I successfully survived a week of Night Float! My limited experience working night shifts led me to believe it was going to be a rough week, and it was, but the night shift isn’t so bad. It’s pretty long – 6pm – 8am. We stayed busy with lots of admissions and cross cover calls, so I honestly didn’t sleep at all on any of our shifts, but there is something kind of fun about being in the hospital during the night.
There is a weird camaraderie that develops between people working together on the night shift. Before you know if you’re having deep philosophical conversations at 3am about gender roles in Disney films or playing games like “would you rather have Necrotizing Fasciitis or this other disease.”
I discovered a definite pattern that would happen like clockwork almost every night, so for anyone who has never worked the night shift, here is a rough estimate of what you can expect:
6pm – Shift Starts: 14 hours of night shitft? I’ve got this! This is gonna be fun! It’s like a slumber party! Who needs sleep!?
8pm: This isn’t so bad. I don’t know why people complain about working nights. This is a breeze.
10pm: I am starving! Why are we not eating? I wonder if the cafeteria is open this late…I’m craving grilled cheese.
Midnight: I’m not gonna make it! I need sleep! This night is never going to end! We aren’t even halfway done, and I’m dyyyyyying. 8 more hours!?!? KILL ME NOW.
2am – Second wind: I’m hungry again. And now the cafeteria is closed. Ugh. Let’s have a dance party! Sleep!? Who needs sleep!?
4am: WILL THIS NIGHT NEVER END!? I feel like I’ve been here for days.
6am – Sign out: Finally! The day people are here! And the sun is coming up! Huzzah!
8am – Shift ends: Aaaahhh…the sun is too bright….Keys…car…driving….I hope I don’t crash on my way home…must…keep….eyes….open.