Going from student nurse to registered nurse for some is a big leap and has it’s own set of struggles. New nurses have to apply the knowledge they learned during their courses and clinical to tackle real life, complex patient assignments on busy hospital units. What advice would experienced nurses give their new graduate counterparts when starting a new job in patient care.
Night shifts can be long and if you were not adequately rested prior to starting your shift, you may find it hard to stay awake on your commute home. People who work night shift are at a very high risk for driving dangerously tired. Driving while extremely fatigued has been compared to driving while under the influence of alcohol.
Do you work night shift, or are you considering making a switch to nights? Night shift is not easy but when compared to the hustle and bustle of day shift and the administration, traffic, patient family members, discharges… it can start to seem appealing.
Night shifters are a special breed and a little superhuman. Too often I hear people leave nights because their bodies hate working nights or they are so tired. Newsflash! We all are tired and our bodies hate working nights too!
A while back I had just started acting as charge nurse on night shift, I walked in at the start of my shift to see we were horrendously short staffed and crazy busy. Our unit was well below our usual staffing grid (it was a Friday night)… we also had a full board… full triage… and not enough nurses to go around.
A Charge Nurse or Resource Nurse is the nurse in charge of many things including supervising nursing staff, making patient assignments, mentoring other staff when needed, and acting as a liaison between family, physicians, and administration.
It’s your orientation on your nursing unit and you are about to meet a lot of people. First impressions are everything and you want to make sure you make a good one. There are some simple things you can do during your first weeks on the job to make sure you fit right in and get taken under their wing while you’re a “newbie.”