Is night shift easier?..... - page 2

I'm an rn student (6 mos. to go) i can't see myself dealing w/ the total chaos of the day shift floor for very long after graduation? is night shift more tolerable ....pace/choas wise? or is it just... Read More

  1. by   crb613
    Nights are less hectic most of the time but it has its own set of challenges. I just hate trying to sleep w/the sun up. I work M/S & really love it...hate nights! I much perfer days & the craziness. I like to be busy all the time, going 90 miles an hour, & doing 5 things a once suits me just fine! I guess I am just weird....cannot stand nights, but love my co-workers.
  2. by   lovingtheunloved
    Slightly off topic, but a few weeks ago for some reason none of the night aides who work my Alzheimer's unit were scheduled, so two of the day shift aides worked the night shift. 9 out of 32 residents would NOT go to sleep because they were used to seeing them during the day, so by golly it was daytime! One even said "Well, you're here, so where the hell is my breakfast?" It was hilarious.
  3. by   nursesaideBen
    Most of the time the pace is steady where I work and managable of course there are times when just because it's night time doesn't mean anyone's wanting to sleep And maybe this is just where I work at but it seems like patients become more unstable medically (and emotionally) at night. Anyone else noticed this?
  4. by   kit3375
    I just starte working nights, and boy is it easier. There's always work to do in this profession, but you have so much more time to do it. The doctor will hardly ever call in the middle of the night to change orders on someone unless you ask him to. I hated trying to keep up with the ever changing orders, x ray reports, and lab reports that came in all throughout the day. Just get ready for some MAJOR adjustment with your sleep pattern. Good luck to you in school!
  5. by   meeko77
    I love nights for all the reasons mentioned above. Less administration, less doctors, etc.

    It is not *easier* on nights per se, just better, lol. Contrary to popular belief, pts do not just "sleep all night". For the most part though, nights are less crazy than days.

    As far as meds, there are a few less meds to give, but not that much less. Pts still have their home meds, and plus antibiotics and stuff is around the clock.
  6. by   all4schwa
    Quote from NurseyBaby'05
    Night shift can be crazy too. You have fewer resources overall; which means a lot of things that ancillary staff throughout the hospital usually do fall on the nurse. You're doing your own orders. You are often correcting things that were missed in the last twenty-four hours when you redline. It takes a lot longer to get ahold of people/departments and when they do finally call back, you better be waiting by the phone b/c it will be a long time before they call you again. It's not like days and evenings when you can leave the info with the charge nurse or secretary and they can relay it for you. Don't get me wrong. I love my nights, but many times people think it will be a cakewalk "because all the patients are sleeping."

    this is what i find to be true as well.

    also, i work neuro, so either it's the pts on the floor wiggin' out or its the intoxicated patients we get from the ER after they've managed some incredible maneuver with a BAL of .2 and pos drug screen. really adds some time onto your admission.
  7. by   NurseyBaby'05
    I used to work Neuro and night shift is definitely not easier there. Many of those patients don't know the difference between day and night. You also have fewer people to help with turning/repositioning and changing people. There's fewer sitters too; which means that often your one aide for the night is pulled to sit. Or, if you do have sitters, the aide spends 2-3 hours relieving them for their lunches. Idon't miss those days at all.
  8. by   norseman
    This is a very interesting question, and like some of you have mentioned, i suppose it depends on which unit you work in.

    I am from Sweden and still a student (about to graduate in a couple of months!). From reading posts at this great forum, I've discovered two things that I've found peculiar, based on my own experiences:

    1) New grads want to begin their career at ICU

    2) Alot of you guys from the US seem to be afraid of working days since they are so chaotic, and want to work nights because "it's easier".

