While I don't like to be confrontational to other healthcare providers, I'm calling out this post. If it were YOUR family member in a critical situation, would you want the nurse who is so sleep deprived that he/she is having trouble focusing, grainy blurry vision, and reasoning that isn't terribly concrete due to fatigue? I'd much rather work a little harder to cover someones behind, especially if they usually don't miss work, than see someone have a bad outcome that was entirely preventable. This person did the RESPONSIBLE thing.
Now, the "you had time to sleep" comment. Really? As an almost two decade chronic insomniac (200mg trazadone might put me down for 90 minutes, ambien for about 3 hours, and benadryl... yeah, might as well be eating Tic Tacs), let me tell you, having time to sleep, and being able to sleep aren't the same thing. I envy those of you who can sleep whenever, or wherever. It takes me at least 4-5 days to rearrange my sleep pattern to the opposite of what I am used to. Factor in also that people who work nights are dealing with the sounds of mowers, chainsaws, construction, traffic, loud music, and the other bevy of daily life things that any of you who don't and have never worked nights don't understand all. If you want to understand, I'd be happy to crank up my guitar amp and give you my best metal riffs for a couple hours when you've only been asleep for about 2 hours yourself, and do that every 2 hours until you have to go back to work, let's see how you feel then? Some people also have anxiety about the change of sleep pattern, especially if sleep is a problem for them normally, further complicating things.
I called in last fall on my middle shift of 3 straight 12's for this exact reason, lack of sleep. Get off work at 0630, in bed at 8. Apartment maintenance knocks on door a little before 9 waking me, seeking a leak from the ceiling of the apartment below me, find nothing on initial inspection. I go back to bed. at 11 they're back with a plumber, find nothing again. Back to bed again. Within 90 minutes they begin ripping the ceiling out of the apartment below me with hammers and saws, and this continues until they knock off for the day at 5, 60 minutes before I have to work again. I got maybe 2 hours of broken sleep. Think that is safe to care for PICU level of care? Neither did I. Sometimes we also have to take care of OURSELVES.