Night shift is the most challenging time to work be it any profession. Since we are going against the routine procedure, our body is not made for, experiencing certain health problems is natural once you start working in the night shift. As we are working during the time when our body and mind need the rest, we are doing the opposite. Even nursing aides working in healthcare sectors are not untouched with the problem faced while working in odd shifts. They have to deal with several types of problems besides fatigue. As you have joined the nursing profession, you must first know the following challenges while working in the night shift.
Most of the problems in the nursing field is due to the staff shortage across the United States. That is why each nurse aide has to cater her services to minimum ten to fifteen patients. On the top of it, the situation each patient in the facility is experiencing is different. Some might be having a problem associated with dementia,while others may need assistance in incontinence. Then there may be some who have the habit of taking a shower before going to the bed.Handling people with such different types of issues all alone in a shift is a tedious task.
Though death has no particular time or appointment, mostly, it occurs during the time when the rest of the world is sleeping. Death at night shift in various healthcare facilities has been confirmed through a survey. Night shift CNAs are the first to know that the patient has expired or is about to give up his or her fight against the death. When somebody dies, nurse aides have to remove all the equipments used in keeping the deceased alive. It is their duty to perform the after-death care and send the body to the morgue and inform the relatives.
Another challenge is documenting the stock of supplies and sanitizing equipments. Nursing aides have to clean the wheelchairs, bed linens,help patients put on new clothing, and bathe them. Further, it is also necessary that the patient does not sleep in the same position to develop bedsores. Nursing aides have to change the position in the bed without disturbing or breaking patient's sleep.
Here are the tips to handle these night shift challenges
The staffing problem can be managed if you are in good terms with other CNAs. As soon as you are debriefed by the outgoing nurse aide,try to sort out tasks starting with the most urgent. Do not hesitate to ask for assistance if the you need it. Since nursing patients is a team work, your colleagues will offer help if they are less burdened than you. If you are showing your concern for the comfort, safety and faster recovery of patients, getting help is easier.
Since you have done your best to extend the lives of clients under your care, you should not be affected emotionally when the inevitable happens. When a patient dies, honor her or him by performing the after-death care. You may also need to console the relatives, and help them embrace the truth with a strong heart. Instead of lamenting over the fact, and take it to the heart, try communicating with co-workers. Get charged and make a promise to yourself that you will not allow any more death during your shift. This will motivate you to keep going.
Keep the cleaning and documenting work when you have completed with activities like bathing, feeding, changing the soiled linens and patients' uniforms. Try to use the maximum of the shift time by organizing the equipment to be cleaned at one place. When patients are fast asleep, you will get enough time to handle these chores.
These are the challenges and tips to handle them while working in the night shift. If you manage your time and have planned properly, you can also have your breaks and chat with your co-workers in the spare time. No doubt, you will have problems working in night shift during the first few months. However, once you are accustomed to the routine, the shift will become enjoyable.