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Scared of going to night shift

Nurses   (4,918 Views 7 Comments)
by iLovemyJackRT iLovemyJackRT (Member)

iLovemyJackRT specializes in ICU.

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I have been a nurse since January. I work in an ICU and in the beginning of July I am moving to night shift because my orientation is over. I will be working 3 12's. I have never stayed up a whole night in my life. I know I have to do this as most new nurses have to start on nights. Any advice on how to stay awake during your shift and not feel like your dragging without drinking tons of energy drinks ? I am very nervous....any advice would be appreciated !

Brooke

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46 Posts; 1,943 Profile Views

hi, i am a lpn. i work in one of the nursing homes in nyc. i have worked nite tours for pretty much 15 years...believe me once your body does get use to the scheduling change there is plenty to do..i wish that i could get 12 hour shift at the facility where i work.

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3 Followers; 36,784 Posts; 96,971 Profile Views

You will probably be very alert during your first shifts because you will be so involved with finding out what is going on. You say you have never stayed up an entire night in your life? What? No all nighters during school? I suggest taking a few days before you start the shift change and forcing yourself to follow the new schedule. That will get you started. Also, a trick for staying awake is when you feel yourself starting to dose off, get up and walk around, even if you don't have a meaningful reason to walk around. The act of standing or walking will wake you.

Look on this site for some threads covering night shift. You will find a ton of advice. Make certain that you start off practicing good sleep hygiene. Exercise and eating right and keeping a strict schedule are very helpful. Good luck in your new shift.

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I worked nights commuting an hour there and back home. My remedy for nights is to keep yourself busy. When I didn't have anything to do I would prep what I can for the next shift. There is always something to do. Don't hold off documenting towards the end of shift....and like anyother shift, get some rest prior to work....

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nialloh is a RN and specializes in IMCU/Telemetry.

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Make sure you have enough sleep. If I worked 12hr the night before, I usually sleep right through. If the prior day was a day off, I make sure I get a nap before work. Even if I can't sleep, I go to bed to let my body know I'll be up all night. It is a mind game that really works.

But the most important thing again is get enough sleep. Good luck :)

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If I have been off, I will stay up late the night before I go back to work. Then I sleep as late as possible the day I go back to work. I find I have a hard time trying to nap before work. I am just better off trying to sleep until noon or so.

During your shift, as others have said, keep moving. The fatigue is worse if you are just sitting around like a lump on a log.

Try to avoid caffiene late in your shift. I find if I drink coffee or tea after about 0200 it will keep me from sleeping when I get home in the morning. I find orange juice is a good pick me up.

Good luck with your new nights job. I have worked nights for a long time and I really love it.

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I don't work three in a row. I only work two. Can't do the three in a row yet. I have always worked either evenings or nights. Like the other posters say get up and do something. Some nights my pt.s get checked on every hour because I'm so tired. If you are going to work that night and have been off. Try to get a nap that day. If you even lay in the bed, it is resting your body. Also, eat a good lunch at work. I don't know how you can eat pizza at 3am, but that is like normal 3pm to some people.

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