Night Shift For Newbies - page 3

by Ruby Vee | 109,188 Views | 73 Comments

most of us donít get much choice over whether or not we work nights, although we might get a choice about when. we also get a choice about how we handle our night rotations. there are plusses and minuses to working eight hour... Read More


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    [color="pink"]thanks for the tips, i will soon be working night shift.
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    GREAT ARTICLE! I rotate, so that in itself is a task! However, strangely enough, I find that I get MORE sleep when I am on nights. I'm a night owl, so when I am working days, I usually dont get to bd until 12-1am, and I'm back up at 5...but on night shift, I tend to go to bed as soon as I get home if I don't work out or have some other errand to run and I sleep until 4pm, shower and dress, then eat dinner and relax until I leave out at 6:15 pm.

    Eating on night shift is also an issue. Since I eat dinner before coming to work on nights, I feel guilty for eating another meal during my shift, so I do tend to eat unhealthy snacks. I may or may not eat when I get off night shift, which in itself is bad. *shame on me*

    I need to try cutting off my cell phone. The sun doesnt bother me, it's my friends/family that txt/call me, knowing this is my week to work nights. I literally had to hold my tongue after my boyfriend called TWICE this afternoon while I tried to sleep to rest for my 2nd night in a row....he has yet to understand why I sleep during the day (he works nights as well,at times, but will stay up all frickin day...NOT I!).
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    I love night shift!
    I love the patients, who are more open with talking and sharing at night, with no families and no ancillary staff; and not every doctor on the case running in and out.
    I love the camaraderie with my coworkers. We are a well oiled machine during a night shift crisis, we have to be.
    I love being home when my angel comes home from school, and we can have dinner together.
    I am blessed to be close enough to walk to work, and jog home, so I keep up with my exercise.
    Oh, yeah, don't ask if I want to switch to days.
    ;-)
    ramseyer likes this.
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    Quote from Meg, RN
    Question: I'm trying to figure out how to revert back to a regular sleep schedule on my days off. Is it better to sleep through the day and then try to sleep through the next night? Or do ya'll just stay up all day after your last night shift and then sleep through the night?
    Sounds horrible, but I stay up. I am switching to twelve hour shifts this week, so we'll see how that goes, but on 8 hour shifts I would stay up. I got more of a day in and then it "forced" me to sleep that next night because I was tired. I find that Benedryl makes me sleepy, but it doesn't knock me out... so if I am not dog dead tired when I take it, I will wake up and be absolutely exhausted yet unable to fall asleep.
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    Quote from NewAggieGrad09
    I need to try cutting off my cell phone. The sun doesnt bother me, it's my friends/family that txt/call me, knowing this is my week to work nights. I literally had to hold my tongue after my boyfriend called TWICE this afternoon while I tried to sleep to rest for my 2nd night in a row....he has yet to understand why I sleep during the day (he works nights as well,at times, but will stay up all frickin day...NOT I!).
    Because of working the night shift, my friends and family never know when to call me, so they don't - great, but then all of a sudden they would call me in a panic because, "Oh yeah, I couldn't get a hold of you so I planned this for you and its today." The other thing I deal with is me answering the phone without being awake.... I always get feed back the next day, "You answered, but you sounded super groggy but you said we were okay to keep talking!" Really!? Hang up!!
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    I worked nights for 15 years, and loved them!!! If I could do my current job at night, I would!! My schedule was.. work 12 hr night, get home about 8 am, and right to bed after toast and an egg, etc.,, then sleep until 4pm, then up, make supper for me and hubby, eat, off to work at 5 30, ( worked 7-7, but had 45 min commute). I generally took leftovers or a Lean Cuisine, etc., with fruit or salad to eat at work. When I got home, eat, light, then bed, if I was off that night, I would sleep until noon or 1, then up and to bed with family. The next day, I would get up when I wanted, go to bed when I wanted, and then sleep late the next day until 11 or later , to be back at work that night. May sund weird, but it worked!!
    I got curtains that darkened the room, thick blinds, etc., gotta have the loud fan, and turned off the phones. I left the answering machine on in the living room, but I couldn't hear it in my room.
    Yes, I have taken a nap in a safe area in order to make it home. I have also slept while driving...hummmm I don't reccommend that, though!!
    Night shift staff are the best!!!! Also, I enjoy not having all the "big-wigs" around all the time!!!!
    ENJOY NIGHTS!!!
    ramseyer, Honeybee737, gracedRN, and 1 other like this.
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    Nice article. As a nursing student I've been dreading the night shifts (I like my sleep- at night) but your article makes it seem less dreadful

    Thanks
    gelibean and visionary123 like this.
  8. 0
    I've been working nights for 28 years now.
    If you have kids you may want to "enlist" them in helping mom to get her sleep - pointing out that you are a much nicer person to be around when you have enough rest. My boys would screen calls, politely informing callers "I'll be glad to take a message but I won't wake her." The general guideline was only to wake me for spurting blood or bones sticking through the skin. I also instituted a general rule that any permission granted was automatically changed to "No way" if they had asked during sleep hours.
    On driving home: I've found that a large orange juice sipped along the way seems to help keep me awake. If the open window and radio don't do it, I pull over and walk briskly beside the truck swinging my arms and deep breathing.
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    I have been working nites for 2 years now. I am no spring chicken and I have always been a nite person. My problem is I cannot sleep at nite anymore. Awake and sleepy all day, but go to bed and I am awake all nite. It can be 36 hours before I get to sleep. Needless to say it drives me crazy. Ambien helped until I developed angioedema whenever I took it. Worked last nite (Thursday), came home slept from 10 am till 3 pm.(Fri.) Now it is 4 am (Sat.) and I am still wide awake and I have a full day of activities ahead and company. Hopefully I will sleep tonight after the busy day, if not I will sleep all day Sunday. My body is whacked. My BP is high and I am gaining weight. The sleep problems were not bad when I was young, they seem to come with age Also, our shift differential is not much and the ratio at nite is now up to 7 patients per nurse. Time for a new job I think!
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    I don't work nights anymore, but I just want to say that as a fresh new nurse, I think it saved me from running away from nursing altogether and I'm glad I did it. I loved my night shift crew and made some great friendships in a short amount of time I was there. Yes, night shift is busy in its own way, but it was a good environment to learn in and people were actually able to help you and answer questions. My first day shift job was insane! It was a million miles a minute, every single minute of those 12-hours!!! Sleep was tough to get used to but I'd work nights again if I needed to Good night!


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