New RN, New job, day orientation going to nights how?

  1. How does one best start nights? I have been a day person for the last 13 years. School of course was days, and my last job I quit on orientation (which was on days), now I've spent a few weeks on days on orientation (I do really like this job although I have already made a med error), but anyway - how do I adjust for the first night? I mean do I stay up all day as normal and go to work and come home a crash? I live an hour from my job (no choice as I live an hour from anything accept doctors offices which aren't hiring). Or do I try to take a nap during the day prior to my job? I have taken several naps over the years (imagine that) and sometimes I wake up refreshed but more often than not I stay groggy and tired the rest of the day. I just don't know how to switch to nights. I want it to be as smooth as possible so I can be very competent, and still able to drive the hour home.
    PLEASE HELP? I start nights in a little over a week!
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    About JentheRN05

    Joined: Aug '05; Posts: 965; Likes: 49
    Specialty: OB, ortho/neuro, home care, office


  3. by   mediatix8
    I work nights. I come home from work, watch Oprah and eat a lot. Then I take a melatonin pill, found at your local walgreens by the pharmacy. It makes you tired, but it doesn't last too long. It isn't like taking tylenol pm or benadryl, which makes you really groggy for over 8 hours. It lasts just long enough to get me to bed and stay there until 6pm, when my husband comes home from work. Definately sleep before you go to work! Don't stay up all day and night!
  4. by   JentheRN05
    Bump - This post had disappeared from my list, I wanted a few more replies on how to start working nights going from days.
  5. by   chachh
    I just started nights in August and found what works for me best is the night before my shift I stay up until 2-4am in the morning. I watch movies I have always wanted to see, read a book that I love, or some such stuff. Sometimes it can be really nice, especially with a great book. Then I sleep until around 2pm. My kids are school age so I get them from school or the babysitter, whichever and then go to work at 7pm. Have no problems staying awake for the shift and then get to bed for my next shift at aroun 9am if I am working again that night. When I come off my shift onto a day off I take a nap until about 1:30 or noonish. Tired, but functional. Then try and sleep normal that night to get back on schedule with the family. Sometimes will take a benedryl cause I can wake up at around 3am and have a problem going back to sleep. Good luck!!!!! (and I like nights!)
  6. by   PedsRNBSN
    I like you am a new RN and I am working a rotating shift, which means that I will be on days for a few weeks, then nights etc...but I schedule myself so I am able to control when I am nights or days. Since I am a newlywed I like to go to bed with my the night/day before the night shift...for ex: if my night shift was Tues night then on Mon night I would stay up a little later with him...we usually go to bed around 11pm or so. Then, I would wake up early (with him like 6 am) and take my dog to the park, do errands etc...then go back to sleep around 10 am and sometimes I will take a benadryl around 8-9 am. Then I wake up at around 5-5:30pm and eat and get ready. Then work...also, try to get a couple of nights in a row because the second night is sooooooo much easier...but I have also found that the first night is not bad at all. If it is my last shift of the week, and I have a few days off, then I finish my shift...go home, eat and then sleep for four hours or so...then I wake up and am ready to spend time with my puppy and then my husband when he comes home...then I go to bed at the regular time...sometimes a little earlier and then my schedule is regular again. I have found that the idea of nights is MUCH worse than the reality.
    I am not even tired or anything, in fact it is no different than day shift (except the first week it was tough to eat dinner at 2am) except there are less people in the halls...and mroe chart checks to do. I love the change of pace of nights, especially as a new grad because the pace is great for learning. Also, I am lucky because I work in a teaching hospital so we always have residents and everything around at night and several resource nurses so that we still have the resources we need...but I also get days with the experience! Good luck! Kelly
  7. by   Kasper1014
    I have just started night shifts two weeks ago, this week will be my third week. Before that I was always working days and always swore I would NEVER would a night shift. Never say never! LOL:chuckle My schedule is 11pm to 7am, Monday through Thursday, Friday and weekends off. The Sunday before I actually worked my first night shift, I took a late afternoon nap, for a couple of hours. Then my Dh and kids went to bed, I stayed up all night, watching movies, playing on the internet, reading. The night actually flew by pretty quickly! Then my DH and kids woke up for school. I took my shower and I went to bed. I try to sleep bewteen 8am,9am to 5pm when my hubby gets home from work. So far it is really working and I am really enjoying my nightshift!

    Kassy : )