Night shift workers.

Wildchild

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I'm just wondering, are there any night shift workers here? What is your sleep schedule like? How do you improve your quality of sleep? For appointments and chores that need to be done during the day, then how do you schedule them? Do you have any advice to combat the health risks of working night shift?

Although, I work primary night shift, I've been willing and have been wanting to be scheduled for both AM and PM shifts too, because although the reason's may be stupid and I may regret them, I've wanted to be able to interact with the clients I work with during periods when they aren't asleep, which I believe that I may regret.

On Monday, then I have a meeting at 8am, then an appointment at 2:30pm, then come in to work at 10pm for a 10 hour night shift followed by night shifts three nights in a row which I'm not looking forward to, my biggest problem with working night shifts is that I rely on the bus for transportation, and have to generally spend 2 hours on the bus getting to my shift, as well as getting back which cuts into my sleeping time. Generally, I go to sleep at noon, wake up at about 6:00pm, leave at 7:00pm to catch the bus, and then arrive at work at 9:30pm, 30 minutes before I start to review the client's chart and progress notes, generally with my sleep schedule, I find that I'm groggy after waking up, which does make the shift difficult.

Getting back on a normal sleep schedule to attend meetings during the day is also really hard for me, oftentimes I'll force myself to sleep for about 12+ hours in order to wake up in the morning in order to work shifts.
 
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AnimuGinger

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I'm technically supposed to rotate to nights every so often, but I've only had 2 night shifts out of ~30 scheduled.

Took 2 days to acclimate to the schedule, although I could probably get it done in 1. On unit 2245 for chart review. Get report by 2310, and then work until 0730 the next day. Drive back, stay awake until 1000. Sleep until 1700-1800. Repeat.

Getting back on days involved a 4 hour nap right when I got home, and then staying up until 2300, then sleep again.

Night shifts suck. I drink too much coffee in the acclimation process and during shifts. I never volunteer for them anymore.
 

Wildchild

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I'm technically supposed to rotate to nights every so often, but I've only had 2 night shifts out of ~30 scheduled.

Took 2 days to acclimate to the schedule, although I could probably get it done in 1. On unit 2245 for chart review. Get report by 2310, and then work until 0730 the next day. Drive back, stay awake until 1000. Sleep until 1700-1800. Repeat.

Getting back on days involved a 4 hour nap right when I got home, and then staying up until 2300, then sleep again.

Night shifts suck. I drink too much coffee in the acclimation process and during shifts. I never volunteer for them anymore.

I work a mixture of shifts, but one rule I have is that Irefuse to work a NOC shift and then a PM shift the following day, or a double NOC into AM shift.

If I had to do a double shift it would either be AM into PM shift, or PM into NOC. My previous job constantly would schedule me NOC from 10-7am followed by a PM shift from 2-10pm the following day and once scheduled me for a triple shift where I worked 24 hours in a row. It got to the point where I had to get a doctor's note that stated that I had to have 12 hours in between shifts.

Seriously, fuck for-profit Nursing Homes and elder care facilities, the people who run them are some of the biggest assholes in the world and treat the employees like absolute shit.
 

AnimuGinger

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I work a mixture of shifts, but one rule I have is that Irefuse to work a NOC shift and then a PM shift the following day, or a double NOC into AM shift.

If I had to do a double shift it would either be AM into PM shift, or PM into NOC. My previous job constantly would schedule me NOC from 10-7am followed by a PM shift from 2-10pm the following day and once scheduled me for a triple shift where I worked 24 hours in a row. It got to the point where I had to get a doctor's note that stated that I had to have 12 hours in between shifts.

Seriously, fuck for-profit Nursing Homes and elder care facilities, the people who run them are some of the biggest assholes in the world and treat the employees like absolute shit.
The worst I've had is when they've scheduled me for an eve shift, and then had me come back in for a morning the next day. 4 hours to sleep.

I'm so glad I'm never going to have to work in a nursing home. Absurd staffing ratios.
 

Wildchild

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The worst I've had is when they've scheduled me for an eve shift, and then had me come back in for a morning the next day. 4 hours to sleep.

I'm so glad I'm never going to have to work in a nursing home. Absurd staffing ratios.

