long term night shift work versus health - page 2

Anyone out there have any medical info on this subject ?? thanks... Read More

  1. by   Tookie
    Until 3 years ago l worked 14 and a half years of night shift - Nights suited us - started at 10.45 pm finished at 7.15am - 3 -4 nights a week - Hard Yakka - However l was always there for the kids to tkae them to and from school - and would be there to cook tea take them to their sports and go the to parent teacher nights etc My Husband has always been supportive - but stsrted nagging me to come off nights about 2- 3 years before l did,
    however l have had probelms and some are now catching up with me - ie wieght gain and poor sleeping patterns - cant seem to lose the wieght and still have reouble sleeping - It is better but l wish l had stopped earlier - maybe there should be a maximum years amount
    I agree that nights reall suits some people - However l think the body gets to a limit and cant take any more. What l loved about nights and missed the most were the friendships that l had with the women that l worked with for so long we were and still are very close
    Look after yourself
  2. by   GPatty
    I work 7p-7a in LTCF. I like my hours just fine, but what I can't stand is sleeping ALL day on my day off.... I don't see my kids or have a normal family life.
    The hardest part is waking up JUST in time to go back to work....YUK!
  3. by   caliotter3
    I learned about night shift in the military. That was where one poor supervisor placed everybody he did not want to see during the day. (One night my eyes got big and I remarked to a subordinate, "I sure am glad we get along ok. You guys could make my life a living hell if you chose to" You see, every black in the facility was on night shift, my entire crew was black, and me, an albino, was their supervisor and had to get them to do all the work that days, and swings left for us on purpose. We literally were the coolies. (Can't use some other PI terms). Since then, I went to nights to work while in nursing school. Now as far as I am concerned, I will never leave: for the advantages. (No, I have never got a NOC differential). And I work my tail off on NOCs. I love to get things ready for the other shifts and take care of the small details that they simply do not have time for.

    P.S. I forgot to say, that yes, I do have health problems assoc w/night shift and in the past saw an article about shift work, discussed w/manager (in military). He laughed at me.
    Last edit by caliotter3 on Jan 22, '03
  4. by   Love-A-Nurse
    i worked full time for one full year on 11/7. it worked out best for my family and i at that time. i changed to start taking classes for school and ended up staying there. it took a lot out of me physically and mentally. i don't mind the 7p-7a sometimes, not 3 in a row, and like julie, i slept most of the day on my days off too.
  5. by   dcc43210
    "I slept most of the day on my days off too"

