which shift is busier? - page 2

I work steady 3-11 in a LTC facility. Just noticed that the 1st of the month, all the dayturn treatments were put on afternoon turn along with all the 11-7 catheter changes. When I asked the DON... Read More

  1. by   Noney
    Ask any nurse which shift is busiest, and the answer you usually get is MINE!
  2. by   Agnus
    I have worked all shifts. Unless nights are SEVERELY shorter staffed I have to in all honesty say nights are GENERALLY less bussy.
    There are a few exceptions like L&D and maybe ER and such.

    The hub bub of administrative staff etc on days makes for a hectic shift. But look at weekends and hollidays when the extrenious personell are not there and it is basically clinical staff and things go better.
  3. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Originally posted by fergus51
    Depends on the unit. L&D was always the same days or nights. NICU seems just as busy on nights, although there are fewer parents, all the weights, bloodwork and elective procedures are done on nights. If days were so terrible there wouldn't be so many people at my hospital begging to get out of doing nights. I realize other units are different.
    RIGHT-O..... one thing I have noticed, so many of the day nurses are under the impression patients sleep all night----- rofl....only were that true. Those who do TRY, send the babies out to us to watch. So while we juggle babies (we have no wellbaby nursing staff), we still have OTHER patients to care for.

    People still have pain issues at night; they still need BF help at night...and women still come in, in active labor at night. I say it's about equal. Surgical patients keep a nurse busy at night as well as days. We do GYN surgical nursing and I notice they are in a LOT of pain at night, often. Now to be fair:

    The day shift DOES get stuck with the lion's share of NST (not stress testing), elective csections, and induction initiation (most of these seem to deliver during evening). They do virtually all discharge teaching paperwork. NOT ALL teaching, but they ARE stuck with ensuring paperwork is done. THAT is time-consuming, I know. They also get the majority of fresh post-op patients and have to recover them. Yes they do work very hard!

    But at night, we are expected to do all PKU's, footprinting, cord clamp removals, baby weights and restocking. So I say it's a pretty even share of work load. WE are also expected to get ALL post op patients up to the toilet for the 1st time by 5 a.m. (1st post op day) and Heplock off all IV's ---not always easy, esp with VERY heavy folks who dont' want to move at all. Also, WE are usually more poorly-staffed at night just cause all hell can and does break loose at 2:00 a.m. sometimes, but no one will come in extra at that time to help out. That's the nature of the beast.

    I think nursing has it tough, period, without getting nit-picky as to has it the hardest. What a waste of time that is; it's like the old argument as to which units are hardest or easiest. No one wins and it's too polarizing. Let's just respect that in today's environment, we all work hard and under a lot of stress, ok?
  4. by   goingCOASTAL
    Originally posted by momrn50
    I work steady 3-11 in a LTC facility. Just noticed that the 1st of the month, all the dayturn treatments were put on afternoon turn along with all the 11-7 catheter changes. When I asked the DON why this was done, she said it was because dayturn was too busy and midnight shift didn't have time. Well, HELLO...what about afternoon turn? We do the exact things that dayturn does except in reverse along with the added pressure of more family members, MD's that aren't in their offices and pharmacy that doesn't answer after hour calls....very frustrating...any thoughts, ideas, solutions???
    I've never done LTR, but at hospital, I've done all three shifts -- and they each have their own set of problems. On 7-3, you are feeding, bathing, passing nine am meds (busiest med admin time), and playing politics with hospital admin, and babysitting physicians. Though most of this is done by three p.m., 3-11 is when all the admits from ER, and physicians offices come in -- and we usually get as many as there are empty beds, regardless of staffing levels which are set in stone 2 hours before shift start.

    On nights, things are usually quite by one am, so you're only staffed with a skeleton crew -- which is okay if all your beds are filled up before you come on, otherwise, be prepared to admit till full -- even if there's only two of you. This doesn't happen nightly, though, so there's twenty-four hour chart audits, and catching up and mopping up the mistakes from the previous sixteen hours. This keeps you busy till 4 or 5 when it's time for labs, daily weights, pre-op baths, getting things prepared for days.

