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Difference between night and day nurses

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by Joe V Joe V (Admin) Columnist Innovator Expert

Specializes in Programming / Strategist / Web Development. Has 25 years experience.

nurse-nightshift.jpg.5b1eb312bf91f54bfd73d9b71d447290.jpg

Are there any differences between night and day nurses? What do you notice that stands out the most to you? eg. patients, age, energy, etc

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Chisca, RN

Specializes in Dialysis. Has 37 years experience.

Life expectancy?

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych. Has 15 years experience.

In my humble opinion there's a heck of a lot more teamwork on the night shift. I work nights and sense that my coworkers have more camaraderie than the folks on days. It is crucial that those of us on nights pull together as a team to get the job done since there's typically less of us with fewer resources on which we can call.

Night shift is overlooked at my workplace, but I'd rather fly under the radar. I don't want to schmooze with managers who bother the day shift staff with huddles, questions, meetings, complaints, added paperwork and other crap that takes precious time away from patient care.

Managers at my place of employment generally do not take the special needs of night workers into account when they force us to show up to inservices and petty meetings at noon. My shift ends at 6:30am, so a noon meeting for a night shift nurse is like making a day nurse come to a midnight meeting (read: utterly senseless).

meanmaryjean, DNP, RN

Specializes in NICU, ICU, PICU, Academia. Has 44 years experience.

TheCommuter said:
In my humble opinion there's a heck of a lot more teamwork on the night shift. I work nights and sense that my coworkers have more camaraderie than the folks on days. It is crucial that those of us on nights pull together as a team to get the job done since there's typically less of us with fewer resources on which we can call.

Night shift is overlooked at my workplace, but I'd rather fly under the radar. I don't want to schmooze with managers who bother the day shift staff with huddles, questions, meetings, complaints, added paperwork and other crap that takes precious time away from patient care.

Managers at my place of employment generally do not take the special needs of night workers into account when they force us to show up to inservices and petty meetings at noon. My shift ends at 6:30am, so a noon meeting for a night shift nurse is like making a day nurse come to a midnight meeting (read: utterly senseless).

All that ^^^^^ and here's my bag of chips:

I'm currently doing a research project about just HOW true all of this is (and it is all true). I visited nineteen hospitals in the middle of the night (700+ bed tertiary care center down to 11-bed critical access) and surveyed almost 500 night workers. I've been invited to present my findings via poster presentation at an upcoming nursing management conference in Chicago. I'll be interested to see the response from the suits...

meanmaryjean, DNP, RN

Specializes in NICU, ICU, PICU, Academia. Has 44 years experience.

Oh, this too:

ALL the cool people work nights!

Do-over, ASN, RN

Specializes in CICU.

How about the noon phone calls - "do you want to come in early?", "what time did you take down that bag of fluids?", and other assorted non-emergent stuff THAT CAN WAIT UNTIL I COME IN THAT EVENING.

Ahem, sorry for the shouting.

Once, I was called 3 times between 1000 and 1300 asking if I wanted to come in early. Why no, what I really want to do is sleep.

PS - to be fair, one time, when I was working dayshift, I was called at 0130 and asked if I would come in early. The answer was still no.

Do-over, ASN, RN

Specializes in CICU.

meanmaryjean - I hope you will share some of your project with us!

MassED, BSN, RN

Specializes in ER. Has 15 years experience.

In regards to the life expectancy comment: I think that comes from those that never sleep (or don't ferociously guard their sleep time), don't eat well, likely drink too much, are miserable, and do not take care of themselves. That can be found on any shift. I think that the night shifters have to work a bit harder at looking after themselves, though. Once you know that, I think the mortality rates are probably the same as other shift workers.

MassED, BSN, RN

Specializes in ER. Has 15 years experience.

meanmaryjean said:
All that ^^^^^ and here's my bag of chips:

I'm currently doing a research project about just HOW true all of this is (and it is all true). I visited nineteen hospitals in the middle of the night (700+ bed tertiary care center down to 11-bed critical access) and surveyed almost 500 night workers. I've been invited to present my findings via poster presentation at an upcoming nursing management conference in Chicago. I'll be interested to see the response from the suits...

I would LOVE to see your presentation too! Can you post a small part of it on here??

meanmaryjean, DNP, RN

Specializes in NICU, ICU, PICU, Academia. Has 44 years experience.

MassED said:
I would LOVE to see your presentation too! Can you post a small part of it on here??

Sure- as soon as I finish the stretch of nights in the PICU I'm currently trying to survive!!!

Pepper The Cat, BSN, RN

Specializes in Gerontology. Has 35 years experience.

Do we really need yet another thread about how great the night shift people are and how rotten the day shift are?

Frankly, I went in once on a night to,help,out because they were so short. Not one of those super cool, great team workers,spoke to me all shift. Never again will I help out nights.

Experiences vary per shift depending on the people and the work environment that surrounds you.

silverbells_star

Has 1 years experience.

Yes! Pepper the Cat, totally agree, I will work a crazy stressed day shift any day over working nights, any day.

KelRN215, BSN, RN

Specializes in Pedi. Has 14 years experience.

No management on nights. Good place to hide.

Oh, this too:

ALL the cool people work nights!

haha i somehow agree to this! not to mention the higher salary.. hehe

Basically, night time is sleeping time. So working on the supposedly sleeping time really makes a difference, although you can adjust to it in time. One good thing about going on night duty is the night shift differential pay.:uhoh3:

Chisca, RN

Specializes in Dialysis. Has 37 years experience.

In regards to the life expectancy comment: I think that comes from those that never sleep (or don't ferociously guard their sleep time), don't eat well, likely drink too much, are miserable, and do not take care of themselves. That can be found on any shift. I think that the night shifters have to work a bit harder at looking after themselves, though. Once you know that, I think the mortality rates are probably the same as other shift workers.

The studies point to an interruption in circadian rhythm as the cause. Maybe that interuption leads to increased alcohol consumption, poor eating, poor sleeping and miserability. I'm suspicious of Vitamin D levels as night shift workers would likely have lower levels due to decreased sun exposure. I'm just thankful somebody likes to work night shifts so I don't have to.

Rotating shifts shorten lives – A Blog Around The Clock

BSNbeDONE, ASN, BSN, LPN, RN

Specializes in Med/Surg, LTACH, LTC, Home Health. Has 35 years experience.

I work nights and wouldn't have it any other way. The only thing I miss about working days is the SUN! At night, the natural lights go out and strange things happen in the dark. I've never seen a patient suffer from sundowners during the day. AH HA!!!! That's why the restraints inventory is different on days than on nights...they've been relocated to select patients' rooms!:yes: