Monday, December 14, 2009

night shifter

I have survived night shift, thus far.

Tomorrow night will be my first night "on my own." I put it in quotes because I've learned that I am never really alone in the ICU. The other nurses work as a wonderful team and everyone is out to help each other because it is all about the patient. I love that.

But, I am scared and nervous. It is time to cut the cord, though. Sigh.

The other night, my 3rd day post-op ventral hernia repair/liver bx/choley/abdominal rectus advancement with flaps decided suddenly that he wanted to start putting out massive amounts of frank blood from his bilateral JP drains.


One thing that kind of surprises me on night shift is how people eat. They eat like it isn't 2 in the morning, which is understandable, but doesn't seem, um...healthy? I refuse to eat chicken quesadillas and cheeseburgers in the middle of the night/early morning hours. How am I surviving? Lots of H2O, fruit, lara bars, etc. I snack on these things throughout the night and it seems to hold me over pretty well until I go home.

I haven't noticed any real issues yet with my sleep and I seem to be able to switch over on my days off pretty well, except I did 3 nights in a row and I'm not going to lie, it was difficult. In fact, it may or may not be related, but the last almost 48 hours, I've been suffering with a headache. On just the left side of my head. ugh. I eventually gave into the magical powers of Excedrin and it is gone.

Wish me luck for my first night as an ICU nurse by myself.


Eco Yogini said...

good luck!!! you are going to be GREAT :) and good on you for eating well during those shifts, your body will thank you (as will your head eventually!). :)

Not Nurse Ratched said...

Nightshifters do eat like crazy. I try to do most of my eating during the day and just snack at night, like you---I started this a few months ago. This has halted but not reversed the weight gain that resulted from eating like a nightshifter for 9 months!

Anonymous said...

It's amazing to hear a first-hand account of the stresses that nurses go through. It really makes one appreciate a trip to the hospital. Often, we're so focused on our problem that we don't even think about the way it's affecting those who are working to help us. Great job on trying to eat healthy while on the job, the idea of cheeseburgers at two every morning definitely grosses me out! Aren't these people supposed to be educated on health issues?

HEAB said...

Wow, just hearing about what goes on in the ICU stresses me out. I'm in awe of nurses. Seriously, I could not imagine going to work and saving a life.

Good luck tonight. You'll do great!

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sarah (SHU) said...

yay, another medicine/healthy living hybrid blog (there aren't too many of us!). i can't imagine fast food at 2 am -- but oatmeal can be a great night-time holdover for me!