Night Shift might be killing me - page 2

Any night shifters here? I'm only 30 (soon to be 31) and I feel like my body is falling apart. I've been working night shift since college (about 10 years give or take). I've gained weight, can't... Read More

  1. by   caliotter3
    All the negatives spoken about here have applied one way or another to me. Yet I will defend my preference to work night shift (as well as much of the rest of the 24 hrs that I can get, ah a 12 step grp for workaholics is sorely needed here!!!). I function better on nights. I have learned to like nights better and my body also seems to do better although, yes, I do have the HTN. But, guess what? I got older, I got sick, and my body betrayed me. I collapsed, mostly b/c I overdid it, not b/c of nocs per se. One job, one shift that is not all over the place, was what I needed. So now a good portion of why I am good and unemployed instead of being well-employed, is b/c I tried too much for too long. Night shift jobs are almost impossible to find and hold on to, b/c so many lazies take night shift jobs so they can sleep, screw off, and get paid for it. Too bad, but that's the truth. My best suggestion to you since your age and health are now talking as loudly to you as they did to me, is: try to cut back to PM shift, or even do rotating from noc to PM's. That way, you are only half way going to the opposite end of the spectrum. Good luck, and heed your body. Don't want to hear about you on the morgue report!
  2. by   ONSnrs
    I have always worked night shift, work being the operative word here...all night shifters do not sleep.
    I really think it is a very individual thing because everyone/nurse is different, what is good for one might be lousy for another. I have hypotension so I guess if my b/p goes higher at night then I almost normalize, which is one reason I love it. Although it does reek havoc w/ your sleep schedule, my first day off this week is slept for nearly the 1st 24hrs and the second night that I had off I was up from 7p until now 7a, who know when I will sleep. I have noticed a considerable weight gain that I could definately do without also.
    Being an oncology nurse, leukemic pt's mostly they are up all hrs of the night; recieving chemo, nauseated and puking or just trying to work through the psychological aspects of their disease. I find the night shift gives me a lot of quality time that I can sit down with them or comfort them when they are so sick from high dose chemo.
  3. by   erichRN
    There are good things and bad things about each time and length of shift worked. I enjoy working nocs, mostly because it's just me and my aides-- we work together with no interference (except for the occasional nasty note teeling us what a terrible job we are doing). Take the neagative things about your shift and try to deal with them. Make sure your sleep room is dark. Take an occasional sleeper. Use melatonin. If you get at least 6-7 hours good rest, your body will more than likely come around. Good luck.
  4. by   lannisz
    I can't wait to go back to nights. I have been oreinting on days and it's killing me! Getting up at 5am is just wrong. And there is so much noise and chaos on dayshift. I work OB and during the days there are literally crowds of family members in each delivery room, tons of docs around, scheduled procedures and "drop ins". Yes, there's plenty of work to do at night too, but it will definitely be more to my liking! Can't wait.
  5. by   tinderbox
    I HATE day shift. I think that I would be much more stressed, cranky, and tired if I had to wake up at 0430 in the morning to get ready for the dayshift chaos of families, families' endless questions, endless phone calls, managers, doctors and medical students, ... UGH. Gives me a headache just thinking about it. When I oriented on days, I was always tired, came home from work and would just go straight to bed. So it's not like I had any more of a life working dayshift than I do now. I love nights and I love my co-workers. And I love actually being able to do my work and not be interrupted every 15 minutes. And I sleep very well, too.
  6. by   locolorenzo22
    I've only worked nights 3 days after orienting on days for 3 weeks and I LOVE IT! It's much better than the day shift which was always EXTREMELY CROWDED and CHAOTIC! On nights so far, there have not been many families/doctors/excess people in hallway....
    I've got the routine down, and understand what gets done when...by 11:30-3:00 most of what we do outside of regular duties is just answer call lights....
    make sure utility rooms are clean, tech station is clean, hallways are clean, etc, room trashes are empty, linen bags are picked up, etc...
    then 3-5:30 goes by quick because you get vitals on people you HAVE to wake up, then put on CPMs at 4, day shift gets report at 5-5:30 then you go home....
    when there's around 20 patients that is optimum....30 is too much, 12 is too little, a lot of down time with some patients.....
  7. by   tinderbox
    Quote from locolorenzo22
    make sure utility rooms are clean, tech station is clean, hallways are clean, etc, room trashes are empty, linen bags are picked up, etc...

    Wow! You guys have to do all that, too?? We usually have housekeeping that come around on nights to do all that. We're usually too busy charting, doing mars, patient care, etc... I hate that some hospitals think just cuz we work nights, that we can be housekeepers, too. I didn't go to college to empty trash cans. Sorry for the rant.
  8. by   manna
    I work nights, and I feel like it's killing me!
    Problem is I LOVE the area I work, LOVE my coworkers, but HATE the nightshift. There's currently no openings on days.

    I'm a relatively new nurse... and also 30 years young!

    I'm always exhausted and I've gained 20 pounds. On my last day off, I slept for nearly 22 hours straight. I just couldn't drag myself out of bed.

    Gym membership to the one affiliated with the hospital is super-cheap (only like $7/month for employees), but I live 45 miles away from the gym and I work 12 hour shifts. Plus, I'm a little embarrassed to take my overweight tail up in amongst all those uber-fit people jogging and such in there.
  9. by   CseMgr1
    I worked night shift as a nurses' aide for 18 months, and it almost killed me, too. After it became obvious that my repeated requests for day shift were being ignored (or thrown into the trash) by The Powers That May Be, I quit and enrolled in the Practical Nursing program at a local technical school. I slept day (and night) right up to the first day of school, for I was so worn out.
  10. by   Chicklet2
    Hey... i know how u feel.. though i've only been working 10 - 12hour nights for the past 2 months and i was fine until last week i've gotten a chest cold that I cannot seem to fight no matter what I do... I love the job, but I think i may have to reconsider the night shift
  11. by   DutchgirlRN
    Quote from NICU_3_RN
    Any night shifters here? I'm only 30 (soon to be 31) and I feel like my body is falling apart. I've been working night shift since college (about 10 years give or take). I've gained weight, can't sleep, my joints ache - i feel like a 90 year old!!! Advice?
    I went through the same thing after 12 years of nights. I had to switch to days. I went to private duty for a couple of years, worked on my RN (Regents now Excelsior) while at work, I took care of peds on home vents. Graduated and found a day position at the hospital. At 50 it hit me again on days, I stepped down to HH but now going back to the hosp in Radiology. Starting IV's and pushing various meds. Good Luck!
  12. by   janetjanetbobanet
    I've worked nights for about 20 years now and love it, but then I was the kid who read comic books under the covers with a flashlight at night when I was growing up and was a real pain to drag out of bed in the morning. You have to learn how to manage your sleep time and keep a handle on the amount of sleep you are getting. If I have some days off and need to "switch" I might sleep part of the first day and part of the first night. When I switch back I take what I call a "reset" nap in the afternoon before going to work even if I slept the whole night before. If I am only going to be off a day or two and have no appointments or daytime stuff to do, then I stay on schedule. You can do most everything but vacuum at night, depending on where you live you might be able to do that, too. And Wal-Mart is open 24 hours most places.
  13. by   Predaking
    Quote from NICU_3_RN
    Any night shifters here? I'm only 30 (soon to be 31) and I feel like my body is falling apart. I've been working night shift since college (about 10 years give or take). I've gained weight, can't sleep, my joints ache - i feel like a 90 year old!!! Advice?
    Get out of the night shift.

    Did that for years. Maybe this explains why I'm nutty at times.

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