Friday, April 29, 2016

Night-shift Nursing

It’s almost May, which means spring is here. Which means the plants are growing, and farmers are farming…

And the lawnmowers are running.

I don’t think there’s anything I hate more than a lawnmower. Most people who work nightshift understand how horrendous they are, especially when they start right when you’re falling asleep.

If any of you have friends or family working night shift, there’s a few things you need to know.

1.       Nightshift = no predictable sleeping schedules. Unless you’re working every single night, there’s going to be days that you’re awake during the day, and others when you’re awake during the night. I have had a few coworkers who just stayed awake all night, but that’s a lot easier in big cities, when there are grocery stores that are open 24/7. Otherwise, there are days that you have to stay up late, or wake up early to get regular errands finished.

2.       Nightshift does not like to be called super early in the morning. I know that’s pretty self-explanatory, but sometimes, it needs to be said. Most of my family is careful not to call me too early in the morning, because they don’t know when I’m sleeping. If I don’t answer the phone, it’s because it’s on silent and I’m sleeping. Usually. Sometimes I forget to put it back on ring.

3.       Nightshift means that I’m not going to be free for all activities in the evening. Most people hear night, and they think sleeping time. I guess that could be true for some, but for nurses, it’s a full 12 hour shift. I leave my home at 5pm, so that I can get there on time, and get home at about 7am. That means that if I say I’m working during a party or activity, it’s because I’m working. Either that, or I’m sleeping. See number 1.

4.       Nightshift doesn’t always eat when you do. I’ve had a lot of experiences where someone invites me to eat with them around 6. That’s my busy time at work, and I’m not going to stop to eat. I eat a meal at about 4pm (my breakfast), midnight, and then a small meal at 7am when I get home. If I’m not eating a whole lot, it’s because my body isn’t prepared to eat at that time.

5.       Don’t assume that they’re doing it because they have no other option. I’ve been a nightshift nurse the entire time that I’ve been a nurse, and I honestly wouldn’t change it. I hate waking up early in the morning, and if I worked a day shift, I would have to wake up at 4 am to get ready. Honestly, I don’t know why people want to work days.

That’s my short list, but I’d love to hear from anyone else who works nights! What do you want your friends and family to know?