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What do you all think of this?

Nurses   (1,422 Views 10 Comments)
by luvmy3kids luvmy3kids (Member)

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hikernurse has 8 years experience and specializes in NICU.

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I wish I had an answer. We joke about shift change being a more dangerous time to be on the road than when the bars close, but I'm not sure it isn't true.

I'm fortunate to be able to work at a hospital that is within walking distance because I know how sleepy I get once I get off night shift, but that's a luxury a lot of nurses don't have.

I'd be upset if I were Mom, too :(.

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Esme12 is a ASN, BSN, RN and specializes in Critical Care, ED, Cath lab, CTPAC,Trauma.

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VERY SCARY.......How many times I have driven exhausted.....fallen asleep in a traffic jam to be awakened by blowing horns.....just very scary

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What about what the mom says at the end of the story?? We don't know this nurse's situation... I really feel for the family of this girl... but to say that the nurse chose to work these hours, and chose to get little or no sleep.... Did she really choose to do this??? Or is she just over worked and doesn't have a choice??? I don't know.. I can't really say because I'm just a student. But those words have to be burning in this poor nurses ears. I'm sure she can hardly live with it to begin with...

I don't know. It's such a sad situation. But it is so close to me... It happened about 2 blocks from my house actually. There is still a makeshift memorial along side the road.

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RNfromMN has 4 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Developmental Disabilities, LTC.

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... but to say that the nurse chose to work these hours, and chose to get little or no sleep.... did she really choose to do this??? or is she just over worked and doesn't have a choice???.

a very respected instructor at my school took a minute at clinical one day to sit us down and remind us that we chose to be there. nobody made us sign up for nursing school, etc. & to try & remember that when caring for our patients - none of them chose to be in our care, to be diagnosed with illness. she wanted us to think about that whenever we caught ourselves complaining about a heavy homework load, or an "unfair" teacher, etc.

i see what you're saying, but the bottom line (what girl's mom is trying to say, not me), is that nurse did choose to work those hours & drive home sleep-deprived. even if meant threat of losing her job, she ultimately chose to drive. she could have refused to stay, could have taken a cab home, could have called someone at home to give her a ride, could have slept at the hosptial before leaving, caught a ride home with a co-worker, etc. she's a nurse (not to mention a human being), so i'm sure these are all things she's praying to god she would have done now. i feel horrible for her.

this is one reason why it's so important for nurses everywhere to try & work to overturn mandatory overtime laws in their states. sorry for mini-rant - for a school assignment last month, we had to contact our local reps & write a letter contesting mandatory ot laws.

there's a gal i worked with when i was a cna - she had 3 little ones at home & worked 12 hour shifts on the weekend, 8p-8a. she would constantly nod off at work & had a 45 minute drive home in the morning; we'd constantly warn her about the dangers of driving home & offered to give her rides.

one night on her way into work, her car wouldn't start, so she took her hubby's, which had a st. joseph prayer card tucked in the visor. it was the first thing she noticed when she got behind the wheel. i think he's like, the patron saint of safe travel, or something.

after working her shift, my friend nodded off at the wheel on a high speed (50-60 mph) lone wi road. she started to hear one of her daughters screaming for her. "mommy, mommy!" & her head snapped up just in time to avoid an oncoming semi.

that story still gives me chills. her car started up just fine when she got home from work in the morning. she truly believes that the only thing that saved her that morning was someone else looking over her.

i'm sorry that this is all happening in your hometown. i'm a big believer in everything happening for a reason, though - perhaps this whole experience will serve as a reminder to you as you're going through school & start practicing yourself one day soon :)

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NurseCard has 13 years experience as a ADN and specializes in Med/Surge, Psych, LTC, Home Health.

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This article struck a personal nerve for me. I am *frequently* sleep deprived and drive a considerable distance, that way. I do try to get some coffee before I go. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't work so well. I however have actually NEVER fallen asleep at the wheel, not in my life, not even stopped at a light.

Doesn't mean it won't ever happen though.

Makes me think even more about trying to switch to a regular day job.

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christymwinn specializes in Everything but L&D and OR.

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I too understand about feeling sleep deprived in the mornings on your way home. I have found myself so tired that I have had to pull over somewhere so I can "nap" until I am able to at least drive myself safely home. I do understand that as night nurses MOST of us have chosen that. You have to remember that some nurses,as new hires or even new grads, don't really have a choice to work nights or days-you get nights because that is what is available if you want a job! But, i don't know what I would say if I was that mom, I very might well say the same things she did. It is real easy to tell somebody what they should have done after something bad has happened.

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cheshirecat specializes in midwifery, gen surgical, community.

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I think it is too simplistic to say the nurse chose to work nights. Who do they think is going to look after sick people at night - robots?

Maybe the night shift needs to be made smaller ie 8 hour shift instead of 12, and the other shifts take up the slack.

~As humans, we are not made to stay up all night. It is detrimental to our health. I really feel for the nurse, and for the family in this sad story.

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You all have excellent points. I agree that she did choose to drive home after 3 long 12 hour shifts (probably longer than just 12)... but I'm sure she didn't comprehend how tired she really was.... It's just like when you have had a few drinks.... you don't think you are impaired.

I guess it is really an important reminder for all of us.

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She may not have chosen to work nights or 12 hours, but she did choose not to sleep in between. I see nurses doing this all the time. They are trying to be two people, and live in the day world and night world both at the same time. Impossible. I have to be very selfish when I work nights and refuse to participate in things that interfere with my sleep. No MD appts. till afternoon, even on day off. What a horrible thing for both of these families to go thru.

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