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First nightshift down

I did it. I survived my first nightshift. I drank 3 cups of coffee,stopped at 0300.I started to really feel tired at 0500,but I managed to stay awake. I got home about 0830 and slept until 1230, and then bam, I am awake. I have to go back tonight and I feel tired already.

I missed not being able to get my little ones to bed and coming home to an empty house this morning was depressing. Hubs took kiddo to daycare. It was so depressing.

I know it was only mt first night,but I am feeling so tired and discouraged already. The staff was not helpful and I can tell I am going to get the most awful schedule. Please tell me it will get better.

Thanks for letting me rant.

lkwashington

Specializes in Tele, ICU, ED, Nurse Instructor,. Has 4 years experience.

It varies on everything. I live 10 mins from my job. I work nights. I can get home go to bed no later than 10 am and lay in bed til it is time for me to be at work by 1845. Some may have a lot to do in the morning or before going to work. How far a person live from work? How many nights you working in a row? I did 3 12 hour shift straight for 2 years + and I loved it. Everyone is different. Your body is not use to the change.

Why you say you are going to get the most awful schedule? How was the staff not helpful? Not helping with the patients or not helping you stay awake? Im not going to tell you it is going to get better but I can say your first night is your hardest. I be off for four nights my first night back is my hardest. I try not to change my routine at home. I take naps during the day and up at night. I get up early in the morning to run errands and come back home to relax. Some days are going to be tougher than others. I have been there. Overall, Im glad you made it through.

Lucky0220

Specializes in Med/Surg, Acute Rehab. Has 4 years experience.

It WILL get better. You just have to get into a "sleeping groove"! Only you will be able to know what is the best way to do this. Some work all 3 shifts in a row. I personally like to work 2 in a row with 2 off. I found that having only 1 day off in between is the hardest. By the way, can you self schedule where you work?

iNurseUK, RN

Specializes in Plastics. General Surgery. ITU. Oncology. Has 20 years experience.

Although I'm English and work the usual system of internal rotation (a mixture of Earlies, Lates and Nights) my particular hospital, bless it's old-fashioned heart, does a rotation where you get seven nights in a row once every six weeks.

The good news is that you then get seven days off having worked 70-odd hours in seven days. Good money too. Seven nights can be worth up to £400 extra in your pay packet.

I still hate them though!

Thanks to all, I am going back tonight. I already know some of my pts,so hopefully it will go a tad bit easier. I am sucking down the caffeine now. Wish me luck and I will update tomorrow.

lcdrn

Specializes in LTC, MED SURG, PSYCH. Has 13 years experience.

If you can't sleep during the day, you could ask your Dr. for a script for Trazodone. It helps me sleep. Good luck to you, and give your body time to adjust from days to nights

Give it a good 6 weeks to adjust and a good 6 months to feel good. I get home at 8:30 and sleep until someone calls to be picked up at school (3:00 pm). I think the biggest problem will come if you can't sleep for at least 6 hours everyday. Some people just can't sleep during the day. Me, I sleep like a rock.

I agree that consistency is the key. Don't try to switch from days to night and back again. It will be tough and your body will not adjust. I still stay up until about 2 or 3 on my nights off. I'm still up early enough to get stuff done.

Try the melatonin. It's more natural and might help, can't hurt. Also how long did you stay in bed when you woke up at 12:30? Sometimes I wake up but I stay in bed until I fall back asleep and usually I am able to. Might take an hour but I just look at it as "resting". I am sorry to hear you're struggling though, I know it's tough.

Tait, MSN, RN

Specializes in Acute Care Cardiac, Education, Prof Practice. Has 13 years experience.

At least your house was quiet! :)

Room darkening shades are your friend, they have them at Target.

Tylenol PM was my best choice when I first started working nights.

Try to keep moving at work. When I get sleepy (which lately with acuity isn't very often) I start cleaning and stocking supplies to keep moving until am meds.

Best of luck!

Tait

I am sucking down the caffeine now.

I know I personally get a huge sugar rush from caffeine to only crash soon after.

Just a thought though.

classicdame, MSN, EdD

Specializes in Hospital Education Coordinator.

I started out working nights, but I was determined it would be temporary. Well, everything in life is temporary to some degree. Anyway, I ended up wanting to be on that shift and stayed for years till I decided to return to school. Yes, it gets better.

MassED, BSN, RN

Specializes in ER. Has 15 years experience.

