Exhausted night shifter - page 2

I am so wiped out I had to call in sick tonight. I felt really guilty (even though I called 4 hrs ahead of shift). Ii am new to noc shift,just started again a few weeks ago.I was doing fine the first... Read More

  1. by   codebluechic
    I have spent the past 2 years on nights and I have finally found an open day shift position that I'm moving to next month. I don't think I would have gone into nursing if I had known how difficult it is to find a day job in a hospital.
  2. by   sharann
    Hey, thanks for all the replies.Not alone here,am I?Anyhow,if you read my most recent post"It's my license..."You will see that I have decided to quit anyhow.If I have to stay on night's,might as well be close to home.I commute 2hours a day 3 days a week.All to work noc's in a understaffed and dangerous situation.
    Have a good day/night everyone!
  3. by   CardiacRN
    In some ideal, some day, I will come off 12h night shifts. I really dislike it, an di am convinced it is taking years off my life. As an earlier poster mentioned, had she known this was what she had to look forward to after nursing school.....well, I don't need to say it do I?!
  4. by   sharann
    CardiacRN, I think there IS a stat out there that says working nights can take as much as 9 yrs off one's life.I think some day shifters may feel that days (hectic aren't they?)can take off some years though.I think we are are wired differently and need to work the best shift for our bodies and families peace.My son grumbled(as good natured as he really is)the other day, that heonly sees me when I am asleep!Was true.I knew then I had to get out of nights soon.
  5. by   onurse
    Originally posted by sharann:
    <STRONG>CardiacRN, I think there IS a stat out there that says working nights can take as much as 9 yrs off one's life.I think some day shifters may feel that days (hectic aren't they?)can take off some years though.I think we are are wired differently and need to work the best shift for our bodies and families peace.My son grumbled(as good natured as he really is)the other day, that heonly sees me when I am asleep!Was true.I knew then I had to get out of nights soon.</STRONG>
  6. by   NurseAllen
    Originally posted by nursenel:
    <STRONG>I've worked night shift for well over 6 years....the only real problem seems to bo the other shift's attitude towards nocs. And of course the attitude of the powers that be. ALL mandantory inservices are held " in the middle of my sleep time"....All nursing dinners or rewards, are held for the first 2 shifts and nocs is left out. Getting used to nocs almost physically injured me....take good vitamins and remember that YOUR sleep comes before phone calls!!! No one wakes me unless it's a life or death matter!!!! </STRONG>
    AMEN NURSENEL!!!! I couldn't agree more. I've been working nights for 6 years (3yrs 11-7 3 yrs 7-7) And it is the attitude that "well, it's quiet here at night, everyone sleeps, how hard could it be?" All of you that couldn't stay on nights should remember what it was like. My last job - the pharmacy was closed ... you'd better hope you had all of your meds. This job (Step down unit) The day people have 4 or 5 CNA's we have 1 and the day people have this fantasy that since we are all sitting around having coffee at night that we should wash all of the 'complete care' patients. Meanwhile we get 1 linen delivery a day @8 am how much do you think is left @8pm? Not to mention that we get 3x more admits at night we have no clerk, we have no transport team, we have no housekeeping (you can imagine how much we enjoy emptying the trash and cleaning any messes) and we have to draw all the am labs ourselves on a 40 bed unit - and this is not even mentioning our routine paperwork! And all of this after maybe sleeping 4 hrs. There must be a better way!
  7. by   imaRN
    Sharann,
    Plenty of Water -without it you have that "hung-over" feeling. A sound conditioner or a fan is a must, blackout shades and sometimes you just have to "Yell at Your Neighbors" of course you unplug your phone,although my mother-in-law would come and bang on my window when she was in town to visit.Some people are just clueless...imaRN
  8. by   Jenny P
    I work an 8-12 mix; straight nights. And I have a sleep disorder. I survive because of room darkening shades, a fan, and continuing to stay on the same sleep-wake schedule all of the time. My kids and husband seem to "forget" at times that I sleep during the day; my neighbor mows his lawn almost every other day; and my little dog thinks she has to protect me from anyone moving outside (poor thing has cataracts and is losing her sight). I have been known to call my family from work at 3AM "just to chat" when they have been totally thoughtless of my sleep; and that does seem to help at times.
    NurseAllen, stop doing the non-nursing duties on your unit. You will never get housekeeping for nights if you continue to do their job for them. We got larger waste baskets when we refused to empty them because we were doing patient care. As far as bathing the complete care patients, how do they stay oriented if they aren't allowed to sleep? And how would any of those day nurses like it if they were wakened for a bath at 2 or 3 AM?
  9. by   Jenny P
