Dilemma: night shift...critical care - page 2

Hi everyone, I've been working on a progressive care unit almost a year (Aug. will be a year). I work day shifts. I love the days; I'm a morning person and I love everything that goes on during the... Read More

  1. by   mappy
    Quote from moonischasingme1
    Hi everyone,
    I've been working on a progressive care unit almost a year (Aug. will be a year). I work day shifts. I love the days; I'm a morning person and I love everything that goes on during the day. However, I am trying to get into critical care through the hospital's CCIP (critical care internship program). Today I turned in my portfolio, but HR said it looks like all units are only hiring for third shift (nights!). This is such a bummer for me. I am pretty against working nights. It doesn't seem healthy to me---when would I eat, exercise, see family/boyfriend, etc? I'm big into health and fitness and it just seems wrong. I know I am young and it doesn't have to be forever, but...
    At this point, I am so annoyed with the whole thing that I just want to give up my dream of working in critical care and just go back to school for my master's.
    I don't really know what I'm asking for in this post--maybe just some advice, words of encouragement, etc?
    You might be surprised at how much you like nights. There are very few jobs that are posted for day shift because typically the unit will offer those positions to their current staff. Depending on turnover at your unit, you might be on nights for only a few months. Everything worthwhile usually comes with a cost, and this could include having to work on an opposite shift for a while. Millions of us do it and many of us actually like the more relaxed atmosphere and the chance to take more time with patients and families. On the other hand, if the idea of working nights for a few months to a year is so troublesome that you think it will ruin your lifestyle and your health, then maybe ICU isn't for you. It's a stressful place and things don't always go according to plan. Of course, the same can be said for graduate school as well

    Good luck with your decision. Career advancement often depends on making compromises and doing things that might not fit perfectly into your life. If you ever decide to marry and have children, you will definitely learn that lesson!
  2. by   jollydogg_RN
    I wish I had this problem =(

    I'd love to do night shift critical care. From what I've heard from everyone, you have more time to learn being on a night shift unit being a new grad.
  3. by   moonischasingme1
    Quote from rbs105
    Although I somewhat resent the fact that you are implying that as night nurses we don't care about our health, how we eat, exercise and must not be able to have a social life-at the same time, you make me laugh!!!

    Every night, all around the world, when you are cozying up with your pillow, millions of nurses are starting their shift-and actually surviving!!!! How cute that this seems like the end of the world to you and yet how disappointing that it may actually cause you to change your entire line of work and prevent you from pursuing your dreams!!!

    News flash....yes, it is hard on the body-research shows working a 12 hour night shift is equivalent to a 16 hr shift on the body. We are at higher risk for illness and other issues such as getting in an accident when driving home. However, we are a necessary entity in the workforce and frankly, you should thank your fellow nurses who are doing it and sacrificing. On the same note, we are not all walking around without eating, and living sedentary, unsocial lives. I have lost out on a few hours of sleep but I have been there for every daylight activity that goes on in my family and friend network. My kids barely know I work because I sleep while they are at school and go to work after they go to bed. Not to mention I make more than the daylight nurses...

    If you manage to avoid nights because of all you'll be missing out on, just remind yourself of all this when you arrive fresh and rested at 7am and complain that "those people on nights didn't do anything". A-they are working under different conditions than you, B-there is less help around when something goes wrong, C- they are often playing more than one role (nurse=secretary, unit coordinator, transport, cna, etc) and D-we're almost always hiring

    Seriously...don't give up before you try it. It 's really not the end of the world and you just MIGHT survive!!!

    I dont ever say those things about night nurses and I don't appreciate the fact that you would imply I would. I don't imply anything about the night shift and their habits, I only know how I operate and I know that I am in bed by 945 on most nights and enjoy the natural circadian rhythm. I didn't say anything about how other night nurses operate or that I don't "respect" them or any of that crap.
  4. by   suanna
    Thus the choice we all had to make. In order to work your way into the position you want you will more than likely have to do at least 6mos to a year on nights. The sacrifices required to work nights are many- but it is the only path to the area of specialty you want. What you have to decide is what you really want. You posted two very different goals- Critical Care or returning to school for your MSN. Both will require sacrifices and big cuts into your personal and family time. If you go the
    MSN route what guarantee do you have of not being stuck on an off shift in whatever field you pursue? If critical care is really where you want to end up- look into which unit has the shortest stay on nights and bite the bullet. I bit the bullet and took a nights position 22years ago- after 6mos I discovered I love nights and will never bid on days. Once I adapted to the shift I found I had more time to spend with my family than I ever had on 7-3 or 3-11. Every day was a potential "day off" as long as I didn't have to work the night before and the night after.