Night Shift For Newbies - page 4

by Ruby Vee 103,177 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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    An additional TRIED and TRUE night shift assist= GET A FAN!

    I am SO about the "background noise" ....it really does help block out neighbors mowing lawns, family in the house showering or just doing stuff, even loud horns honking next door, and little ones playing outside!

    For awhile I did wear ear plugs too, but don't do that anymore. It wasn't too bad though.

    DO IT, get the fan. You won't be sorry. Get a box fan.....you can find them at Sears or Target. The newer "quiet" models defeat the whole purpose
    visionary123 and wooh like this.
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    I love night shift, it's my preferred shift. The only time I've done days is when a manager tells me I have to do orientation on days "just to know what it's like". Need to remember about the eating well even on nights, it's so easy to binge on junk food.

    Very good post Ruby :-)
    m4howie likes this.
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    Have to agree that a lot of it is just having a good attitude about it. I realize for a lot of people, it does suck. But I snagged a day job when I got the chance. And I've learned so much. But I love when I pick up a night so much that now that I'm going back to school I'm trying to work something out so that I can go to nights and cut my hours without cutting my pay too much. You absolutely cannot match the comraderie that a nightshift team has. There's an "us against the whole wide world" that brings you together. You don't have the resources that day does, so you get creative and learn who you can count on. Who's a good IV stick? Who knows all the policies? Who knows how to do a discharge since they only happen once in a blue moon at night? And the lack of management, it's a wonderful thing. Sure, they don't know the pain that nights is always facing, but if you're like me and don't have a desire to "move up," then face time with management is more likely to get you in trouble than to help you reach your goals. And it's HARD to hide on days.
    It's funny, I've been at my current hospital for a while, worked nights for a while there even, but working nights, I learned all sorts of things that I didn't know working days, because I didn't have to. Like where the vending machine is that has tylenol (since at night, can't send visitors to the gift shop!)
    cynforgiven likes this.
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    I used to do full time nights and it was in a very small town of 400 people, needless to say I could do nothing on my days off, and I got very depressed.
    I now work part time nights, four off and two on.
    Your article is great. I would add and emphasize about the eating, eat healthy, and don't snack all night to keep yourself awake, you want to stay awake drink water....... most night workers gain weight. Also like you said in your article excercise. I go swimming every morning after my night shift to get rid of my stress and keep my weight under control.
    As for the sleep that's very important don't consider the day before your night shift as okay I can go have fun you'll regret it.
    It's also true about your coworkers, yes we have down time, not much I'd say about 45 minutes each night and I love talking to my CNA's and we're good friends which makes for a good work environment because my CNA's respect me as a supervisor and as a friend. However they all know that when I'm directing them about things it's not personal but about the job. It's okay to be friends with your CNA's but you need to keep you boundries in terms of work/vs. friendship.
    I also wind down after work with my CNA's we sit outside drinking sodas and just talk about life.
    Also melatonin is a great way to get sleep too I take one about an hour before I need to sleep.
    I wake up 40 minutes before i have to leave to wind down and watch a bit of TV before having to go to work, and to mull in my mind what needs to be done that night
    Great article thumbs up
    JulieL likes this.
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    .... love, love, love your article Ruby Vee! I started on nocs 5-6 weeks ago, and I remember coming over to All Nurses website for some insight and run into your article. Oh, so true about night shifts and such a positive outlook on it! Thank you!
    I applied many of your insight as well as the other noc shift workers insights as well; staying hydrated, exercising and eating real meals have been helping me understand my body and its circadian rhythm patterns. Hugs!
    cynforgiven and Ruby Vee like this.
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    Thank u Whoo for ur helpful tips! I am a LVN of 8 yrs. always worked 7am-3pm on floor only. I would like to try noc's. Would another nurse actually do a discharge for another nurse,I if you never had the experience of doing one? Or do a iv stick for you? I never had to do either! It's scary if you have to do one with no one there to show you how to correctly.
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    Don't worry new grads - night shift is awesome. I started out on evenings, went to days, then nights because I wanted to switch to ICU. Barely any families like on days, to distract you. No administrators. Bend all the rules. And actually do good patient care, undistracted. LOVE IT!
    BronxRN28 and wooh like this.
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    Thank you all for your tips and suggestions. Am a day person and am just about to start my nursing career as a night nurse. This will all be helpful to me.
    cynforgiven likes this.
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    Love this article - I read it before I started FT nights in Psych. And I love nights! No administration, no "extra" staff, etc! I work 1500-0700 twice a week and 2300-0700 once a week. Since these aren't all bunched together (thank goodness), here is what I do: The day I work, I sleep in extra late. Easy because I don't have any kids and my husband is in medical school so he doesn't bother me. Work all night, drinking LOTS of water to stay hydrated, and eating healthy (i.e. yogurt, fruit, nuts, leftover dinners, veggies). I work on a unit with only 8 pts so I get my work done early and read the rest of the night or play sudoku to stay awake lol Then, once I'm done with my shift, I keep drinking water so that I have to pee, because I can't fall asleep while having to pee. I have to drive 40 minutes home, so this helps tremendously! I also listen to loud music, like Lady Gaga, and sing the whole way home. Sometimes when I'm absolutely exhausted I'll call my husband to talk me home. If I don't have work that night, I'll sleep til about 1300 and then get up and go to bed around 2330. If I am working that night, I'll take some Melatonin, wear a face mask, turn the fan on high, and draw my blackout curtains. I usually can sleep til 1630 and then I'll get up and go about my day as normal. Hope this helps someone!

    Melyn, RN
    visionary123, Candogal, Belle14, and 1 other like this.
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    I work 12 hour night shifts and I also live in a place that has no night life so I switch back during my days off. What I do is sleep about 6 hours on my first day off, then get up and spend the evening with family/friends. Then I go to bed at the regular time and get up at the regular time. On the last day, I get up for a few hours in the morning, then get about 4/5 hours nap before I go back to work. Black out curtains, a TV or a fan and some family and friend training are necessary, but this works pretty well for me. When I need to sleep and don't want to, I use Rapid Sleep PM, which is a combination of valerian root and melatonin sold at Walgreens (among other places). It works very quickly, and leaves no hangover. Good luck working the night shift. Remember, the bonuses for working that shift are: 1) no politics or bigwigs, 2) better pay and 3) a little downtime here and there.
    Meg, RN likes this.


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