please help us help night shift!

  1. Need ideas that would make night shift staff happy. Already do self scheduling, with changes ongoing between them as they desire, already have increased staffing numbers on nights, have staff meeting at convient time for them-they do not attend, eucation inservices offered at convient time- they do not go, staff hired nights- requested nights. Ask for suggestions-they give none. Grape vine gossip says they are unhappy and plan to leave, but none of them tell director, just smile and say nothing. What can we do to increase moral?????????????????????
  2. Visit pk1 profile page

    About pk1

    Joined: Jan '05; Posts: 35; Likes: 1
    Assistant Director of Med Surg/Telemetry

    25 Comments

  3. by   UM Review RN
    Offer better orientation (on nights, not days), mentorship. How's the shift/weekend differential? How does night shift salary stack up to similar facilities in your area?

    Are the day shift nurses bullies? I know a lot of people who've left a unit due to "shift wars."

    Is your policy clear, easy to understand, and uniformly applied?

    These are all things you might want to look into. Obviously, if people are afraid to talk, they're afraid of retaliation.

    That in itself is a Big Clue.

    Good luck!
  4. by   banditrn
    Quote from pk1
    Need ideas that would make night shift staff happy. Already do self scheduling, with changes ongoing between them as they desire, already have increased staffing numbers on nights, have staff meeting at convient time for them-they do not attend, eucation inservices offered at convient time- they do not go, staff hired nights- requested nights. Ask for suggestions-they give none. Grape vine gossip says they are unhappy and plan to leave, but none of them tell director, just smile and say nothing. What can we do to increase moral?????????????????????
    Hmm, don't know - sounds like you've been trying. Have you tried 'taking the mail to the right address' and pulling them in one by one and telling them what you've told us? They need to understand that certain inservices are mandatory. Give them different times and let them sign up for when they want?
  5. by   PANurseRN1
    Quote from pk1
    Need ideas that would make night shift staff happy. Already do self scheduling, with changes ongoing between them as they desire, already have increased staffing numbers on nights, have staff meeting at convient time for them-they do not attend, eucation inservices offered at convient time- they do not go, staff hired nights- requested nights. Ask for suggestions-they give none. Grape vine gossip says they are unhappy and plan to leave, but none of them tell director, just smile and say nothing. What can we do to increase moral?????????????????????
    Is this a legitimate question or a sideways attempt to gripe about night shift staff? Because if it isn't, it sure looks that way.
  6. by   saguaro13
    Well let's see. Bear with me here.

    As a night shift nurse, I can say I agree with the retaliation post. That is a distinct possibility. As far as the inservices go, I have never once had a inservice scheduled at a convenient time for me. It is always immediately after a 12-14 hour shift, or on my one day off. Sorry to say but that is not convenient. If they are scheduled during my shift, at night when we actually have the staff to leave the unit, AND we are AWAKE enough to remember what is going on, well that would be convenient. As far as them being unhappy and wanting to leave it could be many factors, shift wars, no mentoring, high pt ratios, poor leadership, high pt acuity levels, anything and everything is fair game. It may also be individualized, each person may have their own pet peeve. Bringing them in one by one may not be the best idea since then if they actually do voice an opinion, you will know exactly who said what, which opens the door to them feeling like they have the possiblity of being retaliated against. Have you tried anonymous surveys? That may be helpful, I would certainly fill one of those out! It should be generic, nothing where they have to actually write something out (handwriting sometimes is a big clue who you're dealing with) And it wouldn't take but a pinch of your time to write. In the long run it would take less time to address concerns than post jobs, interview, offer, paperwork paperwork, then train someone new. And if you live in a smaller area, word gets around where to work and where not to! I know this sounds like a venting post, but I'm all for management taking interest in things! Good luck!
  7. by   santhony44
    sorry, mistaken edit here...apologies to SAnthony!
    Last edit by SmilingBluEyes on Oct 19, '06
  8. by   doublej
    After 21 years of night shift, I can suggest some things from my own experience. When day shift comes in, that they move through report quickly and get out to relieve us. Too much time is spent behind the doors of the report room, yakking, sipping coffee, eating the fast food breakfast they grabbed on their way in, etc. Also do not imply that night shift "never does anything." We work with a skeletal crew with many less resources that might be needed for advice during the night. Yes, scheduling inservices for their convenience might be handled by videoing the inservice in the day presentation for their review at night. Saves the hospital money because they don't have to pay them to come in on their time off. Don't leave them stranded when it snows and day folks call in because "they can't get out of their driveway." Shovel it until you can get out. Remember the night shift folks are on a schedule contrary to what the rest of the world is and really need to be able to go home instead of pulling extra hours/shifts till some relief come to them. To me, the 7 p.m.-7 a.m. shift is a killer for even supernurses! Yet I know that many facilities are going to that. Also when it comes to evaluations, make sure the ones that do them knows the nurse and does not judge them by what they hear from others. My older sister was a nsg. home administrator for years and she would spend a night shift every six weeks in the facility where she worked so she could see firsthand what goes on, acquainting herself more personally with the night folks. We are willing to pull these shifts and should have recognition like the other shifts.
  9. by   MissJoRN
    Saguaro is right about inservice scheduling. Wow, you mean leave the floor like other nurses?
    This is probably way out of your power, but I've worked all shifts and always thought that night staff should be entitled to extra days off. Mental health days. Night scheduling affects more free time than day people realize.
    Consider this- we were scheduled "every other" weekend, but really every single weekend was impacted by work. Either I worked Sat and Sun night... slept all day Sun and missed Sat evening events or I worked Fri night and was either slept Sat AM or was tired and cranky by evening and missed or did not enjoy Sat evening events. Every single Saturday affected by work for 2 years before I left. The real slap was when they realized they had enough day staff with part-timers for them to work only 1 weekend a month!! At my next night job the opposite weekend nurse and I agreed to do Fri-Sat-Sun weekends which helped, but still the scedule is rough. And that doesn't change that on a midweek Tuesday night off you still worked Mon night into Tues AM and will return to work Wed night so might need a nap anyway.
  10. by   StNeotser
    The thing is, you probably have a good impression of what your day crew are like. In my facility I have met up with our nursing director four times in two years. Unfortunately, if there is any incident, day shift gets to tell their side of the story first, and night staff are stuck with defending themselves to her.

