Do Day Nurses Really Feel that Night Nurses Do Nothing All Night? - page 4

Having worked the 12 hour night shift in many hospitals I find the same things. Day shift nurses leave us so much work to do that we're playing catch up all night. We start off 2 hours behind... Read More

  1. by   TIREDmidnightRN
    This screen name was no accident!!!!
  2. by   nurs4kids
    I work nights, have worked days and evenings. NIGHT shift is not as hard, I'm sorry. The hardest thing about night shift, is the impact it has on your body because of being up at night. There is no comparison between the workload. We don't have this days vs nights issue here...we all work together. Maybe it's because we (nights) admit it's easier for us, so we do what we can to help them and they know it's harder on us physically, so if we pass the buck once in a while, they understand.

    remember the patient...that's the end goal
  3. by   Brownms46
    Yes....and I have worked ALL shifts also! And guess what...If I was a day person I would still being working days! Why? Because I have worked days when....most of my pts were D/C'd...went to procedures...rehab....out of the facility for txs...and by the time they came back it was time to go home!!!

    Next...right now on the unit I work on...I have stayed over on days...to watch nurse after nurse come in and sit down and eat BREAKFAST !!!

    Our shift:... many pts are awake. and Sundowner's is alive and well! ..TV's on...family members in the room..or calling the unit...to see if they can come up.....or at the desk...demanding someone come and get them a blanket...or answer their questions...get them coffee, or food for they're family member who has been in the ER ALL day......etc..etc..! We give med ALL nite long....get admissions .....up to 7 in 2 hours one nite...and with only 3 or 4 nurses...and one is the Charge Nurse...who also has pts...but NOT on the day or evening shift! Many times there is NO aide...and so the calls lights are going off constantly! There is no Secretary to answer the phones...no pts leaving the floor for anything...unless it's a trip to the unit...and rarely any time to sit and have so much as a potty break... let alone breakfast!!! We also do all the AM labs with sometimes on as many as 6-8 pts each...the chart checks..find all the orders not taken care of...expected to get the stools for OB/sputums...consents signed.. chg IV sites...TF bags...get pt's ready for OR/ procedures in AM...review the MARS...ALL the BS and SS in the AM..and the daily wts...which amount to about half the unit!!! On days they have an admissions nurse....WE DON'T!! Many times when the heart caths come back to the unit...it's about the time the 12hr nite shifts comes on duty...so we're the ones doing the Q30min Q 1 hr...etc..etc....not days..on at least two different pts.!!!

    YESSSS I totally realize that there are hospitals where the work is distributed differently.. and that some days or nites are better or worse than others...BUTTTTTT.............
    PLEASE ....... give me a break when you start to speak for everyone who works nites!!! If YOU have it better on nites than days...more power to ya...but speak for you Pleeze..and where YOU work

    One good thing I can say about the day shift where I'm ...NO ONE has made any such statements!! Especially since the nurses on days.. don't do baths....their 4 CNA's do!!! And the ones they don't get too?? Guess what??
    Last edit by Brownms46 on May 5, '02
  4. by   PhantomRN
    It may have something to do with the fact you work with kids...they usually dont SUNDOWN.

    I thought when I worked nights In the unit that I had to get to days because I was missing something...well I found out I wasn't. After I got to days and developed my routine, I found I was just as bored on days as I was on nights.
    Last edit by PhantomRN on Jun 19, '02
  5. by   Fgr8Out
    Yanno, this thread makes me appreciate more and more the facility I work in. Hell, I KNOW my CNA's appreciate me, as I make certain that the RNs are assigned 2-3 of their 6-7 patients a day as primary care... yep, that's right... where I work RNs give BATHS too... AND empty bed pans, AND an assortment of other tasks that make for a well rounded Nurse.

    My solution? Come work with US....LOL
  6. by   Brownms46
    Fgr8out the statement about the CNA's doing the baths on days wasn't meant as an RN's do this and CNAs do that. It was meant to show that days has more help then nites! I have always been amazed by the number of folks who come on duty in the morning....and what the nite shift has been expected to get by with!

    But you know what?? My organizatonal skills have improved greatly on this assignment....now I manage to get out on time.. every morning. It took a while to get use to...but now...I can do an admission in 20 to 30 mins... including all labs and consents..... no matter how talkative they are....get the first admission at the beginning of the shift....receive two post ops.....and many times a second admission... give a report I feel good about at the end.. and still do the extras for my pts/families! Sometimes I can even squeeze in a few mins break for myself...if I'm lucky!

    So I must say this assignment hasn't been a total waste...I have learned a lot here. But even so...I still have only 8 more weeks!
  7. by   Fgr8Out
    Originally posted by Brownms46
    Fgr8out the statement about the CNA's doing the baths on days wasn't meant as an RN's do this and CNAs do that. It was meant to show that days has more help then nites! I have always been amazed by the number of folks who come on duty in the morning....and what the nite shift has been expected to get by with!