    All in all, all shifts keep busy -- thought, some shifts are more physical than others. I don't mind physical labor, but currently work nights because I can't abide the hypocritical BS politicking one has to do to keep their job on day shift.
  5. by   fergus51
    Definitely with you on that Deb. I am now in a bigger hospital and all the NSTs and inductions and such are done through our day clinic, so they are staffed for it. We don't even let women have their babies out of the room at night anymoer, because it just wasn't feasible. No well baby nursery staff means no well babies at the nursing station.
  6. by   grneyes676
    This debate drives me crazy!!!! Each shift is busy, just a differnt kind of busy!! but here is how my shift goes....... I work 12 hour nights. We hit the floor running. Once we get out of report about 730pm we have to assess our patients and maybe to vitals (depends if we have an aide), then it is time for tpn/lipids to go up, by the time those are up it is time for 9pm meds (working on a transplant floor there are tons of meds) in the mean time the OR admits are all coming at the same time, while the docs just did afternoon rounds and none of the new orders were tended to, they usually consist of blood trans. or e-lyte replacements, oh and dont forget the patients need to be up and walking at least one more time. Hopefully I get this all done before report at 11pm when I pick up a couple more patients. Then 9 times out of 10 we dont have an aide so at MN I get all my vitals and assess my new pt's, start the new 24hour flow sheet, chart checks, MAR checks, while answering lights and doing Q 1 hour urine dumps on my fresh kidney transplant with cc/cc replacements, also answering the phone and pulling orders since there is no clerk, updating the kardex (yes that god awful old system..LOL), then at 4am it's vitals again along with drains and boy do our pt's have tons of them, then of course everyone has low urine output ....then the paging the docs for the low UO and hanging boluses, btw, got to have the pt's looking top notch since rounds start at 630am so there are what seems like a million docs on the floor all asking a million ?'s while you are trying to button everything up for the end of your shift!! Shew.......sounds crazy when you type it all out.......Im sure I forgot to mention something...(like the sundowning pt's.....) any way a glance into my night at work!!
  7. by   confused101
    I'm only a Personal Care Assistant(aka nurses aid). I work on a SIMCU unit. Days have baths, two tray passes and the family that never ends. They don't stock and the ALWAYS
  8. by   confused101
    I'm only a Personal Care Assistant(aka nurses aid), but I am in nursing school. I work on a SIMCU unit. Days have baths, two tray passes and the family that never ends. They don't stock and the ALWAYS get there lunch. On evenings it seems that all the patients go into crazy mode and pull out their IV's. Then the full really starts on nights. I am lucky to get a 15 minute lunch and even then I'm up getting lights because we are short every night. All in all every shift has their business, but I wish the day shift would run as many people on nights for one day and see how it would feel.
  9. by   altomga
    I have to agree with another poster...you ask a person and they will say their shift is busier.

    I work nights...and I've done days on the same floor..The difference to me is the frustration level and "activity" of the floor itself...not the pt's.

    On days they have many more people to work around..PT/OT, Speech, more doctors making rounds...Procedures that can't be done at night, administration and management....

    The day is how you make it though...If a doc came into my "pod" I would ask them what they are doing, what orders are they writing for, etc...If they kept flip-flopping (I work at a teaching hospital)..I would simply tell them.."when you figure out what you are doing and want let me know and I will do it then..until then hush!"......If they were at my desk I tell them to MOVE..they are hindering my work..plain and simple. A lot of day nurses on my unit don't tell the docs stuff like that and they need to. Coordinating you days activity is key (and yes it does get screwed up)..basically days is busier b/c of the increase number of people around. At least on days sometimes you may have 2-3 pts go down for dialysis and they are gone for @ 4hrs of your shift!!! Thats a plus

    Nights is calmer b/c we don't have those "people" around. It is just as busy. Admissions, transfers, pt's who sundown, I wish I had a pt that slept during the night...most of the time they sleep during the day and then the doc's d/c the sedation!!! Really ticks me off too! When a doc is on the floor it is b/c I CALLED THEM!!
    The acuity of the pt's does not change from day to night (although I have been told otherwise!) Downfall from nights is that we do not have the resources available to help us out. We run on minimal staff also.

    Days can make you go crazy yes....hands down I won't deny that
    But to work nights a person gives up a normal life also.

    This discussion will always be a battle over which shift is busier......the fact though is the pt's are still just as sick on both shifts and can make a nurse just as busy!
  10. by   WhiteCaps
    I agree with altomega and most of the posts, ALL SHIFTS ARE BUSY and they all have their pluses & minuses! I've worked them all 7-3, 3-11,11-7,7a-7p,7p-7a and bits and pieces in between. Yes, I'm so seasoned I could be Cajun!

    What I try to do is my personal "trickle down" philosophy. I figure the more I get done to help out the next shift, the more will be done when I get back and will make it easier for me to help out the oncoming shift. Sounds crazy, I know, but it does work sometimes!
  11. by   essarge
    I'd like to give my opinion from a student nurse/assistant perspective.

    I have worked all three shifts and on the surface, it appears that day shift (on our med/surg unit) seems busier. I think that is because tests are run on that shift, visitors coming in, docs doing rounds etc. But, that being said, I've seen very busy shifts other than that also.

    I feel that:

    1. organizational skills have a lot to do with how busy a shift seems.

    2. The amount of staffing available plays a large part.

    3. Attitude also comes into play.

    I would also like to note that on the assistant front though, day shift is the busiest, then evenings followed by nights. It seems that assistants on nights (at my facility) do as little as possible on night shift and have extra time to "socialize", study, and sit.
  12. by   fergus51
    I still maintain if you think the other shift has it so easy, why don't you get a job on that shift?
  13. by   sbic56
    Originally posted by fergus51
    I still maintain if you think the other shift has it so easy, why don't you get a job on that shift?
    I can answer for myself only, but the reason I don't go back on nights is because even though I didn't work as hard, I feel a whole hellava lot better now that I work days.

    Nights is hard in and of itself for alot of reasons, but days requires that you work harder and have less downtime, at least where I work. Still, I wouldn't go back to the topsy-turvy way of living that nights demands for anything. Night workers deserve every extra cent they get for working thoise unnatural hours, IMO.

    In the end it doesn't matter who is busier. The pros and cons vary whatever shift we work. What should really matter is that we are a team!

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