    I work an 8-12 mix; straight nights. And I have a sleep disorder. I survive because of room darkening shades, a fan, and continuing to stay on the same sleep-wake schedule all of the time. My kids and husband seem to "forget" at times that I sleep during the day; my neighbor mows his lawn almost every other day; and my little dog thinks she has to protect me from anyone moving outside (poor thing has cataracts and is losing her sight). I have been known to call my family from work at 3AM "just to chat" when they have been totally thoughtless of my sleep; and that does seem to help at times.
    NurseAllen, stop doing the non-nursing duties on your unit. You will never get housekeeping for nights if you continue to do their job for them. We got larger waste baskets when we refused to empty them because we were doing patient care. As far as bathing the complete care patients, how do they stay oriented if they aren't allowed to sleep? And how would any of those day nurses like it if they were wakened for a bath at 2 or 3 AM?
  10. by   Smitty,RN
    As a dayshift nurse who has done nightshift in the past- My hat's off to you PM people!
    I can't do it- I would take Benedryl in the am and sometimes sleep the whole day away- I was always grouchy...Glad I am on days even though I do feel the workload is heavier. In contrast to someone's post that the admissions are heavier at night, that is not true in my hosp. We have one more CNA during the day than they do at night- But the night shift does all the "paper-work" for the new MAR's, etc. I appreciate that it is harder at night to get support from ancillary depts. It also must be a pain to have to call and wake up certain doctors in the middle of the night! Shame on administrations that don't take night shift hours in consideration with meetings and celebrations. My hospital does- with early meetings so night shift just has to stay over a little- and when we have celebrations or special dinners- they always repeat it at night.
  11. by   night owl
    It's just not fair that the day people and evening people can have inservices, celebrations, meetings all on their time and get paid while doing so and we have to " stay over alittle". I'm tired as hell when I get out of there and want to go home just like anyone else. Everyone else has their CPR classes on their shift, we have to go to day shift and messup our schedules just for management. It's always the night shift who gets blamed for things that aren't done (ie)
    so and so wasn't changed this morning when I know for a fact that he was. If they'd check the pt. earlier instead of 1:00 pm they'd see that he was. Then they make you do stupid things like give a pt an enema at 4:00am. Why should I have to wake him up to give him an enema? I'd call that pt abuse especially when the pt never gets oob so they have all day to give their stupid enemas. I work nights because I can be home with the kids in the day and evening or I'd work day shift. You've got to get the proper sleep. If you don't, you won't survive. I don't answer my phone only if it's the school nurse. I can sleep day or night doesn't matter because if I'm that tired, I will sleep. Thanks for letting me vent.
  12. by   sWolfie
    My day light co workers say that night shift does nothing except sit around. I tell them that there is an open door policy, if they strongly feel this way, they are more then welcome to come in and see for themselves....If they come at the right time, I will make them a fresh pot of coffee...but still they don't show. We do get the crappy end of the stick. If the director orders pizza, sure there's some for us....that's been sitting there since 5pm. If one of the family members bring cake or something in and says this is for night shift, think it's there when we come in?? That's right, No. Heck, we have to go back in an hour later to pick our paychecks up. I would like to know when these people think we sleep. I am glad to see that I'm not the only one who feels this way about our shift, and how things are. Thanx for letting me vent.
  13. by   prmenrs
    Some other tips:
    make SURE when you walk out of the hospital, you have some dark [very dark, preferrably wrap around] glasses on so that sunlight doesn't hit your retina and reset your biological clock.
    NO, NO, NO caffeine after ~ 1 or 2 am; chew gum, or some hard candy. Bring a balanced nutritious snack to eat mid-shift.
    Be VERY careful driving home. I used to eat an apple on the way home, it helped me stay awake. Freeways are NOT for sleeping on.

    Get some exercize. Some of my night shift colleagues used to climb the stairs in the hospital--11 floors!
    Chlortrimeton or Benadryl helps once in a while.
    If you wake up in the middle of the day, have a snack, read a boring book (nursing theories used to do it for me), til you feel like sleeping again.
    If you work 12's, you will basically have no outside life when you are working your shifts. People who work 8's fall into 2 categories: those who sleep 4hrs right after the shift, and another 4 hrs later on, getting "stuff done" in between, and those who try to sleep 8 hours and still need a little nap before the shift. Either way is ok, try 'em both and pick one.
    It's important to have support with the folks @ work--go out to breakfast together once in a while, or socialize any way you can. Our night shift has at least one potluck a week it seems--make up a holiday!! Birthdays work, too.
    I wish you the best!

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