Need advice from overnight 7 on/7 off rphs

Discussion in 'Pharmacy' started by penicillinman, 10.01.14.

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  1. penicillinman

    penicillinman 2+ Year Member

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    I have accepted a 7 on/7 off night shift at a hospital and wanted to get some advice from people who have had experience with this schedule in a similar setting. Its a 9p-7a shift:
    1. How do you prepare for week on
    2. How do you switch to get to normal day schedules on week off.
    I have worked days 7 on/7 off before and loved it. I am currently working 8 hours evening shifts 5 on 2 off kinda deal and boy do i hate that schedule. So really looking forward to 7 on / 7 off even if its nights and really hoping the night shift doesn't screw with my head too much.
     
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  3. farmadiazepine

    farmadiazepine 5+ Year Member

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    To prepare for my week on, I sleep in all day on Monday, and I wake up and pull an all-nighter on Monday. Then as soon as I go home on Tuesday morning I immediately pass out and wake up an hour before my shift and start getting ready. From there on out, I'm in a "stay up at night, go to sleep during the day" rhythm. When I go back home I blacked out all my windows with black curtains, I wear ear-plugs if any noise. You have to trick or fool your body into believing that it's dark outside. At the end of the week, I get off on Monday morning. I either do one of 2 ways to get back on track. But with either way, you sacrifice your Mondays. Mondays are a waste of a day and you only get back to normal life on Tuesday. Sometimes I come home Monday, drink like an alcoholic, stay up till 1pm and go to sleep, and I sleep all the way until Tuesday morning 6 am. Then I get up Tuesday and continue my life like normal. What works better, however, is when I come home Monday, go to sleep a few hours, wake up around 2 or 3 or 4 pm, spend the night doing something, and go back to bed at 10 or 11 pm. Then wake up Tuesday and everything is back to normal.

    If you don't have a set, rigid ROUTINE, then you will not be able to survive 7 on 7 off nights. You need to be disciplined, and you will learn to love sleep. There is nothing in the world I love more than sleep. I can sleep all day. I can hibernate if I was given the opportunity. The few times I take off a year I literally just lay in bed all day without getting up. Man, I f'n love sleep.
     
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  4. SELDANE

    SELDANE 7+ Year Member

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    After working my last night I'll usually go home and sleep a couple of hours (2 or 3). When I wake up I'll stay up until about 9:30 or 10:00 pm and then go to bed. The following day I'm already into a daytime schedule. As previously posted, the key is maintaing a routine.
     
  5. ChalupaBatman86

    ChalupaBatman86 2+ Year Member

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    The Sunday before going back to work I would stay up as late as I could. Maybe 3am or so. Then sleep as late as I could, maybe until around noon. First night is still a little rough but by 2nd night you are fine.

    After finishing my last night I would stay awake as long as I could the next day doing all my boring tasks and drinking coffee. Grocery shopping, laundry, clean the house, pay bills. I would pass out by around 6pm, sleep 12 hours or so. Wake up the next day at 6am and you are fully rested, laundry is done, fridge is stocked and house is clean. What a great feeling that was!

    My advice is to make an extra effort to eat healthy and exercise, especially during your 7 days on.

    Also it is easy to spend too much money during your week off because you have so much free time. Find a hobby to keep you from going out to eat and shopping all the time.
     
  6. msweph

    msweph 2+ Year Member

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    I typically do nothing for my first night besides sleep in as late as I can that day.

    I agree with whoever said to work out on your week on. I typically work out the first 4 days then I get too tired to keep going but it feels good to work out 4 days when you work 70 hours.

    The last day, I sleep as soon as I get home, do something relaxing like dinnner and. a movie and go to bed at 11-12. I wake up the next morning at 7-8 am and start my week.
     
  7. DesiRX

    DesiRX 7+ Year Member

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    I start my shift on Wednesday night and work till the following Tuesday night. I do similar things to what people have already suggested. Its definitely not impossible to switch your routines but a lot of times I have trouble sleeping during the day, especially on brighter days even though I have room darkening curtains up.
     
  8. rxglasshalffull

    rxglasshalffull 2+ Year Member

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    wow i give you guys props for doing overnight. that is something i would never be able to do. i have to sleep before 1am and get up before perferably 9:30am to be well-rested and happy. even when i sleep at 2am and get up at 10am, i dont feel 100% happy. i dont know how i stayed up so late in college and functioned...getting old...
     
  9. rxglasshalffull

    rxglasshalffull 2+ Year Member

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    my ideal is sleeping from 12am to 9am. and luckily with my shifts, i have been able to do that a lot of the times. a shift before 9am is too early for me, a shift ends after 9pm is too late for me
     
  10. confettiflyer

    confettiflyer Did you just say something? 10+ Year Member

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    I started sleeping in late into the mornings the day before night shift started, by the day of the start of my shifts, I was going to sleep around 3-4am and waking up 11am-noon.

