night shift and health

Posted
by yoginurse29 (New) New

Hey All ,

I was wondering does anyone have a chronic illness and work NOCs? Do you think it is making your worse off?

Thanks!

Ruby Vee, BSN

Specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching. Has 40 years experience. 67 Articles; 14,000 Posts

Hey All ,

I was wondering does anyone have a chronic illness and work NOCs? Do you think it is making your worse off?

Thanks!

Yes. And no.

poppycat, ADN, BSN

Specializes in pediatrics; PICU; NICU. Has 44 years experience. 856 Posts

I have RA & type 2 diabetes. Working nights hasn't made my conditions worse but the constant exhaustion that comes with RA makes working very difficult.

KelRN215, BSN, RN

Specializes in Pedi. Has 15 years experience. 1 Article; 7,349 Posts

I didn't think so when I was doing it but my chronic headaches are MUCH better now that I don't work nights anymore.

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych. Has 16 years experience. 224 Articles; 27,608 Posts

I have hypothyroidism, chronic idiopathic urticaria (a.k.a. chronic hives), dyslipidemia and insulin resistance. Yes, I suspect that night shift might be aggravating my chronic health issues.

However, I'd rather die a few years earlier than deal with the hell that is better known as day shift bedside nursing.

ChopperCabra

2 Posts

I worked nights for a while and researched this topic. Evidence shows that it can be detrimental to your health. Of course this depends on your situation. At my hospital my shifts always ended up being 13-15 hours and usually four in a row. It was taking a toll on my physical and mental well being.

VivaLasViejas, ASN, RN

Specializes in LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych. Has 20 years experience. 142 Articles; 9,940 Posts

I had to leave nights years ago. I loved them, as I am not a "day" person by any stretch of the imagination, but nights didn't love me back after about the age of 40. As I recall---or as my family likes to recall FOR me---I had memory problems, and was very unstable and prone to fits of rage. I couldn't figure out why. I didn't find out until three years ago when I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and learned that I was probably manic for a lot of that time back in my late 30s and early 40s.

I got better once I changed to a 3-11 schedule. I didn't handle days well because they were SO stressful, and that exacerbated my BP symptoms almost as much as nights did. But that 3-11 shift was a sweet spot for me, even though that was when I'd get a lot of admissions and there were fewer staff to help.....it was much more in sync with my normal circadian rhythm, and I experienced more stability with my moods.

LadyFree28, BSN, RN

Specializes in Pediatrics, Rehab, Trauma. Has 10 years experience. 8,427 Posts

Yes. And no.

So far THIS.

I've increased my hours; it has started to become a challenge, but I don't mind working nights; day shift has the wonderful drama that makes me miss all my favorite soaps that are long gone. ;)

CopperEmerald

Specializes in Behavioral Health/Substance Abuse. Has 8 years experience. 55 Posts

I often wonder about this, myself. I have worked nights my entire career, with a couple of exceptions while orienting for new positions on days. I am a miserable person on dayshift (my phone even autocorrects "dayshift" to "Satanism" and I swear I didn't do it lol). I hate it from the minute my feet hit the floor until the time I'm depressed over having to go to bed so early. I become severely depressed, even bordering suicidal I remember. On nights, I can come home, go to bed around 10-11ish am (never in a million years would I go to bed at 10pm, no matter what shift I worked) and wake up feeling refreshed and ready to get up, as opposed to resentful that it's still dark in the mornings. I laugh at the commuters on my way home, thinking they're in the morning rat race and I'm on my way to bed. I have no problem staying awake all night, either, provided that I sleep during the day. That's the key, getting enough sleep. I think you're either cut out for nights, or you're not. Personally, I have always been a night person, even as a baby.

I know they say that nights hurt your health, but really....which would hurt me more? Being miserable all the time working during the day, or being content and going with my natural flow and working at night?

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych. Has 16 years experience. 224 Articles; 27,608 Posts

I know they say that nights hurt your health, but really....which would hurt me more? Being miserable all the time working during the day, or being content and going with my natural flow and working at night?

Your point is really salient. Since childhood I have always been a nocturnal night owl of sorts. I've never been able to fall asleep at 9pm or 10pm. I dread waking up at 5:30am for a 7:00am day shift.

I am a hardcore night shifter who falls asleep at 10am for a quick nap and awakens at 4pm to start getting ready for my 12-hour night at work.

firstinfamily, RN

Has 33 years experience. 790 Posts

I am sure there are plenty of research articles out there about how shift work affects ones health. However, in nursing, it can be any shift may be detrimental to ones health!! I feel as long as I am able to get adequate sleep, I am doing OK. Day shift is just too stressful, there are too many people coming and going, everyone is hurried. Nights may get more admissions, but at least things are handled in a calm way. When it gets busy, it is busy and everyone helps out. During day shift when it gets busy, everyone scatters. I also loved 3-11 shift, and it met my normal circadium rhythm, however with the 12 hour shifts 7p-7a fits me better than day hours. Nursing in general can be hazardous to your health.

sistrmoon, ASN, RN

Specializes in Oncology. Has 15 years experience. 810 Posts

I do. I have Ankalosing Spondylitis. It is worsening but it's a progressive condition so who knows if night shift is making it worse. I've had SI

Pain flares for 17 years but only hand pain this past year but it started postpartum. It's hard to know.