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12 hr night nurses-how many recovery days?

Nurses   (1,828 Views | 21 Replies)

Blue_Moon has 18 years experience as a BSN, RN.

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Lipoma has 2 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Emergency Nursing.

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1 day is usually enough for me to recover. I'm on night 2 of 4. I am actually less exhausted on night shift than I was on day shift.

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Glycerine82 has 4 years experience as a ASN, LPN and specializes in SNF/Rehab/Geri.

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if youre going to fix your sleep schedule to where youre "normal" on your off days it takes about two recovery days. The first one you're a zombie and the second one a little better but still exhausted. 

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Coffee Nurse has 10 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in NICU.

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1 minute ago, Glycerine82 said:

if youre going to fix your sleep schedule to where youre "normal" on your off days it takes about two recovery days. The first one you're a zombie and the second one a little better but still exhausted. 

It's different for everyone, as you can see from this thread.  I'm always fine on the second day after a night or string of them.

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Hollyhocks720 specializes in RN.

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I was going to say the same, it’s different for everyone.  some people love nights and some hate it.

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canoehead has 30 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in ER.

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Two days, one to sleep, and one to rest. I think that's a relatively long time, and used to force myself to only take the one day, go out and start chores the second day. Well, that only prolonged the process, I'd still need a day of mental rest, before I felt like I wasn't walking through sludge. It feels lazy, but I choose to knuckle under and be lazy if I can feel normal for the rest of my days off.

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152 Posts; 4,009 Profile Views

Many night nurses would never consider days with the extra drama of families, doctors, leadership rounds, joint commission, more awake patients, discharges, admissions, less money, coordinating with many more groups (pt, ot, radiology, surgery, social work, case management, nutrition, etc). That said, some like the action. To me, I like to learn but even more I am very social and don’t want my ‘days’ off to be mostly night. I would just stay up after shift if I disn’t work the next night, so I was a zombie. I choose days, but nights are kinder to nurses on the job.

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Hollyhocks720 specializes in RN.

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In general I agree, but my hosp staffs a lot lighter at night and our patients don't seem to sleep, so it's quieter, but we are stretched a lot thinner.  Plus we have no respiratory therapy at night, no kitchen, no IV teams, no immediate pharm, so it can be every bit as hectic as days.  Lots more admits and discharges.  Depends.

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LC0929 has 16 years experience as a ASN, RN, EMT-B and specializes in Critical Care.

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I’ve worked nights for 13 years....it’s definitely an adjustment, but it’s doable.  For me the key is working consecutive nights. I can work 6 shifts if they’re back to back, but one night off kills me.

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Satori77 has 1 years experience as a ADN.

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I prefer to work 3 in a row and have 4-5 days off. The first day off (when I'm getting off my 3rd night) I will sleep all day long. The 2nd day I am still pretty tired. I don't think it would be so bad if I could just stay on a night schedule, but with kids, appointments, etc, I have to switch back and forth a lot. So if I only get a day or two off in between, its really rough.

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KarenMS has 3 years experience.

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I’m part time, so I group my shifts together to 4 in a row as much as possible, then have 8-9 days off. When I get home after night 4/4, I sleep a few hours, kind of groggily get through the evening, then sleep a normal night. I might be slightly more tired the next day, but nothing unmanageable, and then I’m back on a normal schedule for a week. 

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