I started out working nights, but I was determined it would be temporary. Well, everything in life is temporary to some degree. Anyway, I ended up wanting to be on that shift and stayed for years till I decided to return to school. Yes, it gets better.

amen to that! Glad to hear that, as I am starting my first night shift job this coming week. I will be doing the first 4-6 weeks on a day/night rotation! Why in the world would they do that to anyone? Who would take that kind of shift????? So my summer will certainly be a pain having to adjust to that... any thoughts on THAT adjustment?

locolorenzo22, BSN, RN

Specializes in Ortho, Neuro, Detox, Tele.

I worked nights for 2 years in school....then had to orient on days for 14 weeks! UGH! It was nasty...

You have to give it time to adjust. Here's my tips...get charting done ASAP. you will NOT be motivated to chart later. Work with patients through the night. If you have the time later, some patients will love to talk at like 3AM. cut out caffiene at least 4 hours before the end.

At home, I second a fan, room darkening shades. I lived in a basement apartment, and used window vinyl cling to darken the room...now I live with my fiance, and we can't put anything up yet, because her parents are trying to sell the house. Not fun at 8 eck emma.

Once in a while, if I don't have to be up at all for the day, I will take a benedryl. Not often, though, as I don't want to need or depend on it.

give it time, if tired, get up and walk around at work. If you are laying in bed for at least 30 minutes wide awake, get up and do something, and then go back to bed . works like a charm for me.

Rabid Response

Specializes in ICU/CCU. Has 5 years experience.

I've been working nights for three years now and, while I never feel 100% great, I think I've finally adapted. The big issue for me is not so much staying awake at night as being able to sleep long enough during the day. Like many others, I highly recommend blackout curtains for the bedroom windows. I don't always use earplugs, but when I do, I usually sleep like the dead. Melatonin is the only thing I take to sleep, and it works great for me.

Good luck.

Sorry to jump in here. Not a nurse yet, but I was a 911 dispatcher for three and a half years. I worked nights almost the whole time I was there. I was on five 8 hour shifts from 11pm-7am for a while, and I was also on 4 10 hour shifts from 5pm-3am for a while as well. Believe me, it was tough, but you will get used to it after a while. Just remember that you HAVE to make sure you sleep. Turn off the phones in your house, and make sure to make it clear to everyone that you are not available. Unfortunately, when you work nights, family/friends have a hard time understanding that you are not available. My husband still works at 911, and I am the only one who gets that he still has to sleep approx 8 hours, too.

That being said, make sure you get the darkening shades. It took me a good month to get used to it. I was like a zombie for the first month. Also, stay healthy. I was so addicted to caffeine, and it really just made things worse. Try to eat healthy and it will give you more energy. Believe me, I know that at 2am you don't feel like having anything healthy, but it will make a difference. Also, get into the habit of sleeping and eating at the same times. It wreaks havoc on your body to go back and forth. You will be fine. Our bodies adjust.

scoochy

Specializes in PACU, CARDIAC ICU, TRAUMA, SICU, LTC. Has 32 years experience.

Day/night rotation is the absolute worst rotation...screwed up my cortisol levels.

But all of the recommendations don't speak to the fact that the OP misses her children when she's working nights and I don't think that there is any rememdy for that. The best anyone can do while working nights is spend as much time with your children when you're not working. The children will adjust as you adjust.

MassED, BSN, RN

Specializes in ER. Has 15 years experience.

I've been working nights for three years now and, while I never feel 100% great, I think I've finally adapted. The big issue for me is not so much staying awake at night as being able to sleep long enough during the day. Like many others, I highly recommend blackout curtains for the bedroom windows. I don't always use earplugs, but when I do, I usually sleep like the dead. Melatonin is the only thing I take to sleep, and it works great for me.

Good luck.

what time do you take Melatonin? If you have a 40 minute drive, do you take it as you're leaving your shift in the AM?

MassED, BSN, RN

Specializes in ER. Has 15 years experience.

Day/night rotation is the absolute worst rotation...screwed up my cortisol levels.

oh no!!! High cortisol is no good! I think of having newborns at home and their days/nights are mixed up, which in turn makes a mom/dad mixed up and all out of whack with eating. I will remember that - thank you!

MassED, BSN, RN

Specializes in ER. Has 15 years experience.

But all of the recommendations don't speak to the fact that the OP misses her children when she's working nights and I don't think that there is any rememdy for that. The best anyone can do while working nights is spend as much time with your children when you're not working. The children will adjust as you adjust.

I think working, period, at any shift, you will miss your children. You can see your children before work (dinner time) and kiss them before they go to bed, or if you worked days, you come home at night and kiss them before you all go to bed. I don't see any difference. It's mother's guilt. The kids are fine, as long as they see mommy at some point during the day, that's all they care about.

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