Tuesday, January 17, 2012

all things night shift - part two

I'm back for Part Two of Q&A of working night shift...
Check in for Part One if you missed it.

When do you and your husband see each other?
The first 2 years of being married, Chris was into the heavy coursework of his Master's degree along with being a TA. There were many times I would get home from work AFTER he had left for school and wouldn't get home until AFTER I had left for work that evening. So many times we would go 2-3 days with seeing each other for maybe 15 minutes/day or none at all.
That was hard. But we knew it was a season and now we rarely don't see each other when I work.

His schedule is much more flexible now, so that hasn't really been an issue since last May.
Since I only work 3 days/week, even if we don't see each other in those days, I know we will have time together in the other 4 days.

How do you stay awake at night?
Some nights it is tough to stay awake. But it's weird how my body just knows {usually} that I'm supposed to be stay awake. Surprisingly, I do not drink coffee. I don't really drink caffeine at all actually. Occasionally I'll have a cream soda, but not usually at work. It helps that we have some lights on and I have other coworkers to help keep me awake when I'm feeling extra sleepy.

The night before my first night shift, I stayed up until 4am in the morning. I thought this would allow me to sleep into the afternoon and be rested up for the all-nighter. Well, my body wasn't tricked. I woke around 10am the next morning. So my first shift was tough because I was reeeally tired, but I slept really good the next day! :)

What do you eat? And when?
The only difference in my diet when I work is that I usually want cereal or some other breakfast food when I wake up in the afternoon. I know some night-shifters will eat "dinner" food in the morning after work, but I can not do that! If I don't eat "dinner" by about 3am, I usually don't eat or maybe eat a bowl of cereal. So when I'm working consecutively....
I eat "breakfast" when I wake up around 4pm. 
Snack around 10pm. 
"Lunch/Dinner" around 1am. 
And typically I don't eat anything when I get off work.

What's the atmosphere of the hospital like at night?
Quiet. Usually.
We don't use that word on the job though, because as soon as you say that, it gets chaotic or we have a kid get really sick, something happens! We don't usually say the S word either. {slow}
There aren't a lot of visitors at night. We will have some, but usually just before 10pm or so. Since I work on Pediatrics, there are always parents/family members.
It varies from night to night on how busy we are. Typically speaking, the weekends are the slowest. Monday-Wednesday are the busiest. And Thursday and Friday and somewhere in between. This can change at any point, but usually [again] this is true.

A few other things...
--I hate having to call doctors and waking them up in the middle of the night. It's easier than when I first started, because I'm more confident in what I'm doing/saying, but it's still hard sometimes!
--I do get shift differential for working night shift. I get an extra amount for working 7-11pm, and an additional amount for working 11pm-7am. It's nice, but I would give that up to be on a normal schedule.
--Having a "Do not ring doorbell." sign on our front door has been a lifesaver! Some people still don't read before they ring, but most do..and I'm grateful!
--My husband has been the best with me working night shift. He is so thoughtful and always stays quiet and lets me sleep as long as I need/want to. He is very understanding of me needing to sleep during the day since I was up all night. I'm one blessed wife. :)

Did I answer all your questions? 
Any of my readers also fellow night-shifters??
ps. My Etsy store, House of Shep, is hosting a giveaway on Heather's blog, Blonde...Undercover Blonde today! 
Go check it out!


Jessica said...

How true you are about the Q word and S word. We never EVER say them at work. I worked days and never thought I'd like nights. I rotated one month to nights and LOVED it! I slept more on that schedule than I do on a daily basis. The only thing I missed was at night, all the kids are in bed. During the day, all the kids are walking around the unit having fun

Just Me said...


Hi stranger....but you're an Aggie,so that's okay. I got here through Julie Minton's blog, but stayed because I like to "remember when". Being older, married for almost 18 years, it's fun to listen to you girls live your lives and reminds me of how much fun that being a newly wed was..........being an 'an old married lady' is fun too :)

Anyway, what I really wanted to say is THANK YOU. From every kid that you've cared for in your nursing career and their parents...you are the one that keep their world from falling apart! My daughter, 8, was diagnosed with leukemia just over a year ago. I've spent more nights than I care to think about in our local children's hospital. I have vowed to never miss another opportunity to thank a great nurse....so THANK YOU!

Holly said...

LOL at not saying that the hospital is quiet or slow at night! You might just invoke Murphy's Law I suppose!

Alycia (Crowley Party) said...

Loved reading all of your responses! Great post, and a great blog!

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