I just realized how long it’s been since I’ve shared a new post. I guess time flies when you’re up all night! Being a night shift nurse has taken a while to get used to, but I have to say, I love it. Before starting on nights, I was one of those people who thought everyone just stays asleep and my shifts will be way easier. WOW was I wrong. It may be the middle of the night, but there is definitely not a lot of sleeping going on. In fact, sometimes it feels like the fun really starts when the rest of the world is going to bed.
So what exactly do I love about night shift?
1. The teamwork: there’s a limited staff at night, since most physicians and healthcare workers go home. that leaves you to rely on your coworkers for any assistance. I’ve created great relationships with the other nurses and pcas on my floor, so I know that someone always has my back when I’m in a bind or getting slammed with work.
2. The atmosphere: there’s a lot less hustle and visitors at night, leaving a more relaxed atmosphere. not only is it a great healing environment for my patients, but i feel more at ease myself, which leads to clear thinking and decision making.
3. The patient interactions: during the day, it can be difficult to spend a lot of time with your patients when they’re on and off the unit for surgery and diagnostic testing. at night, they get to spend their time hanging out with us! i’ve truly gotten to get to know and bond with my patients at night, which has helped me provide whatever they might need or want to feel better (whether it be a coloring book or a hug). I’ve been able to spend my nights making friendship bracelets with 12 year olds and cuddling infants, and there’s no better experience than that.
4. The skills practice: since moving to night shift, I’ve really been able to practice a lot of my nursing skills. My hospital does not have pediatric phlebotomists, so the nurses often have to do labs themselves. I was super nervous at first, but I now definitely feel more confident around tourniquets and tubes. I guess you could say I float like a butterfly (needle) when it comes to lab work. I’ve also been able to really work on my assessment skills, since I am often the first person to see the patient on the floor upon admission and it could be hours until the doctors examine them. Pediatric conditions change so quickly, so I’m learning how to notice the subtle changes in my kids.
5. The coffee: the night shift nurses are known for making the best coffee in the hospital
6. The fun: there’s just something fun running around when you know everyone is asleep! But it could be because I dance around the halls whenever I get the chance…
There’s still so much to learn and so much to get used to, like my sleeping schedule, but I’m getting better every day! I never thought I would enjoy the night life as much as I do, but I’m so happy I’ve surprised myself. I’m about to get back into bed since I work tonight, but comment and let me know what you love about your job!