Coding at 5am -6am

Specialties Cardiac


Does any one know if the medical field knows why people tend to code or become unstable at this time. Its the bewitching hour that everything seems to happen...

Curious to know

Thanks Angela


1,060 Posts

Specializes in Telemetry, ICU, Resource Pool, Dialysis.'s because patients are scared to death of the day shift coming on!!! JUST KIDDING!!

Really, I have noticed the same thing. I think it has to do with circadian rhythms - don't know for a fact. Bodies just seem to be vulnerable in the early hours of the morning, and if something is going to wear out, it'll happen then. I think some of it has to do with other things like staff contact around that time. Especially on unmonitored patients, they may have been fine at 4:00 rounds, but then had resp.distress , arrythmia, or whatever, and are found between 5-6 when meds are due. Most of the codes that we get from the general floors usually happen around rounding times or shift change.

Long Term Care Columnist / Guide

VivaLasViejas, ASN, RN

108 Articles; 9,984 Posts

Specializes in LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych.

"Keep 'em alive till 7:35" is the motto for both day and night shifts where I work! :chuckle

Seriously, when I worked nights, it seemed like the sh** would always hit the fan right before shift could be having the quietest night on record, but if anything bad was going to happen, it would happen between 0500 and 0700.That was always when patients would code, or they'd fall, or they'd go into CHF, or they'd need to be transferred to ICU, or they all had to go to the bathroom at the same time. Now that I work days, it's not quite so intense at change of shift, but there's always something........a set of new orders to be taken off and processed, a sudden change in a post-op's condition to be reported to the MD who just went off call, and of course every IV antibiotic on the floor seems to get given at 1800 :uhoh3: But it's still not as bad as that 0500-0600 crunch I remember so well.......boy, do I NOT miss that. :uhoh21:

PennyLane, RN

1,193 Posts

I'm fairly new at this but I often hear the codes called right after change of shift on the floors...I always assumed it was because the new nurses came in to assess their patients and found them in arrest. I work in the ED so we handle our own codes.

Specializes in ICU.
"Keep 'em alive till 7:35" is the motto for both day and night shifts where I work! :chuckle

My motto is "Not on my shift". Even have a pen that has that engraved on it. :chuckle I stole the saying and the pen idea from a night shift co-worker.

I now work days and codes always seem to happen at either one of the shift changes.


3,322 Posts

Specializes in Critical Care.

it's a circadian rhythm thing. that's the time most people (not me you day shift pukes! HA!) start to wake up, so that's the time your body starts pouring on the hormones and baroreceptor feedback that you need to be a vertical, productive person.

If you are in a cardiac state where any stress is too much stress, then the body's normal feedback ques to begin a new day is well, too much stress.



This topic is now closed to further replies.

By using the site, you agree with our Policies. X