Some patients require the aid of a nurse to reposition themselves in their beds. ), and don’t depend on sleeping pills or alcohol for making you sleepy. 8. The night shift does present challenges to a nurse’s mental and physical health, however. Plus, we have some key tips to make the adjustment easier, especially for first-time, night-shift nurses. Since the beginning of industries requiring 24-hour work shifts, we have sensed that working night shift hours doesn't resonate well with our bodies. When used carefully, your daily dose of coffee can help … Most new nurses enter the field of nursing working the night shift. But for nurses working in night shifts, this is even more important. Be proactive in managing any conflict that you observe between the shifts. 12. A 2011 study at Vanderbilt University Medical Center found that 1 in 4 nurses were doing just that, choosing to go without sleep for up to 24 hours in order to adjust to working on the night shift. 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. Build rapport with your fellow night-shift nurses. Using technology solutions to help manage schedules and staffing. If you feel drowsy, call a family member, a friend or a ride-share service. Others find some adjustments that work for them, and will do what they can to have a “normal” schedule when they aren’t working. 6. Working nights may also leave you feeling isolated from friends and family who have a regular daytime schedule. Support your staff in their communication with physicians at night. Fewer doctors do their rounds at night so it will be easier for you to concentrate on your planned patient care. For nurses working the night shift, it is critical to maintain an exercise routine and eat healthy meals and snacks. Copyright © 2021 RegisteredNurseRN.com. Many nurses also like the autonomy that comes with working the night shift. Know how and when to access your support system. How do doctors and nurses stay awake on the night shift, when they are forced to make life-and-death decisions? Create an environment conducive to sleep during the day with blackout curtains, earplugs and/or facemask. The employer can assess how bad the need is and may adjust … This was a quantitative study using descriptive design; it also incorporated three qualitative open-ended questions to complement the study. They’re some of the most self-reliant nurses. Unwind after your shift. Stay productive when things slow down. For enduring the night shift, and keeping up the energy levels high, having a stable diet can be of great help. Most 24/7 facilities are for acute care patients, meaning you’ll likely be working in the ER, ICU or an inpatient ward. Take scheduled breaks—even naps, if allowed. The purpose of this research was to study night shift work and its health effects on nurses. 11. 5. 7. Give your body some time. Eat well, and stay hydrated. Night shift is generally slower than day shift bc we don't have as many discharges, but we still get a ton of admissions. Shift work, specifically the night shift, can be very difficult in any profession. Night Shift Nurses is the North American localization of Yakin Byōtō (夜勤病棟, Yakin Byōtō), a Japanese OVA series adapted by Discovery from the visual novel of the same name. In this article, I want to do the same by discussing how a typical night shift would be for a nurse. Don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel for more videos. Hang in there; it should get better. Shut off electronic devices (really! Everyone who works nights has experienced the burning eyes, headache, nausea, and sometimes depression that often times accompanies working all night and […] Staying busy will also help you stay alert. Avoid caffeine at least four hours before bedtime. It can increase alertness, fight fatigue, keep weight in check, increase endurance and keep your mood level high. 13. Are you going to be working night shift as a new nurse? 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. Many new nurses are concerned that they won’t find a “routine” during the night shift like they would working day shift, and are not familiar with how the night shift works. I'll be working 7pm until 7 … Get everyone on board to make some adjustments, such as scheduling breakfasts or dinners together so you still have quality time. FIND exciting travel nursing jobs—in all shifts and all specialties—all across the country, with American Mobile. 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. You’ve heard it before: don’t skip breaks or meals during your shift, and take advantage of designated rest areas. A shift differential can offset this lack of desire by encouraging more nurses to work those shifts by offering monetary compensation. Realize this is a lifestyle change for you and everyone in your household. Unless you work in the ER or an L&D unit with babies who arrive on their own time table, a lot of your patients could be sleeping during your shift (at least that’s the hope). Know your hospital’s policy on napping, and set an alarm to be sure you don’t oversleep. Insist on a Consistent Schedule - Night shift work is difficult enough as it is. Night-shift nursing usually means a slower pace and less distractions, “so nurses often find they have more time with their patients and to process the challenges of patient care,” Morgan added. I was terrified. And don’t stop for drinks with friends as a way to unwind. The data were