There Has To Be Someone Who Has/had This Problem

  1. HELLO NURSES!!!

    I HAVE A CONCERN THAT I WANTED HELP WITH. I AM CURRENTLY COMPLETING A PRECEPTED EXPERIENCE IN A PEDIATRIC INTENSIVE CARE UNIT. AFTER GRADUATION I WAS PLANNING TO WORK IN A ICN. MY CONCERN IS THIS, I AM ROTATING SHIFTS DURING THIS EXPEREINCE AND I FIND THAT ON NIGHT SHIFT (NO MATTER HOW MUCH SLEEP I GET) MY BRAIN SEEMS TO NOT WORK AFTER 2AM. I FIND MYSELF STRUGGLING TO KEEP MY FOCUS. IT SEEMS THAT I AM OKAY IF I AM MOVING AROUND BUT ONCE I SIT DOWN MY MIND COMPLETELY SHUTS DOWN.

    WHAT INTERVENTIONS CAN I TAKE IN ORDER TO ENSURE I WILL BE MENTALLY ABLE TO CARE FOR MY CLIENTS WHILE WORKING THE NIGHT SHIFT?

    ANY ADVISE GOOD OR BAD WILL BE APPRECIATED

    THANKS
    NEW GRAD ROTATING SHIFT POST GRADUATION
  2. Visit diamondqueen profile page

    About diamondqueen

    Joined: Mar '07; Posts: 31; Likes: 4

    5 Comments

  3. by   chris_at_lucas_RN
    I tried working nights at first. Big problem for me too.

    I remember reading many years ago about student nurses doing night shift (that shows how old the book was!) and that in order to stay awake, one nurse taught them to stand up in a corner. If they fell asleep, they would begin to sink down, and that would wake them up.

    Best thing that ever worked for me, before I got onto days, was make sure you get plenty of rest before and after your shift.

    Learn as much about your own clock as you can so you can tailor your sleep pattern in order to get some good rest.

    Stimulants like coffee or tea will work, but cut that off about 4 hours before the end of your shift or you will be awake during the day. (I know, it doesn't affect me like that either, but when I was working nights, it did!)

    If keeping moving keeps your brain awake, then as much as possible, keep moving....

    Good luck!
  4. by   mom to a PRINCESS
    Hi, I have the same problem. It is not bad if I get an admission and busy all night, but if I have 3 feeders, my night really drags! I am usually good till about 2 or 3am. I can stay awake fine, but my problem is that I can't remember one hour to the next. I always find myself asking did I do this or that already. I don't work specifically nights either, so that may be a factor, my body is not used to staying up one night like that every other week or so. I also have a problem at 7am when giving report, I always seem to forget to tell the other nurse something but I don't have that problem when I work days. I feel scatterbrained when I work nights. I usually drink a coffee when I come in and I also take ripped fuel sometimes.
  5. by   SteveNNP
    Keep busy, drink lots of water, snack periodically to keep your energy up (NOT CHOCOLATE) (think almonds or peanut butter/crackers) Get enough sleep during the day...that usually means phone OFF.
  6. by   prmenrs
    When you leave in the morning, put your sunglasses on before you leave the building so that the sunlight doesn't reset your "clock" when it hits the retina. I agree w/Chris re: no caffeine 4 hours prior to end of shift. And w/Steve about protein rich food--keep your blood sugar even.

    Also, a healthy snack (like an apple) to eat in the car on the way home will help you stay alert while you're driving. Sleepy drivers have accidents, so BE CAREFUL!!

    GOOD LUCK! Working nights is a world of it's own. At least the "suits" are gone, and the phone is a little less active.


    p.s. don't use all caps in your post-it's considered "shouting". Thanks
  7. by   diamondqueen
    :hatparty: A BIG THANK YOU ALL OF YOU. I CAN IDENTIFY WITH ALOT OF WHAT YOU ALL SAID AND I WILL TAKE YOUR ADVISE INTO CONSIDERATION THE NEXT TIME I WORK NIGHTS. I REALLY HELPS TO KNOW THAT YOU ARE NOT THE ONLY ONE .

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