Happy Sunday everyone! Today I am sharing a day in my life working night shift as an ER scribe. I work 10 hour night shifts from 9pm-7am, so here is a little glimpse of how I “prep” for working a night shift. Enjoy!
(The night before my night shift I try to stay up until at least 12:30am. I’m an early to bed, early to rise kinda girl usually, so 12:30 is pretty late for me. Then, I sleep in as much as I can the day of my shift.)
5:00pm: At this point in the day I start to get ready for my shift. I spent the afternoon volunteering and I made sure to get a work out in earlier in the day.
5:15pm: Decide that I’m making pasta for dinner because it’s simple and delicious.
5:45pm: Eat dinner with my mom and chat about the day. She jokes about how she was thinking she would leave the outside lights on for me when I get home, but I won’t be home until daylight. I scowl at her.
6:15pm: Try to take a short nap and fail. I have the hardest time sleeping during the day if I haven’t been awake all night. I watch some Netflix and relax instead.
7:30pm: Jump in the shower to wake myself up a little bit. Get dressed in some comfy scrubs and put some mousse in my hair. I put a little bit of makeup on for the night, usually consisting of concealer, eyebrow pencil, and mascara.
8:15pm: Get my bag together for work. Night shift essentials for me are snacks, my Swell water bottle, and miscellaneous medications for the inevitable headache that approaches around 3am. I also pack some deodorant and hand lotion.
8:30pm: Leave my house to head to the hospital. The hospital is about 10 minutes from my house but I need to go through the Dunkin’ drive-thru first to grab a coffee.
8:50pm: Arrive at the hospital and find out which side of the ED my doctor is working tonight. As the shift goes on, we end up managing both sides of the ED because she is the only provider on for the night. I find a working laptop and clock in for my shift.
9:00pm-12:00am: The doctor I’m working with arrives and we start seeing patients almost immediately. The ED I work at is ALWAYS packed and we have a pretty steady flow of patients to see all night. Usually night shift brings a pretty interesting mix of things to see.
12:00am: I get some down time while my doctor receives sign out from the doc that worked the evening shift. I catch up on some charts and shove some almonds down my throat. I make sure to drink A LOT throughout the night to compensate for not being able to eat a whole lot.
12:00-4:00am: See more patients. Chart A LOT. Input EKG’s. Write progress notes, discharge instructions, and admission notes.
4:00am: The overnight PA leaves and I start to hit a wall. The headache approaches, my eyes start to dry out and I’m praying for 7am to arrive just a little faster. I keep chugging water to keep myself awake and the patient flow picks up since my doc is the only provider in the entire ED.
6:00am: The day shift PA finally comes in and starts seeing some of the lower acuity patient’s. We get some down time and I keep myself moving so my eyes don’t shut involuntarily.
7:00am: FINALLY DONE. My doc signs out one patient to the incoming day shift doc. I say goodbye to everyone and head out into the sunshine. It’s a beautiful day and I’m sad that I will be sleeping it away.
7:15am: Pass my dad on my car ride home. He’s going fishing to start off his day and I’m dreaming about crawling into my bed.
7:20am: Rinse off in the shower. Throw on some PJs. Make some toast and peanut butter and devour it in 5 minutes. Brush my teeth, pull my blinds, slip on my eye mask and pass out.
4:00pm: Finally wake up. I’m always surprised at how well I’m able to sleep during the day, since usually I’m not a nap kinda girl in the slightest. I shower and head downstairs to my parents making dinner. I try to get outside to soak up as much sun as I can for the rest of the evening.
So there you have it! My day in the life on night shift. I hope you all enjoyed this post and let me know in the comments what your night shift tips and tricks are!