Do Day Nurses Really Feel that Night Nurses Do Nothing All Night? - page 6

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   lostchild
    As a nurse who works both days and nights, I have to say that some days are more hectic and some things are left to the night shift . isnt this the ideal setting for TEAMWORK? As long as patients are properly cared for and all staff is treated with respect, nobody should be complaining. If anyone has a real problem---we all know the chain of command. Be Sweet.
  2. by   Bobbie Hall
    Well I work 12 hours, ICU, we do the baths, and check the MAR, go on road trips due to the increased congestion on days. The day shift is to rotate ETT tape, change lines IV site dressings, sure theey get admissions, but this is a 24 hour facility and admissions come at all times. Very seldom do the night shift leave procedures or anything for the incoming shift, because nights work as a team. Days will leave orders, not having the time to change their lines, or rotate lines. It is always something, but they will be sitting around talking when we arrive at 1830.:imbar
  3. by   Headhurt
    Quote from mattsmom81
    I think that because a few lazy bad apples on night shift DO exist, the rest of us put up with the' lazy night shift' label.
    You forget...some lazy apples don't just exist on nights!

    I've worked nights since high school, taking one year and working days. I hated it...people milling around the desk, having your patient come and go for tests, PT, etc, etc. AND...I gained a bunch of weight on days because the dayshift partook of 3 meals and grazed in between. It wasn't til I went back to nights that I dropped all the weight because I was running all the time...and we might have time for one meal break, and if so...its usually sneak a bite in between calls. We get patients in at night who have to have surgery in the morning...so we will be running to get them ready.

    I'm not saying that night shift is harder, but it is definitely challenging in its own unique way. Sure, we have nights when people might actually sleep...but I know that there are days when the nurses are left at the desk twiddling their thumbs and drinking coffee. We have a couple nurses who leave junk for us because "we have time to do it"...hanging blood, giving meds, etc.

    The common idea is that because normal people sleep, everyone else must sleep as well. If only that were true. People tend to lose their marbles more on nights, and they also tend to crash more on nights. I guess our only consolation that we get paid more...but after a while, that offers no comfort.
  4. by   mamabear
    I've worked nights for about 90% per cent of my nursing career, exclusively in adult psych. At my previous job, we checked the MARs, checked orders, made sure everybody was up and dressed for breakfast, did vitals, tried our best to get patients to cooperate with labs, all the usual midnight stuff. We also got the bulk of the involuntary admissions. That was okay. Where I've been for the last 3+ years, we do all of the above plus set up and pass the morning meds, give report to the docs, take the patients out for smoke break, run the census, and have report taped by 0700! :angryfire So what do days do? About 95% of the discharges (how taxing is that?) and, 3 mornings a week, they have staffing. The techs and social workers do all the groups, with the exception of Med Ed (which they're trying to palm off on evenings), they have a ward clerk 5 days a week to do orders: I'll be dipped if I know what else they do. I'm not trying to perpetuate the "war between the shifts". Maybe it's just unique to my current place of employment (I hope so), but we've got a bunch of prima donnas on days. One of them carries a spiral notebook to keep a list of anything nights or evenings do to make their work more difficult, and we're hard-pressed to get anybody from another unit to float on days. Please, no flames. Are there any other night people out there who have or have had similar experiences?
  5. by   grace90
    [QUOTE=Brita01] ...deal with the patients who do NOT "sleep all night"... And I swear if something gets missed by us we WILL hear about it.... /QUOTE]

