Why shift diff nights when days are so busy? - page 4

I've worked nights for 7 years and only recently switched to days. How many times at night had it gotten a little busy and the nurses complain about the day people : "they think all we do is sleep."... Read More

  1. by   pinksugar
    Quote from Emmanuel Goldstein
    Let's see...

    I've worked nights for over 20 years now. I come in at 7p and hit the floor running, and don't stop to sit down until 2-3am (if I'm lucky...) Then it's chart checks and paper work out the wazoo, all the while jumping up repeatedly to put out fires. (night shift has always been inundated with paper work and clean up, because it's assumed we have the time--- after all, all we do on nights is eat bonbons and surf the internet, right?)

    And you know all those people surrounding you on day shift? The ones you can simply walk up to and ask for assistance? The ones who will help you extinguish those sparks before they become a raging inferno? Well, while I'm working they are at home sleeping. I'm expected to take care of these issues on my own or with the limited resources available in the middle of the night.

    This is a 24/7 job; patients don't stop having crises when the sun goes down. And as much as I've tried telling them they aren't allowed to be in pain, or go septic, or develop respiratory distress, or bleed out, or code, or [whatever] until the sun comes up... well, that just doesn't seem to work.
    This post says it perfectly.

    I just want you to know that I always read all of your posts and I always agree with every single thing that you say!
  2. by   Shantas
    I worked all three shifts, now I work days. In our hospital all three shifts are hell shifts...busy, short staffed, nasty families, grumpy docs, too many discharges during the day, too many admits in pm, no lift team at night..so and so forth!!!. I like days because I get eat dinner with my family, I dont miss the differential...I can make it up by working a 2nd job plus doing overtime. However I also dont like getting up so early in the morning....but see I can not have it all....so I am hoping oneday I will just be able to quit nursing
  3. by   BeachBayNurse
    As someone who has worked equal amounts on both shifts, I totally agree that day shift is horribly busy. However, I still would not work the less hectic night shift if there was no differential, and I believe that to be true for most other nurses. I am currently working nights and it seems that no matter how much I sleep, I walk around exhausted. My body definitely does not agree with night shift. If night shift was so great, and the suits didn't have to pay differential, do you think for a minute they would?!
  4. by   vamedic4
    Why night shift diff?

    Simply put - we have to rearrange our lives to work nights. It takes a physical toll on everyone I've ever worked with (in the 12.5 years of working straight nights). Some people can do 3/4/5 in a row. I can't. But regardless of our schedule, we end up having to sleep when our bodies "need" to, but not necessarily when we "want" to.
    During the day is when everything needs to get done...gotta pay this bill, go here to pick up some pants, take this to the cleaners, go by the kids' school to talk to the teacher - all the while I'm supposed to be sleeping. Add this to the incessant interruptions while trying to sleep during the day - kids playing outside, lawn mowers, sirens, sunlight, and you truly can't get a glimpse of this unless you've lived it. To say "night shifters have it easy" is incredibly naive (not that anyone has, I'm just making a point). Research indicates that night shift takes a toll on us physically, too...possibly leading to cancer

    It also can leave us with less time for our families - think about it. Everyone else in the world has a nice, normal job working during the day when our bodies are accustomed to being awake. Our spouses work during the day, our kids are doing things then too - and if we are to do anything with them, it has to be at night, when we're rested and available.

    I agree with others, day shift is hard because it's so busy. You've got a ton of people wanting you to do things "right now" and no help to do it with. I know it can be crazy. But after your shifts, you can go home and sleep - and maybe even have the next day completely off. Me? There are times when I come to work twice on the same day!! I just left at 0730 and now I'm back at 1900.

    And as my friend Emmanuel G said - we don't have the backup that you guys do during the day. There's not an attending physician down the hall to come and help should there be a code or a patient needing intervention. We have to be on guard all the time...for the worst to happen. And we have to know whom to call pronto when they are needed...and hope someone responds in a timely manner.

  5. by   FireStarterRN
    Quote from pinksugar
    This post says it perfectly.

    I just want you to know that I always read all of your posts and I always agree with every single thing that you say!