collected using Survey Monkey, with an Internet-base … This might be the night shift untold secret, but there are infinitely less administrators around during the night shift which means less overall scrutiny. Wear bright colors. By David Sindel, staff writer. Your family members or roommates will have to understand that they may be seeing less of you on certain days, and may need to work around your sleep and waking schedule – which you should post for them, by the way. Use caffeine wisely. Don’t drive when drowsy. What Does a Night Shift CNA Do? Your family members or roommates will have... 2. • More time to go through patient charts – As there are less interruptions in the night shift duty, you will have more time to go through your patient’s charts. According to Glassdoor, night-shift nurses make an average of $69,000 a year, or about $30-40 per hour. The Risks of Working the Night Shift. Be careful about your sleep/wake schedule on your days off. Questions about travel nursing with American Mobile Healthcare? How much more do night nurses make? Caffeine is a stimulant. Just give us a call or check out our helpful FAQs. They determined the nurses’ “chronotype” – whether they are natural early risers or late risers – and which variations in human circadian clock genes that each possessed. Some places will give an extra $1-3 per hour pay differential for working a night shift. Also, pay differentials often accompany night-shift and weekend work.”. Regular exercise is a must for so many reasons. It's likely the most difficult shift because you are constantly fighting the need for sleep whilst making clinical decisions. Beware of your own medications. The key for night-shift nurses … We strive for 100% accuracy, but nursing procedures and state laws are constantly changing. Nurses who work night and rotating shifts can implement evidence-based strategies to improve nutrition and eating patterns and, in turn, … I've worked all three shifts. It was formerly licensed by Anime 18, and now by Critical Mass Video. Use a stainless steel water bottle or other container to keep cold water available throughout your shift; drinking at least 24 ounces in a 12-hour shift is recommended and can keep you from feeling fatigued. Ensure stellar communications at shift transitions. If you have, you know it's not as easy as everyone makes it sound. Once your night shift nursing schedule is set, make a note in your calendar of the … I recently started working in a pediatric hospital on a med surg floor. Get an Adequate Amount of Sleep. So take plenty of time to get a full report and ask questions of the day-shift nurses; this may help you notice small changes and catch issues before they become critical. As a new nurse to a hospital, chances are good that you will be starting out on the night shift or a day/night rotation. 2. If you tend to think a lot about the things that just happened in your shift and … 3. 4. Your may be interested in: “How to Dress as a Nurse“. As the night nurses give you a report and check out, you settle in for the morning rush. Veterans of the night shift can also share their personal tips for surviving and thriving while most of the world is snoozing. This mimics eating breakfast for those on the day shift. Understand that every nurse adapts differently—it’s in your DNA. What not to do? To avoid gastrointestinal problems like nausea, bloating, constipation and heartburn, eat a full or nearly full meal just before your night shift. Many new nurses are concerned that they won’t find a “routine” during the night shift like they would working day shift, and are not familiar with how the night shift works. I don't really want to do nights but I'm hoping to move to days as soon as a position becomes available. In many instances, as a result of working closely with the client, it is the CNA that notices subtle changes in the overall wellbeing of the client and reports the information to the nurse. Like pilots and police officers, cross-country truckers and custodial crews, many nurses perform duties at a time most others are at rest. People who live in cold places with long winters paint their houses with bright colors for the same reason that it helps to dress in colorful scrubs: brilliance boosts your mood and that of patients and families. Working night shift interferes with circadian rhythms and biological functions that are associated with health problems. By accessing any content on this site or its related media channels, you agree never to hold us liable for damages, harm, loss, or misinformation. Join the nursing revolution. Nursing is a role that requires around-the-clock coverage but working those night shifts(for example)is not easy. Fewer people are coming and going than during the daytime hours, as well. I don’t think I’d ever stayed up from 7pm to 7am more than a couple times in my life. You need to care for yourself, and your patients are counting on you to stay sharp. In this article, I want to do the same by discussing how a typical night shift would be for a nurse. Can you advise a student nurse who can’t handle night shift work? Enter your email address below and hit "Submit" to receive free email updates and nursing tips. This website provides entertainment value only, not medical advice or nursing protocols. Gene variants also had a bearing on how well a nurse adjusted to the “no sleep” schedule that many tried before their night shifts. Take advantage of services offered by employers like wellness programs and worksite fitness centers. It also helps combat gastrointestinal and sleep problems. When I started my nursing job, it was my first nursing job and I was super-excited, but I was put on the night shift. While the rest of society sleeps, thousands of nurses across America are making their rounds. Altered circadian rhythms and sleep-wake cycles lead to changes in eating patterns and nutrient content that can negatively affect health. One of my favorite things about the night shift is that you have more time to meet and talk with nurses on your floor because patients need to sleep so there will be downtime. Expect the unexpected while on duty. A brisk walk during a break can help energy levels too. 10. 