Spooky Myths About the Nurse’s Night Shift

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Every job has its ups and downs. Nursing is one of those jobs where there are several myths about what happens on the night shift versus the day shift. Nurses understand their job isn’t easy in the daylight or the moonlight, but even among the nurses there are some myths that should be debunked.  

Myth 1: Night nurses have it easy; all the patients are asleep.  

This is hardly the case. Many bad things happen at night, so new patients are constantly coming in needing immediate care. Patients still need to have medication administered, get cleaned up, and even do exercises to stay healthy. There is not a time when the hospital sleeps. There is always someone who needs care.  

Myth 2: Night nurses have more time for paperwork.  

Daytime nurses can sometimes feel the night nurses have more peace and quiet to concentrate on their paperwork. This is rarely the case, due to the skeleton staff. At night, the limited staff means nurses are responsible for all the extra actions the support staff would normally cover.  

Myth 3: Night nurses don’t need people skills.  

Day nurses are usually the ones in the forefront, talking to doctors, patients and support staff. While they are responsible for those conversations, many of the daytime nurses have limited time with family members as visiting hours usually start later in the day. Since most family members work or attend school, they won’t arrive until later and stay until visiting hours end. This is about the time a night nurse will start their shift. They can get a lot of questions from the family the minute they walk into the room.  

Myth 4: Night nurses have more family time.  

This is simply not true. They work the same hours as daytime nurse, but while the rest of their family sleeps they are working. That means when their family is awake, they need to sleep. It’s hard on your family when your schedule is the opposite of theirs, and it can take a great deal of effort to have quality family time. Even with holidays, a night nurse may need to sleep, rather than have family time, so they are alert for their shift.  

Nurses work hard. Every shift is a challenge. By working together with all your team members, you can provide excellent care without discarding your own personal care. Work with all shifts, understanding one shift is not easier or harder than another.  

Get help and support from other nurses, download the Nurse Backpack app. This app helps you stay organized while tracking all your professional credentials and personal information. If you’re looking for a way to streamline your career, give the app a try today.