Overnights... how do you handle them??? - page 2

Good morning. I am scheduled to work roughly four nights a month on my nursing unit. I have worked ONE overnight shift in the past and did just fine UNTIL about 6 AM and then the bottom FELL OUT. I... Read More

  1. by   Orca
    Quote from That Guy
    Take a nap. Your patients are all asleep anyways.
    If you want the OP to be fired, that's sound advice. Sleeping on duty is a terminatable offense with my current employer, and I'm sure it is with most others.

    I worked nights for about four years. I would usually "hit the wall" around 3:00 AM. When I felt it coming on I would get up and walk around (I worked in an area where I could go outside, which helped). Keeping myself busy was key.
  2. by   uRNmyway
    Is there any way you could do evening/night instead? Or days/evenings?
    If not, and you don't do caffeine...Hmm.. Naps at home help. During my break, I sometimes went to my car to grab a power snooze too. Get moving, do jumping jacks in a stock room if you need to. Just getting your blood flowing is what you need.
    I am a night shift nurse who is on days right now, and this is stuff I have to do to stay up all day lol.
  3. by   nurse2033
    Get over your aversion to energy drinks. Two words- Red Bull!
  4. by   Piglet08
    THAT GUY was not serious in his initial post. Nor was he serious in his subsequent post in which he stated he was serious, a/e/b the googly eyes smiley.
  5. by   Orca
    Quote from Piglet08
    THAT GUY was not serious in his initial post. Nor was he serious in his subsequent post in which he stated he was serious, a/e/b the googly eyes smiley.
    Unfortunately, the way my internet access is set up at work, I can't see any graphics in people's tag lines or those inserted into posts - only their avatars.
  6. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from that guy
    take a nap. your patients are all asleep anyways.
    even if your patients were all asleep, that would get you fired. or disciplined at the very least.

    rotating shifts is difficult, but i've been doing it for years and happen to like it. just when i'm oh-so-weary of the hustle, bustle and drama on the day shift, i go to nights -- no family, no management, fewer consult services, fewer road trips. and just when i think i can't stand trying to drive home at 0800 again, it's time to flip back to days.

    try to do all your nights for the scheduling period together, and stay on a modified night shift schedule on your day off between them. you'll figure out what you need to do for sleep. i stay up as late as i can the night before, then sleep until after noon on i work my first night shift. dh gets up at the usual time in the am, runs errands and does chores until 1300, then takes an ambien and sleeps for five hours before his shift. as far as eating goes, you'll figure out what works for you there, too. some eat a big meal at 2200 and a smaller one at 0500 before the morning push starts. others snack all night long. if you do the snacking thing, bring along healthy snacks so you're not at the vending machines getting snickers and potato chips. good luck!
  7. by   turnforthenurse
    I have to drink caffeine to stay awake at night. I drink a lot of caffeine to begin with, though.

    I personally do not suggest taking a nap, though. Facilities differ with their break times; where I work, we get one 30-min lunch break and we're allowed to take two 10 minute breaks during our shift. At another facility, we got an hour lunch break. Nurses often slept during their break but I would be so groggy upon wakening.

    Keep busy. If you feel sleepy, go walk around the unit. Sitting there is just going to make you even more sleepy.

    It gets better with time, trust me!
  8. by   That Guy
    Quote from ruby vee
    even if your patients were all asleep, that would get you fired. or disciplined at the very least.

    ruby come on you are better than that! of course i am kidding. i work nights and have always worked nights. it would be a small act from god/allah/shiva/flying spaghetti monster to get all the pts to actually sleep through the night.

    like others said, keep busy and snack. drink lots of water. cant be tired if you have to pee! for me though, the most important thing was getting enough rest during the day. i found that when i slept enough, staying up was a lot easier.
  9. by   Stephalump
    Quote from That Guy

    Ruby come on you are better than that! Of course I am kidding.
    Well, I laughed when I read it, if that's any consolation.
  10. by   Ruby Vee
    sorry, that guy. the last night i worked, i had three rns all cozied up in recliners with blankets and pillows . . . . and the security guard making a lovely video of them on his smartphone. i'd been helping a new grad whose patient was trying to die, and those three could have been helping as well. one girl had the gall to complain that she wasn't sleeping, she was only resting her eyes, and "besides -- i woke up every time someone walked past."

    falling asleep at work is one thing. we've probably all done it. i fell asleep while charting once and fell off my chair when my hand continued writing off the edge of the page and fell off the edge of the table. a nursing supervisor on the west coast has a picture of me sound asleep standing up. fortunately, she thought it was funny and i didn't lose my job. but curling up into a nice, comfy recliner with a blanket and pillow is a firing offense.

    so i apologize, my humor was awol. usually i am better than that!
  11. by   vintage_RN
    I currently work nights in a Concierge office (starting nursing school in the fall)....I think it is preparing me to work nights as a nurse! I drink lots of water, eat tons of healthy snacks throughout the night, stand up and walk around when i'm getting drowsy. I also go to bed the second I walk in the door...no "winding down" for me...well I do have a 1.5 hour train commute Its mostly about finding a routine...it takes a little while but eventually you get the hang of it. I dont think I'm cut out for nights either, Ive been working here for a year and I still fall asleep almost every shift and just feel miserable most of the time. I sit in front of a computer desk all night, so maybe that's it. Good luck!