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

Nurses   (14,080 Views 17 Comments)
by Dee_RN Dee_RN (Member) Member Nurse

Dee_RN has 4 years experience and specializes in Med-Surg, Neuro, Nephrology, Pulmonology.

2,986 Profile Views; 92 Posts

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!!

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LouisVRN is a RN and specializes in Med/Surg.

672 Posts; 9,240 Profile Views

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.

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Byrnowt has 16 years experience and specializes in ER, peds, gi, case mgmt..

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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.'

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joanna73 is a BSN, RN and specializes in geriatrics.

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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.

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raekaylvn has 10 years experience as a LVN and specializes in School Nurse, Peds HH, DD.

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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 :)

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365 Posts; 4,159 Profile Views

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.

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Forever Sunshine has 7 years experience as a ASN, RN and specializes in LTC.

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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.

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Gluteus Maximus specializes in Primary Care Nursing.

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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'.

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mentalhealthRN specializes in Psych/CD/Medical/Emp Hlth/Staff Ed.

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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.

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216 Posts; 4,919 Profile Views

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.

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Gluteus Maximus specializes in Primary Care Nursing.

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oops, wrong thread...

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clemmm78 has 25 years experience as a RN.

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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?

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