Question for those who work night shift?

  1. Hi! I have a question for anyone who works night shift? I just got a new job in the NICU as a neonatal care tech. For those who don't know me since I usually post on the student nurse board. I am currently in a BSN program and I now officially made it to my senior year so I will be graduating May 17th,2003. I have been told if I do a good job as a care tech I would be made an offer as a RN in the NICU if I am interested at graduation. It is a level II. Well, It is going to be working nights and I have never worked a night shift a day in my life. So my question is, should I start preparing meaning should I start sleeping during the day now and staying awaked during the night or how should I do this. I start orientation on May 20th. The nurse manager will have me work a couple of day shifts just so I am there when she is there and then after that I will go to nights. It will be varying 8's and 12's. I just want to know if there is any way to prepare that way I will not fall asleep while I am at work.

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    About peaceful2100

    Joined: Aug '00; Posts: 894; Likes: 82
    Registered Nurse; from US
    Specialty: 10 year(s) of experience


  3. by   fedupnurse
    Are you a morning person or a night person? I've done both shifts and prefer nights. I have become a morning person on my nights off but I have little trouble laying down to nap during the day. By the time you graduate the world will be different. There may be plenty of day shift positions open. You can always try nights and if they don't agree with you try days somewhere else.
    Best of luck to you!
  4. by   bellehill
    I have been working nights for 9 mos. A few nights before I started I tried to stay up later each night and sleep later each day. If you can get a decent amount of sleep you will be surprised how easy it will be to stay up all night. The trick is to keep busy all night so you don't have a chance to get tired. Good Luck!!
  5. by   Jenny P
    If you have to work some day shifts for beginning orientation, do not start preparing for the night shift until you have those days out of the way! Then stay up later and sleep in later after those are done. Use a box fan in your bedroom to cover extraneous day noise, I personally think an Enya CD is great to fall asleep on, and turn off the ringer on phones. Guard your prescious sleep time as if it were a treasure! You will find out soon enough that it is!
  6. by   whipping girl in 07
    I bought a white noise machine several weeks before I started working nights and used it at night when I slept. Once I started working nights, I would turn it on before I went to sleep and it would lull me off to sleep (I think hearing it meant it was sleep time!) I also hang a quilt over my window so it's dark in my room and turn off the phone ringers and put the answering machine on low. The day I start a run of nights, I sleep late that morning or try to go back to bed once I get Ian off to school. The day I end a run of nights, I don't hang the quilt on the window so I don't sleep as deeply and set my alarm for earlier(so I can go back to my sleeping at night schedule). It's been working for me the past several months. Good luck!!
  7. by   CountrifiedRN
    I worked 12 hour nights as a CNA for a couple years. I also had to do a few day shifts for orientation before switching to nights, so I didn't have much time to prepare. My first night shift, I tried to nap during the day, and did get about an hour or two in. And the first shift wasn't too bad, until about 3 am. I became so tired I honestly didn't know if I would make it! I drank lots of coffee, and tried my best to keep busy, but it was slow and we had to file print outs in the patients charts, talk about BORING! But it got better at around 5:30 am when we had to start getting ready for the next shift.

    I think that no matter what, it will be hard to adjust in the beginning because your bodys clock isn't used to it. But it does get easier. Good luck, and congrats on your new job!
  8. by   joannep
    I worked nights for 4 years.
    Disconnect the door bell now!
    I always had an afternoon nap the day I was to commence nights, and when I worked my last night I would set my alarm for midday and get up. Otherwise I found I would sleep all day, every day, even on nights off.
    I always took my own meal, and a couple of pieces of bread to toast if you get hungry during the night. It is too easy to raid the candy bar for a snack.
    I eventually installed external shutters to my windows that do not let any light in at all, but until then I hung a few blankets over the window drapes.
    I found going to bed immediately I got home the best for me.
    Do not use medication, your body will adjust.
    I found nights the best answer for me when my children were little, however the downside was that I felt jet lagged all the time.
    You will find night duty to be its own little world, with many nurses who have worked nights for many years.
    Have fun
  9. by   luilui_604
    personally, i'm a nite owl! but i do find that it is easiest to sleep as soon i get home from a night shift (usually around 8:30 - 9 am) and get up around 3-4 pm. its good when you can get uninterrupted sleep of course! i know some nurses also take naps during their 1-2 hour break in the night shift...but this doesn't work as well for me becuz i tend to wake up feeling more'll find your body's rhythm and will learn to adjust to it...its sort of a trial and error thing? but do stay up later the night before you begin your night shift, that way you can sleep in during the day and be well rested before you start! thats what i do at least hope this helps!
  10. by   HannasMom
    Since you will work day shift for awhile, it's too soon to practice for the night shift. Night shift was difficult for me when I first started, but it does get easier. For me, sleeping during the day and staying awake at night on my nights off works better, than trying to stay awake during the day and sleeping at night. I feel normal now, because I have learned to stay a night owl. I get house work done, I study at night, or put items on ebay to sell. I also enjoy watching an occasional soap opera I taped.
    Now that the weather is getting better and the daylight lasts longer, I finally get a real treat...the SUN! Love it! :wink2:
  11. by   Tweety
    Since I started working 12-hour shifts, I pretty much stay up the night before a shift the entire night, but for a nap. Last night is typical I took a nap from about mid-night until 2am, went to the gym and shopping, watched a movie. It's 8am and I'll go to bed by 9:00 and sleep until about 4pm. This way I'm well rested.

    Many people stay up late and sleep as late as they can during the day. Other people get up early, but take a nap a few hours before work. You'll find what works for you and fits in with your lifestyle.
  12. by   teeituptom
    I would never work days

    one....too many suit types

    two ....I would miss my diffs