The staff ratios were literally horrifying, where I worked then they had only one person on night shift, all alone, caring for 20 residents, most of them with dementia. I wasn't able to legally use the hoyer lifts, so often had no choice but to force residents to be incontinent if they had to go to the bathroom. It was literally impossible and I spend the whole shift literally running around, downtime was rare. I eventually just snapped and quit with no notice, didn't even show up on the last day I was suppose to work. It was one of those occasions where the company was trying to get me to quit due to having come out as transgender.

On top of that, CNAs did everything, they had no hired nurse (it was an "assisted living" facility, but the except same thing as a nursing home, except they took advantage of the fact there were less regulations than a nursing home.) CNAs passed meds, cleaned, cooked, gave diabetic care (legally we weren't allowed to, but we still did.) I can't even stress how awful these places are. Seriously, work at Mc. Donalds or retail instead, those jobs are easier.

All that for $9.00/hr.

Right now I have an awesome job working with developmentally, or emotionally disabled youth, but I honestly couldn't go through working in another health care environment after that.
 
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Plague

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I hope to never work in a nursing home. I've never worked night shift, I don't like taking transportation at night and my eye sight is terrible at night, too much to drive then. My job is one of the most flexible ones in the world (besides the occasional days I have to work certain times) but I usually can't sleep unless it's dark outside or it'd be a waste of sleep.
 

AnimuGinger

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The staff ratios were literally horrifying, where I worked then they had only one person on night shift, all alone, caring for 20 residents, most of them with dementia. I wasn't able to legally use the hoyer lifts, so often had no choice but to force residents to be incontinent if they had to go to the bathroom. It was literally impossible and I spend the whole shift literally running around, downtime was rare. I eventually just snapped and quit with no notice, didn't even show up on the last day I was suppose to work. It was one of those occasions where the company was trying to get me to quit due to having come out as transgender.

On top of that, CNAs did everything, they had no hired nurse (it was an "assisted living" facility, but the except same thing as a nursing home, except they took advantage of the fact there were less regulations than a nursing home.) CNAs passed meds, cleaned, cooked, gave diabetic care (legally we weren't allowed to, but we still did.) I can't even stress how awful these places are. Seriously, work at Mc. Donalds or retail instead, those jobs are easier.

All that for $9.00/hr.

Right now I have an awesome job working with developmentally, or emotionally disabled youth, but I honestly couldn't go through working in another health care environment after that.
All I do is vitals, transfer/ambulation, turns/positions, POC glucose, and I/Os. 8-16 patients, shift depending.

I am blessed indeed. The only problem is very chart audit every Monday, and they're very picky on everything.
 

Wildchild

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All I do is vitals, transfer/ambulation, turns/positions, POC glucose, and I/Os. 8-16 patients, shift depending.

I am blessed indeed. The only problem is very chart audit every Monday, and they're very picky on everything.

My current job, then they do everything right, and it's the complete opposite of my previous job. The ratio is at the very least 1 client to 1 staff, or 2 staff to 1 client if the client is aggressive, they start off the pay at the state's living wage, and night shift is almost all downtime, and I just come in and watch movies on my laptop the whole shift.

The hardest thing I have to do is give medications via a G-Tube to one client, but it's almost bizarre the difference between this job and my previous one.
 

XYZpdq

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I did nights fine as long as I stayed to them. Flipping around sucks shit. Usually I'd be on at Midnight, so I'd wake up 9p~10p, work until 6a, chores whatever until 9a or so, then head to bed with heavy curtains and stuff to make it totally dark.
 

AnimuGinger

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The hardest thing I have to do is give medications via a G-Tube
Flush. Crush. Give. Flush. Repeat.

I did nights fine as long as I stayed to them. Flipping around sucks shit. Usually I'd be on at Midnight, so I'd wake up 9p~10p, work until 6a, chores whatever until 9a or so, then head to bed with heavy curtains and stuff to make it totally dark.

Single layer of heavy curtains?
 

Wildchild

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Flush. Crush. Give. Flush. Repeat.

I'm not a Nurse, but I heard somewhere that you aren't suppose to mix the medications when giving them through a G-Tube and are suppose to give them one at a time, which seems like a huge pain in the ass..

I mean, we separate the liquid meds from the solid medication which dissolves in water and give the liquids and solids separately, but not each medication..

