I have been working the night shift in a local hospital since August 2011. Night shift was not really my choice, but at the time, it worked for the family and kept our children out of daycare.
Soon after, my husband started working from home…effectively making my “no daycare” argument null. After a few months, I realized that my kids’ schoolwork was suffering a lot. JB simply wasn’t taking the time with them that I did when I was home every day. Life in our home was not happy.
So I asked to either be considered for day shift, or at the very least, part time nights. I got the part time nights option, and I’ve been doing that since July 2012. Still not ideal, but it has been working much better than before.
The truth is, I loathe working night shift. I always have. I first worked the graveyard shift 13 years ago at my first nursing job…I worked it as a newlywed, and a first time expectant mother, and I hated it the entire time. I was literally ecstatic when I found out that I’d be moving up to days after my maternity leave was over.
Honestly, I’ve done a little better this time around…I surprised myself. But after doing it for a year and a half, I’m over it. I don’t sleep normally anymore, whether I’m working or off work. I rarely manage to fall asleep without taking something to hopefully make me sleepy…be it Benedryl, Advil PM, Melatonin, Unisom…you name it, I’ve tried it. In the beginning, the FP doctor I was seeing gave me a prescription for Ambien a couple times…and that worked better than anything, but when they wanted to act like I was getting addicted to it when I called for a refill (when I hadn’t had one in over 3 months!) I started using various OTC medications. I switch back and forth, but most of it doesn’t even really work anymore.
I’m just not a ‘night shift person’. I work with people who LOVE nights, who wouldn’t even consider working days. I’m just not one of those people.
Waaaaaay back in November, I interviewed for a day shift position in a sister unit to the one I currently work in. Couple weeks and a weird hiring freeze went by. I was assured that they wanted me for the position for a while…but I never heard anything official. Then suddenly I was being ambushed by coworkers asking me if I was leaving. I had purposely not said anything because if it didn’t work out, I didn’t want to be known as the one who was anxious to get outta there.
Then finally, the week before Christmas, I got the phone call from the manager offering me the position! I was excited, my family was excited. And then…more waiting. Put it this way…I *just* got the official HR call last week.
And then a little setback this week. The unit I am transferring to is suddenly severely short staffed on the night shift at the moment. So they are asking me to stay on night shift for a few weeks until some of those nurses get back to work. I’m a little upset about having to stay on nights at this time, because I’m SO anxious to get back to normal living again…but surely I can handle this for a little longer, right?