    I'd take it easy that day, stay hydrated, pack my lunch and snacks (SUPER important), have a light dinner, then pick up some coffee and head into work. Days 1 & 2 were hardest, day 3 and beyond I'd hit my stride.

    The key during the week of shifts = blackout curtains, phones on silent, etc... I would take care of errands in the AM that I didn't/couldn't get to during my week off. Try not to hit the fast food joints coming off work -- that'll kill your waistline (same with going into work, take the time to make something quasi-healthy).

    Depending on your personal situation, you may want to consider designating someone as your "bankers hours" contact who has a key to your house (even consider forwarding your phone or something). Nowadays, you can set your phone to only ring through certain people. You figure it out!

    Coming off nights is generally easy, on the morning I was off, I would try to get down and a nap in as soon as I could and be back up before noon. Take it easy and don't plan anything, you'll probably be sleepy by 8pm-9pm again. The next day, I'd naturally be up around 6-7am because of the early sleep the night before. Ideally, I wouldn't schedule/work a day shift that next day, but in a pinch I've done it and been okay.

    tl;dr = sleep in late going into night shift, nap a bit and stay up all day the day you come off shift. don't eat crap, stay hydrated, keep it dark.
     
  11. farmadiazepine

    farmadiazepine 5+ Year Member

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    That's HUGE, and its SO TRUE. It is way too easy to spend money on your off week. During my week on, I spend like maybe $10-$15 on things I really didn't need (like chips or a soda or candy). During my off week its another story. One night at the bar and I can easily drop $100-$300. Usually I pray its only $100 but damn, sometimes I'll be dropping cash like I am rich or something, which I am not. Be careful spending on your off week, because sometimes you will really have nothing to do, and all you want to do is shop, or go to the mall, or find something new to spend your money on.
     
  12. penicillinman

    penicillinman 2+ Year Member

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    Thank you all for the advice! Gotta say I'm a little nervous - not about the work itself but making the schedule work for my body/brain ! I know some people who couldn't do nights at all, some who said it was okay and it finally catches up to you, and some who have been doing it for over 20 yrs and would not want a different shift ! Hoping I'm in the last category.
     
  13. DesiRX

    DesiRX 7+ Year Member

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    On a side note, I will add that the younger you are, the easier it is. Best of luck to you :)
     
  14. farmadiazepine

    farmadiazepine 5+ Year Member

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    The younger you are, the easier it is. No kids, no wife, no girlfriend. Now is the easiest time for a young person to just make bank. The older you are, the harder it is, I would imagine. I also totally believe that it will catch up to you later on in life in terms of physical and mental health.
     
  15. msweph

    msweph 2+ Year Member

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    I'm married- no kids yet and I love doing it-- average one week a month. I really feel it by the end of the week and I can only Imagine how it feels when you're 40-50 and doing it.
     
  16. BMBiology

    BMBiology temporarily banned~! 10+ Year Member

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    Yeah but you are also spending you prime years working your butt off.
     
  17. msweph

    msweph 2+ Year Member

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    70 hours a week is less than 80 for 2 weeks
     
  18. Gombrich12

    Gombrich12 2+ Year Member

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    It may be 70 hours, but your body takes a day to adjust to gettin off midnights. It's hell on the body for a lot of people.
     
  19. BidingMyTime

    BidingMyTime Lost Shaker Of Salt 10+ Year Member

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    Well if you are young and party all night & sleep all day, then there would be no need for adjustment.
     
  20. penicillinman

    penicillinman 2+ Year Member

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    Ok so 3 months of working night shift - I love my 7 off (who wouldnt!) but holy hell, how in the world can you get more than 4 hrs of sleep in the daytime. On a good day i get maybe 5-6 hrs - but good days are far and few. My room is completely dark but there is no way to avoid the noise from the kids (wife is stay home - she does her best to keep kids quite). I leave work at 7 am, get home have breakfast spend time with family for a little bit, in bed by 9 am. And awake by 1-2 pm - after that I just toss and turn until 5. Makes for a rough night. I love the job itself - no other rphs, one tech - no drama - I get my work done quickly and effectively which leaves plenty of time to go through SDN (lol?!). So yes - i do love the job, but does your body get used to this ever ? are you ever able to sleep a good 6-8 hrs ?! Is this one of those things if I just keep doing, I will eventually be able to sleep through in the AM. If I can make my body to do that - I would love to have this job forever, If not then I dont know if i can survive this for much longer than a year or two !
     
  21. farmadiazepine

    farmadiazepine 5+ Year Member

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    The worst is the day after overnights. It's a whole day wasted. You need like a whole day to recover otherwise you feel like a zombie the entire rest of the week.

    Oh, and and the worst also is having nothing to do Tuesday through Thursday because the whole rest of the world is working like normal people.

    I used to get crunk on a Monday night and Tuesday night on my weeks off. Now I hear some BS song on the radio and people thinking its cool to get turned up on a Tuesday, and I think to myself, "No, it's not cool". I was doing it, and no, it's not cool.
     
