PDN at night

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    We are looking for a PDN at night. Case management, agencies etc all state that it is difficult to find PDN willing to work nights. What gives? The lack of differential (we do have private insurance, but most of her nursing is paid thru state Medicaid), difficulty staying awake? My daughter requires about 2 hrs of care before bed, monitoring at night (vent pt) and about the same 2 hrs in the morning.....chest percussion, feedings, trach care, etc. Maybe 2-3 nights/wk she's 'difficult' while on the vent and needs suctioning. I'm just wondering if I'm searching for the Holy Grail.
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    I do extended care and prefer to work the night shift. Most people don't work night shift for the same reason they don't work night shift in a facility. They want to spend their nights at home with their families. Frankly, I have preferred night shift ever since I worked nights while in nursing school. Before that, I was in a profession that rotated shifts and I preferred night shift then. People who prefer nights can't be budged, but others can't be coerced into working nights. To each his own. When you do find a night shift nurse, make certain that you are clear about your expectations, so you don't walk into the room to find the nurse snoring away when they are supposed to be observing the patient.
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    I do the NOC shift for the agency I work for and I hate it. I hate because it's hard to stay awake for a 10 or 12 shift. To me, this is entirely too long for an overnight shift in PDN. Also the boredom makes the time go by too slow. I have this one family who doesn't want nurses to bring laptops or even to read! Well I refused to work with this family unless they at least agreed to a book. They did thank god but even reading every night for 10 to 12 hours gets old. I also hate working in the dark with a flashlight and not being able to eat hot meals. I swear if I eat one more lunch meat sandwhich I will scream!
    If you don't mind me asking what are the hours you are offering for this NOC shift? If the hours are too long or not your normal 7 to 7 or 9 to 7 that may be the problem.
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    Quote from kerriew
    I do the NOC shift for the agency I work for and I hate it. I hate because it's hard to stay awake for a 10 or 12 shift. To me, this is entirely too long for an overnight shift in PDN. Also the boredom makes the time go by too slow. I have this one family who doesn't want nurses to bring laptops or even to read! Well I refused to work with this family unless they at least agreed to a book. They did thank god but even reading every night for 10 to 12 hours gets old. I also hate working in the dark with a flashlight and not being able to eat hot meals. I swear if I eat one more lunch meat sandwhich I will scream!
    If you don't mind me asking what are the hours you are offering for this NOC shift? If the hours are too long or not your normal 7 to 7 or 9 to 7 that may be the problem.
    I was offered a FT night position for HH and I refused. I used to work as a sitter on NOCs and that was torture. There is NO way I can stay awake for 8-9 hours in the dark. I know it would be a set up for failure. OP maybe you can allow shorter shifts or let the nurse read or get online while your child is stable and sleeping. I would put myself in the nurses' shoes, it takes a special person to work those hours. I'm getting sleepy just thinking about it.
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    Hello Another Vent Mommy! I haven't ever had a problem with nights. Are you unusually strict about what nurses can do on nights? We allow movies (no R rated), reading, studying, crafts (nothing that would make fingers sticky, mostly the nurses just knit/crochet), laptops, Nintendo DS or PSP or games on cell phone. There is a small light on all the time. Our nurses are BUSY at night and are usually suctioning at least 4 times/hour. Maybe your area has a legit nursing shortage. I'm sorry you can't get coverage. I don't know what I would do without my good night nurses!
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    I have worked nights ( along time ago) and the differential was nice, but not a deciding factor. I don't work nights anymore, because of the lifestyle that comes with it. I also don't fill in on nights simply because it is way too hard for me to stay awake.
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    Quote from ventmommy
    Hello Another Vent Mommy! I haven't ever had a problem with nights. Are you unusually strict about what nurses can do on nights? We allow movies (no R rated), reading, studying, crafts (nothing that would make fingers sticky, mostly the nurses just knit/crochet), laptops, Nintendo DS or PSP or games on cell phone. There is a small light on all the time. Our nurses are BUSY at night and are usually suctioning at least 4 times/hour. Maybe your area has a legit nursing shortage. I'm sorry you can't get coverage. I don't know what I would do without my good night nurses!
    I would love a more complicated case at night. I honestly feel like a babysitter. I am so bored at night I have resorted to cleaning the bathroom everytime I work. This is not required but it is something to do. One patient is on a vent at night and the other one has a trach and no vent. Both patients require min. Suctioning or any care at night. I'm just there to make sure nothing happens. To me it would make sense for the parents to have a baby monitor at night instead of a nurse. I am also very frustrated with not learning a thing. But unfortunatly there are no other places hiring in my area.
    My pay is also extremly low even with the noc difference.
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    Lack of differential could be a big factor. In almost every other setting, nurses simply get paid more for working nights and that extra pay *is* why many people work nights. (Although some crazy people are just "night people.") Nights screw with your sleeping patterns. It can hinder your social life and if your spouse is anything like mine, he hates sleeping in an empty bed at night. Also, within facilities, there is kind of a "night culture." I worked nights in the ER -- we'd get off work at 7 AM and then go out to the bar across the street that stayed open for night shifters. That kind of camaraderie is definitely missing in a night PDN position.

    I'm mostly PRN (through an agency) and do both day and night shifts. I don't actually mind nights -- but the families I work with are very liberal in what I'm allowed to do to keep myself busy. I've heard horror stories of nurses being trapped in a basement with only a kid and a folding chair -- not allowed to even read a book to keep busy.
    Teacup Pom likes this.
  11. 0
    Only one agency ever paid me night shift differential and I strongly suspect that was only because of the union contract.
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    In a past life I was a NOC nurse. It's hard to stay awake at night unless you are allowed activities/television and if there isn't much to do it can bring on boredom. My biggest issue was missing my husband at night and then filling slightly ill (headaches mostly) from sleeping during the day, like I hadn't slept enough or I slept too much, KWIM? I think a lot of people's circadian rhythms are just not synced well to the nightlife and those who are likely have positions that they are comfortable with. Honestly, once you have a good case/fit most nurses are careful not to let them go! Try not to get too discouraged. Your "nursing match" will come. They just haven't found you, yet.


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