new midnight employee

  1. Ok ...i realize that I still havr to graduate and all...but I can't help but anticipate for the impending future. My new job is ultimately, a f/t midnights position, after orientation is complete. I know ti will be a bit disorienting...a bit discombobulating (sp?)...but what I was wondering...is what are some things to expect and good habits to initiate once working?

    I figure it's all about making sure that I go to sleep once I have wound down after work...and staying asleep....but what about the diurnal chaos that i create from only working 3 nights week?
    ( I would like to think my nursing education for making me such a hypochondriac and freak!)

    ANy insight oh experienced ones???
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  2. 8 Comments

  3. by   Marianne518
    I work 11-7 three nights a week and have had no problem adjusting to it. I make myself go to sleep for a couple of hours on the first day of my 3-day week.....so that I am really refreshed before work. When I come home from work at 8 a.m. I usually sit down with a cup of warm tea or coffee (decaf) and read a book for about an hour....then it's off to bed. I unplug the phone and use earplugs.......and so far (it's only been for about two months) I have not had any problems making the adjustment.

    Good luck.
  4. by   Marianne518
    Oops...I forgot to say that the first thing I do is take a warm bath...to get the ickies off me! lol
  5. by   joyrochelle
    i guess it is as clear cut as all that, huh? i will be working 12 hr. shifts, and I think that it will be great to have only a 3 day workweek...thanks for your advice.

    I think it will be great knce I don't have to worry about all this school stuff! I think i am just used to making myself anticipate the worst! that definitely served a purpose on clinical days....

    Thanks again!
  6. by   purplemania
    I work three 12/hr shifts per week. I find it easier to just live the other four like the 3 I work - stay up late and sleep in. I use an eye mask and keep the room I sleep in as dark as possible. Whenever I am home I rest when the urge hits me. Listen to your body. Don't try to do too much after work, etc. At work I stay too busy to get sleepy and usually sit at the computer a few minutes when I get home to unwind.
  7. by   BadBird
    Welcome future night owl,
    I work 7pm-7am three times a week and love it. My motto is "only the stars come out at night" I think you either love it or hate it. Give yourself time to feel comfortable in what ever unit you will be working and then go for it. Keep in mind there is less ancillary staff, you might end up drawing your own blood, blood gases, entering orders in the computer, playing the role of secretary because many times there is not one for night shift, you will also be suprised how often there is no aide; if you feel that you can do it all go for it.
  8. by   Jenny P
    After working both 8 hour and 12 hour night shifts for the past 8(?) yrs or so, I have found it works best to try to stay up late and sleep in also on my days off. Set a relaxing routine when you get home to wind down, but get to bed within the first hour of getting off your shift so that you will be able to get up and be energetic enough to get back to work on time. My advice would be NOT to get on the computer after work: I find if I come here after work, I don't get to bed on time! (Love this site, but can't remember to get off in time to go to bed on work days!)
    Aside from the room darkening shades and unplugging the phone, have a fan or humidifier going in your room or a white sound machine to cover the neighbor's lawn mowers, etc. Enya CDs can help if your mind is going 90mph after a rough shift also; or any music that can kind of carry you away and let you stop rehashing the shift over and over in your mind.
  9. by   nursedawn67
    I work 12 hour night shifts so I work approx3 days a week. You get used to the odd sleep schedule.....just make sure you DO sleep enough. Take care
  10. by   SICU Queen
    I work three 12's also. I'm forced to maintain a regular daytime schedule on my days off due to four kids and a husband. I generally work T, W, and Th nights. On Tuesday, I take a nap in the afternoon before the kids come home from school, then get up, fiddle with them for a while (dinner, homework, etc.) then go to work. I sleep Wednesday til 1545, then up again with the kids and back to work. Thursday it's the same thing. When I get in Friday morning, I sleep for half a day so that I will be able to sleep Friday night and get back into the daytime thing for the next four days. It all works if it goes smoothly and I can sleep during the day. If I don't sleep well, it's difficult. It also helps that my older kids are wonderful with their chores and I don't have to do much around the house. They even cook dinner for me sometimes. And my husband is a great help too. It makes a huge difference.

    My room is very dark, I unplug my phone, and I have a small fan that is VERY loud that I use as "white" noise to block out the outside sounds. It works great.

    I LOVE working nightshift. The personalities are great, and generally folks work together as a team. I wouldn't trade it for anything.

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