How does anyone do double shifts? I'm tired after 40 hours

  1. 2 I just started a new job about a month ago, so I know I'm still getting into the swing of things, but I feel kind of silly for what's going on. I get 6-8 hours of sleep on work nights, I eat alright and do my best to manage my stress, but I feel dead to the world after my 4 shifts in a row (4 on, 2 off, 4 on, 1 off) that I have ended up taking a 2-3 hour nap shortly getting home after every string so far. I feel useless on my day off unless there's stuff I urgently have to do (laundry be damned!) so how is it that people pick up extra shifts and routinely do doubles? I know that some people have to do it for financial reasons but what I want to know is HOW? Is there some sort of magical trick that I'm missing?
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  3. Visit  pinkiepieRN profile page

    About pinkiepieRN, BSN, RN

    pinkiepieRN has '5' year(s) of experience and specializes in 'LTC/SNF, psych'. From 'Baltimore, Maryland, USA'; Joined Feb '13; Posts: 344; Likes: 356.

    39 Comments so far...

  4. Visit  HippyDippyLPN profile page
    2
    Um no! I did doubles in LTC and it about killed me. I'm in my 20's and after work a 18 hour shift without one single break and going back 5 hours later for day shift was miserable. I think it depends on what type of job you have. At my current clinic job I could work doubles no problem but in the LTC setting I felt like I needed a hospital stay to recover from it lol. I don't know how some people do it.
    IowaKaren and pinkiepieRN like this.
  5. Visit  blondy2061h profile page
    6
    Work does get less stressful emotionally after you get experienced, and as you pick up time management techniques and get into a routine, you can sometimes cut back on the running around (sometimes!) and make it less physically exhausting too. The times I have stayed an extra four hours on top of my shift those 4 hours are generally the easiest you'll work. Your patients are already assessed and charted on, your rooms and neat and organized the way you like them, your patients are familiar with you and you with them. You've already reviewed charts. You really just need to pass meds, update charting, and make sure your patients stay clean, comfortable, and stable. I go through periods where I'll pick up a lot of overtime and periods where I shun it.
    joanna73, xoemmylouox, canoehead, and 3 others like this.
  6. Visit  pinkiepieRN profile page
    0
    Quote from HippyDippyLPN
    Um no! I did doubles in LTC and it about killed me. I'm in my 20's and after work a 18 hour shift without one single break and going back 5 hours later for day shift was miserable. I think it depends on what type of job you have. At my current clinic job I could work doubles no problem but in the LTC setting I felt like I needed a hospital stay to recover from it lol. I don't know how some people do it.
    Funny that you say that, I'm actually in LTC!
  7. Visit  Glycerine82 profile page
    0
    The best way I can figure it is that they cut corners somehow. Now, I'm not a nurse so im not entirely sure about that but I suspect it. I know for a fact that CNA's do. I work with some girls who will pick up and work SIX 12 hour shifts in a row. Being a CNA is soooo much harder on your body than being a nurse, and I have absolutley no earthly Idea how anyone could do it and not totally be skipping bed baths and or not changing people etc. It makes me angry because I work my tail off and don't cut corners that affect patient care and because of that am way too burnt out to pick up OT.
  8. Visit  loriangel14 profile page
    5
    You just do it.Don't think about how tired you are.Just plaster on that smile and keep going.
    Jules A, xoemmylouox, gcupid, and 2 others like this.
  9. Visit  SDALPN profile page
    2
    I work as a PDN, so it's fairly easy. But when I was a CNA, it was very hard. You get used to it after a while. Plus with experience, you learn how to manage time better. I pace myself through the day on longer shifts so I don't overdo it all at once or get stuck with tons to do at the end of the shift. I clean as I go instead of leaving it for the end of my shift. I also keep up with documentation to avoid being overwhelmed. And I must add that I am never far from caffeine!

    To glycerine82, please don't accuse hard working nurses of cutting corners. Not all of us cut corners. And different areas of nursing have different amounts and types of work.
    joanna73 and loriangel14 like this.
  10. Visit  amoLucia profile page
    2
    I worked with an LPN who had 2 full-time jobs! She left her 3-11 job in a DD group home and then would come to work at my NH (a little after 11:30 or so, with administration permission). She had a MAJOR health issue which was the only reason I knew her to call absent - and that was RARE!!!

    I asked her once how she did it. Her answer = 'you just do what you have to do'. I knew a little about her family/personal situation so I understood. For her, it was a necessity, not an option. She just did it.

    Also, it might be esp harder for you right now as this is a new job for you. That's always a period of higher stress level than normal. Maybe when the job becomes a little more routine and less crazy, it will be easier.

    You asked HOW they do it - I don't know. But I'd bet there's headaches, GI distress, overflowing laundry, a sinkfull of dishes, and/or altered family dynamics somewhere. But we just don't know about it!
    xoemmylouox and gcupid like this.
  11. Visit  Glycerine82 profile page
    1
    Quote from SDALPN

    To glycerine82, please don't accuse hard working nurses of cutting corners. Not all of us cut corners. And different areas of nursing have different amounts and types of work.
    Sorry! Didn't mean to offend, I am sure there are many who do not! As I said, I'm not really sure but that's what I suspect, at least for some people. Either that or they get caffeine intravenously. :-p
    Teacup Pom likes this.
  12. Visit  Glycerine82 profile page
    1
    In hindsight, It's quite probable that many people just do it because they don't have another choice, and that is admirable for sure. I can see OT but not constant doubles....ugh!
    xoemmylouox likes this.
  13. Visit  HippyDippyLPN profile page
    0
    I work with a nurse at my clinic, he is in his 50's, he works a 40 job during the day for the city as some sort of sanitation engineer, then he is in our clinic working 4 to midnight at least once a week, he also works every Saturday 7-3 at my clinic. And on top of that GE he holds 2 other PRN nurse jobs and just a couple years ago retired from national guard. I seriously don't know how the man does it, but I am fairly certain he is loaded lol.
  14. Visit  DeLanaHarvickWannabe profile page
    2
    Quote from dolcebellaluna
    (4 on, 2 off, 4 on, 1 off)
    Do you work 8s or 12s? If this was my schedule and I worked 12s, I would probably be in jail after smacking too many people.

    If you're working 8s, then I think I get it. I worked 8s for a while and felt like I was ALWAYS at work. To get three days off I practically had to donate vital organs to management. I prefer 12s because I have just as many days off as I have on and even if I'm tired after a string of days, I have more than one to get back on my feet and enjoy my time off.

    As for doubles, I did them all the time as a unit clerk and tech. But as a nurse, I worry about making an error more than anything. I've done one in my years as a nurse, and by the end I NEEDED to get out of there!
    Enthused RN and Hygiene Queen like this.
  15. Visit  pinkiepieRN profile page
    0
    Quote from DeLanaHarvickWannabe

    Do you work 8s or 12s? If this was my schedule and I worked 12s, I would probably be in jail after smacking too many people.

    If you're working 8s, then I think I get it. I worked 8s for a while and felt like I was ALWAYS at work. To get three days off I practically had to donate vital organs to management. I prefer 12s because I have just as many days off as I have on and even if I'm tired after a string of days, I have more than one to get back on my feet and enjoy my time off.

    As for doubles, I did them all the time as a unit clerk and tech. But as a nurse, I worry about making an error more than anything. I've done one in my years as a nurse, and by the end I NEEDED to get out of there!
    Oh, I work 8s.


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