    One thing that gets me about working nights is the "You didn't get that done? But you've had all night.........." Like I was sitting around with that one thing to do. I have never used that line on their shift because I am meant to just assume that they were busy. I could never possibly be busy, apparently.

    They also may be upset with an individual on night shift.

    Oh, and if you ever do the nice things like get pizza for everyone etc, make sure you get it for night shift too. We spend a lot of time cleaning up paper plates and crumbs from the goodies patients families give. :chuckle

    Our inservices are taped and we have to sign off that we have watched the tape. I appreciate that as our inservices are normally at 2-3pm.

    Sometimes all it really takes is the general attitude to make people happier. We are made to feel as if we just babysat for the day shift sometimes. If it's so easy, I wonder why everyone doesn't sign up for nightshift.
  11. by   neygray
    At our facility, we had PCC's which were our nightshift management. They were provided the 'minutes' of our stafff meetings and held impromptu's when everybody had a free moment or a few at a time. They were also authorized to hold our inservices for us. So much nicer than staying over an hour , which most of us rarely did because we worked nights to be able to get our kiddos off to school.
  12. by   Gompers
    Quote from StNeotser
    Oh, and if you ever do the nice things like get pizza for everyone etc, make sure you get it for night shift too. We spend a lot of time cleaning up paper plates and crumbs from the goodies patients families give. :chuckle
    That's something that always bugs me. We'll come to work on nights, even at 7pm, and see a huge - I mean HUGE - box or basket that is completely empty. They'll say, "Oh, Baby Smith went home today and her family brought us like 100 muffins!!!" Yet they'll leave the crumbs and make us feel like we missed out. Did it not occur to them that WE also cared for Baby Smith and maybe putting aside half the muffins for us might have been nice? Nope.

    Usually if it's a party for the unit or hospital - like Nurse's Week, etc. - management makes sure every shift (Days, PMs, Nocs) gets our own little party with fresh pizza, etc. They're pretty good about that. And of course, some families are incredibly thoughtful and have separate baskets for each shift so everyone gets a treat.
  13. by   bagladyrn
    One facility I worked at had a requirement that all nursing administration from head nurses on up work one of every shift once a month (this was in the days of 8 hr shifts). This really helped put a "face" on administration for the night shift. Having inservices ON the night shift (not at 6pm or 7 am) is really important. If you have several BLS/ACLS instructors it can be really helpful to schedule them to do a week of night on a rotating basis to do recerts for the nightshift. One week out of the month makes it easy for everyone to recert. Sounds like a small thing, but is there food (cafeteria or food cart) available on night shift? One gets really tired of grabbing a few bite of a "nuked" frozen meal while charting. Definitely make sure that any special events for nurses are duplicated on nights.
    Simple recognition of the extra challenges faced by night shifters and expression of appreciation for that can go a long way!
  14. by   Annieisfun
    I hate to admit that I have only attented 2 meetings since staring nights, one was for the 4 ceu's and the other was for the breakfast. After working 12 hours I just don't want to stay. My unit manager takes the time to type out the minutes of all meetings and send them internal e-mail. She also tries to schedule her kudos and celebrations close to shift change (including a pot luck breakfast so all of us night folk get hot food at the end of our day).
    take the time to learn and acknowledge the strengths of each night shift employee.

close