Tuesday, June 29, 2010

My Thoughts on Night Shift

I'm about half way through my current block of night shifts and I'm learning that night shifts are definitely not something I want to do on a long term basis.

For five nights a week, I work just under 14 hours. This leaves me with 10 hours to commute, sleep, shower, and complete any required daily activities. The lack of free time isn't really a concern right now--it's more of the sleeping schedules. Once my shift ends, I mentally shut down. All I can think about is getting a couple hours of sleep. Unfortunately, it's made driving home a little difficult. I've started listening and singing show tunes as I drive home in the morning so I'm more alert. I'm not going to lie--it's been a little scary some mornings.

Along with the sleeping, my meal schedules stink. I feel like my body has mostly adjusted to staying up all night and sleeping during the day, but there are still some moments where I find myself eating to stay awake. Not good.

Exercise has also taken a major back burner. Unfortunately, my knee pain has been pretty bad. I know a large part of it is I've dropped off doing my prescribed knee exercises and tried other work outs. Last week I didn't work out at all though. Now just with nights, but residency in general, I have to make time for work outs and my knee exercises. I know I prescribe physical therapy to my patients, and I know it's beneficial, but it definitely can be annoying when it's needed for such a long term basis. I'm almost at the point where I feel like I'm never going to not have to do my knee exercises.

Now here's the major kicker--I hardly get to see my husband! Joe's started training for a new job and our schedules will not cross paths until Friday night :( So, for those who work nights on a regular basis so people like me don't have to, thank you!


Renee said...

When I lived at home w/ my sister (who was a nurse going through clinicals) she went through the whole shutting down thing in the morning too. I've gone outside the next morning to find her car running (while she was asleep inside), her car parked sideways in the parking spot, and one time she actually hit the carport. Keep the windows open and blast your music and hopefully you'll get through it ok!

Amy said...

Oh, that sounds hard! I'm so not looking forward to when my husband gets to the point you're at. Hang in there!

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