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CNA, Mom and first time working night shift

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by kkb91 kkb91 (Member)

1,708 Visitors; 53 Posts

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As my title suggest, I am a mom who is taking her first night shift CNA position. I will be working part time as well. Anyways, my question is what does a typical schedule look like to night shift nurses? Meaning what you do after work and how do you make night shift blend with home. 

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River&MountainRN has 3 years experience.

137 Likes; 1,611 Visitors; 155 Posts

My typical night shift looked like this if I had two or more in a row:

-Sleep normally the night before (as in, actually sleep at night), though I tried to stay up a bit later if possible and sleep a little later in the day

-Nap before going in (length of nap depended on how much I could force myself to nap/what I had going on that day)

-Work the shift

-Come home, decompress for about 15-30 minutes

-Sleep about 5-7 hours (usually that's all I can sleep in one block post-night shift anyway)

-Wake up, take care of whatever household chores/responsibilities/socialization

-Nap again before work (ideally 1-2 or so hours)

-On the morning I get off my last nightshift and have the next few nights off in a row, I'll scale back my sleep during the day so that I can function like the rest of the "day walkers"

-If I was facing a schedule of night on-night off-night on-night on, I'd still try to maintain a quasi-nightshift schedule on that middle night off, so that it wouldn't be as painful as flipping back and forth.

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Ruby Vee has 40 years experience as a BSN.

909 Likes; 11 Followers; 64 Articles; 168,799 Visitors; 13,721 Posts

2 hours ago, kkb91 said:

As my title suggest, I am a mom who is taking her first night shift CNA position. I will be working part time as well. Anyways, my question is what does a typical schedule look like to night shift nurses? Meaning what you do after work and how do you make night shift blend with home. 

You don't say how old your kids are.  It makes a difference.

I'd get home around 8 or 8:30 in the morning (30-60 minute commute, depending upon traffic.). The child would already be in school.  I'd eat breakfast -- real breakfast food -- and then go to bed until 4pm or so, when the child would be home from school.  I'd make a real dinner, eat with with family and then pack a lunch of leftovers (preferably from dinner the day before) and leave for work about 6, depending upon whether or not there was a sports event in the stadium I had to pass.  On my day off, I'd sleep until 2 or so, then go to bed early when my husband did.  On the weekends, he would be home with the child.  

If they're school age, nights is a great gig because even working 12s, you get to see them every day.  If you're working days, you might not get home until after their bed time.  

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1,708 Visitors; 53 Posts

On 1/23/2019 at 9:30 PM, Ruby Vee said:

You don't say how old your kids are.  It makes a difference.

I'd get home around 8 or 8:30 in the morning (30-60 minute commute, depending upon traffic.). The child would already be in school.  I'd eat breakfast -- real breakfast food -- and then go to bed until 4pm or so, when the child would be home from school.  I'd make a real dinner, eat with with family and then pack a lunch of leftovers (preferably from dinner the day before) and leave for work about 6, depending upon whether or not there was a sports event in the stadium I had to pass.  On my day off, I'd sleep until 2 or so, then go to bed early when my husband did.  On the weekends, he would be home with the child.  

If they're school age, nights is a great gig because even working 12s, you get to see them every day.  If you're working days, you might not get home until after their bed time.  

My kids are 6 and 3.5. My 6 year old goes to school full time. My 3.5 year old goes to school 3 days a week. 

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211 Likes; 1 Follower; 44,051 Visitors; 2,936 Posts

All answers are correct.   Including mine :).  It's best to not obsess over when or how much you sleep.  Do not count the hours of sleep. Go by how you feel.

I worked nights 17 years when my kids were 5 and 11. I only worked 32 hours a week.

I did not follow any of the above advice and functioned fine.  I think it is at least 50% genetics how people adapt to night shift.  I believe nurses who said they couldn't work nights, it made them physically sick.

I'm just saying find what works best for you.  

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missmollie has 4 years experience as a ADN, BSN and works as a RN.

22 Likes; 13,181 Visitors; 847 Posts

Something you can do on nights that you can't do on days is eat dinner with your family.  A good sit-down, home cooked (Or meal prepped box) meal.  I've had to work the last month on days, and I swear I never saw my son.  I was gone before he woke up, and he was asleep by the time I came home.  It was so depressing!

One of the biggest issues with night shift is falling asleep and staying asleep.  If you notice you are not getting the sleep you need, go see your PCP.  There are many medications that can help with that.  Stay away from ambien unless you like Christmas, every single day, packaged as amazon prime boxes on your front porch.  Did I really order a cast iron skillet and crayons, and what was the thought process behind that?  Seriously, ambien shopping is a thing.

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