In his book ‘This is Going to Hurt’ published in 2017, Adam Kay wrote that “night shift is a different time zone to the rest of the hospital.”
Any hospital shift that is not the standard 0700-1500 or 0700-1900 is an off shift.
And I believe that this quote applies to all of them.
It is different to be slightly off step with the rest of the hospital.
Information flows differently.
Emails are treated differently.
Staff is treated differently.
As a person who has worked off shift for 16 of my 21 years as a nurse I can attest this is true.
Day shift seemingly gets all the perks.
The fresh potluck offerings.
The tickets that HR sends out in an email back when that was a thing right at 0900.
The freshest food in the cafeteria.
It all happens on day shift.
Of course, a straight day shifter means that the management is around in full force.
Um, no thank you.
I do better work off shift.
I’ve done many different iterations of off shift.
2230-0700- night shift CNA in a nursing home
1500-2300- evening shift telemetry tech/unit secretary
1500-2300- evening shift CNA in the hospital
1500-2300- evening shift RN in the hospital
0700-1900- day shift RN on the floor in the hospital
0700-1500- day shift OR RN
call 1500-0700- night call in my first hospital
0630-1900-12 hour day shift RN in an orthopedic OR
0630-1700- 10 hour day shift RN in an orthopedic OR- they made me switch to 4 days a week after I became a service line coordinator
I handled 3 different service lines: pediatric, hand, and trauma- with only $1 an hour more. I should have held out for $3/hr.
2100-0700 call OR RN
0700-0700 weekend call OR RN
1030-2300- 12 hour evening shift OR RN
1230-2300- 10 hour evening shift OR RN
1430-2300- 8 hour evening shift charge OR RN
All iterations of call imaginable.
Having down this for 21 years, I can unequivocally say that the off shift and, I include evenings and night shift march, to the beat of our drummer.
And that’s okay.
We have to be nimble and able to hand disasters on our feet.
But props to the managers that take care of us and save us plates from potlucks and celebratory day shift meals.
You know who I am talking about.