What would you do re: cutting back on hours

  1. Hi,

    I am considering reducing my night shift hour commitment by about half and using my free time to pick up more day shift hours. Working days feels more natural to me - I just feel healthier and less ragged.



    Why I am feeling apprehensive about this change:


    I truly love the staff on night shift - my charge is amazing and is always so very patient with me - she never blows me off and will take the time to teach me new things whenever I approach her with a question - something that is so extremely valuable for an inexperienced nurse like myself. I also have a lot of co-workers that i adore and admire very much.

    On night shift, I (sometimes) have more time to think about my patients, look up unfamiliar diagnoses and medications. My work is also more complete and feels less hurried.

    I am a new nurse who often needs the guidance and advice of strong experienced nurses. There are some day nurses I feel comfortable approaching but they are often very busy and stressed themselves and don't have much time for me. I will have at least 5 questions each shift ... as I gain more experience, pt. assignments will be more complex ... I worry about who I can turn to when this happens if I were to work days

    I am worried about rocking the boat by asking my manager to approve this change

    I am worried that if I give up my hours, I won't have the opportunity to pick up shifts

    A lot of the nurses and support staff on night shift are just so warm and inviting and really do make me feel comfortable in my environment - something that is hard for a shy introverted person like me. The staff on days seems a little more detached because everyone is just so busy.

    Sorry, so long but what would you do?

    I am torn ... part of me feels like I should go for it - someone told me the time is right to ask for a reduction in hours (we currently have a lot of new staff) part of me is feeling hesitant and feels I should wait.

    Help
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  2. 6 Comments

  3. by   caliotter3
    Please consider that going back and forth between night and day shifts wreaks havoc on the body in the long run. You will probably find yourself getting exhausted and finding yourself doing nothing much more than sleeping on your days off. This is info from one who has been there. You should be very careful how you schedule your shifts to take into consideration what is acceptable for your body. Good luck with your decision.
  4. by   EmmaG
    I agree. Rotating shifts is hell on your body. You think you feel ragged now???

    Your post gives plenty of reasons why you should stay on nights, and none for switching to days other than your physical well-being. While that is probably the most important thing to consider, pick a shift and stick with it. Switching back and forth is no good. Trust me on this lol.
  5. by   KenCCRN
    Quote from Sassybottom
    Hi,

    I am considering reducing my night shift hour commitment by about half and using my free time to pick up more day shift hours. Working days feels more natural to me - I just feel healthier and less ragged.



    Why I am feeling apprehensive about this change:


    I truly love the staff on night shift - my charge is amazing and is always so very patient with me - she never blows me off and will take the time to teach me new things whenever I approach her with a question - something that is so extremely valuable for an inexperienced nurse like myself. I also have a lot of co-workers that i adore and admire very much.

    On night shift, I (sometimes) have more time to think about my patients, look up unfamiliar diagnoses and medications. My work is also more complete and feels less hurried.

    I am a new nurse who often needs the guidance and advice of strong experienced nurses. There are some day nurses I feel comfortable approaching but they are often very busy and stressed themselves and don't have much time for me. I will have at least 5 questions each shift ... as I gain more experience, pt. assignments will be more complex ... I worry about who I can turn to when this happens if I were to work days

    I am worried about rocking the boat by asking my manager to approve this change

    I am worried that if I give up my hours, I won't have the opportunity to pick up shifts

    A lot of the nurses and support staff on night shift are just so warm and inviting and really do make me feel comfortable in my environment - something that is hard for a shy introverted person like me. The staff on days seems a little more detached because everyone is just so busy.

    Sorry, so long but what would you do?

    I am torn ... part of me feels like I should go for it - someone told me the time is right to ask for a reduction in hours (we currently have a lot of new staff) part of me is feeling hesitant and feels I should wait.

    Help
    Ahhhh.....Saasybottom.....I would stay on nights.....been doing ICU/ER/SCTU nights for 14 years and its the only way to go. Hate to say it...but ...did you notice how grumpy the day shift is ? Its not there fault.....here is why:
    1) They have to give all the meals....we do the snack....
    2) They have to deal with most of the doctors on days and all the orders
    4) They have to deal with all the families coming in and out all day
    5) They have to take the patients down to do all the tests and accompany them(ICU patients)
    6) The other day shift nurse...says dont worry...I'll cover your other patient or patients while you are down there....yea right....hehe
    7)The have to deal with JCAHO visits...I have never seen them come on nights....hehe
    8) They have to deal with not only local management...but all the rest of the hospital suits all day.
    9) They have to deal with a lot on days that we dont have to do on nights.

    I have a thing called, light therapy at night....the lights go down and the calmness permiates the air. I would never...never...do days...even if I could live 5 years longer by getting better sleep.
    Ken
  6. by   PickyRN
    Quote from KenCCRN
    I have a thing called, light therapy at night....the lights go down and the calmness permiates the air. I would never...never...do days...even if I could live 5 years longer by getting better sleep.
    Ken

    Studies have shown that night shift workers should not turn the lights down, because this stimulates the body to think that it is night time, and messes with your circadian rhythm. Keep the lights on, and your body won't know it's supposed to be sleeping. :-)
  7. by   Boston-RN
    Quote from KenCCRN
    Ahhhh.....Saasybottom.....I would stay on nights.....been doing ICU/ER/SCTU nights for 14 years and its the only way to go. Hate to say it...but ...did you notice how grumpy the day shift is ? Its not there fault.....here is why:
    1) They have to give all the meals....we do the snack....
    2) They have to deal with most of the doctors on days and all the orders
    4) They have to deal with all the families coming in and out all day
    5) They have to take the patients down to do all the tests and accompany them(ICU patients)
    6) The other day shift nurse...says dont worry...I'll cover your other patient or patients while you are down there....yea right....hehe
    7)The have to deal with JCAHO visits...I have never seen them come on nights....hehe
    8) They have to deal with not only local management...but all the rest of the hospital suits all day.
    9) They have to deal with a lot on days that we dont have to do on nights.

    I have a thing called, light therapy at night....the lights go down and the calmness permiates the air. I would never...never...do days...even if I could live 5 years longer by getting better sleep.
    Ken
    All that and more money......our night shift gets 30% diff
  8. by   amberfnp
    I work labor pool in the ED so I get to work all different shifts and by far, I like nights, after 11, the best! I also work full time (pick up ED shifts nights and weekends) and yes, all the crazy hours will catch up with you, sometimes taking days to recoop.

    The night staff are definatley more teamwork oriented and supportive and less likely to dump on each other. Unfortunately, that is where most of our staffing issues are right now.

    Add in the night incentive and all the reasons KenCCRN mentioned~~sounds like if you work in a hospital, nights are the way to go. I have never done it full time though and wonder how if affects you social life as far as getting together with friends/family who work standard hours.

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