By this time, you already know that a CNA gets to choose his shift at a hospital according to their preferences and time availability.
As you have already chosen the night shift, you must be wondering, what it is like to work night shifts at a hospital as a CNA due to the fact that doctors rely on you for help and you are the one who is in most contact with the patients.
Now let’s get a complete look at what working as a night shift CNA feels like.
NIGHT SHIFTS AT THE HOSPITAL
The night shift usually starts around 11 pm in the night and lasts till 7 am in the morning throughout the hospitals.
The night shift is the third and last shift a CNA works during the day.
If you are someone who can only concentrate during nighttime when the atmosphere is peaceful, then the night shift is definitely perfect for you.
At night time, the patients are mostly asleep or they are preparing to go to bed.
So, there won’t be much to do with patients.
Instead, your duties include changing sheets, helping patients with toilets and bathing, feeding.
You may also be required to stock supplies and clean the nursing counter, if you like keeping everything organized, then the night shift is perfect for you.
Lazy nights do not mean that nothing can go wrong with the patients, instead, you have to monitor the patient’s condition and make sure that they are stable. You must report the slightest change in the patient’s condition to the doctor.
Even the relaxed environment of the night at the hospital can lead to chaos.
Many patients may come to the emergency of the hospital and a CNA would be expected to help with wound dressing and patient stabilization.
Greater opportunity to learn
If you work as a night CNA, you will get higher opportunities to learn from your seniors.
You can master the skills of patient monitoring and communication as there is less staff is present so you can work on your practical skills without any interruptions.
Because night shifts are relaxed so you are not in much of a hurry so a CNA can easily learn to notice signs and symptoms a patient shows and report it to the doctor or a registered nurse.
One can easily detect changes in patient condition too.
Less time for personal life
If you are choosing to work as a night CNA then you better say goodbye to your personal life due to the fact that your schedule does not match with your friends and family, so there will be less interaction between you guys.
ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF NIGHT SHIFT CNA
ADVANTAGES OF BEING A NIGHT SHIFT CNA
Following are a few advantages of choosing the night shift as a CNA.
- Better salary package than CNAs working on other shifts
- Less interaction with staff
- Better learning opportunities
- Less burden of patient care
DISADVANTAGES OF BEING A NIGHT SHIFT CNA
Following are a few disadvantages of choosing the night shift as a CNA.
- Impact on social life
- Disturbance of sleeping cycle
- Trouble getting used to the new lifestyle
TIPS FOR CNA WORKING NIGHT SHIFT
Here are some of the tips that might come in handy for you while you are working on your night shifts.
Eat healthy before starting your shift
You need energy to work, which comes from food, you must eat something healthy before going to work or starting your shift. You can consider this meal as your breakfast before work.
You can even bring different snacks, nuts, chocolates, fruits, and proteins to eat throughout your shift. A good meal can help you focus better on your work and sharpen your mind.
Make sure you drink water from time to time and stay hydrated, this will help you fight feeling sleepy.
Keep the lights up at night
Nights are lazy in the hospital, it gets even more boring when you can see your patients asleep peacefully, and you may even feel drowsy by seeing them like this.
As patients have to rest, there is dim lighting in most of the hospital areas which may lead you to feel lazy.
You can alert your brain by keeping good lighting at the nursing station and the break room so you can focus better at your work.
Keep yourself busy with work
If you are new to night shifts, you must be thinking that there is not much work during this shift, this is far from the truth! The night shift is basically designed to support the busy mornings, you have to prepare everything for the morning shift staff.
You can help early rising patients with their basic life necessities, fold linens, clean wheelchairs, stock towels, and toiletries, clean nursing stations and organize medicines for the patients.
Make a network with your co-workers
During your shift, you have to be in contact with your co-workers the most to create a healthy environment for your patients.
You must maintain good relations with your fellow nurses and staff, who know you may end up making a good friend that you will cherish throughout your life.
A bonus of networking with your fellow workers is that the time will pass quickly and the shift will be less of a burden for you when you surround yourself with people.
Watch your caffeine intake
Caffeine can be your best friend when you take it at the starting your shift and boost your alertness and working capabilities, but it can also be your worst enemy if you drink caffeine just before you are about to close your shift as drinking coffee at the end of the shift will lead to delay in your sleeping schedule.
It is better if you cut off your caffeine intake a few hours before you close your shift so you can easily fall asleep when you get home after a long night of work.
Create a relaxing environment in your bedroom
Convert your biological clock upside down even after working hours! As you are already starting your day at night so it is better to start pretending the day for the world is the night for you.
You can get better sleep and feel energetic if you imitate your days like night by making your bedroom and house as dark as possible with the help of curtains and shades to block any sunlight from reaching you.
You can also induce the production of melatonin which is the sleep hormone by blocking the light reaching you, one can do so by using a sleep mask and dark curtains while they are about to sleep.
If you are someone who can not sleep with noises around then you can use earplugs to keep the noise away from the environment during day time because the most fraction of people start their day in the morning, you can even use mobile apps to block noise and replace it with soft air sound effects or you can even use a white noise machine to prevent hearing noises.
Have a consistent sleeping schedule
Because your normal biological clock is disturbed since you have been up all night serving patients and you have to sleep during the daytime.
You might have to change your sleep schedule from time to time for different activities when you get home, it is better to keep it consistent.
Keeping the same sleep schedule will help you feel energetic throughout your night shift. Whether you go home and directly go to bed or stay awake a little while longer, do some work and then get to bed, make sure that you follow the same schedule.
This will lead you to make yourself comfortable with your new normal and help you adjust better to your new lifestyle.
Maintain a healthy work and life balance
To work successfully as a night CNA you must know where your work and your personal life stand.
You should be able to create a balance between the two! One should set boundaries between your personal life and activities and your professional life.
A Certified nursing assistant can work more efficiently and in a relaxed manner by establishing a professional life and personal life balance.
You can work all night yet be able to engage in different activities throughout the day like keeping up with home chores, grocery, friends, family, and relatives at the same time simultaneously with ease.