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What the Heck to You Do on Night Shifts?

Posted

Has 7 years experience.

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RedRubCatheter

Has 7 years experience.

Yes, here in Canada (or at least my part of it) we're allowed one hour and forty-five minutes worth of breaks for a twelve hour shift. The forty-five minutes are paid time but the hour is not. I think it's horrible that some people are only allotted a half hour break for a whole twelve hours!

And not every night or every unit allows for break clumping like this, but we try when we can. Makes up for the times when breaks are scarce.

RPN_2012

Specializes in Geriatrics/Retirement Residence. Has 5 years experience.

wow redrubcatheter, thanks for taking the time to write it all out in so much details! :eek: :uhoh3: :) good read!

i wish someone working the day 7a-7p shift did the same:rolleyes:, it would be so useful! :)

TampaTech

Specializes in med/surg and Tele. Has 2 years experience.

This is why Americans all die early...lol...because we only get a half hour break for a 12 hour shift...I think if I had an hour and a 1/2 break I wouldnt know what to do with myself....I would probably be driving around getting into mischife or something lol.

mikethemurse, BSN, RN

Has 6 years experience.

First as many have been amazed by really!?! 1 1/12 hours! Really!?!

Nights are crazy, but fun...I work in a jail, and trust me, the fun stuff always happens at night. I would hate to have to work days. BTW Writing all that stuff down, and dealing with a crazy night, good work! That seems like a daunting task. In fact that thought may have just been enough to get me to bed. I worked last night!

NewAggieGrad09

Specializes in Peds.

I LOVE THIS!!! I rotate between daysand nights, and am currently night shift. I have had crazy nights, but yours takes the cake!

canesdukegirl, BSN, RN

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

Yes, here in Canada (or at least my part of it) we're allowed one hour and forty-five minutes worth of breaks for a twelve hour shift. The forty-five minutes are paid time but the hour is not. I think it's horrible that some people are only allotted a half hour break for a whole twelve hours!

And not every night or every unit allows for break clumping like this, but we try when we can. Makes up for the times when breaks are scarce.

Wow! I am jealous! In the OR, we seldom get breaks. We have to get a lunch, but a lot of times, our lunch relief does not come until 1400. The weird thing is that regardless of the shift worked-8/10/12, everyone gets a 30 minute lunch. Sometimes our co-workers take a longer lunch than is allowed, which means that the rest of us get lunch later and later. Forget breaks in the afternoon-we are simply too understaffed. If we are doing a CABG, there is NO relief at all-the docs don't allow for any sort of staffing change in the room during this procedure. I don't know how those poor nurses deal with that. :confused:

we only get 30 minute breaks too. Recently they are really cracking down on no food at the nurse station. All of us, including the managers, just make sure there is no evidence by certain hours.

I understand why we shouldn't eat at the station, but the ED gets crazy sometimes. If ur gonna force me to eat elsewhere make sure u get me to lunch while the cafeteria is open, right?

Thank goodness our nurse managers are great. They try so hard to meet our needs.

ChristaRN

Specializes in PICU now, Peds and med-surg in the past. Has 7 years experience.

Really 1 and 1/2 hour break! :eek: I wish. Last night it was eat and run for us. 15 minutes tops!

Please! I would kill for a 1 1/2 hour break, half hour is it for lunch and definately no naps to be had. What kills me, in Peds where I work, is that the same people who will casually ask what I do all night like I sit on my butt and watch it expand will get all evil on me when I have to come into their child's room during the night for vitals, assessment, meds etc and complain that I'm there too much and they don't want to have to deal with a woken up child. Would you prefer I leave your child who by your own admission is sick enough that you weren't ok with them being at home unassessed and ignored for the whole night. These parents are usually the ones whose children are on oxygen too but who cares about that right? :uhoh3:

NewAggieGrad09

Specializes in Peds.

ChristaRN....I FEEL YOUR PAIN!! I am also a peds nurse. I am on day 2 (on my short lunch break of course) of taking care of beautiful but terrorizing 2 yr old. She cries everytime you come near her! Today, managed to get through my assessment but VS were a joke. She is also ordered for full heart monitor and pulse ox...yeah right. Getting the stuff on was so difficult, I felt like I was a thief in the night...she is a VERY LIGHT SLEEPER so the lightest sound or touch will wake her up and she instantly screams to the top of her lungs. We manage to get her back to sleep, only for her to wake up again because the monitor beeps. Then 0000 VS...HA! I had to get the doc to order for us to skip 4am vitals because mom is so frustrated and looks like she is ready to cry. She says she isnt upset with us, but I still feel bad because she can't even shower and sleep because her child keeps waking up. Dad is just sitting in the chair knocked out as if he can't help mom by getting up for her so she can get some rest. SMH I am almost too scared to peep in and check on her but it's a job that has be done!

gentlegiver, ASN, LPN, RN

Specializes in Geriatrics.

If I don't take my lunch at the desk, I don't eat. Problem with this is the patients (A&Ox3) who wait until you sit down to decide they want thier PRN meds (I asked them if they needed PRN's before starting to reheat my meal), help to the toilet, shower, dressing change. Then ask what I'm eating, and then ask if they can have some of it!

JBudd, MSN

Specializes in Trauma, Teaching. Has 39 years experience.

I'd be happy to get the full 30 minutes..... half the time I'm asking a tech or secretary to take my badge to the cafeteria and get me something. If I go myself I have half of it eaten between the cafeteria and the unit, good thing we have slow elevators.:o

Sometimes it mellows out around 3 or 4 AM, but since we lose 2 nurses at 0300 it doesn't mean much.:D

purple08

Specializes in Med-Surg. Has 2 years experience.

I know, right? We consider it a blessing if we get 30 minutes to eat and use the bathroom UNINTERRUPTED by petty issues

infermierequebecoise

Specializes in med-surg, mother-baby.

Wow, I really thought american nurses had it better than us in Canada for working conditions...We get an hour and a half total per 8 hour shift, 45min of it is paid(if not taken cuz were too busy, then its paid in OT), and certain departments or hospitals will even take 2 hours. Obviously we know we wont always take the break, just cuz on any floor things go wrong..like already mentioned, seems we often have patients who stayed stable all day just to crash once night shift comes on...Or all hell breaks loose with the sundowners screaming and hallucinating and just basically making you want to curl up in the fetal position under your desk and cry...God, gotta have a messed up sense of humor and just be special in general to willingly work nights :p

Still only a student, but I've worked my share of nights.

People do say, oh it's ok, patients sleep all night. Not true.

I'm spent n entire night 'specialing' a neuro patient who had to stay horisontal, but wasnt.

Was sweet when she kept apologising for keeping me awake, and asked if I could get a bed beside hers so I could atleast lie down.

Over in the uk, in the trust I work in, we only get 30 minutes break for a 12 hour, on days I wont get my break til gone 1600 hrs normally, and nights I don't take a proper break. I have cigarette breaks instead, and nibble on food at the nurses station

Im a student in the UK....doing loads of nights....found myself a new skills...eating fast but being able to eat while dodging patients while im on my way to the tiolets cos thats the only time your getting a break

although in a&e you get an hour for a night and get made to take it

although your not allowed to sleep...frowned upon

x x