Jump to content

Night Shift For Newbies

Nurses Article   (226,507 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; 169,017 Visitors; 13,798 Posts

advertisement

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 7 of Night Shift For Newbies. If you want to start from the beginning Go to First Page.

born2circulateRN has 1 years experience and works as a RN Circulator.

7,774 Visitors; 167 Posts

Great article! I'm a new grad and I've been on night shift for the past 2 nights for the first time. And I must say...it isn't too bad adjusting sleep-wise. I think I am going to like it. It is definitely LESS chaotic which is a plus due to the higher patient load. It is way more relaxed; however, things can still get busy, patients are still needy and the unexpected still happens.

The first night before my first night shift, I slept a full 7 hours (I just couldn't make my body stay awake through the night)- during the day, I had about 6 hours of sleep - I wear a chilled eye mask :-). I wake up at 1600 to eat and get dressed. I then leave to work for 1845. I was a little restless towards the end but not too much. My commute home is 45 minutes which sucks, but I was definitely awake. Got home, ate breakfast, went to sleep at about 0900, slept until 1500ish, ate then work for 1845. This night was better. I didn't get sleepy- maybe because I ate actually. Got off of work and wasn't sleepy at all during my commute. Got home, shower, ate breakfast. I went to sleep about 1000, woke up about 1330 and drank some coffee. Plan to sleep regularly through the night. And even though the pace is slower - time still flies. I am not sure how consistent this schedule is going to be since I've only worked 2 night shifts, so I am just praying for the best.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

3,495 Visitors; 113 Posts

I've worked 12-hour nights for six years. I like the (relative) peace and quiet -- no doctors, no discharges, very few family members, admissions only occasionally, and no managers. Also, I work a 24-bed unit that's well staffed, so I have a lot of downtime.

What everybody on here has said about sleep is very true. I learned the hard way that you can only manage so long on 3-4 hours sleep per 24-hour period; so now I pull all the shades and make sure I get in my 6-7 hours.

I generally pack real food for lunch and make sure I drink lots of water during the shift.

Also? Never drink hot cocoa on nights. It puts you to sleep.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

78 Visitors; 1 Post

I have worked day shift my whole 12 year career. I took a job working nights 7p-7a and I'm glad I did! However, I'm all mixed up now. I sleep all day when my boyfriend is working and up all night while he's sleeping. I'll eventually adjust and have a life again... Right?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

359 Visitors; 10 Posts

Worked night shift the second half of my nursing career. (Full disclosure here: got licensed & began work at 63, retired at 67.) Hated every minute of it. Felt like I was a vampire: get home and in bed before the rays of the sun struck me ;-)

My major goal every shift was to end them with as many heart beats as I started the shift with.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

171 Visitors; 2 Posts

Thank you for the tips! I'm in nursing school and I have night shift clinicals this semester. With the exception of a couple of lecture days I can pretty much stick to the night shift schedule, but it's still been a rough adjustment. Your article is a good reminder to take good care of myself and take full advantage of that 24hr gym membership!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

226 Visitors; 15 Posts

Thank you everyone for all the informative experiences; I'm definitely a daytime/morning person but I assume as a new grad, I will most likely have to take a night-shift position. I've had a couple friends who have always worked day shift, but I'm sure those positions are a dime a dozen. Thanks again!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
×