View Full Version : night shift

11-29-2007, 05:19 PM
I will be graduating nursing school in a few weeks, and I have landed my first job...night shift. I have never worked night shift before. I'm excited about the job, but a little worried about staying awake. Does anyone have any tips?

Mother Jones, RN
11-29-2007, 09:52 PM
Night shift is tough to do if you're not a night owl, but it can be done. I guess the biggest thing is to sleep at the same time everyday, even when it's your day off. I work with a gal that has worked night shift for years. She never changes her routine, even when she's on vacation. Good luck with you new job.


Mr Ian
12-02-2007, 01:52 PM
Try and get a shift with a male nurse on.

Slip some ****** in his cappuccino about 11pm.

Stay awake for hours laughing.

12-03-2007, 10:33 PM
No coffee/caffeine after 3 am. Otherwise you'll wake up at 1 P.M., which sucks. Also, sleep in your basement, if you have one. It's darker, cooler, quieter. My sleep improved immensely when we moved down there.

I do rotate back and forth as far as routine goes. I usually go to bed around 11-1 and get up around 11-12 in the morning. Some people stay up late the night before their first shift on. I always end up waking up early when I do that and then I get anxious about napping in the afternoon and can't sleep. I just make sure and get a good night's rest.

Good luck, and welcome to the night shift!

kate loving shenk
12-04-2007, 11:41 AM
i love night shift.

the people on this shift are team players. you get to know one another better because you are all despartly trying to stay awake and thus, are in the same grueling situation!! LOL!!

personally, i work nights--3 twelve hour days back to back, so i can do my writing during the day on my days off.

other great reasons i work night shift: 1) no administration 2) no extra noise 3) nurses are more autonomous

i practice my healing massage treatment on my nurse colleagues (as well as all my patients) better at night than if i had to work during the day.

we have to also take care of each other, after all!!!

12-04-2007, 12:26 PM
Thank you for your advice. I'll see how I can survive in January when I'm working

kate loving shenk
12-04-2007, 01:47 PM
The most important stradegy going into your first experience doing nights is to not only take care of your self--but REALLY take care of yourself.

Be selfish!!

Be bold in your new found self-centeredness!!

And celebrate each small success!!!:p

because everyone else is on an entirely different schedule and will want you to participate in their day schedule--often at your own peril.

certainly there will be a few compassionate souls who understand.

Plan on always sleeping well!!:sleep:

ps my celebration today: I received 10 beautiful Pilot Varsity Disposable Fountain Pens in the mail!!!

Heaven!!! LOL!!

12-27-2007, 03:48 PM
I have always hated night shift, but due to childcare issues I have returned to the dreaded night shift...and am finding it much better this time around. What I do is I eat dinner, buy a coffee, and then some healthy snacks (nuts/fruit/yogurt) but I DO NOT BUY A MEAL FROM TAKEOUT PLACES AT 1 AM!!! I drink a lot of water, then have a pretty good breakfast (oatmeal/egg sandwich) before going to sleep in my room with darkening shades. On days when I'm working that night I sleep as long as possible, but then on days when I'm off that night I try to get up around noon so that I can fall asleep that night. I have also found "clumping" my days together to be helpful. I have yet to try more than 3 days (i work 12 hour shifts), but I have a four day stretch coming up with 6 days off after that...we'll see. Good luck!:boring:

12-27-2007, 09:30 PM
Good Luck!:motz:Watch out for mood changes.

12-28-2007, 03:08 PM
There are pluses and minuses to anything. I find the atmosphere at night is more laid back (much less "big-wigs" in the hospital) and can be less hectic, but, by the same token, there can be less support and opportunity to see new things.

Personally I have always worked nights, and could not imagine working with the daywalkers...

12-31-2007, 03:49 PM
Nightshift.....I worked it for 5 years. The first year was great. I got plenty of sleep and loved working nights because the staff is generally more cohesive because you only have each other to depend on. The second year was good. I got a little less sleep but still managed to like what I was doing; besides, right after work I got to go right to bed, you can't do that with a day shift job. The third year was a bit more rough. I was having a hard time getting to sleep and a harder time staying asleep despite the fact that I wouldn't allow myself to get out of bed before the kids got home from school at 3pm. I didn't watch television to help put me to sleep and I had to quit reading because it just kept me awake. The forth year started to be a nightmare. I was barely sleeping, I was never getting out of my night clothes unless I "had" to go somewhere. The fifth year nearly did me in until I switched to a shift that I didn't have to work any nights. My goal working nights was so I could be with my children when they were home from school. I'd do it again just because of that reason.

Some people won't work any other shift, as for me.....I'm way too old!

01-10-2008, 01:41 PM
I posted the following on Geena's blog ( ):

For the past seven years I have worked as a Patient Care Services Supervisor from 2000 to approximately 0830 every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at a medium-sized hospital on the Pacific Northwest coast. I also participate in daytime, weekday management meetings. I have yet to adjust to the noc shift. I never feel rested, and my judgement is wobbly at times (staff certainly - and kindly - let me know when my brilliant problem-solving falls short of the mark). I miss sleeping at night. I miss puttering in the yard during the heat of the day. I miss sitting with friends in the shade of the picnic tree. I miss my brain, my joie de vivre, and I MISS THE LIGHT.

Last month, at age 55, it occurred to me that I have only have about 25 more summers to live. Consequently I have begun an employment search which will, if successful, result in a daytime job!

Looking forward,


01-10-2008, 03:29 PM

Sing it, sister!!! :idea2: A-men!

01-10-2008, 03:56 PM
There is certainly something about realising what is important to you and going for it.

Good luck LesleyJoy in finding 'that job'

01-11-2008, 09:13 AM
Working nights definately has its advantages. First, as everyone has said, you don't have to deal with management. Second, you get the night differential (extra money is always a plus), and third, you will share a close bond with your co-workers because everyone has to work together.

I am a night owl so staying up all night isn't a big deal. However, on those days where I am just drained, I will have half a can of an energy drink and that gets me through.

Be sure to eat well (no junk) so you can keep your energy levels up and maintain glucose supplies to the brain.

At home, cover up windows with a blanket or use foil (it really works!).

Good luck to you and I hope you enjoy the night shift!