Ode to the Night Shift
This post is dedicated to all those night shift nurses out there! It’s not an easy shift, but we endure. Some people have their reasons for working nights, and some people are scrambling at first chance to switch to day shift. However, if you’ve worked odd shifts, I’m sure you can relate to what I’m saying.
Why We Work Nights:
- Extra money
- Fewer interruptions at work (sometimes)
- Extreme allergy to Vitamin D
What Night Shift Does to Us:
- We gain 5 pounds and 2inches in the waistline by default.
- It makes us believe 5-6 hours of sleep is good!
- We are completely disoriented every time we wake up. Is it day? Is it night? What month is it? Am I supposed to be working now?
- We rotate pharmaceutical interventions for sleep: Unisom, Benadryl, Ambien, Melatonin, Lunesta, Restoril…
- Extreme caffeine measures must be executed like lattes, Monster, coffee, tea, Diet Coke, Mountain Dew, Red Bull, cappuccino, espresso, 5 hour energy, coffee IV? Choose your poison carefully!
- We have the inability to sleep during the day despite being dead tired. Why must those people cut their grass in broad daylight??!! Children playing outside…absurd!! (joking!) We must acknowledge the living world functions when the sun is actually up. Those crazy people!! Haha.
- We try to remember how we got home from work safely. And we question the safely part too. Was that a stop sign? Was that stoplight actually green?
- We say good night and tuck in our families and then leave for work. (Obviously, this doesn’t apply to me! But, I sympathize with all the moms, dads, and kids out there because I was that kid wondering why dad went to work at night.)
We night shift workers may have fewer interruptions at work, but the consequences stack up pretty disgustingly. For someone that doesn’t know what working night shift feels like, imagine that you have to fly to Tokyo, participate in aikido for 8-12 hours daily for 3 days, and then fly back on the fourth day to attempt to pick up your personal life, only to return to Tokyo in 4 days. Ok, this may be exaggerated, but imagine being jet lagged from flying to Tokyo EVERY WEEK. That’s what night shift feels like.
Why do I stay on night shift?
Over the years, the night shift has become my family that lurks in the night. We are tired together, caffeinated together, and complain how tired we are together. We understand what it takes to be a night shifter and have seen some pretty interesting things while trying to problem solve when there were less people around.
I also stay on night shift to avoid doctors haha. No offense doctors. There are some really good ones that I like to work with, but there are also a few demeaning and condescending ones too. I’d just rather have a phone between us 🙂
So this is my ode to the night shift. Cheers to you! Keep your head up and eyes open. We are truly a unique kind.