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Night Shift For Newbies

Nurses Article   (226,475 Views 78 Comments 1,051 Words)
by Ruby Vee Ruby Vee, BSN (Member) Nurse Verified

Ruby Vee has 40 years experience as a BSN .

11 Followers; 64 Articles; 169,011 Visitors; 13,793 Posts

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Not everyone LIKES night shift, but all of us can survive it and many (if not most) of us have to work it at one time or another. Here's how to survive. You are reading page 2 of Night Shift For Newbies. If you want to start from the beginning Go to First Page.

HazelLPN has 54 years experience as a LPN and works as a Retired critical care nurse.

17,623 Visitors; 479 Posts

When I worked nights (not in nursing), the thing that helped me the most was keeping the same hours even on my days off. Long story short: would sleep during the day and stay awake at night. If I had to do something during the day, I either scheduled it before 10am or waited for the late afternoon/early evening.

I had tried to go back to a day existence on my days off but I found that I lost not one but two days in trying to transition. So it was easier for me to adapt the vampire existence. However, also keep in mind that I lived in NYC at the time, where it is possible to sleep all day, be awake all night and still have plenty of things to do to make life interesting :)

I love working nights, I just wish my current circumstances would allow it. Oh well.

I too, was a vampire when I worked nights. Unlike you, I don't live in NYC....but I did my best cooking and baking when everyone was asleep. I haven't worked nights regularly since the late 70s, but even now after I'm retired from "real" nursing....if I cant sleep....I'll get up and bake a pie.

I loved nights too, but I liked being a grandmother more.....hence why I stopped.

.

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4,277 Visitors; 141 Posts

Thanks for all the tips. I am scared about the drive home more than anything else. I have an hour commute, and am freaked out about the driving. Does anyone take a quick nap in the car before driving home, or does the sleepy feeling hit halfway through your commute?

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Ruby Vee has 40 years experience as a BSN.

11 Followers; 64 Articles; 169,011 Visitors; 13,793 Posts

thanks for all the tips. i am scared about the drive home more than anything else. i have an hour commute, and am freaked out about the driving. does anyone take a quick nap in the car before driving home, or does the sleepy feeling hit halfway through your commute?

i get sleepy as soon as i hit the interstate. so either i avoid the interstate or i talk to someone on the phone while i'm driving -- with a hands-free headset of course.

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opjewel has 8 years experience and works as a NURSING.

2,532 Visitors; 36 Posts

thanks for the reassuring words Ive learnt a lot from you, I'm not particularly a fan of the night shift,

but Ive learnt to cope either ways whenever i have to do my night shift.

I work in a facility where we run both day and night shifts, and i seriously remember those moments when i say long prayers just because am about to begin my shift, but good enough those days are over as ive learnt to adjust with time.

you leave when the others are just about to start their work, just about the time when the heat is

on

As for snacking its a "NO" for me i eat more of fruits and veggies, with plenty of fluids.

while driving home i chew gum to keep me alert and play good music.

Edited by opjewel

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Meg, RN works as a ICU RN.

2,072 Visitors; 42 Posts

Question: I'm trying to figure out how to revert back to a regular sleep schedule on my days off. Is it better to sleep through the day and then try to sleep through the next night? Or do ya'll just stay up all day after your last night shift and then sleep through the night? Where I live is not interesting enough to make me want to keep the vampire lifestyle, lol. Me and Benadryl are BFFs ;)

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Elvish is a BSN, DNP, RN, NP and works as a OB, Nursery.

3 Followers; 17 Articles; 65,698 Visitors; 5,259 Posts

I have to switch back and forth so on my last day off I sleep for a few hours (usually 4-5) and then go to bed around 2230 that night. Sometimes it takes a while to fall asleep but if I can get a good 5 hours of sleep in that first night off I'm at least functional the next day.

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HGarcia1195 has 2 years experience.

1,145 Visitors; 13 Posts

Working nights, I got very little sun exposure, and was surprised to find out that my Vitamin D level was in the sub-basement, despite the fact that I take Viactiv. You might like to talk to your doctor about taking some extra Vitamin D--it really made me feel a LOT better.

I have the same exact problem too! I bet this a more common occurrence with night shift nurses. I actually forgot about my doctor telling me about 6 months ago that my vitamin D level was low, so thanks for the reminder!

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1,536 Visitors; 9 Posts

I love making 11,232 dollars more base pay as a night shifter...that, and not having certain nuisances breathing over my neck!

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cna23 works as a cna.

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[color=pink]thanks for the tips, i will soon be working night shift.

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NewAggieGrad09 works as a Peds RN.

5,004 Visitors; 315 Posts

GREAT ARTICLE! I rotate, so that in itself is a task! However, strangely enough, I find that I get MORE sleep when I am on nights. I'm a night owl, so when I am working days, I usually dont get to bd until 12-1am, and I'm back up at 5...but on night shift, I tend to go to bed as soon as I get home if I don't work out or have some other errand to run and I sleep until 4pm, shower and dress, then eat dinner and relax until I leave out at 6:15 pm.

Eating on night shift is also an issue. Since I eat dinner before coming to work on nights, I feel guilty for eating another meal during my shift, so I do tend to eat unhealthy snacks. I may or may not eat when I get off night shift, which in itself is bad. *shame on me*

I need to try cutting off my cell phone. The sun doesnt bother me, it's my friends/family that txt/call me, knowing this is my week to work nights. I literally had to hold my tongue after my boyfriend called TWICE this afternoon while I tried to sleep to rest for my 2nd night in a row....he has yet to understand why I sleep during the day (he works nights as well,at times, but will stay up all frickin day...NOT I!).

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gracedRN has 15 years experience as a BSN, RN and works as a Cardiovascular; ICU.

1 Article; 2,524 Visitors; 24 Posts

I love night shift!

I love the patients, who are more open with talking and sharing at night, with no families and no ancillary staff; and not every doctor on the case running in and out.

I love the camaraderie with my coworkers. We are a well oiled machine during a night shift crisis, we have to be.

I love being home when my angel comes home from school, and we can have dinner together.

I am blessed to be close enough to walk to work, and jog home, so I keep up with my exercise.

Oh, yeah, don't ask if I want to switch to days.

;-)

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WillowNMe works as a Cardiac med RN, hospice RN.

5,317 Visitors; 157 Posts

Question: I'm trying to figure out how to revert back to a regular sleep schedule on my days off. Is it better to sleep through the day and then try to sleep through the next night? Or do ya'll just stay up all day after your last night shift and then sleep through the night?

Sounds horrible, but I stay up. I am switching to twelve hour shifts this week, so we'll see how that goes, but on 8 hour shifts I would stay up. I got more of a day in and then it "forced" me to sleep that next night because I was tired. I find that Benedryl makes me sleepy, but it doesn't knock me out... so if I am not dog dead tired when I take it, I will wake up and be absolutely exhausted yet unable to fall asleep.

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