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  22. Dapharmacist1

    Dapharmacist1

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    I've been doing graveyards for the past 2 years and am currently trying to get out. I strongly recommend you to recsind your offer, it just isnt worth it. Even though i am young, eat healthy and exercise daily the toll your body takes catches up to you. I recently had my labs drawn and my chloesterol levels are all out of wack. I truly believe your body just isnt meant to be up at nights. Unless you get can get 8 hours of shut eye and completely live on the opposite schedule even on your off days i dont recommend anyone doing graveyards. Flipping your sleep schedule back and forth on your off days no doubt can cause harm to your body. Hopefully i can stop doing nights soon.

    Also in regards to sleep i agree that it's so tough to get more than 5-6 hours a night of straight sleep. I live in the city and noises always some how manage to wake me up even when i wear ear plugs and eye shades.
     
  23. WVUPharm2007

    WVUPharm2007 "Bubs Depot!" 10+ Year Member

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    I've been doing it for 4 years now. I get 8+ hours of sleep every night. My cholesterol is low...as is my blood pressure...and I'm less stressed that at any point in my life. This is honestly the happiest I've been ever. And, hell, the pharmacy I'm working at is falling apart with turnover during days...but I'm still feeling fine.
     
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  24. WVUPharm2007

    WVUPharm2007 "Bubs Depot!" 10+ Year Member

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    WHAT?

    Dude, its the BEST time. You can do whatever you want and the other saps are out working. Go o a movie...just you alone. Go to the mall...entire stores to yourself. Dave and Buster's...no waiting for anything. Want to go out for dinner, no waiting for a table. Want to go on a 5 day vacation? No problem.

    It is awesome.

    I get it that some people can't handle it, but I have delayed sleep phase syndrome and I pretty much can go to sleep whenever I want. Its a bizarre blessing for me.

    With my drug addict parents (i.e. knowing how to deal with them), sleep weirdness, and preference towards working alone, I honestly do believe I've been training my entire life to do this job. I fit into the role like a glove...
     
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  25. VP_Pharm2004

    VP_Pharm2004 Member 10+ Year Member

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    Seems like a trend for the 24-hour stores and CVS in general! You must not work near an ER or urgent care to be "feeling fine".
     
  26. farmadiazepine

    farmadiazepine 5+ Year Member

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    You know, I used to really like having all that time off during the week because I can do whatever I want, whenever I want. I could take care of any chore during the day while the rest of the world was working. It was great.

    But the difference between you and me, and correct me if I'm wrong, is that I'm not married, and it was a detriment to my social life. Friendships lost. Relationships couldn't keep. Church life gone. Everything that was important to me, I couldn't keep up with. Now that I'm working days, there are just way more many opportunities to go out, meet new people, go on dates, meet up with friends, be there for family and friends, see my little baby cousins, go to church, etc. All the things that used to be important to me are again back in my life.

    The only way I can work overnights again is when I'm married and settled down.
     
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  27. Dapharmacist1

    Dapharmacist1

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  28. WVUPharm2007

    WVUPharm2007 "Bubs Depot!" 10+ Year Member

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  29. Dapharmacist1

    Dapharmacist1

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    As long as you consistantly stay on the opposite schedule and get 8 hours of sleep a day i think nightshifts can be ok. But, for most people who flip flop back and forth and struggle to get 5-6 hours of sleep a day i think thats where the problem lies. WVUPharm keep exercising and stay healthy. I graduated in 07 as well. 23 more years til retirement.
     
  30. zelman

    zelman 7+ Year Member

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    [​IMG]
     
  31. Pharmpills

    Pharmpills Accepted Pharmacy Student 7+ Year Member

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    Night shift is a great shift bc it's less stress, slower, better pay, more time off, etc. Although that's changing as companies cut hours, add more work, less help but it can be great to have 7 days off or 14 days off a month. I know there are alot of people who think they would never do the graveyard shift but don't hate on something you never tried. I strongly believe though that you should not do it more than 5 years or maybe 7 but if you are doing it for more than 10 years then you really need to access your situation and decide if that's good for you.
     
  32. Dapharmacist1

    Dapharmacist1

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    I talked to some of the MDs at the place i work and they recommended no more than 2-3 years of working graveyard.
     
  33. WVUPharm2007

    WVUPharm2007 "Bubs Depot!" 10+ Year Member

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    I was diagnosed by an actual sleep lab. So...yeah...
     
  34. zelman

    zelman 7+ Year Member

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    Hmmm... You are right. The definition has changed over time. Originally, I believe it was simply the effect of shifting one's sleep pattern (like college students staying up late on weekends and then feeling like garbage on Monday), but studies after the 1986 Australian paper by Lack seem to have changed the definition. My bad.
     
  35. Corytrade

    Corytrade 2+ Year Member

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    I did grave yards for two years in the military, not 2 consecutive, but 1 on, 1 off, then 1 on again. It was way worse though, 5 on and 2 off. I think sleeping will get better. I was able to get about 7 hours a "night." Wear earplugs to help reduce the noise, and go to bed as soon as you get home. Those two things helped me the most.
     

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