Published Apr 12, 2014
I'm a new LPN who is starting nights in a LTC facility on Monday. What can I expect to do on nights? I previously worked from 3-11 and stayed busy most of the time so I'm hoping I'll be busy on nights too. I understand there's not as many meds to give on nights. Also any advice on what I should carry in my nursing bag? Advice is appreciated. Thanks.
RNsRWe, ASN, RN
I'm sure you'll get lots of good info here; I'll just offer this: night shift nurses can expect to spend a good amount of time on med reconciliations, checking and picking up missed orders for the last 24 hours and comparing to MARS. Correcting pharmacy goofups on those MARS.
All the stuff no one has time to get to on the other 16 hours in a day!
Every facility is different but I can tell you my first RN job was overnights and there was plenty to do. We were responsible for filling out all lab slips, which on 38 skilled pts was a lot... I also had to draw blood off any PICC lines as the lab is not allowed to (in my state anyway). Chart checks, which can be time consuming, scheduled meds were generally 12a & 6am but you always have PRN's. All fentanyl patches were changed at 6am as well. Glucometer testing, high/low range, restocking carts for day shift. Making out assignment for day shift, and filing that the other shifts didn't get too. And don't expect all of them to sleep all night, many are awake often and ring a lot! Plan to help your CNA's more too because they are generally expected to do way too much with too few of them. I have worked all shifts and am now on days so I know all shifts work short but I really think management at most facilities think pts sleep all night, otherwise they would not staff the way they do and expect the girls to clean wheel chairs & do all the other extras they do... I liked nights, I had a bit of a drive and had a hard time staying awake on the way home. Just plan your sitting time for when you are most awake. I could not sit and do paperwork between 3-4am it was my sleepy time so I would go answer call lights if there was nothing else to do. Good luck!
I worked night shift in LTC for almost 2 years and I finished my med pass and treatments around 10-11 and didn't have anything to specifically do until 5 am. Some nights are painfully boring but others a couple people can have problems. I was going to school at the time so it gave me plenty of time for school work and studying
Night shift as in 11-7 or 7-7? There's a world of difference between the two. Bring a book / laptop / whatever you want to keep yourself occupied. There will be a lot of downtime after you get used to your routine.
I also recommend that you are attentive during orientation. Pay close attention to the responsibilities that you are assigned as well as your CNA's because that wouldn't be good if you were doing your CNA's work when you aren't expected to.
11-7 for now and there's a possibility that I may get to pick up 7-7 at a later date.
Mn nurse 22
Night shift as in 11-7 or 7-7? There's a world of difference between the two. Bring a book / laptop / whatever you want to keep yourself occupied. There will be a lot of downtime after you get used to your routine. I also recommend that you are attentive during orientation. Pay close attention to the responsibilities that you are assigned as well as your CNA's because that wouldn't be good if you were doing your CNA's work when you aren't expected to.
I work nights and rarely have downtime. There are some quiet nights but I use that time to catch up on paperwork, update care plans, review orders, research new residents if we need more information about their history, and I love to be able to help out my CNAs whenever I have some time.
When I am busy it is invaluable to have the respect and teamwork of the CNAs they can really help out during an emergency.
We spend a lot of time doing paperwork on nights but it can really help out the day staff to have everything stocked, updated and charted when they get on.
If there are certain residents who always ask for PRN meds, never hurts to try to get them administered
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