It’s 7am. My pug woke me up because he’s hungry and he has to pee. I get up, feed him, let him pee, realize it’s 7am and cry. Why? Because tonight I am starting my new job as a nurse aide in the children’s emergency room… and it’s a 12 hour night shift. It’s 7am and I’m wide awake. I have to clock in a 7pm which is 12 hours away. If I don’t go back to sleep now I will have to stay up for over 24 hours. I haven’t done that since high school (I never even did that during college). Spoiler: I didn’t go back to sleep.
Thus begins my night shift saga.
As a nursing student, it was important to find a part time job that was relevant. I have previously worked at a library while was extremely low key, good pay, yet had nothing to do with what I was going to school for…. Somehow (likely by the grace of God) I landed a position at the children’s emergency department. It was perfect. My goal is to become a critical care/trauma nurse when I graduate so this was the first step towards my goal. Not only do I get to work at one of the best children’s hospitals, but I actually get to work in peds while at the same time working in emergency/trauma. Double win! I was (still am) elated! I didn’t care that it was a night shift position because I finally had my foot in the door.
However, it is 1pm as I am typing this. 6 hours until my shift begins. I haven’t fallen back asleep plus I’m so nervous/excited for my first day that I have completely given up hope on going back to sleep. Instead, I have prepared a night shift survival kit (post coming soon), packed my snacks for the night (post also coming soon….), laid out my super sweet Grey’s Anatomy scrubs, and decided I was going to write about my experience working the night shift (while going to nursing school…. haha, joke’s on me).
fast forward 3 hours
At this point I have tried napping, but to no avail. I accept my fate and decide to begin my “day”…. or rather evening…. I take a long shower and begin to get ready. I put on a pot of coffee and stare at the clock. I’m feeling alright at this point, but definitely regret my lack of preparation. Eventually, 6pm rolls around and I decide to head to the hospital since it is my first night. I double check my bag and make sure I have everything including orientation papers and lots of *healthy* snacks. And I’m off!