Night nurse rant!

Thomas Northcut | Digital Vision | Thinkstock

There has been a constant source of frustration that has followed me since I have finished orientation and become a NOC nurse: the lack of flexibility and accommodation hospitals make for those of us who work all night.

Case in point: today I had to take a day during the business week to go into the hospital to fulfill yet another requirement. I understand the requirement, but the hospital didn’t even try to accommodate nurses like myself who work nights and weekends. And they very well could have—I’m not being unreasonable. This was something that could easily have been done at night.

While I was at the hospital today for 4 hours (after driving 30 mins both ways) I had another educator leave me a note stating I needed to come in during yet another weekday at 11AM to take a 20 question test “that shouldn’t take up too much of your time.”

“Ok,” I wanted to write back, “so why can’t you leave the test w/ the charge nurse on nights for me to take? Do you realize that by me coming in at 11AM to accommodate you I am in fact coming in during the middle of “my” night? 11AM to you is 11PM to me.”

I’ve made this argument before—to no avail. Day people just don’t get what it’s like to work nights. They call me at 2PM (my 2AM) to ask scheduling questions. Or the really annoying phone call at 5PM on my day off asking if I can come in for that evenings shift after I “take a little nap.” How safe is it to work 13 hours on a one-hour nap? Nope, they don’t get it.

This comes with the territory, I am told. So not only do we work with less staffing even with the same patient load, we miss out on all the daytime events that are perks of the job, we also are never accommodated because days just don’t understand. But hey, that 2-buck-an-hour night differential should make it all better! Right?

Next up—the things I love about working nights!

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