Five things nobody will tell you about working nights

November 29, 2016

  1.  Your nights off really aren't nights off.
    You look at the schedule and think
    Wonderful, I have three nights off in a row, I can finally get that shopping I have been meaning to do done. WRONG. You will waste one of your days just recuperating your sleep. Yes, you can choose to flip your sleep and wake up around 1200 on your off day, but now you will be walking around like a zombie trying to get things done.
  2. Management does not care that you need your sleep!
    Nothing is more frustrating then when you have to go to a work meeting or education class and management schedules it right in the middle of your sleep routine. 0800 meetings are great for day shift, but what about us who work the nights! We struggle to stay awake so that you don't have to, the least you could do is listen to our requests or not schedule us for education courses when we are preparing for a long stretch of noc shifts.
  3. You will develop FOMO.
    Yes. I just used the dreaded acronym of FOMO (fear of missing out). Working three-12 hour shifts a week is great, but that does not mean that you will constantly feel as though you are missing out on life while you dread the 0200 cold in the hospital. It happens. Many of us also develop seasonal affective disorder. It is depression characterized by the change in seasons, or in our case the change in light. 

  4. Getting an admission will never be easy.
    There is an almost certainty that you will have to admit new patients. I am not quite sure why everyone comes to your floor around 0100, but it happens...all the time. You will be able to identify the parts of an admission like the back of your hand, but it will never become any easier. Just be thankful for great coworkers who are always there to lend a hand.

  5. You're friends will think you are strange when you want a steak at 0800.Working nights means having to eat "dinner" at 0300. Flipping your eating habits leads you to have some strange cravings at weird hours. But good luck finding a place that is open to satisfy your needs.
What are some things you wish someone had mentioned before you started working nights?

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