Night shift, new grad - advice please.. ?
- 0Mar 4, '11 by Jamie P.M., RNHi Everyone!
Just wondering if there are any nurses out there who started out as new grads with a 7p-7a shift on med/surg. Any advice? I'm excited and nervous at the same time. What are the key points starting out as a new nurse? I'm really hoping that I have an awesome team to work with, most of all..an awesome preceptor.. I'm kinda scared knowing that there's usually only 1 doc on call..and that the pt/nurse ration is higher during the evening. Any pointers?? Thanks!
- 0Mar 4, '11 by luvmyhubbybunchesNights were the way to go for me when I was new nurse (years ago). Less hectic IMO. You do not have numerous doctors running around writing a ton of new orders, "in your business" administrators are gone for the day, visitors gone, and hopefully patients settled in and sleeping soundly for the night with respirations even and unlabored of course!! LOL
- 1Mar 4, '11 by joanna73 GuideI'm a new grad (not med surg though) and I work nights. I enjoy nights, and although it is still busy, the pace is different. You will learn to prioritize eventually and it gets easier. For sleeping, I take 1 melatonin capsule about 30 min before I want to sleep. Finding ways that help you sleep when you work nights is very important.
- 0Mar 4, '11 by leusherI started on the night shift as a new grad and have never regretted. I will advise that you do at least a few shifts or maybe most of your preceptorship on the day shift. My reasoning behind it is there are many things that you will get to do on days shift that you will not on nights. In addition it will help you get a routine together, if you can survive day shift night shift will be a breeze. Plus night shift is a little slower many times which allows you to spend time getting to know our patients, routines, etc. without having to send them to radiology, dialysis, etc. Plus you have less people involved in the care which can definitely be beneficial. Though nights can be hard to adjust for your sleeping I, like joanna73 take melatonin, it allows me to drift off to sleep without waking up drowsy.
- 2Mar 4, '11 by systolyHere's a link to a wonderful article by one of the esteemed members of this board. The article is entitled "Night shift for newbies".
- 0Mar 4, '11 by glolillyDay shift is more hectic but you will not experience a true since of Nursing until working a few Day or Evening shifts. Even if you just follow a nurse for a week or two, it will open your eyes to the routine so you can appreciate when you give report what the day nurse hectic routine entails. Say if you change the medication time and the day nurse barks, you will understand what the discussion is all about if she says she has upteen 9:00 meds, breakfast and baths to deal with. Seeing it for yourself is a picture worth a thousands words. You will see how to get a pt. ready for surg so at night you will do all you can to prepare the pt. and the paperwork. You see the doctors making runs, the flood of visitors and family and how they question the night treatment, etc. When you were in nursing school most grads were not exposed to the real world. I worked dayshift for years and then went to nights. At night you had very little action but you were more on your own. When their were emergencies, my experience kicked in when it was hard to find night staff for questions or help.
- 0Mar 4, '11 by MouseMichelleI work part time nocs at a LTC facility. In a way it is just as hard as AM/PM in my opinion there are no easy shifts. I like the fact that I don't have to see my DON's face as if I had to deal with her I'd most likely have quit by now.
Make your room as dark as you can so you can sleep. Make sure you eat healthy, NOC workers tend to gain a bit of weight which is okay but it's usually because their mealtimes are all messy. If you're tired drink lots of water. Take your breaks if you can (I cannot as I'm the only nurse on the floor). Find healthy ways to sleep, get a schedule down and stick to it. Nothing worse than having to go to work very tired. I usually take a melatonin and drink some valerian root tea to help me wind down. I wake up at 9pm so I usually go to sleep about 1pm. You'll figure out your routine.
Best of luck