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Nighshift blues


Specializes in Telemetry. Has 3 years experience.

So 2 weeks ago I started nights. I love nights compaired to days. I get to spend time with my patients and actually get to look up labs and tests to see results, NEVER did I have time to do that on days. It has made nursing a bearable career choice and I think I'll be able to learn enough over time to be able to handle the day shift if I want to go back. Here is my issue with nights. I NEVER SEE ANY OF MY FRIENDS OR FAMILY!!! I don't have a set schedule (I've asked for one but I guess they aren't able to do that...actually I just asked if I could have all three of my nights together, didn't really care when) so I end up doing screwy things like working a day, off a day, working two days off 3 days working a day. My weekends aren't even scheduled, I'm working the next 3 Sundays but not Saturdays. I've heard people's advice about 'napping' for a few hours when you have 3 days off to get back on a little bit of a day schedule, but I have found that I cannot 'nap'. Either I sleep for 8 or 9 hours or I don't....however I also have not been able to stay up the entire rest of the day on my first day off either. So now I'm doing stuff like staying up until 3pm then sleeping until midnight then staying awake until 5pm, going to bed then waking up at 3am...I can't ever get my schedule together with my friends and the other day I was going to go hang out with a friend but I had gotten my schedule all messed up. I had been up since midnight and I was going to take a nap from 5pm to 9pm and then go hang out. Well I slept through my alarm and her phone calls (I was sleeping with my cell phone on my chest!!!) and now it is 3am and I'm sure she is mad at me for not getting together with her because we've been trying to see each other for weeks now. I'm really down about this because besides work I have not visited with another person in like 3 weeks now. I'm finally sorta kinda liking my job, but now I can't have a life.

I also want to mention if I keep myself on a schedule (sleep every day from 8 to 5pm) I will have very limited time to go to the store and get my oil changed on my care, ect. Then I'm up from 10pm-8am with nothing to do. I'm just so annoyed! I like working nights, if I could sleep and still have a life working nights doesn't bother me. But I'm not having a life right now and it makes me want to scream!

Edited by KalipsoRed

I completely understand. I have been working nights now for 4 months and it is a hard adjustment. Just remember it will get easier and you will find a scheduel that suits you best. I think it is draining to go back and forth between days and nights, so I try to adjust on my days off, by getting up around 1130am, instead of sleeping in longer. Your friends and family will adjust too. It is irratating to not have a set scheduel or even one where you work 4 in a row and have 5 days off. Your employer should have something like that set for everyone on nights! To give them some sort of life outside of work. Just keep trying to see if they will give you a set scheduel.


Has 2 years experience.

I like niteshift too. I dont allow myself to sleep that long. I work 45min from home and do four 8hr shifts a week. I only get about 4hrs sleep then the kids come home. I try to nap for 1hr. The only thing is I can only do it 2nites in a row. I changed my schedule so I do not work 3nites in a row. I still do my errands and have dinner with the family and do things like go to the movies on my day off. It has been OK but hard.

Hang in there

My mom did 11p - 7 a for 35 yrs. She came home from work and slept for 4-6 hrs. She was up by the time we got home from school. She then took a nap ~2 hrs before she had to leave for work. My dad would always make sure she got up for work on time. In the winter, he would shovel the driveway and pre-heat her car! :D

I don't remember mom working weekends, though.

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