat when ur working nights?
    hey, spec- where did you end up settling in (you're in ny now, right)? which hospital?

    as far as eating, anything goes with me. i can eat dinner before work (i'm not a big dinner eater, so usually it's light), and be hungry again by 12am!! then, to avoid heartburn, i usually eat something in the morning, or have an instant breakfast shake!! i have a friend who eats absolutely nothing overnight at work, but pigs out on mc d's on the way home!!
  8. by   nursepotter05
    I will be graduating in May, as well. I have been working as an extern 7p-7a the entire time I have been going to school and plan to work the night shift after graduation. I have a seven year old son. I like the night shift for many of the same reasons that were mentioned before. I have found that a child will make the best of any work situation. The child will be happy to see you no matter what shift you work!! I have found that my child has always adjusted to whatever schedule I have.
  9. by   PJMommy
    Quote from bonemarrowrn
    as far as eating, anything goes with me. i can eat dinner before work (i'm not a big dinner eater, so usually it's light), and be hungry again by 12am!! then, to avoid heartburn, i usually eat something in the morning, or have an instant breakfast shake!! i have a friend who eats absolutely nothing overnight at work, but pigs out on mc d's on the way home!!
    yuck! i can't imagine trying to sleep with mcd's sitting in my belly! :imbar

    i usually do some combo of protein bar or yogurt or fruit before work. between midnight and 1 am, i'll have a "dinner" -- pizza, sandwich, leftovers from home, etc. before bed, i usually have toast and maybe some scrambled eggs if i'm really hungry.

    when i first started night shift, i gagged at the thought of pizza or a burger in the middle of the night -- but now, i hit the midnight cafeteria grill with the best of them.

    seriously though, the trick for me has been to find good things to eat when all i seem to do during a stretch of nights is work and sleep. it helps to have lots of little nutritious snacks around the house and at work - pretzels, fruit, yogurt, protein bars, etc.
  10. by   TennRN2004
    I have found like others on this board that working 7p-7a works out so I can spend more time with my family. The four days I have off I have a 4 year old and we can go to the movies, playground, meet with friends for play dates, etc. Then the three nights I work, I see him before he goes to preschool, and by the time I wake up, it's time to pick him up, and I can spend a few hours with him before I go in to work. The time I'm away from him he is sleeping and in school anyway, so I'm not missing anything. I usually get 6-7 hrs sleep and it is plenty for me. Keeping in mind that when you've been up all night for 12 hours, you are so exhausted when you get home I fall asleep right away and usually sleep a good deep sleep and feel very rested when I wake up.

    It is true though that not everyone can do nights. I adjusted very well to staying up all night and can flip flop from days to nights easily on my days off I do sleep when my family sleeps. There are some people who struggle with nights, but most people I've known adapt fairly quickly. The idea of staying up working all night is worse than actually doing it. I remember my first night working, I thought going in the building God, please let me stay awake all night! I did and I've loved nights since that first night.
  11. by   jeepgirl
    What is your friend smoking if she thinks she's going to find a job like that right out of nursing school? Every doctors office around here I know wants you to have worked at least a year before in their speciality area. And the day surg places, etc usually only have experienced nurses. Those jobs can be very competitive.

    I work the night shift now. While it took some time to get used to working full time night shift (while I was in school I just worked PRN) I feel like I get to spend a lot more time with my family. I don't think I would get more time if I worked days... I think I would get less. I'd be putting my kiddo to bed just when I was getting home... and I'd go home and pass out right after eating and getting her settled.
    I think I'll feel like I am getting more time however when I am sleeping while my baby is at school... now she goes to grandmas (which she loves!). I have a small pang of guild for not being awake during the day when shes awake, however it is fleeting... we do want we have to do.
    The closest thing to a 9-5 that I MAY want someday is education or school nursing... I am really thinking about that. I would love to take a month off at christmas time, get all the federal holidays off and take 3 months off in the summer! and get paid for all of that.
    but that is the ONLY 9-5 I would even consider doing!
  12. by   SCmomof3
    This is a great thread and I've enjoyed reading everyone's insight. I don't graduate til 2007, but have already been putting thought into this decision. I really think that the night shift will be the perfect fit for my famiy also. I won't have to worry about after-school care for my kids, which is a huge plus for me. I'm a night owl. Those and other perks mentioned in this thread really show me that it's right. Thanks for all the posts
  13. by   bam_bam
    I went to 12 hour nights so I could see my 9yo son more. When I worked days I left the house before he had to get up for school. Got home around 8pm just in time to say "go to bed" Now, I can get home in time to bring him to school (his school starts at 9am), sleep while he's at school. I set my alarm for 4:30 so I can see him and have family dinner before leaving at 6:30.

    Beth

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