New nurse/night shift/stress?!!

  1. Hi all,

    I am an LPN, graduated in 2011. I worked in a doctors office for over a year, and i grew to dislike it, i felt like i wasn't using my skills, or doing what i went to school for.
    I took a leap of faith and took a job at an assisted living facility. I am working night shift, 11-7, and my title is supervisor/charge nurse (eek!! I'm in charge of people?!!)
    It is so stressful. Worrying about something happening i won't be able to handle during the night, coworker drama. I cry when i leave work sometimes. Not to mention since starting night shift i am constantly drained, no matter how much sleep i get. I can't get anything done during the day because i want to do nothing but sleep.
    I am also in college to get my RN.
    I am stressed. And tired. My mom says i am burnt out. But i have only been a working nurse for just over a year!!
    Any advice? Tips, how to handle job related stress??
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    About lauriepat

    Joined: Feb '13; Posts: 61; Likes: 61


  3. by   gloryfied
    Night shift is the worse. If I had tips and advice, i would take them myself. I will say that I have been doing nights for a year now and i feel 20 years older. Not sure who i am going to snap at mid day or if i am going to sleep well enough today or tomorrow. It's so unstable, and it has changed alot in my life.

    Sleep when you can, if you can, drink lots of tea, workout and eat well, because night shift will already have a neg. effective on your metabolism, either way, so you have to do the work to keep your physical aspect in check. when you get home in the morning, don't sleep right away, spend 2-4 hours doing something, making breakfast, or watching a show, then sleep. if you sleep too early right after work, you'll wake up 3 hours later to what felt like a 12 hour rest. smh all the way.
  4. by   lauriepat
    Yeah i am having the same issues...i am tired no matter how much i sleep!! I am scared to do this for a prolonged time.
    The money is good though, and day shift where i work seems even more stressful.
    So there's pros and cons but still..night shift isn't natural.
  5. by   gloryfied
    I hear you hun, it's so unnatural. Ive been here for a year and some change and im leaving soon, sadly, the money is great, but my health has no price. Literally, when i start work at 11, my brain, is now ready to go to bed, so I have to fight it. it's such an unfortuante way to live. nights is stressful, but Days is more stressful, but it's natural to me, night time is for rest, not stress, and activity. I rather stress during the day and get a good nights rest than fight staying up at night, kind of stressed at work, fatigued, and get home and still NO rest. the only great thing of night shift is the shift diifferential.

    I rather live my life healthy and not slave through work for extra dough. Hang in there tho, it will soon pass. Get your experience, and if you can, move on to something better for you. I see alot of nurses on nights that are just at their wits end, and exhausted but stick it out because of personal stuff.I simply believe that you need to feel healthy to work well.
  6. by   HippyDippyLPN
    I feel for ya... My husband worked nights for a year and he literally was a different person! Just so reserved all the time and he would literally fall asleep standing up at home...and with the added stress of RN program it's understandable you are a bit burnt out.
  7. by   SuzieVN
    I worked nights for years. When I stopped, I realized how sick I had been for all those years. I never slept more than 3 hours at a time, never got REM sleep, even on days off, even on vacation. It takes a month to get over one night shift. See if you can't go to bed at the same time every day, anyway, to try to get your inner clock on a routine. But really, a few people were born to be nocturnal, most are not.
  8. by   chrisrn24
    I started working nights in never used to be bad because I worked infrequently. But since January I've been working more often, near full time status and it is starting to get to me. I'm fine during the shifts (I'm not tired) and if I work a few shifts in a row I'm fine, but it's coming off the shifts that is killing me. If I sleep all day then I can't sleep that night but its so difficult waking up early to try and prevent that.

    Today I slept 8:30 am to 2:30 after forcing myself to wake up. I went to the gym came home and slept 6:30 to 8:30...I had to because I was so tired.
  9. by   anotherone
    i feel like such a survivor on nights lol but to me the stress of day shift was may more overwhelming than the constant sleep, isolation and personality changes or exacerbations! alMany days off i just sleep eat and wqtch tv. my energy only picks up at 11pm some nights. then what? everything is closed and i feel way too unsafe to ever go outside in the dark in the middle of nowhere!!
  10. by   salvadordolly
    I worked nocs for years. I loved it though. When I first started, I told someone I felt like a zombie. They gave me some great tips that I used over the years. First, keep the same schedule on your days off. Don't try to revert to a day shift schedule on your days off. Eat breakfast when you wake up, not when you come home. Treat your sleep like it's really a bedtime - cut the phones off and instruct people not to call during the day. I knew many people who just came home and took a "nap" in their clothes. They were always sick and tired. The point came for me though when I turned 39, it seems no matter how much sleep I got or how many days off I had, I was always exhausted. Coworkers warned for years that this would happen around age 40. Totally true in my case. It took me a while, but I went to day shift in home health.
  11. by   Dean7
    Are you taking any vitamins and supplements? Make sure you take vitamin D-3, because at night you're likely not getting enough sun. Also make sure you take B-12 for energy, and a multivitamin.

    I find that if I drink coffee the entire night, I can end up feeling really depleted. Try to stick to teas like green tea or white tea, de-caffeinated, to keep you going plus the antioxidants will be great for you along with all the natural polyphenols.

    Hang in there and eventually try to look for a day shift opening. It took me a few months to get used to nights, and now I have no problem sleeping, but if your body is still not used to it, you definitely need to do the switch to days. Start looking at openings and see what there is. That will make you feel better like you are doing something to better your situation, and make you feel more hopeful. Try also looking at other facilities