Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Survived my first 12-hour night shift

I did it, I managed a 12-hour shift from 6:30p to 7:00a. I got tired, I was yawning and dragging at times, and by about 6:30a, I felt my brain shutting down (which is amusing when giving report to day shift and you can't remember basic words). But I managed!

It ended up being an insane night. My preceptor said that most nights are not that nuts, but we got through it. I felt bad a few times that she was bogged down having a student, but I think I ended up helping overall, especially with rounds and charting. We started out with 5 patients, 2 were "high maintenance" (not bad, just needing more attention because of their situations/interventions), the other 3 were pretty easy keepers - just round on them, give meds, etc. Over the course of the night, the unit got 8-9 new admits, 2 of them going to my preceptor and me. So on top of the 5 patients, we had 2 sets of admission paperwork and assessments to do. Fortunately both new admits were relatively easy keepers, probably because it was overnight and their PCP's weren't around to write up orders and start their home meds.

I clocked in at 6:30p and didn't sit down in a chair until right around midnight. And then didn't get my dinner break until 1:45a. We were both starving by then and spent our 30 minutes in almost silence as we were stuffing food in our mouths. I gave most of the PO meds, hung IV meds, programmed the pumps, flushed IV lines, did assessments, changed a PICC line cap (first time I've done that...pretty cool!), fetched supplies...I did a lot of stuff! Even though I was exhausted by the end of my shift, I have no complaints. I'll gladly return for the rest of my shifts this summer! Because last night...even though I was busy and tired and feeling incompetent...the experience just reinforces my decision to go into nursing.

So after sleeping a few hours and returning to something that better resembles a human, I'm now heading out to walk a few miles and enjoy some fresh air.

Happy Wednesday  :-)


  1. Yay you! I just finished day 3 of my back-to-back 12 hour hour shifts in a row. It's kinda weird at the end of the shift you feel slightly drunk because of how tired you get. I'm so happy you get to do nursing stuff this summer, good for you.
    Keep up the good work and hang in there.

  2. I can't imagine 12 hour night shifts. Can I ask, did they give you the night shift because you're a student or did you ask for that?