How do I make the switch to nights?

  1. I am a new nurse, just finishing my internship and now I have to switch to nights - that was the deal I signed up for. I need advice on how to switch my body around since I am an older new grad - 42 y/o with 3 kids! I never see then end of the news at 10, let alone stay awake to see the new year! I am working on a good buzz with wine right now, and figure that will get me to sleep tomorrow day while my kids are in school, then hopefully stay awake tomorrow night long enough to be able to sleep Tuesday day, so that I can start my first night shift Tuesday night.

    Does ANYONE out there tonight have any helpful hints on how to swing my body around to this? I only work three night shifts this week, then have 6 days off. Then it will be 3 nights on, two off, and three on, then 6 off as a regular schedule. I need anyones helpful tidbits of nursing knowledge on this subject!

    Thanks,

    Victoria
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  2. 1 Comments

  3. by   Retired R.N.
    Quote from vmilty
    I am a new nurse, just finishing my internship and now I have to switch to nights - that was the deal I signed up for. I need advice on how to switch my body around since I am an older new grad - 42 y/o with 3 kids! I never see then end of the news at 10, let alone stay awake to see the new year! I am working on a good buzz with wine right now, and figure that will get me to sleep tomorrow day while my kids are in school, then hopefully stay awake tomorrow night long enough to be able to sleep Tuesday day, so that I can start my first night shift Tuesday night.

    Does ANYONE out there tonight have any helpful hints on how to swing my body around to this? I only work three night shifts this week, then have 6 days off. Then it will be 3 nights on, two off, and three on, then 6 off as a regular schedule. I need anyones helpful tidbits of nursing knowledge on this subject!

    Thanks,

    Victoria
    The first thing to do is to put an answering machine on your telephone and let it screen ALL your calls 24 hours a day. Do not return any calls during the hours when you would normally expect to be sleeping, even on your days off, unless those calls are about matters of life-threatening emergency for you or your children. You have to teach all your callers that they talk with you at YOUR convenience, not theirs. This is expecially important when it comes to calls from your place of work. If you let anyone trample on your rights to get enough sleep to maintain your health and do a good job, you are showing a major deficiency in "critical thinking."

    Practice saying, "NO!" until you are an expert at it and feel no pangs of guilt whatsoever at refusing to cater to anyone who thinks you have "free time" that they can expect you to use for their benefit.

    If you drive an automobile, remember to keep the gasoline tank at least half
    full, the tires inflated correctly, and the oil clean and sufficient. Regular attention to these details can prevent major problems.

    Keep a notepad in your pocket and put it on your bedside table before you go to bed. Write things down when you first think about them, and cross them off the list after you have dealt with them. This may sound idiot simple, but when you are trying to switch your internal timeclock, old habits may get jumbled. Working nights is stressful enough that you don't need any additional problems.

    Best wishes for a successful experience with night work!

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