Night shift -- can you just take it easy, please? - page 8

by SoundofMusic

14,389 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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    Quote from SoundofMusic
    I dont' think I've met YET one single nurse who purposely put off tasks to night shift .. .I've never seen that done by nurses. I've seen it done by techs all the time ...but not Rn's. The rule is -- you know about it, the order is in on your shift ...it's yours.
    I read the OP but didn't respond, shift wars being what they are. Seeing this, I have something to say: the reason why your post strikes a chord with many night shifters is exactly because we do have things routinely passed on with the attitude, "well, it's night shift...I was busy all day, you have all night to get it done." I routinely get 3+ admissions with two techs to help the entire floor (if that). I'm not reading magazines all night and to imply that one shift's work is more effective or important than the other is insulting.

    Try out my workplace: our dayshift has no hesitation passing on orders written between 1500-1900 with just a shrug. Oh well. I have worked days and nights and don't appreciate when I come in (early) to prepare for a shift, see people carousing at the desk an hour before shift change only to come on to find, say, 1800 meds not given to any patients and orders from 1500 onwards picked up but not done. Some of these things are write-up worthy: blood not given, CEs not drawn, bowel prep for AM surgery not started, etc. These are not things that someone got 'too busy' to do, and frankly, it's a burr on my behind to hear people say, 'eh, leave it for the next shift.'

    I realize your workplace is different, but you do understand that it happens to those of us elsewhere, right? JME.
    wooh likes this.
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    Right. As a permanent nighter, I get tired of certain people always passing off work, or purposely leaving things for me because the assumption is "she has all the time in the world." So in those instances, I often miss my break, when I know that person had theirs because I have even more to do.

    But, I don't complain. I get the work done. Why? Because it's for my residents. And, the myth that people sleep at night is just that....a myth. Many of them have insomnia, and if they've napped all day, they are surely awake again by 0200a.
    anotherone, Tweety, wooh, and 1 other like this.
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    Quote from glutton4punishment

    Yeah, what's up with them not sleeping????? I am 3 weeks into night shift, and these ppl don't fricken sleep!

    And sorry guys, but night shift is waaaaay easier for ME than days, and I really don't care what anyone else thinks about it. I can finally have a moment to process information without a doctor, family member, ancillary staff, or patient simply talking to me. It's physically less demanding at night, as well as mentally. I can hear myself think! It's soo awesome. I wish my day girls could have the same experience. Oh what a relief it is!
    ....NO they're sleep all day because they are up all night!
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    I like my unit. 90% of the time we get out work done on time and go home leaving the next shift with a fresh start. 10% we help each other out without complaint as it should be.

    I did two admission data bases the night shift left for me to do and they started an IV I couldn't get at shift change.

    I agree with the sentiments of the original poster sometimes it would be nice to have a friendlier attitude from the oncoming shift because you never know what the person has been through.

    I did 13 years of nights and so far 7 years of days.
    Poi Dog and joanna73 like this.
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    I work both days and nights currently. If any thing the permanent days/evenigns people are the ones who don't get the reality of nights for the most part. Some don't understand that the doctor on call is the cross covering intern who might not order or change any order until discussing it with "the primary team." which leads to some nurses thinking we are turfing more work onto them. Where I work at least, night shift gets more patients with less cnas if any. Both are busy and we seem to rarely have a quiet night. When I work days I am suprised sometimes at all the people around to help in an emergency.
  6. 0
    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.
    1. No one does that at my hospital.
    2.we have transport on days NONE at nights. we get plenty of admissions at night with STAT ct scans, mri, etc..... we have to take them and even LESS staff is on the floor.
    3.Diets not arranged on days means a call to the CROSS COVERING surgery resident who will raise hell for paging him/her for a diet order at night. lol (it has happened)
    4.for the most part accurate but at least the primary dr is there. it is a pain when they do this at night and the on call person is not going to come up to speak to the family and then it rolls onto me ............
    I realize it because i work both at the same place. Days are more hectic but many people seem to think we operate at night with the same staff but a lot less to do. we have a lot less to do but the staff is bare minimum. if we have to change an incontinent patient, half the staff may very well be in that room, with no one by the desk to answer the phone, or go to a bed alarm etc.
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    Quote from Tweety
    I like my unit. 90% of the time we get out work done on time and go home leaving the next shift with a fresh start. 10% we help each other out without complaint as it should be.

    I did two admission data bases the night shift left for me to do and they started an IV I couldn't get at shift change.

    I agree with the sentiments of the original poster sometimes it would be nice to have a friendlier attitude from the oncoming shift because you never know what the person has been through.

    I did 13 years of nights and so far 7 years of days.
    I agree wholeheartedly with the bolded.
    mbbysea and Tweety like this.
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    Wow! Whining and complaining just is not going to get the job done....These are human beings we are taking care of...If you day shifters can not get the job, I personally dont mind picking up some of the things that didn't get done...Not to say that the important things you should have taken care of on your shift...Minute details or orders that day shift could get done usually gets caught at night....And no biggy!

    You signed up for day shift....Complete day shift stuff that we should not have to complete at night.....Such as consults, calling the doctor because the patient hasn't pooped in a week, etc.....Help us out too, dayshifters!


    Hospital is 24 hours/ 7 days a week! Work together people...Thats is how it is at my hospital! Thank you Baby Jesus!
    anotherone, wooh, JRP1120, RN, and 1 other like this.
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    In a professional situation eye-rolling is just childish and unacceptable.

    I like to point that out with a simple, gently delivered, objective observation "I see you're rolling your eyes at me. Is there something you want to say to me, because an eye-roll is too ambiguous for me and I think communication during report should be clear." A lot of PEOPLE in this world (and NEWSFLASH: this includes male nurses!!) are passive aggressive. I have zero tolerance for that because it does not serve our patients.

    Habitual eye-rollers often don't even realize they are doing it. Anyone I've ever pointed it out to in nursing or in my previous profession has never rolled their eyes at me again. I don't have to like all my co-workers - I just have to respect them and work well with them, and that's what I expect in return.

    I am a new nurse working nights and if I am unable to leave a perfect clean slate for the day shifter I will apologize because of course I KNOW I am adding to their burden, but tasks rolling into the next shift are just a fact of nursing life and many, many factors come into play that affect whether I can finish every little thing.

    That's why I never judge the day shift reporting off to me - how the he11 do I know what kind of day they had? I would never presume. I mean - it's WORK - it isn't easy. Most definitely some of those factors are systemic so bickering between shifts just maintains the status quo with no energy put toward real change.

    It's all just common courtesy- stuff our mamas, papas, grannies, grampies, and teachers should have taught us long ago!!! But in my experience I would say approx 30% of people, regardless of their job title, are just plain clueless, rude, inconsiderate and unprofessional. It is what it is.

    Viva the wonderful 70% that aren't!! :spin:
    JRP1120, RN likes this.
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    Is there a patient ratio that changes between night/day?

    I'm LTC, Day shift has 20-30 patients, and Night has 60. Between all of the bolus feedings that are in our unit, and the jittery rehab patients, I try to never leave night shift anything to do, even if I have to stay a little late.

    There's some days where you just aren't going to get everything done though, and I think everyone should understand that, and be willing to pick up a little slack here and there.
    wooh likes this.


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