    [BANANA]Hey Goldstein, you have a fan!!![/BANANA]

    (what about me, do you like my posts too? )
  6. by   RNperdiem
    I work in SICU. When we transfer out patients on day shift, guess who will be filling those trauma beds on a Saturday night.
    For some reason, many times a patient that was agitated all night is zonked out all day and starts up getting restless towards the end of my day shift. Guess who will have to wrestle them all night?
  7. by   time4meRN
    i too think it depends on where you work. we are always short staffed on nights, usually the less experienced nurses work this shift. so, it gets really crazy at times. i have been a nurse for 30, years, each shift has it's ups and downs. butt, from a management prospective, nights and evenings are always more difficult to fill. i work 3-3 now in an er, love it , it's the best of both worlds. i get the diff and have somewhat of a normal life. however, when my kids were small i would have missed out on a heck of a lot. so back then day shift was better, then i went to week ends so i didn't have to pay day care costs. it will always be a fact of nusing that day shift hates nights, evening gets caught between the two and nights hates days.
  8. by   pinksugar
    Quote from jlsRN
    [banana]Hey Goldstein, you have a fan!!![/banana]

    (what about me, do you like my posts too? )
    As a matter of fact, I do!:spin:
  9. by   caliotter3
    Whether they sleep or work night shifters get a differential just because they are willing to work that unpopular shift. For the record, I have almost exclusively worked night shift, and have yet to find an employer that pays a differential for this shift. So not all night shifters get to reap the benefits of a nice differential, just like not all night shifters get to sleep most of the night away.
  10. by   EmmaG
    Quote from jlsRN
    [banana]Hey Goldstein, you have a fan!!![/banana]

    (what about me, do you like my posts too? )
    [BANANA]You know we love you![/BANANA]

  11. by   psalm
    Our night shift AND day shift sleepers get fired.
  12. by   all4schwa
    because we sleep with the sun in our eyes
  13. by   Weeping Willow
    Quote from NurseyBaby'05
    Working nights disrupts your life outside of work more than days and less people want to do that without it being worth their while. Your sleep is never the same quality. Your circadian rhythms are all off.

    The other thing with nights is that you have fewer resources. You have more patients, the aide/pca has more patients. There's no lift team. Fewer respiratory therapists, no one working in central, no secretary. So who does the stuff that these folks normally do fall on? Yep, the nurses. If someone is spending large amounts of time on the computer, sleeping, listening to music, etc. on a regualr basis corners are being cut somewhere. There's just no administration to catch them.
    It is not always true that corners are being cut if staff have time to do the things you list. Maybe the shift is just plain quiet. Also, I have seen Day and Evening nurses bring in their personal mail, big stacks of it, and work on it during their shift instead of doing work-related work. I see them go out of the building, actually leave the premises, which was not allowed for us, and actually take an honest to goodness, real break. Their meds are not signed out, as often as not, so you don't know for sure what was or was not given, they leave their vital sign list right where the next nurse has to come in and work, they don't restock or wipe up their spills of juice from the med cart, they say the patients refused their treatments but I don't believe it - not every single day. They refuse to give suppositories yet won't get an order for po or IM nausea med. They take off orders but do not transcribe them with the date onto the med sheets. I could go on but you get the idea. There are lots of nurses doing lots of good work but there seem to be quite a few lazing about, goofing off, doing the bare minimum.

    And what thanks is there? If you are a nurse who tries to do a better than average job, there's no extra pay, no compliment or thanks, nothing but your own knowledge that you are putting your heart and soul into it. There's no loyalty from the employer, either. One serious or even not so serious flub up and you could be out on your rosy dozie.

    Nights and swings are generally harder to fill, I guess, due to interfering with family life and sleep. Although lots of people find them convenient and desirable at some point, such as when kids are very young or when you realize you probably could not make it on days due to the kind of really obscene scenario the OP describes. I hope the nurses at that facility begin to get their backs up and start advocating for their patients and themselves to get much improved staffing. Just wondering - how do you handle it when you get hit with 2 or 3 admits 1/2 hour before you're leaving?