Working nights can be challenging especially to the uninitiated. All Rights Reserved. Fewer doctors do their rounds at night so it will be easier for you to concentrate on your planned patient care. Support your staff in their communication with physicians at night. Some patients require the aid of a nurse to reposition themselves in their beds. This mimics eating breakfast for those on the day shift. “The new or recently graduated nurse may be able to start in the position or specialty desired by accepting less popular shifts,” said Sharon A. Morgan, MSN, RN, NP-C, senior policy advisor for nursing practice and work environment for the American Nurses Association. This was a quantitative study using descriptive design; it also incorporated three qualitative open-ended questions to complement the study. One of the most annoying things to nurses is to come on shift and find that the shift before has left work undone. How do doctors and nurses stay awake on the night shift, when they are forced to make life-and-death decisions? Get everyone on board to make some adjustments, such as scheduling breakfasts or dinners together so you still have quality time. Regular exercise is a must for so many reasons. 15. Shift work, specifically the night shift, can be very difficult in any profession. As a CNA, your responsibilities center around patient care. 3. I am a newly qualified nurse, and while I am aware that practice nursing is 9-5, I’ve heard that it’s unlikely that it would be my first job when I qualify. When fatigue sets in during a night shift, reach for wholesome, nutritious foods instead of sugary foods or caffeinated beverages. Get at least 7 to 9 hours of sleep within a 24-hour period and impress upon family and friends the importance of your uninterrupted sleep. Others find some adjustments that work for them, and will do what they can to have a “normal” schedule when they aren’t working. All of a sudden, I was going to be doing it three days a week. A brisk walk during a break can help energy levels too. 14. 7-11p is generally super busy but after midnight vitals/med pass/assessments it usually calms down. Night shift is a controversial part of nursing. We strive for 100% accuracy, but nursing procedures and state laws are constantly changing. So do eat well, this will help you survive the night-shift schedules efficiently. Join the nursing revolution. 1. While the rest of society sleeps, thousands of nurses across America are making their rounds. I'll be working 7pm until 7 … They could impair your alertness and performance on the night shift. Working night shift interferes with circadian rhythms and biological functions that are associated with health problems. 1900: Get report from day shift, start planning you night by looking at orders for who is having: 2000: Meeting patients, performing shift head-to-toe assessments, getting vitals signs (sometimes done by the nursing assistant if you have one), following out any new doctor’s orders that day shift didn’t get done or new orders recently written, answering call lights, getting patients ready for bed, helping patients go to the bathroom, 2100-2200: helping patients to bed, administering PRN (as needed medications) because patients usually want their sleep aids or pain medications, helping patient’s brush teeth and set-up room to go to bed, 2300: charting your head-to-toe assessments, updating care plans, and other necessary paperwork, answering call lights, finishing up giving any medications, dealing with admissions if you have an empty room, 2400-0100: catching up on charting, giving random time sensitive medications (ex: IV antibiotics), rounding on patients, answering call lights, getting “lunch”, 0200-0400: Dangerous time to feel extremely sleepy (some people also experience nausea), dead time because patients are asleep, some units have special jobs for the night shift to do like chart checks, checking for expired drugs & supplies etc, dealing with any admissions, 0500: Some patient’s are waking (typically your older patients) and they need the bathroom, coffee, or some PRN medication, getting vitals signs (sometimes done by the nursing assistant if you have one), getting patients ready for testing or surgery (completing necessary paperwork and preps), drawing am labs, wrapping things up, 0600: Giving medications, more patients waking, and getting ready for report. Sleep – you need it! The employer can assess how bad the need is and may adjust … Your may be interested in: “How to Dress as a Nurse“. Stay up for 12 hours straight (or more) before your night shift. And don’t stop for drinks with friends as a way to unwind. It is important for nurses to practice self-care. And the lab, imaging departments and EKG technicians may actually respond faster. I've been reading some of the threads about night shift working, but I didn't see one addressing how to train dogs to allow for that. For enduring the night shift, and keeping up the energy levels high, having a stable diet can be of great help. What not to do? Night shift nurses might be the envy of some of their colleagues if they receive increased pay, but I can assure you that being a night shift nurse comes with a high cost: your health. I don't really want to do nights but I'm hoping to move to days as soon as a position becomes available. I don’t mean to say night nurses are crazy with power and do inappropriate things, but there is … It's even worse when it's … Working nights may also leave you feeling isolated from friends and family who have a regular daytime schedule. You’ve heard it before: don’t skip breaks or meals during your shift, and take advantage of designated rest areas. 11. Fewer people are coming and going than during the daytime hours, as well. Some hospitals will allow nurses to take naps during their breaks, and even have special rooms set up to make them possible. Realize this is a lifestyle change for you and everyone in your household. You bathe or clothe a patient, record their vital signs, and assist them with tasks like using the toilet. While the night shift can be slower than days on many units, be sure you understand the procedures and who to call when the unexpected happens – such as disasters, short staffing or difficult patients. 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