Weaker nurses at night? - page 2

I was talking to one of our verbose doctors, and he started talking about nurses. He told me that the weaker nurses work the night shift. Opinions?... Read More

  1. by   OC_An Khe
    I have noticed with regard to MDs and night nurses that they will give more respect/credence to the RN if the are calling a critical care unit as opposed to a med surg unit. Even if they are talking to the same nurse who had just happened to be floated that night.
    Also it could also just be a weak doc passing its insecurity off on a nurse.
  2. by   RN1982
    I like working night shift. I like the independance and the autonomy. I like that I don't have families or management breathing down my neck. I do a good job. I'm on my feet every hour of my shift checking on my patient. I have to disagree strongly with what that doctor said as I know nurses who are weak and they work both day and night shift.
  3. by   Dalzac
    I worked night Most of my career for a lot of reasons, some of them had to do with nursing and some didn't. I first started working night as a tech and for some reassons only known to her, the charge nurse, hated me and overloaded me with patients to the point of me walking out on the job. I worked in ICU. One night I had EKG's and normally got a lite load. The unit was full the other 2 techs got 3 patients. I got 6 and 3 of them were on Aramine (this was before Dopamine and no bp machines. and I had to take 15 minute VS. Told u I was old!) She would not let me give up EKG's told me tough. And she wouldn't let the other techs take a couple of the pts. She then told me if I didn't like it I could quit so I did, right then. The diretector knew what happened before I even got home The old bag told her but one of the techs went off floor and called her too. I was forgiven and got a wonderful reference from the big boos lady and she even found me another job doing something I loved even more.
    I worked days when my kids were little and in grade school but when they were in high school I had to go to nights becuse of the little reprobates. So I just stayed on nights and I really did like it.
    Once I even asked to go to days and my manager told me no and told me I was a really strong asset to nights and she needed me on nights because the other 2 nurses on nights were just stupid. (little Hospital.) I worked there for 15 yrs and when they closed I just stayed on nights.
    Now since I am retired, I can't sleep at night I still get my best sleep from 10 am to 6 pm.
  4. by   showbizrn
    Quote from arwenevenstar
    quote: "night shift nurses also have less docs at their disposal and have to think through problems on their own -- i think it actually takes a more autonomous and confident nurse to work nights."


    we night-shift nurses
    also receive
    a big, fat differential in pay
    for all of our autonomy and trouble-shouting.
    doesn't sound weak to me.:d
  5. by   caliotter3
    I have heard the opposite.
  6. by   snowyRN
    hiding from the law?'''LOL thats a good one
  7. by   iteachob
    Oh heck no!! Sometimes people are kept on days because............well.....

    Also, some people actually prefer nights. Less politics, fewer physicians running around, time to actually give care.

    Bottom line: there are equally competent nurses on both shifts.
  8. by   caroladybelle
    Quote from LeeniesMomRN
    I was talking to one of our verbose doctors, and he started talking about nurses. He told me that the weaker nurses work the night shift. Opinions?

    I sense that SOMEONE VERBOSE got awoken/disturbed at night and just has to get snide about it.

    There are MDs that get in a snit if they get any calls interrupting their lives. Unfortunately, it comes with the job.

    Several issues. MDs get most their contact with nurses on the day shift. Thus, they know them more personally. And the nurses become more in tune with the MD's preferences. They also have offices with office nurses to handle phone calls and many interruptions that they face. This means that there are nurses that "know" that they can write certain orders and take certain actions. There are also plenty of support services to handle many issues.

    At night, the MDs are less familiar with the nurses on, and may have less trust in them and what they may report. You also do not have the support personnel and the office nurse/NPs to run interference.

    Now in many facilities, you have to prove yourself before you work nights, because you do have to work more independantly. However in other facilities, the newbies/agency work the nights - not necessarily an optimal situation.

    But whenever a "verbose" MD pulls that, I refer him/her to speak to the management, as that is the functional way to handle such a complaint and appropriate group to say that to Because this MD is pulling an dysfunctional trip - the "let's put down some staffers, compliment others" game that can be damaging to staff, especially when those perceptions are often biased. I know some MDs that could have a patient coding, and would put down whoever interrupts their sleep/dinner/nookie at home. Management can discuss it, find out whether the MD's concerns are valid or not and take appropriate action.

    Telling a random staffer does nothing to correct the issue, if indeed there is a valid issue, and can be manipulative behavior.
  9. by   chenoaspirit
    I have worked both. I worked nightshift for 3 years, then went to dayshift. Total difference as far as what I did. Nights I had to deal more with the sun-downing and yanking out f/c's and IV's, trying to find a doc to intervene when a pt was going down (less support), pre-op stuff like bowel preps, etc. Day shift I had more experience in the surgeries, bed-side procedures like I&D's and chest tube insertions, post-op complications and doing pre-ops. Day shift would have a hard time doing night shift and vice versa. I think both entail certain responsibilities, while both also have the same basis of knowledge. Where I worked, there was this competition between the two, which was sad because we needed to be supporting each other. Dayshift would call nightshift babysitters, nightshift would complain when dayshift would leave something undone. It takes both to take good care of patients. Plus with nightshift, those nurses have to try to deal with exhaustion from the sleep cycle disturbance. Both have positives/negatives aspects, but I feel that both shifts are equally knowledgeable, they each just have different atmosphere.
  10. by   eriksoln
    I've worked at places where the "weaker" or "in need of improvement" nurses were placed on daylight where management was right there to supervise them. Charge nurse would be looking over their shoulder all day. I watched it go and and thought to myself "I'd just move on". A lot of times though, after a few months of "coaching" they were allowed to go back to whatever shift it was they wanted.

    I've worked a mixture of both, and I think daylight is busiest. On the other hand, I can overcome that with hustle. The things that midnight presents me with..........no sleep, no support............I'm still learning.
  11. by   MzMouse
    Anybody who thinks there is nothing to do at night has never worked nights! Not to mention things start going bad and you don't have near the help around as days and early evening. Night nurses need excellent assessment skills, be able to make decisions and think on their feet.
  12. by   RN1982
    Really the whole day shift vs. night shift crap is rather childish. I think both shifts are busy in their own way. I can say that I've had slow shifts days and nights and I've had busy shifts days and nights. It varies depending on the patients and their acuity and how full the unit is with patients. I remember one night shift was so hopping because I couldn't leave the room the patient was getting back to back blood transfusions (PRBCs, platelets, FFP, etc) and bleeding out of his abdomen, developed a GI bleed, ya know, crumpin' and this went on for at least 4-5 hours before he went back to OR. I didn't pee or eat or drink in that time so his two hour trip to OR was a break for me until he came back and did it all over again.

    Anyhow, the last time I checked nursing was a 24 hour a day job. My duties on night shift are no different from days.
    Last edit by RN1982 on May 23, '09
  13. by   District46
    Where I work, they don't let the bank staff work nights until they have a good amount of experience! That is because of the smaller amount of staff available when people get ill. You actually have to have a stronger background because you are generally on your own when things go wrong.