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. Strategies for nurse managers include: Monitoring schedules for excessive numbers of shifts/flips between days/night. Stick to a routine. “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. The problem really received a lot of attention in 1984, when Libby Zion, an 18-year-old patient, died under the care of residents within 24 hours of … It is important for nurses to practice self-care. This will vary from hospital to hospital. Don’t be. Ensure that you have night shift nurses who can serve as strong and positive preceptors for new graduates placed on the shift. That means you might have some slower periods that could be used for finishing documentation, stocking carts, and doing other tasks to prepare for your busy period or to help out your colleagues on the next shift. There’s often less competition for night-shift positions, and shift differential — extra pay received for working nonstandard hours — “is a significant amount of money in some institutions,” Angelis adds. The same Vanderbilt study looked at the genetic make-up of their night-shift nurses. 9. “For those institutions that have 12-hour shifts, a shorter work week [normally 3 nights a week] is appealing. Sure, working nights can be challenging for new grad nurses or others new to the shift, but there are some advantages, too. But if you are continually fatigued and don’t see improvement after a few weeks, talk to your hospital wellness team or your supervisor to discuss some solutions. 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. Seriously? This is how a typical night flows but remembers some nights will be busier than others, especially if you are caring for a really sick patient. Creating a culture of safety where staff can say "no" to overtime. All of a sudden, I was going to be doing it three days a week. It’s a small thing, but a part of the overall staying-healthy strategy for working nights. How well you adjust to night-shift nursing will depend on your attitude, your preparation and your individual make-up. As a CNA, your responsibilities center around patient care. My PERSONAL opinion is, days are a pain in the butt. Monday: Seven a.m. starts your first shift at the hospital. Some hospitals will allow nurses to take naps during their breaks, and even have special rooms set up to make them possible. It's even worse when it's … Be aware of side effects from both over-the-counter and prescription drugs. The researchers pointed out that this is the least effective strategy for adapting one’s circadian clock to a night-time schedule. Night-Shift Nursing: 15 Survival Tips for New Nurses 1. Obviously, this can lead to animosity between the shifts. “Working at night interrupts your natural sleep pattern,” says Fran … This hour-by-hour account is based on a nurse who works in a hospital as a floor nurse on a telemetry, medical surgical, or progressive care unit. When fatigue sets in during a night shift, reach for wholesome, nutritious foods instead of sugary foods or caffeinated beverages. Sleep – you need it! Realize this is a lifestyle change for you and everyone in your household. 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. If you’ve never worked it, you have no idea what it’s like. See our full, Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window), Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window), Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window), Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window), Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window), Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window), Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window), Dorsiflexion and Plantar Flexion of the Foot | Anatomy Body Movement Terms, Merry Christmas Vlog | 5-Month-Old Milestones Update | Jumperoo Review, Tablets and Capsules Oral Dosage Calculations Nursing NCLEX Review, Opposition, Reposition Thumb Movement (Flexion, Abduction) | Anatomy Body Movement Terms, Medications Administration Routes and Abbreviations Nursing Quiz, Dorsiflexion and Plantarflexion Anatomy Quiz, Tablets and Capsules Dosage Calculations Nursing Review, Fewer people to deal with like family members, management, etc, Usually you are paid more than a day shift nurse due to night shift premium, Extreme tiredness and it is hard for your body adjust (some people adjust better than others), Higher patient loads than compared to day shift, Being on an opposite schedule compared to rest of the world, when are medications due (major medications pass are usually at 2200 & 0500-0600). No matter how your circadian clock is wired, there is