Night shift is its own time zone

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.

Thank you.

You know who I am talking about.

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