New RN, 3 months experience, need advise...


Dear colleagues...

I am a little staff nurse from New York, I worked in float team for 3 months now in a local city hospital, Tour 1 (night), full-time. For 3 months... I am seeking advise for the following topics, please feel free to add your input to my post, any suggestions will be appreciated.

1) I have trouble sleep during the day, what is the best thing to do, I don't have any bed time routine, usually when I go to bed, I sleep right away (at night), I tried alternative methods such as keep the room darker, keep doors closed, lessen the background noises, but on average, I sleep 2-3 hours then I woke up for 3 hrs at least and sleep for another 2-3 hours on a daily basis, the funny thing is I don't feel tired; however, I was very sick due and even had Vertigo x 10 days due to I don't know maybe stress but mostly fatique I I would like any advise about vitamins that I can take, any special remedy for sleep and so on, what worked for you might work for me :)

2) Since the job started, I am always hyper-alert while on the floor, I work as med-surg nurse and patient ratio is 1 to 6, I have one CNA that functions independently and so far, no issues with CNAs and with other staffs or nurses. The only thing troubles me is my supervisors, they are not very considerate sometimes...and I am not a very communicative and funny person, I was even told that I can be "serious" when I don't smile :), due to the HCAPS score evaluation, they look into my behaviors such as sick calls (which I already had 2 and have been given warnings!). Every day I feel like I have to smile forcefully and in real life, I just don't like to smile! just to be frank and honest, it doesn't mean that I am rude, I even bought new glasses to lessen my "seriousness". Last night, one of the nicer supervisor came up to me and gave me evaluation, I passed with Satisfactory, she didn't not criticize me about sick calls, but I was just surprised how hospital don't like their staffs to get sick, meanwhile we RNs taking care of the sick! Anyway, I guess I wanted to vent on this issue more than advise...but any tips about communication is welcome :)

3) Since I am working nights, and going to school full time, I have almost no time for myself, I wonder if I can use some relaxation techniques, my friends and families are warning me that I could carry too much stress sometimes without knowing it, I think they are right. I am the type of personality that absorbs all the stress all the time without knowing it, I would like to know better ways to vent or healthier, positive way to deal with them.

4) I am planning a work-out routine, so far, NO CLUE and NO ACTION... even though I planned it many times, but it never happend. I figure I need it because of lowered immunity level. and I am not an athlete exactly...the truth is, I have not worked out since high I need advise about how to rebuild those muscles and bones and all that energy back.

that's about all I can think of right now...

Specializes in Pediatrics, Emergency, Trauma. Has 18 years experience.

Per TOS, we can not give out medical advice; however I will share a few things related to your post:

You have to learn to harness your social skills in this business; you have to not only have competent hands skills, but have "soft skills", those social skills that help transcend your peers and your pts. This blog right here all point to additional blogs to help you harness those "soft skills":

As far as learning how to balance being in school and working full time

Read on:

As far as being healthy and getting in shape, you will have to decide on utilizing help with that through your provider, or look into local low cost classes that can be put into your already busy schedule. You have to find ways to establish a routine for sleep as well; you can search on this forum and find tips for that as well; use the search bar as I have done:

And this post has a few suggestions as well, although it's for sleeping on those off nights:

Best wishes.

Specializes in Inpatient Oncology/Public Health. Has 16 years experience.

Couch to 5k is a gentle ramp-up to running. I'm not a runner but I really liked it.

Ive worked nights for 8 years. I use all the environmental things but I also use Benadryl if I need to.

I'm also serious and am not big into the chit chat. However I work Oncology, so that might make a difference. I've never had a complaint from patient or manager about it. Sounds like the culture of your unit.


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Specializes in Rehabilitation,Critical Care. Has 1 years experience.

yeah just pinching to click those links the first post has provided.

Cheers! New nurse here and allnurses IS A GREAT RESOURCE and a good way to lessen nursing stress!

Specializes in ICU.

I'm going to address the sleep problem for you here, because lack of sleep impacts every other aspect of your life - your overall health, your productivity at work, your ability to learn new things, your ability to cope with stress... it's everything, really.

I have tried every OTC supplement for sleep that exists. Melatonin (gives me vivid nightmares and I wake up frequently), Benadryl (I think I know what people with restless leg syndrome feel like), Tylenol/Advil/Painkiller of choice PM (just more Benadryl), etc... the only thing that works for me is anything with Valerian root. If you like drinking your supplements, Sleepytime Extra tea has valerian root in it and the taste is decent. I have been taking a supplement from Mason Natural called Relax & Sleep that has valerian in it occasionally too, I like it well enough. Alteril is another one that contains valerian. It is important that you try all of this stuff out for yourself - sleep aids are a lot like psych meds, IMO. They all work differently for every person that takes them. Don't give up on sleep aids if the first couple ones don't work for you.

If nothing works OTC for you there is no shame in taking something prescription for sleep. Lunesta and Rozerem did nothing for me; Ambien works the best but I have to take decently high doses because I will sit there and stay awake all day on low doses. XR Ambien made me feel like hell for almost a day and a half - I don't recommend it to anybody. Make sure that whatever you take, you try it on your days off first - in case it gives you a bad case of the restless legs/overtiredness after when you are supposed to be up. There's nothing worse than going to work after taking the wrong sleep supplement for you and feeling like a zombie.

There's my novel on sleep aids. ;) Seriously, though... exercise will help you sleep and so will coming up with a good nighttime routine. I always take a long, relaxing shower before bed, and after my shower, I go straight to bed. I may read or something for a minute (IN the bed... this is important), but after I have taken my shower, I do absolutely nothing! My body knows that shower = bed. I like to massage my sore shoulders and back in the shower, too, so I am more relaxed over all.

Sometimes it's going to take a cocktail of things to get you to sleep comfortably. My favorite after a really awful night is a sleep aid + OTC pain reliever + OTC acid reducer. The sleep aid makes me tired, the pain reliever makes me comfortable after a long shift of running and turning people, and the acid reducer will make sure my reflux doesn't act up in between lying down and actually going to sleep. Bingo, sleep solved!

Sometimes, it's also just going to take doing something fun! If you have a favorite (But quick) online game to play, a favorite book, etc. try to work that in when you get home. Nursing is stressful. You've got to be able to switch your mind off your stressful night before you go to sleep. If you can't get your mind off your stress, no amount of bedtime routines or sleep aids are going to help you get restful sleep. Good luck!