    It seems that maintaining the same schedule every day, even on your days off, would be healthier than trying to switch back to a "normal" schedule. But, my question is, what did you do all night on your days off? I'm afraid I'd get REAL lonely after awhile. Not to mention depressed from never seeing the sun.
  6. by   karenann
    I hate NOC shift. The administration made a decision when we lost two floor nuses last month...eliminate PM shift completely. We have 6 nurses to run a 52 bed facility and cover a 24 hour period...that's two on days....one on nocs and 3 on 3 off....heaven help you if someone calls in sick!! That happened last week and the DON actually expected one of the nurse who had been on days-12 hours to do another 8 and have someone else come in "early"...she even used the word "abandonment" in her plea...and offered cash to boot....loniless, missing your family and all that are enough...when management won't reach out to help take the load off those who are already working themselves to death by hiring more, lonliness and missing your family is half the problem. The stress is remarkable and the bad feelings really rule the floor nurses.
  7. by   mchospicern
    Night people are awesome. I was the night house supervisor at a LTC for a year. What a team! We were a small, cohesive bunch who had to rely on each other. It was great. Havoc on my health, though, because I never could sleep during the day. Hmmmm, perhaps it wasn't such a great job . . .maybe I was just delirious.
  8. by   ThirdWorldGirl
    I think working the day shift would be detremental to me, I'm such a night person, I worked days for about 3 years and I was always sooooo tired, couldn't sleep at night, and dragging my bootie in the daytime. I think there are just 2 different groups of people, and isn't that wonderful could you imagine if "everybody" wanted to work days and there were no night shift people and vice versa?
  9. by   wif411
    I have worked nights in the past, but always alternated weeks with other shifts. Now straight nights I like. I am doing that now. Mon-Fri 11p-7a. Now I have only been doing it for month or so, but I like it. I can sleep----dh says I sleep too much. But when school starts, I will get up at 2:15 to pick up kids. So if I go to bed ny 10am I will get 4hrs and then a nap after dinner. I like the idea of being able to pick kids up and feel rested enough to hear about their days...fix dinner, stc.
    The alternating shifts messed up my health. But I have only had 1 TMJ headache since starting this shift.
  10. by   unclaimedcaregi
    I came right out of nursing school into LTC, night shift, that was 20 years ago. Occassionally I work 7-3 or 3-11, however I do prefer nights. I am very active in the community and I care for my 82 yr old father who is starting 1st stages of alzheimer's. There are days when I take the phone off of the hook and enjoy the day for myself and then there are days when I run like a fox chasing a chicken. Some nurses are only meant to work nights cuz they have a way with people who stay up all night. As we all know Residents sleep the entire night or that is what day shift believes. And as far as those 7-8 years at the end of my night, that's okay, cuz I will hopefully not end up having someone do for me what I am doing for someone else today. Hope this helps
  11. by   Momma_Penguin
    I have worked nite turn as a nurse for the last 8 years. I was a nurses aid..before certification (OOOOOOOOO is she old) and use of gloves for care and I worked nite turn even then.
    But I do know that it does wreak havoc w/ your health. The terminal tiredness ( esp if you are a parent) is the hardest. Since I have been off the full time nites I found I was still really tired all the time so I just went to my doc and had a bunch of tests done. I am thinkin it's hypothyroid but I'll know when the tests are done. But I have a gf who took another postion in our place, and she loves being a day person and she feels 100% better. So yes it is diff to go against your circadian rythymns. Laura
  12. by   wif411
    As I said earlier I really love nights, but cannot seem to get enough sleep. Some days I sleep from 10am to 9pm. But with lots of interruptions. I am beginning to think i do not get the deep sleep that I need. My husband gives me a hard time days I sleep all the time. I also have a difficult time changing my schedule on weekends.
    I am starting a sleep log tonight including marking down number of times someone turns my light on, wants to tattle on brother, or (my husbands favorite) "how much longer do you think you will sleep today---this question happens usually around 1pm. Duh---by the way I am putting hid Butt through school. He needs to leave my sleep alone.
    Yet everybody I am going to try the journal and see if there is a trend. If not I am gonna ask the doctor. Thyroid tests were run a year ago and okay---have gained 30 lbs over last 3 years---but also on Paxil.
    I will let you all know about the journal. Anyone have anyother suggestions???
    PS>>>>>I get home about 7:25am--in time to kiss everyone by and see them all out of the house.(I have a 15 yr old son, 8yr old girl and 35 yr old husband in college.) Then, I must pick daughter up at school at 3pm, which is less than half mile from home. I try to help her with homework. I want to fit the gym in somewhere befor 8pm. so any help I can use and I can use alot of encouragement to get on a schedule. PLEASE HELP ME LADIES
    Last edit by wif411 on Sep 21, '03
  13. by   sbic56
    I so understand what you are going through! Been there! You are correct when you say that you are not sleeping deeply enough to get satisfying sleep. Everytime you are woken up, you have to fall back into REM sleep and start all over again. That is exhausting! Your husband and kids have got to be made to understand that you, like them, need 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep to be at your best. I am willing to bet your thyroid is just fine, though you are wise to have a full check up. The paxil, while helpful in treating depression could be making you sleepy, as well. It's that pattern of being woken every few hours that is going to make you sick.

    I used to work nights. I was in bed by 0900. I shut off the ringer on the phone. If your kids need to be able to get in touch with you during the day in case of true emergency, you can give them a beeper or cell phone number. Telemarketers can be the worst sleep wreckers, as can those "oh, were you sleeping?" well meaning friends, so nix the phone! Make your room as close to dark as you can. Dark shades, dark curtains. Buy a "white noise" type machine or run a fan while you sleep to keep out those sharp, irritating noises, (like the phone, screaming kids, etc.) Remember, you need at least 7 to 9 hours of sleep. That has been qualified by most medical professionals. So, hubby needs to know that 1 pm is not the time to be bugging you. You can get yourself up with an alarm at 4 or 5 all by yourself! Can your 15 year old son help by walking his sister home from school at 3 pm? Seems reasonable to me if he is out of school. Bottom line is, sleep has to be your priority. You will be a better wife and mom and your family should see this once you are not so darned sleep deprived! I think it is even harder for women to be working night with a family, oftentimes, because they are expected to be "on' at all times. This obviously leads to resentment because your needs are not being met. If you really love the night shift, you have to put your foot down and take care of yourself! Even with everyones cooperation, sometimes the day is just not condusive to sleeping. On your days off, it may be that you need to play catch up a bit. Fact of life. So do get those extra zzzz's then! Also, please get those workouts in! Weight gain is the scourage of the night shift, as you are finding out. With enough daytime sleep that 8 pm workout will surely energize you. I know all this advice may sound oh so obvious and simplistic, but there is no two ways about it. You need to be getting the sleep during the day that everyone else is getting at night or nights is just not going to work out for you! Good luck!
    Last edit by sbic56 on Sep 21, '03