Got advice?

  1. Hello Everyone,
    I am new to this forum and must say I have enjoyed reading the different threads. It really seems to be the place for nurses to come and vent and receive support. I am very grateful, to have found this site. Anyway, I am in a slight dilemma. I have been out of nursing for about 3 years now. My husband opened his own business and I took time off to help him with that. Now, I am considering reentering the nursing field. I checked with the hospital here and the only openings are at night. 12 hr shifts. There is an opening in the ICU part time. I have never worked ICU but feel, that is where I would like to gain new experience.I am going to be 40 years old next month and am home schooling my 16 year old. I guess I'm just concerned as to whether I can handle nights again. I know in the end I am the only one who can decide what I can handle. I guess I just needed to get it out and maybe gain a little support. I look forward to speaking with yall again. Thanks.

    SouthernPride
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  2. 8 Comments

  3. by   debbyed
    Once you get yourself on a schedule you may find that working night shift really isn't so bad. (This from a 40++ year old who has done night shift for 25++ years).

    As far as ICU is concerned just make sure they have a good orientation/preceptorship and you should do just fine.
  4. by   hoolahan
    Three years is a long time to be away from the hands on. I did critical care for years, then switched to home health. I still go back about twice a month through a staffing agency to work in the open heart ICU I worked in before. I do find that if they have cancelled me for a month or two, when I go back, there are already new drugs, new equipment, mew techniques in surgery, newer defibrilators, etc...

    I think if you get a good solid orientation with a preceptor, so that you are both counted as one staff for about a month, you may be OK. Also, not sure how long you were a nurse before you went out, so that may make a big difference if you are clinically very strong and experienced already.

    All I can say is I never stopped working, and I find it difficult to keep up with changes, but then again, I am doing so very infrequently.

    Just food for thought. I would take an ACLS class as soon as possible if you take the job.

    Let us know what you decide. We will always be here for support!
    Linda
  5. by   Agnus
    As far as working nights I did this. When I hired I agreed to work nights with the understanding that before anyone was hired for days I would be offered the position.
    This is what happened. Then in Oct. my manager came to me an SHE reminded me that she would offer me the position before she hired for days.

    Then in Nov. she hired one perdeim for days and one full time for days. I was not offered the position.

    Then in Dec. I learned another full time day nurse was leaving. I VERY tactfully told my manager that I learned that one nurse was leaving days and I wanted the position. I mentioned that I noticed she had hired 2 people for days.

    I got the position. I'm not sure why I was kept on nights after hiring 2 people for days and why I was not offered the position first. I found it interesting because when I went to her and told her that I wanted the day position that was opening up, there was another nurse leaving nights. Yet, she did not hesitate to give me the position.

    I did not go to her right away after she hired the 2 day nurses because at this point I really like nights. It's just that I am not a night person and really need to be on a regular day schedule for my health.
  6. by   SouthernPride
    Thanks for your replies. I really appreciate it. Well, I bit the bullet today and called the DON at the hospital here about the ICU position. I go Friday and talk to her. I will be asking about a preceptorship. I have been a nurse for 13 years (10 working). I have a strong background in med-surg and house supervisor. I have limited OB, surgery and ER. I worked home health for about 4 years. Around here the hospital is so small you kinda work in all areas. I have been certified in ACLS, but did not renew when I needed to. There will be a class offered here in April, so, I will definitely be there. I have worked in the medical field and at this hospital since 1980. I have known this DON and all the ones who have rooted there for over 20 years, so, it will be a comfortable environment. I will use every opportunity I can to attend inservices and seminars so I can update on all the new "things" I have missed out on in the last 3 years. I know there is alot.
    I will update yall on Friday and let you know what happens.
    Thanks again.

    SouthernPride
  7. by   grouchy
    I'm going to play devil's advocate and throw in my 2 cents on the down side of working nights. I'm a 35-year-old lifelong night owl who just finished a year of working nights. I really had a hard time with it, which surprised me. Several years ago I used to work evenings, and routinely worked alot of OT, came home wired up, and didn't fall asleep until 4-6 am. So, I figured that when I returned to hospital nursing after several years of home care, doing a few 12 hour night shifts would be no problem. Well, the 12 hour night shifts exhausted me! I'm not sure if this is because I'm a little older, or what.

    I'm not saying don't take the job. Here's how I would look at it: 1) I'd plan on it affecting your ability to homeschool your kid more than you think. Can your teenager work independently if you are crashing after a shift? 2) Do you have any other options?-ie, other hospitals within a reasonable commute, or the option of working per diem, agency, etc? Is there a reasonable chance that if you wait several months a day or eve shift position may open up? Do you really specifically want to do hospital and/or ICU nursing, or would you be happy with home care or other options? 3) If this is your best or only option I'd consider taking the job, getting the training and a little experience under your belt, then going per diem so you can pick your own hours. 4) Maybe you could start the job in late spring, have your 16-year-old get a job this summer( that could be his learning experience, instead of studying), so his home schooling won't be affected as you find out how you do with night shift. See how it goes, and, if necessary, after several months, go the per diem route. Good luck to you, and let us know how it goes!
  8. by   SouthernPride
    Dear Grouchy,
    Thanks for your reply. I have worked my share of night shifts also and yes it will take some getting used to. And yes if a day position comes open I do not foresee a problem transferring. My daughter has been doing this home schooling curriculum for 3 years now and she is very disciplined. She has her own office set up and she gets up and does her assigned work for the day without my having to tell her to. Thank the Lord. Otherwise, I would not even consider this move. That's also why I am just thinking of going part time for now. Test the waters. And she will definitely work this summer. As stated before, my husband has a business in town that she can work at or she can go elsewhere. I will let her make that decision. As long as she is working. Yes there is a HH at the hospital and I may consider that if this doesnt work out. I have always enjoyed hospital nursing and really like fast paced units. I'm just ready to move on and gain experience in another area.
    This is really great. I enjoy this forum so much. Thank all of you.

    SouthernPride
  9. by   Jenny P
    Southern Pride, can I please have your daughter? Both of my kids are ADHD and are 22 and 19. I have worked nights for about 9 years (the first 4 were straight 12 hour nights, now I'm on 8hr nights during the week and 12 hour nights on weekends). The thing I STILL can't get my family (including my husband!) to understand is that I need as much sleep as they do, it is just at a different time than theirs. My son (the older of the 2) doesn't live here anymore, and my daughter is away at college, but they still call while I'm sleeping or they will come in and wake me up to tell me something "important." (If your daughter is disciplined enough to do her own studies like that, I'll trade! ).
    Seriously, though, set yourself a schedule for sleep and stick with it; use white sound and a room darkening shades, and get enough sleep. You should be okay if you can get a good preceptorship as it sounds like you know enough about the hospital, managers, and your future co-workers, and are motivated enough to get back into nursing that I think you should do well.
    I wish you well, and welcome back to nursing.
  10. by   hoolahan
    Sounds like you will be fine. Best wishes. ICU can be so great. Despite the physical toll, I found I learned so much more, since, of course it is not less busy than days, just that there aren't 20 docs clogging up the computers and every writing space, each consultant asking you the same questions over and over, visitors, phones non-stop, dietary, PT..... Aye yi yi! Way too much sensory overload for me. I liked the quieter environment, easier to read charts and put togther the big picture, I didn't drown in tasks, but that was just me. I've been off nights now totally for 3 months, and not sure I will ever go back. Finally transitioned and I am liking it.

    You'll be great.

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