NOC – The adjustment period
So I’ve been on the NOC shift for two weeks, though it seems much longer than that.
I’d really like to know how long this “adjustment period” is going to take. My body’s had enough already!
Here’s a little bit of how I’m feeling now, two weeks in:
- My days seem a lot longer – on the bright side, time doesn’t fly by so quickly.
- I generally have NO IDEA what so ever what the date is, and most often, what day of the week it is.
- On that note, I also have a lot of trouble figuring out if I’m trying to say “tomorrow,” “tonight,” “yesterday,” or “last night” because the day changes 4 hours into my shift but my mind is still back in yesterday… or, I mean, last night?
- My body hasn’t figured out when it’s supposed to sleep versus when it’s supposed to wake up. This is more of an issue on my days off when I try to switch back to “normal” time. My brain says sleep but my body says stay up, and then I can’t ever wake up before 10:00 am to get anything done – even if I DID get to bed on time!
- I see a lot less of the sun – especially since daylight savings time. I enjoy my drive home for the bright crispy autumn days that we’ve been having (we’re actually getting seasonally appropriate weather here!), but I am a bit bittersweet about not getting to enjoy them more because I am asleep through most of it.
- I AM adjusting to more independence. At this phase in the training, my night shift preceptors are letting me do a majority of the work on my own, but are always there for me when I have questions. I’m finally starting to feel like a REAL nurse. With emphasis on “starting to.”
I'm a brand new, full-fledged, fresh-out-of-school RN! And better yet, I landed the job of my dreams working with children. I love what I do, and while everyday on the job is a new (and sometimes scary) experience, I'm taking it all in - absorbing everything I can about this amazing profession we all fell in love with.
By Ani Burr, RN