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VENT WARNING Nights: Just Need encouragement I guess

Posted

I hate nights...I joined today and have spent plenty of time mulling over the "Surviving Nightshift" threads. I understand I need to do my time on nights. I understand I should be happy to have a job. But d***, I would give up a lot to just to be on dayshift.

Here is the situation. I recently moved across the country as a new grad to take a job in a busy critical care unit at a level 2 trauma center in the northeast. Closest family is hours away, and I knew no one when I moved. I oriented on days, made some good friends outside of work, and I was generally happy. As soon as I finished orientation, I got switched to nights. I have been at the facility a total of just at a year now. I LOVE my job. I would love to stay. But I just hate hate hate nightshift. I am depressed, I sleep all the time (or I can't sleep at all, no happy medium), I have gained 22 pounds (which I would like to blame on nightshift, but maybe d/t depression?), and I feel like I dont function well on nights and would be a better nurse on days. I am so exhausted that I rarely hang out with anyone, and church groups/volunteering/fitness classes seem a little out of reach considering I really cant seem to manage being awake during the day at all anymore.

The unit has a very high turnover, and when I started, I was told that switches to dayshift were made on a very regular basis/I wouldn't be waiting long. However, the policy is, total seniority in the system counts towards dayshift move. Therefore, every transfer from every other department keeps skipping me. I have put a lot into this job, obtaining certifications and attending every educational opportunity possible, and it is very discouraging when the person who barely does their job keeps being picked over me because of seniority.

I don't really need advice, I guess I just need encouragement, or stories from those who survived the nightshift wait. I am so close to quitting a job I love because of this.

icuRNmaggie, BSN, RN

Specializes in MICU, SICU, CICU. Has 24 years experience.

I can relate. Go talk to your manager, express appreciation for this great opportunity, and explain all that you have written here. Tell her you have no quality of life and that have tried your best but it is not working out.

Thank you so much for the reply! Unfortunately, I have already done that, twice. Each time he reassured me that I would be making the move in the next batch. Each time, passed up for those who transferred in from med-surge, with no prior ccu experience. I am hesitant to continue badgering him, because I understand rules are rules, I am not special, and 1 year is nothing in the scheme of a career. But I feel pretty strung along.

NicuGal, MSN, RN

Specializes in NICU, PICU, PACU. Has 30 years experience.

Our hospital let's the ones in the unit move first, it only seems fair you have done your time on that unit.

Try to hang in there!

If I loved my job (that's huge) then I would dedicate myself to becoming something special and taking care of myself.

I would embrace night cycle (or fake it), I would join a 24 hr gym, eat the best food, continue my education and come out an experienced healthy better nurse in a year's time.

My social life needs? You don't have kids? Then I would get my social needs met with friends who would go to the late movies, stay out late for drinks, watch sunrises, whatever. Night would be my life so that all of my other bodily functions worked and I could go to work rested and healthy.

Then if I wasn't offered a daytime job after a year, then I'd start looking with that extra experience and no resentment.

Not the popular response or the one you're lookimg for but that's how I'd handle it looking backwards from 50.

Farawyn

Has 25 years experience.

I hated nights too. I did it for 4 years. I thought I would never get on days. I finally did, and 20 plus years later, nights are a distant memory.

I have to say though, I learned SO much on night, and had the best ghost stories on nights, and laughed so hard I peed my pants on nights. Looking back, I wouldn't have changed a thing.

I'm more concerned with your lack of support. I think if you had friends/family around this shift would become bearable. Like Libby said, you must work on the social part, and finding something for you outside of work.

We are here for you, too.

llg, PhD, RN

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development. Has 44 years experience.

Do you try to live a "day shift life" on your days off? If so, that is a mistake. If you are working straight nights, then you need to live a "night shift life" all week -- even on your days off. Back in the olden days when I worked straight nights, I would go to bed around 3 or 4 am on my nights off and sleep in until at least noon. That kept my body on a night schedule and allowed my bio-rhythms to be less disturbed by trying to switch back and forth.

Get you body in snyc with a night schedule full time and you will start to feel better physically. Then you can use your evenings to have a social life and make some friends whose schedule works well with yours. Trying to live a "day shift" person while working the night shift just leaves your body out of sync.

JBudd, MSN

Specializes in Trauma, Teaching. Has 40 years experience.

What llg said. I sleep in late, watch old movies for half the night, shop the 24/7 stores sometimes. You can get up early afternoon and shop in the evenings for food, clothes, etc. Lots of theaters have 10 PM showings. Unless you are in an apartment where the noise bleeds through, you can vacuum just as easily at 0300 as at 1500. AN is always open! Sunsets on your day off are just as pretty as sunrises. But then, I've been a late owl my whole life, and done nights for the last 20 or 30 years. Days are, well, not for me!

Get your manager to put your move to days "with the next batch" in writing.

Nonyvole, BSN, RN

Specializes in Emergency.

Like has been said, don't try to swap between days and nights. At least, not until you are fully acclimated to working nights. (Weekends off in my house consist of me joining my husband in bed and playing on my phone or iPad until about 0200. Then I sleep in and take a nap later on in the morning or early afternoon. If we go anywhere, he drives and I doze.)

