Night shift blues - page 2

Night shift just kills me. I am always tired. Always running my butt off at work. I never have the energy to do anything on my days off. Does anybody have any ideas or input on how to work nights and... Read More

  1. by   RNforLongTime
    I have worked straight night shift for about 4 months now. I love it! Prior to that I worked straight 3-11 shift and I hated it. It got to the point that I was getting way stressed out and one night I actually lost my cool. Too many discharges, admissions, doctors, family members, etc. It got very annoying when several different family members would call on the phone and want to speak with their loved ones nurse (me). Can you tell me how Mrs. So and so is doing? I was like well I just spoke with her granddaughter and gave her that information. Maybe you can call her? Well, can't you tell me? So then I would say. Maam, please don't think I am being rude but I am very busy right now and have x number of patients in addition to caring for your loved one. I would try to encourage family members to pick a designated caller and have that person get updates and then that person could tell the rest of the family.

    One night I had seven different family members call me on the same patient all wanting updates on Grandma's condition. Each time I was interrupted as I was busy caring for another one of my seven patients. When I spoke to the last family member, I almost lost my cool and said that unless you were Grandma's POA then legally I cannot tell you anything other than she is in stable condition. This is the truth as legally I cannot give out information to people other than the POA. But I digress. This was one of the biggest reasons I got off of evening shift. Very few people are gonna call to check on Grannies condiotion at 3 am.
  2. by   Sleepyeyes
    I took night shift because my job is about 5 minutes from my
    home. I thought I'd want to switch to days asap, but by
    the time there was an opening, I discovered that (surprise!) this
    was working well for me because:
    Hubby works days
    12-year-old is in school
    I don't work weekends (Baylor nurses take over)
    These are some things I did to cope:
    I joined Weight Watchers and go one day a week,
    right after work
    I joined Jazzercise for exercise and socialization
    Play online games, clean, or shop etc.
    if I can't sleep on nights off (get headphones for it and TV)
    Sleep as soon's I get home; if I don't get my 7 or 8,
    I nap after 6pm an hour or two (earplugs/blindfold)
    Inform job that if they call me before 4 pm, I will not
    come in early. Period.
    Inform job that I won't be coming in for 2:30 inservices. Period.
    Hope these help
  3. by   Momma_Penguin
    Hellloooooooooo Night shift reporting....I love my 11 -7.. You have to be a nite's just some of the nurses I can't stand.... oh wait that's another topic....well how I do it goes like this
    1. I have to beat it home to get my teen oob to catch his bus by 7:15a
    2. then I wake up the 10 yr old and makes sure he eats something before we are out the door by 8 a
    3 oh yes.8 time.... to read da some some chicken soup for the soul....btw...Chicken Soup for the Nurses Soul was very good......
    4. go to bed by 9:30..I need to relax.can't sleep til I destress
    5. I am usually up by 4 pm so I can fix the boys and hubby their din din
    6. I stay up after that and do what ever needs done.....I always (99%) try to take an 8 pm nappy....I have to leave the house at 10 pm.....

    On my days off I stay up and do a 24 til I go to bed. The good thing about nites is that I have seen my older son play in the hi school band....and gone to eve programs etc. Laura
  4. by   crazynurse10000
    That is so funny. You sound like the busiest person I know. I guess I don't feel so bad after your story!!! By the way Chicken soup for the nurse was good.
  5. by   Ivy Purdom
    I've worked nights for 22yrs, 8.30- 7.30. Still haven't got used to it. I sleep 4 hrs at the most and am always hungry. If you find a solution let me know!
  6. by   ICUBecky
    rotating is the worst, just be happy you don't do that. i can't stop rotating though, b/c i absolutely loathe night shifts. i am waiting for a day/ evening position, but they keep giving them away to the PRN, traveling, and agency people. is that fair?? shouldn't the full time ppl be first on that list? and those other ppl filling the night time positions.... ARGGGG! i am becoming very unhappy with my job, b/c of this. upper management is aware of these happenings...but don't seem to care. anybody have any suggestions with this issue??? get this...we have a PRN nurse working a FULL time day/ evening schedule!! what the heck!!!

    sorry for my venting and getting of the subject, but i need too!! this is really pissing me off...

