Friday, April 14, 2006


Just trying to wake up and remember what day it is. Yep, that timestamp is right - 3:34PM and I'm just waking up. Last night I worked my first night shift at the hospital. And when I say "worked" I really mean "worked for free" or even worse, I guess I actually paid to work since it's my clinical hours for nursing school and I paid for the class. But I survived it, got home at 8:30AM and when I woke up today I just hoped it was at least noon. Imagine my surprise and joy when I saw that it was 3:25PM.

I smiled knowing this meant I would be able to survive the shift again tonight.

While looking for an image for this post, I saw everything from books called "God Works the Night Shift" to manuals for new doctors and nurses called "Working the Night Shift: Preparation, Survival, and Recovery" to the book cover I picked, a Stephen King novel describing excursions into the horror of the Night Shift.

Any advice, support, stories of your own night shift experiences?


FireFly said...

I did a night shift for a while

it sucked! (of course now i have frequent 15-18 hour days and that sucks too) Bigest advise i have is to not ever waste time with tv because it messes up what sleep you could get. give it a week or so and it'll get better. also, keep your sleep schelule consistant even on days off - i hope this wont last too long - i got burnout pretty bad...

good luck :)

Ryan Remains said...

nothing keeps you awake better than drinking a lot of water. the more the merrier, as it were. after awhile you get used to having to pee all of the time, but it does keep you awake.

Tamara said...

I worked from midnight-9am for about two years. It was difficult.

One night I woke up at 2am and raced into work. I was pulled over for going 90 in a 55 zone. Went to court, lost my license for six months, and had to pay a huge fine.

I would sleep in two different shifts during the day. I just couldn't sleep for eight hours straight. It was too hard. And I never really had a full rest.

After I finally moved into the daylight it took my body a full year until getting back to "normal."

My advice? Stay in the daylight! If you can't, then be sure to get exercise. You can also put aluminum foil on your windows to keep out the light. There's also some funky light device that you can put behind your knees to trick yourself into thinking it's nighttime. I never used it, but others swore by it.

The overnight shift is HARD. You're overworked and underappreciated because your boss never sees you.

I guess it was all worth it. I mean, look at the great job I have now...
Oh wait.

Adopted Bluth said...

I worked the night shift for almost a year at the Oregon State Hospital in Portland and Salem.

Although it was nice to get to read for 5 hours of my 8 hour shift the most dangerous times are at night. There was a patient that I thought I was friends with until he tried to stab me on a night shift. He was SUPER manic and delusional because he had been up for over 48 hours straight. OSH under staffs on the night shifts so if you have a crisis then you are up a creek.

On another night shift experience we had a Russian guy flip all of the furniture over (couches, table, and TVs) and would refuse to be redirected. They called me in from another ward because the guy thought I was a doctor and listened to me for some strange reason.

It pays to wear glasses I guess.