    I can definitely relate. I know this is an old thread, but when I read it I felt like venting. I have worked night shift on a med/surg floor for 13 months. Day shift does have a good number of surgicals come back on their shift, and they get pre-surgical admissions, but they only usually have 3-4 patients, and 3-4 patient care assistants most days. 2nd shift gets the most surgicals back, and they keep very busy, with a little less staffing than 1st gets. On our night shift, many of our patients need assistance to the bathroom, which can take a lot of time if they are an ortho, many patients need pain meds, etc. We usually have a patient load of 6-7 plus covering 2-4 patients for an LPN. We only have 1 aide, even if we have 30 patients. This means the aide is spread pretty thin and we do a lot of personal care and call light answering ourselves. I personally have found that having 6-7 primary patients with 2-4 covers to be too much patient load to really be able to give my patients the care they need. Sometimes I miss pt. complications because I am spread so thin, which I hate- but I guess we are all only human. There are nights that I can barely sit down, let alone "sit around drinking coffee" like day shift seems to think. It's really discouraging to have run my butt off all night trying to care for a team of 9-11 patients, just to have day shift come in and complain about what I didn't get done.
  6. by   dbsn00
    I've worked full time on all 3 shifts & can say from experience that lazy apples exist on ALL shifts, night shift nurses & their patients most definitely DON'T sleep all night & ALL shifts are busy in their own way...it drives me nuts when 7-3 co-workers start the "well you know the 3-11 or 11-7 doesn't do anything" story & the other 2 shifts start in with "that needs to be done on the 7-3 shift". Phones, fax machines, copiers & all other equipment still work on all shifts & nurses should be prepared to work also. At my job, it's usually a question of "passing the buck" to another shift.
  7. by   grace90
    Quote from night owl
    ... the night shift IS the shift that gets dumped on. First of all we get treated as third class citizens. By this I mean that when it comes to any inservices or classes of any kind,the education department thinks 12-8 shift doesn't count... Days wants everything nice-nice when they come in so they can (and do) sit and have coffee and Dunkin Donuts. God forbid they had to do something when they first arrive. I know this because I'm still there an hour or so after 8am (for free)... Many mornings I drove home in tears just for DOING my job and doing all of the "extras'' they dump on you. Sometimes I wonder, "Is it all worth it?" I always thank the evening shift nurse when she leaves to go home at night..."I'll see you, drive safe and hey, thanks alot." When I leave and say, "Good bye everybody, have a nice day," No one utters a word. Just goes to show you how much you're appreciated.
    I can relate to A LOT of this, since I work on nights in med-surg. *Mandatory* inservices and educational classes are *never* offered on our shift- usually they are scheduled right after our shift- starting at 0730 when our shift is supposed to end. We usually don't get out right on time, and after being up all night most of us could not sit through a 2 hour class and comprehend it all. Or else they are scheduled in the middle of the morning or afternoon when we are sleeping.
    We have a lot more patients than 1st shift does, and while they usually have 3-4 aides, we only have 1. Which means when there's a code brown, patients to toilet, blood vitals, frequent call lights, we do a lot of it ourselves. No, our patients don't all sleep all night. It really burns me up when we had 25-30 patients on the floor with 1 aide and then 1st shift comes in and complains cuz there's only 3 aides instead of 4.
    First shift seems to think that 3rd shift doesn't work hard, but we rarely get our lunch breaks and many nights we barely sit down. When I orientated on 1st shift most all of them got all their breaks and had plenty of downtime to sit and gripe about 3rds. But of course, in our unit manager's eyes, they can do no wrong and 3rd shift can do no right.
    I'm just sick of it. I never thought I'd be burned out after just 15 months of nursing.
  8. by   DutchgirlRN
    NIght nurses as a majority do work hard. Just like we have some lazy nurses on days it's beyond me how they have time to sit on their butts. Where I work the night nurses don't deal with doctors to the extent that we do, not with the families, but having worked nights for 12 hours, I can assure anyone that nights is not a piece of cake. Not to mention what it does to your health. More power to the night nurses, keeping the pulses going all night long.
  9. by   Stray Kitty
    I work in a very small rural hospital on 12 hour night shifts. I am the charge nurse/house supervisor. I have worked both shifts and I can definately say that days and nights are different, but I can't say that one is busier than the other. We do encounter problems on our shift that day shift doesn't have to worry about. Days always has a unit sec. We never do. Shouldn't really be a problem, except that the doc who always has the most patients doesn't make rounds until our shift comes on. So, sometimes the unit sec sits around all day and does NOTHING, and I end up taking off orders on 10 charts. Another prob that we have is that after 11pm, there are only 5 nurses, 1 NA, 1 doc, and a lab tech in the WHOLE hospital. Until very recently they only had 1 nurse in ER after 11pm. Then if our census is down, they either cut the NA or a nurse. Makes life really interesting when there is a code or a multiple trauma situation. Day shift has a resp therapist, nurses in outpatient dept, paramedics who work in ER, and even "clipboard nurses" available to them in case of a crisis during their shift. We have just us. I am very thankful that those of us on nights work so well together as a team.
  10. by   pepperann35
    Quote from Fgr8Out
    I will stand by my statement that, until we start acting like professionals... we will continue to be treated in an unprofessional manner. And so long as nurses continue to "toss it back at them", the only response anyone should expect is more of the same.

    Peace
    Amen
  11. by   grace90
    Quote from SKM-NURSIEPOOH
    Naturally, whenever an emergency occurs, things get backed-up but days still doesn't like it when we have to turn anything over to them...so we often stay at least a 1/2 or a full hour over to avoid the confrontations. One observation that I noticed was that the only time day's nurses go-off on the night nurses is only when they know that the night nurse(s) have a timid demeanor; they usually leave the more assertive night nurse(s) alone.
    A newer night nurse told me about a shift in which she got bullied to stay over an hour and a half past her shift because two of her patients had gotten orders to get transfusions right at the end of night shift, when critical labs start getting called up after the morning lab draws and day shift expected her to hang the blood, etc, when they should have been the ones doing it. I know who the nurse who did it was, and she's done it to me before, ONCE. I don't get bullied by day shift much anymore since I'm gradually getting less timid and more assertive, I've learned how to raise one eyebrow at 'em and just stare at 'em.
  12. by   YellowFinchFan
    Quote from Fgr8Out
    I will stand by my statement that, until we start acting like professionals... we will continue to be treated in an unprofessional manner. And so long as nurses continue to "toss it back at them", the only response anyone should expect is more of the same.

    Peace

    I agree - I work Days - our day/night shift pretty much gets along great....it's a pleasure. When I have to leave something it's with much regret and understanding because during report they find out WHAT WENT ON.....Days is very busy - and we get tons of admissions/discharges = emergencies - etc....nights also gets slammed at times.

    I treat people the way I want to be treated - and it's worked well for me!

    Professionlism goes a Loooooong way....sounds like mgt needs to step things up --- communication needs improving so the unit works like a team.
  13. by   YellowFinchFan
    Quote from grace90
    A newer night nurse told me about a shift in which she got bullied to stay over an hour and a half past her shift because two of her patients had gotten orders to get transfusions right at the end of night shift, when critical labs start getting called up after the morning lab draws and day shift expected her to hang the blood, etc, when they should have been the ones doing it. I know who the nurse who did it was, and she's done it to me before, ONCE. I don't get bullied by day shift much anymore since I'm gradually getting less timid and more assertive, I've learned how to raise one eyebrow at 'em and just stare at 'em.

    The raised eyebrown thing made me laugh - I"m glad it works for you!


    That's ridiculous (making nights hang the transfusion for days) As my manager always says "this is a 24hour JOB".....the next shift has to take over.

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