I can't stop dreaming about the NICU!~ - page 2

Hi all, My name is Jenna and I am a new grad nurse in a level 3 neonatal intensive care unit. I have been working there since the end of July. I love my job and am extremely happy with where I am at; I couldn't imagine myself... Read More

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    You've already gotten some great advice. Remember also though, that your brain uses the time you are sleeping to process what has happened during the day and to try to get everything organized. Since this is still relatively new to you, your brain is having to do a lot of filing to keep up with the loads of new information that it is having to process. It will get better with time.

    When I first started working in LTC, I dreamed about my patients and work all the time. Two incidents in particular stand out. The first dream was about a resident who in reality barely moved himself in a wheelchair anymore. In my dream though, he was plowing into other other residents at lightning speed. In the dream I yelled out his name and kept telling him no as I tried to get over to him. In the morning, my partner wanted to know exactly who Jim* (name changed) was and why I was telling him no so loudly in my sleep. LOL The second dream was one where I saw a resident starting to fall out of bed and I ran across the room to catch him. Instead, I found that I had actually jumped out of bed and was standing in the middle of my bedroom.

    Needless to say, it's gotten better. I'm in a new job now and had some dream for a week or two, but lately it's a rare thing for me to dream about work and I sleep a lot better too.


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    Sounds like a simple case of mild job anxiety...normal response when so much is at stake (even if you love your job and are mostly comfortable in that environment). I worked Level 3 NICU for many years. I would have nightmares about neglecting a baby for an entire 8 or 12 hour shift because I hadn't realized he/she was assigned to my care. Talk about waking in a panic!

    About working the night shift......it's just not normal body operating time. Daytime sleeping will NEVER be as restful as normal night time sleep. I've worked 12hour nites for years as does my physician husband. He would concur that day sleep is not optimal. Fortunately, you are young and will likely handle it better than we at this point in our 25 years of practicing. God bless you and those beautiful babies you care for. I really miss NICU.
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    Nursemares are something nobody talks about at nursing school but I think we all have them: the one when it's almost the end of your shift and you've been dealing with this and that and realize you haven't passed a single med and where the hell is the cart and why is the med list written in Sanskrit? Or the one where they all code at once, who's got the crash cart and what do you mean it hasn't been checked for six months? Or the one where you're just back for a per diem shift at a job you despised and you're ducking the unit manager because you know if she sees you, fur will fly...

    Nursing is stressful. Stressful jobs give us rotten dreams and the nursemare is just one type of those. They're often pretty funny when you wake up and think about them. It's just tough waking up and feeling like you've already worked a full shift.
    prmenrs likes this.
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    Haha I have totally had dreams where I am near the end of a shift and I have a patient that I never even assessed/saw/gave meds to the entire shift! At least I am not alone
    I take Ambien to help me sleep, not every night, but it helps so much...I swap from days to nights constantly because I have small kiddos and find it difficult to stay on a night shift schedule when I'm off. There aren't too many that can get restful sleep during the day without a little help.

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