I'm on my second decade of night shift nursing and in the wee hours of the morning night nurses are working to save lives, clean butts, suction trachs and everything in between.
But there are some things that day nurses experience, as well as 'normal lay folks" that night nurses lose their freaking minds about, after all, there is nothing 'normal" about night shifts or nurses for that matter.
Here are just a few of the things that drive night nurses to wanna jump off a cliff backwards:
1. Where's the FOOD?
Okay, I've never seen anyone that can eat like a nurse, so why is it that the cafeteria closes at night? I'm hangry and I need food. Do night nurses not count? Don't even answer that. It's the age old question. People need food regardless of the time of day, (or night).
I know this isn't just my hospital because I used to work for a medical device company and traveled nationally for them. Most hospitals don't cater to grave-shift nurses. Maybe, that's why they call it "grave-shift," because everyone starves to death.
2. Don't knock on my door! DON'T
I have told everyone that I work nights and sleep during the day; there's even a large sign on my front door that says "DO NOT DISTURB." But, my mailman, salesman and local Jehovah's Witness can't read. I have disconnected my door bell, but as soon as I am drifting off into la-la land some fool wakes me up by knocking on my door.
3. Don't call me!! Pleeeeze
I am ASLEEP during the day. How would you feel if I called you at 4 am and asked you if you wanted to buy some Avon from me? I do turn my phone off, but there are times when I forget, and I want to reach through the phone and choke the Avon lady! Gives a whole new meaning the slogan, "Avon calling," for those of you old enough to remember.
4. Stupid Meetings
No, I will not go to a work meeting at 2 pm on a day when I have to be in to work at 7 pm and work 12 hours. Why can't you day shift folks come in at 2 am and meet with us so we can discuss all the stupid garbage that management thinks is important? even though they've never worked in any real nurse capacity on the floor.
5. Mr. Neighor
I loathe you! Why is it so important for to mow your yard almost every day at 10 am? Why must you rev your car in your driveway for 30 minutes before you drive off? And why must you have three screaming, crying kids in your yard? I believe there is a neighborhood conspiracy against me. All of you are jealous because I "only" work 3 12 hour shifts a week and you want to ruin any hope of me being able to function like a normal human being.
6. Back to food again
Why do all the fast food restaurants only sell breakfast in the morning? I know this sound logical to day nurses, but it's totally wrong for night nurses. We want hamburgers darn it!. I don't want bacon and eggs before I go to bed. I want dinner. A nice juicy steak and potato McMuffin would do the trick.
Have something that drives you nuts? Comment below!