What TO Do?????????????

  1. New to noc's in med surg, and having a hard time getting enough sleep. I feel so burned out, like I just can't go on anymore. Not sure what to do. Money is good. Staff nice, BUT NIGHTS>..ugh. Thinking maybe I should go to part time, or accept another offer that I received from another hospital. Bad thing is I'm deep into my orientation, and don't feel it would be fair to leave. Whats more important, the job? or my health? Thinking to call in tonight just so I can rest. What do you think?
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  2. 8 Comments

  3. by   mrh1953
    This is a good subject! I am sure a LOT of folks out there have dealt with this in spades, and I look forward to seeing replies.

    It's been too many years since I worked nights for me to remember how I coped, but I would suggest that you tell the folks at work *tonight* how hard the adjustment is. Better than calling in sick, unless you think you have reached the point of being dangerous (i.e. apt to make mistakes).

    Let's hope that the others on the shift as well as the person in charge of orientation can respond with concern and practical advice re: your state.

    If you find yourself not adjusting, somewhere down the road, and if you can afford it, part-time is probably a really good solution. I know that for me it would be.

    Good luck. Please let us know how you manage with this.

    Margaret
  4. by   Scavenger'sWife
    Yeah I agree....talk to the people you work with tonight. They all had to adjust too. How did they do it? I don't think calling off is an answer.

    Debby
  5. by   shannonRN
    i have a difficult time winding down my mind after a shift...my body is saying let's sleep, but my mind is a racing. i try to do deep breathing and relaxation exercises but sometimes those don't work and i resort to benadryl. a couple of night nurses i know take sleeping pills on a regular basis. or maybe you could take a walk in the morning to kind of wind down and tire you out...that might work.
    if you could talk your manager into giving you a set schedule that may help. your body could get into more of a routine. one of my coworkers does this and she said it has helped alot.
    if you can afford to cut down on your hours and the boss agrees, why not? or every once in a while schedule yourself some paid time off days, so you can rest and take care of yourself.

    only you know what you need to do/how you are feeling. if you feel that you need to call of then by all means do so. good luck with adapting and let us know how you do!
  6. by   live4today
    Rule of thumb to remember when applying for a job that works three shifts:

    Choose the BEST shift for you! If you are not a 'night person'....don't hire to work nights. If you are not a day person...don't hire on to work days. If you are tired by 8:00 p.m......don't hire on to work the evening shift. Go for what shift fits your circadian rhythm and no other.
  7. by   Dr. Kate
    While it's been a few years since I worked nights, one thing is certain, it takes time to adjust. It gets worse if you worry about sleeping or not sleeping. If everything else is equal give it six months and assess how you feel then.
  8. by   RNCM

    I used to have alot of difficulty with the night shift thing.

    This is what helped me:
    :chuckle If possible, cluster your nights on so they occur together.
    Anticipate going to work, eating, then sleeping. Don't plan anything else - try to get into a routine for those nights that you do work. I used a sleep mask over my eyes, as the sunlight was what really impacted me.
    I found that by clustering my work shifts, I would be tired enough to sleep, and it worked out for me after a time of transition. My boss was also a good soul and I basically worked 7 on - 7 off. It was great - first night's sleep was so-so, but after that, I slept OK. For me, establishing a ROUTINE was important. I also needed to keep other stimuli away (thus the eat sleep work thing) in order to feel rested.
    I hope this helps!
    Counting sheep just doesn't do it for me!
  9. by   indynurse
    Wear your sunglasses when you leave the building. One shot of bright sunlight and it was all over for me. Try to stick to a routine. The suggestion to cluster all of your work days together is a great suggestion. I would go back to nocs in a heartbeat if I could be guaranteed a regular schedule. I really liked the people I worked with on nocs, but had a hard time with the hours because of how inconsistant my days off were. I recently picked up a week of nocs because we were really in a bind with high census and unexpected emergency leaves. Part of the deal for me was to work five nocs in a row. The first night was tough, but I had worked the day-shift that day and only had a 2 1/2 hour nap before returning. The next four nights were a piece of cake.
  10. by   canoehead
    White noise, a cool room, and darkness with no interruptions. Make sure whatever you use for noise will prevent you hearing family and feeling like you should get up with them.

    I also used to wake up with horrible headaches but now I put out a pitcher of water on nights and drink lots, it solved the problem. Eat something before you go to bed that will stick with you (oatmeal?).

    I also used to wake at noon and not be able to sleep again. Now I watch an hour of slow paced TV, and go back to bed. I keep a novel going and read it until I get tired. Now I am so conditioned that reading in bed puts me out in 15-20min.

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