    I find them peculiar because in my country, ICU is not considered something you start out with as a new grad, you need work experience because it's highly advanced and demanding. As for the nights, which this thread really is about, I wonder, what is your patient/nurse ratio day time compared to nights? On the surgical floor i've done some clinical rotation at, there are 21 patients. 3 nurses and 3 LPN's during the day and ONE nurse and one LPN during the night. That means you're the single nurse taking care of 21 patients, with the aide of a LPN. They require one year's working experience working days before you are considered experienced enough to handle the responsibility of the night shift.

    So here, I don't think it would be easier.. calmer sometimes, but not easier.
  9. by   RNSuzq1
    Dijmart, "Running around like chickens w/their heads cut off" - is a great description of the day shift... I'm like you, the pace/chaos is pretty overwhelming. I worked a few night shifts and was totally amazed at the difference - like another poster said "you have time to think", you can spend more time with your patients, etc.

    We have mini-nurses stations on each hall - at night, each nurse has their own little spot to keep everything, work on paperwork, charts, etc. You don't have to hunt around for anything, it's all right there. On Days, forget it - MD's, all sorts of therapists, social workers, clinicians, etc. cram into our little tiny spot - so I usually end up standing next to a windowsill to do my charting. I'm the type that needs to spread out my paperwork and really think about what I'm doing - makes it very hard to stay organized with a crowd milling around all day.. I know they have to be there, just wish there was a separate corner for us - since this is our "work space"...

    I've considered asking for nights. With all the positive comments about the shift, hope I can find an opening on my floor, sounds much less stressful and chaotic....
  10. by   cocco
    I work on a 36 bed med/surg unit in a teaching hospital. On nights we like to have 5 rns which would give us 7 pts and one rn would have 8pts. Lately we have had 4 rns which gives us 9 pts each. I like nights cause you are able to find a place to chart, a computer to log into and you can actually walk in the hall and get things done without running into people. You can assess your pt without jumping over family and asking them to leave.

    Nights has its own set of challenges. Sometimes the resident on call is a very heavy sleeper and you can't wake him up when paging him and it is very important. Rarely do all of your pt sleep and if they do they end up being Q4 vitals and you have to wake them up and piss them off. We do have a secretary most nights, weekends we do not. There are fewer aides so you are helping with ADLs more sometimes if there are not enough aides you have some pts without one. Overall night shift is more cohesive than day. There is more of a comraderie between staff and we help eachother out a lot more than day staff does.
  11. by   jo272wv
    There is pros and cons to both days and nights. Days have to deal more with family, Drs, Baths, meals, and getting pts ready for procedures but also usually have more help such as more nurses, NAs, and management. Night shift appears simpler and less work then days but you generally have less nurses and NAs so you need to do more total care. The only phrase that has ever been the bur under my saddle is when day shift say that the pts sleep at night. I always wonder if these people need to work a few nights to gain reallity. I prefer nights more because even though acuity changes often, the routine is basicly the same and I can stay more organized most of the time.
  12. by   DutchgirlRN
    Having worked both, nights are definately not choatic like days, but I'd take days anytime. When I worked nights (12 yrs) it was difficult for me because of my internal clock. I had trouble staying awake after 0300 and had trouble sleeping the next day. I never worked two in a row and always felt like I had jet lag. I had to work nights to keep my kids out of daycare, which of course was my choice. Days can be hell, I come home so tired I can't eat dinner (I'm 51 y/o) but at least I can get a good nights sleep to recoup. I'm starting a HH job on Monday. I'm so excited!
  13. by   feltmeyer
    I have worked as a nurse for years and have done both night shift and day shift. I know that the first question to ask yourself can my body handle the night shift hours some just can't after that is decided than you can proceed. I have noticed that when I enter a new employment place twice now I have found the night shift to be more receptive the urgency to meet the daily demands of doctors, other departments, family members and nursing demands can be overwhelming when you are trying to get your feet on the ground like that of a day nurse. The night nurses seem to have that extra minute to show or explain and answer questions more than a quick yes or no. THey work great as teammembers I think it is because they know what they see is what they get so they learn what the teammembers weaknesses and strengths are and come up with something that works. good luck with your decision.