Today is a special day; today marks a bitter sweet end to one chapter of my life and the start of a new one.
I just finished my last night shift since I started back in 2018! I have been on “THE LIST” for quite some time, but things just weren’t quite coming together for me to be able to make the big move( until right before the holiday season this past year!). I believe that everything happens in God’s perfect timing and the universe gives when you are ready. I really feel so excited to begin the next step in my nursing career as a “day shifter”! I know there will be new challenges, and I am excited to see myself grow personally and professionally.
So. I wanted to take a second to reflect on the past 2 years as a night shift nurse; because it has truly been such an eye opening experience, one I will forever cherish( and quite honestly will miss dearly.)
I’d be lying if I said it was easy for me because it definitely wasn’t. There were lots of ups and downs and I struggled a lot at the end with feeling happy and healthy. Oddly the beginning was the easist for me; it wasnt till around a year and half where i really started feeling tired pretty much 24/7.
For me that was my internal indicator that I should make the move … although change is super hard for me. I feel proud of the decision I made so that I can be the happiest version of myself.
The 7 p- 7 a ; the graveyard shift; the nightshift.
If you’ve never been exposed to it, it’s hard to really know / understand all it entails. Let me tell you that it’s truly indescribable(but I’m going to do my best to give it the justice it deserves. :))
When everyone // most of the world is awake…. we attempt to sleep through the sunlight, the trains &construction , the hustle bustle of the busy humans of the day.
We wake up (half rested) and drink our coffee at 5 pm when the world is rapping up their work day and heading home. We get dressed and bring our snacks/ meals for “dinner”(if that’s what you call it at 2 am lol.. still not sure what meal that is haha)
Always exhausted but ready to work, I walk in with my girls to take care of the tiny humans (because baby’s are 24/7 ; and so is nursing).
Getting on shift , we start promptly because we have tasks that need to get done (weights, baths, carseats, labs ects) and first feeds start at 745(If you don’t know much about NICU…with four babies two will feed at 8 pm and 2 at 9pm then every 3 hrs after! )Parents are usually around for a bit at first but most leave around 10-11 (so all care is on us for the rest of the shift). It’s a busy busy beginning of the shift; if you get side tracked, or have other issues come up, it can be hard to catch up.. this goes for both night and day shift in the NICU!
Around midnight things hopefully start to level out and you’re able to chart and get your life together.
usually at this point a cup of coffee down and feeling tired lol…I MOST likely haven’t used the restroom or really sat down… food is sounding really necessary at this point, BUT feedings are coming again!
I’ll eat a quick snack around 2 and then back to my tiny humans.
It’s 4 AM and I’m EXHAUSTED.We are all getting a little loopy at this point … someone has shared too much about their life(love it always, and it is probably my favorite thing about night shift), Someone is tired af not really talking much , and someone has been “wanting to go home” since 730.
We trudge on, because we’re awesome, DUH♥︎. It’s 6 am and it’s THAT TIME. final feedings, finishing charting, stocking , and then the ANGELS of the day arrive to save us all —
THE END…. sort of…..
We Drive home quite literally in “zombie form”(half dead, half alive) to crawl into bed as the sun rises .. only to attempt to sleep through the sunlight, the trains &construction , & the hustle bustle of the busy humans of the day.
Many a times , I looked out the window at 330 am to a whole world lit up in the dark of the night; true magic.
Felt the energy of my fellow night shifters selflessly sacrificing their mental and physical normalcy so the sick, the helpless, the smallest of the small could continue to receive quality care and support.
The night shift, in my opinion, the secret hero’s of the world; y’all are one of kind.
I was honored to be a part of such a badass community; although I’m leaving this sort of magic world … I will forever feel connected in spirit.
Cheers to the close of an amazing chapter and to the start of a new one.