Anyone working night shift?

  1. I was planning applying as a student nurse and work night shift. Can anyone tell me what does night shift nurses do? Im assuming it is not that difficult because the pts are asleep...
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  2. 11 Comments

  3. by   canoehead
    OMG, let me just step back before the lightening hits.....
  4. by   suzanne4
    Quote from CaliNurs06
    I was planning applying as a student nurse and work night shift. Can anyone tell me what does night shift nurses do? Im assuming it is not that difficult because the pts are asleep...
    I think that you better rethink things.
    1. If a patient is going to have a problem, it is going to be off shift, not when there are 2,000,000 people around.
    2. Bedpans get used just as much at night, if not more.
    3. IVs and meds are done 24/7 not just be day shift.
    4. Admissions come at all hours of the day, again 24/7, they are not restricted to only day shift.
    5. You may not have to deal with families much, but that is about the only difference.
    6. Also,if you are palnning on working at night full-time and going to school normal hours, thing again unless you are used to working nights.

    I would recommend that you go and spend a night or two at the facility before actually taking the plunge.
  5. by   suzanne4
    Quote from canoehead
    OMG, let me just step back before the lightening hits.....
    Do you have your "vapors" with you? You may need them.............
  6. by   Tweety
    Quote from canoehead
    OMG, let me just step back before the lightening hits.....



    Night shift is easy. We sit around and get to read magazines while the patients sleep all night.
  7. by   FROGGYLEGS
    In my experience patients do tend to like to go bad at 3am. Well, actually at 6am. I think they can smell that there is absolutely no time for anything extra during the last hour because it is jam packed with things that can not be done sooner.

    You do get admissions at anytime.

    There is less staff which means more patients which also means less people to assist when it does hit the fan.

    Let's not forget that management usually has a nice, long list of extra assignments designed specifically for nights. Like Tweety said....we just read magazines all night so we might as well help housekeeping out and follow up on everyone else's work too.

    I'm going with Canoehead and stepping back from the computer lest you jinx my shift.
  8. by   Gator,SN
    I just want to add my 2cents here, I work swing shifts and nights are sometimes the worst! Patients absolutely go bad at 3am, sundowners never have any meds ordered,(pain meds are usually not ordered either) icu psychosis sets in and anyone who has been sick for the last 24 hours will now decide that they can't sleep so they come to the ER. Nevermind that they should have gone to the doctor before now. If one patient wakes up to use the bedpan, they all wake up and want the same, at the same time, blood bank is not avaliable in the middle of the night, Respiratory, the lab and the ER are all short staffed or incredibly busy on these nights and it is usually when its my 4th night in a row. Night shift takes it toll, believe me. I don't know about anyone else but my patients biggest complaint is lack of sleep because we are always in there with them assessing or medicating, turning, doing treatments, checking equipment etc....
  9. by   BBFRN
    Lol...patients sleep all night...lol. Sorry- but everybody else is correct. Patients usually do go bad somewhere between 2 AM and the 7 AM shift change...you will get admits...and you wouldn't believe how many visitors try to come up late at night. Here's my typical night shift:

    7-7:30 or 8 PM- get report, write down telemetry results, look at charts, labs, etc.
    8-9:30 PM- pass HS meds and do assessments, vitals
    9:30-10 PM give all the HS Insulins (after Accuchecks, of course), change IV tubing if it's old, change out IV's if their old, etc.
    10-11 or 11:30 do dressing changes and other Tx's
    12MN- give all the MN meds (usually IV ABT's), and give the q 6h Insulins, and do the q 4h assessments, I & O's, q 4h vitals, telemetry again.
    1 AM- order any IVF's, wtc. that I need that we don't have on the floor
    2 AM- If we're lucky, the new MARS have come up by this time, and I can do my new MARS and start my chart checks
    3 AM- usually I can get my charting caught up at this time (it depends on what my pt load is like, and how many/what kind of admits I've had.
    4AM- draw up labs, do sputum cultures, UAs, etc. Telemetry again. Restock pt rooms with drsg supplies, make sure the day shift has everything they need to at least start their shift without running to the stock room every 5 minutes.
    5AM- the Docs start coming up about this time, so it's better all around to have as much done on the flowsheets as possible, and have them in the door binder. You'll also spend some time informing the Docs on what went on with the pt during your shift if you haven't had to call them for anything.
    6AM- look up AM lab values and compare with their baselines...write down anything that's off, so you can warn the day shift of any impending K Run orders, blood orders, etc...finish chart checks.
    6:30 AM- AM Accuchecks, and Insulin for the q 6h's, more q 6h meds
    7 AM- give report to oncoming shift

    Add all of this to getting admits, pt's crashing, not being able to get supplies from central when you need them, lots of PRN pain/anxiety/PB/ sleep meds, hunting down sleeping or busy Docs, etc. and you will be busy on nights. I have only been bored 1 time at night that I can think of. There is always something to do.

    Hopefully, this'll give you a more realistic picture of what it's like on nights. Good luck to you! I like nights myself!
  10. by   purplemania
    You are dealing with sick people whose schedules are messed up because they have been vomiting, in pain, sleeping off anesthesia---all sorts of things. Many nights I literally RAN to get everything done. Visitors want to come up at 11 pm because that suits their lifestyle, regardless of patient need. You will not be able to study, but you can certainly learn a lot as night staff is fewer in numbers and some resources are not available. This means the staff has to be resourcefull and work independently.
  11. by   tiroka03
    pt's sleep all night?

    Besides learning new sleep patterns, and that 's not easy, you might want to turn that statement around. Pt's sleep all day, because they have been up all night. This daytime evening time sleep will better enable them to stay up the next night.

    I work on a rehab unit or a subacute unit in a nursing home. Many people we get are shipped back to the ER on noc shift. Seems like a :angryfire ing ER in our nursing home rehab unit at times.

    Over the years, I have had people specifically request to work noc's, as it is "easier". These people have had a shock when they realized not only were they wrong, but oh my, "I signed up for this shift full-time".

    Less staff, just as many pts. More emergencies, more paperwork, more of everything. Good luck with your daydream, I hope it comes true.
  12. by   traumaRUs
    Aw come on guys - in MY ER - we all sleep all night - tee hee hee!
  13. by   HU_nurse
    My roomate works the nightshift...she walks around all day looking like a zombie! Has anyone hears that as a new grad, you HAVE to work the night shift. I am just not able to do that! period!

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