View Full Version : Did you start out working night shift?


geenaRN
12-26-2007, 01:55 PM
Pursuant to this recent thread (http://www.nursingvoices.com/showthread.php?t=311), I was wondering what percentage of new nurses started out working on the night shift.

I know of a lot of nurses who have been working night shift for YEARS (even decades!) and wouldn't have it any other way.

But I really want to know how many nurses work it because they have to.

MyOwnWoman
12-27-2007, 01:13 AM
When my children were young and in school, I worked night shift by choice. In that way, their father could be with them all night and I could get them off to school and then go to bed. I also could go to any school related activity that they had since I got home at 8am and didn't go back to work until 10pm.

I worked night shift for about 5 years and there is one thing I can say about it. It made me feel like I was perpetually sick with cancer. I rarely got dressed, I wore my "jammies" all the time. I woke when my children came home from school, fixed dinner and then napped until I went back to work.

As soon as my children were old enough, I switched shifts and immediately felt human again living in the "real world."

God bless those that work the night shift.

Julie
12-27-2007, 04:07 AM
In my first job I worked just days, which was great while I was learning the finer things about being a nurse. In my second job though I had to work 'internal rotation' which meant a week of nights in every 3. I was newly married and didn't like it much, but it was my job and it gave us a bit more money. I think it is important for nurses to work at least some nights, otherwise how do they know the kinds of issues which are important at night and less so during the day. For example the decision about when to call the doctor (or not) is slightly more difficult at times, you need to call them but if you do so unnecessarily you are going to feel stupid and open yourself up to ridicule. If on the other hand you don't call then the concequences could be serious for all concerned.

smth
09-27-2008, 03:43 AM
Now a days night shifts are common even I worked in night shifts initially but it is risk oriented.

:captain:
SMTH

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Mother Jones, RN
09-27-2008, 10:05 AM
Never! Night shifts make me sick.

MJ

JacquiBee
10-16-2008, 04:10 AM
We are required, when we are hired to agree to work any rostered shift. In most areas my hospital has 3 X 8 hour shifts, roughly 0645-1515, 1430-2300, 2230-0700. Some areas like ICU do 12 hour shifts, with consequently more nights and a few have a mixure of 8, 10, and 12 hours like ED. In practice many wards have self rostering (requesting on a roster sheet your prefered shift, which you may get, but you may not get all as you wanted as all shifts have to be covered)which I really like. Most wards have a couple of staff who choose to do nights usually for family reasons and the rest of us have to fill in the gaps of shift they are not covering. So we all have to do some nights how many depends on how many the "permanent" night staff do. I have been doing 2 to 4 a month this year, 2 is good (for me)4 is stinky. I just did a night last night, tootling about here is one of my fav things after nightshift (no sharp impliments involved esp brain) spelling mistakes all my own work

Mother Jones, RN
10-16-2008, 08:24 AM
We are required, when we are hired to agree to work any rostered shift. In most areas my hospital has 3 X 8 hour shifts, roughly 0645-1515, 1430-2300, 2230-0700. Some areas like ICU do 12 hour shifts, with consequently more nights and a few have a mixure of 8, 10, and 12 hours like ED. In practice many wards have self rostering (requesting on a roster sheet your prefered shift, which you may get, but you may not get all as you wanted as all shifts have to be covered)which I really like. Most wards have a couple of staff who choose to do nights usually for family reasons and the rest of us have to fill in the gaps of shift they are not covering. So we all have to do some nights how many depends on how many the "permanent" night staff do. I have been doing 2 to 4 a month this year, 2 is good (for me)4 is stinky. I just did a night last night, tootling about here is one of my fav things after nightshift (no sharp impliments involved esp brain) spelling mistakes all my own work

Night shifts wipe me out. Can't do them. Won't do them. Not going to happen....EVER!

Medic09
10-16-2008, 11:26 AM
Night shift rocks, even though it leaves me a zombie for the next two days.