Is giving each medication separately via a G-Tube one of those things that are technically suppose to be done, but nobody does? May be off topic, but mainly curious.

I'm also glad that I'm not the only Kiwi who has experience with the health care field.
 

AnimuGinger

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I'm not a Nurse, but I heard somewhere that you aren't suppose to mix the medications when giving them through a G-Tube and are suppose to give them one at a time, which seems like a huge pain in the ass..

I mean, we separate the liquid meds from the solid medication which dissolves in water and give the liquids and solids separately, but not each medication..

Is giving each medication separately via a G-Tube one of those things that are technically suppose to be done, but nobody does? May be off topic, but mainly curious.
Evidence Based G-Tube protocol for adults is as follows:
Verify tube placement by measurement and assessing dressing/measurement. Aspirate stomach contents if measurement is off, or dressing appears damaged or displaced.
Stop any feeding.
Flush with tap water/NS, 15-30mL
Give all meds one at a time, with a 5mL flush between.
15-30mL flush after all meds given.
Restart feed.

Mixing meds risks clogs or precipitates. And losing G-tube access is almost as bad as losing IV access in patients.
 

Wildchild

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Evidence Based G-Tube protocol for adults is as follows:
Verify tube placement by measurement and assessing dressing/measurement. Aspirate stomach contents if measurement is off, or dressing appears damaged or displaced.
Stop any feeding.
Flush with tap water/NS, 15-30mL
Give all meds one at a time, with a 5mL flush between.
15-30mL flush after all meds given.
Restart feed.

Mixing meds risks clogs or precipitates. And losing G-tube access is almost as bad as losing IV access in patients.

Okay, the way I was trained in that location was to give all the dissolved solid medication and then give all the dissolved liquid medications. I don't think it would be possible to give them all one at a time because she's a low functioning autistic and usually has a 30 second attention span and often will try to move around or kick her legs while giving her the medication while it's going down.

It's good to know since my goal is to eventually become a Nurse.

I would rate your post informative if I was able to.
 

AnimuGinger

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Okay, the way I was trained in that location was to give all the dissolved solid medication and then give all the dissolved liquid medications. I don't think it would be possible to give them all one at a time because she's a low functioning autistic and usually has a 30 second attention span and often will try to move around or kick her legs while giving her the medication while it's going down.

It's good to know since my goal is to eventually become a Nurse.

I would rate your post informative if I was able to.
They aren't picky on which set of meds goes down first, and it usually depends which are most important. In practice, you do solids first, given that most people tend not to flush between meds. You're supposed to, but most people won't if they have a liquid med to push through also.
 

Wildchild

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They aren't picky on which set of meds goes down first, and it usually depends which are most important. In practice, you do solids first, given that most people tend not to flush between meds. You're supposed to, but most people won't if they have a liquid med to push through also.

Solids, we do first, followed by liquids, followed by ensure.
 

Chaosbandit

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Usually I'd be on at Midnight, so I'd wake up 9p~10p, work until 6a, chores whatever until 9a or so, then head to bed with heavy curtains and stuff to make it totally dark.

This is probably the best advice. I've been working (awesome) graveyard shifts for about five years now, and as long as you can keep it dark your body will go to sleep if for no other reason than it's exhausted. You need to be careful about outside noises (garbage truck, landscapers, etc) awakening you, too.

I've noticed that now and then your body will try to 'reset' and keep you up all day, though.
 

Flowers For Sonichu

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I was a night manager at a hotel it ruled all I did was *yawn* and watch adult swim and do like an hour's worth of paperwork.

In order to have a normal sleep schedule I'd wake the unemployed guy living on the couch up at seven in the morning to get drunk and pass out by noon.
 
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XYZpdq

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This is probably the best advice. I've been working (awesome) graveyard shifts for about five years now, and as long as you can keep it dark your body will go to sleep if for no other reason than it's exhausted. You need to be careful about outside noises (garbage truck, landscapers, etc) awakening you, too.

I've noticed that now and then your body will try to 'reset' and keep you up all day, though.
Also little lights like cell phone chargers and cable boxes and "this device is on standby" lights can be an issue.
I didn't think they bugged me until I tried covering them up with tape and it was a big difference in sleeping soundly.