How do I make the switch from dayshift to nights?!

  1. I just accepted a job offer for maternity services, (mother/baby,L&D, NICU-after 6 mo)..and I have always worked days. Now Ill be working 11p-11a and wondered if theres any night nurses that can offer advice on how to get thru those first weeks/ months of transition! Excited about the position, nervous a lil about the hours... I have a husband, 18, 10 and 8 y.o. boys. I thought about going to walmart at like 2 am a couple nights b4 just to try and be awake during those night hrs!!

    Any thoughts are appreciated!
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  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   carrie_c
    Funny that you post this. I have been working nights for 9 months, and I am having a hard time with it. I love my job though, that's the only reason I have stayed. See my post for some tips and advice. Good luck. OB is a really rewarding field.

    I hate night shift
  4. by   livelifeloveRN
    Nights are hard, but get easier with time. The main difficultly is transitioning between your night work week, then on your days off trying to be a normal human being in the daytime. (Which is why I am currently up at 2am). I know a lot of nurses will run up and down the stairs around 4am if they can't wake up. Also set an alarm on your days off so you don't sleep through the entire day, that also helps me. Good luck!
  5. by   missnurse01
    Quote from amystudentRN
    I just accepted a job offer for maternity services, (mother/baby,L&D, NICU-after 6 mo)..and I have always worked days. Now Ill be working 11p-11a and wondered if theres any night nurses that can offer advice on how to get thru those first weeks/ months of transition! Excited about the position, nervous a lil about the hours... I have a husband, 18, 10 and 8 y.o. boys. I thought about going to walmart at like 2 am a couple nights b4 just to try and be awake during those night hrs!!

    Any thoughts are appreciated!
    congrats on the job! and wow, I have never heard of an 11p-11a job, only the other way around. It may take a long time to get use to nights...as in years. are you able to pick your schedule? many people clump their days together...6 on, 8 off, or 3 on 1 off and 3 on. to give themselves more time off on a day schedule at home. I have always done nights-it worked best for my family. but I never switch back to a full day schedule...I go to bed around 1 a.m. and get up around 10. we homeschool so my kids are on the same schedule. if i don't go back to work I only sleep for about 4 hours or less, then I am able to function the rest of the day and don't 'lose' that day. the great thing is that you will prob always be able to sleep until the kids get home during the school year anyway. and maybe the eldest will be around so you can get extra sleep till hubs comes home.

    basically you get used to losing sleep-many many nurses eat thru the night to stay up or drink coffee like mad or do 5 hr energy! I don't but I fall asleep at the wheel a lot!

    the big thing is give it plenty of time to adapt! you might need a ton of sleep in the beginning!
  6. by   locolorenzo22
    MISS NURSE! If you find yourself falling asleep at the wheel, PULL OVER! There are too many stories about people falling asleep at the wheel, killing themselves or someone else. If you kill someone else, BAM! Vehicular homicide. JAIL. FINES. YOU MAY DIE!!!! (sorry to hijack thread.)

    Anyways, it'll take a few months minimum. Sometimes I still have trouble. (I've been on nights since 2006.) Other options are coffee, trying to get yourself on that schedule the day before you work. Make sure your family knows when you're asleep, it's your night. Don't bother you unless a limb falls off, or if they're bleeding horribly, or the house is burning down. Get blackout shades, get a fan. Good luck!
  7. by   sparkydmb
    I ALWAYS turn my phone off during the day when I am asleep. Also a good sleeping mask and ear plugs are mandatory. This mask (Amazon.com: Dream Essentials Sweet Dreams Contoured Sleep Mask with Earplugs and Carry Pouch, Black: Health & Personal Care) works really well, except I have had mine about 3 months and it is falling apart, granted my dog did get a hold of it. After my last shift, i always try to take a nap for about 4 hours and then wake up but since you are getting off at 11 am, that might not be the best idea. I'd just try to stay awake and go to sleep early that night. I usually drink a coffee at the start of my shift and then one mid shift and this keeps me awake through the night.
  8. by   CarryThatWeight
    Waking up in the middle of the day and seeing the bright sun is a problem, so I'm going to try these. They had really good reviews:

    Blackout EZ Window Cover, The EZ Way to a Dark Room
  9. by   Linds91
    I used to work rotating schedule but now straight nights. I absolutely love this shift. I clump my shifts together, then stay on a modified night schedule on my days off. To help sleep during the day i dont watch tv or workout after my shift. I drink herbal tea and read. I have blackout curtains, nature sounds from iPod, turn phone off, and also take a sleeping pill ( but only on days of a shift)

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