Let's hear it for second shift?

  1. I just began working in the ICU and my nurse manager approached me concerning working the 3-11 shift, as she, (and I agree) will gain more experience and exposure to procedures than I would on the 7p-7a position. How intolerable is working second shift?
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  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   moonshadeau
    i for one love 2nd shift. It is for the most part quieter. The doctors offices are closing and the patients are not coming from there. I love 2nd shift, less unnecessary people to make your life miserable as day shift has. You have time to talk to your patient for the most part, one meal, one to two med passes. Plus sleeping in is worth it for the most part for me. You will have more patient interaction on 2nd than 3rd for the most part
  4. by   Ted
    This is my observation regarding the second shift (3-11). It's the busiest shift. It's usually understaffed, tends to have the most admissions/discharges, and (in my CCU/ICU at for a very small hospital) can do the most PACU's.

    My friends, who work the 3-11 where I work, love the shift!

    Interestingly, it's the day shift that may see the most interesting procedures . . . pulmonary artery line insertions. This is because our one and only cardiologist wants to work 9-5, Mondays through Fridays! (He's the only one most eager to insert the PA lines!) (Note that we only get about 5 to 6 of these lines a year!)

    From a life-style point of view. . . I prefer the 11 to 7 shift. It just never seems like I have a life working evenings.

    Good luck!

    Ted
  5. by   Reabock
    I love working 3-11 or 1445-2315 as we do. I am not a morning person at all and like to stay up till 2-3 AM, so these hours really suit me. I started out 3-11 over 25 years ago, only did days (8-4) for a few years when I was so burnt out on nursing that I begged them to let me have the "new' Unit Clerk position, took a large pay cut but I'm pretty frugal so that was okay. During "restructuring" about 7 years ago the "job was eliminated" so I was forced back into nursing again
    Whats up with that, now they are paying me more than double what they were before and I still only work .8.

    And the Unit clerk job is now filled on days and 3-11 which we never had before, and all the Aides they restructured out then have all been replaced . Big lies all the way around!

    3-11 is a great shift unless you have small kids and no spouse at home to take care of them, and I love the ride home at midnite or whenever I get out, very peaceful, almost no one on the roads except the deer, bunnies and red foxes and they are cool to watch , I drive slow.
  6. by   RN-PA
    I've worked part-time 1445-2315 on Med/Surg the past 7 years and like evening shift best. As efiebke says, it can be the busiest shift and co-workers who've left evening shift for day or night shift positions all say how much harder 3-11 was. With all the post-ops, admissions, and monitoring post-procedures (arteriogram, ERCP, endoscopy, etc.) as well as all the bowel-preps, shave preps, pre-op teaching, it can get a bit overwhelming at times, to say the least. We also must deal with sun-downers and 3-11 gets the longest family/visitor visiting times which can sometimes be a "challenge", but I generally enjoy interacting with MOST family members.

    I started out on night shift and thought it would always be my shift-- It was quiet, I didn't have to deal with doctors (much) or administration... But as a new nurse, I didn't learn as much as I should have. There was only one other RN as a resource person, and I had a LOT of questions and very little experience or self-confidence. It wasn't until working 3-11 that my assessment skills improved; I really began to distinguish breath sounds as I listened to awake people- sitting up in bed or a chair where I could more easily access their lungs, and dealing with all the fresh post-ops taught me a lot, too. Also, having more nurses and other resource people helped.

    I don't have children so working these hours hasn't been a problem except for evening events-- get-togethers with friends and family, church and other social occassions have been missed. That's why I work part-time, but I still have to work every other weekend and holiday, and have missed many holiday eves. However, like moonshadeau said, I like to sleep in, I never have to awaken to an alarm clock, and at work, it eventually gets quieter even if it's busy, once all the docs, social workers. case management, managers, PT, dieticians, visitors, etc. etc. head home. I like having only one meal to deal with, too, and on a personal note, I would HATE going to the cafeteria for lunch-- It's WAAAAY too crowded and noisy! If I'm able to get off the floor for dinner and we sit in the cafeteria, there's plenty of room at tables, it's fairly quiet, and peaceful. I would never be able to digest in that lunch-time atmosphere!

    I also love my co-workers on this shift; we work together as a team and you almost always can get someone to help out; "stronger" personalities seem to gravitate to day shift from what I've observed over the years and at my hospital, there's less team-work on days than evenings or nights.

    Let's hear it for second shift!
  7. by   JJFROG
    The best part of 3-11, no alarm clock! You have the entire morning to do errands , work out, watch soaps... Go to work, then come home and relax, then off to bed. I have been doing 7a-5p for the past year and 1/2 and have come to dread that @#$@ alarm clock, the drive with the masses into and home from work, and pure exhuastion wanting to just go to bed but it is only 7pm! We are moving and I am taking an 11a-11p shift, I can hardly wait!
  8. by   OrthoNutter
    Ever since I've gone back to study, I primarily work 3-11pm and nights. It's a rare day when I work a day shift. It is a busy shift with admissions and discharges, post-ops coming back from theatre etc. but I prefer them to days any old tick of the clock because NO SHOWERS!!! They usually pass quicker than nights too but have all the benefits of them - no suits or priggish MDs and if you're lucky, very few visitors after 8pm.
  9. by   susanmary
    I find day shift much busier on my unit. However, the post-ops begin arriving around 3 p.m. -- so have the frequent vitals & close monitoring/teaching on second shift. Personally, I prefer day shifts.
  10. by   live4today
    Since I totally despise the sound of an alarm clock, evening shifts were good for me. They were busy where I use to work, but for the most part it beat working days when I had to rise and fake the shine at five o'clock every morning. Yuck! At least on evenings, most of the wanna be chiefs are gone for the day, or soon to be gone, and the first four hours of the shift seem to wiz right by due to incredible business. The last few hours of the shift are calming (at times), and the focus is on getting the evening meds out of the way, bedding down the patients, turning down the lights, and my most favorite sound of all is hearing the overhead speaker message telling the visitors that "Visiting hours are now over...." Hooray! :chuckle
  11. by   RNforLongTime
    I worked evening shift and then switched to night shift as I couldn't handle the absolute craziness! 2nd shift gets more admits/discharges at my place than any other shift! Days has more staff to deal with all the stuff an admission brings! I'll take nights anyday of the week!
  12. by   deespoohbear
    I love second shift. If I didn't have school-age children and a husband, that is where I would be! (I do 7a to 7p). After about 4 pm all the bigwigs are usually gone. Second shift is usually not staffed as well, but then at our hospitals baths are done on 1st shift. Plus, only one meal to contend with and usually fewer meds to pass. The down side is the VISITORS!! I love not having to wake up to an alarm clock and being able to stay up late at night. I did gain the most experience on 2nd shift, usually because we weren't staffed as well and there was no one else to do it. Every shift has its advantages and disadvantages. Good luck in whatever you choose!

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