Starting Nightshift Tonight

  1. I'm starting my last brief (2 day) orientation on nightshift tonight at the LTC. I had 4 days of dayshift orientation and 4 evenings of orientation, the last two weeks. Now tonight I start nightshift. I haven't done this shift since I was a young thing. I am concerned how well my 51 year old body will take it. It should be an easier shift than day and evening. I already have a schedule of duties, which of course will be flexible according to the type of night we have there. I was tired last night from all the moving the last 4 weeks and orientating to my new job and tearing up the floors in our new home, plus painting. I slept 12 hours!

    I planned to take a short nap this evening, yet my 17 year old kept knocking on the door, to ask silly questions. I have to talk to him about not knocking on the door, unless it is an emergency, he has his big brother and step-dad to talk to in the evening.

    I really want to give this a try, if it doesn't work I'll look elsewhere, but at least I want to give it a good try, I like this LTC. Any advice and tips how to survive the nightshift?
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  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   Peachy2
    Dear HannasMom,
    I have been working the night shift(7p-7A) for the past 2 years and I like it. The pace is more relaxed and you do not have to deal with the family( unless the resident is dying) as much. I take a break usually around 3pm to recharge my batteries. We have a local 24 hr diner and a McDonald's that I go to take my break.
    I restock my cart around 4am and get ready for the med pass which begins at 5am. I pace myself and also I try to take at least an hour nap before I leave for work. Let us know how you are doing!! Thanks and good Luck!!!
  4. by   BadBird
    I think you may be suprised at how great night shift is, some of the benefits are less traffic to drive through, closer and usually free parking, more shift differential, less families and administrators, you can actually spend more time with your patients!!!

    My motto is "Only the stars come out at night" I really believe us crazy night people are the best.
  5. by   GPatty
    Give yourself time to get used to it before making a judgement. It does take awhile, but I think you'll like it. I do. I work 7p-7a and have for a year now.
    I have my own pace and schedule of doing things. I can usually get things done at a pretty decent time.
    Welcome to the wild world of night shifters!
    Julie
  6. by   babs_rn
    When I was 20 and a brand-new RN, I worked night shift for two years. Funny, those years are completely wiped out from my memory. But I do remember pulling the occasional 12-hr night since then and hallucinating on the way home....and Oh, the HEARTBURN! Science has proven that your digestive enzymes slow to a crawl after dark...keep light healthy snacks available or you soon won't be able to fit through the door. Seriously. Sleep deprivation also contributes to heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Your body HAS to have its sleep (less than 5 or more than 9 hrs and your life expectancy drops) to regenerate and keep your metabolism up, healing takes place during sleep, etc. Take the ringer off your phone. And if you have a long commute (over 20 minutes, say) find a couple of good spots safe enough to pull over and nap. Too many times I've awakened in the wrong lane just before hitting someone.

    Turn off your ringer/answering machine. Dark shades or a nice satin sleep mask. Good luck!
  7. by   wif411
    I have just started perm 11pm-7am Monday thru Fridays in long term care facility. There is only one other nurse in the uilding a LPN, male, with years of experience. I have approximately 40-50 patients. I like it. Now, mind you I just started. It is the summer with two kids---one 15yrs old and one 8 years old, and a husband who is in college fulltime. Onece the kids start back to school, things will e so much better.
    We have a rule--- DO NOT WAKE MOMMY UNLESS---YOU SEE FIRE..OR SEE ALOT OF BLOOD. Oh, and I actually did call one morning at 3am to wake up my 15 yr old who had awoken me the previous day becaus his sister wouldn't listen to him. He thought I was crazy yet he has not awaken me since.
    I look forward to getting up at 2:30pm, picking up youngest, getting homework done, not missing soccer games, or parties.
    Hey--if my hubbbbbbbbby's schedu;e works out right---I may get some "Afternoon Delight" while the kids are in school on occassion!!!!
    Good Luck....emailme and let me know how it is going.
    Maybe we can exchange stratedgies.
    With love and prayers,
    Tina
  8. by   HannasMom
    I have now been at this facility for ONE year, I started orientation on July 7, 2003.

    I can say that I DID adjust to the nightshift and I sleep like a baby during the day. I keep my same schedule even on my days off. I still love my job, I'm now taking some leftover prerequisites to go back to college for the LPN to BSN program.

    And I still love my job. Plus, I love the night shift. :spin:

    I survived!
  9. by   GPatty
    Haha! See?
    I used to wake with headaches, but now do fine.
    I've changed jobs for my schooling too..I do 6p-6:30a on the weekends. Still at LTC, but it's ok. The only difficulty I have at this new one is one certain CNA. But that's even working itself out Thank goodness!
    Any new tips you've discovered that could help us out?

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