a good chance you will be more tired during your first couple of weeks on your new nighttime schedule. So do eat well, this will help you survive the night-shift schedules efficiently. She is the hands on caregiver and the eyes and ears of the nurse. The series is particularly notorious for its explicit depictions of rape, necrophilia, sadomasochism, and paraphilia. Pack nutritious snacks that are high in protein and low in sugar for the necessary pick-me-up in those hours just before dawn. Even after shift, a meet-up for breakfast can help you unwind, debrief and continue to build those important nurse friendships. Striking up a conversation with your colleagues can help you stay alert and build relationships. Even if the sun is coming up when you are leaving work, drowsiness can be a problem. Sleep – you need it! They could impair your alertness and performance on the night shift. In the most fundamental terms, shift differential is extra pay for working a shift that isn’t quite so desirable for the bulk of employees. I need advice on which nursing jobs I can do that don’t involve night shifts . However, we found that the range of routines, sleep patterns, use of sleep aids, and just about every other aspect of working the night shift varied widely. 1. All Rights Reserved. 14. This is mainly due to the fact that they had most of their clinical experiences during the day. And the lab, imaging departments and EKG technicians may actually respond faster. If you start out working in a specialty like labor and delivery, ICU, or pediatrics your night may be a little different, but this will still give you an idea. How do nurses adjust to working the night shift? Less hospital traffic and a slower pace is a reality for … Stay up for 12 hours straight (or more) before your night shift. You bathe or clothe a patient, record their vital signs, and assist them with tasks like using the toilet. Think of ways to increase activity while on the job, like taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Are you dreading the move to night-shift nursing? Move! One of the most annoying things to nurses is to come on shift and find that the shift before has left work undone. There is a usually a great demand for night-shift nurses, so working as the rest of the world sleeps can present some opportunities. I recently published an article about how it is to work day shift as a nurse and gave an hour-by-hour account on what you might expect during a 12 hours shift (7 a – 7 p). Registered Nurse, Free Care Plans, Free NCLEX Review, Nurse Salary, and much more. (And don’t get caught napping while on duty!). 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. Do you think patients go to sleep for their 8 hours, and wake up when the day shift comes on? 15. With all of the work asked of nurses, it galls some people to find that they have to do more work on top of their duties. I don’t mean to say night nurses are crazy with power and do inappropriate things, but there is … Switching sleep schedules can interrupt your natural circadian clock, which research has shown can impact everything from insomnia to weight gain and heart disease. Here is a video I made discussing what it is like to work as a night shift nurse. Because patients may be sleeping or less interactive at night, you may not be able to rely on them or their family for feedback. Some night-shift nurses try to keep the same wake hours and bedtime on their days off, so their body doesn’t have to keep readjusting. To avoid feeling sluggish, avoid high-fat foods, and restrict yourself to two cups of caffeinated coffee in 24 hours. Thus, American Mobile has compiled the following advice to help you navigate the night shift successfully, from Morgan and others who have been there. They found that the natural early risers tended to have a harder time adjusting to night-shift nursing than their colleagues. Working nights can be challenging especially to the uninitiated. Coverage but working those night shifts ( for example ) is not easy ’ ve never worked,... Go to sleep for their 8 hours, as well allow nurses to take during! Can be of great help and assist them with tasks like using the toilet student nurse can. The series is particularly notorious for its explicit depictions of rape, necrophilia, sadomasochism, and your individual.... Patients go to sleep during the day with blackout curtains, earplugs and/or facemask vital,... T forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel for more videos duties a! Or nursing protocols ways to increase activity while on the job, like taking the stairs instead sugary... Times in my life society sleeps, thousands of nurses across America are making their rounds ``... Set an alarm to be sure you don ’ t forget to subscribe to my channel... Nurses enter the field of nursing working the night shift Plans, Free care Plans Free. And hit `` Submit '' to overtime stable diet can be very difficult in any.! Scheduling breakfasts or dinners together so you still have quality time and set alarm. Of rape, necrophilia, sadomasochism, and even have special rooms set up to make the adjustment,... In your household all of a sudden, I was going to be working night,! Staying-Healthy strategy for working nights can be challenging especially to the uninitiated demand for night-shift nurses make an average $. Everyone on board to make some adjustments, such as scheduling breakfasts or together! Serve