Night shift -- can you just take it easy, please? - page 5

by SoundofMusic

14,645 Views | 92 Comments

I'm a day shift nurse. I usually handle 5 patients on days on a busy cardiac tele unit. On any given day shift, there are usually ten different tasks on 5 different patients, many more demanding family members with zillions of... Read More


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    I will disclaimer my post by stating that I have never worked nights.
    With that being said, I work in a VERY busy ER, and we see twice as many patients on days as we do nights. BUT, nights tend to get the GSWs, drunk-driving MVCs, stabbings, etc and less of the coughs, MIs, UTIs, etc. In my opinion that pretty much evens things out.
    When I get report from nights, if something is left for me to do, my response is ALMOST always "Don't worry about it, I'm here for 12 hours". Now, that doesn't mean I'm not going to make you do the hemocult that was ordered at 0400, haha.
    I always give nights the same courtesy I would expect them to give me. And most of the night shift nurses are absolutely fabulous. There are the few that want to come on shift and sit on there butts, but they are few. I've seen my dayshift coworkers ream a nightshift nurse for not calling report on a patient who got a ready bed on the floor at 0659. This is ridiculous in my opinion.
    We are a team, and we are turning the patient's care over to another nurse. It's not like we're sending them to the floor or ICU with things left over. Do your job, and quit whining about it. I get so tired of hearing nurses bash other shifts for things left undone. For the most part, I don't care what you weren't able to get done on your shift, just let me know so that I can do it.
    Sorry for the ramble, but this is something that really gets me.
    Armygirl7 and anotherone like this.
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    OP, you need to change jobs, or go to the shift you say isn't possible for your body to do, or start working on getting better staffing for day shift. Or just do what you can do and don't worry about or be stressed by criticism from night shift.

    You could ask your manager if your work is satisfactory, where you could improve, and let her know what the obstacles are, get her advice, etc. if you think she's on your side. If you don't think so, keep quiet. Remember, the manager is usually more concerned with her own boss' view than the view or issues her staff have. So she's probably the enemy.

    Some nurses like to complain and can never be satisfied. Some c/o are legitimate. Sort of depends on your work's culture - like having to start an IV on a pt one got only 5 minutes before shift's end. Nursing is 24/7/365 for bedside care staff. That does NOT mean it's ok to dump work on the next shift. But it also does not mean that the oncoming shift can never receive a pt who needs some work done.

    Conclusion: Toughen up your own attitude and quit worrying about complainers. Work faster, stay later, leave nothing behind. Change jobs, go to a different shift. Can you work 3-11? There would be only 1 meal, lots of visitors, fewer orders, fewer ancillary staff disciplines around, but you have to get folks ready for beds and do a huge med pass at 8 p.m. or so.

    Maybe you should try Home Health or Doc's office or other non-direct care in a hospital. School nurse. good luck.
    imintrouble likes this.
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    Quote from nerdtonurse?
    I'm just tired of doing my shift and half of someone else's every single night I work.
    Isn't that the truth!

    There are always those nurses that you absolutely hate to follow behind.

    However, they seem to be ones that management thinks of as golden girls a lot of the time. LOL
    nerdtonurse?, xtxrn, and imintrouble like this.
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    I suspect the OP had a beef with a specific nurse and a specific incident that frustrated and angered her.
    The post encompassed ALL night shift nurses though. My night shift back went up when I read the GENERALIZATION that nights were easier, and the nurses who worked them did not carry their weight. I don't believe that was the intent of the post. It's just what I absorbed after 24 hrs awake.
    I'm sorry the OP has been treated poorly by nurses she passes report to. I'm sorry that the nurses who follow her don't appreciate that she makes their jobs easier. I just wish her post had not made me feel like I was one of them.
    ChristaRN, wooh, WillowNMe, and 1 other like this.
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    The day/night thing seems like a distractor from the root of the problem - poor support/low resources.

    The eye-rolling attitude described is not uncommon in nursing, unfortunately. And it *really* grates on me - evidence perhaps that my skin isn't thick enough for many nursing jobs?

    As another noted, nurses with this attitude would likely huff and eye-roll no matter what... if they were taking report from night shift for day shift, they'd huff and eye-roll. If everything was completely done upon reporting for their shift, these are probably the types who'd then huff about that person making everyone else look bad by having everything done.

