Published Jul 28, 2003
I have been working noc shift at my hospital, initially to "help out" and then made the decision to stay on a while longer due to the differentials. Previously I had worked days...incredibly busy days...the kind where you REALLY did not make it to the bathroom in 12 hours and only realize it on the way home. The change of pace was nice as was the money but I can't stand it anymore. Things were going along fine when one week, I just could not stand being there, I was so tired...sick the week before...looking at the clock starting at 10pm...all the way to 6am. I made the decision to return to days this week. My question is how many others have felt this? Do you work thru it? Does it go away?? Was I really meant to be a day person only? So strange...I have always enjoyed my job, I think it must have been the night thing. I hope!! (btw, I was on nights 6 mos)
MomNRN, BSN, RN
The feeling you describe was exactly the reason I got out of hospital nursing. I had only worked thirds for 5 months!
Although I did feel regret at leaving, I knew it was not something I could get "used to." I am a day person. I am up early and to bed early! I could not make it on nights! I used to despise going into work. Once the clock hit 8:30 pm, it was like the countdown was on. By 10:00 pm and my family was all in bed, I was in despair!
I used to feel bad about it, but not anymore. I can only do what my body and mind are capable of doing!
renerian, BSN, RN
Oh gosh I felt like that after only 6 weeks. I was sick as a dog too. No nights for me......unless it was infrequent! LOL. I did alot of home health on call going out in the night though.
traumaRUs, MSN, APRN
I've worked nights for 10 years now. Although I don't love it, its tolerable. 12 hour shifts are the way to go though - three of them in a row and its all done for the week - lol.
That is how I felt when I worked days for a month. Some people just aren't night shift workers.
There isn't a shift that I haven't worked. Use to love the nightshift the most in my younger more healthier days, but not anymore Now, I will only work days........as crazy as they are, but it beats nights.......for me anyway. Some like nights, some tolerate nights, some work it because they want to get their foot in the door of the hospital anyway they can; some do it for other family or personal reasons. Do what works for you! :)
Glad to see you are recognizing and honoring your personal limitations and needs. As I've posted many times, nobody will do so unless you do it yourself. A lesson most nurses would do well to heed, IMHO.
12 hr shifts are great until.....you end up on more or less permanent mandatory overtime to cover for the nursing shortage. Then we are working four days a week.....yeah, that extra day may be an 8 hr shift,....but I feel like if I am working 4 days, might as well work five 8 hrs days and have a bit of a life on the working days. With 12 hr shifts it doesn't leave much of the day for anything else other than sleep and getting ready for work.
Also, as we nurses age, those 12 hr shifts get longer.
I have worked nights most of my working life. Just recently gone to day shift, still getting used to it. It is more busy, but at least I am trying to sleep at the same time as my neighbors!
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