Why is Night Shift always picked on?

  1. Hi everyone,

    I have been a full time night nurse for almost the past 2 years and am getting tired of how the rest of the staff treats the night shift. Everything wrong with the unit always seems to get blamed on nights since we are not around during staff meetings to defend ourselves. Also day shift always seems to have this misconception that "nights do nothing and have it easy". Is so frustrating! We work with half the staff they do and without the support of clinicians, quick access to MDs, management etc. So when something happens it can get very hectic in the night. Yes, it can sometimes be quieter in the night but do people not realize how much harder working nights is on the body? Staying up all night and staying alert is no cakewalk. it's not the same as being awake in the day. I just don't understand why people can't see that? So lately it seems like management has been listening to the day staff and giving us all this extra busy work to do on nights. Yes, on some nights we have the time for it but when something happens we don't have the backup they do in the day time ... I'm just so tired of people blaming nights for everything and not recognizing the work we do and sacrifices we make. If nights are so easy why don't I see these people lining up to volunteer for night shifts?
    Does anyone else have this problem? And if so can you offer any suggestions of how to get some respect for our shift and stop all the "blaming and dumping" on the night shift?
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    About lilaclover6984

    Joined: Oct '09; Posts: 210; Likes: 240
    from CA
    Specialty: 5 year(s) of experience


  3. by   lilaclover6984
    Oh and I must add, I currently work in a hospital setting but I previously worked as a night nurse in LTC and it was the same deal there...
  4. by   lilaclover6984
    Really? Nobody else has experienced this?
  5. by   prep8611
    No i work nights and we get along great with day shift
  6. by   RainMom
    No problems with day shift here. But my coworkers & I have often thought some of the higher ups should come spend some nights with us to see how difficult things can be when they cut the staffing.
  7. by   Not_A_Hat_Person
    I've experienced this when I worked evenings. People assume that the residents are sleeping, so the night shifters just sit around.
  8. by   nrsang97
    I have experienced this many times. Yes it sucks. I do think that floor managers should be required to work day shift and night shift as staff once a month.

    People assume patients are sleeping, or it is all quiet because it is midnights, when in reality it is the complete opposite.
  9. by   LadyFree28
    I think it depends on the unit...if most of the nurses rotates to nights, usually those issues don't arise, according to nurses I know that work acute care...when I worked nights, no issues, and I rotated shifts, everybody got along with everybody. This was at a rehab hospital.
  10. by   ddunnrn
    I have worked mostly night shift in my 25-odd years of nursing. Everywhere I worked (psych, D&A, correctional psych), the attitude of management and peers on other shifts was "Night shift doesn't work as much because all the patients do is sleep". Even though it is a little quieter at night, there still arise emergencies and crises one has to handle, usually with a lot less staff. Also, the managers seem to be able to find lots of busy work for the night shift nurse to do--chart checks, inventories, paperwork of all sorts. I always try to let the naysayers know that I am just as responsible for the lives and well-being of the patients on my shift as they are on theirs. Plus, I don't see many people clamoring to get on night shift, which is why many facilities have to offer shift differentials. I have always been a night owl, so that's the shift I naturally gravitated toiwards.
  11. by   casi
    I've always thought it would be awesome to make nurse managers work a night shift here and there. I work in LTC so one week out of the month we have to turn over med sheets which is VERY time consuming. The other nurses and management just don't get it. I can't tell you how often I get a snooty, "Why didn't you do this trivial matience task that can easily wait a couple of days."

    It's crazy. I get that day shift is busy too. It's just a different kind of busy.
  12. by   Adele_Michal7
    I worked 11-7 for a year as a charge nurse in a LTC and I experienced the same. I think some of the day nurses thought we did nothing and there was a general attitude that we should pick up the slack or have every thing done, since we worked overnight. I also didn't feel a part of the "team" working overnight. I am not in LTC anymore however and don't see myself going back.
  13. by   DizzyLizzyNurse
    I've experienced the same thing for myself. Everyone thinks the patients sleep all night. They also think we should do all the dressings changes, etc because we have time at night. Man if I got woken up for that as a patient I'd be ******! They want us to do them early in the shift then, but I don't stop for things like that until I've seen all my patients at least once. Also that it's unfair that we get the extra shift differential, but they do most of the work.

    Usually what I say is, then if night shift is so easy why don't you take the next available post? You'll get paid extra for sitting around. Usually the answer I get is something about it interfering with their personal lives. What you don't think it messes mine up??? Yeah because I don't have a life outside of work. I do like night shift though, because I've been a night owl my whole life. Plus I like the few extra dollars.
  14. by   VANurse2010
    I've done both nights and days. While it's true that night nurses are certainly not at the nurse's station with their feet up eating bon-bons, the workload usually is somewhere between measurably and significantly less. You are not discharging patients, dealing with MDs as much, dealing with crazy family (as much), having your plan disrupted by procedures, meals, therapy sessions, etc. I got off nights because I was tired of being tired all the time. I know you don't want to hear this, but the majority (I'm not saying all, by any means) of the work really is done on days for less money. Take a swing on day shift sometime and see how it is. For me, it was worth the $300 a month to get to sleep at night.