Monday, March 7, 2011

Top 5 ways to get dayshifted

As I may have mentioned before, day shift and night shift do not like each other so much at my hospital. Now before you people get all bent out of shape and are like, "Hood nurse, you stupid douche, I've worked the day shift all my life because I have kids/pets/ houseplants/narcolepsy/other rare medical condition that prevents me from working nights, I hate you and I'll never read your blog again", calm down. I am just talking about the ones at my job and not about you.
It just so happens that most of the anal retentive, self righteous, extremely type A management ass kissing types are also the ones that are okay with getting paid less to wake up and do their makeup at 4AM so they can come to work and talk to administration, go down to the cafeteria and get breakfast, gossip about their coworkers and occasionally work. Not all of them are like that, but pretty much all the ones that are work days- kind of like how not all trapezoids are squares but all squares are trapezoids. Anyway. Glad we could have that little math talk.

But on the subject of my ridiculous coworkers, we had some down time the other night at the 4 AM stretch so we compiled an unofficial list of all the lame ass excuses they come up with in report that leaves you getting screwed but usually not realizing it until they have already skipped out to the parking lot- known more commonly where I come as getting dayshifted. I will now share them with you.

1. "I don't know anything about this patient, the charge nurse just put them in the room 5 minutes ago and I haven't seen them. Nothings been done." Now. About half the time this is true, because day shift charge nurses do love giving people ambulances and bringing people straight back to their room from triage at the same time, and rarely is anything done because that would require effort and the charge nurse getting her ass surgically removed from the charge desk chair. Luckily we have trackers that show how long the patient has been in the hospital and how long they've been back in a room, so we can see if they got there at the exact same time as two other patients, and whether the nurse really did get screwed, or whether they've actually been in the room an hour and half as opposed to 5 minutes. And if this is the case, I won't bug you about it, but I will chart when I assumed care, when I connected the patient to monitoring equipment or did something to help them not die, and that I never received report, so that if shit goes down, you're done, son.

2. "All they need is the urine" I hate this shit more than anything. Again, trackers ya'll. I can put together the story that Dr. Lazybitch ordered urine on this patient 4 hours ago and that despite your best efforts she cannot and will not dispo this chest pain patient without a UA. But since you were too lazy to get up for 15 minutes to ambulate your elderly patient to the bathroom, now I will do it while I get passive aggressive notes from the MD. Thanks a million.

3."She's been in there asleep" Why is it that I hear this statement from the same nurses and every time I go in to find their patient writhing in pain, saying they've been hitting the call button for 2 hours. Really? How hard is it to ask the doctor for some effin' Morphine?

4. "He was a hard stick and the paramedic wasn't available so I didn't even try" Really? Are you a fucking nurse? Then act like one. Maybe if your skills are really that shitty you should go work at the nursing home where you can send your patient to the ER every time they need an IV start. Or maybe you should start your own IVs occasionally and then you might remember how to do it right.

5."Yeah, yeah. Everything's been done" (whilst holding the chart to their chest) Ohhh man. The kiss of death. If it looks like they're hiding something, they probably are, like the fact that their patients have been dangerously hypertensive and in pain all day, they didn't notify the doctor, and they didn't give the meds that were ordered at 1400. When it's all the charts, you better get into the urinary cart and grab yourself some economy size lube, because shit is about to get bad for you.

This is in no way a comprehensive list. What kind of tricky shit does the "other shift" where you work like to pull in order to bamboozle you into doing their work?


  1. I found that was true in a few american hospitals I worked at. Most hospitals here have rotations that are DD/NN so EVERYONE gets that Day/Night experience....more understanding between shifts and less *crap* left for the next shift. Of course there are those lazy nurses anyway that leave stuff all the time, no matter WHAT shift they work.

    I find it works much better and eliminates the Day vs Night conflicts. Plus it's only fair: share the suffering of nights and the delights of days evenly. It's amazing how people will change when they have been on the receiving end of what they dish out.

  2. Ugh day shift. Here's me picking up day shift:

    Day charge: "It's so busy, I'm not bringing anyone else back!"

    Me: "But I only have one patient, I can take at least 2 or 3 more."

    Day charge: "It's awful, just wait awhile before bringing anyone else back."

  3. I recently spilled coffee on my under-scrub policy blue shirt just before my shift, and was out of like colors, so instead I opted for the coffee-free royal blue almost-policy tee shirt. We're in a code at 0700 and the freshly arrived clinical educator pulls me OUT OF THE ROOM to discuss my inappropriate non-policy undershirt. For realz.

    That's why I work nights.

  4. The worst is the gossiping. The day nurses are always in clicks, always 2-3 gossiping away. It drives me crazy. I am always having to break up all the gossip sessions to get shit done....then I give up and wait for day shift to come in.

    We work together....I can see at least 1 patient more per hour with the night crew vs the day.

    ER Doc

  5. Yup. Maybe I'm bitter since I was the topic of gossip so long for those skanks when I was an intern, but I swear that by the time they finish gabbing about someone and whining about their workload that they could have head their shit completed. Plus, their pillow team is subpar. Obviously.

  6. I'm with you. Oh man...I had to learn #5 the hard way. I believed the day nurses when they told me stuff was all done! I assumed they were telling the truth, but you know what happens when you assume. Not fun.
    And what's up with day shifters getting a coffee/breakfast break and a lunch break? Night shifters have to make some effort just to get one break. Ok. I'll shut up now :)

  7. There's one particular day shift nurse that will give me a list of things she wants me to do on my shift. Yeah, ok. That and day shift "decides" to assign tasks that they don't want to do to night shift (baths, changing all the lines, changing all the suction canister set ups, stocking, etc) even if it's due on days or they are perfectly capable of doing it. Yeah, I'm going to wake up my perfectly normal, neurologically intact patient at 3 in the morning to bathe her. Sounds great.

  8. We had a term for all the moronic reasons why report couldn't be given, vital signs weren't done, pain wasn't addressed, etc. "JAFE". It stands for "Just Another Fucking Excuse". Charge nurse:"why isn't that patient in the ICU yet?" "I got JAFED on report". It's the same everywhere.

  9. I'm a nursing assistant and I worked night shift for two years and that the best time ever. Day shift seriously thought we didn't do anything but sit on our ass and gossip. OMG. They were sooo wrong. WE RAN OUR ASSES OFF!!! Day shift was completely oblivious to what night shift actually. There were times when I didn't sit down and there were times when I actually heard a nurse say that they had been holding their bladders for like two fucking hours. This one time, this patient coded and I was assigned to hook the patient up to the machine and the doctors just sat there and didn't do a damn thing. OMG. Night shift rules!!!