How is the NA night shift in a hospital?


I started a a nursing assistant recently and worked a few days in the day. I changed my shift to the night one in the float department because I was getting too stressed out. I work in a big hospital, not long term. How is the night shift? Can someone explain to me how what your shift consists of?


28 Posts

I work on a busy PCU floor, with tons of admits during the night. Basically the same as day shift minus having to feed the patients and bathe them. Vitals q4, changing, bathroom assistance, chem sticks, call bells.


446 Posts

It depends a little on whether you are talking an 8 hour shift, say 11 to 7, or a 12 hour shift. If the shift is 12 hours you will be a lot busier because you will have to do HS cares on patients at the start of your shift in addition to the overnight things like repositioning, toileting and vitals.

Some patients like to shower and bathe in the evening, so dont think you will be getting out of that. The main difference between the two shifts are day shift has to deal with meals and feeding patients, whereas night shift doesnt(for the most part), and patients get discharged during the day, so days will often end up with a lot less patients than they started with, whereas night shift will usually end up with more patients than you started with, sometimes a LOT more.

You will also usually have less staff at night, including fewer CNAs/PCTs, so you may have twice as many patients on nights tham you do on days, which can make the beginning and end of the shift stressful when you have to get things done and do a lot of charting while answering call lights. The hospital might also give some extra chores to night shift like restocking medical supplies or some house keeping chores that you have to fit in between patient care.

I work mainly nights but pick up day shifts occasionally, and I think both shifts have their pluses and minuses. As for which is more stressful, most of the really crazy shifts Ive had have been on nights when you get a ton of admits but no extra help.

One thing I forgot. I find night shift is less physically demanding because you arent constantly getting people in and out of chairs and in and out of bed all shift long. If they have a foley they might not leave the bed all shift, and some patients will just use a bed pan or urinal if they gotta go. So to me night shift is more stress, but less work.


837 Posts

I work float, too. So it depends on the floor, but nights here consist of vitals, turns, changes, toileting and not much else. Mostly patients sleep. Some of them, anyway. The end of the shift is busy because they wake up and the call lights go crazy for toileting and stuff.