A few months ago, Nurse Eye Roll posted a post entitled A Day in the Life of a Nurse (all credit for this idea goes to her). Without further ado, here is the flip side of that, what happens in the wee hours of the night when day shift is off the clock, our patients are all “asleep”, and it’s always 7am somewhere.
Dedicated to all of you hard working night shift nurses who are reading this on your smart phones right now while trying to pass the time.
Wake up, wide awake, look at the clock, and realize it’s only 2pm
Trying to go back to sleep… trying to go back to sleep…. trying to go back to sleep
When I hear my neighbors kids getting off the bus, and the dog barking, and LAWNMOWERS.
New plan for surviving tonight: COFFEE POP REDBULL
About the time my alarm was set to go off
Walk out my front door
Get to work and discover I have three admissions, a discharge, and a transfer waiting for me, and we’re short-staffed
Long-winded coworker takes half an hour to give report on three patients
Okay day shift. You can go home now.
Going around, quickly meeting my patients, and asking if they need anything, which turns into thirty minutes of listening to a patient’s entire life story
Discovering the previous nurse waited until right before shift change to give the Kayexelate and Milk of Mag cocktail ordered at 4pm
When my most time-consuming patient is watching that TV show that I was really upset about having to miss tonight
Patient’s family comes to find me because my patient is coughing
and because they think they have a fever
and because they think they have Ebola
One patient wants pain medication, another needs to be changed, a third one has a SBP in the 70’s, a family member is on the phone and I have to pee
Oh, and you’re getting another admission
Passing meds, handing out apple juices, driving my computer around like a boss and saving the world
Finally finish my med pass and assessments. Now it’s time to sit down and do some uninterrupted charting
When I am FINALLY sitting down and my IV starts beeping
Finish charting an entire assessment, only to realize I forgot tonight is scheduled system maintenance and the computer system went offline before I had a chance to save it.
When my H&H comes back and I have a standing order to give blood if their hemoglobin is below 8… it’s 7.9
It’s not even midnight yet?!?!
Time for lunch break, dinner break, or whatever-I’m-supposed-to-call-my-middle-of-the-night-meal break
Realize I left my lunchbox on the kitchen counter, it’s too late to call someone to bring me food, and the cafeteria just closed. So now, dinner is graham crackers and applesauce
Ask my coworker to help me change my patient and they let one rip as we roll them
Nope. Not just a fart after all
When I tell my patient I’ll bring them a sleeping pill… then I realize there’s not one ordered
Then I realize there’s not a hospitalist on their case
So, have to call the surgeon for an order and get yelled at for waking him up
I can’t give my patient an Ambien? Okay, that’s cool. What about a Restoril? No? I can’t even have a Benedryl? Really?
Patient is finally asleep and I realize I left something in their room
The time of the night when my “pleasantly confused” little old lady turns into the devil incarnate
It must be 3am now
Coworker misses their IV stick and calls me to try
Accidentally wake up a grumpy patient while hanging their 4am Zosyn
Home stretch… I’m awake… I’m awake… I’m awake
5:30am. Time to wake everyone up for their Synthroid and Protonix, at which point they will also need to pee and want their Lortab
Check a blood sugar and my patient doesn’t need coverage!
Half an hour before report and my IVs all go bad and my patients all have to pee. again.
Finally caught up and waiting for day shift to come
Day shift shows up late and spends fifteen minutes chatting and fixing their coffee
Oncoming nurse asks me 92830498234 irrelevant questions that I have no idea what the answer is and I also don’t care
FINALLY GETTING OUT OF HERE
(At least, until I have to go back in twelve hours)