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Red bulls, No-doz, Coffee and Caffeine pills!!

Posted

Specializes in Med-Surg, Neuro, Nephrology, Pulmonology. Has 4 years experience.

hi everyone,

i am a new grad (graduated aug, 2010) who will be a charge nurse on the 11-7 shift. i am the only rn there with 5 aides. i am nervous and, freaking out about the "what if's" and i have many questions.....and here they are:

1. how will i stay up during that time?

2. how will i fall asleep when it's time for me to?

3. what does the night shift nurse do?

4. will i be able to function during the day on a off day? (i'm young and still want to have some personal time)

please if you could give me your night-shift experience or any words of advice would be great!!

LouisVRN, RN

Specializes in Med/Surg.

I have one coffee at the start of my shift, I work 7pm-7am. Honestly you will be so busy you won't fall asleep. There is always something to do and if there isn't worry that you are forgetting something.

Byrnowt

Specializes in ER, peds, gi, case mgmt.. Has 16 years experience.

The most important thing I frequently failed to do is get enough sleep!

I would try and burn the candle at both ends, and end up sleeping 4-5 hrs.

between shifts. Then I would have to down 4 cups of coffee a night and not allow myself to sit down. I didn't stop until I developed PSVT.

Black out the windows, (I used foil) turn off the phones, wear earplugs if you have to. Keep your home at a comfortable temperature. Eat a snack to keep you from being awakened by hunger. Empty your bladder just before you retire. Forget about the outside world. You will discover most people who don't work nights have no empathy for those who do. You're still young, so you will be able to tolerate being awake on off days better than us 'seniors.'

joanna73, BSN, RN

Specializes in geriatrics.

Try to fit in some exercise to boost your energy too. I am an insomniac, so I find taking melatonin occassionally helps. 1 pill before you sleep, no residual effects.

raekaylvn, LVN

Specializes in School Nurse, Peds HH, DD. Has 10 years experience.

Make sure you get enough sleep during the day. If I'm sleepy on my way into work, I'll get a Redbull. Eat small snacks as opposed to larger meals. No-Doz pills are great! If I need one, I take it around midnight. Invest in blackout curtains for your bedroom, and earplugs too.

I'm young as well... its hard to function on your off days. I usually have to take a sleep aid on the nights I'm not working to sleep.

The first month or so will be difficult with adjusting, but after that it gets easier :)

Warm drink and protein snack between 2 and 4. I always felt a "low" and had a hard time thinking toward the end of the shift but this seemed to help.

Sleeping in the daytime was never my strong suit. Best of luck.

Forever Sunshine, ASN, RN

Specializes in LTC. Has 7 years experience.

I work 11-7 from time to time. At first I needed coffee and amp to get through the shift but now I do just fine with a 16oz 7'11 coffee at the start of the shift and ginger ale around 4am.

Byrnowt is right.. you will need to stand up for yourself when it comes to those people who don't work nights. You need sleep just as much as they do so don't even think of feeling bad about it. Even working 3-11 I have to sleep into the late morning.

Gluteus Maximus

Specializes in Primary Care Nursing.

Not long ago we alcohol swiped the finger and took the first drop of blood for glucose test strips. Now we only wipe with gauze and discard first drop of blood.

Not long ago we only used Z-track for caustic IM injections, now all of our IM injections MUST be Z-track. Which segues into my next thought, no longer using dorsal gluteal as injection site under any circumstance.

That's all I can think of right now... but times, they are a changin'.

Not long ago we alcohol swiped the finger and took the first drop of blood for glucose test strips. Now we only wipe with gauze and discard first drop of blood.

Not long ago we only used Z-track for caustic IM injections, now all of our IM injections MUST be Z-track. Which segues into my next thought, no longer using dorsal gluteal as injection site under any circumstance.

That's all I can think of right now... but times, they are a changin'.

Trying to figure out what this post has to do with working nights. ?????????

And where I have worked it was always BOTH the ETOH swab AND then wipe the first drop with dry gauze. The point being not to have any of the ETOH in the sample as it skews the result--also how I learned in school. However I routinely see nurses who just use the ETOH swab and nothing else. Don't wait for it to dry or use the gauze. Laziness usually the cause. As far as the Z-track for all IMs--interesting. Never used it except for dec shots in psych.

The night shift is not for everyone. You won't know how your body will respond until you try it. If you are an insomniac it could work out. If you are an early to bed early to rise might not. I know it can stress your body out by elevating your pulse and BP. I prefer the night shift and find the work load a lot saner, you might not have a lot of back up though.

Gluteus Maximus

Specializes in Primary Care Nursing.

oops, wrong thread...

clemmm78, RN

Has 25 years experience.

I'm not young but I like to live my life on days off too - just sayin'

I'm always a bit surprised by new nurses who are afraid they'll fall asleep working nights. When I did work nights, we were too busy to sit down for more than five minutes, let alone fall asleep.

I advise holding off on the caffeine, red bull and all that stuff. While it does take time to get used to it, why put all that garbage in your body and make it worse for yourself when it is time to sleep?

canesdukegirl, BSN, RN

Specializes in Trauma Surgery, Nursing Management. Has 14 years experience.

hi everyone,

i am a new grad (graduated aug, 2010) who will be a charge nurse on the 11-7 shift. i am the only rn there with 5 aides. i am nervous and, freaking out about the "what if's" and i have many questions.....and here they are:

1. how will i stay up during that time?

you will have so much to do that you probably won't get sleepy. however, i found that around 0200, i got tired. i would go take a brisk walk around the hospital, and would do stairs...up two flights, down two flights....and again. this got the blood flowing. i also like the black 5 hour energy shots because they don't give me the jitters, but they give me some endurance. it is mostly comprised of b-12 and some caffeine.

