Going to nights


  • Specializes in Telemetry. Has 3 years experience.

Since my job is giving me such anxiety issuess. I'm going to try nights for 6 months to see if things get better. I'm so depressed. Nursing is not meeting any of the expectations I had before I became one. I wanted to be a good nurse and actually care for my patients. I get in "trouble" from my management because I'm spending to much time talking with my patients and helping my techs out. I can't help it. The paperwork, asside from getting orders and doing nursing notes, seem so stupid and time consuming. How can you judge how your patient is doing if you don't spend some time getting to know them? On days I barely have time to look at the monitors or get on the computer to look up labs...I feel so terrible. I feel like I'm a crappy nurse. I panic when things start going awire and freeze up. I'm becomming one of those crazy panicy nurses that got on my nerves when I was a tech. I don't want that. I hope going to nights can help me some. I've been on days for 6mo and I'm going to get it in my head to stick with nights at least 6mo. But if things don't get better for me I think I might quit nursing....I wonder what normal jobs you can get with a nursing degree?

Specializes in Emergency. Has 21 years experience.

Is it possible the floor you're on simply isn't a good fit for you? You might also like nights and find that's your shift.

Eirene, ASN, RN

499 Posts

I was on day shifts for 4 months while I was oriented. Days are absolutely crazy! You are constantly on the go and it is normal to feel overwhelmed.

I started nights after my orientation. The pace is a lot slower than dayshift. You have time to give quality patient care.

Nights may be a good fit for you. I can't hack the hours-- I am so tired all of the time. The nightshifters love it though.

You are new. Be kind to yourself. The anxiety will lessen with time. You haven't given yourself a fair shot if you feel that floor nursing isn't for you. It sounds like you really care about your patients.


396 Posts

Specializes in Oncology, Med-Surg, Nursery. Has 8 years experience.

I wouldn't trade nights for anything. Right now I can't think of a single reason why I would agree to work days, lol. I did days for about 2 weeks when I first started out and absolutely hated it. I got to nights and found out it was my thing. I find on our floor it is less crazy at night and I usually do have time to stand around and talk with my patients. Not always, but more often than not. I would definitely try nights and see if it works better for you - if not, like someone else suggested, perhaps a change in floor would be the way to go!



21 Posts

In the hospital where I worked as a student nurse, days are actually less busy than nights. Nights is when they do a lot of new admissions.


57 Posts

I have been on nights since the last two weeks of my orientation - a total of about 6 weeks now. When I was on days during orientation, yes it was very crazy - lots of visitors, doctors, management, social workers, etc. etc. to deal with. Patients are usually awake all day and are constantly going for tests, procedures, etc. I assumed nights would be more peaceful and less intense - I was VERY wrong! Nights on my floor (a telemetry floor) are crazy in their own way. We get the most admissions - the ER is relentless - if there are open beds, you can bet you'll be filling them before the night is over. And God forbid if you have to call a doc after midnight! We have the hospitalists in the hospital 24/7 but they aren't considered house doctors. They are really only there for codes, RRT's, and the patients that were admitted under their service. There is still so much to do and not enough time to do it - and I work 12 hours. Granted, I'm a brand new nurse and that's a huge part of why I feel like I'm always running in circles, but I have yet to see a "quiet" or slow night on my floor! I think every shift has it's advantages and disadvantages, but I wouldn't go to nights assuming it's going to be less stressful. I found out the hard way it's not at my hospital.

Specializes in Tele, Ortho.

I started nights after four months on days. After my first week on nights on a telemetry unit, I learned that nights can be busy but you don't get annoying phone calls from family all night, MDs, new orders, or as many pt's leaving off the unit. There is also less phone calls to make. My facility don't transfer pt (unless it is to the icu) during the night and discharges are very rarely done on nights. So far I'm liking it for the time I have to make sure I understand what is going on with the pt and pulling everything together.

Jennypink- I believe the rule is to admit everyone to tele if a bed is open, then decided which unit they really should be admitted to.


112 Posts

Specializes in Pediatric Heme/Onc/BMT. Has 8 years experience.

I've been working nights since I finished orientation (a few weeks now) and the most challenging aspect for me is the lack of help. There are fewer aides, but also fewer nurses. I rely heavily on our charge nurse when I have questions.

The hospital experience for a patient is also different at night. They tend to get more lonely, scared, anxious, and their pain manifests in different ways. I find myself doing a lot more talking with patients on nights because they're frequently awake, and processing what happened the previous day or anticipating what is to come in the next few days.

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