Friday, December 16, 2016

Afraid of the Dark

 I love working night shift. A lot of people think that it’s because there’s less work to do, which might be true, but it’s more that there’s a different kind of work. A lot more of the behind the scenes, checking orders, etc to help day shift out.

I’ve worked day shift too, and I do enjoy the bustle and the busy. The thing that I hate is the hours. If I could get the busy of dayshift, but at night, I would be perfectly happy. But I don’t think my body is equipped for day shift. Waking up that early in the morning makes me want to cry sometimes. I’d rather stay up late than wake up early, and I don’t think that will ever change.

Working night shift also comes with a whole different set of situations. Night shift is obviously dark, since most of the lights are dimmed so the patients can sleep. It’s also quiet for the same reason. We want to let the patients sleep so that they can recover and heal. The other part is that it’s much more empty. You don’t have anyone in the kitchen, all of the activities and therapy people are gone for the day, and administration doesn’t work at night. It’s just the bare bones, enough to get through to the next shift. At least, that’s how it is in a skilled nursing facility.

What still amazes me is how many nurses and CNAs I’ve worked with over the years who were afraid of the dark. They would work night shift, but they were still terrified of the dark. They would jump at every sound, and they would spend their time scaring themselves while at work.

A few years ago, I was walking a patient up and down the hallway when she couldn’t sleep. After a few laps, she leaned in closer and asked, “Do you still hear the voices?”

I’m sure my eyes grew big, and I had no idea what she was talking about. Turns out, she’d gotten me confused with another nurse, who was afraid of the dark, and afraid to work alone in the hallway the patient was on because she would ‘hear voices.’ For me, the worst part of the story was that she told the patients, who had to live and sleep on that hallway, that she found it creepy and heard voices.
I had a CNA that I worked with who would close all of the windows. She was terrified people would be peeking in while we worked.

Any of you afraid of the dark, or worked with someone who was? Did it make it hard for you to work nightshift?