2. how will i fall asleep when it's time for me to?

this is tough to do. i worked nights for a long time, and i could never get an adequate amount of sleep during the day. i turned my phone ringer off, i kept a fan going to block out noise, and i got some dark curtains in my bedroom. this helped a great deal. getting a good day's sleep will result in your being awake during the night shift.

3. what does the night shift nurse do?

night shifters on the floor take care of the normal things that day shifters do-meds, vitals, and charting. the call bell goes off more than you would think, so i took care of whatever i needed to in that regard. i also wanted my day shift colleagues to have a good start to their day, so when i saw that a sterile dressing change was ordered for 0600, i put all the supplies in a bin so that the set up takes minimal time. i also took extra time to review charts thoroughly and alert my co-workers about lab values and updates that needed some attention. i made sure that all of the equipment was in working order and placed needed equipment next to or inside of the rooms.

4. will i be able to function during the day on a off day? (i'm young and still want to have some personal time)

it depends on when your shift ends and if it pairs with a regular day off. when i was scheduled to work monday night and tuesday night, i came home and went to bed. i got up at about 1430 to get my personal stuff done and got ready for the next shift. if i had wednesday night off, i would come home, go to bed for only a couple of hours and then do normal activities during the day. i started dinner and had family time. i went to bed at around 0100 and found that i could actually sleep during this time. i got up early thursday if i was working the thursday night shift, did my thing and then took a nap around 1400. i set my alarm for 1730 for a 1900 shift.

please if you could give me your night-shift experience or any words of advice would be great!!

it is not easy working the night shift. you body gets totally out of whack. it is draining. i was by myself a great deal of the time when i was at home, and felt that i missed out on a lot of social time with my friends. it is also terribly tempting to come off of a night shift and go straight to doing normal things during the day, like shopping, or meeting your friends for lunch. i remember one time i left work after a night shift, and did a field exercise for the disaster team that i am involved with (that lasted the entire weekend), and ended up staying awake for 52 straight hours. needless to say, i slept for 2 whole days!

there are good things and bad things about working nights. rotating from days to nights is incredibly hard on you. a straight night shift or a straight day shift tends to lend to a normal body. i was sick a great deal more when i worked night shift. it takes some time to get your body used to working at night when you have been trained your entire life to actually sleep when it is dark. i hope that sharing some of my experiences will help you to adjust.

hi everyone,

i am a new grad (graduated aug, 2010) who will be a charge nurse on the 11-7 shift. i am the only rn there with 5 aides. i am nervous and, freaking out about the "what if's" and i have many questions.....and here they are:

1. how will i stay up during that time?

2. how will i fall asleep when it's time for me to?

3. what does the night shift nurse do?

4. will i be able to function during the day on a off day? (i'm young and still want to have some personal time)

please if you could give me your night-shift experience or any words of advice would be great!!

1. excercise/work out before noc shift. eat after work out then prepare to go to work. (excercise gives tons of energy and seratonin which will keep you awake) while working. make small talks/conversation with cna's while doing your work and during breaks (if the specific work does not require much concentration)

2 cellphone's off get a black cloth and hang it over the windows, get a black cloth and just drape it over your eyes. fooling yourself that its night time even though you sleep at 9am

3 ltc or hospital? in ltc give meds+check vs+weekly summaries+charts and monitor pts. and at between 5-7am give prazoles or meds that is given before meals. flush gt's update mar for the next month. report to md any changes and check o2 sat/bp... make sure the patient is sleeping not dead/dying

4 yes enjoy yourself bolster your love life. be happy be healthy. feel terrific keep on smiling

KaroSnowQueen, RN

Specializes in Telemetry, Case Management. Has 30 years experience.

1. Put aluminum foil over every bit of your bedroom (and bathroom) windows.

2. Turn off your phone ringer.

3. Exercise BEFORE you get ready to go to work.

4. Use a fan while you sleep for white noise.

5. Stop the coffee during your shift around 3 am.

5. My "droopy" spot was around 4 am. Get up, walk, make rounds, stock carts, do stuff!!!!!

6. I had NO trouble dropping off to sleep, so can't speak to that.

7. If you are single, try to keep to a nocturnal schedule (stay up late on days off, sleep in past noon) while you're off. This WILL be easier if you are younger and have no kids.

8. Good luck to you! I did nights for about three years (this was about 20 years ago) and to this day to both me and my family it seems as though I did it for ten or more. I did NOT ever do well with noc shift.

Psychtrish39, BSN, RN

Specializes in MDS RNAC, LTC, Psych, LTAC. Has 13 years experience.

I agree I am a NOC shifter and melatonin helps me to sleep deeper. Yes you will be able to stay awake patients dont sleep at night much and there is always something to do. I dont feel tired until I see day shift coming through the door then I feel it but most important thing is dont short yourself sleep it will cause you health problems long term I know. An advantage of night shift is no management lurking around and not alot of politics. Most night shift employees are laid back hard workers and enjoy the off shifts. You will do fine.

Dee_RN

Specializes in Med-Surg, Neuro, Nephrology, Pulmonology. Has 4 years experience.

THX YOU ALL SOOOOO MUCH!! Your advice and comments were great, I am definitely going to be putting a lot of these tips to use!!