I recently had my first ever night shift and it was an experience!
I had stayed up until 5am the night before and slept most of the day then was off to work at 8.40pm. When I arrived, a wave of tiredness came over me and all I had done was enter the handover room, I think it was just psychological.
So the night began and to be honest it was all smooth sailing, I didn’t really feel that tired and limited the amount of coke I drunk because it would have stopped me going to sleep in the morning. We had two confused patients: one who was foreign and refused to talk to us in English, so in a desperate plea to communicate, Google translate became my new acquaintance. Then another confused patient was trying to escape and go home so I found myself wheeling this patient out of the hospital for a cigarette at 3am in only MY SCRUBS, NO COAT!!! Then the patient realised that they didn’t have a lighter!! We coudn’t get back inside the hospital as the swipe cards stop at night and the automatic doors were all shut (which I didn’t realise until then) so we were stood outside in the cold whilst a nurse on the ward came to the rescue… thank goodness for mobiles eh!
Although I did try my hardest to sleep whilst on my break, it just wasn’t going to happen on sofas that have as much give as a plank of wood 😛 Also the same confused patient who wanted to smoke decided to come into the staff room whilst I was trying to sleep in an attempt to escape as they thought it was the exit so I was slightly startled!
When morning came, it seemed like time had flown, especially from 2am onwards but getting to midnight seems to take forever. It was a fun shift and I think I enjoy them, especially when patients in the morning ask when you’re next working because they like you. I think that’s always a good sign and nice to think that you’re appreciated 🙂
In I mainly thought, ‘why am I so alert?’ ‘Why do I feel like I could eat a horse?’ so I made myself some quick brekkie. I really fancied a full English but scrambled fried egg whites on toast had to do. Then all I remember was lying on my bed and when I woke again it was 3pm and roast dinner was ready which was very disorientating.
MY TIPS FOR NIGHT SURVIVAL
- Stay up as late as possible the night before
- Eat throughout the night
- Don’t drink more than half a bottle of coke or a cup of coffee and don’t drink them past 2hrs until the shift ends
- Keep busy and stay in well lit areas
Until next time…