Empowering Nurses at the Bedside and in Business

Perils Of Night Shift Nursing

 

A completely unscientific review of the nurses who I have represented for licensing issues shows that the vast majority of them worked the night shift.

The areas where some nurses seem to get in trouble are:

(1)    sleeping on the job – because they haven’t adjusted to the night shift schedule;

(2)    taking Ambien for sleep during the day in which there may be a concern about impairment;

(3)    failure to recognize subtle changes in patients due to the decreased number of staff;

(4)    patient complaints; and because of it being night shift, there are no other witnesses.

Some things that you can do to make working the night shift easier include:

(1)    make sure that you are taking care of yourself;

(2)    make sure when you work night shift that you are getting an adequate amount of sleep during the day, preferably without meds;

(3)    avoid switching from day shift to night shift or do doubles as these could put an undue amount of stress on your body;

(4)    make sure there are adequate numbers of staff because we all know that patients do not sleep.

If you are a “night owl,” you may feel that that shift is perfect for you.  Yet, again, make sure that you are protecting and taking care of yourself.

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