Finding time to schedule "day time" things when working nights

Nurses General Nursing


Specializes in LTC, New to Tele/ Cardiac!.

Hello all! So I just finished my orientation on a busy cardiac critical care floor yesterday at 7:30 am :yeah: I got a great review from my supervisor and the director of nursing so I am very excited, just had to put that out there! YAY! haha. Anyways- I did most of my orientation on days then switched to nights 7p-7a about 2 weeks ago and will remain on nights. I actually don't mind it at all. My body has adjusted fairly well to the sleeping schedule and I try to stay within that sleeping schedule even if I'm not working (it just helps my body to stay in sync). However- I'm wondering for all those night nurses out there- how do you find time to schedule dr.'s appts, hair appt's, food shopping, all those "day activities"? I find that I sleep until 4pm and most of those places are 9-5 schedules! I'm especially wondering because I just moved to a new area for this job this summer and have yet to find a new dr., dentist, etc. so I'd like to get it out of the way. I'm thinking probably an early morning appt would be better.. Just wondering what other night people do! Thanks :nurse:

Specializes in Trauma Surgical ICU.

I have two sleep schedules.. One for my work nights and one when I am off.

If I did not work the night before, I am up at 6:30a and go to bed around 10p.. If I did work the night before I go to bed at about 9a and wake at 3p. Also, if I have to go back to work after a few nights off, I do nap before work. It works great for me and my family..

You will find what works best for you..

Specializes in Community, OB, Nursery.

Most people I know who work nights who stay on a night schedule while not working schedule their appointment stuff for first thing in the AM so as to minimize lost sleep.

I work nights too, but I work two nights a week (weekend option) and my son needs a mother during the week, so I switch back to sleeping at night on my nights off.

Specializes in acute care med/surg, LTC, orthopedics.

My mother worked full-time nights by choice for over 30 years, and in hindsight I really don't know how she managed to do that, and raise kids and run a household. I don't mind nights but would never be all to do it full-time, as my system seems to rebel against that odd sleep/wake cycle, and each shift feels like I've lost 6 mos of my life. Thankfully, I can pick and choose my shifts so at some point will give up nights altogether, but for those nurses who do straight nights, I feel for you, it's a damn hard road.

Specializes in Critical Care/Coronary Care Unit,.

I personally have two sleep schedules one for work and one for when I'm off. For the most part, my body doesn't have a problem adjusting. So even when I'm off from working an night shift..I still have time to get my hair done, etc.

As much as possible I try to schedule things first thing in the morning to get them out of the way and to have minimum sleep interruption once I fall asleep. I also find it best to limit my daytime activities to one major activity. I can't run around for several hours doing lots of things because I need more sleep or more effort at sleep, than when I have a normal schedule.

Specializes in Alzheimers, Muscular dystrophy.

I have worked NOCs for 10yrs. I always stop on my way home for groceries. Sched Dr, dentist, hair appt's etc as late in the afternoon as possible. But there will be days you get no sleep at all. I have often complained about the job I'm at now because they do meeting freaking 3 to 4 times a month..... and they are always scheduled between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.. I usually don't go. When they start to pressure me about it I usually respond with, "would you come down here at 2:00 a.m. to talk with me about something"? they will respond "No, that's the middle of the night!" I smile sweetly and say "my point exactly", been over 3 yrs and I've never been written up for it yet. Just stick to a schedule. I fall asleep w/in 15 minutes of getting home, I've trained my body to go to sleep at that time.

Specializes in OB.

I've worked nights for about 27 years now (Yes, right through raising kids).

When I have only 1-2 nights off I stay completely on my night schedule (just got back from grocery shopping right now - no crowds). When I am off for more than that I adjust my schedule slightly, going to bed at about 4 a.m. and getting up about 11 a.m.

This gives me time to schedule "daytime" activities during afternoon business hours without messing up my sleep schedule too much.

As for work meetings I've made it very clear over the years that I will only attend those that are scheduled immediately before or after my shift. I refuse to attend midday meeting until they schedule a mandatory 2 am meeting and make all the dayshift attend!

Specializes in Alzheimers, Muscular dystrophy.

As for work meetings I've made it very clear over the years that I will only attend those that are scheduled immediately before or after my shift. I refuse to attend midday meeting until they schedule a mandatory 2 am meeting and make all the dayshift attend!

They have threatened me with write ups for not attending some of the meetings. I look em dead in the eye and tell them "why don't we have a meeting at 2:00 a.m. and see who shows up?" I mean really afternoon meetings, do you want me awake and alert or a statistic of the highway? I once asked why they don't do an in service for noc shift at 6 am or 10 pm, I was told that if it was at 6 the person giving it would have to get up too early and would be to tired to do the afternoon inservice and would be to tired to come at 10 pm cuz they had already worked a full day. I said "my point exactly". I now make a list of who doesn't come to meetings (with dates) cuz If I'm getting written up they're pets r 2!:devil:

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