I would drink a coke right before shift started. But no caffeine after midnight, so when I got home at 0745 - 0800 I could eat "dinner" and get straight to sleep (if I was working the next day). Many seemed to have coffee all night, then could not get to sleep until 11 or 12 the next morning. I hope you like it: less MDs, less visitors, less procedures, more preps, and all the fun with sun-downing (take fall precautions seriously and answer bed alarms promptly). Good luck!!!
Welcome to night shift... The biggest thing I would suggest is taking a nap before you start your first shift. Once 1-2 am hit, you'll hit a wall if you are not use to working nights. I would also suggest trying to work your schedule to work all three shifts in a row if possible. This way, you can begin to develop a sleep rotation that you are not trying to catch up on during your days off.
I did nights for 15 years. Although I was much younger then it was still somewhat difficult. If you are not a day sleeper, then create a room in your home that is dark and limits noise. Earplugs work great if you have a lot of kids around or there is traffic near by.
Remember TEAM work is essential for the shift. You will likely have more patients 1:6 generally and you may need to rely on your colleagues, just as they will rely on you. Nights is nice in the aspect of less proceedures, less issues, etc.. You will do a lot of critical thinking.. BUT, DO NOT: Be afraid to call a physician for a patient who is crashing or you need orders from!
Hi, I haven't been on this forum in a while....nice to be back.
I used to work nights many years ago, and I agree with taking a nap before your shift begins. I used to get up early on the morning of my first day on nights, run all sorts of errands or work out, then take a 3-4hr nap before going to work. Day time sleeping was difficult for me, but I over came that by taking a warm shower as soon as I got home, having something light to eat, darken my room and sleep with some kind of background noise. The fan was my favorite. Of course, this was all before kids....not sure if I could work nights now. True, you're are going to hit a wall around 1-2am until your body gets used to those hours. Coffee never worked for me...gave me the jitters and then I would crash. So I kept something healthy in my pocket to snack on, and kept moving.
I used to work night shift. In fact I love the shift. I guess it depends on the individual needs. It took me three years to get adjusted to the routine, to sleep during the day and be awake during the night. My strategy to be awake during night tour, I made myself busy. I noticed when I was working night when I don’t do nothing I fall asleep on the chair. When doing paper works such as chart check or documentation dry to stretch out and walk around. During the day, I worked out to keep myself tired. You know that endorphin is formed during exercise and this will make you sleep well. Having a plan of your night shift routine helps. Five o’clock in the morning was struggle because that was the most sleepiest time for me. I kept myself busy by starting to do morning care to my patient and give medications. Night shift has its pros and cons. You get more pay because of extra differential, less politics. It gets busy too but it is not as bad as during day shift. I worked in a teaching hospital and with the attending, residents, and family around, in and out of the room with different demands can be very overwhelming. To work nights, you need to have a good night shift. Going to work nights with not having enough rest can be ground for medical error.
One of the biggest challenges is finding some dark hole at home so you can sleep in darkness pretending it's nighttime outside. If you sleep in sunlight getting through the blinds, you'll wake up groggy and tired. If you do this several days in a row you'll be in a perpetual state of feeling like crap.
I've tried a face mask and it didn't work. I tried hanging secondary window drapes over primary drapes and it worked partially. An ideal solution would be a small bed in a windowless room. For a home owner this can be done but it's a real challenge if you rent a 2-bedroom apartment because you so few rooms and all of them have windows.
Working nights will always be a challenge. I worked 3pm-11pm for years and then did a day shift for a couple months. During those 2 months, I couldn't believe how rested you can be if you go to bed at 9pm and wake up at 6. I felt like a superman.
Sleeping during the day or sleeping until noon will always wear you out to some extent. The only permanent solution is earn some seniority and get off the night shift when you can, leaving the night shift to newbies.
Get on the good foot with your patients early so they will sleep get all of their needs met if you can. If you have chronic pain clients be mindful of their schedules or they will run you all night. Do all ya wound care before 11pm. And remember there is enough time it's only when you get to jerking around, over assessing patients, calling the doctor for nothing that you lose time. Stay on your charts cuz those sneaky rascals will come write some last minute orders. Be vigilant about oncoming admissions and your part in them. Don't get sleepy. If you do go get a prescription for Nuvigil. All that soda and quick fix stuff makes you feel groggy and irritable. Don't do what the others are doing. If they going to sleep get rid of them, if they not working get them gone because the minute you get caught up with it you'll be gone. Document before you leave the room. In our facility the computers shut you out of assessments at 10pm because nurses were waiting till 6am to document 7pm assessments. Document all the care you give. You bring the most advanced machine to the hospital when you punch in...... You. So don't rely on the machines rely on your senses and your gut. It has saved millions of lives.
Stay on top of what you have to do and most importantly.....
Mind Ya Business and your patients. Don't be in another nurse room doing her job or down the hall being a busybody. Take care of you and help if you can but not the other way around.
Night Shift is a paradise but it takes a special Nurse.
Hey all am kinda struggling for attention so pls forgive me if am posting on the wrong thread. I am an african trained nurse and registered with my home country's board of nursing and rii now am in maryland as a permanent resident and i want to know the process i have to follow to get registered with the maryland board of nursing and eventually how to make progress in getting my bachelor's degree in nursing. Thanks