    as for the sleeping/ getting on a schedule issue:
    i work 12- hour shifts...and to make some of us PO'd nurses about not getting on a day evening schedule (oh yes...i am not the only one), the gave us 3 days/nights in a row, and 4-8 days/nights off in a row. it's great!! try to do that if you work 12s. that way your body gets used to those 3 days!

    when you get home after a somewhat heavy breakfast, so that you are full for the time that you sleep.

    take a shower

    turn off everything. give ppl an EMERGENCY cell phone number.

    after my 3rd night...i sleep on the couch. it is a lot less comfortable and cooler, than my bed, and the first time i wake up...i get up (this is usually after 4 hours). if i am still sleepy, i make myself take a walk or work out. this usually gives me some energy for the rest of the day. then i just go to bed when my fiance does, that night. that way i am back on a schedule.

    hope this helps!!
  7. by   live4today
    Hey Crazynurse 10000!

    You are in a fabulous location! I did a traveling assignment there in 1989, and had a blast! Absolutely loved the place! I also worked rotating shifts (D/N). The best way to adapt -- IF you absolutely have no other choice of shift for yourself right now -- is to get off work, go home, take a hot bath, drink some hot herb tea (Try Tension Tamers Tea by Celestial and put a piece of peppermint candy in it for sweetness...taste great, and works like a charm). Make sure your room is absolutely dark, even if you have to put room darkening shades up, or put up aluminum foil over your bedroom windows to make it seem like "night time". Turn on some ocean music, or other soothing R&R music, cozy under the comforter and snooze like a baby. Set your alarm to wake up seven to eight hours later (by this time, it should be three or four in the afternoon). Get up, do a little oral hygiene, splash cold water on the face, put on your beach clothes, and go to the beach for a run or to catch some rays, do a little beach store shopping, have a meal along the shore, return home refreshed enough to take a short "nap" before you go to work. Sometimes I would get off work, hit the beach for a run, a tan, a little meal and shopping in the beach stores, then go home and repeat the above routine. Worked for me, hope it works for you to. Let me know! Happy snoozing! :zzzzz
    Last edit by live4today on Feb 12, '02
  8. by   crazynurse10000
    Good advice! Thank you. I will try the tea. Your right this is a beautiful area. I love it here and encourage everyone to visit. Very relaxing place. I just signed on for 13 more weeks- nights.
  9. by   traumaRUs
    If you can, work your nights in a row. My kids are teens and adults now, but when they were little, my husband was home at night with them and they went to daycare or school during the day. Now that only one is at home, I continue to work nights, but only three in a row. I'm fortunate that I don't do OT (at least not much now). Our inservices, meetings are at 7am so that helps a lot.

    You just have to make time for yourself...this is your night and just as precious to you as the day shift worlds "real night".
  10. by   ERNurse752
    This is a list of night shift survival tips, from the Emergency Nursing World website...

    I get home, check my email, eat a snack if I couldn't get a lunch break (often, hehe), take a shower, and then get to bed around 0830-0900. I sleep til 1630. It works pretty well for me, but I'm a night-owl type person anyway.

    Good luck!
  11. by   nurs4kids
    I tried working nights several years ago, I was 18. Couldn't do it, became depressed for the first time in my life. Felt like I was living in a separate world from everyone else. Now, I'm 34 with two small kids (2&3 yr old) and have worked 7p-7a for the past two years. I have a wonderful sitter who keeps them at night and during the day for me to sleep, she's with them three entire days in a row (hubby's aunt, hubby also works nights). It's starting to drive me crazy. I work 3 in a row, sleep my first off day and am grumpy and tired for the next day and a half. Then I have one good day and it's time to start over again. I've got a request in for the next day spot available on my unit. Actually was offered one a few months ago, but everything was peachy-keen at the time, so I declined it for the next avail. Either summer or dayshift must come soon!!!
  12. by   highasthesky
    Wow, sounds like you have someone you can really trust with your kids and that's great! I have 3, so daycare is outrageous! I know this kind of offline as to what this thread is about, but can anyone tell me about their experiences with 3rd shift daycare? I've been looking for a good one here, and they also want to charge the same price as during the daytime hours, when all my kids will be doing is sleeping at their house. No playing, no eating, just sleeping! How much does everyone elses sitters charge them for 3rd shift? Thanks--