Got into a car accident after working a night shift - page 4

by prnqday

6,842 Unique Views | 49 Comments

My worse fear has come true. I recently got into a car accident after working a night shift. Thank God, the accident only involved myself, and I did not get hurt. However, it has really shaken me up and I'm petrified of having to... Read More


  1. 0
    Quote from Hygiene Queen
    I think the trucker meant that if you want to hang on to your money, you'll stay good and awake.
    Yes, that is exactly what he was telling me.
  2. 0
    -Take small sips of ice water on the road

    -Pull over and take a 20 minute power nap

    -Call a friend or relative

    -If you get at least a 30 minute break at work, set a timer and try to sleep for twenty minutes or so. I know this will not work or be possible for many people, but I found when I was working nights if I was able to sleep for twenty minutes on my break it made a big difference for my morning commute home.
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    I love nights but if I ever got into a car accident because of it, I would stop nights in a heartbeat. However, it's never good to leave a job without having another one. Drink a coffee 2 hours before your shift is over to stay awake on the road. Make it a small coffee and do other things to help you fall asleep at home. I personally, when am having a hard time falling asleep, take a hot shower, take some Benadryl, make sure my room is dark, and play some white noise.
  4. 1
    Quote from StudentEtc.
    I used to work evenings awhile ago, and my route home includes a 24-mile bridge over a lake (the entire way!), so road awareness was the number one priority.
    Ah the Causeway. I know it well. Back and forth from Covington to Metairie a billion times it seems!
    TheBlackDogWaits likes this.
  5. 0
    what always helped me is chewing gum , or eating small things like nuts , berries ,
  6. 0
    I worked nights for over 20 years. You have a legitimate concern. Nights was my preferred shift, but there were still times when I left work praying I'd make it home in one piece, I was so tired. It really is scary driving home when your body has not yet adjusted to your change in sleep patterns. Are you getting enough sleep after you get home? Would it help if you lay down for an hour before getting ready for work? Could you take a short nap at work while you are on break? I never could, but some nurses would go to a quiet spot and set an alarm for 20-30 minutes. Just closed their eyes and put their feet up.
    If I were tired, I would splash my face with cold water before I left work. I also always had a snack and a cold drink in the car; usually a diet soda. Do you tolerate caffeine at all? Our local supermarket (Krogers) sells their brand of caffeine drink mix called "In an Instant Morning Boost"- a caffeinated powder, individually packaged, that you just add to a bottle (17 oz) of cold water. Available in different flavors. Each packet has 160mg caffeine, but you can use half a packet to mix with water.
    How long is your commute home? This may be a bit extreme, but could you place a timer in your car and set it to go off every few minutes? The loud ringing will wake you up if you were drifting off. How about a bag with some ice in it? A cold wash cloth to the face while you are in the car may wake you up.
    Also, is it possible that maybe you didn't fall asleep? That the accident could have happened even if you were awake? Sometimes after a traumatic event, your brain goes into a "protective mode" so you don't remember what happened leading up to the accident.
    Are you on 8 or 12 hour shifts? Depending on where you work, they may be OK with your asking to be put on a waiting list to go to day shift. Especially if you explain the reasons why you can't work nights.
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    Monster energy drinks ( I like the coffee flavored "Lo-ball" or "vanilla light". Recently discovered ultra energy zero which is like a super sprite. Or try 5 hour energy type things. Chewing gum and loud music helps like others mentioned.
  8. 1
    Quote from edmia
    How is your daytime sleeping going? If you can't get a good night's sleep during the day, nothing will keep you awake. You have to get room darkening shades, ear plugs, and eye mask and GO TO SLEEP when you get home. For at least 6 hours.
    There's no other way to adjust to night shift, you have to make your body understand that the rules have changed.
    Good luck and I'm glad you didn't get hurt.

    Sent from my iPhone using allnurses.com
    I agree with this! I have a 1.5 hour commute home most days. When I get home I got straight to bed! Draw the curtains, phone on vibrate and sleep mask on. I sleep for 8-9 hours as I feel I need more sleep than I do working days. I sleep really late the morning before my first shift and then only sleep for a few hours after my last shift of the week so i can go to bed at night. I also drink a coffee at about 4 am!
    twinkletoes53 likes this.
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    I worked nights for six weeks at a classic nightmare ltc home, couldn't wait to get out of there. I started looking for a day job after two weeks, found one after two weeks of looking, and after six weeks was out of there, and loved my new day job. Never regretted finding a new job...ever.

    I have found that as a nurse, if you don't like what your doing or something about the position your in... just do something else. I'm working nights again, but from home, and I love it so much!
  10. 0
    I know the feeling. I drive 30 minutes each way to work, have worked nights at my facility about 7 months and there are mornings where I feel God has taken the wheel to get me home safely. Always afraid to drink coffee after 3am as I don't want to feel wide awake when I get home and not be able to sleep for the following night. I may have to start taking a bottle of water with me in the mornings to sip while i drive. I used to live about 10 minutes from this hospital when I was in school (which is next door from the hospital) and had to move. I am looking to move closer to the hospital now, I am hating feeling so sleepy for such a long drive.


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