When I was in nursing school, I was always told that as a new nurse I would start out working the night shift. At first this prospect scared me, but over time I came to accept this as a part of my reality, and from then on I began to resign myself to my fate.
When I started my NICU residency I was on day shift. After that came a short stint on evenings (which my body loved!). Then came the day I had tried to avoid… switching to night shift. (Cue dramatic music!)
If you’ve never tried switching to a night shift schedule, you aren’t missing out on much. It’s kinda like really bad jet lag that never fully goes away, you just learn to work around it. Sounds like a barrel of laughs, right?
From the first night I realized that the best part of night shift was going to be the people. It takes a special breed of weirdo to thrive on nights, and I quickly learned that I am that weirdo! Just before my first night shift started I was sitting at the break room table, listening to other night shifters (or Vampires, as I like to call them) having a lively discussion about… well, I don’t remember the exact topic, but it was something that shouldn’t normally be that funny. It was in that moment when I learned that night shifters find a lot of weird things to be absolutely hilarious! Sleep deprivation messes with you in a major way! And even though we may seem a bit drunk when we’re just sitting and talking, if something goes wrong with our babies, we are super focused and on top of things. Adrenaline rush, I guess.
Sure, working nights messes with your sleep schedule, but there are ways to adjust. It doesn’t feel as natural as awake days/sleeping nights, but it works well enough. Would I enjoy a regular sleep schedule? Absolutely. But right now God wants me on nights, and who am I to disobey?
Plus, night shifters throw a heck of a potluck, and I don’t wanna miss out on that! 🙂