    But you know what?? My organizatonal skills have improved greatly on this assignment....now I manage to get out on time.. every morning. It took a while to get use to...but now...I can do an admission in 20 to 30 mins... including all labs and consents..... no matter how talkative they are....get the first admission at the beginning of the shift....receive two post ops.....and many times a second admission... give a report I feel good about at the end.. and still do the extras for my pts/families! Sometimes I can even squeeze in a few mins break for myself...if I'm lucky!

    So I must say this assignment hasn't been a total waste...I have learned a lot here. But even so...I still have only 8 more weeks!
    Browns, I agree with you 100%. Given the changes in patient acuity, I wonder why it is staffing hasn't changed with the times as well. I'm of the opinion that originally staffing was lower at nights because (in part, not only) there USED to be set hours for visiting, limitation of visitors, etc. Nursing had a bit more control in some ways, whereas today... families are here 24/7 and not ALL families are a help, rather a hindrance. Also, patient acuity wasn't what it is now... we have patients on the floor who would have been in ICU in years past. They're just more work, so to speak.

    All shifts require a thorough review as to staffing needs. I think if this were done, it would become apparent that each shift has it's own challenges and that patients deserve the same patient-to-nurse ratio, no matter WHAT time of day.
    Last edit by Fgr8Out on May 6, '02
  8. by   Brownms46
    WOW... did you say a post a mouthful! AMEN...and amen!
  9. by   it'sallbueno
    I feel like I have a twin out there with Fgr8Out. (I agree with every one of your posts!)

    And as for my two cents, I think work ETHICS come into play, not just the work shift. I've worked all the variations of shifts out there in the last 12 years, and I've seen from crap to incredible in my fellow collegues...

    But hey! It's Nation Nurses Day. Take a moment to celebrate this awesome profession. We do awesome things. We are awesome people! I think on the whole, Florence is looking down on us with her lamp, and giving us a smile.
  10. by   nurs4kids
    Originally posted by Brownms46
    Yes....and I have worked ALL shifts also! And guess what...If I was a day person I would still being working days! Why? Because I have worked days when....most of my pts were D/C'd...went to procedures...rehab....out of the facility for txs...and by the time they came back it was time to go home!!!

    Next...right now on the unit I work on...I have stayed over on days...to watch nurse after nurse come in and sit down and eat BREAKFAST !!!

    Our shift:... many pts are awake. and Sundowner's is alive and well! ..TV's on...family members in the room..or calling the unit...to see if they can come up.....or at the desk...demanding someone come and get them a blanket...or answer their questions...get them coffee, or food for they're family member who has been in the ER ALL day......etc..etc..! We give med ALL nite long....get admissions .....up to 7 in 2 hours one nite...and with only 3 or 4 nurses...and one is the Charge Nurse...who also has pts...but NOT on the day or evening shift! Many times there is NO aide...and so the calls lights are going off constantly! There is no Secretary to answer the phones...no pts leaving the floor for anything...unless it's a trip to the unit...and rarely any time to sit and have so much as a potty break... let alone breakfast!!! We also do all the AM labs with sometimes on as many as 6-8 pts each...the chart checks..find all the orders not taken care of...expected to get the stools for OB/sputums...consents signed.. chg IV sites...TF bags...get pt's ready for OR/ procedures in AM...review the MARS...ALL the BS and SS in the AM..and the daily wts...which amount to about half the unit!!! On days they have an admissions nurse....WE DON'T!! Many times when the heart caths come back to the unit...it's about the time the 12hr nite shifts comes on duty...so we're the ones doing the Q30min Q 1 hr...etc..etc....not days..on at least two different pts.!!!

    YESSSS I totally realize that there are hospitals where the work is distributed differently.. and that some days or nites are better or worse than others...BUTTTTTT.............
    PLEASE ....... give me a break when you start to speak for everyone who works nites!!! If YOU have it better on nites than days...more power to ya...but speak for you Pleeze..and where YOU work