No administrators wandering through, more laid-back atmosphere, very little 'politics', less neurotic attitude about protocols but good businesslike attitude about patient care. The night staff all play nicely together no matter their titles. Nights attract a different set of personalities which just works better for me. Feels like why I do nursing - just take good care of the patients and get it done. :proud:

JacquiBee
10-16-2008, 07:55 PM
I'm with Mother Jones as far as hating the effects of nights. I'm too old for staying up all night (the ability to do that wears off at around 25yrs)I feel jet lagged for days and in fact if I get sick its usually after nights. however I also have to agree with Medic09, if Im not crushingly, mind fog tired on nights I LOVE being on our ward with no Dr's, Multi disiplinary team members etc because our ward has two functions we have two lots of everybody plus a few extra medical teams as well. It can be bedlam and thats not even including the patients. At nights it just us and the patients unless we need medical review for some one deteriorating.

Mr Ian
10-21-2008, 12:41 PM
I got rostered quite a few nights when I started - oddly enough. I've never "pleased" my managers enough to be allowed to play on days. Tho I know they were confident that I'd see the night thru with little problems. Working in a private unit where weekend medical cover was mostly by telephone meant nurses were required to be more aware - as Julie says - of the things that really required urgent or necessary medical intervention. It also meant I got away with a higher level of decision making - if it meant the doc not having to get out of bed. But that went both ways - if the docs didn't play nice with me I'd call them 4am every weekend night for a Paracetamol order. :-)
Medico is also right - no suits by night and a very single layered management style. I think this was more to do with people being able to get on with the job and not tied to bureaucracy as well as no one wanting to have to stay behind and do the long winded reports to everyone - so let's get it done and get home to bed.
I don't do nights anymore tho was meant to rotate as J-Bee says. I just told them I can't stand them anymore and someone else was only too glad to pick up the extra money.
Now I'm moving jobs to community mental health and it's all 8-4 there - tho I'll probably get the joys of on-call...

Nurse Stella
10-23-2008, 06:30 AM
When I graduated, all the new nurses started out on nights. Now in home health it's days, with on call a few times a month. Unfortunately for me, my last call night I spent 6 hours with a hospice family. My boss was great, and had someone else see my regular patient's the next day, but I am not a day sleeper and am still suffering the after effects of working that night. God bless those who do nights... I'm too old to stay up that late!

B.

Medic09
10-24-2008, 05:22 PM
if the docs didn't play nice with me I'd call them 4am every weekend night for a Paracetamol order. :-)

Translation for you North Americans: Paracetamol is APAP/Tylenol.

Geff
10-30-2008, 10:07 AM
In deed night shift realy gives nurses,docs and patients a friendly and clinically required atmosphere to get to know more about each other.For a patient it is even more of a blessing to know hat a nurse or a doc is just a 'bell' away. For a nursing student like me it is the time I appreciate the senior staff; like juke boxes you make them speak what you want to hear becoz you realy need them. NIGHT SHIFT ROCKS.

It’s a pleasure to be part of this wonderful forum. Remember my post ‘’Training in the dark.’’? Much thanks to P/J and Medic09, and every member of the Nursing Voices forum for your response to my post.
Following the tips you gave me, members of my class who also felt like I did, approached the administration and shared our view on how the clinical sessions were conducted. The administration appeared understanding; they met a few ward sisters and discussed this.
I just had my first 2hours with a mentor! (Wednesday 29/10/08) And it doesn’t stop at that! We’ve got Thursday too!
Thanks a lot friends you have shone a beam of light in my world and career and of my friends’ too!

Experience is worth sharing, it lights the paths of a friend, lifts the spirit of a broken soul and brings back the lost hope.
You just made me learn that and I’m getting ready to share with you my own experiences.

I love you all.
Geff.

Mother Jones, RN
10-30-2008, 01:16 PM
Thank you for your post, Geoff. It's very interesting to learn about medical from other parts of the world. Please keep coming back.

MJ

simonperl
11-01-2008, 07:32 AM
Yes i have started my job career with night shift. I was done night shift around 6 to 8 months. It was too sticky jobs.

Thanks,
_____________
Simon
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malenurse354
01-01-2013, 03:27 AM
I also have to start with night shift and I actually hate it because it's never easy for my body clock to adjust, however I don't have a choice!