Quote from Mediatix8
I accepted a couple of pain pills (don't remember what they were as I was 18 at the time). They made me so sleepy...I slept almost the entire time- day and night- and I am still alive to talk about it.
If the patient has a stress test scheduled for the morning and they are asking for ambien at 3am I would not give it to them, either. But what if they actually don't have anything ordered besides some lab work and respiratory treatments or something. Then again, you don't know what might be ordered later in the day.
What you must keep in mind is that a sleeping pill is often given on top of the pain meds, benadryl, nausea meds (such as .phenergan). That is a lot of meds. And giving a sleeping pill after 2am will alter a pt for the morning assessment with the docs as well as PT/OT, etc. as stated by other posters. Docs will get a false impression of how the pt. is doing because they will be asleep.
If a pt. cannot sleep after 3 a.m. perhaps it is more important to find out why and help with that rather than give them a sleeping pill that may not kick in until it is time to get up. Then it will last another 5 hours or so which will have your pt sleeping through breakfast and lunch. Nutrition is also important.
A sleeping pill is not a patient's right. While a pt. is in the hospital, we must do what is best for them. HS means 2200 where I work. We have the leeway withing hospital policy to give a sleeping pill up until 0200. If it is after 3 a.m. the only thing I will give is ativan for anxiety and they have to be hanging off the ceiling for me to do that. On some occasions, I will give Benadryl as it is shorter acting than ambien. Even a person who works nights is on and must remain on a dayshift schedule in the hospital. This is because case manages, OT, PT, rounds are all done during the day. Nights we try to keep things quiet (not always possible) and help our patients to get rest.