    Still annoying, though...
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    Quote from SoundofMusic
    Just to remind night shifters, think about the following very time consuming tasks we are required to do that you are not required to do, or are usually unnecessary on nights:

    1. Provide a daily report to case managers and/or attend rounds.
    2. Walk patients off the unit at discharge and/or when needing to be accompanied to test and RN to leave the floor to go with them.
    3. Arrange for diets, re-enter diet orders, take away trays, fulfill diet requests, fill pitchers, grab coffee, grab condiments ...generally play waitress for THREE meals on your shift.
    4. Receive calls from family members wanting updates, or just wanting to talk to a nurse -- sometimes as often as every 2 hours. Call them if requested. Connect them to doctors for updates. Generally fulfull every request they make concerning your patient. Daytime is when they do this ...nights they go home to sleep. Usually. (I realize SOME do spend the night and then they can be a pain to you -- but it's not as often).
    5. Tests, tests, tests. Patients who return from tests ...needing frequent vitals, needing tele on, tele off, needing boots, transfers, etc, etc.
    6. Orders non-stop. Most orders are put in on days ...docs don't like being called at night and we all know it. They do their orders early and you have to get most of not all of them done on your shift.
    7. Admissons (yes, you do them on nights), but most discharges on are done on days. Discharges come with: med reconciliation/education, getting signatures, more education, taking out IV's, helping pts get dressed and ready to leave.

    This does not include the occasional code, elopment, fall, or whatever crisis might happen on any given day. Doesn't inlude arguments, difficult patients, or having to explain and educate on each and every med given at 1000.

    Need I go on? And let me ask you this ..what happens when your tech staff is short or unwilling to helop ...now we dayshift nurses get to add baths, filling water pitchers, and vitals/sugar checks to our lists . . .

    How do you think we can get it all done??? It's not possible. It just isn't. I wish more night shift would realize this.

    I have known many a day shift nurse who burns out and goes to nights because they can't stand families, docs, managers, and all the rest of the people we deal with on days ...many of those nurses seem to become some of the most demanding and uncompassionate nurses towards the day shift, from my experience.

    Remember, please ..what is is like to work the day shift, before you criticize.

    I'd LOVE to do nights if I could, but my body can't do it for some reason. And I really appreciate night shift people who do this, because I can't. But I wish they'd appreciate ME and all i do on days ...and try to take it a bit more easy on me at 1930 at change of shift.
    I think on both shifts we are busy. I thnk we need to be respectful of each other and not devalue our peers. Codes, falls, admissions, elopements, educate patients and deal with irate families. They hear MD's screaming at 2 AM because the K of 3.0 wasn't called on days and the patient just had a 6 beat run of V Tach. It takes more than one person to care for a patient in 24 hours and be respectful to the following shift by accomplishing the most possible in the time allotted. Maybe they would feel more appreciative of you if you were more appreciative of them.

    Frankly, as a manager and supervisor I get pretty sick of all the whining between the shifts each claiming they are the over worked dumped on shift. If EVERYONE chatted less about how abused they are and how much the previous shift left to be done and just starting brain storming and goal oriented and attack the left tasks........more would be accomplished and that would leave less to be left over for the next shift.......

    I have found, however, that the loudest complainers were the biggest offenders when the shoe was on the other foot.......they know how they "left it for nights" and resent the same tactic being used on them.....just food for thought......
    wooh and Aurora77 like this.
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    I completely agree with OP! At my last job, I did half days, half nights every 6 weeks. Day shift was insanely busy and totally exhausting. Night shift was, well, easy as pie, even when the staffing wasn't great! And those night shift nurses were sooooo mean to the dayshift nurses when stuff didn't get done. I mean, seriously, I KNOW you are not doing anything important between the hours of 12am and 4am! I work that shift, too! I know how you all sit there at chat and gab and laugh so loud the patients complain!

    I just gave up and stopped caring whether or not they got angry at me for stuff not getting done. Our unit manager knew this was a problem and she even made night shift nurses work a few day shifts once to give them a taste of days. None of them could hack it!

    But of course, every facility is different. Some managers may not be so understanding.
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    This has NOTHING to do with day shift versus night shift. It has EVERYTHING to do with nurses not realizing that this is a 24/7 job and low working morale. Geesh !
    Purple_Scrubs, Poi Dog, wooh, and 1 other like this.
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    Quote from SoundofMusic
    Whatev .. .maybe I should go to nights. I AM stressed ...absolutely. We have a big time problem w/ lack of tech support, which isn't helping.
    Yessss, come to the dark side.. we have cookies!
    ChristineN, joanna73, WillowNMe, and 2 others like this.
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    What i hate is hearing how day shift will say to me "oh since you wont be busy tonight I figured I could pass this on to you" Great, thanks a lot.

    But the icing on the cake comes when that same person writes you up for not getting everything done on your shift.
    ChristineN, anotherone, wooh, and 3 others like this.


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