VanLpn 3,298 Views
Joined Dec 5, '07.
Posts: 65 (55% Liked)
I thought I liked night shifts until I stopped doing them. After a couple of weeks off I felt a fog lift. I just got used to feeling crappy. Now that I don't do them anymore I eat better and have the energy for exercise. It's unfortunate because I liked everything else about the night shift other then how it made me feel. I loved my coworkers we were a great team...day shift not so much but life is about trade-offs
Where I live there most nurses work rotating shifts. We're all union here (British Columbia, Canada) and most people don't like night shifts so this spreads around the misery to everyone. I'm not a nurse yet but I do work in mental health and currently work all days but have worked all nights. In an ideal world I'd work only days but I would prefer rotating shifts to straight nights. I know it's not good for you but most night shift nurses flip their schedules on their days off anyway. A full time line in a hospital here is 2 days, 2 nights 4 days off. Then two days, two nights 5 days off. Health care is 24/7, I don't get nurses that are shocked once they start looking for a job that they can't find something 9-5.
There are things about night shift that I prefer so when I've worked it I keep an upbeat attitude and focus on the good parts rather than ruminating over how rough I have it. I think that helps a lot. I also think many of the problems associated with shift work can be lessened by eating well and keeping up with regular exercise.
I'm finally, finally on days after several months of 7P-7A, 3 nights in a row. I realized long ago that this didn't work for me but had to do my time.
Although I'm truly a night owl, and staying up all night is no problem, I have great difficulty sleeping during the day. After a shift, I would usually not go to sleep until 12:00 or 13:00 and get 4-5 hours sleep before my next shift (splitting up shifts was not an option for personal reasons). The first day off was a mess - like jet lag - and for the next two days or so I was totally wiped out during the day... basically sleeping my days away. That left me, maybe, one decent day before it started all over again. Just awful.
Well, this nightmare ended 10/31 and I just worked my first three day shifts. It was hard, because I had a lot of trouble sleeping during the night!!! In other words, my sleep-wake cycles are totally messed up and I wonder how long this will last
I know one thing, I'm done with nights (and was prepared to resign if I hadn't finally gotten days).
Other former night shifters: How long did it take you to re-adjust to a "normal" life? I'm still totally exhausted, although not quite as bad....
Thanks for any info!
"Me too. It baffles me that people wouldn't want a universal healthcare system. This discussion has also highlighted to me how individualistic the U.S as a whole is with an "every man for himself" kind of philosophy. I am very grateful that Canadians want everyone to have equal access to health care and for no one to go bankrupt over an illness. It's not a perfect system to be sure but I'm glad to have it."
As I've said before time and time again, access is not the issue. In the US, the "poor", which i've also proven aren't truly poor, have arguably better "access" than "everyone". There are alot of myths being permeated these days, one of the biggest is that poor people cannot get care in the US, which couldn't be further from the truth.
The other is that socialized medicine is great, and that is the answer. John Stossel did a fantastic expose on health care in Cuba. He shows that even through a universal, single payer system, the quality of care is based upon the class system... He also shows how they skew the statistics to make it appear as though socialized medicine is superior, when in fact it is not. I think if more people, on both the left and the right actually did their homework and researched the issue they would be quite surprised, as opposed to putting so much blind faith in their god kings-Obama and Romney.
I will agree to disagree. I believe "when a man is hungry it is by better to teach him to fish than to give him a fish"
And not to be disrespectful at all, but I too am glad that you are Canadian! I am also glad that you have noticed one of the aspects of Americans that make me down right proud to stand beside my fellow Americans' and root them on "to be all they can be" while maintaining my own right to do so also.
This thread also makes me appreciate being Canadian, and thankful for my health care.
I enjoyed that very much! Thank You
U of C for sure. Way cheaper, and the job market for RN's seems a bit better here.
Van, thanks for the reply! I didn't intend to be "gendercentric;" of course dads would struggle with this as well! I imagine that the hardest adjustment for me will be to sleep for only a few hours after that last shift to get back on the day schedule. I am one of those people who needs their 8 hours of sleep and it just seems like it will be so hard to get up and be functional after working three 12s and then only getting a few hours of sleep. But it's encouraging to hear from other parents who are doing it and don't necessarily advise against it.
I am almost a new nurse and almost all of the job postings I've applied for are for night shifts (there's not much else out there). I have two school age children and really wonder how this will work. I can't imagine that I will be "night shift" on my days off as well -- I want to go to soccer and karate and all that stuff on my days off. But at the same time, I imagine it would be very difficult to switch back and forth between schedules for an extended period of time. So I want to hear from the full-time night shift moms out there - what do you do?
An excellent book on addiction is "In the realm of hungry ghosts" by Dr.Gabor Mate. Great book!! Really helped me find my compassion for addicts. Something to keep in mind about addictions is not to get to attached to the idea of the addicts "recovering". Relapse rate is very high and is a part of recovery.It often takes many attempts before someone stops using. I got really upset when I first started as I developed a really good relationship with someone and I really thought he'd "make it"...3 months later he was back. He would have been back sooner but he felt like he "let staff down". I realized then that it's important not to project my expectations onto people. I don't want people avoiding getting help because they are ashamed.
I also realized that some people are going to use until they die. There is one woman that I've gotten to know really well over the last 18 months. She's been in detox 3 times since I started. She has been an IV drug user since she was 14. She is 56 now. She has detoxed doxens of times and been clean for streches of 18 months. I think success for her and some others is just being clean for several months, gaining some weight, fostering relationships etc. Where I work it is much more of a "harm reduction" approach. Sometimes people just need to detox and take a break from "street life", they have no illusions of life long abstinance and neither should we.
I think it's a good move. Canada did this several years ago, getting into a nursing program is still really competitive so it hasn't kept people away from nursing. Nurses here that didn't have a BSN prior to the law are not affected.
Here, if you have a BSN you get an extra $100 a month. There is no differance in hourly pay though, that is based on years of expierence.
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