    One good thing I can say about the day shift where I'm ...NO ONE has made any such statements!! Especially since the nurses on days.. don't do baths....their 4 CNA's do!!! And the ones they don't get too?? Guess what??
    Brown,
    I'm sorry, I didn't mean to be speaking for nursing worldwide, as I don't have the experience to do so. I was speaking from within my institution and comparing one floor to another. This IS an issue on some floors within our pediatric facility, but it isn't on my floor. Your description of a typical night sounds almost exactly like mine. We don't have CA's or Unit Secretary's on nights. We do the am labs and weights(which is usually ALL the patients), we hang/change the TP feeds, we do dressing changes, we hang HAL, we give blood, we adm the ampotericin, we give meds all hours of the night, we deal with visitors, we pre op patients, we fluff pillows, we change diapers and attends, we admit all night long, we run codes, we turn patients q2h, we often have several babies that have to be fed q 1-2h...I thought all of this was nursing? We also don't have a charge nurse on nights. We do all this with 3-5 nurses, average 4, and 20 pts, which I'm aware is a nice ratio. I obviously hit a sensitive spot with you, but I hesitate to apologize. I thought the original question was intended to be subjective...guess I was wrong.
  11. by   kahann
    I work mainly 11p-7a and have had a day shift charge nurse tell me "I don't know why you get all the money, days does all the work". Best reply: You can work night shift too--come see what it's like to carry 8-10 med/surg patients a night, deal with cranky docs on the phone, have to be 1:1 with your dementia patients, and pass meds and monitor multiple post ops with PCA's and PCEA's. Our night crew thrives on teamwork, we have to work together because there are so few of us. I wouldn't have it any other way.
  12. by   Brownms46
    Originally posted by nurs4kids


    Brown,
    I'm sorry, I didn't mean to be speaking for nursing worldwide, as I don't have the experience to do so. I was speaking from within my institution and comparing one floor to another. This IS an issue on some floors within our pediatric facility, but it isn't on my floor. Your description of a typical night sounds almost exactly like mine. We don't have CA's or Unit Secretary's on nights. We do the am labs and weights(which is usually ALL the patients), we hang/change the TP feeds, we do dressing changes, we hang HAL, we give blood, we adm the ampotericin, we give meds all hours of the night, we deal with visitors, we pre op patients, we fluff pillows, we change diapers and attends, we admit all night long, we run codes, we turn patients q2h, we often have several babies that have to be fed q 1-2h...I thought all of this was nursing? We also don't have a charge nurse on nights. We do all this with 3-5 nurses, average 4, and 20 pts, which I'm aware is a nice ratio. I obviously hit a sensitive spot with you, but I hesitate to apologize. I thought the original question was intended to be subjective...guess I was wrong.
    Yes...nurs4kids..it is all nursing....but as you stated above... you an have avg of 4 with three to five nurses. We have 6-8 and up to nine mostly elderly cardiac pts on tele, who ring call bells for everything under the sun, who get up out of bed...pull out lines, fall, and whatever else.. which tends to keep us running all nite! If I had just 5-6...I would consider myself lucky...but most of the time I walk in and get 7 on evenings when everyone is trying to get your attention before you can finish getting report!

    I'm not saying because you work with children...that you don't have a lot of to do's...that wasn't my point nor did I reference it. My point was that on nites on this unit....we're required to do more....than other shifts...and yes...this is a sore spot with not only me ....but as it seems most of the nites nurses who work on this unit. Hence the fact that they have NO staff! As agency(travelers and per diem) out number staff. The sore spot is that we play a game called "beat the clock" every nite...and then I watch days having time for Breakfast.
    I also ....maybe mistakenly ....felt your post was saying that all nites shifts didn't work as hard as the day shift....and because the nite shift acknowledged that fact ....it was the reason the two shifts didn't have any conflicts. Maybe I got the wrong impression....and you were saying that where you work....nites has it easier. It this was the case...please except my apology also. I may have sincerely misunderstood what you were posting.

    Warning...I may be having a meltdown here....buttttttt
    8 more weeks to go...if I don't quit or get fired one..:P
  13. by   DMMRN
    I agree with everything FGR8out has said!! I am a 3-11 supervisor. I have been the one taking the hand off, and the one handing off!! I have heard all the complaints etc... The bottom line is this <in my humble oppinion>:
    Nurses have to stop thinking that they are an entity or shift unto themselves!!! Nursing care is a 24/7 job. We cannot do it 24/7 so we must learn to work together. We are in a race most of the time...so grab the baton and run!! When someone else complains I usually say something like "I know there is so much work for all of us, and it is discouraging at times when you just feel like it is neve done! Such is the dilemna for all nurses!!" If I am coming off of night shift < as I get to work lots of those due to call outs >, I will say something like..."sorry I have to pass this off...if there is anything I can do when I come back in later let me know!!" It is truly all about team work....
    Find a way to communicate in a supportive way that encourages teamwork. You may not like being the one who has to make the difference in how you work as a team...but it has to start somewhere!!!
    There are alot of angry, discouraged, disenchanted, burned out, lonely, fed up nurses in the world. If you are one...you have a choice! Step up to the plate and make some changes <at first in yourself...but eventually you will rub off on others>, stay and join in their ranks, or move on!
    Remember: When you try to please everyone...someone is going to get pissed off!! Do what makes you feel better about yourself...avoid creating regrets!!
    Good Luck...
    Donna

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