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.