I've been working third shift this week. It's amazing how tranquil the small hours of the morning can be on the unit. The lights dim and, as we walk down the hall, the only sounds are those of our footfalls and the occluded IVs chirping like birds chattering in the woods.
Patient interactions are softer, quieter. They raise bleary eyes when I wake them for vitals or glucose testing and immediately nod off afterwards.
During the day, my job is hectic, a continual scramble to stay atop of the endless tasks and requests. At night, I mostly mitigate patient squabbles: she won't turn her TV off, He snores-I want a different room.. etc.
The staff, too, is more seasoned, less gossip-girl petty and fun to work with. The team in general has a perverse sense of humor- befitting a group that works the 'graveyard shift'. Last night, one of the nurses taped little devil horns and paper pitchforks to all of the office supplies (staplers, pencil sharpeners, computer mice) at the nurse's station just to annoy the morning secretary, Anna. Anna's celebrity doppelganger is Dwight from The Office. She's incredibly pedantic. This is great for dealing with time clock issues but she gets worked up over the craziest details.
The nurses on the night shift have developed an art to annoying Anna. It was so much fun to watch her huff around this morning tearing down little paper horns. After about ten minutes, she settled down to organize her desk. She then went to fax new orders to pharmacy. When she lifted up the scanner only to find more horns, she bellowed, bellowed, "Okay, who did this? Paper costs money people! No wonder we're always overbudget! This is ridiculous, Who did this?" She then glared at everyone in the nurses' station as though someone had stolen her purse. It was awesome.
If I didn't know that I would be bored within a week by the routine, I would request a permanent transfer to third shift.