Living the night shift life

October 6, 2016

Growing up, I was never the type of kid to stay up all night. When that did happen, I was most likely reading a book. Total nerd. Even if I was hanging out with my friends, I always fell asleep on the couch around midnight.

Now that I am working as a registered nurse on nights, I have to get accustomed to staying up all night, taking naps, and sleeping when it is very bright outside. I am so thankful that many of my readers have given me helpful tips on Instagram. I full on intend to try them out and see what truly works for me.

My very first night shift was Monday night. To prepare, I stayed up to 5am and slept in as long as possible. Unfortunately, my body woke up around 12. I tried to lay in bed and will myself to go back to sleep, but, of course, it did not happen. I got up and just laid around on the couch. Around 2, I tried to take a nap until I had to get ready for work. I only fell asleep for 30 minutes. Luckily, I was not tired at all during work.

As I have been doing on days, I arrived to work with plenty of time to read the H&P on my patients and jot down who had meds and what time. I find that as I am developing my nurse brain, that it is easier in report if I already know a little bit about the background of my patient. I have been using my own report sheet that I made, but continue to make choices as I discover what I need and do not need.

Since I am still on orientation, I only had 3 patients. I was very thankful. It allowed for me to know what happens on nights without being too busy. I have to get use to when certain items are to be completed, when lab draws are done, when I need to update the charge nurse, etc.

Overall the night went really good. My patients were all stable and unusually slept for a large portion of the night. I had to give away one of my patients to another nurse and accept an admit. This was largely due to the influx of admits we received that night. My unit is a 36-bed and we got 10 in one night! That is a lot.

I met a few coworkers and was able to joke around with them during lunch. I also had the best aide! Seriously.

I managed to almost get everything charted on time, and only almost forgot about giving a med once. I think I get into a rush of writing things down that I forget about making a mental note of the time. I wear my Fitbit to work, so maybe I will make silent alarms. I hear that night shift has less medications to administer, so hopefully that might work.

I feel very comfortable on my floor. Now, I just need to get the swing of my routine. I'll continue to update you as it goes,

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