Published Jun 22, 2009
So normally I'm a first shifter (7-3) but yesterday the charge nurse asked me to do a double and come back in for third (11 p -7a). At first I turned her down but then I thought about it and I wanted to try it out. I always wondered what the heck third shifters do anyway. Well I loved it. It is the best shift EVER. As soon as I got there I was like 'what am I supposed to be doing?' they said just do rounds answer lights and then change ppl at midnight / 1ish. I mean seriously I couldn't believe it. By the end of my shift I had half my hall dressed and laying on top of made beds for the first shifters. All I basically had to do was change residents a couple times and answer lights. I don't know what I was expecting but it was a breeze. The only thing is around 3a I started to get very sleepy. I don't think I could do it full time but def. once a week at least. I've heard ppl say third shift is just as hard as first....definately not where I work. I know I've been reading on here lately about a lot of stressed out first shifters....rushing, not being able to really talk to the residents, etc...you may want to try third. Some residents who I never get a chance to even speak to on first are up all night and I was able to sit in their rooms and talk with them and watch a little discovery channel with them too :):):)! Now I see why they sleep all day lol.
I love night shift!! When I first started working in the hospital I worked strictly 3-11pm because of school. Then I switched to 7pm-7am and I really enjoyed it. I dont think it is remotely as close to busy at the day shift, but it can get pretty busy depending on staffing and acuity. I worked on a 44 bed GYN/Oncology unit and with our staffing we only called for either a unit clerk or a CNA, so I did both. I remember starting my midnight vitals at 1030pm and by the time I did all 44 of the patients, it was close to 130am. Of course that was including other midnight care. Then after that, I would do 2am vitals if the patients were fresh post op. Of course we would get ER admissions, then around 6am the pre-op admissions would come in. But overall it was a pretty laid back shift and your body definitely gets used to working those late hours. Now I have been working at a radiation clinic and our hours are set 8am-5pm. I never thought I would work a "normal" hour job! haha!
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