Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Working "on the night shift"

The above picture is a stained glass rooster that lights up. My sister passed it on to me. I absolutely love it and enjoy it late at night or early in the morning (when I am here in my own home at those times!).

I had intended to blog long before now. It's not a wise thing to decide what you're going to blog about next time because I have discovered it caused a little writer's block!

I wanted to blog regarding resuming direct patient care in nursing. I feel a lack of words to describe the whole experience. I started in July, have finished up all the training and made it past the 3 month orientation time. I was very high anxiety looking at what jobs were available and then going through interviews. Many of my fears and anxieties seem silly, in hindsight. In reality, at the time, they were more legitimate. Some of the things that I hadn't done in nursing for a long time...certain skills...were worrisome. I have found not much has really changed as far as those skills and much of it is truly like riding a bicycle again.

I had a sweet friend who treated me to lunch who had recently gone back into nursing herself after 20 years of being completely away and not much real time experience under her belt before she stayed home to be with her babies. She had been back for about 6 months at the time I had lunch with her. She was so reassuring and comforting to me! She was even working night shifts, which helped me to accept my current position. She was surviving, so I figured I could too! She was better than a therapist! If you see this,my friend, thank you so very much!

I am truly happy to be doing this kind of job again. When I clock out, I know I have made a difference in the patients' lives, even if it was a hard shift or a rough night to stay alert. I give the kind of care I expect for myself or my family.

I have noticed it is much easier to work when not having to worry about babies and small children! I only had a couple of years to enjoy that before our first child was born and I remember those feelings of anxiety about being away from the baby. My husband was wonderful in caring for our children when they were small as I worked at the hospital...we worked opposite shifts in order to minimize daycare,etc. I know many young mothers who are working nights like this now. With the advent of 12 hr. shifts, they can be home 4 nights a week and only work 3 nights a week.

The night shifts have been hard on my body and I have picked up every bug that goes around. I am hoping to be scheduled for some day shifts soon and feel that will make a difference. I am grateful to be able to be prn for now, which means I can control my schedule better, but have no benefits, including paid time off. If I don't work, I don't get paid. For this year, that's good. Our first grandbaby will be born in the next couple of weeks and I will have the pleasure of caring for her one day a week. We have another wedding coming up in March and a graduation from high school in May. These are all major life events, so balancing my schedule is of vital importance this year!

I am so grateful I had my education to be an RN out of the way before marriage! It kept my options open during my motherhood years and made it so much easier to transition. I encourage the young women growing up today to obtain your educations! You never know what twists and turns life will take and you want to make sure you will be in a position to support yourself and children, if need be.

I love the field of nursing because there are so many branches to explore. It can be hard, inconvenient work. There will be times you work when you want to be with everyone else in your family who might be enjoying a holiday without you. But it is never boring! Every shift is different, you meet so many different types of people and have so many different type of experiences with them! In addition to that, you get to mix it up with so many different types of coworkers and yet, still pull together to be a team.

I feel very blessed, even if I am working " on the night shift" for now! V.Evelo RN

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