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.