Not a night owl!!

  1. As a new grad is it really better to start out on nights? What shift best trains a person? If working nights for the first time how do you get your body used to the change?
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  2. 4 Comments

  3. by   Ted
    Hi Amyi:

    I think it depends on the hospital and its resources.

    I work nights at a very small community hospital where there is only one inhouse physician (the ER Doctor) and very little "other" support. When I call the on call physician, chances are he/she doesn't know the patient. Add this to the fact that I work in a CCU/ICU and there is no REAL intensivist, and the "on call" physicians are GP's. When the SH_T hits the fan, I'm basically the one running the show until the ER doctor comes up to help . . . maybe.

    I don't see how a new grad can receive the educational and clinical support that is deserved in a setting like this.

    However, I used to work in a rather large teaching hospital. 24 hours a day there were all sorts of MD's, NP's, clinical nurse specialists just crawling up and down the wood work. Additionally, the preceptorship program was very strong and well organized on all three shifts (at least in the department I used to work for). A new grad working in a setting like this could do just fine.

    Working nights. Guard your sleep. It's precious. I sleep in shifts, about 2 to 4 hours after I get home from work and then about another 2 hour just before going to work.

    Hope this helps. Good luck with your decision.

    Regards,

    Ted

    P. S. My wife's name is Amy. It's a beautiful name!
    Last edit by Ted on May 10, '02
  4. by   Anagray
    I don't have any suggestions on times of the day and clinical experience, but I do have a suggestion on the best way to adjust to night shifts. I worked overnights for 3 years at one point.

    First, I would cancel or not make my plans for the first week or 2 - non-emergency appointments, parties, get togethers, etc.
    Second, make sure your room is cool and dark
    Go to bed as soon as you can and when u wake up, just lie around if possible. U may feel like u have enough energy to do housework or something like that, but later in the shift u will feel very tired.
    If u are single, it should be pretty easy to adjust, but if u have a family - it will be very tought.
    good luck with whatever u decide to do!
  5. by   cpgrn
    When I started as an RN 6 years ago I knew I wasn't the night owl type. I looked for a job that would be days. I worked in a doctors office for 3 years and then took a school nurse position which is where I remain. I love it! No weekends or holidays and 8 weeks in the summer with my family. There are so many opportunities in nursing that you just have to look for what makes you happy. Whatever you choose, good luck to you! Carol
  6. by   cesca
    I worked nights for almost a year and I hated!
    so I just got a new job for days.

    I started nights as a new grad since it was only opening at our hospital. Since this is a small community hospital, as other member mentioned, there is minimum of support during the night, especially between 12am to 7am. It takes forever to house MD (only one in whole hospital) to answer my page, and some of HMD is useless. Pharmacy is closed after 12am, so if you need medication, you have to call supervisor, who, is also not supportive.
    as a new grad, I learned more during orientation when I worked days. I suggest anyone who start as a new grad start days, or if you have to work days, get a job at bigger medical ceter.

    good luck to you!

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Not a night owl!!