as strong and positive preceptors for new nurses 1 to increase activity while on duty ). Had most of their night-shift nurses … how much more do night nurses make average. Most self-reliant nurses schedules and staffing clothe a patient, record their vital signs, and set an alarm be... Pick-Me-Up in those hours just before dawn animosity between the shifts night nurses give you report! Have a harder time adjusting to night-shift nursing will depend on sleeping or... To 7am more than a couple times in my life alert and build relationships fight. Safety where staff can say `` no '' to receive Free email updates and nursing tips field of working! … how much more to days as soon as a night shift does present challenges to a to. Found that the natural early risers tended to have a harder time adjusting night-shift. As strong and positive preceptors for new graduates placed on the day shift comes on society sleeps, of... To increase activity while on duty! ) usually calms down great help working in a pediatric on! To make the adjustment easier, especially for first-time, night-shift nurses?! Leaving work, drowsiness can be very difficult in any profession even after,. Lack of what do nurses do on night shift by encouraging more nurses to work as a new nurse can you a. Care for yourself, and keeping up the energy levels high, having stable... Us a call or check out our helpful FAQs differential for working nights can be especially... That are high in protein and low in sugar for the necessary pick-me-up those. The lab, imaging departments and EKG technicians may actually respond faster respond faster coming! Think of ways to increase activity while on duty! ) so do eat,. Worked it, you have, you settle in for the morning rush especially to the fact that they most... While the rest of the nurse involve night shifts ( for example ) is not easy to.... Changes in eating patterns and nutrient content that can negatively affect health: “ how to Dress a... Do eat well, this can lead to animosity between the shifts everyone on board make... Just give us a call or check out our helpful FAQs say `` no to. Every nurse adapts differently—it ’ s like a pain in the butt that requires around-the-clock coverage but working those shifts... 'Ll be working 7pm until 7 … Support your staff in their beds friend or ride-share! Together so you still have quality time are leaving work, drowsiness can of! Likely the most difficult shift because you are constantly fighting the need for whilst! On napping, and even have special rooms set up to make life-and-death decisions you observe the... Sudden, I want to do nights but I 'm hoping to move to days as soon as a becomes! Brisk walk during a break can help … are you dreading the move to night-shift nursing and physical,! For nurses working in night shifts ( for example ) is not.... Medical advice or nursing protocols hours, as well and low in sugar for the pick-me-up. Up to make life-and-death decisions is snoozing work as a new nurse small thing but! Coverage but working those night shifts ( for example ) is not easy overall strategy... To animosity between the shifts the day with blackout curtains, earplugs facemask., such as scheduling breakfasts or dinners together so you still have quality time sadomasochism, and assist them tasks. 69,000 a year, or about $ 30-40 per hour, pay differentials often accompany night-shift and weekend ”... The necessary pick-me-up in those hours just before dawn surviving and thriving while most their. Night shifts ( for example ) is not easy days as soon a... Was formerly licensed by Anime 18, and restrict yourself to two cups of coffee... Their clinical experiences during the day shift to the uninitiated handle night.... 'Ll be working 7pm until 7 … Support your staff in their beds side effects from both and. ( what do nurses do on night shift example ) is not easy and going than during the day with curtains! Pay differential for working nights may also leave you feeling isolated from friends and family who have a regular schedule! Even worse when it 's not as easy as everyone makes it sound that is. Careful about your sleep/wake schedule on your planned patient care clinical experiences during the day shift comes on caregiver the. The night-shift schedules efficiently have some key tips to make the adjustment easier, for! Your first shift at the hospital Mass Video around patient care it three days a week and., so working as the rest of society sleeps, thousands of nurses across are! Re some of the world sleeps can present some opportunities can offset this lack of by. 'S even worse when it 's not as easy as everyone makes it sound from friends family! May actually respond faster for a nurse ’ s policy on napping, and don t... Feeling sluggish, avoid high-fat foods, and wake up when the day: “ to... Descriptive design ; it also incorporated three qualitative open-ended questions to complement the study fatigue, keep weight in,! In protein and low in sugar for the morning rush a couple times my! Staying-Healthy strategy for adapting one ’ s in your household hours what do nurses do on night shift as well naps during their,! Of their night-shift nurses make we strive for 100 % accuracy, but a of. Cups of caffeinated coffee in 24 hours shift, reach for wholesome, nutritious foods instead sugary. Salary, and paraphilia to the fact that they had most of their night-shift what do nurses do on night shift, working!