Now, I would definitely suggest three things if your weight is stressing you out. First, hide the scale. Second, tale a good look at what you're eating. It's so easy to get junky food at night...(says the person who got stretch marks because she only ate deep fried takeout at work and subsequently put on almost 30 pounds). Also watch the empty calories, like soda, candy...third, think about talking to somebody. AllNurses is good, a solid face-to-face chat is better.

Good luck!

CamillusRN

Specializes in OR, CVICU/CTICU.

I understand everyone is different, but as a nightshifter I was scheduled a random day shift once and the senseless chaos was too much! I thrive on the chaos of a trauma resus but this was a truly different animal. Every supervisor, manager, midlevel, and every skirt and suit in between lobbying for attention for petty things like "who here is planning to be on xyz committee? I need to talk to you ASAP!" I vowed never to work on days again.

Anyhoo, you either love nights or you hate them; the best advice has already been given so I'll just wish you the best of luck!

Don't quit before you have another job lined up.

sugarmagnolia3

Has 10 years experience.

Sorry you're going through that! Nights are rough, and though no one really totally adjusts, and some people really, really don't adjust. Hang in there, and I hope you find a day position soon!

Well, I would leave that job anyway because your manager is a liar.

And you are lying down and letting him walk over you. You have taught him that you will take his crap. The very first time he passed me over after telling me I would be moved to days, I would have told him that I didn't appreciate him lying to me and that I would have to look for another position since he had so little respect for me. I can't work for people who treat me like dirt.

I would start looking for another job right now. Once you have an offer, take it to your manager and tell him unless he can better it, you are leaving. (I wouldn't stay anyway because I wouldn't trust that manager again.)

Don't play those BS games.

Thank you so much for the reply! Unfortunately, I have already done that, twice. Each time he reassured me that I would be making the move in the next batch. Each time, passed up for those who transferred in from med-surge, with no prior ccu experience. I am hesitant to continue badgering him, because I understand rules are rules, I am not special, and 1 year is nothing in the scheme of a career. But I feel pretty strung along.

This is baloney. You are special. 1 year of experience will get you a lot of positions and it is way more than "nothing." Stop being his victim. It is NOT badgering to remind your manager of his lies, um, promises and to expect him to deliver.

I think you need counseling, because you are displaying some dysfunctional behavior.

I'm confused, when did the OP said the manager lied? I read that others had more seniority and that's why the OP hasn't been moved to days. Maybe I missed when the OP said the manager lied, if I missed it please disregard my post.

I'm confused, when did the OP said the manager lied? I read that others had more seniority and that's why the OP hasn't been moved to days. Maybe I missed when the OP said the manager lied, if I missed it please disregard my post.

She didn't say he lied, that was my interpretation. If a manager tells me something twice, and it doesn't happen, it's a lie to me. Especially when he is giving away the promised position to transfers from another unit before his own people.

ETA: Well, now that I've reread the OP, I see that I missed the part where she says it is policy to count overall seniority, not just unit. I'm a doofus. And ignore the part about counseling. OP, I was just worried that you were letting the manager walk over you because of depression.

So, instead of confronting the manager, I would just look for another job. If everyone is transferring into your unit, then you're screwed. I'm sorry this is happening to you.

At this point, though, you do have that magical one year of experience, so you should have less trouble finding a dayshift. Good luck to you.

Edited by canigraduate
I'm a doofus.

Nurse Beth, MSN

Specializes in Med Surg, Tele, ICU, Ortho. Has 30 years experience.

If you have any tendency towards depression, turning your circadian rhythm upside down by working nights can trigger depression.

You hate nights, you've had changes in your weight, you have sleep problems, and you're socially isolating. All of that is really, really concerning. Is it worth it to stay where you're at when it is making you miserable and maybe sick?

I hope you put yourself and your health first. There are other jobs for someone with your experience- best to you

ClaraRedheart, BSN, RN

Specializes in Med-Surg. Has 7 years experience.

I'm switching to days... for all of the reasons that you've stated. I feel off balance sometimes. It's hard to switch from a night to a day schedule to attempt to live normally with family on my days off. It's making my husband miserable. My child is at a tender age and needs stability too. Honestly, if it wasn't for my husband complaining endlessly, I'd probably work nights forever though.

The day shift nurses just LOOK stressed. As someone else said, 5 levels of management all have their 10 cents on how you should best be caring for the patient... however, the onus for implementing their ideas in a timely fashion falls upon you still. Sure, you get maybe 1 less patient, but if you start out with five, you could discharge 4 and admit 3 on a bad day. That's 7 assessments and 3 admissions that need to be charted on! And.. heaven forbid you can't get the discharging patient's out the door 5 minutes after the doctor tells them they can go, because your other patient's have meds due. Oh yeah... and families are in and out all day. I've heard of some who come in and ask the same questions about grandma, you sit down and explain everything to them, and once they leave, you do the same for every family member that comes into her room. Yeah. I'm a bit nervous. Night shift can be stressful too, but if it weren't for the lack of sleep thing.. I'd probably rather stay nights. If I were single without kids, I'd DEFINITELY stay nights and just live on a night schedule.