Overcoming Night Shift Alienation

  1. I have worked night shift for most of my 35 yrs in nursing because it fits my lifestyle and I prefer the independence of night shift. It has always been that those of us on night shift feel somewhat alienated from management and the rest of the hospital. Often we prefer this but I have noticed lately that the alienation is much worse in our unit. While most of us oldtimers are either not bothered by this or are just use to it, our younger staff members are very upset and dissatisfied. There seems to be a greater level of hostility over the last year between day and night shifts.

    I work in a busy ER where most of us work 12 hr shifts and our staffing should be the same on all shifts. It seems that our concerns and issues are consistently overlooked and not considered by our unit manager. We very rarely even see our unit manager; we consistently have to come in on day shift to attend any meetings or inservices; we are understaffed routinely; and the dissatifaction of our newer staff is becoming a big problem. Some of the complaints by night shift seem overly picky but others are quite serious and legitimate.

    Can anyone give examples of how their unit managers include the night shift and recognize their contributions to avoid their night shift feeling so alienated?
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    About Arkansas RN

    Joined: Sep '06; Posts: 11

    4 Comments

  3. by   bargainhound
    Wow, that's a tough question.
    I suppose many of us have lived through what you describe.
    It is tough for the staff and also the managers.
    Schedules do dictate quite a bit and unfortunately, my experience
    has been that management rarely bends to accomodate night folks.
    It is hard, but seems to be something that is a part of working nights.
  4. by   mysticalwaters1
    Quote from Arkansas RN
    I have worked night shift for most of my 35 yrs in nursing because it fits my lifestyle and I prefer the independence of night shift. It has always been that those of us on night shift feel somewhat alienated from management and the rest of the hospital. Often we prefer this but I have noticed lately that the alienation is much worse in our unit. While most of us oldtimers are either not bothered by this or are just use to it, our younger staff members are very upset and dissatisfied. There seems to be a greater level of hostility over the last year between day and night shifts.

    I work in a busy ER where most of us work 12 hr shifts and our staffing should be the same on all shifts. It seems that our concerns and issues are consistently overlooked and not considered by our unit manager. We very rarely even see our unit manager; we consistently have to come in on day shift to attend any meetings or inservices; we are understaffed routinely; and the dissatifaction of our newer staff is becoming a big problem. Some of the complaints by night shift seem overly picky but others are quite serious and legitimate.

    Can anyone give examples of how their unit managers include the night shift and recognize their contributions to avoid their night shift feeling so alienated?
    My ER has weekly meetings with managment and chair of the ER physicians present right at 7am. So nights come to them right after their shift. Our ER is setup so when the relief is there if it's 0715 we can go to the meeting soon and it last for 1.5-2 hours so day shift will come in and out at the begining too. People mentioned about inservices and they try to schedule ones at this time too.
  5. by   htrn
    We work 8 hour shifts and I find it very difficult to get to alot "Mandatory" events. Things like TB skin tests and flu shots, none of the early morning (0700) clinics are when I am getting off of work. Seeing as it costs me over $20 to drive to work, I am not driving for two hours on my day off and blowing that kind of money for a TB skin test. Same thing happens with unit meetings, retirement planning, compentencies, training on new equipement, etc...

    What ends up happening is that I will skip out on sleep and stay late at work to get all of this stuff done - and it does go on my timecard. It's still a pain.

    The other thing that really bothers me is when we here the shift to shift BS like 'we saved all that stuff for you guys to do on nights because you are never as busy as we are'. Talk about frosting my butt.:angryfire
  6. by   BSNtobe2009
    Quote from obrnheather
    The other thing that really bothers me is when we here the shift to shift BS like 'we saved all that stuff for you guys to do on nights because you are never as busy as we are'. Talk about frosting my butt.:angryfire
    OMG, that would have sent me into orbit too!

    How would they feel if you said, "Oh, we left all this stuff for you guys to do since you are better staffed than our shift."?

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